Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Catholic faithful turn their backs on the new Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, pressure builds for a "third gender" on US passports and the homeless take over our bike path through 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.

 * ... ABORTIONS AND THE VACCINE: Roman Catholics are rejecting the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine for Covid-19 because it is produced using a cell line derived from an aborted fetus. That is what Catholic leaders across the country are telling the faithful, and it has put a spotlight on the Pfizer and

Moderna vaccines that have been in the field. It's a tricky question and it pits a moral question against science that can save lives, and Friday Centric Health's Dr. Brij Bhambi will discuss the issue on The Richard Beene Show at 2 p.m. on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM/1180 AM. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has advised parishioners to seek out the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines as alternatives.

 * ... GENDER FREE PASSPORTS: The Biden Administration is under pressure to allow U.S. Passports to be issued with a third "gender," a simple "X" to denote neither male nor female. The X gender designation has already been adopted by at least a dozen states and Washington, D.C., and the ACLU and other groups are pressing the Biden administration to all the designation on all passports.

 * ... RESTAURANT OPENINGS: Restaurants across Kern County are starting to reopen, some with no restrictions and others - like Mexicali downtown - with limited seating. The truth: some restaurants hardly closed at all, allowing pre-pandemic seating in a county that pledged not to enforce the state policy. But with the rush toward herd immunity making progress, many local restaurants are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and opening up.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "We are living in a generation that would unplug you from life support just to charge their cell phones."

 * ... HOMELESS: Runners, cyclists and hikers are having to avoid a large part of the Kern River bike path due to a surge in homeless encampments. The area along the river between Beech Park headed west to Gosford Road had largely been free of homeless camps, but in the last few months dozens have cropped up, leaving trash and debris, abandoned fires and unleashed dogs to harass runners and bikers. The bike path going east from Beech Park to Manor has always been difficult due to the homeless, but they have now migrated much farther west.

 * ... MEMORIES: Yet another close up picture of Wayne's Dairy compliments of the Facebook page Kern County History Fans.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: Bakersfield, looking south on Union Ave (US 99) coming up on California Avenue and the Bakersfield sign. The Historic 99 Facebook page carried this photo.

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