Bakersfield

Immigration
5:33 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Immigrant Rights Groups Criticize Kern County Sheriff Over TRUST Act

UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta speaks at a protest Wednesday outside the office of Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood
Credit UFW Foundation Twitter / twitter.com/UFWF/

A trio of farm worker rights organizations protested outside the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Bakersfield Tuesday saying that Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood should follow the law by enforcing the TRUST Act that went into effect January 1.

Marichel Mejia with the United Farm Workers Foundation and the Kern Coalition for Citizenship was at the protest.

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Energy
2:51 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Senate Committee Moves Ahead With Fracking Moratorium Bill

A California senate committee has moved a bill forward that would place a moratorium on fracking. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the move comes less than a year after the passage of legislation that regulates the oil-extraction process.

Senate Bill 4 put several fracking regulations in place for the oil industry. SB4 also requires a study analyzing the health and safety risks of fracking. At the committee hearing, oil industry representatives called the regulations some of the strictest in the nation.

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Valley Edition
1:23 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Valley Edition: April 1 - Snow Survey; Homeless Laws; College Sports Unions; Beer; Wu Man

Valley Edition, April 1, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89 reporter Ezra David Romero travels with a snow surveyor to measure the April 1 snowpack, we talk about new homeless laws in Fresno and Bakersfield, discuss college sports unions, drink local beer and talk with world famous pipa player Wu Man.  

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Education
1:32 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Teachers, Students Rally To 'Save FFA' Amid Proposed Funding Changes

FFA students held at rally at the state Capitol last week to support funding for FFA programs
Credit Twitter / Asm. Susan Talamantes Eggman / https://twitter.com/AsmSusanEggman/

Go to a rural high school in Central California, and one of the most popular extra-curricular programs will be FFA – Future Farmers of America. But now the people who run those programs say their future is threatened in Governor Brown’s new budget.

It’s all part of a big change to the way school districts get their money from Sacramento – the Local Control Funding Formula. In general it’s been good news for schools up and down the valley, as it redirects more money to districts with high populations of low-income families, English learners and foster youth.

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Energy
10:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Political Fight Over Fracking Takes Center Stage In California

Environmental activists rallied at the state Capitol to protest "fracking"
Credit Center For Race, Poverty and the Environment - Twitter / https://twitter.com/CRPE_EJ

California is instituting what some are calling the toughest regulations in the nation for the controversial oil extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  But some environmentalists say the regulations don’t go far enough to protect air and water quality.

Several local governments have enacted moratoriums; others are calling for an outright ban on fracking. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the politics are beginning to take center stage.

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Education
4:37 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Drought May Hurt School Attendance in Central Valley

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Declining school attendance may be the latest side-effect of California’s punishing drought. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction will visit the Central Valley Wednesday to talk about the problem.

School attendance may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the impact of the drought on California. But it is affected. Less water means fewer crops, which means fewer farm jobs. And when the jobs disappear, families of migrant workers move on, taking their school age children with them.

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History
11:43 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Memories Of Bakersfield's Underground "Tunnels" Remain Vivid

Tegler Hotel building in downtown Bakersfield is one of the sites old-timers recall as being part of a network of connected basements or "tunnels"
Credit Joe Moore / Va

Deep beneath the oldest part of Bakersfield lies a hidden world, unknown to most, and forgotten by many. Yet some still have vivid memories of these underground passages or "tunnels" as some people describe them. 

These connected basements, and the activities that took place "underground" - gambling, brothels, blue movies, are not just the stuff of legend, they're still very real in the minds of many older Kern County residents.

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Education
9:04 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Is Bakersfield Really America's "Least Literate" City? Local Author Raises Questions

Downtown Bakersfield (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Cities like Merced Fresno and Bakersfield all share one common thread, other than being major stops on Highway 99.

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Drought
10:41 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Do Man-Made Residential Lakes Make Sense In A Drought?

These man-made lakes south of Bakersfield, near the communities of Arvin and Lamont have some Kern County residents and water managers asking questions about the use of water during a drought.
Credit Google Maps

California’s drought has communities up and down the valley looking conserve water. The City of Orange Cove has already banned outdoor watering this year, and later tonight the Lemoore City Council will hold a meeting to discuss ways the city can get residents to reduce their water use by as much as 25 percent.

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Young Artists Spotlight
2:54 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Young Artists Spotlight: Bakersfield Youth Symphony String Quartet

The Bakersfield Youth Symphony String Quartet performs in-studio at Valley Public Radio
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The 2014 season of Young Artists Spotlight begins with a performance by four talented teens from Bakersfield, Henry Song, Liang (Vicky) Zhao, Sharon Hong and Sebastian Lee. Together they are the Bakersfield Youth Symphony String Quartet. They performed the following:

Bach: 1st movement from the Third Brandenburg Concerto
Mozart: Rondo
Folk song medley: Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) and Arkansas Traveller (arranged by George Frederick McKay)  
Mozart: 1st movement from Eine kleine nachtmusik

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Arts & Culture
6:26 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Masumoto: What Would Steinbeck Write Today?

