City Beat

  • Granite Construction carpenter Lupe Aldama, left, and foreman Adam Muniza work atop the future Hosking Avenue bridge Thursday as cars drive by below on Highway 99. Once forms are in place, crews will make their first concrete pour in August.

    City Beat: The latest scoop on municipal government

    NEW BRIDGE IS TEETHING: The Hosking Avenue interchange, which contains the Thomas Roads Improvement Program's 25th bridge, is looking more like a place to exit Highway 99. Next week, work crews will begin building the "falsework" over 99 -- temporary structure that actually

  • Bakersfield city workers will begin clearing out the so-called "Tent City," a homeless encampment on South Union Avenue

    It's moving day for homeless 'tent city' residents

    Residents of Bakersfield's so-called "tent city" of homeless at 600 S. Union Ave. have been given a final moving date by city officials. On Wednesday, as early as 6 a.m., city workers will begin clearing the site -- and then they'll fence off the area, which at one time was an

  • Some areas of state highways will no longer be watered by Caltrans due to the current drought situation.

    Cal Water to hold informational drought meeting

    Facing a state mandate to reduce its water usage by 32 percent starting June 1, the California Water Service Co. will hold a public meeting Thursday night to educate its nearly 300,000 Bakersfield customers on conservation and new water regulations. An emergency city ordinance which took effect

  • The State Water Resources Control Board earlier this year got even tougher on water conservation because of the drought. The rules include restrictions on watering grass.

    Cutting water use by 36%? We’re far from there

    City water consumers -- now officially required by the state to use 36 percent less water -- actually used more of the precious substance in April than March, sparking expressions of deep concern from water board members Tuesday. Users on the city system -- about one-third of Bakersfield residents,

  • City workers pick up a brimming recycling bin on Prairie Stone Place in this file photo.

    Council to hear of proposed trash, sewer fee hikes

    Sewer and garbage fee hikes for commercial and residential customers, part of the nearly $576 million proposed city budget, will get some attention Wednesday night when department heads make presentations about the new fiscal year to the Bakersfield City Council. Here's what you need to know

  • Members of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful and their guests gather with Mayor Harvey L. Hall, center in white shirt and tie, before leaving City Hall South to conduct their annual Community Appearance Survey of litter in the city.

    CITY BEAT: Surveyors find less litter than they expected

    CITY LEADERS TALK TRASH: Trash and its more elegant cousin litter were scrutinized Thursday by members of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful and guests during their annual Community Appearance Survey. KBB is the city's nonprofit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. It does the survey yearly to

  • Bakersfield City Hall.

    City proposes largely 'status quo' new budget

    Bakersfield city officials unveiled a $576 million proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year Wednesday night, one with no additional employees and largely status quo service levels -- a "significant departure" from recent years. Whereas the city has been able to enjoy "growth-

  • Council to mull watering cuts, 178 widening

    A restrictive, three-days-a-week residential landscape watering schedule, Bakersfield's latest response to the historic four-year state drought, will likely become reality at Wednesday's meeting of the City Council. Here's what you need to know about a Bakersfield City Council

  • At nearly 100 years old, the Baker Branch Library is still used by the community, though its hours of operation have been cut. In 1991, the branch underwent a $1.1 million restoration and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Survey skips library privatization issue

    Kern County won't be asking the public what they think of library privatization, at least not under the public outreach plan County Administrative Officer John Nilon plans to take to the Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. County officials are just hoping the public will tell them

  • A couple of children had a good view of Wednesday's ribbon-cutting cermony from the Renfro Road Bridge looking down onto the Westside Parkway Phase 6C, the final phase of Bakersfield's newest freeway.

    Westside Parkway's final phase opens to drivers

    The freshly strewn wood chips along its broad shoulders are a little browner, the drought-resistant seed cover on its median a little more tan, and its chain link fences much more silvery. But the drive along the Westside Parkway's final two miles between Allen Road and the intersection of

  • Bridge demo prompts 178 closure in east

    Northeastern motorists be warned: all lanes of Highway 178 will be closed Monday and likely Tuesday nights between Haley Street and Mount Vernon Avenue while crews demolish a pedestrian bridge used by elementary school students. It's part of a $2.9 million project funded by the State Highway

  • Golden Empire Transit Mechanic Libu Ramirez works on a bus Thursday morning.

    CITY BEAT: GET pleads with Congress to pass transportation bill

    GET STUMPS FOR NEW FACILITY: Golden Empire Transit officials urged Congress on Thursday to pass a long-term successor to MAP-21, the current federal transportation funding bill which expires May 31. With a GET bus parked behind them, GET board Chairwoman Annazetta Henderson and CEO Karen King

  • The historic Jastro house on 20th Street.

    New owners will restore landmark Jastro house

    Bakersfield’s circa-1875 Jastro house, a city landmark that has been vacant nearly a decade, has new owners who will restore much of its historic detail and turn the Gothic Victorian cottage-style residence into office space. After finding the house for sale in October, accountant Neil Galyan

  • City draft ordinance would limit watering to three days a week

    With the state drought in its historic fourth year and snowpack measurements at 60-year lows, Bakersfield's water clamp-down is tightening, albeit slowly. At a special meeting Wednesday, Bakersfield's city water board will consider sending an emergency ordinance to the City Council

  • CITY BEAT: Homeless encampment lacks those privies

    DESIGNING 24TH STREET The look of 23rd and 24th streets when they're widened, likely later this decade, got a serious discussion Thursday by a Bakersfield City Council committee. One key issue is how soundwalls along the north side of 24th will look. The Community Services Committee directed

  • Using a cement slab as a dance floor, this man danced continually for about an hour at the tent city encampment located at 600 South Union.

    Bakersfield will fold homeless Union Ave. tent city

    The southeast Bakersfield tent city of homeless folk at 600 S. Union Ave. will be removed, most likely later this month, Bakersfield officials announced Tuesday. A representative of the property's owner, the Nathan Daniels Survivors Trust, has given Bakersfield the authority to do nuisance

  • COMMUNITY ROUNDUP: Christensen returns to city hall

    Veteran city and county manager Alan Christensen has been named Kern County's new deputy county administrative officer for water resources. Christensen, who is currently the county's risk manager, said he will take the new post on April 20. The new position was crafted in response to the

  • City parking garage, 18th and Eye streets.

    New look, fees eyed for parking structure

    A proposed makeover could make more than 400 public parking spaces newly available in Bakersfield's city-owned parking structure at 18th and Eye streets -- for a price -- if the Bakersfield City Council approves at its meeting Wednesday. Here's a primer on what to expect from the