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

Syrian American Medical Society

Ever since the Arab Spring in 2011, the Middle Eastern country of Syria has been in a near-constant state of civil war. As a result, residents there rely heavily on aid workers from non-governmental organizations for medical care. And the president of one of those NGOs, the Syrian American Medical Society, lives right here in Fresno.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

In Fresno County, around 10 percent of all babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation. That’s higher than the national average, and the highest of all California counties. For African-Americans, the numbers are even more concerning: From 2013 to 2015, black babies were 63 percent more likely to be born premature than white babies. But a new program in Fresno is trying to bring those numbers down by teaching women not just about health, but also about leadership and advocacy.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Wherever you live in the Valley, whether it’s Hanford or Tehachapi or Merced, we all have to contend with the flu season. It’s already claimed one life in Kern County.

Last year, the CDC estimates the flu killed 80,000 Americans. That puts influenza among the top 10 deadliest conditions in the U.S, along with cancers, heart disease and diabetes. But although there’s an easy way to reduce the risk of flu—the flu shot—around 60 percent of Americans elect not to get it.

On the next Valley Edition: When you think brain drain, do you think...Hanford? A recent Bloomberg article said this small farming town is at the top of the list. We head to Kings County to find out what’s really going on in terms of education and opportunity.

We also learn about a new program to fight domestic violence in the Valley, and visit a flu shot clinic to determine what’s fact and what’s fiction about this effective but highly polarizing vaccine.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When you think of Instagram celebrities, the Kardashians and performers like Beyonce probably come to mind. But with the Instagram handle @PhysicsFun, one of Fresno’s own scientists recently reached a million followers. He has almost as many as the astronaut Scott Kelly, and even more than celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

It’s the week after Thanksgiving -- a time to fill up on leftovers, so to speak. On today’s show, we’re going to look inside our proverbial fridge and pull out some of our favorite stories from this year. You’ve heard of Mr. Potato Head? One of our features places him front and center.  We also revisit a woman who has run into new roadblocks seeking asylum in the U.S.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

After tearing through nearly 250,000 acres in Northern and Southern California, the devastating Camp and Woolsey Fires are creeping toward full containment. But their destruction may not be over: They’ve so far killed 82 people, with hundreds still missing; and though they’ve destroyed over 14,000 homes, just as many are still being threatened.

On today’s show, we look at how the San Joaquin Valley’s cultural diversity has influenced Thanksgiving traditions--and food. We also speak with a humanics professor about how to incorporate more giving into our lives. And, as wildfires force tens of thousands of Californians to face Thanksgiving without their homes or loved ones, we learn about the risk of wildfire in our part of Central California. We also hear from local companies looking to invest in social good.

On this week’s Valley Edition, we explore the consequences of last week’s elections, including embattled Measure P, a sales tax that would have improved Fresno’s depleted park system but was voted down. We also look inside Tulare Regional Medical Center, which is open again after a year of licking its wounds and trying to move beyond its scandalous past. Later, we honor Veterans Day by hearing from residents of a veterans home in Fresno.  Listen to the audio above to hear that and more.

 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

About a month ago, in mid-October, Tulare Regional Medical Center was in the middle of a makeover. In less than a week, it was due to reopen, after closing abruptly a year earlier due to mismanagement. New pavement was still drying and workers in forklifts were painting the whole building a uniform beige.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When it comes to the state legislature, November's elections contained only a handful of surprises, but one of the few occurred right here in the San Joaquin Valley: Sanger City Councilmember Melissa Hurtado will be the next State Senator to govern District 14, which encompasses parts of Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern Counties. She beat out Republican Andy Vidak by 8 percentage points, in what will likely be the only State Senate race in which a challenger unseated an incumbent.

Jimmy Chin / National Geographic

In June of 2017, a young rock climber named Alex Honnold broke a world record in Yosemite National Park, becoming the first person ever to free solo the iconic granite wall towering over Yosemite Valley. He climbed all 3,200 feet of El Capitan without a partner and without any ropes or safety gear, in a nail-biting three hours and 56 minutes.

Coming up next on Valley Edition: Valley Public Radio is celebrating 40 years on the air! We meet one of the station’s co-founders, Von Johnson. Also, Attorney General Xavier Becerra was in Fresno to speak out against a proposed plan from the EPA. We hear from air district officials and air quality advocates about the proposed SAFE Rule. And later, two takes on Southwest Fresno: How the Running Horse Golf Course let down the community, and how a new college campus could shape its future. You can hear that and more on Valley Edition.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

As we approach the midterm elections, we wanted to examine the health platforms of some of California’s highest profile candidates: The two men running for governor. There’s Gavin Newsom, currently the state’s Democratic lieutenant governor and the former mayor of San Francisco, who’s favored to win the election. Then there’s Republican John Cox, a businessman and former presidential candidate in southern California. What health goals are they making, and how likely are they to keep their promises?

Flickr User United Workers, License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Before we look ahead to the midterm elections, we’re taking a quick look back at some health care legislation passed at the end of the legislative session in September: Specifically, a campaign known as Care4All, aimed at universal health coverage that’s more affordable and accountable. Of around two dozen Care4All bills and budget items introduced earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown ultimately signed eight into law.

Flickr user Jeff Turner, CC BY 2.0

You know how newer cars are rated to drive a certain number of miles per gallon of fuel? That number is regulated by the federal government. Since 1978, the U.S. has required that cars achieve steadily better fuel economy. Earlier this year, however, the Trump Administration announced a new rule that would revoke some fuel economy standards set by the Obama administration. And a recent hearing in Fresno showed just how contentious the rule is.

Pam Johnson

Forty years ago this week, Valley Public Radio went on the air thanks to a few industrious twenty-somethings. One of them – now an audio consultant for the Netflix series BoJack Horseman – dropped by recently to see how far Valley Public Radio has come.

 

We caught up with Von Johnson to ask about the early days of the station. Listen to the audio to hear more.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When Jennine Ochoa became pregnant at the end of 2017, she didn’t know what to expect. At 42, she’d waited longer than most women to start a family. But she said her first five months were easy. “I had no morning sickness, nothing,” she said. “It was completely uneventful until May.”

That’s when a dust storm rolled over her home in rural Tulare County in California’s arid San Joaquin Valley. “A week later I started coughing really bad,” she said. “The hardest I've ever coughed in my life, to the point where I was vomiting.” In just one week she said she lost 10 pounds.

Coming up next on Valley Edition: Overcoming valley fever can be tough enough, but what if you get it while you’re pregnant? It affects a small but concerning demographic. Also, arsenic is in our groundwater, and some studies say it could get more concentrated over time. Water experts from across the state are gathering in Fresno this week to discuss it. Earlier this year, Kern County was sued over its county supervisor districts. Will the same thing happen in Tulare County? We explore what redistricting could mean for Latino voters.

California Health Care Foundation

When it comes to addictive substances, opioids like heroin and fentanyl have in recent years been dominating headlines around the country. And rightly so: Nationally, the number of opioid overdose deaths more than quadrupled from 2000 to 2016. But as concerning and dangerous as opioids are, we shouldn’t forget about another addictive substance that’s long been known to disrupt lives: Alcohol.

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