Bakersfield

High Speed Rail Authority

Will California’s high-speed rail system be German enough? That question is not a joke, as I learned last month while riding Germany’s popular high-speed rail. In fact, it’s a more important question than the ones Californians have been myopically asking for years about the costs, funding, and construction deadlines of the state’s controversial project. The value of high-speed rail does not lie in the cost or speed of trains, but rather in the ability of such projects to anchor deep...

Flickr-Marufish

Bakersfield has become the first city in the nation to call for the extension of a federal solar panel tax credit. The Bakersfield City Council voted 5-1 Wednesday night in favor of a resolution supporting extending the tax credit past its 2016 expiration date. The credit is officially called the Solar Investment Tax Credit and was established in 2005 to help jump start the solar panel industry. City Council member Willie Rivera says the solar sector is still growing in Bakersfield, and...

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Bakersfield’s Wild West Shopping Center is getting a new owner. FM89’s Joe Moore reports on why the city council voted last night to buy the property. The nearly 5 acre parcel sits where westbound Highway 58 dead-ends into Highway 99. For years extending freeway access on 58 to the west side has been a top city priority - a plan now known as the Centennial Corridor freeway. Once constructed it will link up with the existing Westside Parkway. But in its path are dozens of existing homes and...

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition the program begins with Political Junkie Ken Rudin speaking with VE Host Joe Moore about Kevin McCarthy and how he could become the next House Speaker. Later in the program FM89's Ezra David Romero reports on how storms brought by El Niño could create mountain flooding because of dirt that is scared of water. After the story Kathy Allison joins the show from Sierra National Forest where she is a lookout ranger. Allison talks about the Rough Fire and what it's like...

Office of Kevin McCarthy

Fresno State political scientist Thomas Holyoke says the political future of Bakersfield Representative Kevin McCarthy looks bright. McCarthy, Holyoke says, is the odds on favorite to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s a powerful position that could mean big things for representative and the valley. Holyoke takes on some of the bigger questions facing McCarthy. Why would McCarthy want this job if John Boehner doesn’t? Kevin McCarthy in the last few years. And he is...

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Spurred on by a request by local oil industry leaders, Kern County is currently exploring a plan that would dramatically revamp the way the county permits oil and gas wells. Under an environmental study that's currently in the works, getting a new well permit could become as easy as getting a county building permit. The new rules would also spell out requirements for environmental mitigation and other issues not currently addressed. The plan has also raised concerns though among some,...

Five Years Later, Bakersfield's Roy Ashburn Reflects On His Journey

Aug 4, 2015
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A former Republican lawmaker who came out as gay months before leaving the California Legislature says he was wrong to oppose gay rights measures – including bills to legalize same-sex marriage. Roy Ashburn termed out after representing Bakersfield for 14 years in the Assembly and Senate. He was arrested for drunken driving five years ago after leaving a gay night club in Sacramento. He came out days later. In an interview with Capital Public Radio, also broadcast on FM89's Valley Edition ,...

Valley Fever Cases Down Since Drought Began

Jul 14, 2015
Craig Kohlruss / Just One Breath - Reporting On Health Collaborative / The Fresno Bee

California health experts are surprised that the incidence of Valley Fever has gone down during the drought. The fungal infection is commonly spread in arid, dusty conditions. But, even though the state is drier, the number of cases continues to drop. Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg has the story. Valley Fever peaked in 2011 with more than 5,000 cases in California. Last year there were fewer than half that. Dr. James Watt is the Chief of the Division of Communicable Diseases for the...

Report Shows Potential Fracking Problems

Jul 10, 2015
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new report out Thursday says regulations for the process known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" need to be tightened to prevent environmental problems. And, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, new legislation could emerge to do just that. The peer-reviewed study from the California Council on Science and Technology was required as part of fracking legislation the state passed in 2013. Jane Long was a lead author on the report. She says there’s no evidence of direct negative impacts...

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A proposed power plant that would convert coal into hydrogen and fertilizer near the community of Tupman in Kern County has been granted a six month reprieve from the California Energy Commission. The move is a victory for the company that is backing the proposed "carbon capture" facility. Groups who are opposed to the plant, including The Sierra Club had filed a motion with the commission to terminate the project, while the company sought a suspension. Those moves came after the company...

Pages