Fresno

Government & Politics
3:49 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Did Fresno's Water Project Just Get More Complicated? Brandau Says He Won't Vote On The Plan

Fresno City Council Member Steve Brandau spoke to a group of journalists Thursday about his plan to abstain from voting for the city's water project.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Leaders in Fresno would like to change the way the city’s water is managed through a massive infrastructure project, but one city council members new stance on the plan could complicate its passage. 

A planned $429 million water project in the city of Fresno would replace an existing system relying on groundwater and instead treat surface water from area rivers for drinking. But not everyone is happy about the plan, which could double residents’ water bills.

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Government & Politics
2:20 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

California 'Breaks Ground' On High Speed Rail In Fresno

Governor Jerry Brown signed a piece of train track to signify the start of construction of the bullet train.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

More than a thousand supporters of California High Speed Rail filled the barren lot of what is supposed to become a multistory train station in Fresno today for a symbolic groundbreaking.

Nearly two years after construction was supposed to start, and more than six years after voters approved a bond to help fund California high speed rail, state and local leaders met in Fresno’s historic Chinatown today to mark the start of the project’s construction.

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Valley Edition
12:51 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Valley Edition: Jan 6 - A Look Ahead to 2015 In Politics, Ag, Oil & The Arts

This week on Valley Edition we look ahead to what 2015 will hold for the San Joaquin Valley in a variety of areas from the oil industry to the arts. We start with a look at the political landscape in 2015 by talking with Fresno State political science professor Thomas Holyoke.

For a preview of what the local agriculture industry has in store we talk with Ryan Jacobsen of the Fresno County Farm Bureau and Tricia Stever Blattler of the Tulare County Farm Bureau.

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Veterans
2:43 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Native American Veterans Find Solace Over A Common Table

Every Friday this group of veterans gets together for breakfast and camaraderie.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

For many veterans life after war is anything but easy, once home veterans often find themselves isolated from the world around them. But one Fresno group’s mission is to provide a setting for veterans to come out of hiding and also learn more about their culture.

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Government & Politics
11:39 am
Tue December 23, 2014

With New Driver License Law, Indigenous Groups May Be Left Behind

The Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous Communities offers driver's education workshops specifically for those who speak Mixtec.
Credit BCDOIC

Starting in 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles expects about 1.5 million undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver license. For many, this will be their first time legally driving in the state.

Immigration advocates applaud this change but also say there's a big concern. Some are worried they will fail the behind the wheel test since it won't be offered in the native languages many immigrants speak.

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Education
10:51 am
Tue December 23, 2014

On Valley Edition: Fresno State President Joseph Castro

Joseph Castro
Credit Fresno State

One of the biggest challenges facing Central California is in the area of education. The San Joaquin Valley routinely ranks at or near the bottom of the state when it comes to education attainment. Only 16 percent of adults in the valley have a bachelors degree. Compare that with the statewide number of 30 percent, or that of the Bay Area, where 41 percent of residents have a degree and the numbers become even more clear. 

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Government & Politics
10:49 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Fresno Adopts New 'Smart Growth' General Plan

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno City Council approved a new general plan last night that for the first time attempts to but the brakes on suburban sprawl. 

Over the next two decades, the plan calls for about half of the city's future growth to take place within the existing city limits and the rest in new growth areas like west of Highway 99 and in Southeast Fresno. 

Mayor Ashley Swearengin called the council's 5-2 vote historic, and a new direction for the city.

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Air Quality
4:24 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Would You Build A Park Next To A Freeway? Fresno May Build Two

The group says parks next to freeways are a risk to children’s health and that direct exposure to exhaust can lead to higher rates of asthma, diabetes and gastrointestinal disease.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

With the final vote for the Fresno General Plan Update and Environmental Impact Report just around the corner, activists are appealing for changes to the plan that could potentially alter the health of children in the region. 

A group of activists an    d health leaders met today at the site of a proposed new park in Northwest Fresno near Highway 99 to protest what they call a big problem with the city's proposed new general plan. Their concern - this park and another would be built next to busy freeways - and the polluted air that comes from them.

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Connecting California
3:23 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Joe Mathews: Forget Anaheim, Bring Disneyland To Fresno

On Christmas Eve, it felt like the park was all ours.

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Environment
12:25 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Infill Is Key To Fresno's New General Plan, But It's Also Controversial

Credit Heather Heinks / City of Fresno General Plan Update

The Fresno City Council is scheduled to hear public comments on the city’s new 2035 general plan in meeting at the Convention Center this evening. The move is the last step before a vote next week on the document that will chart the city’s growth for decades to come.

