Lois Henry

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    LOIS HENRY: More intrigue in the (say what?) assessor's race

    By Lois Henry
    Saturday, Oct 18 2014 10:21 PM

    I feel like this column should come with a diagram, a portable fan and a stiff drink. Sigh. After a week of looking into this particular subject, here's my conclusion: The closer you get to election day, the stinkier things get.

    And the stinkiest race, by far, is for Kern County assessor. The assessor, for cripes sake. Sure, it's a vitally important component of local government. Powerful? Sexy? Uh, no. The assessor is the head property appraiser. That's just this side of being a slide rule toter.

    But my gosh, City Councilman Russell Johnson has spent more than $178,000 so far this year, according to campaign statements ending Sept. 30, in hopes of sitting in the assessor's chair. His opponent, Chief Appraiser Jon Lifquist, has...

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    LOIS HENRY: B-town's good, bad and ugly, real ugly

    Thought I'd catch you up with a few tidbits from the "notes" file. Ombudsman program First, a huge thank you and kudos to the nearly 20 people who responded to my call for volunteers for the Kern County Long Term Care Ombudsman program....

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    LOIS HENRY: Need a worthwhile project? Consider this one

    I learned a very sad term the other day -- "the unbefriended elderly." These are mostly old folks in nursing homes or residential care facilities who have no one. No family, no friends. No one to help them through the difficult final...

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    LOIS HENRY: Stupendous achievements in spay-neuter program

    I don’t know what a spay/neuter crown would look like but all the folks at Critters Without Litters deserve one. As you read this, Critters will have fixed its 15,000th pet since opening its doors in October 2012. Critters is Bakersfield...

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    LOIS HENRY: Ruling would be uncharted waters for water judge

    In case you were wondering, the fate of the Kern Water Bank is still hanging in the balance. Sort of. Back in March, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled that the water bank's environmental impact report was inadequate...

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    LOIS HENRY: Oops, wrong beetle! May we get a refund?

    Kern County is no longer home to the threatened valley elderberry longhorn beetle, the VELB. Yes, our long national nightmare is over. You say you never heard of the VELB and couldn't care less? Well, consider this. This little bugger...

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    LOIS HENRY: Let's be realistic about GET's revenue challenges

    My take on the news over the past week: jaw dropping, eye rolling and "awwww" inspiring. First, could the Golden Empire Transit board have been any more tone deaf to public opinion when it gave CEO Karen King a $4,000 raise? Really, you...

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    LOiS HENRY: Expect turf battles over new groundwater legislation

    There will be stutter steps. And lawsuits. No doubt. But the groundwater legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday will ultimately go a long way to help get California's water house in order. The three bills set up an aggressive...

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    LOIS HENRY: We can't be treating vets the way this one was treated

    As long as Congress is looking at the Veterans Administration's health care problems, they oughta add Mike Cole to their list. His tale will raise the hair on the back of your neck. Not to mention your blood pressure. Cole had a delicate...

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    LOIS HENRY: Earthquake plan? Check. Drought plan? No

    In a state routinely plagued by drought, you would think we'd have a system to respond to whole communities whose wells go dry. Eh, not really. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, freezes -- those all have protocols for disaster...

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    LOIS HENRY: Donations helping to buoy waterless community

    As disasters go, drought may not seem as devastating or urgent as houses leveled by an earthquake or hurricane. Droughts come and go, after all, and for most people they just mean watering the lawn a little less or fewer flushes. For the...

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    LOIS HENRY: Look at the difference an hour a week can make

    Thirteen years ago, Katie Wright was at a crossroads. The then 6-year-old, second grader was struggling to read. She was so embarrassed by her lack of ability, she refused to read with her mom and tried to hide her reading difficulties...

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    LOIS HENRY: There are more rights to the Kern than water

    OK, so the Kern River is “oversubscribed” by 631 percent, according to a couple of University of California researchers. Sounds scary. What’s it really mean? Not a lot, as far as the actual water goes. But the politics behind that...

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