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On Valley Edition: Chocolate Milk Makeover; Delta Study; Joel Pickford

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Study
San Francisco Estuary Institute-Aquatic Science Center / California Department of Fish and Game
Top, Consumnes River delta. Bottom, Sycamore Slough (south of Woodbridge Road). Both November 8, 2011. (photos by William G. Miller, Cole~Miller Photography)

Chocolate Milk Gets a Big Makeover
Chocolate milk is getting a big remix at schools in Fresno and beyond, as part of a effort to fight childhood obesity. A new formula developed by Producers Dairy for Fresno Unified is getting good reviews from both kids and nutrition experts, thanks to low fat and lower amounts of sugar than before. Nutritionist Sara Bosse also joins us to talk about efforts to improve school breakfast and lunch nutrition, and why 16 percent of kids in Fresno Unified says they've never even tasted traditional milk. 

Delta Study Examines Past to Guide Future
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a critical part of the state, for residents, farmers and the environment. Over 23 million Californians rely on water from the Delta for their households. Thousands of acres of Valley farmland also get their water from the Delta. And the region is also one of the most ecologically sensitive in the state, home to numerous species, including five that are threatened or endangered. For years, efforts to restore the health of the Delta have  been mired in controversy and the courts. They have also largely failed to halt the decline in native fish populations and the overall health of the Delta ecosystem. Part of the reason is that until now, scientists didn’t really know how the Delta really worked before modern levees, farms and cities transformed the landscape. But thanks to a new study, that’s changing. Valley Public Radio’s Joe Moore has this report.  

Mental Health Program Gets Praise, Scrutiny
Since it was enacted in 2004, California’s Proposition 63 has raised over $8 billion by taxing the wealthy. The money was intended to pay for mental health services and prevention programs. But lawmakers have called for an audit after questions were raised about how money from the “millionaires’ tax” is being spent.  Health reporter Pauline Bartolone visited one program in Sacramento County and brings us a special report.

Chanticleer Delights Audiences On 35th Anniversary Tour
For over three decades, the group Chanticleer has brought worldwide audiences a unique blend of music ranging from medieval to pop to original choral works. The San Francisco ensemble has become recognized as one of the premier male choral ensembles in the world, and visits Fresno for a concert at the Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall on Tuesday September 18, 2012, presented by the Fresno Community Chorus. Interim Music Director Jace Wittig joins us to talk about the group's 35th anniversary tour "The Siren's Call" and more.

Photographer Joel Pickford's "Soul Calling"

Credit Heyday Books
Soul Calling, the new book by photographer Joel Pickford

Local photographer Joel Pickford joins us to talk about his new book "Soul Calling: A Photographic Journey Through The Hmong Diaspora. The 256 page hardcover photo collection is the result of a five-year project that took Pickford around the world to document the saga of several thousand new Hmong refugees as they arrived in California from refugee camps in Thailand. Published by Heyday, the book is an intimate look into the world of the Hmong. In this interview, Pickford tells us about the process and inspiration behind this project, and about an upcoming exhibit of his work at the Fresno Art Museum, which opens on Friday, September 28, 2012 from 4:00-7:00 p.m.

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.
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