On Saturday, Sept. 5, the city will be adorned in red, white and blue as more than 1,000 American flags are paraded through our main thoroughfares.
Ridgecrest Exchange Club and the Naval Air Weapons Station are joining forces to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy with the 12th annual Remembrance Field.
In what has become a signature event for the city, the eighth annual parade will feature U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as the grand marshal, along with city and Navy dignitaries, emergency service personnel, an honor guard of veterans and hundreds of residents proudly participating in the patriotic display.
“We are so excited to have representation from the highest offices of the land this year,” said Pat Farris, parade chair. She noted that McCarthy will serve as both grand marshal and keynote speaker.
“The spectacular flag procession will be led by the Burroughs High School Band, under the direction of Simon Austin, whose award-winning sounds will set the tone for the dramatic sight.”
Following the three-quarter mile march down China Lake Boule-vard, bearers will post their flags on the luscious grassy knolls at Freedom Park behind City Hall to the stirring sounds of “Amazing Grace,” played on the bagpipes by Chris Carson.
Once the flags have been planted, the flagbearers will become a choir of 1,000 voices, singing “God Bless America.”
The display will remain through Sept. 11 in memory of the first responders and civilians who lost their lives in the fateful 9-11 attacks.
“That day changed our lives forever,” said Farris. “Many of our youth will not remember those attacks, but their participation in this event makes them aware of the costs of freedom.”
This year will include the traditional wall of heroes that honors the military veterans who have served our country.
As a special tribute this year, the Patriot Guard Riders will bring the “Remembering Our Fallen” traveling memorial wall to Ridgecrest. The wall will arrive on Aug. 31 and will be displayed for two weeks to honor the men and women who have given their lives in military service since Sept. 11, 2001.
Kern County 1st District Supervisor Mick Gleason, who has served as parade commander since its inception, defines Ridgecrest as “the most patriotic city in America.”
“With the sense of pride and spirit of patriotism that captures our community during this event, that title seems most fitting,” said Farris.
When Gleason first got involved with the parade, he was serving as commanding officer of the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake.
The legacy of Navy involvement continues this year with the inclusion of Capt. Rich Wiley, NAWS commanding officer, who is helping lead the motorcade for this year’s parade.
The highlight of the weeklong observance is the Friday, Sept. 11, candlelight vigil, which honors the first responders who were among the thousands of casualties following the attacks. The Kern County Fire Depart-ment will lead a “last call” ceremony in memory of fallen brothers and sisters.
Those marching in the parade will stage at the Sierra Lanes parking lot. Farris said that anyone interested in becoming a team captain to coordinate a row of 10 bearers should call her at 760-371-4301.
“It’s never too late to join the parade,” said Farris. “We will include latecomers even on the morning of the event.”
"First, I want to congratulate my friend Jean Fuller. The California Senate will be well-served under her leadership and California's future will absolutely be brighter as a result. I know Senator Fuller will bring the blue collar attitude that is ingrained in the Central Valley to this leadership position and will fight for a freer and more prosperous California. With Senator Fuller leading Republicans in the Senate and Kristin Olsen leading in the Assembly, Californians are fortunate to have two leaders that will fight for our Republican vision of prosperity, freedom and economic growth - solutions that stand in sharp contrast to the same failed big government ideas currently bogging down Sacramento.
"This week, the Kings, Tulare, and Kern Counties’ 3rd California Coccidioidomycosis Collaborative meeting took place at the Tulare Department of Public Health. Of particular importance at that meeting was the presentation of additional details of the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) protocol from the National Institutes of Health. The RCT to be conducted by the NIH was one of the major announcements from the Valley Fever Symposium held in our community a few years ago.
"As we know all too well, everyone in our community knows someone who has battled Valley Fever. The path forward to treat Valley Fever – on the other hand – has been less clear. Two years ago we made a commitment to change that and put together the Valley Fever Symposium in Kern County. The event served as an important opportunity to educate the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as other leaders in the medical community on this disease.
