Mark Witsoe

Mark Witsoe

The Kern County Board of Supervisors have named Mark Witsoe as the new director of airports for Kern County.

Witsoe, who will start Oct. 1, comes from Seattle, where he was marketing and business development manager for King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field.

Witsoe has nearly 30 years experience in the aviation industry, with a strong background in business development opportunities, including land acquisition, planning for future developments and negotiation of new business, according to a press release announcing the decision.

The director position is responsible for all seven airports within the county, including Meadows Field, Buttonwillow, Lost Hills, Kern Valley, Poso, Taft and Wasco.

Witsoe is an accredited airport executive, according to the release. He has an MBA from the University of Reno, is a member of the Board of Examiners for the Association for Accredited Airport Executives, and has held numerous leadership roles within the association.

Lyft will be able to operate out of Meadows Field starting Saturday after the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the ride-hailing company Tuesday.

Previously only two taxi services were allowed to take passengers to and from the airport.

Travelers who wished to use services like Uber or Lyft needed to walk nearly a quarter-mile from the airport, to Merle Haggard Drive to use the apps.

Lyft is the first ride-hailing service to be allowed to operate out of the airport.

County Counsel Mark Nations has said the county is negotiating a similar deal with Uber.

Rabobank National Assocation will launch its third-annual collection drive for the Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank on Friday.

The staff of the bank will try to fight local hunger during the four-week food drive to help replenish CAPK Food Bank’s inventory before the high-demand holiday season.

The group’s goal is to amass 3,000 pounds of nonperishable, non-expired food items. Last year, more than 2,300 pounds of food was collected.

A kickoff event will be held at 8:30 a.m., Friday, at Rabobank’s Riverlakes Drive Branch located at 3800 Riverlakes Drive.

The public will be able to donate nonperishable, non-expired food items at all Rabobank branches in Bakersfield from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

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