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

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.

The flaws that were disastrously exposed at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant were enabled by that county’s compliant culture, says an internationally recognized physicist. And he believes that holds a lesson for Americans.

The cultural compliancy of the Japanese people may have contributed to the attitudes that enabled the Fuukushima disaster to happen, but Dr. Ohska  says they are now being further tested by the official statements that have come after the nuclear accident.

How prepared are today's young people to deal with the growing amount of misinformation on the Internet?  In today's North Bay Report we look at legislation to update public school curriculums to teach youngsters survival skills for the digital age. 

While some may be concerned that teaching students about fake news could bring politics into the classroom, the sponsor of SB 135, Senator Bill Dodd, doesn't think the legislature will agree.

Sonoma State Star

For 24 years, Thomas Sargent was an environmental health and safety specialist at Sonoma State. Earlier this month, a Sonoma County civil jury agreed that he'd been harassed and forced to resign under duress in 2015, after complaining about the school's handling of asbestos in Stevenson Hall. But the verdict has not put an end to the concerns, as Steve Mencher reports.

For decades, composting toilets have been an off-the-grid novelty. But in a time of limited fresh water and burgeoning interest in sustainable living, they are ripe for re-examination.

Sonoma County is hardly the only place that composting toilets have been put into use for remote rural residences. But Miriam Volat believes this area may be more receptive than most to the wider use of such fixtures.

Waterless composting of human waste is not a new idea. But in the modern world, it’s never been a popular one either. A new study of the latest models of composting toilets, getting underway here in Sonoma County, hopes to set the stage for changing attitudes toward them.

While the actual study of the efficacy of new composting toilets is just getting started, it required quite some time just to get permission to do it, reports the county’s James Johnson.

fter being announced last year, a project to build a dozen tiny houses for homeless vets is hoping to break ground this summer and test the viability of a novel form of affordable housing. 

Project Manager John “Yohan” Morgan says the initial residents will each be encouraged to put their personal stamp on their small new homes.

Congressional Republicans have long clamored for change in federal health care laws. Now that their actual proposals are moving toward a vote, Health and Finance officials in Sacramento have been able to detail how the replacement plan would affect California. And it’s not a pretty picture.

Hops were once a major agricultural product in Sonoma County. Now they’re starting to come back, but mostly as a specialty crop for the craft beer market.

 It's not hard to get started growing hops,  says Mike Stevenson of the NorCal Hop Growers Alliance. And its even easier to keep them going once the field has been established.

Making beer is by far the primary use for hops. But not, says Stevenson, the only one.

Santa Rosa Gold Diggers

An ounce of gold is worth a little more than $1300 these days, enough to keep even casual prospectors interested and active, especially here in northern California. Today we hear from a Santa Rosa group dedicated to keeping the search alive.

In the great gold rush of the mid-1800s, hydraulic hoses and extended wooden sluice boxes were used by some big operators, but simple metal pans were the most common tools. Today, says Randy Ricci of the Santa Rosa Gold Diggers, that’s just about all that is allowed.

The man behind the arch-gothic Lemony Snicket books for young readers says the Peanuts comic strip was an important influence on his writing.

The deeper he delves into the world of Peanuts, says author Daniel Handler, the darker it seems to him.

 Handler’s most recent novel, We Are Pirates, also features a teenaged girl as its central character. But he says the story itself was inspired by his life in San Francisco.

California Department of Education

The California Department of Education today  made public its new system for evaluating how local school districts are performing. Local educators say it is more complex but also more helpful.

Cliff DeGraw, the Petaluma City Schools Assistant Superintendent, likes the five-colored grids that are used to track districts’ progress in each of the areas being analyzed.

State Education Department spokesman Robert Ochs, notes that some additional focus areas will be added to the Dashboard in the months ahead.

Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

Ag Days returned to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds this week. The annual event, hosted by the local Farm Bureau, gives thousands of elementary school students some first-hand exposure to this region’s agricultural heritage and its products. 

A fired up crowd eager to defend the Affordable Care Act filled the Marin Civic Center, to hear a panel led by Congressman Jared Huffman detail the problems they foresee in the new, Republican-sponsored alternative.

While much of the testimony focused on the anticipated harms that would befall the North Bay should the Affordable Care Act be replaced with “TrumpCare,” Marin County Director of Health and Human Services Grant Colfax also noted that the Republican alternative would also slash funding for health care at the national level.

Homeless With Pets

Pet owners are deeply attached to their dogs, cats, birds and other animals, and that doesn’t change if they become homeless. But their ability to care for their pets may. That’s where an unusual and specially focused non-profit steps in to help.

More than two thirds of the pets kept by homeless people locally are dogs, says Gillian Squirrell, founder of Homeless With Pets. But that other third encompasses considerable variety.

With new tax rates approved by Sonoma County voters on Tuesday, the local cannabis industry is gearing up to enter—and pay for—their new era of legitimacy.

After a year getting acquainted with the inner workings of Sonoma County's Department of Health Services, Barbie Robinson is starting her new job as the department's head with plans for some ambitious collaboration at the top of her agenda.

As Barbie Robinson takes the helm of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, she is keenly aware that the biggest challenge she will face in the near future is the possible repeal of the nation al Affordable Care Act.

Training new teachers for local schools isn’t enough. The Sonoma County office of Education is also partnering in efforts to help secure housing for them.

Learn more about the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County here.

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