Ezra David Romero

Reporter and Producer

Ezra David Romero is a graduate of California State University Fresno, where he studied journalism (digital media) and geography. 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
11:43 am
Tue September 17, 2013

On Valley Edition: Youth & Gangs; Bakersfield Power Plant; Central Valley Threads

Central Valley Threads will run from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4.
Credit http://centralvalleythreads.ucdavis.edu/

In the first half of this week’s Valley Edition we talk about issues that plague almost every community in the San Joaquin Valley: gangs, drugs, violence, poverty and dropouts. FM89 reporter Rebecca Plevin tells the story of a Tulare County teen named Geronimo. He's a kid caught in the middle, between his gang and those who are fighting for him, and for the future of the valley. He's a high school dropout, but his future is far from certain.

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Agriculture
9:19 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Citrus Pest Find In Tulare County Raises Concerns

The citrus psyllid is no bigger than an aphid but poses a huge threat to the California citrus industry.
Credit Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

The first breeding population of a potentially disease ridden bug that the California citrus industry has been fighting to keep out of the Valley was found in record number in the region Tuesday. Just under 200 Asian citrus psyllids were spotted on three backyard citrus trees in the community of Dinuba.

“We sent out our staff biologist and he was able to see all stages of the ACP, the eggs, the nymphs and the adults on more than one young citrus tree,” says Tom Tucker, the Tulare County assistant agriculture commissioner.

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Valley Edition
4:18 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

On Valley Edition: Fresno's Homeless; Bugs Harming Calif. Citrus; Calif. Birth Rates; Valley Firsts

Valley Firsts will be held at the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State from September 14 to December 15.
Credit www.valleyfirsts.com

This week on Valley Edition we focus on a variety of issues that are impacting the region.

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Agriculture
12:23 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Tiny Bug Has Central California Citrus Growers On Edge

The citrus psyllid is about the same size as an aphid.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

Throughout Central California those who work in the citrus industry are on edge.  A tiny insect, no larger than an aphid, is threatening the future of the state’s billion dollar citrus crop.

It’s known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

“It looks kind of like an aphid, only with a harder body, and a little bit browner," says Beth Grafton-Cardwell, an entomology specialist with the University of California at the Lindcove Research Center just west of Visalia.

And the creature’s babies are just as pleasant.

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Government & Politics
11:05 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Livestock Theft Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Cattle rustling or crop raiding might seem like a relic of the Wild West, but in the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothills, cattle theft is on the rise. So much so that it's inspired a new bill that would beef up fines for stealing livestock.

The bill passed through both the Senate and the Assembly Friday with unanimous, bi-partisan support. The bill would establish a $5,000 fine for anyone convicted of livestock theft.

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Government & Politics
5:36 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Livestock Theft Bill Advances Through State Senate

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Cattle rustling or crop raiding might seem like a relic of the Wild West, but in the San Joaquin Valley surrounding foothills, cattle theft is on the rise. So much so that it's inspired a new bill by a local legislator that passed the Senate earlier this week. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero reports on the Livestock Theft Prevention Act.

A bill that would beef up fines for stealing livestock passed through the Senate Tuesday with unanimous, bi-partisan support. The bill would establish a $5,000 fine for anyone convicted of livestock theft.

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Valley Edition
12:10 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

On Valley Edition: Housing Solutions For Fresno's Homeless; Seth Holmes & "Broken Bodies"

One of the homes for the homeless at Dignity Village in Portland Oregon.
Credit http://www.dignityvillage.org/

This week on Valley Edition we focus on possible solutions to homelessness in Fresno, how the Affordable Care Act will impact agricultural growers and one man’s journey into the lives of a group of indigenous migrant workers.

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Community
5:52 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Indian Ambassador To U.S. Takes Interest In Central California

Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao visited Fresno State's memorial garden on her tour of the region.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

It’s not every day that an ambassador from a foreign nation visits Fresno. But on Thursday the Indian ambassador to the United States paid a visit to Fresno State. 

Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao visited Fresno for several reasons: to strengthen U.S. – India ties.

"Trade, business and investment ties between economies such as ours..."

The large Indian population in the San Joaquin Valley:

“I see so many friends from the Punjab region of India sitting amongst us..."

And because Rep. Jim Costa asked her to.

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Valley Edition
11:55 am
Tue August 27, 2013

On Valley Edition: Rim Fire; Kern Co. Animal Control; Fresno Co. Jails & Mental Health; Bea Franco

Tim Z. Hernandez is the author of Mañana Means Heaven.
Credit http://timzhernandez.com/

This week on Valley Edition we focus on the Rim Fire, animal control in Kern County, mental health issues in the region and the legacy of Bea Franco.

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Business & Economy
4:34 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Interview: Modern Farmers "Care Where Their Food Comes From"

Ann Marie Gardner is the editor of Modern Farmer Magazine.
Credit Modern Farmer Magazine

Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are embracing a nationwide trend: America's newfound love affair with food culture. 

You see it everyday on television, at the farmers market, and on thousands of “foodie” blogs online. There are heirloom tomatoes at the local store, artisanal cheeses, and grass-fed beef, all with a focus on quality over quantity.

