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Arts & Culture
6:10 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

'Buck 'Em!' Brings New Insights Into The Life And Music Of Buck Owens

The new posthumous autobiography of Buck Owens "Buck 'Em"
Backbeat Books

Buck Owens was one of the giants of country music, helping to define a rough and ready sound that will forever be linked with the city that Owens called home – Bakersfield. While Owens died in 2006, his legacy lives on. Now a new book titled “Buck 'Em: The Autobiography of Buck Owens” tells his story.

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Environment
6:20 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Brown's Budget Proposal Spends Cap and Trade Money

Credit California High Speed Rail Authority

California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal includes some major investments in the environment. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, it lays out how he wants to spend $850 million in revenue from the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program known as cap-and-trade.

As expected, Governor Brown wants to invest a large portion of money raised from carbon auctions on High Speed Rail. The proposal includes $300 million for construction and integration of the rail system that he’s pitched as an environmentally-friendly alternative to cars.

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Government & Politics
6:07 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Brown Uses Budget to Push for More Time on Prisons

North Kern State Prison near Delano (file photo)
Credit CDCR

California remains under a court order to reduce its prison population. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown is trying to use his budget to get the state some more time.

A federal three judge panel has given California until the middle of April to reduce is prison population to about 137 percent of capacity.  But Brown is basing several items in his budget on the assumption California will get a two-year extension of that deadline. Brown has long maintained the state has done enough to reduce prison overcrowding.

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Environment
5:52 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

California Budget Proposal Would Move Clean Drinking Water Program

Credit Valley Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal would make a significant change to the state’s Safe Drinking Water Program.  Last year, the Department of Public Health came under fire for failing to spend almost a half billion dollars to provide drinking water to communities that need it.

Under Brown’s budget proposal, the State Water Resources Control Board would run the program in the future. Jennifer Clary, with Clean Water Action, says she’s glad the program will be taken from the Department of Public Health.

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Government & Politics
5:44 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Brown Pushes Fiscal Restraint As He Releases His Budget Proposal

California Governor Jerry Brown is calling for another year of fiscal prudence, despite the state’s $4.6 billion budget surplus. That’s drawing mixed reactions from legislative Democrats and cautious praise from minority Republicans.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown is calling for another year of fiscal prudence, despite the state’s four-and-a-half billion dollar budget surplus.  That’s drawing mixed reactions from legislative Democrats and cautious praise from minority Republicans.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

There was little suspense over the contents of the budget itself after it leaked out two days early.  But that didn’t stop the governor from making his case for restraint.

He pointed to a chart of red and black bars showing the deficits and surpluses from the last decade.

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Community
4:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Renters' Rights Group Files Lawsuit Against Prominent Fresno Landlord

Malaquias Esteves, right, and his children live in a home owned by JD Homes. He is a plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.
Credit Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

A statewide renters’ rights organization has filed a class action suit against JD Homes Rentals for operating what it calls ‘slum’ rental housing in Fresno. FM89’s Rebecca Plevin reports:

Jesucita Esteves grew up in one of JD Homes’ rental homes.

ESTEVES: “We were living in ugly conditions. Our rooms were full of mold. Our carpet wasn’t even carpet anymore, it was like dirt. It was nasty.” 

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Water
5:47 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Patterson Calls For Halt To San Joaquin River Restoration Releases

Water is released from Friant Dam near Fresno into the San Joaquin River as part of the river restoration program (file photo)
Credit San Joaquin River Restoration Program

Citing a historically dry 2013, Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) is calling for the federal government to stop water releases from Friant Dam for the San Joaquin River Restoration program.

Since 2009 the restoration program has released water into the river on an interim basis in an effort to bring back salmon populations to a stretch of the channel that has been dry for decades. The restoration agreement calls for those flows to become permanent in 2014.

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Education
5:58 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Democrats Propose Universal Pre-K Programs

Students in a transitional kindergarten class at H.W. Harkness Elementary School in Sacramento.
Credit Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

Providing transitional kindergarten for all the four-year-olds in California would cost about a $1 billion, but supporters say it would be worth it. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on a new proposal introduced today.

In an elementary school near Sacramento, students in a transitional kindergarten class practice saying the date.

These kids are among several thousand California four-year olds enrolled in pre-K programs. Now state Senate Democrats want to make transitional kindergarten available to all four-year-olds.

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Health
5:44 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

New Study Links PM 2.5 Pollution, Immune System Damage

Researchers at the California National Primate Research Center & UC Davis examined the health effects of exposure to PM2.5 on primates, in a study funded by the California Air Resources Board
Credit K. West / California National Primate Research Center

A new study suggests that exposure to wildfire smoke can result in reduced immune system function. The study, funded by the California Air Resources board, looked at primates which were exposed to unusually high levels of fine particulate matter or PM2.5 for 10 days in 2008, during a number of wildfires.

