Community

Community
11:30 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Tejon Ranch Launches Plan For New 'Grapevine' City, With 12,000 Homes

Tejon Ranch Commerce Center is a major stop for tourists as well truck drivers at distribution centers.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

Do you know that moment when you’re driving north on Interstate 5 through the Tehachapi Mountains when the wide expanse of the San Joaquin Valley comes into view?

On a clear day, it’s an impressive sight. But next time you’re there - look around. Most of what you see, from the hills down to the valley floor is a part of the Tejon Ranch –the largest privately owned piece of land in California.

And it’s here – right at the base of the mountains, where Interstate 5 and Highway 99 meet that developers from the ranch are planning a new town – known simply as Grapevine.
 

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Community
8:52 am
Tue October 29, 2013

High Speed Rail Archaeologists Search For Fresno's 'Underground' Chinatown

Kathy Omachi leads a tour of Fresno's underground Chinatown in 2007. She claims this door is an entrance to a tunnel.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Generations of Fresno residents have heard stories about the mysterious underground world of Fresno's 19th century Chinatown. Was it a world of illicit activity, with a network of subterranean tunnels? Archeologists with the state's high speed rail authority are hoping to shed some new light on this dark and forgotten part of Fresno's history. 

Last week archeologists gathered in Fresno’s historic Chinatown to sift through soil with a hope of unearthing century-old artifacts just yards from the future bullet train.

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Community
3:09 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Historic Fresno Arch May Move For High Speed Rail

The historic Fresno arch was contructed over Van Ness Avenue at Highway 99
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Up and down the valley, many cities have historic signs or archways which welcome visitors to town. Modesto's arch promotes a city filled with "Water Wealth Contentment and Health." Clovis proudly proclaims itself as the "Gateway to the Sierras," and Bakersfield makes a bold statement with its arch off of Buck Owens Boulevard. Fresno has its own historic archway, but as FM89's Joe Moore reports, it may soon need a new home.

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Community
5:45 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Fourth Fresno Homeless Camp, Considered A 'Neighborhood' By Residents, Is Razed

Homeless advocates were prepared to resist the destruction of the encampment.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

 Cinnamon has lived in a make-shift structure near the grain silos, west of Palm Avenue and H Street, for more than two years. She says the homeless encampment there is different from others that have cropped up in downtown Fresno.

“We’re not a camp, we’re a neighborhood, a family,” she said. “We all look out for each other.”

The encampment has rules. For example, the residents decide – together – if a new person could move in.

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Community
11:54 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Visalia's Oval Park, Ground Zero For Homelessness

Eric and Eva both frequent Lincoln Oval Park regularly. Eva refers to the park as a "cesspool" that is hard to escape.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

The City of Visalia is known to many as the small town with the good restaurants on the way to the giant sequoias. Its bustling downtown district is home to a thriving music scene and dozens of shops and entertainment venues. But less than a mile to the north, in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Lincoln Oval Park is home to a much different Visalia. It’s ground zero for the city’s homeless population.

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Community
6:04 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Fresno Veterans Home Welcomes First Two Residents

The Fresno Veterans Home opened October 18 after years of talks, construction and waiting for funds.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

The first of two long awaited California Veterans Home’s opened today. Over 200 veterans, advocates and their families toured the Fresno Veterans Home. A similar event will be held in Redding next Friday.

Construction of the Fresno veterans home began during the spring of 2010, but the project stalled due to a lack of funds.

In 2011, Henry T. Perea introduced The Veterans Home Savings Act to restore funding to the project. The Fresno home cost an estimated $250,000.

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Community
1:07 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Road Trip To Collect Dust Bowl Stories on 75th Anniversary of 'Grapes of Wrath'

"Young migratory mother, originally from Texas. On the day before the photograph was made she and her husband traveled 35 miles each way to pick peas. They worked 5 hours each and together earned $2.25. They have two young children . . . Live in auto camp." - at Edison in Kern County California - April 11, 1940
Credit Dorothea Lange / National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics

A group of artists is gearing up for a cross-country road trip that will end in California. It's part of a project to mark the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath." Steve Milne reports.

