Lois Henry

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    LOIS HENRY: Ruling would be uncharted waters for water judge

    By Lois Henry
    Friday, Sep 26 2014 06:32 PM

    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 and needed to be redone. The ruling was narrow and pertained only to the bank's operations.

    That might seem like a minor technical issue. But at least one of the plaintiffs involved is hoping it's the thread that unravels the whole ownership of California's largest groundwater banking operation.

    First, a little background. Ever since the 20,000-acre bank was transferred to local interests from the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) in 1995, activist groups have been fighting to have it brought...

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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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    LOIS HENRY: PUC needs a reboot, new appointee says

    I wish Michael Picker luck. But I hold out very little hope. Picker is a newly minted California Public Utilities commissioner, appointed in January to fill out the term of departing Mark Ferron, who left for medical reasons. Picker was...

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    LOIS HENRY: Did deputy get good 'ol boy justice? Maybe not

    When I heard about the "punishment" handed down to Kern County Sheriff's Deputy John Swearengin, my first thought was: Good ol' boy justice strikes again. But, actually, the 480 hours of community service and three years probation...

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    LOIS HENRY: Our spay/neuter bus is gassed up, ready to roll

    OK, so we've had a few stutter steps since the county gave several local non-profits $80,000 to get the spay/neuter ball rolling. In a weird way, though, the stutter steps may have landed Kern in a better position, spay/neuter speaking....

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    LOIS HENRY: KHSD must commit to protect disabled kids; bomb party antics another nail in fireworks' coffin

    I have some updates on my recent rants. Kern High School District and the autistic girl KHSD is doubling down on its position that a severely mentally disabled girl wasn't harmed when she was possibly sexually assaulted in a bathroom at...

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