News

NASA/Friant Water Authority

A new way to measure the snowpack from the sky is getting some positive results. FM89's Ezra David Romero reports officials hope new technology can reduce the risk of downstream flooding.

 

At the start of the year NASA crews began flying over the San Joaquin River watershed to measure the snowpack using laser pulses. This creates a way more accurate estimate of how much snow is the mountains than traditional snow surveying does.

 

National Geographic

The new documentary "Water & Power: A California Heist" takes a look at past and current water wars in California. It's told through the eyes of Valley voices like journalist Mark Arax and Bakersfield Californian Columnist Lois Henry. 

"This is a very serious issue," says the films director Marina Zenovich. "We show people in the film with wells going dry. One of our characters says watch out. You could be next."

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our reporters tell stories about gold prospecting and new warehouse distribution centers in the region. We also hear from Anthony Wright with Health Access California about what repealing the Affordable Care Act could mean for Californians. Later we hear from Assemblyman Rudy Salas about legislation he's forming around Valley Fever. Plus we speak with Fresno City Council member Clint Olivier about how Fresno needs to do more for seniors.

Clint Olivier

Fresno is one of the largest communities in the San Joaquin Valley that doesn’t have a dedicated senior center. That’s something that current city councilmember and state assembly candidate Clint Olivier wants to change. Olivier, who also sits on the board of the Fresno Madera Area Agency on Aging says he wants to see the city begin planning for a senior center by partnering with other local organizations to bring a facility into reality before he leaves office.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Ulta Beauty may be the biggest beauty product supplier in the country, but the announcement the company will build a distribution and fulfillment center in Fresno could be about much more than eyeliner and lipstick. Some experts think the Central Valley could develop into the hub that supplies on demand products for the entire west coast. But why is the area so enticing for internet retailers, and do these centers provide good jobs?

In the bathroom of her central Fresno home, Roe Borunda looks through tote after tote filled with all manner of makeup.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

All of the recent rain and snow in California is good news for farms and cities. The runoff flowing from the Sierra Nevada is so strong this year that’s it's moving huge boulders and tons of earth down rivers. That means gold is on the move as well and as Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports that has gold prospectors on alert.

 

Larry Riggs and his friends are hunting on a piece of private property near Oakhurst. There are no guns or fishing poles present. Just shovels, plastic bowls and buckets.

They’re panning for gold.

Sean Work / The Californian / Reporting on Health Collaborative

Assemblymember Rudy Salas says California needs to do more to track valley fever cases, and fund research into the disease. Last month he introduced legislation that in Sacramento that would provide $2 million in funding for the disease, which is especially prevalent in the San Joaquin Valley. Salas spoke to Valley Public Radio this week about the bill and it's path forward at the capitol. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The GOP-backed health care law that’s currently in the U.S. House of Representatives is one of the biggest topics of national debate. But what would the American Health Care Act mean for people here in the San Joaquin Valley? Over the next few weeks on our program we will hear a variety of perspectives on the proposed law, from both supporters and opponents.

Dan Hatton/Creative Commons/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

The University of California is urging poultry farms and people with backyard chickens to pay attention for signs of a sickness their flocks can catch from wild birds. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

Thomas Schönborn/Creative Commons/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

There’s been so much theft of agricultural products like walnuts in Tulare County that agricultural leaders hope to come up with a plan to prevent thieves from selling the commodities. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

 

Over the past couple years thieves have stolen whole truck loads of nuts in the Central Valley worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even after making some changes to nut selling regulations Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita says people are stealing nuts right out of orchards during harvest.

 

Young Artist's Spotlight: Lindsay Guitars 2017

Mar 10, 2017
Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature more music for guitar ensemble, this time with the Lindsay Guitars of Lindsay High School from Tulare County. These talented students have been repeat guests on Young Artists Spotlight, and this year, they performing everything from Hollywood film themes to guitar classics. 

Twice as many stores in the Central Valley sell flavored cigarettes and alcohol than sell fresh fruits and vegetables. That's the finding of a new state health survey. 

The Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community survey, released Wednesday, found that it’s far easier to find tobacco or alcohol than it is to find fresh food, especially in low-income neighborhoods. 

Fresno-based pediatrician Dr. Razia Sheik says in Fresno County, for example, just 39% of stores carried fresh fruits and vegetables.

City of Fresno

Former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin surprised many political observers last year when she decided to forgo a run for California Governor and instead take a job as CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation. The non-profit manages over $50 million in assets for donors from across the region. So how does working in philanthropy differ from running the city's business? And what changes can we expect at the foundation? Swearengin joined us to answer these and other questions on Valley Edition. 

PPIC

Despite a rain and snowfall year that is among the wettest in memory, Central California's water supply and quality problems are not going away anytime soon. A new report from the non-profit Public Policy Institute of California looks at those issues and offers a variety of management solutions.

ESY Kern

There are a lot of efforts to bring health foods into school and the elementary school curriculum. One of the most interesting examples can be found in Bakersfield at Buena Vista Elementary School, home to something called an "edible schoolyard." A joint project of the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District and the Grimm Family Foundation, the Edible Schoolyard Kern program also has expanded to sites in Arvin and Shafter.

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