North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

California Update for Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

• California would require automated accounts, known as bots, to be identified on social media platforms under in a bill proposed last week.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Jerry Nickelsburg
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Last week we visited the State of the County event and heard from some key voices representing our diverse community. Visit our website to hear from Ana Lugo, President of the North Bay Organizing Project, Reno Franklin, Chair of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, and Beth Brown, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sonoma County.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors invites community members to attend and provide input at the Housing Recovery Workshop TOMORROW - Tuesday, February 6th, 2018. 

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Burbank Housing, North Coast Builders Exchange, City of Santa Rosa, County of Sonoma, Sonoma Clean Power, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Sonoma County Transportation Authority, and the California Department of Housing and Community Development will present information on a number of topics. 

Mambia online /

• Arizona Pastor Steven Anderson has been banned from entering the country of Jamaica because of his extreme anti-LGBTQ views.  

• Two married men are suing the U.S. State Department after one of their twin babies was denied citizenship despite being born from the same surrogate just minutes apart. 

• The State of Indiana, one of only 5 states with no hate crime laws, voted down again this week proposed hate crime legislation.  This almost guarantees that the state will loose their bid to be host of Amazon’s new HQ2 facility.

California Update for Monday, February 5, 2018

Feb 5, 2018
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

• Four current California lawmakers, including a candidate for governor, are named in sexual harassment claims released Friday by the state Legislature.

Find the full story from Capital Public Radio, with details about many of the claims and the lawmakers’ responses HERE.

James Gore
KRCB/Steve Mencher

From the Doubletree Sonoma Wine Country – we present highlights from the State of the County breakfast, presented by Sonoma County Economic Development Bureau.

The Black Sheep Brass Band kicked off the morning event.

California Update for Friday, February 2, 2018

Feb 2, 2018
Loren Kerns / Flikr

• California farmers and ranchers have until Monday to be counted by the USDA Census of Agriculture. The data could impact funding for agricultural research and nutrition programs.

• The California Senate has finally approved a bill to provide whistleblower protection to legislative staff – after killing the effort in each of the last four years. It’s a protection other state employees have had for years.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric and Ben Adler.

Coffey Strong
Diane Askew

Coffey Park was the subject of a recent edition of KQED’s Forum program with Michael Krasny.  KRCB News Director Steve Mencher has some excerpts from the discussion…

California Update for Thursday, February 1, 2018

Feb 1, 2018
AP file photo, 2015

• President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he supports a national Right to Try policy, which would help terminally ill patients access experimental drugs more easily.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

Homeless man
Sara Ristić

On a single night in January, volunteers all over the country participate in a federal program counting homeless people in their communities. This so-called “point in time” count occurs when the weather is at its worst in many parts of the U.S.

In Mendocino County, the count began at 5 a.m. on January 25 at a soup kitchen in the county seat. Reporter Sarah Reith was there.

California Update for Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jan 31, 2018
Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

• The California state Senate is attempting to circumvent a change in the federal tax overhaul that they say targets blue states.

• The California Senate has approved a bill that would allow judges to send criminal defendants suffering from mental disorders to treatment instead of trial.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

Paradise Ridge Winery
Courtesy of Paradise Ridge website

A new study from the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State describes the effects of the North Bay fires on local vineyards and wineries and related parts of the North Coast wine industry. In addition to surveying stakeholders, the authors also crunched the first available statistics.

Honore Comfort is Executive in Residence at the institute, part of the SSU School of Business and Economics. She talked with KRCB News Director Steve Mencher about the study. 

California Update for Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

• The California Senate has voted to impose its own version of net neutrality on the state.

• The Department of Water Resources announced today that contractors who receive water from the State Water Project will get more than originally thought.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ezra David Romero.

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, January 29, 2018

Jan 29, 2018

• Police in Cumbria England foiled a plot by 20-year-old Neo-Nazi Ethan Stables to slaughter LGBT people attending a scheduled pride event at a local pub. 

• Reports of violence against LGBT people in the U. S. were up sharply in 2017 with transgender women of color and gay men being targeted most frequently. 

• The Cadet Chapel at the West Point Military Academy saw its first same-sex wedding this month. 

• Sonoma County Pride Planning Committee needs your participation at its next meeting on February 7.

California Update for Monday, January 29, 2018

Jan 29, 2018

• Several conservative websites erroneously claimed last week a new California law will register undocumented immigrants to vote. This claim has popped up before, and it's still wrong. 

Find more PolitiFact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

California Update for Friday, January 26, 2018

Jan 26, 2018
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

• California's longest-serving governor gave his final State of the State address to lawmakers Thursday. Capital Public Radio’s reporters have this round-up.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford, Ezra David Romero, and Sammy Caiola.

