Interview

Naveen Alasaad sits at her dining table in her Fresno home catching up on the day with three of her six children. Their conversations are often a mixture of Arabic and English and on this night, the topics range from online school to the pandemic. 

 

Saint Agnes Medical Center

This week, California hit a grim milestone: it now has the highest number of COVID-19 cases of any state in the country, a record perhaps inevitable given that it is also the country’s most populous state. Nonetheless, hospitalizations and ICU rates continue to rise statewide, and here in the San Joaquin Valley, as in the rest of the state, the disease has now infected more than 1 out of every 100 residents. 

Kelly Bearden and Rich Mostert

As businesses throughout the Valley struggle due to COVID-19, many small businesses and entrepreneurs are turning to their local Small Business Development Centers, or SBDCs, for help accessing capital and reimagining their business models. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Rich Mostert, director of the Valley Community SBDC and Kelly Bearden, director of the CSU Bakersfield SBDC, about how small businesses in the Valley are meeting this moment.

Valley Children's Hospital / Kaweah Delta Healthcare District

As hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continue to rise, Valley Children’s Hospital has made a creative offer: It will accept pediatric patients from area hospitals to make way for adults suffering from COVID-19. This COVID update for the week of July 13-17 features excerpts from a conversation with David Christensen, Chief Physician Executive of Valley Children’s Hospital.

Fresno County Behavioral Health Department

 

In June, 17 people in Fresno County died by suicide, a number that the Fresno County Behavioral Health Department revealed is the highest of any month since at least 2017. It’s made all the more stark by the fact that early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, suicides had dropped significantly.

Bakersfield’s South High School has had a Confederate rebel for its mascot since 1957. Principal Connie Grumling told KVPR she’s now forming a committee of students, staff and alumni to consider replacing it. The rebel’s look has changed slightly since the 1980s. That's when school spirit was steeped in Confederate imagery - including Jody and Johnny Rebel yell leaders - and we wondered what that was like for Black students.

Radio Bilingue

Radio Bilingue, a Latinx public radio station that started in Fresno in the 1970s, has grown into a network of 24 stations and more than 75 affiliates that reach more than a half million listeners each week. FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with its co-founder Hugo Morales, who recently received the National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. 

Kerry Klein

The COVID-19 caseload continues to climb across the West, and in recent press calls, health officials in both Fresno and Kern Counties have expressed concern about the ability of hospitals to keep up with rising healthcare needs and potential surges.

Patrick Macmillan

Palliative care improves the quality of life for patients facing serious illnesses and these days, that includes COVID-19. FM89’s News Director Alice Daniel spoke with Dr. Patrick Macmillan, the chief of Palliative Medicine at UCSF Fresno, about what his work is like right now and how he uses music to cope with stress. She produced this audio postcard.

Gavin Newsom Facebook page

In the past week, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars, restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses to close their indoor operations in 19 California counties—five of which are here in the San Joaquin Valley. But as we’ve learned with this rapidly-evolving situation, that’s not all that’s changed in the last week. For a closer look at what’s been happening in our seven-county coverage area of the Valley, we bring you this update for the week of June 26-July 3, 2020.

Fresno County Department of Public Health

California was one of many states to set a record this week for the number of new cases reported in a single day. For a closer look at what’s been happening in our seven-county coverage area of the San Joaquin Valley, we bring you this update for the week of June 19-26, 2020. Meanwhile, you can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

The outlook

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. 

Every Neighborhood Partnership Facebook

When COVID-19 struck, Every Neighborhood Partnership teamed up with local agencies in the Valley to expand food distribution, provide access to diapers and formula, and help struggling families make ends meet. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with the Fresno-based organization’s executive director, Artie Padilla, about his approach to community service. He says he focuses on what’s working in a community, rather than on what is broken.

Families United to End Life Without Parole

Although businesses are reopening, reports of new cases of COVID-19 are still on the rise throughout the San Joaquin Valley. You can find up-to-date information for your county here. Below is an update for the week of June 15-19, 2020.

The outlook

California Department of Public Health

As of Thursday, June 11, 20 San Joaquin Valley residents had died of COVID-19 in the past week, bringing the total to 217 fatalities out of 10,304 total cases. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock talks with health reporter Kerry Klein about where these cases are occurring.

For a COVID-19 snapshot in the Valley, check for our daily updates here.

Estevan Parra

June is Pride month, but this year the worldwide event will largely be celebrated virtually in light of COVID-19. To learn more about the impact of the pandemic on the LGBTQ community, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke to Estavan Parra, the LGBTQ and gender coordinator for the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State.

The Equal Justice Society

Racism in America can take on many different forms, and the nuance between things like overt and covert racism can make discrimination much more difficult to see, discuss and ultimately address. To learn more about this topic, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Chris Bridges from The Equal Justice Society. He is an Oakland-based attorney who also leads trainings on implicit bias.

Kern County Public Health Facebook page

As protests continue across the country, let’s not forget there’s still a pandemic in our midst. As of publication, 194 people across the San Joaquin Valley and foothills have died due to COVID-19 out of more than 8,000 known cases of the disease.

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. 

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. 

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