Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Have we dodged the bullet when the Big Melt comes in June? One top official says flooding will be minimal in most places, a prominent businesswoman battles an illness and some really bad behavior in Old Town Kern

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.

 * ... BIG MELT FLOODING: We are finally hearing some good news on the fears of local flooding during the Big Melt of the historic seasonal snowfall. And the reasons for hope came from Ryan Alsop, the county Chief Administrative Officer, in a wide ranging and candid interview with host J.R. Flores on

KERN talk radio this week. Alsop said the area of town west of Manor Street, meaning all the way down through town to Beach Park and all the way west past the Park at RiverWalk, should be spared major flooding when we hit the peak snowmelt in mid to late June. For folks living off the Kern River up Highway 178 and the riverfront property homeowners off Goodmanville Road, Alsop predicted there would be some issues with rising water, but nothing catastrophic. That's the best news we have had in a long time.


 * ... EL NINO: And speaking of the weather, forecasters say we may be in for another El Nino year, and that could mean yet another wet winter. More specifically, forecasters say there is an 80 percent chance we will transition to El Nino between May and July. Once that happens, the El Nino is expected to strengthen in the fall and winter. El Nine typically brings a lot of rain to California, even though we gave see plenty of that already.

 * ... MARY CHRISTENSON: One of the most prominent and visible Realtors in town, Mary Christenson, has been diagnosed with Rapid Onset Alzheimer's, her family has announced. Christenson is one of most successful Realtors in town, working for Watson Realtor for four decades by specializing in high end property and homes in the Southwest. The family made the announcement on Facebook and is asking for contributions on a GoFundMe page to help offset expenses. Forever positive and upbeat, Mary built a business based on customer service and personal care. She was also known for her lavish Easter decorations at her Seven Oaks home, which she opened to the public for pictures. Keep Mary and her family in your thoughts.

 * ... SPOTTED: East Bakersfield and Old Town Kern are home to some of our tastiest and most unique restaurants - Woolgrower's, Pyrenees Cafe, Arizona Cafe, Luigi's among others - but make no mistake the streets belong to the vagrants and homeless. Check out this post from some who spotted a street woman mistreating a dog.

 * ... FLOOD ZONE: The county of Kern has put out some preliminary maps predicting which areas are most likely to flood, and for now the danger zones seem to be for those living near the river or off the low spots on Highway 178. For your neighborhood, check out the Kern County flood maps here.

 * ... MEMORIES: The La Cresta neighborhood is one of the most desired in town, anchored by both Garces Memorial High School and Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH). Check out what one house on El Cerrito sold for years ago. Thanks to the group Kern County History Fans.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And who remembers Larson's dairy? This picture of his old Larson's milk jar was spotted on the Kern County of Old Facebook page.