Bakersfield

Valley Edition
9:49 am
Wed October 17, 2012

On Valley Edition: Arvin 'Bucket Brigade'; Kern County Cancer Fund; Campaign Spending

The community of Arvin has some of the worst air in the nation, but residents are now taking matters into their own hands with a "bucket brigade."
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Arvin "Bucket Brigade"
The small Kern County community of Arvin has some of the worst air in the nation, thanks to geography and numerous pollution sources. But now some citizens are taking matters into their own hands, with a "bucket brigade" that aims to clean up the air by monitoring pollution themselves. On Sunday they gathered outside a local composting plant to protest what they call a major community polluter.  But their “do it yourself” efforts at monitoring pollution are not without controversy. Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore has this report:

Read more
Valley Edition
12:13 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

On Valley Edition: Fresno Police Consolidation; Gas Prices; Via Arte

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Segment 1: Police & Sheriff Consolidation in Fresno
Should the Fresno Police Department and Fresno County Sheriff's Department consider consolidating or merging their operations? That's the question a new study commissioned by the Fresno City Council seeks to answer.

Read more
Community
12:58 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Bakersfield May Consider Backyard Chickens

Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user locomotion http://www.flickr.com/photos/locomotion/3556879530

Bakersfield may become the latest California city to consider loosening laws against raising chickens in residential backyards.

The Bakersfield Californian reports that the city's Legislative and Litigation Committee discussed the idea at a meeting on Tuesday. It's currently illegal to keep chickens in most residential areas in the city.

Read more
The Bakersfield Sound
4:15 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Homer Joy, 'Streets of Bakersfield" Songwriter Dies

Homer Joy, composer of
Credit Courtesy homerjoy.com

Homer Joy, the songwriter behind the Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam hit “The Streets of Bakersfield” has died. Joy was a talented performer in his own right, and a leading figure in the so-called Bakersfield Sound movement of country music.  

Owens’ own recording of The Streets of Bakersfield in the 1970’s went largely unnoticed, but his 1988 remake with Yoakam hit number one on the Billboard music country charts.

Read more
Science
5:28 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Bakersfield Shines In Shark Week Spotlight

The Discovery Channel's Sharkzilla, a 58 foot model of the Megalodon found at Bakersfield's Shark Tooth Hill sits on the beach at Ventura, CA.
Koral Hancharick Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

Bakersfield's Shark Tooth Hill is known by paleontologists worldwide for its impressive collection of fossilized remains from around 13 million years ago. Earlier this year, one particular fossil, a tooth from a pre-historic shark known as the Megalodon, captured the attention of the producers of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week.

Koral Hancharick of Bakersfield's Buena Vista Museum of Natural History says that the ancient creature would make today's great white shark look quite small in comparison. 

Read more
11:10 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Bakersfield's Varner Wins Olympic Gold

Bakersfield native Jake Varner walked away from the London Olympics with a gold medal, after he defeated Ukraine's Valerii Andriitsev in the 96 kilogram freestyle wrestling division on Sunday. He's not the first San Joaquin Valley wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics. In 2004, Fresno's Steven Abas won silver at the Athens games in freestyle wrestling.
LONDON -- It's never clear at the Olympics exactly where gold medalists go after they get their prizes -- mixed zones, press conferences, TV interviews. The hours after that brief moment on the podium are a whirlwind. But sometimes it's absolutely clear where they come from.
Government & Politics
4:39 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Fight Over Federal Budget Could Close Airport Towers

The control tower at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Airports in Fresno and Bakersfield could be forced to close if lawmakers in Washington D.C. can't reach a deal on deficit reduction in the coming months, according to a new analysis released today by a Washington D.C. think tank. 

Read more
Government & Politics
4:56 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

High speed rail releases revised environmental study

Artists rendering of a station for the state's planned high speed rail system.
California High Speed Rail Authority

The California High Speed Rail Authority has released a Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project section between Fresno and Bakersfield. The Authority has provided alternative routes in response to public dissatisfaction with the proposals in the original report released last year.

Frank Oliveira of the group Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability, says he's still concerned with the revised draft, as he isn't convinced the Authority has done what they can to understand the effects the high speed rail could have in the Valley.

Read more
Valley Edition
12:03 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Adult Day Health Care, Air Quality, Fossil Center

This week on Valley Edition, we look at how budget cuts are threatening patients who rely on California's Adult Day Health Care centers, how global warming may cause the San Joaquin Valley's air to become even worse, and how the Fossil Discovery Center in Madera County is bringing paleontology to residents of the Valley.

Valley Edition: Tuesday July 17, 2012:

Read more
Government & Politics
3:00 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Pension math spurs calls for reform

When you look up the origins of word “pension” in the dictionary, you’ll see that it comes from the Latin verb, pendo, which means to pay or value, and to weigh or hang. It’s actually the same root that gives us nouns like pendant. And back here in the 21st century, the costs of providing a defined benefit retirement programs are increasingly weighing down budget across the state.

