By The Bakersfield Californian
Q: What's the status of the proposed WinCo Foods on Panama Lane and Ashe Road? There's no sign and no progress.
I know this project was projected to be open at the beginning of this year but I see nothing going on.
-- Shanna LeViner
A: In recent months, WinCo representatives have been studying the number of anticipated homes in the area to decide when construction should start, said Joe Ham, associate principal for the developer, Cahan Properties.
WinCo hasn't made any decisions, he said, but the economic signs they're seeing are positive.
The WinCo is part of a 16-acre proposed development at the southwest corner of Panama and Ashe. The grocery store would take up 10 acres; marketing for the rest of the spaces is beginning now, Ham said.
The Bakersfield Planning Commission approved a revised planned development site plan for the shopping center on Dec. 15, 2011, said Martin Ortiz, principal planner in the city planning division.
That approval expires in December 2013, he said, but would be eligible for a year extension by the planning director.
In addition to the slow economy, a lawsuit challenging the environmental review of the WinCo project had delayed construction. But a judge eventually found that the review was adequate.
Q: Do you know what they are building on Bedford Green Drive right by the baseball fields? This is between Highways 178 and 184. Bedford Green changes into Canteria, for the record.
-- Tammy Hanks
A: In addition to the city constructing Bedford Green Drive to full width, the Bakersfield City School District is building a new elementary and middle school there, Bakersfield Public Works Director Raul Rojas reminded us.
Q: The THIS channel (KBFX) in Bakersfield is not captioned for the hearing impaired. While in Eureka, Calif., this past month, the THIS channel there was captioned and it was the same last year when we visited.
My husband loves to watch the movies on it and I would enjoy it, too, if it was captioned. Can you tell me if they plan on turning on the captions for their movies?
-- Sharon Davis
A: As this prints, 90 percent of THIS programming should be captioned for local viewers, said Teresa Burgess, general manager of KBAK and KBFX in town.
When THIS TV launched Nov. 1, 2008, channel officials applied to the Federal Communications Commission as a new or "emerging" network, officials with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which helped launch the network, told Burgess, which she passed on to us. The FCC grants all new (emerging) networks a grace period of four years for programming to reach 100 percent compliance with elements such as closed captioning, MGM said.
It took time for THIS TV to do the technical work needed to get all its programming captioned.
Q: Is the city of Bakersfield going to put solar collection panels on top of the abandoned sanitary landfills off the bluffs? If not, what are they going to do with that property?
-- Craig Holland
A: The city plans to keep the closed landfill as natural open space, without adding solar panels, said city Solid Waste Director Kevin Barnes.
Ask The Californian 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.