GBU Mountain News LXII June 9, 2014 (PDF)

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GBU Mountain News

GBU Mountain News

June 9, 2014 - LXII

independent - unbiased – professional
June 9, 2014 – LXII

Don’t Close our Library!
Not even on Fridays!
By Gunnar J Kuepper

Plans are in place to close our Frazier Park Library due to
budget cuts, at least on Fridays. However those ideas
have not yet been approved by the Kern County Board of
Supervisors. Currently our Library is open to the public

five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday and closed
on Sunday and Monday.


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII

According to a plan to save money, our magnificent
library may be closed three days a week, beginning as
early as September 2014.
This would have a significant impact on many children,
adults, and seniors alike. Since its opening in October of
2011 our Library has become THE community hub for
people of all ages (from kids to seniors).
The state-of-the-art facility was funded by the County of
Kern and $3.4 million came from a state grant aimed at
improving reading in literacy in California. It is hard to
image that the State of California wanted to spend money
on a library that is closed 42% of the days, or 156 days in
a year.

The “little red hen” one of the many readings &
performances for children and teens, taking place at least
twice a week in the Frazier Park Library

In August of 2013, the Board of Supervisors approved a
budget that allowed all libraries throughout Kern County
to open an additional day. Subsequently our Frazier Park
stayed open five days a week (Tuesday to Saturday). The
Kern County Library System consists of the Main
Library in downtown Bakersfield, 24 branches, and 11
bookmobile stops. According to department’s annual
report 2011/2012 nearly 170,000 residents, or 20% of the
population of Kern County have a library card. 2,144
programs were offered, attended by more than 50,000
people. The services are provided by a staff of 124 and
695 volunteers.
So why are Kern County libraries, and particularly our
library in threatened with closure, at least on Fridays?
Due to what is described as “financial mismanagement”
Kern County is losing millions of $$ every month. Most
of these “unexpected” losses come from the Kern
Medical Center (KMC), a hospital operated by the
County. The losses for KMC are as high as 3.4 million in

a month(!) as reported for November and December
2013, as well as January and February 2014.
At the same time, and according to a December 2013
report in the Bakersfield Californian three of KMC
physician's "were the three highest-paid county
employees in the entire state of California in 2012, far
outstripping counterparts in public hospitals in Los
Angeles County."
In other words, will the Board of Supervisors indeed
enforce the closure of our Library so that KMC doctors
and executives can fly over the weekend to high-end
resorts in the Bahamas, probably in their private jets?
In November of 2013 a new CEO was appointed to lead
the Kern Medical Center. His company, KMC
Management Inc., received a contract for at least five
years. KMC Management Inc., solely formed for the
management of KMC, is responsible for supervising and
managing the day-to-day operations of KMC and
ensuring responsible use of fiscal resources. The monthly
management fee is $92,500, and a quarterly performance
fee of $75,500. The maximum annual payment to the
CEO and his management company is $1.4 million.
In comparison, the entire Kern County Library System
with a staff of about 125 in 25 libraries has to work with
an annual budget of about $8 million. About $6.3 million
are spent on salaries and benefits for the employees,
leaving only $1.8 million for operating the libraries and
covering everything from new books to computers and
utilities. At the same time the Library generates about $
800,000 per year from revenues such as fines as well as
In other words, the entire Kern County Library System
has to work with $8 million, the company providing the
CEO for Kern Medical Center (which creates monthly
losses of more than $ 3 million) receives up to $1.4
million or more than 15% of the budget for the entire
library system in Kern County.
In December of 2013 the Board of Supervisors hailed the
incoming CEO "as a former KMC administrator who has
extensive experience in private and nonprofit hospitals,
he understands what it will take to place Kern Medical
Center back on solid financial ground in a rapidly
changing health care environment. He also shares the
board's commitment to delivering the highest quality
health care at Kern Medical Center."
The reasons for KMC’s financial debacle, which started
several years ago under a different CEO, are probably the
same as in any other financial scandal, no matter when
and where: mismanagement, misspending, insular and
wasteful bureaucracy, lack of transparency, lack of


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII

oversight, incompetence and negligence, and in the end
an total lack of accountability.

Ferrari’s, and jewelry worth hundreds of thousands of $$,
and give the money back to the library and other
institutions that serve the people)

Children, teens, and adults -many of them in costumesenjoy reading performances throughout the library at the
2013 Halloween Program

Family Science Program with hands-on activities in Oct
2013; High School teacher Tamara Trost had children and
teens explore the world of microbes, germs, and solve a
crime using DNA identification techniques.

