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Preview: www.KVPR.com - Valley Public Radio's special tribute to artist Arshile Gorky

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Should Fresno City Employees Be Allowed To Carry Guns At Work?

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:08:20 +0000

The next time you go to Fresno City Hall or see a city employee looking for people watering their yards on banned watering days, that employee might be carrying a concealed fire arm. That's if the the Fresno City Council approves a new proposal from council member Garry Bredefeld. There are more than 1,500 people in the city of Fresno who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Among that group, some almost certainly are city employees working everywhere from behind a desk to doing code enforcement on abandoned properties. City council member Garry Bredefeld says those city workers should be allowed to carry their weapon on the job the same as they do off the clock. “If there are people, employees, throughout Fresno working, if they would feel safer being able to carry their weapon because they have a legal right to do so, we want to allow them to do that,” Bredefeld says. Bredefeld has submitted a resolution to the city council to make it clear that if a city worker has obtained a


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/jbh-guns_and_city_employees-7-27.mp3




BPD Launches Investigation Into Mistaken Identity Arrest Of Teen

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 21:10:00 +0000

Late last year the California Department of Justice launched a "patterns and practices" investigation into the Bakersfield Police Department, after a series of incidents and officer involved shootings that drew national attention. New police chief Lyle Martin has been on the job for about as long, and now he has another issue to deal with: an encounter a few weeks ago between his officers and 19-year-old Tatyana Hargrove. It left the African-American woman with injuries from punches and a police K-9. There’s also a twist in this case, one of mistaken identity. Instead of the five foot two, 115 pound woman, the suspect police were looking for was actually a five foot ten, 170 pound bald man. The story went viral on social media and has made national headlines. Martin has since launched an internal investigation into the incident. To learn more we spoke with reporter Harold Pierce of the Bakersfield Californian who has been following the story and reports residents are asking the DA to


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/haroldtatyana.mp3




Valley Edition Special: Mariposa County Residents Return Home After Detwiler Fire

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 21:04:17 +0000

Residents around Mariposa are picking up the pieces left behind in the wake of the Detwiler Fire. For many, that means returning to homes damaged or completely destroyed by the fast moving blaze. This week Valley Public Radio spoke with a wide range of people who were affected in some way by the fire to find out how they are feeling and what their plans are going forward. 92-year old Liotta Brewer has lived in and around Mariposa for her entire life. Her home was saved but the fire burned other parts of her land destroying barns, a workshop, and several vehicles. The fire came so close it burned her porch and melted plastic items, like an outdoor thermometer. “It’s terrible. I’m just sick. Heart sick. To see all your things go down the drain. It’s very hard. I have never (seen anything like this). I guess I have been lucky to not have any fires. It is actually just devastating to see the damage. But we will make it,” says Brewer. Chris Allen was not so lucky. His home is nearby and was


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-25-17_DetFire_Segment.mp3




Cap-and-Trade Companion Bill May Fall Short Of Closing Air Pollution Loophole

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:34:49 +0000

Lost in the coverage of the extension of California's cap-and-trade system is another bill that aims to reduce local air pollution in communities like the San Joaquin Valley. AB-617 aims to increase oversight of major stationary sources of pollution that are also regulated by cap-and-trade. Under the law, the state will now make public more data on pollution sources, and local air districts will be required to develop plans to bring these facilities into compliance with the latest available emission control technology. However, the final bill fails to close a loophole that allows polluters to avoid making those upgrades by purchasing emission reduction credits. To explain more we spoke with Julie Cart, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with Cal Matters, who reports even the bill's author calls it a "downpayment" to environmental justice.


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/julie_cart_ab617.mp3




Interview: Fresno Bee Reporter Mackenzie Mays' New Sex Education Series

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:58:35 +0000

After Fresno Bee Reporter Mackenzie Mays launched her first story in her series on the lack of sex education in the region she had an interesting conversation. Her main source called in tears saying that over $4,000 had been raised through her GoFundMe account . At 14, Graciela Pacheco was told by her school counselor to hide her pregnant belly and to find a new school. To tell us more about her multi-part series Mays was interviewed by FM89 Host Joe Moore on Valley Edition. Take a listen to the interview above and for more on her series click here .


