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
Podcast
Music programs are only online for two weeks after they are broadcast.

Davisville, May 1, 2023: Watermelon Music asks for help, gets a big response

To get his Davis business Watermelon Music through the dislocations caused by the pandemic, Jeff Simons took on debt, delayed payments, tried new ideas — and three years in, the numbers weren’t working in his favor.

So in April he opened a GoFundMe account to ask his customers and friends for $104,000 to pay the debt. He didn’t think he’d get anywhere close to that amount. Instead, as word spread quickly that Watermelon needed help, the business experienced a moment like the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. About 900 donors chipped in sums from $6 to $10,000, testifying to Watermelon’s positive presence in Davis and the many people who appreciate the store.

Jeff is our guest on Davisville today to talk about the response, working through the pandemic, changes at Watermelon, music, operating in Davis, and what convinced him to actually send his request for help, not just think about it.

Davisville, April 17, 2023: You might not know this, but spiders are not out to get you

Emma Jochim, a PhD candidate in entomology at UC Davis, has a particular interest in trapdoor spiders, plus a knack for explaining arachnids in ways that make them seem less creepy to the public. She used those skills at a recent Bohart Museum of Entomology open house, and uses them again on today’s Davisville when we talk about spider myths. For example: Many people think poisonous brown recluse spiders exist in California, and they don’t. Nor do you ingest several spiders in your sleep each year.

Communicating accurate information to the public isn’t easy, and our conversation about that includes a post by a UC Riverside arachnologist frustrated by beliefs "solidly based on erroneous general consensus.”

Davisville, April 3, 2023: Talking about restaurants, trends and Davis with Bee food writer Benjy Egel

Benjy Egel says he’s been interested in food ever since he was a kid in Davis. “I grew up doing cooking camps through the city of Davis programs, at like Cesar Chavez Elementary,” he said. After cooking during his college years and working as a journalist after graduating, “I just sort of fell into [food writing] professionally by accident.”

Today he is the Sacramento Bee’s food and beverage writer, which includes writing reviews as well as reporting food trends and news in the region. He’s had the job about 5 years so far. Today our subjects include food and restaurants in Greater Sacramento, trends, staffing, the scene in Davis, and how he approaches his job.

Davisville, March 20, 2023: The Ukes of Great Britain bring their skill and humor to Davis

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, known for both talent and self-effacing humor, will play at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis on April 28. This week on Davisville, founder George Hinchliffe and creative producer/performer Leisa Rea talk about the music and why the orchestra came together in the first place.

“We’re a strange kind of musical juggernaut,” Rea says, “and we seem to delight people all over the world, no matter what the culture, no matter whether there’s a language barrier or not. Somehow the ukulele is the people’s instrument.”

Among other things, we talk about tuning, their choice of songs, ukes as kindling, and Hinchliffe’s friendly encounter with George Harrison of the Beatles. A typical Ukes concert, Rea and Hinchliffe say, “is a sort of white-knuckle shopping-cart dash through just about every musical genre.”

Davisville, March 6, 2023: Electrifying Davis as the city adapts to climate change

The city's plan to cut carbon pollution in Davis to net zero by 2040 relies on electrifying buildings and transportation, plus other visible changes. On today’s program Kerry Daane Loux, the city’s project manager for the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, and City Council member Bapu Vaitla talk about why Davis must change, and what’s ahead.

The council will take up the plan again in April.

“The next steps are very important. We’ve arrived at a hundred actions, 28 priorities, but we know that we need to prioritize within the priorities and say this year, what are the three, four, maybe five actions that we want to become law,” Vaitla says on Davisville. “It doesn’t necessarily need to be mandates, but it does need to be policies that we would place at the top of the list in terms of the climate impact they’re going to have, in terms of the greenhouse-gas reduction impact.

“ … The idea stage is nearing the end of its first phase, but now it’s the implementation stage where all of us need to be involved and give, give of ourselves.”

Davisville, Feb. 20, 2023: Decades later, the Tuskegee Airmen still have things to tell us

If you’re reading this, you likely already know at least a little about the Tuskegee Airmen. These 16,000 men and women helped defend the United States during World War II even though as Black Americans they had to overcome Jim Crow laws and racism just to be allowed to fight for their home.

Today’s guests are Leigh Roberts and Lanelle Brent, whose father George “Spanky” Roberts was a fighter pilot and Tuskegees’ commander during the war. The sisters help run the Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapter of Greater Sacramento. You might have heard them speak in Davis.

Davisville, Feb. 6, 2023: Did ChatGPT write this? How would you know?

ChatGPT is a new tech tool that can write — maybe “write” should appear in quotes — by using advanced technology and vast databases of text. So is this ability a good thing, the word equivalent of a calculator? Or does use of ChatGPT reduce the need for people to learn how to think and write coherently?

In today’s Davisville we talk with Andy Jones, a longtime writing instructor and educational technologist, and Margaret Merrill, a senior instructional design consultant, both at the University of California, Davis. They list pluses and minuses of ChatGPT, their encounters with the tool, how they can tell when someone has used ChatGPT to write something, and how they approach this latest evolution in artificial intelligence. Their discussion is fascinating.

Davisville, Jan. 23, 2023: Not as visible as their buses, but working on it

The student government at UC Davis employs more than 1,000 people, speaks for one of the most important constituencies in Davis, and runs popular local services and events like Unitrans and Picnic Day.

But less than 6 percent of students voted in the Associated Students of UC Davis fall 2022 election, so what are people overlooking?

Today we talk with ASUCD President Radhika Gawde (pictured)  about engagement, students’ biggest concern (the rising cost of living), and their relief services for students, plus her appreciation that UC Davis lets students dabble in classes across disciplines, and wish for more late-night food options in town.

Davisville, Jan. 9, 2023: An exit interview with Dan Carson

In the nearly 106 years that Davis has been a city, the City Council has had fewer than 100 members total. Not a big number for a city that now numbers 67,000 people.

Today we talk with Dan Carson, who became the newest former member of the council after losing his seat to Bapu Vaitla last November. We talk a little about Measure H and his lawsuit challenging the ballot statement opposing the measure, a criticized tactic that Carson later regretted. We spend more time on what he learned about the city from being on the council, how he thinks Davis is doing, and what he does and does not miss now that he no longer has the job.

Davisville, Dec. 26, 2022: Mayhem at Twitter, plus confidence that eventually we’ll get a handle on social media

We have two main threads today: the chaos at Twitter since Elon Musk took over, including why the social platform matters, plus a conversation about social media and whether we’ll ever figure it out. Cindy Shen says we will. She’s a social media expert and professor of communication at the University of California, Davis, and points out that people have always figured out how to get a handle on disruptive technology -- including things we no longer view as technology, such as the printing press.

“Over time, as people become more accustomed to the technology, we don’t see technology as this causal agent," she says. "We realize that humans have agency as well. ... We have a say about how we want to use the technology, maybe to maximize its positive impact and minimize its harms.”

How do we get to this better place? Digital media literacy is a start.

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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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