Valley Public Radio FM89 - Live Audio

Joe Moore

President & General Manager

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. He has been with Valley Public Radio since 2010, initially serving as Director of Program Content. He also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped grow the station's news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.

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Flickr user Anna Irene (Creative Commons)

Mono Lake is one of the jewels of the Eastern Sierra. Its saline waters have created a unique ecosystem, providing habitat for everything from brine shrimp to migratory birds. But for years Mono Lake has had a problem – water diversions made by the City of Los Angeles. They reduced the level of the lake, harming both the ecosystem and creating massive dust clouds. In the mid-1990’s a deal was reached that both the LA Department of Water and Power and conservationists hoped would save the lake, and increase water levels by reducing the diversions.

This week on Valley Edition, we learn about a new approach the City of Fresno is taking to help the homeless community. We also learn how farmers and farmworkers are being affected by the current crackdown on immigration. Later in the show we learn about the many valley residents who choose to leave this area every year because of poor air quality. We also talk with journalist Nathanael Johnson of Grist to learn about a project that has valley farmers fighting climate change, and we get an update on plans to reopen the shuttered Tulare Regional Medical Center.

Ernest Lowe

A new exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum opening Friday July 13th, sheds new light on the history of rural African-American communities in the San Joaquin Valley. It features the work of photographer and journalist Ernest Lowe. From 1960-1964 he documented life in the communities of Dos Palos and Pixley, with fine art, black and white photographs.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Plans to reopen a shuttered hospital in Tulare County took a big step forward last week. The board of the Tulare Local Health Care District voted to move ahead with a plan to reopen the Tulare Regional Medical Center under the operation of Adventist Health, which operates hospitals in Hanford, Selma and Reedley. TRMC has been closed since last fall when a fragile situation between the board and the prior management company reached a breaking point, and the district sought bankruptcy protection.

Ezra David Romero

This year a handful of farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have new crop. But it's not something you'll find at your weekend farmer's market. Instead it's carbon. A new program funded by the state's cap-and-trade initative aims to help farmers add cover crops to their fields, with the idea that more carbon will be stored in the soil in the form of organic matter. It's part of the state's effort to fight climate change.

Today on Valley Edition, we hear about how a disagreement on Facebook led to the ousting of the Tulare City mayor. We also talk to locals who visited the border and describe what they observed while protesting at detention centers, even after the president changed his family separation policy.

Today on Valley Edition, we go to Yosemite to hear the lengths the park service and conservation groups went to in order to preserve the treasured Giant Sequoias of the Mariposa Grove. We also learn what locals are saying about Trump administration’s move to change the rules for people seeking refugee status in America, fleeing violence in their home countries. Later in the show we talk with reporter Hannah Furfaro about new developments in our quest to understand autism, and why law enforcement agencies need better training when dealing with people on the spectrum.

New research into autisim is revealing insights into early childhood development, and a growth spurt some suggest could be linked to autisim in young boys. That's the takeaway from a new study profiled in the news publication Spectrum, by former Fresno Bee reporter Hannah Furfaro.

John Madonna Construction / Caltrans District 5

In May 2017 a massive mud and rockslide closed Highway 1 near the Monterey and San Luis Obispo County lines. The scenic road is one of the most beautiful in America, and popular destination for valley travelers, but it’s also incredibly challenging to maintain, even in a normal year. And 2017 was not normal. Floods rendered a bridge near Big Sur unstable, and cause the massive slide near Mud Creek. For the past year crews have worked to rebuild the road there and stabilize the hillside. Now comes news that the end might be in sight, with a planned reopening slated for the end of July.

Marshall W. Johnson / Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Seventy five years ago this month, the streets of Los Angeles turned violent in an event that came to be known as the Zoot Suit Riots. The cause is still unclear, but we know this: for 10 days in 1943, white service members attacked young Latino men on the streets of Southern California, while police turned the other way. The attacks are the subject of a new young adult novel by acclaimed children’s author Margarita Engle. In 2009, the Clovis author’s book "The Surrender Tree" won the prestigious Newberry Medal, the first book by a Latina to receive the honor.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno City Council voted 5-1 today to put a tax on marijuana dispensaries and related business before voters this November.

