Silver Saddle Ranch & Club:  KERN COUNTY NEWS

There is a LOT going on in the area around Silver Saddle Ranch. From spaceports to solar farms to aerospace industries and more....we'll keep you in the loop on Kern County news, who's moving in and what they are doing.
Cal City budget

California City to Invest over $50 Million!

- July 2017

The 17/18 California City Budget is out and the figures reflect a growing municipality. With over 22,000,000 earmarked for Operations and another 30,000,000 for Capital Improvements California City is growing up. Read a summary from the City Manager below.

Read More.
This will be an exciting year as we move away from the annual parcel tax that we have depended on for various government services over the past 30 years to the Medical Marijuana taxation plan on this new industry locating within our community. Numerous challenges and opportunities also exist for the City when these fledgling businesses begin operations with the positive impact it will bring to the City's economy and budget; not only this year but in the years to come!

New construction within our Capital Projects funds will see the completion on the Pool House within Central Park, a new Education/Information Center at Borax Bill Station, new ADA bathrooms and access at Balsitis Park, upgrades to sidewalks along Heather Avenue, the reconstruction of the Municipal Airport's East Taxiway, and many miles of local road work within our community that has been long overdue.

The budget will also allow us to begin the Integrated Water Management Planning in conjunction with Mojave Public Utilities District, the Antelope Valley East Kern Water Agency, and all the stake holders within the Fremont Basin to help us determine our long range growth capability for all those that live and work within the region.

stealth bomber

Stealth bomber could create 1000's of jobs

- June 2017
Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman Corp. recently won an intense four-year competition to build the nation's new fleet of stealth bombers, a project likely to create thousands of jobs in Southern California......
world's largest solar farm

World's Largest Solar Farm

- May 2017
The largest solar project in the world, Solar Star, is now operational in Kern County, California and demonstrates Berkshire Hathaway’s commitment to developing renewable energy assets.....
California City marijuana farm

California City Goes To Pot

- February 2017
Medical marijuana makes it's debut in Kern County courtesy of California City, the first city in the County to approve medical marijuana cultivation on a commercial scale....
supersonic jet

NASA Supersonic Jet

- November 2016
NASA has unveiled a conceptual design for a supersonic plane that would be much quieter than Concorde. The image released by the United States space agency shows a long, slim craft with a pointed nose and curved wings at the rear of the plane.
Space Ship 2

SS2 Flies Again

- October 2016
Virgin Galactic unveiled its new SpaceShipTwo rocket as it prepares to get back to flight testing after a 2014 accident destroyed the original space craft, killing a pilot and putting the brakes on a burgeoning space industry.
Boom Test Flights

Virgin to Assist With New Supersonic Plane

- September 2016
The Concorde might have failed, but it’s not over for supersonic commercial flights.
Boom, a nascent startup based in Colorado, is working on its own supersonic plane, promising the aircraft will be “affordable” and 2.6 times faster than current commercial planes. ...
... If that sounds too good to be true, there’s at least one major believer in Boom: Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Boom, which has spent the past three months participating in Y Combinator’s startup accelerator program in Silicon Valley, has inked a deal with Virgin. As part of the deal, Virgin has taken an option in Boom’s first 10 planes, while Virgin Galactic, the private space exploration company, will assist with manufacturing and testing through its manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company.

Boom also reveals an unnamed European carrier has sent a letter of intent for up to 15 planes. In total, the company cites both orders total more than $5 billion worth of planes.

Though it’s easy to compare Boom to the now-defunct supersonic plane the Concorde, a joint venture between Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation, Boom asserts it’s strategy is different. While the Concorde was a “technical success,” the startup explains, it didn’t have the right economics. The Concorde could sit up to 100 passengers and charged roughly $20,000 for a round-trip.

In the case of Boom, whose one-third-scale prototype is projected to take flight in 2017, a round-trip from New York City to London is estimated to only take 3.4 hours and cost $5,000, for example. Its planes will also only seat up to 40 passengers, making it much easier to fill each flight and keep the economics healthy.

However, Boom founder Blake Scholl tells Fortune that he can’t comment on when full-scale planes will be ready for commercial flights.

Boom’s team is made up of aviation and aerospace engineering experts who have previously worked at companies like Boeing and the Virgin Galactic. The company has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Y Combinator, Sam Altman, Seraph Group, Eight Partners, and other angel investors.

Boron, California

Boron, California

- August 2016
Boron is both the small desert town and a metallic element. Story and photos by Lara Hartley
That dog was fast. Twenty-five miles-per-hour fast.
I know he was moving at that breakneck speed because I paced him as he chased my car along the fenceline of his property. I hit the brakes right before he slammed into the chicken wire at the end of the real estate....
... That was my approach to Boron, California, recently, as I followed train tracks west, looking for something interesting to see and photograph.

