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Kerry Klein

Reporter

Kerry Klein is a radio and print reporter who’s covered issues ranging from air and water quality to renewable energy and space exploration. After stints at KQED, the San Jose Mercury News, and NASA, she freelanced for outlets like The Atlantic, Science and Stanford Magazine. In 2015, she was awarded a grant from the Public Radio Exchange to report a national story on the health effects of noise pollution.

After growing up near Boston, Kerry graduated from McGill University with a B.S. in geology. When she began working as an exploration geologist and geothermal energy analyst, radio reporting was a distant and unlikely future. But she found meaning in media while hosting a talk show at a Montreal public radio station and later while producing a podcast for Science Magazine. She subsequently studied science journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is excited to be exploring community health and the rich diversity of the San Joaquin Valley here at KVPR.

When she’s not in front of a computer or microphone, Kerry can be found biking to the rock climbing gym, practicing her violin, or sewing a retro cocktail dress.

Ways to Connect

On this week’s Valley Edition: The emmy award winning filmmaker Ken Burns is coming to Fresno and Bakersfield next week. He tells us about his newest project Country Music, including his take on one of Oildale’s finest, Merle Haggard.

Also on the heels of the Ridgecrest earthquakes, a producer from KPCC takes us inside their podcast about quakes called ‘The Big One.’

FEMA Photo Library

Earthquakes have likely been on many Californians’ minds recently, ever since two big quakes focused in the rural Mojave Desert jolted California over Independence Day weekend.

If you’re someone thirsty for more knowledge about the kinds of earthquakes that could strike California, and how to be prepared, you might enjoy a new podcast out of KPCC in Los Angeles called The Big One. Part first-person narrative, part survival guide, it’s all about being prepared for that huge quake that could devastate Southern California.

California Governor Facebook page

Earlier this month, the state of California announced it’ll forgive student loans for hundreds of medical providers. The move should benefit underserved patients in the San Joaquin Valley.

Michael Galvez is a pediatric hand surgeon and plastic surgeon at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera. Between a bachelor’s degree, medical school, residency and two specialized fellowships, he says he spent 18 years studying after graduating high school. “I actually tell families that I meet here that I went to thirtieth grade,” he jokes.

California Office of Spill Prevention and Response

Update July 19:

Inspectors from the Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources reported that oil and water continue to seep out of three vents where the flow had previously been reported to have stopped. The agency has issued two Notices of Violation to Chevron, and it reports that vacuum trucks are removing the oil-water mix from the dry streambed where it has pooled.

Original story reported July 12:

Flickr user ftmeade, Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0

Finding an ally in the doctor’s office can be difficult, especially for those who are transgender, non-gender-binary or who otherwise belong to the LGBT+ community. To combat disparities that can develop in the health care realm, a Fresno organization is hosting a free medical clinic for LGBT+ individuals on Saturday, July 13.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

This past Wednesday, local environmental groups hosted a bus tour like no other: The theme was environmental justice, and it involved stops in unincorporated Tulare County communities including Matheny Tract, East Orosi, and Ivanhoe, where residents have been struggling to access clean drinking water and reduce exposure to harmful pesticides.

On the next Valley Edition: Fresno ranks low in terms of park access and acreage. But a grassroots movement is hoping to change that with citizens building their own parks. 

We also look at rural Tulare County as environmental justice groups showcase their efforts to improve water and air quality. And, we go on the road with some people whose California Dream is living in a van.

Later, we talk about student absence. It’s worse in rural areas, so what are some districts doing? 

Kerry Klein / KVPR

For more than a decade, lawsuits have been piling up against California from inmates who contracted the fungal disease valley fever while incarcerated in state prison. Most plaintiffs have lost. Now, many of them are turning to a higher court.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Say you’re taking a walk after work and you notice a strange smell in the air. Maybe it’s nothing, or maybe it’s a chemical or a spill of some sort. Should you report it? Although many cities offer reporting apps and services, not all are available in county areas. That’s where environmental reporting comes in, and one network already being used in some San Joaquin Valley areas is now available in Tulare County.

