Fresno

3:43 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Old Sun-Maid Raisin Box On Sale For 'Just' $700,000 Online

Forget the stock market, it would appear the best investment around might be in the back of your kitchen cupboard. An ebay merchant is offering a vintage Sun-Maid raisin box for the bargain price of $700,000. As the seller says, the diminutive piece of valley agricultural memorabilia is "a small treasury for your [sic] to keep." So far there have been 57 offers, but no sale.
The "Sun-Maid Girl" Changes with the Times The "SUN-MAID" brand and "Sun-Maid Girl" trademarks became widely recognized by consumers and the trade in a few short years after their creation and introduction in 1915 and 1916. SUN-MAID raisins were the number one brand in America and were trusted by consumers for their quality, freshness and good taste.
Education
12:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Welty Offers Advice For The Next Fresno State President: 'Have A Thick Skin'

Fresno State President John Welty (file photo)
Credit FresnoStateNews.com

Fresno State President John Welty will retire this summer, bringing an end to a 22-year tenure as head of the university. He recently sat down with Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore to reflect back on his career.

Interview highlights:

Welty on advice to his successor:

Good luck, have a thick skin, and take time to laugh at yourself from time to time.

Welty, (who is a member of the NCAA Board of Directors) on paying student athletes:

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Development Watch Blog
7:44 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Fresno To Get High-End, High-Rise Downtown Restaurant?

The top two floors of the 16-story Pacific Southwest Building could soon be home to a new restaurant and lounge, according to city officials.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

UPDATED: 5/17/13 (see below)

Could Fresno foodies soon be enjoying a gourmet meal at the top of the tallest privately-owned building in Central California?

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin suggested as much  with this interesting nugget of information during her State of the City address today:

"Plans were just submitted in this particular city's downtown for a high-end restaurant and lounge on the 15th and 16th floors of the tallest building in Central California."

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Government & Politics
4:42 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Swearengin Focuses On Business, Industry Growth in 'State of City' Speech

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin delivers her 2013 "State of the City" address

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says the the city's economy is on the road to recovery in 2013, thanks in part to growth in the local food processing sector.  

"I'm telling you that things are getting good around here when it comes to industrial expansion and expanding our food business," Swearengin told the crowd. 

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Environment
1:21 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

New Google Tool Shows Remarkable Timelapse of Fresno Growth Since 1984

A screen capture of a satellite based timelapse of Fresno's suburban growth from 1984 - 2012
Credit http://earthengine.google.org/timelapse

A new timelapse tool released this month by Google provides Fresno residents with a stark reminder of just how quickly much of the city's nearby agriculture land has been replaced by homes, shopping centers and freeways. 

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Education
11:36 am
Tue May 7, 2013

New Approach To Classroom Discipline Pays Off at Fresno's Yosemite Middle School

Yosemite Middle School in Fresno has seen a new approach to classroom discipline pay big results.
Credit Fresno Unified School District

Teacher Jenna Perry’s 7th grade English class at Fresno Unified’s Yosemite Middle School sounds like most others. Kids work to finish up their assignments, as the period is about to end. But there is something that makes her classroom different.

“Ok, before we leave today, let’s go over our class goal today. Somebody tell me, should we earn a point for staying on task? Why or why not? Regina?” says Perry.

At the end of every class before students are dismissed, they go over their goals, which are spelled out in a social contract they all wrote and all signed.

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Government & Politics
5:37 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

White House Touts 'Strong Cities' Effort in Fresno, Rerouting Planned Bus Line

President Obama meets with mayors participating the Strong Cities, Strong Communities program, including Fresno's Ashley Swearengin in March 2012
Credit EPA.gov

A federal effort to cut red tape and better use existing  resources to help economically struggling cities like Fresno is beginning to pay off, according to Obama administration officials. 

In a statement issued Thursday, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz praised the "Strong Cities, Strong Communities" (SC2) program for supporting communities like Fresno.

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Community
4:12 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

'Maker' Re-Creates Victorian Era Downtown Fresno With Cardboard

The centerpiece of John Rupe's cardboard city is the old Fresno County Courthouse, which was demolished in 1966.
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."

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Transportation
9:14 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Fresno's Shaw Avenue to Get 'Intelligent' Synchronized Traffic Lights

Traffic on Shaw Avenue may soon become less congested, thanks to a new "intelligent" synchronization system.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Earlier this month, an article in the New York Times  showcased Los Angeles for being the first major city  in the world to synchronize every one of its 4,500 traffic signals. But closer to home, a similar project is already underway in Fresno, which could make commutes on Shaw Avenue quicker by the end of April. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero reports.

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Education
11:41 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Fresno Charter School Students Go 'Farm Grown' with Fresno Grizzlies Garden Project

ACEL students pose with the Fresno Grizzlies mascot Parker at the ceremony announcing the launch of the garden program last fall.
Credit http://twitter.com/acelfresno

In an effort to increase education about agriculture and sustainability, the Fresno Grizzlies have partnered with a local charter high school to build a garden at Chuckchansi Park. FM89’s Ezra Romero visited the stadium; spoke with the teenagers planting the garden and has this report.

