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On Valley Edition: Needle Exchange Controversy; Education Gap

Sep 27, 2011

This week on Valley Edition we talk about a controversial needle exchange program in Fresno, a new study that sheds light on the Valley's education gap, and what it has to do with the local jobless problem. 

Segment 1: Needle exchange generates controversy
It's a tough question: Do needle exchanges enable drug users? Or do clean needles from these programs ultimately save people from HIV? The Fresno County Board of Supervisors recently dropped their support for a local needle exchange, making the program illegal. The fight is making national headlines. Valley Public Radio correspondent Shellie Branco reports on the impact to people using the program, and Valley Edition host Juanita Stevenson discusses the issue with Michael Alsup, a clinic manager with Aegis Medical Systems, and with Fresno County Supervisor Judy Case.

Segment 2: Education gap plagues Central Valley
A new study by the Brookings Institute sheds light on an issue that’s long been a concern to many, the wide gap between available jobs and the education level of the workforce in the Central Valley. Pam Lassetter of the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board, and Luis Santana from the organization Reading and Beyond join Juanita Stevenson to talk about what Valley leaders are doing to help solve this problem.

Segment 3: Bakersfield events
We find out what’s coming up in Kern County’s entertainment scene as Juanita Stevenson talks with Matt Munoz of The Bakersfield Californian, and learn more about an upcoming visit by Latin rock legend Carlos Santana.

Special funding for this program comes from the California HealthCare Foundation