Sonoma County is grappling with the many complexities of legalizing cannabis, bringing a fast-growing, largely free-wheeling industry under governmental control. Opponents of Measure A, which would tax cannabis businesses here, fear it will cripple the small-scale operations it is out to regulate.
Sonoma County Republicans have officially opposed measure A. The Sonoma County Taxpayers Association took no position, but their Executive Director, Dan Drummond, says he personally is inclined to favor it, despite some misgivings.
While Temple Grandin has become a well-known exemplar of a person with autism, attaining that status required overcoming a daunting series of challenges. It was a journey begun and largely shared with her mother, Eustacia Cutler, who has become an ardent advocate for families that include children on the autism spectrum. She has her own story to tell.
Activists and citizens in Sonoma County seeking to oppose the Trump administration are finding support and gleaning tactics from the Indivisible Guide, and the local chapters that are promulgating it.
A key to the growth of participation in local Indivisible groups—now estimated at more than 1500 people county-wide—is how it is structured to allow a gradual entry, observes Rebecca Hachmeyer from the Petaluma group.
In centuries past, bio-char helped grow food for the indigenous people of the Amazon basin for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years before the first Spaniards arrived. Now it could help the 21st century world to slow global climate change.
The Sonoma Biochar Initiative is hosting a workshop on the process this Friday at Circle Bar Ranch south of Sonoma. Find details here.
The records made by the Beatles have sold millions of copies, and their songs have been heard exponentially more often. Yet there are details and surprises within that familiar music that can be revealed through careful deconstruction.
Producer George Martin not only supported the Beatles' studio experimentation, says Scott Freiman, he sometimes had a hand in the innovations himself.
As school budgets shrink and curriculum requirements tighten, are Sonoma County students still getting taught about the arts? Creative Sonoma is trying to assess the situation, with an eye toward boosting those efforts going forward.
Creative Sonoma Director Kristen Madsen says the plan to address shortcomings in local arts education will be as comprehensive as possible—and give priority to areas where the needs are greatest—but implementation will have to proceed in stages.
KRCB-Television has come out a winner in an auction of broadcast spectrum rights conducted by the FCC. While most viewers will not notice the resulting technical changes, the station’s long-term economic health has gotten a significant boost.
At the conclusion of the FCC spectrum auction process—which took more than three years to play out, North Bay Public media CEO Nancy Dobbs says the organization was able to accomplish the goals it established at the outset.
It’s true: Big Brother IS watching us. And listening, and reading our emails and more, while we are making it easier for our data to be captured and sold.
The ever-expanding corporate and governmental intrusion into private personal communications and activities should be of concern to everyone, contends cyber security analyst Bill Blunden. It’s not whether or not one has something to hide, but a matter of protecting vital Constitutional rights.
Bodega Bay’s beleaguered salmon fishery will get a boost from the release of thousands of smolts there this spring. But the fishermen will have to wait another two years for the fish to grow, mature and return before they can be caught.
In the past five years, one Bay Area city has placed a soda tax measure before its voters, passed a strong rent control measure, and rejected a big-money city council campaign from its biggest employer. And no, it wasn’t Berkeley.
The notable misstep by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, says writer Steve Early, was their backing of a hotly contested soda tax on the city’s ballot in 2012, a defeat that took down their two candidates as well.
Some of the young people who most need mental health services have been conditioned to avoid them. A new youth-led initiative hopes to use peer outreach to overcome that.
This new collaboration, says VOICES Director Amber Twitchell, is especially timely, as the need for these services continues to mount.
VOICES—an acronym for the organization’s founding name “Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support” –is more than 10 years old now. In that time it has welcomed and served hundreds of transition youth, and Twitchell says most of them have stayed in touch.
California’s major public institutions would be required to weigh greenhouse gas emissions into their budget analyses when purchasing materials for large infrastructure projects, under a proposed new bill unveiled this week.
Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Center for Climate Protection in Santa Rosa, Was cheered by the proposed legislation's approach, and its intent to include transportation costs in the assessments to be required.
A call to radically rethink how homeless services are structured and provided locally found a generally receptive audience in Santa Rosa this week. Now the challenge is to implement those ideas.
