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 June 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

Governor Jerry Brown announced Wednesday the first mandatory water restrictions in the Golden State’s history. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on how farmers in the Central Valley are reacting to the plan.

With the lowest snow pack in history Governor Jerry Brown says the drought demands unprecedented action. He’s mandating new conservation methods including new agricultural water use reporting guidelines.

Cannon Michael farms 10,000 acres of tomatoes and corn in Central California. He says the impacts on agriculture from the edict are limited.

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California was once the number one cotton growing state in the nation, but the drought has changed that. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on why the total cotton acreage in the state has dropped.

California cotton farmers are in the process of planting over 170,000 acres of the crop.

That sounds like a lot, but according to Roger Isom the number of acres expected to be planted in the state this year have plummeted to the point of plantings not seen since around 1910.

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Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The drought has become so bad in Central California that it’s now affecting the ingredients in your salad bowl. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on a major drop in the lettuce harvest in the region. 

During the first few weeks of spring the Central Valley usually harvests almost the entire supply of the nation’s head lettuce, but this year the supply is meager.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we take a look at several issues surrounding a difficult topic, death and dying. We’ll learn about a movement to help spur conversations about end of life decisions, a new report on palliative care in California, and a new bill that would bring physician assisted suicide to the Golden State.

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Thousands of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep once called the Sierra Nevada home.  Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on the latest efforts in restoring the species to their natural habitat.

It’s a good day for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, which was thought to be extinct 100 years ago in Yosemite National Park. Two herds were relocated to Yosemite and Sequoia national parks this week from other parts of the Sierra.

Dana Dierkes is the spokesperson for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

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Valley grape growers and winemakers are responding to a new lawsuit that claims many lower priced California wines contain too much arsenic. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports.

Popular California wines like the so-called “Two-Buck Chuck” sold at Trader Joes are the subject of the suit. It alleges commercial lab tests found arsenic levels exceeding the levels allowed in drinking water in over two dozen California wines. The plaintiffs claim the wines could pose a health risk.

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A group of California lawmakers and farmers are headed to Cuba Monday on a trade mission. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on how the Valley could benefit.

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This weekend a new project aims to blend art forms and genres in Fresno. The brainchild of Fresno-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Omar Nare, Dos Mundos mixes sounds of traditional mariachi with flamenco rhythms and dance.

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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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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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.

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.

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

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.  

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.

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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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.

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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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. 

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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