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Behind the Scenes


Produced by J. Greenberg & Pam Turse

Founded in 1863 by Colonel Thomas Baker, Bakersfield has grown from a small farming community to the 12th largest city in California, with a population of a quarter-million people. The city has weathered more than its fair share of natural disasters, with floods, fires, and earthquakes all forcing change and reconstruction during its 140-year history. But Bakersfield and its people have persevered, and often prospered, thanks to its fertile soil and the rich oil deposits that lie beneath it. Today, Bakersfield wrestles with problems of air quality, suburban sprawl, a changing economic base, and a downtown desperately in need of revitalization. In 2001, the city surveyed 13,000 of its residents and incorporated their ideas into an ambitious blueprint for the future: "The 2020 Vision Plan."





Harvey Hall
Mayor of Bakersfield

Jack Hardisty
City Planner

Donna Kunz
Economic Development Director

Ken Carter
President, Watson Realty

Shirlyn Davenport
Bakersfield Historian

Jeff Nickell
Curator, Kern County Museum


The complete text of New Valley Episode 103 -- Boom or Bust...

Presentation also made possible by a grant from
the Great Valley Center


New Valley Official Site