Davisville Archives

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

Davisville, Oct. 24, 2022: A new way to deal with all the surplus stuff in Davis

Old rooftop TV antennas can become shovel handles. Discarded bedframes can be feedstock. Owners of balky vacuum cleaners can learn how to maintain them, instead of trash them. Boomers with a house full of unwanted possessions can get advice on handing them off to new uses. Community Mercantile, a new nonprofit store stocked with re-used items that offers this kind of serious recycling to the town, has its grand opening this Sunday, Oct. 30. Today on Davisville, we talk with co-founders Larry Fisher and Stephanie Koop about what they’re doing, and why.

Davisville, Oct. 10, 2022: The ‘Ghost of the Woodland Opera House’

It’s 1909, and the Golden Fleece Traveling Players have arrived at the Woodland Opera House to present a melodrama, Daughter of the West. But strange accidents disrupt preparations for the performance — and the ghost of William Porter, who has haunted the Opera House since dying there in a fire in 1892, takes credit for the trouble when he appears to one of the company’s players.

This is a partial synopsis of the WOH’s current play, Ghost of the Woodland Opera House, and here’s the Halloween angle — some of the story is true. Today on Davisville we talk with Matthew Abergel and Bob Cooner, the co-authors of the play, which Matthew is also directing.

Davisville, Sept. 26, 2022: The last record store in town is having a busy year

Young adult buyers rediscovering a sense of community as they listen to records together. Interest in long-gone bands like Led Zeppelin. High prices for LPs you couldn't give away a decade ago. People emerging from the pandemic who bring in boxes of their vinyl records because they want to get stuff out of their homes, and they don't want the records to be thrown away. Paul Wilbur, the longtime manager of Armadillo Music in downtown Davis, says the current market for LPs and CDs isn't easily explained, but love for music is a big part of it. He’s our guest today on Davisville.

Davisville, Sept. 12, 2022: Searching deepest space, while working from Davis

In a remote Chilean desert, the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization is building a huge telescope that promises to see deeper into space than any optical telescope now existing. The work involves five countries and more than a dozen leading universities and institutes — and the president of the nonprofit that’s building it, Robert Shelton, lives in Davis. He joins us today on Davisville to talk about this huge new eye on the distant reaches of space and what it might show us, like whether we’re alone in the universe.

(The rendering depicts the Giant Magellan Telescope, now being built in Chile.)

Davisville, Aug. 29, 2022: At UC Davis, researchers work on restoring the ability to speak

Imagine that you want to speak, but you can’t, because a stroke or disease has robbed you of the ability. Two researchers at UC Davis are helping to create a “brain-machine interface” that would use a brain implant and technology to recreate an individual's ability to talk. That advance would be profoundly important to the individual, of course, and for all of us, it’s a promising use of technology.

Today on Davisville we talk with Drs. David Brandman and Sergey Stavisky about their research, how the interface would work, who it can help, recent advances in neuroprosthetics, the novel leadership set-up of their lab, and what brought them to UC Davis.

(This UC Davis Health photo shows members of the UC Davis Neuroprosthetics Lab, with Sergey Stavisky at the far left, and David Brandman second from right.)

Davisville, Aug. 15, 2022: The Davis night sky can be magical in the summer

The night sky is one of the best parts of Davis during summer and early fall. Hot days yield to mild evenings that make it easy to spend time outdoors after sunset, and a bright moon on the horizon can feel elemental, inviting thoughts about subjects that go far beyond the daily routine.

On today’s program Vinita Domier from the Davis Astronomy Club talks about the attractions of the night sky. With the James Webb space telescope, humans can now see farther in space than ever. We also we hear from stargazers at two recent nighttime events where the club's members brought out their telescopes: one event in the Explorit Science Center parking lot, and the other at a Yolo Basin Foundation benefit held one Saturday night deep in the Yolo Bypass.

Davisville, Aug. 1, 2022: Millennials in the market, fewer Bay Area buyers, and other Davis housing updates

The migration of people from the Bay Area to Davis inspired by the pandemic has cooled, the average price of a house in Davis has shot past $900,000, and more than half of the city’s homebuyers now seem to be millennials. That's some of the updated Davis housing information you'll hear in today's conversation with three members of a Davis family who have made local real estate their career: Steve, Kit, and James Boschken. Steve, a real estate broker, and Kit own Boschken Properties, where she is also manager, and their son James is a real estate agent and property manager who’s about to move back to Davis from Texas.

(This July 2022 photo shows the site of the Chiles Ranch new home development planned on East Eighth Street in Davis)

Davisville, July 18, 2022: Collecting tangible memories of past campaigns

Today we dig into a form of American political expression that dates way back in U.S. history, applies to any type of view or opinion, and leaves behind artifacts of campaigns that helped shape who we are: political campaign buttons and memorabilia, powered by the people, events and aspirations the items represented. My guests are Bob Warren—son of Earl Warren, former governor of California and onetime chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court—and Adam Gottlieb. Both live in Davis, and both are active in American Political Items Collectors, which has its next national convention in Reno July 22-23.

And if you happen to find a certain button from the 1920 Cox/Roosevelt campaign in a box you inherited from your grandparents, your ship has just come in.

Davisville, July 11, 2022: Bob Cowsill, ‘Hair,’ and an enduring family of musicians

Today we have a summer show. It’s an appreciation of pop music as created by my guest Bob Cowsill (on right in photo) and by his siblings—together, known as the Cowsills. They had top 10 songs in the 1960s, but there’s more to their story than their hits “Hair,” or “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things.” The Cowsills perform in Sacramento on July 11 at the Crest Theatre as part of the Happy Together tour, and they have a new record due out this fall.

And, dear listener, if the songs we talk about today aren’t ones you heard as a kid or young adult, well, then as you listen, I invite you to think about the songs that helped alert you to the fun and the feeling of music. Because that’s the larger story here: the power of music. And maybe the power of a family.

Davisville, June 27, 2022: Top 2022 grad sees power in stats, prizes ‘small senses of joy and community’ she found in Davis

My first question for Amanda Portier (pictured), this year’s top graduating senior at UC Davis, was how she managed to achieve straight A’s in her classes while chairing Picnic Day for 2022 and doing everything else she did as a student here. As you might imagine, she’s been asked this question more than once the last few weeks. Insights she gained from synchronized swimming are part of the answer. On today’s Davisville we also talk about community and regional development (her degree), using statistics to influence people (she minored in statistics) in a culture that seems to pay more attention to individual expression and personal experience, and what she’ll take from Davis as she leaves.

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