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Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The Central Valley has been a political hotbed for the last week and might even see another presidential candidate come through before the primary election next Tuesday.

Sunday night, Democratic Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at the Fresno Fairgrounds, rehashing many of his policy positions like tuition-free college and Wall Street reform as well as Valley-centric issues like health care for farm workers.

But he also took square aim at the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The average commute in the Central Valley is just around 20 minutes. Now think of a long commute. Now longer. And longer. How about 6 times longer. That is what thousands of workers in the northern end of the valley are doing every day.

They are the target of high-speed rail advocates who think they can convince these mega-commuters to abandon their cars and move to Fresno or Merced to ride the train. But why are these workers making such a long commute in the first place? Reporter Jeffrey Hess shadowed one to experience the trip and ask that very question.

In one of this first speeches since securing enough delegates to win the nomination, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump rallied supporters at the Selland Arena in downtown Fresno today.

The speech touched on familiar themes but also took on a topic important to the Central Valley.

“Wow! Thank you, everybody! What a crowd. What a crowd,” said the ever-confident Trump as he took the stage, waving, smiling at cheering supporters and giving his signature thumbs up.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Some Valley residents may remember Measure E, a bond passed in 2002 that funded repairs and improvements at community colleges in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties. Now, 14 years later, the community college district is asking for money—on an even bigger ballot measure.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new national ranking of American cities shows Fresno is no longer in last place when it comes to providing access to public green space. 

The City of Fresno moved up one spot from dead last to second to last in a ranking of the 100 largest US cities when it comes to public access to parks. Adrian Benepe is Senior Vice President with the group behind the ranking, The Trust For Public Land. 

Ezra David Romero

Kings County is known for farmed products like cotton and milk, as well as prisons and the Naval Air Station in Lemoore. The rural county is home to four cities and dozens of small places like Kettleman City on Interstate 5.  Now a Southern California group wants to build a brand new high tech town in this agricultural county.

Many people who visit Kings County don’t even realize they’re there.

http://alexott.org/

Clovis businessman Alex Ott would like to be the newest member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Ott serves as the Executive Director of the California Apple Commission, The California Blueberry Commission, The California Olive Committee and the California Blueberry Association. On this week's Valley Edition Ott joins Host Joe Moore for a discussion on why thinks he should join the board. 

To listen to the interview click play above. 

This week on Valley Edition KVPR's Ezra David Romero reports from Kings County where a Southern California developer would like to build a high-tech city. FM89's Kerry Klein takes a look at Measure C and how the proposed bond may affect community colleges. Later in the program we hear from Alex Ott who would like to be Fresno County's newest addition to the Board of Supervisors. Ending the program VE Host Joe Moore leads a conversation about transportation and commuters.

High-Speed Rail Authority

Supporters of California’s ambitious High-Speed rail project are making a lot of big promises about what the line can achieve, everything from less greenhouse gas emissions to fewer cars on the road. One of the most far-reaching claims is the potential to revolutionize towns where there will be stations like Fresno and Merced.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The democratic candidates for president are turning their attention to California and the Hillary Clinton campaign is bringing the big guns to the Central Valley.  Former president Bill Clinton made a campaign stop in the valley this week

  “I am here today to introduce William Jefferson Clinton the 42nd president of the United States,”

Joaquin Armabula, 31st district assemblyman introduced the former president who bounded on stage to give the sales pitch for his wife, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

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