North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

California Update for Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oct 3, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• The Las Vegas shooting quickly became an issue between two Democrats running for California governor in 2018.

• The shooting in Las Vegas is immediately leading to calls from Democratic officials in California for their federal counterparts to tighten the nation’s gun laws—and to look to the state as a model. Several bills are on the governor's desk.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Ben Bradford.

wikimedia commons/Bento00

In the climate change world, the term "drawdown" refers to the point in time when greenhouse gases start to decline yearly. It’s been a huge goal for environmental scientists trying to reverse global warming. Now, Marin County is launching Drawdown: Marin. It’s a campaign that looks to drastically reduce greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, in the county.

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, October 2, 2017

Oct 2, 2017

• A federal judge in Brazil overturned a 1999 decision this week, and now, gay conversion therapy is legal again in this South American Country with growing anti-LGBT sentiment. 

• Here in the U.S., a 17-year-old transgender woman was viciously and violently murdered in Houston Texas, so far 4 people have been arrested. 

• And here locally, documentarian Josh Howard’s amazing film, The Lavender Scare, is being shown at a free event happening in October.

California Update for Monday, October 2, 2017

Oct 2, 2017
California Senate Democrats / YouTube

• Gov. Jerry Brown has signed 15 bills that backers hope will finally begin to address California’s extraordinarily high housing costs.

• How well did Proposition 54 work in its first year? The ballot measure required bills at the Capitol be printed three days prior to a final vote. Experts weigh in on what worked and what did not.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Chris Nichols.

California Update for Friday, September 29, 2017

Sep 29, 2017
Mark Hogan / Flikr

Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a package of bills Friday that seek to address California’s exorbitant housing costs. One piece that’s flown below the radar would make it harder for cities and counties to evade state housing mandates.

Find easy-to-understand, one-sentence summaries of each measure HERE.

ALSO: Starting in 2020, California will hold primary elections in March, under a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown Wednesday.

Irwin Keller
Congregation Ner Shalom

Last week, we visited with Reb Irwin Keller of Cotati’s Congregation Ner Shalom. He told us about Rosh Hashanah, which starts the Jewish New Year. The period of reflection which began with that holiday ends this weekend, with the observance of Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement." Keller talked with news director Steve Mencher about one significant aspect of this High Holiday – beginning at sundown Friday.

California Update for Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sep 28, 2017
Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo

POLITIFACT CALIFORNIA: Claims Mislead About Jail Time For Using Wrong Transgender Pronoun

Conservative media has fueled the misleading claim that California's LGBT Senior Bill of Rights, if signed into law, would send people to jail for using the wrong transgender pronoun. PolitiFact California examined these out-of-context statements.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Find full versions of all fact checks at PolitiFact California.

Huckleberry Finn

Who should decide what books are allowed in libraries? Since 1982, a coalition of groups takes a week each year – this week – to call attention to books that are removed from shelves in school and public libraries in the United States because someone decides they are inappropriate. Suzanne Lang, host of KRCB’s A Novel Idea joined News Director Steve Mencher  to talk about Banned Books week.

Sonoma State Stevenson Hall
Sonoma State University

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: "Faculty members and staff who worked in a Sonoma State University office building that was the focus of a whistleblower trial over asbestos mishandling will each get a piece of more than $2.9 million in penalties handed down for violations of occupational health and safety laws.

California Update for Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sep 27, 2017
(copyright DPC) /

Just as studies have shown that people who order diet drinks tend to increase their consumption of foods loaded with fats, sugars, and salt, new research out of UC Davis shows Californians do a similar thing when it comes to their vehicles.

ALSO, California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that allows law enforcement agencies to not release body camera footage depicting rape victims.

Today's reporting by Randol White and Ben Adler

Santa Rosa Junior College Town Hall on DACA
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Yesterday we heard from Congressman Mike Thompson, at a town hall he co-hosted on immigration at Santa Rosa Junior College last week. Today we hear from others at the forum, called to support students struggling to respond to President Trump’s dismantling of DACA, the program that allows young men and women brought to this country as children to work and study here without fear of deportation. First up, Alegría de la Cruz, chief deputy county counsel for Sonoma County.

California Update for Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sep 26, 2017
Frederic J. Brown / Getty Images

Federal officials told California Friday that Russians probed the state's election system for vulnerabilities before the 2016 election. That's raising new questions over a bill on Governor Jerry Brown's desk.

ALSO, as Mexico City digs out from under last week's massive 7.1 magnitude earthquake, a UC professor is helping to develop a new system called "seismic nowcasting" that uses previous history of tremors to predict future quakes.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Chris Remington.

