Thursday, September 22, 2022

Local business executive Majid Mojibi killed after being hit by a car on F Street, we welcome Fall after a brutal summer and Jeff Pickering writes a book on his own molestation at the hands of a family doctor

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.

* ... RIP MAJID: I was saddened to hear about the tragic death of Majid Mojibi, the local businessman who ran the San Joaquin Oil Refinery and invested heavily in downtown.  Mojibi was killed last weekend while crossing F Street to attend a concert. Few details are available to know exactly what happened. Interesting, it was Mojibi who recently purchased the old Greyhound bus station downtown and razed it, presumably for a multi-floor apartment building. No word on how his death may affect those plans. (Bakersfield Californian photo of Majid with former Supervisor Michael Rubio and wife)

 * ... WELCOME FALL: We had a brutal summer, hottest in a long time, so don't blame us if we spend a few minutes giving a big welcome to Fall, which started today. In celebration, enjoy this local photo from JoJo Parades Butingen who regularly provides stunning nature photography.


* ... CASE COMPLETE: An appellate court has officially put the last nail in the coffin of Craig Harrison's slander lawsuit against a former protege and monk who accused him of inappropriate contact with young men. The court ruled Harrison's failed lawsuit as a "case complete" after denying Harrison's request for a rehearing. This ends Harrison's legal offensive against former colleague Ryan Gilligan, the young Bakersfield man who worked with Harrison at St. Francis Parish and later studied to become a Benedictine monk. Harrison was suspended from his duties as a priest after the Fresno Diocese eventually found there was "credible" evidence to believe that as many as 7 young men had been subjected to Harrison's inappropriate behavior. Harrison later resigned from the church and the Diocese has gone about the process of removing all signage that associated Harrison as a monsignor at St. Francis, including one naming a youth center after Harrison. One of the few places where Harrison's name remains in public, at least recently, was at the small chapel room at Dignity Health's Memorial Hospital where his name remains on the door. Harrison has not been charged with any criminal offenses because the statute of limitations expired, but he faces multiple civil lawsuits from men who claimed they were abused by Harrison while he was serving as a priest.

 * .... JEFF PICKERING: Meanwhile as long as we are talking about people in power being accused of lewd behavior, former Bakersfield non profit executive Jeff Pickering is publishing a book detailing his own encounter with a family doctor who allegedly repeatedly molested Pickering after he suffered a softball injury as a teenager. Formerly head of the Kern Community Foundation, Pickering now lives in Florida where he heads a similar foundation and only recently began to explore a chapter in his life that he had long suppressed. His book, available for pre order now on Amazon, details in graphic detail his molestation at the hands of an Orlando family doctor when he was just a teenager, and how society inadvertently joined the cover up as so often is these cases.

 * ... ART SHOW: A show featuring the works of artist Ryan Rickard opens at Bird Dog Arts at the Outlets of Tejon this weekend. Rickard, who studied at the Savannah Center of Art and Design (SCAD), will feature works of art derived from old discarded objects he found locally, including a propane tank and other items. Definitely a show worth checking out. (photo by The Californian)

 * ... MEMORIES: Let's take a walk down memory lane with a few entries into the Kern County History Fans Facebook page, a wonderful place to catch up on our history. Enjoy.