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Government & Politics
5:56 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Valley Residents Look Forward To New Immigration Policy

Lucia Aldarete may be one of up to 5 million undocumented people who may benefit from President Obama's executive action.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Undocumented residents in the Central Valley are speaking out today after President Obama revealed his executive action on immigration Thursday. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, reactions to the president’s announcement are mixed.

For nearly 24 years, Lucia Aldarete says she has been living with the fear that one day she will be deported back to Mexico. The Fresno resident says she couldn’t imagine what life would be like without her three children, who were born in the United States.

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The Moral Is
2:06 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Commentary: The Language Of Fear Should Be Our Real Concern

Diane Blair

It seems lately that we are bombarded by social and international crises and threats.  Incurable diseases and clandestine terrorists are lurking, and social institutions are cracking.  Our sense of security is in question.  In this edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State Communication Professor Diane Blair explores this rhetoric of fear, which she argues has reached new heights in our public discourse and deliberation.

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Community
1:15 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Author Interview: Selma's Berry Family Goes "Beyond Luck" In Rags To Riches Story

Betsy Lumbye's new book "Beyond Luck" tells the story of the Berry family, from the fields of Selma to the Klondike Gold Rush to the oil fields of Kern County
Credit West of the West Books

The San Joaquin Valley is filled with remarkable stories about families, fortunes and fame. But while names like Boswell and Kearney grace the history books, the remarkable tale of the Berry family of Selma has largely been overlooked. 

Now the new book "Beyond Luck: The Improbable Rise of the Berry Fortune Across A Western Century" by author Betsy Lumbye tells their story.

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Music
1:12 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

In Visalia, A Woman's Dream Fuses Together Mariachi And Opera

"El Bracero" is a story of love and struggle told through opera and mariachi.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

There are only a few towns in Central California with their own opera companies and even fewer creating new art forms. In Visalia, a director has brought mariachi and opera together to form an original mariachi opera called “El Bracero.” In this story FM89’s Ezra David Romero meets the opera’s creator and discovers a new art form that weaves together elements of love and struggle.

Mariachi is very important to the Latino community. The Mexican folk music is played at quinceaneras, weddings and celebrations of all sorts. But rarely is it heard in the world of opera, until now.

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Health
12:51 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Covered California Hopes To Enroll More Latinos, But There's A Problem

Covered California executive director Peter Lee urges Fresno residents to sign up during the second open enrollment period, which started Saturday and runs through February 15.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

With the second open enrollment period of Covered California in full swing, state officials are boosting their efforts to reach out to Latinos. Yet, there are many people in the Central Valley who are living in the shadows when it comes to enrolling for health care.

Covered California officials say they're proud to have signed up 1.2 million people for health insurance during the first year. But Executive Director Peter Lee says there’s still some things they want to improve.

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Valley Edition
11:20 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Valley Edition: Nov. 18- Mariachi Opera; Ventura Street; "Beyond Luck;" Japanese Fall Color Festival

Valley Edition November 18, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition KVPR's Ezra David Romero reports on the fusion of mariachi and opera in Visalia.  Also on the show reporter Diana Aguilera reports from Dinuba where Covered California is focusing outreach efforts on the Latino community. But the only problem is that many don't quality for coverage.

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Community
11:17 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Could Fresno's Ventura Avenue Transform Into a "Better Block?"

Ventura Avenue in Southwest Fresno was transformed Saturday into a "Better Block."
Credit PLACEWORKS

There’s a lot of talk in Fresno about revitalization of downtown. But residents in other parts of the city, including Southeast Fresno also are eager to see an injection of new life and revitalization.

Recently a coalition of organizations held an event that sought to show what a revitalized Ventura Avenue and Kings Canyon Road would look like. 

Their project created pop-up “parklets” and temporary crosswalks, landscaping and other amenities to demonstrate how small changes can make a streetscape more pedestrian friendly.

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Community
11:09 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Japanese Fall Color Festival This Saturday At Woodward Park

The Japanese Fall Color Festival is held every year at Shinzen Japanese Garden in Woodward Park in Fresno.
Credit Shinzen Japanese Garden

After what seemed like an endless summer, fall is finally. That means chilly temperatures, Tule fog, and hopefully some more rain. It also means fall colors, and there are few places in the Valley that offer a more dramatic fall experience than the tranquil beauty of Fresno’s Shinzen Japanese Garden in Woodward Park, which comes alive with a brilliant display of colors every November. The garden will host its annual Japanese Fall Color Festival this Saturday.

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Business & Economy
8:58 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

New Buyer, Restoration Plan Emerges For Historic Hotel Fresno

The hotel was designed by noted architect Edward T. Foulkes who also designed the iconic Oakland Tribune Tower. (file photo)
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The historic Hotel Fresno, a landmark on the city's skyline since 1912, could soon be reborn as the latest residential development in the downtown district.

The Fresno City Council is set to vote Thursday on a plan that would allow potential new owners APEC International, LLC to move forward with the $21 million restoration project. Their vision would transform the vacant hotel into a 70 unit apartment building.

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Inside FM89
10:28 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Programming Note: Changes To Morning Edition "Clock"

On Monday November 17, 2014 NPR launched a revised version of the Morning Edition "clock" - the format that program producers follow to make sure each segment starts and ends at exactly the right time.

