Fresno

Government & Politics
5:55 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Petition Campaign Successful, Fresno Trash Privatization Hits Snag

Credit City of Fresno Public Utilities

Opponents of the City of Fresno’s move to privatize residential trash pickup scored major a victory today. And according to Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin, that means another round of layoffs for city employees could begin soon. 

The issue of privatizing Fresno’s residential trash service may soon be headed to a vote of city residents. Backers of a petition drive to stop the city from selling off the service to a private company learned today that they have gathered enough signatures to at least put a temporary halt to the effort.

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Community
12:55 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

CartHop: Fresno's Moveable Feast

Dusty Buns, owned by Dustin and Kristen Stewart, serves fresh local fare with a twist at CartHop and their restaurant on North Van Ness Boulevard and East Weldon Avenue in Fresno.
Credit Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

The food truck, once known for dreaded boring prepackaged sandwiches or carne asada tacos, has taken a turn for the better. The trucks have gone gourmet.

They no longer do boring. In fact, many food trucks across the nation have created infusions of local produce with a unique and somewhat international flare.

The evolution of the roach coach hit Fresno in 2012 in the form of what locals call CartHop. The traveling band of six local gourmet food vendors meet in three locations for lunch across Fresno and plan to open the door even wider to foodies in 2013.

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Business & Economy
11:23 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Fresno's Twee Boutique To Close

A downtown Fresno gift store that specializes in handmade and "indie" arts and craft products is set to close.

Store owner Melanie Davis announced that she plans to shut down retail operation on the boutique's Facebook page Tuesday morning. She says the shop will stay open through the end of March:

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Development Watch
4:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

10-Story Office Tower Gets Initial OK For Fresno's River Park

An artist's rendering of the planned 10-story tower at Highway 41 and Friant Road
Fresno City Planning Commission

Drivers along Highway 41 may soon see a major new addition to the Fresno skyline, as the city's planning commission last night approved plans for a 10-story tower at Friant Road and Highway 41. 

The 234,000 square foot office tower from Fresno developer DeWayne Zinkin is expected to cover 12 acres, and will rise to a height of 150 feet. It is planned for a site just to the east of Highway 41, and north of Friant Road.

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Government & Politics
5:25 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Mayor Renews Call to Add Cars Back to Fresno's Fulton Mall

A computer illustration of what Fresno's Fulton Mall might look like after the re-introduction of vehicle traffic.
Credit City of Fresno

Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin renewed her call to open the Fulton Mall to automobile traffic at today’s annual State of Downtown Breakfast.

Swearengin told the crowd of business leaders and downtown boosters that her number one job for the next four years is to rally support for her downtown plan, which includes the first major changes to Fresno’s former main street in the last five decades.

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Government & Politics
12:42 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Fresno Home Trash Service Supporters, Opponents Wait For Outsourcing Decision

Marina Magdaleno and other outsourcing opponents rallied in front of Fresno City Hall Friday Jan. 18 to turn in just under 40,000 petitions to put the decision of outsourcing in the hands of voters.
Credit Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

The waiting game has just begun for both sides in the battle over the outsourcing of Fresno’s residential trash service.

For the past month opponents of Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s plan to outsource the city’s home trash service have hustled to collect signatures in order to meet a January 18 deadline to put the decision in the hands of voters.

More than 50 people escorted around 35,000 signatures in seven sealed white boxes into the City Clerk’s Office on Friday.

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Air Quality
5:35 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

NASA Flights Over Fresno, Bakersfield Hope to Predict Air Quality From Space

A NASA P3-B aircraft flys over Porterville on Wednesday as part of project to learn more about air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley
Penn State / NASA

NASA scientists and aircraft took to the skies above Fresno and Bakersfield today. It's part of a project that one day hopes to predict and air quality from space.

Two aircraft, including a converted Navy P3-B flew repeated loops over various valley cities today, one of them as low as 1,000 feet, to gather air samples. It's part of a program NASA calls DISCOVER-AQ which aims to better understand pollution spikes and how pollutants react with sunlight throughout the day. 

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Government & Politics
7:19 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

New Council Members Take Oath, Mayor Hits Back At Union Critics

New Fresno City Council member Steve Brandau was sworn in today at City Hall
Credit City of Fresno

Today was swearing-in day for a new crop of elected officials at Fresno City Hall. Two new council members, Paul Capgriolio representing District 4 and Steve Brandau representing District 2, were sworn in for the first time, as well as Lee Brand who was reelected to represent District 6.

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Community
5:53 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Fresno to Explore Possibility of Downtown 'Public Market' in Former Gottschalks Building

The vacant, city owned portion of the former Gottschalks department store building in downtown Fresno could become the home of a new public market.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

A national expert on public markets toured Fresno today to explore the potential of creating a year-round indoor market for the valley’s agricultural and prepared food products. 

The bottom two floors of a downtown parking garage, once home to the Gottschalks department store, could become the home of a new indoor public market for produce, baked goods and other food items, according to officials with the city of Fresno.

