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Lawsuit alleges union access to farms violates owners' constitutional protections

In this Nov. 10, 2012, file photo, Omar Chombo carries a bunch of chard across the field he leases from the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, known as ALBA, in Salinas, Calif. The organization helps farmworkers, most of whom are first generation Latinos, to become independent organic farm operators.

In a legal challenge to unions’ longstanding access to farmers’ private property, a conservative public interest law firm filed a federal lawsuit this week against California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board — an action that may have repercussions for new rules under consideration by the state.

The suit Pacific Legal Foundation filed against the labor board Wednesday says a state regulation giving union organizers limited access to farmworkers on the job violates property owners’ constitutional protections against government-

In this photo from August 2015, a group of workers waits to be decontaminated in the 16500 block of Twisselman Road after being exposed to an insecticide called Danitol while working on a solar farm.

Paramount facing fines in August pesticide drift

Paramount Farming’s West Valley division is facing potential fines of $25,200 to $180,000 for a pesticide over drift incident that sickened 36 construction workers near Lost Hills last August. A Kern County Agricultural Commissioner’s report states that airblast sprayers working in a

Richard Beene

BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

CRAFT BEER The Craft Tap House, a new business devoted to the popularity of craft beers, opens Friday in the old Garden Spot at the corner of Oak and Truxtun. Owned by David Dobbs (Imbibe Wine and Spirits) and several investors, this tap house is almost certain to be a huge hit among the legions

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    • Frank West student Anthony Tolentino practices foot work, dribbling skills and ball handling during Coast 2 Coast Coaching drills Thursday on campus.

      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

    • 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

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      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 chose among them. Supervisors will pick five

    • Flowers are on display for sale ahead of the Valentine's Day at a flower market in Vienna, Austria, Feb. 12, 2016.

      Here are the numbers for Valentine's Day 2016

      Valentine’s Day is the third largest consumer holiday in the U.S., says Wallethub, the personal finance website. Wallethub put this day of love into numbers, and here’s what they came up with. Fifty-three percent of women said they will break up with their significant other if they don’t

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      DUI checkpoint scheduled for Saturday

      The Bakersfield Police Department is planning a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint in Bakersfield Saturday. Anyone who sees a suspected drunken driver is asked to call 911.

    • handout photograph for a story slug MoralExemption - Christopher Meyers is a philosophy professor at Cal State Bakersfield and the director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics.

      Two who embody the exemplary behavior of Wendy Wayne

      There is not much more inspiring than sitting in on the selection process for the annual Wendy Wayne Awards for Exemplary Ethical Behavior. The committee members – all extraordinarily impressive people in their own right – are uniformly astonished by the accomplishments of the nominees. This

    • 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

    • Yes. They’re real! 12 beautiful long stem Doritos® Ketchup Roses. Hand made and hand-delivered to your special dude this Valentine’s Day.

      Ditch the roses and give Doritos roses this Valentine's Day

      If you are on a budget this Valentine’s Day, we have a perfect DIY gift idea for you — Doritos roses. What says love more than Doritos? Well a lot of things do, to be honest, but this bouquet of Doritos roses still says, “I love you,” in some way or another. Doritos was selling “12 long stem

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      Bakersfield man accused of heroin distribution

      Investigators arrested a Bakersfield man Thursday on suspicion of distributing heroin. Efrain Becerra, 31, was in possession drugs when deputies stopped his vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials. A search warrant was then issued for a residence in the 9600 block of East Wilson Road, and