Last Build Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 00:40:59 +0000
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:33:30 +0000California is on the move to keep farmers from using pesticides near schools. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports. A proposed ruling announced this week would limit the time growers across the state will be able to spray pesticides within a quarter mile of schools and day care centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is all part of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s plan to keep kids safe. "They’re about to drop off their kids," says Charlotte Fedipe with DPR. "They see a plane going overhead spraying stuff. They don’t know what it is. Often it’s fertilizer. But is it fertilizer or is it a chemical? Can it harm them?” Fedipe says the ruling would also require growers to let schools know when and what they spray their fields with. Even still Paul Towers with the Pesticide Action Network doesn’t think the plan goes far enough. “They still fail to protect children nearly enough from pesticides that are linked to brain damage, cancer and hormonal disruption," Towers says. Fresno
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:58:48 +0000The news that the City of Fresno is set to receive up to $70 million from the state in the form of cap-and-trade funding is the latest issue in the Fresno mayor’s race. Mayoral candidates Lee Brand and Henry Perea offered opposing visions of how to spend the money during a debate last night that focused on issue of downtown revitalization. According to the state, the program is intended to fund neighborhood-level projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide local economic, environmental, and health benefits in disadvantaged communities. Brand says the city should focus the money on infrastructure investments downtown that can support new development around the high speed rail station, and attract additional private sector investment in things like housing. Brand: “This has got to be something that’s done very carefully and very methodically, because it’s very easy to become a patronage project, where you reward your friends and you have a very inefficient use of this money
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 00:16:47 +0000Sameer Patel is the first of six candidates hoping to become the next conductor and musical director of the Fresno Philharmonic. The current Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, Patel brings a youthful passion to his work, and numerous honors, including the Solti Foundation’s U.S. 2016 Career Assistance Award. His artistry will be on display at the Saroyan Theater this weekend as the leads the orchestra in a concert featuring works by Mozart, Sibelius and Jonathan Leshnoff. Patel joined us on Valley Public Radio to talk about his vision for making classical music relevant to diverse, 21st century audiences.
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:23:59 +0000Governor Jerry Brown has made fighting climate change a major priority for California. One of the most recent laws he signed was Senate Bill 32, which requires the state to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Called “critical” and “far-reaching,” it’s been heralded by some as one of the most ambitious climate regulations in the world--but not everyone thinks the law will be good for California. Joey Airoso has two kids and close to 3,000 mouths to feed. He’s a dairy farmer in rural Tulare County. Three thousand cows produce a lot of milk. They also produce a lot of poop. At the end of each lane of cows, there’s a big water spigot for cleaning the manure out. “This is what we call a manual flush system,” says Airoso, opening the spigot and sending water rushing under hundreds of heifers’ feet. “We do it twice a day, and it basically runs that water that comes out of the chiller system and it flushes this lane.” That slurry of water and manure drains into large open lagoons
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:20:49 +0000Over its history the Fresno Philharmonic has had only seven musical directors. Now the search is on to find the eighth. Over the next few months six candidates will visit the San Joaquin Valley to conduct interviews, masterclasses, and of course, perform with the orchestra at the William Saroyan Theatre. The Philharmonic's Executive Director Stephen Wilson joined us to talk about the candidates and the upcoming season.
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:01:31 +0000This week on Valley Edition Reporter Kerry Klein takes a look at methane emitted from dairy farms in Central California and how it plays into climate change. We also hear from KVPR's Jeffrey Hess about cap and trade in Fresno. Later we hear from Author Miriam Pawel on Cal Humanties upcoming forum "Farmworker Movement in California: From Chavez Onwards." Ending the show we hear from Steven Wilson with the Fresno Philharmonic about the upcoming season and their search for a new conductor.
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:54:50 +0000Even before the death of United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez in 1993, California's farm labor movement had lost its momentum. That's according to Pultizer Prize wining author Miriam Pawel, who will participate in a panel discussion about the past and future of ag labor in Fresno on Wednesday. The event, which is presented by the group Cal Humanities as part of their On The Road Series specifically looks at the history of the movement post-Chavez, and how organizing technique of the past can influence tomorrow's leaders. She joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the present state of the UFW, the ALRB and rights for those who work in the fields.
