City Visions

Mondays at 7pm

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

Call in line: 415-841-4134

Twitter: @cityvisionsKALW

Email: cityvisions@kalw.org

www.telegraph.co.uk

Do you find yourself checking email and texts constantly? Are digital devices and social media distracting you from your work, your family, and the world around you? City Visions talks with researchers and psychology professionals about the addictive nature of technology and strategies for balancing the urge to be online with the need for mental calm.

How much more water can the Bay Area conserve?

Mar 28, 2013
www5.sfgov.org

Advocates say that by mid-century the Bay Area will not have enough water to meet its needs without increasing supply or curbing demand. What more can local agencies and consumers do to conserve water, and can conservation alone help us avoid extreme water scarcity? Is water too cheap? What will it take to convince us all to adopt more water-efficient practices?

Host Joseph Pace explores San Francisco's Department of Public Works with its head, Mohammed Nuru.  Is 2011's Road Repaving and Street Safety bond making a difference to San Francisco's streets?  How has DPW adapted to a reduced budget?  What is the status of DPW initiatives such as the Better Market Street project, the Grey to Green initiative, and the SF Giants Sweep Pledge?  

The Rise of the Young Philanthropist

Mar 12, 2013

Host Lauren Meltzer and guests discuss the growing impact of young philanthropists. Last year, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that three of the top five donors of 2012 were under 40. Two of the three live in the Bay Area, which seems to generate new millionaires with each successful I.P.O. What are the values of these young donors? The Bay Area has lost some major philanthropists in the last five years - will this new guard fill their shoes? 


http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/

An exploration of the growing interest in massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Many of the leaders in the MOOC field are located here in the Bay Area, from tech start ups to faculty members. 

Bay Area views on federal immigration reform

Feb 26, 2013
americasvoiceonline.org

City Visions takes up the federal immigration reform debate and explores what the President's proposal could mean for the Bay Area. What are our region's pressing concerns and priorities? More visas for skilled workers? An easier path to citizenship for the undocumented? How can the Bay Area inform and advance the national discussion?

Foraging Fever

Feb 20, 2013
reportageonline.com

For some, foraging is a way to opt out of the industrial food system and a fascinating hobby that's feeding the latest woods-to-table trend. But for others it’s also a way to foster bio-diversity, eco-literacy, community and creativity. We discuss wild edibles, invasives, ethics, access, and what materials can best be harvested in the urban environment.

Guests: 

  • Kevin Feinstein (Feral Kevin)
  • Sasha Duerr

Guest Host: Victoria Thorp

Producer: Lisa Denenmark

A discussion of Oakland's fiscal health and looming pension costs.  Oakland is being challenged to find ways honor its pension and retirement obligations while providing essential city services.  How realistic is the city's Five-Year Financial Plan?  What lessons can be learned from Oakland's approach to its unfunded liabilities?

Is the CA Environmental Quality Act Working?

Jan 29, 2013
http://www.conservation.ca.gov

City Visions takes up the movement to reform the California Environmental Quality Act -- hailed by some as our state's pre-eminent environmental law, but condemned by others as a vehicle for obstructionism. How has the 43-year old law helped -- or hindered -- the construction of environmentally sound projects in the Bay Area? What, if anything, needs to be changed?


Nonprofits Seek Their Silver Linings Playbook

Jan 22, 2013

These days, nonprofit organizations are shouldering even greater responsibility for protecting civil rights and meeting basic human needs.

A new study on development and fundraising says that many social justice nonprofits are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed.

City Visions explores the policy conflicts facing the marijuana legalization movement in California. Do the recent ballot victories in Colorado and Washington provide new momentum for cannabis legalization in the Golden State? Or will enforcement of federal law by the Department of Justice prevent California from forging its own vision for the use and sale of marijuana?  Host Victoria Thorp discusses these questions and more with guests Dr. Robert MacCoun, Professor of Public Policy and Law, UC Berkeley, Beau Kilmer, Senior Policy Analyst at the RAND Institute's Drug Policy Research Center, and Dale Gieringer, Director of Cal NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

Additional resources:

A Conversation with SF Police Chief Greg Suhr

Dec 19, 2012

Host Joseph Pace speaks with San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.  Is violent crime on the rise in San Francisco?  How does crime in different neighborhoods compare?  Are the SFPD's tools, such as the "Bat Computer," making streets safer?  Hear Chief Suhr discuss the challenges and successes of the SFPD.

The Corner Grocery: Creating Community

Dec 12, 2012

Can the corner grocery store bring prosperity to a community? Consumers are making more trips to drug, club, and dollar stores, and taking precious community money out of their neighborhoods. City Visions talks with Bay Area businesses that are re-circulating the food dollars to bring health and wealth to local residents, farmers, and artisans.

image courtesy of sudocrem

City Visions explores the ways that digital media use by school-aged children may be changing how they perform in the classroom.  Are students losing their ability to focus as a result of spending so much time online? Or does digital entertainment provide positive tools to boost students’ creativity and motivation? Host Joseph Pace and guests discuss a study that examined these questions and more.

Understanding the Quantified Self

Nov 27, 2012
http://www.innovation-alliance.net/

City Visions explores the growing "quantified self" movement in the Bay Area. Proponents say that gathering, analyzing -- and sharing-- data about our everyday activities can help us sleep better, lose weight, avoid disease, stay happier and live longer. What kinds of self-tracking technologies are out there, and is there ever such a thing as too much self-knowledge?

