North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

California Update for Monday, December 4, 2017

Dec 4, 2017
File / Capital Public Radio News

• As California prepares to allow businesses that sell recreational marijuana next month, some towns are scrambling to finish regulations.

• A research firm produced a comprehensive report outlining sex discrimination settlements against 17 members of the California Legislature or key aides over the past 25 years. The author spoke Friday on Capital Public Radio's Insight.

Hear the full interview HERE.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Chris Nichols.

California Update for Friday, December 1, 2017

Dec 1, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• The California Public Utilities Commission denied a request from the San Diego Gas and Electric Company to pass wildfire damages onto customers.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

Adrienne Lauby
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Today, we’re returning to a meeting held November 27 that focused on two issues: rental housing and homelessness. At Christ Church United Methodist on Monday, several dozen people, including elected officials and housing advocates, sought solutions to elements of the housing crisis that were made worse by the North Bay fires.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues to make steady progress on the Consolidated Debris Removal Program in Northern California following the October 2017 wildfires. 

Residents recovering from the October 2017 fires in California have less than two weeks left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance. The last day to register is Dec. 11, 2017. 

California Update for Thursday, November 30, 2017

Nov 30, 2017
Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio News

• Capitol Staffers: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Is A Joke

Today's reporting by Bob Moffitt.

Fire Relief meeting slide
KRCB/Steve Mencher

At a "Resilience Convening" this week, more than 150 community nonprofits gathered in Rohnert Park. They heard from some of the organizations that have sprung up since the North Bay fires to collect and distribute funds for the recovery.

Elizabeth Brown, CEO of Community Foundation, Sonoma County welcomed the attendees– including KRCB news director Steve Mencher–with an insight into what everyone in the room has been grappling with for nearly two months.

The funders represented included:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District (USACE) has established a Debris Removal Information Line for property owners affected by last month’s devastating wildfires in Northern California. The number for the USACE Debris Removal Information Line is 877-875-7681, and is intended for residential property owners who have signed up for the government-sponsored debris removal program. Residential property owners who are registered for the program can also e-mail:

California Update for Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Nov 29, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• Outrage over pervasive sexual misconduct at the California state Capitol is culminating in hearings to change rules that women say have allowed abuses.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

Kendall Jarvis
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Before the North Bay fires, Sonoma County was in a housing crisis. After the fires – the crisis has become an ongoing catastrophe. Several dozen people met Monday evening at Christ Church United Methodist in Santa Rosa to talk about the fire’s effects on renters and the homeless.

California Update for Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nov 28, 2017
wikimedia commons

• More fallout from PG&E's handling of the San Bruno Pipeline explosion: The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating whether former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief of staff illegally acted as a go-between.

• Bocanegra is the first state lawmaker to resign, following complaints by hundreds of women about a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the state Capitol.

Today's reporting by Bob Moffitt and Ben Bradford.

Senior Airman Martin Baglien in Santa Rosa
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Phelps

As trucks continue to haul away the remains of homes burned in the North Bay fires, homeowners are beginning to deal with the next big step in recovery – claiming their insurance. KQED’s Sukey Lewis talked with homeowners, insurers and state officials. She started in Lake County, where the Valley Fire destroyed homes in 2015 and some residents are still fighting to get their payouts.

See the original story at The California Report.

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, November 27, 2017

Nov 27, 2017
Mary Horn

• Southeastern Oklahoma State University paid over 1.1 million dollars in a discrimination lawsuit involving a transgender faculty member.  Meanwhile, the Trump administration says it will interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to exclude future claims by transgender people. 

• A conservative and anti-gay lawmaker in Ohio resigned from office last week after being caught having sex with another man in his office. 

California Update for Monday, November 27, 2017

Nov 27, 2017
John Gastaldo / San Diego Union-Tribune

• Congressional Democrats are eying big pickups in California next election.

• CAL FIRE says record acreage was burned this year.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Randol White.

California Update for Friday, November 24, 2017

Nov 24, 2017
Jeff Chiu / AP photo

• As dispensaries in California look to a new era of legal adult-use marijuana, some may have to do something they haven’t done before: pay their taxes. 

• More than a half-million acres burned throughout the state this year and the agency has spent beyond its budget.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Randol White.

California Update for Thursday, November 23, 2017

Nov 23, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• Before stores get commercial marijuana sales licenses in 2018, the state's "Let's Talk Cannabis" campaign is spreading the word about health risks.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

Wine label
Frey Vineyards

Four generations of the Frey family live and work at their winery in Redwood Valley. It was the first organic and biodynamic winery to open in the U.S. The October wildfires destroyed many structures on the site, while sparing most of the vineyards and the main house on the property. From KQED’s The California Report, April Dembosky takes us to the vineyard where the family is trying to figure out how to rebuild its business.

Redwood Valley North Bay fires
Bob Dass, Flickr

Today the Espinoza family plans to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner in the one bedroom apartment they’ve been sharing since the North Bay fires. Between the parents and kids, the family lost two homes as flames rushed through Redwood Valley in Mendocino.

