Author Archives: Sasha Khokha
Sasha Khokha is the Central Valley Bureau Chief for KQED-FM. She was born in Los Angeles to a Punjabi father and an Irish-American mother. She fell in love with radio wearing waterproof overalls, standing in a four-foot high stream trying to record jumping salmon.
After stints as a reporter in Alaska and with NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, Sasha joined KQED in 2004. An avid fruit and nut eater, Sasha is excited to report from Fresno - the raisin capital of the world.
Sasha is also a documentary filmmaker; her latest film, Calcutta Calling, follows the lives of girls adopted from India to rural Swedish-Lutheran Minnesota. Sasha is a graduate of Brown University and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
(J. Stephen Conn/Flickr)
Nearly a thousand farmworker women will gather Friday in Tulare, one of California’s poorest counties, for the annual Farmworker Women’s Conference. They’ll learn about education, social services and have an opportunity to discuss their lives and the health challenges they face.
Lali Moheno of Visalia started this San Joaquin Valley conference 11 years ago because she wanted to help other women farmworkers. Moheno’s mother spent decades picking cotton and grapes. She died without any medical insurance to treat her leg injuries and diabetes. Moheno sought to help educate other women and share tactics to improve their lives.
“You will be a better person, a better mom, a better voter, a better woman,” Moheno said, “if you learn to think on your own — if you learn take control of your life and not let other people control your life.” Continue reading
New Screening Tool Provides Broad Snapshot of Total Environmental Burden
A factory in West Fresno. (Sasha Khokha/KQED)
It’s the first environmental health screening tool of its kind in the country.
California’s Environmental Protection Agency is rolling out “Cal Enviroscreen” which helps pinpoint communities that may be particularly vulnerable to pollution. And it’s not just for wonks. You can look up your own community. Cal Enviroscreen measures a broad range of pollutants and health indicators in every zip code across the state.
The most vulnerable community in the state? West Fresno, one of Fresno’s poorest areas. Other zip codes in the top ten include Bakersfield, Stockton and the Los Angeles-area communities of Vernon, Baldwin Park, and Boyle Heights.
Toxicologist Dr. George Alexeeff heads the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. He says California regulators have done a pretty good job of targeting individual pollution problems, like reducing diesel exhaust, or eliminating particular chemicals in drinking water.
But that kind of regulation doesn’t give a broad snapshot of the total environmental burden some communities face. Continue reading