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Last Build Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:33:34 +0000


Young Artist's Spotlight - YOOF Soloists Part 3

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:11:04 +0000

Today on Young Artist's Spotlight we feature the last of three programs showcasing soloists from the programs of Youth Orchestras of Fresno. Host David Aus is joined this week by the following: Olivia Lin, cello; accompanied by Matthew Dean, piano - performing Edward Lalo's Cello Concerto in D minor - 1st mvt Shayne Baldwin, cello; accompanied by Matthew Dean, piano - performing Carl Davidoff's "At the Fountain" Micah Davison, marimba and Peyton Esraelian, marimba - performing Catching Shadows by Ivan Trevino (b. 20th Century) Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Foundation; Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.

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Boxcar Fest To Celebrate Restoration Of Merle Haggard's Childhood Home

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:37:09 +0000

It might be the most famous boxcar in Kern County, if not the entire state of California. The childhood home of the late country music star Merle Haggard is no longer in Oildale, where it sat for decades – it’s now at the Kern Pioneer Village near the end of a two year-long restoration. The museum is throwing a party to celebrate the completion of the project April 9th called the Haggard Boxcar Festival . Grace Martin of the museum joined us to talk about the event, which also will feature performances from Ben and Noel Haggard with The Strangers as well as other musical acts.

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California Cotton Farmers Maximize Harvest By Tagging Crops With DNA

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:17:10 +0000

In 2014 the California cotton industry got a wake up call. Somewhere in the supply chain of turning high end cotton into fabric the products were being laced with inferior fiber. And now as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports consumers can be sure they’re getting what they pay for. After using plant based DNA sprayed onto raw Pima cotton to track it through the supply chain sheet maker David Greenstein found that Chinese spinners turning it into thread were mixing it with inexpensive varieties. Pima is a highly prized cotton type grown mainly in the Central Valley. Greenstein says three years later his products are actually 100 percent Pima and sold in places like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Costco. “We’re well on our way and this commitment from Bed, Bath & Beyond has really helped us scale to a point where everything to do with the efficiencies in commercialization of this idea is now at scale," Greenstein. This is a big win for the 11 local farmers growing Pima because it somewhat

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Lawsuit Filed Against KHSD In Law Enforcement Database Scandal

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:11:56 +0000

There some new developments in the unfolding story of alleged misuse of a confidential law enforcement database by members of the Kern High School Police Department and administration. Last week KHSD Police Chief Joe Lopeteguy, who is now on leave from his position, filed a lawsuit against the district. In it he claims that the district retaliated against him for acting as a whistleblower by exposing the district's alleged misuse of the system to investigate students and employees. Bakersfield Californian reporter Harold Pierce broke the story and joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the latest developments.

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Analysis: Here’s What Could Change Under The American Health Care Act

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:57:45 +0000

We continue our coverage this week of the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Last week we heard from Anthony Wright of Health Access California about his concerns with the so-called American Health Care Act, and this week we’re speaking with someone who had a hand in crafting the new plan. Lanhee Chen is a Stanford University law professor and research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and he’s been an informal advisor to the House Republicans writing the American Health Care Act. Interview highlights: Chen: “I think Republicans have several concerns about the Affordable Care Act. First of all, I think they were concerned about the increasing federalization of health care policy—the specific determinations, for example, about what every single plan in the U.S. had to cover that were being dictated and made by the federal government and through federal policy. Trying to reverse all of that was the first element. “And then the second element, which I think has

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Tech Is Saving Bears In Yosemite, But Speeding Cars Are Still Killing Them

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:10:09 +0000

People love seeing black bears when they visit places like Yosemite National Park. They’re powerful creatures that can be docile or ferocious depending on the encounter. In such a highly visited place incidents with bears are bound to happen, and as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports the park has come up with a new plan to keep bears and people safe. It’s Fresno State student Quiang Chang’s fifth time to Yosemite National Park. He and his friends are walking along the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail. He still hasn’t seen a bear yet, but if he does he says he has a plan. “If they appear I would love to see them,” says Chang. “I probably would just quietly observe them and take a picture.” That’s exactly what park officials want people to do. To keep a healthy distance away from them. But training the public to think this way hasn’t been easy says NPS Spokesman Scott Gediman. In fact in 1998 there were almost 1,600 human encounters with bears where people were injured or property was damaged.

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Valley Edition: Trump Funding; Yosemite Bears; Healthcare; Harold Pierce; Boxcar Fest

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:31:46 +0000

This week on Valley Edition our reporters talk about how Trump's budget cuts could impact the region and how rangers in Yosemite National Park are using technology to save bears. We also hear from FM89's Kerry Klein about the GOP's plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She interviews Stanford Law Professor Lanhee Chen on the topic. Later we hear from the Bakersfield Californian's Harold Pierce about a lawsuit involving misconduct in the Kern High School District. Ending the program we hear all about the Haggard Boxcar Fest in Bakersfield held April 6. The event's coordinator Grace Martin tells us more.

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Will Trump's 'Skinny Budget' Impact Valley Cities?

