Ridgecrest, California

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City of Ridgecrest
City
View of Ridgecrest

Seal
Location in Kern County and the state of California
Sign pointing to Ridgecrest and the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station
Coordinates: 35°37′21″N 117°40′15″W / 35.62250°N 117.67083°W / 35.62250; -117.67083Coordinates: 35°37′21″N 117°40′15″W / 35.62250°N 117.67083°W / 35.62250; -117.67083
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyKern
IncorporatedNovember 29, 1963[1]
Government
 • MayorDan Clark[2]
 • State SenatorJean Fuller (R)[3]
 • State AssemblyShannon Grove (R)[4]
 • U. S. CongressKevin McCarthy (R)[5]
Area[6]
 • Total21.417 sq mi (55.469 km2)
 • Land20.766 sq mi (53.783 km2)
 • Water0.651 sq mi (1.685 km2)  3.04%
Elevation[7]2,290 ft (698 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total27,616
 • Density1,300/sq mi (500/km2)
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes93555-93556
Area code(s)760
FIPS code06-60704
GNIS feature ID1652783
Websitewww.ci.ridgecrest.ca.us
 
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City of Ridgecrest
City
View of Ridgecrest

Seal
Location in Kern County and the state of California
Sign pointing to Ridgecrest and the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station
Coordinates: 35°37′21″N 117°40′15″W / 35.62250°N 117.67083°W / 35.62250; -117.67083Coordinates: 35°37′21″N 117°40′15″W / 35.62250°N 117.67083°W / 35.62250; -117.67083
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyKern
IncorporatedNovember 29, 1963[1]
Government
 • MayorDan Clark[2]
 • State SenatorJean Fuller (R)[3]
 • State AssemblyShannon Grove (R)[4]
 • U. S. CongressKevin McCarthy (R)[5]
Area[6]
 • Total21.417 sq mi (55.469 km2)
 • Land20.766 sq mi (53.783 km2)
 • Water0.651 sq mi (1.685 km2)  3.04%
Elevation[7]2,290 ft (698 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total27,616
 • Density1,300/sq mi (500/km2)
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes93555-93556
Area code(s)760
FIPS code06-60704
GNIS feature ID1652783
Websitewww.ci.ridgecrest.ca.us

Ridgecrest is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Formerly known as Crumville, it was incorporated as a city in 1963. It is located along U.S. Route 395 in the Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County, adjacent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS, or China Lake). The population was 27,616 at the 2010 census, up from 24,927 at the 2000 census. The city of Ridgecrest is a largely "company" oriented (China Lake, above) community big enough to provide plenty of schools, shopping and health care.

Ridgecrest is surrounded by four mountain ranges; the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Cosos on the north, the Argus Range on the east, and the El Paso Mountains on the south. It is approximately 82 miles (132 km) from the Lancaster/Palmdale area and approximately 145 miles (233 km) from both Bakersfield and San Bernardino, the three nearest major urban centers. Air travel in and out of the city is provided through the Inyokern Airport.

Ridgecrest is within two hours of the highest and the lowest points in the conterminous U.S.[8]

History[edit]

The settlement began as a faming community called Crumville in 1912,[9] honoring James and Robert Crum, local dairymen.[9] The first post office opened in 1941. By 1943, Ridgecrest had grown to 115 homes and 196 residents. NOTS (Naval Ordnance Test Station) was established in November 1943, providing a strong job base for the years to come.[9]

Ridgecrest incorporated in 1963.[9] During this era the growth of Ridgecrest was governed by the continuing needs of the high tech industries coupled to the Naval Stations programs for testing arms and guidance systems.

Geography[edit]

Overview shot of Ridgecrest, from the west on CA-178

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.4 square miles (55.4 km2), of which 20.8 sq mi (53.9 km2) is land and 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2) of it (3.04%) is water. Ridgecrest is located in Indian Wells Valley, which is a southern extension of Owens Valley, broken up by the volcanic Coso Range.

