Ezra David Romero

Reporter and Producer

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. He is a graduate of California State University Fresno, where he studied journalism (digital media) and geography. In early January, he was awarded two prestigious Golden Mike Awards through the RTNA of Southern California. He has worked for the Fresno Bee and was an intern at Al Jazeera English in Washington, D.C. During his undergraduate education, Romero worked as a news intern with Valley Public Radio, where he produced news reports for the station. In 2012 he was a Gruner Award finalist for his 13-part Sanger Herald series on obesity in Sanger, Calif. Also in 2012, Romero was awarded a grant and internship with the California Newspaper Publishers Association where he worked for the Fresno Bee as a general assignment reporter covering police, elections, government and higher education. 

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Valley Edition
2:37 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

On Valley Edition: March 24 - Fulton Mall; Health In London; Kern River; Fresno Art Museum

Valley Edition March 24, 2015
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

On this week's  show – why are whitewater rafters the latest group to feel the pain of California’s drought? We talk with Lois Henry of the Bakersfield Californian and find out what it means for Kern County’s tourism industry.

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Valley Edition
2:26 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Cirque Du Soleil Tours Fresno And Bakersfield This Week And Next

Credit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/varekai/default.aspx

This week Fresno’s Save Mart Center will come alive in a very unique way.

The floor where Fresno State basketball players usually shoot jump shots will transform into an enchanted forest, complete with a volcano and fantastical creatures performing dazzling feats.

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Drought
2:07 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Drought: Rafting Season Cancelled For Many In Kern County

http://kernrafting.com/
Credit http://kernrafting.com/

The Kern River isn’t especially deep or wide  to quote Merle Haggard – but it is one of the wildest rivers in the state. It’s also a mecca for whitewater enthusiasts in search of thrilling adventures down the canyon every spring and summer. 

But with California mired in a historic drought, and snowpack only around 10 percent of normal for this time of year average, this year may be different. Among those feeling the pain are the many companies that specialize in whitewater tours on the Kern River, both below and above Lake Isabella.

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Environment
5:03 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Peter Gleick: California Reservoirs at the "Bottom Of The Barrel"

Credit John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources

Earlier this month an op-ed ran in the LA Times with a headline eluding that California will run out of water in a year.  Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports while the record setting drought is bad, we’re not there yet.

The California drought is serious.

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Valley Edition
3:44 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Valley Edition: March 17 - Chukchansi; James Fallows; Drought; Carmen Bradford

Valley Edition March 17, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

On today’s show, Atlantic columnist James Fallows joins us to talk about his new American Futures project, which has him reporting on issues in Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley.  We’ll also dig into the roots of the conflict within the Chukchansi

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Technology
12:33 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Valley Edition: James Fallows On Why He Thinks Fresno Could Be The Next Tech Hub

Could Fresno be the next tech hub? James Fallows thinks so. For the last five years a competition called #59DaysOfCode has been held in Fresno.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

When you think of California’s major technology centers, you probably think of Silicon Valley, or maybe even San Diego, but Fresno probably isn’t at the top of your list.  

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Indian Gaming
12:09 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Money, Greed and Power Keep Chukchansi Casino Closed, Tribe Still Divided

Tex McDonald leads the faction that attempted an ambush of the casino in October, 2014.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The future of the Chukchansi tribe in Central California is in jeopardy. The federal government shut down the tribe's casino six months ago after a conflict over control of the tribe escalated to violence. Now many tribal members are without basic services, and the multi-million dollar resort sits vacant, threatening the tribe's finances. As Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports, the Chukchansi people are just one example of what happens when big money, greed and power intersect in a struggle for cultural identity. 

Chris Ballew is as Chukchansi as you can get.

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Valley Edition
11:49 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Valley Edition: March 10 - Valley Trails; Drought And Global Warming; Jeffrey Hess; David Campos

Valley Edition March 10, 2015
Credit Valley Public Radio / Ezra David Romero

This week on Valley Edition Mark Keppler, the executive director of the Maddy Institute, talks about the state of trails in the region. Also on the program Daniel Swain, with Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, talks about a new study examining the link between drought and global warming released last week.

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Poetry
11:26 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Poet David Campos Explores Personal Stories In “Furious Dusk”

David Campos
Credit http://davidcampos.co/index.html

Last month the nation and the San Joaquin Valley lost an icon of the world of poetry – Pulitzer Prize winner and US Poet Laureate Philip Levine.

One of his lasting legacies was the rich poetry community which he helped to foster here in Central California. Names like Gary Soto, David St. John, Larry Levis and now, David Campos.

His new collection of poems just won the prestigious 2014 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize, which is dedicated to supporting the work of emerging Latino poets.

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Drought
11:19 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Hot Droughts: Stanford Study Links Drought And Global Warming

Millerton Lake, May 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

California is now in the fourth year of its on-going drought, and this winter’s meager snowpack has water experts worried, thanks to remarkably warm temperatures. But scientists at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment say that in just a few decades, this severe condition could be the new norm, thanks to climate change.

