Award-winning journalist Vicki Gonzalez hosts interviews with community leaders, advocates, experts, artists and more to provide background and understanding on breaking news, big events, politics and culture in the Sacramento region and beyond.
Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.on News Station
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
Today on Insight, we’re stuck in traffic.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Traffic can be seen as a byproduct of hard work, growth and human progress, but it becomes another problem to solve. In this hour, we’ll revisit three stories of people turning to creative solutions to get to their destination.
On YosemiteLand, CapRadio environment reporter Ezra David Romero looks at the impact of cars crowding the roads of Yosemite National Park. Huge crowds are drawn to the park’s natural beauty, but cars are colliding with bears in the park, and congestion is turning off some visitors.
Author Josh Weil won a California Book Award award for “The Age of Perpetual Light.” The story collection focuses on creative and metaphorical solutions to human problems, like bouncing light off satellites in the sky to eliminate darkness and bringing electricity to rural America.
Hobo Johnson is a Sacramento-based hip hop artist. His music career was (metaphorically) born in the back of a 1994 Toyota Corolla, which became the name of his first self-produced album. Since making a splash in the 2018 Tiny Desk Contest with his song “Peach Scone,” Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers have toured North America, Europe and Australia. He’s upgraded his ride too — the new album “The Fall of Hobo Johnson” features a single called “Subaru Crosstrek XV.”
Last year, CapRadio’s environment reporter Ezra David Romero spent months in Yosemite National Park. He was gathering stories for the podcast, YosemiteLand, which we released in summer 2018. Known for its majestic waterfalls and towering granite walls, the park attracts around 4 million tourists each year. Many of those tourists explore the park by car, which can have a negative impact on visitors’ experience, and endanger wildlife.
This episode takes a closer look at Yosemite’s car traffic, and how the approaches to managing it have changed over the years. How do summertime traffic jams dissuade tourists from visiting? How can speeding endanger the park’s black bears? And what has been done over the years to protect bears? Romero answers these questions and more in interviews with park rangers, a wildlife biologist and others.
Josh Weil is an award-winning author. Among his many honors is The American Academy of Arts and Letters’ First Fiction Prize, The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The California Book award and a Pushcart. He has a novel “The Great Glass Sea” and novella collection, “The New Valley,” which was a New York Times Editors choice. His story collection, “The Age of Perpetual Light” is eight stories with a common theme about human progress and the troubles it can cause. A theme carried through from his novel, “The Great Glass Sea.” This conversation is from October 2017.
The music career of Frank Lopes Jr. was “born in the back of a 1994 Toyota Corolla,” but today his fans know him as Hobo Johnson.
When he joined Insight in the summer of 2017, Hobo Johnson had already released his first album called “1994 Toyota Corolla” and an early mix of his second album. Frank was starting to make a name for himself at open mics and local shows around Sacramento.
That summer he was still reworking the tracks for that second album “The Rise of Hobo Johnson,” and producing music videos with his bandmates: Derek Lynch on guitar, Ben Lerch on drums, Jordan Moore on guitar and keys, David Baez-Lopez on bass, and later Jmsey (a.k.a. James Cavern) joined on keys. Together they are Hobo Johnson and The Lovemakers.
In the spring of 2018, Hobo Johnson and The Lovemakers made a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk. It didn’t win the contest, but the viral backyard performance of “Peach Scone” changed everything. The video has over 15 million views on YouTube, and it helped him get signed to Reprise Records and Warner Brothers, which represents Deftones and Green Day. Today he has over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify and 75 million streams.
Hobo Johnson’s followup album, “The Fall of Hobo Johnson” will be released on September 13, 2019. His latest single is “Subaru Crosstrek XV.”
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