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Valley Public Radio News
5:44 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

CalPERS Investment Return Way Short of Projections

CalPERS barely earned any money at all during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. The nation’s largest public pension fund announced a one-percent return on investment today.

The California Public Employees Retirement System’s one percent return is nowhere near its projection of seven-and-a-half percent. It’s even below the California State Teachers Retirement System, which earned a one-point-eight percent return.

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Valley Public Radio News
5:36 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

As Their Numbers Dwindle, Prison Inmates Help Fight Fires

California prison inmates help fight the Robbers Fire in Placer County.
Ben Adler Capitol Public Radio

Fire fighters battling wildfires across California this week are getting support from hundreds of state prison inmates. That's been the case for years, but as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown's prison realignment is starting to reduce the number of inmates available to help.

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3:37 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

California bankruptcies spark concern over Fresno's finances

Lead in text: 
Could the City of Fresno follow Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernadino in declaring bankruptcy? According to Barron's, Wall Street experts remain concerned about Fresno's financial position, thanks to the city's long term labor contracts and limited revenue options. They say the downsides of filing for Chapter 9 protection will likely serve as a deterrent for most cities, but Fresno's case is still a concern.
With three California cities opting to file for bankruptcy protection within the past month, many are worrying this could open the floodgates to more municipal bankruptcies. But Citi strategists say the bankruptcy option still brings enough stigma and costs to deter other troubled cities. Citi notes that the cases of Stockton, San Bernardino and Mammoth [...]
Valley Public Radio News
7:05 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Court closures expected to hurt rural communities

Fresno County Courthouse
Joe Moore - Valley Public Radio

California’s budget problems have put a strain on all state departments - including local county courts. Valley Public Radio's Gabriela Ornelas tells us how Fresno County residents may find getting to a courtroom much more difficult in the coming weeks.

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Valley Public Radio News
6:53 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Labor shortage a concern to valley farmers

A vineyard of Thompson seedless grapes west of Fresno
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The Central Valley is the agricultural center of California, producing a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other commodities - all worked by the hands of thousands of farm workers. However, these crops may be threatened this season with a reported decrease in the number of workers. 

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Valley Writers Read
5:17 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Griefland - an Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss and Unlikely Friendship

Armen Bacon

Both Armen Bacon and Nancy Miller have shared the pain of losing a child to addiction. On this edition of Valley Writers Read, we hear them read their story, Griefland- An Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss and Unlikely Friendship.  They share the tragedy of their loss and how their grief helped build their friendship.

Valley Edition
10:00 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Fresno trash privatization, farm labor shortage & Kids Invent

This week on Valley Edition, host Juanita Stevenson talks about plans to privatize the CIty of Fresno's residential trash service, Gabriela Ornelas reports on what a shortage of farm laborers will mean for the Valley's economy, and we learn about a summer program for kids that encourages them to invent the future. 

On Valley Edition for July 17, 2012:

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The Moral Is
7:45 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Commentary: Court Decision on Life Sentences for Juveniles is Positive Step

When children commit violent acts, should they face the same punishment as adults, even if that means life in prison? On this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series, The Moral Is, professor Jacques Benninga says the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on mandatory sentences for juveniles is a positive step, and one informed by science. 

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

Health
11:36 am
Tue July 3, 2012

California reacts to health care reform decision

Even before the decision by the US Supreme Court to uphold most of President Obama's health care reform law, California was leading the way in implementing portions of the law. Now that most provisions of the Affordable Care Act are moving forward, what do California lawmakers and health care leaders have to say?

Special funding for this program comes from the California HealthCare Foundation
http://www.chcf.org/

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Valley Edition
10:00 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Health Care Reform's Future, Title IX, Big Brothers

This week on Valley Edition, we talk with local health care leaders about the next steps in the path towards health care reform, following the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act. We also talk about the 40th anniversary of the nation's landmark gender equity in education law, Title IX, and we learn about Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central California.