City planning director Jennifer Clark says the new General Plan attempts to answer a question that has perplexed city leaders for decades:

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Valley Edition
11:36 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Valley Edition: Dec. 9 - Grand Jury; ACA One Year Later; Fresno Christmas Parade

Valley Edition Dec. 9, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition host Joe Moore speaks with Fresno Superior Court Judge Robert Oliver about the relevancy of the grand jury system in lieu of the activities in Ferguson, Missouri. 

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Valley Edition
1:45 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Valley Edition: Dec. 2 - Immigration Talk; Rain; Air Quality; New Nature Preserve

Valley Edition December 2, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we talk about immigration and the President's executive action with San Joaquin College of Law's Jessica Smith Bobadilla and Vicente Sanchez Ventura, the Consul of Mexico in Fresno

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Theatre
4:26 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Theatre: "In And Out Of Shadows" Highlights The Lives Of Undocumented Teens

http://sfyouththeatre.org/Performances.html

In December a new play will take the stage at Fresno City College and it has a special connection to the community – it’s a musical by Fresno City College alumnus and acclaimed author Gary Soto. He joins Valley Edition Host Joe Moore for or a conversation about the play. 

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Valley Edition
3:09 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Valley Edition: Nov. 25 - Groundwater; "In And Out of Shadows"; A Valley Thanksgiving

Valley Edition November 25, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on the latest development for the drought-stricken town of East Porterville: they now have showers.  Also on the program Bakersfield Californian’s Lois Henry and UC Irvine’s James Famiglietti discuss groundwater and the future of the state.

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Government & Politics
5:56 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Valley Residents Look Forward To New Immigration Policy

Lucia Aldarete may be one of up to 5 million undocumented people who may benefit from President Obama's executive action.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Undocumented residents in the Central Valley are speaking out today after President Obama revealed his executive action on immigration Thursday. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, reactions to the president’s announcement are mixed.

For nearly 24 years, Lucia Aldarete says she has been living with the fear that one day she will be deported back to Mexico. The Fresno resident says she couldn’t imagine what life would be like without her three children, who were born in the United States.

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Community
11:17 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Could Fresno's Ventura Avenue Transform Into a "Better Block?"

Ventura Avenue in Southwest Fresno was transformed Saturday into a "Better Block."
Credit PLACEWORKS

There’s a lot of talk in Fresno about revitalization of downtown. But residents in other parts of the city, including Southeast Fresno also are eager to see an injection of new life and revitalization.

Recently a coalition of organizations held an event that sought to show what a revitalized Ventura Avenue and Kings Canyon Road would look like. 

Their project created pop-up “parklets” and temporary crosswalks, landscaping and other amenities to demonstrate how small changes can make a streetscape more pedestrian friendly.

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Business & Economy
8:58 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

New Buyer, Restoration Plan Emerges For Historic Hotel Fresno

The hotel was designed by noted architect Edward T. Foulkes who also designed the iconic Oakland Tribune Tower. (file photo)
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The historic Hotel Fresno, a landmark on the city's skyline since 1912, could soon be reborn as the latest residential development in the downtown district.

The Fresno City Council is set to vote Thursday on a plan that would allow potential new owners APEC International, LLC to move forward with the $21 million restoration project. Their vision would transform the vacant hotel into a 70 unit apartment building.

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Arts & Culture
6:12 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Kuchar To Step Down As Conductor Of Fresno Philharmonic in 2016

Theodore Kuchar, conductor and music director of the Fresno Philharmonic. (file photo)
Credit Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno Philharmonic will soon be looking for a new conductor and musical director. Theodore Kuchar, who has led the orchestra for the past 13 seasons announced on Thursday that he plans to step down following the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season. 

In a written statement Kuchar praised the orchestra's performances:

Kuchar: "I have no reservation in saying that the Fresno Philharmonic and I have often delivered performances that are not typical of a regional American orchestra but those of a standard to be expected in a major musical capitol."

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Community
3:45 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Fresno City College OAB Earns National Historic Preservation Honor

The historic Old Administration Building at Fresno City College was restored in 2011after sitting vacant for decades.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Long abandoned and once nearly demolished, Fresno City College's newly restored Old Administration Building (OAB) is now the recipient of a prestigious national award. The National Trust For Historic Preservation announced Wednesday that it has awarded the project its Preservation Honor Award. It is one of 17 projects nationwide to receive the award, which is one of the nation's top historic preservation honors. 

Tim Mikulski with the National Trust says the OAB is significant both in Fresno's history, and in the development of school architecture nationally:

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Veterans
9:31 am
Tue November 11, 2014

A Veterans Day Love Story, From Sea To The Courtroom

Jason Trupkin is in his first semester of law school in Clovis, Calif.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This report is the second piece in the Valley Public Radio series "Common Threads: Veterans Still Fighting The War.Support for this series comes from Cal Humanities, as part of the War Comes Home initiative. 

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