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Government & Politics
5:51 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Bill to Penalize Boy Scouts for Gay Membership Ban Clears Committee

A bill that would penalize the Boy Scouts of America for the group’s ban on gay membership has cleared its first hurdle in the California legislature.  As Capital Public Radio’s Marianne Russ reports, some groups could pay more taxes under the measure. 

The bill would remove sales and corporate tax exemptions from youth groups that discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity or religious affiliation.  Democratic Senator Ricardo Lara wrote the bill.

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Government & Politics
5:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Steinberg say No Prop 13 Reform This Year

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (file photo)
Credit Office of Darrell Steinberg

There appears to be some momentum in the legislature to modify California’s Proposition 13. But the state Senate’s leading Democrat says he doesn’t want that debate to bog down the session this year. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

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Valley Writers Read
1:28 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Stephen Gutierrez's "Valley Song" and Charlie Warnes' "Branch Office From Hell"

Stephen D. Gutierrez

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear two stories from local authors. Our program begins with "Valley Song" a short story from Stephen D. Gutierrez, winner of a 2010 American Book Award for his book "Live from Fresno y Los." Gutierrez, who now teaches at CSU East Bay, previously taught at Fresno City College. In “Valley Song” we hear a story about the life and struggles of Mexican-American boxer. 

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Immigration
12:07 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Revamped "TRUST Act" Back This Year at California Capitol

Credit Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Glenngould / http://www.flickr.com/photos/for_tea_too/1957375742/

A California lawmaker is taking another run at a bill that would limit federal immigration holds on people in local custody.  Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the so-called “TRUST Act” last year because he said it prevented law enforcement from holding certain violent criminals.  But as KPCC’s Julie Small reports, a new version of the bill cleared its first committee Tuesday.

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Education
5:32 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Lawmakers Look To Restore Cal Grant Funding

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Restoring money to California’s college financial aid program is proving to be popular with both Democrats and Republicans in the State Assembly. But even if they agree on the issue, Governor Jerry Brown may not. Katie Orr reports from the State Capitol. 

Supporters of restoring funding levels to the state’s college financial aid program say it’s a financially savvy move. “Cal Grants” are awarded to low-income students attending public and private universities in California. The program’s budget has been slashed in recent years. 

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Fracking
5:29 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Bill To Regulate 'Fracking' Clears State Senate Committee

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Some lawmakers say California is not doing enough to regulate hydraulic fracturing or fracking for oil and gas. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, a bill designed to tighten regulations passed its first legislative test today.

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Transportation
9:14 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Fresno's Shaw Avenue to Get 'Intelligent' Synchronized Traffic Lights

Traffic on Shaw Avenue may soon become less congested, thanks to a new "intelligent" synchronization system.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Earlier this month, an article in the New York Times  showcased Los Angeles for being the first major city  in the world to synchronize every one of its 4,500 traffic signals. But closer to home, a similar project is already underway in Fresno, which could make commutes on Shaw Avenue quicker by the end of April. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero reports.

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Health Care
10:18 am
Mon April 8, 2013

State Loan Repayment Help Not Enough to Solve Doctor Shortage

Dr. Glen Villanueva sees a patient at a clinic in Ceres, California.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

 

California’s health care system is expected to face an influx of millions more patients as new insurance requirements start next year. But experts are worried that a limited number of doctors in the state will mean health care consumers will have an insurance card but no doctor to see them. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

Dr. Glen Villanueva has known he wanted to be a doctor since he was five years old.

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Government & Politics
4:50 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Brown's Bid to Regain Control of Mental Health Care in California Prisons Rejected

California Governor Jerry Brown (file photo)
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A federal judge has rejected California’s push to retake control of prison inmates’ mental health care.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, it’s a major setback for Governor Jerry Brown.

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Young Artists Spotlight
3:11 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Young Artists Spotlight: Lindsay Guitars 2013

Lindsay Guitars
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

This week on Young Artists Spotlight, we welcome 19 young guitarist from Lindsay High School to the Bonner Performing Arts Studio. Director Nancy Wills brings her students to FM89 every year for this broadcast, which is always a treat for all those involved.

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Valley Writers Read
9:00 am
Wed April 3, 2013

"Take Me to the River" on Valley Writers Read

Take Me to the River
Credit Heyday Books

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear several short stories from the book "Take Me to the River: Fishing, Swimming, and Dreaming on the San Joaquin." This collection of stories about the San Joaquin River was edited by Joell and Coke Halowell. The book is the result of a decade long series of interviews with people who have deep connections to the river.

