Joe Mathews

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

I am a California dairy cow.  Mmmm—oo.

Surprised to hear from me? In normal times, I wouldn’t be inclined to cooperate with the anthropomorphic scheme of a writer desperate for a mid-summer column.

But today so much is being said about agriculture here in the Central Valley, and dairies in particular, that I felt the need to—if you’ll pardon the pun—milk the moment. Too many of you city slickers have the wrong impression of the cows you pass along the 5 or the 99.

Commentary: Just How Much Does California Want To Do For The San Joaquin Valley?

Jul 8, 2014

It’s not clear if Governor Jerry Brown and his challenger Neel Kashkari will debate each other this fall. But if they do, there should be no doubt about the proper location for any and all debates: the San Joaquin Valley.

I’m not talking about secession or flying Sarah Palin down from Alaska but about what may be the most important California arts event most Californians have never heard of: Fresno’s Rogue Festival. Founded more than a decade ago in the backyard of artist Marcel Nunis, the independent festival brings thousands of people from around the country and the world to Fresno the first two weekends of March for hundreds of performances in a dozen different venues.

Flickr user OZinOH / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

I miss the days when Thanksgiving felt as big as all of California.

At the moment of my birth—a moment that occurred only last week—I was the most valuable child in the history of California.

That’s not merely the opinion of my proud father, the usual author of this Connecting California column. And that’s not the idle boast of a 7-day-old infant. My value is a hard demographic and economic fact for California—and a huge burden for me.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Ezra Romero reports on payday lenders and why a Fresno faith based groups says the lenders practices are immoral.  Also on the program Capitol Public Radio's Amy Quinton reports on the dwindling numbers of the Delta Smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Are you a young person in an expensive coastal city who fears the California dream ended a few generations back? Do you see no end to your struggles with high rents and a sluggish job market?

Go inland, young Californian.

This may seem like strange advice. Inland California—especially Southern California’s Inland Empire counties of Riverside and San Bernardino—was ground zero for the housing and foreclosure crisis. Inland regions have some of the state’s dirtiest air and most dangerous streets, along with jobless rates that remain in the double digits.