News

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

In 2012, California made history when it became the first U.S. state to declare that clean drinking water is a human right. But five years later, nearly 300 communities still can’t drink their water, according to new state data—many of which are in the San Joaquin Valley.

Today we debut a series about drinking water, in which we explore where these communities are and why it’s so difficult to get clean water. We begin in rural Fresno County north of Lemoore.

Pace Press

Fresno’s Linden Publishing has been around for decades, producing books in the non-fiction world under the Quill Driver Books label. Now the company is making a big splash with two new novels by local authors on a new imprint dedicated to fiction works. We talk with Jaguar Bennett and Heather Parrish of Pace Press, as well as retired judge James Ardaiz, author of the upcoming novel Fractured Justice, which will be released later this year.

Kathy Bonilla / Fresno City College

Over the next decade the Fresno City College campus could undergo a big change, thanks to a major construction project. Around half of the $485 bond known as Measure C is dedicated for the campus. Voters approved the funding last year which will provide a new home for the school's math and science programs as well as badly needed parking space. College President Carole Goldsmith joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the plans, and how the school hopes to work with neighbors to make them a success, and efforts to tap into the city's goal of revitalizing Blackstone Avenue. 

Fresno State Facebook page

There’s a new set of public opinion polls out on the views of San Joaquin Valley residents on a variety of issues, from the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act to water and immigration.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on how religion and politics work together in the region. We also launch a reporting series on water contamination. They start off in the Fresno County community of Lanare. We also hear from Fresno City College President Carole Goldsmith and later we learn about a series of surveys taken by Dr. Jeffrey Cummins and Dr.

Officials say the City of Fresno’s effort to step up code enforcement actions on slumlord property owners is showing results. The ASET  team - which targets landlords who don’t maintain their properties to health and safety codes - has thus far taken action on 13 properties throughout the city, with many more as potential targets. The city attempts to get owners to fix up their properties though warnings and fines, but can eventually take them to court.

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

A new bill unanimously approved by the Assembly Agricultural Committee Wednesday could significantly alter the way the California Department of Food and Agriculture works with farmers of color. 

Valley Public Radio

We close the 2017 season of FM89's Young Artist's Spotlight this week with a performance by Clovis High School violin soloist Paulo Carmelo. He performs two selections, works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Jules Massenet. 

Flickr/David Prasad / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday questioning the future of 24 national monuments created since 1996. One of those is Giant Sequoia National Monument in the Southern Sierra.

 

Kerry Klein / KVPR

The city of Arvin, south of Bakersfield, is struggling to stay healthy. Nearly a quarter of its 20,000 residents fall below the poverty line, and surrounding Kern County has one of the highest diabetes burdens in the state. As part of an ongoing effort to get kids out of the house and active, an event last week connected Arvin middle-schoolers with free bicycles—but where the bicycles came from may surprise you.

Fresno County

The County of Fresno hopes to see more industrial park developments in its future. The Board of Supervisors voted today to ask county staff to explore possible sites for an industrial development of at least 1,000 acres that could be home to distribution centers, advanced manufacturing companies or other businesses. The county is considering sites in the vicinity of Highway 99 in the Fowler, Selma and Kingsburg area, as well as in the Malaga area southeast of the City of Fresno.

California High Speed Rail Authority

For a train that is supposed to be both fast and smooth, the quest to build high-speed rail in California has been anything but. Last week the project hit another issue – the surprise announcement from the rail authority’s CEO Jeff Morales that he is stepping down after five years on the job.

The Fresno Bee’s Tim Sheehan joined us on Valley Edition to talk about what his departure means for the project, as well as on-going efforts to select a site for the line’s heavy maintenance facility. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Customers love the guacamole served tableside at El Torito in Downtown Fresno so much that about half of them order it. Daniel Avalos is the general manager there.

Avalos and I just ordered some guac. For $10 the appetizer is created on a platter in front of us.

“She cuts the avocados in half and then she’s getting the pulp out of the avocado and putting in the molcajete where we smash the avocado and mix it with veggies,” says Avalos.

Valley Public Radio

Today on Valley Edition our team reports stories on a bike program for kids in Arvin with a unique donor and how a researcher near Visalia is looking for the perfect avocado for Central Valley growing conditions. We also learn more about last week's quadruple shooting in Fresno. Later we are joined by the Fresno Bee's Tim Sheehan to talk about California high-speed rail. Ending the program we learn all about the Bakersfield Jazz Festival. 

Bakersfield Jazz Festival

For years, saxophonist Donny McCaslin has been the quintessential jazz musician. A virtuoso improviser, he’s been a vital part of the New York jazz scene for two decades, equally at home in his own small groups or as a sideman with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. McCaslin, who grew up in Aptos, was also largely under the radar – at least outside of the tight-knit jazz community.

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