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On Valley Edition: Valley Fever 'Epidemic'; Inner City Unemployment; Sierra Art Trails

Valley Public Radio

On this Valley Edition, host Juanita Stevenson examines the recent surge in the number of cases of valley fever in the Central Valley, talks about solutions to the problem of inner city unemployment, and looks ahead to the upcoming events of the Sierra Art Trails program in the foothills of central California. 

Credit Designed by ReportingonHealth.org graphic artist, Claudia Delgado

Segment 1: Valley Fever
Despite having a devastating impact on thousands, the disease known as valley fever is largely overlooked. While other diseases like hantavirus and West Nile virus get massive amounts of media and government attention, an "epidemic" of valley fever has been quietly developing across the American Southwest, including here in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Over 150,000 people are sickened each year by the fungus that causes Valley Fever, and around 100 die of the disease.

On this segment of Valley Edition, we talk to journalist Rebecca Plevin of the bilingual newspaper Vida en el Valle about the new project "Just One Breath" from the Reporting on Health Collaborative, which aims to bring greater attention to valley fever research. We will also find out why cases have spiked in recent years, and what is being done to address its sometimes devastating consequences of the disease by talking with John N. Galgiani, MD,  director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona, and Kirt Emery, health assessment and epidemiology program manager with the Kern County Public Health Services Department.  We'll also hear your stories, and those of other valley residents who have suffered with the disease.

Segment 2: Urban Unempolyment
According to the Labor Center at UC Berkeley, unemployment among African Americans in California is currently at 14.1 percent. What can be done to bring jobs to African American communities, and how are minority owned businesses weathering these tough economic times? Tate Hill, President of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce joins us to talk about these issues and more, and host Juanita Stevenson brings us a special report about urban unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley.

Segment 3: Sierra Art Trails 
The foothills of Mariposa and eastern Madera counties will come alive this fall with the 10th annual Sierra Art Trails event. The show takes place in homes, studios, galleries, and businesses in more than a dozen communities, and gives art enthusiasts the chance to see fine art in the making, and to purchase works directly from the people who create them. The show features artists and artisans working in a wide range of media including painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, fiber arts, woodcarving, ceramics, glass, and more. Gloria Garland joins us to talk more about this exciting event, which begins with a gala reception September 15th and the open studio tour October 5th through 7th. 

Juanita Stevenson has lived and worked in Fresno for the past 24 years. She is perhaps best known to Valley residents as a longtime reporter and news anchor with local television station ABC30, and has also worked at stations KJWL, KYNO and ValleyPBS. She is the recipient of the 2001 Associated Press Award for Best Reporting, and the 1997 Radio & Television News Directors Association Regional Edward R. Murrow award for Best Reporting.