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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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10:04 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Fresno Scores High In Livability List For Those Under 35

Lead in text: 
Fresno ranks as the nation's 24th most livable city for those under 35, according to a new ranking by the website Vocativ. The city rated high for its cost of living and relatively youthful population.
The city of Fresno has been attracting a steady stream of young professionals. David Jordan FRESNO, Calif. - It's not New York. It's not San Francisco or Chicago or Miami. But there's something about this place that trumps the bright-lights-big-city allure of more notable urban hubs, especially for young people.
Education
6:00 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Transgender Student Law Takes Effect in California

Ashton Lee gets ready for the second to last day of finals for the Fall semester. He is wearing formal clothes as a sign of support for classmates who are giving presentations for finals.
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

Beginning this week all California public school districts must allow transgender students to use facilities and play on sports teams according to which gender they identify with. Supporters say the law will protect a vulnerable group of students. But opponents think voters should have a say. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

High School Junior Ashton Lee hustles between after school activities. First he makes a stop at the Gay Straight Alliance. There, as club president, he leads a discussion on how to handle holiday stress.

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Valley Writers Read
5:04 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Masumoto Family's "The Perfect Peach" on Valley Writers Read

The Perfect Peach
Ten Speed Press

Three members of the Masumoto family, Mas, his wife Marcy, and daughter Nikiko read “The Perfect Peach.”  They tell us what it takes to grow peaches and grapes on their productive farm in Del Rey and describe how they tend to their land and how to enjoy the results of their labor—especially those delicious peaches!

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Immigration
2:35 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

California Supreme Court Allows Undocumented Immigrant to Become Attorney

The California Supreme Court (file photo)
Credit Flickr user Steve Rhodes - Creative Commons / http://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/

The California Supreme Court has ruled an undocumented immigrant can be admitted to the state bar. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the ruling is made possible by new California law.

The law allows the California Supreme Court to certify undocumented immigrants as practicing attorneys in the state. It was inspired by Sergio Garcia of Chico. He graduated from law school and passed the California bar, but was prohibited from practicing because he is not a U.S. citizen. Garcia says the law made it possible for him to practice. 

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Education
12:12 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Looking to LA for Transgender Student Policy

A sticker in a school office designating the school as a safe place for LGBT students.
Katie Orr Capital Public Radio

As of this week, all public schools districts in California must allow students to use facilities and play on sports teams based on the gender with which they identity, not their biological sex. The law has generated controversy and faces a possible referendum. But a similar policy has been in place in the Los Angeles Unified School District since 2005. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

(“Come on you guys, let’s go!)

Principal Deborah Smith yells for straggling students to hurry as the day begins at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Los Angeles.

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Government & Politics
11:54 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Major Changes Proposed for California Elections Rules

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Two big changes to California elections could come up for debate in the state legislature in 2014.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on proposals that would eliminate special elections and require cities and counties to hold their votes at statewide elections.

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Environment
5:16 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

New Fracking Regulations Start January 1

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new law to regulate the controversial oil extraction process known as “fracking” goes into effect in California on January 1st. Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento.

The oil industry says the new regulations will be some of the strictest in the nation. But some environmental groups that called for a moratorium on the process say the regulations don’t go far enough to protect water and air quality.

Under the law, oil companies will have to disclose chemicals used in the fracking process, although there are some limitations for trade secrets.

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Environment
5:06 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

San Joaquin River Restoration Hits Snags

Friant Dam's construction in the 1940's dried up 60 miles of the San Joaquin River
State Department of Water Resources

It’s been almost eight years since the US Bureau of Reclamation began its program to restore the San Joaquin River. In the 1940’s Friant Dam and irrigation diversion dried up 60 miles of California’s second largest river. Historic salmon runs disappeared. This January is the deadline for the program to restore enough water to the San Joaquin to eventually allow runs of Chinook salmon. But as Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the restoration program has been plagued by delays and increased costs.

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Health Care
1:28 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

California Medical Device Makers Have Mixed Views on Obamacare Tax

Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

California is a place where medical device makers can thrive. The industry says employment in the sector is growing, and companies here benefit from almost half the biomedical venture capital dollars nationwide. This year, some medical device businesses have faced a new tax under the Affordable Care Act. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento says the industry has a mixed reaction.

No one likes to be taxed. For many small businesses, the added costs can be especially unwelcome.

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Local Government
11:48 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Swearengin: Time To Fix Fresno Neighborhoods 'On The Brink'

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her priorities for the city and some of the biggest issues facing local residents, from homelessness to city finances to public safety. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

On plans to raise water rates to pay for a new surface water treatment plant and replace aging infrastructure:

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Valley Edition
10:48 am
Tue December 24, 2013

On Valley Edition: Fresno Mayor; Meditation In High School; Kern & Madera Counties Water Exchange

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition host Joe Moore recaps the year with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. The two discuss everything from high speed rail to law enforcement.

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Health
10:03 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Fresno Area High School Students Embrace Mindfulness Movement With New Club

Just walking into this room with Emily Grant makes you want to slow down and take a deep breath. The lights are dimmed, there’s soft music playing, and the room smells sweetly of lavender.

“Take a few deep breaths in, and exhale," Grant says. "Take another deep breath in, and exhale.”

This isn’t a yoga studio. It’s a classroom, where Grant guides Sunnyside High School’s meditation club.

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Health Care
5:32 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

No Deadline Extension, Says Covered California

California’s health care exchange is NOT extending the same one-day enrollment grace period as the White House is for the federal exchange.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, that means the deadline for Californians to apply for health insurance that takes effect January 1st remains tonight at midnight.

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Health Care Reform
2:34 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

First Covered California Enrollment Deadline is December 23

There aren’t many days left to sign up for health insurance through Covered California if you want coverage to start next month.  Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

The deadline to apply for coverage and pick a health plan is Monday December 23rd. Payment is not due until January 6th.

Covered California says it expects a surge of applications in the coming days. Anthony Wright of the consumer advocacy group Health Access says there are a number of options if you’re faced with long wait times or technical problems. 

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