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Valley Edition
12:27 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

How Effective Are Grand Juries? We Ask Fresno County Superior Court Judge Robert Oliver

Superior Court of California, Fresno County
Credit http://www.fresno.courts.ca.gov/courthouses/

The recent killings of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in Ferguson Missouri and New York City have brought the issue of race and law enforcement to the headlines.

But they’ve also brought the ancient institution of the grand jury to the national spotlight, after similar bodies in both states declined to bring charges against the officers involved.

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Valley Edition
11:36 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Valley Edition: Dec. 9 - Grand Jury; ACA One Year Later; Fresno Christmas Parade

Valley Edition Dec. 9, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition host Joe Moore speaks with Fresno Superior Court Judge Robert Oliver about the relevancy of the grand jury system in lieu of the activities in Ferguson, Missouri. 

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Health Care
7:45 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Health In An Age Of Change: State Health Czar Diana Dooley Reflects On The ACA's Impact

Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency
Credit CHHS Dept

Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, oversees 13 departments and supervises the state’s rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act, including Covered California, the state’s insurance marketplace, and the Medi-Cal program for the poor. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her in late 2010. A native of Hanford, she earlier served as president and CEO of the California Children’s Hospital Assn. She worked for Brown during his first administration.

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Health Care
7:33 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Health Reform In California: A State Of Accelerating Change

Gail Fulbeck unloads her van full of soda, water and snacks onto a dolly so she can re-stock some of the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento. The 64-year-old saved a lot of money by switching to a Bronze health plan under Covered California.
Credit Lauren M. Whaley / CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Gail Fulbeck, 64, relies on her body for work. She hauls soda, energy drinks, snacks and water to the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento.

The physical demands of her job, coupled with her husband’s history of migraines and bad knees, make health insurance essential.

Last year, Fulbeck and her husband paid a monthly insurance premium of $2,555.

Starting Jan. 1 of this year, the couple’s premium for a nearly identical plan totaled $165. It was, she said, almost unbelievable.

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Health
5:30 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Arvin Residents Move Back Home Despite Health Concerns

Eight families living on Nelson Court in the small agricultural town of Arvin are finally returning home after being evacuated because of a gas leak in March.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

After being forced to evacuate in March because of a gas leak, eight Arvin families are finally returning to the place they call home. But, as Fm89’s Diana Aguilera explains, some residents are still concerned about the situation.

State and Kern County officials met with the families on Friday and told them it was safe for the residents to return home.

Representatives from the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources say the rounds of testing done in and around the homes on Nelson Court confirmed that the level of gasses were back to normal.

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Community
11:56 am
Thu December 4, 2014

LGBT Center In Merced Told To Take Down Rainbow Flag

The rainbow flag hangs in the front office of the LGBT community center in Merced after workers were asked to remove it from the flagpole by the building's owner.
Credit Marissa Chavez / Merced's LGBT Community Center

Workers at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in Merced say they had to take down a rainbow flag from a flagpole earlier this week after the owner of the building asked them to do so.

The LGBT center had flown the rainbow flag since it opened on August 31.  But staff members say they recently received a letter from the building’s owner, and took down the flag.

Chris Jervis is the president of Gay Central Valley, which operates the Merced LGBT center.

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Environment
3:47 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Californians Conserved Less Water In October

Credit Valley Public Radio

For the second straight month, California’s water conservation rate has declined. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the State Water Resources Control Board says the reason behind the drop isn’t clear.

You could call it “conservation fatigue.” But the reason behind California’s diminishing conservation rate is more complicated than that. The statewide rate dropped from 10.3 percent in September to six-point-seven percent in October. Eric Oppenheimer with the State Water Resources Control Board says one reason for the difference may be the season change.

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Health Care
3:09 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Covered California Attempting To Calm Immigrants' Fears

Covered California is trying to reassure immigrant communities their information will not be turned over to immigration authorities if they sign up for health insurance.

Only documented immigrants are eligible for California’s health insurance exchange. But Executive Director Peter Lee says the fear of deportation still prevents some from using the service.   

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Health
5:31 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Fresno County Supervisors OK Juvenile Psychiatric Ward, Hold Firm On Pot

It's still illegal to grow marijuana in Fresno County. The Board of Supervisors entertained the possibility of lifting the outright ban on cultivation during their meeting today but instead decided to retain the county's zero tolerance policy.

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Environment
3:38 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

New Nature Preserve To Open in Tulare County

Blue Oak Ranch
Credit http://www.sequoiariverlands.org/

Central California is home to some of the state’s most beautiful areas from Yosemite Valley to high sierra lakes to rolling foothills.

Lovers of that last topography have something to cheer about this winter as a new nature preserve in Tulare County is about to open to the public for the first time. It’s called Blue Oak Ranch and it’s located near Springville.