1995 Ridgecrest earthquake[edit]

The area, associated with the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ), has experienced numerous earthquake swarms in the past (groups of several thousand quakes under magnitude 6.0 or so) often with no obvious mainshock. The 1995 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence started on August 17, when a magnitude 5.5 quake, centered 18 kilometers (11 mi) north of the town of Ridgecrest, shook the area and spawned over 2,500 aftershocks over the course of the following five weeks. Then, on September 20, 1995, the second large quake struck the area: it measured magnitude 6.0, and was at that time the largest earthquake to hit southern California since the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake.[citation needed]

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
CensusPop.
19502,028
19707,629
198015,929108.8%
199027,72574.1%
200024,927−10.1%
201027,61610.8%
Est. 201228,089[10]1.7%
US Census[11][12]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[13] reported that Ridgecrest had a population of 27,616. The population density was 1,289.5 people per square mile (497.9/km²). The racial makeup of Ridgecrest was 21,387 (77.4%) White, 1,113 (4.0%) African American, 341 (1.2%) Native American, 1,209 (4.4%) Asian, 143 (0.5%) Pacific Islander, 1,836 (6.6%) from other races, and 1,587 (5.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,941 persons (17.9%).

The Census reported that 27,420 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 109 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 87 (0.3%) were institutionalized.

There were 10,781 households, out of which 3,901 (36.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,211 (48.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,352 (12.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 609 (5.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 681 (6.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 64 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,978 households (27.6%) were made up of individuals and 1,001 (9.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54. There were 7,172 families (66.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.10.

The population was spread out with 7,544 people (27.3%) under the age of 18, 2,654 people (9.6%) aged 18 to 24, 7,157 people (25.9%) aged 25 to 44, 6,844 people (24.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,417 people (12.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.8 years. For every 100 females there were 100.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.9 males.

There were 11,915 housing units at an average density of 556.3 per square mile (214.8/km²), of which 6,525 (60.5%) were owner-occupied, and 4,256 (39.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.2%. 16,520 people (59.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 10,900 people (39.5%) lived in rental housing units.

2000[edit]

Sunset in Ridgecrest, California

According to the census[14] of 2000, there were 24,927 people, 9,826 households, and 6,691 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,179.9 inhabitants per square mile (455.6 /km2). There were 11,309 housing units at an average density of 535.3 /sq mi (206.7 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.02% White, 3.53% Black or African American, 1.08% Native American, 3.88% Asian, 0.58% Pacific Islander, 4.93% from other races, and 3.98% from two or more races. 12.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,826 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,971, and the median income for a family was $52,725. Males had a median income of $46,993 versus $29,558 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,312. About 10.2% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.

[15]

  • Crime index: 40.0% safe city
  • High school or higher: 87.4%
  • Bachelor's degree or higher: 24.4%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 8.5%
  • Unemployed: 6.8%
  • Mean travel time to work: 14.9 minutes
  • Never married: 22.1%
  • Now married: 56.7%
  • Separated: 2.6%
  • Widowed: 6.6%
  • Divorced: 12.1%
  • Males: 12,924 – (49.9%)
  • Females: 12,971 – (50.1%)
  • Median resident age: 35.5 years
  • California median age: 33.3 years

People in group quarters:[16]

Local features and activities[edit]

Wildflowers in Ridgecrest, California

The most notable feature in the nearby area is the Coso People rock art in Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons. The Coso People were prolific artists and traded with distant tribes using tools crafted of stone. Archeological recovery at coastal Chumash sites in California indicates considerable trade with the Coso People.[17]

Other traditional activities present are:

Maturango Museum[edit]

The front of the Maturango Museum

The Maturango Museum is located in Ridgecrest. The museum is best known for the guided tours on China Lake Naval Weapons Station (NAWS).[18] The Museum offers exhibits and displays featuring both the natural and the cultural history and diversity of the Northern Mojave Desert with exhibits of plants, animals, Native American artifacts, geology and contemporary arts and crafts.[19]

Naval Air Weapons Station[edit]

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake or NAWS China Lake is an airborne weapons testing and training range located adjacent to Ridgecrest and operated by the United States Navy and its contractors. The officer's family housing on base is noted for their monthly 'pig parties' where a lawn ornament in the shape of a pig signaled where the neighborhood would gather for a family grill out. Each family would bring their meat to burn and a dish to share. At some point during the party, a decision was made to deposit the pig at another home for the location of next month's pig party.

Coso Rock Art District[edit]

Archaic abstract curvilinear-style petroglyphs near Ridgecrest, CA

Coso Rock Art District, sometimes equated with the Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons is a site containing over 20,000 Native American petroglyphs[20] now located within Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, near China Lake and Ridgecrest, California. In fact, there are several other distinct canyons to the Coso Rock Art District besides the Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons. The most popular subjects are bighorn sheep, deer, and antelope.[citation needed] Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964. In 2001, they were incorporated into a larger National Historic Landmark District, called Coso Rock Art District.

