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On Valley Edition: Water; Fracking; Valley Fever; Restorative Justice; Honey Festival

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This week on Valley Edition we explore issues that may impact the region as a whole. Our reporting team tackles regional issues that include advocacy for potable water in rural communities, hydraulic fracking and restorative justice in Valley schools. As well as a festival celebrating honey in the region.

Earlier this year the California  water board drafted recommendations to address nitrate pollution in groundwater and presented them to the legislature. One of the main recommendations is to create a new funding source to provide safe drinking water to poor, disadvantaged communities. Now, growers, affected community members, and legislators are debating where that funding should come from. FM 89’s Rebecca Plevin has the story.

Also on the show, could California be on the verge of a new gold rush? That’s the finding of a new study from USC about petroleum deposits that lie deep beneath the Central Valley known as the Monterey Shale. But extracting that oil isn’t easy, and it would require the use of a number of advanced techniques, including hydraulic fracturing.  And that’s attracted concerns from environmental groups and state regulators. Valley Public Radio’s Joe Moore reports on some recent developments in the fracking debate.

Joe Moore also reports on the dramatic rise in cases of Valley Fever in recent years and how that is causing big problems in California’s prison system. Moore reports on why the federal office that runs health care in the state’s prisons is ordering some prisoners out of the valley.

The first talk segment of the show focuses on Fresno Unified School District’s new approach to discipline known as restorative justice. Valley Edition Host Juanita Stevenson discusses the topic with Ambra Dorsey, the Executive Director of the Dept. of Prevention & Intervention for Fresno Unified.

We end the program with a conversation about a Valley staple: honey. Felix Muzquiz, the executive director of the Vineyard Farmers Market Association in Fresno, talks with host Juanita Stevenson about the significance of honey bees in the region and about a honey festival that will take place Saturday, May 4 form 10 AM to 12 PM at a local farmers market.

For more information about the ‘Bee My Honey Festival’ visit: http://www.vineyardfarmersmarket.com/Events.htm

Guest

Restorative Justice
Ambra Dorsey, the Executive Director of Dept. of Prevention & Intervention for Fresno Unified School District

Bee My Honey Festival
Felix  Muzquiz - Executive Director of the Vineyard Farmers Market Association

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
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.
Rebecca Plevin was a reporter for Valley Public Radio from 2013-2014. Before joining the station, she was the community health reporter for Vida en el Valle, the McClatchy Company's bilingual newspaper in California's San Joaquin Valley. She earned the George F. Gruner Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and the McClatchy President's Award for her work at Vida, as well as honors from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Plevin grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is also a fluent Spanish speaker, a certified yoga teacher, and an avid rock-climber.