Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kern County will receive a huge increase in Covid-19 vaccines, the Sheriff's Department seeks to hire dozens of deputies and Alta Sierra will have its ski lifts open this weekend

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.

 * ... COVID VACCINE: There is some good news locally about the number of Covid vaccines that will be available in Kern County. Brynn Carrigan, head of Kern County Public Health, said the state's weekly allotment has been increased to 14,850 doses, almost twice the previous weekly allotment of 8,800.

Carrigan said the county hopes to vaccinate as many as 3,000 people a week at the Kern County Fairgrounds alone. And that doesn't count any new doses Kern may receive when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine wins approval and hits the market. The new J&J vaccine promises that anyone who receives it will not be hospitalized and not die from COVID-19.

 * ... SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood attended a meeting of the leadership of the state sheriff's association and was surprised to learn that at some departments, fully half of the deputies are taking the coronavirus vaccines. The acceptance rates "range from 10 percent to 50 percent," he said. At home, meanwhile, Youngblood's department is seeking to fill dozens of jobs for deputies, a hard reality when other departments pouch our own fully trained deputies with the lure of higher salaries.

 * ... DROUGHT: While it may be true that the mountains have received some much needed snow, make no mistake that here in the valley we remain in a drought. That's the word from ABC23's Elaina Rusk who said the valley "remains in moderate drought with severe drought status in the mountains from the Kern River Valley to the Tehachapi area. the Mojave Desert, including the Ridgecrest area, are classified as extreme drought."

 * ... ALTA SIERRA: But there is still enough snow at Alta Sierra to keep the chair lifts open, and the resort says it will be open this weekend. Meanwhile over on the coast the state has announced that Oceano Dune in Pismo Beach is opening to a limited number of cars this weekend.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "When you tell someone you are praying for them, are you really?"

 * ... RONDA NEWPORT: Ronda Newport, president of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors, was honored with the 2020 Warren G. Carter that  “epitomizes the integrity, professionalism and traditional values of Watson Realty.”.

 * ... MEMORIES: My thanks to the Kern County History Fans Facebook page for this picture of the old Kern County Jail, built in 1894 at the northeast corner of Eye and 16th streets.

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