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On this week’s Valley Edition we learn about a scandal that has rocked the health care industry, and allegedly led to disruptions in care for thousands of California Medi-Cal recipients. We also take a look back the local “March For Our Lives” events, and talk to journalist Andy Kroll about his new profile of California Governor Jerry Brown in the California Sunday Magazine. Plus author Sam McManis joins us for a look at his new book “Crossing California” which showcases the state’s weird and wonderful roadside destinations.

Flickr user San Diego PersonalInjuryAttorney, CC BY-SA 2.0

Every time you want to see a doctor, decisions are made about who’s in your network, what’s approved, and how much it’ll cost. Although your health plan manages everything, each of those decisions could be outsourced to a separate company—and those behind-closed-doors actions can have big impacts. Allegations of misconduct within two of these intermediary companies are already having real impacts on patients in the Valley.

Last fall, Dr. Sanjay Srivatsa received a letter.

Christina Lopez

This weekend’s historic "March for Our Lives" rally saw hundreds of thousands of students gather from coast-to-coast and across the world in solidarity with students whose lives were cut short due to gun violence in their schools. This weekend, students from high schools across Kern County participated in Saturday’s rally that drew over 500 in attendance in west Bakersfield. FM 89’s Christina Lopez reports.

Hundreds of students from across Kern County high schools gathered along Truxtun Avenue for the March for Our Lives rally in Bakersfield.

Jerry Brown
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown holds the record for being the state’s youngest governor and also the state's oldest governor. As he nears the end of his record fourth term in office, many are turning to talk about the “L” word – legacy. A new profile in the California Sunday Magazine seeks to provide some new insights into Governor Brown, the evolution of his career and his thinking.

In a few months, California families from Eureka to Calexico will begin hopping in the family car for that grand American tradition of the road trip.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Marches took place around the nation on Saturday to honor the victims of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The march in Fresno drew crowds from around the Central Valley to Fresno High School.

 

Yasmin Mendoza is the twenty-one-year old community college student who led the event. She says the march and their movement isn’t about party politics.

 

“I think that safety is a universal issue that affects everyone no matter your political party,” says Mendoza.

 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Today on FM89's Young Artists Spotlight we feature the music of the Lindsay Guitars from Lindsay High School. This group is a favorite of FM89 audiences and has been performing on the program for many years thanks to the leadership of director Nancy Wills. This year we hear two ensembles and a guitar duo:

LHS Honor Group:

Castle on a Cloud, from Les Miserables

Wild Mountain Thyme - Scottish Folk Song

Miguel Moreno and Nancy Wills:

Romance - Anonymous

LHS Advanced Guitar Ensemble:

Oye Mi Ritmo, Based on a South American Theme

This week on Valley Edition, we learn about the controversy over a new bill that some say is a solution to getting valley residents clean drinking water, but others say is an unfair water tax. We also learn about the ongoing fight between Madera County District Attorney David Linn and the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Plus valley jazz artist Benjamin Boone joins us to talk about his new recording with the late poet Philip Levine, feature Levine's poems and some of the world's top jazz stars. 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

A few weeks ago, Madera County District Attorney David Linn announced he’ll be running for reelection this year. In the meantime, however, he’s embroiled in a developing public scandal involving allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior, a public censure, and a likely lawsuit, that’s pit him against the Madera County Board of Supervisors.

Listen to the interview with FM89’s Kerry Klein for an update on what’s been happening and what’s likely to come next.

Community Water Center

More than 300 California communities lack access to clean drinking water. A disproportionately high number of those communities lie in the San Joaquin Valley, as we reported in our 2017 series Contaminated. Last fall, a bill with a proposed solution passed the state senate but has since remained in limbo, receiving both broad support and opposition—even in the San Joaquin Valley.

courtesy Benjamin Boone

A new project from Fresno-based jazz artist Benjamin Boone is getting national attention. It combines original compositions by the Fresno State professor and saxophonist, with the poetry of the late Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine. It also features some of the top names in the jazz world as guest stars including Branford Marsalis and Tom Harrell, as well as Valley Public Radio’s own David Aus. Levine was known for his love of jazz and recorded with Boone's band shortly before his death in 2015.

Community Water Center

A hearing in Sacramento earlier this week revealed local support and opposition to a drinking water bill making its way through the state legislature.

More than 300 public water systems in California are currently out of compliance with state code, mostly due to contamination from substances like arsenic and nitrate. Senate Bill 623 would establish a fund to help those communities pay for water treatment projects.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A new study identifies those San Joaquin Valley residents without access to drinking water, but a solution may be close at hand.

Hundreds of thousands residents in the San Joaquin Valley lack access to clean drinking water. This is especially common in unincorporated communities categorized as disadvantaged, which are also overwhelmingly Hispanic.

Fresno Philharmonic

This Sunday the Fresno Philharmonic brings the sound of the virtuoso orchestra to the stage of the William Saroyan Theatre for a wide ranging concert with a twist. The orchestra's longtime concertmaster, violinist Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio will take a turn in the spotlight as a featured soloist on two pieces. We spoke with both Hotoda and Sant'Ambrogio about the concert on FM89 which features works by Haydn, Vaughan-Williams, Foss and Ginastera. 

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature string soloists from the programs of Youth Orchestras of Fresno (YOOF). 

Natalie Han, cello

Squire, Tarantella Op. 23

Julie Han, piano

Olivia Lin, cello          

J. S. Bach, Suite for Cello Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008  

Prelude, Allemande, Courante                                                                                   

Julianne Hsu, cello

C. Saint-Saens, Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33

Finale

Matt Dean, piano

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Unified School District students took part in national school walkout events today. Students across the nation participated in memory of the victims of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and in protest of gun violence. Students at Fresno High School opted for a “lie in,” instead of a walkout.

 

Instead of leaving campus, students left their second period class early to gather in Warrior Park, facing the school’s auditorium.

 

This week on Valley Edition we’ll learn why Porterville is becoming one of the leading communities in the state when it comes to making the switch to electric buses. We’ll also talk with the author of a new biography on the life of Fresno’s Kirk Kerkorian. We’ll learn how his early life in the valley helped shape his career as a billionaire dealmaker who conquered Hollywood, Las Vegas and the auto industry.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

California has some of the highest-reaching goals in the nation when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Our state is also where some of the most innovative clean technology is developed and manufactured. One electric bus company is setting up shop in California, and it’s already changing transit in one Central Valley town.

 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

It’s the second week of March which means burning restrictions are no longer in effect throughout the San Joaquin Valley. But though the smoggy days of winter are hopefully behind us, there’s still a lot to talk about. Later this week we’ll be hosting a panel event on the future of our air quality. That's happening Wednesday at Valley Public Radio’s broadcast center.

California High-Speed Rail Authority

Last week news broke that California’s High-Speed Rail Authority is facing another setback - increased costs and a delayed timeline as indicated in the authority's new 2018 Draft Business Plan. The effort to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco with bullet train running through the Central Valley will now cost over $77 billion. On top of that, phase one of the project will not be fully operational until the year 2033.

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