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


Last Build Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 11:13:19 +0000


Young Artist's Spotlight: Bakersfield Youth Symphony Brass Quartet

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 23:28:26 +0000

Today on Young Artist's Spotlight we feature a performance from four of the five members of the Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet. All four are new to the group this year. The group has played pre-concert music for the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and for the Community Concert Association concert which featured the Presidio Brass. The group's founder and coach is Steve O'Connor, trumpeter, who serves on the BYSO board and plays in many local organizations, including the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, the Bakersfield Municipal Band and the Bakersfield Winds. The student musicians include: John Beshara, 1st trumpet - freshman, Stockdale High School Marissa Aguilar, 2nd trumpet - senior, Liberty High School Renee Acupan, french horn - senior, Stockdale High School Ethan Howard, trombone - freshman, Stockdale High School Today's performance by the quartet includes music by Beethoven, Handel, Shostakovich and J.S. Bach. After the quartet's performance we hear a solo

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Interview: What's Next In Plans To Change The Affordable Care Act?

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 18:34:35 +0000

Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hit a serious snag last week. A planned vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the GOP replacement plan, called the American Health Care Act, was canceled at the last minute. So what's next in the effort to bring major changes to the nation's health care policies? Will the Republicans try again to replace a law they have maligned for years? And what options does President Trump have through his executive authority to change the way the Affordable Care Act is being implemented? Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess spoke with Arturo Vargas Bustamante who is an associate professor of health policy at UCLA to find out.

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That Sinking Feeling: Corcoran Fears Floods Thanks To Subsidence, Snowmelt

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 01:25:33 +0000

A new map released by NASA earlier this year shows that large portions of California are sinking. The worst of it is in the San Joaquin Valley. One of the main reasons is the over pumping of groundwater, especially in the last five years of drought. All that sinking and all the snow melting in the Sierra has Central Valley water managers like Dustin Fuller worried. He's managing an army of earth movers that are scraping top soil off farmland that surrounds the Corcoran State Prison in Kings County. His team is getting ready for what officials feel like could be a big flood, but looking at it now you wouldn’t have a clue that this dry area could become a lake. “We’re excavating dirt right now to build a levy,” says Fuller with the Cross Creek Flood Control District that manages water in the Corcoran area. And when I ask him when he needs it built he says “yesterday, yesterday.” Fuller says the levee used to be tall enough. Due to subsidence it's sunk and now it's not. He’s the water

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NPR Tiny Desk Winner Gaelynn Lea Says Contest Changed Her Life

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 01:15:35 +0000

Gaelynn Lea of Duluth, Minnesota rose to national attention last year as winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. Listeners from across the country submitted their recordings to NPR Music with hopes of winning a spot on the national broadcast. Despite thousands of other entries, Lea was the unanimous choice of the judges, with a unique style combining traditional fiddle music with contemporary electronic loops, as well as an inspiring story. Her performance a year ago on the NPR Music show changed her life forever, sparking a national tour that is now bringing her to the San Joaquin Valley for a performance Thursday at 7:00 PM at Bitwise in downtown Fresno. She joined us on Valley Edition to talk about how her life has changed, how she developed her unique approach to playing the violin and how she hopes to use her platform to speak as a disability rights advocate. We also hear some selections from her new EP "The Songs We Sing Along the Way."

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In Kern County, Expanded Mental Health Services On Hold Thanks To State Budget Concerns

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:51:45 +0000

The Affordable Care Act may be staying in place for now, but the long-term future of health care is still far from certain. And that uncertainty is already taking its toll on some health care programs--with ripple effects felt throughout the Valley. If you peruse the Airbnb listings outside Bakersfield, you may stumble upon Broken Shadow Hermitage—a 3-bedroom getaway in the Tehachapi Mountains. The owner, Rick Hobbs, says it’s a great place to meditate and commune with nature. “You can hear a pin drop, it’s just so quiet,” he says. “And there’s no light pollution. So you turn the lights off and it’s just dark and quiet and it’s just so regenerating.” Hobbs put his house up for rent a few months ago when he got a new job in Lake Isabella—over an hour away. “There was a spot made available, I was asked if I wanted to do it, I was excited to do it, and we started moving in that direction,” he says. “So I had to get ready. I had to figure out how I’m going to pay for my house, because I

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Valley Edition: March 28 - Subsidence; AHCA; CSUB President; Tiny Desk Concert Winner Gaelynn Lea

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:06:20 +0000

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories about subsidence, how fear about the Affordable Care Act ending is harming some health professionals. KVPR Reporter Jeffrey Hess interviews UCLA Health Policy Professor Arturo Vargas Bustamante about the future of Obamacare. We also hear from CSUB President Horace Mitchell about happenings at the university. Ending the show we are joined by NPR Tiny Desk Concert winner Gaelynn Lea. She's performing in Fresno at Bitwise Industries Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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Interview: CSUB's Horace Mitchell on Roadrunners Hoops, CSU Tuition Hike

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:29:00 +0000

The CSUB Roadrunners are about to go running far from Kern County. Later today the school's men’s basketball team will take its game to the hallowed floor of New York’s Madison Square Garden for a spot in the final four of the NIT basketball tournament, playing Georgia Tech. It's a big moment on the national stage for CSUB. We talked with university president Horace Mitchell about the mood on campus, as well as last week's vote of the CSU Board of Trustees authorizing a raise in tuition. We also talked about new campus efforts to help students struggling with hunger and homelessness.

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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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