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Marshall W. Johnson / Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Valley Author Pens "Zoot Suit" Novel For Young Adults

Seventy five years ago this month, the streets of Los Angeles turned violent in an event that came to be known as the Zoot Suit Riots. The cause is still unclear, but we know this: for 10 days in 1943, white service members attacked young Latino men on the streets of Southern California, while police turned the other way. The attacks are the subject of a new young adult novel by acclaimed children’s author Margarita Engle. In 2009, the Clovis author’s book "The Surrender Tree" won the...

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Marc Benjamin / Valley Public Radio

Clovis has a reputation for good schools, walking trails, parks and upscale neighborhoods. It’s also one of California’s faster growing cities. People want to live there. So as the city grows, pressure is growing for developers to add new houses, often converting farmland to subdivisions.  So how do rural residents there coexist with new development while keeping their country way of life? Reporter Marc Benjamin explains how one neighborhood is adapting to change.

On this week’s Valley Edition we hear reports about how idle oil and gas wells are drawing new scrutiny from Sacramento regulators, and how residents in a rural part of Clovis struck a compromise with the city and developers to protect their way of life. Plus we talk with Jim Boren of Fresno State’s new Institute for Media and Public Trust. Later in the show we are joined by USC professor Kathleen Wilber to talk about the growing problem of elder abuse and why most instances go unreported.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

California is the fourth largest oil producer in the country. As we speak, almost 81,000 wells across the state are churning out oil and gas or being used to inject wastewater back into the ground. For every three of those wells, however, there’s another one well that’s not doing any of those things—and yet they, too, can deteriorate and contaminate the air and water over time. Now, a new state law aims to prevent those hazards.

Fresno State News

Amid talk of fake news and alternative facts, Fresno State has launched a new Institute for Media and Public Trust. Led by former Fresno Bee executive editor Jim Boren, the institute aims to bring together media professionals, academics and the public to bridge understanding about the way journalists work. Boren joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the work of the new project, and how the public's relationship with the news media has changed over the years. 

Steve Yarbrough

The Central Valley has a rich literary tradition spanning generations. From Saroyan to Levine to Arax – journalists, poets, novelists and essayists have all found great inspiration in the valley’s soil, its people and the elements - good and bad - that make the region unique. The connection often extends even after a writer leaves the valley – as is the case with acclaimed novelist Steve Yarbrough.

Garry Knight / Creative Commons Flickr

California’s population is projected to age rapidly in the coming decades. By the year 2030, adults over 65 will outnumber children under 18, according to data from the state’s department of finance. Today, seniors over 65 make up 14 percent of the population, but that number will increase to 23 percent over the next 11 years. And as the population ages, issues like elder abuse are becoming more common.

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

Voters in Fresno could have the opportunity in November to vote on taxing medical marijuana businesses. But first, the Fresno City Council would have to approve the measure to go on the ballot next week. 

On Thursday the Fresno City Council is expected to decide if people can vote on November 6 to add a tax to medical cannabis businesses.

The legislation is sponsored by three council members and needs at least five votes to pass. Clint Olivier representing District 7 is a sponsor of the measure and is confident the vote will pass.

Valley Public Radio has welcomed a new member to the station’s news team – reporter Monica Velez. Monica started out as a print reporter covering health issues in Merced County at the Merced Sun-Star. At Valley Public Radio, she’ll be covering issues from immigration to poverty and health, with a focus on the valley’s rural communities, as well as other news stories.

Selma Arts Center

In the last 20 years, arts organizations in the San Joaquin Valley have seen major changes. Some big organizations have closed down, while other upstarts have forged new paths. Major funding streams have also come and gone. As the valley continues to grow and audiences and donors change, what does this mean for local arts organizations? Those issues will be the subject of a Be Public Live forum at Valley Public Radio's Broadcast Center in Clovis at 6:00 PM on Wednesday July 18th. The event will feature three guest panelists from organizations of different sizes and backgrounds.

Longtime Valley Public Radio host Franz Weinschenk died last week at age 92. From 1992 through 2016 he hosted the popular program Valley Writers Read on Valley Public Radio. The program featured short stories from local writers, both professionals and amateurs, and showcased the valley’s rich literary traditions.

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Be Public Live Community Forum

The Future Of The Arts In The Valley - July 18

Valley Public Radio Launches New Mobile App

Whether you're an Apple or Android user, you can now take Valley Public Radio with you wherever you take your smartphone or tablet. The station has launched its first-ever mobile app - known as "KVPR" which is currently available for download in both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The app features one-touch access to Valley Public Radio's live audio stream, making it even easier to listen to the station. Users will also find the latest news coverage from the station's...

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Mark Arax On The "Wonderful" Empire Of Stewart And Lynda Resnick

By some measures, Stewart Resnick is the biggest farmer in California. His empire of almonds, pomegranates, pistachios and citrus covers over 120,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley. Known today as The Wonderful Company, Resnick and his wife Lynda have grown their multi-billion dollar fortune on products like POM Wonderful pomegranate juice and Wonderful Halos mandarin oranges. And despite California’s drought, in recent years they’ve kept growing, thanks to shrewd management of their most...

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Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Fears Grow Among Valley Recyclers As China Denies U.S. Recyclables

The trade conflict between the U.S. and China is heating up, and while tariffs on the steel and agriculture industries have taken center stage, the conflict has quietly moved into another less visible sector: It’s greatly disrupted the recycling industry. These new policies are already affecting businesses, but over time they could impact residents and city governments and even undermine state environmental policy. Among the warehouses and distribution centers in south Fresno, the calls of...

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Valley Public Radio Remembers Host Franz Weinschenk, 1925-2018

Longtime Valley Public Radio host Franz Weinschenk died last week at age 92. From 1992 through 2016 he hosted the popular program Valley Writers Read on Valley Public Radio. The program featured short stories from local writers, both professionals and amateurs, and showcased the valley’s rich literary traditions. “Franz had an amazing spirit about him,” said Joe Moore, Interim President of Valley Public Radio. “He had so much energy and passion about what he did, and in the case of our...

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