North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Supporters of the property tax limiting measure are digging in to fight back.

ALSO: Brown’s revised budget proposal shows clear intent for a state-based Medi-Cal expansion.

RP Woman Applauds Jolie

May 15, 2013

Actress Angelina Jolie made headlines yesterday with her announcement that she had proactively undergone a double mastectomy, after testing positive for a gene that carries high risks for breast and ovarian cancers.

Grace Slick's New Medium

May 15, 2013
Joel Lipton

For much of her life, the White Rabbit has been an iconic image for Grace Slick. Once the central metaphor for her huge hit with the Jefferson Airplane, the rabbit now serves as a signature element in her prolific paintings.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

There's more money for schools, but less spending overall next year.

ALSO: Lawmakers react to Brown's budget.

Organic Farmers Seek Federal Suport

May 14, 2013
Sarah Hackney

  As Congress begins work on a new farm bill, California farmers want to make sure it includes funding to restart the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which helps pay for a grower's annual certification costs. Lori Abbott reports.

Renewing Redwood Forests

May 14, 2013

The redwood forests of the North Coast evolved over many thousands of years, but it takes a small fraction of that time to remove them. Now the question is, how long is needed to regenerate the logged forests, and are we willing--or even able-- to grant it?


May 14, 2013

Climate One Forums
May 16 -

“It’s essential for China to be on a low emissions growth pattern,” said Jian Lin, Chairman of The China Sustainable Energy Program. China’s cities are growing at a breakneck pace and city planners are struggling to keep up. Ellen Lou, Director of Urban Design and Planning at SOM, says that the money the Chinese government spent on building out transit infrastructure “is one of the best things that they have done.” The question, she said, is “how do you make higher density livable?”

California is officially appealing a ruling to further reduce prison overcrowding.

ALSO: County-based Medi-Cal expansion may be off the table.

Spreading the Maker Movement

May 13, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  First there was MAKE magazine. Then there were the Maker Faires. And there’s still more making on the way. Bruce Robinson has a sampling. 

  Described as "The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth," the 8th annual Bay Area Maker Faire will be held at the San Mateo Events Center May 18 & 19, 2013. Get more information here, or click here for tickets.

Most of the extra money will likely go straight to schools.

ALSO: Governor Brown proposes sending 1250 more inmates to state fire camps.

The Magazine that 'Made' a Movement

May 11, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Dale Dougherty had a hunch he was onto something when he launched MAKE Magazine, but he had no idea what a responsive chord he’d be striking.

MAKE is now published in five foreign-language editions, all in Asia, with an English-for-Europe version in the pipeline. Maker Media also produces a digital edition, and has posted many how-to videos online. And CEO Dale Dougherty says they are also branching out into another once-popular area of merchandising.

Phoning in a fake 9-1-1 call as a prank or for retaliation would get a lot more costly under the new bill.

ALSO: California schools may soon accommodate transgendered students.

Seniors Pass Up Free Health Subsidies

May 9, 2013
Flickr user Nicoli Barea

Millions of struggling seniors are paying more than they need to for their health care… effectively turning down free money. Local advocates say seniors are overwhelmed and missing out on many of the benefits they’re entitled to. 

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

That will likely be a cornerstone of Maldonado’s all-but-declared campaign for governor.

ALSO: Speaker Pérez proposes alternative "rainy day fund" for 2014 ballot.

Planning Ahead at SRJC

May 8, 2013

Students at Santa Rosa Junior College may be headed for a university, training for a career, or simply taking classes for self-improvement. Meeting their disparate needs is just part of the strategic planning process currently underway at the JC. Bruce Robinson takes a closer look. 

  Many SRJC students have had little or no opportunity for foreign travel or exposures, notes college President Frank Chong. So part of the school’s planning involves recruiting students from abroad, to bring more international interactions to the local educational experience.

The proposals likely wouldn’t ease the state’s prison population.

ALSO: New grant money helps the fight against illegal dumping and storage of old ties.

Anticipating New Economic Realities

May 7, 2013

Say goodbye to cheap oil, high-wage manufacturing jobs, and rampant consumerism, says energy analyst Richard Heinberg. The coming new economy will get along just fine without depending on them.

As the era of inexpensive fossil fuels wanes, so too will big agribusiness go into decline, Heinberg predicts. But already he sees a resurgence of family farming rising to take over the critical role of providing sustenance for local communities.

Clean Communities

May 7, 2013

Climate One Forums for May
May 9 – Clean Communities

The California Bay Area is wrestling with a challenge as it tries to develop sustainably to accommodate a growing population in a warming world. One way to deal with population rise and reduce emissions is to create high density zones in traditionally suburban environments. The experts agree that the key to sustainable growth in the Bay Area is rebuilding for a more walkable and livable urban environment.

Unusually dry conditions brings wildfire season to northern California as much as six weeks early.

ALSO: Hazing new lawmakers in Sacramento.

Mixed Numbers in 2013 Homeless Count

May 7, 2013

The preliminary results of the 2013 count of homeless people in Sonoma County will be presented to the board of Supervisors this morning. And, as Bruce Robinson reports, the news is mostly grim. 

Peter Connery of Applied Survey Research, which conducts similar studies for other counties and cities in California and beyond, says that despite the worrisome figures in his 2013 for Sonoma County, the programs in place here have helped prevent matters from becoming even worse.

More inmates will be sent to lower security fire camps, some paroled early.

ALSO: New bill seeks to prevent patient medical bill "shock."

Fighting Flame Retardants

May 6, 2013

You might expect firefighters would approve of adding flame-retardant chemicals to building materials. In reality, they see them as a threat. Now, state law makers are seeking to update old laws that effectively require the addition of flame retardants to many manufactured products.

Learn more about AB 127 through Assenblymember Skinner's website.

A new experiment may help water managers measure water content in snow more accurately.


Rescuing the Rio

May 2, 2013

  As only movie house for miles around, the Rio Theater has a devoted customer base. But they were only the starting point for the on-line fund-raising effort that succeeded this week in keeping the pictures moving at the Monte Rio meeting place.

Credit ucdavis.eduAll but one of eight bills heard in a Senate Committee Wednesday passed.Edit | Remove

The more than 40-year-old law guides almost all development projects in the state.

ALSO: California small business owners could face five years of retroactive taxes.

Living 'Books' Speak Sunday at Day Under the Oaks

May 1, 2013

Since 1978, Santa Rosa Junior College’s ‘Day Under the Oaks’ has attracted Sonoma County residents eager to discover the range of educational and cultural offerings at the college. This year organizers are trying something new, a collection of professionals, acting as "living books," eager to talk about their jobs.

Valley Fever has killed dozens of inmates in recent years and sickened hundreds more.

Introducing Transition Santa Rosa

Apr 30, 2013

Climate change and rising fossil fuel costs affect everyone, so how can we best prepare to minimize their impacts? Transition Santa Rosa is out to find their city’s answers to that question.

Ten bills that would regulate hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in CA are opposed by the industry.

Climate One Forums for May
Thursdays at 7 pm
May 2  – Senator Dianne Feinstein: Guns, Drones, and Carbon