The Homeless Solutions Summit was well attended by a full spectrum of people concerned about homelessness in Sonoma County. Jennielynn Holmes of Catholic Charities says she thinks the event will mobilize changes.
To cure homelessness, give priority to the most challenging individuals. That radical rethinking of the issue served as the starting point for the two-day Summit on Homeless Solutions that began Monday in Santa Rosa.
Using a triage process--similar to that employed in a hospital's emergency room-- to determine who among the homeless is in the greatest need may seem like a resource-intensive approach. And in some ways it is. But in the big picture, says Iain De Jong, it is also surprisingly cost-effective.
George Lakoff is a founder of the science of cognitive linguistics—how language functions within our brains. Understanding that led him to predict the election of Donald Trump last summer—and now to offer ideas on how to process and debate what the new president says.
Hardly anyone is entirely conservative or progressive in their worldview, Lakoff says, but repeated exposure to messages of one type of the other can and does shift the balance within individuals over time.
Fifteen years ago, the idea of a free, digital encyclopedia, compiled and edited almost entirely by volunteers, and available at no cost to everyone, seemed like an idealistic fantasy. Today, Wikipedia offers millions of articles in hundreds of languages, and continues to grow every day. And it is easier than you might think to contribute to that growth.
Although tens of thousands of editors have added to Wikipedia, some are far more prolific than others. By his own reckoning, Winsdor’s John Broughton is among the more active contributors.
Historian Kevin Starr, known for his 8-volume chronicle of the state of California, died last weekend. One of his last books was a short but comprehensive history of the Golden Gate Bridge, which he discussed in this archival North Bay Report from the summer of 2010.
As a native San Franciscan, Kevin Starr spent most of his life within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, and saw it from just about every possible perspective, even from below while swimming beneath the span. But there is one vantage point he never tried.
Surrounded by thousands of years of native history, the burned out ruins of a 196os commune in northern Marin County have yielded an unexpected glimpse into the details of “hippie” life from that era.
While the extensive and varied collection of damaged vinyl records was perhaps the most interesting thing he found in the wreckage of the Burdell Mansion, State Parks archeologist Breck Parkman says there were some other things that were more surprising.
Back in 1965 and 66, there was a Saturday morning kids show watched by up to 2/3s of the televisions in America. It was the Beatles Cartoons, which Australian animator Ron Campbell helped create-- among many other shows, before and since.
The Yellow Submarine film is known, among other things, for its bright palette of colors. But animator Ron Campbell says his contributions to the landmark movie were all done in basic black and white, with the colors added by others later in the process.
Staff reductions, failed computer systems, funding cuts and unpopular spending priorities have all contributed to some serious morale problems for the workers in Sonoma County’s Superior court system. They are also impeding negotiations for a new contract.
Court reporter Carlos Martinez, speaking on behalf of his co-workers, says they question the budgetary priorities of the court’s administration.
He points to a failed, costly computer service program as another misplaced priority.
Even before the latest series of cold and wet winter storms raked the North Bay, some 1000 homeless people were living outdoors in the elements across Sonoma County. And service providers have been able to offer little more to help them as the weather worsened.
Highway 101 overpasses near downtown Santa Rosa. That has upset nearby homeowners and residents, which is understandable, says Heidi Prottas, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless. But the homeless there have no other options.
Even before the November election, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign generated scores of worried conversations among the Latino workforce in Sonoma County. In a sober press conference Tuesday morning at the Graton Day Labor Center, they shared their conclusions.
Marin County artist Tom Killion has spent his life applying Japanese woodcut printmaking techniques to his views the region’s landscapes. Now he has received that county’s highest honor for his works.
Tamalpais Walking--first published in 2007 and reissued as a paperback in 2013 -- is the most recent in a series of collaborations between Killion and poet Gary Snyder. Their previous joint effort was The High Sierra of California in 2002.
According to a recent study, Latinos trail other segments of the California population in understanding mental illnesses and how they can be treated. But the gap closes as they become acculturated.
Naranjo’s study interviewed 100 subjects, statewide, during the summer of 2014. She explains that her survey asked a series of questions to gauge each person’s awareness and understanding of mental illnesses and their symptoms and treatments.