Local News

Tuesday, Jul 24 2012 09:50 PM

Worth noting: Valley Air District wins award for car emissions tests, more

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A program that provides free emissions testing and car repairs to Central Valley drivers earned the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District a state environmental award, according to a news release.

The program, called Tune In, Tune Up, won the annual Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award given by the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance.

Drivers throughout the Central Valley can have their car emissions tested at regular events. If the test determines the car would likely fail a smog test, the driver is given a voucher for up to $500 in repairs to make the car meet smog test standards.

Throughout the past year, there have been 15 events that tested about 5,000 cars. Of that, 3,000 warranted repair vouchers. Annually, the events have removed 150 tons of nitrogen oxides, 3,000 tons of carbon monoxide and 300 tons of hydrocarbons from the air basin, according to the release.

The next Kern County event will be Jan. 26. No specific location has been set yet.

Union Cemetery will host a free tour Aug. 4 highlighting historic graves. The tour, led by local historian John Codd, will point out the burial sites of Bakersfield's founder, Col. Thomas Baker; 19th century pioneer Capt. Elisha Stephens; and victims of the Joss House Shootout, among others.

Those interested in participating should meet at 8:45 a.m. that morning at the front of the cemetery on the corner of King Street and Potomac Avenue.

For more information, email info@uc1872.com or visit www.UnionCemetery1872.com.

The Girl Scouts of Central California South will celebrate its 100th anniversary Saturday with a family barbecue and concert at the Kern County Fairgrounds.

The event is open to the public, but is geared toward current, past or future Girl Scouts, said Pamela Mann, director of fund development. Attractions will include water slides, a petting zoo, a puppy pound, a mini Ferris wheel, crafts and appearances by local celebrities like Bakersfield Blaze players. Local band Cidona will also perform.

Tickets are $15 per person presale or $17 at the door. An early bird deal ends Wednesday. The deal is buy four tickets, get one free. Buy tickets at girlscoutsccs.org/100th-anniversary-family-bbq. For more information contact Mann at 800-490-8653 ext. 204.

Kern County's Department of Human Services will once again recognize August as "Purple Ribbon Month," which aims to raise awareness of the law against people leaving children in a car without supervision.

The law, Kaitlyn's Law, makes it a citable offense for people to leave children under 6 years old alone in a car without the supervision of someone at least 12 years old. It is named after Kaitlyn Marie Russell, a 6 month old who died in 2000 after being left in a car that reached 130 degrees.

Two events will launch the month of recognition in Kern County. The first, at 9 a.m. July 31, will be a proclamation at the County Board of Supervisors' meeting at 1115 Truxtun Ave. that August is Purple Ribbon Month.

The second, at 10 a.m. Aug. 2, will be a safety demonstration at Canyon Hills Assembly of God Preschool, 7001 Auburn St. Topics will include how quickly a car can heat up, back-over accidents and child car seat inspections.

Additional events will be held throughout August and into September.

Two Kern County residents were appointed to state positions by Gov. Jerry Brown last week.

Michael Stainer, 48, of Tehachapi, has been appointed deputy director of facility operations at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Stainer, a Republican, has worked for the corrections department since 1987, most recently as warden at the California Correctional Institution. This position does not require Senate confirmation. The salary is $143,904.

James R. Tague, 49, of Bakersfield, has been appointed to the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, a public-private partnership focused on improving the economy and quality of life for valley residents. Since 2008, Tague has been the vice president of finance and planning at a Bakersfield-based oil and gas company, E&B Natural Resources Management Corp. Tague, a Republican, has also served in the U.S. Navy. He was a lieutenant and flight officer from 1986 to 1995. This position does not require Senate confirmation, and there is no compensation.

A Bakersfield branch of an international service club opened last week and is accepting members.

The Bakersfield Donghae Lions Club is already planning a number of projects. Some include providing glasses for needy children, eye disease screening, a speech contest for high school students, a world peace poster contest and a young artists' music festival.

Lions Club International, founded in 1917, has more than 1.3 million members worldwide. The service clubs generally focus on sight issues.

For information on getting involved with the Bakersfield club, contact Yun Lee at 565-7959 or toclara4989@yahoo.com.

The Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank is $5,000 closer to buying a new freezer after a donation from Pacific Gas & Electric.

At Tuesday's CAPK executive board meeting, PG&E gave the organization a $5,000 grant for its freezer campaign. CAPK is now $55,000 away from being able to buy and install the new freezer.

CAPK is Kern County's largest provider of emergency food, with 7.9 million pounds of food given to 95,736 children and families in need last year. The freezer is needed to store an increased amount of fresh and frozen food being donated, according to a news release.

A seminar hosted by the Central California Better Business Bureau on Aug. 15 will teach business owners how to detect fraudulent fire extinguisher technicians and inspectors.

Fire safety scams are a going concern across California, including in Kern County, according to a news release.

The BBB is hosting the seminar with the Kern County Fire Department. The free seminar will be 8:30 to 10 a.m. Aug. 15 at the Bakersfield campus of the University of La Verne, 1201 24th St.

To reserve a spot, contact Connie Alarcon at 616-52550 or connie@cencal.bbb.org.

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