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Valley Edition

Today on Valley Edition, we go to Yosemite to hear the lengths the park service and conservation groups went to in order to preserve the treasured Giant Sequoias of the Mariposa Grove. We also learn what locals are saying about Trump administration’s move to change the rules for people seeking refugee status in America, fleeing violence in their home countries. Later in the show we talk with reporter Hannah Furfaro about new developments in our quest to understand autism, and why law enforcement agencies need better training when dealing with people on the spectrum.

On this week’s Valley Edition we hear reports about how idle oil and gas wells are drawing new scrutiny from Sacramento regulators, and how residents in a rural part of Clovis struck a compromise with the city and developers to protect their way of life. Plus we talk with Jim Boren of Fresno State’s new Institute for Media and Public Trust. Later in the show we are joined by USC professor Kathleen Wilber to talk about the growing problem of elder abuse and why most instances go unreported.

Today on Valley Edition, we learn how residents in the Kern County community of Lamont are excited about something many of us take for granted: sidewalks. We also learn about a new Buszzfeed investigation into a hit man with roots - and many victims - in the San Joaquin Valley. Plus we explore the problems of the recycling industry, and talk with Fresno author Tim Z. Hernandez about his new book "All They Will Call You."

Today on Valley Edition, we learn about one of the most closely watched races in the June primary, the contest to be Kern County’s next sheriff. We also talk politics with GV Wire’s Bill McEwen and learn how local entrepreneurs are embracing Bitcoin and the world of cryptocurrency. Later in the show we talk with journalist Chloe Sorvino of Forbes about her recent profile of Sierra Pacific Industries, a company that dominates the timber industry in the Sierra. And we also chat with musician and A&M Records co-founder Herb Alpert ahead of his upcoming performance in Bakersfield.

Today on Valley Edition we learn how international affairs are causing a problem for local recycling operators, and how one Fresno neighborhood is looking forward to a new city plan that could solve a big traffic problem for people who live west of Highway 99. We also talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Branch about his new book "The Last Cowboys," and Diego Arambula, Executive Director of GO Public Schools Fresno about their new Choosing Our Future 2.0 report. Plus Kerry Klein talks with journalist Suzanne Bohan about her new book on health disparities.

Today on Valley Edition we get a preview of tonight’s gubernatorial debate, learn about efforts to control an invasive mosquito in Fresno and Clovis, and go surfing in Lemoore. We also talk with the organizers of a new museum exhibit about the epidemic of tree mortality in the Sierra, and with former Kern County author Howell Hurst about his new book.

On this week’s Valley Edition, we learn why open field agricultural burning has increased in recent years, and what’s being done about it. We also look at the race for the 22nd Congressional District, and find out why what has long been considered a “safe” seat for Republicans is drawing more attention and money this year. Later in the show we get an update on political unrest in Armenia, and on Tulare County’s connections to Joseph James DeAngelo – the accused Golden State Killer.

Today on Valley Edition we learn how one key Fresno City Council race could shift the balance of power in local politics. We also go to Yosemite Valley and hear about a new production of Shakespeare set amid Yosemite’s towering granite monoliths. Later in the show we learn how climate whiplash could impact the Central Valley with prolonged droughts and massive floods, and we talk to Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee and find out which big water storage projects are expected to get water bond funding, and which ones aren’t. Plus a look at an effort to preserve Delano’s history.

On this week’s Valley Edition we learn how valley farmers are working on solutions to a problem that has a long legacy in the valley – nitrogen pollution. Not only can nitrate pollute groundwater, new research suggests it’s also a bigger contributor to air pollution than previously thought. We’ll learn why solving the problem is so difficult, and what local growers are doing to reduce their nitrogen use. We also will hear how a massive infrastructure project is nearing completion in Fresno.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The City of Fresno has long relied on groundwater to meet its needs, but a new surface water treatment plant is slated to begin operating this summer. While the city faced complications with their last treatment plant, they’re hoping the lessons learned help solve problems before they start.

Fresno’s new Southeast Surface Water Treatment Plant is huge, and built to do one thing: Treat water from the Kings River, and send it out to Fresno residents.

