OUR VIEW: Kern legislators seek funding in battle against valley fever

THUMBS UP: To Bakersfield’s state legislators for petitioning the state for $3 million to help fight valley fever. Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Salas, along with Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong and Republican Sen. Jean Fuller, are seeking $3 million for Kern Medical Center to research treatments and conduct outreach programs to combat valley fever, a respiratory disease endemic to the southwest U.S., with Kern County being a “hot spot.” The disease infected more people last year in California than in the state’s history.

If included in Gov. Brown’s spending plans, the $3 million would be the most funding California has allocated to fight valley fever in a decade. Last month, Salas and Fong introduced six valley fever-related bills that addressed reporting guidelines, data collection, laboratory testing procedures, doctor training and worker safety.

THUMBS DOWN: To the administrators of the California City boys basketball program, which set two records during a Feb. 2 game against Frazier Mountain. The Cal City team reportedly broke a state record for the most points scored in a game, and its 165-38 margin of victory was the largest in state history.

It was also a colossal demonstration of poor sportsmanship, which drew a rebuke from Central Section Commissioner Jim Crichlow, who put the Cal City program on probation and warned if the program beat an opponent like that again, it could be barred from playoff consideration.

“That is not pursuing victory with honor or the educational-based athletics that we all believe in,” Crichlow said. Seven times this season, the Cal City team scored more than 100 points in games, with some ending in lopsided victories. And the team reportedly ran a “full-court press defense” until the final buzzer sounded in its game against Frazier Park.

THUMBS UP: To Kern Community College District officials, who unveiled plans to build a 20,000-square-foot one-building satellite campus in Arvin. Residents of the farming community have long pleaded for a campus in Arvin, which is located 20 miles south of Bakersfield College’s main campus in northeast Bakersfield.

The campus, which will be located across the street from Arvin High School on land donated by the city, is expected to break ground this spring and be open by the fall of 2021. The fast-tracked project is one of many being funded by a $502 million bond measure district voters passed in 2016.

“We know how much education can affect a family,” Abel Guzman, BC director of rural initiatives, told Arvin residents during a community meeting. “Imagine how much a college can affect a city.”

Jim Young, a lifelong Arvin resident and retired KCCD chancellor, has been a relentless advocate for a college center in Arvin. We join Young in calling this an occasion worth celebrating.