We talked about what this preserve means to the valley with Ann Huber of the Sequoia Riverlands Trust. Listen to the interview above.

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Government & Politics
3:23 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

On Valley Edition: Mexican Consul, Lawyer Discuss Local Impact Of Obama's Executive Action

Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

President Obama’s recent announcement that he will take new Executive Action on undocumented immigrants is already reverberating throughout the valley’s large immigrant communities.

The President’s executive order would affect around 4 million people who entered the country illegally before 2010, and have children who are either US Citizens or have green cards. It’s a similar order to one the President issued in 2012 regarding children who were brought to the country illegally by their parents, in that those who meet the requirements would be protected from deportations.

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Environment
3:08 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Valley Edition: Will Proposed EPA Limits To Ozone Pollution Safeguard The Valley?

Credit Joe Moore

Last week the US Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a plan that would set a new more stringent rule for the amount of ozone pollution in the air. The proposal is based on new research on the health effects of ozone pollution.   

In fact, the EPA says if adopted, the new rule could prevent as many as 4,300 premature deaths nationwide in the next decade. But it has been met with controversy. Republicans and business groups say the positive health benefits are outweighed by the cost of complying with the new rule, some have gone as far as to call it “nearly impossible.”

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Valley Edition
1:45 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Valley Edition: Dec. 2 - Immigration Talk; Rain; Air Quality; New Nature Preserve

Valley Edition December 2, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we talk about immigration and the President's executive action with San Joaquin College of Law's Jessica Smith Bobadilla and Vicente Sanchez Ventura, the Consul of Mexico in Fresno

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Immigration
12:13 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

California Preparing For Undocumented Driver Licenses

Fresno's DMV field office (file photo)
Credit CA Department of Motor Vehicles

Beginning January 2, undocumented Californians can apply for driver licenses in the state. One-point-four million people are expected to apply for “AB 60” licenses over the next few years. From Sacramento, Katie Orr reports on how preparations are going.

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Health
10:26 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Advocates Say More Immigrants Eligible For Medi-Cal

file photo
Credit Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

Immigrant advocates say more undocumented Californians could receive health care as a result of President Barack Obama’s recent executive action. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

California already allows some undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal if they’ve qualified for deportation relief. Anthony Wright is Executive Director of the consumer advocacy group Health Access California. He says the president's executive action will expand the pool of Medi-Cal eligible immigrants.

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Theatre
4:26 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Theatre: "In And Out Of Shadows" Highlights The Lives Of Undocumented Teens

http://sfyouththeatre.org/Performances.html

In December a new play will take the stage at Fresno City College and it has a special connection to the community – it’s a musical by Fresno City College alumnus and acclaimed author Gary Soto. He joins Valley Edition Host Joe Moore for or a conversation about the play. 

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Drought
3:45 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

When Will The Taps Run Dry? Groundwater Discussion On Valley Edition

Changes in total water storage in California from NASA GRACE.
Credit http://jayfamiglietti.com/writing/

Parts of Central California have been hit especially hard by the drought, and specifically the dropping water table beneath the ground. But as California farms and cities lean more and more on their aquifers, many are concerned that more and more wells will go dry.

This is not a new story. Huge portions of the San Joaquin Valley have actually dropped due to massive pumping of water from the ground dating back to the 1920’s. The question is – when will the taps run dry.

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Valley Edition
3:09 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Valley Edition: Nov. 25 - Groundwater; "In And Out of Shadows"; A Valley Thanksgiving

Valley Edition November 25, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on the latest development for the drought-stricken town of East Porterville: they now have showers.  Also on the program Bakersfield Californian’s Lois Henry and UC Irvine’s James Famiglietti discuss groundwater and the future of the state.

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Drought
1:47 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Drought-Stricken Valley Town Gets Hot Showers

Gilberto Sandoval, 81, lives across the street from the church where the showers are installed.
Credit Ezra David Romro / Valley Public Radio

Drought conditions in parts of Central California have become so harsh that it’s normal to turn on the tap have no coming out.  A few months ago we brought you the story of East Porterville where more than 600 homes are without water because their household wells have dried up. Now, some of the town’s residents will have access to something they haven’t had in months. 

The last time Gilberto Sandoval took a warm shower was over a month ago.

“I’ve  been without running water for the last three months,” Sandoval says. “ No water whatsoever.”

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Inside FM89
10:17 am
Mon November 24, 2014

In Memory Of Edward Palacios, Valley Public Radio Board Chair

Ed Palacios
Credit Dalton Runberg / Zocalo Public Square

On Saturday November 15, 2014 Valley Public Radio lost an dear member of the FM89 family, with the death of the station's board chair Ed Palacios. The following obituary was published in the Fresno Bee on Sunday, November 23.  

Edward "Ed" Palacios, a beloved husband, brother, uncle, colleague, and friend, passed suddenly on November 15, 2014. He was 49 years old.

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