Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Jeffrey Hess

Reporter

Jeffrey Hess is a reporter and Morning Edition news host for Valley Public Radio. Jeffrey was born and raised in a small town in rural southeast Ohio. After graduating from Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio with a communications degree, Jeffrey embarked on a radio career. After brief stops at stations in Ohio and Texas, and not so brief stops in Florida and Mississippi, Jeffrey and his new wife Shivon are happy to be part Valley Public Radio. 

Jeffrey has been in public radio for four and a half years and believes in the power of radio as a medium for great story telling. He sees the vital role that public radio can play in people's lives especially through increased community engagement with the internet and social media.

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California High-Speed Rail Authority

The Board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority is expected to vote on an awarding a contract, likely to a European company, to be the line's early train operator. The contract is a small fraction of the total cost of the rail line but represents a significant step toward making the bullet train a reality. Valley Public's Radio's Joe Moore and Jeffrey Hess discuss what the High-Speed Rail Authority is looking for and who has the inside track.

Why does Deutsche Bahn seem to be the company with the best shot?

For years, one of the most powerful and consistent Republican criticism of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is that the monthly premiums are going up so fast that they are quickly becoming unaffordable and that the whole law was on the verge of collapse.

President Donald Trump, in part, rode a wave of anti-Obamacare sentiment all the way to the White House. While Republican plans for full legislative repeal have stalled, that has not stopped the President from taking executive action to undermine it.

A new chapter in the history of a long-neglected Fresno neighborhood could be just around the corner. Some residents in southwest Fresno say they are seeing a critical mass of plans falling into place to unlock the neighborhood's long trapped potential. The approval of the Southwest Fresno Specific Plan, moving the Darling meat rendering plant, and the expected influx of tens of millions of dollars in state development funds have all been approved this year. And some believe this confluence of events will be the tipping point toward growth and revitalization.

Fresno Office of Education

The Fresno County Office of Education has broken ground on a new shop for a Career Technical Education Charter School in central Fresno. The school will serve students from around the county who are interested in exploring technical careers as well as college. FCOE Superintendent Jim Yovino spoke with Valley Public Radio's Jeffrey Hess about what the agency wants to achieve.

Why did the Fresno Office of Education want to start a Career and Technical Education Charter School?

TRMC

Last week a bankruptcy court judge allowed the Tulare Local Health Care District board to part ways with HCCA, the private company that has been running the Tulare Regional Medical Center for several years. It marks an end to a relationship that had become bitter following a recall election earlier this year. It also has led to the temporary closure of the hospital, which has directed patients to nearby facilities in Porterville, Visalia and Reedley. So what's next, and when does the hospital hope to reopen?

Ezra Romero

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Jordan Gustafson lives in the tallest building in Fresno. It's called the Pacific Southwest (or Security Bank Building) and its front doors exit onto Fulton Street. She's a Clovis native, but she moved to Fresno after living in New York and San Francisco. She loves that she can bike to work at Bitwise Industries.

Ezra

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street.  Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company owner Michael Cruz hopes that more bars and pubs like his will make a home on Fulton Street and bring back the nightlife. He is concerned about the time between now and when the street is fully established. He says people need to be reminded that things are taking place in downtown. 

Joe Moore / KVPR

Thousands gathered this weekend for a festival to mark the reopening of six blocks of Fulton Street that once made up the pedestrian-only Fulton Mall. The multi-million dollar reconstruction project was one of the most controversial in recent local memory, with critics on all sides. Some claim the new street won’t help revitalize the area, at the same time as others say it will cause gentrification, driving away existing businesses that cater to the largely Latino shoppers who never left downtown.

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. This edition features community activist Sandra Celedon, who is a lifelong Fresno area resident and grew up shopping on the mall. She worries that by turning the page, Fresno could lose what made the Fulton Mall the heart of downtown. Celedon says business owners of color shouldn't be priced out of doing business on the new Fulton Street. 

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street.  Raul DeAlba and his family own a number of businesses on Fulton Street. He has seen the mall shift and change and is ready for a new chapter.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street.  Jesus Diaz owns Casa Latina Mini Mart. He says he has been waiting for the street to open and is optimistic about his future.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Desirae Washington opened Take 3 on Fulton Mall months before construction started. Now, with the street open, she is hoping for new life, and possibly a second business opportunity. 

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Local developer Terance Frazier already has money invested in the future of Fulton Street with his Stadium South Project. He says the city needs to encourage more people like him to make sure there is affordable housing. 

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Gentrification is a big worry for advocates of the people who currently live and work on Fulton Street. Ashley Warner with Fresno's Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability says Fresno needs to be act now to make sure displacement is kept to a minimum.

Joyce Aiken

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Artist Joyce Aiken was one of the artists who helped craft the Fulton Mall's signature look five decades ago. She helped design the mall's iconic mosaic benches in 1964. More recently she was part of a group that sued the city, attempting to stop the Fulton Street project. Now, she is looking toward the future and a new life for her restored work on the new Fulton Street.

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