Thursday, June 4, 2015

New smart TVs will start to resemble our cell phones as consumers move away from traditional programming, and more criticism of Cal Water over its confusing drought decisions

 * ... MOBILE: Get ready for a whole new line of "smart TVs" designed to leverage the growing time we spend on our mobile devices. The new flat screen TVs, from manufacturers like Sharp, Samsung, Sony and Insignia, are designed to take advantage of a growing trend by consumers to ditch traditional TV programming, which has been in a long slow slide that is now accelerating. As noted in The Wall Street Journal, the share of traditional network TV and local programming is
quickly eroding as consumers opt for devices like Roku and Apple TV to access Netflix and other programming on their mobile devices. TV manufacturers are eager to capitalize on alternative and mobile programming, and they say the new TVs will begin to look more like the screens of our cell phones.

 * ... DROUGHT: I wrote earlier wondering why Cal Water Company does not provide a rebate for artificial turn, which drew this response from David Crabtree: "I have been a certified water auditor for over 20 years and landscape contractor for over 30 years. It is a head-scratcher why the $1 rebate from California Water Service does not apply to artificial turf, which is truly a no water element.  I do agree converting turf to drought tolerant landscape is a positive change for water conservation and done properly is visually appealing. But just as important is changing popup spray irrigation to either drip or bubbler application to irrigate your drought tolerant plants. Also, what is puzzling to me is unlimited time allowed for watering on odd and even days. Without that restriction, in some cases, more water is being applied than before the restrictions."

 * ... MORE DROUGHT: And David George added this: "I echo Heather Van Arkle's confusion. We are working with a landscaper to replace our front lawn with flagstone and artificial turf. After reading the guidelines, we will put drought tolerant planting where the turf was supposed to be.  Not sure how that will save as much water, but those are the guidelines.  ut here is the bigger issue. I have been attempting to fill out an online application, which is the only way to get my plan approved.  Unfortunately the website is not up and running. According to our local Cal Water office, it will be one to two weeks before the system is ready. Seems it would have been smarter to get the system working before all the hype about rebates."

 * ... CROSSING: This from reader Ronald Belair: "Just a small concern I have. The local railroad crossings at Hughes Lane, White Lane, Gosford Road and New Stine have all been well repaired and are smooth to vehicle traffic. However the crossing on District Boulevard just west of New Stine is in very bad shape, and is in much need of attention. Anything that you do to see if this can be remedied would certainly be appreciated. After all there is much more traffic on District than on Hughes."

* ... BAD FORM: Jamie Butow was at home in the southwest when she spotted three teenagers in a red Honda Pilot circle her cul-de-sac and stop in front of her house. "They proceeded to throw several soda cans, plastic water bottles, and other assorted trash out the window and into the street and then drove off. On a work call, I was stuck. What %@#*! jerks!" But what happened next is enough to warm any mother's heart. "Then my 11-year-old son, who also saw them, went out and picked up all the trash they left behind."

 * ... GOOD FORM: And here is a shoutout from Michelle Corson to some folks who always do good work: "I saw Bakersfield City Animal Control in action today and they have a heart wrenching job. They responded to calls from me and my colleagues at our workplace about two stray dogs today.  After much effort, they were only able to catch one of the dogs. Tears filled my eyes as I watched this worker try to help these forgotten, hungry, thirsty dogs. Thanks for their hard work, a job I could not do."

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