Fresno

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

At about 10 a.m. Aaron Foster heads to Ivy and Lorena streets in southwest Fresno. In his pickup truck, he goes around neighborhoods in this area every day, or what he calls “hitting the loop.”

 

“This is just the hood, we call it the block,” he said. “Every neighborhood got a block. This is the southwest Fresno that no one sees. The poverty is obvious.”

 

He does this to “sustain the peace” and to prevent shootings from happening.  

 

Kaiser Permanente Fresno

The San Joaquin Valley’s largest city will soon be home to a new nursing program.

Through a program offered by Samuel Merritt University in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Fresno, registered nurses will be able to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing. Although the private health sciences university is located in Oakland, students would be based entirely in Fresno. Each cohort of 24 nurses would continue working while taking part-time classes at a university building at Cedar and Herndon.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Dennis Hutson’s rows of alfalfa, melons, okra and black-eyed peas are an oasis of green in the dry terrain of Allensworth, an unincorporated community in rural Tulare County. Hutson, currently cultivating on 60 acres, has a vision for many more fields bustling with jobs. “This community will forever be impoverished and viewed by the county as a hamlet,” he says, “unless something happens that can create an economic base. That's what I'm trying to do.”

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

This year, the Tower Theatre in Fresno turns 80 years old. The theatre’s iconic marquee and tower have flashed fluorescent pink and purple since it opened in 1939. 

“The Memorial Auditorium was built then, and so the Tower Theatre was really the very last of those big, glorious, neon-lit theaters,” says Elizabeth Laval, President of the Fresno Historical Society. 

She says one of the theatre’s developers was A. Emory Wishon, who worked for the utility company San Joaquin Light and Power.

On this week’s Valley Edition: The dairy industry has been called upon to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions - and thanks to a technology called methane digesters, it’s looking like it will get there. 

We also visit one company that’s keeping the tradition of neon alive in the Valley, one fluorescent tube at a time.

Plus: We look into Kern County’s rising fees to access court documents, and we speak with a handful of the Valley’s youngest politicians about why they chose to run for office in their early twenties.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Local leaders gathered in Southwest Fresno Tuesday for the groundbreaking of the city’s newest community garden and first project funded by the Transformative Climate Communities grant

The Yosemite Village Permaculture Urban Farm and Community Garden is right next to the Yosemite Village Apartments, but locals have a shorthand: Yo’Ville.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

Presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will no longer be coming through the Central Valley this week. His campaign reported this morning that he experienced chest discomfort during a campaign event in Nevada and has had heart stents inserted to address an artery blockage.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

Update: On Wednesday, October 2, Bernie Sanders' campaign cancelled his visits to the Central Valley due to health concerns.

On this week’s Valley Edition: What does a 16th century Albanian village in Italy have to do with one of the longest running religious celebrations in the Valley? We find out at the annual St. Elia celebration in West Fresno.

 

We also hear how a scientific study on emotional support helped Valley women get through breast cancer - and may help reduce health disparities among ethnic groups.

Later, we explore the politics of homelessness, and why Sacramento hasn’t been tougher on vaping. 

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Fresno will join more than 40 other cities across the country in a legal brief that supports three Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals cases going before the Supreme Court in November. 

 

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to be listed in the Amicus brief that supports the plaintiffs in the DACA cases. Gary Bredefeld was the only council member to vote against the resolution and argued the program isn’t legal because it was created by executive order, instead of Congress. 

 

Diana Oliva

This year, the Reel Pride Film Festival is celebrating its 30th year in Fresno. It’s the sixth largest and sixth longest running LGBTQ film festival in the country. 

"Year 30 is extremely important because it shows the perseverance and persistence of our community,” said Kathleen Arambula Reyna, the director and board president of Reel Pride.

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

After months of community meetings and a nationwide search, city officials said today that the next man to lead Fresno's police department already works there. Protesters outside the press conference said the city’s efforts to include citizen input seem disingenuous.

Inside the City Hall Annex, Jerry Dyer’s successor as police chief was announced as Deputy Chief Andy Hall. He’s a veteran officer with more than 40 years in the department.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

For the Weekend, we’re bringing you poetry from writer, poet, and Fresno State professor Brynn Saito.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

The California Public Utilities Commission is holding forums around the state to get feedback from Pacific Gas & Electric customers about the company’s proposed rate hike. It’s a process most utilities undergo every three years.  

PG&E is asking its regulator, the CPUC, to approve a rate increase that would add a billion dollars to the company’s revenue in 2020. The utility says the increase is to cover operating costs and to fund a wildfire safety program. 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Across Fresno and Madera Counties, about 2,600 kids are currently in foster care. Although foster parents, attorneys, social workers and judges work together to move cases through the court system, some needs fall through the cracks. An organization called CASA connects foster youth with volunteers to try to make sure that doesn't happen. The volunteers are also known as CASAs, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. But the organization argues there aren’t nearly enough volunteers to fill the need.

 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

In early July, a downtown Fresno non-profit called Common Space teamed up with local health organizations to run a mobile clinic designed specifically for LGBTQ+ individuals – a community that’s at elevated risk for HIV, mental health problems and suicide. Patients could gain access to specialized care such as hormone replacement therapy and training for how to self-administer injections, but providers also offered HIV testing and basic preventive screenings.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

A Japanese American man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana visited Fresno for the first time in 78 years Tuesday to see where he and his parents had to report in 1942 after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066.

Walter Imahara was 4 years old at the time. The now-Fresno Fairgrounds was formerly the Fresno Assembly Center. It’s where Japanese Americans from around the state arrived before being transported to internment camps. 

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

The female, Latinx co-founder of Bitwise Industries says the company’s recent $27 million funding milestone means it can train more people in underserved communities, and expand south. But amidst the optimism in Bakersfield, there’s also some ambivalence.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition:  Why is it so difficult to find childcare in the Valley? One university looks to high school students as part of the solution.

Sometimes it’s hard to find good healthcare too, especially if you’re living in a rural area. We look at one local hospital’s efforts to increase rural access to doctors. We also talk about what it means that Fresno State’s nursing master’s program just lost its accreditation. And we catch up with three Valley teenagers lobbying their representatives in Washington, D.C. for climate change reform.

Pages