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Government & Politics
6:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

City of Fresno, SPCA Look For Another Animal Control Extension, Long Term Fix

Beth Caffrey, director of community relations for the Central California SPCA
Credit CCSPCA

It’s a Saturday morning and they are serving up pancakes at the Central California SPCA in Fresno.

It’s a fundraiser to help support one of the organizations new programs called “Snip N’ Chip.” It’s a low cost spay and neuter service for low-income pet owners.  Central California SPCA Executive Director Linda Van Kirk is happy with the turnout.

“Well, look at the crowd out there. It’s going absolutely fantastic. We are expecting a crowd of 500 to 600 this year versus the 300 we had last year, so we are ecstatic,” says Van Kirk.

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Just One Breath
10:29 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Valley Fever Advocates See Hope For New Funding, New Laws

Assemblymember Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, is interested in supporting valley fever research at UC Merced.
Sean Work The Californian

For Central California families impacted by valley fever, it seemed like the long-ignored disease was finally gaining attention.

"Good afternoon everyone," said former State Senator Michael Rubio, as he welcomed people to a town hall meeting on valley fever, held last fall in Bakersfield. "I want to thank you for participating and joining us."

"My goal is to listen today and then capture a handful of action items, so that we can go back to Sacramento and introduce some legislation to move the ball forward on this very important subject."

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Education
7:13 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

California Teacher Pink Slips Far Fewer than Last Year

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Friday is the deadline for California school districts to issue teachers layoff notices for the academic year that starts in the fall.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, there’s a huge drop-off in the number of pink slips this year.

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Environment
4:05 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

First Portion of $14 Billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan Released

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (file photo)
http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/

State officials in Sacramento today released a portion of a new plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and improve water reliability for southern California residents and farmers. Known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the controversial project includes a $14 billion proposal to build two tunnels to carry water around the fragile ecosystem to users south of the delta. 

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Education
11:31 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Bill Would Create Online Courses at UC, CSU, Community Colleges

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) discusses his online college course legislation with reporters at a Capitol news conference Wednesday. The event was streamed as a video conference via Google hangout.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The leader of the California Senate is proposing legislation that would provide online courses for credit at the state’s colleges and universities.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the measure is both a work in progress – and a balancing act.

With California’s higher education system at capacity, the most popular courses fill up fast – especially courses students need to graduate.  Richard Copenhagen is a College of Alameda student and president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.

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Health Care Reform
10:54 am
Thu March 14, 2013

California Lawmaker Seeks to Expand the Roles of Non-Physicians

State Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina)
Credit Office of state Senator Ed Hernandez

A California lawmaker proposes to allow some healthcare workers to expand their range of services in order to meet the new demand for health care under the Affordable Care Act. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

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Valley Writers Read
7:07 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Bonnie Hearn Hill's "Part Light, Part Memory" on Valley Writers Read

Local author Bonnie Hearn Hill reads her work on Valley Writers Read
Credit http://www.bonniehhill.com/

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story from local author Bonnie Hearn Hill. In her story "Part Light, Part Memory", we learn about some former slave holders in Texas at the end of the Civil War who still consider it a crime for a white person to teach black people how to read and write.

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Health
6:03 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Study Shows Poor, Minorities At Greater Asthma Risk

Polluted skies over northeast Fresno (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new study from UCLA and the state Air Resources Board finds that minorities and other low-income populations face greater incidents of asthma than the rest of the population.

The study from the Chronic Disease Program at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research connects increased exposure to pollution with a rise in everything from asthma attacks to work absences and emergency room visits.

The study also found that those living within 750 feet of busy roads and highways had increases in asthma-related trips to the emergency room.

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Fracking
5:58 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Brown Backs State's Fracking Regulators, Promises Deliberative Process

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

California Governor Jerry Brown says he supports the people he’s put in charge of regulating the process of extracting oil and natural gas known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  He says California’s fossil fuel deposits have “extraordinary” potential.

Some legislative Democrats and environmental groups have raised safety concerns about fracking.  Brown told reporters in San Francisco today that he’s confident his administration will handle all safety and regulatory questions as they come up.

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Young Artists Spotlight
3:08 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Young Artists Spotlight: LeCheng Tong and Michael Ko

Clarinetist Michael Ko performs on FM89's Young Artists Spotlight
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

This week on FM89's Young Artists Spotlight, we feature two more talented young musicians from Kern County: clarinetist Michael Ko and violinist LeCheng Tong. The two joined pianist Patrick Bender and FM89 host George Mason for this week's broadcast. 

