Local News

Friday, Jul 11 2014 03:57 PM

Beyond Bakersfield: News from around Kern County

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Laura Liera is The Californian's digital news assistant. Reach her at lliera@bakersfield.com with news from beyond Bakersfield.

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    By Jori Kinney/ Special to The Californian

    The vintage Red Wagon Cafe located in Shafter.

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By LAURA LIERA, Californian staff writer lliera@bakersfield.com

TAFT: The West Nile Virus has been detected in Taft.

The West Side Mosquito and Vector Control District said infected mosquitos tested positive in traps found on Garratt Street, the Taft Midway Driller reported.

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ABOUT YOUR REPORTER

Laura Liera is The Californian's digital news assistant. She compiles this report every Saturday. Reach her at lliera@bakersfield .com or on Twitter @Laura_Liera_2.

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Residents are urged to protect themselves from mosquitos by limiting outdoor activities after dark.

Homeowners are asked to check standing water that my breed mosquitos. Neglected pools, buckets, barrels or even flower pots can hold enough water to attract mosquitos.

Tehachapi: Tehachapi is going electric. Well, at least for those driving electric vehicles.

The city will be getting a couple of electric charging stations to provide in-town fueling stations for those driving the popular hybrid vehicles, the Tehachapi News reported.

City Manager Greg Garrett said the EV Charging Stations are important because they will allow motorists with electic vehicles to stop and charge in Tehachapi.

The city does not know the cost of electricity for the stations yet. Those numbers will come together after installation, Garrett said.

After the final price per refueling is established, users will be charged an appropriate fee.

Most electric car drivers use an app on their phone that shows them where the nearest EV Charging Station is located. With the electric station in Tehachapi, more drivers will stop in the city, Garrett said.

Bill Mason, a Bear Valley resident, said having the fuel station in Tehachapi will be more beneficial than driving to the Nissan charging station in Bakersfield.

The installation of the stations is slated to begin in about six months.

The pine bark beetle has infested Bear Valley and the board directors is scrambling to find a solution.

Bill Mason, Bear Valley community service district president, said the district's policy on handling pine bark beetles is to send an arborist to identify infected trees, the Tehachapi News reported.

Bark beetles are small, hard-bodied insects about the size of a grain of rice that have strong jaws for chewing. Bark beetles mine the inner bark and eventually kill trees.

Chris Lee, timber trimmer, said by the time the tree is actually tagged, the bugs have killed the tree and left. He called the beetle an opportunistic bug that will inflict as much damage as it can.

Tom Smith from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the statewide drought puts the situation in a precarious place, the newspaper reported.

Thinning the forest in a drought is a bad idea, Smith said. When you remove trees, it attracts the beetles. The best thing to do is wait for a good rainfall.

The downhill gravity mountain bike path in Tehachapi is a go.

The Tehachapi City Council approved for city staff to seek out potential partners for the bike path, the Tehachapi News reported.

Consultants from Gravity Logic visited the area to assess whether Tehachapi could benefit from a gravity mountain bike path.

The concept of the path involves a series of bike paths that would allow potential visitors to use a lift to access high points of the trail and then plummet a trail on a bicycle.

Assistant City Manager Chris Kirk said the mountain path would be one of the only such parks open year-round in the country.

The City Council has authorized $25,000 set aside for potential partnerships to fund the project.

A potential partnership may bring more services to Kaiser Permanente residents in Tehachapi.

The collaboration would enable Kaiser customers to use the Kaiser laboratory and radiology department in Tehachapi, saving a trip to the facilities in Bakersfield, the Tehachapi News reported.

Kaiser already has a mobile clinic in Tehachapi and an estimated 5,000 people there use Kaiser.

But Kaiser could not confirm the expanded services or the specifics for the partnership with the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District.

According to Kaiser, the potential services are not available yet but they will continue to work to expand the services in Tehachapi.

The termination of a concrete contractor has postponed the opening day of the new Tehachapi Hospital.

The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District said the hospital was slated to open by the first quarter of 2016. With the setback, the date has changed to June 2016 at the earliest, the Tehachapi News reported.

Evan Rayner, outgoing interim chief executive officer for the healthcare district, said concrete pouring was not done according to code.

But it's not the first concrete problem the estimated $86 million hospital has encountered.

In February, 3,000 square feet of concrete had to be smashed up and replaced after it was found to have been improperly cured, the newspaper said.

DELANO: There's a milk mustache on many Delano residents and that mustache is going national.

The California Milk Advisory Board handed out more than 350 vouchers to Delano residents at the monthly food bank distribution at the Delano Armory.

The Delano Record said the vouchers took care of a $4.50 gallon of milk per household.

The vouchers are part of a long-term initiative to convince customers that milk is an important part of a diet.

The voucher program is in conjuction with Feeding America, the newspaper reported. The goal is to deliver two million gallons of milk to food banks across the country.

To help, visit www.MilkLife.com/Give.

RIDGECREST: Indian Wells Valley continues to educate its residents on the danger of wasting water.

If a proposed $50-per-day fine is approved by the state government, the impact to Indian Wells Valley would be minimal, the Indian Wells Valley Water District said.

Donald Zdeba, general manager of the IWVWD, said the proposal focuses on those who overwater their lawns or wash their car without a nozzle on the hose.

The Ridgecrest area already has ordinances regulating those two activities, including restrictions about watering between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., The Daily Independent reported.

The district focuses on educating people about the dangers of wasting water and the importance of conservation.

The constant education has even set records for the area. The water district recorded a 19 percent drop in pumping from the wells since 2007.

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE: Construction for a 10,000-square-foot community center has begun.

Corvias Military Living and Edwards Air Force Base affiliates announced the details on the community center that will serve more than 700 airmen and their families.

An Edwards Air Force Base newsletter said it will be located off of Fitzgerald Boulevard. The facility will include an indoor basketball court, workout facilities, children's play room, a themed clubhouse and a multipurpose room.

The center will also have a 5,000-square-foot outdoor swimming pool. Construction is scheduled to be complete next summer.

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