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Preview: - Valley Public Radio's special tribute to artist Arshile Gorky


Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:46:16 +0000


Young Artists Spotlight 2018: Pianists Shannon Lee & Anna Jian

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:45:42 +0000

This week we feature performances by Kern County piano students Shannon Lee & Anna Jian. Both are students of Bakersfield-based piano instructor Bonnie Bogle. Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from The Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.

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Fresno County Addresses Psychiatry Shortage With New Training Program

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:24:27 +0000

A study published last week by UC San Francisco argues the San Joaquin Valley has some of the lowest ratios of behavioral health providers like psychiatrists and licensed clinical social workers in the state . The study also predicts that if nothing changes, California is on its way to a statewide behavioral health worker shortage. One of the authors’ recommendations, however, is a medical training program that began three years ago at the University of California and just recently gained funding from Fresno County. Listen to the audio for an interview with Dr. Shawn Hersevoort, a psychiatrist at UCSF Fresno and an associate director of the program, called the Train New Trainers Primary Care Psychiatry Fellowship.

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Art Song Festival Comes To Fresno State

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:15:32 +0000

Fresno audiences will get a special taste of the classical world of art songs this weekend at Fresno State. The university's music department will host its first "Art Song Festival" Friday and Saturday at the music building, featuring performances by students, faculty and guest artists. Poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will also participate in the event. Professor Maria Briggs joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the event.

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Valley Edition - February 20, 2018 - NPR's Tamara Keith; Protests Against Guns; Art Song Festival

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 22:06:29 +0000

This week on Valley Edition, we talk with NPR’s White House correspondent Tamara Keith about growing up in Hanford and her experience covering the Trump administration. Columnist Joe Mathews also joins us to explain why he thinks Fresno, Clovis and Madera could one day rival Austin, Texas as a major inland regional hub, but only if local governments cooperate. FM89’s Kern County correspondent Christina Lopez brings us the story of a Bakersfield-area protest following last week’s Florida school shooting. We'll also learn about the challenges of bringing more psychiatric resources to the most underserved part of the state. Plus a preview of Fresno State’s Art Song Festival.

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Valley Amtrak Routes On Track To Meet Safety Standards

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 21:53:15 +0000

The operator of Amtrak service in the Central Valley says they plan to put positive train control in place by the end of this year. This comes a day after the CEO of Amtrak said routes without the safety feature could suspended. Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson told the U.S. House Transportation committee that they are working to put PTC on routes throughout the nation by the end of 2018. But Amtrak doesn’t directly operate every route in the country. Some of their partners are behind on installing this safety feature. Anderson said there may be lines that don’t meet the December 31 deadline. “For those segments, Amtrak will suspend operations,” Anderson said. In the Central Valley, the San Joaquin corridor of Amtrak is operated by Caltrans and the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority. Matt Rocco, with Caltrans , says they will probably meet the deadline for getting positive train control functioning. “For the San Joaquin lines, most of the equipment has been installed,” Rocco says. “We are

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Kern County Residents March For Gun Safety Following Florida School Shooting

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:50:05 +0000

Tuesday marks six days since a 19-year-old man walked onto a South Florida high school campus, opened fire, and murdered 17 people. Many students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have spoken out for stricter gun laws. Now students in Kern County are doing the same. On Monday afternoon, students from Bakersfield High School organized a rally in southwest Bakersfield in support of gun safety on high school campuses. FM 89’s Christina Lopez brings us this story. On Presidents Day, students from Bakersfield High School didn’t just take they day off, they took to the streets to demand gun safety on their campus and inside their classrooms. On the corner of Stockdale Highway and California Avenue in Southwest Bakersfield - students, educators and parents stood alongside a busy intersection for a moment of silence to remember the 17 lives lost during last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “It breaks my heart to think of these students

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From Hanford To The White House: A Talk With NPR's Tamara Keith

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:55:32 +0000

Before Tamara Keith was a household name among NPR listeners, she was a household name among Valley Public Radio listeners. For several years Keith worked as the Central Valley correspondent for KQED’s The California Report, based at the KVPR studios in Fresno. Before that she was a public radio listener herself – growing up in Hanford and listening to this station. Now she’s NPR’s White House correspondent and host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She’s also coming back to the valley for a special event hosted by Valley Public Radio February 24th at Clovis Community College. That event is sold out, but Keith recently joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her career, covering the White House and growing up in the San Joaquin Valley.

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Commentary: As Madera Grows, Could Fresno Area One Day Rival Austin?

