Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A new poll finds Americans are less patriotic and religious and also are less likely to tolerate others, Stockdale High's uber successful debate team and will the ancient Tulare Lake be recreated by the rainstorms?

 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.

 * ... OUR CHANGING WORLD: Sometimes it seems the world is in turmoil, and nothing reflects that better an annual University of Chicago and Wall Street Journal poll that takes the pulse of what is

important to Americans. And chances are you might not like what it found. First the bad news: patriotism, religious faith, having children and other bedrock priorities are no longer so important. Today, just 38 percent of the respondents said patriotism was really important to them and 39 percent said religious was equally important. In 1998 when the same survey was conducted, 70 percent said patriotism was important and 62 percent said religion was important. And here is another bad trend: "confidence in others" was deemed very important by 80 percent of the respondents two years ago and today, it has shrunk to just 58 percent.

 * ... BAKERSFIELD MARATHON: Were you among the thousands that lined the streets to cheer on the Bakersfield Marathon, or were you among a cranky minority who got stuck in your homes when streets closed along the route? First the good news: the race was a huge success and the weather was cooperated, yet once again folks along the route complained about the lack of notice that their streets or neighborhoods would be closed. We have passed the time where the marathon should be a surprise and instead we should be cheering an event that shows off the best of our city. If it was a mess, it was a glorious mess.

 * ... STOCKDALE DEBATE: If you want to feel good about something look no farther than Stockdale High School and its phenomenally successful debate team, which recently won its 10th consecutive Central Valley speech and debate championship. (photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian)

 * ... TULARE LAKE: All eyes are on the "resurgence" of Tulare Lake, the old lake bed that existed for thousands of years until the Kern River was damned and water diverted for agricultural uses. Here is a good explanation of the Tulare Lake and a couple of old pictures: "Then and Now, the Tulare Lake south of Kansas Avenue, Kings County, California.  Then image taken in 1938.  Now image taken earlier this week.  I've always said that the Tulare Lake will return, it just needed Mother Nature to remind everyone who's in charge.  The lake existed for tens of thousands of years as the drainage point for the Kings, Kaweah and Tule Rivers, along with numerous other creeks such as Cross, St. John's, Cameron, Deer and White.  It's going to be an interesting year."

 * ... MOSQUITOES: With all this rain we have had you can expect a huge mosquito season this year. Experts are warning this could be the worst mosquito season in years in Kern County.

 * ... OUR WORLD: Here are some more pictures taken by our citizen photographers about town. The first is by Jim Eggert, the second of a snow capped Mt. Able was shot by Pam Taylor, and  the third another beautiful photo by JoJo Paredes Butingan. The picture of the snow on Interstate 80 is provided by the CHP.

 * ... MEMORIES: John Kelley is a local historian who regularly shares his rich collection of photos and knowledge of our area. Here, John shares three pictures of an old 76 gas station that once stood mid way up the Grapevine headed south toward Los Angeles. Enjoy these amazing pictures.

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