Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno City Council President Oliver Baines says a new city-sponsored planning effort could finally give Southwest Fresno residents the community they desire. Speaking on Valley Public Radio's Valley Edition, Baines say the new Southwest Fresno Specific Plan will improve zoning conflicts between residential and industrial uses, and encourage new mixed income developments in the area, thanks to an expedited environmental review process. 

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Southwest Fresno has had a long history battling poverty, poor planning and lack of investments. But why is that? FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports how a set of 80-year-old government maps sheds new light on Fresno's troubling and often overlooked history of segregation.

Mary Curry moved to West Fresno in 1956. Over the years she’s seen the neighborhood transform but not in a good light.

“There was a lot of businesses in the community when we moved here. Grocery stores, retail, and we don’t see any of that anymore it’s all gone.”

Ezra David Romero

With the possibility of a strong El Nino bringing heavy rains to California, the Fresno City Council is positioning itself to take any extra water that can’t be held in Millerton Lake.

The Fresno City Council vote 7-0 on a resolution to tell the federal government that it will be prepared to accept excess water should there not be enough space in the reservoir.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR


The Kearney Palms Shopping Center on Fresno Street just west of Highway 99 is often held up as the shining example of the potential future of Southwest Fresno. The grocery store and surround retailers thrive. But the historical legacy of institutional racism has held much of the rest of the neighborhood back. The neighborhood suffers from some of the highest concentrations of poverty in the state, and heavy pollution from industrial developments.

Bitwise Industries

Fresno is about to get its very own technology cluster, much like those seen in cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Austin. The hub of innovation is known as the Bitwise South Stadium in Downtown Fresno. 

The 50,000 square foot building will host 90 technology companies, a gym, two restaurants and a theater seating 200. The self proclaimed "mothership of technological education" sits in a 100-year-old renovated indoor car dealership.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our reporting staff takes a look at West Fresno and the issues faced there. FM89's Diana Aguilera looks into West Fresno's troubling and often overlooked history of segregation. While KVPR's Jeffrey Hess reports on the possible future development of the area. Later Fresno City Councilman Oliver Baines joins the conversation.

David Prasad/Creative Commons /

The bark beetle has killed so many pine trees in the Sierra Nevada that officials are afraid dying trees could hurt hikers. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

As of Tuesday the popular Trail of the 100 Giants in the Sequoia National Forest east of Porterville is now off-limits to visitors.  In September, hikers and crews noticed a large amount of dying pine trees in the area and later the Forest Service deemed it unsafe.  Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Alonzo says no giant sequoias are threatened.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we hear from Ben Bergman, with partner station KPCC in Pasadena, in a series called "The Future of Water." Bergman reports from Madera where he speaks with farmers about where water will come from 25 years from now.

According to Fresno City Council Member Clint Olivier, the city faces an existential threat from "vagrants" who have overrun parks, stores and neighborhoods. In an op-ed column in the Fresno Bee, Olivier calls for a new push from city hall on the issue. 

Peggy Lemaux, Biologist UC Berkeley

Two research sites in Central Valley have earned a $12.3-million dollar grant to study how the drought is triggering genetic changes in plants. The goal is to see how plants respond genetically to drought conditions and if more hardy plants can reveal the secrets of how they survive.

The scientists will work at the UC Kearney Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Parlier and the UC West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points. The focus of the research is on Sorghum which, according to researcher Jeff Dahlberg, is particularly drought resistant.