"Since then, I can confidently say that we have made positive strides in the endeavor to better understand and treat Valley Fever. But we have more work to do.
"As I detailed earlier, after the Symposium we successfully had the FDA include Valley Fever as a “qualifying pathogen” which gives priority review to Valley Fever treatment and vaccine drug applications. And because of that listing, the passage of 21st Century Cures out of the House has specific impact in the fight against Valley Fever. Within that bill we were able to direct the NIH to use a research strategic plan that identifies how the innovation fund will address areas of unmet need for infectious diseases, such as Valley Fever.
"I continue to make it a priority that Congress demonstrates strong Congressional support for NIH and CDC efforts to develop a Valley Fever RCT. In June it was announced that $5 million was awarded to Duke University's Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit to achieve this step. Duke has also selected community experts on Valley Fever to assist with this trial.
"The primary goal of the trial research will be to assess the safety and effectiveness of fluconazole (an anti-fungal medicine that is the primary treatment candidate) as treatment for people in affected regions who develop pneumonia (30 percent of pneumonia cases are the affected region are caused by Valley Fever). The next goal that NIH and CDC hope to get out of the trial is increased public awareness. By working in the places where the disease primarily occurs, the medical community will learn more about the disease and apply that knowledge in their practice – improving the recognition and management of early onset Valley Fever and enhancing community awareness. Further, this trial will help better recognize the early stages of the disease and generate new questions.
"The research that will be produced over the next year will be instrumental in raising critical awareness within the medical community and the general public by utilizing that new knowledge in their everyday practices.
"By continuing these collaborative meetings, we are ensuring that the valley will be able to tackle Valley Fever as one community.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on news that a secret agreement would allow Iran to police its own nuclear arms development sites:
“For weeks, my colleagues and I have demanded to know the details of these secret side agreements. It is absolutely unacceptable, yet telling, that we are finding out the details of these agreements through the Associated Press. Even more unbelievable, after Iran spent years developing their nuclear capacity in secret while denying that they were doing so, we would now allow Iran to police these sites themselves. This is a very serious development and should concern every member of Congress who supports or is thinking about supporting this deal. President Obama said that this deal is ‘not built on trust,’ but on verification. This side agreement shows that true verification is a sham, and it begs the question of what else the Administration is keeping from Congress.”
NOTE: Ninety-four members of the House sent a letter to President Obama demanding the full text of the side deals.Read More
Washington, DC – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s proposed regulation on methane emissions from oil and gas production:
“Earlier this month, President Obama unveiled his plan to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. In his speech announcing this regulation, he referred to the threats of job losses and higher energy bills as the ‘same stale arguments.’
“Today’s announced proposal of more regulations on America’s energy production could indeed have similar effects. But so as not to bore, here is a fresh reason the President’s plan is unnecessary: What the president wants to achieve with more government intervention is, well, already happening thanks to free-market forces.
“The President’s own Environmental Protection Agency has reported that methane emissions from natural gas production have decreased by 38 percent since 2005. That’s right. In the heart of a natural gas boom in our country, methane emissions have actually gone down.
“But this isn’t the first time that intended goals of a White House regulation are already being achieved.
“Two days after the White House announced its ‘Clean Power Plan,’ the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that carbon dioxide emissions reached a 27-year low in April 2015.
“So thank goodness for innovation and ingenuity. Without it our environment would be less healthy and the great American energy renaissance non-existent. We should pocket these important achievements and continue to build on a safer and more energy secure country. That is what House Republicans will continue to do. What House Republicans will not do is swamp energy producers with new bureaucratic and unnecessary rules to achieve a goal that is already being accomplished without government intervention.”
What’s the Point of Even Having an Arms Embargo?
Despite the continual concession the Obama Administration made to Iran during nuclear negotiations, one concession in particular poses large risks for regional stability and the safety of our allies in the medium-term: the eventual lifting of the arms and missiles embargoes against Iran.
