North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Democratic State Lawmakers Push Juvenile Justice Reform

Mar 21, 2017
motherjones.com

ALSO: The bill to place the bond on the June 2018 ballot needed two-thirds support to pass. It advanced with the bare minimum 54 votes – all from Democrats, who leveraged their supermajority.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric and Ben Adler.

Winter Rains Boost Gold Fever

Mar 20, 2017
Santa Rosa Gold Diggers

An ounce of gold is worth a little more than $1300 these days, enough to keep even casual prospectors interested and active, especially here in northern California. Today we hear from a Santa Rosa group dedicated to keeping the search alive.

In the great gold rush of the mid-1800s, hydraulic hoses and extended wooden sluice boxes were used by some big operators, but simple metal pans were the most common tools. Today, says Randy Ricci of the Santa Rosa Gold Diggers, that’s just about all that is allowed.

politifact.com

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently claimed U.S. House members won by an average margin of 37 percentage points in November. PolitiFact California found there's nothing inflated about this figure, and rated it True.

Find more fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

photo courtesy of Phyllis Gould

During World War Two women became vital wartime workers, filling in on jobs traditionally held by men. Collectively they became known as “Rosie the Riveter.” And now for the first time, there will be a national holiday recognizing the work of these women, but just for this year. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports a Marin County "Rosie" is behind the effort to get the holiday on the calendar every year.

The Rosie the Riveter World War II Homefront National Park will be holding a special commemorative event with local Rosies tomorrow.

UC Regents Mull Cap on Nonresident Enrollment

Mar 17, 2017
sacbee.com

ALSO: President Trump has approved federal disaster assistance for California. The move will help communities recover from major storms that hit the state in January.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Amy Quinton.

Lemony Snicket Creator Cites ‘Peanuts’ Influence

Mar 16, 2017

The man behind the arch-gothic Lemony Snicket books for young readers says the Peanuts comic strip was an important influence on his writing.

The deeper he delves into the world of Peanuts, says author Daniel Handler, the darker it seems to him.

 Handler’s most recent novel, We Are Pirates, also features a teenaged girl as its central character. But he says the story itself was inspired by his life in San Francisco.

Trump's Clean Car Review Could Lead To Fight With California

Mar 16, 2017
Automotive News

ALSO: California Senator Ed Hernandez is once again pushing a bill that would require drug price transparency.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Ben Bradford.

California Department of Education

The California Department of Education today  made public its new system for evaluating how local school districts are performing. Local educators say it is more complex but also more helpful.

Cliff DeGraw, the Petaluma City Schools Assistant Superintendent, likes the five-colored grids that are used to track districts’ progress in each of the areas being analyzed.

State Education Department spokesman Robert Ochs, notes that some additional focus areas will be added to the Dashboard in the months ahead.

Bill Aimed At Fighting Opioid Addiction

Mar 15, 2017
sacramentobee.com

ALSO: California Senate Republicans have elected a new leader. Orange County Senator Pat Bates will replace current Minority Leader Jean Fuller of Bakersfield next month, while the Legislature is on Spring Break.

Today's reporting by Steve Milne and Ben Adler.

A Hands-On Farming Showcase for Kids

Mar 14, 2017
Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

Ag Days returned to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds this week. The annual event, hosted by the local Farm Bureau, gives thousands of elementary school students some first-hand exposure to this region’s agricultural heritage and its products. 

Assembly Democrats Back Debt-Free College Plan

Mar 14, 2017
ThinkstockPhotos

Bernie Sanders didn’t win the Democratic presidential primary last year, but his platform is getting traction in the California Legislature. 

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Bad News, Good Energy at Health Care Town Hall

Mar 13, 2017

A fired up crowd eager to defend the Affordable Care Act filled the Marin Civic Center, to hear a panel led by Congressman Jared Huffman detail the problems they foresee in the new, Republican-sponsored alternative.

While much of the testimony focused on the anticipated harms that would befall the North Bay should the Affordable Care Act be replaced with “TrumpCare,” Marin County Director of Health and Human Services Grant Colfax also noted that the Republican alternative would also slash funding for health care at the national level.

politifact.com

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom offered a cost comparison between an iPhone and health care this week after Rep. Jason Chaffetz made a controversial comparison between the two. PolitiFact California checked Newsom's claim and rated it Mostly True.

