Friday, July 21, 2023

Bakersfield's homeless population moves to the suburban southwest, the killers of Jose Arredondo remain free after four years and Anchor Steam Beer calls it quits

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.

  * ... HOMELESS BAKERSFIELD: Have you noticed the homeless population has found other "hot spots"around town to camp and beg for money? Several years ago the intersection of Gosford and White Lane became a homeless haunt - at one time there people begging for money on all four corners in traffic on all four sides - and now it looks like the Southwest Sully's and the Trader Joe's shopping center across the street have become popular venues for vagrants. On Friday morning of this week alone, three

homeless men on bicycles hauling grocery carts were spotted at the the Sully's parking lot while two others rested on the small lawn along Gosford across the street. And a sixth was spotted off the bike path at Gosford with his pants around his knees taking care of business. 

* ... STATE OF THE CITY: Meanwhile it is time to thank Mayor Karen Goh who played the role of the adult in the room at the recent State of the City. While other speakers either dismissed the homeless issue or just mentioned it casually, Goh brought up "the elephant in the room" in the homeless crisis and the weariness many feel with the level of filth, disease and trash the problem attracts. Goh cited efforts to build more affordable housing and applauded a group the city contracts with to clean up biohazards like human feces.  (picture of Goh by The Californian)

* ... REMEMBERING JOSE: It has been four years since Bakersfield car dealer Jose Arredondo was found murdered in Baja California. He had been tortured, a fingernail had been pulled from a finger and his right ear was mutilated, all evidence his death was both violent and grisly. In the time since, a suspect was charged and jailed and since released after a Mexican court found there was a lack of evidence to charge him. And now the family waits for answers, as reflected in a Californian story this week. No doubt Arredondo was a controversial figure in town, known both for his generosity and his tendency to belittle people in public, and meanwhile is family awaits answers. (photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian)

 * ... RIP ANCHOR BREWING: San Francisco is about to lose another of its signature local businesses, and this time it is beer maker Anchor Brewing. The company is closing down and this time the culprit is a challenging craft beer industry and changing tastes. Anchor willl shut down after 127 years in business, making it America's oldest craft brewer. The San Francisco-based company announced Wednesday it’s ceasing operations and liquidating the beloved business “following a combination of challenging economic factors and declining sales since 2016,” a press release said. Craft brewers, in particular, have been struggling for a variety of reasons including changing consumer habits, rising costs and lingering supply-chain challenges. Another problem has been Sapporo, the Japanese beer company that bought the brand in 2017. Employees complained to VinePair last month about Sapporo’s alleged mismanagement and lack of understanding of craft beer in the United States. In addition, a 2021 rebrand of Anchor was criticized for pivoting too far away from the brand’s classic look.

 * ... OUR SHAME: The sheer number of abandoned dogs and cats in Kern County is astounding, and experts in the field will tell you it is not getting any better. Is it our culture here? Are pets now "disposable" once we lose a job or have to move? Well this picture of this sad Doberman, taken to the city animal shelter, pretty much says it all.

* .... SHOT OF THE DAY: Check out this amazing picture of the Golden Gate bridge that appeared on the "My Home Is California" (MHIC) Facebook page.

 * ... MEMORIES: And check out this amazing old photo of Chester Avenue at 18 Street. How many buildings do you recognize? Thanks to the Kern County History Fans for this shot.

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