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

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Last Build Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 02:23:55 +0000


Valley Edition - March 20, 2018 - Drinking Water Bill; Madera County Controversy; Benjamin Boone

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 19:49:20 +0000

This week on Valley Edition, we learn about the controversy over a new bill that some say is a solution to getting valley residents clean drinking water, but others say is an unfair water tax. We also learn about the ongoing fight between Madera County District Attorney David Linn and the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Plus valley jazz artist Benjamin Boone joins us to talk about his new recording with the late poet Philip Levine, feature Levine's poems and some of the world's top jazz stars.

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Madera County District Attorney David Linn Prepares To Sue Board Of Supervisors

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:51:26 +0000

A few weeks ago, Madera County District Attorney David Linn announced he’ll be running for reelection this year. In the meantime, however, he’s embroiled in a developing public scandal involving allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior, a public censure , and a likely lawsuit, that’s pit him against the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Listen to the interview with FM89’s Kerry Klein for an update on what’s been happening and what’s likely to come next.

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Valley Groups Divided On Support For Major Drinking Water Bill

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:34:44 +0000

More than 300 California communities lack access to clean drinking water. A disproportionately high number of those communities lie in the San Joaquin Valley, as we reported in our 2017 series Contaminated . Last fall, a bill with a proposed solution passed the state senate but has since remained in limbo, receiving both broad support and opposition—even in the San Joaquin Valley. Last Wednesday, over a hundred Valley residents traveled to Sacramento carrying bottles of water. Bottles that were contaminated with bacteria and chemicals—just like the water that comes out of their taps. “If you don’t believe us, come and join us, and drink our water,” said Lilia Garcia, a resident of Porterville, whose water is contaminated with uranium and nitrate. “We need a long-term solution, not a Band-Aid,” said Isabel Solorio, who lives in Lanare— a community that’s been trying to rid its drinking water of arsenic for over a decade . Garcia, Solorio, and dozens of residents of communities like

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Jazz Artist Benjamin Boone Celebrates Poetry Of Philip Levine With New Album

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:22:05 +0000

A new project from Fresno-based jazz artist Benjamin Boone is getting national attention. It combines original compositions by the Fresno State professor and saxophonist, with the poetry of the late Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine. It also features some of the top names in the jazz world as guest stars including Branford Marsalis and Tom Harrell, as well as Valley Public Radio’s own David Aus. Levine was known for his love of jazz and recorded with Boone's band shortly before his death in 2015. Many of Levine's poems on the recording reference jazz icons like John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. The album was released last week, and for the occasion we recently caught up with Benjamin Boone in Ghana, where he is spending the year as visiting Fulbright Professor.

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City Of Fresno Joins Voices Against Drinking Water Bill

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:08:13 +0000

A hearing in Sacramento earlier this week revealed local support and opposition to a drinking water bill making its way through the state legislature. More than 300 public water systems in California are currently out of compliance with state code, mostly due to contamination from substances like arsenic and nitrate . Senate Bill 623 would establish a fund to help those communities pay for water treatment projects. The bill is unusual in that it has broad support from groups that are typically at odds: Republicans and democrats, growers and environmental groups . But at a hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday, many other groups spoke out in opposition to the bill—including the city of Fresno. The reason: the lion’s share of the fund would come from a statewide tax on water bills. Kendra Daijogo of the Gualco Group spoke on behalf of the city. “We do agree that there is a need for safe drinking water,” she said, “but we oppose the water tax. There are alternatives out there that should be

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Report: For Many Communities Without Drinking Water, Distance Not Biggest Obstacle

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:06:17 +0000

A new study identifies those San Joaquin Valley residents without access to drinking water, but a solution may be close at hand. Hundreds of thousands residents in the San Joaquin Valley lack access to clean drinking water. This is especially common in unincorporated communities categorized as disadvantaged, which are also overwhelmingly Hispanic. When Jonathan London and his colleagues looked at where these communities are located, they found something surprising. London is a professor with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and the lead author on the new report. "We found that the majority of those, about 66 percent of those residents, actually live within one mile of a water system that could provide them safe drinking water," he says. But London says connecting those water systems, a process called consolidation, is expensive, and there’s not always political support for disadvantaged unincorporated communities, or DUCs. "In some cases the counties and incorporated cities have

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Fresno Philharmonic Interview: Rei Hotoda and Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 22:26:34 +0000

This Sunday the Fresno Philharmonic brings the sound of the virtuoso orchestra to the stage of the William Saroyan Theatre for a wide ranging concert with a twist. The orchestra's longtime concertmaster, violinist Stephanie Sant ' Ambrogio will take a turn in the spotlight as a featured soloist on two pieces. We spoke with both Hotoda and Sant ' Ambrogio about the concert on FM89 which features works by Haydn, Vaughan-Williams, Foss and Ginastera.