David Mas Masumoto

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s tale of the Dust Bowl emigration to California – the Grapes of Wrath. Late last year, Cal State Bakersfield launched a year-long celebration of the book and its author, which includes an event taking place Wednesday night at CSUB titled “If Steinbeck was a Farmer.”

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Sports
4:29 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

A Tale Of Two (Hockey) Cities: Bakersfield And Fresno Face Different ECHL Futures

Ice hockey fans cheered the Fresno Falcons for only a few games in 2007 before the team went out of business.
Credit SMG - Fresno Convention Center

The last seven days have been significant ones for local ice hockey fans. Last week, the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL announced that the team has been acquired by the NHL’s Edmonton Oliers. Fans and local officials hope the change will help give a boost to the popular franchise in many ways.

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Valley Edition
12:17 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

On Valley Edition: Air Quality; Hockey In The Valley; Grapes of Wrath

Award winning author and organic farmer Mas Masumoto will be the main speaker at the Kegley Institute of Ethics "If Steinbeck was a Farmer" talk at CSUB Wednesday January 29.
Credit http://www.cs.csub.edu/~donna/kie/Lectures/masumoto.php

This week on Valley Edition our reporting team discusses how Valley air quality may affect our genes, a library vending machine that dispenses books, hockey in the region and much more.

Starting off the program, Valley Public Radio Reporter Rebecca Plevin reports on the issue of pollution and how it relates to our health. She explores the question of whether pollution is affecting Valley residents at cellular level.

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Government & Politics
6:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Federal and Local Law Enforcement Break Central Valley Mail Theft Rings

Federal and local law enforcement agencies have announced the results of a months-long operation targeting mail theft rings in Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield.
Credit Capital Public Radio

Federal and local law enforcement officials have announced arrests and prosecutions in a flurry of mail theft cases.  As Max Pringle reports, Sacramento, Bakersfield and Fresno were the focus of months of investigations.

Last year, U.S. Postal Service inspectors from around the country came to the Central Valley to help local police investigate an upswing in mail theft. Greg Campbell with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service says mail theft and drug abuse usually go hand-in-hand.

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Arts & Culture
6:10 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

'Buck 'Em!' Brings New Insights Into The Life And Music Of Buck Owens

The new posthumous autobiography of Buck Owens "Buck 'Em"
Backbeat Books

Buck Owens was one of the giants of country music, helping to define a rough and ready sound that will forever be linked with the city that Owens called home – Bakersfield. While Owens died in 2006, his legacy lives on. Now a new book titled “Buck 'Em: The Autobiography of Buck Owens” tells his story.

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Environment
5:16 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

New Fracking Regulations Start January 1

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new law to regulate the controversial oil extraction process known as “fracking” goes into effect in California on January 1st. Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento.

The oil industry says the new regulations will be some of the strictest in the nation. But some environmental groups that called for a moratorium on the process say the regulations don’t go far enough to protect water and air quality.

Under the law, oil companies will have to disclose chemicals used in the fracking process, although there are some limitations for trade secrets.

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Community
12:00 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Egan Shares Dust Bowl Memories With 'Worst Hard Time'

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl - by Timothy Egan
Credit Mariner Books

California's Central Valley will be forever linked in history with the story of the Dust Bowl. Cities like Bakersfield and Fresno were the final destination for many who fled Oklahoma and nearby states during the 1930's - an era of dust storms, drought and the Great Depression. But what about those who stayed behind? And did John Steinbeck get the story right in his novel "The Grapes of Wrath?"

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Technology
1:42 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Elon Musk In Bakersfield: High Speed Rail Implementation Like 'Bait and Switch'

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, speaking at CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday night.
Credit CSU Bakersfield

Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk held court Wednesday night before a packed crowd at Cal State University Bakersfield's Doré Theatre, in the college's new guest lecture series.

The founder of PayPal, and the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, and chairman of SolarCity delivered a free ranging talk that covered everything from travel to Mars to high speed rail. 

Musk criticized the state's high speed rail plan, saying that it isn't "cool." Musk:

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Immigration Reform
11:08 am
Thu November 7, 2013

In Bakersfield, Immigration Protestors Occupy McCarthy's Office, Meet With Congressman

Late Wednesday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy returned to his office to meet with the protesters, after attending an event at CSU Bakersfield with technology entrepreneur Elon Musk.
UFW Communications Director Maria Machuca https://twitter.com/mariamachuca

A group of immigration rights activists staged a protest Wednesday at the Bakersfield office of House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, eventually meeting with the Congressman after being locked inside his office for much of the night. 

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Connecting California
6:16 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Commentary: Take A Trip On Amtrak's San Joaquin

The Amtrak San Joaquin line is among the most popular in the state.
Credit Amtrak

I’m not a big fan of trains, but my oldest son, Ben, 4, loves them. He’d been lobbying to go on a “big train trip,” and his school would be closed for a couple days at the end of September, when I had a meeting in Sacramento. Why not take the kid on a train trip from L.A. to the state capital, by Amtrak?

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