Fresno

Environment
10:05 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Valley Air Cleanup Targets Restaurant Charbroilers

Matt Billingsley, the general manager of Dog House Grill, says the eatery cooks up 1,200 pounds of tri-tip daily.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

People in Central California love barbecue. From backyard grills to popular new restaurants featuring tri tip, ribs and brisket, it’s one of the biggest food trends in the valley. One Fresno destination is so popular, a line wraps around its building daily.

Fresno’s Dog House Grill is Valley famous for tri-tip, pulled pork and their family recipe barbecue sauce.

Connie Nicholson and her husband visit Dog House weekly.

“I like the Barbecue sauce, it’s really good and the tri-tip’s always just right,” Nicholson says. “I get the tri-tip sandwich every time.”

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Community
4:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Renters' Rights Group Files Lawsuit Against Prominent Fresno Landlord

Malaquias Esteves, right, and his children live in a home owned by JD Homes. He is a plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.
Credit Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

A statewide renters’ rights organization has filed a class action suit against JD Homes Rentals for operating what it calls ‘slum’ rental housing in Fresno. FM89’s Rebecca Plevin reports:

Jesucita Esteves grew up in one of JD Homes’ rental homes.

ESTEVES: “We were living in ugly conditions. Our rooms were full of mold. Our carpet wasn’t even carpet anymore, it was like dirt. It was nasty.” 

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Water
5:47 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Patterson Calls For Halt To San Joaquin River Restoration Releases

Water is released from Friant Dam near Fresno into the San Joaquin River as part of the river restoration program (file photo)
Credit San Joaquin River Restoration Program

Citing a historically dry 2013, Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) is calling for the federal government to stop water releases from Friant Dam for the San Joaquin River Restoration program.

Since 2009 the restoration program has released water into the river on an interim basis in an effort to bring back salmon populations to a stretch of the channel that has been dry for decades. The restoration agreement calls for those flows to become permanent in 2014.

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10:04 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Fresno Scores High In Livability List For Those Under 35

Lead in text: 
Fresno ranks as the nation's 24th most livable city for those under 35, according to a new ranking by the website Vocativ. The city rated high for its cost of living and relatively youthful population.
The city of Fresno has been attracting a steady stream of young professionals. David Jordan FRESNO, Calif. - It's not New York. It's not San Francisco or Chicago or Miami. But there's something about this place that trumps the bright-lights-big-city allure of more notable urban hubs, especially for young people.
Environment
5:06 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

San Joaquin River Restoration Hits Snags

Friant Dam's construction in the 1940's dried up 60 miles of the San Joaquin River
State Department of Water Resources

It’s been almost eight years since the US Bureau of Reclamation began its program to restore the San Joaquin River. In the 1940’s Friant Dam and irrigation diversion dried up 60 miles of California’s second largest river. Historic salmon runs disappeared. This January is the deadline for the program to restore enough water to the San Joaquin to eventually allow runs of Chinook salmon. But as Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the restoration program has been plagued by delays and increased costs.

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Local Government
11:48 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Swearengin: Time To Fix Fresno Neighborhoods 'On The Brink'

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her priorities for the city and some of the biggest issues facing local residents, from homelessness to city finances to public safety. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

On plans to raise water rates to pay for a new surface water treatment plant and replace aging infrastructure:

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Valley Edition
10:48 am
Tue December 24, 2013

On Valley Edition: Fresno Mayor; Meditation In High School; Kern & Madera Counties Water Exchange

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition host Joe Moore recaps the year with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. The two discuss everything from high speed rail to law enforcement.

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Community
12:00 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Egan Shares Dust Bowl Memories With 'Worst Hard Time'

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl - by Timothy Egan
Credit Mariner Books

California's Central Valley will be forever linked in history with the story of the Dust Bowl. Cities like Bakersfield and Fresno were the final destination for many who fled Oklahoma and nearby states during the 1930's - an era of dust storms, drought and the Great Depression. But what about those who stayed behind? And did John Steinbeck get the story right in his novel "The Grapes of Wrath?"

