North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

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In the mid 19th century, pioneers from across the country came to Northern California to strike it rich in the Gold Rush. Some began settling in the North Bay, in places like Petaluma. A new exhibition at the Petaluma Historical Museum takes a look at what life was like for early Petalumites and what it took to get the budding Sonoma County town incorporated. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports. 

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom made several recent claims about the universal health care program he signed into law as San Francisco mayor. PolitiFact California found he's on the right track but left out key details.

Find more fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols

Calves on dairy farm
KRCB/Steve mencher

Earlier this week we visited the orchards of Torrey and Lucy Olson on a Climate Smart Agriculture tour, to learn about soil management techniques and the challenges of farming as the climate warms. Today we visit a local dairy farm with an eye to learning about manure and water, and how effective management can benefit both farmers and the environment. Our visit was organized by the California Climate and Agriculture Network.

First Step Implementing California Groundwater Law Successful

Aug 2, 2017
Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources

ALSO: Monthly premiums for Covered California will rise by 12 and a half percent next year. And about 10 percent of those enrolled in the program will be forced to find another plan.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Julia Mitric.

Carbon Farming Taking Root in California

Aug 1, 2017
Marin Carbon Project

Carbon is essential to all living things—even dirt. Which is why concentrated efforts to get more carbon out of the air and into the soil is an accelerating trend in California agriculture.

Even as research is continuing into the methods and merits of carbon farming practices in differing areas and types of agriculture throughout California, carbon farming consultant Calla Rose Ostrander notes that funds to support implementation of those measures will soon be forthcoming.

CA Legislature Likely Needs To Re-Approve State Olympic Funding

Aug 1, 2017

ALSO: Today marks the start of a shortened commercial salmon fishing season in the waters off San Francisco. A smaller salmon population is one effect of the drought that could persist for years.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Daniel Potter.

Gabriel Farm, Sebastopol
KRCB/Steve Mencher

It doesn’t take a huge farm to make a big difference for the climate. Reporter Steve Mencher visited an orchard in Sebastopol recently on a tour organized by the California Climate and Agriculture Network -  CalCAN. The idea was to witness how initiatives developed in Sacramento are affecting practices on the ground in Sonoma County.

Cap-And-Trade Deal Extinguishes Controversial Fire Protection Fee

Jul 31, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: Some California legal experts say coastal communities suing oil companies over climate change have a credible chance of succeeding in state courts – but they will face challenges.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Daniel Potter.

President Donald J. Trump
Gage Skidmore

With President Trump’s tweets withdrawing the welcome mat from transgender service members, and the Justice Department’s friend of the court brief seeking to remove some employment protections from the LGBTQ community, local activists are wondering what their role should be going forward. Steve Mencher talks with Santa Rosa lawyer and rights advocate Naomi Metz.

Find out more about grants to local LGBTQ organizations from the LGBTQI Giving Circle.

Giant Firefighting Tanker Grounded

Jul 28, 2017

The 747 and its 19,000-plus gallons of retardant were supposed to make a difference in California's war on fires. But, no 747 has been called to a fire since 2014.

Today's reporting by Bob Moffitt.

An American Badger mom and two of her young.
Paula Lane Action Network

July 29 at the Laguna Environmental Center in Santa Rosa, naturalist Susan Kirks will give a presentation entitled "The Awesome American Badger." Reporter Steve Mencher met her recently in an open field, where she’d been called to investigate possible badger activity.

All Cash Home Buyers Help Spur Price Increases

Jul 27, 2017

ALSO: California cities are trying to gauge the impact of the Trump Administration’s latest effort to discourage sanctuary jurisdictions.

Today's reporting by Steve Milne and Chris Nichols.

Tiffany Camhi

This past April, President Donald Trump issued an order to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review 27 National Monuments across the U.S. Six of those are in California. That includes Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in Northern California. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports supporters of the monument are doing everything they can to keep this public land protected.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that extends California’s signature climate change effort through 2030, the culmination of the governor’s years-long battle over the state’s cap-and-trade program.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Al Gore in San Francisco July 24, 2017
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Ten years ago, Al Gore’s climate change slide show morphed into an award-winning documentary about the climate crisis. He’s back with a sequel, which suggests that things are both better and worse, as Steve Mencher reports.

