Friday, January 15, 2021

Former Congressman Bill Thomas pays to send a message about our current political troubles, seniors line up for the Covid-19 vaccines and the Bakersfield Museum of Art prepares for a virtual show on the Bakersfield Sound

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.

 * ... BILL THOMAS: When Bill Thomas retired from Congress as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, leaving his seat to his protege Kevin McCarthy, the world was a different place.  But even Thomas could never have seen what would become of the country he loves, and the institution of

Congress that he helped mold. Now, Thomas has come forth to let the world know where he stands by purchasing a full page advertisement in The Bakersfield Californian to highlight a letter from a former staff member, Will Le. In it, Le details the story of a disaffected moderate Republican whose party seems to have abandoned him. "It saddens me to see what has happened to the Republican Party over the last four years under the grips of Donald Trump and Trumpism," he wrote. "And it is with even more sadness that those who have supported him and cheered him on are those who I once worked with and greatly respected... I am a man without a party. Both parties have stooped to the lowest levels to drum up anger against a political and economic system that has worked so well for so many people of so many different backgrounds."

 * ... COVID-19 VACCINE: The state of California opened up the coronavirus vaccine to residents 65 and older, and there was a tsunami of a response. Express Pharmacy on Brimhall was overwhelmed the first day and other urgent care centers had similar experiences; And now experts are warning that even with both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, there is no guarantee that you might still have the virus and be unknowingly shedding it. "We just don't know yet," is how Dr. Brij Bhambi of Centric Health put it, saying researchers don't know if fully vaccinated people could still be contagious. The hope, of course, is achieving herd immunity across the country.

 * ... ART EXHIBIT: If you are a history buff and interested in the Bakersfield Sound, make sure you check out a new online exhibit from the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Called The Bakersfield Sound: Roll Out the Red Carpet, the exhibit will showcase major figures and stylings of the sound with costumes, guitars and posters from the era. Among those part of the exhibit is Felix Adamo, retired Bakersfield Californian photographer whose black and white shots of the time are can't miss items. The virtual exhibit will run from Jan. 28 to Aug. 28 this year. (Felix Adamo poses with some of his work below)


 * ... PARLER: There is a lot of chatter about Parler, the new social media website that caters to disaffected Republicans fed up with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The site has become a hotbed of rumors and conspiracy theorists have found it a home for their musings. Below is just one of the postings on Parler that speaks to conspiracies. Kicked off the Amazon hosting site, Parler is currently off line and it is not known when it will go back live.

 * ... MEMORIES: Enjoy these pictures of old Bakersfield, borrowed from some of the many websites that chronicle our history.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And how about this picture of the old Rainbow Gardens on South Union Avenue. Date unknown.

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