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

To meet the persistent shortage of teachers locally, a new program is recruiting and training would-be educators who are already here, but doing something else right now.

One of the re-entry members in the current cohort is Amanda Park, who already has teaching experience, but decided to change course after moving to California last year.

Derek DiBenedetti has long enjoyed being a high school baseball coach. Now he’s joined the teacher internship program in order to be on campus even more of the time.

Donald Trump, both personally and politically, is deeply unpopular with a wide swath of Americans. That’s not a basis for impeachment, but there does appear to be one in the US Constitution.

With a strong Republican majority controlling both houses of Congress, it may not be surprising that no individual representative has yet come forward to argue for impeachment. But Norman Solomon, co-chair of the Mill Valley-based Grass Roots Coalition for Grass Roots Progress, says there has been one preliminary step taken.

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.

Living With Autism

Feb 23, 2017

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.

Raymond Baltar, Sonoma Biochar Initiative

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.

An informational meeting about the expanding business of agri-tourism drew an intensely interested cross section of farmers, promoters and others to the Petaluma Community Center yesterday. 

Tim Zahner, Chief Marketing Officer for the Sonoma County Tourism office, says that the agricultural and culinary diversity of Sonoma County is one of the area’s greatest attractions.

Nancy Fiddler sees expanding operations to bring more visitors to her Rollin’ F Ranch near Sebastopol as a critical step to maintain her business viability.

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.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

It’s hard to miss The Big Chair, a large, whimsical piece of public art alongside Highway 116 south of Sebastopol. But it has some serious intentions behind it.

Because the original chair was exposed to the elements for ears, it required some repairs before being seet up at its new home, explains Kenny Forrest.

The installation of a formal memorial to Lars Speyer next to the chair is planned for later this spring.

  

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.

Once prolific in San Francisco Bay, but now scarce, Olympia oysters are getting some human help in building new reefs—and helping their benefactors, too.

Linda Hutner, Executive Director of The Wild Oyster Project in San Francisco, says this area is following in the footsteps of other like-minded efforts elsewhere.

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.

The fatal shooting of 13 year old Andy Lopez was shocking and polarizing. But documentary filmmaker Ron Rogers is more interested in what has happened in the neighborhood afterward.

When an editor comes on board to help complete the “Andy” film project, producer Ron Rogers says he or she will have plenty to work with.

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.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

The thousands of marchers who filled the streets of downtown Santa Rosa early Saturday afternoon were there in common cause—but for a multitude of individual reasons.

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.

A Life in Animation

Jan 16, 2017

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.

Sonoma County Regional Parks

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.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

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.

Jackie Sones

Bottlenose dolphins have become increasingly frequent visitors along the north coast, as their range and numbers appear to be expanding.

The first bottlenose dolphin was spotted in San Francisco Bay more than 15 years ago, but Bill Keener of Golden Gate Cetacean Research it took them some time to begin venturing farther northward.

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