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Government & Politics
10:49 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Fresno Adopts New 'Smart Growth' General Plan

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno City Council approved a new general plan last night that for the first time attempts to but the brakes on suburban sprawl. 

Over the next two decades, the plan calls for about half of the city's future growth to take place within the existing city limits and the rest in new growth areas like west of Highway 99 and in Southeast Fresno. 

Mayor Ashley Swearengin called the council's 5-2 vote historic, and a new direction for the city.

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Agriculture
4:44 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

2014 Was A Rough Year for California's Farmers and Ranchers

file photo
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

California's farmers and ranchers have endured a challenging 2014. Capital Public Radio's Lesley McClurg reports on how they're weathering the drought.

Paula Getzelman says recent rain brings a deep sigh of relief. She and her husband run Tre Gatti Vineyards in Monterey County. 

Getzelman: "We were extremely nervous in 2014. The harvest was a real nail biter."

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Air Quality
4:24 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Would You Build A Park Next To A Freeway? Fresno May Build Two

The group says parks next to freeways are a risk to children’s health and that direct exposure to exhaust can lead to higher rates of asthma, diabetes and gastrointestinal disease.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

With the final vote for the Fresno General Plan Update and Environmental Impact Report just around the corner, activists are appealing for changes to the plan that could potentially alter the health of children in the region. 

A group of activists an    d health leaders met today at the site of a proposed new park in Northwest Fresno near Highway 99 to protest what they call a big problem with the city's proposed new general plan. Their concern - this park and another would be built next to busy freeways - and the polluted air that comes from them.

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Connecting California
3:23 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Joe Mathews: Forget Anaheim, Bring Disneyland To Fresno

On Christmas Eve, it felt like the park was all ours.

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Drought
5:27 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

California Needs 11 Trillion Gallons Of Water To End Drought

Water scientist Jay Famiglietti
Credit UC Irvine

California needs one and a half times the maximum volume of water in Lake Mead, the largest US reservoir, to end its drought. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, NASA scientists released the finding today.

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Community
1:12 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Fresno Woman Helps Fellow Homeless Veterans Reclaim Their Lives

Anita Pascual walks by the apartment complex where the women veterans live. Her office is located in one of the apartments.
Credit Anita Pascual / Homefront

Many veterans struggle as they return home after serving this country. Among that group are women who may have a hard time making that transition, sometimes ending up on the verge of being homeless. As part of our series “Common Threads: Veterans Still Fighting The War” FM89's Diana Aguilera reports on how a woman is determined to make a difference.

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Jazz
12:29 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Eva Scow Presents Her Third Annual Crescent Concert Sunday

Credit http://www.evascowmusic.com/

Jazz and world music mandolin artist Eva Scow will bring her unique blend of music to Fresno’s Fulton 55 for her annual Crescent Concert this Sunday.

The event will feature Scow’s band The Experience, as well as Brazilian pop/funk band Boca de Rio and jazz singer Sara Cabral.

Scow joined KVPR for a live broadcast in the Bonner Performing Arts Center with bassist Patrick Olvera and guitarist Mike Taylor. 

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Health
12:12 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

On Valley Edition: Valley Children's Hospital CEO Todd Suntrapak

Valley Children's Hospital CEO Todd Suntrapak.
Credit http://www.childrenscentralcal.org/Info/Leaders/Pages/ToddSuntrapak.aspx

Last week the valley’s only pediatric hospital announced some big changes, starting with a new name – Children’s Hospital Central California is now returning the name it had from 1950’s through the early 2000’s Valley Children’s Hospital.

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Valley Edition
11:29 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Valley Edition: Dec. 16 - Dairies Leaving California; Valley Children's Hospital; Crescent Concert

Valley Edition Dec. 16, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we a take a look at why some dairies are leaving California for what they say are greener pastures in the Midwest. Also on the program you'll hear the story of a once homeless female veteran who now helps homeless veterans in Fresno.

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Environment
5:02 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Storms And Muddy Delta Water Lead To Voluntary Pumping Cutback

The Delta Mendota Canal is used to transport water from the Delta to Central Valley Project customers in the San Joaquin Valley.
Credit U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region

The recent storms that have hit northern and Central California have much brought needed rain and snow to the state. But they also created a new problem for the operators of the massive pumps in the Delta that supply users in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California - too much water. 

Ara Azhderian is with the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority in Los Banos. 

Azhderian: "With all that water comes a whole lot of mud and trash and debris as well, so a little too much of a good thing too fast."

