Thursday, May 16, 2019

Westlands Water District Faces Lawsuits Over Illegal Effort to Raise Shasta Dam

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and environmental and fishing groups have gone to court over the federal effort to raise the Shasta Dam so it could hold back more water…Their lawsuits target the role of the Fresno-based Westlands Water District which is eager to see the project proceed…Vic Bedoian reports.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Trump's BLM to Open 1 Million Acres for Oil Drilling

Last week the Trump Administration released its draft plan to open over a million acres in Central California to oil drilling and fracking. The Bureau of Land management oversees a vast region of public lands that the agency says has high resource potential, including lands near national forests and monuments. The BLM has not leased any public land in California for oil extraction since 2013, after a judge ruled the bureau had violated the federal environmental laws by not considering the hazards of fracking. Environmental groups, meanwhile, are gearing up for a fight. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Julian Castro Hopes to Raise Profile in California Trip

Democratic candidate for President Julian Castro is making a swing through California in a bid to raise his profile among the twenty-two hopefuls in the field. On Friday he appeared in Fresno among a large gathering of Party enthusiasts. Although Castro barely registers in national polling, he has garnered donations from the 65,000 people in 20 states necessary to qualify for the first round of debates to be held June 26th and 27th. Castro was Mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014 and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Administration. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Trump Weaponizes the Social Security Administration

In its pursuit to deport the nation’s undocumented residents, the Trump Administration has weaponized the social security administration. In recent weeks, that agency has sent letters to a wide range of businesses, especially in the Central Valley, notifying employers that information submitted in wage and tax statements does not match the SSA’s records. Employers who received the letter have 60 days to submit corrected information to the government. The move is sending shock waves throughout the valley and the state. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Doctors and Scientists Examine Valley Air Pollution at UCSF Symposium

The San Joaquin Valley suffers some of the worst air pollution in the nation. It’s a problem compounded by a growing population in the region and climate change. According to a recent study by the Institute for Economic and Environmental Studies at Cal State Fullerton, the bad air is costing over three billion dollars a year in lost working days, school absences, respiratory illnesses and hospital admissions. The scope of the problem and some emerging solutions were discussed at a symposium on air quality and climate change sponsored by the UC San Francisco medical center in Fresno. Pacifica’s Vic Bedoian reports.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Bernhardt Takes Praise and Jabs in Hearing for Interior Chief

President Trump’s nominee for Interior Secretary faced sharp questioning from some Democrats and praise from Republicans during David Bernhardt’s nomination hearing today. Critics scrutinized his connections to the oil industry, ethical lapses, and the Trump Administration’s controversial land use policies. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Asylum Policy

Lawyers for the Trump Administration and civil rights advocates squared off in court Friday in a hearing over President Donald Trump’s new policies that force asylum applicants to remain in Mexico while their asylum claims are considered. That policy is one of the less well-known of many tactics of the Trump Administration has been using to try to target migrants for exclusion or removal.
Christopher Martinez reports.

How a One-Inch Fish Helped Save Mojave Desert Aquifers

As competition for California’s water resources from the state’s rivers intensifies between farms, cities and the environment, water in the Mojave Desert has also become a sought-after commodity. Commercial exploitation of the Mojave desert’s aquifers sparked a landmark environmental case 45 years ago, and is currently driving a smoldering controversy. Vic Bedoian filed this special World Water Day report.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

SB29 Would Open Medi-Cal to Undocumented Adults

A state Senate committee has approved a measure to expand Medi-Cal coverage to include undocumented adults. Residents without legal immigration status make up the largest single group of Californians without health insurance.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bill Would Expand Tuition-Free Community College Program

A bill to make the second year of community college tuition-free has passed its first hurdle in the state legislature. Assembly Bill 2 would expand on a program that waives first year tuition for some first time students.
Christopher Martinez reports.