Walker Pass[edit]

Walker Pass (el. 5,250 ft (1.60 km)) is a mountain pass by Lake Isabella in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. It is located in northeastern Kern County, approximately 53 mi (85 km) ENE of Bakersfield and 10 mi (16 km) WNW of Ridgecrest. The pass provides a route between the San Joaquin Valley on the west and the Mojave Desert on the east.

Events calendar[edit]

[21]

Weather[edit]

Clouds in Ridgecrest, California

The weather in the Indian Wells Valley (Ridgecrest, CA) is predominantly influenced by its high desert location. The climate is characterized by hot days and cool nights with extremely arid conditions prevailing throughout the summer months. The mean annual maximum temperature for the Ridgecrest area is 75 °F (24 °C) while the mean annual minimum temperature is 48 °F (9 °C). There are wide annual temperature fluctuations that occur from a high of 119 °F (48 °C) to a low of 1 °F (−17 °C). The area is known to have wind as high 75 mph (121 km/h) on a sunny day. Whenever winds exceed 30 mph (48 km/h) dust devils and dust clouds form in the area. December is the coolest month with an average maximum temperature of 60 °F (16 °C) and an average minimum temperature of 30 °F (−1 °C). The all-time minimum temperature of 1 °F (−17 °C) was recorded on December 23, 1963, and January 7, 1973. Ridgecrest is a desert, with an average of less than 5 inches (130 mm) "equivalent rainfall" per year, which includes less than 2 inches (51 mm) of snow.

July is the hottest month with an average maximum temperature of 103 °F (39 °C) and an average minimum temperature of 66 °F (19 °C). The all-time maximum temperature of 119 °F (48 °C) was recorded on July 31, 1971.

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Rec. high °F8086931011081171191141101058884
Avg high °F59657280889810410295846860
Avg low °F303640465461676659493629
Rec. low °F191524263846453520145
Avg precipitation in.0.901.100.800.200.100.000.100.300.300.100.300.60
Source: Weather.com[23]

Education[edit]

Cerro Coso Community College

Sierra Sands Unified School District[24] includes the following elementary schools: Las Flores Elementary Currently displaced to Vieweg Elementary, Faller Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Gateway Elementary, Pierce Elementary, and Inyokern Elementary. For middle-schoolers, the school district includes James Monroe Middle School, and Murray Middle School. The district's primary high school, Sherman E Burroughs High School, serves Ridgecrest, China Lake NAWC, Inyokern, Buttermilk Acres, Red Mountain, and Randsburg. There is also an alternative high school, Mesquite High School.[25]

Ridgecrest Charter School is a public charter school[26] unaffiliated with the district. Private schools include Saint Ann Elementary and Middle School,[27] serving students K-8; Immanuel Christian School,[28] covering pre-K to high school; and Adventist Christian School, which serves grades 1–8. There is also an independent study public charter school, Opportunities For Learning,[29] for students in grades 7–12.

College[edit]

Cerro Coso Community College was established in 1973 and has a full-time enrollment of 2,347.[30] The 420 acres (1.7 km2) Indian Wells Valley Campus (IWV) is located in the upper Mojave Desert near Ridgecrest.[31] The IWV Campus is the largest of the Cerro Coso campuses. It serves a population of about 50,000. The College serves the communities of Ridgecrest, China Lake, Inyokern, and Trona.

Public library[edit]

Ridgecrest Branch Library, a branch of the Kern County Library, serves Ridgecrest, Inyokern, China Lake, Trona and surrounding communities. Obtaining funding to run the library has been difficult in recent years, due in part to the recession and cuts in the county budget.[citation needed]

Public safety[edit]

Ridgecrest City Hall and Police Department.

Ridgecrest has its own police department, as well as a regional station of the Kern County Sheriff's Department, with the Kern County Fire Department[32] providing fire protection and Emergency Medical Services. Full-time Law Enforcement Employees in 2008: 56 (41 officers).

Crime statistics for 2011 (reported by the Ridgecrest Police Department):[33]

Notable natives and residents[edit]

Notable natives include:

Media[edit]

Looking south in Ridgecrest, CA

Ridgecrest is served by two newspapers, The Daily Independent and the News Review, as well as a mixture of local broadcast stations and repeaters from radio and TV stations based in Los Angeles and Bakersfield. The repeaters are operated by the IWV TV Booster. Radio stations in the area include KKYT 93.7 with a Country Music format, local news, weather and features, KSSI (FM) 102.7, broadcasting Rock Music, local news and weather, KLOA (AM) 1240, broadcasting an oldies format, KZIQ 92.7, featuring Adult Contemporary Music, K296AI 107.1, with KCNV classical music feed. KRCK, "Ridgecrest Radio", went off the air in the 1970s. TV repeater K05FO 5 rebroadcasts KTLA, K55AB 55 rebroadcasts KBAK.