Production support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.

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Government & Politics
11:08 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Why Unions Oppose Overhauling CEQA

Unions, environmental groups, Democratic lawmakers and others hold a Capitol news conference Tuesday to oppose efforts they say would weaken the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The coalition of groups that will fight efforts in the state legislature this year to overhaul the California Environmental Quality Act is taking shape.  It includes environmental groups, some Democratic lawmakers … and labor unions.  Ben Adler reports from Sacramento on why unions are on this side of the CEQA debate.

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Health Care
6:09 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Glenwood Gardens Case Helps Spark Dialogue About End-of-Life Care

file photo
Credit Rosie O'Beirne / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

The death last week of 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless at a Bakersfield retirement home helped sparked a nationwide controversy over practices at nursing homes and other senior living facilities.

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Valley Edition
1:40 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

On Valley Edition: The Sierra Foothill Conservancy; Talk With A Supreme Court Justice; End Of Life

The top of the hill is as flat as the Valley floor, biologists suspect say this is due to an ancient lava flow.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we take a hike into the foothills of Fresno County. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero takes the listener on a journey through the McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve run by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy. Jeannette Tuitele – Lewis, executive director of the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, joins host Juanita Stevenson in a discussion surrounding the Valley locale, its ties to the community and future dates for preserve exploration.

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Education
12:38 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

New CSU Chancellor Timothy White Pledges No Tuition Hikes

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White
Credit UC Riverside

Listen to Ben Adler's interview with new CSU Chancellor Timothy White.

The new chancellor of the California State University system is promising tuition won’t go up this academic year or next.  But Chancellor Timothy White says Californians must understand that a CSU education costs money – and that it’s a worthy investment, both for students and the state.

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Environment
11:13 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Nature Preserve Near Fresno Delights Foothill Visitors

Wildflowers cover the nearly flat surface of the table at McKenzie Preserve
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

On the edge of a region in California known for agriculture and dairy, lays a hidden gem.  A wildlife preserve with Table top foothills, that in spring are awash in color from budding wild flowers.

On Saturday, the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, a local group that manages a number of foothill preserves in the region held a special open house at the group’s largest operation.   

The McKenzie Preserve – in-between Friant and Prather – was open to the public for exploring and a hike up a flat top lava formed table in the region.

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Government & Politics
2:37 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Governor Brown Appoints Manuel Nevarez to Madera County Supes

The historic Madera County Courthouse
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Manuel Nevarez to the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Nevarez will fill the vacant District 1 seat, previously occupied by Frank Bigelow. Bigelow resigned from office after winning a seat in the state Assembly in November.

Nevarez is registered as decline-to-state. He will represent communities in eastern Madera County including the Madera Rancho, O'Neals and Yosemite Lakes Park. 

Governor Brown issued the following statement on Friday:

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The Moral Is
1:00 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Commentary: Should We Worry About Cosmic Calamity?

Andrew Fiala

From the effects of climate change to the threat posed by a giant asteroid, there’s a lot of things that we as humans worry about. But when faced with the possibility that humans may suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs, what should our rational response be? On this edition of our commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala points to a pessimistic conclusion.


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Government & Politics
10:09 am
Fri March 8, 2013

In Sacramento, Justice Kennedy Criticizes California Prison Spending

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Sacramento Thursday, moments before the dedication of a library and statue in his honor at the federal courthouse.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

He’s not only from California.  Justice Anthony Kennedy’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings – past and future – are felt in California.  He wrote the ruling in a case involving the state’s overcrowded prisons, and many observers feel the fate of Proposition 8 is in his hands.  

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Government & Politics
6:14 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

GOP Bill Would Allow Flexible Work Schedules

A California lawmaker is reviving a proposal that’s stalled in previous years that would allow employees to work flexible schedules – such as four 10-hour days each week.

Republican State Senator Tom Berryhill says his bill would let individual workers ask their companies for more flexibility.

“If the employees went to the owner and wanted to make it a little bit different on their work hours for their families, then it’d be okay.  And I don’t think it’s government’s place to get in the way of employees spending more time with their families,” says Berryhill. 

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Health Care Reform
5:46 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Lawmakers Move Step Closer to Expanding Medi-Cal

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Legislation that would expand health care coverage to an estimated one million low-income Californians has moved a step closer to passing. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the bills would implement part of the federal health care law.

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