Local : Ask TBC

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  1. Would it be illegal for a school counselor to out a bisexual student to his or her parents?

    Q: I’m the mother of a 12-year-old seventh-grader in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District. My daughter was upset yesterday because a friend of hers was in trouble. A school counselor called the girl into her office and confronted...

  2. Will there be a railroad overpass or underpass on Rosedale Highway?

    Q: I read your column Monday about Rosedale Highway (plans to expand it to three lanes each way from Highway 99 to Allen Road). I was wondering if the city is going to put an overpass or underpass at the railroad track. — Ray Brondel A:...

  3. How often do people skip out on jury duty?

    Q: Everyone I talk to in Los Angeles County just throws away their jury summons when they get them in the mail, saying that the court can’t prove you got it unless you sign for it. Is this the case in Kern County? How many people are...

  4. Will the city resurface 23rd Street downtown?

    Q: Are there any plans to resurface 23rd Street between F & L streets? It feels like a washboard.    — Darlyn Baker A: Kris Budak of the Thomas Roads Improvement Program answered: “As part of the 24th Street Improvements Project, the...

  5. Water1.JPG

    ASK TBC: Can people blow greenwaste into the street?

    Q: Why are gardeners allowed to just blow clippings and leaves into the street instead of onto the property they are tending? This happens daily by private and both city/county landscaping crews. Last week I was driving through my...

  6. When I dumped my trash at the Keene transfer station, they told me recyclables will be sorted out of it. Is that true? And does that happen in Bakersfield, too? --A reader

    Waste from the Keene transfer station ends up at the Tehachapi Recycling Facility, said Aurora Rush, special projects manager with Kern County Waste Management Department. There, the waste stream goes on a conveyer belt, and recyclables...

  7. How do I purchase one of the 2013 calendars online? --Dona Chertok

      Dona is referring to The Californian's Capture Kern County 2013 calendar, which features photos that Kern County photographers submitted for inclusion and local residents voted as the best. You can buy the calendars online at buy...

  8. Why is the new freeway (Westside Parkway) not open, at least to where it ends as far as pavement goes? I think if I were building that new freeway, I would have started it where it is supposed to end, in town, and as it was built, a complete new section at a time, to where the off- and on-ramps are located, I would have opened each new section as it went along so that traffic cannot only get used to using it, but it would also lighten up some of the traffic going into and out of town. Every day it sits empty, it costs the taxpayers tons of money in wasted time and fuel costs. I would have thought that was the main reason for building that new section of connector freeway in the first place, to speed up and ease the flow of traffic and save some of us expensive fuel costs. -- A commenter on The Californian's Facebook page

      Janet Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Thomas Roads Improvement Program answered: The Westside Parkway is a new 8.1-mile freeway facility that will extend from Truxtun Avenue near Highway 99 to Stockdale Highway and Heath Road. The...

  9. What brands of ice cream are made at the Dreyer's ice cream plant in southwest Bakersfield? --Craig Holland

    A Dreyer's spokeswoman, Diane McIntyre, provided this list: * Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream * Dreyer's Slow Churned Ice Cream * Dreyer's Slow Churned Yogurt * Dreyer's Sherbet * Nestle Drumsticks Cones * Skinny Cow Bars, Cones, cups *...

  10. It happens every time there's a big event in downtown Bakersfield. The Veteran's Day Parade, the Christmas Parade and the ever-popular First Friday celebrations draw streams of motorists into the downtown area, each looking for a convenient place to park. Naturally, many steer their cars into the seven-story, city-owned parking garage at 18th and Eye streets. And that's where things get tight. What many of those searching for a parking spot don't know is that only the bottom level of the garage offers free parking for the general public. And that section fills up fast on big-event days. Beyond that level, motorists come to an automated gate arm that opens only for those who pay for a monthly parking pass. The hapless motorist at the front of the line is then faced with executing a U-turn in a tight space. Unfortunately by then, other drivers are usually lined up behind the car at the locked gate -- and gridlock ensues. Don Martin, owner of The Metro Galleries on 19th Street, said he'd like to see the city explore the possibility of temporarily locking open the automated gate during occasional big events, probably not more than once or twice a month. "First Friday has gotten to be a big event, with a couple thousand people showing up," Martin said. "If the upper levels of the garage are available, they should be open for things like that." --The Californian

    Rhonda Smiley, assistant to Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy, said on its face the idea sounds quite feasible. But city officials want to make sure that opening the upper floors of the garage on select days won't have a negative effect...

  11. Could there be any local tax adjustment for people who pay for curbside recycling with the blue bins? Having an interest in recycling waste, I am content to pay for this service but it seems unfair that I continue to pay the same for normal waste pickup. Since I began paying for the recycling, the amount of waste going into the regular waste bin has been reduced by at least 75 percent. It seems to me that the expense to pick up this regular trash bins (only 25 percent full) should be lowered and the savings be passed on to the consumers. This adjustment would also encourage more people to recycle. --Lowell Lueck

    Taxes, or in the case of trash, rates, are established to pay for services and the actual cost of the service is the basis for the rate paid. Both the tan (trash) cart rate and blue (recycling) cart rate are set based on cost. While what...

  12. If the city allows people living in areas zoned as R-1 in Bakersfield to have chickens in their yards, will they also be allowed to slaughter their chickens on their property? --A reader

    Right now, Bakersfield residents can't keep chickens in their yards if they live in areas zoned as R-1, a one-family dwelling designation that covers most of the city south of the Kern River. But a city council committee has been discussing...

  13. How many executive orders has President Barack Obama signed? (There's been an email going around saying it's more than 900). --Delores Jones

    When Obama declared Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz in Keene the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument a couple weeks ago, it was his 140th and most recent executive order, according to the White House. We, of course, wanted to compare that to...

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