• 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

  • 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

  • A wheelbarrow full of plaster sits next to an unfinished pool in repair.

    Cal Water changes mind, won't restrict pool draining

    In a reversal almost certain to send a wave of relief over pool owners and pool cleaners alike, Bakersfield's largest water company has decided to let residential customers drain and refill their pools after all. Rudy Valles, district manager for California Water Service Co., said he

  • In this Sept. 27, 2010 file photo, a bottle of POM Wonderful juice is seen in Philadelphia.

    Paramount settles on Wonderful name

    One of the biggest names in Kern County agriculture has a new moniker, and according to Webster’s, it’s just marvelous. Los Angeles-based Roll Global, a $4 billion privately held company with 7,300 employees, announced Monday it will now be known as The Wonderful Company. The change extends

  • A billboard advertises the Disney movie “McFarland, USA” on Highway 99, just south of the farming town. In English, the line reads: It doesn’t matter where you come from but where you are going.

    HERB BENHAM: These guys want to cross the finish line, too

    Yesterday, I watched “McFarland, USA” at the Starplex Cinemas Bakersfield Movies 6 with 120 “students” from Teen Challenge, the faith-based recovery program headquartered in Shafter. I’m not sure who needed the movie more — me or them. Maybe both. Nobody can watch “McFarland, USA” without laughing,

  • Doug Greener is chief of the Bakersfield Fire Department.

    DOUG GREENER: The weather heats up, and so do water-related emergencies

    June is here along with warmer weather, with our sustained triple-digit days usually not far behind. With that in mind, the Bakersfield Fire Department has already been preparing for an increase in emergency responses to our local water recreation sites, lakes, rivers and pools. BFD firefighters

  • Vietnam veteran Ron Venegas pays tribute to the fallen Saturday at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

    PHOTO GALLERY: Honor Flight Kern County veterans visit D.C.

    More than 100 Vietnam veterans from Kern County visited war memorials and monuments in Washington, D.C. this past weekend as part of the latest trip organized by Honor Flight Kern County. And it was a special trip as it was the first time the local chapter has organized a D.C. tour just for

  • On the evening of May 10, 1990, Jessica Martinez went missing after playing outside her family’s apartment.

    JOSE GASPAR: Many still remember Jessica

    Twenty-five years. A quarter of a century. That's how much time has passed since a 4-year-old Bakersfield girl went missing while playing in front of her apartment on May 10, 1990. Her body was found 11 days later, partly buried in a cotton field off Bear Mountain Boulevard near Highway 99.

  • Lennar Homes is building a massive housing development at the corner of Seventh Standard Road and Calloway Drive northwest of Bakersfield. A reader wanted to know what water is used to control dust at the site.

    Ask TBC: What water is used to control dust at construction sites?

    Q: Reader Marty Kessler called to ask where the water used to control dust at an under-construction housing development northwest of Bakersfield is coming from. Is the contractor using precious potable — or drinking — water or recycled water from, for example, a municipal wastewater treatment plant?

  • Alejandro Duran, a senior in the Kern County Superintendent of Schools alternative education program, graduated Saturday in the Harvey Auditorium on the Bakersfield High School campus.

    Seventh-grade dropout transforms into high school graduate

    Alejandro Duran, who just turned 18 May 25, said he’s never been to high school — traditional high school, that is. Yet he and 265 other alternative education students met graduation requirements to graduate from high school. More than half the group (168 students) attended the Kern

  • Californian columnist Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Voters can't be cut out on county hiring rules

    You would think that after Kern County voters said not once, but twice — and definitively — that they do not want politicians' grubby hands all over county hiring practices, the county would listen. But nooooooo. The Board of Supervisors quietly gave a conceptual thumbs up at its May 19

  • Beautiful Bakersfield Awards honor individuals, groups who give back

    The 2015 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards were awarded Saturday night to local individuals, organizations and businesses that have worked hard to better the community. The gala was held at the DoubleTree Hotel, where the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce announced the 14 award winners. Active

  • Kernville native Jess Donoho is CEO and founder of Benevolent Foods, a new for-profit food producer that is donating all net proceeds to a nonprofit foundation that funds children's charities.

    Sweet idea: Kernville native selling honey, other foods for charity

    Kernville native Jess Donoho has had a meandering career. He studied wildlife biology at Bakersfield College, led kayaking and river rafting tours on the Kern River, ran an outdoor recreation program for service men and women at Edwards Air Force Base, and went on to start a sports equipment

  • Tribe, Kern County to forge government-to-government relationship

    The Tejon Indian Tribe, Kern County’s only federally recognized Native American tribe, will meet with the Kern County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to talk about how the two governments will interact in the future. “We want to educate the board about how the government-to-government relationship is

  • Jeremy Eurto stands next to his in-repair pool. New restrictions on draining and refilling pools in areas of Bakersfield served by California Water Service Co. take effect Monday.

    A deep dive into Cal Water's new pool restrictions

    Drought restrictions will hit many Bakersfield residents where they live during summer months — in their swimming pools — starting Monday as the California Water Service Co. bans draining and refilling pools, spas or hot tubs due to the drought. Exceptions to the new rule include draining to

  • Steve and Arlene Johnson have had their front yard on Hemingway Place in Bakersfield changed into a drought-tolerant yard using rocks, cactus and other native plants and trees that use less water.

    Drought, incentives spur turf replacement

    Arlene and Steve Johnson have a daughter who just finished college in Tucson. Their frequent trips to Arizona were the inspiration for a complete landscaping overhaul designed to conserve water in the front yard of their southwest Bakersfield home. “We just fell in love with the desert,” said