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Sunday, Mar 10 2013 11:00 PM

HITS & MISSES: KHSD's costly but lifesaving move sensible

By The Bakersfield Californian

HIT: The decision by the Kern High School District to install automated external defibrillators on each KHSD campus is a wise one that should set an example for other districts. While the cost of the system may concern some -- $243,000 to $367,500 for the state's largest high school district -- this falls squarely into the "worth every penny" category if just one defibrillator should ever play a role in saving the life of a student, staffer or visitor on a campus. Research shows a cardiac patient's chances for survival improve dramatically if a defibrillator is used within three or four minutes of an incident.

Incidents requiring defibrillators on campus are admittedly rare, but they do happen. The KHSD decision comes four months after Centennial High School student Caleb Hannink, 15, died after collapsing during a physical education class.

MISS: Sex offenders on the loose

Kern County has seen an increase in fugitive sex offenders, part of a statewide trend since the implementation of California's program to parole lower-level sex offenders to help comply with a federal court order to reduce inmate populations.

Fugitive sex offenders are mainly parolees who have removed GPS-enabled ankle bracelets that allow corrections officials to track their movements. A state law approved by voters requires that paroled sex offenders wear the devices. According to figures released by the state corrections department, Kern saw an increase in fugitive offenders from 51 to 67. Statewide, there was an increase of 360 offenders who were eluding their parole officers.

If there is such a thing in a report like this, it's that the majority of fugitives are captured quickly, usually in about 12 days, state corrections officials say.

MISS: But they're saving on bronze

It appears that Venezuelans will be able to admire their late leader, recently deceased President Hugo Chavez, for eternity. Acting leader Nicolas Maduro has announced that Chavez will be embalmed and his body permanently displayed in a Caracas military museum. Apparently, it's the "in" thing with revolutionary leaders. We're at a loss for words on this one, so we'll borrow from a source we don't use very often, the Urban Dictionary: Eww!

HIT: This time, the boy wonder gets it

Facebook has announced a change to users' news feeds that it says will feature bigger pictures and a cleaner look. It will also make it easier for Facebook to show users more advertisements. We're OK with that. After all, despite the protests of some users, Facebook is a for-profit company and money is sort of what makes companies work.

What's encouraging is that Mark Zuckerberg and company seem to have learned a lesson about how users respond to change. Past changes to Facebook have been abrupt and initiated unfavorable user reactions. Facebook says the changes will be phased in gradually and are based on user suggestions. It sounds like the one-time boy wonder is responding to and working with his most valuable asset, his customers. Make no mistake: Facebook might be free, but its users are definitely customers. Facebook seems to be getting that.

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