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Young Artists Spotlight 2018: YOOF Soloists Part 1

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 01:55:11 +0000

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature string soloists from the programs of Youth Orchestras of Fresno (YOOF). Natalie Han, cello Squire, Tarantella Op. 23 Julie Han, piano Olivia Lin, cello J. S. Bach, Suite for Cello Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 Prelude, Allemande, Courante Julianne Hsu, cello C. Saint-Saens, Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 Finale Matt Dean, piano Shane Baldwin, cello J. S. Bach, Suite for Cello Solo No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009 Prelude Caleb Liu, cello N. Paganini, Variations on a Theme from Rossini’s Opera “Moses” Matt Dean, piano Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from The Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.

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Fresno, Clovis Schools Approach National School Walkout Day Differently

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 01:39:17 +0000

Fresno Unified School District students took part in national school walkout events today. Students across the nation participated in memory of the victims of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and in protest of gun violence. Students at Fresno High School opted for a “lie in,” instead of a walkout. Instead of leaving campus, students left their second period class early to gather in Warrior Park, facing the school’s auditorium. Brooke Rowland, a junior at Fresno High, helped organize the event. “Although student walkouts are incredible effective throughout history, there needs to be a procedure,” she explained. “The gates are open, the kids are aware of that, however we have no reason to go off campus.” Instead of a walkout, the students read poems, and chanted. They held signs that read, “Am I next?” and “lives not bribes.” Hundreds of students stood in chalked sections on the lawn. There were seventeen sections, one for every victim in Parkland, Florida.

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Valley Edition - March 13, 2018 - Electric Buses, Kirk Kerkorian, High-Speed Rail, Air Quality

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 22:33:02 +0000

This week on Valley Edition we’ll learn why Porterville is becoming one of the leading communities in the state when it comes to making the switch to electric buses. We’ll also talk with the author of a new biography on the life of Fresno’s Kirk Kerkorian. We’ll learn how his early life in the valley helped shape his career as a billionaire dealmaker who conquered Hollywood, Las Vegas and the auto industry. FM89’s Kerry Klein joins us to recap the valley’s winter air pollution season, and she’ll give us a preview of Wednesday night’s public forum on air quality at the KVPR broadcast center in Clovis. We’ll also get an update on a new bill in the legislature that would ban willful defiance suspensions in grades k-12, and we’ll take a look at the changes coming to high-speed rail following the release of the rail authority’s new business plan.

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Electric Buses Are Coming... To Porterville?

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 21:58:00 +0000

California has some of the highest-reaching goals in the nation when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Our state is also where some of the most innovative clean technology is developed and manufactured. One electric bus company is setting up shop in California, and it’s already changing transit in one Central Valley town. When you think of electric vehicles, you probably think of Tesla, Silicon Valley, and automakers in Southern California like Toyota. It’s likely that you aren’t thinking of Porterville , a small city near the foothills of Tulare County. But that could change. Richard Tree is the transit manager for the city of Porterville . Last week, we took a ride on the first of ten electric buses purchased by the city. Like many electric vehicles, it was so quiet that I had to ask if it was on. With the help of a grant from the California Air Resources Board, Porterville bought ten electric buses from Canadian startup, GreenPower Motor Company Inc. These battery-powered buses

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The Future Of Our Air Quality, But First, A Look At The Past And Present

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:14:54 +0000

It’s the second week of March which means burning restrictions are no longer in effect throughout the San Joaquin Valley. But though the smoggy days of winter are hopefully behind us, there’s still a lot to talk about. Later this week we’ll be hosting a panel event on the future of our air quality . That's happening Wednesday at Valley Public Radio’s broadcast center. Moderating that panel will be our own Kerry Klein and she’s here to give us a little preview of what we’ll be talking about and to recap the last season’s pollution statistics.

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New Business Plan Reveals A More Distant, Expensive High-Speed Rail Dream

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 17:59:31 +0000

Last week news broke that California’s High-Speed Rail Authority is facing another setback - increased costs and a delayed timeline as indicated in the authority's new 2018 Draft Business Plan. The effort to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco with bullet train running through the Central Valley will now cost over $77 billion. On top of that, phase one of the project will not be fully operational until the year 2033. That’s 25 years after California voters first approved spending bond funds on the rail line. To learn more about the new plan we spoke with The Fresno Bee's Tim Sheehan, one of the state's leading reporters on high-speed rail.