Once past the Joshua trees and a decrepit windmill, I found a clean, simple downtown that reminded me of the 1950s, with interesting artifacts lining the main street and several great little restaurants.

Boron has old signs and buildings to photograph, a resident that is a walking history book, a cool jet plane and that very quick dog.

What more could a girl photographer ask for? ...Read The Rest Of The Story

She told us she really enjoys meeting the wide variety of people who come to the resort each week. Meeting new faces as well as getting to know members gives her a good feeling and has earned her a reputation as a real “people person”.

One of her favorite stories about the ranch comes from a day when she was doing massage and a 90 year old gentleman came in for one. He needed help with everything from getting his clothes off to getting on the table. At the end of the massage he tipped with a $2 bill. As she relates it to us while smiling “That was cute…and totally OK”.

Arlene resides in Cal City with her husband Francisco and her twin girls.

Honda test track

Honda Expanding Test Track in Kern County

- June 2016
American Honda is coming back to Kern County.
The company announced Tuesday it has launched a $25 million project to reopen and expand its...
....Honda Proving Center of California test track in Cantil.

Tom Fromdahl, senior manager for Honda, said a two-mile, straight-away and other tracks will be added to the Proving Center’s 7.5-mile oval, 4.5-mile winding road and motocross tracks.

Read Full Story

8minute energy

8Minute Energy Breaks Ground

- May 2016
'8 Minute Energy Renewables’- an energy company based in Los Angeles with massive holdings that operates six different solar farms in California, including the world’s largest solar farm at Calexico called Mount Signal 1....
... They hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday October 30, 2015 for their latest project called Springbok 2 located in Cantil, on Neuralia Road just below the old Toyota test track, just a few miles north of California City.

Following the groundbreaking of Springbok 1 last July, the term “Springbok 3” was heard, suggesting even more solar farm development here in Kern County.

Read Full Story

Kern County Gold Mine

Kern County Gold Mine

- January 2015
On the dry landscape of the desert just south of the community of Mojave rises a volcanic peak that will become the first new gold and silver mine in Kern County in decades....
... If plans of Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd. stay on track, by this time next year digging of the precious metals out of the desert will have started, kicking off what is expected to be a 15-year lifespan of the mine on Soledad Mountain.

But potential complications have arisen for Golden Queen, a Vancouver, British Columbia company that has already begun work on the mine’s infrastructure.
First, it does not have full financing. And, in late January, the Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson, Ariz. environmental group, filed a petition with the federal government seeking emergency protection of the Mojave shoulderband snail, a half-inch mollusk only found in that region of the desert.

Also, construction is moving ahead at a time when the gold market has softened. The price per ounce has fallen from the highs of nearly $1,900 in 2011 to about $1,330 at the end of February.

Golden Queen President Lutz Klingmann, however, is bullish on gold, citing projections that the price per ounce should range from $1,350 to $1,400 by the end of the year. Those are prices, he said, that will attract potential investors.

Read full article

Kern County Solar

Solar Pushes Kern County Economy

- May 2014
KERN COUNTY, CA–Not only is California setting precedent as our nation’s leader in renewable energy production, Kern County continues to make significant strides as well...
... According to County Supervisor, Zack Scrivner, “Kern County is leading California in renewable energy. Renewable energy is the second largest industry in the county, surpassing agriculture and second only to oil production.”

Kern County, unlike other areas of the country, is able to benefit from not only the wind rich region of Tahachapi/Mojave but from the abundance of sunlight and our large expanses of land. The Kern County Board of Supervisors has approved numerous new solar and wind projects throughout the area.

One of the recent projects to come online is the EDF’s, 143 Megawatt, Catalina Solar Project. It was built in two separate phases and is located on 1,100 acres of land. Javier De La Garza, Director of Solar Development for EDF Renewable Energy’s Western Region, stated that “Catalina Solar consists of over 1.1 million PV solar panels and is estimated to offset 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse emissions annually.

The project has been an important source of direct and indirect economic activity in Kern County, including over 500 workers on-site during construction. Assembly member Steve Fox added: “The Catalina Solar Project has provided solutions to unemployment, to our reliance on fossil fuels, and to environmental pollution in one incredible venture.

Solar project

Major Solar Project Underway

- April 2014
ANTELOPE VALLEY – MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. on Friday (April 26) marked the start of major construction at the Antelope Valley Solar Projects...
... – two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties.

The 579-megawatt development will employ approximately 650 workers during a three-year construction period; generate more than $500 million in regional economic impact, the majority of which will be generated during construction; and serve California’s growing electricity demand with clean, renewable solar power.

The Antelope Valley Solar Projects make up the world’s largest solar power development under construction. When complete, the projects will provide enough energy to power approximately 400,000 average California homes.