Under the agreement the embargo against arms would be lifted in five years and against ballistic missiles—the kind that can carry a nuclear warhead—in eight years. But it looks like even these small delays are only a parchment barrier without the threat of real enforcement. Secretary Kerry revealed yesterday,
“The arms embargo is not tied to snapback. It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”
Sanctions are what brought Iran to the table, and whenever faced with questions of how the deal will be enforced, the Obama Administration always points to the snapback sanctions provisions. So what can we do if Iran violates the arms embargo? The deal is unclear and all Secretary Kerry had to say was that we would have “ample tools at our disposal” and that “there is a specific UN resolution outside of this agreement that prohibits [Iran] from sending weapons to Hezbollah. There is a separate and specific UN resolution that prohibits them from sending weapons to the Shia militia in Iraq.”
Sounds like more parchment barriers.
Iran has been completely clear that it has no intention of adhering to the arms embargo, especially considering the likelihood that the embargo won’t be enforced. Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator, Abbas Arachi, said, “Whenever it’s needed to send arms to our allies in the region, we will do so. We are not ashamed of it.”
For all the Obama Administration’s claims, the nuclear deal is riddled with bad consequences, won’t change Iran’s behavior, and is being interpreted completely differently by the Obama Administration and Iran. It’s a bad deal, and no amount of vilification and hyperbole from President Obama will change that.
21 Reasons the Iran Deal is a Bad Deal
The more we find out about the Iran nuclear deal, the worse it looks. Each new day Congress reviews this deal, we discover more information and more reasons why this deal is simply unacceptable:
Congress will continue its work reviewing this deal over the coming months. The people have a right to know exactly what the Obama Administration negotiated, and Congress won’t accept a deal that isn’t in our national security interest.
Leader McCarthy: Water Bill Promotes a Prosperous Future
“Some believe that our way of life has to change—that it’s time to focus on conservation above all and manage our decline. I reject that…. Now, we have a bill before us today that rejects the idea that we’ve reached the heights of our shining city on a hill and that it’s time to come back down to a world of limits and uncertainty”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy spoke on the House floor today on H.R. 2898, The Western Water and American Food Security Act, which offers drought-stricken California and the entire west the best hope for a future of renewed prosperity.
McCarthy's full remarks are below, or watch them online here.
“I thank the gentlelady for yielding, and I thank my colleague on the other side, Mr. Costa (CA-16), for his work on this in the bipartisan bill. And I thank Congressman Valadao (CA-23) for bringing it to the floor.
“You see, Mr. Speaker, I come from a place that is called, for a very good reason, America’s salad bowl. We produce the vegetables, we produce the fruits, and we produce the nuts that feed the nation.
“And the nation should know what the people in my district know. ‘Food grows where water flow.’ ‘No Water Equals Higher Food Costs.’
“That’s what the signs read across the district if you drive down the highways. But you can see trouble in more than just the signs you read. You can see it in the parched farmlands, in the reservoirs that are all but empty, and in the faces of those whose jobs have dried up with the water.
“Now, I’m talking about this as a Californian, a native of Bakersfield. But this isn’t a local problem. Half of the produce we eat in America is grown in California. And California is the eighth largest economy in the world. When California hurts, the entire nation hurts as well.
“But this is even bigger than just California. Almost 40 percent of the west is facing a severe drought.
“And it undeniably clear that the status quo is unsustainable. If we do nothing, people will lose their livelihoods, water prices will continue to go up, and America will have to rely more and more on foreign food, perhaps from countries that don’t have the same labor or environmental laws that we do.
“Now, we can’t make it rain, but we can’t give up either.
“Some people want to do just that. Mr. Speaker, some believe that our way of life has to change—that it’s time to focus on conservation above all and manage our decline.
“I reject that. If California is in decline, then the American west is in decline, and the hope of so many generations is in decline. We will lose the pioneering spirit that will lead us in the 21st century.
“Now, we have a bill before us today that rejects the idea that we’ve reached the heights of our shining city on a hill and that it’s time to come back down to a world of limits and uncertainty.
