Lois Henry

  • Californian columnist Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: No one said groundwater laws would be easy

    So, I kind of questioned myself out of a story, but I'm going to tell it to you anyway. I noticed the Kern Groundwater Authority was proposing to double its budget from last year, which got my attention. The main cost increase was a proposal to hire a mediation firm called New Current, Water

  • Californian columnist Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Bill aims to open up secret well information

    There is absolutely no good reason water well information should be secret. But it is. That's right. You can't go down to the Kern County Environmental Health Department and see well completion records. You can't even get that information if you're CSU Bakersfield Geology

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    LOIS HENRY: We need a plan for the next inevitable drought

    I fear more and more people will soon experience first-hand the lack of a true disaster plan for our prolonged drought. I wrote last year about how the plights of several small towns and neighborhoods in Tulare County had revealed how terribly unprepared California is for one of our most

  • 1980s "Satanic molestation" key figure still hopes for justice

    I finally got around to reading the Kern County District Attorney's opposition to a man's attempt to withdraw his plea from the most notorious molestation ring case of the 1980s. I'm not surprised by the DA's arguments, just a little exasperated. Gerardo Gonzales filed a motion

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    LOIS HENRY: Your water rates are all about location

    This newspaper, along with most water agencies in town, has been bombarded with questions that no one ever asked P.D. (pre drought). Such as, "Why does my neighbor, with a big yard and a pool, only pay $20 a month for water when I pay more than $100 a month and I don't even have a pool?!

  • LOIS HENRY: County shelter has been exporting diseased dogs

    Kern County Animal Services strikes again -- exporting diseased animals. Yes, that's right. More than a dozen dogs from Kern County's Fruitvale shelter transported to out-of-state rescue operations were sick, and some died. And that's not even the worst part. At least

  • Gracie, a dog found dumped in a Tehachapi industrial yard, found a forever home with Grant and Patty Miller in the Pacific Northwest after being flown out of Kern County by Wings of Rescue last month. Photo courtesy of the Miller family via the Hightail Bakersfield Facebook site.

    LOIS HENRY: Gracie says hi, and thanks, from Washington

    There's enough bad news going on these days so I thought I'd take a break and reflect on some good news. Before we get to that though, I've been asked to straighten out this whole odd/even watering days thing for folks who don't get the concept. It's based on your home

  • Californian columnist Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Dogs win (and taxpayers save) with airlift program

    The last time I wrote about Wings of Rescue, I admit, I was irked with us. Local people hadn't stepped up to help this vital player in our animal overpopulation puzzle and Wings was ready to put an end to the large cargo airlifts of local animals it had been funding for the past few years

  • LOIS HENRY: Are almonds really the water hogs they're portrayed to be?

    With all the finger pointing brought on by Gov. Jerry Brown's mandatory water restrictions, I thought it might be fun to add a few statistics to the fire. Hopefully, you can find some ammo here, no matter what side you're on. Residential users first. The new restrictions will force urban

  • LOIS HENRY: Sometimes the water questions are more telling

    Sometimes press conferences aren't informative so much for what the officials are saying as for what the reporters are asking. Wednesday afternoon, I listened in on a conference call with the Governor's drought task force where I felt the questions were quite illuminating. As soon as it

  • LOIS HENRY: Money, politics and nature conspire against Kern ag

    Perhaps you were busy last Wednesday and couldn't attend the water panel I moderated at the Kern Economic Summit. No worries, I'll recap the juicy stuff for you now. (Oh, read it, you'll sound all smarty pants at your next cocktail party!) I was joined by a great group of experts

  • Californian columnist Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: A lesson on the true meaning of transparency

    It's easy to talk about transparency in government. But as we've seen time and again, walking that walk takes a lot of practice for some agencies. And in my view, the Kern High School District has stumbled. Badly. First was its jaw-dropping refusal to allow a Californian reporter into

  • LOIS HENRY: Local water districts feel cheated by 'exchange'

    Oh, the fascinating stuff our protracted drought is revealing. I’m not talking about tires and old town foundations at the bottom of California’s reservoirs. This drought is also putting long-held assumptions about water rights under intense scrutiny. In this instance, a dispute over how the

  • Californian columnist Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Wings program making a difference, but it's not enough

    I hate to say it, but Bakersfield's legendary apathy toward one of our most intractable yet curable problems seems to have done it again. Wings of Rescue, an all volunteer organization out of Los Angeles, will be cutting back its life-saving flights in Kern. It had been scooping up mostly

  • Kern's Bones: Digging up treasures past and present

    Sorry, no snarky column today. Instead, I wanted to alert you to a new feature you won't want to miss. We're calling it "Kern's Bones: Digging up treasures past and present." (The name may change, depending on what my bosses think.) Like many treasures, it all started with a

  • LOIS HENRY: Unchecked science no basis for onerous air rules

    New ozone regulations being proposed by the federal EPA would essentially force us all into electric cars and we probably still wouldn't come into compliance. Ho hum. Kind of the same old story for the San Joaquin Valley, where we're never in compliance and we're constantly being