Like them, many families are living in tight quarters this holiday season – some in hotel rooms, others in the first FEMA trailers, still others staying with friends and relatives.

The Espinozas are grateful to have a place to stay at all. But six weeks after the wildfires, the uncertainty is working on some nerves.

Join KRCB FM Radio 91 for special programming on Thanksgiving Day!

6:00 AM - NPR's Morning Edition

9:00 AM - "Let's Eat!" from Hearing Voices - An audio Thanksgiving feast.

We binge on fattening stories, then purge with a documentary on refusing food.

10:00 AM - FM Odyssey Thanksgiving Show With Special Guests Graham Nash, Glen Campbell and Arlo Guthrie.

California Update for Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nov 22, 2017
Pamela Kan-Rice /

• The timber industry and marijuana farms break up forests into very different shapes and sizes. That could impact wildlife in distinct ways according to UC researchers who compared both land-uses in Humboldt County forests from 2000 to 2013.

• Cap-and-trade brings the state $860M in November. It’s the second sell-out since lawmakers extended the program this year through 2030.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric and Ben Bradford.

Israel and Palestinians

A conference next week will bring together advocates seeking change in the Middle East. Friends of Sabeel North America defines itself as a Christian ecumenical group. Its Northern California chapter is assembling Christian, Muslim, Jewish and secular leaders to discuss the complicated political struggles in Israel and Palestine. News director Steve Mencher talked with conference organizer Therese Maughannam.

California Update for Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Nov 21, 2017
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio News

• The director of the California Senate Fellows Program allegedly knew last year about a senator’s reputation for inappropriate behavior with women – yet still placed a female student Fellow in his Capitol office anyway.

Meanwhile, a former Senate Fellow says Senate Fellows director David Pacheco discriminated against her because she was a Latina Republican. You can read about that in Ben’s full story HERE.

Jared Huffman

Is the Trump administration playing politics with disaster relief? That’s the implication of a statement released on Friday by Representatives Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson. Representative Huffman spoke with KRCB news director Steve Mencher about the strongly-worded complaint.

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, November 20, 2017

Nov 20, 2017

• The FBI reported hate crimes rose by more than 4% last year; including 1,076 hate crimes motivated by the victims' sexual orientation. LGBT advocates, however, say these numbers are dramatically underreported. 

• In Santa Rosa, the LGBT retirement community at the Fountain Grove Lodge welcomed residents back home, following the wildfires that burned all around the facility, but spared the building. 

• Face to Face executive director Rick Dean honored for his 30 years of dedicated service to the organization.

California Update for Monday, November 20, 2017

Nov 20, 2017
Wikimedia commons

• If you use a California driver’s license to board U.S. flights, the card in your wallet won’t work a few years from now. Instead, you’ll need a new one called a REAL I.D. Getting one requires bringing several key documents, in person, to the DMV.

• The leader of the California state Senate is calling for punishment of a fellow Democratic Senator, after allegations of inappropriate advances on at least three women.

• California’s unemployment rate fell slightly to four-point-nine percent in October as employers added nearly thirty-two thousand jobs.

California Update for Friday, November 17, 2017

Nov 17, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• An alumna of Sacramento State's Senate Fellows Program says there's a culture of silence around sexual harassment at the state Capitol. The reaction follows the college's decision Wednesday to place the program's director on indefinite leave.

• The state of California has released new emergency rules governing the sale and production of recreational marijuana, just six weeks before businesses can begin selling cannabis under voter-approved Proposition 64.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric and Ben Bradford.

Rapid Response Network Poster
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Yesterday, we heard about a new hotline that helps protect local immigrants who may be swept up in raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

At the rally announcing the new "Rapid Response" phone line, news director Steve Mencher spoke with immigrant rights activist Anna Salgado. He asked  whether her neighbors’ fears of deportation have been heightened by the North Bay fires and how the hotline will help.

California Update for Thursday, November 16, 2017

Nov 16, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• Sacramento State University has put the director of its Senate Fellows program at the state Capitol on indefinite leave amid accusations he failed to report a complaint by a female fellow.

Find the full story HERE.

Ana Salgado
KRCB/Steve Mencher

In the pouring rain last week, a coalition of groups announced a new initiative to protect immigrants in our community. The North Bay Rapid Response Network of Sonoma and Napa Counties aims to, in its words, “Witness, Accompany, Advocate and Defend” people who may be subject to immigration raids. Through a telephone hotline wedded to innovative communication software, trained legal observers and citizens agreeing to witness the activities of ICE in our community can be contacted at any time.

FEMA trailer in Santa Rosa
Stacey Dennick

As of Monday, November 13,  FEMA has set up 11 trailers in the Sonoma Fairgrounds RV Park to help uninsured and underinsured victims of last month’s firestorms. Designed to house up to four people in about 200 square feet, each unit is connected to water, electricity and sewer lines.

Fifteen more RVs, some suitable for more than four people, are coming Tuesday, November 14. “These units are already full,” said Paul Corah, media relations specialist at FEMA. “More are on order. We’re trying to accommodate as many people as possible.”