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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In a few months, California families from Eureka to Calexico will begin hopping in the family car for that grand American tradition of the road trip.

This week on Valley Edition, we learn about the controversy over a new bill that some say is a solution to getting valley residents clean drinking water, but others say is an unfair water tax. We also learn about the ongoing fight between Madera County District Attorney David Linn and the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Plus valley jazz artist Benjamin Boone joins us to talk about his new recording with the late poet Philip Levine, feature Levine's poems and some of the world's top jazz stars. 

courtesy Benjamin Boone

A new project from Fresno-based jazz artist Benjamin Boone is getting national attention. It combines original compositions by the Fresno State professor and saxophonist, with the poetry of the late Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine. It also features some of the top names in the jazz world as guest stars including Branford Marsalis and Tom Harrell, as well as Valley Public Radio’s own David Aus. Levine was known for his love of jazz and recorded with Boone's band shortly before his death in 2015.

Fresno Philharmonic

This Sunday the Fresno Philharmonic brings the sound of the virtuoso orchestra to the stage of the William Saroyan Theatre for a wide ranging concert with a twist. The orchestra's longtime concertmaster, violinist Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio will take a turn in the spotlight as a featured soloist on two pieces. We spoke with both Hotoda and Sant'Ambrogio about the concert on FM89 which features works by Haydn, Vaughan-Williams, Foss and Ginastera. 

This week on Valley Edition we’ll learn why Porterville is becoming one of the leading communities in the state when it comes to making the switch to electric buses. We’ll also talk with the author of a new biography on the life of Fresno’s Kirk Kerkorian. We’ll learn how his early life in the valley helped shape his career as a billionaire dealmaker who conquered Hollywood, Las Vegas and the auto industry.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

It’s the second week of March which means burning restrictions are no longer in effect throughout the San Joaquin Valley. But though the smoggy days of winter are hopefully behind us, there’s still a lot to talk about. Later this week we’ll be hosting a panel event on the future of our air quality. That's happening Wednesday at Valley Public Radio’s broadcast center.

California High-Speed Rail Authority

Last week news broke that California’s High-Speed Rail Authority is facing another setback - increased costs and a delayed timeline as indicated in the authority's new 2018 Draft Business Plan. The effort to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco with bullet train running through the Central Valley will now cost over $77 billion. On top of that, phase one of the project will not be fully operational until the year 2033.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A new bill in the California Senate would ban so-called "willful defiance" suspensions in k-12 schools throughout the state. The legislation (SB 607) comes amid a recent push from social justice organizations for schools to adopt "restorative justice" or PBIS approaches to school discipline issues, as well as a looming sunset for an existing law that bans "willful defiance" suspensions in grades K-3. While many youth advocacy organizations support the move, some teachers fear it could result in further problems.

Harper Collins

A new biography of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian tells the story of how a young boy from Fresno went on to become one of the richest businessmen in America. From airlines to film studios to the auto industry and casinos, Kerkorian was the consummate dealmaker, but he was also a quiet philanthropist, supporting Armenian causes through his Lincy Foundation. We recently spoke with journalist William C.

Rollin Pickford

A new exhibit at the San Joaquin River Parkway's Coke Hallowell Center For River Studies showcases the works of famed local artist Rollin Pickford. For much of the 20th century, Pickford was acclaimed for his paintings of the landscape of Central California. The new exhibit "Rolling Pickford: California Light" showcases works exclusively depicting the San Joaquin Valley. On display now through April 29th at the River Center at 11605 Old Friant Road in Fresno.

Google Street View

In 2010, architect Julia Morgan became the first woman to win the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects. It was a landmark achievement for the native Californian, who is most famous for designing Hearst Castle for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. It’s the institute’s highest honor, and one shared by icons of the industry like Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Ghery. Even more remarkable – Morgan was awarded the honor 57 years after her death. The award was an attempt in part to correct a longstanding omission by the male-dominated AIA.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new bill in the assembly would grant the California State Parks Department authority over land along the San Joaquin River Parkway. The bill by Fresno Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula would expand the existing Millerton Lake State Recreation Area along the 22-mile stretch of public and private riverbottom land between Friant Dam and Highway 99. State management could help solve an operational and financial problem for public land along the river, such as the 500 acre River West open space area.

This week on Valley Edition, a decade after the housing crash, things in Merced are looking up, in part thanks to the campus expansion now underway at nearby UC Merced. We also learn how this landlocked community hopes to become an "inland port" to help the county's economy. We also explore the controversy over voting rights in Kern County. We talk to the plaintiffs who recently scored a big victory in federal court over Kern County's drawing of supervisorial districts in 2011.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

In February a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in favor of a Latino civil rights group in a suit challenging the way the county drew supervisorial district lines in 2011. In the suit, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund argued that by splitting eastern Kern County cities between two districts, the county unfairly also broke up Latino communities in the San Joaquin Valley, instead of allowing for a second Latino-majority district, in addition to the current District 5.

James Burger, reporter for the Bakersfield Californian (file photo)

Despite the passage of Proposition 64, commercial marijuana dispensaries are technically illegal in Kern County after a vote last year by the Board of Supervisors. While the board may consider making changes to that policy for some medical cannabis dispensaries, the issue has led to a political firestorm. Rival camps have accused supervisors of unethical conduct, in one case including accusations of bribes. With so much turmoil, we spoke with reporter James Burger of The Bakersfield Californian, who recently wrote a series of reports on the allegations.

Creative Commons user Pmk58

California has a new water problem, but it's not drought, and it's not endangered fish. Instead it's a roughly 20-pound creature that's described as an "invasive swamp rodent" called the nutria. It's already causing problems in Merced County wetlands and state officials worry the pesky and prolific rodent could further destroy already fragile ecosystems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta and threaten the state's network of canals and levees.

This week on Valley Edition we learn how computer gamers are helping scientists solve a problem for valley farmers, and we put Fresno’s new bus rapid transit system to the test. We also talk with Woodlake native Amanda Renteria on her surprise bid to be California’s next governor, and with reporter James Burger of the Bakersfield Californian about controversy over Kern County’s regulation of cannabis dispensaries. Plus a look at the “invasive swamp rodent” threatening the valley’s water supply and native species.

Courtesy Amanda Renteria For Congress

Residents in the San Joaquin Valley already know the name Amanda Renteria. Now the rest of the state is about to get acquainted with the Woodlake native and former national political director for the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. Last week she formally launched her campaign for California governor in a move that puzzled many political observers. After all the June primary is just a few months away, and Renteria needs to build an organization, raise funds, and most importantly get name recognition statewide in a very short timeframe.

Juergen Frank / Courtesy Jennifer Koh

This Sunday the Fresno Philharmonic pays tribute to the centennial birthday of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, with a concert at the Saroyan Theater. Maestro Rei Hotoda will lead the orchestra in a performance of Bernstein's Serenade for Violin and Orchestra with special guest Jennifer Koh. The concert also includes John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno audiences will get a special taste of the classical world of art songs this weekend at Fresno State. The university's music department will host its first "Art Song Festival" Friday and Saturday at the music building, featuring performances by students, faculty and guest artists. Poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will also participate in the event. Professor Maria Briggs joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the event.  

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