Thursday, October 27, 2022

Kevin McCarthy squares off with Marissa Wood in a debate, Church Militant raps Brian Smith for being endorsed by the accused "homo predator" priest Craig Harrison and local business icon Dave Urner passes away

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.

 * ... MCCARTHY DEBATE: Did you catch the televised debate between Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Democratic challenger Marissa Wood? It was a doozy with Wood laying into McCarthy for his embrace of Donald Trump and McCarthy deftly deflecting the criticism. The debate won't change the outcome of the

election - smart money is on KMAC  - but the point is it was held, both candidates showed up and viewers were entertained with a lively exchange of barbs. Say what you will about McCarthy but he did show up, took the insults and honored his commitment to the voters. And don't forget the folks at KGET and anchors Jim Scott and Alexan Balkian of Fresno who provided a public service by sponsoring the debate and asking the tough questions. 

 * ... CRAIG HARRISON: A national organization devoted to tracking and exposing priests accused of sexually molesting young men has criticized 3rd District supervisor candidate Brian Smith for his association with former monsignor Craig Harrison. In a video produced by the organization Church Militant, anchor Christine Niles leads the broadcast saying "a politician is happy to be endorsed by accused homo-predator priest" Craig Harrison. Smith, Niles said, had benefited from an event "hosted by notorious ex monsignor Craig Harrison" at Harrison's downtown Bakersfield home. Harrison left the church after it found he had been "credibly" accused by seven young male men. No charges have been filed  because the statute of limitations has expired, and Harrison has been busy trying to rebuild his life as a spiritual guide of sorts. The video from Church Militant, which Harrison unsuccessfully sued for defamation, is a reminder that this case is not over and Harrison's critics in the abuse community are not likely to be silenced. Harrison faces multiple civil lawsuits from alleged victims which are all headed to trial.

 * ... THE EXPERIMENT IS OVER: Remember when the city installed new diagonal parking on 18th Street and added the confusing requirement that people back into the spaces because it was apparently safer? While the city thought it was a swell idea, nobody else did. So now the city has left the diagonal parking in place but removed the objectionable requirement that people back into the space. Chalk this one up as yet another nutty idea sponsored by people who would be better served figuring out how to crack down on crime and vagrants. 

 * ... ARVIN BULLYING: The family of a special needs boy who was bullied at Arvin High School, videotaped as a group of boys cut his hair, has hired one of Bakersfield's premier plaintiff's lawyers to take his case. Daniel Rodriguez of Rodriguez and Associates said he is planning a lawsuit to hold responsible those who failed to protect the boy. "The bullying happened right under the nose, right in front of the security guard," Rodriguez said.  "What excuse do they have?"

* ... RIP DAVE URNER: A man whose name is synonymous with Bakersfield business - Dave Urner - has passed away at the age of 92. It was Urner who helped position Urner's as the premier appliance store in town, a place where service came with a golden glove and the selection of washers, dryers, dish washers and refrigerators seemed endless. At one time, Urners held a chokehold on the local market and if you were in the market for an appliance, you inevitably ended up at Urner's. Urner was a 1948 graduate of Bakersfield High School and he worked for Urner’s for 70 years, serving as its president from 1980 to 2019.  Services are set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery. 

 * ... MEMORIES: A couple of old pictures, compliments of the Kern County History Fans, that speak to our collective past.

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