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Sunday, Oct 20 2013 11:00 PM

HITS & MISSES: Reprieve for local travelers to LA airport

By The Bakersfield Californian
HIT: Bakersfieldians and other Kern County residents looking for a direct, cost-effective way to reach Los Angeles International Airport and the world beyond have been given a reprieve. The Bakersfield-to-LAX Airport Bus service, which ended Aug. 31 and left faithful customers flustered and scratching their heads, will be replaced by a Brooklyn, N.Y., based travel company beginning Nov. 24. For $32 one way, locals once again will be able to hop on a bus (this time at the downtown Amtrak station) and hop off at LAX’s front doorstep. To say this is good news is an understatement. Many area residents rely on this type of transportation service to reach LAX. In fact, Interstate Bus, the incoming company, says 56,000 were served by the route last year. Interstate is expected to offer six trips a day each way, one more than the previous service.
MISS: Dead condor an upsetting find
According to the Los Angeles Times, there are only 138 free-flying California condors left in the Golden State. It’s figures like that make the recent discovery of a deceased condor in Bear Valley all the more dejecting. An emergency team participating in the annual Great Shake Out earthquake drill discovered the bird’s carcass floating in a tank last Thursday. Officials confirmed that the bird (wearing a No. 30 tag) was a California condor before a Ventura County wildlife refuge recovered the remains. The cause of death was not immediately known, though biologists at the refuge who specialize in condor conservation were expected to investigate. Condors are an endangered species, one that essentially owes its modern existence to captive breeding programs. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on recovery efforts, and if there’s anything to take away from this recent discovery, it’s that there’s still work to be done.

HIT: Heartfelt effort from specialists
Local heart patients can expect to receive a little extra care from a few new friends down south. Heart specialists from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute plan to team up with Bakersfield’s own Central Cardiology to treat patients right here in Kern County. Physicians who specialize in heart rhythm disorders will meet regularly with patients who have complicated cases. Two Heart Institute physicians — who began consulting with the local group last month — are expected to come to Kern every other week. Hopefully the program will serve as a reminder for Kern patients that even people beyond their backyards are looking out for them. 

MISS: And hopefully it’s not a hit
Maybe the Mayans were off by about, oh, 20 years? That’s just one theory we might float around between now and Aug. 26, 2032. That’s the date Ukrainian astronomers say an asteroid approximately 1,345 feet in diameter could collide with Earth, a Russian news service reported last week. If the asteroid, named “2013 TV135,” were to slam into the Earth, it would do so with a force equivalent to 2.5 megatons of TNT. It also might disrupt the 2032 U.S. presidential election (assuming our government is functioning at that time) scheduled a little more than two months after the could-be collision. Try not to panic too much, however, as astronomers point out that a collision is extremely unlikely: The odds are about 1 in 63,000.


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