Watch the trailer for the new film "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" opening at select theaters July 28 and everywhere August 4.

Hector Amezcua /

A former California Senate Republican leader who negotiated the budget deal that ended the largest deficit in the state’s history died over the weekend.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images / Via

ALSO: Gov. Jerry Brown is coming to the defense of an embattled Republican legislative leader who played a crucial role in passing California’s cap-and-trade deal last week.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Ben Adler.

Greater Farallones Sanctuary Map
National Ocean Service | NOAA | Department of Commerce

When the Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries were expanded in 2015, advocates happily described them as "permanently" protected. That protection is now threatened by an April 28 presidential executive order which seeks to review the expansion, as Steve Mencher reports in the second part of a two-part story.

NOAA/Google Earth

Time is growing short to make your voice heard on the president's Executive Order to review and possibly shrink the National Marine Sanctuaries off the coast of Northern California, and elsewhere around the state and nation. The sanctuaries were expanded by President Obama in 2015 after extensive public input and hearings. In the first of two stories, Steve Mencher describes what the protections mean and what's at stake now.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield recently claimed California hasn't built a single major water storage project since the 1970s. 

Find more Politifact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Tiffany Camhi

Horses have played an integral part in Sonoma County’s history: From prehistoric times to the modern day. Now a new exhibition at the History Museum of Sonoma County looks to highlight the role horses have and still play in the county. KRCB's Tiffany Camhi reports.

Equine Epochs opens July 22 and runs through November 5th. Check out the History Museum of Sonoma County website for special events and talks associated with the exhibit. 

Brown Agrees To Work On Affordable Housing

Jul 20, 2017
Creative Commons

ALSO: On the first day of hearings by the Trump Administration's voter fraud commission, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla expressed continued concerns about the panel's request for what he called sensitive voter data.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Chris Nichols.

Benefitting from B Labs’ Assessment

Jul 19, 2017

Long before benefit corporations were established as a category of business empowered to allocate resources to more than maximizing profits, many companies took voluntary steps to aid their communities and their workers. Now, some of them are finding additional ways to expand their positive impacts through B-Corp certification. 

Fetzer Vineyards has a long. proud history of modeling sustainability within their industry. Yet through the B Labs' certification process, says Director of Regenerative Development Josh Prigge, they discovered how much more they could be doing.

This week on Sonoma Spotlight:  

Monday, July 24 – Main Stage West – 2017-2018 Season Announcement  

Roland chats with Elizabeth Craven about the upcoming 2017-2018 Main Stage West lineup of shows, which include Grace, Mary Shelley's Body, Daddy Long Legs, Buried Child, Lungs and Eurydice. The season runs from September 8th, 2017 through May 27th, 2018. More information is available at:  

Map of National Marine Sanctuaries off North Bay coast.

(Editor's Note: The comment period for public input on these National Marine Sanctuaries has been extended to August 14.)


Recreational pot will be legal in CA come January. Yet the state's chief marijuana regulator admits many key details of how the system will function are still being worked out. One major, unresolved issue is how to design a banking system.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

Measuring and Improving Corporate Citizenship

Jul 18, 2017

In an era of expanding corporate hegemony, a growing number of smaller businesses are seeking to boost their image—and revenues—through good behavior, as “benefit corporations.”  Bruce Robinson reports on the standards that have been developed to encourage and measure those efforts.

Benefit corporations offer an alternative to the conventional corporate model, which, Heather Paulsen observes, is virtually compelled to consider little but its own interests.

Cap-And-Trade Deal Passes California Legislature

Jul 18, 2017

A bipartisan supermajority extended the state’s cap-and-trade program yesterday evening.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.


As the thermometer rises this summer, North Bay rivers and lakes might seem like a good place to cool off. But these warmer temperatures can also bring the threat of blue-green algae to our waterways. It contains a toxic bacteria harmful to people and animals. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

What Is Cap-And-Trade?

Jul 17, 2017
National Center for Policy Analysis

ALSO: Activists and farm workers are urging state regulators to ban a pesticide that President Trump has decided to allow farmers to continue to use.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Ben Bradford.