Friday, December 16, 2022

A younger, more diverse group of leaders take office following our elections, the city cracks down on neglectful landlords and the undefeated 1993 Roadrunners are honored

 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.

 * ... NEW CITY ORDINANCE: Will cracking down  on absentee landlords downtown help curtail fires and other vandalism that has plagued our community? Well City Councilman Andrae Gonzales believes so

and the council voted unanimously for a new ordinance that will use code enforcement to make sure the buildings are in compliance. It's hard to argue with this approach, but it is worth noting it does absolutely nothing to deal with the root problem of homelessness. And while it is a cure for the symptom, not the problem itself, a homeless-weary community should welcome this approach.

 * ... MEANWHILE, AT RIVERWALK: While the city dickers with how to reach absentee landlords, life on our streets goes on as usual. In the picture here a sharp reader captured a homeless encampment just yards from the Park at RiverWalk - arguably the nicest park in town - where a generator hummed away and the residents enjoyed the park for bathing, begging and "borrowing" useful objects not bolted to the ground.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "My husband went to a lawyer luncheon thing and the lawyer he sat beside turned out to be my ex boyfriend from college. When they realized the connection he told my husband, 'She always had me laughing. Is she still funny?' And my sweet husband said, “Not in the slightest.”

 * ... CITY COUNCIL: The new additions to the Bakersfield City Council represent a further changing of the guard, as many of our older more "seasoned" office holders begin to step aside to make way for a new generation of leaders. Two of the three council members sworn  in this week are under 30; Ward 1's Eric Arias is 26 and Ward 7's Manpreet Kaur is just 29. Robert Smith was the third council person sworn in, and he is 67. Ken Weir, another longer term councilman, is 66 years hold. Over on the Board of Supervisors, retiring Supervisor Mike Maggard is 63 and his successor, Jeff Flores, is 51. (Californian photo of Arias, Smith and Kaur)

 * ... PAPER PLANE COFFEE: A new coffee show specializing in the intense flavors of Cuban beans has opened downtown, the latest in a string of new retailers to open on the evolving "eastChester" zone. Called PaperPlane Coffee and located at 819 19th Street, the store is owned by Army veteran Hector Miranda who runs it along with his girl friend, Margaret. PaperPlance also offers Cuban pastries and custom cookies. And now, opened less than a month, Miranda said he is being forced to rename the coffee shop after he learned the "PaperPlane" name and logo is already in use in another market. Miranda is considering "Adventure Coffee Shop."

 * ... CSUB ROAD RUNNERS: The 1993 CSUB men's basketball squad, winners of a national championship and a perfect 33-0 record under Coach Pat Douglass, has been selected for the Bob Elias Hall of Fame. It will be first time ever that a team, rather than an individual, has been admitted to the Hall of Fame.

 * ... MEMORIES: This is one of best pictures I have found of the original Beale Clock Tower before the 1952 earthquake partially destroyed it.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And who remember's Booth's appliances on F Street? This photo from the Kern County of Old shows us what it looked like back in the day.