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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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Valley Edition
11:16 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Valley Edition: May 13 - Schools And Drought; Arvin Gas Leak; Amanda Renteria; Sam Comen

Valley Edition May 13, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we talk about how drought and school attendance correlate, a major gas leak that forced Arvin residents to evacuate over two months ago and the photography of Sam Comen at an art exhibit in Bakersfield. Amanda Renteria for Congressional District 21 also joins the program.

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Health Care
8:21 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Amid Budget Woes, County Looks To New Future For Kern Medical Center

Kern Medical Center (file photo)
Credit KMC

The Kern County Board of Supervisors met Monday to discuss the future of the county’s financially troubled Kern Medical Center. The Board met with hospital CEO Russell Judd and an outside consultant to outline new governance guidelines for KMC which is losing around $3 million a month.

Supervisor Mike Maggard says the hospital is at a critical juncture.

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Voices of the Drought
6:47 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

California's Drought Triggers Drop In School Attendance

The district says it receives about 34-40 dollars a day per student.
Diana Aguilera

Schools on the east side of Fresno County are already feeling the impact of California’s ongoing drought.

Education officials from the Kings Canyon Unified District say they have seen a significant drop in attendance this year.

 Superintendent Juan Garza says families have been forced to relocate, taking their school aged children with them.

Come August of next school year, there may be even less kids having fun on the playground. 

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Business & Economy
10:39 am
Fri May 9, 2014

New Bill Would Make Dining With Dogs Legal In California

You may love bringing your dog to brunch, but if you’re going to a restaurant, you’re actually breaking the law. A new bill in the California Legislature would change that.
Credit Flickr user https://www.flickr.com/photos/jillchen/ / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

It’s becomes common to see dogs sitting next to their owners on restaurant patios. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, dining with a dog that is not a service animal is actually against California law.

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Environment
5:52 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

In Clovis, Water Technology Conference Focuses On Drought

The day long event gathered scientists, students, farmers and leaders to discuss water and drought related issues in California.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

More than 300 farmers, businessmen, and local and state leaders gathered in Clovis today to talk about drought and how to use water more wisely at the 2014 Water Technology Conference.

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Sports
8:17 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Sam Spear Talks California Chrome And Triple Crown

California Chrome
Credit Courtesy Kentucky Derby Twitter feed

Legendary Bay Area horse racing personality and broadcaster Sam Spear joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the biggest story in the sport in years - the horse named California Chrome. Led by jockey Victor Espinoza, the San Joaquin Valley born-and-bred horse easily won last Saturday's Kentucky Debry, and is now the favorite for this month's Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore. We talked with Spear about what Chrome means for California racing and the sport as a whole. 

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Music
7:57 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Bakersfield Jazz Festival Looks To Light Up The San Joaquin Valley

Latin jazz legend Poncho Sanchez and his band headline the opening night of the 28th annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival
Credit Poncho Sanchez

This weekend the CSU Bakersfield Amphitheatre will be filled with the sounds of some of the top jazz groups in the world for the 28th annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival. Top local talent like Mento Buru and the Kern County Honor Jazz Band will share the stage with headliners like Latin jazz legend Poncho Sanchez, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and smooth jazz superstar Gerald Albright. Festival founder Doug Davis joined us on Valley Edition to talk about this year’s lineup. 

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Health
7:50 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Event Asks How To Make Kern County More Walkable, Healthy

Downtown Bakersfield (file photo)
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Across California, urban planners and health professionals are increasingly looking at the connections between the design of our communities and the health of the people who live there. Many neighborhoods that lack sidewalks and access to parks have dramatically different health outcomes than those that do. Correcting that problem is the focus of an event taking place on Thursday in Kern County called “Community Design Matters   - Building Walkable Healthy Livable Communities." Dr.

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Valley Writers Read
3:30 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Joel Pickford's "Soul Calling" On Valley Writers Read

Credit Heyday Books

This week on Valley Writers Read, Joel Pickford reads from his book “Soul Calling, a Photographic Journey Through the Hmong Diaspora.”  The author gives us a great deal of information about the Hmong community of Central California.  He tells us about their lives in prison camps after the Vietnam War, and how many escaped to Thailand and then came to America.

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The Moral Is
12:44 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Commentary: Common Core's Emphasis On Process Overlooks Important Content

Dr. Jacques Benninga

One of the latest political footballs in 2014 is in the world of education and specially the new curriculum that many states have adopted, including California. But beyond the concerns of those of some on the right that Common Core is a federal takeover of education, others are asking different questions. In this edition of Valley Public Radio's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Education Professor  Jack Benninga says all the focus on learning process may leave some important gaps for our students. 

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