“We have never accepted failure, and nothing—not even this historic drought—will make us start now.
“Here in the House, we have tried time and again to address this problem. This Congress—the last two Congresses—have addressed it before we hit a historic drought. Let’s not forget just five years ago we had 172 percent of snow pack.
“We talk a lot about desalination, and I support it. Because what does desal do? It takes salt water and makes it fresh water. But why in California do we allow our fresh water to become salt water? Shouldn’t we protect that first?
“So this bill takes ideas from both sides, as we just heard from Congressman Costa and from this side. We designed the bill to move as much water down south to our farms and to our cities as possible without making any fundamental changes to the environmental law.
“In reality, this bill is very simple. It does four things in California. We allow water to flow through the delta. We create a process to build more storage that has been promised so many years before but has been held in bureaucratic red tape.
“We’ll increase the reservoirs, and we’ll protect senior water rights and the California State Water Project.
“But this drought also extends beyond California. That’s why this bill includes so many provisions to help our friends in the western states through their tough times as well.
“You see, Mr. Speaker, we have a challenge before us. It is a challenge of nature, yes. But it is also a challenge of policy, foresight, and plain commonsense. For decades our state and country have faced droughts. For years, Californians have endured this drought.
“But now, we are here today to move forward towards a solution. It is a solution built upon ideas from, yes, Democrats and Republicans. It is a solution that rejects the idea of decline and failure and says with a clear voice, ‘we will not let this drought defeat us.’
“California is better than that. The west is better than that. And, Mr. Speaker, America is better than that. We will not lose hope. We will solve the problem with or without you.
“I yield back.”Read More
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: Water bill is no 'big-government boondoggle' –
On July 10, the Times' editorial board wrote in opposition to the House's latest response to the drought.
I strongly disagree with the editorial. The House’s bill responding to the drought accomplishes much more than the editorial board gives credit for, and the alternative solutions the board proposed would do little to solve our water problems. Below are a few points where the editorial board and I just don’t see eye to eye.
The Times said that this water bill -- the Western Water and American Food Security Act -- is longer than the ones that preceded it, but contains much of the same substance and offers little in the way of actual drought relief while also undermining environmental protections.
The reason this bill is longer is implied in the name -- it applies to the entire area affected by the drought, not just California. The bill also provides drought relief by reforming regulatory guidelines to allow more water to flow to the southern part of the state. It also creates a process to increase storage infrastructure that hardly results in “paltry” yields for our communities, as The Times claims. In fact, the dams alone could potentially yield as much water as the governor set out to conserve in his April 1 rationing mandate.
And much of the substance of this bill is informed by bipartisan negotiations with Sen. Dianne Feinstein last year -- which includes no changes to the Endangered Species Act.
The Times also claims that this bill is “moving forward with no hearings,” which, while technically true, incorrectly implies that the House is moving the bill forward in a secretive way.
However, this will be the third California water bill in two years that will have been debated in the House, and the drought has been the focus of the Natural Resources Committee for years. Over the last six years alone, the full committee or subcommittees have held 27 hearings on California, Western water and drought issues. It might be reasonable to claim that people have different approaches on how best to address the drought, but this process has assuredly not been happening behind closed doors.
In its editorial, the Times also said that the Republican House “ought to reject the bill as a big-government boondoggle.”
I share the L.A. Times editorial board's concern about fiscal prudence, which House Republicans have been championing since taking the majority. I wish that same fiscal prudence would apply to The Times' opinions on the $90-billion high-speed rail "boondoggle." But I digress. The editorial board's critique here is misplaced; it is difficult to label a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would actually reduce the deficit as a "big-government boondoggle."
The Times then presents a Democrat alternative bill that, in its words, “would keep intact a process under which scientists rather than politicians determine how much flow through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta is needed to protect endangered fish species.”
But unfortunately, science has not swayed California water policy for years. The last biological opinions were adopted six years ago. Has science stopped since then? Of course not. The House bill ensures decisions are grounded in updated and thorough scientific methods instead of results from the past preferred by certain special interests.
