Wednesday, April 5, 2023

High drama is being playing out as farmers and governments spar over the re-emerging Tulare Lake, a class of new county firefighters graduates and celebrating Ricochet the famous surfing dog

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.

 * ... POWER, INFLUENCE AND WATER: Keep an eye on the tug-of-war among farmers and local governments out where Tulare Lake is re-emerging after the deluge of local rains. Thousands of acres of prime farmland is now under water or about to be under water, and how this plays out could affect both farmers (who stand to lose their crops) and residents of smaller valley communities (who stand to lose their towns to flooding). There isn't a better place to follow this story than San Joaquin Valley Water
( or, a non-profit run by investigative journalist Lois Henry who is not afraid to speak truth to power. Already the huge farming conglomerate J.G. Boswell has reported Lois to the local sheriff's department for the mere infraction of asking for a quote. This story will only grow in importance - and don't expect Lois Henry or to back down - as time goes on and the melting snowmelt brings more water to the valley, and the emerging Tulare Lake.

* ... MORE TULARE LAKE: The story of Tulare Lake captured the attention of The New York Times, which put the sheer size of the lake in perspective: "The lake is essentially at 790-square-mile bathtub - the side of four Lake Tahoes - that dates back to the Ice Age. Mammoths once sipped at Tulare Lake's shores, and tule elk ranged in its marshlands."

 * ... THE BEAUTY OF WHERE WE LIVE: More beauty to share of our valley from local photographers. Let's start with two shots out near the Taft prison by Pam Taylor, followed by another remarkable shot by Taylor of Mount Able. Then we have two pictures by JoJo Paredes Butingan (how about those wildflowers near Woody?), Gabby Osdale provides a lovely picture of the Kern River and Landon Peppel closes it out with a sunset over water.

 * ... RIP RICOCHET: Did you hear Ricochet, the amazing surfing therapy dog from San Diego, died recently at the age of 15? That's the word from the Los Angeles Times who said the golden retriever had been diagnosed with liver cancer in August and passed away Friday. Said the Times: "Ricochet was raised to be a service dog, but the energetic pup was more fond of chasing birds than assisting with household chores...Throughout her life, the beloved dog touched the lives of kids with special needs, wounded service members and families of fallen veterans. Ricochet was known as an affectionate companion, a shameless belly-rub beggar and had an intuition for people who needed a cuddle." (Los Angeles Times photo)

 * ... NEW FIREFIGHTERS: Kern County graduated a new class of firefighters this week and they will be reporting to their respective stations almost immediately. Among the graduates was Colin Ames, son of Sam and Andrea Ames and shown here with his proud mother.

* ... MEMORIES: Take a look at this old postcard that shows where the old Sears store was on 19th Street near the Kress Building. Thanks to the folks over at Kern County History Fans for this one.

No comments: