Lois Henry

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    LOIS HENRY: Oliver jurors weren't offered a middle ground

    By Lois Henry
    Tuesday, Dec 16 2014 05:23 PM

    As we were waiting for a verdict in the Bryan Oliver case, a co-worker asked if others felt the jury -- which ultimately hung on both counts -- was inept.

    I said no. They were just regular people asked to make a terrible decision in an emotionally messy case and their only choice was send Oliver away for life or cut him loose. They needed some middle ground that they simply didn't have.

    What followed was a debate that was likely played out almost word for word in the jury room. And likely all over town. * Nothing justifies what Oliver did.

    * No. But he was viciously bullied and he lashed out. * Bullying doesn't excuse what he did. * You can't discount the damage bullying can do. Remember Seth Walsh? He was basically bullied to...


    LOIS HENRY: 7 things this storm won't do for the drought

    The recent storms (and more to come) are definitely a salve on our collectively parched psyches. But they aren't drought busters. Not by a long shot. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but even 50 more such storms can't make California's water...

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    LOIS HENRY: Hey, kids: More proof that water is big indeed

    In the world of water, money is always big. I’m talking capital “M” kinda money. So, Kern County’s $230,000 to hire two water consultants and a deputy County Administrative Officer to focus on the new groundwater law is on the seriously...


    New hearing on old molest case postponed

    Gerardo Gonzales' quest to undo his plea deal from nearly 30 years ago will have to wait another two months. His motion to withdraw his plea from 1987 will be heard Feb. 23. Gonzales pled no contest in 1987 to one count of felony lewd...

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    LOIS HENRY: And what were you doing when you were 14?

    When I was 14 years old, my biggest concerns were pimples and whether I could con my mother into buying me a pair of the latest Chemin de Fer jeans. (It was the '80s, don't judge.) Homeless kids ranked as low as you could get on my...

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    LOIS HENRY: Rail shipments of volatile oil should be transparent

    So, 140,000 barrels of potentially explosive crude oil chugged through the heart of Bakersfield on two separate mile-long trains in the past few weeks, or days, and no one seems to have alerted local safety folks, you know, just in case...


    LOIS HENRY: Key molestation case figure deserves a do-over

    This coming January it will have been 28 years since Gerardo Gonzales made the mother of all plea deals. By copping to one felony count of 288(a) lewd acts with a child on Jan. 22, 1987, Gonzales wiped away more than 200 charges against...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    EGGS: If you are of a certain age, you were raised that eating eggs would increase your risk of heart disease. But now, according to The New York Times, scientists are rethinking all that. Said The Times: “Clinical studies show that...

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    LOIS HENRY: Carrot or stick for groundwater management?

    California's groundwater hit the big time Sunday night, starring as the lead item in the "60 Minutes" television news program. Upshot of the piece: Cali's been in a prolonged drought and our groundwater is being tapped like never before....

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    LOIS HENRY: Looky here! An 'unlimited' supply of new water

    Emergency drought funding announced last spring by Gov. Jerry Brown may soon be making its way into local hands. Four Kern County agencies landed a combined $12 million, according to the State Department of Water Resources. They four have...

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    LOIS HENRY: Finally, progress on fireworks restrictions

    Those who love their stupidly dangerous illegal fireworks best pay attention. Come March, Kern County will likely impose much higher fines on those who repeatedly break the law. It will crack down on hosts where party guests light off...

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    LOIS HENRY: Fireworks set to go off at county meeting (sort of)

    If you're like me and feel fireworks have become a menace in this county, you'll want to listen in on the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning. Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall will be giving a report on illegal fireworks,...

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    LOIS HENRY: Judge justified in closing Oliver jury selection

    Portions of two high-profile criminal trials were closed to public view recently. That's a big deal. Our open judicial system is, after all, one of the primary things that sets us apart from truly crummy countries. (Well, that and...

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