Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2016 02:51:10 +0000
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 22:36:24 +0000In our last episode we brought you to Mono Hot Springs in Sierra National Forest. This time, we discuss hiking with dogs and we explore a not-so-visited grove of giant sequoias. In this episode we talk less about humans and more about our pets: specifically, dogs. Neither of us (Kerry or Ezra) has dogs but hiking with them looks like a lot of fun. Our friends also talk about how tough it can be to find dog-friendly hiking spots and to keep them safe. So this episode is all about where to take them, where not to take them, and how to prep them for the outdoors if they’re not quite ready yet. We also found a place on the way to Yosemite National Park where both humans and animals can get a treat. We knew there was only one way to do this story: spend some time with dogs and their people. We invited four buddies with furry friends to join us for a day in the woods. Meet Norah, Duke, Bart and Kuma Diego, and their owners: Mackenzie, Christine, Michelle and Joey. There's a grove of giant
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:44:10 +0000After decades of complaints from residents, a vote this week by the Fresno City Council could signal what some think is a new direction for southwest Fresno. The city is considering a new specific plan that will guide the future of the 3,000 acre neighborhood west of Highway 99 and south of Highway 180. At its heart is a goal to remake the area, and reduce pollution by telling big industrial facilities to move elsewhere. When she was a little girl, Kimberly McCoy lived near some of the heavy industry that marks parts of southwest Fresno. Because of that pollution, McCoy says she developed severe asthma. “I was hospitalized twice with pneumonia in the summertime because of my asthma. I was actually placed in an oxygen bubble. So yeah, it was really bad,” McCoy says. McCoy says her asthma was so bad that her mother had to quit her job to care for her. Her doctors even suggested that the family leave Fresno to find better air, something impossible for a single mother raising two children
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:53:36 +0000Author Armen Bacon joins Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore to talk about her new collection of essays, "My Name Is Armen Volume 2: Outside The Lines." Published by Fresno State, the new book finds Bacon telling stories about her life and the people she has met in Central California. Bacon will be among the local authors participating in a special "Bookhop" event on Thursday December 1 from 5:00-8:00 PM at Fresno's Arte Americas.
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:51:29 +0000Illustrator and author Doug Hansen's work is immediately familiar to many Fresno area residents. For years Hansen worked as a staff illustrator for the Fresno Bee, producing a popular series on local landmarks and places throughout Central California. Now an art professor at Fresno State, Hansen has taken his love of illustrating California scenes into a new field - children's books. His newest, "California, The Magic Island" is a colorful trip through California mythology geography and history, for children ages six and up. Hansen is among the local authors participating in the "Bookhop" event Thursday December 1 at Arte Americas from 5:00-8:00 PM.
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:45:08 +0000This week on Valley Edition Reporter Jeffrey Hess reports on a new vision for Southwest Fresno when it comes to heavy industry. We're also joined by Armen Bacon about her new book "My Name is Armen - Outside the Lines, volume II." We also hear from Doug Hansen about his children's book "California, the Magic Island." Ending the program KVPR reporters Ezra David Romero and Kerry Klein present the third installment of Outdoorsy. This time it's all about dogs.
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 22:31:02 +0000The fungal disease can afflict individuals of any age and ethnic group—even those who have lived and worked in the valley for decades. As part of our first-person series My Valley, My Story, we travel to the annual Valley Fever Walk in Bakersfield, where a 54-year-old Kern County man shares his story of overcoming the disease. "My name is James Taplin. I was diagnosed in 2010 and, like many others, I thought I had pneumonia, but I went to my primary physician who thought I was having a heart attack. I ended up in Bakersfield Heart Hospital where they diagnosed me pretty much immediately--and I'm of the firm belief that it saved my life. "I was in the hospital nearly a month, and it took me a year to heal. Maybe not completely, but almost get there. I actually initially got worse. I went through the whole thing: I bottomed out, and resuscitation, and all those things that people don't really like to talk about. When I got out of the hospital I could not literally open a bottle of water.