California Department of Conservation

When people think about California earthquakes, what likely comes to mind is the San Andreas Fault. But most of the state is not near the San Andreas, and yet there are still plenty of opportunities for seismicity.

The two damaging earthquakes that shook the Ridgecrest-Trona area over Independence Day weekend may have taken locals by surprise, but the same may not be said for geologists.

Fresno State / Fresno State Official Facebook

In mid-June, Fresno State announced that one of its nursing programs – the Master’s of Science in Nursing – had lost its accreditation. It’s the first Fresno State program that’s ever had its accreditation withdrawn, but it’s actually the second accreditation-related snafu to hit the university’s nursing school in the past year.

In this interview, FM89 health reporter Kerry Klein explains what’s happened, how the university plans to rectify these two situations, and what it means for the graduates of these programs and the patients of the San Joaquin Valley.

U.S. Geological Survey

Two high-intensity earthquakes and hundreds of smaller tremors have rocked Mojave Desert communities since the Fourth of July, causing damage to buildings and roadways and forcing some residents into emergency shelters, but residents outside the area including across California and even as far as Nevada, Utah, Oregon and Arizona reported some shaking.

U.S. Geological Survey

When the first big earthquake hit, a magnitude-6.4 on Thursday morning, Ridgecrest resident Heather Martin said so many of her belongings fell in front of her bedroom door that all she could do was crouch in a corner and wait for the shaking to stop.

When the magnitude-7.1 quake struck the next night, Martin knew she had to get out of her apartment. Each doorway was another hurdle to pass through. “My back slammed into the doorframe,” she says, as she passed the bathroom, “and I had such an adrenaline rush at that point that I didn’t even realize I had hurt my back.”

On this week’s Valley Edition: He hadn’t been to Fresno in 78 years, but this week Walter Imahara visited the site of the Fresno Assembly Center. It’s where he and his family were sent first before going to an internment camp in Arkansas. 

Later, what if you’re a low income, first generation college student? Where do you turn to get the mentoring and support you need? We meet students who are finding assistance with a program at Fresno City College. 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service estimates 147 million trees in California died following the state’s prolonged drought. New research out of UC Merced suggests a culprit: Extremely dry soil.

Fresno County Sheriff's Department

The Fresno County Sheriff's Department has identified 57-year-old Michael James Congdon as the suspect in Tuesday's shooting of a Sheriff's deputy. 

Congdon is facing two attempted murder charges, one against 49-year-old Deputy John Erickson and the other against Erickson's civilian ride-along. He has been booked into the Fresno County Jail; his total bail is set at slightly over $1.9 million. Congdon, who is from Fresno, is also facing felony charges of shooting at an occupied vehicle, using a firearm to commit a felony, committing a felony while armed and animal cruelty. 

Fresno County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

A Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy is in surgery after being shot in the Fresno County foothills. The suspect is in custody.

At around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning, 49-year-old deputy John Erickson had responded to a call of shots fired in the Tollhouse area, said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “When deputies arrived on scene, they started taking fire from what they described as rifle shots,” she said. “I couldn’t even count how many hit the windshield and side of that pickup.”

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The unincorporated Fresno County community of Lanare has long been a poster child for California’s widespread contaminated drinking water. For the past 13 years, Lanare’s water had tested higher than the state limit for arsenic, but that changed in February, when the water received a passing grade after a $3.8 million state grant paid for two new drinking water wells.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Earlier this spring, a few dozen people sat in a Bakersfield conference room in front of a table piled high with nondescript white boxes, each a little wider than a shoebox. Among those was Heather Menzel, who, along with three colleagues, couldn’t wait to grab as many as possible. When the man behind the table asked how many she wanted, Menzel answered simply, “as many as we can all collectively get together.”

Fresno County Sheriff's Office

The opioid crisis has been a national focus for years, but new state data show another family of drugs has eclipsed opioids in the San Joaquin Valley.

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