Find full versions of all fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Tiffany Camhi

Sonoma County’s roads have taken a severe beating from this winter’s nonstop storms. Now the county’s Department of Transportation and Public Works is out with an initial estimate of over 16 million dollars worth of damages. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Former DOJ Attorney Says Major Changes To H1-Bs Require Congress

Mar 10, 2017
California Department of Water Resources

ALSO: Scientists say the threat of catastrophic flooding at Oroville Dam could be a warning for California, and the effect climate change could have on infrastructure in the future.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Amy Quinton.

Non-profit Serves Homeless Pet Owners

Mar 9, 2017
Homeless With Pets

Pet owners are deeply attached to their dogs, cats, birds and other animals, and that doesn’t change if they become homeless. But their ability to care for their pets may. That’s where an unusual and specially focused non-profit steps in to help.

More than two thirds of the pets kept by homeless people locally are dogs, says Gillian Squirrell, founder of Homeless With Pets. But that other third encompasses considerable variety.

"Day Without A Woman" Draws Attention From California Lawmakers

Mar 9, 2017
Anne Di Grazia

A couple hundred people spent their lunch breaks outside the state Capitol Wednesday as California lawmakers led a rally for International Women’s Day and Day Without A Woman.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Cannabis Industry Cautiously Prepares for New Costs

Mar 8, 2017

With new tax rates approved by Sonoma County voters on Tuesday, the local cannabis industry is gearing up to enter—and pay for—their new era of legitimacy.

Jim Cole / AP photo

ALSO: California health care policy experts who back the Affordable Care Act reacted today to a proposal from House Republicans to repeal and replace the law.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Ja'Nel Johnson.

politifact.com

California State Senator Jeff Stone recently claimed statewide violent crime has been on the rise since 2011, and spiked 12 % in 2015. 

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Meet Sonoma County’s New Health Director

Mar 6, 2017

After a year getting acquainted with the inner workings of Sonoma County's Department of Health Services, Barbie Robinson is starting her new job as the department's head with plans for some ambitious collaboration at the top of her agenda.

As Barbie Robinson takes the helm of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, she is keenly aware that the biggest challenge she will face in the near future is the possible repeal of the nation al Affordable Care Act.

NBC News

 

President Trump has signed a revised executive order, once again barring travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program. It’s similar to the president’s January order that was blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

PG&E Decides Some Pot Growers Can Qualify For Ag Energy Rate

Mar 6, 2017
releaf.co

ALSO: Assembly To Vote On $3B Park Bond

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric and Ben Bradford.

Tiffany Camhi

For nearly ten years, a group of volunteers have been gathering every first Saturday of the month to clean up trash and help beautify the Santa Rosa Creek. Now what was once just considered a flood controlling waterway for the city has become a vibrant creek filled with life. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi checked out this month’s clean up.

CA Supreme Court Rules Private E-mails Can Be Public Record

Mar 3, 2017
JHaymesis/VIP Photography / Flikr Creative Commons

ALSO: Work crews are hauling away massive amounts of debris from the base of the damaged Oroville spillway, making it possible that a shuttered power plant could resume operation. Also, plans to redesign the spillway could set a new global standard.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Randol White.

Housing Aid for New Teachers

Mar 2, 2017

Training new teachers for local schools isn’t enough. The Sonoma County office of Education is also partnering in efforts to help secure housing for them.

Learn more about the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County here.

Near Record Snowpack Readings For Sierra Nevada

Mar 2, 2017
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

ALSO: A Democratic state senator wants the labels on cleaning products sold in California to include their ingredients. 

Today's reporting by Randol White and Daniel Potter.

A New Approach to Recruiting Teachers

Mar 1, 2017

To meet the persistent shortage of teachers locally, a new program is recruiting and training would-be educators who are already here, but doing something else right now.

One of the re-entry members in the current cohort is Amanda Park, who already has teaching experience, but decided to change course after moving to California last year.

Derek DiBenedetti has long enjoyed being a high school baseball coach. Now he’s joined the teacher internship program in order to be on campus even more of the time.

California Department of Water Resources.

ALSO: Beginning today, signage for all single use bathrooms in California must indicate that it is for all genders.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Ja'Nel Johnson.

The Constitutional Case for Impeachment

Feb 28, 2017

Donald Trump, both personally and politically, is deeply unpopular with a wide swath of Americans. That’s not a basis for impeachment, but there does appear to be one in the US Constitution.

With a strong Republican majority controlling both houses of Congress, it may not be surprising that no individual representative has yet come forward to argue for impeachment. But Norman Solomon, co-chair of the Mill Valley-based Grass Roots Coalition for Grass Roots Progress, says there has been one preliminary step taken.

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