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 01:36:46 +0000This week on Valley Edition we hear how law enforcement agencies are helping their officers and deputies cope with the mental strain of the job. We also learn why activity tracking software is helping elephants at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and across the country attain better health and welfare. Later in the show we talk local political races in Fresno and Bakersfield with Nicole Parra and Jim Verros; plus learn about a new book on the history of Kerman from Paul Betancourt. We close the show with a talk about the events coming up in Kern County for the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern event, which this year is focused on "The Big Thirst."
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 22:07:16 +0000Over the last few weeks, Valley Public Radio has aired a series of reports looking at how life in violent communities can affect the health of area residents, and how the lack of health care can contribute to some of that violence at times. But there’s another side of this story – the one of the police who patrol those streets. In the final part of the series, Valley Public Radio reports on what law enforcement agencies in the valley say they are doing to help officers cope with the mental strain of a violent line of work. It’s a fact of police work that the job can be violent. And it’s not just having to wrestle, or shoot, suspects. It could be finding a toddler’s body shot dead in a drive-by. Or seeing a battered woman refusing to press charges. Or pulling the body of a hiker from a canal. Fresno County Sheriff Margret Mims now tracks her travels around the county by the crimes she responded to. “And certain things, I remember more than others are more vivid. For instance, I will
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:07:53 +0000Fitness tracking is all the rage right now. If you want to, you can monitor your heart rate, count your footsteps and calories burned, and even monitor your sleep patterns, all using devices that can fit around your wrist or in your pocket. But that's if you’re a human. Kerry Klein takes us to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, where fitness tracking is moving to a whole new level. Shaunzi used be a little overweight. But she got on an exercise routine and ditched the jelly beans for apples and carrots. She’s doing fine now; right around 6,000 pounds. She’s one of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s Asian elephants. Back in 2012, she wore a GPS tracker for a year as part of a multi-national research program. Now, lead elephant curator Vernon Presley tells me, that data is being used in another monitoring program to improve her and other elephants’ health. “We’ll get more concise information on body scoring, of how fit our elephants are,” he says, as well as “how much we time we spend with our elephants.”
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:05:49 +0000It's less than two months from election day and many of the local races that will be before voters in November are heating up. From city council and mayoral contests in Fresno and Bakersfield to a couple of contested congressional races, it's providing plenty of fodder for local political observers. We spoke with former State Assemblywoman and current CSUB political science professor Nicole Parra, and Clovis-based Republican political strategist Jim Verros about what's really happening in some of the most closely watched contests.
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:05:10 +0000The San Joaquin Valley is home to two of the nation's 100 largest cities with Fresno and Bakersfield. But it's the small towns like Kerman that make this part of the state such a unique place. Now Kerman farmer and community leader Paul Betancourt has written a new book about the history of this small farm town. He joined us to talk about the town's origins and unique history in the days of riverboats and steam engines.
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 01:48:20 +0000Yay! You made it to Outdoorsy. This is Valley Public Radio’s new podcast, in which we explore wild places in California and interview the people who enjoy them. We – reporters Ezra David Romero and Kerry Klein – are excited to share some of our favorite places and outdoor activities. We both consider ourselves pretty “Outdoorsy,” though we're coming at this from two different backgrounds. Ezra’s explored the Sierra Nevada his whole life. He grew up near Fresno and his love for the outdoors started on childhood camping trips with his dad and brothers. Since then he’s camped, hiked, kayaked, and done a few survival training camps and nature scavenger hunts. Kerry’s a backpacker and camper, too, plus she's into rock climbing and bicycling. She’s new to this area, having grown up exploring the Berkshires and White Mountains in New England. The Sierra Nevada is totally different – in a great way – and Kerry’s been looking for places to go. Despite our separate experiences with the Sierra
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 23:08:57 +0000The San Joaquin Valley Town Hall Lecture Series has been bringing thought-provoking speakers to Central California since the 1930s. Now with the launch of their 2016-2017 season, the group has another excellent lineup, that features Dr. Michio Kaku, Leon Panetta, Wes Moore, Adam Steltzner, Marc Lapadula, Dave Barry and Lisa Genova. We talked with two Town Hall board members, Paul Smith and Lisa Cooper about the new season.
