Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Updates from GTEDC

The Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Committee (GTEDC) met for their first meeting of 2024 on Feb. 7. On the first Wednesday of each month, GTEDC meets in The Village Collective at 120 S. Green St. at 7:30 a.m.

In addition to discussing an upcoming year packed full of local events and projects, GTEDC introduced three new board members. Since board member Jim Arnold tragically passed away last November, and Ron Depew, one of GTEDC's founders, lost his battle with cancer last October, two spots on the board became vacant. Then a third seat came available from a board member moving out of state.

Newly elected board members are Ashley Cortez, who boasts six years of experience in public relations and government coordination for Waste Management; Mike Olson, Vice President of Operations at Pacific Steel Group with over 30 years of experience in the steel industry; and Director of Cerro Coso Community College Tehachapi campus, Lisa Stevens.

The new board voted to erect a bench in the Golden Hills Nature Park in Depew's honor facing the same view as his home's back porch, where he would often sit and admire Tom Sawyer Lake.

Edwards Air Force Base updated the board on their recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the F-16's first flight. The celebration attracted numerous visitors to the base for the day, including several buses of school children eager to learn about the base's rich history. City Manager Greg Garrett was also honored with a plaque for his service as honorary commander from Feb. 2017 to April 2019, a recognition that was long-delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the county's report, Second District Supervisor Zack Scrivner introduced Karen Sanders as his new field representative, succeeding Laura Lynne Wyatt. Wyatt resigned late last year to assume the role of general manager for the Stallion Springs Community Services District.

Law enforcement in Kern County is experiencing positive developments, with the Sheriff's Deputy Academy reporting record-high enrollment. Budget allocations have been made to facilitate the hiring of 25 new detention deputies, a measure which will allow increased road patrol presence. Measure K revenue has enabled the purchase of two state-of-the-art helicopters and an announcement was made that plans are now underway for the reopening of the Rosamond substation.

The Chamber of Commerce was happy to announce several 2023 "of the year" awards including Stan Morgan, named as Citizen of the Year; RJM Handyman as small business of the year; Red House BBQ as large business of the year; and Tehachapi CANCER FOUNDATION was recognized as nonprofit of the year. A recognition dinner will be held on March 23 at 723 W. F St., Tehachapi, to honor award recipients.

Adventist Health was excited to report on their ever-expanding healthcare services, with a Rosamond clinic set to open in the summer and the acquisition of a new robot to facilitate complex surgical procedures at Tehachapi's Adventist Health hospital. Additionally, a newly rolled out fast-track system for the hospital emergency room has seen greatly improved waiting times and prioritization of patient care.

Many exciting community happenings are on the horizon, including Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District's (TVRPD) youth baseball and co-ed volleyball, registration open until March 14, and lifeguard certification courses, running May 1-5. This year's Brite Lake Fishing Derby will be held on May 18. Visit TVRPD's website for more information.

March will see a variety of local events, including the planned Tehachapi Downtown Walking with the Mayor, Michael Davies, on March 21 (an extension of Coffee with the Mayor) and Food Truck Fest in Stallion Springs on March 23. TVRPD's much-anticipated Brews on the Mountain event is planned for Sept. 21 and will be beer-only, with plans for a wine event in the making. Cheers for Charity is on the books for Aug. 10, marking the 10 year anniversary of the event, which started in the parking lot of Veritas on Tucker Road.