Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics /

Advocates gathered at the state Capitol yesterday to testify about how to improve the lives of boys and men from ethnic communities.

Joshua Ham from South Central Los Angeles was one of many young men who came from all over the state to tell lawmakers how to improve the lives of people like him.

“It’s better for us to step up like this than to lash out and have something like 1992 riots or something weird like that you know. But actually have it like a structured way, you know, like have people think critically about what they want.”

When it comes to the season of political contests, free speech is rarely free, what with non-stop political ads on radio and television in many so-called battleground states. On this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State professor Diane Blair says the rise of the Super PAC has big implications for the future of our democracy.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, the commercial citrus harvest is virtually over. But over the past two months, a volunteer group has been working in backyards across Tulare county to collect fruit that would otherwise go to waste, and donate it to those in need. FM89's Joe Moore has this report.

It's lunchtime at the Sanger High School Cafeteria. But instead of hundreds of teenagers, the room on this Saturday is filled with ordinary Valley residents of all ages and ethnicities, some writers, and a handful of theatre professionals from LA's Cornerstone Theatre. And even though many of them just ate, the conversation quickly turns to the issue of the day… hunger.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

It’s Saturday afternoon, and the normally quiet park in the middle of downtown Exeter is packed, nearly shoulder to shoulder with people enjoying kettle corn, something called the tornado potato, and of course, a little barbeque.

“This is the barbeque chicken plate, it’s six dollars and it’s fantastic!,” says Wanda, an Exeter resident.

“There’s also some pulled pork over there that people are really waiting in line for and the bratwurst over here by The Dorksmen, if you want a really homemade bratwurst, that’s the place to go.”

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Hanford’s 7th Avenue looks pretty much like any other busy street in a small San Joaquin Valley town. It’s a broad avenue populated with a haphazard array of muffler shops, fast food joints and gas stations. Yet less than half a block away exists another world, seemingly frozen in time, a cultural and historic artifact, built by Chinese immigrants who came to build the railroad starting in the 1870’s, a place called China Alley.