Fresno, California

From Academic Kids

Fresno is the county seat of Fresno County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 427,652. 2005 estimates by the California Department of Finance approximate a city population of 464,727 and a metropolitan area of 1,002,284. Fresno is the sixth-largest city in California and the largest inland city in the state. It is located at 36°47' North, 119°48' West, in the San Joaquin Valley portion of California's expansive Central Valley. Its ZIP Code is 937xx. It is also the largest city in the United States that is not directly served by an Interstate highway (although there are long-term plans to upgrade California State Highway 99, the main freeway through the area, to Interstate standards; it is proposed to be called Interstate 9).

The "Fresno Municipal Sanitary Landfill" was the first modern landfill in the United States, and incorporated several important innovations to waste disposal, including trenching, compacting, and the daily covering of trash with dirt. It was opened in 1937 and closed in 1987. It is now a National Historic Landmark.



Alan Autry was elected Mayor of Fresno in November, 2000. His first term was from January, 2001 to January, 2005. He was re-elected on March 2, 2004 with over 72 percent of the vote. His second term will be from January, 2005 to January, 2009. Autry is best known as an actor, however, starring as Capt. V.L. "Bubba" Skinner on the In the Heat of the Night television series from 1988-1994.

He recently drew attention to himself and the city with a brief feud with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger over local budgets and a "Marriage Commitment Day" for heterosexuals held in response to Gavin Newsom's (mayor of San Francisco) issuance of marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

On the first Monday of each month, Mayor Alan Autry meets directly with residents who wish to share their ideas and concerns.

The City Council consists of seven members elected by district, as follows.

  • District 1 (west-central) - Tom Boyajian
  • District 2 (northwest) - Brian Calhoun
  • District 3 (southwest) - Cynthia Sterling
  • District 4 (east-central) - Larry Westerlund
  • District 5 (southeast) - Mike Dages
  • District 6 (northeast) - Jerry Duncan
  • District 7 (central) - Henry T. Perea


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Location of Fresno, California

Fresno is located at 36°46'54" North, 119°47'32" West (36.781549, -119.792113)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 271.4 km² (104.8 mi²). 270.3 km² (104.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.1 km² (0.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.42% water.

Fresno is about 50 miles south of Yosemite National Park. It is the closest major city to the park. Because it sits at the junction of Highways 41 and 99 (41 is the park's southern access road, and 99 branches east from Interstate 5 to serve the urban centers of the San Joaquin Valley), the city is a major gateway for visitors coming from Los Angeles.

Fresno has large public parks like Woodward Park and Roeding Park.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 427,652 people, 140,079 households, and 97,915 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,582.2/km² (4,097.7/mi²). There are 149,025 housing units at an average density of 551.3/km² (1,427.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 50.17% White, 8.36% Black or African American, 1.58% Native American, 11.23% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 23.36% from other races, and 5.16% from two or more races. 39.87% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 140,079 households out of which 40.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% are married couples living together, 17.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% are non-families. 23.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.99 and the average family size is 3.57.

In the city the population is spread out with 32.9% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 28 years. For every 100 females there are 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $32,236, and the median income for a family is $35,892. Males have a median income of $32,279 versus $26,551 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,010. 26.2% of the population and 20.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 36.5% of those under the age of 18 and 10.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Fresno is the location of three major colleges/universities: California State University, Fresno (Fresno State); Fresno Pacific University, a Christian private college; and Fresno City College, a community college. Fresno State's athletic teams have the Bulldog for their mascot.

Other accredited institutions include the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary [1] ( and the Fresno campus of Alliant International University [2] (

Local entertainment and things to do

Though the city is commonly criticized by residents and non-residents alike for a lack of local entertainment, new developments have either been completed or are underway to change this.

Save Mart Center

The largest of these recent developments, the Save Mart Center, is a large indoor arena that was completed at the end of 2003 on the campus of Fresno State. It has hosted a wide range of music acts, from Britney Spears to Prince, as well as other shows, in addition to all Fresno State home basketball games and Fresno Falcons home games. Trade publication Pollstar ranked the arena number 24 in the world for 2004 ticket sales. The new arena replaces downtown's Selland Arena as the home for Fresno State men's basketball, Fresno Falcons games, and major events.

River Park

The "River Park" area (so named for its proximity to the San Joaquin River, which divides Fresno and Madera counties) in north-central Fresno is a major shopping and entertainment district, right in the middle of the rapidly expanding northern sprawl. It properly refers to only the specific shopping center of the same name between Blackstone Avenue, the 41 freeway, Minarets Avenue, and Nees Avenue, but locals usually use the name to refer to places on the west side of Blackstone or the region in general (one common boundary for the broader area is Woodward Park). The area houses several "big-box" retailers, an outdoor mall, and a 21-screen Edward's movie theater.

Tower District

The Tower District in southwest Fresno, long the center of the city's intelligentsia, is home to a number of higher-end eating establishments and independent book stores, along with the historic Tower theater.

Fashion Fair Mall

The city's largest indoor mall, Fashion Fair, recently underwent major renovations. It hosts Macy's, Gottschalks, JC Penney, and over 100 other retailers. The construction of a parking garage and possibly an outdoor mall (like that at River Park) are currently in the works.

Downtown / Fulton Mall

Additionally, the city is working hard to revitalize downtown. For the past forty years, it has been mostly a government center, even with such developments as the Fulton Mall (converted from a part of Fulton Street, it was the first pedestrian mall of its kind in the U.S.). High-rise buildings have now been going up again, and a new federal courthouse will soon strip the 22-story county building of its title as the tallest in Fresno. Office space, such as that at the 11-story Tower at Convention Center Court (, finished in 2003, has also been coming back to downtown. This and other plans are part of the city's "Vision 2010" that aims to bring residents back to the area.

Forestiere Underground Gardens

The Forestiere Underground Gardens ([3] ( in northwest Fresno near Highway 99 are unusual manmade creations built by Baldasare Forestiere over a period of 40 years.

Professional sports

Fresno has no major-league level professional sports teams, but it does have several minor league sports franchises.

The Fresno Grizzlies play in Grizzlies Stadium, located in downtown Fresno. The $46 million stadium opened in 2002 and marked the beginning of an ongoing effort to stimulate downtown commerce and Fresno tourism.





Fresno has three airports. The largest, used for most commercial aviation is Fresno Yosemite International Airport (IATA airport code FAT, for Fresno Air Terminal). The other two, Fresno-Chandler Downtown (FCH) and northwest Fresno's Sierra Skypark, are for private flights.

FAT was the first airport in the country to implement a terrorist facial recognition system, shortly after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

Sister cities

Fresno maintains sister city relationships with Kochi, Japan and Torreon, Mexico since 1965 and 1967, respectively. The Shin-Zen Friendship Gardenin ( Fresno's Woodward Park is dedicated to Kochi.

External links

  • ( City of Fresno, Official Site
  • ( The Fresno Bee
  • ( Fresno Area Yellow Page Directory


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