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Health
4:30 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Class Action Lawsuit Filed On Behalf of Inmates With Valley Fever

A class action lawsuit on behalf of inmates at two Central Valley prisons was filed in U.S. District Court.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

 

Lawyers representing inmates at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Fresno County and Avenal State Prison in Kings County filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

The suit is on behalf of black, elderly, and immune-compromised inmates who acquired valley fever since July 2009, while serving time at the two institutions.

The complaint alleges that state and prison officials knew these groups were at high-risk of contracting the serious, potentially fatal form of the disease, but failed to take adequate steps to protect them.

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Government & Politics
12:13 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

California Economy, State Finances Stronger than Other States

Credit Valley Public Radio

A new report that compares state finances finds California's budget revenues are soaring higher than all but one other state in the nation.  Its economy is growing at an above-average pace as well.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

The study comes from the Tax Policy Center – a project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.  It compares state tax revenues, economic growth and other data for all 50 states.

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Energy & Environment
6:00 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

California Assesses its Future Energy Supplies, Without San Onofre

file photo
Credit Valley Public Radio

California lawmakers want to know how the state is going to make up for the loss of a major electricity source. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, a State Senate committee will hold a hearing on the issue Wednesday.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was the largest source of electricity for Southern California. But the plant is permanently closing after a series of maintenance and safety problems.

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Government & Politics
5:34 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Freshman Lawmakers Face Different Legislative Future

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

A new version of term limits, a new way to draw voting districts, a new system for running primary elections. Those three changes all took effect in 2012. Each was intended to moderate the California legislature. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, there is hope the changes have been effective, but so far there’s no proof.

New lawmakers are frequently sworn in at the California State Capitol. But the class taking the oath of office last December faced a different legislative future from classes who came before them.

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The Moral Is
4:14 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Commentary: Are We Fiddling While the Planet Warms?

Andrew Fiala

Can we solve the climate crisis?  Are we wise enough?  In this segment of Valley Public Radio's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Dr. Andrew Fiala asks whether, like Nero, we are fiddling while Rome burns.

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President Obama recently announced a new initiative on climate change.  But will we be able to address climate change in time to prevent the worst that is predicted?  I doubt it.  Decades of dithering about global warming do not inspire hope. 

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Arts & Culture
2:27 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

For Dan Pessano, 40 Years of Keeping 'Good Company' in Fresno

Dan Pessano is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his "Good Company Players" theater group this year. The company is also the subject of a new book by the Fresno Bee's Donald Munro.
Credit Good Company Players

For generations Fresno residents have laughed and cried with the actors of the Good Company Players. Now celebrating 40 years on the stage in Fresno’s Tower District, the community theater company, and its founder Dan Pessano, are the subject of a new e-book from Fresno Bee features writer Donald Munro – called “The Company We Keep” – it’s available for download on the 

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Valley Edition
11:23 am
Tue July 9, 2013

On Valley Edition: Madera & the Affordable Care Act; Fresno County Probation; Good Company Players

The Company we keep details the past 40 years of acting under the Fresno based group The Good Company Players.
Credit Fresno Bee / Fresno Bee

This week on Valley Edition FM89 reporter Rebecca Plevin examines how Madera County's only federally qualified health center is gearing up for Obamacare. Also on the program host Joe Moore speaks with Rick Chavez, the Fresno County Chief Probation Officer to replace Linda Penner come August. 

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Health
9:21 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Madera Health Center Prepares for Obamacare

Camarena Health, Madera's only federally qualified health center, is gearing up for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act with a new facility.
Credit Camarena Health

In less than three months, thousands of California residents will begin enrolling in expanded health coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act. The law is complex and touches almost every part of the health care system. But what does it mean for residents of the San Joaquin Valley? Over the coming months, we’ll explore that question by visiting with patients, doctors, businesses and clinics in the community of Madera. It’s a city that’s home to more than 62,000 people, more than quarter of whom live below the poverty level.

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Health Care Reform
8:32 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Two States, Two Styles of Obamacare

The summer is a slow time for many occupations, but not for people working to make fundamental changes to the health care system. Millions of uninsured Americans are expected to buy coverage through new health insurance marketplaces called exchanges. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone  has more about how neighboring states are trying to achieve the same end by different means. 

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Environment
5:20 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Experiment to "Farm" Carbon Underway in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

An example of a restored wetland on Sherman Island.
Amy Quinton Capital Public Radio

Agriculture in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has flourished thanks to rich organic soils. But after more than a hundred years of farming, those soils are eroding, and the interiors of many Delta islands are sinking. California may have a solution that would not only help farmers, but could combat climate change. Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento.