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Trails
11:11 am
Tue March 10, 2015

With Legal Hurdle Cleared, Fresno Trails Leader Hails Progress On Canals Project

The Coalition for Community Trails (CCT) is working with the Cities of Fresno and Clovis, Fresno County, the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District (FMFCD), the Fresno Irrigation District (FID) and Tree Fresno to develop a multi-purpose Parkway Plan for the Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Area (modeled after the Clovis Old Town Trail).
Credit http://www.traillink.com/trail/fresno-sugar-pine-trail--clovis-old-town-trail.aspx

Among the defining physical features of San Joaquin Valley cities are their irrigation canals. Some are just small ditches, while others are massive channels, but they all carry vital water to cities and farms throughout the region and have helped to make the valley bloom, and our modern economy possible.

Their banks are also un-official recreation spots for many, but a number of people want to change that, making their meandering paths part of a new network of community trails -  linear urban parks for walking, running and cycling. 

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Agriculture
4:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Citrus Growers Gather To Plan For Drought And Bugs

Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Over that last few years the citrus industry was hit hard by a freeze, a drought and a disease. This year, as Ezra David Romero reports from Visalia Thursday, the industry faces even more issues.

In the heart of California’s orange country more than 200 growers met this week at the 2015 Citrus Showcase to collaborate on how to keep their tangelo, lemon and mandarin trees producing ripe and juicy fruit.

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Drought
3:08 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

#DroughtVoices Joins Statewide Tour of 'California: The Tempest'

Credit Cornerstone Theater Company

What do you get when you add Shakespeare to California?

Fowler.

The traveling Los Angeles based Cornerstone Theater Company is hosting a rendition of the play 'The Tempest' in Fowler this week called 'California: The Tempest.'

Fowler is just one of 10 stops along the company's journey. Other cities in the tour include Valley locales like Arvin and Lost Hills and larger cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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Business & Economy
12:04 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Quay Valley: Creating A High Tech Town Out Of Dust

Credit https://www.facebook.com/124138571000858/photos/a.124146077666774.31490.124138571000858/700246926723350/?type=1&theater

Last week, an ambitious planned development that seemingly died during the recession reemerged in rural Kings County.

The developers behind the proposed community of Quay Valley say this new city of 75,000 people would be located on a barren stretch of Interstate 5 south of Kettleman City.

While things like water, infrastructure and jobs all remain big questions, the developers have announced one other detail – a planned 5 mile test track for entrepreneur Elon Musk’s proposed Hyper Loop.

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Valley Edition
12:02 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Valley Edition: March 3 - Quay Valley, California: The Tempest, Rogue Festival, Fresno Unified

Valley Edition March 3, 2015
Credit Ezra David Romero

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Diana Aguilera reports on one Fresno group's vision to tackle homelessness by creating eco-friendly shelters. John Lindt, with Sierra2theSea.net, joins the program for a conversation about the possibility of a new Central California town called Quay Valley that may have a hyper loop. 

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Agriculture
5:38 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

A Bee Heist? $52K In Bees Stolen In Fresno County

A simple way beekeepers can protect themselves is to mark their hives with a unique name and telephone number.
Credit https://www.fresnosheriff.org/admin/media-relations/606-recent-hive-heists-total-more-than-50-000.html

A crime that’s caught the Fresno County Sheriff’s attention recently has little do with gangs or weapons, it has do with something that flies.

Bees.

Last week, thieves stole $32,000 worth of bees and their hives from a ranch near Coalinga and $20,000 worth near Firebaugh, according to Fresno County Sheriff Spokesman Tony Botti.

He says every year thieves target and steal hives across the region.

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Drought
11:51 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Matt Black: Capturing Images of California’s Drought

Fallowed tomato fields. Corcoran, California.
Matt Black

Some of the most vivid depictions of California’s drought have come from Exeter-based photographer Matt Black. In 2014 TIME Magazine named him their “Instagram Photographer of the Year” for his stark images of dust storms, dry fields, and parched rivers.

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Valley Edition
11:10 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Valley Edition: February 24 - McFarland; Hmong Bus Tour; Fresno Water Rates; Photographer Matt Black

Valley Edition February 24, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition reporter Jennifer Burger attends the Central Valley opening of the feature film McFarland, USA.  Reporter Ezra David Romero goes on a bus tour with 4o East Asian farmers to the Bay to discover new markets. 

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Agriculture
4:52 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

'Workshop On Wheels' Gives Valley Hmong Farmers Insight Into Bay Area Markets

The group of Hmong farmers stopped at four different sites in the Bay area.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

Many small farmers have success selling their produce at farmers markets, but selling to larger food distributors can be difficult. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on a new project that hopes to connect one group of Southeast Asian growers with Bay Area buyers.

    

Small Hmong farms dot Fresno County growing specialty crops like the red date jujube, lemon grass and bitter melon. But more often than not, these farmers lack the resources and the know how to get their produce to larger markets.  

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Government & Politics
4:14 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Fresno To Get $195 Million Loan For Water Project

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin announces her plan to decrease her proposed water rate hike by 12 percent.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A new state loan could help make the City of Fresno’s proposed water rate increase more palatable for local rate payers. 

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced the city’s revised water plan Thursday, which now includes a $186 million loan from the state. She says while rates would still go up, the new cash means the average monthly increase would be around $3 a month less than originally proposed.

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