Thursday, December 10, 2020

New survey shows 58 percent of Californians approve of Gov. Newsom but 26 percent are thinking of leaving the state, Rep. Kevin McCarthy celebrates GOP gains in the House and some really bad form about town

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... GAVIN NEWSOM: Despite being wildly unpopular in some parts of the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom still enjoys a 58 percent approval rating from Californians when asked how he is handling the crisis. That is according to a new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California that showed Newsom's

approval rating holding steady. With that said, the non-profit investigatory organization CalMatters said the governor is approaching an inflection point, "and how he handles it will determine a lot about his political future." Next month Newsom will near the mid-way point in his first time and he is already facing an expected challenger for reelection in outgoing San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer, a Republican. The PPC survey also revealed that: 
 * 26 percent of Californians are thinking of moving out of the state
* 26 percent worry about the high cost of housing here
* 45 percent don't think the American dream holds true anymore
* And 63 percent think their children will be worse off financially than their parents

 * ... OUCH! Rep. Kevin McCarthy had a little fun on social media this week when he posted a few pictures from Congress, specifically showing a group of Democrats who lost their House seats and another one showing the group of Republicans (there were none of them) who lost their House seats in the last election. Said McCarthy: "The first photo is of Leader Hoyer with all the Democrats who lost their re-election. The second is a group photo of me with all the House Republicans who lost this year."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: Some morning humor from my friend Dick Taylor: "The next time your wife gets angry, drape a towel over her shoulders, (like a cape) and say, 'now you’re Super Angry!' 
Maybe she’ll laugh. Or maybe you’ll die."

 * ... FATHER CRAIG: The legal fight between the Diocese of Fresno and Monsignor Craig Harrison has entered a dangerous new phase. Harrison's legal team held a press conference this week in which they rejected calls by the Diocese for Harrison to drop his lawsuit against the church. Harrison sued the Diocese claiming it had defamed him, and the church responded by demanding that Harrison drop the suit or it would resort to disciplinary action. Kyle Humphrey, one of Harrison's attorneys, said he expected the Diocese to retaliate but added Harrison would not drop the suit. Humphrey conceded Harrison would likely never return to St. Francis of Assisi Church and accused the Diocese of mistreating the monsignor and denying him his right to due process in court. Among other things, the Diocese had demanded that Harrison stop engaging in any behavior that could confuse people into thinking he was an active priest with the Catholic Church.

 * ... BAD FORM: Here is a familiar sight: someone using our community as their private dumping ground. Jeff Flores spotted this and had this to say: "Some class act thinks that it’s acceptable to dump a queen mattress across from Williams Elementary on the median at Niles. Reporting this to City of Bakersfield roads department right now."

 * ... MORE BAD FORM: And then there was this scene at Truxtun and Oak this week, caught by retired energy executive Viet Truong.


* ... MEMORIES: This is a wonderful old picture of the Bank of Italy building that stood on H Street next to the Padre Hotel. My thanks to the Facebook page Kern County History Fans for sharing this.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

An LA restaurant owner shuts down but returns to find a film crew next door along with a catering tent full of food and drink, prepare for a tsunami of packages this Christmas and what do you think of the city's new art project on 24th Street?

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA: Ah, the hypocrisy of living in California during the pandemic. The latest head scratcher involves a woman named Angela Marsden who owns the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Los Angeles. Like other restaurant owners Marsden is struggling to stay alive and she shut

down outdoor dining to conform with new state guidelines. And guess what happened next? She arrived at her restaurant to find an episode of NBC's Good Girls" was filming on her street, complete with a huge catering tent full of food and drink for the film crew. How is this possible, she thought, when her own restaurant was forced to close, but somehow it's okay for film studios to feed dozens without restrictions? More than anything else, it is this type of hypocrisy that has many Californian's boiling mad, and we are just getting started. Stay tuned.

 * ... DELIVERY LOGJAM: If you are using e-commerce to make most of your purchases these days, and are looking to Amazon to fulfill Christmas wishes, beware that the crunch is coming. According to The New York Times, an estimated three billion packages will be shipped this year, some 800 million more than last year. And now that we are in yet another pandemic lockdown, it is only getting worse. Experts say if you expect something by Christmas, you need to order it no later than Dec. 15. After that, you are on your own. And remember: this is the prime season for porch thefts so we can assume our neighborhoods will be full of strange cars going slowly down our streets looking for packages to steal.

 * ... ENTRY WAY: So what do you think of the new rock and steel art project the city erected on east-bound 23rd Street? It's part of the now completed 24th Street widening project and I suppose it serves as a welcome mat of sorts for folks coming off Highway 99 and headed into the downtown business district. Let's see how long it takes for the rock pyramids to be tagged with graffiti.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "My wife didn't order anything from Amazon yesterday so today the UPS driver knocked on our door to make sure everything was okay."

 * ... DIANNE HOOVER: The city of Bakersfield will lose one of its finest and most effective managers soon when Dianne Hoover leaves her job as director of the Recreation and Parks Department. Hoover spent 15 years here, working quietly, effectively and often against long odds to do a near complete makeover of the city's parks system. Among the improvements built on her watch was the Park at River Walk, the sprawling complex of greenspace and lakes off Stockdale Highway that has become immensely popular. A native of a small town near Columbus, Ohio, Hoover earned her bachelor's degreee from Graceland College in Iowa and masters from the University of Dayton and Western Illinois University.  Farewell Dianne. You will be missed.

 * ... MEMORIES: From the Facebook page Kern County History Fans comes this nugget.