Local : Ask TBC

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  1. There are two canals that cross West Columbus Street between San Dimas Street and Union Avenue. Who is responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalk and fencing in front of those canals? The tumble weeds are so large that the sidewalk is impassible and the fences are in bad repair. With the new apartments being constructed nearby, having this area cleaned up would benefit the entire neighborhood. --A reader

    Kern Delta Water District operates and maintains the two canals in this area. The sidewalks on the north and south sides of West Columbus Street are within the city right-of-way and the city maintains these sidewalks. The city is also...

  2. What's with the lights on F Street? Every time I travel to and from downtown, I end up spending a long time waiting for the lights to change (east to west) along F Street. I timed it today (Sunday) and it took two minutes for the light to change. I timed other more heavily traveled intersections that averaged 30 seconds. The longest was the intersection at Valley Plaza/Highway 99 and Ming Avenue and it was only one minute. 17th and F is not as heavily traveled as that! Why do the lights take so long to change? --Cathy Colbert

    Typically, the traffic signals in the downtown area do not have cycle lengths longer than 90 seconds or so. Normally the side street with the lower volume (in this case 17th Street) is not given as much green time as the major street (F...

  3. Millions of dollars are raised in Kern County for the American Cancer Society, primarily through the thriving Bakersfield Relay for Life. But questions have brewed in recent weeks about exactly how much of that money comes back to the local community. Citing a desire to help more local people, a couple large local supporters of the American Cancer Society announced they are planning to redirect some of their giving and fundraising efforts to the emerging Kern County Cancer Fund instead, though they said they'll still support the national organization.The Californian wondered: just how many American Cancer Society dollars raised in Kern County end up in Kern County? --A reader

    Kern County generated roughly $3 million for the American Cancer Society during the 2011-2012 fundraising season, according to Christie Ray, team development mentor for Bakersfield Relay for Life and past chair of the event, and Bronwyn...

  4. How do the manned Hall ambulances decide where to park while on duty? I often have wondered if it is in an area from where, statistically, calls are most often generated. I see them frequently parked on the north side of the Mount Vernon Avenue Albertsons parking lot. --Darlyn Baker

    Your reader is correct. Our ambulances in the Bakersfield area are deployed using a dynamic posting plan. Based on historical data, which tells us where our calls are most likely to come from, our resources are moved as needed to give us...

  5. What is the history of Weill Park in Bakersfield? Weill is a park that many of us drive by, but few ever stop at. Bounded by Q Street, the railroad and the Highway 178 offramp, the park has mature landscaping but no amenities other than lighting and trash cans. Is there a master plan for this facility, or is it supposed to remain as it is? --Dan Cronquist

    Weill Park is a green belt at Q and James streets "developed prior to parks being a priority," according to the city parks website. It mostly just offers the neighborhood a shady, grassy area in which to relax. Recreation and Parks Director...

  6. Who is responsible for replacing the eroded soil along the bike path at the east end of Lake Ming, where the bike path meets the road that divides the Kern River Golf Course from Lake Ming's property? The soil eroded last winter, the hole has now devoured half the width of the bike path, and the ground supporting the fence posts for the chain link fence is about 5 feet deep. A true hazard! When will it be at least filled in, if not repaved? --Craig Holland

    This part of the bike trail is the responsibility of the county Parks and Recreation Department. As you are probably aware, this damage was done back in December with the flooding rains we had. This is one of four projects we are going...

  7. I see coupons for Souplantation in the paper, but I can't find this restaurant in Bakersfield. Is there one somewhere that I am missing? --Rebecca Lewis

    No, there isn't a Souplantation in Bakersfield. The closest ones to us are in Fresno and the Inland Empire. (You can check out locations at www.souplantation.com). A corporate spokeswoman said there are no plans to open a Souplantation in...

  8. I graduated from East Bakersfield High In 1957 and I pass by the school about once a week. Recently the school has been repainted and it looks great. But I passed by the other day and they have installed really tall fencing that appears to be 8 or 10 feet tall. Is the school experiencing break-ins? --Russell L. Rink

    Installation of the wrought iron fencing was completed in June 2011. It replaced a chain link fence installed during a comprehensive modernization of East Bakersfield High that began in 2008. The modernization was hampered by vandalism, in...

  9. What's being built at the corner of Truxtun Avenue and Mohawk Street (the old Woody's)? --Jeri Kiggens

    The old Wood'ys restaurant is being converted into an office building, said Bakersfield Planning Director Jim Eggert. Jim Eggert, Bakersfield Planning Director

  10. Please find out why Lake Webb has been allowed to drop to less than 4 feet of water. --Roger L. Miller

    Yes, the water level has dropped. We (the county) are pumping (six pumps) basically 24 hours a day. Throughout the year, water comes in from various sources and is sent out of the lake for agricultural uses. During the summer, usually in...

  11. The southeast corner of Rosedale Highway and Calloway Road was the Greenacres Market for more than 40 years. (It's now closed). What is going on in that location for the future? --Linda Pavletich

    There are no plans yet for any redevelopment of that location, said Garrett Tuckness, vice president of retail services at Olivieri Commercial Group. Right now, the space is available for lease, and the project is just in the marketing...

  12. We live on Sand Fox Court, parallel to the new roadway that will cross over Coffee Road. The large brick wall "sound barrier" is now the view from our kitchen window...no longer the foothills of Pine Mountain. We are continually woken by the vibration that sounds like hundreds of elephants. We can only imagine what it will be like when the roadway is complete. Our bedroom window is about 300 yards away. How long until the road is complete and the sound changes from steamrollers and jackhammers to diesels and other vehicles? --Christine Ann Lollar

    The construction by your home should be completed by spring 2013, said Janet Wheeler, spokeswoman for Thomas Roads Improvement Program. That roadway over Coffee Road is part of the Westside Parkway, a new freeway that will go from Mohawk...

  13. Several months ago you answered an inquiry as to why none of the local network stations are broadcast in HD. You answered that DIRECTV did not have the capability to show them in HD, but would have it corrected by the end of 2013. My question is why are all of us on DIRECTV in this area being charged the same rate as other subscribers in other markets receiving these stations in HD? I signed up for DIRECTV about a year ago and no mention was made that I would not receive the major networks in HD. In fact all of my literature and station guide shows these programs in HD. When I contact DIRECTV to complain, I am told that it is the fault of the local stations, that they do not have the capability to broadcast these stations in HD. I contacted KBAK Channel 29's tipline and was told they have had numerous calls on this matter. All of the local stations are broadcasting in HD, the problem is not with them. Channel 29 has contacted the engineering department for DIRECTV and was told they do not have a satellite connection that will broadcast these stations in HD, but are working to correct the problem.On the scale of life this may seem trivial, but I feel I have been cheated through false advertising and lied to as to the reason we are not receiving these channels in HD. --Clete Harper

    Good news. DIRECTV is launching HD local channels Sept. 26, according to a DIRECTV spokesperson. The spokesperson adds this: "Customers who live in the 184 markets where we offer HD actually pay a $10 HD access fee that allows them to watch...

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