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  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: If simple facts don't make your case, maybe you don't have one

    A couple of separate, but kind of related, efforts to tar the long-running Chevron-Cawelo water program popped up on the Internet recently. My initial reaction was to ignore them. But, like cockroaches, they started multiplying on social media so I felt obliged to haul out the Raid. Again. The

  • Boys wore dresses and girls dressed like boys at Buchanan High School last week to protest the Clovis Unified School District's board of trustees' refusal to amend its dress code, which has different rules for boys and girls.

    LOIS HENRY: Tongs and a face mask are handy when opening my email

    Time for a look in the old mailbag. I got a lot of responses to my column on the Clovis Unified School District’s sexist (yup, I said it again) dress code, which has different rules for boys and girls on things like hair length and earrings. For background, William Pleasant, a senior at Buchanan

  • Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood

    Sheriff's substations, jail to close following budget cuts

    The Buttonwillow and Boron sheriff’s substations as well as the Ridgecrest jail will close as a result of the 1 percent budget cuts approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Wednesday. He will also reduce staffing in a number of outlying and other areas. “A 1

  • Ex-NFL football player Lawrence Phillips is arraigned in Kern County Superior Court on murder charges in this file photo.

    LOIS HENRY: Death info in Kern should not be kept secret

    It looks like Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has ruined another perfectly good rant about government transparency. Just when I think Youngblood’s going to give me nothing but flack, he turns into Mr. Reasonable. Does he do this to me on purpose? Anyhow, my rant was about how the Coroner’s

  • Longtime water foes join forces

    There’s nothing like a common enemy to bring warring parties together. That was never more true than with the City of Bakersfield and Kern Delta Water District, which agreed this week to form a joint Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA). As part of the alliance, they both agreed to drop long-

  • Learn how the "killer" Kern River got its reputation

    If you want to know just how wild the “killer” Kern River can get, mark your calendars to attend a presentation by John T. Austin, author of “Floods and Droughts in the Tulare Lake Basin” on Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. in the Tejon Room of the Beale Library. Austin has devoted years to collecting data and

  • Craig, right, and Minnal Hummel mosey along on horseback on the dry Kern River bed that cuts through Bakersfield in this file photo.

    Kern River at its lowest in 2,000 years

    A new study confirms that 2015 saw the Kern River run at its lowest level since Jesus walked the earth. “Although there have been longer droughts, the 2015 water year represents the driest in the last 2,015 years and the 2012–2015 drought represents the driest four-year period in the record,” the

  • Kern County Superior Court Judge Susan Gill presides over the Sustained Treatment and Recovery Behavioral Health Collaborative Court Thursday in Bakersfield.

    LOIS HENRY: New mental health court in Kern gaining interest

    The people who appear before Kern County Superior Court Judge Susan Gill every Thursday afternoon are not easy people. Some are loud, argumentative, spacey, or all of the above. Others, so deathly frightened of the world, their eyes are permanently fixed on the floor. And, yeah, some might even

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: I'm in an old profession, but not that old

    So, I'm pretty sure I was solicited for prostitution earlier this week. Which, as it turns out, is highly opportune timing as January is human trafficking awareness month. There’s even a locally produced documentary opening at the Fox Theater Thursday called “The Trafficked Life — Rescued,

  • Haze hangs over northeast Bakersfield toward the mouth of the canyon.

    LOIS HENRY: Valley air doesn't look so bad when viewed with common sense

    My wish for 2016 is that we all apply a little more critical thinking to the many claims thrown at us on a regular basis. Here’s your first exercise. When you hear, or read, that our air quality is “unhealthy” per the Air Quality Index on any given day, do you stop and wonder what that actually

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Island water deal gets even more complicated

    Does the gargantuan Metropolitan Water District (MWD) want four delta islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta just to help get Gov. Jerry Brown’s “twin tunnel” project off the ground? MWD says no. Suspicious delta folks say, yeah right. No doubt lawyers will make a lot of money either way.

  • Vernesia Gordon and Davon Mosley from Gordon's Facebook page. Mosley's died in 2014 in Alaskan jail.

    LOIS HENRY: A sad life story that we could learn a lot from

    The story of Davon Mosley’s life is almost biblical in its tragedy. It’s as if he was born — and died — purely to illustrate how poorly we care for the mentally ill and the terrible consequences that can come when law enforcement gets involved. Mosley grew up in Kern County. He died April 4,

  • Lewis Lowe in younger years.

    LOIS HENRY: Prohibition era killing still has its mysteries

    I’m not sure what I like better about my little history quests: finding answers or the quests themselves. Given that I’ve been pecking away on my search for information about William “Bud” Washington Wiles — and a confirmed photo — for the better part of three years, you’d be safe to assume it’s

  • The Kern Water Bank in southwest Bakersfield encompasses 20,000 acres of recharge ponds, as seen in this file photo.

    LOIS HENRY: Dry wells in Rosedale get a little extra help

    Water may be falling from the sky these days but for a number of residents in northwest Bakersfield, getting it out of the ground was a serious problem this summer. About 20 wells in Rosedale stopped working as the water table sank to new lows during the height of irrigation season. Unlike well

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Secret Honda deal should have been a little less secret

    Sometimes I’m a little slow. That or I’m just getting used to the cloak and dagger way things often work in local government. I posted a colleague’s story on my Facebook page about Honda planning to reopen and expand its old test track facility near California City. And I did so without

  • A feral cat eats some donated catfood in this file photo.

    Effort to fix cats needs help

    Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation is creating a trap neuter and release (TNR) program in the Kern River Valley to reduce the number of feral cats. It’s called KRV Community Cats Snip and Tip. The goal of TNR is to fix and vaccinate feral or “community cats” and return them to