Autumn Labbe-Renault's blog

COVID-19 Community Report Jan. 19, 2021 - Tree Davis

It's Episode 48, and time to check in with  Tree Davis.

As I've said many times during the course of this show, it's not just the pandemic we're dealing with, but the attendant mental and physical health challenges, and dramatic social/political and  economic concerns. As well, things like the climate crisis haven't just disappeared.

That last point became a fascinating talking point in my interview with Erin Donley Marineau this week. As Executive Director of Tree Davis, Erin ovesees an organization that plants trees and does enviromental stewardship in communities around Yolo County, not just Davis. In normal years, she says, 40 Saturdays each year are devoted to working with volunteers in various cities. Obviously that scale of work has not been possible during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Community Report Jan. 12, 2021

I've interviewed many people in the last 10 months. With each conversation, I aim to let people tell their stories--whatever they may be--about the impacts of the pandemic.

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction. Consider the sports editor when there are no games, no practices, no preseason. What's a guy to do? If you're Bruce Gallaudet of The Davis Enterprise, you muddle through and cover the angles you can. Catch our conversation about the status of UC Davis athletics, and the trickle-down effect that happens when high-school youth don't have college-level opportunities to pursue.

Consider, also, the musician who has lost venues, and gigs like bars and weddings. I speak with Joel Daniel of the the Davis Independent Music Initiative (DIMI). In a nutshell: there's $6,500 available to support one local band or musician, and the deadline to apply is in March.

Tune in tomorrow at noon PST on 95.7 FM in Davis, or anytime, anywhere at

COVID-19 Community Report Jan. 5, 2021 - Shelly Gilbride

It's a new year, with hope on the horizon in the form of new vaccines, but the reality is we're still in this for a while, and the State's Stay Home Order is still in effect. The list of stats and updates I'll share on today's show is a bit daunting, which is one reason  I'm glad I have a great community leader to interview.

As Executive Director of International House Davis, longtime Davis resident Shelly Gilbride and her team have been guiding the venerable nonprofit through the challenges and changes of the past year. Before joining I-House, Shelly served  for five years as the Programs Officer of the California Arts Council,  where she was responsible for grant programs to support arts, culture, and creativity across the state. Shelly oversaw the programs at the Arts Council during a period of tremendous growth, initiating and implementing new programs that extended the agency’s reach to support cultural communities, artists, and grassroots organizations.

COVID-19 Community Report Dec. 15, 2020 - Jesse Salinas, Yolo ACE

My guest for Dec. 15 is Jesse Salinas, who serves as the Assessor/ Clerk-Recorder/Chief Election Official (ACE) for Yolo County. Jesse's purview and scope of work is broad and far reaching, but it was really the elections work---and the switch to vote by mail--that took center stage during this pandemic year.

I last spoke with Jesse back at the end of September, when he and his staff were ramping up for vote by mail. In this interview, we'll touch base about lessons learned during this time of COVID-19, voter turnout, and what voting in Yolo County could look like moving forward.  

 Tune in live at noon at 95.7 FM, or listen anytime at

COVID-19 Community Report Dec. 8, 2020 - Episode 44 w/ Davis Mayor Gloria Partida

Dec. 8 marks nearly nine full months since the first shelter-in-place order back in March, and also Episode 44 of the "COVID-19 Community Report" on KDRT. I've interviewed more than 70 people during this time, documenting the effects of the pandemic on communities, institutions, and individuals across Yolo County. Today we'll catch up with Davis Mayor Gloria Partida.

Municipalities have their own particular burdens to bear during this pandemic, from loss of sales tax and other revenue generated at the local level, to loss of income from state and federal governments. And yet, the work of running the City goes on. We'll hear about recent developments in Davis, from Commission appointments to police accountability, and learn more about a forthcoming Community Conversation on Public Safety Recommendations scheduled for Dec. 14.