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Community
10:37 am
Tue November 19, 2013

What Happened To The People Displaced By Fresno's Homeless Camp Destructions?

Nancy Holmes, left, and Sinamon Blake, right, were evicted from their homeless encampment in October.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

For almost a year, Nancy Holmes and Sinamon Blake were neighbors in a homeless encampment in downtown Fresno.

But city employees bulldozed their camp a few weeks ago, in an effort to rid the city of illegal structures. The two friends, and the other residents of their camp, scattered. Nancy and Sinamon ended up on a huge, dusty piece of land outside the city's jurisdiction.

“I didn’t care for the path that Sinamon found us, but damn, we were safe,” says Nancy, 61, a borderline diabetic with asthma.

She lasted there for about two weeks.

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Environment
5:35 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Valley Air District Celebrates Cleanup Milestone, More Work Remains

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

In the decades-long effort to clean up the San Joaquin Valley's notoriously poor air, 2013 might be a milestone. For the first time, the air basin had zero violations of the hourly federal ozone standard.  

That news prompted the governing board of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to vote Thursday to formally request that the EPA lift a required a $29 million annual penalty.

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Environment
11:33 am
Tue November 12, 2013

San Joaquin River Restoration Brings Spawning Salmon Back to Fresno

A Chinook salmon swims in a tank at the Salmonfest event at Lost Lake Park in Friant.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

California is on course for what could be its driest year on record. Those were the sobering words from scientists with the National Weather Service in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle. And after two dry years, the relative lack of rain and snow is putting a great strain on the state's precious water resources. 

But there's another big water story in our backyard - the restoration of the San Joaquin River. 

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Environment
7:56 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Central Valley Project Reservoirs Lowest Since 2009

Friant Dam, part of the Central Valley Project on the San Joaquin River near Fresno
Credit State Department of Water Resources

Six key reservoirs of the federal Central Valley Project are at the lowest levels since 2009, when the state was officially in a drought. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, some farmers are expecting zero-percent water allocations in 2014.

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Arts & Culture
5:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Downtown Arts Complex Brings Momentum to 'M Street'

M Street Arts Complex
Credit M Street Arts Complex

Over the past decade, downtown Fresno's arts scene has blossomed with new galleries and studios, not to mention live-work lofts and an area filled with public art that's been dubbed the mural district. 

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Commentary
9:56 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Can The Free Market Curb Asthma in Fresno?

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Is there a profit to be found in reducing children’s asthma attacks? A diverse team of public health advocates, asthma care providers, financiers, and foundations has set up a pilot program with the goal of making money for investors while solving a deeply entrenched health crisis in and around Fresno, California.

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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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Connecting California
6:16 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Commentary: Take A Trip On Amtrak's San Joaquin

The Amtrak San Joaquin line is among the most popular in the state.
Credit Amtrak

I’m not a big fan of trains, but my oldest son, Ben, 4, loves them. He’d been lobbying to go on a “big train trip,” and his school would be closed for a couple days at the end of September, when I had a meeting in Sacramento. Why not take the kid on a train trip from L.A. to the state capital, by Amtrak?

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Government & Politics
5:43 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Fresno County To Pursue State Funds for $80 Million Jail Expansion

The existing main Fresno County Jail in downtown Fresno (file)
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted today to submit a grant application to the state to fund a new $80 million jail annex. The proposed new West Annex Jail in downtown Fresno would house 300 inmates and would also include treatment facilities.

As part of the application the county agreed to set aside $8.8 million to help fund the project. If built, the county would be required to operate the facility for at least 10 years. The county hopes the new facility will replace the agin south jail annex in courthouse park.

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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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High Speed Rail
3:30 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

High-Speed Rail CEO: No Construction Yet, But Work "Under Way"

A rendering of the state's planned high speed trail.
California High Speed Rail Authority

California’s High-Speed Rail Authority is asking contractors that want to build the second stretch of Central Valley track to step forward.  It also says work on the project’s first phase is “under way.”  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, actual construction has not yet begun – despite promises that it would by now.

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