Interview

Lindsay Fox, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Earlier this week, the state Department of Public Health urged Californians to stop vaping immediately, less than a week after Governor Newsom signed an executive order to curb vaping among youth.

And yet, unlike in many other states, the California legislature has yet to pass a single law related to vaping. In this interview, FM89’s Kerry Klein interviews CalMatters politics reporter Ben Christopher about the status of vaping bills in the legislature and the central role of Merced Assemblyman Adam Gray.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Air quality stole a lot of headlines this week, as the Trump Administration moved to revoke California’s ability to set its own tailpipe emissions standards distinct from those mandated federally by the Environmental Protection Agency. Not only could the move prevent future reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it could also prevent gains in air quality that are much needed in the San Joaquin Valley and California’s other polluted air basins.

Courtesy of Thomas Olsen / Bakersfield Museum of Art

Bakersfield is well known in the arts for its contributions to country music, notably the Bakersfield Sound. But it’s not as well recognized for its architecture. A new exhibit at the Bakersfield Museum of Art may help change that. It’s called Bakersfield Built: Architecture of the 1960s. Several events are being held in conjunction with the show, including a symposium and guided tour of modern homes this Saturday, September 21.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

The Selma City Council wants to change the way people vote for council members by creating districts versus at-large voting. But mapping those districts is a complicated process and community and council members have different ideas on how to make it fair.

The first set of district maps that were shown to the five-member council drew controversy at this week's meeting. 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

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

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno has been under pressure the last few months to release its own list of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse. Although a list hasn’t been released yet, the diocese is rolling out a settlement program for survivors. Some attorneys who represent survivors find it to be strategic and controversial. 

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Over the last 200 days of legislative session, freshman Congressman TJ Cox has brought the House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Raul Grijalva to the San Joaquin Valley for a water tour, co-sponsored Valley Fever legislation, and thrown his support behind a number of Democratic party agenda items. Last weekend, he held an open house at a new district office in Selma. 

 

California High-Speed Rail Authority

This week, California lawmakers began honing in on a plan that would divert money away from high-speed rail, and instead fund transportation projects in major hubs like the Bay Area and Southern California. Los Angeles Times National Correspondent Ralph Vartabedian has been covering the bullet train’s development. He says this plan is a response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that high-speed rail will only cover the San Joaquin Valley. 

 

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

When California adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014, it became the last Western state to regulate its groundwater. If local groundwater agencies fail to submit plans to the state by 2020, the law says state water agencies could take over management of groundwater, a resource that’s critically important to Valley agriculture.

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.

Julie Leopo / EdSource

Skipping school, cutting class, senior ditch day - some consider truancy a part of adolescence. But looking at the data, one reporter found that students in rural regions have a much higher risk of being chronically absent from school, and the reasons aren’t so simple. David Washburn reported on this issue in a two-part series for the online publication, EdSource.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Going to college is hard enough, but what if no one in your family can tell you how to study, help you choose classes, fill out financial aid forms, or even apply in the first place? What if you’re the first in your family to experience this? A federal program called Upward Bound gives first-generation college students that support. 

Alice Daniel / Valley Public Radio

This week, a Japanese-American from Baton Rouge, Louisiana visited Fresno for the first time in 78 years. In 1942, Walter Imahara and his family were ordered to leave their home in Sacramento and come to the Fresno Assembly Center per President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The family was then sent to an internment camp in Arkansas. 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Now, it’s time for the Weekend. We’re going to introduce you to an annual festival, the Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee, that’s equal parts a harvest celebration and a nod to the farmers who tend the trees. It takes place tomorrow, June 29, at the Mokichi Okada Association's Oasis Garden in Clovis.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Last week we brought you a story about high schoolers in Merced asking for a mental health class, and getting one. This week, moderator Kathleen Schock digs deeper into youth and mental illness with Christina Valdez-Roup, executive director of the Fresno National Alliance on Mental Illness, and teacher Abraham Perez from Edison High School. Perez has spent the last two years teaching a mental health class as part of the school’s bio-med career technical education pathway.

Kings Lions Club

It’s time for the Weekend, where we find out what people in the San Joaquin Valley do for fun when they have a little time off. This Saturday evening, the Kings Lions Club is hosting the Kings Brewfest. The annual 21-and-over event brings together commercial and craft breweries in Lemoore to raise money for organizations benefiting Kings County.

Carla Chancellor / Valley Public Radio

 

Welcome to the Weekend, a new segment where we find out what people in the San Joaquin Valley do for fun when they have a little time off. Today we hear from Carla Chancellor. She's a retired teacher who lives in the foothills town of Springville. About eight months ago, she took up ballroom dancing. She liked it so much that she started a “Dancing in the South Valley” Meetup and Facebook page.

Listen to the interview above to learn more.

Alice Daniel / Valley Public Radio

Now that we’ve moved Valley Edition to Friday, it seems like a good time to introduce the news team whose award-winning features help make up the show’s content. Today in our studio, moderator Kathleen Schock talks to reporters Kerry Klein, Laura Tsutsui and Monica Velez about the process of finding and producing accurate and interesting stories.

Listen to the audio above to hear more.

Bureau of Land Management

Fracking has been a hot topic in the San Joaquin Valley ever since the Trump administration released an environmental review about the possibility of expanding hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in Central California. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held three public meetings on the review in late May, one of which occurred May 21 in Bakersfield.

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