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    CITY BEAT: The latest scoop on municipal government

    By THEO DOUGLAS, The Bakersfield Californian
    Thursday, Jan 29 2015 05:16 PM

    Rotary gets downtown update: Bakersfield's downtown has come a long way, but as Community Development Director Doug McIsaac told members of the Bakersfield Rotary Club's downtown chapter on Jan. 21, it still needs work.

    With a population now of more than 367,000 spread out over 150 square miles, Bakersfield is larger than eight other U.S. cities with major league sports teams.

    But its downtown is still crucial, McIsaac told business leaders and local officials ranging from Bob Lerude, director of Kern County Parks and Recreation to Cal State Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell.

    "There isn't any one part of the city that is more reflective of its image as a whole (than) the downtown," McIsaac said, proclaiming the sprawling downtown...

  2. Artificial turf could be growing on Bakersfield

    Artificial turf, which has ringed City Hall North since late last year, could be coming to six intersections around the city. At its 5:15 p.m. meeting Wednesday, the Bakersfield City Council wil consider spending nearly $117,000, to hire...

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    Kindergarters meet Santa, Mayor Hall

    Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall, who missed the Nov. 19 Bakersfield City Council meeting due to back surgery, delivered an early Christmas treat Wednesday -- with help from Santa Claus -- to 19 kindergarten students from the Downtown...

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    City Council approves raises for police

    Police union members got a new one-year labor contract with 2 and 3 percent raises following a swift Bakersfield City Council vote Wednesday. The agreement, which the City Council approved 6-0 with no discussion, covers July 1 through...

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    CITY BEAT: New roof, Mill House award, skeeters

    A HOLE WHERE THE RAIN GETS IN: As its age implies, the 1946 bungalow Helen Lopez shares with her daughter Yasmin Lopez-Gonsouland is a southeast midcentury classic. Like other 68-year-old structures, though, it needs work neither woman...

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    CITY BEAT: Validation, recycling, new wait staff

    DETAILS OF FREEWAY CHALLENGE: Opening briefs are out in the ongoing lawsuit asking a Kern County Superior Court Judge to "validate" Bakersfield's plans to borrow millions for major highway improvements. They're the precursor to a court...

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    CITY BEAT: Sales tax results, GET raise fallout

    GOOD SALES TAX NEWS: Quarterly sales tax results are in, they're up, and they're stabilizing, according to City Manager Alan Tandy in his weekly memorandum to the Mayor and members of the Bakersfield City Council. In turn, that's...

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    CITY BEAT: Water savings, 24th Street work

    CITY WATER USE DOWN:  City officials say water conservation efforts prompted their 42,678 residential connections to use about 15.8 percent less water in May compared to May 2013. That's a decrease from 911 million gallons in May 2013 to...

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    CITY BEAT: Sullivan takes record, council finances

    SULLIVAN IS LONGEST-SERVING: That rumbling beneath your feet Thursday wasn't the San Andreas Fault bringing destruction to poor old Frazier Park -- it was Ward 6 Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan passing 19-year Ward 7 rep Mark Salvaggio to...

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    CITY BEAT: Council nearly booted GET board members

    GET OFFICIALS GET REALLY QUIET: Two Golden Empire Transit board members appointed by the Bakersfield City Council narrowly survived motions from three councilmen to replace them either immediately, or when the bus strike ends or their...

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    CITY BEAT: Social media debuts, election update

    ADVOCATES HONORED IN D.C.: Bakersfield went to Washington, D.C., this week, as the Kern County Homeless Collaborative was recognized Monday for its efforts to end chronic homelessness. Back in June 2012, the Collaborative joined the...

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    CITY BEAT: Immigration, bikes, bikinis

    THERE'S A BIKE APP FOR THAT: Can't find the Kern River Parkway bike trail? Looking for an east-west commuter street? Need help fixing a flat? There's a free app for that. Local bike emporium Snider's Cyclery is a sponsor of the...

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    CITY BEAT: Water talk, lot sizes and the bullet train

    MUCH ADO ABOUT WATER: Residents deserve to hear the truth about the drought, Bakersfield City Council members said Wednesday -- before voting to spend up to $385,000 to pump city water back from Kern County Water Agency and keep the...

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