Fong assembles  military  caucus

Fong assembles military caucus

Rebecca Neipp

Newly elected Assemblyman Vince Fong, who was sworn into office last month spent his first official visit to his district in Ridgecrest, meeting with community leaders last Friday. “I always love coming to Ridgecrest,” he told a crowd of members and guests of the Ridgecrest . . . Read Full Story >>

Gov. unveils budget

Rebecca Neipp

After years of steady progress toward building up a rainy-day fund for fiscal emergencies and reducing the $27-billion shortfall inherited by Gov. Jerry Brown, this year’s budget proposal includes a risky $2-billion deficit. Brown, a Democrat, has been mostly praised for his moderate fiscal approach . . . Read Full Story >>

Fuller outlines challenges, opportunities

Fuller outlines challenges, opportunities

Rebecca Neipp

During a recent visit to Ridgecrest to install new officers for the Ridgecrest Republican Women Federated, State Sen. Jean Fuller shared with her listeners an update from the state Capitol. In November California Democrats managed to capture a supermajority (two-thirds) in both the state Senate . . . Read Full Story >>

McCarthy rep to come to IWV

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will hold mobile office hours in Ridgecrest Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m. in the city clerk’s office of City Hall. Field Representative Keenan Hochschild will meet with local constituents to hear their concerns on important issues and current events and . . . Read Full Story >>

Ridgecrest Republican Women officers sworn in

Ridgecrest Republican Women officers sworn in

State Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller swears in the new officers of Ridgecrest Republican Women at last month’s meeting. From left are President Tabitha Weaver, Vice President Vickie Herczeg, Secretary Martha Jauregui and Treasurer Marlene Tracy. -- Photo by Laura Austin . . . Read Full Story >>

Benz is under scrutiny — again

Rebecca Neipp

The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to block the sale of Tehachapi-based waste hauler Benz and directed staff to take steps toward a forensic audit and investigation of claims that Benz falsified records, overcharged customers, exposed the public to hazardous waste and underpaid . . . Read Full Story >>

Water act signed into law

Rebecca Neipp

Locally elected leadership are celebrating bipartisan legislation to improve water management and signed into law by President Barack Obama. “This is a great moment for California,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has been working for six years to address state and federal policies that have . . . Read Full Story >>

BLM taking comments on wilderness closure

The Bureau of Land Management announced this week that it plans to place boulders at three different locations, blocking vehicular use of Water Canyon in the Argus Range Wilderness (Township T22S, Range R43E, Section 32). The public has 30 days, as of Dec. 19, to . . . Read Full Story >>

‘Excessive use’ fees, GSA discussed at IWVWD

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer While local agencies attempt to meet groundwater-sustainability mandates passed down from the state through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Gov. Jerry Brown has given water suppliers more work to do in the form of Senate Bill 814. The . . . Read Full Story >>

Groundwater group talks finances

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority could be approved by the state as the Groundwater Sustainability Agency for our valley by this spring if all goes according to plan. That would put the agency a few months ahead . . . Read Full Story >>

Fong’s star on the rise

Fong’s star on the rise

Rebecca Neipp

Just one day after being sworn in as our elected representative in the California Assembly, Vince Fong was chosen by his conservative peers to serve as the Chief Republican Whip. His appointment completes, for the first time in county history, a trifecta of highly-placed Kern . . . Read Full Story >>

Employers brace for minimum wage increase

On Jan. 1, California employers will be required to begin implementing Senate Bill 3 — the state-mandated minimum-wage increase, which targets $15 per hour by 2022. “Businesses I have talked to are concerned,” said Janis Bottorff, owner of Staffing Alternatives and Specialized Services and chair . . . Read Full Story >>

Groundwater Authority submits final GSA docs

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority met Thursday morning where they approved to submit the final documents to become a Groundwater Sustainability Agency over the Indian Wells Valley. Formation of GSAs is a requirement by the Sustainable Groundwater . . . Read Full Story >>

House passes CA water legislation

Rebecca Neipp

Yesterday, legislation that addresses the California drought was passed with bipartisan support by the House of Representatives. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act offers solutions to delivery water to communities in afflicted portions of the state — particularly growers in the Central Valley. . . . Read Full Story >>

House passes defense FY17 bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on House passage of S. 2943, the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act: “Providing for a strong national defense is a top responsibility for Congress. This bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, will . . . Read Full Story >>

IWVGA approves policy committee structure

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority met earlier this month to further discuss its committee roles in forming a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the IWV. The board approved the membership list for its Policy Advisory Committee, which would . . . Read Full Story >>

Ridgecrest ally retiring from county

Ridgecrest ally retiring from county

Rebecca Neipp

A champion of local projects and one of the Ridgecrest community’s greatest allies in county government bid farewell to local leaders at a recent luncheon in honor of the retirement of Bob Lerude, whose last day as director of the Kern County Parks Department is . . . Read Full Story >>

Leads lengthen in city council race

Rebecca Neipp

Although results of the Nov. 8 General Election remain unofficial, Lindsey Stephens and Wallace Martin appear to be the victors in the contest for Ridgecrest City Council. Stephens and Martin secured the lead after Kern County Elections Division tallied ballots cast at precincts. But Martin . . . Read Full Story >>

McCarthy to  continue as  majority leader

McCarthy to continue as majority leader

Rebecca Neipp

Following his reelection last week to the House of Representatives by the constituents of the 23rd District, Bakersfield politician Kevin McCarthy was selected by his congressional peers to continue as majority leader. “I am honored to have the support of my colleagues in the House . . . Read Full Story >>

Nations appointed interim county counsel

The Kern County Board of Supervisors has announced the appointment of Mark Nations as interim county counsel, filling the void left by the surprise resignation of Theresa Goldner on Nov. 4. Chair Mick Gleason, who serves Ridgecrest and the rest of the 1st District, announced . . . Read Full Story >>