Translator Call LettersB Mountain ChannelLaurel Mountain ChannelPSIPStation Call LettersNetwork Affiliation IDOriginal ChannelSignal Quality
K02HY2N/AN/AKCBSCBS43.1, Los AngelesGood
K04HX4N/AN/AKNBCNBC36.1, Los AngelesGood
K05FO5N/AN/AKTLACW31.1, Los AngelesGood
K07NH7N/AN/AKABCABC7.1, Los AngelesGood
K09MG9N/AN/AKCALInd.9.1, Los AngelesGood
K11ML11N/AN/AKTTVFox11.1, Los AngelesGood
K13NF13N/AN/AKCOPMyNetwork TV13.1, Los AngelesGood
K14AT-DN/A1464KHIZInd44, BarstowGood
K15HJ-DN/A152KCBS-DTCBS43, Los AngelesOff air, dead power supply in transmitter
K17HY-DN/A174KNBC-DTNBC36, Los AngelesGood
K41GON/A19N/AN/AN/AN/ANot in service
K20LH-DN/A20N/AN/AN/AN/ANot in service
K21IN-DN/A215KTLA-DTCW31, Los AngelesGood
K23IS-DN/A237KABC-DTABC7, Los AngelesGood
K33ID-DN/A33N/AN/AN/AN/ANot in service
K35HO-DN/A3541K41GOCity41, RidgecrestGood
K39HT-DN/A3958KLCS-DTPBS41, Los AngelesGood
K45GQ-DN/A459KCAL-DTInd.9, Los AngelesGood
K47AE-DN/A4711KTTV-DTFox11, Los AngelesGood
K49AA-DN/A4913KCOP-DTMyNetwork TV13, Los AngelesGood
K51DD-DN/A5128KCET-DTInd. Public TV28, Los AngelesGood

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ridgecrest City Council". City of Ridgecrest. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ "California's 23rd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Census". Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  7. ^ "Ridgecrest". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  8. ^ "CITY OF RIDGECREST, CA". analyzed data. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  9. ^ a b c d Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 1096. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  10. ^ E-1 Population Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State. California Department of Finance. January 1, 2011 and 2012. Accessed: 05-03-2012.
  11. ^ Population Totals by Township and Place for California Counties: 1860 to 1950. California Department of Finance. Accessed: 03-12-2011.
  12. ^ Historical Census Populations of Counties and Incorporated Cities in California, 1850–2010. California Department of Finance. Accessed: 03-12-2012.
  13. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "City-data – Ridgecrest, CA – Info". analyzed data from numerous sources. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  16. ^ "City-data – People in group quarters / Ridgecrest, California". analyzed data from numerous sources. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
  17. ^ The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. "C.Michael Hogan (2008) ''Morro Creek'', ed. by A. Burnham". Megalithic.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  18. ^ "Maturango Museum Home Page". Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  19. ^ "The Maturango Museum". data from Desert USA. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  20. ^ "Coso Rock Art District". National Historic Landmarks Quioklinks. National Park Service. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  21. ^ "DesertUSA – Events Calendar for Ridgecrest, Ca". comprehensive resource about the North American deserts. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  22. ^ "9/11 Parade of 1,000 flags". Ridgecrest Daily Independent. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  23. ^ "Weather for Ridgecrest, California- Temperature and Precipitation". Weather.com. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  24. ^ "Sierra Sands Unified School District". Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  25. ^ "Mesquite High School". Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  26. ^ "Ridgecrest Charter School". Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  27. ^ "Saint Ann School". Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  28. ^ "Immanuel Christian School". Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  29. ^ "Opportunities For Learning Public Charter Schools". Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  30. ^ "Cerro Coso Community College – Main website". Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  31. ^ "Indian Wells Valley Campus". Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  32. ^ "Kern County Fire Department". Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  33. ^ http://ci.ridgecrest.ca.us/police-department/ridgecrest-crime-statistics
  34. ^ Jerome, Richard (April 7, 1997). "Object Lesson". People 47 (13). Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  35. ^ Binelli, Mark (September 16, 1999), "Q&A: Blink-182's Mark Hoppus", Rolling Stone (821), retrieved June 27, 2012 
  36. ^ "Mark Hoppus: Biography, Latest News & Videos". TV Guide. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 

External links[edit]