Tulare County Symphony

The Tulare County Symphony is a vital part of the south valley's musical landscape. This year the orchestra has assembled a season featuring a varied selection of musical masterworks, guest soloists and new ideas that aim to bring new audiences to classical music. Musical director and conductor Bruce Kiesling joined us on Valley Edition to talk about their upcoming concert on October 3rd at the Visalia Fox Theatre, featuring music of Latin America, as well as the rest of the 2015/2016 season. 

John Chacon / CA Department of Water Resources

Even before California's drought, many small unincorporated valley communities have dealt with drinking water that's polluted with nitrate, arsenic and other contaminants. As water levels in many wells have dropped, the problem has only grown more severe. 

Now a new provision in the state budget could offer help to some of those communities, in some cases potentially forcing large water districts to consolidate with smaller ones. Advocates like Laurel Firestone of the Community Water Center in Visalia say this could help many communities in their quest for clean water. 

Ezra David Romero

Historical movements, wars and disasters around the globe have created signature sounds in music. Think freedom songs like “We Shall Overcome,” Prince’s “Baltimore” and even Beyonce’s song “Halo” after Haiti was rocked by an earthquake. The Golden State is in its fourth year of drought and songs about a drying California are now emerging. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on drought for the station. He joins Valley Edition Host Joe Moore to talk about what he calls drought music. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we talk about drought, elections and more. First KVPR Reporter Jeffrey Hess reports from Visalia where the city is looking to increase Hispanic representation with council districts. Also, KVPR's Ezra David Romero visits Tulare County where 60 percent of the state's dry residential wells are located


The valley city of Visalia will soon complete the transition from at-large elections to district elections for their city council. The change comes as a result of a voting rights lawsuit that claimed at-large elections cut the city’s substantial Latino population out of the political process. The transition is not exactly popular.

Carlos Medina has lived in Visalia for decades, He has been cutting hair at his barber shop across from Oval Park for nearly twenty years.

New State Office Could Help Poor Valley Communities Get Clean Drinking Water

Mar 25, 2015
Valley Public Radio

The emergency drought relief bill that California lawmakers will begin voting on Wednesday would create a new state office. That might sound fairly mundane. But as Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, supporters say it could help disadvantaged communities.

Clean water advocates will tell you that it can sometimes take decades for small or poor communities to get clean drinking water. Laurel Firestone is with the Community Water Center.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

 he city of Visalia is getting closer to altering how they elect their city council. As FM 89's Jeffrey Hess reports, it's a move that some hope will increase diversity in city government.

The city is planning a series of public hearings, beginning in early April, to finalize the five new districts that will each elect one council representative. 

Visalia spokeswomen Nancy Loliva says the city is drawing districts for the first time to settle a voting rights lawsuit over the current system where all council members are elected at-large.

Visalia Soloists on Young Artists Spotlight - 2015

Mar 12, 2015

This edition of Young Artists Spotlight was pleased to feature musicians from Visalia. And it was mostly a family affair. The group for this live broadcast included 13-year-old twin brothers Trent Andrews, violin, and Marcus Andrews, French horn. Each was accompanied by Brian Johnson.

Then we had 12-year-old Logan Wells, trumpet, and his 10-year-old sister, Bethany Wells, two years into her French horn lessons. The siblings were accompanied by their proud mother, Carrie Wells.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

There are only a few towns in Central California with their own opera companies and even fewer creating new art forms. In Visalia, a director has brought mariachi and opera together to form an original mariachi opera called “El Bracero.” In this story FM89’s Ezra David Romero meets the opera’s creator and discovers a new art form that weaves together elements of love and struggle.

Mariachi is very important to the Latino community. The Mexican folk music is played at quinceaneras, weddings and celebrations of all sorts. But rarely is it heard in the world of opera, until now.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition KVPR's Ezra David Romero reports on the fusion of mariachi and opera in Visalia.  Also on the show reporter Diana Aguilera reports from Dinuba where Covered California is focusing outreach efforts on the Latino community. But the only problem is that many don't quality for coverage.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Edition

This week on Valley Edition we talk with Assemblyman Henry T. Perea on why he thinks California's cap and trade system will hurt the Valley. We also speak with Visalia Times Delta Editor Melinda Morales about homelessness in Visalia and why she thinks Peter Frampton canceled a recent show in one of the cities oldest and most controversial parks. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the City of Fresno is celebrating with a slate of events that honor the city's unique architectural heritage. The events include a walking tour of New Deal-era Fresno, and the many Art Deco landmarks that dot the downtown area.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The City of Visalia is known to many as the small town with the good restaurants on the way to the giant sequoias. Its bustling downtown district is home to a thriving music scene and dozens of shops and entertainment venues. But less than a mile to the north, in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Lincoln Oval Park is home to a much different Visalia. It’s ground zero for the city’s homeless population.

Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

Throughout Central California those who work in the citrus industry are on edge.  A tiny insect, no larger than an aphid, is threatening the future of the state’s billion dollar citrus crop.

It’s known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

“It looks kind of like an aphid, only with a harder body, and a little bit browner," says Beth Grafton-Cardwell, an entomology specialist with the University of California at the Lindcove Research Center just west of Visalia.

And the creature’s babies are just as pleasant.

In Visalia, Pizza and Poetry Mix at Howie & Son's

Aug 23, 2013
Howie & Son's

If you want to hear poetry on a Friday night in the San Joaquin Valley, stop by Howie & Son’s Pizza Parlor in Visalia.

You’ll find us in the back room, by the video game machines.

This isn’t your standard poetry reading. It’s poetry slam, the competitive art of performance poetry. We write our own verse and then deliver it, forcefully and in our own distinctive style.

How I Started an Opera Company in Visalia

Jul 29, 2013
Visalia Opera Company

How did I, of all people, end up starting an opera company? The answer has to do with being willing to forget about credentials and just take that first step. The answer also has to do with the open culture of my hometown.

I grew up in Visalia, singing Gloria Estefan and Selena songs at county fairs. All I wanted to do when I grew up was to be a pop singer—to shake my booty on stage and wear glittery outfits. I didn’t know the first thing about opera.

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.  

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.

College of the Sequoias

Visalia’s College of the Sequoias is facing the potential loss of its accreditation. The news comes after a commission from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges found that COS was in “substantial non-compliance” with the organization’s standards.