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Government & Politics
5:00 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Billing Begins for Second Year of Controversial Fire Protection Fee

file photo
Credit Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

For the second year in a row, California is charging rural homeowners a special fee for fire protection. The bills are coming a bit later than planned, but they are on their way. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the fee's critics are as angry as ever and still hope to overturn it.

California is sending out about 800,000 bills beginning this month. The annual $150 charge is assessed to property owners with homes on land the state is responsible for protecting.

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Ask Emily
6:22 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The “Kid Glitch”: Could Your Family Fall Into Obamacare’s Affordability Gap?

Emily Bazar, CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers’ questions about the Affordable Care Act.

In my last column, I tackled your questions about choice. Specifically, I wrote about your options under Obamacare if your employer-sponsored health insurance is too expensive or doesn’t provide access to the doctors or hospitals you prefer.

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Community
12:24 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Three Ingredients Of A Successful Ice Cream Shop

Superior Dairy's scoops have remained enormous. Susan Wang, co-owner of the Valley scoop shop, says the scoops have grown in size.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

Valley Public Radio reporters Rebecca Plevin and Ezra Romero teamed up to look at three ice cream shops that have remained popular and successful across generations. They identified three factors that have allowed these shops to stand the test of time.

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Valley Edition
12:13 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

On Valley Edition: Leticia Perez; Ice Cream; Buffalo Soldiers; Book Club

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez is running for a California Senate position in the July 23 race.
Credit http://www.leticiaperez.org/media/ / http://www.leticiaperez.org/media/

This week on Valley Edition Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez speaks with host Joe Moore about the upcoming senate race. Also on the show Valley Public Radio reporters Rebecca Plevin and Ezra Romero team up to look at three ice cream shops that have remained popular and successful across generations. 

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History
11:36 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Yosemite's 'Buffalo Soldiers' Inspire Ranger Shelton Johnson, African Americans

Yosemite ranger Shelton Johnson portrays one of the park's "Buffalo Soldiers" in a weekly stage play
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

One hundred years ago this summer, a group of U.S. Army cavalry soldiers left the Presidio in San Francisco, and made the hot dusty trek across the San Joaquin Valley to both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Veterans of the Spanish American War, were charged with protecting the new national parks from poachers, timber thieves, and with building park infrastructure. They were in essence America's first park rangers. 

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Arts & Culture
10:23 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Fadiman: In 'Spirit,' "The Villain is Cultural Misunderstanding"

When author Anne Fadiman first visited Merced in the late 1980s, she says more than 10,000 Hmong refugees and their children were living there. At that time, about one out of every six people living in Merced was Hmong, she says.

The hospitals were overwhelmed by the new refugee population, she recalls. Medical interpretation was not legally mandated at that time, and Merced Community Medical Center had just one Hmong interpreter. It often fell to the hospital janitor, or a family’s young child, to translate sensitive medical information to a patient.

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Summer Scoop Blog
5:52 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

On the Way to the Parks, Reimer's Makes For A Tasty Treat

Sierra Wild Blackberry is one of Reimer's signature flavors
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

For decades, the summertime family road trip has been an enduring tradition for most Americans. Nearly all of us share memories of piling into the family station wagon, minivan or SUV (depending on your generation) to hit the road in search of the summer fun. But sometimes the journey can be just as memorable as the destination itself. Roadside attractions, from classic to kitsch, are a vital part of the American road trip tradition. 

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Government & Politics
12:10 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Price at the Pump to Go Up Monday Thanks to "Gas Tax Swap"

(file photo)
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The price at the pump goes up today/Monday in California – by 3 ½ cents per gallon of gasoline.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, that’s because of a particularly complex part of an old state budget deal.

California tax law is full of confusing formulas with colorful names, like the triple flip and the single sales factor.  Here, we’re talking about something called the gas tax swap.  It stems from the 2010 budget deal in the heart of the recession. 

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Government & Politics
4:30 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in California

Supporters of same-sex marriage gathered outside Fresno City Hall on Wednesday June 26, 2013 to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.
Credit Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

Same-sex marriage is once again legal in California.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has cleared the way for marriages to begin – effective immediately.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

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Government & Politics
4:36 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Budget's on the Books: Brown Signs $96 Billion Spending Plan

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the state's budget into law today in Sacramento.
Credit Office of the Governor

California has its new budget for the fiscal year that starts on Monday.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the $96 billion general fund spending plan today at the State Capitol with Democratic legislative leaders at his side.

The governor said the budget is balanced and responsible – while still investing in education and health care.

“We know that for the last 10 years, that there’s been boom and bust.  In fact, going back for 40 years, it’s been the sorry tale of most governors to leave town with a ton of red ink.  I don’t want to do that,” said Brown.

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