Spotlighting the best of the Kern River Valley FREE Friday, October 2, 2009 A Locally-Owned Community Partner and Award-Winning Newspaper Dam to get more holes Lake Isabella’s weekend weather Fri.: High 85. Calm wind up to 9 mph. Fri. night: Low 51. Light wind. Mike Devich Kern River Courier The Auxiliary Dam at Isabella Lake is about to be dug around again to measure its seismic vulnerability. This winter the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be doing additional work to “fully characterize,” as the Corps put it, a seismic fault that passes under the Auxiliary Dam. The results of the study will be used to determine the extent of the seismic safety upgrades the Corps will need to perform. Work has been going on for the last several years to check out seepage and seismic issues. Over the next several months contractors working for the Corps will be conducting two exploratory actions near the dam – digging both a seismic fault trench and several exploratory boring holes. The 1,660-foot-long seismic fault trench will be 10 to 15 feet deep and four feet wide. An area of around 20 feet on each side of the trench will be cleared. A total of 21 boreholes will be drilled in the vicinity of the Auxiliary Dam. Fifteen of the 21 boreholes will be located downstream of the dam; four of the downstream sites will be to the west of the Borel Canal and 11 will be east of the Borel Canal. The Corps says that after the work is done, the site will be restored to their original condition. You can soon go to the Corps’ Web site and look for “The Record of Environmental Consideration: Kern Canyon Fault Evaluation, Auxiliary Dam.” Comments will be accepted. They may be sent by mail to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, Attn: Mitch Stewart, Environmental Resources Branch, 1325 J Street, Sacramento, California 95814, or through the Corps’ Web site at www.spk.usace.army.mil/projects/civil/L ake_Isabella_Dam/Contacts.html. Vol. 6 No. 35 Sat.: Sunny, high 81. Sat. night: Low 50. Mostly clear. Sun.: Mostly sunny, high 70. Sun. night: Partly cloudy, low 45. National Weather Service Michael Batelaan/Kern River Courier Braxton Farnum, 5, is about to get his face painted at the Nutrition Olympics, held at Lake Isabella Park on Saturday, by Catherine Gilman of Sienna Wellness Clinic. The Nutrition Olympics is put on by Kernville Union School District to promote healthy eating. County sets flu shot schedule The Kern County of Public Health has sent out its flu shot schedule, which this year will include additional dates for the H1N1 (swine flu). Seasonal flu shots are slated for October, beginning this Tuesday, Oct. 6 in Lake Isabella. H1N1 shots are scheduled for November. Kernville: Odd Fellows Hall, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Seasonal flu date Oct. 13. H1N1 dose 1 date Nov. 10. H1N1 dose 2 date Dec. 8. Lake Isabella: Veterans Hall, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. South Fork threatened by wind-driven grass fire A swiftly growing grass fire was reported Tuesday morning in the area of Highway 178 and Kelso Valley Road in Weldon. About 60 firefighters ending up fighting the fire, including the Kern County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service. Twenty-five mph winds pushed the fire into an area of large trees and heavy vegetation. Crews made an initial attack on the fire and prevented it from spreading into an alfalfa field. Burning embers started a spot fire across the highway which was quickly extinguished. Fire crews contained the blaze to approximately 16 acres. They were able to prevent any spread to the south side of the highway, where the community of Onyx was in the fire’s path. Crews remained on scene throughout the night to ensure the fire was completely extinguished. No structures were damaged by the fire and there are no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is undetermined, said the KCFD. See FLU, Page 9 Hype or fact? Flu rumors abound Kern River Courier With all the news coverage about the H1N1 flu (also known as swine flu), it can be hard to separate the truth from the hype. Here are some straight facts from San Joaquin Hospital in Bakersfield about the differences between the seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 virus, as well as the most recent recommendations regarding vaccinations. Who needs a vaccination? Certain people are more vulnerable to both viruses, such as pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, and children 4 years old and younger. However, people 65 and older, who are typically more at risk of seasonal flu complications, do not seem to be at increased risk for 2009 H1N1 virus complications. The best way to protect yourself from seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. See SWINE, Page 9 4 Mike Mencarini holds up a huge bass caught in the lake, 5 ‘The Boosh is something you’ll never experience in this universe. 10 Cooking for a crowd of 70? Here’s a recipe for you from Bodfish Bob. Local meeting set for stocking input Mike Devich Kern River Courier Thanks to a local politician, a local meeting has been scheduled for Kern River Valley folks who want to comment about California Fish and Game’s non-stocking of the Upper Kern River due to the concerns of environmentalists. Jean Fuller, member of the California State Assembly’s 32nd District, wrote to the director of the DFG to ask that a meeting be held here to discuss the release of DFG’s draft environmental impact report and the effect the cancellation of trout stocking in the Upper Kern has had economically in the local area. “The data presented by this EIR, and decisions made by the court will affect the very livelihoods of my constituents, as the Kern River Valley economy greatly depends on the tourism generated by sport fisherman in Kern County, and throughout the country. The people of this fine community have a right to have their voices be heard and their questions answered on this matter, and every effort to receive public comment should be made by those who work for them in Sacramento,“ Fuller said. The local meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at the Veterans/Senior Center in Lake Isabella from 9 to 10:30 a.m. In 2006, a lawsuit was filed by the Pacific Rivers Council and the Center for Biological Diversity against DFG claiming that DFG's fish stocking operation did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In July 2007, DFG was ordered by the Sacramento Superior Court to comply with CEQA regarding its fish stocking operations. In response to the lawsuit, the DFG has completed a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to comply with the court order, which was released last Friday. To view the EIR and supporting documents, please see the 'public notices' section of the www.dfg.ca.gov Web site. Kern River Water Data: Wed. 6 a.m. Storage, Isabella Reservoir 102, 539 acre-ft. (Pool capacity is 568,075 ac.-ft. at the spillway. Current limit 360,000 ac.-ft.) High point was 250,461 ac-ft. June 3. Inflow, North Fork of Kern at Kernville 550 cfs (5-hr avg.) Outflow, Lower Kern 545 cfs Borel Canal flow 378 cfs Data from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cfs=cubic feet per second 1 cu.ft. = 7.48 U.S. gallons 1 ac.ft.= 325,851 U.S. gal.