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-25-17_TeenPregMM_Segment.mp3




Valley Edition: June 25 - Detwiler Fire; AB-617; Tatyana Hargrove; Sex Education

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:58:29 +0000

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on the Detwiler Fire burning around the mountain town of Mariposa. We also hear from Julie Cart With CALmatters about the passage of AB-617. Later we hear from Bakersfield Californian Reporter Harold Pierce about his latest reporting on a case of police brutality in Bakersfield. Ending the program we are joined by Fresno Bee Reporter Mackenzie Mays about her new series looking at the lack of sex education in the region.


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-25-17_CompleteShow.mp3




Residents Learn The Fate Of Their Homes Following The Detwiler Fire

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 01:12:19 +0000

UPDATE: Evacuation orders remain in place for residents on Greeley Hill Road and Dogtown Road near Coulterville. Original post: Residents of Mariposa County are beginning to return home as the Detwiler Fire slowly dies down. Cal Fire is getting control of the blaze but not before it burned more than 76,000 acres. Monday is the first day some are learning if their homes survived the blaze. Linda Scoggin’s home is the only one left standing on a remote road in Mt. Bullion north of Mariposa but that doesn’t mean everything survived. “This was a shop. Big enough to park two big motor homes in. It was that big. I had a travel trailer. A tool shop. My Husband when he was alive was an industrial electrician,” Scoggin says. The Detwiler Fire was so close to her house it scorched her porch, burned the landscaping on the side of the building and melted her outdoor thermometer. The heat from the flames was so intense it shattered windows and an outdoor glass table. Scoggin has been evacuated from


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/news_july_24_404_pm.mp3




Progress On Detwiler Fire As Residents, Yosemite Tourists Deal With Smoke

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:23:30 +0000

The Detwiler Fire has now burned over 70,000 acres and is 10 percent contained, but officials say they are making progress in the firefight, and say Mariposa residents may soon be able to return to their homes. Ken Pimlott is the Director of Cal Fire. He says cooler temperatures have helped the effort. “Our goal is to the use the next several days while the weather has somewhat moderated to really try to get containment lines in, but we’re really not out of the woods,” says Pimlott. He says the northern portion of the fire is a big concern, but at the southern end near Mariposa, firefighters have made progress. “We hope to repopulate the community of Mariposa or start that tonight, if conditions hold, but the north end of the fire still has active fire burning in the communities of Coulterville and Greeley Hill are directly ahead of the fire, and so we have a lot of work to do on that part of the fire in the Merced River drainage,” says Pimlott. Steep and remote terrain is complicating


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/detwiler_web_thursday.mp3




Bootjack Residents Brace For Detwiler Fire Evacuations

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 23:38:23 +0000

As the Detwiler Fire continues to grow, residents in the surrounding area are growing increasingly nervous. Many residents are already making preparations to evacuate if necessary. One of those residents is Jack Wass. Wass is a lifelong resident of Bootjack which is just a few miles southeast of Mariposa on the edge of the evacuation zone on Highway 49. Wass and his friend are trying to jumpstart his truck to make sure it is ready to roll in case they get word they have to leave. Standing in the smoke filled air with ash falling around him, the 80-year old Wass says he hasn’t seen a fire this big in the area in decades. “Everybody is worried about it. It is a bad one. You have to be worried. I don’t think I will get evacuated but you never know,” Wass says. But outside of making sure the truck is ready to roll, Wass says he is simply going to wait for the word to get out. “I am just going to load my dog and go. That is what I am going to do.” Wass laughs. Wass’ daughter Shelly Claspill


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/bootjack.mp3




Mariposa Residents Flee, Wait In Awe Of Fire That Could Destroy Their Town

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:00:23 +0000

On Tuesday when the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa doubled in size residents were forced to evacuate. They were left questioning whether their homes and businesses would be engulfed in the flames approaching the town. Sharon Capps, her sister Janice Lindgren and I are watching a massive DC-10 plane drop load after load of retardant on a glowing hill above the old-gold mining town of Mariposa. “This is really bad, it’s the biggest fire I have seen here,” Capps says. “There’s a helicopter right there. It’s going way back like way towards Yosemite.” The sisters are camping on a plot of land one of them own not too far from here. They evacuated their homes just south of Mariposa early knowing a fire can rapidly move through the steep grassy terrain in this area. “It looks like the wind has calmed down now, but at 4 o’clock [Tuesday] the wind was whipping,” Capps says. “You don’t want to get stuck in a whole where you can’t get out.” Mariposa, the Gold Rush town just miles from their homes, was


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/edr_DETWILERSUPERSPOT2_7-19-17.mp3




