Quality of Life

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Most Recent Episodes

Young Artist's Spotlight: University High Flute Choir

This week on FM89's Young Artist's Spotlight we feature the students of the University High School Flute Choir. UHS Instrumental Music Director Randall Cornelison writes the following about the ensemble, which is directed by former UHS student, and current Fresno Pacific University student Frank Velasco: "This is a very unique group as many of your listeners will never have heard a flute choir before. This is a very interesting group for the Valley as it was created by a University High student, Frank Velasco, that wanted to bring back the tradition of Flute Choir in the Valley, made popular by Janette Erickson a local flute teacher in Fresno for many years. The ties also continue to Russell Howland, he was a local Flute composer and arranger. He was a professor at the University of Michigan for years and then moved to Fresno sometime around 1950 and continued to compose for Flute choir until his death in the 1990's. The Flute Choir plays lots of his arrangements and compositions. This

Outdoorsy 5: Playing In The Snow

Today, we're taking advantage of the season and venturing out into the snow. We've gotten a lot of it this winter, so it's the perfect opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Or at least snowball fights. A native New Englander, Kerry loves the winter—as long as she's bundled up and warm. Ezra: not so much. But as far as winter activities go, snowshoeing is his jam. And who doesn't love seeing their breath in the air and hearing ice crunching under their feet? In this episode, we'll take you to a few places near the valley to play in the snow, we'll help you get equipped, and then tantalize you with a sugary delicacy that's wildly popular in Shaver Lake. Yosemite by Snowshoe So far this winter, we've taken two snowshoeing trips—each with varying success. The first was to what Kerry regards as the most magical place in wintertime: Yosemite National Park. We went with a few friends friends over Christmas weekend when a big storm rolled through the Valley. We drove in as the

From Fresno With Love: Valley Chihuahuas Welcomed In Midwest

Animal shelters in the San Joaquin Valley are inundated every year with thousands of rescued dogs, cats and even pigs. But what happens to the animals that no one seems to want? While some shelters may euthanize, others go to great lengths to keep them alive. One group of animal rescuers has found a creative solution to a supply and demand problem. It's almost 11 p.m. in an industrial zone of south Fresno. A small back lot near Highway 99 is dark except for the headlights of a van with tinted windows. Hooded figures load up the van with plastic crates . One opens the door to survey the cargo. "Hello everybody," she shouts, as dozens of tiny tails wag against their crates and excited barking fills the air. "The condo is ready!" Brenda Mitchell is co-founder of Animal Compassion Team in Fresno, and she's here with a troop of other animal shelter workers. Their cargo? Chihuahuas. They're rescues, strays and fosters being sent off to a new life. "We have Lisa, Flower, Princess Leia, Luke

Valley Edition: February 21 - Valley Fever; Lake Isabella; Chihuahuas; Outdoorsy

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Jeffrey Hess reports from the World Ag Expo about what farmers think about President Trump. We also hear about what all this rain means for Lake Isabella. Later we hear from Reporter Kerry Klein about a group that takes the region's excess chihuahuas and send them to Minnesota. We also hear from Bakersfield California Reporter Harold Pierce on his latest piece on Valley Fever. And we end the show with a our latest installment of the stations podcast Outdoorsy.

Valley Edition: February 21 - Valley Fever; Lake Isabella; Chihuahuas; Outdoorsy

Juan Solis Lives A Life In The Shadows, His Health Destroyed By Valley Fever

When Juan Solis shuffles out of his dark bedroom, he's careful not to get too close to the windows. He makes sure he only walks his dogs at night. If he must go out during the day, he lathers on sunscreen, makes sure his legs and arms are covered, even during the peak of summer in Bakersfield's blistering heat. And he never forgets his sunhat. Juan has extreme light sensitivity, caused by valley fever. He contracted the respiratory disease in 2008, but he was misdiagnosed for so long that he developed complications. The coccidioidal fungus that causes valley fever spread to his bloodstream, causing cocci meningitis, a lethal illness. It kills about 95 percent of patients in the first two years. The only drug that worked to help control his symptoms was Voriconazole, or VFend, an antifungal drug. There are two problems, though. The drug can cost more than $900 a month. And it has severe side effects, including an outbreak of cancerous lesions on Juan's skin. "We can't do anything except