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:55:16 +0000

President Donald Trump has introduced what many in Washington D.C. call his ‘skinny budget’. It’s the new president’s first public step laying out where he thinks federal spending should, and shouldn’t go. The budget is also a reflection of the administration’s policy goals and priorities, and includes big cuts to non-military discretionary spending. Valley Edition host Joe Moore spoke with reporter Jeffrey Hess about how cities in the Valley might be impacted by potential cuts to everything from block grants to anti-homelessness measures.

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Bakersfield College "Hackathon" Brings Health Advocates Together

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 23:06:29 +0000

Today, Bakersfield College kicks off a new event to address health problems in the San Joaquin Valley--its first-ever public health “hackathon.” Over 100 people from across Central California have signed up for the hackathon, which aims to use technology to address public health challenges like chronic disease, food insecurity and environmental health. Nurse and public health student Elizabeth Patterson says her project idea involves helping young adults mentor each other about sexually transmitted diseases. "If we have some type of program that we have ambassadors that are between those age groups and come out and they’re talking to their peers about this, it makes it less stigmatized and less judgmental," Patterson says. Public health professor Sarah Baron helped plan the event and she said the stakes here are real. "Our hope is, after they pitch this, some of these ideas are going to probably be funded," Baron says. "We actually have some agencies that are coming to scout. They’re

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Kern County Praises McFarland As Community Role Model

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:17:47 +0000

Health officials and advocates gathered in Bakersfield today for a summit on public health in Kern County, where one specific community was touted as a public health role model. In the last five years or so, the city of McFarland has dramatically upgraded its infrastructure. The city has more sidewalks, parks and streetlights than ever before, and it recently created its first bicycle master plan. Flor del Hoyo from Kern County Public Health Services says McFarland is a success story for community engagement and cooperation. "It’s city government working with the school stakeholders working with the community at large. And so we’re not competing, we’re collaborating," she says. Dennis McNamara, McFarland’s community development director, says students designed a park that arose out of the city’s partnership with Disney in 2015. "If we start now with the kids, and get them involved in walking young and get them involved in their community and give them a sense of civic pride and civic

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Report: Nearly A Quarter Of Valley & Sierra Children Live In Poverty

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:18:27 +0000

A new analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California maps child poverty across California , and estimates Valley children would be much worse off without social safety net programs. About one in four children under five years old in the Central Valley and Sierra live in poverty, according to the analysis . That’s about on par with the state as a whole. In fact, many areas with the highest child poverty are actually found along the coast. Author and senior research fellow Caroline Danielson says that’s because salaries here may be lower, but so is the cost of living. "In some areas, employment opportunities are just not that robust," Danielson says. "In other areas, the cost of living in some coastal areas are so high, that they are priced out." She says social safety net programs like food stamps, housing subsidies, and CalWorks have helped control child poverty rates in the Valley. "We estimate statewide that for young children, the poverty rate would be 40 percent, not 25

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New Reports Call For More Transparency Among California Oil Companies

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 16:42:56 +0000

Two new reports out this week examine California’s oil fields and how the high-emitting oil extracted from many of them poses a threat to the environment and human health. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports that one of them is in Kern County. Midway Sunset is the oldest oil field in California and according to a study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace its also one of the most productive. With that comes a lot of emissions of things like fine particulate matter and carbon dioxide. The reports look at emissions from more than 150 oils in the state and the group says more needs to be done to better regulate the state’s oil resources. "By knowing more about its oil California has the opportunity to transform a critical sector and the oil sector is definitely going to have to respond to a warming world," says D eborah Gordon , the group's Energy and Climate Program. " California has a leadership role to play here." She says increased transparency in oil production and refining

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Young Artist's Spotlight: YOOF Soloists Part 2

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:32:53 +0000

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature five violin soloists who are who are studying with instructor Limor Toren-Immerman. All are also members of Youth Orchestras of Fresno (YOOF) and they represent all three of YOOF's orchestras, the Youth Chamber Orchestra (YCO), the Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO) and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO). Melissa Wong, performing Charles de Beriot -- Air Varie No. 14 in G Leila Eshaghi, performing Herman Clebanoff -- Millionaire's Hoedown Emily Lu, performing William H Potstock - Souvenir de Sarasate: Fantasia Espagnole Andrew Obler, performing Max Bruch - Violin Concerto no. 1, in G minor, op. 26, I. Prelude: Allegro moderato Larry Zhao, performing Paganini - Caprice no. 16 Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Foundation; Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.

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Fresno Philharmonic Interviews: Conductor Candidate Rei Hotoda

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 20:11:23 +0000

The Fresno Philharmonic welcomes its fifth candidate for the vacant position of music director and conductor to the community this week with Rei Hotoda, who leads the orchestra in a concert Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 and a contemporary piece by Pulitzer-prize winning Chinese-American composer Zhou Long. Rei Hotoda is currently the Associate Conductor Utah Symphony. She has a doctorate in piano performance from USC and also studied at both Peabody and Eastman. She joined us to talk about her career and her vision for classical music in the 21st century.