Utility Companies Embrace Drones For Efficiency, Safety

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:10:06 +0000

On a hill overlooking Millerton Lake in Fresno County a group of workers are gathering around a cell tower. They’re watching a tiny white drone slowly circle the tower from the ground all the way to the top. Quasie Jones is with the drone imaging company Skycatch . “So what it’s doing is taking a picture every two seconds,” Jones says. “So by the end of it it’ll basically have probably like five or 600 photos. So then our technology renders that and creates a 3D model.” After the model of the tower is created the drone can then make decisions on its own on on whether there’s anything wrong. It does this by comparing previous photos and video of the tower with what’s recorded today. If there's anything off then it notifies AT&T. It’s a dangerous job that can take hours if done by a person . Art Pregler with AT&T’s Drone Program says his team’s fed thousands of photos and video into an algorithm to teach the drone what to look for. “A technician will just get a trouble-ticket


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/EDR-DronesUtility.mp3




Google-Backed Project Brings 20 Million Mosquitoes To Fresno

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:33:32 +0000

Last week it made national headlines: a company with ties to Google is releasing 20 million mosquitoes in Fresno. It might sound like a bad idea, but it's actually part of an innovative plan called "Debug Fresno" that aims to stop the local spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can spread dengue fever and the zika virus. Verily Life Sciences, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, Inc is working with Fresno's Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District on the project. It's the continuation of an effort launched on a much smaller scale last year, which Valley Public Radio previously reported. Steve Mulligan who runs the district joined us on Valley Edition today to explain that the 20,000,000 male mosquitoes won't bite, and are carrying the Wolbachia bacteria, which officials hope could help prevent them from reproducing. We also talked about how Google got involved with the project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVozrgEwi_Q


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-18-17_Mosquito_Segment.mp3




Arts And Crafts And Insulin: Summer Camp Offers Kids With Diabetes A Breath Of Fresh Air

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 22:45:26 +0000

School’s out and the weather’s hot, so this week, we decided to escape the heat of the valley and go to camp in the mountains. Bearskin Meadow Camp is a not-so-typical summer camp near Hume Lake, where campers do more than play outside and share campfire stories. Lexie Watkins wants to be on Broadway when she gets older. So today, while other kids are out hiking, playing ultimate Frisbee and learning outdoor cooking, Watkins is on a small amphitheater stage surrounded by sequoias and aspens doing improv sketches. She’s in the driver’s seat of a chaotic imaginary taxi, trying to guess that her riders are Rapunzel, a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson impersonator, and a petulant smartphone-obsessed child. “I really can't see myself anywhere else besides the stage,” says the high school junior from Bakersfield and a regular at Bearskin Meadow. “It's my safe spot; it's my comfort zone.” When the bell rings for lunch, high schoolers rush out of cabins and athletic fields, walking along dirt


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/kkdiabetescamp.mp3




Valley Communities Worry USDA Changes Could Hurt Rural Infrastructure

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 22:40:42 +0000

When new presidential administrations come into office, they often make changes to agencies and appoint people who share their political outlook. The same is true under the leadership of President Donald Trump. However, one seemingly obscure reorganization involving leadership of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development program is sending shockwaves throughout Central California and beyond. One of those concerned is Farmersville Mayor Paul Boyer. Thanks to the USDA, Boyer has plans to replace the town’s 60-year-old wastewater treatment plant which today creates an intense smell in the middle of the California summer. “As you can see the aerator out there in middle churning the water around aerating it. It also brings some of the air and the waste water up and we are down wind right now. It is not real bad but you wouldn’t want to come out here and eat your lunch,” Boyer says. The open air pits contain anything and everything flushed down the drain from human waste to


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/usda_trump.mp3




Outdoorsy 8: Stargazing And Night Skies

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:37:18 +0000

Okay, you know it, we know it: Summer in Central California is hot. Really hot. So hot, we know that even if we had an awesome activity to talk about, most of you probably wouldn’t do it. At least, not during the day. Instead, we’ve got an idea for something cool to do after the sun has retreated below the horizon: stargazing. In this episode we talk all about gazing into the heavens. We’ll go to a star party at Millerton Lake and learn how some people are trying to protect the night sky for future generations. We’ll also hear about an upcoming festival dedicated to dark skies in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Guests: Brian Bellis , Star Party Coordinator with Central Valley Astronomers Peter Strasser , Technical Director of the International Dark-Sky Association Nancy Emerson , Chairperson of the Santa Barbara County Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association Savannah Boiano , Education Director for the Sequoia Parks Conservancy Dark Sky Festival - Sequoia and Kings


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/edr_kk_OutdoorsyStars_7-17-17.mp3




Valley Edition: July 18 - Drones; USDA; Mosquitoes; Summer Camp For Kids With Diabetes; Outdoorsy

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:11:03 +0000

On this week's program our team reports on drones, a summer camp for diabetic youth and how potential cuts to the USDA could hurt some in the region. We also hear from Steve Mulligian with the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District about a project funded by Google where 20 million mosquitoes will be released this summer throughout the Fresno area. Ending the show we hear the latest installment of our podcast Outdoorsy. This time it's all about the stars.


