North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

California Update for Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nov 15, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• California’s cannabis industry has a banking problem. Federal rules keep most marijuana businesses from even opening a checking account. Many deal in cash. It’s a problem in other places with legal pot, like Colorado...

• Anti-abortion pregnancy centers are again taking on California's Reproductive Fact Act.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Sammy Caiola.

Monte Vista housing
Burbank Housing

Former Supervisor Efren Carrillo is now director of governmental and community relations at Burbank Housing in Santa Rosa. The organization is grappling with the reality that an already tight housing market has gotten worse since the North Bay fires. Carrillo talked about affordable housing with KRCB news director Steve Mencher.

Chelene Lopez

The Community Club of Roseland (CCR) is made up of a group of mothers in the Roseland area of Santa Rosa dedicated to empowering Latino residents who live in this neighborhood in the southwest quadrant of the city.

In 2013, CCR, which was originally known as the Parents Club of Roseland, served as a resource for people seeking to provide a healthier lifestyle to their families at the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center through nutrition and Zumba classes.

Efren Carrillo
Center for Climate Protection

Earlier this month, a significant event occurred in the history of Santa Rosa completely unrelated to the recent fires. The Roseland neighborhood finally became an official part of the city. News director Steve Mencher talked with former supervisor Efren Carrillo, who played a large part in bringing together politicians and citizens to build consensus for annexation.

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, November 13, 2017

Nov 13, 2017
Illustration by Lyne Lucien / The Daily Beast

• Voters in Virginia and Pennsylvania elect the first transgender candidates to seats in public office.

• LGBT candidates win 11 different races across Ohio.

• In Louisiana, an applicant for a local sheriff’s department has filed suit alleging he was denied employment because he is HIV positive

• The Gay Mens’ Chorus of San Francisco comes home for the holidays on December 2.

Outbeat Radio News is a service of KRCB North Bay Public Media and can be heard Sunday nights at 8 as part of Outbeat Radio.

California Update for Monday, November 13, 2017

Nov 13, 2017

• A year ago, California became the first state in the nation to enact a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Environmental groups say early data shows a significant dip in plastic trash.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

California Update for Friday, November 10, 2017

Nov 10, 2017
Sen. Mendoza's website

• An attorney for a California legislative staffer says state Senator Tony Mendoza fired her client and two other staffers for reporting his inappropriate behavior towards a young woman in the Senate Fellows Program.

Find the full story HERE.

Young Fire Victim Remembered as Passionate About Sports, Friendships

Nov 9, 2017
Shepherd family
Go Fund Me page

At 14, Kai Shepherd was the youngest person to die in the North Bay wildfires. He and his sister and parents fled their home in Redwood Valley as flames overtook the neighborhood. As part of our continuing partnership on fire coverage, listen to KQED’s April Dembosky, who went to Kai’s school to see how his friends remember him.

Find the original story from The California Report here.

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch warns Sonoma County residents of scams involving fraudulently filed applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. The Napa and Sonoma County District Attorney’s Offices received several reports from residents whose personal identifying information, including their social security numbers, had been used to file a fraudulent FEMA application.  Some residents reported that they attempted to apply for FEMA assistance, only to find that someone had already applied under their name.

California Update for Thursday, November 9, 2017

Nov 9, 2017
Rebecca Blackwell / AP photo

• During his trip to Europe this week, California Governor Jerry Brown is urging foreign governments to bypass the Trump administration and coordinate with states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

• California is now home to the highest gas prices in the nation, one week after the state's 12 cents per gallon gas tax increase went into effect. 

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Chris Nichols.

In preparation for anticipated rain this winter, people who live in burned areas, or downhill of burned areas, should be aware of increased risks for:

• Flash Flooding: Normally, rainfall is absorbed by vegetation and soils, reducing runoff. However, wildfires remove vegetation and may leave soil unable to absorb water, creating flash flood conditions. Flood risk remains significantly higher until vegetation is restored—up to 5 years after a wildfire.

California Update for Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nov 8, 2017
Melissa Bosworth / Capital Public Radio News

• California’s pot industry could top seven billion dollars a few years from now. But a lot of that business might have to be handled in cash, because most banks are reluctant to go against federal drug rules. 

• California Governor Jerry Brown says the state should link its signature climate-change program, cap-and-trade, to its European counterpart.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Ben Bradford.

California Update for Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Nov 7, 2017
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio News

• For four straight years, the California Senate has quietly shelved an Assembly bill that would have provided whistleblower protection to legislative employees. Now, the sexual harassment turmoil at the Capitol could give the bill new life.

• Two separate campaigns are seeking to repeal California's controversial gas tax increase. How are the repeal efforts different and will they help or hurt each other as they try to make it on the November 2018 ballot?

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Chris Nichols.

When Apples, not Grapes, Ruled Local Fields

Nov 6, 2017
Rhian Miller

The family behind Walker Apples of Graton was recently named Farm Family of the Year by the Sonoma County Farm Bureau. Six generations of family members have helped preserve heritage apple varieties, hopefully for generations to come. Rhian Miller visited the farm and has this report.

• Egypt and Russia and fighting to eliminate a UN resolution prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people during the upcoming Olympic games.  LGBT rights groups said these countries are encouraging violence.  

