Thursday, April 15, 2021

Hart Park and the park at the Panorama Bluffs are set for improvements, the city is overrun with stray cats and dogs and Tina Marie's to open downtown in the old Chef's Noodle Bar

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.

 * ... GREENBELT IMPROVEMENTS: Hart Park and the green belt along the Panorama Bluffs are in for major improvements over the next few months. That's the word from county Chief Administrative

Officer Ryan Alsop who said the Hart Park "master plan" called for new signage at both ends of the park, refurbishing an old adobe building for new use and improvements to the trail head parking area near the old Sheriff's pistol range. (historic photos courtesy of the Kern County of Old Facebook page)

 * ... DOGS AND CATS: Do you remember a few years ago when there was a big stink about the enormous number of dogs and cats that were being euthanized at our local shelters? Well things are better, I am happy to report, not perfect, but certainly better. Julie Johnson, who wears two hats as director of both the local SPCA and city of Bakersfield Animal Care services, said it wasn't long ago that 80 percent of the dogs brought to local shelters were being euthanized. "Now we are saving 80 percent," she told me. The reason: more awareness about the benefits of spay and neutering and the emergence of the non-profit Critters Without Litters in 2013. Still, the situation here in Kern County is critical, she said, and there is a particular problem with pit bull and pit mixes, which currently comprise half of all dogs at the city shelter.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Had a dude smoking a cigarette next to his oxygen tank tell me I look stupid in my mask."

 * ... OLD HANGTOWN: The city of Placerville, known as "Old Hangtown" in remembrance of the number of hangings during the Gold Rush, has removed the image of a noose from its logo. The logo shows a miner washing gold in a stream. The noose hangs from a tree in the background. The noose was removed when some residents argued it gave the city a bad reputation.

 * ... ADIOS EMA: Ema Sasic, a features reporter at The Bakersfield Californian, is leaving the paper to join USA Today in Palm Springs. Sasic announced the move on Twitter saying this: "After almost three years at  @Bakersfieldcali,  I’m moving on to a new California adventure. I’ll be joining the 
@MyDesert @USATODAY. Network in Palm Springs as a health reporter! Apparently it’s not hot enough in Bakersfield for me so now I’m headed for the desert!"

 * ... TINA MARIE'S: The restaurant Tina Marie's, which suffered a devastating fire a few months ago, will be setting up shop in the location of Chef's Choice Noodle Bar which is moving to the Southwest. Tina Marie Brown said she was thrilled to remain downtown and reiterated that she plans to rebuild in the original location. 

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this picture of a building along Chester that once housed the JC Penny's store. Look familiar? Thanks to the group Kern County History Fans for this gem.