Quirks of the County Blog

  • Many community members came out to participate in the centennial celebration of the Baker Branch Library on Baker Street.

    Impartial survey first step to saving libraries, group tells advocates

    EveryLibrary, a nonprofit group dedicated to running library tax campaigns, visited Bakersfield Wednesday to talk about the future of libraries in Kern County. They left library officials and library supporters with the clear understanding that a quality, impartial survey of the Kern County

  • A pair of buds on a Wild Thailand marijuana plant are shown in this file photo.

    County eases 'excess' pot cultivation penalties

    Kern County will be more careful about how its local authorities punish medical marijuana patients who grow too much of their drug. Supervisors, on Tuesday, approved changes to the penalty section of an ordinance that limits the number of marijuana plants a patient can grow on a parcel of

  • Beale Memorial Library on Truxtun Avenue.

    Library coalition rep says she was heckled

    The issue of the Kern County library's privatization -- or outsourcing -- is proceeding through a clear public process. But conflict is heating up between county unions and the company that wants to take over operation of the county library system. Rachel Glauser, communications manager for

  • Supervisors enact water protection plan over opposition

    Kern County supervisors approved a plan Tuesday that is designed to protect water supplies in the desert around Ridgecrest. They acted in the face of heated opposition from those that believe the move is a violation of private property rights. But they said action had to be taken immediately to

  • The State Water Resources Control Board has become even tougher on water conservation because of the drought.

    County will work on its own residential water restriction plan

    Kern County will consider creating a system of residential water restrictions similar to those approved by the city of Bakersfield. The plan could limit the days when property owners can water their landscaping and other rules designed to save water in California's severe four-year drought.

  • Niles Street is closed off for several blocks and filled with smoke near Orange Drive as firefighters from both the Bakersfield City and Kern County fire departments battle a blaze on a two-story house earlier this year.

    Cuts to fire service worry supervisors, whose hands may be tied

    Kern County got more bad budget news Tuesday. Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall warned supervisors that his ability to fight fires this summer faces a serious challenge from the downturn in oil prices and rising pension costs. In Marshall's best case scenario his department needs an

  • The main entrance to Kern Medical Center (KMC) on Mt. Vernon Avenue and Flower Street in east Bakersfield.

    Departure of KMC's psychiatry chairman creates havoc

    The termination of a Kern Medical Center contract with Tai P. Yoo, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at KMC and head of the Kern-UCLA residency program, has thrown the program into turmoil, triggering resignations and leaving student doctors unsure where they will get their training or how

  • Kern County is looking at its role in water conservation in more than 1,424 water systems in the county.

    County intent on finding water savings

    Kern County's residential and commercial water landscape is a crazy patchwork of 1,424 water systems stretched out over more than 8,000 square miles. The County of Kern oversees more than 1,078 of them in some form. County officials are starting to size up the task of promoting the state

  • One can see previous high water marks on this canal at North Chester Avenue and Decatur Street in April. The drought was discussed at Tuesday's Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting.

    Timing the wheels of county government

    Tuesday's meeting of the Kern County Board of Supervisors can give you a glimpse into how much time basic public governance takes here in Kern County. The Kern County Board of Supervisors took just under an hour-and-a-half to get through their largely routine agenda Tuesday morning. They

  • Library closure, water planning and pot growing law on agenda

    Supervisors could vote to close a library and schedule two very interesting meetings today. The biggest nail biter issue they'll touch on today is the Indian Wells Valley Land Use Plan. They'll set the date for a meeting in Ridgecrest where the full board will hear testimony about land use

  • Library survey and public meeting schedule go to supes

    This afternoon Kern County supervisors will discuss what their public outreach campaign to improve Kern County libraries will look like. They're expected to hear, once again, from library supporters who don't want the libraries outsourced or privatized. But the survey CAO John Nilon is

  • 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

  • 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.

    Debate over libraries, and a possible tax vote, heats up

    The debate about how to improve Kern County's libraries is collecting momentum. Should voters consider a library tax? Should the county outsource? Should cities help pay for libraries? Even high school students are investigating those options and taking sides. Kern County leaders will,

  • Beale Memorial Library on Truxtun Avenue.

    Opposition to library privatization gets more organized

    A substitute teacher with a love for libraries is trying to mobilize opposition to privatization of the Kern County Library Department. Miranda Lomeli-O'Reilly's Advocates for Library Enhancement group is inviting the public to an organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Beale

  • Supes will ask Brown to speed review of injection wells

    Kern County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to send a letter of concern to Gov. Jerry Brown expressing concern about the state's approach to water and gas injection wells. Since last summer, there has been close scrutiny of the practice of injecting "produced" water, the

  • Kingsburg business woman not up for 21st Congressional run

    Rachel Garza, a Kingsburg wine bar owner, said late Tuesday that she is not exploring a 2016 run against Congressman David Valadao, R-Hanford. Matt Rogers of the Fresno County Young Democrats had called The Californian earlier in the day to say Garza was exploring a run. "Local Democrats

  • Oil permitting and KMC surgery center in the mix at supervisors meet

    The Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting today is a bit of a hodge-podge. But there are some interesting tidbits that could be interesting. We'll be there to check it out. On the afternoon agenda there are plans to open a KMC surgery center outlet on Stockdale Highway. Two leases, costing