Norma Martinez | KERA News

Norma Martinez

Norma Martinez is a native of El Paso and a veteran of public broadcasting. She began volunteering at the El Paso public radio station KTEP as a college student in 1989. She spent a year as a Morning Edition host and reporter at KRWG-FM in Las Cruces, New Mexico, before returning to KTEP as a full-time employee in 1995. At KTEP, Norma served as Morning Edition host, chief announcer, Traffic Director, PSA Director, and host and producer of various local shows.

Norma also voiced numerous commercials and worked part-time as a DJ at country, adult contemporary, and classic rock stations in El Paso.

Norma is a 1993 graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, earning a BA in Music Performance. She spent 23 years as a cellist with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.

The gunman who killed 22 people in El Paso specifically targeted Latinos in a city that's nearly 80% Hispanic. A deep fear among some El Pasoans has cast a chilling shadow over their defiant shows of strength and unity. For others, the tragedy offers opportunities to elicit bittersweet smiles, express their love for each other and confront this nation's darkest truths.


President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited El Paso Wednesday afternoon to meet with first responders and survivors of Saturday’s mass shooting.

Those who greeted the president include Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and others.

Residents, however, turned out in force to protest the visit.

Oscar Cantua was one of 5100 graduates at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s 2019 Spring Commencement. He received an undergraduate degree in physics. It stemmed from an early interest in black holes. But his path to graduation was a rocky one. Oscar, his mother and his older sister left Mexico when he was only five.

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 5 to May 11, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encouraged Texans to begin or review their plans for enduring bad weather, flooding and, if necessary, evacuation.

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought his Bach Project to the sister cities of Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on Saturday. Laredo’s “Day of Action” featured performances in both cities to celebrate the relationship between the two communities.

Chicanas Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era is a collection of essays written by Chicana scholars and activists about Chicanas who organized and resisted during the Chicano Movement.

Dionne Espinoza, Maylei Blackwell, and Maria Eugenia Cotera edited the book.

Award-winning writer Rudy Ruiz is a native of Brownsville who now lives in San Antonio. His writing employs magical realism, which is inspired by Gabriel García Márquez.

“When you first read his work you were just swept away and escape into this other world,” Ruiz said, “but the more you learn about what he was writing about, you realize he was making a lot of sweeping commentary about the ills that he saw in society, whether it was class-related or...political or the violence in his native country of Colombia.”

African Americans make up about 7 percent of San Antonio’s population, but they have made rich contributions to the fabric of the Alamo City.

Born Logic Allah, director and co-producer of “Walk on the River: A Black History of the Alamo City," said one of the most important educational figures was Dolores B. Linton, who made something out of nothing for black children living on the west side of San Antonio.

Selena fans have recently enjoyed a blossoming of memorabilia and media dedicated to the slain singer, and now there's one more item for their collection.

The congregation of about 1,700 Central American migrants in Piedras Negras, Mexico, this week sparked a swift response from the U.S. Hundreds of Army soldiers and law enforcement personnel tightened security measures in Eagle Pass. Residents accustomed to easy passage between two nations experienced long waits on the bridges, body searches, diminished commerce and unease over the sudden show of armed force in their small town.

A temporary migrant facility opened in West Texas in June with the intention of housing up to 300 Central American teens. Six months later, the facility has grown to a capacity of over 2,700, and operations behind its tarped fences remain a mystery.

Joshua Rubin has been documenting what occurs in the Tornillo tent city for the past three months and joins us to discuss what he has seen.


While researching the farm worker movement, filmmaker Laurie Coyle came across several black and white photos. One woman, who appeared frequently in the photos, was later discovered to be Maria Moreno (00:17). And a new book of original song collaborations tell the stories of San Antonio West Side’s oldest residents (15:50).


The West Side of San Antonio is predominantly poor and Hispanic, and has a reputation for being crime-ridden. But many of its residents wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Many of the West Side’s oldest residents have stories to tell, but historians normally don’t come knocking on their doors. Their stories are now compiled in “Still Here: Homenaje al Westside de San Antonio.


Andrés Manuel López Obrador is Mexico’s newest president. The 65-year-old populist painted himself as a champion for Mexico’s poor.

Jorge Valencia, KJZZ’s senior field correspondent, was in Mexico City for Saturday’s inauguration. He said López Obrador laid out a laundry list of issues he hopes to accomplish in the next six years, including fighting corruption in the Mexican government.


Poor neighborhoods in many cities are experiencing urban renewal. As a result, many long-time residents of those neighborhoods can no longer afford to live in the homes they have known for generations.

Yolanda Chávez Leyva, an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, specializes in the history of the border and said residents of El Segundo Barrio managed to save their neighborhood from developers in 2006. That’s when the Paso del Norte group announced a downtown revitalization plan.


William Henry Ellis was born a slave in Victoria, Texas, in 1864 — a year before slavery was abolished in the state.

Ellis was able to take advantage of his proximity to the border — and his light complexion — to reinvent himself as Mexican businessman, Guillermo Enrique Eliseo.

John Phillip Santos, a San Antonio writer, journalist, and filmmaker, attended San Antonio Fiesta events as a child. His grandmother pointed out  that “ ‘This was a celebration of the defeat of the Mexicans,’ ” Santos said.


  

This week on Fronteras: 

  •  A major push to register Hispanics to vote finds many  of them struggle to make ends meet in their everyday lives.
  •  Border Land Act would protect owners from Trump Administration land grabs for border wall.
  •  President Trump’s decision to lower the number of refugees welcomed in the U.S. threatens the viability of resettlement agencies.
  •  A major toymaker wants to cash in on a pricey Hispanic rite of passage with the Quinceañera Barbie.

 

The trans community was recently in the spotlight when the Texas legislature attempted to pass its so-called bathroom bill in the Senate.  SB6 would have required individuals to use restrooms in public schools and government buildings that align with the gender on their birth certificate.  That bill and a subsequent bill in the special session failed to make it to the governor’s desk.

Trans children face other challenges other than just figuring out which bathroom to use.  TPR’s Norma Martinez recently attended an event in San Antonio that served to educate and celebrate the trans community.