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Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:26:56 +0000


With Drought Assistance Forecast To End Tulare County's Looking For Solutions

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:15:25 +0000

Earlier this month Governor Jerry Brown declared the California drought over in all but Tulare, Kings, Fresno and Tuolumne counties. Now the state says it won’t fund drought assistance programs past June. Tulare County is still seeing drought impacts and to continue drought assistance there it'll take about $4 million annually. More than $19 million has been spent on drought assistance in Tulare County alone. "I don't know when the governor is going to say that Tulare County is in a drought, but for us there are still folks that are going to be impacted because the groundwater issue is not going to go away soon," says Tammie Weyker with Tulare County. With the help of state funding Tulare County has aided families with the effects of drought at a cost of about $500,000 a month since 2014. There are still around 90 homes with dry wells there and more than 450 residences rely on a bottled drinking water program. In just over two months funding for a water tank program, showers and a non

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UC Merced Researcher: Plants Are Shielding Us From Climate Change – For Now

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:49:30 +0000

Recent data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimate that carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) concentrations in the atmosphere have risen close to 40 percent since before the industrial revolution. The effects of this rise on climate, sea levels and human societies are still being modeled, but one long-standing mystery for scientists has been how plants respond to rising CO 2 levels, and how their ability to store the greenhouse gas feeds back into the carbon cycle. UC Merced environmental engineer Elliott Campbell thinks he’s uncovered some answers, and he found them in an unusual place: ice samples taken from Antarctica. His research recently appeared in the research journal Nature , and the story was subsequently picked up by the New York Times . Below are a few excerpts from his Skype conversation with reporter Kerry Klein. “One of the big questions right now with climate change is understanding how the plants will interact with climate change,” Campbell says. “To some extent

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Outdoorsy 6: Rocks, Fossils and Gold

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:18:33 +0000

For today's show, we're exploring the Valley's natural resources. Those can include lots of things, like water, historical artifacts, and animal species, but today we're focusing on rocks, minerals and ancient fossils. We’ll tell you how to find neat resources like these in and around the Valley, and how you and your kids can learn more about them. The audio version even features a few bonus geology puns! GOLD IN THE REGION So we’ve had a really wet winter and spring this year. Reservoirs are brimming and rivers are full. All that water is moving a lot of rocks down river. Ezra wondered what all that water was loosening up and carrying down waterways. To find out more Ezra hung out with a few folks who know a lot about the subject, gold prospectors. They went out to the Fresno River near the mountain town of Oakhurst. Meet Larry Riggs. He’s been gold prospecting since he was six, he’s now 69. “That’s a piece of gold, that little speck,” says Riggs. “I’ve had three pans and I’ve found

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Young Artist's Spotlight - Tulare County Youth Orchestras

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:38:10 +0000

Today on Young Artist's Spotlight we feature a number of soloists and ensembles from the Tulare County Youth Orchestras. Sophia Weber - violinist performing La Cinquantaine by Gabriel-Marie accompanied by Rod Henczel David Navarro & Cameron Silva - cello duo performing Nocturne by Charles de Beriot unaccompanied Amy Robles - pianist performing Waltz in A Minor by Frederic Chopin Brent Sunio - violinist performing Elves Dance by E. Jenkinson accompanied by Rod Henczel Joseph Kim - cellist performing Preludio-Fantasia by Gaspar Cassado unaccompanied Paulina Cemo Quartet performing music by Claude Bolling - Paulina Cemo - flute; JD Cemo - drums; Joshua Gutierrez - string bass; Svetlana Harris - piano

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Watchdogs And Feds Say San Luis Reservoir At Risk If An Earthquake Strikes

