Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno County Considers Shifting Strategy To Prevent Child Abuse

Many communities across the country are working to not just respond to reports of child abuse, but to prevent them. Now the Fresno County Department of Social Services is looking to catch up to the national trend, and the potential model for the way forward could come from a very unlikely place. In Huron, a remote farming town of about 8,000 people, you can find two trailers that house the Westside Family Preservation Services Center, run by Jeannemarie Caris-McManusis. The community center...
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Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Prison To Pot Farm, Coalinga Hopes To Cash In On Cannabis

Californians will vote in a couple weeks on whether or not the recreational use of marijuana should be legalized or not. And as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports one Central California city is looking at how it can cash in on this green revolution. Patrick Keough wanted out of Coalinga about five years ago. The 18,000 people or so that call this town in the hills of the coastal range home couldn’t support his realty company. “I told my wife I want to leave, I want more opportunity for us and...
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Outdoorsy Podcast

Tim Olson / Flickr

Outdoorsy: Episode 2 - Mono Hot Springs, Dispersed Camping & Your Camp Recipes

In our last episode we took you to this mountain oasis called Mineral King in Sequoia National Park. This time, we go 100 miles north of there to a place called Mono Hot Springs. Mono (pronounced “MOE-no”) Hot Springs is tucked away in the Sierra Nevada south of Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes, and it’s about halfway from the Valley to the East Side. The hot springs sit in a mountain valley next to a fork in the San Joaquin River. Like Mineral King, the springs are at the end of a...
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Election 2016

Jerry Brown Pushes Earlier Release of Felons Under Proposition 57

When Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 42 in 1976, he said it would provide certain, clear punishment for crime. The measure passed the Legislature with little controversy. It created a determinate sentencing structure in California, scrapping most open-ended prison terms and instead giving inmates a set release date. It was the first major shift toward a more prescribed approach to punishment in California, one that lawmakers and voters embraced wholeheartedly in the decades that followed....
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On Valley Edition

Cannabis 101916P
Don Goofy / Flickr

Explaining Proposition 64: How California Would Legalize Marijuana

Don Goofy / Flickr There are so many questions about Californias November ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana that its easy to overlook the most basic question of all: What would the initiative actually do? Well, were here to help. So get your sample or mail-in ballots out and follow along as we go through that little Proposition 64 summary together. Its right next to where you vote yes or no. And just like in the voter guide, we'll throw in a few pro and con arguments...
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Sameer Patel

Fresno Philharmonic Interviews: Conductor Candidate Sameer Patel

Sameer 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...
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The Arts

Artist Interview: Classical Pianist Sofya Melikyan Celebrates Armenian Heritage

Armenian-born classical pianist Sofya Melikyan has performed at Carnegie Hall and other prestigious halls across the globe. Now she brings her artistry to Fresno for a concert Friday October 14, 2016 that includes music by Franz Liszt and Granados, as well as Babadjanian and Liebermann. The concert is presented by the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert Series and Fresno State's Armenian Studies Department. Melikyan joined FM89's Joe Moore in our studio to talk about her career, including...
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Election 2016 flickr

Valley Communities Try To Find Just The Right Balance On Public Safety Taxes

Throughout the Central Valley, communities are grappling with how to keep their towns safe with enough cops and firefighters on the beat. Many have found that traditional revenue sources simply aren’t enough, and are turning to special taxes. But how they are doing so diverges down several different paths. Community reaction to tax increases seems to plays a big role in how local political leaders decide to act. As children, most of us went to sleep hearing the story of Goldilocks and the...
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Would California's Proposed Tobacco Tax Hike Reduce Smoking? Just Ask New Yorkers

Each time New York increased its tobacco tax now at $4.35 a pack calls to the states Quitline spiked. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg raised the tax even more. “I was so angry with him, I could hardly afford it,” says Elizabeth Lane, a Harlem resident who paid $12 a pack. “I had to beg, borrow and steal to get money to buy cigarettes.” At first, Lane managed to cut down from seven packs a week to four. But sometimes she still didn’t have money to buy laundry detergent or toilet...
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Proposition 53 Aims To Give Voters Say On Big Projects

Eric Risberg / AP At first glance, Proposition 53 on California's November ballot could bore you to tears. The measure is about revenue bonds, but its outcome at the polls could throw a roadblock in front of the state's plans to build a high-speed rail system or its biggest water project in decades. How A State Revenue Bond Works Graphic: California Legislative Analyst's Office Here's how it works. Lets say California wants to build a big bridge, dam, or train system. The state borrows money...
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Betty Wang-Garcia / Valley Public Radio

Valley Public Radio Celebrates Ribbon Cutting On New Building

Several hundred station supporters, community partners, and listeners gathered in Clovis on Wednesday to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony for the station's new broadcast center. After spending the last 40 years as a tenant of various buildings that were either too small, out of date, or not well suited to the unique needs of a public radio station, Valley Public Radio finally has a permanent home. The new 10,000 square foot broadcast center was constructed on time and under budget. It...
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Now Playing

Valley Public Radio Launches New "Outdoorsy" Podcast

In Valley Public Radio’s new podcast “Outdoorsy” reporters Ezra David Romero and Kerry Klein take listeners to wild places in California and introduce you to the people that explore them. Both reporters consider themselves to be pretty “Outdoorsy,” though they’re coming at this from two different backgrounds. Ezra Romero’s explored the Sierra Nevada his whole life. He grew up near Fresno and his love for the outdoors started in his childhood. Today he’s an avid hiker, camper and kayaker. “My...
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NPR Member Station

Valley Public Radio

Valley Edition: October 25 - Lee Brand; Charles Fishman; Election Talk

This week on our two hour Valley Edition we hear stories about reducing child abuse in Fresno County and making the city safer for pedestrians. We also hear from Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand and his vision for the city. Later we are joined by Fresno State political science professor Jeff Cummins. He and VE host Joe Moore chat about local races ahead of the November election. We also hear about a special event being held by Zocalo Public Square in Fresno this week; author Charles Fishman...
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Mental Health & Community Violence

Stress, Sleeplessness, Anxiety: How Violence In The Valley Is Causing a Kind of PTSD

In 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,...
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Courtesy of Alison Sheehey

Thousands Of Feral Lime Green Parakeets Call Bakersfield Home

Bakersfield is known for agriculture, country music and oil. But what if I told you people are flocking to Kern County to birdwatch? Well it’s the truth and as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports they’re looking for a bird nonnative to the region that calls the city’s tall palm trees home. Earlier this summer I was doing some internet sleuthing about how to take better care of my pet parakeets. As I scrolled through search results a line jumped off the screen. There’s a wild population of...
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