Q: I was in Sacramento recently to participate in the California Retired Teachers Association's "Advocacy Day." When visiting the Capitol building, I noticed that each county has a display window in the halls. However, I found Kern County's window to be embarrassing.
While other counties had displays that highlighted their tourist, business, climate, geographic and other features, Kern County has a poster. The poster states Kern County "Fuels the world, Feeds the world, Leads the world, Defends the world."
It should be easy to create a diorama with themes like these. The space is about 2' X 3' X 4'. Perhaps there should be a contest to decorate this reflection of our great county. We need to project our county's strengths.
Do you know who is responsible for this window? I would be glad to inquire further, but am unsure who to contact.
-- Jim Mahoney
A: Jim, you're not alone in your disappointment with Kern's window.
When we called the office of Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, just to see if the folks there had any idea who is in charge of the displays, it turned out that giving that window a makeover was a pet cause of theirs.
The Kern County Board of Trade -- basically the county's marketing director -- is responsible for coming up with the display features and has been working with Grove field representative Javier Reyes Jr. on the project.
"We could have China Lake and F-15s, all of our ag displayed, the Sequoias," a clearly excited Reyes said of the possibilities. "The potential is huge."
Teresa HItchcock, assistant county administrator and acting Board of Trade director for Kern County, said she's working on the project.
The plan, she said, is to change out the display window in the next year, to something three-dimensional showcasing Kern's renewable energy growth, economic drivers like ag, oil and aerospace and tourism opportunities.
"It definitely needs to be updated," Hitchcock said.
Q: Is there a place on the Internet we can see the health ratings of the restaurants in Bakersfield without having to use the fuel to actually go to the restaurant?
-- Craig Holland
A: There sure is. The Kern County Environmental Health Services Division has a restaurant-lookup site at www.decadeonline.com/main.phtml?agency=ker. You can also download the county Public Health Services Department's free "Safe Diner" app onto your smartphone and see restaurant inspection data there.
Q: I would like to know when Caltrans plans to trim the oleanders and clean up the corner of Golden State Frontage Road and F Street.
I pick up trash, along with another organizations, constantly. Smart & Final is such a great asset to the Westchester area and it does a great job. Also, Golden State Mall is cleaning up on a weekly basis. I have even trimmed the ice plant that was growing into the street.
If Caltrans could trim those oleanders once a year, it would be greatly appreciated.
-- Karen DeWalt
A: Caltrans spokeswoman Tami Conrado responded:
I spoke with our landscape supervisor. He informed me that they do trim these oleanders once a year, usually between January and March, however currently only the northbound side has been completed due to a lane closure conflict with a nearby construction project.
Currently the landscape crew is working on a large project at McKittrick, but the supervisor assured me that the southbound-side oleanders will be trimmed within the next few months and then continue to be trimmed on an annual basis.
Ask TBC appears on Mondays. Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to The Bakersfield Californian, c/o Christine Bedell, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302.