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Government & Politics
4:23 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

New Bill Would Allow Undocumented Immigrants Medical, Professional Licenses

State Sen. Ricardo Lara says the bill would ensure that more Californians have an effective means of economic mobility and self-sufficiency.
Credit Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

With immigration reform efforts seemingly stalled in Washington D.C., the California legislature is continuing to take its own steps to address the undocumented immigrants who call the state home. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports on one new bill that would help a variety of undocumented professionals.

In order to practice medicine doctors have to provide a social security number to obtain a license from the state. This process automatically excludes undocumented immigrants from applying.

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Government & Politics
3:13 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Prop 41 Would Create 'Supportive' Housing for Homeless Veterans

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A California ballot measure before voters next month would redirect $600 million of pre-approved funds to build housing for low income and homeless veterans. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento. 

Forty-eight year-old Matthew Meissner says when one thing goes downhill, everything else follows. He became disabled in 2009, stopped working, moved in with family, then last year, found himself sleeping wherever he could in Sacramento.  

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Health
12:57 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

UCSF High School Doctors Academy Sends 81 To University

Twentyone students graduated from Caruthers High School this year throught the Doctors Academy.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

Thousands of students will graduate across Central California over the next few weeks. And as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports, for a group of students in the small valley town of Caruthers, Thursday night’s graduation was a milestone in more ways than one.

Ermerendo Vasquez comes from a family that is plagued by diabetes. But he says that without the Doctors Academy at Caruthers High School, where he interned with a local physician, he wouldn’t have known how detrimental the disease can be. 

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Health Care
11:27 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Californians Get More Time To Switch From COBRA To Covered California

California’s health insurance exchange has announced a special enrollment period starting Thursday for people who want to opt-out of their COBRA health insurance.

Covered California says about 300,000 people in the state may be paying the full price of what used to be employer-based health coverage.

Executive Director Peter Lee says they have until July 15th if they want to find another option.

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Environment
10:36 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Governor Jerry Brown Says California Wildfires Linked To Climate Change

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

California Governor Jerry Brown says human-caused climate change is probably the main reason wildfires are scorching large parts of San Diego County at this time of year.

Brown told CNN that climate change is the reason why the California fire season is now 70 days longer than it was in the past. He says high winds and dry conditions make fires larger and more devastating.

Brown:  “Those conditions are definitely caused by climate change, global warming induced by human activity.”

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Valley Writers Read
6:18 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Craig Bernthal's "Perfection at Badaxe" on Valley Writers Read

This time on Valley Writers Read, local author Craig Bernthal reads a story of his entitled "Perfection at Badaxe."  

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Health
6:14 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Study: Over One Third Of Valley Hospital Patients With Diabetes

The San Joaquin Valley has among the highest diabetes rates in the state.

A new study reveals that around a third of the California’s hospital patients have diabetes. And as FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, it’s even more of a problem in the San Joaquin Valley.

The study released today by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that among hospital patients in California ages 35 and older, 31 percent had diabetes. That age group makes up the majority of hospitalizations in the state.

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Environment
4:51 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

San Joaquin Valley Groundwater Depletion Linked to Earthquakes

Pumping of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley could be influencing seismic activity in California. (file photo)
Credit California Department of Water Resources

Researchers have long known that the mountain ranges surrounding the Central Valley have been rising faster than expected--a few millimeters every year for over a century.  And over the same time, seismic activity in the area has also increased.  According to a new study, both may be linked to the depletion of groundwater in the Central Valley.  Colin Amos of Western Washington University is lead author on the study.

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Government & Politics
2:46 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Budget Tensions Emerge As Negotiating Lines Take Shape

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) holds up a white board full of budget numbers as he meets with reporters at the state Capitol Wednesday.
Ben Adler Capital Public Radio

Just one day after Governor Jerry Brown put out his updated California budget proposal calling for fiscal austerity, Democratic lawmakers and interest groups wasted little time in pushing back.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on the battle lines shaping up as negotiations begin.

Chanting: “What do we want? / A sunny day fund! / When do we want it? / Now!”

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Drought
2:33 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

California To Import Hydropower To Meet Summer Demand

Friant Dam - file photo
Credit San Joaquin River Restoration Program

California energy officials say there’s less hydropower available in the state because of the drought. But as Steve Milne reports from Sacramento, the state plans to meet peak summer demand by importing power.

California may not have had much rain but its neighbors to the north are in better shape. Cal-ISO, the agency that manages the state’s energy supply, says that’s where California will get some of its hydropower this summer.

Cal-ISO’s Steven Greenlee says California will have about 1,500 megawatts less of in-state hydroelectricity than last year.