The trip starts Friday in Oklahoma, retracing the path the Joad family took along Route 66 in "The Grapes of Wrath" with stops in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.

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High Speed Rail
11:57 am
Tue September 24, 2013

High Speed Rail Forces Out Longtime Fresno Businesses

Gary Lanfranco is unsure of where negotiations with the high speed rail authority will land his business.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

For most of the past century, the building that sits on the southwest corner of Fresno and G Streets in downtown Fresno has been passed down from generation to generation.

“My family has owned the property since right after the turn of the century,” says Gary Lanfranco , owner of the Cosmopolitan Bar and Grill. His father passed along the restaurant to him in 1968.

“In 1933 when prohibition was repealed my father and uncle came here and started The Cosmopolitan Tavern, previous to that it was a boarding house.”

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Community
10:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Propane Tank Explosion Injures 3 At Fresno Christian High School

Twisted metal is all that's left of a vendor's food trailer after a fire and explosion on Friday night on the campus of Fresno Christian High School
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

A fire and explosion inside a food vendor's trailer at Fresno Christian High School sent two men to the hospital and injured another on Friday night. 

Just before 6:30 p.m. a blast from a 20-gallon propane tank sent shrapnel as far as 150 feet across Alluvial Avenue. The explosion ripped off the roof and the sides of the trailer, where vendors were serving food prior to the start of a football game on campus. Officials with the Fresno Fire Department say that prior to the explosion employees detected a propane leak and a fire.

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Community
9:46 am
Tue September 10, 2013

As Homeless Camps Are Dismantled, Street Pastor Soldiers On

Pastor Ray Polk provides support through his homeless ministry.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

On Monday morning, Pastor Ray Polk comforted a man who was packing up everything he owned.

“You alright?” Polk asked. As the man expressed his pain and frustration, Polk replied, “I know, I know, I know, we got to keep going forward.”

Along H Street in Downtown Fresno, the homeless were stuffing their possessions into plastic bags and shopping carts, as city workers bulldozed and raked the debris left behind.

Yesterday, City of Fresno workers dismantled the third homeless encampment in three weeks. Overall, the effort has displaced a total of about 250 people.

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Community
9:44 am
Tue September 3, 2013

New Memorial Gives 'Deportees' Their Names

Author Tim Z. Hernandez, right, and folk singer John McCutcheon, left, unveil a new memorial honoring the victims of a 1948 plane crash.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

In 1948, a plane chartered by the U.S. Immigration Service crashed in Los Gatos Canyon, near Coalinga. Everyone on board died. Immediate news reports named the flight crew and an immigration officer, but referred to the passengers as “28 Mexican deportees.” The crash was immortalized by folk singer Woody Guthrie, who wrote a poem about the tragedy, and assigned symbolic names to the Mexican nationals. On Monday morning, those passengers were formally named and recognized.

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Community
5:52 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Indian Ambassador To U.S. Takes Interest In Central California

Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao visited Fresno State's memorial garden on her tour of the region.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

It’s not every day that an ambassador from a foreign nation visits Fresno. But on Thursday the Indian ambassador to the United States paid a visit to Fresno State. 

Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao visited Fresno for several reasons: to strengthen U.S. – India ties.

"Trade, business and investment ties between economies such as ours..."

The large Indian population in the San Joaquin Valley:

“I see so many friends from the Punjab region of India sitting amongst us..."

And because Rep. Jim Costa asked her to.

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Community
2:45 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Jamie Oliver's Mobile Kitchen, Healthy Cooking Classes To Roll Into The Valley

Jamie Oliver's big rig teaching kitchen will travel through the San Joaquin Valley.
Credit David Loftus / www.JamieOliver.com

The star of this year’s Big Fresno Fair may not be a musical act. Celebrity chef and social activist Jamie Oliver’s big rig teaching kitchen will roll into the fair in October.

Through a partnership between the Jamie Oliver Foundation and The California Endowment, Oliver’s mobile kitchen will also make stops throughout the San Joaquin Valley, from Kern County to Merced County, between September and March 2014.