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Commentary
3:56 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Commentary: Attitudes About Role of First Lady Reflect Cultural Expectations

Diane Blair

Shortly after First Lady Michelle Obama took the stage at this year’s Academy Awards, commentators from both Hollywood and inside the beltway erupted with criticism.  It was just the latest chapter in a decades old debate about the proper role of the first lady in contemporary society. On this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State communication professor Diane Blair says that when it comes to public praise or criticism, it often tells us more about society as a whole than about the first lady herself.

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Environment
1:18 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

The Merced River Plan and the Future of Yosemite National Park

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Beneath the shadows of Half Dome and El Capitan, in the heart of Yosemite Valley, lies the Merced River. It’s been known as a Wild and Scenic River since 1987. It’s a federal designation that aims to preserve river ecosystems and values. But after a major flood damaged much of the park’s infrastructure in 1997, environmental groups and park management clashed over plans for how best to restore the park in compliance with the law. Now, after 15 years marked by lawsuits and studies, a new management plan for the Merced River has been released.

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Valley Edition
12:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

On Valley Edition: Strawberries & Education; Gardens & Baseball; Age-Old Fresno/Bakersfield Rivalry

The rivalry between Fresno and Bakersfield dates back to as far as most can remember. On Valley Edition we discuss how the two communities can work together in the future with a more regional approach
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we  take the listener to one of the many strawberry stands that dot the San Joaquin Valley’s rural roads. But how often do these vine-ripened strawberries reach school menus? FM 89’s Rebecca Plevin explores the first partnership ever to exist between Fresno Unified School District and a Reedley farmer to bring local berries to cafeterias.

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Education
11:41 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Fresno Charter School Students Go 'Farm Grown' with Fresno Grizzlies Garden Project

ACEL students pose with the Fresno Grizzlies mascot Parker at the ceremony announcing the launch of the garden program last fall.
Credit http://twitter.com/acelfresno

In an effort to increase education about agriculture and sustainability, the Fresno Grizzlies have partnered with a local charter high school to build a garden at Chuckchansi Park. FM89’s Ezra Romero visited the stadium; spoke with the teenagers planting the garden and has this report.

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For the past week and a half a group of seniors from ACEL Charter High School in Fresno have been huffing and puffing at Chuckchansi Park.  But they aren’t running bases or hitting pop flies – they’re building and planting a garden.

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Agriculture
9:55 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Reedley Farmer Goes 'Farm to School' With Strawberries

Pao Saephan is the first small farmer to sell his produce directly to Fresno Unified School District.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

Pao Saephan crouches down in his sun-drenched field. He cups a red jewel in his hand.

In a few more days, his strawberries will be fully ripe. He’ll pick them once they are garnet-colored from stem to tip.

“We want all the strawberries, to be full ripe, full flavor, with 100 percent sugar in them,” says Saephan.

In the past, he would sell the fresh berries at his roadside stand - called Sam’s Strawberry Patch. It’s located at the intersection of Manning Avenue and I Street in Reedley.

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Environment
5:22 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

For California Lawmakers, Plastic Bag Ban Debate is Back

One of the most controversial issues in the California legislature in recent years is back.  Lawmakers are proposing several bills that would either ban the use of plastic bags, charge fees for single-use bags or both.  Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.

This idea has stalled in the legislature year after year, amid strong opposition from plastic bag manufacturers and grocers.  But Democratic Assemblyman Mark Levine says this time will be different.

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Health
5:20 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Study Links Access to Parks to Teenage Exercise Habits

Centennial Park in Bakersfield
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

  A new study from the UCLA Center For Health Policy Research shows that teenagers who live near parks and open space areas are more physically active than those who don't. 

The study also shows that low income teens use parks less, citing safety concerns. Low income teens were also less likely to be active for at least one hour a day. 

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Environment
6:09 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Snow Survey Shows Dramatically Dry Conditions for California

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The next to the last snow survey of the season shows extremely dry conditions for California. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, it has prompted the Department of Natural Resources to call the security of the state’s water supply “threatened.”

 The bad news: the water content in California’s snowpack is only 52 percent of normal. What’s worse, the spring melt is underway. While the season started with water content above 130 percent of normal in January, it’s been unusually dry ever since. 

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