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  • 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…

  • By Jim Darling

I was in college and my dad and I were playing tennis at the Rio Bravo Resort tennis club. He introduced me to developer and visionary George Nickel. “Where do you go to school, USC?” Nickel asked. “Sonoma State,” I answered with hopeful enthusiasm. “They have a new communications department…

  • By Ralph Korn

What is mainstream America’s response to the outrageous behavior of the Hollywood “stars’” ongoing stream of malicious slandering of the president of the United States? Where is the media response to these egotistical brats and their ranting, senseless whining? With few exceptions, the ultra…

  • By Norm Haughness

OK, it’s high time we begin discussing the implementation. President Trump has said it’s time to get those lawbreakers out — those Mexican-border-crossers who lack the proper papers. Doing the deportations, unlike simply promising them, raises a number of practical issues.

  • By William D Bezdek

It’s about time someone started recognizing the truth about Obamacare. I applaud Steve Schilling’s March 17 Community Voices article, “Repealing the Affordable Care Act is the real job killer.” However, the Republican leadership has promulgated many more “fake facts” about the “failing” ACA …

  • By Mary C. Barlow

California’s vast public education system is in the midst of an exciting renaissance. The changes we have seen in just the past five years have been resounding. These major shifts have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and put an emphasis on equity.

  • By Stephen W. Schilling

In response to Inga Barks’ March 2 column, “Reform healthcare, even if government jobs are lost,” the claim that the Affordable Care Act is a job-killer and only created more government-funded jobs is not based in fact or reality.

  • Marylee Shrider

Subscribers don’t usually get the last word when it comes to the Opinion page, but after Danny Morrison called me out in his most recent column for schooling him on his you-can-be-both-pro-choice-and-pro-life stance, I requested and received equal time to rebut his rebuttal of my rebuttal.