City Visions

Mondays at 7pm

Local Bay Area issues, with listener participation, every Monday at 7pm

Call in line: 415-841-4134

Twitter: @cityvisionsKALW


To what extent is climate change causing or worsening California's drought, and how is the drought similar to other extreme weather events like superstorm Sandy? Columbia University climatologist Adam Sobel joins us to talk about the current drought, its causes, and how we can manage the increasing risk of future natural disasters.


Adam H. Sobel, Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University. He is also the author of Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future.

This fall, San Francisco’s newest university, Minerva, enrolled its founding class of students -- but the Nob Hill school has no libraries, sports facilities, or even classrooms. Tuition is far lower than that of traditional universities, and students will move to a different international location each year. Is this the future of higher education?



Host Joseph Pace examines food insecurity in San Francisco and EatSF, a new fresh fruit and vegetable voucher program for "food insecure" residents of the Tenderloin.  

Nearly one quarter of San Francisco's residents don't have reliable access to fresh, nutritious food, despite the city's commitment to social services.  The Department of Public Health and UCSF  have teamed up to create EatSF to tackle this problem.  If EatSF works, it will expand to other neighborhoods.

Last election’s voter turnout hit a record low in California, and national turnout was the lowest it’s been since 1942. What’s keeping people away from the polls -- even in the politically active Bay Area -- and to what extent does voter disengagement threaten our democracy


- Supervisor Katy Tang, representing San Francisco’s District 4

- Jason McDaniel, Assistant Professor of political science, San Francisco State University

- Melissa Breach, Executive Director, League of Women Voters California 


Contingent, adjunct or part-time professors make up the majority of faculty nationwide, yet many labor under difficult if not harsh conditions -- including low pay, lack of resources and minimal job security. As the slogan goes, teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. What is this emergent labor movement working to make visible, transform and achieve?

Producer: Zara Zimbardo


- Maria Maisto, president, New Faculty Majority

City Visions: Pre-Election Special 2014

Oct 28, 2014

Bay Area voters head to the polls tomorrow to consider measures addressing water shortages, housing costs, sugary beverage consumption, clogged streets, and artificial turf battles in Golden Gate Park. And they'll decide on San Francisco's next assemblymember and Oakland's next mayor. Host Joseph Pace takes up these issues and more with USF politics professor Corey Cook.

Guest:  Corey Cook, Associate Professor of politics, University of San Francisco


Producer:  Wendy Holcombe

City Visions: SF Voters to Consider Sugary Drink Tax

Oct 23, 2014

City Visions host Joseph Pace and guests discuss San Francisco's politically charged Proposition E, which would levy a two cent per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages to fund citywide health and recreation programs. Proponents of Proposition E argue that the tax, which would be the first of its kind in the nation, is necessary to combat obesity and Type II diabetes in children, reduce medical costs and save lives. Opponents say the tax would unfairly burden local merchants, drive up grocery prices, cost jobs and fail to bring about the promised health benefits. How will you vote?

Host David Onek and guests dive into one of this election's most contentious ballot measures:  Proposition G.  Known as an "anti-speculation" tax, Prop G has ardent support and robust opposition, reflecting ongoing tension about the high cost of housing in San Francisco.

Would Prop G make San Francisco housing more affordable?

Is it an effective deterrent to real estate speculation, or is it just a major new tax on property owners?


With the past weeks marking the Free Speech Movement’s 50th Reunion & Celebration, we want to know what’s become of their kids?—the red diaper babies, and families of black panthers, queers, feminists, and brown berets? Host David Onek and guests engage in some intergenerational dialogue on who’s on the picket line or possibly in the boardroom. 


-Art Goldberg

-Ruth Beaglehole

-Rabbi Susan Goldberg

-David Goldberg

-Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan

-Mateo Nube

-Joël Barraquiel Tan

Producer: Lisa Denenmark

City Visions host Joseph Pace talks to the curators of "Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California," a new exhibit of the Oakland Museum of California and SFMOMA.  The exhibit highlights four creative communities in the Bay Area that influenced the art world.  By weaving together the museums' holdings of California art and ephemera, "Fertile Ground" tells the stories of the artists and institutions that generated unique artistic innovation. 

