Bronze / 2018 / Press / Feature Story
The Mean Streets of Huron
Located in the southwestern corner of Fresno County, Huron lacks what most towns take for
granted – a newspaper, high school, movie theater, pharmacy, Burger King, Boy Scouts,
Little League, Chamber of Commerce . . . Ugly, dusty, dangerous, corrupt, and
impoverished, Huron is a giant farm labor exploitation camp.
No one has ever investigated Huron because it is too remote and dangerous. One mayor
resigned after his car was shot up by assassins welding AK-47s. A councilwoman had her
home bombed. Another mayor was died in prison; his son was assassinated. Since 1988, Huron
has had 26 different chiefs of police. For several years it had no police. Shrines to
murdered gang members stand outside the bars, in lots, beside fences, and on the edge of
Keenan Park. The police department wages a perpetual war against two gangs, the Bulldogs
and Nortenos, which murder citizens with impunity.
I am a bilingual, academically-trained historian/photojournalist (Ph. D. Wisconsin), author of a multi-volume scholarly history of California farmworkers. I founded my own business, Streetshots agricultural photography. For 30 years I worked as an agricultural photographer/journalist, defined broadly, in order to remain submerged in the industry that is the setting for my field of expertise.