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-18-17_R1CompleteShow.mp3




Where's The Fish? Is It The End Of Bakersfield's Historic "Trout's" Nightclub?

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 22:58:26 +0000

For decades Trout's Nightclub has been a fixture in the Oildale neighborhood of Bakersfield. It was the musical home of people like the late Red Simpson and others who helped make the "Bakersfield Sound" incredibly popular among country music fans in the decades following World War II. The venue was also considered one of the city's last original honky-tonk clubs. But earlier this spring the bar closed, and doesn't show any signs of reopening soon. There's also an additional loss to fans of country music history - the famous "Trout's" sign has disappeared, and the new owners of the building claim it was stolen. Journalist Steven Mayer of the Bakersfield Californian has been following the story and the search for the sign, which has now gone nationwide, even attracting attention in Nashville. Mayer joined us on Valley Edition to talk about what the loss of the venue means for the community.


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-11-17_Trout_Segment.mp3




How A Small Group Of Fresnans Got The State To Change Course And Send $70 Million Their Way

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 22:23:58 +0000

It’s not usually easy to get the state of California to quickly adjust how it spends money in places like the Central Valley, especially after the Governor Jerry Brown himself comes to town for a major bill signing. But that’s exactly what a group of activists in Southwest Fresno were able to do, convincing the state to make their part of town eligible for $70 million in cap-and-trade funding. Activist Chris Finley was part of the effort to pressure the state to shift a pot of money from the cap-and-trade program from downtown to Southwest Fresno and Southeast Fresno, among other areas. Near an empty field he reflects on the decades of what he considers to be broken promises of investment. “The field looks exactly how it has since I was little. And also a lot of the other fields around here. The ones on Elm have been there. Also the other parts of the city, they haven’t been developed,” Finley says. For Finley, this field and others like it represent the missing potential of the


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-11-17_WESTfRESNO_Segment.mp3




Two Years After Rough Fire, Boyden Cavern Still Sits Shuttered

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 21:37:55 +0000

In 2015 the Rough Fire burned more than 150,000 acres in the mountains east of Fresno. The blaze burned hot and fast threatening Hume Lake Christian Camps in Sequoia National Forest. But while most of the area is starting to recover Boyden Cavern has yet to reopen. But that could soon change. Usually the parking lot and picnic area at Boyden Cavern along Highway 180 in the Giant Sequoia National Monument is packed full of people. But traffic cones and caution tape have blocked the entrance for two years. The only life around is the rushing Kings River and passersby like Doug Borba that remember how low the river was last year. “It was running then,” says Borba. “You could probably walk across it then. Not now. It’s too dangerous.” Borba is from Tulare and he’s visiting the area with his girlfriend and her family from Texas. He says he would have liked to take them Boyden Cavern. He’s toured the marble cave system four times. “It was interesting,” says Borba. “When you go up in and they


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-11-17_BoydCavern_Segment.mp3




Private Domestic Well Owners Left Behind In California's Water Quality Push

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 21:37:07 +0000

The recent drought underscored the struggles of private well owners as wells across Tulare County went dry. But an underlying issue has existed all along: even those who have drinking water don’t necessarily know if it’s safe. “The problem is that those people that live outside of the city and have their own well are usually the ones that have no idea what’s in their drinking water,” says Abigail Solis , a community development specialist with the Visalia non-profit Self-Help Enterprises . Solis says many residents simply don’t test their water. “They are under the misconception that because they live out in the country that their water is clean or somehow better than the water in the city,” says Solis. But it’s not. Wells in this area commonly contain unsafe levels of nitrates, which are byproducts of the fertilizer used throughout Tulare County. Drinking them is particularly harmful to infants. It restricts the flow of oxygen to the body and can lead to so-called “blue baby syndrome”


Media Files:
https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kvpr/audio/2017/07/VE_7-11-17_WICCONT_Segment.mp3