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 22:44:38 +0000This week on Valley Edition we look how local residents growing up in neighborhoods filled with violence are dealing with "toxic stress" - a condition often compared to PTSD. We also learn how large wide-body air tankers are changing the fight against wildfires, and hear from Dr. Dana Suskind, who talks about the 30 million word gap and what it means for early childhood development. Later in the show we get a preview of the new season of the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall Lecture Series, which features Dr. Michio Kaku, Leon Panetta and Dave Barry. Plus, we hear how a pop star is working to raise awareness about mental health, and we debut our new podcast "Outdoorsy" with a trip to Mineral King in Sequoia National Park.
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 21:22:16 +0000Due to such dry conditions here in California wildfires in recent memory have burned enormous portions of forest. Think the Rim Fire that destroyed 400 square miles and the Rough Fire that torched about half of that. These blazes require thousands of firefighters and new resources like air very large air tankers. And as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports these large plans can hold 10 times as much as the older planes. When a wildfire sparks air tankers are the first responders. They’re the planes that drop pink fire retardant from the sky to hopefully quarantine a blaze. Below is a video of a jet propelled air tanker helping suppress the 30,000 acre Cedar Fire in the Sequoia National Forest that ignited in August. Air taker pilot Brad Baker Based at the Porterville Air Attack base helped suppress the Cedar Fire. “The fire behavior was pretty intense,” says Brad Baker. “It was looking pretty good, but by the peak burning hour, 3 o’clock or so, it spotted and really took off. With the
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:48:54 +0000In the first part of a series on the health impacts of violence in the community, Valley Public Radio introduced you to the family of a mentally ill man fatally shot by police. His case is an extreme example but the mental and physical health impacts of violence can be seen in more subtle ways too. Now some people are now comparing violence in the valley with a well-known condition often connected to war. Joey Williams has spent nearly his entire life living in east Bakersfield. In that time, he says he has seen the impact of persistent violence in his community. If fact, he says he himself has felt it during run-ins with local police. “Then we have communities who are perpetually traumatized. Like myself, who at 15 was the victim of (police) brutality,” Williams says. Williams says the incident has stuck with him and made him anxious and suspicious. And, he says, it’s not just him. “Because there are so many people who are affected by this. It is not just people who are perceived to
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:36:57 +0000Back in the 1990’s researchers discovered something that has wide ranging impacts to anyone interested in early childhood development. Children who grow up in families struggling with poverty hear 30 million fewer words by age 3 than those who grow up in more affluent homes. The idea is that academic success and achievement in many other areas, begins far earlier than many previously thought. It’s an idea that our next guest has first-hand experience with. Pediatric surgeon Dana Suskind is the founder of the Thirty Million Words Initiative, and the author of a book of the same name. She is speaking in Visalia next Monday for an event at the Visalia Fox Theater presented by the local literacy non-profit Read For Life. She joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the project and what how to solve the problem.
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 18:19:33 +0000Pop singer Demi Lovato is known for being outspoken about her past problems with addiction and bipolar disorder. And now Lovato’s taking what she’s learned on tour with her and letting her fans in on a secret. FM89’s Ezra David Romero attended Lovato’s concert in San Jose last month to get in on that info. Tori Tatum is a Demi Lovato super fan. The twentysomething has been to a dozen or so of Lovato’s shows, including two on the pop star’s current tour, “Future Now,” with Nick Jonas. “Her voice is just amazing,” Tatum says. “You never know what she is going to sing. She does a lot of surprises on her tours.” A couple hours before the show Tatum and about 200 others line up in front of the SAP Center in San Jose for a chance of glimpsing the former Disney Channel stars. They’ve been handpicked to attend a “wellness workshop” before the concert. The event’s led by Mike Bayer. He’s the guy that helped Lovato through her struggles with addiction, eating disorders, and continued bipolar
Wed, 07 Sep 2016 20:15:20 +0000Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and California Governor Jerry Brown are locked in a dispute over which prisoners might be eligible for early release if voters approve Proposition 57. It's a measure backed by Brown as a remedy to the state's prison overcrowding problems, and a rollback of so-called "determinate sentencing" that Brown signed into law during his first stint in Sacramento in the 1970s. Mims says the law could let certain sexual offenders and others convicted of "nonviolent" crimes as defined in California's Penal Code, out of jail early. The Governor disputes those claims and says if Prop 57, his administration will issue regulations that effectively will trump those concerns. Sheriff Mims joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the issue.