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Flickr user Jeff Turner, CC BY 2.0

On Thursday, the Trump administration revoked California’s authority to set its own rules on tailpipe emissions.

The reversal of California’s nearly-50-year-old waiver means the state won’t be able to push auto makers faster than the federal government can to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that come out of cars. The decision came just a day before students and activists took to the streets in cities across the world – including Fresno – as part of the Global Climate Strike.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Air quality stole a lot of headlines this week, as the Trump Administration moved to revoke California’s ability to set its own tailpipe emissions standards distinct from those mandated federally by the Environmental Protection Agency. Not only could the move prevent future reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it could also prevent gains in air quality that are much needed in the San Joaquin Valley and California’s other polluted air basins.

Courtesy of Darnell Abraham

Actor Darnell Abraham’s new role as George Washington in the San Francisco run of Hamilton - described as “America then told by America now" - makes it a little harder for him to go unnoticed.

 

“One of the adjustments for me has been going out in public,” said Abraham after a performance Sunday at the Orpheum Theater. “Folks will come up and ask, ‘Are you Washington in Hamilton?’”

 

He stepped into the new role last month and Abraham said he’s continually learning about the nation’s first president. 

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Fresno will join more than 40 other cities across the country in a legal brief that supports three Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals cases going before the Supreme Court in November. 

 

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to be listed in the Amicus brief that supports the plaintiffs in the DACA cases. Gary Bredefeld was the only council member to vote against the resolution and argued the program isn’t legal because it was created by executive order, instead of Congress. 

 

Courtesy of Thomas Olsen / Bakersfield Museum of Art

Bakersfield is well known in the arts for its contributions to country music, notably the Bakersfield Sound. But it’s not as well recognized for its architecture. A new exhibit at the Bakersfield Museum of Art may help change that. It’s called Bakersfield Built: Architecture of the 1960s. Several events are being held in conjunction with the show, including a symposium and guided tour of modern homes this Saturday, September 21.

Alice Daniel / Valley Public Radio

Renters in Fresno County need to make about twice the minimum wage to be able to afford the median monthly rent. Conditions like high rents contribute to the ongoing issue of homelessness in the San Joaquin Valley.

On this week’s Valley Edition: The award winning musical Hamilton! In San Francisco, the iconic role of George Washington is now being played by a Central Valley native. We talk to actor Darnell Abraham about his journey to the stage.

And why does Bakersfield have such great modern architecture? It's a two-pronged answer that includes an innovative high school teacher and the 1952 earthquake. We learn more about Bakersfield Built: Architecture of the 1960s.

Valley Public Radio

Roughly a million Californians lack access to safe drinking water. And while a scarcity of money or local leadership can stand in the way of fixes, so too can California’s byzantine water management system.

Lindsay Fox, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

A Tulare County resident is the second person to die in California from a vaping-related illness. Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County’s Public Health Official, says the man who died Saturday had been in the  hospital with respiratory problems. He had a history of vaping and smoking.

“The CDC has suggested that people not vape because of these risks, they’re unknown, it’s too dangerous, and I would say the same thing,” Haught told Valley Public Radio.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

The Selma City Council is torn between choosing a district map the community supports or picking one that keeps members from running against each other. 

 

At Monday night’s regular meeting, the council cast votes on a map created by the company it hired, the National Demographics Corporation (or NDC), and a map drawn by a community member. The vote was split because Council Member Jim Avalos abstained.

 

“I need more time to talk to the public,” Avalos said. “I need more time to analyze these maps.”

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

A prominent Fresno family has filed a lawsuit against the Wonderful Company for breaching a contract of payment. The complaint, filed last week in the Fresno County Superior Court, alleges that the Wonderful Company, which also markets other Central Valley agricultural products, retroactively reduced the price it promised the Assemi family for pistachios delivered in 2018. 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Ellen Eggert stands at the front of a Tehachapi auditorium in a tie-dyed t-shirt, sweatshirt tied around her waist, salt and pepper hair loose at her shoulders. “First of all I want to thank all of you brave souls who came here tonight,” she says. Then she stops mid-sentence and reaches down to take her shoes off. “I’m sorry, my feet are sweaty, do you mind?” Audience members giggle as she throws them behind her.

Diana Oliva

This year, the Reel Pride Film Festival is celebrating its 30th year in Fresno. It’s the sixth largest and sixth longest running LGBTQ film festival in the country. 

"Year 30 is extremely important because it shows the perseverance and persistence of our community,” said Kathleen Arambula Reyna, the director and board president of Reel Pride.

 

Alice Daniel / KVPR

LGBTQ+ Community Centers serve as safe spaces to access resources, engage with peers and feel a sense of belonging. According to the organization CenterLink, there are now more than 250 LGBTQ Centers operating throughout the United States. But here in the Valley, financial pressure has made it difficult for many to stay open. Moderator Kathleen Schock speaks with Justin Kamimoto, Executive Director of Common Space in Fresno, Brian Poth, Executive Director of The Source in Visalia, and Jamie Bradley, Former President of PFLAG’s Merced chapter.

James Gathright

James Gathright is a designer, writer and photographer living in Fresno, California. In 2016 he was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. Since then, taking pictures has been an integral part of his therapy. It helps him cope with the disease and gets him out of the house. And as a result, he has produced a digital book of 100 photos. It’s called I Was Born in a Small Town: Street Photography in the Shadow of Cancer.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

If you’re a news junkie, you may have noticed a new online media outlet called the San Joaquin Valley Sun. The editor in chief is Alex Tavlian. He used to be a reporter for the Fresno Bee and then he became an attorney and political consultant. Now, on top of publishing The Sun, he’s also doing some campaign work for Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, who is running for mayor. We spoke with Tavlian and other journalists about the ethics of covering politics while also being involved in the political process.

On this week’s Valley Edition: September is National Suicide Prevention Month. We bring you the story of one Kern County woman who says helping someone in need could be as simple as asking questions. 

 

We also tell you about the 30th annual Reel Pride Film Festival coming up next week. It’s the sixth-longest-running LGBTQ film festival in the country.

 

And we meet a man whose street photography helps him cope with cancer.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Dozens of people packed the Fresno County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to hear Sheriff Margaret Mims present data on 2018 Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in the county jail. Although Mims was clear her office didn’t hand anyone over to ICE, most community members at the forum were critical of her support for the agency and the timing of the event. 

 

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

The Selma City Council wants to change the way people vote for council members by creating districts versus at-large voting. But mapping those districts is a complicated process and community and council members have different ideas on how to make it fair.

The first set of district maps that were shown to the five-member council drew controversy at this week's meeting. 

The Sierra Club via Wikimedia Commons

Roughly four to five million visitors flock to Yosemite National Park each year, most of whom seek out the misty waterfalls and dramatic granite walls of Yosemite Valley. But how would those numbers change if the park boasted a second awe-inspiring valley? A recent report evaluates the economic benefits of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley.

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