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Government & Politics
5:30 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Audit Gives Cautious Outlook For City Of Fresno; Warns Of Possible 'Perfect Storm'

Fresno City Hall (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

With a budget that's absorbed more than $100 million in cuts since 2009, the City of Fresno's finances are improving.  But major concerns remain, including a possible "perfect storm" that could threaten the city's financial future.  That's the message contained in a draft of the city's 2013 audited financial report, which the council will review on Thursday. 

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Health Care
2:45 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

New Budget Projects Almost A Third Of Californians Will Have Medi-Cal

file photo
Credit Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

California Governor Jerry Brown’s new budget estimates that almost a third of the population of California will be enrolled in Medi-Cal during next fiscal year. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

About 11.5 million Californians will get health care through Medi-Cal. That’s higher than what the Governor or state health planners anticipated. So the revised budget adds more than a billion dollars to account for the surge.

Anthony Wright of Health Access says he’s pleased the state expanded Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act.

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Labor
7:03 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Yosemite Workers Rally To Keep Jobs Amid Contract Uncertainty

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Concessions workers at Yosemite National Park held a rally today over concerns that a new contractor could leave some longtime employers out of work. 

The Delaware North Corporation has held the park's exclusive food service and lodging contract since the early 1990's. The National Park Service recently announced that it is soliciting new proposals for the deal. 

Sarah McDermott is with the Unite Here Local 19 union: 

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Government & Politics
6:55 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Brown's Revised Budget Would Help State During Drought, Cal Fire

file photo
Credit Capital Public Radio

Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal contains more money to address complications from the drought in California. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, he wants more money to go to firefighting, food assistance, and wildlife preservation. 

Governor Brown wants to give an additional $142 million to help the state through the drought. The drought has already caused an early fire season. Under the new spending plan, the Division of Forestry and Fire Protection would get $67 million more to suppress wildfires. 

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Government & Politics
6:47 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Brown Preaches Fiscal Restraint With May Budget Revision

Gov. Jerry Brown holds up a chart at his May Budget Revise press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

With a $4.4 billion budget surplus projected, some California Democrats are calling for increased state spending. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown pushed back against that message Tuesday while releasing his May budget revision.

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Government & Politics
6:39 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Republicans Battle To Compete Against Governor Brown

Tim Donnelly speaks at a rally in April against the new Common Core education standards
Katie Orr Capital Public Radio

It’s widely expected Governor Jerry Brown will win reelection in November. But there’s still a fierce battle to be the Republican who challenges him. From Sacramento, Katie Orr takes a look at the two top contenders.

It’s lobbying season in Sacramento. Several times a week interests groups rally around the Capitol. The groups, often large and clad in brightly colored t-shirts, then head inside and converge on lawmakers’ offices in hopes of gaining support, and possibly money, for their cause.

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Drought
6:29 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Valley Growers At Odds Over Millerton Lake Water

Millerton Lake is the site of the state's latest water fight, pitting downtstream San Joaquin River growers against those who typically get Friant water on the valley's east side.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced today that for the first in this history of Friant Dam, the oldest water rights holders on the San Joaquin River - the Exchange Contractors  - will begin to draw down water from Millerton Lake.

The move pits farmers in Merced County against those on the east side of the valley from Fresno to Kern, and underscores the divide between the holders of historic water rights, and those whose supplies came about in the middle of the 20th century.

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Valley Edition
2:40 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Two Months Later, Arvin Residents Still Forced From Homes After Major Gas Leak

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

What would you do if an underground gas pipeline from a nearby oilfield ruptured outside your home, forcing you to leave your house for over a month? And what if air samples released by the county showed that high levels of benzene and naphthalene were found in air samples taken at the homes?

That’s exactly what over 30 residents in the Kern County community of Arvin are facing right now.

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Government & Politics
1:01 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Congressional Hopeful Amanda Renteria On Valley Edition

Amanda Renteria
Credit Courtesy Amanda Renteria For Congress

Talk to political observers across the country and they’ll tell you one of the top Congressional races to watch in 2014 is in California’s 21st District. Republican David Valadao is seeking reelection to his second term representing a southern San Joaquin Valley district where Democrats hold a voter registration edge, and which went to President Obama back in 2012.

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Arts & Culture
12:45 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

"Lost Hills" Photo Exhibit Shines Light On Rural Life

Lost Hills is a town of 3,500 farme and oilfield workers located at the southern end of California's Central Valley.
Sam Comen

In 2009, Sam Comen, a photographer from Los Angeles, began a five year photo journey in Central California. He originally wanted to parallel the effects of the recession to the Great Depression. So he turned to the San Joaquin Valley for photo opportunities.

He landed in the rural west side community of Lost Hills and produced the series named after the community of 3,500, which has gained national attention since.

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