Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

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

Flickr user Jeff Turner, CC BY 2.0

On Thursday, the Trump administration revoked California’s authority to set its own rules on tailpipe emissions.

The reversal of California’s nearly-50-year-old waiver means the state won’t be able to push auto makers faster than the federal government can to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that come out of cars. The decision came just a day before students and activists took to the streets in cities across the world – including Fresno – as part of the Global Climate Strike.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Air quality stole a lot of headlines this week, as the Trump Administration moved to revoke California’s ability to set its own tailpipe emissions standards distinct from those mandated federally by the Environmental Protection Agency. Not only could the move prevent future reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it could also prevent gains in air quality that are much needed in the San Joaquin Valley and California’s other polluted air basins.

On this week’s Valley Edition: The award winning musical Hamilton! In San Francisco, the iconic role of George Washington is now being played by a Central Valley native. We talk to actor Darnell Abraham about his journey to the stage.

And why does Bakersfield have such great modern architecture? It's a two-pronged answer that includes an innovative high school teacher and the 1952 earthquake. We learn more about Bakersfield Built: Architecture of the 1960s.

Valley Public Radio

Roughly a million Californians lack access to safe drinking water. And while a scarcity of money or local leadership can stand in the way of fixes, so too can California’s byzantine water management system.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Ellen Eggert stands at the front of a Tehachapi auditorium in a tie-dyed t-shirt, sweatshirt tied around her waist, salt and pepper hair loose at her shoulders. “First of all I want to thank all of you brave souls who came here tonight,” she says. Then she stops mid-sentence and reaches down to take her shoes off. “I’m sorry, my feet are sweaty, do you mind?” Audience members giggle as she throws them behind her.

On this week’s Valley Edition: September is National Suicide Prevention Month. We bring you the story of one Kern County woman who says helping someone in need could be as simple as asking questions. 

 

We also tell you about the 30th annual Reel Pride Film Festival coming up next week. It’s the sixth-longest-running LGBTQ film festival in the country.

 

And we meet a man whose street photography helps him cope with cancer.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

The Sierra Club via Wikimedia Commons

Roughly four to five million visitors flock to Yosemite National Park each year, most of whom seek out the misty waterfalls and dramatic granite walls of Yosemite Valley. But how would those numbers change if the park boasted a second awe-inspiring valley? A recent report evaluates the economic benefits of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley.

On this week’s Valley Edition: caring for a child with acute mental illness can be really difficult especially when resources to keep the child safe are limited. We get feedback from parents and profressionals.

We also dig into why the Selma City Council wants to get rid of at-large voting and map out districts. And the Friant-Kern Canal delivers water to farms and communities on the east side of the Valley but excess groundwater pumping is causing it to sink in some areas. We hear about one possible, but expensive, fix.

Cal Spill Watch

In early July, our sister station KQED first reported a huge oil seep in the Cymric Oilfield of western Kern County. At that time, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil had been bubbling up to the surface for more than two months, yet neither the public nor lawmakers had been notified.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We return to 1619, the first year enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of Virginia. Four hundred years later, what are the repercussions of this brutal institution? 

Also the National Science Foundation has picked up RadioBio, a podcast produced by students at UC Merced. Scientists at the top of their fields explain everything from flying lizards to T-cells.

And will Hanford’s historic Carnegie Museum remain open? We visit the Kings County city to learn more.

Arthurgwain L. Marquez / NAWS China Lake Facebook Page

Less than 10 miles away from the epicenters of the two powerful earthquakes that shook the Ridgecrest area over Independence Day weekend lies a military base: Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. It’s huge—larger than nine U.S.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: The National Transportation Safety Board has released its findings on the 2015 medevac helicopter crash that killed four people in the Valley. 

We also hear from both sides of the Senate Bill 1 debate -- that’s the state bill that aims to safeguard California from rollbacks in federal laws like the Endangered Species Act.

Later, we’ll introduce you to a young Mariachi singer from Delano. She’s just recorded her first album, and now she’s on her way to Harvard. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno Police Department is on the defensive after a bodycam video showing an officer punching a teenager was leaked to the public.

Ezra David Romero / KVPR

Last week, the State of California took its first steps to fully ban the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos that can cause neurological problems and developmental delays in children. The ban means, however, that growers have to find alternatives for managing insects. Finding those alternatives is the goal of a new statewide group that includes members of the San Joaquin Valley agriculture community.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When Saul Ruiz heard about the McKittrick oil seep, which first occurred in May and is now being cleaned up by Chevron and state agencies, his first reaction was worry: Worry for the McKittrick residents and environment nearby, but also for residents of other similar communities. “My worry was that problems like these could expand to other communities like Taft, Buttonwillow, Lost Hills,” he says in Spanish.

 

 

This week on Valley Edition: we visit residents of a community surrounded by highways, agriculture fields, and oil and gas development. We learn about their grassroots efforts to find out whether those industries are polluting their air.

In Kern County, we look into the case of Supervisor Leticia Perez who faces two conflict of interest charges relating to her ties to the marijuana industry.  

We also speak to an author who knew the Marlboro Man; he was a real cowboy from the San Joaquin Valley.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

In 2024, a state law will require the dairy industry to begin to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. A recent legal settlement will help Tulare County, the nation’s leading dairy producer, to meet that goal.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

One of the biggest fears during any earthquake is that the movement could damage major infrastructure. The recent Ridgecrest earthquakes jolted less than 50 miles away from Lake Isabella, where the Isabella Dam is in the midst of a $600 million improvement project by the US Army Corps of Engineers. How did the dam fare during the earthquakes, and how much longer until the upgrades will be complete? We sat down for an update with Army Corps project manager Anthony Burdock.

On this week’s Valley Edition: The Fresno Unified School Board voted to censure Trustee Terry Slatic for unethical conduct. We’ll hear from Slatic himself and from Trustee Veva Islas, who wants him recalled.

And later, when you’re homeless, health care becomes much more complicated. We talk to a 68-year-old woman about the obstacles she’s experienced.

We also hear from freshman Congressman TJ Cox in his new Selma District Office.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Health disparities research around the U.S. has shown that not only do Spanish speakers tend to receive less information and support related to their health ailments than English speakers, they’re also less likely to speak up about their symptoms. Ongoing research with local ties, however, aims to close some of those gaps.

Pages