California

Government & Politics
6:03 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

State budget suspends Brown Act provisions

Local government boards in California are no longer required to post agendas or disclose decisions made in closed sessions. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the legislature suspended those provisions of the state’s public meeting law in the budget passed last month.

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Valley Public Radio News
5:44 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

CalPERS Investment Return Way Short of Projections

CalPERS barely earned any money at all during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. The nation’s largest public pension fund announced a one-percent return on investment today.

The California Public Employees Retirement System’s one percent return is nowhere near its projection of seven-and-a-half percent. It’s even below the California State Teachers Retirement System, which earned a one-point-eight percent return.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
5:47 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Oakland Turns A Corner As Calif. Faces Budget Woes

Ryan Curtis leans in for a kiss from Love Kovtun on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland's Uptown neighborhood in April. New businesses and investment have helped revitalize the city's downtown over the past decade.
Laura Morton for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 11:17 am

The city of Oakland, Calif. has long been associated with crime, poverty, urban decay and, more recently, violent protests tied to the Occupy movement.

So it may have been a surprise to New York Times readers when the newspaper listed Oakland as No. 5 among its top "places to go" in 2012.

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Health
10:00 am
Tue June 12, 2012

New California Health Marketplace Moves Forward, Despite Uncertainty

As the nation waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a historic ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama’s overhaul of federal health care, California is not waiting to make changes. As Pauline Bartolone reports, state health planners say even if the high court overturns the federal mandate to buy insurance, their effort will move forward.

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Health
9:55 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Survey Sheds Light On What California Small Businesses Want from New Health Market

A new survey sheds light on what small businesses in California want out of the new health insurance market starting in 2014. 

Only a little more than a third of California small businesses currently provide some health benefits in their workplace. But that number could go up to 44 percent when a new health marketplace is up and running.

That’s according to a poll commissioned by the Small Business Majority and Kaiser Permanente.

John Arensmeyer of the Small Business Majority says the poll shows small companies want the same health options big ones have.

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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:

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Government & Politics
5:33 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Fresno Veterans Home Hits Roadblock

An artist's rendering of the California Veterans Home currently under construction at California Avenue and Marks Avenue in Fresno. Governor Brown's proposed 2012 State Budget eliminates the funding necessary to open the nearly completed facility.

There's been a battle going on in Fresno for the last decade. A battle that has both Republicans and Democrats fighting on the same side, all in hopes of opening the doors to a veterans' home in Fresno that is on track to be finished in Spring.

The construction will be completed on time, but in trying to close California's huge budget gap, Governor Brown cut the $14.5 million needed to operate the facility from his proposed budget. Earlier this month, the governor spoke about some of the other proposed cuts.

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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.

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Valley Edition
6:11 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

On Valley Edition: Splitting Up California; Downtown Fresno

This week on Valley Edition we talk about the recent resurgence of an old idea, splitting up the Golden State, with the authors of a new book called "California Crackup." We'll also talk about the continuing effort to revitalize downtown Fresno.

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Government & Politics
8:31 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Era of reform a century ago inspires new proposals for California

One hundred years ago this month, California’s experiment in direct democracy was born with the introduction of the ballot initiative and referendum process. Now, a century later, Californians are again looking at new ideas to fix what many feel is a broken system in Sacramento. So what might the next 100 years have in store?

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Valley Edition
5:23 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

On Valley Edition: Redistricting California; Valley Bookstores Adapt to New Reality

Segment 1: Redistricting Fresno County

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Government & Politics
6:43 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

CA Citizens Redistricting Commission Redraws the Lines

While it doesn't get nearly as much attention as the state's on-going budget debate, behind the scenes, work is underway on a set of maps that could dramatically alter California politics for a decade to come. The State's 14 member Citizens Redistricting Commission is currently at work on redrawing the lines of the state's assembly, state senate and congressional districts. And in a state where major decisions such as the budget and big social issues often are decided by just one or two votes, the stakes for all those involved are high.

Education
6:25 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Teacher Layoff Law, Prospect of Cuts Pose Challenge For Districts

Last month, when California lawmakers passed a new state budget, they also passed a bill prohibiting local school districts from laying off teachers. Backers, including the California Teachers Association, say that the law protects students from class size increases and will save teacher jobs. School districts say it ties their hands, especially with the prospect of a midyear $1.5 billion funding cut if revenues fall short of projections.

Valley Edition
5:56 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

On Valley Edition: Valley Professionals Struggle to Find Work; Breaking Up California

Segment 1: Valley Professionals Struggle to Find Work - Among the groups hit the hardest in the economic downturn are business professionals. From April 2010 to April 2011 the business and professional sectors in Fresno County lost 1,800 jobs. Host Juanita Stevenson reports on how some Valley professionals are looking to re-enter the workforce and having success finding work. Guests include Ginny Burdick, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Community Hospitals of Central California; Cathy Frost, President, Bennett Frost Personnel Services and Dr.

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Quality of Life
6:25 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

On Quality of Life: State and National Parks

Part I: National Parks - Central California's National Parks are known worldwide and attract millions of visitors each year. In 2010, over 4 million people visited Yosemite National Park, just short of breaking the park's all-time record. But those visitors bring big city problems with them, from traffic jams, to pollution and safety concerns. This week on Quality of Life, we examine the difficult task of balancing public access with preservation of natural resources, in Yosemite and beyond.

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Quality of Life
6:31 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

On Quality of Life: Redistricting; Drunk Driving

Segment I - Redistricting - While it doesn't get nearly as much attention as the state's on-going budget debate, behind the scenes, work is underway on a set of maps that could dramatically alter California politics for a decade to come. The State's 14 member Citizens Redistricting Commission is currently at work on redrawing the lines of the state's assembly, state senate and congressional districts. And in a state where major decisions such as the budget and big social issues often are decided by just one or two votes, the stakes for all those are high.

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Quality of Life
6:00 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

On Quality of Life: Prop 13; Future of Libraries

Part I: Prop 13 - Thirty three years ago, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 13 into law, ushering in a new era of California politics and forever changing state and local government. Not only did the constitutional amendment cut property taxes nearly in half, its implementation also ushered in a major change in the way government services are provided, in the Golden State, centralizing more power in Sacramento.

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