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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.

This weekend, the Tulare County Museum in Visalia is hosting an event in collaboration with the California Indian Basketweavers’ Association, and in honor of California Native American Day. The event is called "Roots Run Deep" and will feature tribes native to Tulare County. To talk about what this means for Native American traditions local to the area, we’re speaking with Jennifer Malone from the California Indian Basketweavers’ Association.

Monica Velez

The soft chatter in the waiting room at the Yarra Law Group offices in Fresno are muffled by a Food Network show playing on TV. Receptionist tap their keyboards and answer phone calls. 

A 23-year-old woman from El Salvador, who we’ll call Ana, is among the dozen people in the room. A receptionist calls her name and she goes in to see her immigration attorney, Jeremy Clason. He’s preparing documents he’ll eventually file with the immigration court in San Francisco. She speaks to him softly as she begins to tell her story.

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.

A much-anticipated plan to reduce particulate matter in the San Joaquin Valley is now up for public comment.

After years of revisions, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is seeking public comment on its latest plan to reduce PM2.5, a harmful pollutant that causes respiratory problems and is increasingly being linked to other serious health conditions.

For the fifth year in a row, Valley Public Radio has been ranked as a “four star” non-profit by the independent website Charity Navigator. According to the company's CEO Michael Thatcher, only 10 percent of non-profits nationwide have achieved this honor for five consecutive years. The four star ranking is the highest rating given out by the company, and is a measure of accountability, transparency and results in a nonprofit sector.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Recent arrests of undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials inside Central Valley courthouses from Fresno to Sacramento have sparked controversy. But as Valley Public Radio's Monica Velez reports, such arrests aren't new.

This week on Valley Edition, we talk with biographer Miriam Pawel, author of the new book, "The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Helped Shape a Nation." We also talk with poet Brian Turner, about his new music project from his band, the Interplanetary Acoustic Team. And we also learn about what recent ICE arrests at local courthouses mean for immigrants and the justice system with FM89's immigration reporter, Monica Velez. 

Miriam Pawel / Bloomsbury

Acclaimed biographer Miriam Pawel's newest work tells the story of the most influential family in California political history. In The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Helped Shape a Nation, she traces the rise of Governor Pat Brown and his son Governor Jerry Brown, and examines how they both shaped the state in their own unique and unconventional ways.

Fresno’s Veterans Affairs medical center has announced it will be expanding to a new campus in Clovis.

The VA Central California Health Care System has bought nine acres of property off of Highway 168, near Clovis Community Medical Center and the soon-to-be medical school at California Health Sciences University.

Rudy Salas

Governor Brown has signed into law two bills related to the disease valley fever, both written by Kern County Assemblymember Rudy Salas.

The laws both aim to streamline the disease’s reporting guidelines, which until now have been inconsistent over time and among health agencies throughout the state.

One of the laws institutes a reporting deadline for the state public health department to collect data on cases. The other allows cases to be confirmed using blood tests only, without the need for a clinical diagnosis.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s legislative session ends on Friday, which means it’s a marathon week in Sacramento as state lawmakers rush to pass bills and get them onto Governor Jerry Brown’s desk to be signed into law—or else wait until 2019 to reintroduce their legislation and begin the process all over again.

Monica Velez

Mark Arax, who’s a journalist and author, says he remembers when William Saroyan would come over to his grandfather’s house in Fresno for dinner. And when he finally got a driver’s license, he recalls picking Saroyan up at his home on Griffith Way for those dinners.

This week on Valley Edition - we look back to when the U.S. government tried to replace migrant farmworkers with high schoolers in a conversation with journalist Gustavo Arellano. We also chat with journalist Alexandra Jaffe from Vice News Tonight on HBO, and get new insights into the war of words between Congressman Devin Nunes and The Fresno Bee, and how to restore the public’s trust in media. Plus, we continue our series on workplace violence in healthcare and learn what’s being done to make one of the jobs most plagued by violent encounters safer.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

  It’s probably obvious that hospitals can be high stress environments, and it’s not just patients who can get agitated and upset. Sometimes it’s also co-workers. Last week, we heard about how some see tolerating violence in health care as part of the job. In the latest installment in our series Part Of The Job, we look at how health care educators have been trying to change that culture of harassment and violence before their students reach the workforce.

Devin Nunes

A new survey released last week by the Poynter Institute suggests that Americans trust their local media more than many national news outlets. But charges of "fake news" aren't the exclusive domain of President Donald Trump. In fact, attacks on news coverage are becoming more common at the local level.

San Joaquin River Restoration Program

California is often at odds with the Trump administration, and the latest battleground could be in the issue of managing the state's precious water supply. At the same time the state's water board is considering major cuts to water sent to farms and cities, the Trump administration is taking its own actions. Last week the Trump administration served notice that it wants to renegotiate a 32-year-old agreement that governs how the state and federal projects operate and cooperate.

Brian Turner

Brian Turner is perhaps best known in Central California, and across the country as a poet whose art has been fused in a time of war. Author of the acclaimed collection Here, Bullet, Turner is one of the many literary giants to come from the San Joaquin Valley. Yet with his new project, he has turned his focus in two different directions: first in pursuing his musical visions, and second to showcasing the poetry of his late wife Ilyse Kusnetz.

UCLA

The San Joaquin Valley’s farm workers are some of the hardest working people in the world. They toil for long hours in the fields to pick the food that feeds the world. While we all eat their produce, for many Americans farm workers don’t inspire admiration, but instead resentment and hostility. Anti-immigrant sentiment often revolves around the notion that undocumented workers are taking jobs that legal residents would otherwise be happy to do.

Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno Philharmonic has launched its new season of concerts, the second under music director Rei Hotoda. Now Hotoda is also receiving another honor - an award from the Fresno League of Women Voters for her work leading the orchestra into a new era. She joined us to talk about the new season and the award on Valley Edition. 

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