Community

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Come enjoy a paleta -- a Latin American ice pop -- with Valley Public Radio during Art Hop on June 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The party is at La Reina de Michoacan, located at 720 E. Belmont Ave. in Fresno.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For generations, residents of small towns in the San Joaquin Valley have gathered at Foster's Freeze. Sure, people love Foster's soft-serve ice cream, especially once it's dipped in chocolate. But why has this chain withstood the test of time in rural communities and continues to be the place people flock to to celebrate after the big football game or graduation night? To kick off our new series Summer Scoop, Valley Public Radio's Rebecca Plevin examines the role of this ice cream shop in the Valley's small towns.

Fresno State

A lot has happened in Central California since the last time Fresno State had a new president. On Tuesday, the California State University Board of Trustees  selected Hanford native Joseph Castro as the eighth president of Fresno State. He will replace the soon-to-retire John Welty, who has led the university since August of 1991. We thought we'd take a look back at how much Fresno has changed over the past 22 years.

1) The city grew. A lot.

www.Tamejavi.org

The first Tamejavi Fellowship Cultural Organizing Program will present ‘No Longer Strangers,’ the grand finale of the Tamejavi Culture and Arts Series, at the Tower Theater in Fresno on Saturday (May 18) at 6 p.m. Myrna Martinez, with the American Friends Service Committee, and fellow Pov Xyooj, join Valley Edition to discuss the event.

Martinez says the presentation will be a multimedia event, featuring traditional musical instruments, dancing, and spoken word performances. She says the event will combine and elevate the stories of the Valley’s diverse immigrant communities.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

John Rupe doesn't have a time machine. But he does have laminated cardboard, glue and thin sheets of copper - just enough to take a trip back in time to a Fresno that hasn't existed for over nearly a century. That year is 1900. 

Rupe has always loved Downtown Fresno. 

"I explored," Rupe said. "I was in Hotel Fresno in the 80's and it was vacant back then... I was in the Sun-Maid Raisin plant before it was demolished and the Republican Newspaper building, which has been demolished too."

Brad Castillo

For 17 years, Fresno resident Brad Castillo had strived to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

On Monday, he was less than half a mile away from the finish line – or, at his pace, about four minutes away from realizing his dream – when the mass of runners stopped. At that point, Castillo didn’t know there had been two explosions at the finish line.

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/robinson/ / Library of Congress - public domain

Before he broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson nearly wound up as multi-sport star for the Fresno State Bulldogs.

In a move that would likely run afoul of today's NCAA recruiting regulations, the school offered the star a number of incentives in an attempt to lure Robinson to the campus, including a new set of tires for his aging 1931 Plymouth.

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

Sergio and Ashley Cortes knock on a door in a run-down apartment building near downtown Fresno.

Sergio Cortes greets the young woman that cautiously cracks open the door. Ashley Cortes stands behind her husband, clasping a clipboard, ready to take notes.

“We’re basically doing canvassing of apartment complexes owned by JD Homes, and we want to talk to the tenants to see if they have any problems with JD Homes, like any stuff that’s not being fixed, anything that’s broken,” Sergio Cortes says.

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.

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

Author Tim Z. Hernandez was digging through old newspapers at the Fresno County library when a dramatic headline from the late 1940s captured his attention.

“I stumbled upon this headline that said, ‘100 people see a ship plunge to the earth’ or something like that. It was just really a captivating headline. I instantly realized after reading it that it had to be tied into Woody Guthrie’s song, says Hernandez. 

Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

The food truck, once known for dreaded boring prepackaged sandwiches or carne asada tacos, has taken a turn for the better. The trucks have gone gourmet.

They no longer do boring. In fact, many food trucks across the nation have created infusions of local produce with a unique and somewhat international flare.

The evolution of the roach coach hit Fresno in 2012 in the form of what locals call CartHop. The traveling band of six local gourmet food vendors meet in three locations for lunch across Fresno and plan to open the door even wider to foodies in 2013.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A national expert on public markets toured Fresno today to explore the potential of creating a year-round indoor market for the valley’s agricultural and prepared food products. 

The bottom two floors of a downtown parking garage, once home to the Gottschalks department store, could become the home of a new indoor public market for produce, baked goods and other food items, according to officials with the city of Fresno.

New Report Gives A Snapshot of California

Jan 2, 2013

California has the ninth largest economy in the world, its workers are staying unemployed longer and home prices are rising. These are a few of the tidbits in a new report by the state’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst.  

The Legislative Analyst gives us California in a snapshot.  The state’s economy is number nine, right between Italy and Russia.  

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