Local writer featured on public radio show

Bass Lake writer Judith A. Gallardo has tried for years to get her books published. She’s still working on that goal, but at least she can share a sample of her work through the long-running

“Valley Writers Read” radio program that has been airing on KVPR (FM 89.3) for more than 15 years.The weekly program is a place where local writers can read their short stories — or have it read by a volunteer.

Gallardo has opted to let one of those volunteers read her story “Choices” on the 7 p.m. Wednesday broadcast.

“This is a great boost for me. I didn’t really expect it would happen because only about 50% of those who submit a story are accepted,” Gallardo says.

Fresno City College teacher Franz Weinschenk, the show’s host, and “Valley Writers Read” producer Don Weaver go through all of the submissions to pick short stories to feature. Seasons start in January and runs for six months; those 26 shows are repeated to finish out the year.

“All of the writers either live or work in the area,” says Jim Meyers, KVPR station manager. “A lot of the stories include some sound effects and music. We only do enough production to zip it up a little.”

Gallardo’s story started out as a mystery, became a romance and ended up being a story about a middle-age woman learning to make her own choices.

The fact Gallardo is part of this year’s group is an accomplishment because the series has been running long enough to feature a stable of regular contributors.

Local writers Polly Brewer, Anselm Engle and Jim Ashford have been featured so far this year. Joe Hemphill is scheduled for Feb. 24.

For more on the radio series or to hear past readings, go to

New channel

Gary Cocola is getting the most out of his digital channel KJEO (Channel 32).

His latest split of the signal is the launch of the Armenian TV Network on KJEO (Channel 32.6).

Programming includes the entertainment information show “The Corner,” the news show “Horizon” and the series “Vervaratsner” and “Vorogayt.”

The splitting of the digital channel already included: Channel 32.1, Universal Sports; Channel 32.2, America One Network, which features the Canadian Football League; Channel 32.3, The Coastal Television Network, a Monterey-based channel that promotes California Coastline education and tourism; and Channel 32.4, ManaVision3. This still leaves 32.5 for future programming.

Other news

* New job: Former KBOS (FM 94.9) on-air personality Mo’nique, who took over Davey D’s afternoon slot on KSEQ (FM 97.1) in December, has been named promotions coordinator at Q97.

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at or (559) 441-6355. Read his blog at