According to some estimates, California's three largest statewide pension systems, CalPERS, CalSTRS and the UC Retirement System could have a combined shortfall of as much as $500 billion.

Read more
Valley Edition
1:32 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

On Valley Edition: Seth's Law; Water Meters; Renzi Exhibit

This week on Valley Edition we talk with the mother of Seth Walsh, the Tehachapi teen who took his life after being bullied at school about his sexual orientation. We'll learn more about a new state law that aims to prevent such tragedies, and a new film about bullying. We'll also learn more about the City of Fresno's ongoing operation to install water meters at every home in the city, and about a new exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum that celebrates the legacy of one of Fresno's greatest artists, sculptor Clement Renzi.
 

Valley Edition for May 29, 2012:

Read more
Valley Public Radio News
12:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

KMC to Consider Pact With Foreign Med School

The Kern County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal next Tuesday to allow a foreign medical school from the Caribbean to cycle 100 students a year through the clinical rotation program at Kern Medical Center.

The Ross University School of Medicine would pay Kern County $3.5 million a year for 10 years for the program, if it’s approved by the board. KMC currently has students from UCLA and several other Caribbean medical schools in its program.

Read more
Agriculture
6:39 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Obama Praises UFW on 50th Anniversary

The United Farm Workers of America celebrated its 50th anniversary in Bakersfield this weekend. The two-day convention attracted hundreds of workers from the around the valley, and even the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis. Solis made the trip from Washington D.C. to speak with the supporters and honor one of the co-founders of the union, Dolores Huerta, with a special coin commemorating her activism for the community.

The conference ended with a video speech from President Obama, who praised the union for their hard work for fair pay for farm workers.

Read more
Valley Edition
1:59 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

On Valley Edition: Leaving California; Kids on the Farm; California Reads

This week on Valley Edition, we look at the changing demographics of California, which is now a net exporter of people to other states. How did the California dream turn out to be a nightmare for so many? We talk to some residents who've left, and also to experts who are using the newly revised population estimates to plan the state's future. We also talk about the role of kids on family farms, and learn about the California Reads program taking place in Kern County.

Valley Edition for May 1, 2012:

Read more
Environment
11:10 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Oil project moves forward, regulator cites progress

Berry Petroleum's Bakersfield office
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Southern California based Berry Petroleum has been given the go ahead by California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to move forward with plans to use steam to extract oil at the Midway-Sunset oilfield near Taft in Kern County. The move comes after the company made some changes to its system to monitor conditions at the site, according to Division head Tim Kustic.

Read more
Valley Edition
2:11 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

On Valley Edition: Postal Service Cutbacks; Redevelopment's Demise; Hospice Care

This week on Valley Edition we talk about the plans to dramatically remake the US Postal service by cutting post offices, mail sorting facilities, and even weekend delivery. We'll also talk about the eminent demise of the state's redevelopment agencies, and the importance of hospice care in the Valley.

Read more
Government & Politics
11:16 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Closure of redevelopment agencies hits Valley cities

The Iron Bird Lofts complex, a new mixed-use retail and residential development in Downtown Fresno's "Mural District" is one of the most visible examples of revitalization projects funded in part by Fresno's Redevelopment Agency.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

At the start of 2012 California had over 5,000 local governments, from counties and cities to school and fire districts. But this February, over 400 of those governments are slated to disappear, almost overnight, as the state officially closes the book on local redevelopment agencies.

It’s the latest move in the effort by Sacramento lawmakers to find a new way to balance the state’s budget, and shift $1.7 billion from community redevelopment agencies (or RDAs as they’re often known) to the state’s general fund.

Read more
Valley Edition
4:39 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

On Valley Edition: Truancy Solutions; Shop Local; Holiday Lights

This week on Valley Edition we talk about solutions to the truancy problems that plague local school districts, as well as efforts to boost shoppers at locally owned businesses, as well as the annual "holiday lights" show at the California Living Museum in Bakersfield. 

Read more
Arts & Culture
7:36 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Christo's Umbrellas still fresh in memory, 20 years later

In October 1991, Vikki Cruz was just 11 years old, but the current curator of the Bakersfield Museum of Art remembers one trip up Interstate 5 that year very well.

Read more
Arts & Culture
10:23 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

'Grapes Of Wrath' And The Politics of Book Burning

Rick Wartzman's Obscene In The Extreme examines the banning of The Grapes Of Wrath in Kern County, Calif.

Sept. 29 marks the beginning of the American Library Association's annual "Banned Books Week," a commemoration of all the books that have ever been removed from library shelves and classrooms. Politics, religion, sex, witchcraft — people give a lot of reasons for wanting to ban books, says Judith Krug of the ALA, but most often the bannings are about fear.

"They're not afraid of the book; they're afraid of the ideas," says Krug. "The materials that are challenged and banned say something about the human condition."

Read more

Pages