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Sunday, Jul 28 2013 11:01 PM

HITS & MISSES: Demolition fans, get ready for a big boom

By The Bakersfield Californian

HIT: If large-scale demolition jobs are your idea of great theater, get ready for a big show in Bakersfield this coming Saturday. Early Saturday.

At about 5 a.m. on Aug. 3, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plans to bring down the last standing structure at the old Kern Power Plant west of Coffee Road just south of Rosedale Highway.

The San Francisco-based utility is working with Bakersfield police to shut down a portion of Coffee Road that morning. This week the company will notify neighbors about the event so that they are not frightened by the resulting boom. PG&E said it isn't sure how far the sound will travel. The implosion of the plant's boiler building is expected to be the dramatic finale of year-long demolition job. Four 140-foot-tall smokestacks and four steel fuel tanks were torn down at the 120-acre site last month, and the plant's former turbine building was toppled in December. Now comes the final act.

MISS: CSUB languages up in the air

Cal State Bakersfield's Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is at risk of being eliminated, and students, especially from the Spanish department, are not happy. Due to the small number of students who declare a major from the language department, and cuts that are already in the works for humanity majors, students at Cal State Bakersfield might lose the opportunity to improve on their Spanish language and literacy. In an era where those with bilingual skills in English and Spanish have an economic advantage over those who don't, the news is especially devastating.

But students and alumni are not deterred. They have requested a meeting with the dean of the School of Arts and Humanity and show no sign of backing down.

HIT: Shade Brigade provides relief

Triple-digit weather is difficult for people of all ages to cope with -- especially the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 65 are more likely to suffer from heat stress. They also have more difficulty adjusting to abrupt temperature changes due to medical conditions they may suffer from and medications they may take.

To the rescue comes Emeritus Assisted Living's Shade Brigade team, which will help local seniors beat the heat in coming weeks by providing them with coolers filled with water, Popsicles, fruit and juice. They also plan to monitor seniors' overall well-being and invite them over for free meals in their air-conditioned facility.

The Shade Brigade campaign is national: Volunteers will assist provide heat relief to more than 5,000 seniors across the U.S.

MISS: Eat your breakfast, dude

What did you eat for breakfast today? If you're a man, and your answer is "what breakfast?," you may be at risk for heart disease. That's because researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that for men, skipping breakfast can increase the likelihood of contracting heart disease by 27 percent. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans.

People who skip breakfast tend to engage in other unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and lack of physical activity.

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