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On Valley Edition: Fresno's Finances; Obesity & Soda; Eco-Friendly Art & Art Américas

City of Fresno
Fresno City Manager Mark Scott (file photo)

On this week’s Valley Edition, host Juanita Stevenson takes a look into whether a tax to pay for public safety is right for the City of Fresno. Stevenson begins with a report from the South Valley discussing the City of Visalia’s decision to implement a public safety tax and whether Fresno should follow suit.

Joining a conversation about a possible public safety tax and the state of Fresno’s finances are Fresno City Manager Mark Scott and Fresno Bee Editorial Page Editor Bill McEwen.  

The second segment of this week’s show explores the idea that soda consumption causes obesity. The conversation stems from a new Field Poll highlighting that a majority of California voters – with record numbers of ethnic voters – support taxing sugar-sweetened beverages if those taxes are used for school nutrition and physical education programs. We question Genoveva Islas-Hooker, the regional program director for the Central California Regional Obesity Program and Harold Goldstein, the Executive Producer of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, about the state of obesity in the region and at the statewide level.

We close our program with a conversation surrounding a trio of eco-friendly art exhibits titled “The Green Project” at Arte Américas in downtown Fresno. Ken and Melanie Light, the photographer and writer behind the photography series “Valley of Shadows and Dreams,” discuss their 31-black-and-white photo compilation portraying the couple’s five-year journey through the Central Valley, agriculture and the marginalization of its people. Frank Delgado, program director of Arte Américas, also chimes in.

An artist’s reception for Ken and Melanie Light will be held Sunday February 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Arte Américas 1630 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. For more information call (559) 266-2623  

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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