Bruce Robinson

Radio News Director & On Air Host

Bruce Robinson is KRCB-FM News Director and host of Flashback, heard Fridays at 7pm. Bruce can be reached at (707) 584-2012, or email bruce_robinson@krcb.org

Ways to Connect

Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

Just about everyone involved agrees that arts education is important and valuable. But new survey data reveals that it is far from uniformly available to students in Sonoma County.

The results of the survey were made public at a “data reveal” event Tuesday evening at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 

KRCB previously reported on the survey when it was launched last February. See below.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Banks and other traditional lenders are wary of entrepreneurs and small start-up companies. But a county-sponsored program with local lending partners is helping to meet that need instead.

Find out more about the Sonoma County Impact Loan Fund here.

Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

The opportunities for Sonoma County’s older residents to get out and enjoy our local environment were promoted and demonstrated yesterday in an event called “Age Out Loud, Age Outside,” a convergence of demographics, recreation, and thinking ahead.

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas’s six-plus years in office have been tumultuous on multiple fronts. Now a group of local activists is pushing to recall him, even before his announced retirement at the end of his current term next year.

The most alarming complaints raised against the Sheriff's office in the past year involve the prolonged, brutal treatment of inmates at the Sonoma County Jail. Community Action Coalition member Kathleen Finnegan calls it torture.

For vineyards, dry farming means no irrigation, relying only on what Nature provides—with an assist from composting and other supportive measures. An experienced practitioner shared his insights at an on-site workshop Tuesday morning.

Using cover crops to add organic material to the soil is another important step in Bernier's dry-farming process.

The dry farming workshop was co-hosted by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District.

In recent years, lower summertime flows in the Russian River have been necessary for water conservation as well as the benefit of young salmon preparing to head out to sea. But this year, with ample water available, the calculus may be different.

The county water agency will hold its annual community meeting on the condition and management of Russian River estuary Monday night in Monte Rio.  You can find details about that here.

Recycling is up in California. So is composting. But we are still sending millions of tons of garbage to landfills. Various ways to cut that back were on the agenda at a Zero Waste Symposium at SoMo Village Thursday. 

Mother Jones

Nearly half of the 2 million Wells Fargo bank accounts that were opened without the customers’ knowledge or consent are here in California.  A new, narrowly tailored bill in the state legislature would give those fraud victims some additional leverage to fight back.

State Senator Bill Dodd says his SB 33 was written, in part, to open the way for class action suits by the defrauded customers of Well Fargo Band.

Genetic analysis of varying cannabis strains may aid in the development of narrowly targeted pharmaceutical products. But using the same tool to protect generic strains could help hold prices down.

Phylos Bioscience

Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humankind for centuries. Now the industry’s challenge is understanding and applying that history.

Cannabis arrived in North America from at least two different directions, but how that evolved into the plants that grow here today is not yet clear, says Phylos Biosciences’ Mowgli Holmes.

As his team has collected and analyzed samples from hundreds of cannabis plants and products, Holmes says one unexpected finding has emerged.

Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

For years, the aging Village Park campground and trailer park at the eastern edge of Sebastopol was a problem site, subject to flooding, poverty and other issues. Now it is poised to help answer to the city’s homelessness concerns.

As a nod to the changes at the property—which will continue to be owned by city of Sebastopol-- it will be formally renamed Park Village. West County Community Services will become a key presence there, adds Executive director, Tim Miller.

It’s been 17 years since the shallow channel into Bodega Bay was last dredged. So it’s time to do it again, and plans for a project this fall are moving ahead.

The depth of the channel is already compromised at several places along the corridor. Noah Wagner, harbormaster at Spud Point Marin, details those locations.

In California, efforts to boost funding for road repairs are at odds with the concurrent goal of expanding electric vehicle usage. So how can these two needs co-exist?

Sonoma County Ag and Open Space District

A forest of massive coast redwoods and the diverse wildlife they shelter are getting new and permanent protection, funded by distant urban residents who will never see the lands. 

Bordering the Mendocino County line, the Howlett Ranch contains the free-flowing headwaters to a pair of key tributaries to the Gualala River, and still sees spawning runs of coho, steelhead and rainbow trout. And, Bill Keene notes, it connects other large swaths of protected forests.

Sonoma County voters gave strong support last November to a sales tax increase to boost funding for local libraries. As of  May 1, the first benefits from Measure Y will take effect.

