AP STORY: Labor shortages, a new reality in agriculture?

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

I’m usually a big skeptic when it comes to labor shortages in agriculture. I put on my reporter hat and ask: are these shortages real, or are they just slogans used by the agriculture industry to advance an agenda? I say this, because for years – for decades – the U.S. had been awash in farmworkers streaming in from Mexico. …

AP STORY: Almond investors

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES, Uncategorized

If you spend any time driving through the San Joaquin Valley, the vast stretch of fields and orchards between Sacramento and Bakersfield, you will notice the almond trees. Hundreds of thousands of acres of almond trees, to be exact. An ocean of almond, orchards without end. Soon, in February, the trees will bloom into an immeasurable white coverlet. The Valley is where most of the world’s …

AP PHOTOS: Hmong women

Gosia Wozniacka AP PHOTOS

In these photos taken April 22, 2012, Vicky Xiong, left, teaches her daughter Rachel Lor how to do Hmong embroidery called Paj ntaub at their home in Fresno, Calif. (AP/Gosia Wozniacka) In this photo taken June 6, 2012, Misty Her, assistant superintendent with the Fresno Unified School District, talks to children about her job and encourages them to read at Cole …

AP Story: Hmong women, from refugee camp to college

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

I often write about immigration issues, with special emphasis on the Latino community, the largest immigrant group. But California’s Central Valley is home to many other immigrant enclaves. One of these is the Hmong, an Asian ethnic minority whose people lived in the southeast Asian countries of Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as in China. The Hmong have a …

AP STORY: Levee make-overs lead to more development, higher flood risk

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

Here’s an accountability story I worked on for several weeks. At the end of December, the state of California released a little-noticed document, the long-awaited flood control plan for the state’s Central Valley. The plan called for major financial investments to fix the state’s levees and other infrastructure, and mentioned that about $3 billion in voter-approved bonds was already spent …

AP STORY: Meth boom in California’s Central Valley, nation

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

This is a sad story my colleague and I worked on this past week, on the heels of the horrible murder-suicide that I covered in Fresno, which was meth-related. Please read our story here or here — I wish we could do a follow up on meth rehab programs, because it seems there are few of them around.