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Valley Edition

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It’s the second week of March which means burning restrictions are no longer in effect throughout the San Joaquin Valley.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.

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.

Valley Public Radio

On this week's Valley Edition we start the program with a segment on Fresno's new Fulton Street, which until recently was a pedestrian mall. Our team interviews a number of people about their thoughts on the project. We also learn about a program at Reedley College called a human library with a goal of broadening understanding of cultures and issues. Later we hear from Lois Henry, formerly a columnist with the Bakersfield Californian, about the loss of oil industry jobs in Kern County. And ending the program we air our latest episode of Outdoorsy with a focus on mountain biking. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on insurance premiums going up in fire zones and about two possible violations of the Brown Act in the region. We also hear from Craig Scharton, with the Downtown Fresno Partnership, about the reopening of Fresno's Fulton Mall as Fulton Street. Later FM89's Ezra David Romero takes a ride on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad that was almost lost in the Railroad Fire in September. Ending the program we hear about a rally in memory of Fresno artist, curator and cyclist Ed Lund. 

Valley Public Radio

On this week's Valley Edition our team reports stories on how short-term rentals like Airbnb are making it tough for Yosemite National Park officials to fill much needed jobs in the park. We also hear from a group of  California fire fighters helping out with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. Later we hear from a UC Merced researcher about her latest study on antibiotic resistance and from an author with a new book all about California's once booming motel industry. Ending the program we hear from the Fresno Philharmonic's new conductor Rei Hotoda. 

Valley Public Radio

On this week's Valley Edition our team reports on Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas and the shortage of doctors in the region. Later we hear from Tulare hospital board President Kevin Northcraft about troubles at Tulare Regional Medical Center. Ending the program we hear from business leader and philanthropist Tom Steyer.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories on human trafficking, 3D orchards and condors. We also hear from KVPR Reporter Ezra David Romero about the latest on the proposed delta tunnels. Later we hear from Bakersfield Symphony Stilian Kirov and ending the program we are joined by Paula Poundstone. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we are joined by McClatchy Reporter Michael Doyle to talk about water in California and what the new presidential administration means for the state. FM89's Jeffrey Hess reports on the possibility of ICE working in the Fresno County Jail. Later KVPR's Ezra David Romero reports on the importance of soil when it comes to air quality. We also here about a program to provide WiFi to the community of Lindsay by FM89's Kerry Klein.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Reporter Jeffrey Hess reports on a new vision for Southwest Fresno when it comes to heavy industry.

Bakersfield Blaze Facebook

Minor League Baseball has been a tradition in Bakersfield for over 75 years. But it looks like it’s a tradition that will soon come to an end.

The California League announced Monday that the Bakersfield Blaze will be contracted – eliminated from the league at the end of the season. The move caps three decades of speculation and rumors about the fate of the team and its beleaguered home Sam Lynn Ballpark. But is minor league baseball gone for good?

Zach Ewing, sportswriter with the Bakersfield Californian, joined Valley Edition to tell us more on the topic. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Reporter Kerry Klein visits the Tulare County community of Matheny Tract that will soon have drinking water for the first time in 10 years. KVPR's Jeffrey Hess reports on what's going to happen to all the trees being torn out of Fresno's Fulton Mall. Also on the program we hear from Karen Humphrey, Fresno's First Woman Mayor. Humphrey will speak at the Fresno chapter of the League of Woman Voters 75th anniversary on May 18.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Reporter Ezra David Romero explores why Tulare County is considering red tagging drought stricken rental homes. Later we speak with Eric Eidlin on how German high speed rail compares to plans for California High Speed Rail. Eidlin is a regional policy fellow of the German Marshall Fund and works for the Federal Transit Administration.

Courtesty of NOAA /

El Niño could bring much needed storms to Central California, but if storm drop too much rain or happen back-to-back then flooding could happen. To explain more Valley Edition Host Joe Moore was joined by Meteorologist and Fresno State Lecturer Sean Boyd this week to talk about the looming El Niño.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we look at the topics of food, drought, farming, policing and beer. First, Lesley McClurg reports on animal welfare conditions in the state.  Later, KVPR's Jeffrey Hess reports on whether six months after Prop 47 crime has gone up.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

There is a growing movement in Fresno to leverage the power of big data to improve a wide variety of city services from water conservation, to street lights, to police and more. Powerful computers are now able to crunch billions of data points to provide a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t. The city is increasingly seeing data and information as a two-way street.

I am standing on Shaw Avenue in Fresno.

This heavily traveled street sees tens of thousands of cars a day.

Sang Pediatric

  In the wake of a recent mid-day murder-suicide in Fresno, the issue of domestic violence is being thrust back into the spotlight. 33-year old Zhang Vang was killed by her 43-year old estranged husband Neng Moua in a downtown doctors office. That office re-opened today.  The two had five children together, and Vang was the mother of seven. The two were married when Vang was just 12 years old. She had allegedly suffered years of domestic abuse. The murder has members of Fresno’s Hmong community looking for a way to work with local authorities to offer help for victims and their abusers.