North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

California Dems Defend Senator From Recall Effort

8 hours ago
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

ALSO: Child care, preschool and after school programs. Medi-Cal provider rates. And an expansion of California’s “Earned Income Tax Credit.” Those programs would get higher state funding under the spending plan put forth this week by Assembly Democrats.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

Drakes Nagivation Guild

Sir Francis Drake, a critical figure in British naval history, left his mark on this region’s history as well. He visited the Pacific coast of North America during his circumnavigation of the globe in the late 1570s, several decades before the Mayflower sailed.

California Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez claimed Gov. Jerry Brown is 'diverting' 30 percent of the new gas tax revenue to non-road pet projects.

Read full versions of all fact checks.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

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.

California Single-Payer Health Care Cost Pegged At $400 Billion

May 23, 2017
Capital Public Radio

ALSO: The California Assembly has voted to eliminate the authority of school districts to allow guns on campuses.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Jeco/flickr

Nearly 2,600 Sonoma State seniors walked across the stage at Weill Hall this past weekend to receive their diplomas. It was the University’s largest graduating class in its history and that means even more graduates left commencement with student loan debt. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

ALSO: The University of California’s constitutional independence has blocked Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers from forcing changes at the UC. There’s one action that would instantly overhaul university leadership that the governor can take–but hasn't.

Today's reporting by  Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

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.

UC Regents Defend Napolitano, Vow Closer Look At Her Budget

May 19, 2017
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

There appears to be a growing disconnect between the University of California and state elected officials in Sacramento. Thursday’s UC regents meeting differed sharply in tone from a California legislative hearing earlier this month.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

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.

Volkswagen Will Make New Electric Vehicles For California

May 18, 2017
http://blog.ucsusa.org/

ALSO: University of California regents will publicly discuss a blistering state audit of UC President Janet Napolitano’s office for the first time when they meet in San Francisco today.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Ben Adler.

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.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Backers of California after-school programs are pushing hard for their first state funding increase in a decade, even as the Trump administration has called for cutting federal funding.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

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.

Assembly Bill Bans Edible Marijuana From Looking Like Candy

May 16, 2017
medicalmarijuanaprocon.org

ALSO: The California Chamber of Commerce will continue to pursue its lawsuit against the state’s signature climate-change program, cap-and-trade.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

John Weiss/flickr

A new bill, set to be heard in the California Assembly on Wednesday, addresses sea level rise and aims to protect public access to shorelines up and down the state. But it would also penalize many coastal homeowners who have illegal or unpermitted seawalls. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports not all coastal communities are happy about it.

Food Banks Brace for CA Cuts to Drought Assistance

May 15, 2017
sonomacountygazette.com

ALSO: With water supply concerns still fresh following California’s severe drought, top Democrats in the state are lining up behind a controversial ocean desalination plant in Orange County.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Chris Nichols.

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.

Revised Budget Withholds UC Money Until It Adopts Audit Changes

May 12, 2017
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

ALSO: Governor Jerry Brown’s newly revised budget proposal walks back planned cuts to a program helping old and disabled people. California counties had feared they’d have to pick up the tab.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Daniel Potter.

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. 

Brown To Release Updated Spending Plan Thursday

May 11, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capradio.org

Look for California Gov. Jerry Brown to renew his message of “fiscal discipline." Also, there’s a growing body of lawmakers who want to overhaul cap-and-trade, and that’s created some strange bedfellows.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

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.

latimes.com

ALSO: Civil rights and labor groups rallied in support of a bill that would allow local governments to investigate employment discrimination claims, as state and federal employment departments face major backlogs.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Sally Schilling.

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.

politifact.com

ALSO: State and federal officials usher in Wildfire Awareness Week.

Find full versions of all fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Julia Mitric.

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.

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