Fresno

Community Regional Medical Center

The ongoing battle over pediatric services between two Central Valley hospitals reached another level Monday. 

Community Medical Centers and UCSF plan to strengthen their partnership in the valley by expanding pediatric specialty care and a pediatric medical education program at CMC’s downtown Fresno hospital.

The center’s announcement came weeks after rival Valley Children’s Hospital revealed a plan to build its own pediatric residency and fellowship programs, after working with UCSF for years.

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.

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.

Valley Public Radio

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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:

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. 

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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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