Interview

In The Studio: Making College Work After Foster Care

Dec 13, 2019
Courtesy of Guardian Scholars

Many students struggle to transition from high school to college, but that challenge is intensified for students coming out of the foster care system. At UC Merced, the Guardian Scholars program provides resources for these students that allow them to reach graduation at rates approaching the general student body. FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Guardian Scholars Program Coordinator Edith Ramirez, as well as two UC Merced students who have benefited from the program’s support – Michael Grey and Alyssa Garcia.

Roque Rodriguez

And now for the Weekend, it’s time for Fresno’s Annual Swede Fest where amateurs and sometimes expert filmmakers take scenes from their favorite movies and remake them with friends and family using lots of household props. We hear from one of the founders, Roque Rodriquez.

 

We’ve told you about a podcast we’re hoping to roll out sometime next year called The Other California. It will take a more intimate look at the part of the state where we live, the area that is often considered fly-over or drive-through territory. The phrase comes from a book of essays on the Central Valley by the well-known author and Oildale native Gerald Haslam. I recently caught up with Haslam to find out why he called the book, The Other California: The Great Central Valley in Life and Letters.

Alice Daniel / KVPR

Students at Terronez Middle School joined us for a conversation about the Hmong New Year celebration taking place at their school Friday, Dec. 6 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. The event includes dancing, singing, games and lots of food.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

For many families that celebrate Christmas, picking out a tree is tradition. This year, families in the San Joaquin Valley can head into the Sierra Nevada mountains to pick the perfect pine, spruce or fir. For our Weekend Segment, we spoke to Denise Alonzo about how to get a permit to cut your own tree. She’s the public affairs officer in Springville with the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

In The Studio: Farming In The Age Of Climate Change

Nov 22, 2019
Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The unseasonably warm and dry fall we are experiencing in the San Joaquin Valley is a reminder of the changing climate, here and around the world. In the studio, moderator Kathleen Schock explores how climate change is affecting the region’s top industry: agriculture. Her guests are Renata Brillinger who is Executive Director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network, Dr. Tapan Pathak from UC Merced, Ruth Dahlquist-Willard who is an Advisor with the UC Small Farm Program, and grape and raisin farmer Steven Cardoza.

Alice Daniel / KVPR

At a press conference following the mass shooting that killed four and wounded six others in Southeast Fresno, Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall announced he had created an Asian gang task force, despite no definitive evidence the shooting was gang-related. Many members of Southeast Asian communities have since questioned why the police made the implicit association without definitive proof, and some worry it perpetuates stereotypes from which they’ve long sought to distance themselves.

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders sat down for a brief interview with Valley Public Radio before he addressed a large crowd outdoors at Fresno City College Friday.  He  spoke with News Director Alice Daniel and FM89s Kathleen Schock about climate change and the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, which aims to transform public housing into energy efficient homes. He also addressed DACA, education reform, unsafe drinking water and air pollution in the Valley.

Jason Pohl / Sacramento Bee

Since 2014, Kern County sheriffs have been putting more inmates into isolating suicide watch cells. The effort is to reduce suicide risk, but it hasn’t helped.

Instead, deaths by suicide have risen, although these deaths did not happen to inmates who were in suicide watch jails. Those who have died by suicide were not identified as having a suicide risk.

Faith in the Valley

Thousands of people in Fresno County are evicted from their homes every year.

U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons

For this segment of The Weekend, we’re taking you to the Mojave Desert – specifically to the Kern County City of Ridgecrest, which boasts the western hemisphere’s largest collection of Native American Petroglyphs.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Next week, the Youth Leadership Institute’s policy journal, Calafia, hits the newsstands. Youth Leadership Institute is an organization with offices across the state where staff work to empower youth and help them shape policy and create media. The annual journal is produced by fellows, one from each office. This year’s journal takes the shape of a magazine about intersectional feminism with pieces written, photographed and designed by the young women on the editorial board.

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno Bee has served the Valley for nearly a hundred years, but like so many newspapers across the country, it has lost revenue along with dozens of reporters in the past decade. Now, the paper is trying a different approach to serve and inform its public. Inspired by a similar project out of the Seattle Times, the Bee is building an Education Lab. The way the Bee is funding the project is also pretty nontraditional: with private, non-profit funding. 

 

John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources

We in California are depleting our groundwater aquifers faster than we can replenish them. Over the last few decades in the San Joaquin Valley, that deficit has averaged close to two million acre-feet per year, a total that was exacerbated by drought conditions that may become more common as the climate continues to change.

To help reduce this deficit, state lawmakers and Governor Brown in 2014 passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, which aims to overhaul the way growers, cities and other water users manage the resource.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

And for the weekend, let’s take a look at a recent aquisition at the Fresno Art Museum: Just added to FAM’s permanent collection is a piece from Fresno native Darren Waterson. He now lives and works in New York City, but he got his early art education at the museum. The new piece is called “LAST DAYS (Gabriel)”. 

Listen to the interview above to hear Waterston describe the painting, and where the Central Valley fits among his work.

 

KERN COUNTY HOMELESS COLLABORATIVE FACES OF HOMELESSNESS FACEBOOK PAGE

A statewide survey conducted last month by the Public Policy Institute of California found most Californians see homelessness as a top issue for the state, but how counties are choosing to tackle it differs widely. In Kern County, officials are considering jailing homeless people for misdemeanor drug offenses. To go into effect, the proposal needs funding approval from the Bakersfield City Council.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When we talk about climate change and greenhouse gases in California, it’s tough to ignore the dairy industry: State data estimate dairies to be responsible for about 3 percent of the state’s annual greenhouse gas emissions – mostly due to burping cows and fermenting manure. Although the industry has already made some reductions to its emissions, a recent state law requires the industry to reduce its methane footprint even further over the next decade.

Valley PBS

You’ve likely seen the green California sticker with the words “My Job Depends on Ag” on cars, trucks and tractors around the Valley. Behind that slogan is a Facebook community of farmers and agricultural-enthusiasts. The movement has since inspired a television show.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

In the past, when government agencies and the media requested court records from the Kern County Superior Court, they could typically access them for free.

Last month, however, that changed, due in part to a rising number of incoming record requests. According to some sources, rising court fees are becoming a national trend. In this interview, Valley Public Radio reporter Monica Velez breaks down the new policy to explain what’s changed, why it matters, and whether it has the potential to violate constitutional rights.

Count Basie Orchestra

Making audiences feel good: That’s the goal of the Count Basie Orchestra, which formed nearly 85 years ago under the leadership of celebrated jazz musician and composer Count Basie. The group will be performing what it’s dubbed “explosive jazz” at the Visalia Fox Theater on October 11 and the Bakersfield Fox Theatre on October 12. In this interview, FM89’s David Aus previews the concerts with director Scotty Barnhart, getting a taste of what makes the group’s sound unique and what audiences can expect next week.

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