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Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno City Council voted down an ordinance Thursday that would have fined people in their cars attempting to give money or food to those standing at busy intersections. The proposal in question is called the Safe Transfer of Objects to Pedestrians, or STOP, and was authored by Council President Steve Brandau.

Today on Young Artists Spotlight we feature the Central Unified Guitars, under the direction of Brian Garcia.  Listen to these 23 talented young performers. 

Monica Velez

After months of speculation as to whether The Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield would shutter, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement say it will stay open for at least another year.

 

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

“Fish vs farms”: It’s the perennial tug-of-war for water between environmentalists, who want to see stable ecosystems in the Sacramento-San-Joaquin River Delta, and farmers, who feel slighted that they need to fight with endangered fish in order to irrigate their fields.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

March is Women’s History Month, and here at Valley Public Radio, we wanted to spend a part of it talking to women who are young leaders here in the Central Valley.

We spoke with Yasmin Mendoza, organizer of the Fresno Chapter of March for Our Lives and a community organizer with the Dolores Huerta Foundation; Alexandria Ramos-O’Casey, who most recently was a consultant on the campaign for Kingsburg City Councilmember Jewel Hurtado; and Kamaljit Kaur, who is the Fresno County community organizer for the Jakara Movement.

Alex Emslie/KQED

A new police transparency law, SB1421, requires police departments to make public internal investigation records regarding officer misconduct and use of force. Now more than 30 news agencies statewide, including Valley Public Radio, are collaborating to request and report on these records. I spoke with Alex Emslie, a criminal justice reporter at KQED who helped spearhead the project.  

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: More than half of California’s olive groves are right here in the San Joaquin Valley. But Tulare County growers say that with a major olive cannery set to buy more Spanish olives, the future for olive production looks grim.   

Plus, it’s Women’s History Month. We sat down with three young, dynamic leaders to ask about the women who inspire them.

And later, we learn more about President Trump’s plans to rewrite rules that govern water allocations and infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley.  

Alice Daniel

More than half of California’s olive groves are right here in the San Joaquin Valley. But Tulare County growers say that with a major olive cannery set to buy more Spanish olives, the future for olive production looks grim.   

Monica Velez

A new exhibit at Arte Américas in downtown Fresno shows the history of Latinos in the San Joaquin Valley through pictures, paintings, maps, and stories. The exhibit, Caminos: Latino History of the Central Valley, covers the 1700s to present day. 

For two years, a multitude of people have been working to put together this exhibit. Dr. Alex Sarargoza was the lead researcher on this project and Nancy Marquez was the director. 

On this week's Young Artists Spotlight, we hear a performance from students from the Bakersfield Youth Symphony. 

Alice Daniel

How do teachers even become interested in teaching, how do districts recruit them and what goes into trying to hire teachers that reflect the diversity of Valley classrooms? Today in the studio, moderator Kathleen Schock speaks with Tamela Ryatt, a photography teacher who just won Fresno Unified’s high school Educator of the Year, Laura Alamillo, Interim Dean of the Kremen School of Education at Fresno State and Tiffany Samuel, who works in teacher development for Fresno Unified.

Alice Daniel

For many adults, public speaking is terrifying. Well, the Peach Blossom Festival at Fresno State helps thousands of elementary school students each year tackle this fear early on by performing -- and interpreting -- poems and stories to an audience. Valley Public Radio’s Alice Daniel has this audio postcard from a classroom in Dinuba prepping for the festival. It takes place March 14th and 15th.

Cal-Span

Kevin Hamilton was surprised when he learned that, for decades, industries that pollute have been able to trade emissions reductions under a San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District program. It’s like a bank: If a company installs a new technology that reduces its pollution—and that’s the program's goal—the company can earn what’s called emission reduction credits, or ERCs. It means it can emit more with no penalty. “And you can trade them, they have value,” Hamilton says. “You get a certificate, it's like a stock certificate.”

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

California moved it’s primary election to March. That means the 2020 Primary is only a year away. But before that happens, the Fresno County Elections Office plans to update its voting process by adopting the Voter’s Choice Act model.

“Right now, Fresno County utilizes the precinct model, meaning that there are over 268 polling locations throughout the county,” says Brandi Orth, Fresno County Elections Clerk and Registrar of Voters. “Voters are assigned a specific polling location to go to because their specific ballot will be there.”

On this week’s Valley Edition: The Valley air district is facing scrutiny for how it manages pollution from local industries. Air quality advocates wonder: How well is the program working?

Plus, Fresno County is considering the Voter’s Choice Act Model for the 2020 election, which could mean fewer polling locations, but more days to cast your ballot. We’ll hear from one neighboring county that’s already made the switch.

Lawsuits were filed in Kern County Superior Court this week accusing Kern High School District staff members of enabling and conspiring to cover up sexual assault allegations.

 

Two teenagers accused the athletic equipment manager, Edwin Rodriguez, at North High School in Bakersfield of molesting them and sending them sexually explicit messages, photos, and videos through social media like Snapchat, according to two lawsuits filed on Wednesday.

 

ACLU of Northern California

Attorneys with the ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a school district in Madera County, saying it violated two students’ right to free speech and right to anti-LGBTQ bias in California schools.
 

When Minarets High School students Steven Madrid and Mikayla Garaffa submitted their senior quotes to the yearbook, they thought they were being inclusive. But the yearbook advisor said their quotes were “politically divisive.”

KVPR archives

J. Martin Temple, an influential Fresno architect, musician and community leader passed away on February 6, 2019 at age 84. Temple played a critical role in the establishment of Valley Public Radio, and served as president of the White Ash Broadcasting Board of Directors when KVPR debuted on the Fresno airwaves in October of 1978.

Station co-founder Von Johnson says Temple’s leadership helped bring KVPR to life.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Today on Young Artists Spotlight, we hear music from two sisters from Bakersfield - twins Claire Soyoon Park and April Soyeong Park --  twin pianists from Bakersfield, both of them students of Bonnie Farrer, who provided the following biographies:

Stars Behavioral Health Group

Mental health care is a constant need here in the San Joaquin Valley, especially for those who can’t afford to go elsewhere—and for those whose symptoms are tough enough to require some treatment but not hospitalization.

Last week, Fresno County opened a new crisis residential facility to house those who fall in that in-between space. In this interview, we speak about the new facility with Dawan Utecht, director of the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health.

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