Top Stories

Tree Die-Offs Won’t Increase Wildfire Risk, Expert Says

In the Sierra Nevada, it’s estimated that tens of millions of trees have died as a result of drought, many of which succumbed to infestations from bark beetles. As a result, we’ve been told our risk of wildfire is far higher than normal, but FM89’s Kerry Klein says the science doesn’t necessarily agree. Gaze across a hillside at 5,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, and that landscape, usually a wash of green pines, firs and cedars, is probably smudged with reds and browns. “You're looking at,...
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New Bill Aims To Increase The Delta's Salmon Population, Decrease Bass

The effort to preserve a healthy population of salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a huge challenge. Those little salmon have a lot of factors working against them. Now a bill in the House of Representatives is trying to take on one of them, the striped bass. The “Save Our Salmon Act” by Republican Jeff Denham of Turlock would update a 1992 environmental law that manages fish in the Delta. That law sought to increase the number of salmon, but it also set out to double the number of...
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On Valley Edition

Interview: Growing Tech Scenes In Fresno, Kern Counties

The Valley is known for growing things. But lately some of the region’s most notable crops haven’t been grown on a farm, they’ve been grown in front of a laptop, or an iPad – new and growing software companies. Now local technology leaders in both Kern and Fresno Counties are talking about how to strategically grow the local software industry to the next level. So how can tech jobs power the future economy of the valley? We spoke to three local tech experts about where the local industry is...
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Is A New Medical School The Answer To The Valley's Doctor Shortage?

Have you ever called your doctor or hospital seeking an appointment and been told the wait will be weeks or maybe months? You have been affected by the Central Valley’s doctor shortage. Now more than one group is pushing a potential solution, locally sourced doctors from a new medical school. Being in a waiting room at the doctor’s office isn’t the most pleasant place to be. But waiting to get into that waiting room can be even worse. That is what health care experts call a ‘doctor shortage’...
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Valley USDA Rural Pride Summit Focuses On Housing, Immigration, Farming

The USDA and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are working to meet the needs of rural LGBT residents in the valley. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports over 200 people attended the California LGBT Rural Pride Summit Thursday in Visalia. Housing for the elderly LGBT community, immigration problems as well as issues of safety for transgender residents and communities of color were among the top concerns voiced at the event. USDA Outreach Coordinator Christine Chavez says the agency wants to...
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Political Battles In The Past, Fresno Needle Exchange Improves Lives

The last time we reported about the Fresno Needle Exchange, it was an illegal program, operating without support from policymakers and under threat of police intervention. It became legal in 2012 under a state law. Now, the program is more popular than ever, and it new research suggests it’s making the community safer. Michael lives in north Fresno. He’s 56. He studied social work and he’s now self-employed. He has a daughter in nearby Dinuba. He doesn’t want to share his last name, though,...
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Photo Postcards Offer A Rare Glimpse Of Valley History

Michael J. Semas has an interesting perspective into valley history thanks to his collection of thousands of rare postcards, many more than 100 years old. Real photo postcards captured everyday life in Central California, and in many cases, they may be the only images remaining of certain communities, people or buildings. Semas has authored several books on valley history which display some of his historic images, and runs a
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Quay Valley: Is Kings County Ready For A High-Tech Town?

Kings County is known for farmed products like cotton and milk, as well as prisons and the Naval Air Station in Lemoore. The rural county is home to four cities and dozens of small places like Kettleman City on Interstate 5. Now a Southern California group wants to build a brand new high tech town in this agricultural county. Many people who visit Kings County don’t even realize...
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New State Law To Bring Arsenic-Free Drinking Water To Tulare County Community

Many valley residents struggle to access drinking water—some don’t have enough, while others face contamination. Now, a new law allows the state to step in and help those in need. In its first success story, the law didn't just bring water to a community; it helped end a standoff with a neighboring city. It’s a sunny afternoon in Tulare County, and Reinelda Palma and Javier Medina are taking me on a tour of their neighborhood. They live in a small community called Matheny Tract, right on the...
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NPR Member Station

Valley Public Radio Moves Into New Home

After many seasons of planning and fundraising, a year of design work and another year of construction Valley Public Radio moved into its new home in Clovis on May 19th. The 10,500 foot state-of-the-art broadcast center is located at the corner of Temperance and Alluvial Avenues in the Portal Sierra Research and Technology Park. The project includes new broadcast studios for the station, more than doubling the studio space when compared with the station's old home. While station operations...
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Inside FM89

Technology Makes FM89's New Home More Flexible, Efficient

Valley Public Radio’s new home isn’t just an impressive piece of architecture, it’s also opening up new doors for the station’s programming thanks to state-of-the-art broadcasting technology. Unlike the station’s old home, the new building is designed from the ground up for digital broadcasting and data storage and delivery. Fiber optic lines allow for the station to receive programming from NPR and other producers over the internet, in addition to satellite delivery of programming. Over five...
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New Season Of Invisibilia Comes To FM89 June 17

Invisibilia is Latin for "invisible things." The program explores the unseen forces that shape human behavior -- things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions -- interweaving narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently. The show is co-hosted by a trio of NPR's award-winning journalists, Alix Spiegel, Lulu Miller and Hanna Rosin, who have...
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This week on Valley Edition: Tech In Central California; Bark Beetle; Lindsay Book; Bass

Life In the Valley

My Valley, My Story: Local Painter Uses Art to Explore Her “Bracero” Heritage

Right now, Clovis Community College is hosting an exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It’s all about the Bracero program, a controversial government campaign in the mid-20th century that brought Mexican men into the U.S. seasonally to work the fields. Alongside the Smithsonian exhibit are paintings by Eliana Soto, a local artist whose grandfather was a Bracero. She tells Kerry Klein about exploring her family’s history through art as part of our first-person...
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