Returning Commercial Composting to Sonoma County

Dec 12, 2016

The process of setting up a new composting operation in Sonoma is finally taking its first steps. But in the meantime, both residents and compost users are paying significantly more.

Making the Case for Earthquake Insurance

Oct 26, 2016

Notwithstanding the earthquake that struck downtown Napa a little more than 2 years ago, our state as a whole has been enjoying an overall lull in significant seismic activity. So the California Earthquake Authority is intensifying its calls for homeowners to take protective steps.

The DIY Earthquake Insurance Premium calculator is on the California Earthquake Authority website here. Watch the video below for additional tips on home earthquake safety.

Economic Incentives for Home Solar Systems Under Fire

Dec 2, 2015

  The economics of installing home solar energy systems could change dramatically if utility-backed rate changes are approved by state regulators.

PG&E spokeswoman Ellen Hayes says the incentives for solar systems are a holdover from the early days of alternative energy deployment in California, and are now due to be updated. But, she says, the utility remains supportive of further solar expansion.

  However, Brad Heavner, from the California Solar Energy Industries Association questions that timetable.

Calculating Residential Water Changes

May 21, 2015

  An easy-to-use computer modeling tool allows homeowners and others to calculate water use and installation costs for building, landscaping or remodeling projects. It’s being developed and tested here in Sonoma County, but is meant to be applicable statewide.

Repair Scams Springing Up This Time of Year

Apr 7, 2015

  Spring can bring out seasonal hazards, including scam artists who prey on older homeowners. Lori Abbott has a cautionary report.

  Is the best way to eliminate pollutants from fireplaces to phase them out entirely? That’s what the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is proposing.

Are You Ready for the Next Quake?

Aug 27, 2014

  There’s nothing quite like a near-miss emergency to remind us to review our own level of readiness if another earthquake were to strike even closer to home—or stronger. Today, we get a quick check on what basic preparedness steps we should be taking.

State Senate Bill Would Streamline Solar Permits

Aug 7, 2014

  A balky permitting process is deterring homeowners from installing solar systems, according to a California legislator. So he's proposed a measure to ease the process. Lori Abbott reports.

Real Estate Recovery Boosts County Tax Revenues

Jun 23, 2014

From tiny school districts to the state Capitol, budgets are restoring cuts and adding positions for the fiscal year ahead. One of the things that is driving all that is higher property tax revenues, which in turn reflect an upward trend in the real estate market.  To get a clearer picture of how that works in Sonoma County, KRCB’s Bruce Robinson spoke with the official who tracks those numbers.

The next round of residential property taxes comes due in December.

Tired of your thirsty lawn? Get paid to rip it out

May 28, 2014


In dry times, many homeowners search for ways to save both money and water. On today’s North Bay Report we profile one local program that is paying residents to get rid of their water-hungry lawns. 

 Across the United States, there are 40 million acres of turf grass, according to some estimates. That’s more than the land dedicated to corn, wheat and fruit trees -- combined. That makes lawns and yards the nation’s largest irrigated crop.  

Drought Drive-ups, Town Hall Meetings Set

Apr 21, 2014
Sonoma County Water Agency

  The landscape around us is still green, but the drought is still on, too. It will be the focus of a series of four Town Hall meetings beginning Wednesday in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. Here’s a preview.

The schedule for the Town Hall Meetings is:

Santa Rosa

Wednesday, April 23, 6 – 8 pm

Santa Rosa Finley Center, 2060 W College Ave.

Rohnert Park

Wednesday, April 23,  6:00 – 8:00 pm

City Council Chambers, 130 Avram Ave.


Wednesday, April 29, 6 – 8 pm

Five Years of Boosting Energy Efficiency

Apr 17, 2014

  In an early bid to combat greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy, the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program was set up back in 2009. It just passed its five year anniversary date, which provides an opportunity to review the program's effectiveness.

SCEIP is also co-hosting an Energy Action Forum today at Paradise Ridge Winery  in Santa Rosa, from 4-7 pm,  to honor six local Energy Champions.  They are:

§       Santa Rosa Plaza – Simon Properties, Santa Rosa

§       Sonoma Veterinary Clinic – Dr. Howard Rosner, Sonoma

The Economics of Rainwater Catchment Systems

Mar 20, 2014

Capturing rainwater for yard and garden use is practical and environmental. But it’s not an investment that will pencil out anytime soon.

Below, students at Healdsburg High School installed an eight-barrel catchment system on their campus with support from Guerneville's Blue Barrel Systems.

Rainwater Catchment Systems

Mar 19, 2014

It’s fairly simple to capture and collect rainfall from rooftops, and use it for watering yards and gardens. But it’s a limited antidote to drought.

Sebastopol Volunteers Seek Projects

Jan 30, 2014

  Rebuilding Together has a long and honorable history in a number of North Bay communities. Right now, one local group is looking for projects for their work day, coming up on April 26. We have details on today’s Exchange segment.

Defending Your Yard Against Drought

Jan 27, 2014

  Vineyards and other agricultural operations are bracing for a very dry growing year in California, and homeowners with landscaping or gardens will need to do likewise. We get some tips for residential water management on today’s segment.

Holiday Hazards for Pets

Dec 24, 2013

  Your home may be full of holiday goodies and decorations, but some of them can be hazardous to your pets. Monique Coppola reports on where dangers can lurk.

Fracas in Lagunitas Creek

Jun 17, 2013

Homeowners and environmentalists in Marin are at odds over measures to protect endangered coho salmon. KRCB reports residents are worried about losing property rights, while some environmentalists say the proposed measures don't go far enough.  

The proposed stream conservation ordinance will be considered at the Marin County Supervisors meeting Tuesday, June 18. Access audio and video from supervisors meetings through the County of Marin's website.

Andrew Nixon / CPR

• Just one week in to the new legislative session, three California Democrats "test the waters" for adjusting Proposition 13