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On Valley Edition: LGBT Youth Suicides; Jesse Morrow Mountain; Arts Visalia

Feb 7, 2012

This week on Valley Edition we look at the steps parents and educators are taking to stop bullying of teens, especially over their sexual orientation. We'll also learn about the controversial plan to mine a scenic and culturally significant mountain on Highway 180 near Reedley and Sanger. We'll close the program with a profile of Arts Visalia's upcoming "Sofa Art" show.

Segment 1: LGBT Youth Suicides
Recent suicides by LGBT teens like Visalia's Eric James Borges, and Tehachapi's Seth Walsh have drawn increased attention to the issues of bullying, and the challenges faced by LGBT youth. On this segment of Valley Edition we talk with Peggy Moss, author of the anti-bullying book Say Something; William VanLandingham, Regional Coordinator for The Trevor Project and a member of the Tulare & Kings County Suicide Prevention Task Force; and Noah Whitaker, from the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency.

Segment 2: Jesse Morrow Mountain
Every spring, the landscape of Eastern Fresno County comes alive with millions of fruit trees in bloom. But this year, the Blossom Trail is also ground zero in a battle for the future of the region, one that pits the needs of the construction industry against area residents, Native Americans and the county's emerging tourism industry. Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore reports on how plans to mine Jesse Morrow Mountain have divided the community, and Valley Edition host Juanita Stevenson talks with Dr. Gene Otto and Donna Hacker of the group Friends of Jesse Morrow Mountain.

Segment 3: Arts Visalia's "Sofa Art" show
Arts Visalia's Gallery Director, Kevin Brown, joins us to talk about the annual "Sofa Art" show, now in its 17th year. We'll find out how a backhanded compliment in a local newspaper years ago helped to inspire this long-running Visalia tradition. This year the tongue-in-cheek art show partners with the group ProYouth's HEART program, supporting supports after school activities for children in Tulare County.