Lastly, The Times points to what they describe as positive developments in water policy such as the governing of groundwater to a voter-approved water bond championed by Gov. Jerry Brown. But one of the main reasons communities have been reduced to using more groundwater is because Sacramento and Washington did not do enough to prepare for the drought and irrational policies keep diverting water out to the ocean. Nobody wants to draw down our underground reserves, but in such circumstances people have few options.
Overall, Gov. Brown's and President Obama’s "solution" has been one of conservation and resigning our state to steady decline. We have a different vision. With meaningful changes to our water-management systems and regulatory regime, we can create a future of increased prosperity for California and the other Western states. This bill is a good start, and we look forward to passing it out of the House and continuing the debate in the Senate so that we can finally have policy that benefits all Californians.
The writer is the U.S. House majority leader.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the proposed nuclear deal with Iran:
“As I—and the President—have said before, no deal that allows Iran to get nuclear weapons is acceptable. A nuclear Iran would put America and our allies at grave risk. Congress intends to thoroughly review this deal, as provided for in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. The details are critical to understanding what concessions this Administration has made and how damaging they will be to U.S. national security interests around the world. Nothing in the deal announced today eliminates Iran’s ability to eventually become a nuclear threshold power. It just delays the day and rewards the Iranians with billions of dollars in sanctions relief until that day comes.
“This Administration has said repeatedly that no deal is better than a bad deal. Now, they must be held accountable. We already know that as a result of this deal, the U.S. and our allies will be forced to confront a richer, more resilient Iran that will continue its quest for regional hegemony. Congress must and will take time to properly review this deal, but early reports are gravely disconcerting.”
2421 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Kevin McCarthy represents the 23rd District of California, which spans Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles counties. First elected in 2006, Kevin is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident. He is committed to policies that give small businesses and entrepreneurs the confidence they need to hire, expand, invest and innovate. After the 2010 midterm elections, Kevin was elected by his colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives.
Kevin started his own small business before the age of 21. He built Kevin O’s Deli from the ground up, even enlisting his father’s help in building the deli’s counter in their garage. He worked hard, hired employees and enjoyed success in his community. That’s also where he first encountered government overregulation. The countless frivolous and redundant rules, as well as the taxes small businesses like his were burdened with, spurred Kevin’s interest in public service. When Kevin sold his business, he used the profits to put himself through college and graduate school. He received both his undergraduate degree and his Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield.
During college, Kevin accepted an internship with then-Congressman Bill Thomas, and soon became a member of Congressman Thomas’s staff. Kevin won his first election in 2000 as Trustee to the Kern Community College District. In 2002, McCarthy was elected to represent the 32nd Assembly District in the California State Assembly. As a freshman legislator, he was selected unanimously by his Republican colleagues to serve as the Assembly Republican Leader, becoming the first freshman legislator and the first legislator from Kern County to assume the top Republican post in the California State Assembly. Kevin worked with his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate and with the Governor to reduce California’s budget deficit, overhaul the state worker’s compensation system and enhance California’s business climate to create more opportunities for California workers and businesses until he ran for Congress in 2006.
Kevin brings his personal experience as a small business owner and as an effective leader in the statehouse to Washington D.C. In his role as Majority Whip, Kevin leads the effort in Congress to advance common sense policies that will put America back on the path to prosperity. Since gaining control of the House in November 2010, Kevin and his Republican colleagues have blocked the largest tax increase in American history, cut out-of-control government spending by historic levels and passed numerous pieces of legislation that will help create jobs in America. These bills reduce the burden on small businesses, increase our nation’s energy security by promoting domestic energy production, knock down barriers for small business owners to access capital and help increase certainty for the private sector.
Kevin will continue to fight to get Washington’s fiscal house in order while promoting policies that empower the private sector to invest and create jobs.
When Kevin is not in Washington fighting for the constituents of California’s 23rd District and for the future of America, he is home in Bakersfield with his wife Judy and two children Connor and Meghan.
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