Nevertheless, due to the enormous and ongoing loss of
taxpayer’s money, going back many many years, the
Board of Supervisors has asked all county departments to
submit a budget that reflected a 5% reduction in funding
from the fiscal year 2013-14. That reduction and
increased costs in other areas of the library’s budget will
lead to at least a “Friday” closure of our Frazier Park
(I cannot resist to express my dismay and say: would it
not be appropriate and fair to the people of Kern County
to send out a Sheriff’s posse to find those responsible for
the losses, seize their assets, auction off their mansions,

So far, all County libraries are able to maintain their
current days of opening for the first two months of the
Fiscal Year (FY) 2014/15 (July and August). This will
allow the libraries to complete the Summer Reading
program for children and teens. The Summer Reading
promotes retention of reading skills during the summer
when school is not in session. The Executive
Management of the Kern County library has proposed
that library hours be reduced by one day beginning in
However, the library’s budget for the coming year and
the proposed closure on Friday’s is subject to change
pending discussion and approval of the final budget by
the Board of Supervisors the week of August 25, 2014.
The Frazier Park Library is, together with the adjacent
park, crucial for the well-being of the Frazier Mountain
It is the only public place where people can meet and
greet, where faith-based and non-profit groups can hold
their meetings, where the poor and seniors can use
computers and the Internet, where children experience
Family Storytime, where teens can sit and learn, where
presentations educate, inform, or entertain the
community, where people can learn and play chess,
where a group of about fifty communities members
meets every week to read and perform classic literature,
from ancient Greek epic poems such as such as the Iliad
and the Odyssey to Shakespeare.
You better not take that away from us.


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII

Rural public libraries, like the one in Frazier Park,
provide a variety of critical services and information
resources to meet the needs of rural communities.
According to the Federal Institute for Museums and
Libraries, rural libraries are separated into three
1) Rural-Fringe: a Census-defined rural territory that is
less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area,
as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to
2.5 miles from an urban cluster
2) Rural-Distant: a Census-defined rural territory that is
more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles
from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that
is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10
miles from an urban cluster
3) Rural-Remote: a Census-defined rural territory that is
more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is
also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster
The Frazier Park Library is certainly different from most
other library branches throughout Kern County. The
Frazier Park Community with its library is without any
doubt more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is
also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster.
In comparison to Frazier Park, the libraries in Arvin &
Lamont are less than five miles from an urbanized area
(Bakersfield), the City of Tehachapi with its many
services and businesses may even count as an urbanized

The Reading of the Classics group meets every Saturday
afternoon since October of 2012 and has
more than 50 participants and regular audience members

A final decision has not been made. If budget cuts will
lead to the one- or more day closure of the Frazier Park
library it has to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Our 4th district Supervisor David Couch has scheduled
two town hall meetings titled ““How would you use
YOUR tax dollars”


The first one will be on Thursday, June 12, at 6 p.m.
in Pine Mountain Club (PMC).
o The second one will be on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at
the Community Hall in Frazier Park (across from the
Both events will be interactive and are designed to get
feedback from residents on the upcoming 2014-15
This is an excellent opportunity for everyone in the
community to make his or her voice heard. Otherwise we
all may lose access to our Library on at least 156 days in
a year.

Creativity & Fun during the Summer-Reading Program
2013 prevents teens from “hanging out” with
or becoming “shady” characters

It also does -in my view- not make sense to require every
department to cut its budget the same way by a certain
percentage. Some services, for example Sheriff and Fire,
save lives and property and are crucial for the health and
well-being of people. That includes to a certain degree
any educational and learning program for a community,
such as our library.
Other parts of the bureaucracy are much more
questionable, such as the Office of County Counsel. Does
a County with a population of 850,000 really need
dozens and dozens of high-paid attorneys on full-time
employment. -Needless to say, that the Office of County
Counsel approved the 1.4 million contract for the new
CEO of the Kern Medical Center- Would half of the
number of attorneys not sufficient enough to provide
proper legal advice to the Board of Supervisors, elected
officials, and County of Kern employees?
The annual budget for the Office of the County Counsel
is $10.5 million. The County Counsel generates revenues


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII

for services provided in the amount of $5.8 million,
leaving a net cost for the taxpayers of $4.7 million. $4.7
million for a barely known group of county attorneys
equals nearly 70% of the budget for the entire Kern
County Library System that serves more than 170,000

Roaming Reptiles in July 2013: one of the most successful
educational presentations about animals and wildlife
at the Frazier Park Library with
more than 170 children, teens, and adults in attendance.

