Fresno

Office of the Governor of California Twitter page

On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in seven California counties, including four in the San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Tulare and Kings. He also recommended bar closures in eight others. Health officials in Kern County, however, say the order was made without consulting them.

 

Fresno Alliance

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department reported 507 positive COVID-19 cases at the county jail on Monday. That’s almost a quarter of the total jail population, but testing has still been limited to one part of the facility. 

The sheriff’s department reported its first cases of the coronavirus on June 19th. That’s when 13 incarcerated people who were being transferred out tested positive for COVID-19. The 13 had been housed in the jail’s north annex. 

Courtesy of Patrick Contreras

This week we spoke to a musician who, like others, lost a lot of work when the pandemic hit: Performances were postponed, or cancelled altogether. Patrick Contreras, a Fresno violinist, started to offer front lawn concerts to make ends meet, and the idea has taken off. He says he’s heard from other musicians across the country, asking how he’s made it work. 

Play On: Beyond Borders

Jun 24, 2020
Dinuk Wijeratne

In this episode of Play On, as we confront a global pandemic, we rediscover our shared humanity by exploring music with a global reach. Our guests include composer Dinuk Wijeratne and pipa virtuoso Wu Man. We’ll listen to work by Wijeratne, Zhao Jiping, and Gabriela Lena Frank. Hear host David Aus talk with Fresno Philharmonic Music Director Rei Hotoda and hear recent archival performances from the orchestra.

On this week's show:

Dinuk Wijeratne, Between Figure and Ground

Gabriela Lena Frank, Escaramuza

Fresno City Council Facebook page

An inflammatory phrase using the n-word was one of many disruptions to a Fresno City Council meeting on June 11, held online via the videoconferencing platform Zoom.

Dympna Ugwu-Oju

For many African-American parents, part of the responsibility of raising a child includes preparing them for the racism and violence they may experience because of the color of their skin. To discuss what it is like to raise a black child in the Valley, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Isaac Sandifer Jr., a retired educator and brigadier general from Bakersfield, Dr. Edythe Stewart, a general surgeon who practices in Merced, Shantay Davies-Balch, CEO of the Black Wellness and Prosperity Center in Fresno, and Dympna Ugwu-Oju, editor of Fresnoland.

Christian Viscarra

Protesters demanded justice Tuesday for a 16-year-old boy who was shot by Fresno police in 2017. More than 50 people gathered at City Hall chanting “Say His Name” and “Don’t Shoot.”  

The protest was in honor of Isiah Murrietta-Golding who was shot in the back of the head by Fresno Police Sgt. Ray Villalvazo. A surveillance video of the incident from a nearby daycare was released in 2019. Protester Dez Martinez says she saw the video.

  

The Fresno County Public Defender's Office held a protest Monday against police brutality and in honor of George Floyd. About a hundred protesters started at the public defender’s office and walked to the Fresno Police Department. 

Organizers said this protest had a specific message for police officers. Camille Slack, a paralegal, said the organization is calling for police to intervene when they see other officers abusing their power.  

Angelo Frazier

Following more than a week of protests over the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, debate continues within the African-American community about how to bring about reform in policing. To learn more about how different generations are responding to this moment, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Pastor Angelo Frazier of the RiverLakes Community Church in Bakersfield, who has been leading prayer vigils in the midst of community protests. She also spoke with Fresno State NAACP Chapter President D’Aungillique Jackson, who organized the protest Sunday in downtown Fresno. 

Kenneth Chacón

This week on The Time of Our Life with Mark Arax Fresno poet Kenneth Chacón reads William Saroyan's "70,000 Assyrians" and discusses the impact of Saroyan on his own work and on our times.

Madi Bolanos

 

More than 3,000 people gathered in downtown Fresno Sunday to protest the murder of George Floyd and other black lives lost to police violence. 

The Fresno State NAACP and other black organizations in Fresno organized the peaceful protest which started in front of City Hall and lasted for about three hours. Student activist Aislyn Brown said she's tired and ready to see a change in the country’s justice system. 

Teenagers are grappling with a lot these days, from having new caretaking roles to figuring out ways to fill the time. FM89’s News Director Alice Daniel spoke with Deshae Lee and Faith Vega. Both are high school seniors in Fresno and interns at a youth organization called Californians for Justice. In the interview, Deshae starts by describing what it’s like to be at home all day with younger siblings. 

Courtesy Brynn Saito

This week on The Time of Our Life, Fresno writer Brynn Saito reads William Saroyan’s The Journey to Hanford and a Saroyan essay on writing. Brynn Saito is a poet and professor in the English Department at Fresno State, and the author of two books of poetry. Together with Nikiko Masumoto, she’s the co-founder of Yonsei Memory Project, which creates inter-generational spaces for ‘memory keeping’ within the Japanese American community and in alliance with other communities and movements for justice and healing.

Courtesy Aris Janigian

This week on The Time of Our Life, Fresno writer Aris Janigian reads William Saroyan's Five Ripe Pears and The Armenian and The Armenian.  With host Mark Arax, Aris discusses Saroyan’s influence on his own work. The author of five novels, Aris Janigian is a writer, academic, and a wine grape packer and shipper. His latest novel is Waiting for Sophia at Shutters on the Beach.

Calwa Recreation and Park District Facebook

As shelter-in-place continues, parks are one outlet for residents to stretch their legs and clear their heads. For the ninth year in a row, however, Fresno’s acreage and investment in parks ranks near the bottom compared to the largest 100 cities in the nation.

Courtesy of Tali Whelan

Tali Whelan is a registered nurse. 

“I have worked the long 12-hour shifts in the past, and so I know how difficult it can be to be on your feet for so long and constantly on the go,” said Whelan. 

She normally works in a dermatology office, but right now, because it’s not busy, she’s on furlough. So she started a one-woman, local chapter of Front Line Appreciation Group, or FLAG.

UCSF Fresno

Near the beginning of the pandemic, we talked to an ER doctor who said the emergency room at Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno felt like “the calm before the storm.” So, more than two months in, what’s it like now? FM89’s Alice Daniel spoke with Dr. Jim Comes, chair of the emergency department at Community Regional Medical Center and chief of emergency medicine at UCSF Fresno.

 

Courtesy Marisol Baca

Our guest this week on The Time of Our Life is Fresno Poet Laureate and Fresno City College instructor Marisol Baca, whose poetry collection Tremor was published by 3 Mile Harbor Press. In this episode, Baca reads William Saroyan's The Hummingbird That Lived Through Winter and The Daring Young Man On the Flying Trapeze, and she and Mark Arax discuss the divergent styles in these two very different Saroyan stories.

 

 

April Imboden knows many places where people who are experiencing homelessness live in Fresno. On this day, she’s parked her car in an alley near Fruit and Dakota. 

“Do you want some pizza? Do you want a piece of pizza?” she yells from her car. 

She has a couple of boxes she’s purchased from Little Caesars, and she’s passing out slices to folks who might be hungry. 

“What’s your name?” she asks one man. “Ronald,” he says. 

ACT for Women and Girls

Mi Familia Vota is an organization that focuses on Census outreach for communities who typically do not fill out the form. Prior to COVID-19, the organization had planned to co-host events with Fresno Barrios Unidos and the Fresno Unified School District. 

That all came to a screeching halt in mid March when shelter-in-place orders took effect. Mi Familia had to come up with new strategies for reaching out.  

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