• A Mitsubishi car dealership in Austin Texas is being sued for discrimination by a transgender male employee, but lawyers for the dealership are claiming a first amendment right of the dealership as a defense. 

California Update for Monday, November 6, 2017

Nov 6, 2017

• Republican candidate for governor John Cox recently claimed it costs ‘nearly five times as much’ in California to build a mile of road as it does in the rest of the nation. 

Find more PolitiFact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Sonoma County Fire Poster
KRCB/Steve Mencher

The recent fire crisis has prompted an outpouring of support from Sonoma County and beyond. But with fire cost estimates in the billions, more is needed. An infusion of cash is the highest priority for most fire victims, and for the organizations that serve them.

With overwhelming need comes an almost equally overwhelming number of worthy groups seeking donations, from small businesses with GoFundMe pages to large organizations. There are alliances for every sector of the population from undocumented immigrants, to firefighters to animals. Here are a few noteworthy organizations.

California Update for Friday, November 3, 2017

Nov 3, 2017

• While federal advertising for public health exchanges was slashed, Covered California is spending $111 million on outreach this year.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

We wanted to end the week of fire-related news with a look back at last Saturday’s Day of Remembrance at Santa Rosa Junior College. Earlier in the week we heard from Sheriff Rob Giordano – but now let’s listen to the music and poetry that brought the audience of several hundred to tears… and to their feet repeatedly on a crystal clear and warm fall day. You’ll hear MC Pat Kerrigan of KSRO and young poet Vicente Reyes of Mark West Charter School.

Bill Gittins

Painter Bill Gittins, a KRCB board member, is featured online today at the KQED website, talking about his experience during the Tubbs fire that burned so many homes in his Fountaingrove neighborhood.

“I had completed about 35 new paintings for ArtTrails over the last several months, and that was while I was doing some commission pieces at the same time,” he told KQED reporter Joshua Bote.

California Update for Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nov 2, 2017
PolitiFact California / AP file photo

• Do millennials have ‘only A 50-50 chance’ of doing better than their parents? Candidate for governor Delaine Eastin says so. PolitiFact California fact-checked her claim and rated it True.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Find more PolitiFact California fact checks HERE.

Sonoma County

The record-breaking destruction of the North Bay fires has many experts questioning the way California determines fire risk.  It seems clear that stricter building codes will be required in high risk areas, but some say the current risk designations are outdated and need re-mapping. Penny Nelson, a host of KQED’s The California Report recently discussed the issue with KQED science reporter Lauren Sommer.

Wikimedia Commons

Those affected by the North Bay fires will have the opportunity to enroll in Disaster CalFresh until Nov. 1.

Disaster CalFresh will provide  cash grants which can be used at participating food stores.

For in-person assistance, find your closest Sonoma County Economic Assistance office here.

California Update for Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nov 1, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• Total insured losses from California's October fires tripled over the past two weeks to $3.3 billion. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says insurance companies may rethink the coverage they offer in some areas.

• California gas and diesel taxes are higher Wednesday, under a law approved this past spring by the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown. The tax hikes will raise several billion dollars a year for road repairs, public transit and other projects.

Today' reporting by Randol White and Ben Adler.

Wikimedia Commons

The California Immigrant Guide, prepared by state agencies, has gathered helpful resources for residents affected by the North Bay fires. 

The guide links to resources such as Disaster CalFresh, for help with groceries, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, California Office of Emergency Services and the California Department of Insurance.

Find these helpful resources, both in English and in Spanish here.

California Update for Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Oct 31, 2017

• California law enforcement officials and crime victims groups filed a ballot initiative today Monday aimed at reversing what they see as ineffective criminal justice measures. Proponents of those measures point to a decrease in property crime rates in CA.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

Ashley Oldham

They’ve been called the “wine country” fires – but cannabis farmers suffered losses in the recent firestorm as well.  Unlike vintners, whose grapes were nearly all picked, the cannabis harvest was just getting started when the fires struck. Reporter Sarah Reith visited growers in Mendocino County who are now reckoning with their losses.

See Sarah Reith's original report on KZYX

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, October 30, 2017

Oct 30, 2017

• Georgia State representative, Betty Price, a republican, suggested during a hearing that HIV positive people might be quarantined to prevent spread of the virus. 

• A man in Berkeley was arrested for various crimes including a hate crime for setting a rainbow flag on fire and punching a volunteer in the face at the LGBT center. 

• The annual OutWatch film festival, now in its fifth year, opens this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Sonoma.

Outbeat Radio News is a service of KRCB FM Radio 91 and can be heard as part of Outbeat Radio Sunday nights at 7 pm.

California Update for Monday, October 30, 2017

Oct 30, 2017
Rich Pedroncelli / AP photo

• A California Assemblyman is the first lawmaker to be named in the sexual harassment scandal sweeping through the state Capitol. A legislative staffer says Democrat Raul Bocanegra groped her at a public event eight years ago.

• Governors Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York are crying foul over the Republican push to end a federal tax break that largely benefits their states.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

California Update for Friday, October 27, 2017

Oct 27, 2017
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio News

• All 14 California House Republicans voted for the budget bill Thursday. Its passage paves the way for a tax code overhaul that would eliminate a major tax break for Californians.