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    McCarthy, Boxer trade blame over drought bill

    BY KEVIN FREKING Associated Press
    Friday, Jan 23 2015 10:32 AM

    WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are publicly blaming each other over who derailed congressional efforts last year to pass a drought relief bill for California.

    McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, has maintained that lawmakers were close to passing legislation last year, but objections from Boxer spoiled negotiations between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Republicans.

    "We almost got to a very strong place," McCarthy told The Associated Press earlier this month. "Sen. Boxer stopped it."

    Boxer told reporters Wednesday that McCarthy made similar comments in a telephone call with her. She said she told him he was dreaming, and that the negotiations faltered because some parties that would be...

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    On immigration, Valadao and Denham zig where GOP zags

    WASHINGTON -- San Joaquin Valley Republican Congressmen Jeff Denham and David Valadao are now at the forefront of challenging party orthodoxy on immigration, a dissident position that brings both promise and peril. On Thursday, doubling...

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    House Republicans vote to block Obama's immigration actions -- but not Valadao

    WASHINGTON -- House Republicans -- though not two valley ones -- voted Wednesday to block President Barack Obama's immigration plans and end an existing program that has deferred deportation for 500,000 young immigrants called "dreamers."...

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    Supreme Court lets stand delta smelt protection, dealing blow to farmers

    The Supreme Court on Monday steered clear of a California whirlpool, letting stand a lower court's decision that upheld federal rules protecting the Delta smelt. The high court's decision not to hear the high-profile California water case...

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    Water regs, plastic bag ban among 2015's new laws

    California's historic drought prompted the Legislature into action in 2014, leading lawmakers to regulate groundwater for the first time and override homeowner associations that fine members for replacing lawns with more drought-tolerant...

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    STATE AGENDA 2015: It's all about water -- and a few other things

    Our state legislators won't know exactly what's on their agenda until mid-January when committee chairs lay out their priorities, says state Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, but "we can see what freight trains are coming." And from...

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    Bakersfield 2015: City to tackle road projects, park additions and police response times

    In 2015, Bakersfield is taking its act on the road, literally, as crews forge ahead with a plethora of Thomas Roads Improvement Program major highway projects. Many, of course, are funded with $630 million in federal earmarks brought home...

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    KERN 2015: County government will have to do more with less

    Oil. Water. Jails. Money. Kern County will spend 2015 charting new courses for Kern Medical Center, oil, gas and water regulation and its own financial future. "I think it's going to be a very transitional year," said Michael Turnipseed...

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    GOVERNMENT 2014: Valadao coasts, drought spurs regulation, Tandy skates after skirmish

    The year in politics and government featured all kinds of fights in all kinds of venues -- at the ballot box, in council chambers and even on an ice rink. Here's the news our pols made in 2014.   THE COMPETITIVE RACE THAT WASN'T Early...

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    TOP STORIES OF 2014: A space disaster, a hero cat and a Bakersfield boy becomes majority leader

    Many years it's easy to pick the top story of the year. In 2013 it was the implosion-gone-wrong at the old Pacific Gas & Electric Co. plant on Rosedale Highway. This year there were so many huge headlines. It seemed the nation's eyes were...

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    McCarthy leads delegation to Middle East

    Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy just returned from leading a congressional delegation to the Middle East, including Iraq, to learn more about the fight against ISIL and other regional threats, his office announced Wednesday....

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    No resolution yet in city's bullet train lawsuit

    After a nearly two-hour closed session City Council meeting Tuesday, the city of Bakersfield appeared to be chugging along on its quest to stop the bullet train -- but its exact destination was unknown. The council, City Attorney Ginny...

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    House passes GOP California drought bill, but Senate approval unlikely

    Legislation addressing California's drought reached an inconclusive high-water mark Tuesday, passing the House on a largely party line vote before trickling off to a bleak fate in the Senate. While the Republican-controlled House approved...

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