California

Environment
4:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Voices Of The Drought | Blog #droughtvoices

“When House Speaker John Boehner visited Bakersfield to call for drought relief with Valley GOP leaders we met in what felt like the most arid field on earth. Well-dressed reporters littered a recently plowed cotton field adjacent to a giant canal."
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

In this occasional series the Valley Public Radio news team explores the impacts of the drought through the voices and sounds of Central California. 

We invite listeners and viewers to engage in the series by leaving comments on stories and by sharing Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts using the hashtag #droughtvoices.

Posts and photos using the hashtag may appear on the Voices of the Drought Tumblr page alongside stories the news team produces.

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Business & Economy
5:37 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Fresno At The Top Of The Pack For Solar Energy

Fresno County alone has 5,553 solar unit installs since 1999.
Credit http://openpv.nrel.gov/visualization/index.php

It’s no secret that solar energy is a trend, but did you know that the Fresno metropolitan area is ranked first in the top 10 metro areas for solar power in the US?

The organization One Block Off the Grid – the Priceline of solar installations – was on a mission to find out which parts of the US use the most solar energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory held their answer through their database the Open PV Project.

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Environment
7:20 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

"Praying For Rain" At The 2014 World Ag Expo

Devon Burnias, left, is a second generation farmer south of Tulare, Calif.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

It’s a rather dry year here at the 47th annual World Ag Expo in Tulare. Water or the lack of it is on everyone’s mind.

Even though the official slogan of the expo is “Agriculture: Feeding Tomorrow’s World,” Charles Sarabian, an engineer with Preferred Pump and Equipment in Fresno, says the real theme of the show is how to conserve what little water is left.

“I think it’s what’s on everybody’s minds and it’s what makes agriculture grow without water there is no agriculture," Sarabian says. 

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Valley Edition
12:04 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Valley Edition Feb 11: Drought From Three Perspectives; Fresno's Fulton Mall; 2014 World Ag Expo

More than 70 countries will be represented at the 2014 World Ag Expo
Credit World Ag Exp Live Camera / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we discuss the drought in California from three perspectives: the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, farmworkers and the mayor of a city with little to no water allocation this year.

Also, Valley Edition Host Joe Moore talks about the future of Fresno’s Fulton Mall with both those who are in support of a drivable mall and those who want to keep it intact. It’s also the kickoff of the 2014 World Ag Expo.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Rain Might Fall But It Won't Fill The Valley's Deficit

Credit US National Weather Service Hanford California

California’s drought is causing big concerns for residents and farmers up and down the state. But while a storm is expected to bring some precipitation to the area Thursday, FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports the valley’s rainfall deficit is actually worse than the season totals indicate.  

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According to independent meteorologist Steve Johnson, more moisture has evaporated from the ground than has actually fallen from the sky this rainy season.

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Government & Politics
11:38 am
Fri November 8, 2013

With Donnelly's Entry, 2014 Governor's Race Begins to Take Shape

Asm. Tim Donnelly's (R-Twin Peaks) campaign RV, parked in front of the State Capitol Thursday in Sacramento.
Ben Adler Capital Public Radio

A tea party California Assemblyman has become the first Republican to officially enter the 2014 governor’s race.  Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown is widely considered the frontrunner, assuming he decides to run for a record fourth term.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the race to face Brown in California’s new “top two” primary system is wide open.

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Government & Politics
4:21 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Valadao Calls On GOP Leadership To Address Immigration Reform

Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford)

Congressman David Valadao (R-Hanford) has renewed his call for the House to take up the issue of comprehensive immigration reform this year. He made his comments this week speaking on Valley Public Radio's Valley Edition.

The Hanford Republican says that the House GOP leadership should bring the bill, HR 15 up for debate. The measure would address a variety of immigration issues, including border security, a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for those currently in the country illegally. 

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Commentary
3:56 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Commentary: Californians Should "Get Busy" To Solve A Slowing Birth Rate

Sam Mathews' father, Joe, who writes for Zocalo Public Square

At the moment of my birth—a moment that occurred only last week—I was the most valuable child in the history of California.

That’s not merely the opinion of my proud father, the usual author of this Connecting California column. And that’s not the idle boast of a 7-day-old infant. My value is a hard demographic and economic fact for California—and a huge burden for me.

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Government & Politics
6:13 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

California Takes a Second Look at Redevelopment Agencies

Credit Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

A bill that would grant local California communities the right to form agencies to redevelop blighted areas has passed an Assembly Committee. Max Pringle reports from Sacramento.

The California Supreme Court dissolved redevelopment agencies last year. But a bill at the Capitol would create new local entities that would fund affordable housing and infill development projects.

