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On Valley Edition: Bakersfield, Centennial Corridor Project; Slumlords, Fresno's Lowell Community

Victor and Mary Jones moved into the Westpark community four years ago. They love the neighborhood and are sad they will be forced to move.
Credit Ezra Romero / Vally Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we take a ride to into the South Valley where a battle is heating up over a   freeway connector project intended to connect Highway 58 from Tehachapi and beyond to Interstate 5. The major issue, the Centennial Corridor Project will tear out 300 homes in a well-established neighborhood just west of Highway 99 in Bakersfield. FM 89’s Ezra Romero speaks with community leaders, those whose homes will be destroyed and brings a report on the future of what some call a better connected Bakersfield and California.

Valley Edition Host Juanita Stevenson leads a discussion on the future of the neighborhood along with Bakersfield City Council member Terry Maxwell and Tim Stonelake, a homeowner who lives a block from the site of the freeway and who is also part of the Westpark Homeowners Association.

In the second half of this week’s program, Valley Public Radio’s Rebecca Plevin takes the listener on a walk through Fresno’s Lowell neighborhood.  The community is one of the oldest in the city and one of the most troubled. Many of the low income renters who call the area home are concerned with the substandard living conditions they are subject to. Plevin discusses the efforts of a Fresno couple who are working to address the issue and raise awareness of tenant rights.  

Joining a conversation with Stevenson on the future of the Lowell neighborhood are Don Simmons, a lecturer of Humanics at Fresno State, and Barbara Fiske, co-chair of the Lowell Neighborhood Association and Union de Familias. Both guests live in the Lowell community. 

In this episode of Valley Edition we speak to:

Centennial Corridor Project -  

- Terry Maxwell - Bakersfield City Council member - Ward 2
- Tim Stonelake - a homeowner who lives a block from the site of the freeway and who is also part of the Westpark Homeowners Association.

Lowell Neighborhood -

- Don Simmons -  lecturer of Humanics at Fresno State
- Barbara Fiske, co-chair of the Lowell Neighborhood Association and Union de Familias.