Valley Edition
2:20 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

On Valley Edition: High Speed Rail; Foster Care; The Germ

This week on Valley Edition, we talk about the recent critical report about the state's high speed rail plan, and get an international perspective from a Fresno Bee reporter who recently returned from Spain where he reported on the successes and failures of that country's bullet train system. We'll also talk about efforts to ensure the safety of children in protective care in California.

Segment 1: High Speed Rail
California's plans for a high speed rail system are facing increasing scrutiny, at the same time the entity responsible for managing the project is undergoing internal turmoil. On Tuesday, the California State Auditor issued a report critical of the authority's management, and called the program's financial situation "extremely risky." This follows the resignation of the rail authority's CEO and chairman earlier this month, and another report by the state's peer review group that criticized the wisdom of issuing $2.7 billion in bonds to fund construction of the system. Reporter Tim Sheehan of The Fresno Bee joins host Juanita Stevenson to talk about the latest troubles facing high speed rail, and what it means for the Valley, where construction is slated to start later this year. Tim also shares his experiences traveling to Spain to report on that country's high speed rail system.

Segment 2: Foster care
A recent audit of the California's child protective services uncovered many troubling issues, from sex offenders working in foster homes, to deaths that experts say should have been prevented. On this segment we talk about new efforts in Sacramento to ensure the safety of children in protective custody and to require counties to further investigate when something goes wrong. Assembly member Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) joins us to talk about a new bill he has authored that would require counties to conduct an investigation in the deaths of children in foster care. Dr. Mort Rosenstein of the Foster Care Standards Oversight Committee and Cathi Huerta former director of Fresno County Social Services also join the discussion.

Segment 3: "The Germ"
Byron Watkins of Windsong Productions joins host Juanita Stevenson to talk about a new project that aims to inspire local filmmakers to create short films based upon a common theme, to culminate in an event taking place January 26th in Fresno.

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