Juan Solis Lives A Life In The Shadows, His Health Destroyed By Valley Fever

Vatican-Sponsored Event Draws World Faith Leaders To Modesto

Faith leaders from all over the world have traveled to Modesto this week for a meeting dedicated to social justice. FM89's Kerry Klein says it's the first event of its kind in the U.S. It's called the World Meeting of Popular Movements, and it's convened by The Vatican--though Pope Francis won't be making an appearance. The meeting is a chance for faith leaders and advocates to discuss migration, workers' rights and housing, and the environment. "We believe that by bringing people of faith and grassroots leaders together in dialogue, we will be able to take steps forward for racial, economic and social justice," says Thomas Weiler, lead organizer for Faith In Fresno. The three previous world meetings were held in Rome and Bolivia. Weiler says this year's San Joaquin Valley location was intentional. "We are the epicenter of so many forces of exclusion--in terms of the impact of the economy, that leaves so many people behind, and the impact of immigration issues on families, now more

With Heightened Focus On Dam Safety, Lake Isabella Plans Move Forward

When Isabella Dam was built back in the 1950's northeast of Bakersfield it was hailed as a great engineering achievement. The structure held back the mighty Kern River to provide water for farmers and communities, and helped protect the Southern San Joaquin Valley from floods. But a little over 10 years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers learned that the dam had three problems. Geologists discovered an active fault runs under the dam. Hydrologists learned that there was a risk the earthen dam could be overtopped during an extreme flood event, and engineers discovered the structure had seepage issues at the base. According to Kern County officials, in a worst case scenario with the reservoir full and a failure of the main dam, some parts of Bakersfield could be under 20 feet of water or more. That possibility led the Corps, which runs Lake Isabella and the dam, to change the way they operate the dam lowering by water levels to reduce the risk, and to begin designing a solution. So

At The World Ag Expo Farmers Remain Optimistic About Trump, But Wary

The 50th Annual World Ag Expo in Tulare has now officially come to a close. The massive fair draws farmers and agricultural professionals from all over the world to check out the newest in farm equipment and technology as well as cut deals and make professional contacts. This year, the buzz around the show wasn't just about machinery, it was also about politics. Despite losing California badly in November's election, President Donald Trump drew broad support from the state's agriculture industry. Among the farmers Valley Public Radio interviewed at the show this week, there was broad general hope about the future of the agriculture industry under President Trump. A particularly strong advocate was Robert Franklin, a Trump voter, who splits his time between growing apples in eastern Utah and raisins in Brazil. He is hopeful Trump will remove what he sees as government interference, like overtime rules and environmental regulation, which he thinks makes agriculture work harder. "Just

State Data Show Nearly 300 Water Systems Out Of Compliance

The state has released new data on California's drinking water--and they reveal almost 300 public water systems are out of compliance with state standards. The data and an interactive map are part of the state water board's new Human Right to Water Portal . They reveal 292 non-compliant water systems across the state. Violations include unsafe levels of arsenic, nitrates, and other contaminants, as well as non-compliant treatment techniques. "When you think about safe and affordable drinking water, you might think about Flint, for example, but what most Californians are not aware of is that right here in our own state, over a million Californians are exposed to unsafe drinking water each year," says Jonathan Nelson, policy director of the non-profit Community Water Center. The San Joaquin Valley contains dozens of non-compliant water systems, which stretch from Humboldt County to the Mexican border. Nelson says determining the extent of the problem is the first step of many. "We can

Young Artists Spotlight: Bakersfield High School Chamber Singers

This week on FM89's Young Artists Spotlight we feature a performance by the Bakersfield High School Chamber Singers. Director Christopher Borges leads the group in performances of material ranging from the medieval choral music to contemporary pop songs. Selections: Dixit Maria, by Hans Leo Hassler (1562-1612) A un giro sol, by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Sweet Day, by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Estrela e lua nova (arr. Heitor Villa-Lobos) White Winter Hymnal (pop song) Just the Way You Are (girls' group Valentine gram) Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Foundation; Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.

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