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For the past week and a half a group of seniors from ACEL Charter High School in Fresno have been huffing and puffing at Chuckchansi Park.  But they aren’t running bases or hitting pop flies – they’re building and planting a garden.

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Valley Edition
12:53 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

On Valley Edition: Bakersfield, Centennial Corridor Project; Slumlords, Fresno's Lowell Community

Victor and Mary Jones moved into the Westpark community four years ago. They love the neighborhood and are sad they will be forced to move.
Credit Ezra Romero / Vally Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we take a ride to into the South Valley where a battle is heating up over a   freeway connector project intended to connect Highway 58 from Tehachapi and beyond to Interstate 5. The major issue, the Centennial Corridor Project will tear out 300 homes in a well-established neighborhood just west of Highway 99 in Bakersfield.

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Government & Politics
6:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

City of Fresno, SPCA Look For Another Animal Control Extension, Long Term Fix

Beth Caffrey, director of community relations for the Central California SPCA
Credit CCSPCA

It’s a Saturday morning and they are serving up pancakes at the Central California SPCA in Fresno.

It’s a fundraiser to help support one of the organizations new programs called “Snip N’ Chip.” It’s a low cost spay and neuter service for low-income pet owners.  Central California SPCA Executive Director Linda Van Kirk is happy with the turnout.

“Well, look at the crowd out there. It’s going absolutely fantastic. We are expecting a crowd of 500 to 600 this year versus the 300 we had last year, so we are ecstatic,” says Van Kirk.

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Valley Edition
1:40 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

On Valley Edition: The Sierra Foothill Conservancy; Talk With A Supreme Court Justice; End Of Life

The top of the hill is as flat as the Valley floor, biologists suspect say this is due to an ancient lava flow.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we take a hike into the foothills of Fresno County. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero takes the listener on a journey through the McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve run by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy. Jeannette Tuitele – Lewis, executive director of the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, joins host Juanita Stevenson in a discussion surrounding the Valley locale, its ties to the community and future dates for preserve exploration.

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Environment
11:13 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Nature Preserve Near Fresno Delights Foothill Visitors

Wildflowers cover the nearly flat surface of the table at McKenzie Preserve
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

On the edge of a region in California known for agriculture and dairy, lays a hidden gem.  A wildlife preserve with Table top foothills, that in spring are awash in color from budding wild flowers.

On Saturday, the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, a local group that manages a number of foothill preserves in the region held a special open house at the group’s largest operation.   

The McKenzie Preserve – in-between Friant and Prather – was open to the public for exploring and a hike up a flat top lava formed table in the region.

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Valley Edition
12:20 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

On Valley Edition: 'Deportee' Plane Crash; Working Past Retirement; Fresno Food Expo

This week on Valley Edition we look into an airplane disaster that took place in the hills near Coalinga 65 years ago. The accident grabbed national headlines and even inspired a song by Woody Guthrie titled 'Deportee.' Valley Public Radio reporter Rebecca Plevin explores the tragedy with the help of local author Tim Z. Hernandez and his quest to ensure that those who died in the crash are not forgotten. Hernandez, along with the Fresno Diocese and Holy Cross Cemetery are working together to erect a memorial headstone with the full names of all 28 passengers. 

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High Speed Rail
10:00 am
Tue February 26, 2013

After Delays, High-Speed Rail Project to Start This Summer

file photo
Credit California High Speed Rail Authority

The opening phase of California’s high-speed rail project is scheduled to break ground this summer – and the project’s CEO is promising no further delays. 

But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, it’s already behind what Governor Jerry Brown promised just last year.

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The Moral Is
1:28 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Commentary: Time To Turn Off Our Sprinklers, Fresno

Madhusudan Katti
Credit Madhusudan Katti

The San Joaquin Valley’s communities and farms all blossomed our of a desert landscape thanks to available water supplies. But with an increasing population, and global warming, how we use this most precious resource is becoming more and more important. In this edition of FM89’s commentary series "The Moral Is", Fresno State biology professor Madhusudan Katti says it’s time for us to turn off our sprinklers.

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Valley Edition
1:00 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

On Valley Edition: Fresno's Finances; Obesity & Soda; Eco-Friendly Art & Art Américas

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott joined host Juanita Stevenson to talk about the city's budget crisis. (file photo)
Credit City of Fresno

On this week’s Valley Edition, host Juanita Stevenson takes a look into whether a tax to pay for public safety is right for the City of Fresno. Stevenson begins with a report from the South Valley discussing the City of Visalia’s decision to implement a public safety tax and whether Fresno should follow suit.

Joining a conversation about a possible public safety tax and the state of Fresno’s finances are Fresno City Manager Mark Scott and Fresno Bee Editorial Page Editor Bill McEwen.  

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Government & Politics
11:38 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Visalia's Public Safety Tax Spurs Talk for Similar Proposal in Fresno

The historic Fox Theater anchors a thriving downtown district on Main Street in Visalia
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The hustle and bustle of downtown Visalia, a place alive with activity. Local residents point to it with pride. City Manager Steve Salomon says it has a lot to do with the community’s vision for its city.  

“The city council in this city for decades and decades has been able to have a long term view of what they thought this city should be, and done things that were not necessarily going to have an immediate result for them, but a long term result,” says Salomon.

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