Council to discuss budget, fire services

By JESSICA WESTON News Review Correspondent Updated budget projections for FY 2013-14 and a resolution approving a service agreement for fire services are on tonight’s agenda for the Ridgecrest City Council meeting, 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers. Finance Director Rachelle McQuiston will present updated . . . Read Full Story >>

Patin selected for parks and rec position

By JESSICA WESTON News Review Correspondent City Manager Dennis Speer has confirmed the selection of Jason Patin as recreation supervisor for the city of Ridgecrest. Although Patin was already acting as interim supervisor, his selection for the permanent position was not a foregone conclusion, according . . . Read Full Story >>

Council OKs company for utility audit

By Jessica Weston News Review Correspondent The Ridgecrest City Council voted last Wednesday to approve the selection of Utility Cost Management LLC to conduct a one-time utility usage and billings audit. City utility costs top $400,000 annually according to a staff report, and the audit . . . Read Full Story >>

Historic vote suspends three state senators

Rebecca Neipp

With last week’s arrest of California state Sen. Leland Yee, who faces federal charges of corruption and arms trafficking, the state Senate voted last Friday to suspend Yee and two other members accused of criminal activity. “It’s unfortunate the Senate was forced to take the . . . Read Full Story >>

Supes accept water plan plan for IWV water

By JAMES SIMMONS News Review Correspondent Kern County supervisors voted 5-0 on March 4 to receive the Kern County Planning Department’s “Resource Opportunity Plan: Water Availability and Conservation” and adopt the document’s recommendations for action. This plan was produced from a yearlong effort by Kern . . . Read Full Story >>

Supes accept water plan plan for IWV water

By JAMES SIMMONS News Review Correspondent Kern County supervisors voted 5-0 on March 4 to receive the Kern County Planning Department’s “Resource Opportunity Plan: Water Availability and Conservation” and adopt the document’s recommendations for action. This plan was produced from a yearlong effort by Kern . . . Read Full Story >>

Drought solutions spark partisan debate

Rebecca Neipp

A week after President Barack Obama visited California and promised $1 billion to study the connection between the state’s drought crisis and global warming, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $687 million plan to deliver aid to afflicted Californians. Brown’s legislation focuses on expediting water-conservation and . . . Read Full Story >>

Massive project sidelined

By JAMES SIMMONS News Review Correspondent In a sudden, breathtaking move, the Kern County Planning and Community Development Department has determined that the Draft Environmental Impact Review submitted by AquaHelio Resources in order to build its proposed Fremont Valley Preser-vation Project is likely now to . . . Read Full Story >>

Council to hear about RC Blvd., Petroglyph Fest

An update on the Ridgecrest Boulevard construction project and the upcoming Petroglyph Festival are on tonight’s agenda for the Ridgecrest City Council meeting, set to take place at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers. Representatives of the city’s design firm will give a PowerPoint presentation . . . Read Full Story >>

President criticized for ‘lost opportunity’

Rebecca Neipp

A rare visit to California last week by President Barack Obama has been criticized by conservative legislators as a failed opportunity to demonstrate leadership and by media outlets for his exclusion of Republican leadership and for denying the public a glimpse of him. Majority Whip . . . Read Full Story >>

House passes water bill

Rebecca Neipp

Hope for immediate relief in drought-stricken California now rests in the hands of the U.S. Senate, now that the House of Representatives has passed the San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act 229-191, largely along party lines, last week. While Republicans hailed the solution as . . . Read Full Story >>

Congressmen call for California drought relief

Rebecca Neipp

On the heels of Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration of a drought emergency, several California congressmen gathered last week in the Central Valley to call for legislation providing the necessary water supplies for local farmers. During his acknowledge of the California crisis, Brown urged residents to . . . Read Full Story >>

Brown: recovery depends on fiscal discipline

Rebecca Neipp

Gov. Jerry Brown pointed to California’s recovering economy — as indicated by the state’s first surplus since the Democrat inherited a $20-billion deficit three years ago — as reason for Californians to celebrate. But he cautioned his audience that continued improvement depended upon our state . . . Read Full Story >>

Brown declares drought; officials laud his action

Rebecca Neipp

In the midst of one of California’s driest winters on record, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of drought emergency on Jan. 17. The governor’s declaration relaxes some environmental restrictions that protect wildlife impacted by California’s water storage and delivery system, making it easier to . . . Read Full Story >>

Unknown recording of Martin  Luther King speech discovered

Unknown recording of Martin Luther King speech discovered

Linda Saholt

On Monday, Martin Luther King Day, Americans had a new opportunity to listen to a thought-provoking speech by King himself. The speech had been thought to exist only in King’s draft, but in November staff members at the New York State Museum, working to digitize . . . Read Full Story >>

Local legislators laud Brown’s budget

Rebecca Neipp

Gov. Jerry Brown released a budget last week that he says fosters fiscal responsibility and continued economic improvement in the financially beleaguered state. And this year, the conservative legislators representing the Indian Wells Valley are supporting the plan laid out by the Democratic governor. The . . . Read Full Story >>

Leaders welcome the New Year

Rebecca Neipp

After a fiscally tumultuous 2013 — the pangs of which were particularly acute for a government-driven economy in a time of federal budget crises — local leaders are ready to face challenges and embrace opportunities that lie ahead for the Indian Wells Valley, Kern County, Cali-fornia . . . Read Full Story >>

Budget receives mixed reception

Rebecca Neipp

A landmark budget deal authored by House Republican Paul Ryan and Senate Democrat Patty Murray has broken a years-long cycle of budgetless fiscal uncertainty, but has also drawn severe criticism from those who oppose making cuts to the cost-of-living allowances to retired military. The Bipartisan . . . Read Full Story >>

Water stories continue to dominate local news

Four local water stories continue to drive heightened awareness for residents and interested parties in the Indian Wells Valley and environs. Permit for new pipeline Leading off is the recent revelation of an application filed with Inyo County by the Los Angeles Department of Water . . . Read Full Story >>

McCarthy talks to Sec. Fox about Cal UAS

McCarthy talks to Sec. Fox about Cal UAS

House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy meets with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in McCarthy’s Washington office, where the two discuss the value of Inyokern Airport and the strengths of the Cal UAS Portal as a candidate for a test site to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into . . . Read Full Story >>