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 21:48:39 +0000Next Thursday Fresno art lovers will celebrate the city’s galleries and art spaces with the monthly first-Thursday event known as Art Hop. But lovers of the printed word will have another opportunity that night to meet some of the valley’s most insightful and talented authors at an event being billed as “Bookhop.” Among the authors who will be at Arte Americas for the event are David Mas Masumoto and Nikiko Masumoto. Together they have a new book about the generational transition now underway on their family farm titled “Changing Seasons, A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm.” That’s in addition to another new book by Mas Masumoto, titled “A Sense of Yosemite” which is a collaboration with photographer Nancy Robbins. Both Mas and Nikiko joined us on Valley Edition to talk about their new books and the event on Thursday December 1.
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 20:02:29 +0000Last week the Kern High School District Board voted to approve a plan to allow teachers with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns on campus. The move was controversial, both because of the topic, and also the last minute nature of the meeting and vote. Harold Pierce of the Bakersfield Californian Harold Pierce joined us to talk about this story and other news regarding the district.
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 19:53:37 +0000Earlier this month California voters approved a big change to education in the state when they passed Proposition 58. The initiative overturned prior voter-approved restrictions on bilingual education in the state. Now local districts are gearing up to implement the new law. Education reporter Mackenzie Mays of the Fresno Bee joined us on Valley Edition to talk about that story, and other news involving Fresno Unified schools.
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 19:12:53 +0000This week on Valley Edition we start the program with a story from Kerry Klein reports a new valley fever skin test. The Bakersfield Californian's Harold Pierce chats about how the Kern County high school district voted to let teachers bring guns on campus. Later in the program Fresno Bee Education Reporter Mackenzie Mays talks about how the passing of proposition 58 is already effecting bilingual learners. Ending the program we hear from Mas and Nikiko Masumoto about two of their recent publications "A Sense of Yosemite" and Changing Seasons, A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm."
Mon, 21 Nov 2016 20:51:41 +0000We continue our reporting this week on the fungal disease known as valley fever with a story about a potential route to prevention. One of the first lines of defense against any disease is determining who’s at risk. It’s possible to develop immunity to valley fever, and a new skin test could be used to screen for that immunity—but that’s only if the test overcomes some major hurdles. Faith Herrod wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. The 11-year-old lives in the small Central California town of Lemoore with her family, three dogs and three cats. Someday, she’ll get a rabbit, too—as soon as her mother lets her. In her free time, Faith should be out playing with her dogs. But for almost a year, she was not able to do so. She would come home from school at 4 p.m. and go right to bed. That’s because last October the sixth-grader was diagnosed with valley fever, a fungal infection that kept her out of school for months and left her with regular headaches and chronic pain. “Sometimes
Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:53:19 +0000Communities like Kerman, Firebaugh, Selma and Kingsburg will soon have an eco friendly transit option. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports. With a goal of improving air quality in the Valley the California Air Resources Board is providing funding for 15 zero-emission electric buses from a company called Proterra. Kent Leacock runs government relations for the group. He says the project will eliminate 15 tons of greenhouse gases in the region. “They’re also saving money for their respected transit districts because the buses have been proven out that over a 12 to 14 year lifecycle they’re cheaper to run then natural gas or diesel," Leacock says. Four of those buses will end up operating under the Fresno County Rural Transit agency. It’s all part of a plan to transition their fleet to 100 percent electric vehicles. The buses can go about 185 miles on one charge. “We’re going to put them in these rural communities that are really very deserving of the zero emission vehicles and the charging
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 01:43:54 +0000Health organizations in Fresno County today announced a new initiative to reduce premature births. Right now, 11.1 percent of births in the county occur earlier than 37 weeks—that‘s far more than the state average of 8.3 percent. The new initiative, a collaboration between Fresno State, UC San Francisco, Fresno County and other groups and agencies, endeavors to reduce that to only 7 percent by the year 2025. Sandra Flores of Fresno State is the director of the initiative. "We know that babies born too early are experiencing serious health complications and are faced with disabilities that last their lifetime," Flores says. "So we are focusing on healthier birth outcomes to mitigate the health risks that our babies are experiencing." She says the program will prioritize health interventions during three main phases: "Health and education before pregnancy, care and support during pregnancy, and focus on the continuum of care." Flores says the initiative should also reduce disparities
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 20:30:42 +0000We talk politics in a special post-election Valley Edition this week. Should the media and political establishment put so much emphasis on predictive polling? What does a Trump administration mean for the Central Valley, and for local GOP leaders like Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes? And what do local races and voter turnout tell us about future campaigns? We talked with our panel of political experts: Fresno State political science professor Lisa Bryant, KSEE-24's Evan Onstot and the Fresno Bee's John Ellis.