Would it not be fair and beneficial to the people if
programs, departments, and divisions are reviewed by the
value they provide to Kern County residents. Before
reducing the number of Sheriff’s deputies and
firefighters, before closing libraries, such as the one in
Frazier Park, identify and trim the dead wood first.
The annual budget for Kern County is nearly $2 billion.
About $8 million, or 0.4% (!) of that is allocated to the
library. Is it really necessary to cut the funding for a
department that provides superb services to at least
170,000 library users and uses only 0.4% of the County’s
budget? I don’t think so.
The Board of Supervisors may also consider taking a
look “out of the box.” Why are so many people housed,
fed and entertained in County jails at taxpayer’s (and
subsequently the library’s) expense? Why is there no
extensive community work program for those convicted
of rather minor and non-violent offenses? Why does the
County, even in the Frazier Park area, spend hundreds of
thousands of $$ for drug abuse or prevention programs,
when at the same time the number of substance abusers is
On the other hand, teens that have the chance to use the
amenities of a modern and well-equipped library or

participate in library activities are much less prone to
become “shady characters.”
This is even truer in the Frazier Park Communities where
opportunities and facilities for teens and young adults are
very limited.
On the long run, a library that is open at least five or
better even more days, will save money done the road. A
well-run library, operated, as in Frazier Park, by highly
dedicated staff and volunteers, will contribute to the
health and the positive growth of a rural community,
such as ours. A library, like any educational institution or
effort is an investment in the future. Providing welfare to
people that lack training, skills, and knowledge and
education is not an investment in the future. It is a
reaction to failures in the past.
However, the budget cuts are unfortunately real. Another
opportunity to “Save the Day” could be having
individuals, groups, and / or businesses sponsor one day
a week. For example, wouldn’t it be great if the Tejon
Ranch covers the operating cost for one day a week? In
return the Library could be re-named “Tejon Ranch
On the same token, Giumarra Farms, Grimmway Farms,
Dignity Health, Chevron, Hall Ambulance, PG&E,
Southern California Edison, AT&T, Occidental, Trans
West Security, the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce,
as well as other large businesses and organizations
throughout Kern County could also become a sponsor
“Save the Day” for one of the other 24 libraries.
To be continued…


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII




Don’t Close Our Library – Not even on Fridays
by Gunnar J Kuepper
All Things Local
2014 Primary Elections in California
Upcoming Town Hall Meetings with Kern
County Supervisor David Couch
Smokey & Family Fire Safety - Summer
Reading Program Kickoff event
All Things Regional
All Things Global
Law Enforcement Corner
Kern County Sheriff’s Office – Frazier Park
Incident Log May 23 – June 3
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
California Highway Patrol
Bakersfield Police Department (BPD)
Recent Shooting Attacks -7 police officers killed
in four days
Animals Matter
Video(s) of the week
Molly – Available for adoption at the Shelter on
the Hill in Lebec
Kern County Animal Services to Participate in
Life-Saving Event by Maggie Kalar, Kern
County Animal Services
Trivia about Dogs (and people)
Our Library
Pamela Jensen – Never Lose Hope
Incidents & Accidents - Homicides, Arrests,
Traffic Accidents, Fires & Rescues throughout
Kern County
Arts – Music – Theatre
“And The Waltz Goes On”
Business Affairs
List of announced stores at the Tejon Outlets

13. Nature, Science & Technology
Frazier Park Weather Forecast
Rainiest & Driest Cities in the US
Kern County
Board of Supervisors Meetings
Upcoming Events
Safety & Disaster Preparedness
Safety First during the 2014 Summer Swimming
Six P’s for immediate evacuation
Media Affairs
Freedom of the Press Index
Legislative Affairs
Where to Go – What to Do
Health & Fitness
Increase in Whooping Cough Cases in California
by California Department of Public Health
CDPH issues Warning not to eat Three Navitat
Natural Products that contain CHIA powder due
to Health Risk
Business Directory
Job Offers
Important Phone Numbers

GBU Mountain News is now on

All Things Local
2014 Primary Elections in California


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII

On Tuesday, June 3, the 2014 Open Primary election
took place in California. In the "nonpartisan blanket
primary" a.k.a. "open primary" all candidates for the
same elected office, regardless of respective political
party, run against each other.
They are not segregated by political party into multiple,
separate, and simultaneous "primaries". Under this
system, which is used in California, Louisiana, and
Washington the two candidates receiving the most and
second-most votes, respectively, will be the contestants
in the general election.
Since there is no separate party nomination process for
candidates before the first round, it is entirely possible
that two candidates of the same political party could
advance to the general/run-off.
In Kern County the following offices had to be filled for
a 4-Year-Term
o County Superintendent of Schools:
Christine Lizardi Frazier – unopposed 41,136 votes
o Supervisor 2nd District:
Zack Scrivner – unopposed 9,363 votes
o Supervisor 3rd District:
Mike Maggard – unopposed 9,848 votes
o Assessor-Recorder:
Currently Jim Fitch – not running
Jon Lifquist – 21,862 votes: 43.78%
Russell Johnson – 19,874 votes: 39.80%
Lupe Esquivias Jr – 7,959 votes: 15.94%
o Auditor-Controller-County Clerk:
Mary B. Bedard – unopposed 42,472 votes
o District Attorney:
Lisa Green – unopposed 43,570 votes
o Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator:
Donny Youngblood – unopposed 44,444 votes
o Treasurer-Tax Collector:
Jackie Denney
o Proposition 41 Veterans Housing & Homeless
Prevention Bond Act of 2014
Kern County:
YES - 30,119 votes: 57.59%
NO - 22,181 votes: 42,41%
YES - 1,989,957 votes: 65.4%
NO - 1,052,671 votes: 34.6%
o Proposition 42 Public Records
Kern County:
YES - 25,266 votes: 49.98%
NO - 25,288 votes: 50.02%