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:43:28 +0000

Some of the same people who warned state leaders about the probability of Oroville Dam failing are now sounding the alarm at San Luis Reservoir in Merced County. It’s the first time since before the drought began that San Luis Reservoir in the hills west of Los Banos is nearly full at about 97 percent . Thousands of drivers wrap around the man-made lake daily and many stop at the Romero Overlook Visitors Center to stretch their legs. From the site there’s a view of the dam, rolling hills and the valley floor. That’s where I’m meeting Deirdre Des Jardin. “You can see it’s pretty close to the top there,” Des Jardin says. She analyzes policy for environmental groups and is concerned that an earthquake would greatly harm the dam holding back about 2 million acre feet of water. She wrote a blog post about her concerns earlier this year. “The issue is that there’s the Ortigalita fault running right through this reservoir,” Des Jardin says. She says if the Ortigalita Fault or others nearby

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3 Dead In Downtown Fresno Murder Spree, Details Emerge About Suspect

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:30:00 +0000

This post will be updated Three people in downtown Fresno are dead in an apparent murder spree Tuesday morning. The suspect is 39-year old Kori Ali Muhammad. He was already wanted for the murder of a security guard at a Motel 6 on Blackstone Avenue in Fresno last week. Shortly before 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Muhammad allegedly shot and killed a PG&E worker in his company truck near Van Ness north of Divisadero. A co-worker driving the vehicle was not shot and rushed the victim to the police headquarters where he died. The suspect then shot at a second individual but missed, before killing 2 more men near the Catholic Charities office on Fulton Street. The final two victims are believed to be clients of the charity. In all, the suspect fired 16 shots and paused to reload at least once. The names of the victims have not yet been released. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the city’s gunshot detection system immediately notified them of the shootings and an officer found Muhammad running

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Valley Edition: April 18 - San Luis Reservoir; Hanford Park; UC Merced; Evo Blustein; Outdoorsy

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:28:12 +0000

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories on seismic safety at San Luis Reservoir, efforts to turn vacant land in Hanford into a park and about new research around carbon from UC Merced. We also hear from Fresno Musician Evo Bluestein about his latest work and an upcoming concert. Ending the program we learn all about mineral prospecting in our latest Outdoorsy podcast.

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Hanford City Council To Decide Fate of Long Debated Park Expansion

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:25:52 +0000

Many communities in the Central Valley struggle to provide enough green space and parks. In Hanford, residents have tried to figure out what to do with an 18-acre patch of dirt next to a popular city park. A vote by the city council tonight could begin the process of making a final decision about its future. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess reports the scrap of land is the source of a surprising amount of controversy. At Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, families, children, dogs and ducks enjoy a picture perfect afternoon. Residents and city leaders say they are proud of the rolling green landscape and large shady trees. However, immediately adjacent to the park is another 18 acres of city-owned land that has long been nothing more than weeds and dirt. Now, the city is considering selling that land to developers rather than expanding the park as some residents had hoped. Ashley Brakins pushes her 20-month old daughter Harlem in a swing. “The first time that I came here with her she was

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Concert And New Book To Celebrate Central California's Folk Music Traditions

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:13:22 +0000

Central California has a rich folk music tradition, which is being documented in a new book by Evo Bluestein. "The Road to Sweet’s Mill -- Folk Music in the West during the 1960s and ’70s" comes out later this year and tells the story of the people and places behind the region's folk music sound, which flourished at Sierra music camp that gives the book its name, as well as other venues. Bluestein is also presenting a special concert to celebrate the new book taking place this Saturday at Fresno State's Whalberg Recital Hall. The performance will feature Evo's own music as well as Terry Barrett, Barry Shultz, Patricia Wells-Solarzano and Agustin Lira, Two for the Road and The Gilly Girls.

