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The Renegade Rip

The news site of Bakersfield College

The Renegade Rip

The news site of Bakersfield College

The Renegade Rip

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Where is the respect for veterans?

15 years ago today, in a small second story apartment building on Kern & Bernard St I celebrated my 6th birthday. The year was 2009. Obama was president, Captain Sully pulled off the Miracle on the Hudson, & Michael Jackson died chasing sleep.

The year is now 2024 & I didn’t spend my 21st at any bar or club. Today, I stopped by an empty lot on Knudsen & Olive Drive. There isn’t much here, save for an encampment or two & a barrel fire devised by a handful of our cities less fortunate.

If you were to stand on this empty lot with me & close your eyes, you could almost see the future. This 40,000 sq foot lot is spoken for. It is home to the $40 million 

Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic that was approved by Congress the same year I blew out six candles on my birthday cake. So why hasn’t construction commenced after all these years? I’ll tell you who’s responsible. If you were to open your eyes & strain your neck just enough looking south, you’ll see past some industrial buildings & catch a glimpse of Bakersfield’s tallest building, the Stockdale Tower, which is owned by none other than our culprit himself, The Beverly HillsBilly – Peter Cohen of Cardinal Equities.

Every month he collects a six-figure check for another property he owns on Westwind Drive near Beach Park, the current home of the Veterans Affairs Clinic. If the Olive & Knudsen Drive site were to be completed, he would lose out on that monthly stipend. So, he has filed lawsuit after lawsuit, hindering construction successfully. 

Living in Kern County, I was under the impression that this is where we honored Veterans. They stood up for us in our time of need, & now the City of Bakersfield has failed to stand up for them in theirs. I guess it’s true what they say: money talks, bullshit walks. But with all due respect Mr. Cohen, you can take your money and take a hike. 

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