Thursday, September 23, 2021

Studies show even extreme athletes may live no longer than weekend warriors, Lauren Skidmore steps up to take over the homeless shelter, the Basque Club boycotts the Kern County Fair and the collective shame of our stray dog crisis

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.

 * ... EXERCISE:  Here's some good news, particularly you weekend warriors out there who try to squeeze seven days of exercise into a weekend. It turns out a number of studies show that there is a limit to how much exercise benefits you. In other words, just because you exercise like a demon seven

days a week doesn't mean you will live longer than someone who does much less. First some background: a study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that about 10 percent of all deaths among Americans between the ages of 40 and 70 ae a result of too little exercise. But scientists still don't know what much we need to evercise to actually live longer This month, a study published in the JAMA Network Open indicates that taking 7,000 steps a day seems to be the optimum, with long term benefits leveling off at 10,000 steps. So take 20,000 steps a day if you like, but don't expect to live any longer.

 * ... LAUREN SKIDMORE: The move by the Bakersfield Homeless Center to hire Lauren Skidmore as its new chief executive officer seems to be a stroke of genius. Replacing outgoing CEO Louis Gill was always going to be hard, but the choice of Skidmore is about as good as it gets. Skidmore has spent  five years as district director for Assemblyman Vince Fong, and before that she spend time as director of the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government. She also serves on the Bakersfield College Foundation board and the Kern County Planning Committee. In addition to running the homeless shelter, Skidmore will serve as CEO of the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

 * .. SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "It’s that time of year where girls wrap entire table cloths around their neck and call them scarves."

 * ... BASQUE CLUB: The Kern County Fair opens this week and let's hope it gets over its rocky start. For the first time since anyone can remember, the Fair will go on without one of its all-time culinary favorites: the Basque Club food shack. The club decided to forgo the Fair because of fears of the coronavirus, a wise choice.

* ... STRAY DOG CRISIS: Here is a some good news if you ever lose your dog: on average, experts say lost dogs are within six to seven houses of their own while missing. That's right, your lost dog may literally be around the corner or in someone else's home. That was among the nuggets of wisdom I received when Julie Johnson appeared on the Bakersfield Observed Podcast with her observations on the stray dog and cat crisis. Despite the recent "Empty the Shelter" drive,  Johnson said the SPCA and the city Animal Care Center  (Johnson serves as executive director of both) are near capacity, and things are not expected to get better soon. The problem: too many people in Kern County treat their pets as disposable items, so called puppy mills proliferate and a good number of people simply refuse to spay or neuter their pets. (file photo of Julie Johnson at the shelter)

 * ... MEMORIES: This first picture is of the old ice house on Chester just north of the Garces Circle. I am not sure of the date but this gives you an idea of what the place looked like back in the day. And for all you who spend time in Carpenteria, enjoy the second old shot from the beach city in a quieter time.