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In Sequoia Visit Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Pledges Park Support

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 23:19:13 +0000

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is defending the Trump administration’s policies on public land. The secretary took his message Friday to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Zinke says he came out west to reaffirm his commitment to federally managed lands, including national parks. He spoke with reporters at an event in Kings Canyon National Park, a day after meeting with California Governor Jerry Brown, one of the president’s harshest critics. “Up front I am not a sell or transfer public land," Zinke says. "We need to look at the managing of it and that’s what I’m doing here going out on the front line." President Trump’s budget calls for a one-and-a half billion dollar cut to the park system’s funding, and the president has faced criticism for talk of loosening rules on the use of public land. “President Trump’s a good boss," Zinke says. "He doesn’t micromanage. He gives me a call once a week and asks me how I’m doing. And up front I am not a sell or transfer public land. We

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Young Artist's Spotlight - Bakersfield's Jian Sisters

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 01:02:58 +0000

Today on Young Artist's Spotlight we feature performances by two sisters from Bakersfield, Kesley and Anna Jian, both students of Bakersfield piano instructor Bonnie Bogle Farrer. Hear them play music by Bach, Rachmaninoff and Liszt.

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Central Valley Farmers Receive First Full Water Allocation Since 2006

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:31 +0000

Farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta got some good news this week. For the first time since 2006 farmers and ranchers who buy water from the federal Central Valley Project will have a full water supply. The Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday they will increase deliveries from the 65 percent forecast in late February to 100 percent. “Following the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) exceptional March 30 snow survey results, Reclamation is pleased to announce this increase to a 100 percent allocation for our South-of-Delta water contractors,” says Acting Regional Director Pablo Arroyave in a press release Tuesday. At the end of March DWR announced an average statewide snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada of 45.8 inches, or 164 percent of the historical average for March 30 (27.9 inches). “However, as Governor Brown reminded us last week when lifting California’s drought state of emergency, the next drought could be around the corner," Arroyave says. "It

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Will A New Deal Prevent Immigration Raids In Madera County?

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 20:32:48 +0000

Since the beginning of April, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced more than 350 arrests in raids from New York to Virginia to Texas. Presumably, they could happen anywhere at anytime. But a new quid pro quo with the government has Madera County hoping it can both do away with raids and keep its residents safe. In most of California, county jails are run by county sheriffs. Not so in Madera, where District Attorney David Linn explains the jail belongs to its own Department of Corrections. “In a sense, it’s really kind of a godsend for the sheriff because running the county jail is a nightmare,” Linn says. But with so many people in charge of law enforcement, one hand may not know always what the other is doing. That appears to be what happened earlier this year when Linn started getting complaints from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. “I started receiving phone calls inquiring as to what was occurring in Madera County and pointing out to me that they

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Fresno County Applies For $1 Million From Feds To Fight Lead In Children

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:59:06 +0000

Reports of high levels of lead in children in two zip codes in Southeast Fresno have raised new concerns about the health of young residents. A report by the news agency Reuters found that in one zip code, the percentage of children with high lead exposure is three times that of Flint, Michigan. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess spoke with county Public Health Director David Pomaville about why rates are so high and what is being done about it. In part, Pomaville says they are doing more outreach but are also looking to the federal government for help. There are some measures that can be taken, low cost measures that can be taken, to remove any chipping or peeling paint. And at least, on an interim basis, seal that back so it is not creating an ongoing exposure. The complete removal is more expensive. Our estimate are between $12,000 and $15,000 in a home to remediate lead. We have just applied for a million dollars in funding from a Housing and Urban Development program at a federal

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California Farmers Say Rain Is A Good Thing, But Too Much Can Delay Planting, Harvest

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:47:27 +0000

Les Wright oversees all of Fresno County’s crops. He’s the agricultural commissioner here. Often he’s meeting with growers and ranchers on their farms, but today he’s fielding calls from his Fresno office. The reason? He says farmers are busy doing office work because the rain means they can’t be in the fields. “Some are welcoming more rain, others aren’t,” Wright says. “I was talking to one of the major growers out on the Westside and they were trying to mud-in their onion seed because it was so wet.” For the most part Wright says all the rain the region’s received is positive, but rain falling at the wrong time can delay planting and harvest. For some crops really wet weather can increase the risk of mold and mildew. Wright says grains and tree crops like oranges, peaches and almonds are somewhat okay with the rain even though heavy drops can knock petals off flowering trees and create uneven fruit growth. He says the real issue comes with crops that are planted yearly. “I noticed on

