This week on Valley Edition we talk about how political gridlock in Washington D.C. has created an unprecedented backlog at the Federal Courthouse in Fresno. Recently retired justice Oliver Wanger joins us for this special report. We also look at a new study that links spikes in air pollution with stays at local hospitals.
Segment 1: Political gridlock creates backlog at federal courthouse
Even before the recent retirement of Justice Oliver Wanger, the Fresno division of the US District Court’s Eastern District of California faced big case backlogs. The district is home to over 6.7 million residents, and 19 of California’s 33 state and federal prisons, but the Fresno division is home to just two judges, and the nation’s heaviest caseloads. That’s leading many, including Wanger, and Justice Anthony Ishii to suggest that the court may need to stop seeing civil cases. On this segment of Valley Edition, Juanita Stevenson reports on what the judicial bottleneck means for Valley residents, and retired Justice Wanger joins us for an in-studio conversation about how political gridlock in Washington DC has helped to create this problem.
Segment 2: New study examines air pollution and hospital stays
We all know the San Joaquin Valley has some of the nation’s dirtiest air, but when air pollution spikes, what is the direct impact on the health of Valley residents? Dr. David Lighthall, health science advisor for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and Dr. John Capitman, Executive Director of Central Valley Health Policy Institute join Juanita Stevenson to discuss the results of this new research. Their study examines the links between environmental and health care policies regarding air pollution, by tracking emergency room and hospital admissions linked to asthma, and other evidence of short-term health impacts on children and adults from Bakersfield to Modesto.
Segment 3: California ShakeOut
Are you prepared for the big one? Guest Susan Jekarl joins host Juanita Stevenson to talk about the California ShakeOut, the statewide earthquake drill taking place on Thursday October 20th. Susan will give Valley residents tips about surviving the next quake, and talk about the website TotallyUnprepared.com.
Special funding for this program comes from the California HealthCare Foundation