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Steven Mayer/ The Californian

Summer ozone pollution has long been a problem in the San Joaquin Valley. Both people and agricultural crops can be adversely affected by this form of air pollution.

Officials with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District called the second Air Alert of 2013 Monday morning, and it will continue through Wednesday.

Air officials say increasing ozone levels and the possible impact of smoke from lingering wildfires prompted the air alert. The alert is in effect in the valley portion of Kern County along with San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties.

Air alerts are called when conditions that lead to ozone formation — such as high temperatures and stagnant air flow — occur, a news release said. That puts the valley at risk of exceeding federal ozone standards, and that can lead to hefty fines.

Residents can help keep ozone levels down by avoiding idling when dropping off or picking children up from school, carpooling and avoiding drive-throughs.

Union Bank and Paychex will host a seminar on health care reform for business owners Tuesday night.

The event begins with a business mixer from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by the seminar from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Union Bank University Centre Branch, 9200 Ming Ave. The seminar will feature health care experts Daren Jennings and David Hawley from Paychex and will focus on how the Affordable Care Act affects business owners.

For information call Jennifer Nuckols 654-8617 or email

Liberty Tax Service will offer three free seminars with basic information about the Affordable Care Act this fall and winter.

Seminars will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 11, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13 at the Liberty Tax Service office at 1609 S. H St., Suite B in Bakersfield. The seminars are open to the public.