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Sunday, Feb 24 2013 11:00 PM

HITS & MISSES: Image aside, we need that prison cash

By The Bakersfield Californian

HIT: Kern County officials charged with helping implement prison realignment measures have put aside concerns that participating in a statewide study to see how the program is working would negatively affect the county's image. They've signed on the study.

The Community Corrections Partnership's executive committee, composed of Sheriff Donny Youngblood, Chief Probation Officer David Kuge, District Attorney Lisa Green and Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson, voted 3-1 in favor of participating in the study, with Green casting the sole "no" vote.

Kern County is receiving substantially less money than it should from the program, which moves low-level offenders from state prisons and places them in county jails or under the supervision of county probation.

Kern County Administrative Officer John Nilon said taking part in the study could disprove the notion that the county has not been proactive with prison realignment initiatives, and that image may play a role in the allocation of realignment funding.

The Stanford University study will not cost Kern County any money, and given that we are already being shortchanged by the program in its current incarnation, if participation could raise awareness and result in a proper allocation of funding, we're all for it.

MISS: Litter in the extreme

We're been pretty vocal about the litter problem in Bakersfield, especially along our freeways and roads. But this was just too over-the-tarp.

The Kern River Ranger District reports that somebody has dumped the remnants of an entire property remodel or building demolition along Sierra Highway east of Kernville, one of Kern's most visually appealing areas.

These violators dumped plenty of seemingly traceable evidence, including windows, piping and boards with gray paint. They don't sound as sharp as the tools they used for their project, so here's hoping they left enough to lead authorities to their doorstep.

MISS: Looking good, sort of

Once again, Bakersfield has found itself on somebody's "worst cities" list. But in this case, we're looking good while looking bad.

Bankrate.com lists Bakersfield as having one of the worst average consumer credit scores in the country. We sit at No. 9, with a score of 708, nestled between Las Vegas at 707 and Myrtle Beach, S.C., at 709. The national average is 748.

Bakersfield's unemployment and home foreclosure rates are surely big contributors. But it's not all doom and gloom. Visually, we look like paradise to Bankrate. The picture of "Bakersfield" that accompanies the article looks awfully inviting -- a bit like Pebble Beach. And for the record, the worst city for consumer credit is Harlingen, Texas.

HIT: Hats off to Elias inductees

A deserving group will enter the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night. Stephen Neal (wrestling and football), Megan Langenfeld (softball), Spain Musgrove (football) and Dr. William F. Baker Jr. (sports medicine) are this year's inductees.

Cheers, folks.

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