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Sierra Nevada: New Aerial Snow Survey Detects Snow Depths Of 75 Feet

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:17:59 +0000

A new way to measure the snowpack from the sky is getting some positive results. FM89's Ezra David Romero reports officials hope new technology can reduce the risk of downstream flooding. At the start of the year NASA crews began flying over the San Joaquin River watershed to measure the snowpack using laser pulses. This creates a way more accurate estimate of how much snow is the mountains than traditional snow surveying does. Jeffrey Payne with the Friant Water Authority says from the end of January to now the snowpack in this area of the Sierra alone grew from 1.2 to 2.7 million acre feet of water. "Last month we were seeing depths of 50 feet and currently they are 75 feet or higher. a few of this now drifts have faces that are 25 to 45 feet high. There's quite a bit of snow in the upper watershed." In preparation for all that snow to melt Payne says releases are continuously being made out of Friant Dam at about 9,000 cubic feet per second. "If we get much higher than where we're

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New Nat Geo Film Features Valley Voices, Looks At California's Shady Water Deals

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 20:01:07 +0000

The new documentary " Water & Power: A California Heist " takes a look at past and current water wars in California. It's told through the eyes of Valley voices like journalist Mark Arax and Bakersfield Californian Columnist Lois Henry. "This is a very serious issue," says the films director Marina Zenovich . "We show people in the film with wells going dry. One of our characters says watch out. You could be next." It tackles issues like shady water deals profiting very few. It also takes a look at the haves and have nots in the Central Valley and shows how the over pumping of groundwater is affecting the region. One of the reasons Marina Zenovich chose to tell this story is because she grew up in Fresno. "I have fond memories of Fresno," Zenovich says. "Part of the reason I did this film was to spend as much as time as I could in the Cenral Valley. . . I was interested in exploring backroom deals and the politics of water as well as learning the history of the state water project.

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Valley Edition: March 14 - Gold Prospecting; ULTA; Clint Olivier; Asm. Rudy Salas; Water Documentary

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:12:08 +0000

This week on Valley Edition our reporters tell stories about gold prospecting and new warehouse distribution centers in the region. We also hear from Anthony Wright with Health Access California about what repealing the Affordable Care Act could mean for Californians. Later we hear from Assemblyman Rudy Salas about legislation he's forming around Valley Fever. Plus we speak with Fresno City Council member Clint Olivier about how Fresno needs to do more for seniors. And ending the program FM89's Ezra David Romero interviews the director of the new documentary "Water & Power: A California Heist" detailing California's water wars.

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Clint Olivier: Fresno Needs To Do More For Seniors

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:54:57 +0000

Fresno is one of the largest communities in the San Joaquin Valley that doesn’t have a dedicated senior center. That’s something that current city councilmember and state assembly candidate Clint Olivier wants to change. Olivier, who also sits on the board of the Fresno Madera Area Agency on Aging says he wants to see the city begin planning for a senior center by partnering with other local organizations to bring a facility into reality before he leaves office. He joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his plan as well as his thoughts on a proposal by Mayor Lee Brand to establish a public safety advisory board to help build community trust in the Fresno Police Department, a move Olivier says he will support.

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Ulta Beauty Warehouse Could Be A Sign Of The Valley Becoming The West Coast's Distribution 'Hub'

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:54:21 +0000

Ulta Beauty may be the biggest beauty product supplier in the country, but the announcement the company will build a distribution and fulfillment center in Fresno could be about much more than eyeliner and lipstick. Some experts think the Central Valley could develop into the hub that supplies on demand products for the entire west coast. But why is the area so enticing for internet retailers, and do these centers provide good jobs? In the bathroom of her central Fresno home, Roe Borunda looks through tote after tote filled with all manner of makeup. Borunda opens a new tote and explains what is inside, “Next one in is powders and contouring kits”. And Roe loves Ulta Beauty products, she is literally a card-carrying fan. She has an Ulta credit card. “[Reporter: And all of this is from Ulta?] About 90% from Ulta,” Borunda says. She says she fell in love with the store and the makeup when a shop opened in Fresno, and now she shops only at Ulta. “It was like a candy store of make-up. And

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With Snow Melting, California Gold Prospectors Hope To Strike It Rich

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:45:29 +0000

All of the recent rain and snow in California is good news for farms and cities. The runoff flowing from the Sierra Nevada is so strong this year that’s it's moving huge boulders and tons of earth down rivers. That means gold is on the move as well and as Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports that has gold prospectors on alert. Larry Riggs and his friends are hunting on a piece of private property near Oakhurst . There are no guns or fishing poles present. Just shovels, plastic bowls and buckets. They’re panning for gold. “There’s ounces and ounces of gold going through right now,” says Riggs. At the moment they’re spread out along a stretch of the Fresno River that cuts through the 80 acres. Riggs is having some luck. “That’s a piece of gold, that little speck,” says Riggs. “I’ve had three pans and I’ve found three or four pieces of gold.” Riggs has been gold prospecting since he was six and now he’s 69. He’s the claim director for the 900 member Central Valley Prospectors

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