Thursday, January 26, 2023

A new documentary takes aim at Kern County and depicts cops out of control, we pass the anniversary of the famous "snow day" and improvements to Hart Park help make it shine

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.

 * ... KILLING COUNTY: If you haven't already heard of "Killing County," a new Hulu documentary depicting Kern County as a violent place where police are out of control, you will soon. The documentary reviews a series of officer involved shootings that put Bakersfield in the spotlight several years ago. And yet, the piece has already come under harsh criticism for small but important things like confusing the

Bakersfield police department with the Kern County Sheriff's Department and putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of Sheriff Donny Youngblood. And to top it off, the documentary is introduced by controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick. So is Killing County yet another hit job or does it reflect a reality we don't want to accept? View it yourself and draw your own ... conclusions.

 * ... EXERCISES FOR LIFE: If hitting the gym is not for you, you might want to consider a few simple exercises that can be done right at home without equipment, and experts say it may just be about all you need. Using just your body weight, experts say a simple routine of squats, lunges and a few exercises on a yoga matt to strengthen your spine and back may be all you need. It's a workout that focuses on mobility and overall core strength. "Your spine is the center of your torso, the hip is what connects your legs to torso, and the shoulder is what connects your arms to your torso," said Jessica Valiant,  physical therapist in Denver. "These are the main areas that you use to reach and lift and pull. If you can work to keep those mobile, you are going to help yourself with 90 percent of the activities that you do every day."

 * ... SNOW DAY: Can you believe it's been 24 years since the famous "snow day" in Bakersfield. Yep, it was this time in 1999 when Bakersfield awoke to an amazing snowfall, grinding the town to a stall as kids enjoyed a rare day in Kern County. Here are a few pictures taken from that day including a couple famous ones by Californian photographer Henry Barrios and KGET.

 * ... HART PARK: Hart Park shines this time of year and the trail hikes above the KCSO shooting range have been full of people enjoying the child and fresh air. And the park, thanks in part of county CAO Ryan Alsop, has never looked better. A relatively new bathroom at the base of the trail near the shooting range is a huge hit, as is the new parking lot and other amenities.

 * ... RIP MICHELE BUONI: Bakersfield lost an angel recently when Michele Buoni died after a short but tragic battle with gastric cancer. A service was held at St. Francis this week in honor of her life. A bright light gifted with a wide smile that she brought to her tennis group almost every day at Bakersfield Racquet Club, Michele was married to her high school sweetheart Mario for 39 years. Her obituary ended with this: "In lieu of flowers, Michele's memory may be honored with a donation to the Bakersfield Racquet Club for the dedication of a court in her name, 1660 Pine Street, Bakersfield CA 93301. If we are lucky, and in the right place at the right time, someone amazing can fall into our lives. For many, Michele was that extraordinary person. "

 * ... MEMORIES: The old Hotel Lebec once graced the old Ridge Route road before the completion of Interstate 5 to Los Angeles, and in its day it played host to Hollywood celebrities, politicians and well-to-do travelers looking for a place to rest after a long journey. Here is a wonderful picture of the place, thanks to John Kelley and the Bakersfield Memories Facebook page. Steven Humphrey, a local historian, added the picture of the vacant property to show us where the Lebec once stood.

No comments: