All Aboard, Bay Area, on Your Fast Train to Wasco

This Kern County Town, a Conduit for High-Speed Rail, Has a Lot to Offer

Dear Bay Area,

Welcome to Wasco.

You may never have heard of this small city of 25,000 in the San Joaquin Valley. You probably can’t pronounce it (it’s WAW-skoh).

But you and Wasco share a future.

You could be connected—at least temporarily—by the most expensive infrastructure project in state history.

Your Wasco connection is a byproduct of problems with high-speed rail’s plan for a San Francisco to Los Angeles train. The financial and engineering challenges of tunneling the Tehachapi Mountains have delayed construction to L.A. And the project is short $2 billion to …

We Grow the Country’s Carrots, but Ours Come in Bags

Kern County's Food Policy Council Tries to Confront the Unique Paradoxes of Its Food System

Kern County is home to two seemingly opposite realities.

First, it’s famous for producing food. In 2014, it grew $7.5 billion worth of grapes, almonds, milk, citrus, and beef. The …

When Art Disappeared from Our ArtWalk

After Vendors of Nacho Cheese and Knockoff Purses Arrived at Bakersfield’s First Fridays, We Had to Implement New Policies—and Define Art

Things were going well until the crockpots of nacho cheese began showing up next to the knock-off purses in 2013. Once that happened, Bakersfield’s ArtWalk, part of its monthly downtown …