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Merchants debate changes to downtown parking structure

Renovation on Bakersfield's downtown parking structure at 18th and Eye Streets has begun which has caused some concerns with downtown businesses. Darryl Bradley of Sentry Controls Systems walks past the 18th Street entrance/exit.

The old parking gates have come tumbling down at Bakersfield’s downtown parking structure as part of a renovation opening all 509 spaces to public parking — but not everyone is happy about fee hikes beginning next month.

Built in 1987, the city-owned garage hasn’t been renovated for at least a decade and monthly permit parking doesn’t cover its operating costs.

The garage costs $85,000 to $90,000 a year to operate, but only brings in around $76,000 in annual parking fees from permit holders.

The difference, as much as between $20,000

Dean Gardner

Dean Gardner, businessman and two-time Assembly candidate, dies at 72

Dean Gardner, a Bakersfield businessman known for his two bruising battles against Nicole Parra for a Kern County Assembly seat, has died. He was 72. Gardner died Monday of prostate cancer, which he’d fought since 2005, according to his wife, Ruth. Gardner tussled with Parra for what was then the

Ally Bryant, right, with friends at the Bakersfield Music Theater during an audition in a local production of "Les Miserables." Bryant recently was named Distinguished Young Women of California for 2016.

Local teen going to 'Distinguished' nationals

The first Bakersfield teen in a decade to compete in the national finals of Distinguished Young Women, the scholarship program formerly known as the Junior Miss pageant, will be a senior at Liberty High this fall. Ally Bryant, 17, placed first in Distinguished Young Women

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