North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Brown To Release Updated Spending Plan Thursday

May 11, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capradio.org

Look for California Gov. Jerry Brown to renew his message of “fiscal discipline." Also, there’s a growing body of lawmakers who want to overhaul cap-and-trade, and that’s created some strange bedfellows.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

Mother Jones

Nearly half of the 2 million Wells Fargo bank accounts that were opened without the customers’ knowledge or consent are here in California.  A new, narrowly tailored bill in the state legislature would give those fraud victims some additional leverage to fight back.

State Senator Bill Dodd says his SB 33 was written, in part, to open the way for class action suits by the defrauded customers of Well Fargo Band.

latimes.com

ALSO: Civil rights and labor groups rallied in support of a bill that would allow local governments to investigate employment discrimination claims, as state and federal employment departments face major backlogs.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Sally Schilling.

Genetic analysis of varying cannabis strains may aid in the development of narrowly targeted pharmaceutical products. But using the same tool to protect generic strains could help hold prices down.

politifact.com

ALSO: State and federal officials usher in Wildfire Awareness Week.

Find full versions of all fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Julia Mitric.

Phylos Bioscience

Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humankind for centuries. Now the industry’s challenge is understanding and applying that history.

Cannabis arrived in North America from at least two different directions, but how that evolved into the plants that grow here today is not yet clear, says Phylos Biosciences’ Mowgli Holmes.

As his team has collected and analyzed samples from hundreds of cannabis plants and products, Holmes says one unexpected finding has emerged.

Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

For years, the aging Village Park campground and trailer park at the eastern edge of Sebastopol was a problem site, subject to flooding, poverty and other issues. Now it is poised to help answer to the city’s homelessness concerns.

As a nod to the changes at the property—which will continue to be owned by city of Sebastopol-- it will be formally renamed Park Village. West County Community Services will become a key presence there, adds Executive director, Tim Miller.

It’s been 17 years since the shallow channel into Bodega Bay was last dredged. So it’s time to do it again, and plans for a project this fall are moving ahead.

The depth of the channel is already compromised at several places along the corridor. Noah Wagner, harbormaster at Spud Point Marin, details those locations.

In California, efforts to boost funding for road repairs are at odds with the concurrent goal of expanding electric vehicle usage. So how can these two needs co-exist?

Sonoma County Ag and Open Space District

A forest of massive coast redwoods and the diverse wildlife they shelter are getting new and permanent protection, funded by distant urban residents who will never see the lands. 

Bordering the Mendocino County line, the Howlett Ranch contains the free-flowing headwaters to a pair of key tributaries to the Gualala River, and still sees spawning runs of coho, steelhead and rainbow trout. And, Bill Keene notes, it connects other large swaths of protected forests.

Tiffany Camhi

The once endangered bald eagle is now thriving across North America, including in the North Bay, where several have been spotted this breeding season. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Sonoma County voters gave strong support last November to a sales tax increase to boost funding for local libraries. As of  May 1, the first benefits from Measure Y will take effect.

To begin preparing for their new budget realities, Library Director Brett Lean consulted with the State Board of Equalization, which monitors the flow of tax revenues. But Lear says it’s difficult right now to look much beyond the new fiscal year that begins in July.

The old Cotati Cabaret had an enthusiastic fan base and a colorful history—one that ended rather abruptly in 1990. But this weekend, for one brief evening, the venue will open its doors once more.

The concert Sunday evening (details here) is a benefit for Live Music Lantern, a three year-old non-profit run by Elijah and Kaya Barntsen. he explains their dual purpose is all about expanding opportunities for people to hear live music.

courtesy of City of Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square reunification project is nearly finished. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports the new plaza, which city planners hope will revitalize and unify the city, is set to be dedicated this Saturday.

Fears of dragged out construction downtown stalled the project many times over the years, but Mayor Coursey says a simpler plaza design and a quick paced build-out helped get this version of the project through.

Sonoma County has been without a local composting operation for a year and a half. And it will be at least twice that long before a new one can get started. But the process is inching forward.