And in the process, something interesting is happening - farming is actually becoming cool.

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Valley Edition
12:36 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Can Alt. Farmers Stake A Claim In The San Joaquin Valley?

Sisters Holly and Hannah Johnson collect eggs on thier River Roots Farm.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we take a look at what we are calling "Alt. Farmers."

In a region where big agriculture is big business, a new generation of farmers is challenging our notion of what life on the farm is all about. These socially conscious, technology savvy boutique growers and ranchers are going beyond organic to embrace the latest trends in food and popular culture.

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Business & Economy
11:38 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Valley Consumers Help Drive Local Farm to Fork Culture, Economy

There are over 500 tomato plants on Tower Urban Family Farms four backyard plots.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

 It’s not just farmers who are taking part in this new trend that is reshaping agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley. It’s also consumers. From pop-up “farm to fork” meals to acclaimed local chefs perusing the goods at a rapidly increasing number of local farmers markets, our relationships, our food and those who grow it are changing. And even in an area where fast food and chain restaurants are king, eating local is proving to be more than just a trend for many Valley residents. 

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Chris Shakelford is on a quest for perfect produce.

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Business & Economy
12:58 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Developer Plans Apartments, Retail in Downtown Fresno’s Former J.C. Penney Building

Shay Maghami said the first floor of the building will be used for commerical use.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

A diamond in the rough. That’s what Los Angeles developer Shay Maghame sees in the 90-year old former J.C. Penney building on downtown Fresno’s Fulton Mall.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin joined Maghame at a press conference today, announcing plans for apartments and retail in the long vacant building, which overlooks Chukchansi Park.

“We stand ready to make sure this is a good business experience for you,” Swearengin says. “We know we are on the right track and your investment proves it.”

Maghame calls the building “The Diamanti.”

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Valley Edition
11:12 am
Tue August 13, 2013

On Valley Edition: Common Core Standards & Fresno; Linda Marsa; Abalone; Paul Betancourt

This week on Valley Edition  we focus on education, the environment and agriculture. Host Joe Moore speaks with Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson about what the Obama administration’s decision to give the district a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act will mean for district students.

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Government & Politics
9:48 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Immigration Rights Advocates Begin March To Bakersfield

Dr. Gonzalo Santos, 63, has lived in the U.S. for over 30 years, but has only recently become a citizen.
http://www.pilgrimageforcitizenship.org/ PICO California

A group of marchers is en route from Sacramento to Bakersfield in an effort to garner support for immigration reform. The 21 day Pilgrimage for a Pathway to Citizenship began August 12 in Sacramento, and is expected to end September 2, after making stops in Merced, Fresno and other Valley cities.

Cal State Bakersfield Professor Dr. Gonzalo Santos is among the 11 marchers making the 285-mile trek. He says the nation’s immigration laws need revamping.

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Education
4:25 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fresno and Sanger School Districts Get 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson (file photo)
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Two Valley school districts – Fresno Unified and Sanger Unified – were granted a one-year waiver from requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act today by the U.S. Department of Education. The move will allow school officials to introduce their own plans for a new statewide curriculum and avoid costly penalties under the law.

The districts were among eight in California to receive the waiver, and are all members of a coalition called the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE.

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Valley Edition
11:42 am
Tue August 6, 2013

On Valley Edition: AMOR; The Economist; Downtown Photo Walk

AMOR aids over 3,500 patients each month in it's facility in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Credit AMOR / American Medical Overseas Relief

  

This week on Valley Edition we take a look a look at a few issues and organizations that are impacting the region. Host Joe Moore speaks with Davena Witcher, development director for American Medical Overseas Relief (AMOR), about the organizations medical work in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

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Business & Economy
6:06 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Investigation Launched Into Bakersfield Demolition Accident

A YouTube video by user Doug Winston captures the explosion at the plant in Bakersfield
Credit YouTube user Doug Winston / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkMxEZUAoS8

State officials have launched an investigation into a demolition accident at a former PG&E power plant in Bakersfield which injured several bystanders on Saturday.

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Valley Edition
11:20 am
Tue July 30, 2013

On Valley Edition: California Politics; Aspen Fire; Transportation; Affordable Care Act; Bluegrass

The Aspen Fire, near Huntington Lake , has burned more than 10,000 acres of forest in the Sierra Nevada.
Credit Ging Clugston / SierraNewsOnline.com

This week on Valley Edition we take a look at the current state and future of California politics. Will Governor Jerry Brown run for another term? Fresno State political science professors Thomas Holyoke and Jeffrey Cummins  give their analysis. 

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Valley Edition
12:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

On Valley Edition: Payday Lenders, Delta Smelt, Victor Davis Hanson, Moving To The Valley

Zocalo's Joe Mathews says young Angelenos should consider moving to Fresno and Visalia.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Ezra Romero reports on payday lenders and why a Fresno faith based groups says the lenders practices are immoral.  Also on the program Capitol Public Radio's Amy Quinton reports on the dwindling numbers of the Delta Smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

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