By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lawyers representing a group of Delano residents have filed a lawsuit challenging the city's April decision to raise utility rates by an average of 75 percent over five years.
The suit accuses city officials of undercounting valid signatures on a petition opposed to the rate increases on municipal water, sewer, street sweeping and trash collection services.
Represented by the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, the residents group known as the Delano Guardians Committee is asking for an independent recount of the protest signatures, some of which the city declared invalid.
Lennar is hosting a grand opening of its latest Bakersfield housing development, Tradewinds Estates, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Harris and Gosford roads.
With homes ranging from 1,766 to 2,969 square feet of living space, the project is part of the company's Chateau Series offering three to four bedrooms, two to 3 1/2 bathrooms and two to three bay garages.
Tradewinds is part of Lennar's new "Next Gen, The Home within a Home" line featuring a dual layout that provides a "multigenerational" floor plan to link but also distinguish space for a grandmother, teenager or second family sharing a mortgage.
Occidental of Elk Hills has won the state Department of Conservation's 2012 Outstanding Clean Lease Award.
In bestowing the honor last week, a department representative extolled Oxy's employee training, continuous monitoring to prevent leaks and spills, efficient energy use and reliance on directional drilling and other technologies to reduce land disturbance.
The Oxy lease that won, Section 36 T30S/R24E in the Elk Hills Oil Field, has 152 wells and no reported oil spill, violation or other deficiency since March 2008.
Bottle & Bottega, a Chicago-based wine and art studio franchise, is looking for a local entrepreneur to open a Bakersfield location.
The company allows customers to produce artwork under professional instruction as they enjoy a glass of wine. It expects to see studios open soon in Portland, Ore.; New Jersey; Miami and Evanston, Ill.
Any local franchisee would be expected to operate on a mobile basis for six months. Its total investment would be expected to be less than $100,000, including a $20,000 franchise fee.
Mattress retailer Sleep Train has opened a store at Valley Plaza Mall as part of a continuing expansion across California.
The Rocklin-based, employee-owned company sells products by Beautyrest, Sealy, Posturepedic, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, and Serta iComfort. The chain has more than 100 stores statewide.
The store's hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.