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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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Valley Edition
11:35 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Valley Edition: May 6 - California Chrome; Drought And Friant Dam; Bakersfield Jazz Festival

Valley Edition, May 6, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we talk about Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, drought at Friant Dam, a health partnership in Bakersfield about community design and a look into the Bakersfield Jazz Festival.

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Community
11:34 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Fresno County's California Chrome Eyes Triple Crown

Jockey Victor Espinoza rides California Chrome to a victory during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Official Kentucky Derby twitter account

After winning the Kentucky Derby without breaking a sweat, California Chrome is one step closer to horse racing’s ultimate but elusive goal - the Triple Crown.

The San Joaquin Valley grown colt blew away the field at Saturday's 140th running of the Kentucky Derby. His 77-year-old trainer, Art Sherman, is now the oldest trainer to win the Derby.

Reid Cherner with USA Today has covered nearly 20 years of horse racing and says the race was over when the gates opened.

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Environment
10:20 am
Tue May 6, 2014

CAL FIRE Fears Fire Season Could Be Worst Ever

file photo
Credit Twitter.com / CAL FIRE PIO Kevin Berlant / https://twitter.com/CALFIRE_PIO

CAL FIRE says it fears this year's fire season could be the worst on record.  Bob Moffitt reports on the state's preparations.

In Southern California, fire season never really ended.  In Northern California, CAL FIRE started hiring firefighters four months ahead of schedule.

Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird says the state is in the middle of the driest three years on record.

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Environment
5:57 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Voices Of The Drought: The Man Inside Fresno's Friant Dam

Zaninovich looks over the spillway that may not open this summer because of severe dry conditions.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

This past weekend’s summer-like temperatures mean the state’s already meager snowpack is quickly melting. And for much of the Central Sierra, those waters will eventually find their way into Millerton Lake, behind Friant Dam. But as FM89’s Ezra David Romero tells us in our series Voices of the Drought, managing those waters is a tough job, especially this year.

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Community
7:00 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Kentucky Derby Favorite California Chrome Owes Success To Valley Roots

California Chrome as a yearling.
Harris Farms

It’s every horse owners' dreams. A fairy tale come true.

A modest and agile colt with four white feet and a giant white blaze on his chestnut face born in the San Joaquin Valley is now the favorite in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Just a month ago at the Santa Anita Derby, California Chrome dominated the field.

That win in Southern California is just the latest chapter in a remarkable story that has its roots in Fresno County. David McGlothlin, gave me a tour of where it all began, at the Harris Farms in western Fresno County.

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Government & Politics
10:26 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Speaker Pérez Looks Back, Defends Record

Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) takes the oath of office at the start of the current legislative session in December 2012.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

He was sworn in as California Assembly speaker when the state faced a $60 billion budget deficit.  Four years later, Los Angeles Democrat John Pérez points to a surplus and wishes he didn’t have to leave.  Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler talked with the speaker as his days holding the gavel wind down.

Looking back, John Pérez takes credit for helping turn the state budget around:

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Transportation
10:15 am
Fri May 2, 2014

New Hit-And-Run Law Proposed To Keep Bike Riders Safer

file photo
Credit Flickr user KT Ann / Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/54409200@N04/

As the number of bike riders continues to grow in California, so do concerns about bicyclists’ safety. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on the latest effort to get drivers to share the road.

As Damian Kevitt stood at the starting line of the charity bike ride he organized he had one overwhelming emotion…

Kevitt: “Elation is a nice word for it. I was so happy.”

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Environment
4:50 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Clean Water Advocates Call Proposed Recycled Water Rules 'Permissive'

Credit Valley Public Radio

The California State Water Resources Control Board is responding to the drought by proposing to change the permitting process for recycled water production. As Pauline Bartolone reports from Sacramento, clean water advocates want tighter quality controls.

When California Governor Jerry Brown first declared a drought emergency at the beginning of the year, the state water board started drafting a new process so more household wastewater can be recycled for irrigation.

Scott Couch:  “It is a valuable resource.”

