Fresno

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.  

Courtesy Tanya Nichols

This week on The Time of Our Life, Fresno writer Tanya Nichols reads The Pomegranate Trees, which is part of Saroyan’s collection of short stories My Name Is Aram. Mark Arax and Tanya Nichols discuss themes of agriculture in Saroyan and in her latest novel, Stinger, co-written with Bill McEwen.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

It’s hard enough for any kid to shelter in place. They can't go to school, do team sports, or physically hang out with their friends. But for foster kids already struggling to maintain relationships, social distancing can be even more challenging. 

Renee is 15 years old, loves the “Twilight” series, and wants to be a social worker when she grows up. 

Courtesy Mark Arax

This week on the debut episode of the special series "The Time of Our Life", Mark Arax reads William Saroyan's The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse, originally published in 1940 as part of My Name Is Aram, a collection of short stories by Saroyan. Arax also shares recollections of his interactions with Saroyan, who was a family friend.

Central California Blood Center Facebook

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient as an experimental treatment for those sick with the coronavirus. The treatment is based on the concept that the recovered person now has antibodies to fight the disease.

https://www.reihotoda.com/

Join Valley Public Radio for "Play On" a special program featuring words and music with Fresno Philharmonic Music Director Rei Hotoda and Valley Public Radio's David Aus. 

Mark Arax

As California’s stay-at-home directive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the pace of life has slowed for many. FM 89's Kathleen Schock spoke with journalist and author Mark Arax, who said that now is the perfect time to discover or revisit the work of the Valley’s most famous writer, Willam Saroyan.

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