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Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

It Used To Be Kern County's Opioid Epicenter, But Oildale May Be Cleaning Up

This story is part of a series called In Recovery , about opioid addiction and treatment in the San Joaquin Valley. It was reported with the support of a 2018 Data Fellowship from the USC Center For Health Journalism . Charlie Huddleson has always been a religious man, but it was one church service in 2013 that cracked him open. “When I hit my knees on that altar, it felt like my whole life had come out my eyes,” he says. “It felt like I had cried away every pain, every heartache, and...

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On this week’s Valley Edition: Oildale has a reputation as an epicenter for drugs like heroin and meth. And yet, fatal opioid overdoses appear to be dropping. We hear from health professionals and community leaders about why—and whether the change can last.

We also talk to a Fresno Bee reporter about how social justice groups have been making their mark on city politics, and a historian on how Fresno’s soccer history is intricately tied to the experiences of migrants.

Plus: How a community garden in Madera County is helping some disenfranchised women grow, too.

Today on Young Artists Spotlight, we continue our series with more performances from the soloists of Youth Orchestras of Fresno. 

Alice Daniel

Today on Valley Edition, we're taking you to Fresno's Chinatown. And we're starting at Chef Paul's Cafe.

People come from all over the state to try Chef Paul Pearson's recipes but the cafe is only open because someone bet him $1,000 that he couldn't keep a restaurant afloat in Chinatown.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Ofelia Hemme used to run Ofelia’s Cocina, a Mexican restaurant on Kern Street with red and yellow tablecloths and sunny wall murals of beaches and palm trees. Her specialty was chiles rellenos: Stuffed peppers. “Every other place, they have chiles rellenos in Mexican restaurants, but ours were different,” says Hemme, smiling. “They were served in some kind of juice, like a juicy sauce, and it was really really really good.”

Moderator Kathleen Schock talks with three people invested in Fresno's Transformative Climate Communities plan -- it’s an effort that affects Chinatown and Southwest Fresno.

Alice Daniel

There are signs the historic, three-story Buddhist temple in Fresno’s Chinatown is coming to life again.

There’s a newly erected metal fence around the property, a few cars in the parking lot and inside the ordination hall, the sounds of voices chanting in unison.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

One popular stop in Fresno’s Chinatown is Kogetsu-Do, a Japanese shop with a long history over on F Street.

Lynn Ikeda-Yada owns the shop, whose name means "lake moon," and she’s the third generation to do so. Her grandparents migrated to Chinatown from Hiroshima, Japan.

There’s even a blown-up photo on the wall of her grandparents and uncle in the same space Ikeda-Yada’s shop occupies today.

“My grandparents started it in 1915,” says Ikeda-Yada. “That picture was taken in 1920 and they had two sons: Roy, who’s the little boy there, and my dad, Mas.”

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

When it comes to fulfilling the needs of a neighborhood, the neighborhood grocery store fills a big role. In Fresno’s Chinatown, that store has been Central Fish. It’s been in the community since 1950, carrying the usual kitchen staples one might expect. But the place also has some unexpected treasures.

 

Listen above for an audio postcard about this grocery store that has outlasted a few of its Chinatown neighbors.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: We take you to Fresno’s Chinatown where we meet the new owners of a century old Buddhist temple.

Plus, high-speed rail construction has closed off three roads leading into this historic neighborhood. Local business owners tell us what that means for them, today and into the coming decades.

And what does $70 million in cap and trade funding mean for Chinatown? We also tell you about Japanese pastries, shrimp and grits, sukiyaki and a longing for chile rellenos.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

  Educators in Madera voted overwhelmingly this week to accept a new contract offer from Madera Unified School District. Teachers there were on the verge of striking, but with this agreement, they have a short term fix.

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Valley Public Radio Mobile App

Whether you're an Apple or Android user, you can now take Valley Public Radio with you wherever you take your smartphone or tablet. The station has launched its first-ever mobile app - known as "KVPR" which is currently available for download in both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The app features one-touch access to Valley Public Radio's live audio stream, making it even easier to listen to the station. Users will also find the latest news coverage from the station's...

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