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 20:06:03 +0000Valley fever has long been a major health concern for people who live in the San Joaquin Valley. A fungus that grows in the soil can become airborne. If inhaled it can cause serious health issues, even death in some cases, though most people who contract the disease have a mild case, and they don’t even know they’ve had it. Now cases of the disease are up significantly in Kern County and some say it is connected to California's weather patterns. It's one theory explored in the first report of a new series on the disease from the Center For Health Journalism Collaborative, which includes Valley Public Radio, the Bakersfield Californian and a number of other outlets. To learn more about the project, which will debut original reporting on the disease over the coming weeks, we spoke with Harold Pierce of the Californian and FM89's Kerry Klein.
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 20:02:15 +0000Fresno is known for poetry. Perhaps it's because of unique hardships encountered here, but it's also thanks to poets like Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Philip Levine and others like current U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. The Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing is celebrating another noteworthy poet and alumnus of Fresno State with a screening of the new documentary “A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet." Larry Levis graduated from Fresno State in 1968. He went on to attend Syracuse University for a masters and to the University of Iowa for a Ph.D. In 1995 he was awarded the University’s Top Dog Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Fresno State Alumni Association. Dr. Lisa Weston, chair of the department of English at Fresno State, says Levin's writing is yet another reason why "Fresno is a place of poetry." “Showcasing alumni like Larry Levis is a way of showing how much a part of the Valley’s culture we are,” Weston says of the Creative
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:55:51 +0000On this week's special two hour Valley Edition our reporting team takes a look at the issues of valley fever, folic acid in corn masa and LGBT healthcare in rural California. We also are joined by the Fresno Bee's John Ellis, Fresno State's Lisa Bryant and KSEE 24's Evan Onstot for an election recap with VE host Joe Moore. Later in the show we'll hear about Lori Clune's book "Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World." We'll also hear about a new documentary called "A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet." Country music star Ray Benson of Asleep At the Wheel also joins us to talk about his upcoming visit to Bakersfield.
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:52:44 +0000It was one of the biggest scandals the country had ever seen - the theft of U.S. government secrets about the atomic bomb that wound up in the hands of the Soviet Union. The federal government eventually tried and executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for conspiracy, sparking an international outcry. Now the story of the Rosenbergs is back in the news, as there is an effort underway to seek a presidential pardon in their case. There’s also a new book about their trial by Fresno State professor Lori Clune called “Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy In a Cold War World.” We talked with her about how newly uncovered documents have brought us additional insights into both the crime, and the international response to the trial.
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:51:00 +0000Ray Benson is one of the greatest living practitioners of western swing - a mix of country, jazz and boogie-woogie that has delighted audience worldwide since the days of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. This weekend Benson brings his band to the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, a town that was home to two of his other musical heroes - Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Benson talked with us on Valley Edition about the legacy of Bob Wills and the lasting appeal of western swing.
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:11:39 +0000The impact of a Donald Trump presidency on the Central Valley is still a great mystery. However, modern American presidents have broad powers that they can put into effect quickly. There are more than a few very specific actions Trump could take that would directly affect Central California. Some of the bigger promises made by president-elect Trump will require the cooperation of the Republican-controlled Congress. Promises like a border wall, mass deportations, and repealing Obamacare will take some time. But with a stroke of his presidential pen, Mr. Trump can bring sudden and consequential changes that could reverberate throughout the Central California. One of the biggest changes could be to the distribution of water to farmers in the Valley. “If I win believe me we are going to open up that water. So you can have your farms survive. So your job market will get better,” Trump said during a rally in Fresno in May. Ryan Jacobsen with the Fresno County Farm Bureau says the Obama