Four Bakersfield residents have been chosen by the Almond Board of California to participate in the statewide Almond Leadership Program.

Mark Sherfy, Blaine Salisbury, Jon Collison and Alec Pacini — along with about a dozen other residents from the state — will receive hands-on experience and training in areas such as food safety, biomass, honey extraction and nutrition research. The goal of the yearlong program is to become leaders in the ag industry.

Students will also work on an individual project on an issue of their choice that they will present at the end of the program.

“Acceptance into this program is an honor and participants are selected based on their passion and commitment to moving the industry ahead,” said Jenny Nicolau, manager of industry relations at ABC. “Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, we will look around the industry and see our greatest industry leaders as graduates from the Almond Leadership Program, and they will look at one another and see decades of service and friendship.”

The City of Bakersfield is looking to fill three seats each on the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission.

The terms of the Historic Preservation commissioners end on March 30. Barbara Lomas’ and Daniel Carter’s terms in wards 2 and 4 of the Planning Commission expire on April 30. Ward 1 Commissioner David Strong’s term ends on April 30, 2019.

Planning commissioners serve four-year terms. Members of the Historic Preservation Commission serve three-year terms. Applicants for either commission must live in the city for the duration of their term.

Applications for these positions are due at 5 p.m. March 28. The City Council will likely make the appointments at its April 11 meeting.

Applications are available at the city clerk's office in City Hall North, 1600 Truxtun Ave., or online at

Writers of Kern is holding its annual spring conference on March 17.

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hodel’s Country Dining, 5917 Knudsen Ave. Workshops will be held on poetry, writing for the Hallmark and Lifetime movie channels, revising your work and pitching your writing to a publisher.

This month, the conference is $50 for Writers of Kern members and $75 for non-members. Full-time students with their IDs can get in for 25. In March, there’s a flat $95 registration fee. Students can get in for $45.

Those who want to pay less for the conference can register by Feb. 28 at

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