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Kerry Klein

Reporter

Kerry Klein is a radio and print reporter who’s covered issues ranging from air and water quality to renewable energy and space exploration. After stints at KQED, the San Jose Mercury News, and NASA, she freelanced for outlets like The Atlantic, Science and Stanford Magazine. In 2015, she was awarded a grant from the Public Radio Exchange to report a national story on the health effects of noise pollution.

After growing up near Boston, Kerry graduated from McGill University with a B.S. in geology. When she began working as an exploration geologist and geothermal energy analyst, radio reporting was a distant and unlikely future. But she found meaning in media while hosting a talk show at a Montreal public radio station and later while producing a podcast for Science Magazine. She subsequently studied science journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is excited to be exploring community health and the rich diversity of the San Joaquin Valley here at KVPR.

When she’s not in front of a computer or microphone, Kerry can be found biking to the rock climbing gym, practicing her violin, or sewing a retro cocktail dress.

Ways to Connect

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When Jennine Ochoa became pregnant at the end of 2017, she didn’t know what to expect. At 42, she’d waited longer than most women to start a family. But she said her first five months were easy. “I had no morning sickness, nothing,” she said. “It was completely uneventful until May.”

That’s when a dust storm rolled over her home in rural Tulare County in California’s arid San Joaquin Valley. “A week later I started coughing really bad,” she said. “The hardest I've ever coughed in my life, to the point where I was vomiting.” In just one week she said she lost 10 pounds.

Coming up next on Valley Edition: Overcoming valley fever can be tough enough, but what if you get it while you’re pregnant? It affects a small but concerning demographic. Also, arsenic is in our groundwater, and some studies say it could get more concentrated over time. Water experts from across the state are gathering in Fresno this week to discuss it. Earlier this year, Kern County was sued over its county supervisor districts. Will the same thing happen in Tulare County? We explore what redistricting could mean for Latino voters.

California Health Care Foundation

When it comes to addictive substances, opioids like heroin and fentanyl have in recent years been dominating headlines around the country. And rightly so: Nationally, the number of opioid overdose deaths more than quadrupled from 2000 to 2016. But as concerning and dangerous as opioids are, we shouldn’t forget about another addictive substance that’s long been known to disrupt lives: Alcohol.

John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources

In June of this year, the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications published a research article linking over-pumping of the San Joaquin Valley’s groundwater to rising concentrations of arsenic. The research caught the attention of water leaders from across the state, and on Thursday, October 11, many will be gathering at Fresno State for a symposium to discuss the problem of arsenic in groundwater and workshop solutions to it.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

September is over, and that used to signal the end of wildfire season. But as 2017’s massive Thomas Fire showed us, wildfires in California can rage on well into December. Meanwhile firefighting has gotten a lot more complicated; there’s drought to contend with, and housing development in fire-prone areas. Six California firefighters have been killed on the job so far this year. And it’s a number that isn’t falling, unlike in other parts of the country.

Valley Public Radio

In January of this year, a state law went into effect that requires public schools throughout California to test their drinking water for lead by July of 2019. Lawmakers enacted the regulation in an effort to improve water quality at schools. And while thousands of water districts have now tested their water for lead, a special report out of the education news website EdSource found many ways in which the law is lacking.

This week on Valley Edition: A look at California’s changing wildfire season through the lens of health: Why firefighter deaths aren’t falling in California the way they are in the rest of the country. We also add context to a mailer from Devin Nunes's campaign against an unusual opponent: The Fresno Bee. Plus, Tme Magazine says it’s a book everyone will be talking about this Fall -- Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. during World War II. We hear from the author, a Fresno historian. And Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sonia Nazario talks to us about immigration and media literacy.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

A few weeks ago, you might have heard our interview with Vice News reporter Alexandra Jaffe about the ongoing contention between Tulare County Congressman Devin Nunes and The Fresno Bee. After The Bee published a handful of stories about Nunes’s investments and public image, he responded by calling the paper a “left wing rag.” He also aired a 2-minute television and radio ad claiming the Bee is on a “crusade” against him.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

