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

Fresno County Department of Health Facebook page

As the Delta variant has made its way to the most prevalent COVID-19 variant in the state, other indicators of the pandemic have been rising as well. Statewide, case rates and positivity rates are four to five times higher than they were a month ago, and hospitals are slowly seeing a rise in COVID-positive patients as well.

 

Now that most pandemic restrictions on houses of worship have been lifted, the Sikh Institute of Fresno looks much like it did pre-COVID. On a recent Sunday at this 3-story, salmon-colored temple known as a gurdwara, people stream in and out of the main worship hall, some wearing traditional saris and kurtas, others in t-shirts and jeans. While they circle the altar, a trio of men playing harmoniums and tabla drums sing hymns known as kirtan in the Northern Indian language of Punjabi.

 

 

On the next Valley Edition: Now that pandemic restrictions on places of worship have lifted, some temples serving Punjabi Sikhs have partnered with COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

Plus, what happened after a brush fire tore through four immigrant-owned businesses in a Tulare County community. 

And the danger reckless driving poses to wildlife in Yosemite. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

 

 

On the next Valley Edition: With the recent excessive heat wave and the drought, small farmers worry about the survival of their crops. 

Plus, the legislative effort to overturn a state law that allows some workers with disabilities to earn less than the minimum wage.   

And Fresno’s Cambodian community launches a weekly night market. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 


 

Data from EPA and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

California’s 2020 wildfire season was indisputably historic: Fires burned a record-high 4.3 million acres in the state, and five of the blazes went down among the 10 largest in our recorded history. Many were touched off by widespread lightning sieges, which hadn’t occurred at such a high rate since 2008.

 

On the next Valley Edition: Rural communities throughout California lack vital healthcare infrastructure: how some local counties are grappling with vaccine deserts. 

Plus, the political fight to bring safe drinking water to San Joaquin Valley communities.

And how to prepare for yet another summer of dirty air. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

 

USFS INCIWEB

 

 In 2020, the Creek Fire and other blazes throughout California billowed so much smoke into the San Joaquin Valley that, at times, the sky turned brown and ashes accumulated on cars and sidewalks like snowflakes. 

Last year, 30 patients died at Coalinga State Hospital, a psychiatric facility in western Fresno County. That's more than 2 percent of the population--a death rate that's almost twice the average of California’s entire state hospital system, and almost seven times higher than the rate within the state prison system. 

Recently, we investigated why, and whether any of those deaths could have been prevented.

Department of State Hospitals

Earlier this year, Jeff Gambord realized he couldn’t remember the last time he had a physical exam. So he requested his medical record from Coalinga State Hospital, the psychiatric facility where he’s been a patient since 2006.

Gambord learned it’d been more than a year, and he was curious if this was common—so he encouraged others to request their records, too. “When we went back and looked up a couple other patients on this unit, some go back as far as two or three years as not having received exams,” he said.

 

 

 

On the next Valley Edition: In 2020, more patients died at a psychiatric hospital in Fresno County than at many prisons three times its size. An FM89 investigation looks into why.

Plus, State Legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom arrive at a deal that will allow undocumented residents 50 years and older to apply for Medi-Cal. 

 

 

And a new book by a Fresno State history professor looks at the Declaration of Independence from the perspective of those who stayed loyal to Britain.

Flickr user https://www.flickr.com/photos/djwaldow/4868263565/ / Creative Commons

As drought settles over the San Joaquin Valley, a new report warns of other circumstances that could result in entire communities losing drinking water.

More than a million Valley residents could lose their public water in coming decades under the sweeping groundwater legislation known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), according to the paper published earlier this month by the non-profit Pacific Institute.

 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Wherever you are in the Valley, you’ve likely been enjoying the reprieve from the heat wave that left us all sweaty and guzzling water earlier this month. Beginning Saturday, unfortunately, most of us are in for another round of triple-digit days, this one even longer.

California Governor Facebook Page

After 15 months of pandemic-related restrictions, California is back open for business. In downtown Clovis, reactions ranged from cautious optimism to elation.

“I still think we should keep our precautions, just to be on the safe side,” says emergency room nurse Angelica Martinez. She’s grateful she hasn’t contracted COVID, but knows the risks aren’t completely gone.

 

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

Next Tuesday, California is slated to reopen its doors following more than a year of pandemic-related restrictions. The state’s reopening system, known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, will dissolve, and businesses and houses of worship will be permitted to open without capacity limits or distancing restrictions.

On this week's Valley Edition: Why one small town in the San Joaquin Valley is a destination for unaccompanied minors crossing the Southern border, and how it’s preparing for an anticipated increase this year. 

Plus, how has the pandemic impacted the Central Valley’s LGBTQ+ community? And a new podcast tells the story of a Stanislaus County defense attorney accused of murder. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above.

 

Kerry Klein / KVPR

In early April, Monterey County and a group of community organizations held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in a school gym in the rural city of Soledad. In a promotional video produced about the event, locals shared what brought them out to get their vaccinations. “I did it to protect my kids,” said Greenfield farm worker Rosa Chavez in Spanish. “My family encouraged me to take the COVID vaccine…and I feel more secure now,” said Soledad resident Maria Ruiz.

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Last August, the state of California introduced a “health equity metric” in its method of evaluating progress in fighting COVID-19. Ostensibly, that meant the state would be grading counties not just on their countywide case rates, positivity rates, testing and (later) vaccine numbers, but also on all of those measures within their most disadvantaged census tracts.

On this week's Valley Edition: Beginning last summer, dozens of Fresno County non-profits came together to fight COVID-19. They’ve been so effective at community outreach, other counties are following their lead.

And, Corcoran is sinking. The local author of an article explaining it in the New York Times tells us why. 

Plus, Fresno State’s new president shares his vision for the university. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above.

On this week's Best of Valley Edition: In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we revisit the story of an immigrant family from Vietnam whose generosity and foresight helped them get through the past year.

Plus, we take a look back at important conversations we’ve had in the past few months about anti-Asian rhetoric and violence during the pandemic, as well as the rise in misinformation and conspiracy theories.  

Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

John Estrada

 

Clovis North High School sophomore John Estrada has qualified for the state science fair four times since middle school. But his project this year, a drought-detecting robot, earned the 16-year-old top honors at the world’s largest science competition, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

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