Davisville

Davis has interesting people, ideas, connections, and events. On Davisville, host Bill Buchanan presents stories that have some connection to Davis. The program has won 13 Excellence in Journalism awards from the San Francisco Press Club since 2018. Contact: davisville @ dcn.org

Replays Tuesday 12-12:30pm, Friday 5-5:30pm, Saturday 8:30-9am
Live Monday 5:30-6pm
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Davisville, June 17, 2024: Bob Dunning’s reborn column, one month later

Several weeks have passed since the Davis Enterprise laid off its best-known writer, Bob Dunning, who quickly moved his Wary 1 column to the online blog platform Substack and more than replaced his former salary through subscriptions. Today we talk about how his new venture is doing, how he’s doing, and his fast change from lifetime employment as Davis newspaper community columnist to a Davis star of Substack. “I’ve never traveled at the speed of light before,” he says, “but it’s kind of interesting.”

Davisville, June 3, 2024: He helped ex-Enterprise writers Dunning and Weitzel land at Substack

Davis has just gone through a local news media earthquake. We’re talking about the Davis Enterprise’s decision to lay off Wary I columnist Bob Dunning (left, in photo), which shocked and/or angered thousands of people in town. In less than a week, Dunning had restarted his column and sports writing on Substack, with enough paid subscriptions to more than replace his salary at the Enterprise. Within days, Comings & Goings local business columnist Wendy Weitzel left the paper voluntarily to also move her work to Substack.

The evolving Davis news and information story has many parts. Today on Davisville we talk with local small business tech entrepreneur Brian Bolz (on right in photo), who helped Dunning and Weitzel get started on Substack, where they quickly found audiences. Bolz discusses how he became involved, plus his goals, what he’s doing, and how he sees the larger picture.

Davisville, May 27, 2024: She writes opinions for students at UC Davis

These days, you can get all the quick takes and snap judgments you want. They seem easier to find than facts, partly because they're catnip to the algorithms and impulses that drive social media. Today’s guest is doing something different with opinions — something more difficult, in my book, and more useful, especially in the long run. Since fall 2022, Claire Schad has been writing opinion columns for the California Aggie, the student newspaper and news organization at the University of California, Davis.

Writing opinion columns will seem like an outdated, narrow pursuit — newspapers in any format have much less influence than they did — but a good column that hits its mark generates ideas, not just reactions. It can create room for nuance, for admitting and engaging different points of view. Writers learn about people and ideas, and how to make ideas useful. How to move them forward.

Claire is graduating in June, and we talk about her experiences today on Davisville.

Davisville, May 13, 2024: Founding DJ for vanished Davis station in the ’70s, then an astronaut, now KDRT: Steve Robinson comes full circle

Long before he flew four missions on the space shuttle, Steve Robinson was the first DJ of a now-vanished Davis commercial radio station, KYLO, in the late 1970s. Decades later, he’s a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Davis, and director of its Center for Space Flight Research — and he will soon return to local radio as occasional fill-in host for Rod Moseanko, host of the station’s Silver Nine Volt Heart. (The photo shows Steve, left, and Rod in the KDRT studio May 11.)

Today on Davisville we enjoy a serious conversation about space flight, plus hear Steve’s memories of KYLO — including what happened when he told listeners he was running out of records to play  — and learn what brought him to KDRT. After he returned Davis in 2012, Robinson said, “I was looking for some good radio,” and found it with Rod’s show. “I thought, ‘this kind of radio is still alive. It was very exciting to me.’ ”

Davisville, April 29, 2024: Capitol Corridor’s plans include underpass from Olive Drive to Davis station, more trains

The Capitol Corridor trains that connect Davis with the Bay Area and Sacramento are evolving as the service recovers from the pandemic. The corridor is adding passenger cars and resuming a full weekday schedule this year, experimenting with a tap-on/tap-off payment system to eventually replace tickets, and proceeding with plans to change access in Davis so that passengers board from an expanded center platform reached via an underpass (or perhaps an overpass) from the parking lot and Olive Drive.

