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.

Carla Chancellor / Valley Public Radio

 

Welcome to the Weekend, a new segment where we find out what people in the San Joaquin Valley do for fun when they have a little time off. Today we hear from Carla Chancellor. She's a retired teacher who lives in the foothills town of Springville. About eight months ago, she took up ballroom dancing. She liked it so much that she started a “Dancing in the South Valley” Meetup and Facebook page.

Listen to the interview above to learn more.

This week on Valley Edition: We’ve moved from Tuesdays to Fridays!

 

A Los Banos mother explains why she became an activist for the multiracial movement, and in Merced, we talk to high schoolers about a mental health class they initiated.

In Bakersfield, an unusual event uses games and humor to encourage attendees to think about what they want - after they die.

Alice Daniel

Leo Price didn’t know he would be chosen to ask a question of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg until minutes before the last segment of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, which aired live at Fresno State Monday.

“They just came up to me right before and they said ‘It’s your turn. Come up,’” said the 14-year-old Edison Computech student.

“Leo Price, last question sir,” Matthews said to Price who had been directed to stand in front of a microphone set out for audience questions.

Courtesy of Jordan Mattox

In our studio today, a group of students from Wilson Middle School in Chowchilla and one of their  teachers, Jordan Mattox. Together, they’ve created a podcast that delivers the goods when it comes to discussions about everything from stress to homework, from social media to school fights. It’s called Welcome to Middle School.

On this week’s Valley Edition: The Trump Administration has come one step closer to allowing fracking on some federal lands in the Valley. We’ll dive into the plan - and find out how locals feel about it.

Also, a 2020 ballot measure could generate more revenue for schools and public services, but one county office worries, implementation will be costly. And later, we talk to middle school students from Chowchilla about a podcast they created.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

On this week's Valley Edition: we return to the story of Ethan Morse, the son of the former district attorney in Merced County who was gunned down in March. Some say the murder was tied to Morse’s arrest six years ago.

And how do you use science to recreate a mysterious 30-year-old invention shrouded in secrecy? Students at UC Merced throw their hats in the ring, together with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Plus child abuse is a huge problem in the Valley - we learn about the scope and take a look at some solutions.

 

Courtesy Larry Jarocki

This year, National Public Radio asked students and teachers to put on some headphones, grab microphones and turn stories into sound, all for NPR’s first ever Student Podcast Challenge. Thousands of podcasts were entered from more than 1500 schools nationwide. Topics ranged from gun control to mental health, from mythology to hedgehogs. Today, we’re going to talk to one of the finalists in the high school category. Her name is Megan Tucker and she’s a sophomore at El Diamante High School in Visalia. Her podcast is called “The Lack of Specialized Health Care in Small Towns.”

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.

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