On Valley Edition for July 3, 2012

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Government & Politics
10:02 am
Thu June 28, 2012

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Budget

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a roughly $90 billion spending plan into law for the fiscal year that starts on Sunday. It’s designed to close the state’s $16 billion deficit. The Governor’s signature came just hours before a midnight deadline to sign the main budget bill Democratic lawmakers sent him earlier this month.

It came with little fanfare, and his office did not release any details about his line-item vetoes. The spending plan includes cuts to welfare, social services and more. It also assumes voters will approve Brown’s tax hike on the November ballot.

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Valley Edition
3:50 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Residents Work to Solve Hunger; Court Closures; Woodward Shakespeare

This week on Valley Edition, we look at how Valley residents are working to develop new, grassroots solutions to the problem of hunger in our community. We also look at how planned court closures will affect the residents of rural Fresno County communities, and learn about this year's Woodward Shakespeare Festival.

Valley Edition for June 26, 2012

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Valley Edition
10:54 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Solutions to Hunger, Court Closures, Woodward Shakespeare

This week on Valley Edition, we look at how San Joaquin Valley residents are developing grass roots solutions to the problem of hunger, how court closures will hurt small Fresno county towns, and we'll find out what the Woodward Shakespeare Festival will bring theater lovers this summer.

Valley Edition for the week of June 26, 2012:

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Valley Edition
1:37 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Backyard citrus harvest helps feed those in need

Sarah Ramirez displays the fruits of her harvest at a backyard in Visalia
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, the commercial citrus harvest is virtually over. But over the past two months, a volunteer group has been working in backyards across Tulare county to collect fruit that would otherwise go to waste, and donate it to those in need. FM89's Joe Moore has this report.

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Valley Edition
5:22 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

On Valley Edition: Immigration reform; foster youth; Stone Fruit Jubilee

This week on Valley Edition, we talk about President Obama's new immigration policy, including an interview with Adriana Sanchez, a recent graduate of Fresno State who has been an advocate for the DREAM Act. We also talk with a young Fresno resident and former foster youth who will be one of 30 people participating in an international conference on foster care. And we close the program with a preview of this year's Stone Fruit Jubilee taking place this weekend in Clovis.

Valley Edition for June 19, 2012

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The Moral Is
7:40 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Commentary: Destruction of Trees at Fresno State Violates Core Values

Early this summer, a plan to expand and re-pave a parking lot at Fresno State erupted into a community wide controversy, after over 150 mature trees were cut down in one day. University administrators claimed the project was necessary to make space for more cars, while faculty and community residents cried foul. In today’s edition of the commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Biology professor Madhusudan Katti talks about how this latest incident highlights the conflict between what a university teaches, and what it actually does.

Immigration
4:02 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Fresno Immigration Activist Welcomes New Obama Policy

President Obama's announcement today on immigration reform is receiving a warm welcome from local immigrant rights advocates.

Pedro Ramirez, the former student body president of Fresno State who gained national notoriety in 2010 because of his status as an undocumented immigrant, says this is a step in the right direction that will make a profound difference for hispanic students in the valley.

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Education
6:54 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

FUSD Graduation Task Force Hears From Community

Fresno Unified School District offices in Downtown Fresno
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Earlier this Spring, the Fresno Unified School District established a community task force to provide the district with recommendations to help solve the district's dropout problems. FM89's Juanita Stevenson reports on how residents offered their input to the task force at a recent meeting.

Business & Economy
6:51 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Summer Jobs Hard to Find for Valley Youth

It used to be a rite of passage for teens, getting a summer job at a fast food restaurant or the mall. But with an economy that continues to struggle, the state's teen unemployment rate is around 36 percent. But there are several new programs that aim to help teens get a taste of life in the workforce, and local companies that are working with non-profits and the government on this issue. Juanita Stevenson reports on how a summer job changed one teen's life.

Valley Edition
5:35 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

On Valley Edition: Grad task force; summer jobs; health conference

This week on Valley Edition, we talk about the work being done by Fresno Unified's Graduation Task Force, which is working to slow the dropout rate in the district. We also talk about the challenges kids today face in getting a summer job, and learn more about a health conference in west Fresno.

Valley Edition for June 12, 2012:

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