Trump administration

County of Kern Facebook page

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited Kern County on Monday for a roundtable with local industry leaders and business owners to discuss COVID-19. Amidst messages of hope and progress, Adams delivered a caution about reopening too early and doubled down on mask wearing.

 

During a press event after the roundtable, the Surgeon General shared his concerns about the public health and mental health concerns related to the virus and the vulnerability of communities of color to the disease, as well as the need to reopen the economy.

 

Flickr User Michael Patrick, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Farmers across the country have had a tough few years, between drought and climate change, evolving regulations, and of course, tariffs due to the Trump administration’s escalating trade war abroad. In one big way, however, 2019 was a good year for agriculture: Farmers received their largest subsidies in over a decade.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

University of California President Janet Napolitano addressed the Supreme Court’s upcoming arguments about the future of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Friday in Fresno at the Economic Summit. 

 

“The stakes are high if the Supreme Court were to accept the Trump Administration's opinion,” she told reporters. “That would mean that DACA could go away and DACA students then would be at risk and living with the fear of being subject to deportation at any time.”

 

Flickr user Jeff Turner, CC BY 2.0

On Thursday, the Trump administration revoked California’s authority to set its own rules on tailpipe emissions.

The reversal of California’s nearly-50-year-old waiver means the state won’t be able to push auto makers faster than the federal government can to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that come out of cars. The decision came just a day before students and activists took to the streets in cities across the world – including Fresno – as part of the Global Climate Strike.

Monica Velez

Vicki Cham stands at the front of a large multi-purpose room at Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries, or FIRM. Half a dozen students sit in two rows close to the whiteboard taking notes.

 

Cham, an instructor for citizenship classes, shuffles through her packet of 100 citizenship questions and then goes around the room calling on each person.  

 

"Why does the flag have fifty stars?" Cham asks. “What are the two major political parties in the United States?”

George Self / CC BY-NC 4.0

A man from El Salvador, who’s married to a U.S. citizen, was supposed to have an important immigration hearing in early January. He was set to get his green card. He and his wife were thrilled.

 

“And it didn’t happen because the government shut down or at least partially shut down,” says Camille Cook, the man's Fresno-based immigration attorney.

 

The government has been partially shut down since December 22. Immigration courts have been closed and thousands of cases have been cancelled.

 

Monica Velez

Over the weekend, LGBTQ advocates rallied in Fresno in response to a leaked memo from the Trump Administration that would narrow the definition of gender.

 

The New York Times broke the story last week. According to the memo, gender would be determined by the genitals people are born with and limited to male and female.

 

Monica Velez

Terri Pedraza is assembling bags of food for children to bring home for the weekend. She’s a volunteer at Food Link for Tulare County. But, she says, kids don’t just go hungry on the weekends.

She knows because her own son always asks to bring extra burritos in his school lunch for his friends.

 

"My burritos went from three, six to a dozen," Pedraza says.

 

Nicole Celaya, the community food system director at Food Link, says they "run across this all the time."

 

PICO California

Ever since President Trump came into office, we at Valley Public Radio have been reporting on his administration’s changes to federal immigration policy—like its so-called “zero tolerance policy” of prosecuting asylum applicants as well as rollbacks on temporary protected status from certain countries—and their consequences on San Joaquin Valley residents and businesses.

San Joaquin River Restoration Program

California is often at odds with the Trump administration, and the latest battleground could be in the issue of managing the state's precious water supply. At the same time the state's water board is considering major cuts to water sent to farms and cities, the Trump administration is taking its own actions. Last week the Trump administration served notice that it wants to renegotiate a 32-year-old agreement that governs how the state and federal projects operate and cooperate.

Monica Velez

About eight years ago Mirsa Urias was working at a restaurant in Bakersfield. She was the only person working up front and says it was business as usual until one man entered.

“He pointed a gun at me and said I had to give him money," the 30-year-old says in Spanish. "I gave him money and he went running out of the store and threatened me before that. He said if I didn’t give him the money he would shoot me.”

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Last week the Trump Administration proposed a set of major changes to the Endangered Species Act. It’s a big issue here in California, where protected species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and in the Sierra have set off new efforts to protect critical habitat. Of course those measures have also proven to be controversial in many areas.

California Citrus Mutual

In response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese steel, the Chinese government over the weekend announced tariffs on many American products.

The list of 128 items with new tariffs includes almonds, oranges, grapes and dozens of other crops, which could threaten hundreds of millions of dollars in annual exports out of the San Joaquin Valley. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed an effort to cut the size of Giant Sequoia National Monument by over 70 percent. The proposal to shrink the monument came from Supervisor Steve Worthley, who used to work in the timber industry. He says the Forest Service isn’t doing a good job managing the monument, increasing the risk of wildfire.

“Leaving it as a national monument will only make it that much more difficult to engage in active management which is what is necessary,” said Worthley.

Lee Brand / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand took office a little less than 30 days ago, and it’s been an eventful first month. Last week he unveiled his plan to tackle one of the city’s biggest issues – substandard rental housing - conditions that in many cases are unsafe and unhealthy. The plan, which includes a baseline inspection of the city’s existing rental apartments and homes, is one of the biggest changes in years in the way city hall works. It’s also the first big test of Brand’s new administration and his relationship with the city council as it goes up for a vote on Thursday.