Friday, May 21, 2021

Ford makes a big gamble on an all electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck, a billboard pops up criticizing Rep. Kevin McCarthy and remember the hold Hell's Angels movie filmed at Hart Park

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.

 * ... F-150: Head's up Kern County. This is known as truck country, but are Kern County pickup truck drivers ready to trade in their gas guzzling vehicles to go all electric? Ford Motor Co. thinks they are, and that's why Ford has placed a big bet on its all new F-150 electric vehicle that should hit the show rooms

next year. Ford thinks offering its best selling pickup in an electric version could spur the rush to all electric vehicles. The new F-150 Lightning will have a starting price tag at just under $40,000 before any tax credits are factored in. Ford is hoping to attract fleet buyers who prefer trucks that are cheaper to operate.

 * ... BILLBOARD: Did you see the new billboard criticizing Rep. Kevin McCarthy that popped up along California Avenue near Highway 99?

 * ... HOUSING PRICES SPIKE: The price of housing in California continues its meteoric rise with the median price now topping $800,000 - that's right, closing in on a cool million dollars -  putting a home out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. According to a The California Association of Realtors, April home sales increased 65% from a year ago, with 458,170 believed to have changed hands. “California continues to experience one of the hottest housing markets as homes sell at the fastest pace ever, with the share of homes sold above asking price, the price per square foot and the sales-to-list price all at record highs,” said Dave Walsh, California Association of Realtors President Dave Walsh. A decade ago the media price was around $250,000 following the Great Recession.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: I spotted this picture of a boat load of trash that was unceremoniously dumped on Edison Highway the other day. And so it goes.

 * ... FORMER PRIEST: A former priest who has been accused of preying on multiple young men while serving in California parishes lost a round in court when a Fresno County Superior Court Judge threw out his defamation lawsuit against the Catholic Church. Craig Harrison, who left the priesthood earlier this year, had sued the Diocese of Fresno claiming that a church official, Teresa Dominguez, had defamed him in remarks to a radio station. The court disagreed and tossed the lawsuit. Attorneys for Harrison said they will appeal. Harrison has been accused of using his favor to curry favor with troubled young men and making sexual overtures to several of them over the years. The often lurid allegations have been at odds with Harrison's otherwise untarnished reputation in the community, leaving the community split between those who believe him and those who believe he was most certainly involved in some way.

 * ... HARRISON TODAY: Meanwhile, Harrison is living in Bakersfield and working to polish his reputation and start anew after leaving the church. He apparently is thinking of working as a life coach or personal counselor, and this week he appeared at Hodel's to address an standing room only crowd of adoring middle-aged women. Attending was state Sen. Shannon Grove, a Bakersfield Republican who has stood by Harrison's side despite the accusations. The event drew the attention of Christine Niles,  who works at, an organization that tracks accused pedophile priests and has been a thorn in Harrison's side since he was suspended by the Diocese of Fresno. (Harrison has been at odds with the organization and sued a member of the Roman Catholic Faithful for defamation) Niles noted Grove's presence at Hodel's and concluded this: "The cult of Msgr. Craig Harrison is live and well in Bakersfield. Nevermind the alleged victims and their suffering."

 * ... VACCINES: Centric Health, an integrated medical care company, administered more than 10,000 Covid-19 vaccines along with its sister organization, Bakersfield Heart Hospital. According to Centric president Dr. Brij Bhambi, the hospital also administered some 10,000 vaccines, bringing Centric's total contribution to more than 20,000 doses.

 * ... HELLS ANGELS ON WHEELS: The 1967 movie Hells Angels on Wheels was playing on local television the other day, an offbeat look at the motorcycle gang shot in and around Bakersfield. The movie was shot both in town and out near Hart Park, and it's a treat to pick out local landmarks during the film.

 * ... COUSIN HERB: Thanks to the Kern County History Fans website for this nugget: "1950's - KERO TV ... The Cousin Herb Show... Photo credit to Michael L Henson.

 * ... MEMORIES: From the Kern County of Old Facebook page comes this picture of four women on a crew for picking cotton in Buttonwillow.

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