To begin preparing for their new budget realities, Library Director Brett Lean consulted with the State Board of Equalization, which monitors the flow of tax revenues. But Lear says it’s difficult right now to look much beyond the new fiscal year that begins in July.

The old Cotati Cabaret had an enthusiastic fan base and a colorful history—one that ended rather abruptly in 1990. But this weekend, for one brief evening, the venue will open its doors once more.

The concert Sunday evening (details here) is a benefit for Live Music Lantern, a three year-old non-profit run by Elijah and Kaya Barntsen. he explains their dual purpose is all about expanding opportunities for people to hear live music.

Sonoma County has been without a local composting operation for a year and a half. And it will be at least twice that long before a new one can get started. But the process is inching forward.

 When commercial composting was introduced in Sonoma County, roughly 20 years ago, by Sonoma Compost, the pioneering local operation was widely studied and imitated, recalls Patrick Carter, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.

Santa Rosa-based Climbers For Peace organizes and leads multi-national teams in bond-building ascents of major mountains. Their next trip will take them up the highest peak in the Middle East—assuming the government of Iran allows it.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Riding a bicycle through all 50 states is a good way to get acquainted with America. And talking with folks, in depth, everywhere along the way is an even better way. Today we meet a man who is doing both.

Register, who lives in Houston, Texas when he is not exploring America's back roads, explains why he decided to undertake this multi-year project.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Yet another indication that the cannabis industry is already large and diverse in and around Santa Rosa:  a business-oriented trade shows now underway at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

As science increasingly comes under fire from conservative political forces, public support for research and empirical evidence is being rallied in a global array of pro-science events this weekend—including two in Santa Rosa.

In thinking about the importance of science in daily life, Adrienne Alvord, the Western States Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, points out that is it vital for both economic and personal health.

In agriculture, building, urban design transportation, energy production and use and more, there are steps already being taken to keep carbon out of the atmosphere. And according to a serious new book, scaling up those actions—all of them—could be a pathway to reversing global warming.

Many of the 100 climate change solutions examined by Project Drawdown have interlocking effects. Editor Paul Hawken says their analyses work scrupulously to keep their projected benefits separate.

“Drawdown” is the term used to describe the time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have peaked and then begin to decline. A new book offers a pathway to get there by 2050.

The foremost consideration in the assessments made for the Drawdown Project, explains co-founder Paul Hawken, was how much carbon could be kept out of the atmosphere by wider adoption of each strategy.  In most cases, the 30-year impact could be measured in gigatons.

The April 15th deadline for filing 2016 income tax returns applies to all American, including President Trump. It is also serving as an occasion for renewed calls for him to make public his past tax documents.

More information about State Sen. Mike McGuire's SB 149 can be found on his website. Read the full text of the bill here.

Whether its unconscious or overt, racism remains a sensitive issue in America. But the idea of “reverse racism” isn’t an inversion of that—it’s an example. A free public gathering to examine and debunk that idea is happening in Santa Rosa this Wednesday night.

Curing traffic congestion means using fewer vehicles to move a growing number of people. Sonoma County is preparing to test some strategies to do that, as Christian Kallen reports.

The deadline for submitting proposals for the county’s car-sharing pilot program was last Friday. Interviews with the most promising applicants will be held later this month. 

The months from pregnancy through infancy are critical for both mothers and newborns, and can shape the course of the child’s life into adulthood. It can be a critical time for a little constructive guidance, which is provided by a low-profile, but impactful county program.

Newborns don’t arrive with an instruction manual, so first-time parents are usually learning as they go. Supervising Health Nurse Lisa Fredrickson says that’s why the Nurse-Family Partnerships extend through the first 24 months of the child’s life.

An automobile recall repair notice is a warning that something could go wrong with the car unless a part is replaced or fixed. But many of those warnings are going unheeded. So a new Bay Area business is trying to help.

The non-profit arm of Recall Masters is MotorSafey.org, where anyone can check on any pending recalls that might apply to vehicles they own. Find it here.

As the annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference marked its 12th year this week, a recurring thread was the many ways these ideas have taken hold in the wider economy.

Don’t look now, but you’re already aging. So how are you going about it?  A science-based, musical show that is heading for Santa Rosa wants to change how we think about getting older.  Bruce Robinson has a preview.

Dr. Bill Thomas's  Changing Aging Tour will be at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa on Thursday, April 6. It's a three-part event, and visitors can attend any or all of the segments. Thomas explains how they fit together.

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