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Esmeralda Bermudez joins Times on California desk

June 19, 2008 | 12:04 pm

Here's the memo to the staff from David Lauter, California Editor:

I'm very happy to announce a new Metro reporter, Esmeralda Bermudez. I first met Esme in December and was immediately impressed by her energy, drive and commitment to the best sort of journalistic values.

A native of El Salvador, Esme came to Southern California at age 5 when her family fled the civil war at home. They settled in Whittier, where some years later Esme became the first woman in her family to graduate from high school. She went on to USC, where she majored in journalism, then, after a series of internships, took at job at the Oregonian. Last year, she was a Livingston Award finalist for a series she wrote about a 39-year-old Portland-area woman and two of her children who were deported to Guatemala after 13 years of living in Oregon.

Now, she'll have an opportunity to put her reporting talent and her knowledge of immigrant culture and society to work here, in the city where she grew up. That's a happy conjunction both for her and for us. Esme will join us at the end of this month and will initially work a GA assignment. Please join me in congratulating her.

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