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On Valley Edition: Air Quality; Veterans Home; Energy Upgrade

Jan 17, 2012

This week on Valley Edition we talk about this winter's especially poor air quality and learn what residents can do to stay healthy. We'll also talk about the once again stalled Fresno Veterans Home, and a program to help Valley residents make their homes more energy efficient. 

Segment 1: Winter Air Quality Causes Health Concerns
So far the winter of 2011/2012 is proving to be an especially bad one for residents concerned for their respiratory health, as air pollution levels have spiked, thanks in part to a lengthy dry spell, and soot from wood fires. On this segment of Valley Edition, we talk about what Valley residents can do to breathe a little easier, and listeners share their comments. Joining host Juanita Stevenson to discuss this topic are Jaime Holt of the Valley Air District; Dr. John Gasmann, a pulmonologist with Kaiser Permanente in Fresno, and Bonnie Holmes-Gen of the American Lung Association.

Segment 2: Veterans Home Funding Stalls Again
For around a decade veterans advocates have been looking forward to the opening of a new state operated Veterans Home in Fresno. Last year, funding for operating the facility was caught up in the struggle to balance the state’s budget, and now in 2012, it’s happened again. The facility which was built with federal funding, is nearly complete, but Governor Brown’s proposed budget eliminates the money necessary to actually open and operate the home, and serve the Valley’s veterans. FM89’s Tracey Scharmann reports on the struggled which has united both Democrats and Republicans, and host Juanita Stevenson talks with Assembly member Linda Halderman (R-Fresno) about efforts to restore the funding.

Segment 3: Energy Upgrade CA
From frost filled winter nights to blazing summer afternoons, residents of the Valley have to endure more dramatic swings in climate than their coastal counterparts. That makes having an energy efficient home all the more important. Here to talk about one state program to help Valley residents do just that is Colin Clark, Senior Program Manager for the climate group of Energy Upgrade California.

Special funding for this program comes from the California HealthCare Foundation