There are many ways to think about home. In today’s show, we’ll be exploring this from a number of angles. First, to the area around Yosemite National Park, where there’s a shortage of homes. CapRadio Environment Reporter Ezra David Romero explored this in an episode of the Yosemiteland podcast.
Next, author Edan Lepucki explores the complex relationships within a family at home with a new nanny. Every character has a secret in her book called "Woman No. 17." Heidi Boucher is in the business of at-home funerals. She believes a person can die and be honored at home safely, serenely and with dignity. Boucher talked with us about her documentary, "In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye." And, finally, pianist Romayne Wheeler had a Steinway grand piano moved by dump truck to his mountaintop home in Mexico. He told his story and played for us in the studio.
Yosemite can be like its own little city, with traffic, packed hotels and restaurants. But something else it has in common with major cities is the abundance of short-term rentals, including Airbnbs. Rhonda Salisbury is the CEO of the Visit Yosemite County Tourism Bureau. She says rentals through the Airbnb platform are booming near Yosemite.
These rentals help meet the demand of the 4 million visitors to the park each year. But, short-term rentals have created problems. Residents complain tourists are overtaking neighborhoods and workers in the region can’t find affordable places to live near their jobs. These tensions have led to conflicts, lawsuits and at least one Airbnb ban. Lack of housing has also led to worker shortages in the park.
In this episode of the podcast Yosemiteland, CapRadio reporter Ezra David Romero examines the good and the bad of short-term rentals. He spoke to homeowners, tourism and park employees and an advocate for homeless residents in this July 2018 episode.
Author Edan Lepucki And 'Woman No. 17'
Edan Lepucki was plucked from obscurity when author Sherman Alexie promoted her debut novel, "California," on a 2014 episode of "The Colbert Report." At that time, host Stephen Colbert demanded that his viewers buy Lepucki’s book to send a message to Amazon over the e-commerce giant’s refusal to pre-order titles from the publishing company Hachette.
Lepucki’s 2017 book, "Woman No. 17," explores a web of complex relationships in a story about a family and their new nanny. Every character is keeping a secret and struggling to discover their true selves in contemporary Los Angeles.
Heidi Boucher and In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye
Heidi Boucher is in the business of in-home funerals. She spoke to Insight host Beth Ruyak in 2014 about this kind of funeral, which was becoming more popular. She returned in 2016 with a new documentary about the practice. It’s called "In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye." At the time of this 2016 interview, Boucher’s family had suffered a tragedy, just six weeks before the conversation: her brother and young niece had died in an accident while on vacation in Hawaii.
Romayne Wheeler and Music in the Eagle’s Nest
Romayne Wheeler has a great passion for classical music. He plays the piano, and has an extensive repertoire and great stories. He visited CapRadio in July of 2017 to talk and play. The keyboard was set up in the studio and Wheeler wove his music with his life story. Host Beth Ruyak wanted to know about the piano he packed into a dump truck and hauled uphill in Mexico to his mountaintop home.