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:08:00 +0000

Could the San Joaquin River, long a dividing line in the heart of California, unite the state in pursuit a more metropolitan future for the Central Valley? Whether that happens will be determined in Madera County, on the north side of the river from Fresno. There, a new city, consisting of multiple large planned communities, is finally under construction after decades of planning and litigation. The city has no name and incorporation could be decades away. But within a generation, its population could grow to more than 100,000 people; by mid-century, it might double Madera County’s current population of 150,000. And that is just on the Madera side of the river. On the Fresno side, the county is developing open space, the city of Fresno’s north side is growing, and the city of Clovis is expanding to its south and east. Rising together, the new Madera city, Fresno and Clovis could come to constitute a tri-cities area in the center of California, offering a new model for the state’s long

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The Valley Is Short On Behavioral Health Providers – And That’s Likely To Worsen

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 01:44:56 +0000

In California, mental illness afflicts as many as 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 14 children. And yet, according to a new study, the state’s workforce of behavioral health providers could be in jeopardy. By the year 2028, California could have 41 percent fewer psychiatrists than it needs, and 11 percent fewer other providers like psychologists and licensed clinical social workers. The report, by the UC San Francisco Healthforce Center, shows the distribution of these providers is already uneven . In 2016, the San Joaquin Valley had half the psychiatrists per capita than the statewide average. "I think it’s fair to say that in the San Joaquin Valley, supplies are so low that it’s affecting people’s access," says Janet Coffman, lead author of the study and a professor of health policy at UCSF. She says medical training opportunities are also unevenly distributed, and Latino and black providers are underrepresented - all barriers to care. "When people with these conditions can’t get timely access

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U.S. Secretary Of Agriculture Wants Less Regulation For Central Valley Farmers

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:37:47 +0000

U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the World Ag Expo in Tulare on Tuesday. In a town hall meeting, Perdue told a room of farmers and industry leaders that he wants the Trump administration’s rollback of regulations to extend to agriculture. “We’re trying to look at every regulation that may impede your productivity and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today,” said Perdue. “I want to hear from you very candidly.” Perdue also said he hopes immigration reform includes provisions for undocumented immigrants who work in agriculture. He said they’re a necessary part of the industry. “The president himself understands that, he understands what foreign-born workers have contributed to agriculture,” Perdue said. Valley congressional leaders of both parties attended the town hall, with one notable exception: Tulare Republican Devin Nunes. T oday Perdue will be at the San Luis Reservoir in Merced County with Congressman Jim Costa and local water experts to address another thing

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Struggling For Care

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 18:45:17 +0000

The San Joaquin Valley lacks doctors. For every 100,000 residents, the Valley has 39 primary care physicians—22 percent less than the state average of 64—and an even lower share of specialists. The supply is also short for health professionals who accept Medi-Cal and plans through the Affordable Care Act. Simultaneously, the Valley has an outsized need for doctors. Home to concentrated poverty and some of the most polluted air in the country, the Valley’s four million residents suffer from elevated rates of asthma and obesity compared to the rest of the state. Life expectancies for poor and affluent residents can vary by as much as 20 years. “Struggling For Care” is a collection of in-depth reports, testimonials and panel discussions examining what this shortage means to residents, what some health professionals are doing about it, and why the Valley has such a tough time holding on to doctors in the first place. This reporting was undertaken as part of a project with the USC Center

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Contaminated: Dirty Water In California's San Joaquin Valley

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 18:44:01 +0000

I n 2012, California made history when it became the first U.S. state to declare that clean drinking water is a human right. But five years later, nearly 300 communities still shouldn’t drink their water, according to new state data —and more than half of the 400,000 impacted residents live in the San Joaquin Valley. In this series, our reporters visit these communities, speak with residents, and explore the challenges to obtaining safe, clean drinking water. If you have a personal account or story about contaminated water in your area of California email us at or To find out if the water in your community is contaminated, click through the map below. This post is an abbreviated version of the Contaminated page. You can find the full series here .

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Valley Edition - February 13, 2018 - ICE; High-Speed Rail; Air Quality Apps

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:16:36 +0000

This week on Valley Edition, we talk with Assemblymember Jim Patterson about the upcoming audit of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. We also get an update on a story from last week about the ICE facility in downtown Fresno, and we review smartphone apps that claim to provide important data about air quality. Plus a profile of nuevo mariachi musician Omar Nare, and a talk with the organizers of the Yonsei Project.

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New Developments In KVPR's Investigation Of Downtown Fresno ICE Facility

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:44:06 +0000

Last week we brought you an investigative story about a secretive building in downtown Fresno that’s being used to process individuals coming into custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE . There’s no sign on the building, its address is not listed on the agency’s website, and immigration attorneys are concerned about the detainees’ access to due process. Since running that story last week, we’ve received a lot of feedback— including from ICE itself . Listen to the interview for an analysis of what we’ve since learned from an ICE representative, what’s changed at the facility, and what it tells us about those individuals who are processed there.