“The Antelope Valley Solar Projects are already creating needed jobs and economic opportunity in local communities, while at the same time, providing direct, long-term environmental benefits,” said Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar. “We look forward to continuing our involvement in the Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale communities and, as we move forward, in the surrounding areas. The MidAmerican Solar team is committed to working hand-in-hand with the development’s neighbors and stakeholders. We also look forward to providing a reliable source of renewable energy to our customer Southern California Edison.”

“The start of construction on the Antelope Valley Solar Projects underscores that solar is a reliable, cost-competitive energy source,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. “SunPower is proud to partner with MidAmerican Solar and Southern California Edison on this historic project, which is bringing critically needed jobs and economic opportunity to California today and will generate abundant clean, renewable power to the state over the long term.”

Read Complete Story

Sweet Treasures

Sweet Treasures - Consignments, Crafts & Collectibles

- March 2014
Sweet Treasures Consignments, Crafts & Collectibles is located in the Aspen Mall at 8046 "C" California City Blvd.  Come see all the wonderful “Treasures” they have on display. Handmade items by local artists, antiques & vintage collectibles!! Something for everyone with over 20 vendors!
... attends college with an eye to a degree in either sociology or psychology. When asked how she spends her time off she replies with a smile, “Homework!”.  Because of her school load you will only see Leslie at the ranch on weekends where she pitches in wherever needed.

When asked about favorite times at the ranch she recalls the evening when the Karaoke singer was so bad that she had her hand on the plug for the amp, ready to pull it, but he was pulled off stage by his friends just before she did. She then recalls another evening when there was a karaoke performer singing as she  walked by the bar, and he had a familiar voice. She peeked in and it was Tom Cruise!

Just kidding” she tells me then, with a twinkle in her eye and a grin on her face.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic Public Flights

- February 2014
Wow!!! Can't wait to get up there!
Mojave celebrates another major milestone together with the Virgin Galactic recreational space Company. On the morning of...
... September 8th 2013 the innovative two part spaceship "Enterprise" took off from the Mojave Space Centre and reached heights of approximately 70,000 ft. 

This "proof of concept" flight took the spacecraft to greater speeds and higher altitudes than ever before.  At that height civilian passengers will experience both the blackness of space above and the curvature of the earth below.  The second part of the trip will include a rocket motor burn that will take future civilian astronauts up to an altitude of many hundreds of thousands of feet...

Look out the window and see the thin blue line of the earth's atmosphere and a sky full of bright stars in the complete blackness of space.  For 10 to 15 minutes you watch as the curve of the earth sweeps away from you, daylight turns into night as you look toward the east, and of course, you'll see all this while floating weightlessly in your own customised and fitted space suit. 

On the trip down the spaceship's unique entry system is deployed.  This includes the craft rotating its tail section upwards to what is known as the feathered position.  So just sit back and enjoy as you descend smoothly and safely for your final landing at Virgin Galactic Space Centre. 

The company is now finalising cabin interiors, flight suits, training program's and all the other details that will make your trip an experience of a lifetime. 

If you want to join the ranks of aspiring astronauts tickets start at $250,000 and close to $100 million have been pre sold.  Celebrity customers such as Aston Kutcher and Leonardo DeCaprio will be among the first passengers with an early 2014 start of commercial service. 

It's easy to see why Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic keeps exclaiming... "I can't wait to get up there!"

AutoZone - California City

AutoZone Arrives

- November 2013
Ok, now California City has two Autoparts stores, NAPA and AutoZone.  Competition is good for everyone, especially the customer.  The beautiful brand new AutoZone building has...
... the smell of fresh paint, and while they normally keep their stores nice, the newness makes it look even better.  We have already purchased items for our Ranch vehicles and the prices were very good.  So if you have any car problems while up at the Ranch, and you’re a DIY mechanic you know you now have choices for you auto parts.  The most important thing is not even having the choices, it is seeing that the economy is growing, knowing that people are investing in California City.

SpaceShip 2

SpaceShip Two - Successful Flight

- October 2013
SpaceShip Two, Virgin Galactic’s six passenger sub-orbital spaceship had a successful rocket-powered test flight on September 5th.  The test flew...
... to higher altitudes and at greater speeds than ever before.  Test pilots Mark Stucky and Clint Nichols took the SpaceShip Two to an altitude of 69,000 feet breaking the sound barrier at a top speed of Mach 1.43. 

The WhiteKnight Two is the carrier aircraft for SpaceShip Two which took off early morning on Thursday September 5th from Mojave Air and Space Port. Its unique “feathered” reentry flight mechanism was utilized on decent.  This system is a feature designed to enhance safety providing a slower decent with more stability. 

