By The Bakersfield Californian
Q: What is being developed on the southwest corner of Calloway Drive and Olive Drive?
-- Greg Paradis
A: That's going to be a 21.5-acre (mid-sized, by Bakersfield standards) shopping center currently known as "Riverlakes Galleria." Its still-unknown tenants are slated to include a grocery store, health club with outdoor pool, gas station with convenience market and other retail, according to Bakersfield city staff.
It's one of those projects that was in the works years and years ago and then stalled when the recession hit.
The developer says it's not yet known exactly who will move into the center. More should be known within a couple of months, he said.
He said construction should be done in the fall and grand openings should start being held in October and November.
Editor's note: We have an update on an Ask TBC from January about Kern County Superior Court's plan to standardize the fees it charges members of the public who want to view court files.
Local court officials have crafted the new rules and they took effect April 7, although Court Executive Officer Terry McNally said they are always subject for review. You can view the 10-page set of rules alongside this story.
In a nutshell, the court is charging $15 for retrieval of a case file that takes the clerks more than 10 minutes to complete. That doesn't include charges to copy pages out of a court file, just to view it.
If the requestor wants to view multiple case files, the court will impose one fee per file or per every 10 minutes of searching time, whichever is lowest.
The court will tack on a $20 fee for retrieval of off-site files -- those not located in any of Superior Court's court facilities. The charges are in response to budget cutbacks and increasing demand to review files, McNally has said.
Total or partial fee waivers may be granted to litigants involved in existing cases under existing court rules.
The rules will be a little different at family law court, McNally said, because it's one of the busiest branches of Superior Court. People only can request up to five files at one time there, down from 10 in other divisions of the court.
State code authorizes courts to charge the $15 file-retrieval fee, said Teresa Ruano, spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the Courts, which is the staff agency for the state Judicial Council. This has been a thorny issue, she said.
Last year the Judicial Council, the policymaking body of the California courts, advocated clarifying the fee policy. But the matter was dropped, Ruano said, when groups including the news media objected to any action that would increase the cost of reviewing court files.
The Judicial Council is again advocating for clarity, Ruano said. For example, it's unclear whether the policy authorizes courts to charge for a file retrieval that takes less than 10 minutes.
McNally said it should be noted that Kern County Superior Court is migrating to digital storage of court files, which will enable the public to access them from a computer at a home, office, library or the court's self-help centers. The court's plan is to have civil files online by this time next year and criminal files there by the beginning of 2017, McNally said.
The court hasn't determined whether it will charge for the service, he said.
We were curious about whether other superior courts in California charge people who show up in person requesting to review court files.
We queried seven. Four don't charge even if retrieval takes more than 10 minutes (Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties) while three do (Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Fresno counties, though Fresno's typically only applies if someone shows up without knowing a party name or case number and it takes a clerk more than 10 minutes to figure out what the person is actually looking for).
Meanwhile, Kern County Superior Court is taking public comment until May 1 on another set of proposed rule changes, to the Local Rule of Court. They're more about court proceedings but do include some additional court fees.
They can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/kuabnn7.
Q: Whatever happened to the Kern River Parkway monument sign at the corner of Gosford Road and Truxtun extension?
It was a large sign that looked like a couple of logs in the ground with a sign between them. The blue lettering said “Kern River Parkway.”
It just disappeared and there is no evidence that it was hit by a vehicle. I find it interesting that just a couple of days after it disappeared, a green Westside Parkway freeway sign appeared a few yards down from the Kern River Parkway sign site. The Kern River Parkway is a small nonprofit organization; the $5,000 sign was a big expense.
Why was it removed and where is it now?
— Janada Shepard
A: Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Director Dianne Hoover answered:
The sign was damaged last year by a car accident. The sign replacement was ordered, which took about six months to be completed and delivered.
The replacement sign will be installed next week. We appreciate the concern and that readers acknowledge the wonderful contribution of the Kern River Parkway Foundation to this community.
Ask TBC appears on Mondays. Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to The Bakersfield Californian, c/o Christine Bedell, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302.