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Community
12:00 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fresno Nonprofit Aids Afghan Women, Infants with New Hospital

Physcians work with a newborn at Afshar Hospital's neonatal unit in Kabul.
AMOR - American Medical Overseas Relief

Right now in Afghanistan, infants who otherwise might die are getting a new chance at life at Ashfar Hospital in Kabul. The 24 bed neonatal department is the latest addition to the facility that first opened in 2009. It was constructed by a Fresno based non-profit organization called AMOR, which stands for American Medical Overseas Relief.  The NGO also runs the facility, which provides health care services for thousands of Afghans.

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Community
11:39 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Faith Based Group Calls For Cap On Fresno Payday Lenders

Josie De La Fuente successfully paid off a payday loan with assistance from a Fresno based financial literacy instiute at Fresno Pacific Seminary.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

Josie De La Fuente and her 30-year-old son live in a small two bedroom apartment in Southeast Fresno.

Just over a year ago, she joined the ranks of the thousands who turn to short term high interest loans to make ends meet.

She says taking out payday loan ensnared her.

“Imagine me getting a payday loan,” De La Fuente says. “Paying a 300 dollar loan and with all the bills that I have. You know the car payment, the apartment the rent and all that stuff. It’s not gonna help me and I’m not gonna have any money left with all of that.”

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Community
12:24 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Three Ingredients Of A Successful Ice Cream Shop

Superior Dairy's scoops have remained enormous. Susan Wang, co-owner of the Valley scoop shop, says the scoops have grown in size.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

Valley Public Radio reporters Rebecca Plevin and Ezra Romero teamed up to look at three ice cream shops that have remained popular and successful across generations. They identified three factors that have allowed these shops to stand the test of time.

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Community
11:27 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Homemade Ice Cream Exploits Range From Traumatic to Tasty

Reporter Rebecca Plevin makes ice cream at home, following recipes from three popular cookbooks.
Credit Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

I’m a self-professed ice cream lover. I like visiting local scoop shops and purchasing locally produced ice cream.

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Community
12:10 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Searching For the 'Perfect Peach' with the Masumoto Family

The new book "The Perfect Peach" by the Masumoto family
Ten Speed Press

Without a doubt one of the best parts of summer in the San Joaquin Valley has to be fresh stonefruit from valley orchards. Ripe, juicy and delicious, the valley’s peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines are the envy of the rest of the country. And perhaps no one has done more to boost the profile of our local peaches, and in such a poetic way than our guest today– Del Rey organic farmer and writer David Mas Masumoto. Peaches from his 80 acre farm appear on menus of some of the world's finest restaurants, and his writing has won numerous awards.

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Community
10:55 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Valley Public Radio Launches Public Radio Book Club

'The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down' is the first book in Valley Public Radio's Homegrown book club.

Today we're introducing Homegrown, Valley Public Radio's book club about the Central Valley.

We will read books that shine a light on distinct issues, communities and experiences in the region. We'll air in-depth interviews with authors and panel discussions with local experts about the books. You can listen for the segments on Valley Edition and see online features at KVPR.org.

We also want to hear your questions and comments about the book. You can connect with us through Facebook, Twitter or e-mail, and our website, KVPR.org. Just search "Homegrown."

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Community
10:00 am
Mon June 17, 2013

The Sound of Eating of 'The Perfect Peach'

David Mas Masumoto, his daughter Nikiko and wife Marcy joined us to share their idea of "The Perfect Peach"
Credit Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

Eating a ripe peach is a sensory delight, from the aroma of the fruit to the flavor of the nectar and texture of the skin. But what about the sound of eating the perfect peach?

We asked David Mas Masumoto, his wife Marcy and daughter Nikiko, the authors of the new book "The Perfect Peach" to talk about their new book on FM89's Valley Edition, and to share with our listeners one of the more memorable sounds of summer. You can hear the interview Tuesday at 9:00 AM on Valley Edition, but here's a short preview.

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