Richard Branson has stated that they will begin commercial spaceflight service in 2014.

Dollar General Market

Dollar General Market Opens

- September 2013
Dollar General had a soft opening on August 2nd and the Grand Opening was August 24th. Both days Dollar General was packed.  The produce looked...
... great, a nice variety of fruits and vegetables at great prices.  The meats were very nice.  The store is like a mini-Super Walmart.  Half of the store is groceries and the other half is items for them home, your car etc.  Next time coming to the Ranch and want to BBQ, you do not need to shop ahead of time, stop at Dollar General on your way up.  Here are some pictures taken on opening day August 2nd. 

AV Fair

AV Fair & Alphalfa Festival

- August 2013
Running through August 25th is the fabulous Antelope Valley Fair. This fair has something for everyone for kiddies to grandpa. Hot dog eating contests, millions of vendors (really), loads of bands featuring big names like Sheryl Crow, Whitesnake, George Thorogood & The Destroyers,...
... and loads more. Something is going on every day at this fun filled happening.

How about a demolition derby, monster truck rally or an amazing fireworks show?! Perhaps the swine barn (oooh…), scarecrow dance or the amazing flaming rabbit toss is more your style? Like I said folks, something for everyone. They even have cotton candy……

But seriously, if you haven’t been to a good ol’ County Fair this is an excellent opportunity to expand your social standing with an experience that will leave you smiling and tired. After which you want to drive over to the ranch and finish out in the pool or hot tub...

More info at:

Chinese Restaurants

California City Restaurants

- July 2013
Ok many people are surprised when they find out about all the restaurants in California City. If you come up to the Ranch during the week when our restaurant is closed, have no fear, many restaurants are near....
... There are 2 Pizza Restaurants,  a Subway and another Sub Shop, three Coffee Shop type restaurants, 2 Donut Shops, a Chinese  Restaurant, a Deli Restaurant, a Japanese Restaurant, McDonalds of course and Foxy’s restaurant at the Airport. 

There are 2 Mexican Restaurants LaConquista and Gloria’s.  Both places the food is great, though most employees do prefer Gloria’s for their authentic Mexican Cuisine and generous portions.  Also you have to try the Food Truck parked next to Friends Tires, the Carniasada Tacos are the best and the Burritos are so big, one can make two meals for some of our employees. 

I am sure we are missing a couple more.  The Front Desk is gathering copies of the menus so stop by and ask for some recommendations as well as directions.   Don’t forget the best of all, the Desert Willow at Silver Saddle Ranch & Club.

California City stores

More Stores To California City

- June 2013
If you have not been up to California City in awhile, you will be amazed at the changes.
In January of 2012 Family Dollar opened on California City Blvd providing great value on everyday items people need...
... A couple months later on March 27th 2012, The Best Western California City Hotel and Suites had its Grand Opening! 

Now Dollar General is getting ready to open its doors.  The construction went fast begun a couple months ago, the finishing touches are being put in place.  On June 27th, 2013 they will host a Job Fair with the Grand Opening happening a few weeks later.

The new AutoZone Building is also quickly going up.  The frame is nearly complete and they are moving ahead for an opening later this year. 

Who says the economy is not picking up.  These businesses are not only adding jobs but are being built due to the growth and potential in California City.  Recently the California City Economic Development Corporation held a meeting discussing putting together a written plan for strategizing the future economic development of California City.  Describing California City as a “jewel,” Ed Waldheim zeroed in on “recreation” as a primary identity for the community.  “East Kern isrecreation,” he stated.  “There is no other place in the world with the potential opportunities of this area” Mr. Waldheim said. 

There are plans for Duane Keathley, a retail broker with Kern EDC, to evaluate the city’s retail prospects prior to the board’s next meeting, which will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2013, during which time the board’s preliminary plans for moving ahead will also be submitted for review. 

Solar Projects

Solar Projects In High Desert

- May 2013
The High Desert has many solar projects underway.  Sun Power who is developing a 579 Mega Watt Solar Project in Rosamond plans to hire 650 employees for the project.  It is expected to be complete in 2015.... 
...Rosamond Solar is also building its Solar Project in Rosamond.  Rosamond Solar’s completed Solar Array will create 300 Mega Watts and is also schedule to be complete in 2015. 

The energy from Sun Power Solar will lessen greenhouse gas emissions by 775,000 tons.  Together the two projects will provide enough electricity for about 600,000 homes.  Sun Power says it plans to use local workers to build its facility and with the need of 650 workers, that will really help boost the local economy. 

While local communities have been skeptical of having Solar nearby due to the lights at night for protection, Sun Power will be using night vision surveillance to watch the panels at night.  They also plan to coordinate with local schools for field trips to teach students about Solar Power and renewable energy.