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Connecting California
3:04 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Commentary: Puig & Trout - How California Holds Back the Young

Columnist Joe Mathews says the LA Dodgers decision to start Yasiel Puig's season in the minors reflects a larger societal trend.
Credit Flickr user bob_in_thailand / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

There’s a nasty California disease spreading so fast that even our baseball teams have caught it.

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Government & Politics
1:04 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

California Prison Hunger Strike Continues; State Responds

Pelican Bay State Prison
Credit California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The number of California prison inmates on a hunger strike has dramatically dropped.  But 12,000 inmates still refused to eat for a fourth consecutive day Thursday to protest the common use of long-term isolation.  As KPCC’s Julie Small reports, that’s triggering an aggressive state response.

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Business & Economy
6:02 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

California Economy Inches Up in World Ranking

There’s new evidence that California’s economic outlook is improving. A new study shows the state is regaining its place as the world’s eighth-largest economy this year after falling to ninth during the recent downturn. 

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Government & Politics
12:13 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

California Economy, State Finances Stronger than Other States

Credit Valley Public Radio

A new report that compares state finances finds California's budget revenues are soaring higher than all but one other state in the nation.  Its economy is growing at an above-average pace as well.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

The study comes from the Tax Policy Center – a project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.  It compares state tax revenues, economic growth and other data for all 50 states.

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Commentary
4:58 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Commentary: To The Class of '13... You Did More With Less

Joe Mathews tells the class of 2013 that most people would have left the state or given up if they had been treated in a similar fashion to those in our public schools.
Credit Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user bredgur / http://www.flickr.com/photos/bredgur/2925876954/sizes/l/

To the distinguished California Public High School Class of 2013.

I’m sorry James Franco canceled at the last minute. I’m even sorrier that you wound up getting me as your substitute commencement speaker, but I was offered gas money plus a free lunch.

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Government & Politics
3:08 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Brown's Updated Budget Proposal: More Money to Schools, But Not Much Else

California Governor Jerry Brown is proposing an updated budget that he says is balanced, solid and maintains fiscal discipline against efforts to restore years of deep budget cuts.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown has released an updated budget proposal that includes more money for schools this year, and less overall spending next year. 

His spending plan for the fiscal year that starts in July includes about $1.3 billion less than his January proposal.  Brown says the state’s economic picture has weakened due to the federal sequester and the federal payroll tax change.

“We have climbed out of a hole with a Proposition 30 tax. That is good, but this is not the time to break out the champagne,” says Brown.

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Health
5:20 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Study Links Access to Parks to Teenage Exercise Habits

Centennial Park in Bakersfield
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

  A new study from the UCLA Center For Health Policy Research shows that teenagers who live near parks and open space areas are more physically active than those who don't. 

The study also shows that low income teens use parks less, citing safety concerns. Low income teens were also less likely to be active for at least one hour a day. 

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Government & Politics
5:53 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

California Cities Watch Closely as Stockton Bankruptcy Trial Begins

Stockton, CA (file photo)
Credit Marianne Russ / Capital Public Radio

The city of Stockton has begun a four-day trial in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.  At stake: whether the city should be eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

The case has other local governments watching closely – particularly those that still face large budget deficits.  Chris McKenzie with the League of California Cities says he believes cities will “move heaven and earth” to avoid future bankruptcies.

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Jobs
6:29 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

California Tied With Rhode Island For Highest Unemployment in Nation

Credit Valley Public Radio

California now has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the latest figures from the California Employment Development Department show no improvement in the state’s jobless rate for January.

California’s unemployment rate remained at 9.8 percent in January. That ties the state with Rhode Island for the highest unemployment rate in the country. 

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Business & Economy
4:59 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Report: California Women Faring Worse than Men During Economic Recovery

A new study finds women in California aren’t faring as well as men during the economic recovery.  The analysis was done by The California Budget Project and the Women’s Foundation of California.  

It finds employment among the state’s women declined by a little less than one percent over the past two years – while it was increased nearly two percent among men.

Chris Hoene with the Budget Project says cuts to programs such as CalWorks, the state’s welfare to work program, and cuts to state subsidized child care have largely affected women:

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Military
9:51 am
Tue March 5, 2013

California National Guard Troops Preparing for Deployment to Afghanistan

Fifty California Guard troops and fifty from Nevada and Washington will take up medevac operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The California Army National Guard is deploying about 50 soldiers as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  

About a hundred medics, pilots and mechanics from California, Nevada, and Washington are flying out today. This is the third such deployment for Sylvester Wilson. He’s from Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento.

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