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Valley Edition
11:47 am
Tue January 8, 2013

On Valley Edition: Armen Bacon "Griefland"; Homeless No More; Fresno Public Market

Today on Valley Edition, we talk with local author Armen Bacon about her new book "Griefland" and learn how a friendship grew out of the tragic loss of her son. We'll also talk about how tragic circumstances can change lives. Peter Nazaretian, a licensed marriage and family therapist, also joins our discussion.

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Government & Politics
10:38 am
Tue December 11, 2012

In Fresno, Privatizing Trash Pickup Ignites Controversy

Credit City of Fresno Public Utilities

It is a dirty job, picking up the trash of Fresno’s residents.

But it is also a job that has afforded 58 year old Joe Hill a decent middle income salary. Those at the top of the scale can make $22 an hour.

“I have a good job. I make a decent wage, but I don’t feel I am overpaid. I praise god for the job I have and how much I make. And I know there’s lots of people who make a lot less, but it’s not excessive,” says Hill.

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Valley Edition
3:01 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

On Valley Edition: Top Two Primary Aftermath; Homeless Housing; Farber Gift

This week on Valley Edition, we learn about how the state's new electoral reforms worked in real life following this month's election. Did the "top two" primary make the general election candidates more moderate and contests more competitive? Or did little actually change? Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore brings us a special report. 

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Downtown Revitalization
12:38 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

New Ice Rink Brings People to Downtown Fresno

Fresno teens Christina Gurrero and Teo Martinez cautiously navigate the ice
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Downtown Fresno's Fulton Mall has a different look this season, as a new outdoor ice rink is earning rave reviews from residents of all ages. Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore has this report. 

Just a few days before downtown Fresno's newest winter attraction was set to open, Christy Gordon didn't think it would happen. 

"You know on Wednesday it was just so hot. Just walking to the office which is right by here, I thought, 'I don't know how they're going to pull that off.'"

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Veterans Day
11:38 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Hiring For Fresno Veterans Home to Begin Soon

An artists rendering of the Fresno Veterans Home

Two new California veterans’ homes that currently sit empty in Fresno and Redding could start filling up over the next year.  The state has announced it’s beginning to recruit hundreds of employees for the homes.

Ever since April, veterans’ homes in Fresno and Redding have had lights, air conditioning and water, but no veterans, or staff.  This year’s state budget set aside money to start hiring, and now the California Department of Veterans Affairs says it’s ready to begin the recruitment process.

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Government & Politics
9:55 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Fresno County Voters Approve Library Tax Renewal, While Measure O Trails

Voters line up outside the Fresno County elections office in downtown Fresno on Tuesday
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A sales tax that for over a decade has helped fund much of the budget for the Fresno County Public Library system appears to be headed to approval. 

While some absentee ballots remain to be counted, Measure B holds a lead of 72-percent to 28-percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. That's well above the two-thirds vote required for passage. 

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Downtown Fresno
4:41 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

In Fresno, Downtown Planning Effort Faces Fiscal Crunch

An artist's rendering of a revitalized Fulton Mall outside the Kern Street entrance to
Moule & Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists

The City of Fresno's effort to draft a vision for a revitalized downtown hit a roadblock on Tuesday, after the Fresno City Council rejected a proposal to allocate an additional $70,000 to the project on a 4-3 vote. 

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Valley Edition
12:00 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

On Valley Edition: Social Impact Bond; Measure O in Fresno County; Pomegranate Festival

This week on Valley Edition, we hear a report about a group that plans to launch the nation's first social impact bond in the health care sector, targeting asthma prevention in Fresno. We'll also close our series of reports on the propositions before voters on the November ballot. We talk with criminal defense attorney Garrick Byers about Propositions 34 and 36.  Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochigian joins us to talk about Measure O, a measure that would make it easier for the Board of Supervisors to outsource certain jobs, including the public defender's office.

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Health
9:09 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Social Impact Bond May Fund Asthma Prevention in Fresno

Clinica Sierra Vista's Arvin clinic in Kern County - file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

When Benjamin Franklin wrote that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" he had no idea he would be describing one of 2012's hottest trends in health care and investments, something known as social impact bonds.  The details are complex, but the concept is based around a simple idea.

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Earthquake
12:19 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Earthquake Strikes Central California, 5.3 Magnitude

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck central California late Saturday night, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey. The quake, which was felt in Fresno and throughout the Central Valley struck at 11:55 p.m. and was centered 30 miles northwest of Coalinga.  Info from the USGS:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/nc71863625#summary

Valley Edition
12:13 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

On Valley Edition: Fresno Police Consolidation; Gas Prices; Via Arte

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Segment 1: Police & Sheriff Consolidation in Fresno
Should the Fresno Police Department and Fresno County Sheriff's Department consider consolidating or merging their operations? That's the question a new study commissioned by the Fresno City Council seeks to answer.

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