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Bill Seeks To Ban "Willful Defiance" Suspensions In California Schools

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 14:20:00 +0000

A new bill in the California Senate would ban so-called "willful defiance" suspensions in k-12 schools throughout the state. The legislation (SB 607) comes amid a recent push from social justice organizations for schools to adopt "restorative justice" or PBIS approaches to school discipline issues, as well as a looming sunset for an existing law that bans "willful defiance" suspensions in grades K-3. While many youth advocacy organizations support the move, some teachers fear it could result in further problems. Journalist David Washburn has covered the issue for the education-focused publication Ed Source, and joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the bill.

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As Census Nears, Fresno’s Overlooked Homes Could Mean Millions Less In Aid

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 19:18:14 +0000

The 2020 U.S. census is just around the corner, and a new project shows a significant number of Fresno’s residents could be overlooked. The U.S. Census Bureau maintains a Master Address File of every registered postal address in the country. Don’t have a registered address? You probably won’t be counted. A new pilot project found 600 housing units in low-income areas of Fresno that weren't listed in the Master Address File—representing 6 percent of residences in those area s. Cindy Quezada with the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative oversaw the project, and she says those housing units were overlooked because they’re so-called unconventional households. “There were mostly converted garages,” she says, “and then after that were apartment units in the back, like smaller homes, sheds, and just a few RVs and trailers.” Accurate population counts help determine federal funding levels. Ed Kissam with the WKF Giving Fund, which funded the pilot, says undercounts, especially in

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Young Artists Spotlight 2018: Bakersfield Violin Soloists

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 23:44:21 +0000

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature four violinists from Bakersfield, Brian and Philip Shih; Issac and Ian Kim. Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from The Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.

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New Biography Explores Fresno Roots Of Billionaire Investor Kirk Kerkorian

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 20:27:33 +0000

A new biography of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian tells the story of how a young boy from Fresno went on to become one of the richest businessmen in America. From airlines to film studios to the auto industry and casinos, Kerkorian was the consummate dealmaker, but he was also a quiet philanthropist, supporting Armenian causes through his Lincy Foundation. We recently spoke with journalist William C. Rempel, author of the new book The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History about how his early years in Fresno informed the rest of his life.

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New Exhibit Showcases Valley Landscapes Of Rollin Pickford

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:45:16 +0000

A new exhibit at the San Joaquin River Parkway's Coke Hallowell Center For River Studies showcases the works of famed local artist Rollin Pickford. For much of the 20th century, Pickford was acclaimed for his paintings of the landscape of Central California. The new exhibit "Rolling Pickford: California Light" showcases works exclusively depicting the San Joaquin Valley. On display now through April 29th at the River Center at 11605 Old Friant Road in Fresno. Rollin's son Joel Pickford joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his father's works and the exhibit.

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Pioneering Architect Julia Morgan Remembered For Fresno Work

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:35:59 +0000

In 2010, architect Julia Morgan became the first woman to win the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects. It was a landmark achievement for the native Californian, who is most famous for designing Hearst Castle for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. It’s the institute’s highest honor, and one shared by icons of the industry like Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Ghery. Even more remarkable – Morgan was awarded the honor 57 years after her death. The award was an attempt in part to correct a longstanding omission by the male-dominated AIA. But while Morgan died decades ago, you can still see her legacy today in Fresno. Local historian and historic preservationist Karana Hattersley-Drayton joined us to talk about two buildings in Fresno designed by Morgan, as well as visit Morgan paid to the valley in the 1920s. They include the intact and beautifully preserved Y.W.C.A. residence hall at 1660 M Street . Morgn also designed another Fresno

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Could California State Parks Be A Solution For San Joaquin River Parkway?

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 22:53:41 +0000

A new bill in the assembly would grant the California State Parks Department authority over land along the San Joaquin River Parkway. The bill by Fresno Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula would expand the existing Millerton Lake State Recreation Area along the 22-mile stretch of public and private riverbottom land between Friant Dam and Highway 99. State management could help solve an operational and financial problem for public land along the river, such as the 500 acre River West open space area. But the state parks system has its own problems and if the proposal becomes law, some worry it could also create new problems. We spoke about the issue with The Fresno Bee’s Marek Warszawski who recently wrote about the issue in his column.

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