The four key moments and communities featured are:

How have Bay Area scientists and innovators influenced the study of astronomy, and how can Bay Area residents learn more about the mysteries of our extraterrestrial universe? City Visions host David Onek speaks with local award-winning astronomy educator Andrew Fraknoi about everything from where to view October's solar eclipse to the ongoing hunt for extraterrestrial life.


City Visions host Joseph Pace speaks with Bevan Dufty, Director of Housing Opportunities, Partnerships and Engagement, about what his office is doing to enhance homeless services -- and the complex challenges that persist in helping people to leave the streets.


San Francisco’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness: Anniversary Report 2004 to 2014

Host David Onek speaks with the director of the San Francisco Zoo and its head of Animal Wellness and Behavior.

How has the Zoo's mission changed over the years?  How does it manage concerns over animal welfare?  And why is the Western Pond Turtle a focus of its conservation efforts?

Producer:  Wendy Holcombe


Port of SF

From Fisherman's Wharf to India Basin, what's next for San Francisco's waterfront? Host Joseph Pace and guests discuss the Port of San Francisco's newly released waterfront use plan. How does the plan address voter-imposed height limits? And how will future development contend with rising sea levels and other climate impacts?


-Byron Rhett, deputy director of planning and development, Port of San Francisco

City Visions: Can Tech Be a Force for Good?

Aug 12, 2014

August 18, 2014:  City Visions' guest host Victoria Thorp talks with leaders who are drawing on tech knowledge to solve key problems in San Francisco and across the country:

Catherine Bracy from Code for America

Clara Brenner from Tumml

Rose Broome from Hand Up

Jake Solomon from Code for America

Produced by Victoria Thorp

On the August 4, 2014 edition:  Host David Onek and a panel of experts look at why childhood stress can impact long-term health.

What are the biochemical changes that occur because of early stress, and why can they reduce life expectancy?  What diseases are most commonly seen in adults who have experienced childhood trauma?  And what can doctors treating at-risk kids do to improve long-term health outcomes?

Producer:  Wendy Holcombe


City Visions: New Visions for Climate Justice

Jul 22, 2014

What does it mean to confront the growing Bay Area’s energy needs in a time of climate crisis? Can we have power without pollution? Host David Onek and guests discuss visionary community-based solutions and organizing in Richmond and beyond.


  • Gopal Dayaneni: Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project
  • Vivian Huang: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
  • Andrés Soto: Communities for a Better Environment

Producer: Zara Zimbardo

City Visions: Exploring the Human Microbiome

Jul 14, 2014
Nature Magazine

City Visions for July 21, 2014: According to researchers, there are 100 trillion microorganisms living in the human body. But where does this 'human microbiome' come from? What do these microorganisms do for us and how are they related to chronic disease? And how can we keep our microbiome healthy?

City Visions host David Onek explores these questions and more with Bay Area leading researchers Katie Pollard of the Gladstone Institutes, Susan Lynch of UCSF, and Peter diLaura of Second Genome.

Produced by: Victoria Thorp

City Visions: Coit Tower, Restored

Jul 9, 2014
Image courtesy of Architectural Resources Group

What are the stories behind the newly completed restoration of Coit Tower and its famed murals? City Visions host Joseph Pace speaks with the architect, conservator and city officials responsible for the $1.7 million project, and explores the monument’s artistic, historical and social significance in San Francisco. 


Cassandra Costello, Property Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs, San Francisco Arts Commission

David Wessel, Principal, Architectural Resources Group

Innovations in Health Tech - How Will You Benefit?

Jun 17, 2014


On the June 23rd episode:

Are wireless devices really helping people lead healthier and longer lives?  Host Joseph Pace discusses the impact of current and future innovations in health tech.

As our bodies share rich data wirelessly, how can we be sure it will not be used to discriminate against those who have medical conditions or are predisposed to have them? 


What are the most important wireless devices in medicine's future?


Will they help reduce healthcare costs?