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Agriculture
10:45 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Midwest Recruiting California Dairies To Pump Up Rural Economy

Many California diaries are struggling through drought and feeling crowded by urbanization. Midwestern states are hoping to capitalize by offering abundant water, feed, and open spaces.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

This is the second story in a two-part series reported in partnership with Harvest Public Media. The first story explores why a Merced family is on the move to South Dakota: California Dairies Look To Midwest’s Greener Pastures.

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Immigration
9:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Scams Target Immigrants As New Benefits Roll Out

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has issued consumer alerts warning of potential scams for immigrants and their families. (file photo)
Credit The Aspen Institute / Creative Commons

Undocumented immigrants are becoming eligible for more services and benefits in California. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, these developments make them targets for scams.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has issued several consumer alerts warning of scams targeting immigrants and their families. Harris says scams could center on the President’s recent immigration executive action or on the state beginning to issue driver licenses to undocumented immigrants.

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Agriculture
9:49 am
Mon December 15, 2014

California Dairies Look To Midwest’s Greener Pastures

Brian Azevedo says that if he kept his family dairy in California he would most likely have to change careers.
Credit Ezra David Romero

This is the first story in a two-part series reported in partnership with Harvest Public Media. The second story explores why a Chino family moved to Nebraska a few years back: "Midwest Recruiting California Dairies To Pump Up Rural Economy."

 

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Drought
3:30 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Strong Storms May Not Improve California Water Supply Much

Pine Flat Lake east of Fresno on the Kings River (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Northern California storms are causing water levels to rise in the state’s reservoirs. But as Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the rain won’t do a lot to improve the state’s water supply.

California now has above average rainfall at the eight monitoring stations in the Northern Sierra. But the storm is not going to come close to ending the state’s drought. The Department of Water Resources says California would need five to ten more storms this season. Doug Carlson with DWR says storms have also been too warm.

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Environment
12:25 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Infill Is Key To Fresno's New General Plan, But It's Also Controversial

Credit Heather Heinks / City of Fresno General Plan Update

The Fresno City Council is scheduled to hear public comments on the city’s new 2035 general plan in meeting at the Convention Center this evening. The move is the last step before a vote next week on the document that will chart the city’s growth for decades to come.

City planning director Jennifer Clark says the new General Plan attempts to answer a question that has perplexed city leaders for decades:

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Health
4:46 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Valley Children's Returning To Old Name, Creating Health Network

Children's Hospital Central California is switching its name back to Valley Children's Hospital, and creating a new network of pediatric care.
Credit Valley Children's Hospital

Children's Hospital Central California announced three big changes they say will improve quality of care for children in the Central Valley.

First, Children's Hospital Central California is returning to its old name Valley Children's Hospital, which it hasn't officially used since 2002.

Second, the hospital revealed its own new health network that will provide a full spectrum of pediatric services for kids in the region.

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The Moral Is
4:42 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Commentary: Time To Reconnect With Liberterian Ideals

Andrew Fiala

The concept of individual liberty was a key component in our country’s birth. Yet 238 years after Thomas Jefferson wrote about the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, America is still perplexed by questions of just how much liberty Americans enjoy, especially when it comes to their private lives. In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala says it’s time to re-embrace our libertarian ideals.    

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The Moral Is
2:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Commentary: With High Costs Of College, Students Hungry For More Than Knowledge

Madhusudan Katti
Credit Madhusudan Katti

College may prepare students for good careers, but these days, it also pushes many already poor students into lifelong debt. In this segment of FM89’s Commentary Series The Moral Is, Fresno State biology professor Dr. Madhusudan Katti asks how much American society truly values university education?

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Health
12:52 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Obamacare Discussion on Valley Edition: One Year After The Rollout

Credit http://www.coveredca.com/

January 1st will mark the first anniversary of the expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

At the heart of the landmark health law is the idea that by reducing the number of uninsured, Americans will get healthier thanks to regular checkups. Planners have hoped that would result in fewer chronic conditions that drive up health care costs for everyone. 

It may be a simple idea, but implementing the incredibly complex law was anything but easy, and so far it’s been filled with plenty of highs and lows.

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Drought
12:51 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Study Says California Drought Caused By Natural Climate Patterns

Folsom Lake as seen in 2011 (top) and 2014 (bottom)
Credit CA Dept of Water Resources

A new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says natural occurring climate patterns –not climate change- are the primary drivers of California’s drought. 

The NOAA study says a high-pressure atmospheric ridge off the West Coast blocked important winter storms from California for three winters. Ocean surface temperature patterns made the ridge much more likely. The decreased precipitation is almost the opposite of what climate change models project.

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