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Latest water conservation rates miss target again

Urban water production and use in Kern County

Californians used 13.5 percent less water in April compared to the same month in 2013 in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s historic executive order requiring increased conservation in the fourth year of drought, the State Water Resources Board reported Tuesday.

The decline in water use comes as local water officials statewide have scrambled to implement new watering restrictions aimed at achieving the 25 percent urban water-use reduction Brown ordered for the state in general on April 1.

Although Californians conserved far more in April than in the three previous months,

Californian columnist Lois Henry

LOIS HENRY: Fireworks show should not have slipped through the cracks

When you’re at war, it’s helpful if your soldiers actually care enough to bring their ammo. That’s my take on the city letting its wonderful fireworks show fall through the cracks this year. I mean, really. Here we are in one of the driest times in one of the driest counties in the state, where

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    • Richard Beene

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

      DROUGHT: Here is a real head-scratcher, compliments of Heather Van Arkel, who recently replaced her lawn with artificial turf: "California Water Service recently sent out an informational flier on water use during the drought. I read it thoroughly and was excited to read that they are now

    • County of Kern

      Supes consider sovereign tribal nation within county

      Kern County will move toward building a formal agreement with the Tejon Indian Tribe. The Kern County Board of Supervisors directed the County Administrative Office to begin negotiations with the tribe on a government-to-government agreement that could ultimately govern how an independent nation —

    • BPD officer accused of drunken driving, resisting arrest in April crash

      A Bakersfield police officer has been charged with drunken driving and resisting arrest in connection with a single-vehicle crash in April. Officer Edgar Aguilera, 29, has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges filed against him on May 20. His next court hearing is scheduled for June 26.

    • The Kern County Fire Department has launched an education campaign about fireworks.

      Kern steps up illegal fireworks enforcement

      While the City of Bakersfield dropped the ball on its free fireworks show, the Kern County Fire Department is stepping up its efforts to combat illegal fireworks. The department will hold a press conference on Thursday to highlight some of those efforts. Based what it has reported to the Board of

    • Council to hear apartments appeal

      Residents and property owners upset by the city’s recent approval of a controversial downtown apartment project will bring their appeal to the Bakersfield City Council Wednesday, on an evening the council will also hear five budget presentations. With just three weeks remaining until the City

    • Kern County Superior Court on Truxtun Avenue, as seen in a file photo.

      Defendant assaults deputy public defender during verdict Monday

      A defendant in Kern County Superior Court punched his attorney in the jaw Monday as a court clerk read the jury’s verdict convicting him of three offenses, including assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.  Alberto Lizarraga was subdued by deputies and removed from the courtroom

    • Vicki Davis had been living homeless for over 10 years, most recently in a tent city on Union Avenue. She now has an apartment she calls home thanks to the efforts of the Kern County Homeless Collaborative.

      'Tent city's' longest resident finds housing

      Vicki Davis, the longest-tenured resident of Bakersfield’s now-defunct “tent city” of homeless folk, fell in love with one particular feature of her new apartment on move-in day. “Being able to walk on the carpet. I have a thing about being able to walk on bare feet,” said Davis, 56, who has