Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a good New Year’s holiday, and I hope 2019 will be a better year for us.

As I write this, we are still in the throes of a partial government shutdown because President Donald Trump did not get $5 billion for his border wall.

With the Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, will there be more gridlock that seems to be the norm in the nation’s capital, or can the President as well as members of Congress, whether they are Democrat, Republican or Independent, liberal, conservative or moderate, get together and do what needs to be done to get the government back to being fully operational and do what they were elected to do – represent their constituents?

Speaking of the shutdown, I found another casualty. It is the usa.gov website. I went to look up a bill, and I got the message, “Due to a lapse in funding, the USA.gov website will be available, but not updated.”

I read the Daily Independent’s Year in Review story in Tuesday’s paper.

Will there be a Timbisha Shoshone casino somewhere in Kern County outside the city limits or possibly on federal land under the auspices of the Bureau of Land Management?

If either of those possibilities becomes reality, this would be a slap in the city’s face because it could wind up with most of the impacts but none of the revenue.

Now that the question was brought up, where is the splash pad? While we’re at it, will Pinney Pool ever be reopened? There have been private efforts to raise money to do the necessary work to reopen the pool, but what is the city doing?

Can the Rand Communities Water District get its act together enough to satisfy the Kern County Grand Jury?

From reading the grand jury’s report, RCWD has been operating haphazardly.

However, it seems the water district is taking steps to implement the grand jury’s recommendations.

The big question on my mind is has the Rand Communities Water District had a cost-of-service study done?

As I have said in previous columns, this would help the district set its rates and not have to depend on grants to stay solvent.

If the Indian Wells Valley Water District can have such a study done, RCWD needs to do the same.

There is another item that did not appear in the story.

Will the California State Board of Education renew Ridgecrest Charter School for another five-year period? While I respect the Sierra Sands Unified School District’s decision-making process and the due diligence it undertook, I believe denying the charter school’s petition was wrong.

— John V. Ciani is a retired Daily Independent reporter and contributing columnist. 

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The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.