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  • By Terri Richmond

This month Golden Valley High School 11th grade students are engaged in a public policy project based on the Project Citizen curriculum. This process involves an examination of local issues, identification of a problem with either a faulty existing policy or no policy, research of alternativ…

  • By Wade Eagleton

Kevin McCarthy’s three announced challengers are essentially repeating the same political “wisdom” of years past: They face an uphill battle, obstructed by the staunch conservative nature of Bakersfield. They concede that all McCarthy needs to do to win re-election is stay the course.

  • By Alvin G. Sandrini

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but, before my Republican friends go apoplectic on me, let me say I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either! For the first time in more than 50 years of voting, I wrote in the name of my vice president of choice, which I later discovered wasn’t counted since he…

  • By Sal Moretti

In his celebratory Sunday romp to the dump last month, The Californian’s Herb Benham admitted unabashedly that he’s “that guy” who didn’t cover his trash load. As he was driving to the landfill, as he humorously admitted, litter flew out the back of his truck (“Hitting a dump in the road,” A…

  • By Cynthia Sarratt

Often this school year I have heard my eighth grade students say they are not concerned about graduating from middle school. These students sit in my English and reading classes day after day doing little work despite my prodding, pleading and encouragement. They say they will go to high sch…

  • By John Pryor

Criticism of Lean Six Sigma as it’s applied to the management of Kern County government is always helpful, even if it’s misleading or misguided. Addressing those criticisms creates added opportunities to help Kern residents better understand what is actually intended.


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy should reconsider actions by the Trump administration to gut the EPA and restore the EPA rule that would require the petroleum industry to control methane from fugitive emissions associated with gas and oil production.


“In order to live and thrive, culture needs a critical space, a forum for people to reach out to one another. ... University spaces are essential as places of reflection, research and critical thinking — the structures that we must establish to fight intolerance, lies, and violence.”

  • By Richard Kemp III

Another April has come and gone. Taxes paid and, hopefully, we met the deadline and we won’t be receiving an audit notice. For marijuana advocates, another 4-20 celebration can be chalked up in the history book.

  • By David Ewert

I read with interest Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner’s April 24 Community Voices article, “Turning to a new way to run county government,” and attorney Michael Lukehart’s April 26 response, “Another View: County govt, not a business, is resistant to metrics.”

  • By Julie Rabinovitz

California was recently ranked first among all states for the total number of cases for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This public health epidemic particularly hits home here in Kern County where there has been the highest reported increa…

  • By Michael Lukehart

When I read Supervisor Zack Scrivner’s April 24 paean to Lean Six Sigma (“Turning to a new way to run county government”) as a management tool to help address the budgetary issues of Kern County, bells went off in the back of my head. A little history is in order.

  • By Zack Scrivner

The past few years have been challenging economically for the County of Kern. Due to the fall in the price of oil, the county has endured budget cuts and hiring freezes, and this past year, public safety was cut to balance the budget. Anything that can save the county money and allow us to o…

  • By Vince Fong

U.S. News recently released a report ranking all of the states on budget transparency. Where did California rank on that list? Dead last — 50 out of 50. The entire study was based on one simple and common sense metric: how easily the public can access the state’s spending data. This is deepl…

  • By Norm Haughness

Our U.S. Constitution’s 8th Amendment is pretty clear: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.” Nothing obscure, no beating about the bush here.

  • By Harold Hanson

A new trend is sweeping across Kern County, offering people upgrades to their homes with energy-efficient improvements. It goes by several names, but the most common in Bakersfield is HERO — Home Energy Renovation Opportunity.

  • By Louis Medina

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office Community Academy is one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars I have experienced: For 13 weeks, close to 20 others and I learned about the laws of arrest, community policing, patrol procedures, gangs, drugs, jail operations, first aid, search and rescue, SWAT…

  • By Barry Rosenfeld

April is Autism Awareness Month. World Down Syndrome Day was observed on March 21. And World Cerebral Palsy Day is coming Oct. 6. My purpose in mentioning these days is to encourage people to learn more about those with special needs and to remind everyone that people with special needs also…

  • By Nick Ortiz, Linda Jay, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders and Jay Tamsi

It happened. At the end of marathon floor sessions that stretched late into the night on April 6, both the California State Senate and Assembly passed Senate Bill 1, imposing the largest single increase in our gasoline tax, in addition to increases to the diesel tax, diesel sales tax and veh…

  • By Don Lanier

With misinformation swirling through our community, it’s time to set the record straight about Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, or PACE, why it exists, and the benefits it’s bringing to our community.


Downtown Bakersfield has come a long way over the past 10 years. The Padre Hotel, Maya Cinemas, the Mill Creek linear park and dozens of new restaurants have brought new life to our beautiful downtown since 2007.

  • By Nick Ortiz, Linda Jay, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders and Jay Tamsi

If there is one thing Californians can agree on, it is the sad state of our roads and highways. Whether coastal or inland, northern or southern, Democrat or Republican, urban or rural, no one contests the fact that our transportation infrastructure is in need of critical repairs.

  • By Susan Stone

In its March 22 editorial, The Bakersfield Californian praised the Scottish Games & Gathering and other similar ethnic festivals for celebrating the diversity that has made this nation great. All of these celebrations offer opportunities to experience other cultures and allow us to have …

  • By Jay Smith

John Pryor’s March 31 Community Voices article, “Healthcare solution is astonishingly simple,” was very wrong-headed. I want to start though, by complimenting him for his honesty and candor about one thing. Republicans often point to the idea of selling health insurance across state lines as…

  • By Bruce Friedman

Last month, President Trump admitted that health care is “complicated.” We continue hearing discussion and debate about the Affordable Care Act and further attempts by Republicans to replace it. But what do we really know or understand about them and their implications for Kern County?

  • By Justin Salters

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento unveiled a “landmark” solution for funding critical transportation infrastructure projects. However, when their solution to every budget woe is to increase taxes and fees, it’s easier to see this proposal as banal more than g…