The tax proposal comes at the same time that the city is studying a change to zoning laws to allow a limited number of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer says he’d like to use some of the money from the tax to step up the city’s enforcement of illegal marijuana dispensaries, other drug dealers and human traffickers.

On this week’s Valley Edition we hear reports about how idle oil and gas wells are drawing new scrutiny from Sacramento regulators, and how residents in a rural part of Clovis struck a compromise with the city and developers to protect their way of life. Plus we talk with Jim Boren of Fresno State’s new Institute for Media and Public Trust. Later in the show we are joined by USC professor Kathleen Wilber to talk about the growing problem of elder abuse and why most instances go unreported.

Fresno State News

Amid talk of fake news and alternative facts, Fresno State has launched a new Institute for Media and Public Trust. Led by former Fresno Bee executive editor Jim Boren, the institute aims to bring together media professionals, academics and the public to bridge understanding about the way journalists work. Boren joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the work of the new project, and how the public's relationship with the news media has changed over the years. 

Steve Yarbrough

The Central Valley has a rich literary tradition spanning generations. From Saroyan to Levine to Arax – journalists, poets, novelists and essayists have all found great inspiration in the valley’s soil, its people and the elements - good and bad - that make the region unique. The connection often extends even after a writer leaves the valley – as is the case with acclaimed novelist Steve Yarbrough.

Garry Knight / Creative Commons Flickr

California’s population is projected to age rapidly in the coming decades. By the year 2030, adults over 65 will outnumber children under 18, according to data from the state’s department of finance. Today, seniors over 65 make up 14 percent of the population, but that number will increase to 23 percent over the next 11 years. And as the population ages, issues like elder abuse are becoming more common.

Today on Valley Edition, we learn how residents in the Kern County community of Lamont are excited about something many of us take for granted: sidewalks. We also learn about a new Buszzfeed investigation into a hit man with roots - and many victims - in the San Joaquin Valley. Plus we explore the problems of the recycling industry, and talk with Fresno author Tim Z. Hernandez about his new book "All They Will Call You."

University of Arizona Press

Five years ago, Valley Public Radio brought you the story of one man’s search for names that it seemed had been lost to history. Fresno author Tim Z. Hernandez was searching for the families of the 28 passengers who died in a plane crash in western Fresno County in 1948. The passengers on the U.S. Immigration Service flight were Mexican nationals en route from Oakland to El Centro.

This week on Valley Edition we learn why the operators of food pantries in the valley say they are facing a new problem - hostility towards Spanish speakers. We also learn how growers, packers and retailers are new technology like blockchain to improve the tracking of food as it flows through the supply chain. It's all part of an effort to reduce the severity of foodborne illness outbreaks like the one that recently tainted romaine lettuce. We also speak with journalist Amanda Fortini about her new piece in the California Sunday Magazine about the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.

USGS photo

The recent images from Hawaii of the eruption of the Kilauea volcano have been captivating.  But closer to home, a much larger eruption once took place not that far from Fresno. Some 765,000 years ago - the blink of an eye in geologic time - a volcanic eruption created the Long Valley Caldera near present day Mammoth Lakes and forever transformed the eastern Sierra landscape. It's just 76 miles from Fresno, and it created a caldera 20 miles long and ten miles wide. While no eruptions are anticipated in the area anytime soon, Mammoth is still a hotbed for geologic activity.

Joshua Dudley Greer for The California Sunday Magazine

The tragic shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival last October in Las Vegas has largely faded from the headlines and Twitter timelines in recent months. But the story of the worst mass shooting in modern American history – a tragedy which left 58 dead – didn’t end when the sun rose on October 2nd last year. In fact, it was just the beginning of the story, as journalist Amanda Fortini writes in a new piece for the California Sunday Magazine, examining the aftermath in the Las Vegas community.

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