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Courtesy Mark Arax

Mark Arax On Chasing The Stories For His Fourth Book: The Dreamt Land

Today in our studio, the writer and journalist Mark Arax reads from "The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California." He also talks about the writer's process and the magic and plunder, the defiance of the natural world, that shape water politics and agriculture in the state.

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Area Foster Youth Go On to Collegiate Success

Jul 26, 2011

There are 58,000 children in foster care in California and for many of them turning eighteen and aging out of care is overwhelming. Counties provide independent living programs to assist foster youth with this transition, but a different type of support is needed for those entering college. When former foster youth Kizzy Lopez was asked to help create a program at Fresno State to provide support for this incoming population, she made it happen.

CA Citizens Redistricting Commission Redraws the Lines

Jul 22, 2011

While it doesn't get nearly as much attention as the state's on-going budget debate, behind the scenes, work is underway on a set of maps that could dramatically alter California politics for a decade to come. The State's 14 member Citizens Redistricting Commission is currently at work on redrawing the lines of the state's assembly, state senate and congressional districts. And in a state where major decisions such as the budget and big social issues often are decided by just one or two votes, the stakes for all those involved are high.

Last month, when California lawmakers passed a new state budget, they also passed a bill prohibiting local school districts from laying off teachers. Backers, including the California Teachers Association, say that the law protects students from class size increases and will save teacher jobs. School districts say it ties their hands, especially with the prospect of a midyear $1.5 billion funding cut if revenues fall short of projections.

Lawsuits Pit Businesses Against Disabled Customers

Jul 19, 2011

In 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination against the disabled. It requires the removal of physical barriers in public spaces so the disabled can have full and equal enjoyment of community facilities.

But in recent years, Clovis businesses have faced a surge of lawsuits for buildings that aren't up to ADA construction requirements. This has led to a heated debate within the community over the rights of the disabled and the survival of small businesses in the recession.

Segment 1: Disability access lawsuits hit local businesses
Over 20 years after the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, compliance with the law's requirement of equal access remains controversial. Recently, it's pitted business customers with business owners, resulting in dozens of lawsuits. Reporter Shellie Branco brings us this report on both sides of the access issue.

Sept. 29 marks the beginning of the American Library Association's annual "Banned Books Week," a commemoration of all the books that have ever been removed from library shelves and classrooms. Politics, religion, sex, witchcraft — people give a lot of reasons for wanting to ban books, says Judith Krug of the ALA, but most often the bannings are about fear.

"They're not afraid of the book; they're afraid of the ideas," says Krug. "The materials that are challenged and banned say something about the human condition."

Among the groups hit the hardest in the economic downturn are business professionals. From April 2010 to April 2011 the business and professional sectors in Fresno County lost 1,800 jobs. Host Juanita Stevenson reports on how some Valley professionals are looking to re-enter the workforce and having success finding work. 

Segment 1: Valley Professionals Struggle to Find Work - Among the groups hit the hardest in the economic downturn are business professionals. From April 2010 to April 2011 the business and professional sectors in Fresno County lost 1,800 jobs. Host Juanita Stevenson reports on how some Valley professionals are looking to re-enter the workforce and having success finding work. Guests include Ginny Burdick, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Community Hospitals of Central California; Cathy Frost, President, Bennett Frost Personnel Services and Dr.

Fresno Teen Find Hopes In Diagnosis

Jul 5, 2011
Lauren Whaley / California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting

We hear the term “obesity epidemic” often in the news these days.

Last month, the L.A. Unified School District voted to removed flavored milk from school lunch menus, a move proponents argue will help stem childhood obesity.

In April, the state assembly shelved a proposal to tax sugar-filled drinks. The money would have gone to obesity prevention programs.

Part 1: Obesity - We hear the term "obesity epidemic" often in the news these days. It's an issue that hits close to home. About 40 percent of Fresno County kids ages five to 19 are overweight or obese. And so are their parents. 57 percent of Fresno adults are overweight. On this edition of Quality of Life, reporter Lauren Whaley brings us the story of one Fresno teenager who suffers from obesity, and how getting sick changed his life - for the better.

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Murrow Award

Valley Public Radio Wins Regional Edward R. Murrow Award For Investigative Reporting

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has awarded Valley Public Radio a 2019 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. The honor is for a story reporter Kerry Klein produced for broadcast on FM89 titled “The Fresno Detention Facility ICE Doesn't Want You to Know About.” The story exposed a previously undisclosed site in downtown Fresno used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to hold detainees. Following the broadcast of the story, ICE changed...

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Stephen Voss / NPR

Morning Edition Launches New Theme Music

Start off your day on a different beat. NPR’s Morning Edition has launched brand new theme music for the first time in 40 years. Don’t sleep on our fresh sound, tune in to hear the show every weekday morning from 3:00 AM till 9:00 AM on FM89 and KVPR.org. “Mornings will be sounding a little different at NPR,” said NPR’s Chief Marketing Officer, Meg Goldthwaite. “The iconic theme music listeners of Morning Edition have loved for decades be getting a tune-up. We want to make every aspect of the...

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