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: With Tuesday’s primary election just days away, we look at what’s at stake for those down ballot races, and what some candidates are doing to turn out voters. And we sit down with Fresno mayoral candidate Jerry Dyer.

Plus: We hear from an Armenian oud master who is helping to preserve the history of Armenian-American music in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above. 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

The San Joaquin Valley lies underneath one of the two most polluted air basins in the country. That’s why, in 2018, two communities here – one in Shafter and one in south-central Fresno – were selected among the first to participate in Assembly Bill 617, an ambitious state law that enables local involvement in air protection.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We sit down with candidates Jim Costa and Esmerelda Soria to talk policy and politics as both vye for the 16th Congressional District seat.

 

Plus, you’ve heard her as a panelist on ‘Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!’ the NPR news quiz show: this weekend, comedian Paula Poundstone is coming to Fresno. The standup comic tells us why improvisation is key to a good show. 

We also ask if community efforts to clean up the San Joaquin Valley’s dirty air are working.

Kerry Klein

If you’re a regular NPR listener, you probably know StoryCorps. It’s a weekly radio show that produces uniquely poignant, intimate interviews. “The summary that I always give participants is that we’re a non-profit that travels the country and collects people’s stories as part of adding to this oral history that we have,” says Ava Ahmadbeigi, site manager for the organization’s mobile storytelling booth.

On this week's Valley Edition: There's only one proposition on the ballot this year, Proposition 13. Some say it will deepen state debt, while others think it’s the fix for California’s aging schools.

Plus: We’ll speak to a California native who served in two presidential cabinets. Secretary Norman Mineta was pivotal in convincing the U.S. government to formally apologize to Japanese Americans after their internment during World War II. 

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: The valley’s rich cultural diversity is an asset, but what if you’re a farmer, and important safety videos aren’t made in a language you understand? We hear from a team of educators producing a series of training videos in Hmong. 

Plus, the legacy of a Fresno resident who used baseball to break down barriers, even when he was interned during World War II. Now he’s been nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Also, we’ll hear from more candidates running for mayor of Fresno. 

Department of Pesticide Regulation Youtube Page

Pesticide regulations can be tough to understand, especially among communities that don’t speak English. Recently, however, with the help of local ag advisors and video production students at Fresno State, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulations released a series of how-to videos about pesticides in Hmong.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Preliminary state data suggest nearly 8,700 Californians were diagnosed with valley fever in 2019, which would be a record high. The state’s highest case rate is consistently reported in Kern County where, this past weekend, one rural town held its first race to raise disease awareness.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

In 2018, e-commerce giant Amazon opened a fulfillment center in Southwest Fresno. It employs thousands of people and reportedly offers better pay and benefits than similar jobs, but an investigation by the Fresno Bee found that its injury rate is double the state average for the warehouse industry. In this interview, FM89’s Kerry Klein speaks with Bee reporter Manuela Tobias about what kinds of injuries are being reported, how she investigated this story, and how Amazon has responded.

On this week’s Valley Edition: It’s been two and a half months since the mass shooting in a Fresno backyard that killed four members of the Hmong American community. We speak to mental health providers helping family members heal. 

This week on Valley Edition: January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We talk to people on the front lines tackling this complex problem. 

Plus, elections are changing in Fresno County as it adopts the Voters Choice Model. Madera County is also using that model, so ahead of this year’s primary, we ask the county clerks what local voters need to know.

And later, we hear from one of the nation’s leading researchers on chronic absence in schools.  

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

On this week's Valley Edition: Doctors find an unconventional way to treat severe valley fever - it's the extraordinary story of a 4-year-old boy and a medical mystery. 

And writer Lisa Lee Herrick tells us how the Hmong New Year has evolved from a traditional harvest celebration to something much bigger - and why Fresno’s festivities continue to draw huge international crowds. We also hear from Fresno mayoral candidate Andrew Janz.

  

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

 

Researchers have been trying to understand valley fever for decades, but the playing field remained small until recently. 

“When I started in valley fever research just six or seven years ago, the field was largely full of professors and senior clinicians and really didn’t have many of the junior faculty and students as part of the group,” said Katrina Hoyer, an assistant professor at the University of California, Merced. “I think they really wanted people, there just wasn’t much funding.”

UCLA

 

Hundreds of children and their families cycle in and out of UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital each week, and yet Dr. Manish Butte still remembers the day almost two years ago when he met a young boy who could barely walk or talk and needed a feeding tube to eat. 

“We saw these very large lumps on his forehead, and the lumps were full of fungal infection and they were burrowing through the bones of his skull,” Butte said.

Kathleen Schock / Valley Public Radio

Governor Gavin Newsom stopped in Fresno on Wednesday to promote his proposed $1.4 billion plan to tackle homelessness, which includes $11.5 million in emergency grants for Fresno County. 

Speaking at a mental health crisis facility in Southeast Fresno, Newsom said the grants, to be disbursed within the next few weeks, are intended to go toward financial assistance for housing as well as emergency trailers and tents.

Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2020-2021 budget on Friday, a $222 billion package encompassing homelessness, affordable health care and criminal justice reform.

Flickr User Michael Patrick, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Farmers across the country have had a tough few years, between drought and climate change, evolving regulations, and of course, tariffs due to the Trump administration’s escalating trade war abroad. In one big way, however, 2019 was a good year for agriculture: Farmers received their largest subsidies in over a decade.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

In January 2018, the Tulare County City of Woodlake became home to the San Joaquin Valley’s first-ever recreational marijuana dispensary. Two other businesses, a large-scale cultivator and extract manufacturer, opened in 2019.

As of early 2020, the city’s tax revenue generated by the industry topped $800,000—far more than the $20,000 per month originally projected. In this interview, FM89’s Kerry Klein sat down with Woodlake Community Development Director Jason Waters to learn about what the windfall has meant for the city and what’s in store for Woodlake cannabis in 2020.

 

 

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: We visit the Tulare County City of Woodlake where business is booming - specifically the recreational cannabis business. In just two years, the city has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue.

We also introduce our new show host, Kathleen Schock, who you’ve already heard moderating insightful discussions on this show over the last year. 

On this week’s Valley Edition: A show about giving. A woman who grew up in a Weedpatch migrant camp during the Dust Bowl era is now welcoming a new set of people who feel displaced. 

Also, community advocates who work tirelessly to improve the lives of so many in our Valley share advice on how we as citizens can help out.

And later, who gives more than teachers? We talk to one whose video production classes give kids a voice.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above. 

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