North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Santa Rosa voters will decide a controversial rent control measure next Tuesday, one that has drawn big spending from the opposition and dominated political dialog for weeks. But there’s a second item on the ballot as well:  Measure D, which would set new tax rates for cannabis businesses within the city.

Here's how Santa Rosa breaks down their anticipated costs for governing legalized cannabis within the city.

Tiffany Camhi

The North Bay is known for its burgeoning food and wine industry, people travel far and wide to get a sip of our local wine or bite into an organic steak. But now some of Sonoma County’s smaller towns are starting to feel crushed by the tourism, like in Healdsburg where some in the community feel the town could lose its small town character. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Bail System Overhaul Passes California Senate

Jun 1, 2017
Getty images / ThoughtCo.com

ALSO: The California Nurses Association which is advocating for a single-payer health care system, says California can fund it by raising taxes.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Sally Schilling.

Why Relax the Fine for Rolling Right Turns?

May 31, 2017
abc7news.com

ALSO: California middle and high school students would get to sleep in under a bill that passed the state Senate Tuesday.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Ben Adler.

Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

That plume of smoke rising from the Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen late Tuesday morning was a carefully watched experiment in applying a land management technique that goes back thousands of years.

The fire took about three hours to burn across the designated 17 acre area. That was ample time for any affected wildlife to leave the area or take cover underground, says ACR Fire Ecologist Sasha Berleman, while deer, when they return, will find a more hospitable landscape.

U.S. Forest Service

Republican State Assemblyman recently claimed Gov. Jerry Brown has slashed funds set aside for California's tree mortality crisis. PolitiFact California found this misleading and rated it Mostly False.

Find full fact-checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  One good way to learn about sustainability is by practicing it. That’s what students at a Sebastopol campus are doing, through a hands-on composting project that is ten years old and going strong.

The composting project is also supported by grants from the Sebastopol Rotary Club, and gift certificates from Mary’s Pizza shack. It will continue, on a scaled-back basis, during summer school. 

California Health Insurers File Contingency Plans For 2018

May 29, 2017
Ronen Tivony / NurPhoto/Getty Images

ALSO: The California Senate will consider this week whether the state’s electricity should come entirely from renewable power by mid-century.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Ben Bradford.

ALSO: California's Chief Justice says caseloads for dependency lawyers are far too great and state lawmakers should approve an additional $22 million to bring caseloads to a manageable level.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Sally Schilling.

A new film biography of 1960s songwriter and record producer Bert Berns is out to raise awareness of his behind-the-scenes contributions to popular music. It’s named for the record label Berns launched and ran:  Bang.

Bert Berns drew a lot of attention within the record industry in New York during his short, intense career.  He was already dead—in 1967, of a chronic heart condition, at age 38—when San Francisco music writer Joel Selvin  began noticing Berns' body of  work.

California Dems Defend Senator From Recall Effort

May 25, 2017
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. 

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