Letter to the Editor

I read about the new Forest Service Visitor’s Center for Lake Isabella that is in the planning stages.

I hope it will have an automatic door button openers for the outer doors and restrooms.

According to the Federal Architecture Barrier Act of 1989 (ABA), the doors just can’t weigh over 5 pounds. Since that time there has been a profusion of use of mobility devices (canes and walkers count too). Try and open a federal post office door (usually there are 2 glass sets, outer and inner lobby) while operating a power wheelchair. This is unfair, unjust, and just plain wrong. Doors are ok because they are under the 5-pound weight rule.

The new Forest Service building in Kernville has handicap parking, wide cement paths, levers on doors, handicap assessable restrooms, wheelchair access to a water fountain (you can even fill water bottles at the fountain), and a charge station for electric automobiles. Wow. What it does not have for its front door is an automatic door button opener for people who can’t physically open the door. They have to have someone with them to do this or wait until a person at the reception desk sees them and then opens the door. Is that fair to the person who wants to open the door themselves or the person working at the desk? I believe not.

Just our state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has one Automatic door button opener (and they lease their Office at the Von’s Plaza.)

I have contacted Alta-One Credit Union and Clinica Sierra Vista about this too. They come under Federal and State laws on this matter as well.

Kern County is another matter with half of their branch libraries having them and half not and yet our Lake Isabella Senior Center and Court Complex has them after I wrote the court about them back in 2015.

I have written the Bakersfield Californian about the library, after writing the county on it, and have gotten the run around between departments. I figured that the years they had money in the budget that they put them in. So why not the other half? See how unjust and unfair that is.

Complain to our Supervisors. I already gave them ideas on how they can get the money to do this. One is their Supervisor’s Discretionary Fund that each Supervisor gets each year in their budget to use as they see fit.

As far as the Forest Service buildings go, how hard is it to put automatic door button openers in their budget? It is taxpayer’s money, and taxpayers will be visiting if they can get in the door.

Donna Malahni Jackson
Kernville

Fellow Travelers—where have we been and where are we going?

Motivated by a horrific auto accident in the Canyon, some residents of the Kern Valley started working on ways to reduce the accident rate along SR-178 in the Kern River Canyon. These efforts soon expanded to portions of other state highways in our area. Caltrans, which is the state highway department, as well as local highway patrol officers, the publishers of the Sun, and elected state officials, have joined us in these efforts.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?

Turnouts and proper signage for them have been installed in the Canyon and on SR-155 between Lake Isabella and Wofford Heights.

CHP patrol has been increased.

Local groups have participated in planning and education.

Residents have been alerted to the safety problems on SR-178 and SR- 155.

Research by CHP recently has displayed on a map the most dangerous areas in the Canyon along SR-178.

WHAT IS ON THE AGENDA FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?

Rumble strips between double yellow lines and along edges of the canyon section of SR-178 will be installed soon.

Research to determine ways to keep vehicles in accidents along the river from plunging into the canyon.

Installation of turnouts on SR-178 between Lake Isabella and Walker Pass.

Higher guardrails along SR-178 east of Weldon.

Removing signs which instruct drivers to use turnouts where no turnouts exist between Lake Isabella and Weldon.

Fellow Travelers of Kern Valley Steering Committee
Kern River Valley