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City, county task forces try to put a damper on illegal fireworks

Members of the Independence Day task force, a joint operation between the Bakersfield fire and police departments, participate in a briefing at Fire Station No. 1 downtown before heading out on patrol throughout the city.

The sun was nearly down Saturday when the sky came to life over southwest Bakersfield with thud after thud of mortar rounds that lit the horizon with silver, gold, red and green tracers.

They weren’t real mortars, of course — they were illegal fireworks, forbidden because they launch aerial displays. (Bottle rockets are illegal for the same reason.)

And on Saturday night, about 70 peace officers were out in force with specially designed ticket books, ready to hone in on Section 8.44.040 of the Bakersfield Municipal Code pertaining to fireworks.

Hundred-

Tamara Nigh, left, and India Usher, Habitat for Humanity's ReStore employees in Bakersfield, appear to enjoy their jobs.

Habitat for Humanity's ReStore gives small businesses a leg up

A humble storefront next to the railroad tracks in Old Town Kern resembles many nonprofit retailers in that its aisles feature a mixed bag of used clothing, worn paperbacks and assorted appliances. But this is no ordinary thrift shop. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore also contains

Bakersfield Fire Chief Doug Greener.

DOUG GREENER: Better to be safe (and sane) than sorry

On July 5, it’s incumbent upon me as the fire chief to begin to complain about another year of chaos, fouled air, people running wild with fire in the streets, and “war-zone” like neighborhoods. My usual firefighter-driven modus operandi is to bemoan the aftermath of the Fourth of July holiday

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