Bakersfield businessman Joseph Kim has opened a local construction franchise that focuses on custom homes and remodels.

On Wednesday, G.J. Gardner Homes Bakersfield hosted an open house event at its new office at 1019 Stine Road. It featured samples of Gardner home projects.

G.J. Gardner has operated for 30 years and has at least 14 offices in the state, including in Hanford, Clovis and Visalia.

The North of the River Chamber of Commerce will host its third annual Economic Outlook Conference from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Hodel's Liberty Hall, 5917 Knudsen Drive.

Topics are to include the economic potential of the Monterey Shale oil formation, the Bakersfield Blaze baseball team and Kern County's place in the national economy.

Tickets cost $30 for chamber members, or $40 for non-members. For information, call 873-4709, go online at or email

Rain for Rent is playing an important role in the ongoing seismic retrofit of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The Bakersfield company was contracted to contain the water that has been integral to the project's drilling process. Because the water has a high alkaline level and sediment content, it cannot be dumped directly into the bay.

Engineers at Rain for Rent designed a 160-foot pipe that directs the water into tanks fitted with spillguards. Later, that water is to be pumped into barges and transported to the Port of Oakland for treatment and disposal.

"Not only did we deliver a watertight solution in a tight job site configuration, but we also enabled the contractor to pass the scrutiny of every possible regulatory hurdle," branch manager Tony De Bellis said in a news release.

The Taft College Foundation plans to host a one-day West Kern Petroleum Summit featuring presentations by former Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield.

The Oct. 18 event at the college is expected to examine new oil field technologies and their impact on the area's economy.

Seating is limited to 300 people, and individual tickets cost $60. For information, contact the foundation's executive director, Sheri Horn-Bunk, at 763-7936, or by email:

West Coast nominations are being accepted through Aug. 9 for this year's Oil & Gas Awards.

The annual honors are given out in 25 categories, including environment, efficiency, innovation, corporate social responsibility and health and safety. They are open to exploration and production companies, industry service providers, suppliers and midstream companies.

West Coast winners are scheduled to be announced Oct. 24 at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center.

For information, go online at

Bakersfield's Price Disposal has been ranked among the nation's top 100 refuse and recycling haulers by Waste 360 magazine.

The list, published in the magazine's June issue, ranked disposal companies according to their revenue.

A North Carolina-based company with a store in Bakersfield has won top marks in customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates.

Window World Inc., a replacement window and home remodeling chain with locations in more than 200 cities, tied for first place with Simonton.

J.D. Power's ranking was based on a 2013 survey of more than 2,550 customers.