 When commercial composting was introduced in Sonoma County, roughly 20 years ago, by Sonoma Compost, the pioneering local operation was widely studied and imitated, recalls Patrick Carter, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.

Santa Rosa-based Climbers For Peace organizes and leads multi-national teams in bond-building ascents of major mountains. Their next trip will take them up the highest peak in the Middle East—assuming the government of Iran allows it.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Riding a bicycle through all 50 states is a good way to get acquainted with America. And talking with folks, in depth, everywhere along the way is an even better way. Today we meet a man who is doing both.

Register, who lives in Houston, Texas when he is not exploring America's back roads, explains why he decided to undertake this multi-year project.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Yet another indication that the cannabis industry is already large and diverse in and around Santa Rosa:  a business-oriented trade shows now underway at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

K. M. Gong / Flikr

ALSO: Governor Jerry Brown and the League of California Cities are lauding each other’s efforts in passing a 52 billion dollar transportation bill earlier this month. But they may have different priorities for what's next...

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Daniel Potter.

As science increasingly comes under fire from conservative political forces, public support for research and empirical evidence is being rallied in a global array of pro-science events this weekend—including two in Santa Rosa.

In thinking about the importance of science in daily life, Adrienne Alvord, the Western States Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, points out that is it vital for both economic and personal health.

Bill Would Shed Light On Prescription Drug Price-Setting

Apr 19, 2017
thelundreport.org

ALSO: More than a million permits for disabled drivers and riders handed out by the California Department of Motor Vehicles over three years were questionably approved.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Daniel Potter.

Tiffany Camhi

The rise of the do-it-yourself movement, combined with the push in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math education, has led to a boom in Makerspaces across the country. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports, Sonoma State will be joining the maker community when it opens its own Makerspace on Friday.

Assembly Democrats Tout Numerous Affordable Housing Bills

Apr 18, 2017
Liam Dillon / New York Times

ALSO: The California secession effort will no longer try to qualify a ballot initiative. That’s after media outlets turned up connections of its author to the Russian government.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Ben Bradford.

In agriculture, building, urban design transportation, energy production and use and more, there are steps already being taken to keep carbon out of the atmosphere. And according to a serious new book, scaling up those actions—all of them—could be a pathway to reversing global warming.

Many of the 100 climate change solutions examined by Project Drawdown have interlocking effects. Editor Paul Hawken says their analyses work scrupulously to keep their projected benefits separate.

Proposal Would Overhaul CA Recycling Program

Apr 17, 2017
recyclenation.com

ALSO: U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke defends the Trump administration’s policies on public land during a visit to Yosemite National Park.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Ezra David Romero.

“Drawdown” is the term used to describe the time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have peaked and then begin to decline. A new book offers a pathway to get there by 2050.

The foremost consideration in the assessments made for the Drawdown Project, explains co-founder Paul Hawken, was how much carbon could be kept out of the atmosphere by wider adoption of each strategy.  In most cases, the 30-year impact could be measured in gigatons.

The April 15th deadline for filing 2016 income tax returns applies to all American, including President Trump. It is also serving as an occasion for renewed calls for him to make public his past tax documents.

More information about State Sen. Mike McGuire's SB 149 can be found on his website. Read the full text of the bill here.

Whether its unconscious or overt, racism remains a sensitive issue in America. But the idea of “reverse racism” isn’t an inversion of that—it’s an example. A free public gathering to examine and debunk that idea is happening in Santa Rosa this Wednesday night.

Tiffany Camhi

The winter storms that drenched Northern California and brought much of the state out of the drought have been a good thing for most of us. But for oyster farmers in Tomales Bay, lots of rain means lots of closures. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi visited one oyster company to check on the health of their oysters and their business. 

No Smoking Pot While Driving Clears Committee

Apr 11, 2017
cannabisradio.com

ALSO: Tax collections in California beat expectations for last month, with a haul of some 7.6 billion dollars. But State Controller Betty Yee cautions the numbers have been volatile in recent months, saying that’s a bad sign for the state’s job market.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter.

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