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Election 2016: Karen Goh Wants To Improve Bakersfield's Image

For the first time in over a decade, Bakersfield will soon have a new mayor. Kyle Carter and Karen Goh both are vying for the spot to lead Kern County's largest city. While it's largely a ceremonial job, as the office of mayor has little official power, Goh says she wants to use the position to improve Bakersfield's image. Goh joined us this week on Valley Edition to talk about her agenda, which includes boosting local business and creating a safer community. We also asked her about recent community controversies, like the allegations of corruption in the Bakersfield Police Department, and tensions between Kern County and the city.

2016 Election: California Ballot Measure Preview

With 17 ballot measures going before voters in November's general election, on issues ranging from plastic bags to the death penalty, there's a lot of information for the average voter to digest before election day. On Valley Edition this week, we invited Fresno State political science professor Dr. Thomas Holyoke to help us wade through the slate of measures and provide some extra insight into who is behind them, and what they claim they would do.

Election 2016: Henry Perea On His Vision For Fresno

Henry Perea has spent the past 20 years in public service, first as a member of the Fresno City Council, and most recently as a member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Now he wants to be Fresno's next mayor. With election day just weeks away, he recently visited Valley Public Radio for a hard-hitting conversation about the issues, from homelessness to the influence developers have at city hall.

Prison To Pot Farm, Coalinga Hopes To Cash In On Cannabis

Californians will vote in a couple weeks on whether or not the recreational use of marijuana should be legalized or not. And as FM89's Ezra David Romero reports one Central California city is looking at how it can cash in on this green revolution. Patrick Keough wanted out of Coalinga about five years ago. The 18,000 people or so that call this town in the hills of the coastal range home couldn't support his realty company. "I told my wife I want to leave, I want more opportunity for us and she said well I love my job," says Keough. "And I said if we are going to stay we have to get involved in city government and we have to make something for our children to have hope." He ended up winning a spot on the Coalinga City Council in 2012. Speed up to last December. The 44 year old is now the Mayor-Pro Tem and the city is facing yet another problem. It's in the red. That's when Keough had an epiphany while sitting in front of an abandoned prison owned by the city. It had been run by a

Valley Edition: October 18 - Prison To Pot Farm; Fresno Parks; Henry Perea; Karen Goh; Propositions

In this week 's two hour Valley Edition FM89's Ezra David Romero takes a tour of a prison that could soon be a pot farm in Coalinga. KVPR's Jeffrey Hess reports on how work has begun to craft a new Fresno parks master plan. We also here from Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea on why he should be Fresno's next mayor. Later in the program we hear from Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate Karen Goh. We are also joined by Fresno State Political Science Professor Thomas Holyoke to chat about the propositions on the November ballot. Enjoy!

Valley Edition: October 18 - Prison To Pot Farm; Fresno Parks; Henry Perea; Karen Goh; Propositions

Mexican Activist Argues In Fresno For Migrant Rights

A prominent migrant rights activist from Mexico spoke at Fresno State on Monday with insight into why Latin Americans flee and what can be done about it. Father Alejandro Solalinde is a Catholic Priest from Central Mexico. He's known for his dogged advocacy for the rights of Latin American migrants, who commonly suffer harassment, abuse and rape on their journey to the United States. He runs a shelter in the state of Oaxaca for migrants and was exiled from the country for two years following death threats. At a talk at Fresno State on Monday, he said spoke about the need to address the core reasons why people flee Latin America, which he refers to as "the south." "The solution is not that the south come to the north," says Solalinde in Spanish. "The solution is reconstruction of the south." That reconstruction, he says, includes better education, less government corruption, and more adherence to church teachings.

Report: California Needs More Latino Doctors

A new report demonstrates the need for more Latino doctors in California. Nine percent. That's the proportion of Latino students in California med schools, even though Latinos make up almost 40 percent of the state's population. The percentage of doctors that are Latino is even lower – around five percent. The report, written by the advocacy group Latino Physicians of California, says that an overwhelming majority of Latino doctors supports promoting health careers for Latino youths and attracting more Latino physicians to the state. Modesto family doctor Silvia Diego says doctors from different backgrounds than their patients can do harm. "The doctor may not be sensitive to their culture, they may be even dismissive of their beliefs and their values," she says, "and this definitely tarnishes the patient-doctor relationship." According to the report, reducing ethnic disparities in medicine will involve better outreach from medical schools, incentivizing Latino doctors to stay in

London Gets New Public Library Branch

The Tulare County public library system is opening its 16th location this weekend. The new branch will serve the rural unincorporated community of London, located near Dinuba and Kingsburg. The community's 1,800 residents are predominately Latino, and almost half fall below the poverty line. County librarian Darla Wegener says London residents advocated hard for this branch. "People know they need it and we believe they need it," she says, "and they've been just the most wonderful community to work with during this whole process." The new building will be stocked with a core collection of classic literature, non-fiction, and books for children. "I did an outreach event in London over a year ago and the kids just went crazy for Pete the Cat," says Wegener. "So we have Pete the Cat books, and we also have Harry Potter, but we also have classic titles that they might assign in high school." A ribbon-cutting and free resource fair will take place Saturday the 15th from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The

Work Begins Crafting New Fresno Parks Master Plan

The last time the city of Fresno re-examined its public parks Ronald Reagan was president. According to one ranking Fresno ranks 97th of out 100 cities in terms of access to public parks. Now, after much community complaint, work is underway to bring city parks into the 21st century. Last week, resident gathered at Fresno High School to share their vision for the city's parks. Standing beneath a giant sign showing where every park in the city is located, 14-year old Mia Burrell lays out what she considers to be the biggest problem with Fresno's park in stark terms. "If I were a little young kid, I wouldn't want to play in a park. It just that there is a lot of drugs out there. And they used to have needles and stuff laying around. And it smelled like weed all the time. And so it is really not a good place to play around," Burrell says. Mia's father Richard says he has seven kids in total and is just as blunt in his assessment about why he is often reluctant to take his kids to parks

Artist Interview: Classical Pianist Sofya Melikyan Celebrates Armenian Heritage

Armenian-born classical pianist Sofya Melikyan has performed at Carnegie Hall and other prestigious halls across the globe. Now she brings her artistry to Fresno for a concert Friday October 14, 2016 that includes music by Franz Liszt and Granados, as well as Babadjanian and Liebermann. The concert is presented by the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert Series and Fresno State's Armenian Studies Department. Melikyan joined FM89's Joe Moore in our studio to talk about her career, including life growing up in Yerevan, studies in Spain and France, and about performing classical music in unconventional venues - like the nightclub setting of New York City's Zinc Bar.

Artist Interview: Classical Pianist Sofya Melikyan Celebrates Armenian Heritage

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