Woodlake

 

May 1 is College Signing Day for many students, although some universities have extended their deadlines. Valley Public Radio’s news director Alice Daniel spoke with three seniors from the farming town of Woodlake about what it’s like to make such an important decision during a pandemic. Selina Lopez-Curiel, Rogelio Chavez and Daniela Frausto-Santoyo are seniors at Woodlake High School; all three will be first-generation college students in the fall. Listen to their audio postcards above.

 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

In January 2018, the Tulare County City of Woodlake became home to the San Joaquin Valley’s first-ever recreational marijuana dispensary. Two other businesses, a large-scale cultivator and extract manufacturer, opened in 2019.

As of early 2020, the city’s tax revenue generated by the industry topped $800,000—far more than the $20,000 per month originally projected. In this interview, FM89’s Kerry Klein sat down with Woodlake Community Development Director Jason Waters to learn about what the windfall has meant for the city and what’s in store for Woodlake cannabis in 2020.

Alice Daniel / KVPR

   

Ashlee Arteaga squats down near the pale pink blooms. I’m cutting all the roses that are already dead,” she says. The 11-year-old  navigates her clippers swiftly along the thorny stems.  “I’ve done this a lot of times,” she adds with a bit of authority in her voice.  

There are 4000 rose bushes, and 250 varieties, to care for here at the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden. That’s not to mention zinnias, wisteria, hibiscus, sunflowers, lavender and ornamental peppers: one called Medusa starts out yellow, then turns orange, then red.

Courtesy Amanda Renteria For Congress

Residents in the San Joaquin Valley already know the name Amanda Renteria. Now the rest of the state is about to get acquainted with the Woodlake native and former national political director for the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. Last week she formally launched her campaign for California governor in a move that puzzled many political observers. After all the June primary is just a few months away, and Renteria needs to build an organization, raise funds, and most importantly get name recognition statewide in a very short timeframe.