LOIS HENRY: How far will our water let us build?

New development in northwest Bakersfield isn't slowing down even during some of the driest years in Kern County's history.

Perhaps it seems crazy that Bakersfield has actually ramped up home construction during one of the worst droughts in California history.

Especially crazy since the city’s river rights dried up last summer, bringing 20,000 residents harrowingly close to running out of water.

Add to that the fact that we have a boatload of development left over from the pre-recession days already approved.

Oh, and we sit atop one of the most over-pumped aquifers in the state, something new law aims to change.

Yet from 2012 through 2015, the drought years, Bakersfield issued

One hundred tanker cars formed a mile-long train waiting to be unloaded in early December 2014 at Plains All American Pipeline LP's new rail-to-pipeline near Taft. The train carried about 70,000 barrels of oil, or about 3 million gallons. The facility was designed to handle two such trains per day.

Oil train projects stall in their tracks

Remember the hubbub a couple of years ago about trains hauling in mile-long oil shipments from other states, and how this was going to create hundreds of local jobs and reduce the need for imported petroleum but possibly risk explosions along Kern County railroads? Well, never mind all that.

Edward M. Kern

KERN TURNS 150: How the county got its name

It’s about time to wish Kern County a happy 150th birthday. It was on April 21, 1866, the state Legislature created the county of Kern with Havilah as the county seat. The Californian plans to celebrate this milestone all year through stories, photos and graphics. You’ll also learn about a big



    More News

    • The Kern River Valley Historical Society had a nice horse drawn wagon for their entry in the annual Whiskey Flat days parade, Saturday, in Kernville.

      PHOTO ALBUM: Old-time fun at Whiskey Flat Days

      The jam-packed, 59th annual Whiskey Flat Days in Kernville gives guests plenty to do, whether they go for one day or stay for all four this Presidents Day weekend. Visitors enjoyed a parade on Saturday, a carnival, vendors, live music, as well as a pies, jams & jellies contest and the frog

    • Funeral services for Feb. 14, 2016

      Services scheduled Barbara F. Durham, 78, Bakersfield, Feb. 11. Visitation 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 17, Doughty-Calhoun-O’Meara. Funeral 10 a.m. Feb. 18, Doughty-Calhoun-O'Meara Chapel. Doughty-Calhoun-O’Meara Funeral Directors. Ione Mary Rardin, 87, Bakersfield, Feb. 10. Funeral 10:45 a.m. Feb. 17,

    • Capitol Hill police officers lower the U.S. flag at the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, February 13, 2016. Conservative Justice Scalia, 79, has died, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. The San Antonio News-Express said Scalia had apparently died of natural causes while visiting a luxury resort in West Texas.   REUTERS/Carlos Barria      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

      U.S. Justice Scalia, conservative icon, dead at 79

      WASHINGTON - Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, setting up a major political showdown between President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled Senate over who will replace him just months before a presidential election. “On behalf of the court and retired justices,

    • Artist's conception of the bullet train speeding throughthe Tehachapi Pass

      Kern County: Best investment high speed rail can make

      If it's true that "what you see depends on where you sit," then we in Bakersfield and Kern County seem to have packed up all our belongings and moved to a new seat on the bus. Actually, in this case, let's call it a train. In fact, let's call it High Speed Rail. Here in Kern

    • Robert Price

      SOUND OFF: Why don't we fact-check Democratic candidates, too?

      This feedback forum is designed to give readers a way to voice criticisms and compliments or ask questions about The Californian's news coverage. Your questions may be edited for space. Reader:  In this morning’s paper (Jan. 30) your column "Fact Check" dealt with the

    • Many students at Frank West Elementary get involved in soccer games that are part of the Coast 2 coach Coaching soccer program that many Bakersfield City School District schools are incorporating into their curriculum.

      Soccer games teach science and math, good behavior to boot

      At the sound of a whistle, four teams of kids raced across a grassy field at Frank West Elementary School Thursday, dribbling soccer balls to a cone at the far end of the field. Crowds of screaming and shouting kids cheered on their teammates as they tore down the field in the torch-pass style

    • Kern Medical Center

      Fifteen vie for seat on hospital authority board

      Fifteen people, from corporate CEOs and political party bosses to doctors and retired administrators, have raised their hands hoping to be on the new Kern County Hospital Authority board. On March 1, the Kern County Board of Supervisors will choose among them. Supervisors will pick five

    • In this file photo, several workers with ARB, contracted by PG&E, remove underground equipment after replacing a PG&E natural gas line on White Lane, east of South H Street.

      PG&E warns of inconvenience, odor amid East Bakersfield pipeline work

      Some East Bakersfield residents can expect minor traffic disruptions and the occasional whiff of natural gas during the next couple of months as Pacific Gas and Electric Co. works on moving and modernizing a portion of distribution pipeline. The project, begun last month and expected to wrap up by

    • Catherine Reheis-Boyd of WSPA

      Symposium on California's Energy Future coming to Bakersfield March 3

      California is experiencing great challenges and opportunities as the nation’s energy future evolves amid plunging oil prices and climate change mandates. Those challenges and opportunities are no more evident anywhere than in Kern County, whose economy has long been linked to petroleum extraction

    • Funeral services for Feb. 13, 2016

      Services scheduled Larry Gale West, 66, Bakersfield, Feb. 9. Service 11 a.m. Feb. 16, Westside Church of Christ. More info at Kern River Family Mortuary, Oildale.   Services pending Amy Ann Ainsworth, 72, Bakersfield, Feb. 12. Greenlawn Funeral Home. Raymond