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Water
4:32 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

California Water Officials Say Drought Proclamation Likely

DWR Director Mark Cowin and DWR’s Drought Preparedness Manager Bill Croyle highlight the importance of water transfers and drought preparedness during the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Board Meeting in Sacramento on January 7.
Credit Paul Hames / Department of Water Resources

The Director of the California Department of Water Resources says he believes Governor Jerry Brown will likely declare a drought. Mark Cowin  made the comments to the state Board of Food and Agriculture today.

Water managers painted a bleak picture for the board of the dry conditions and low reservoir levels around the state. Cowin says all signs point to a drought.

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Valley Edition
11:27 am
Tue January 7, 2014

On Valley Edition: Drought; High Speed Rail; Buck Owens Book

Credit Backbeat Books

This week on Valley Edition we delve into the topics of drought in California, transgender law, high speed rail and more.

Starting off the program Valley Edition Host Joe Moore speaks with meteorologist Steve Johnson about 2013 marking California’s driest year on record. The two talk weather conditions, water and what 2014 may hold for the San Joaquin Valley.  Johnson is the owner of Steve Johnson and Associates and is with Atmospheric Group International.

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High Speed Rail
10:56 am
Tue January 7, 2014

With Cap-And-Trade Money And Lawsuits, High Speed Rail At Critical Juncture In 2014

file photo
Credit California High Speed Rail Authority

California’s $68 billion high speed rail project ran into a rough stretch of track late last year, with judge ruling that the project has failed to comply with financing and environmental review requirements in 2008's voter-approved  Proposition 1A. While those rulings and a separate lawsuit about the sale of $8.6 billion in bonds, didn't stop work on the project, they did cast serious doubt about how the rail authority plans to move forward.

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Government & Politics
6:05 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

California GOP Lawmakers: Build Reserve, Pay Down Debt

Legislative Republicans don’t have the power to block measures – or even tax increases. But they’re hoping Democrats – and especially Governor Jerry Brown – will support at least some of their ideas.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Minority Republicans are calling for spending restraint, paying down debt and putting a portion of the state’s one-time revenues into infrastructure projects.

Assembly GOP Leader Connie Conway says Governor Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats should resist the temptation to spend the money that’s coming into state coffers well above budget projections.

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Government & Politics
6:02 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

California Democrats Focused on Financial Recovery

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The California legislature is back in session and Democrats remain firmly in control. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, leaders are starting the year with a focus on the economy.

Democratic leaders are pushing a message of restoring the state’s economy by creating a rainy day fund and paying down debt. But projects like high speed rail and the Delta water tunnel plan could put pressure on the budget.

Democrats hold a super majority in the legislature, but Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett says the party will continue to act responsibly.    

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High Speed Rail
5:13 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Governor's Possible Budget Move on Cap and Trade Gets Mixed Reactions

file photo
Credit California High Speed Rail Authority

Environmental groups are reacting to the possibility that California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget may propose using cap and trade revenue for High Speed Rail. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the state has generated $530 million from the greenhouse gas emissions reduction program.

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Water
5:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

First Snow Survey Of 2014 Just 20 Percent Of Average

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California's first snow survey of the winter is showing grim results for a state that's already reeling from a two-year dry spell. 

The State's Department of Water Resources says both manual and electronic readings today were about 20 percent of average for this time of year. In some cases surveyors found more bare ground than snow. 

In the Southern Sierra, the snowpack was a little better at 30 percent of average for the start of January, but just 10 percent of the April 1 season average.

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Government & Politics
4:04 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

New California Law Allows Children To Have More Than Two Parents

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Children in California can now have more than two legal parents.

A new law allows judges to grant additional parental rights if they find that recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to a child.

Attorney Andrew Cain is with Legal Advocates for Children and Youth. He says the law will only be applied in limited circumstances.

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Government & Politics
12:34 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Hard Liquor Tastings, Beer Growler Refills Now Legal in California

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs a measure allowing craft breweries to refill growlers at Sacramento's Track 7 Brewing Company in October.
Gov. Brown's Twitter feed

Craft breweries and liquor distillers in California could get shots of new business as a result of two new state laws taking effect in 2014.  And as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, beer and liquor drinkers will likely be happy as well.

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Government & Politics
11:57 am
Fri January 3, 2014

In California, New Law Means Home Remodeling May Force Plumbing Upgrade

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Californians who want to alter or remodel a home built before 1994 may have to agree to install water-efficient plumbing in order to obtain a building permit. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the 2009 law that takes effect in January is creating some confusion in the building industry.

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Government & Politics
11:53 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Local Law Enforcement Agencies in California Implement Trust Act

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Some local California law enforcement agencies say they won’t have to adjust their policies much under the Trust Act. As Max Pringle reports, that’s a new law prohibiting counties from holding undocumented offenders on non-serious charges until federal immigration authorities can take them into custody.

Counties like Santa Clara, Los Angeles and San Francisco have had similar laws on their books for some time. Susan Fahey with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department says the Trust Act creates a state-wide policy, while allowing local agencies to maintain stricter standards.

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