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Environment
3:44 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

California Water Officials Report Near Record May Snow Levels

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This year’s final measurement of the Sierra snowpack showed near-record low water levels for this time of year. The state takes five monthly measurements each year from January to May.

Doug Carlson with the Department of Water Resources says the state-wide “snow water equivalent” is only at about 18 percent of what would be typical for the first of May.

Carlson: “That means that we are looking at very little relief coming from the mountains in the way of snow melt to provide us with drinking water over the summer and into the fall.”

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Community
2:34 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Photos: Art Deco Architecture In The San Joaquin Valley

Fresno's County Hall of Records has some of the most impressive Art Deco sculptural reliefs in the San Joaquin Valley
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the City of Fresno is celebrating with a slate of events that honor the city's unique architectural heritage. The events include a walking tour of New Deal-era Fresno, and the many Art Deco landmarks that dot the downtown area.

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Valley Writers Read
11:30 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel's 'The Ketchup Bottle' On Valley Writers Read

This week's program is all about the folks who came out west from America's dust bowl in the mid thirties.  It features several poems and a short story written by the leading writer of that group, Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel.  We actually get to hear her read one of her poems.  Most of the program is taken up by a short story of hers entitled “The Ketchup Bottle.”

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Education
6:23 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Opponents Remains As Common Core Nears Implementation

Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly speaks at a rally against the Common Core standards in Sacramento on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.
Credit Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

California schools are adjusting curriculum and students are already taking tests based on new Common Core standards. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, opposition to the standards continues, as demonstrated by a small rally at the Capitol Wednesday.

A small group of families and parents gathered under the trees near the Capitol to express their concern about Common Core standards. The bi-partisan group said the Common Core assessment often leaves students confused and upset.

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Health
6:03 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Valley Counties Rank Among Worst In Air Pollution Report

A new report on air quality shows that many neighboorhoods in Fresno County and Bakersfield rank among the worst in the nation when it comes to pollution.

The American Lung Association released the findings of its annual “State of the Air” report today ranking the Fresno- Madera area as the nation’s worst based on exposure to chemicals and particulate matter.

Jaime Holt is the chief communications officer with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

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Health Care
5:51 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Bill To Extend Medi-Cal To Undocumented Immigrants Moves Forward

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

 The California Senate Health Committee approved a bill today that would make undocumented immigrants eligible for  Medi-Cal benefits. Capital Public Radio’s Max Pringle reports.

Backers of the bill say it would prevent millions of people from having to forego needed medical care because they can’t afford it. Democratic State Senator Ricardo Lara says his bill would give immigrants access to a system they help pay for.

Lara: “In 2010 alone, undocumented immigrants contributed $2.2 billion in state and local taxes.”

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Health
6:16 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Health Advocates Concerned Court Decision On Undocumented Could Hurt Public Health

Fresno County's Sisk Courthouse is the site of the legal battle.

Last week’s court decision on medical care for undocumented individuals has both health advocates and legal experts across the state buzzing. And as FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, the issue could have an impact beyond those in the program.

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The ruling by Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald Black lifted part of a 30-year-old court order involving specialty medical care for the indigent.

The county had been barred from using a person’s immigration status to turn away people from the program.

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Health
5:01 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Fresno Ranks High For Pedestrian Related Deaths

file photo
Credit Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitizedchaos/5913317383/

In 2012, 29 people were killed in car accidents in Fresno – and 14 of those were pedestrians.  

That means just about half of all those killed in collisions in 2012 weren’t even in a car, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Environment
12:36 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Valley Farmers, Researchers Cope With Historic Drought

A mural in the west side town of Mendota, Calif., where the affects of the drought are expected to hit hard this summer.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

May is almost here, and that means we’re entering the peak of the growing season – those sunny days and warm temperatures that make the San Joaquin Valley the most productive ag region in the world. But in this drought year, everything is a little different.

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Valley Edition
12:19 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Plight Of Kessab Armenians Attracts International Attention

Armenia
Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_map_of_Armenia.svg

Last Thursday, Armenians throughout the world marked the somber occasion of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Around 1.5 million Armenians are estimated to have died in what is now known as the first genocide of the 21st century. 

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