The new clock will sound familiar to longtime NPR listeners with a couple of exceptions. The bottom of the hour newscast which used to begin at 30 minutes past the hour has been replaced by two newscasts, one at 18 minutes past the hour and another at 41 minutes past the hour. 

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Arts & Culture
6:12 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Kuchar To Step Down As Conductor Of Fresno Philharmonic in 2016

Theodore Kuchar, conductor and music director of the Fresno Philharmonic. (file photo)
Credit Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno Philharmonic will soon be looking for a new conductor and musical director. Theodore Kuchar, who has led the orchestra for the past 13 seasons announced on Thursday that he plans to step down following the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season. 

In a written statement Kuchar praised the orchestra's performances:

Kuchar: "I have no reservation in saying that the Fresno Philharmonic and I have often delivered performances that are not typical of a regional American orchestra but those of a standard to be expected in a major musical capitol."

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Health Care
11:39 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Covered California Gears Up For Open Enrollment

Covered California is trying to raise awareness about the start of open enrollment this Saturday, November 15th. As Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone tells us from Sacramento, the experience this year may be different for people buying their own insurance.

Covered California says its website this year will be able to accommodate more people who might be logging in at the same time. And Director Peter Lee says it will have 200 storefront locations and expanded service center hours.

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Community
3:45 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Fresno City College OAB Earns National Historic Preservation Honor

The historic Old Administration Building at Fresno City College was restored in 2011after sitting vacant for decades.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Long abandoned and once nearly demolished, Fresno City College's newly restored Old Administration Building (OAB) is now the recipient of a prestigious national award. The National Trust For Historic Preservation announced Wednesday that it has awarded the project its Preservation Honor Award. It is one of 17 projects nationwide to receive the award, which is one of the nation's top historic preservation honors. 

Tim Mikulski with the National Trust says the OAB is significant both in Fresno's history, and in the development of school architecture nationally:

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Jazz
2:56 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Live In-Studio: Bakersfield Jazz Pianist Jay Smith & Patrick Contreras

Violinist Patrick Contreras and keyboard artist Jay Smith perform live in-studio at Valley Public Radio
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Bakersfield-based jazz pianist Jay Smith is a fixture in the south valley music scene. In addition to playing with the acclaimed band Mento Buru he also leads his own band "The Jay Smith Group." Their new cd "Too Many Notes" debuts on Friday with a CD release party at Sandrini's in Bakersfield. Jay recently visited the station for an in-studio performance with violinist Patrick Contreras and to talk about his music and the new album. 

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Environment
11:20 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Water Levels In California's Reservoirs Continue To Drop

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

The water in some of California’s major reservoirs is nearing historic lows. The Department of Water Resources says statewide, all reservoirs are currently holding about 57 percent of their historic norms.

But levels are dropping significantly in some of the major reservoirs. Maury Roos, is the Chief Hydrologist with DWR. He says the Lake Oroville Reservoir is near the lowest level it’s ever been.

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Business & Economy
2:10 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Jerry Greenfield Talks Entrepreneurship, Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield
Credit San Joaquin Valley Town Hall

Jerry Greenfield is a many of many talents - entrepreneur, activist,  and ice cream innovator, just to name a few. The co-founder of Ben & Jerry's will visit Fresno on Wednesday November 12th to deliver a speech for the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall Lecture Series. He recently joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his life and career, including how he met his longtime business partner, and his strategy for success. We also talked about his activism on a number of issues including GMO foods and more. 

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Valley Edition
11:15 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Valley Edition: Nov. 11 - Veterans Day; Election Aftermath; Jerry Greenfield; Jay Smith Group

Valley Edition November 11, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we start off with a story of a veteran who moved to the Valley to go to law school after ten  years in the Coast Guard. We also take a look at the aftermath of the November 4 elections with Fresno State Political Science Professor Jeff Cummins. 

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Veterans
9:31 am
Tue November 11, 2014

A Veterans Day Love Story, From Sea To The Courtroom

Jason Trupkin is in his first semester of law school in Clovis, Calif.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This report is the second piece in the Valley Public Radio series "Common Threads: Veterans Still Fighting The War.Support for this series comes from Cal Humanities, as part of the War Comes Home initiative. 

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Government & Politics
6:26 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Tacherra Continues To Lead Costa In CA-16

Incumbent Democrat Jim Costa and Republican challenger Johnny Tacherra are locked in a close race for California's 16th Congressional District
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Revised vote totals are in for some of the valley’s tightest political races. New numbers released Friday evening from Merced County for California’s 16th Congressional District have Republican challenger Johnny Tacherra now leading Democratic incumbent Jim Costa by 741 votes.

Costa increased his lead in Fresno County by around 1700 votes on Friday, but that was more than offset with gains by Tacherra in Madera and Merced counties.  Tacherra ended the day increase his overall lead by five votes.

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Environment
5:21 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Pipeline Owner To Stop Paying Temporary Housing For Arvin Residents

One of the eight homes evacuated in March on Nelson Court.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Arvin residents who were forced out of their homes in March because of a toxic gas leak are now facing a new dilemma. This time it's dealing with housing. 

The oil company that owns the leaking pipeline told eight Arvin families on Tuesday that they will stop paying for their temporary housing at the end of this month. 

That means residents will either have to return home or pay out of pocket to live elsewhere.

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