Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Ezra David Romero

Reporter and Producer

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.

Romero has worked with Valley Public Radio for just under three years. He landed at KVPR after interning with Al Jazeera English during the 2012 presidential election. His series ‘Voices of the Drought’ using the hashtag #droughtvoices has garnered over 1 million impressions on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. It's also resulted in two photography exhibits and a touring pop-up gallery traveling across California. Stories affiliated with #droughtvoices have run locally, statewide and on national air.  In January he was awarded a Golden Mike Award from the Radio & Television News Association for Southern California for this series. He beat out some of the largest radio stations in the state.

In 2015 he was awarded a first place radio award by the Fresno County Farm Bureau for a piece on the nation’s first agricultural hackathon.

In early 2015, he was awarded two prestigious Golden Mike Awards through the RTNA of Southern California for a piece on budding tech in Central California and a story on Spanish theater. Valley Edition, the show Romero produces, was named for the best Public Affairs Program for 2013 by the RTNDA of Northern California. 

He’s a graduate of California State University Fresno, where he studied journalism (digital media) and geography. He has worked for the Fresno Bee covering police, elections, government and higher education. In 2012 he was a Gruner Award finalist for his 13-part Sanger Herald series on obesity in Sanger, Calif. 

In his spare time, Romero hikes the Sierra Nevada, takes road trips to the Pacific Coast and frequently visits ice cream shops.

Ways to Connect

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Most people in the mountain area around Oakhurst know Katie Miller as the Mountain Madam. That’s her brand. The London Properties' realtor and I are driving to an area north of Oakhurst where she recently sold a home that’s now listed on the online rental site Airbnb.

“So that’s the Airbnb right here,” says Miller. “There’s a spiral staircase inside, all wood floors. They figured out how to maximize the space and put beds everywhere.”

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on what the influx of short-term rentals like Airbnb means for the Oakhurst area. We also hear the third part of FM89 Reporter Kerry Klein's doctor shortage series. Later in the show we hear from Fresno City Council Member Garry Bredefeld. And ending the program FM89 Reporter Jeffrey Hess interviews Rep. David Valadao about the President's announcement about his desire to end a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. 

Klearchos Kapoutsis / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

The total value of agricultural goods sold last year in Fresno County dropped in value by around $482 million compared to 2015 according to the 2016 Annual Crop and Livestock Production Report released in mid-August by Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Les Wright.

 

Wright blames the lack of surface water supplies. Other farm goods like livestock fell by around 7 percent or $6 million dollars last year as well. Still the county produced over $6 billion in agricultural goods in 2016.

 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on the doctor shortage in the region, a unique Fresno library for toy lending and a look in to the latest Fresno County Crop Report. We are also joined by Bill McEwen with GVWire, the groups newest news director. Ending the program we hear from violinist Patrick Contreras about his new project "El Violin."

From Keith Pickett’s front yard just east of Bakersfield you can see the trees of where the official city begins. He’s on the board of a tiny water system with less than 30 homes. It’s called the East Wilson Road Water Company and the water he’s washing his dishes with is polluted with nitrates.

Valley Public Radio

On this week's program our team reports stories on the doctor shortage in the region, homelessness in Fresno and about Bakersfield's complex water system. We also chat with California Citrus Mutual's Joel Nelson about what the citrus industry would like to see changed and kept in NAFTA if President Trump alters the agreement. We end the program with our latest episode of our podcast Outdoorsy. This time its all about whitewater rafting and kayaking. 

Kern River Outfitters

This summer we've been on the river a lot. Floating, some kayaking and well a lot of sunbathing. Rivers in Central California have been amazing this summer. They’ve been really high the past few months because of the record snowfall in the Sierra this winter. That’s generally a good thing, but it has made for some dangerous conditions.

 

A new study published this month suggests that parts of the world recovering from droughts are taking longer and longer to bounce back.

"Time between drought events will likely become shorter than the time needed for land ecosystems to recover from them," says co-author Christopher Schwalm of Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Massachusetts in a press release.

Blue River Technology

Let’s face it farmers are usually slow to change their practices for a couple reasons. Change usually comes with a high price tag – a new tractor can cost a half million dollars. And farmers want to minimize risk by only investing in things that have been successfully tested and in the end don’t reduce profits. But robots are slowly changing that perspective.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on how farmers are using robots on the farm. We also here from Fresno City Council Member Steve Brandau about his proposal to ban camping in the city to discourage homelessness. We also hear from Michael Kodas with the The Center for Environmental Journalism about his book "Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame" coming out later this month.

Friant Water Authority

As of July 10 manual snow surveyors reported there’s zero snow left in the mountains above the San Joaquin River. But a new way to measure the snowpack from the sky is showing a different set of results.

“Already we’re seeing snowmelt 50 percent greater than it was last year and about 320 percent above what the observations were for 2014.” says Jeffrey Payne with the Friant Water Authority.

Valley Public Radio

This week on the program we hear all about what the future may hold for the Old Fresno Water Tower. We also hear from Mikhail Zinshteyn with Ed Source on his latest piece about changes to the CSU system.

Friant Water Authority

A section of the the Friant-Kern Canal in Tulare County is sinking so much that it's lost about 60 percent of its flow.

Doug DeFlitch with the Friant Water Authority says the canal that helps irrigate a million acres of farmland has sunk two to three feet in some places over about a 25 mile area. The original design capacity in the area is about 4,000 cubic feet per second and he says it’s dropped to 1,600 cfs. 

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Drive through the pomegranate and pistachio orchards between Highways 41 and 99 and you may stumble upon Valley Teen Ranch, a cluster of residential homes where juvenile offenders come to be rehabilitated.

Today, a few men are in their living room playing a basketball video game and making small talk with Connie Clendenan, the ranch’s CEO. “I'm for the Warriors, don't we have them?” asks Clendenan. “I'm from Oakland, so yeah,” one of the men laughs.

NOAASatellites YouTube

While crews fought to keep the Detwiler Fire in California’s Central Valley from reaching the historic gold rush town of Mariposa, a separate fire crew was watching the blaze from an entirely different angle - space.

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