On the June 16th edition: Is hyperlocal journalism here to stay? David Onek speaks with some of San Francisco's citizen journalists about the stories they're breaking, the financial challenges they face, and life on the neighborhood beat.  


-Todd Lappin, founder and editor, Bernalwood

-Rose Garrett, managing editor, Hoodline

-Kevin Montgomery, founder and editor, Uptown Almanac

The FBI has identified the Bay Area as one of the biggest 'hot spots' for this crime across the country.  Outcry over the prevalence of child sex trafficking led to the successful passage of Prop 35 in 2012, which strengthens prosecution for criminals. Host Joseph Pace discusses the impact of Prop 35 with expert local guests. 

A One-on-One with DPH Head Barbara Garcia

May 27, 2014

Why does San Francisco still need a public health plan now that the statewide health care exchange is open?  How proactive should government be in discouraging unhealthy behaviors?  Should it be curbing soft drink sizes, now that almost a third of all California hospital patients are obese?

Host David Onek sits down with Barbara Garcia, head of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, to discuss these questions and more.

Guest:  Barbara Garcia, Director of Health for the City and County of San Francisco.

Producer:  Wendy Holcombe

YBCA's Deborah Cullinan

May 14, 2014

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) was founded in 1993, out of an expressed need for an accessible, high-profile San Francisco venue devoted to contemporary visual art, performance, and film/video representing diverse cultural and artistic perspectives.

YBCA, seen by many in the Bay Area as a catalyst for local and regional artistic activity and as a leader in arts ecology and in the community, is making a push to get more art on the street and to support artists in different ways.

Your rooftop solar questions answered

May 8, 2014

As rooftop solar development in the Bay Area takes off, what does the consumer need to know? Host Joseph Pace and guests discuss the risks and rewards of going solar and the ongoing debate among advocates and utilities over how solar customers should be compensated for the power they produce.

Producer: Susie Britton


- Steve Weissman, Director of the Energy Program, Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, Berkeley Law

- Cal Broomhead, Manager of the Climate and Energy Program, San Francisco Department of the Environment

Creating a Privacy Zone for Student Data

Apr 29, 2014

Schools are using software to manage all kinds of information about children, from grades, to test scores to classroom behavior. But as these programs proliferate, how can schools be sure this student data is secure? And what do parents need to know to keep their children's information safe? City Visions explores the effort to create a "School Privacy Zone" to protect student data.

Guests: Crista Stumanik, Common Sense Media; Tony Porterfield, engineer and parent advocate and Ann Duncan, Palo Alto School District.

Bay Area Cities Tackle the Minimum Wage Debate

Apr 22, 2014
California Budget Project

Will raising the minimum wage reduce economic inequality in the Bay Area?  Or will businesses respond by employing fewer workers, as critics claim?

Support Your Local Sex Worker

Apr 15, 2014

As the St. James Infirmary campaign says, "Someone you know is a sex worker."

Escorts, street and survival sex workers, personal companions, adult film actors, porn models, nude models, body work providers, exotic dancers, phone sex operators, and sexological surrogates are all sex workers.

For some people, those jobs might be part survival or a career path -- one that is often fraught with stigmatization, criminalization, and the fight for primary health care and social services.

Plug-in vehicles edge toward the mainstream

Apr 3, 2014

Are electric vehicles poised for a renaissance? As Tesla talks of gigafactories, San Francisco develops new public charging stations and the state moves forward with its zero emission vehicle plan, is it time for consumers to go electric? Host David Onek and guests discuss the benefits and challenges associated with EVs.

Producer: Susie Britton


-Marc Geller, writer, advocate and co-founder of Plug-In America, a non-profit group that promotes the use of electric vehicles. He appeared in the 2006 film "Who Killed the Electric Car."

San Francisco Grapples With a Widening "Wealth Gap"

Mar 25, 2014

Can San Francisco become more affordable?  According to the Brookings Institute, San Francisco's "wealth gap" has widened at a faster rate than that of any other city in the United States.  Host Joseph Pace and a panel of experts explore the implications of the accelerating economic division in San Francisco.