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Interview: Omar Nare Says "Nuevo Mariachi Is A New Way Of Thinking"

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 18:45:17 +0000

Central Valley Musician Omar Nare is known for pioneering what’s called “nuevo mariachi.” It's a music genre that mixes traditional mariachi music and sophisti-pop music; a blend of jazz, soul and pop. "Nuevo mariachi is third generation, a new way of thinking," Nare says. "We've adapted to being in this culture, but still maintain our traditions." Nare says the genre he’s created is all about living in two worlds -- two types of music and being Mexican and American. To show those two worlds he’s having a concert later this month called “ Sin Mi Mujer Quien Soy ” in Visalia. "The best [mariachi] singers had passed away or had retired, the best writers had passed away or had retired," Nare says." There's really no kind of energy in the professional world of mariachi right now. . . That was the beginning. I started really thinking about that and that's what motivated me to put together this project." Nare says nuevo mariachi is inspired by artists like Sade and Sting. "They kind of

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Interview: Medical Marijuana Companies Target Hanford

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 18:13:58 +0000

Of all places in the Central Valley the City of Hanford has been targeted by a number of companies wanting to establish medical marijuana cultivation businesses. After one business dropped out last month, two others are now interested. H anford Sentinel Reporter Seth Nidever j oined Valley Edition this week t o tell us more and to chat about what one water district near Hanford is doing to prevent flooding from snowmelt. To listen to the interview between Seth Nidever and KVPR Reporter Ezra David Romero click play above.

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Valley Edition: April 11 - ICE; Drone Racing; Medical Marijuana; Lead; Omar Nare

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:56:57 +0000

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories on how Madera County is dealing with ICE working in the county, drone racing and how crops are faring with all the rain. FM89 Reporter Jeffrey Hess interviews Fresno County Department of Public Health Director David Pomaville about what the county is doing to investigate lead levels in children. We also chat Hanford Sentinel Reporter Seth Nidever about how Hanford is reacting to medical marijuana companies would like to set up shop in the city. Plus we’ll talk with Valley Musician Omar Nare. He's created a new type of music genre called "Nuevo Mariachi." It's blend of traditional mariachi, jazz, soul and pop music.

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Drone Racing Buzzes Into The Valley

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:50:00 +0000

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in March, Dennis Spear watches his 15-year-old son Matthew Spear pilot a tiny metal drone through a course at a park outside Fresno. “[They’re] like a swarm of angry bees, ” Spear says. Drones have exploded in popularity as the price of the tiny machines has fallen. More than 700-thousand drones were sold in the United States last year. These drones aren’t what you may have seen in the neighborhood or heard about on the news. They are smaller than a Frisbee and are very light weight. But Dennis says don’t underestimate them. He says their size makes them really fast and nimble. “Compared to a high-performance jet aircraft, like a fighter aircraft, they might have two to one horsepower to weight ratio,” says Spear. “This has eight to 10 to one.” Some drones can reach tops speeds over 100 miles an hour. At a drone race pilots have to guide their drones through a series of physical obstacles. Such as flying around a pole, going under or over a certain “My

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Fresno Philharmonic Interviews: Conductor José-Luis Novo

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 23:17:22 +0000

The Fresno Philharmonic welcomes its sixth candidate for the vacant position of music director and conductor to the community this week with José-Luis Novo. He'll lead the orchestra in a concert Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre featuring music of Mozart, Dvorak, Ravel and Stravinsky, with guest artist violinist Chee-Yun. José-Luis Novo was appointed Music Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and was Music Director of the Binghamton Philharmonic from 2003-2016. Prior to these appointments, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the direction of both Jesús López-Cobos and Paavo Järvi, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the late Erich Kunzel.

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