Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Kerry Klein

Reporter

Kerry Klein is a radio and print reporter who’s covered issues ranging from air and water quality to renewable energy and space exploration. After stints at KQED, the San Jose Mercury News, and NASA, she freelanced for outlets like The Atlantic, Science and Stanford Magazine. In 2015, she was awarded a grant from the Public Radio Exchange to report a national story on the health effects of noise pollution.

After growing up near Boston, Kerry graduated from McGill University with a B.S. in geology. When she began working as an exploration geologist and geothermal energy analyst, radio reporting was a distant and unlikely future. But she found meaning in media while hosting a talk show at a Montreal public radio station and later while producing a podcast for Science Magazine. She subsequently studied science journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is excited to be exploring community health and the rich diversity of the San Joaquin Valley here at KVPR.

When she’s not in front of a computer or microphone, Kerry can be found biking to the rock climbing gym, practicing her violin, or sewing a retro cocktail dress.

Ways to Connect

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Four years into the drought, an estimated 1,500 wells have run dry in Tulare County. Now, thanks to a state-funded project, relief is finally coming to one of the county’s hardest hit communities.

Flickr user WBUR, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Right now in California’s Sierra Nevada, an estimated 66 million trees have died, due to a deadly combination of drought and bark beetles, which take advantage of dry, thirsty trees. But could we prevent beetles from ever attacking trees in the first place? Researchers have been asking this question for decades, and a new tool fends off bark beetles using the very thing that makes them so deadly.

Community Water Center

When we talk about water in the San Joaquin Valley, it’s often to highlight water problems, like dry wells, contaminated drinking water or, more recently, toxic algae in lakes and reservoirs. But the news isn’t all bad: local advocate Susana De Anda recently received an award from the White House for her work bringing clean water to San Joaquin Valley communities.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

In the Sierra Nevada, it’s estimated that tens of millions of trees have died as a result of drought, many of which succumbed to infestations from bark beetles. As a result, we’ve been told our risk of wildfire is far higher than normal, but FM89’s Kerry Klein says the science doesn’t necessarily agree.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

The last time we reported about the Fresno Needle Exchange, it was an illegal program, operating without support from policymakers and under threat of police intervention. It became legal in 2012 under a state law. Now, the program is more popular than ever, and new research suggests it’s making the community safer.

Michael lives in north Fresno. He’s 56. He studied social work and he’s now self-employed. He has a daughter in nearby Dinuba. 

Fresno County Department of Public Health

Zika has finally appeared in Fresno County. An adult woman tested positive for the virus after traveling internationally and developing flu-like symptoms. Health officials won’t reveal where she traveled.

Fifty-five cases of Zika have been reported in California since January of last year, out of almost a thousand nationally. None are believed to have been transmitted locally, though some were spread through sexual contact.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Air quality is a tremendous problem in the San Joaquin Valley. Our air is consistently ranked the worst in the nation, alongside the Los Angeles area, and it’s been linked in Valley residents to immune problems, emergency room visits and even premature death. It’s an old problem, but local officials have put forth a bold new solution.

If it were winter, you could turn to the east from almost anywhere in the San Joaquin Valley and admire the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Monday June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, and Fresno County is offering free HIV tests throughout the week. In 2014, the county reported 94 new cases of HIV/AIDS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone 13-64 years old be tested at least once, and they encourage mothers to be tested with each pregnancy. The CDC also recommends annual testing for those who inject drugs, have an STD, or have more than one sexual partner.

Free rapid HIV tests will be available at the Fresno County Health Department until Thursday, June 30. 

Kerry Klein/KVPR

May was National Bike Month, and Fresno celebrated with group rides, bike clinics and a city-wide bike to work day. But in two high-profile incidents earlier this spring, one cyclist was killed and another seriously injured while riding in central Fresno. So is bicycling safe here?

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Closing out a highly political few weeks in the Valley ahead of the state primary on Tuesday, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton made an appearance in Fresno over the weekend.

Speaking to a crowded gymnasium on Saturday evening, Hillary Clinton packed high energy but few surprises into her campaign stop in Fresno. Her rally came just days after appearances from competitors Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

By Gage Skidmore - Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0

A spokesman from Fresno Unified school district has confirmed that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be stopping at Edison High School on June 6 as part of her campaign swing through California.

She’ll be speaking 7 p.m. on Saturday in the school’s gymnasium. Doors will open at 5 p.m. The gym can accommodate roughly 2000 people.

In one of this first speeches since securing enough delegates to win the nomination, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump rallied supporters at the Selland Arena in downtown Fresno today.

The speech touched on familiar themes but also took on a topic important to the Central Valley.

“Wow! Thank you, everybody! What a crowd. What a crowd,” said the ever-confident Trump as he took the stage, waving, smiling at cheering supporters and giving his signature thumbs up.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Some Valley residents may remember Measure E, a bond passed in 2002 that funded repairs and improvements at community colleges in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties. Now, 14 years later, the community college district is asking for money—on an even bigger ballot measure.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Residents of Bakersfield breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation, thanks to a confluence of vehicle exhaust, industrial operations, and stagnant valley air. In an effort to combat pollution, air quality advocates are now targeting a potential source of emissions that, at the moment, is not even operating.

Ride your bike along the Kern River just west of downtown Bakersfield, and you pass joggers and people walking dogs. To one side of the trail, families play Frisbee golf in the grass. To the other side, a symbol of Kern County’s economy looms silently.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Right now, Clovis Community College is hosting an exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It’s all about the Bracero program, a controversial government campaign in the mid-20th century that brought Mexican men into the U.S. seasonally to work the fields. Alongside the Smithsonian exhibit are paintings by Eliana Soto, a local artist whose grandfather was a Bracero. She tells Kerry Klein about exploring her family’s history through art as part of our first-person series My Valley, My Story.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin yesterday cut the ribbon for a new park in southeast Fresno. And this isn’t just any park.

Fresno skateboarders have a new skate park to play in. It’s located behind Romain Park near the junction of routes 41 and 180. And it’s unlike any other skate park in Fresno: it was designed by skateboarders. Hundreds of teenagers and young adults took part in the planning process—including Manuel Martinez.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

A report released today highlights how widespread unsafe drinking water is in California—particularly in schools. 

Between 2003 and 2014, over 900 schools in the state may have provided water that was contaminated with arsenic or bacteria. That’s according to the Community Water Center, a non-profit advocacy group based in Sacramento. The report combined publicly available data on water quality violations with the number of schools served by those systems.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

The state estimates that over a million Californians lack access to safe drinking water. After 15 years with arsenic contamination, one small Kern County community took the struggle for clean water into its own hands--in a campaign that could serve as a role model for others.

It’s recess at El Camino Real Elementary School in Arvin and the courtyard is packed. Kids play tag and tetherball, and laughter echoes throughout the yard.

Many valley residents struggle to access drinking water—some don’t have enough, while others face contamination. Now, a new law allows the state to step in and help those in need. In its first success story, the law didn't just bring water to a community; it helped end a standoff with a neighboring city.

Infographic courtesy of UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Chronic Disease Program

A new study out of UCLA estimates that 46 percent of adults in California have prediabetes, a precursor to diabetes marked by high blood sugar. The study suggests the risk is even higher in the San Joaquin Valley. In Fresno County, the rate could be as high as 49 percent.  "It's a major issue of health equity," says Harold Goldstein, executive director of UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research and author of the study.

Pages