This week on Valley Edition we learn about a new proposal to fix the City of Fresno’s poorly maintained parks system with a new sales tax. But will voters buy into the plan to fund parks, arts and trails? FM89’s Laura Tsutsui reports. We also learn how California’s state parks system has been transformed nearly a decade after a budget crisis threatened many parks with closure.

On this week’s Valley Edition we learn about a scandal that has rocked the health care industry, and allegedly led to disruptions in care for thousands of California Medi-Cal recipients. We also take a look back the local “March For Our Lives” events, and talk to journalist Andy Kroll about his new profile of California Governor Jerry Brown in the California Sunday Magazine. Plus author Sam McManis joins us for a look at his new book “Crossing California” which showcases the state’s weird and wonderful roadside destinations.

This week on Valley Edition, we learn about the controversy over a new bill that some say is a solution to getting valley residents clean drinking water, but others say is an unfair water tax. We also learn about the ongoing fight between Madera County District Attorney David Linn and the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Plus valley jazz artist Benjamin Boone joins us to talk about his new recording with the late poet Philip Levine, feature Levine's poems and some of the world's top jazz stars. 

This week on Valley Edition we’ll learn why Porterville is becoming one of the leading communities in the state when it comes to making the switch to electric buses. We’ll also talk with the author of a new biography on the life of Fresno’s Kirk Kerkorian. We’ll learn how his early life in the valley helped shape his career as a billionaire dealmaker who conquered Hollywood, Las Vegas and the auto industry.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

It’s the second week of March which means burning restrictions are no longer in effect throughout the San Joaquin Valley. But though the smoggy days of winter are hopefully behind us, there’s still a lot to talk about. Later this week we’ll be hosting a panel event on the future of our air quality. That's happening Wednesday at Valley Public Radio’s broadcast center.

This week on Valley Edition, a decade after the housing crash, things in Merced are looking up, in part thanks to the campus expansion now underway at nearby UC Merced. We also learn how this landlocked community hopes to become an "inland port" to help the county's economy. We also explore the controversy over voting rights in Kern County. We talk to the plaintiffs who recently scored a big victory in federal court over Kern County's drawing of supervisorial districts in 2011.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

Fresno is California’s largest city without a light rail system. With the city’s sprawling nature and ample parking lots, efforts to bring rapid transit to the area have never taken off. One other reason – light rail is really expensive. Now, Fresno officials hope to bring some of the elements of those commuter trains to the city’s bus system at a much more affordable price tag. It’s a concept that around the world is called bus rapid transit – or light rail on wheels. We looked at the latest addition to Fresno Area Express service by talking to the people who use it.

This week on Valley Edition, we talk with NPR’s White House correspondent Tamara Keith about growing up in Hanford and her experience covering the Trump administration. Columnist Joe Mathews also joins us to explain why he thinks Fresno, Clovis and Madera could one day rival Austin, Texas as a major inland regional hub, but only if local governments cooperate. FM89’s Kern County correspondent Christina Lopez brings us the story of a Bakersfield-area protest following last week’s Florida school shooting.

Laura Tsutsui / KVPR

The San Joaquin River is the second largest in California. Last year, it was listed by an environmental group as the second most endangered river in America. Recent years of drought haven’t taken their toll, but an exceptionally wet 2017 spelled optimism for many involved in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. While significant obstacles to bring back the river’s salmon remain, there’s also progress swimming right below the surface.

Nearly 40 years ago, back when Peter Moyle was a professor at Fresno State, the San Joaquin River was different. 

Laura Tsutsui / KVPR

Chinatown is one of Fresno’s oldest neighborhoods. From the city’s earliest days as a stop on the Central Pacific Railroad, to the 21st century, Chinatown has been a diverse community made up of immigrants who, in many cases, weren’t welcomed in other parts of Fresno. Locked in by railroad tracks on the east and Highway 99 to the west, the neighborhood is also the subject of renewed attention this year. Two of the state’s highest profile projects, high-speed rail and cap-and-trade, call it ground zero.

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