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Reinventing Mariachi: Omar Nare On His Vision For A New Sound

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:08:33 +0000

Critics across the globe are starting to pay attention to the music of one young valley artist – Omar Nare. The Sanger native was recently profiled on Public Radio International and the New York Times for his fresh take on mariachi traditions. He’s taking traditional songs and re-inventing them with hints of jazz, soul and funk. It’s a cultural fusion which will be on display at Bitwise in downtown Fresno on Saturday. In an excerpt from a piece that originally aired on The GroundTruth Project, and later on PRI, Qainat Khan brings us a look into Nare's musical vision. This is an excerpt from an episode of “ The New American Songbook ,” which is produced by Heidi Shin and Ian Coss, in partnership with The GroundTruth Project, WGBH, and MassHumanities. Listen to the full podcast here .

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Yonsei Memory Project Seeks To Preserve Japanese American Stories

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 19:17:57 +0000

A new project organized by fourth-generation Japanese Americans is seeking to preserve memories and create art. Called the Yonsei Memory Project, the effort is a project of Nikiko Masumoto and Brynn Saito. The two will hold events in Fresno on Saturday Febaury 17th and Monday February 19th, including memory tours and an event of poetry and art at the Fresno Assembly Center, the site where local Japanese Americans were processed before they were sent to concentration campus during the Second World War. Masumoto and Saito joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the project.

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Air Quality Info On-The-Go? We Put Smartphone Apps To The Test

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 17:37:58 +0000

This winter has been an especially bad one for air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. With long stretches of high particulate matter pollution (PM 2.5), staying informed with accurate info about air quality forecasts and current conditions is important for your health. We took a look at some popular apps for both iOS and Android devices that provide air quality information. Valley Air: (official app of Valley Air District) Pros: Accurate information; includes both forecasts and observed data; push notifications available Cons: Dated design; push notifications require configuration to work; currently iOS only AirNow: (official app from EPA) Pros: Accurate information; compatible with iOS and Android Cons: Dated design; lack of additional features; some bugs in upcoming forecasts, not as good as AirNow website Air Matters: Pros: Good user experience; provides PM 2.5, PM10, and ozone; push notifications available; compatible with iOS and Android Cons: Design emphasizes pollen over air

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Asm. Jim Patterson Calls For High-Speed Rail Authority To Pursue "Plan B"

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 17:42:00 +0000

For the first time since 2012, the state legislature is giving the California High-Speed Rail Authority a thorough audit. This comes just weeks after the agency’s top consultant revealed that the project’s Central Valley section is now nearly $3 billion over budget due to delays and additional design expenses. The audit comes at the request of Assemblymember Jim Patterson. The Fresno Republican has been one of the rail authority’s staunchest critics for years. Now he's asking state leaders to consider a “Plan B” for the ambitious but troubled project. That could be a scaled back rail line that only connects the San Joaquin Valley to San Jose, or a system that uses conventional Amtrak trains on the new high-speed right of way. Patterson recently spoke with Valley Public Radio about what he hopes to accomplish with the audit and how he sees the project changing.

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Attorney General Becerra To Discuss Immigration Policy With Local Growers

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 01:30:45 +0000

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra met with local officials from across the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno today. After addressing DACA and criminal justice reform, Becerra said that over the weekend he plans to meet with employers, like growers, to discuss what to expect from federal immigration authorities now that California is officially a sanctuary state. "I want to make sure employers understand what their rights are but also what their responsibilities are toward their employees," he said. Though he has at times been outspoken against the Trump administration’s immigration policies, Becerra said the most important thing for employers and employees is to know their rights. "There’s no conflict between federal and state law," he said. "There are certain ways that ICE can go about its business to make sure it stays within the confines of federal law, and the ways employers should conduct themselves within state law." Earlier this week, Fowler grower Bee Sweet Citrus claimed

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ICE Responds To KVPR Investigative Report On Fresno Facility

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 01:07:47 +0000

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is responding today to Valley Public Radio’s reporting about the agency’s presence and practices at a facility in downtown Fresno. In that report, we described an unmarked, under-the-radar Fresno facility that processes and detains individuals coming into ICE custody . We also reported that ICE had not responded to multiple opportunities to comment on the story before it was published. In response, an ICE representative has now confirmed the office on L Street is run by a division of ICE known as Enforcement and Removal Operations. He also argued that it’s not a detention center, though he confirmed the facility does have a secure space for interviewing and holding individuals for up to 12 hours. He says eight other facilities serve this same role within a coverage area that extends from Bakersfield through Northern California and includes some Pacific Islands. The full statement, issued by ICE spokesperson James Schwab, is as follows

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