This week on Valley Edition, we talk with the UC Merced scientist behind a new study of the Valley's environment, and find out where we're making progress and where we're still falling behind in cleaning up our air and water. We also examine the fiasco involving the State of California's Department of Parks and Recreation, which last week discovered over $50 million in an account that had gone unreported for a decade, all happening at the same time that many parks have been threatened by closure. And we close our program will a preview of the new Sea Lion Cove exhibit at Fresno's Chaffee Zoo.
Valley Edition for July 24, 2012:
Segment 1: UC Merced Environmental Study
Roger Bales, the director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced joins us to talk about the result of his new study on the Valley's environment. In addition to tracking the efforts being made to improve the Valley's air and water quality, this new report also looks at how the economic slowdown has changed development growth patterns in the Valley, and how that change has affected the regional environment.
Segment 2: State Parks
The last few years have been tough ones for California's state parks. Budgets have been drastically cut, campgrounds have been closed, and deferred maintenance on facilities now exceeds $1 billion. Earlier this year, 70 state parks were threatened with closure. Thanks to the support of community groups, most of those parks will stay open, but some including the Mariposa Mining and Mineral Museum remain on the chopping block.
But while curators are busying packing up the museum's collection, unexpected developments in Sacramento have given some hope that the museum may stay open. FM89's Joe Moore reports on how the museum is still open three weeks after its planned closure, and on how last week's scandal involving the discovery of $54 million in unspent funds is causing outrage among many parks supporters. Juanita Stevenson also talks with Jerry Emory with the California State Parks Foundation about the future outlook for California's state parks system.
Segment 3: Fresno Chaffee Zoo's Sea Lion Cove
Fresno's Chaffee Zoo is getting ready to unveil its new exhibit Sea Lion Cove, the first major project that's part of the Zoo's Measure Z funded expansion. We'll learn more about the project and its upcoming grand opening, by talking with the Zoo's Terri Mejorado and Adrian Castro.