Star Search: Can You Trust Online Reviews?

Nov 14, 2012

Caveat empty?

Maybe that hotel has bedbugs. Maybe the competitor's brother-in-law wrote the review. And just maybe that root canal in Freemont was almost pleasurable?

Think you can spot a fake review on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, or even RateMyProfessors?

We discuss online reviews and their impact on consumers, small businesses -- and the (de)centralizing of information.  Also, who's gaming the system, and how have consumer-generated reviews changed the game?

Election Special!

Oct 31, 2012

Election day is almost upon us - but for Californians there is much more at stake than just electing our next President. Voters are being asked to weigh in on issues ranging from criminal justice reform to fixing our state budget, GMO food labeling, and the influence of unions in elections. City Visions runs down California's propositions and the many local issues on the ballot.

  

Propositions 34 and 36

Oct 22, 2012

On November 6, voters will have a chance to weigh in on two proposals that could have a big impact on how criminals are treated in California. Prop 34 would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with life in prison, while Prop 36 would alter California's "3 Strikes" law to impose a life sentence only when a new felony conviction is "serious or violent."

Supporters say these propositions are step towards a more cost-effective approach towards incarceration, while opponents claim that these initiatives will cause an increase in crime rates and harm public safety for Californians. City Visions takes up the debate.

City Visions speaks with Melanie Nutter, head of San Francisco's Department of the Environment. Hear about the Department's current initiatives -- from the bag ban to climate change adaptation measures to new rules for nail salons -- and how they could affect you and influence statewide policy.

Prop 37: Labels for GMOs?

Sep 28, 2012

Today, many of the foods we eat come from Genetically Modified Organisms such as modified corn, wheat, and soy to make them grow more productively.  But do consumers have the right to know if the food they are buying at the grocery store contains GMOs? This November, voters are being asked to decide if GMOs and foods that contain GMOs should be labeled as such in retail outlets. We take up the pros and cons of Proposition 37.

Guests:

Some safety advocates have called those bright, changing digital billboards on the freeway “television on a stick," which -- in addition to texting -- give drivers one more reason to take their eyes off the road. 

CIty Visions explores the impact of technology on social activism and fundraising. Do social and digital media motivate people to take meaningful action, or encourage a belief that all it takes is a click to make a difference? Guests include leaders from Fundly.com, an online fundraising website and Change.org, a social action platform, and Rainforest Action Network, a national nonprofit based in San Francisco that is using technology to reach out to new audiences.

City Visions host Joseph Pace speaks with Ed Reiskin, head of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency. Find out the latest on the Central Subway project, Sunday parking and fleet improvements -- and hear Ed's reflections on his first year in one of the city's toughest jobs.

Title IX - Creating Champions and Controversy

Aug 21, 2012

In 1972, Congress passed Title IX, the landmark legislation that guaranteed no person could, on the basis of sex, be denied participation in any education program that receives Federal assistance. In the 40 years since, women have made great strides in reaching equality with men, especially in athletics. However, there is still controversy surrounding Title IX. We discuss the law's impact and future.

Guests:

Elizabeth Kristen, Fair Play for Girls in Sports

A People's Archive of the Bay Area

Aug 15, 2012
Chris Carlsson

You who are living, what have you done with these treasures?

Do you regret the time of my struggle?

Have you raised your crops for a common harvest?

Have you made my town a richer place?

--Robert Desnos, a member of the French Resistance

Restoring John Muir's Hetch Hetchy: Is It Worth It?

Aug 8, 2012

It’s been nearly 100 years since Congress authorized the City of San Francisco to build the O’Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park. This is the dam that turned Hetch Hetchy Valley into Hetch Hetchy reservoir, providing water and electricity to San Francisco and surrounding cities. John Muir and a emerging Sierra Club fought against this project proposal for nearly 12 years before Congress passed the Raker Act in 1913, giving San Francisco the authority to build the dam, power generators, and delivery system to the Bay Area.

California State Park System in Crisis

Jul 24, 2012

For budgetary reasons, 70 of California's 279 state parks were set to close to the public on July 1st. But thanks to partnerships with private businesses and advocacy groups, 68 of those parks remain open for the time being.  Even with this money and the recently discovered surplus in the Parks Department, Californians need to decide if funding our state park system is in our best interest, especially in an economically challenging climate. We talk about California’s State Park system, its history, its value, and what closing a state park might look like.

Guests:

MisConception: LGBTQ Fertility and Fighting the FDA

Jul 20, 2012

As more than 23,000 delegates from over 195 countries convene this week in Washington, D.C., for the XIX International AIDS Conference, LGBTQ rights advocates and others in California are trying to raise awareness about FDA policies and guidelines that they say place undue and unnecessary restrictions on LGBTQ individuals looking to conceive--policies they say were informed by concerns around the transmission HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

flickr

For the last twenty years, San Francisco city leaders have promised to address the long-standing challenges facing the Mid Market Street neighborhood, but nothing has really changed.Now, San Francisco is taking a fresh approach to revitalizing Mid Market Street that includes attracting tech businesses and actively reaching out to arts organizations, community groups and residents to create a new vision for  this diverse neighborhood.

City Visions talks with Rec and Parks' General Manager about the department's budget initiatives for next year, the $195 million parks improvement bond proposed for this fall's ballot, and what all of this could mean for your favorite neighborhood park.

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