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

The 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.