YES - 1,805,997 votes: 61.5%
NO - 1,128,862 votes: 38.5%
California State Assembly
o 32nd District
Rudy Salas (incumbent) - 4,895 votes: 55.04%
Pedro A. Rios - 2,583 votes: 29.04%
Romeo Agbalog - 1,369 votes: 15.39%
o 34th District
Shannon Grove (incumbent) - 28,033 votes: 73.41%
Virginia Goodman - 10,002 votes: 26.19%
o Office of the Governor
Kern County:
Democrat E. G. 'Jerry' Brown (incumbent) - 18,334
votes: 34.09%
Republican Tim Donnelly - 14,462 votes: 26.89%
Republican Neel Kashkari - 12,755 votes: 23.71%
+ 12 other candidates
Democrat Jerry Brown - 1,727,532 votes: 54.4%
Republican Neel Kashkari – 604,677 votes: 19.1%
Republican Tim Donnelly – 470,560 votes: 14.8%

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings with
Kern County Supervisor David Couch
A town hall with Supervisor David Couch
is scheduled for Thursday, June 12, at 6
p.m. in Pine Mountain Club (PMC).
This event, titled “How would you use
YOUR tax dollars” will be interactive and
is designed to get feedback from residents
on the upcoming 2014-15 budget.
District IV Supervisor Couch has also scheduled an
identical event to be held on July 10, 2014 at the
Community Hall in Frazier Park.
This is an excellent opportunity to question our
Supervisor on his position regarding the closure of our
Frazier Park Library.
Also, Supervisor Couch is planning to start this year’s
“Movies in the Park” at Frazier Mountain Park on July

Smokey & Family Fire Safety - Summer
Reading Program Kickoff event
On Saturday, June 7, 2014 the Frazier Park Library
started the County-Wide Summer Reading Program with
an exciting Smokey & Fire Safety Event. The Library


GBU Mountain News
June 9, 2014 - LXII

had it all: Ice-cream, Live music, Story-time for
Children, Smokey the Bear, and nearly a dozen fire

using the fire hoses and nozzles and actually spraying
Ron Edsal and other musicians and singers (Barbara
Edsall, David Tait-Fiddle, Lynne Shane-Dulcimer, Stan
Smith-Mandolin, James Tait-Bodhran, Don & Bethel
Billesbach) entertained the crowd with their beautiful
songs and music, while library staff and volunteers
handed out Ice cream.
About 130 people, including many children and teens,
enjoyed a fun and informative morning at the Library.

Kids listening in awe to Captain Sean Wolf from the
Los Padres National Forest Fire Service

Every summer, wildfires are a major risk for life, health,
and property in our Frazier Mountain Communities. The
Frazier Park Library, supported by GBU Mountain
News, decided to start the summer reading with a fire
safety program that appealed particularly to children and

Library Manager Marie Smith (3rd from R) with the crews
from KCFD and Battalion Chief Kirk Kushen (1st on the R)

Facts about Wild Fires:

Ron Edsal and his fellow musicians came out and
entertained the crowd with beautiful melodies and songs

Captain Sean Wolf with the Los Padres National Forest
Fire Services (LPF) and his colleagues read fire stories to
children, and, together with Smokey the Bear, explained
how to prevent forest fires, and what to do in case of a
fire. Kids had also the opportunity to visit and touch all
the equipment that wildland firefighters use and carry.
The Kern County Fire Department came with Battalion
Chief Kirk Kushen, and the crews from Station 56
(Lebec) and 57 (Frazier Park). They brought their shiny
fire trucks, blow the sirens, and kids had a lot of fun


Weather conditions can directly contribute to the
occurrence of wildfires through lightning strikes or
indirectly by an extended dry spell or drought.
Wildfires can be caused by an accumulation of dead
matter (leaves, twigs, and trees) that can create
enough heat in some instances to spontaneously
combust and ignite the surrounding area.
Lightning strikes the earth over 100,000 times a day.
10 to 20 percent of these lightning strikes can cause
More than 80 percent of all wildfires are started by
An average of 1.2 million acres of U.S. woodland
burn every year.

Free Summer Lunch Program for teens
and children under 18 to be served at
the Frazier Park School from June 9 to
August 1, 2014


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