Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

State To Direct $70 Million In Cap And Trade Money To Fresno

The state of California is promising to spend an unprecedented amount of new money investing in Fresno. The state is planning tens of millions of dollars from its cap and trade funds. Governor Jerry Brown is recommending spending $70 million of cap and trade money in Fresno. The funds come from pollution credits and are set aside to aid the most heavily polluted and poor areas. The City of Fresno expects to get half of all the climate change money that the state has designated for those...
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Outdoorsy Podcast

Ezra David Romero

Outdoorsy: Episode 1 - Mineral King, Sequoia National Park's Hidden Gem

Yay! 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...
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Nicole Parra and Jim Verros Talk Election 2016

It'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...
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Criminal Justice

Brown Sees Proposition 57 as Key to Ending Court's Oversight of Prisons

Forty years ago, when Jerry Brown was first governor, he signed a law that dramatically changed the way California sentenced criminal offenders. Previously, under the indeterminate sentencing law, many inmates received inconclusive sentences instead of a fixed term. It was up to a parole board to decide when an inmate was ready to re-enter society. Under the law signed by Brown in 1976, the state shifted to a determinate sentencing structure and in the years following, lawmakers and voters...
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Kelly Slater Wave Company

Catching Waves In Lemoore? Pro Surfers Ride The Perfect Wave

Late last year a world famous surfer announced he created the perfect manmade wave. At this point no one knows exactly how he did it and the site where he built it isn’t open to the public. But Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero found that wave site in the most unlikely of places. Eleven time world champion surfer Kelly Slater dropped a bomb last December when he released a video of an 8-foot manmade wave in what looks like an old ski pond nowhere near an ocean. “This is our little...
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Making Mental Health Cool, A Look Inside Demi Lovato’s Wellness Workshops

Pop 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...
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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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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 - Sept 20: Mental Health & Law Enforcement; Elephant Health; Politics Talk

This 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...
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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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