Live Tuesdays at noon on LDRT 95.7FM in Davis, everywhere and archived after each show.

COVID-19 Community Report Dec. 1, 2020

As Yolo County saw its adjusted daily case rate for the week ending Nov. 22 jump to 28.2 per 100,000 residents--up from 20.9 just four days prior--many of us are wondering what the numbers might look like 7-10 days after holiday gatherings at Thanksgiving.

It's a good moment to check in with Dr. Aimee Sisson, who joined Yolo County as its chief Public Health Officer in October after resigning from the same position in Placer County when officials there decided to lessen restrictions around COVID-19.

We'll talk about our numbers, what we might expect in the coming weeks and months, and generally check in about the state of public health in Yolo County. We'll also talk about the hard and sometimes demoralizing front-line work that public health officers face as they carry out the state's often unpopular mandates.

Tune in live Tuesday, Dec. 1 on air, or  listen live or download the podcast anytime on

COVID-19 Community Report Nov. 17, 2020

At a moment where Yolo County has been returned to the most restrictive tier under the State's COVID-19 protocol, we hear two pespectives about the pandemic's impact on school-aged populations here in Davis.

My first guest today is Lorraine Nail-Visher, President of the Davis School Arts Foundation, which supports culturally relevant arts education for children in Davis public schools through project grants, advocacy, and arts integration training for educators. We'll hear about the foundation's work in general, and its recent decision to concentrate its efforts on one grade and one centralized effort during the pandemic.

Then we'll hear from 9th-grader Rohan Baxi about his experiences with distance learning, and the hobby he took up at the start of the pandemic that's given him purpose during this time.

LIVE Tuesdays at noon, anytime at

COVID-19 Community Report: A Visit with the Davis Area Interfaith Religious Leaders Network - Oct. 27, 2020

So, a group of local clergy walks into a community media station…it sounds like the start of a joke, but rest assured it’s not. More like, a sign of the times.

For the past seven months, I’ve been talking to people about how COVID has impacted their lives — how it’s changed their business, their operations or services, and their lives. As I’ve also mentioned many times during this course of this show, it’s not just a global pandemic we’re weathering--2020 has been a highly complex year, one where layers are being peeled back on institutionalized racism, where fear and scarcity loom large, and where divisiveness seems to be the order of the day. In short, we’re a highly stressed populace. 

COVID-19 Community Report Oct. 20, 2020

Each October, the Davis Cemetery District & Arboretum holds a marvelous Dia de los Muertos celebration. Can you think of a more fitting setting for our local adaptation of this beautiful celebration of life and death that originated in Mexico, and today is celebrated all over Central America and here in the U.S.? Despite COVID, the celebration is on, and we'll hear from Executive Director Jessica Smithers how it's been adapted for this year. We'll also learn about some of the other unique features of this suprising local resource.

Also joining us with news of a big COVID pivot is Bobby Weist, president of Davis Firefighters Local 3494. In addition to being heroes on the frontlines, our local firefighters are tireless in their efforts to help others, all year long, and many of us are familiar with their "Fill the Boot" effort prior to each Thanksgiving, where these men and women stand on street corners at busy intersections and collect cash donations in a fire boot, all of which go to fund their Turkey Basket program. This year's effort is virtual, and he'll share how and when and why to donate.

COVID-19 Community Report Oct. 13, 2020

The more I keep digging, the more stories I find there are to be told.

Today we'll hear about families who may have reached such a tough place that they are in true crisis, and we'll hear about the many ways Yolo Crisis Nursery steps up to help. Executive Director Heather Sleuter joins us to chat about the Nursery's services, and the ways it's had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We'll also hear from Evie Wright, president of Soroptimist International of Davis, which works to empower women and girls through education, training, and financial support as stepping stones to economic empowerment. With its most consistent fundraiser out of the running due to COVID, how is the club adapting, and what's new in its offerings?

Live today at noon on KDRT 95.7FM, and available anytime at kdrt. org.