Longer term, the service plans to shift to hydrogen or possibly electric power for its trains. We talk about all this, as well as this year's ridership trends and efforts to improve their timekeeping, on Davisville with Rob Padgette, managing director of the service. Today’s program updates our conversation about the corridor from early 2022.

Davisville, April 15, 2024: Happiness in spite of the problems of the world

In Harboring Happiness: 101 Ways to be Happy, author Dan Brook says happiness is worth pursuing despite all the awful things happening across the globe. He bases this on research and on what he has learned during his decades as an instructor and sociologist (he earned master’s and doctorate degrees in sociology from UC Davis in the 1990s).

So how do you become happier? You probably have to work at it. His suggestions range from “getting more experiences,” and feeling gratitude, to “being around people who make you happy” and converting the fear of missing out into the joy of missing out.

“I’m happy not because I ignore the problems of the world, but in spite of them,” he says. Work to fix what’s wrong, but “being miserable does not help solve those problems.” He elaborates on his ideas during today’s Davisville.

Davisville, April 1, 2024: A year later, less panic about chatbots

In winter 2023 we talked with Andy Jones and Margaret Merrill of UC Davis about ChatGPT, a new artificial-intelligence app that was setting off alarms for its advanced ability to "write" reports and articles. On today’s Davisville they report that among the faculty they work with, the sense of panic present then has now eased “quite a bit.” People know more about the limits of chatbots, and are asking more about how and where to use the tools in teaching, instead of just fearing them as a plagiarism machine.

We talk about handling chatbot hallucinations, resisting the biases that chatbots suck into their text databases, and hear a few examples of how UC Davis instructors are using the tools in their classrooms.

Davisville, March 18, 2024: Secret Spot creates a new home for the creatively weird in Davis

Today’s Davisville is a story about the new — and about getting started in Davis, as well as art, life after the pandemic, ambition, and the weird. We talk with Toni Rizzo and Harry Greer, who along with Stephanie Peel have started the Secret Spot, an arts gallery and music lounge business that opened this month in a former house at 117 D St. downtown. #ConstructiveDiscomfort #RookieRoom #ArtMania! #LockdownArt #DavisSound #ArtAsTherapy #PsychicScream #HelpingOthers The photo shows, from left, Toni, Harry and Stephanie

Davisville, March 4, 2024: DMA looks into creating a new information source for Davis and Yolo

Finding information and news about Davis is harder than it should be. The Enterprise still prints and posts local stories, but lacks the scope and heft it had before the rise of internet technology decimated newspapers as a business. Other paid sources of news and information have also retreated, turning what used to be a town commons for communication into a series of walled gardens, with information about local events and news scattered across a variety of formats, outlets, and channels. If the information is present at all.

Autumn Labbe-Renault, the executive director of Davis Media Access (the parent of KDRT), thinks DMA could work with the community to create a new source of information and news about Davis, and eventually Yolo County. The venture has the working title of civic information hub. The idea is in its very early stages, and we talk about it today on Davisville.

Davisville, Feb. 19, 2024: Measure N is normal in Davis, unusual in California

Measure N is the latest Davis schools parcel tax to come before voters — the latest in a string that goes back 40 years. Relatively few school districts in California have such taxes, and few levy as much as Davis does.

The sample ballot for the March 5th election presents the arguments for and against Measure N, plus a list of what the $768 tax supports. For context, today’s Davisville talks with John Fensterwald, an editor at large with EdSource, about how Californians pay for public schools, the pros and cons of parcel taxes, and why Davis receives less money per student from the state than most other districts receive. EdSource, a nonprofit, reports on education issues in California.

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Comments

You're a Davis icon, Bill. Keep up the good work of providing local, informative, and quality programming.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/15/2013 - 10:07pm

Bill, listen to the first 10 minutes of my show dated 7/7/2010. I hope you approve.
Paul Sheeran

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 7:22am

Just wanted to say thanks for an outstanding interview with Freedom From Hunger's president, Chris Dunford.
Keep up the good work!

Sam Citron

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/20/2010 - 12:39pm

thanks, Sam!

This is the program in question; it aired Jan. 25:

http://www.kdrt.org/node/2689

Bill

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/20/2010 - 12:42pm

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