Governor Jerry Brown

Thursday morning, KRCB presented Governor Jerry Brown’s last State of the State address. Born into politics, educated by Jesuits, Brown will stand, by any measure, as one of the most important leaders in California history. In Sonoma County, we were listening to hear what he’d say about the traumatic wildfire season – and that came early in the speech. KRCB News Director Steve Mencher listened along…

California Update for Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jan 25, 2018
Gregory Bull / AP

• The U.S. Department of Justice is threatening to subpoena California and several cities within it over sanctuary policies.

• Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to strike less of the "resistance" tone he took in last year's State of the State just four days after President Trump's inauguration. Instead, look for Brown to focus on climate change and the criminal justice system.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

Dan Wade
United Policyholders

Yesterday, we heard a presentation from “Conversations Around the Fire” – an initiative hoping to guide local residents to greener, safer and more just ideas about rebuilding our community. One speaker at the conversation Monday night represented a group that helps answer questions about insurance, advocating  for those seeking fair treatment.

United Policyholders is a nonprofit, formed after the Oakland Hills Fires of 1991. KRCB News Director Steve Mencher has more.

Sonoma County Clerk, William F. Rousseau, is urging residents displaced by the October 2017 wildfires to update their mailing address with the Registrar of Voters so that they receive voting materials for upcoming elections. 

“We want to help voters who may have been impacted by the wildfires understand how to update their voter registration. With thousands of voters displaced by the recent wildfires, we want to ensure that everyone who wishes to participate in the upcoming elections is given the opportunity to do so,” said William F. Rousseau, Sonoma County Clerk. 

Supervisors seek public input to guide recovery efforts at three upcoming workshops

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors invites community members to attend and provide input to guide post-fire recovery efforts at three upcoming public workshops. Each workshop will focus on a different topic, including Housing, Natural Resources, Economic Development, Health and Human Services, and Infrastructure. 

Topic areas will be discussed on the following dates:  

California Update for Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Jan 24, 2018

• The Trump administration launched a new tariff on the solar industry Tuesday over concerns that foreign imports of solar parts are taking away from business from U.S. manufacturers.

• University of California Regents are scheduled to vote on a 2.5 percent tuition increase Wednesday — the second consecutive hike after a six-year freeze.

Today's reporting by Ezra David Romero and Ben Adler.

Ray Krauss
KRCB/Steve Mencher

The meetings have a clever name – Conversations Around the Fire. The idea? That the recent wildfires might bring together people in the progressive community to work for change during these  post-fire months and years.

California Update for Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jan 23, 2018
David McNew / Getty Images

• The number of Valley Fever cases in California has reached its highest since the state began tracking the disease. Public health officials, patient groups and now lawmakers are looking for new ways to prevent and diagnose it.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

Eli Melrod
Sarah Tan

California officially opened cannabis sales to all adults at the start of the new year. That’s after voters passed Proposition 64 back in November 2016. Local dispensaries are slowly getting up to speed on permits and paperwork. They’re adjusting to a new flow of customers.

And they're finding that a growing clientele consists of older folks. Some are returning to marijuana after trying it in their youth. Others are using it for the first time. Some are attracted because they can buy it for their health without needing a doctor’s note.

Women's rally Jan. 20 2018
Stacey Dennick

Thousands of demonstrators gathered Saturday in Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Sebastopol to support women’s rights and to indulge in cathartic Trump bashing.  The events commemorated last year’s record-breaking women’s marches in the United States and worldwide.

• Police are investigating a violent hate crime in Los Angeles involving a 19-year-old and a former high school colleague.  The victim was found in a park with more than 20 stab wounds. 

• The LGBTQ Connection of Napa launched a new LGBT support group for young people in Calistoga this week.

• Sonoma County Pride organizers want your involvement.  Attend the next planning meeting on February 7.

Outbeat Radio News is a service of KRCB FM Radio 91 and can be heard as part of Outbeat Radio, Sunday nights at 8 pm.

California Update for Monday, January 22, 2018

Jan 22, 2018
GollyGForce / Flikr

• Dueling efforts to ask voters to overturn California’s new transportation funding law – and its fuel tax and vehicle fee increases – have consolidated into one.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

California Update for Friday, January 19, 2018

Jan 19, 2018

• Candidate for governor Delaine Eastin claimed California ranks 41st in the nation in per pupil K-12 spending, but "No.1" in per prisoner spending. PolitiFact California found her claim could have used some clarifications and rated it Mostly True.

Find more PolitiFact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

A report this week in the San Francisco Chronicle said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement – ICE – is planning immigration raids in our area – in part to punish California for its recent decision to become a so-called sanctuary state.