Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Alice Daniel

News Director

Alice Daniel is News Director for Valley Public Radio. Daniel has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and more than 25 years of experience as a print and radio journalist.

As a correspondent for KQED’s The California Report, Daniel covered the Central Valley from Stockton to Bakersfield and beyond.

In addition to her broadcast and newspaper work, Daniel has been a lecturer in the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism at Fresno State for 17 years.

In 2017/2018, Daniel was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ghana and lived in Accra with her family. She taught print and broadcast journalism to graduate students and assisted them with producing a live radio news show. She also started an oral history project on journalists who worked during Ghana’s transition from a dictatorship to a democratic republic. A Fulbright Regional Travel Award allowed her to teach journalism seminars at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. 

Daniel is married to Ben Boone, a composer, jazz saxophonist and professor at Fresno State. They have two teenage sons who attend Edison High School.

Courtesy Mark Arax

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.

On this week’s Valley Edition: Police have a suspect in the murder of a former Valley District Attorney’s son -- video surveillance shows the suspect dressed in opposing gang colors.

And California’s drinking water landscape can be tough for anyone to navigate - especially in small communities already facing other challenges. We learn about a program in Visalia that's fostering water leadership.

Plus Fresno writer Mark Arax has a new book about valley water politics, and a Visalia teenager gets a nod from a national podcasting competition.

Alice Daniel

Fresno’s racial history includes the practice of redlining, which started in the 1930s and reinforced residential segregation by preventing people of color from getting loans. It created a huge social inequality gap that continues to play out in terms of access to healthy food, affordable housing, transportation and schools.  In our studio we have the creators of a new graphic comic book called “How Did We Get Here?” that tells the story of these discriminatory policies.

On this week’s Valley Edition: Allegations of sexual abuse against a popular valley priest have led to a vocal outpouring of support for him that some argue prevents victims from speaking out. Later, we learn about a student art project that tells the stories of survivors of sex trafficking.

And we talk to the creators of a new graphic comic book that gives readers a picture of Fresno’s redlining history and how that plays out today. We also meet Fresno’s new Poet Laureate Marisol Baca.  

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Report for America

You’ve heard of service organizations like the Peace Corps or Teach for America that try to address critical needs in underserved areas. Well now there’s a public service program that tackles the dearth of local news reporting in communities across the country,. It’s called Report for America. I spoke with the co-founder Steve Waldman about why he thinks local journalism  is one answer to protecting our democracy.

The Fresno Bee

In 2011,  the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its overcrowded prisons. Sweeping reforms called “realignment” shifted the responsibility for thousands of inmates to county jails. Since then, there’s been a sharp rise in jail inmate deaths, most notably in Fresno County.  I spoke with reporters Jason Pohl of the Sacramento Bee and Ryan Gabrielson of Propublica about their investigative series called Overcorrection. Jason Pohl starts by comparing the seven years before and after realignment.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We take you on a ride-along with the Bakersfield Police Department’s gang unit as part of our ongoing series on opioids.  We watch arrests take place for drug possession, and learn why narcotics officers sometimes wear hazmat suits.

In Fresno, the city is debating liquor licenses. Why are there so many more in underprivileged neighborhoods? We also look inside a Propublica-Sacramento Bee investigation of the Fresno County jail.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Jes Therkelsen

The 35th class to participate in a yearly program to boost community leaders in Fresno is about to graduate. But before that, they must finish a group project that benefits the city. Here to tell us more about the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Fresno program is Sara Frauenheim, a coordinator with the Saint Agnes Medical Center Foundation and the project manager and president of this year’s leadership class.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hanford Police Department

It’s November 27, 2017  at about 3 p.m. when Hanford Police Officer Jeff Davis first hears a dispatch about a deadly shooting in the small Central Valley town of Lemoore.  Minutes later, he notices a blue Dodge Charger at a traffic stop. He checks the license plate numbers against those he’s written on his hand from the BOL or Be on the Lookout.

On today’s Valley Edition: Records released under California’s new police transparency law, are giving the public an unprecedented look into how officers decide when to use force. We peel back the layers on one officer-involved shooting in Hanford. We also look at a program that’s reduced gun violence in other California cities - and some hope it could do the same in Fresno. Plus: We talk to the Fresno Bee’s political reporter about following the business interests of a local congressman.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We learn what one man’s near-death experience with a rare disease can tell us about the healthcare system. And what is the city of Fresno doing about human trafficking?

Plus, a look back at the history of corruption in the Fresno Police Department, and an equal pay case that recently made its way to the Supreme Court.

Listen to those stories and more from the podcast above.

Central California Women's Facility

Today in our studio, we talk to two formerly incarcerated women, Anna and Angel, about the difficulties of finding work and housing and re-establishing familial relationships after getting out of prison.  

On this week’s Valley Edition: We hear about a lesser-known figure in the farm labor movement. She was there before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, and now, union organizer Maria Moreno’s story is being memorialized in a new documentary film.

Plus, there’s a new state program that tackles mental health issues for the homeless while  also focusing on housing. But success isn't easy.

And later, we talk to two women who spent decades in prison and are now grappling with the near constant challenges and prejudices of life after incarceration.

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.  

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