Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

News

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Earlier this year, we reported on a new immigration policy in Madera County: Whenever the county jail was releasing a foreign-born felon back into the community, it would coordinate that release with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, which could potentially detain or deport that felon. But when a civil rights group looked into the policy, it uncovered a problem—one that could amount to a violation of an open meeting law.

When he died in a tragic bicycle crash in 2015, Ed Lund left a void in both the city's art and cycling communities. Ed was a gifted artist, worked with students at Fresno State and was a passionate cyclist. He died while competing in a road rally in Sonoma organized by cycling great Levi Leipheimer, the GranFondo. Now Ed's friends and family are organizing a rally of their own in Ed's memory.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on insurance premiums going up in fire zones and about two possible violations of the Brown Act in the region. We also hear from Craig Scharton, with the Downtown Fresno Partnership, about the reopening of Fresno's Fulton Mall as Fulton Street. Later FM89's Ezra David Romero takes a ride on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad that was almost lost in the Railroad Fire in September. Ending the program we hear about a rally in memory of Fresno artist, curator and cyclist Ed Lund. 

For 53 years downtown Fresno's main street was a car-free zone. But after a year and a half of construction, the six-block long Fulton Mall has been removed, and replaced by Fulton Street. Backers hope the project will kick off a wave of investment and revitalization in the area. But critics abound, with some saying it won't work, and others saying it will displace existing businesses and residents, and will set off a wave of gentrification. Others still say despite the new streetscape, nothing really will change.

Amanda Monaco / Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

 

A new ride share program is bringing the convenience of services like Uber and Lyft to rural valley communities. The service known “Van y Vienen” is aiming to help residents who lack easy transportation options.

The program launched Wednesday in Cantua Creek and El Porvenir, two unincorporated communities in western Fresno County. Both lack grocery stores and medical clinics and have little cell phone service. Until recently, locals without cars have relied on neighbors to get around.

 

http://www.garrybredefeld.com/

A Fresno City Councilmember is apologizing for remarks he made two weeks ago that some community members have interpreted as racially insensitive. Councilmember Garry Bredefeld found himself in hot water after wading into the controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

Veronica Adrover

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic resistant bacteria cause around 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Researchers across the globe are working to combat this growing problem, and a team at UC Merced recently published a study contributing some much-needed data to the field.

Courtesy Rei Hotoda

It's a new era for the Fresno Philharmonic as Rei Hotoda, the new music director and conductor of the orchestra, is set to lead the orchestra in her first concert with that title Sunday October 15 at the Saroyan Theatre. Valley Edition host Joe Moore caught up with about what to expect. To listen to the interview click play above. 

Hotoda was the Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and has held assistant conductor roles at orchestras in Dallas and Winnipeg. She says she is excited to lead the Philharmonic as its next conductor. 

Isolino Ferreira/Flickr / License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Over the past month we’ve brought you stories about how online short-term rental sites are changing the communities near Yosemite National Park. The booming vacation rental market is creating a shortage of places for locals to rent for the long-term and in some cases contributing to the area's homeless problem. And now the growing lack of long-term rentals is causing a hiring issue in Yosemite.

Valley Public Radio

On this week's Valley Edition our team reports stories on how short-term rentals like Airbnb are making it tough for Yosemite National Park officials to fill much needed jobs in the park. We also hear from a group of  California fire fighters helping out with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. Later we hear from a UC Merced researcher about her latest study on antibiotic resistance and from an author with a new book all about California's once booming motel industry. Ending the program we hear from the Fresno Philharmonic's new conductor Rei Hotoda. 

A crew of Central Valley ‘Hot Shots’, the highly trained California firefighters who take on the most dangerous tasks, are in Puerto Rico to help that island nation recover from Hurricane Maria.

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much in common between a California wildfire and the massive hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico. Fire destroys a vast swash of land in flame and hurricanes do their damage with wind and water. But look a little closer at the aftermath and the hot shots say the two disasters have more in common than one might suspect.

Fresno Fair Website

A big change is coming to the Big Fresno Fair.

Starting this year, unaccompanied minors will not be allowed into the fair after 7 o’clock on Friday and Saturday nights.

Stacy Rianda with the fair says the change of rules is in reaction to occasional violence that has broken out at the fair in recent years.

Heather David / Cal Mod Books

Sixty years ago, taking a road trip in California was a lot different than it is today. In the days before superhighways, Airbnb and navigation software, a family vacation likely included a stop at a roadside motel. Hundreds of these "mom and pop" establishments popped up along the highway in places like Fresno and Bakersfield, offering a clean room, a swimming pool, and maybe even something exotic, like a faux-Polynesian tiki-themed cocktail lounge. Flashing neon signs and space-age architecture were designed to catch the eye from a moving car and bring in new customers 

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Earlier this summer, a contract between CalViva health and Kaiser Permanente left 9,000 Medi-Cal patients in the San Joaquin Valley to find all new doctors. We were curious how that transition happened, so we set out to find out how significant this change was in the healthcare world and how doctors and patients experienced it.

Tom Steyer Facebook

Tom Steyer may be one of the most influential Californians you’ve never heard of. But that may change. Speculation about a potential run for Governor, the U.S. Senate or even the Presidency has thrust his name into the headlines. But the Democrat and environmental activist is not a stranger to politics.

Pages