Since coming into office in 2017, President Donald Trump and his administration have instituted a multitude of executive orders and other changes to federal policy that have disrupted the lives of both documented and undocumented immigrants. Closer to home, however, fraud and deceit here in the San Joaquin Valley are also hindering immigrants, many of whom are already legal or are pursuing legal paths to citizenship.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

As the fifth largest economy on the globe, California is looked to in many ways as a world leader—not just in terms of agricultural production and climate change mitigation goals, but also in the field of health, where we’ve been a testing ground for new ideas in health care policy and delivery. For instance, California was an early adopter of the Medicaid expansion allowed under the Affordable Care Act, and health officials have launched initiatives to target specific health outcomes and risks like heart attacks, maternal deaths and vaccine exemptions.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

High-risk childbirths for celebrity mothers like tennis star Serena Williams and performer Beyonce are shining a light on a health story that’s historically flown under the radar: Childbirth is risky for women, particularly women of color. Williams, Beyonce and their babies all survived, but the U.S. does have the one of highest rates of mothers dying in childbirth of any developed country. Alarmingly, that rate rose 65 percent from 2006-2013.

PICO California

Ever since President Trump came into office, we at Valley Public Radio have been reporting on his administration’s changes to federal immigration policy—like its so-called “zero tolerance policy” of prosecuting asylum applicants as well as rollbacks on temporary protected status from certain countries—and their consequences on San Joaquin Valley residents and businesses.

Kern County District Attorney's Office

In the last 10 days, Bakersfield has been the site of two high-profile attacks: In one, a man and a woman were stabbed in a Starbucks; a few days later, another man gunned down his ex-wife and four other people in east Bakersfield before turning the gun on himself. On their face, these two crimes don’t have a lot in common; but at the root of both was domestic violence, which in 2017 was responsible for almost 7,000 calls for help in Kern County alone.

Kern County Sheriff's Office

More details have emerged in a Bakersfield shooting spree on Wednesday that left six people dead, including the alleged killer. 

The Kern County Sheriff’s office has released the names of the suspect and victims in Wednesday’s shooting. Sheriff Donny Youngblood says there’s reason to believe the suspect, 54-year-old Javier Casarez, had a connection to many, if not all of the victims.

Six people are dead, including the shooter, after a mass shooting in Bakersfield on Wednesday evening. The spree spanned five crime scenes in East Bakersfield.

According to the Kern County Sheriff’s office, the 35-minute ordeal began near a trucking business close to Highway 58 and State Route 184. There, the suspect allegedly shot and killed two people, including his wife, then pursued another person down the street and killed him near a neighboring sporting goods store.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

It was only a few weeks ago that wildfires drove particle pollution to dangerously high levels in many parts of the San Joaquin Valley and mountain areas, and it could happen again before wildfire season is over. Particulate matter, also known as PM, is a major health risk: It’s known to cause asthma attacks and other respiratory flare-ups in the short term, and exposure over the long term has been associated with reduced immune function and cardiovascular problems.

This week on Valley Edition, we have a conversation with congressional candidate and Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz. We also talk with a UC researcher about the growing body of research examining air pollution’s effects on the brain. Later, we'll learn about the obstacles facing survivors of violence who seek asylum in the U.S., and we continue our in-depth series on violence in the healthcare workforce. Plus, in honor of California Native American day, we learn about a basket-weaving celebration happening soon in Visalia.

Community Water Center

California’s legislative session ended last week, and with it, the hopes for a statewide pool of money that would have supported drinking water projects.

It was called the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, and it would have been available for disadvantaged communities in need of water cleanup projects. The fund would have been sourced by fees on residential water bills and on some agricultural producers.

But the two bills that set the framework for the fund died in the state assembly last week as California’s legislative deadline passed by.

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