Tom Schwedhelm
KRCB/Milagros Gomez

As part of the ninth annual Gang Prevention Awareness Week, the City of Santa Rosa’s Violence Prevention Partnership presented the 2017 Gang Prevention Seminar on Tuesday September 19 at Finley Park Community Center.

Community members participated in workshops given by the Santa Rosa Police Department, California Youth Outreach and the Sonoma County Behavioral Health.  Keynote speaker Kimberly Papillon addressed the topic of “The Science Behind Resiliency."

Mike Thompson, Jared Huffman
KRCB/Steve Mencher

On September 20, Santa Rosa Junior College hosted a town hall on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), with elected officials and representatives from groups who aid young immigrant “dreamers.” Those registered to work or study under DACA are living with uncertainty since President Trump upended their lives in early September by saying the program would end. He has since said that there's an agreement with Democrats to continue the program, but neither side has released details. Our story begins with the Vice President of Student Services at SRJC, Pedro Avila.


Police in Zanzibar, Tanzania, arrested 20 people, including 12 women and 8 men, in the latest crackdown on homosexuality in that country and the police chief is promising more arrests. 

Also, Jeff Mateer, one of Donald Trump's latest nominees for the U.S. District Court in Texas, in 2015 called transgender children part of “Satan's plan.”  He supported gay conversion therapy and said marriage equality would lead to recognizing other “disgusting” type of unions. 

School Districts Push For Faster Construction Funds

Sep 25, 2017
Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

ALSO: Speaking in San Francisco Friday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted the current GOP health care proposal saying it would cause millions of Californians to lose their health care coverage.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Chris Nichols.

Santa Rosa Junior College Town Hall
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Wednesday, September 20, a full house at the Santa Rosa Junior College Bertolini Student Center welcomed Congress members Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman, and Assembly member Jim Wood, representatives from SRJC, the county and the legal community and student activists to a forum on DACA. 

California's Obamacare Supporters Brace for Newest Repeal Push

Sep 22, 2017
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

After years of pushing enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, California could lose billions for low-income health care if the Graham-Cassidy bill passes.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: California has filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s border wall. The suit says plans to begin construction in San Diego and Imperial Counties could harm the state’s sensitive environmental resources.

Find more Politifact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Jean Guerrero (KPBS).

Ken Holybee
KRCB/Steve Mencher

The Vietnam War – the documentary series from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick – continues on many PBS stations Sunday night. We’re reaching out to Vietnam vets in our area to tell us about their service. Ken Holybee is President of the Santa Rosa chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. When he talked with News Director Steve Mencher, he remembered feeling confused when he returned home from his service as a fuel truck driver.

Dan Blake

Do you have a great idea that could improve education in Sonoma County? A new fund will provide grants up to $2,500 "to kick-start efforts to make a difference in the lives of students... by thinking outside the box." Reporter Steve Mencher talked with Dan Blake, Director of Innovation and Partnerships at the Sonoma County Office of Education about the grants.

Submit your application through this link.

ALSO: Four California counties are preparing for an overhaul of how they conduct elections, before voters head to the polls next year.

Today's reporting by Randol White and Ben Bradford.

Irwin Keller
Ner Shalom

Beginning at sunset September 20, the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah ushers in the High Holidays and the Jewish New Year. Many local congregations have a full slate of activities planned between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which begins at sunset September 29. Steve Mencher talked with Reb Irwin Keller of Ner Shalom in Cotati about the meaning of these holidays.

ALSO: A new U.C. Berkeley study finds a quarter of registered California voters have considered moving out of state because it costs so much to live here.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

Vietnamese woman covers face

Last week, we met local Vietnam veteran Martin Lesinski. We heard his poetry and learned about his acute sense of responsibility for men under his command. Today he tells reporter Steve Mencher about his own injuries.

  Campus Pride released the 2017 Shame List of colleges and universities that openly discriminate against LGBTQ students. Find out which California campuses made this year’s list.  

  Also, the nation continues to mourn the death of Edith Windsor, the courageous woman who took on the Defense of Marriage act in 2013 and won.  Her case set the foundation for the 2015 landmark marriage equality case.

Outbeat Radio News can be heard as part of Outbeat Radio every Sunday evening at 8 pm on KRCB FM Radio 91.

ALSO: Getting to California’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 won’t happen without changes in people’s behavior, a new UC Davis study found.

Find all Politifact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Amy Quinton.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: A push to move back school start times in California has stalled in the state Assembly.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

Vietnam Memorial
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar

Yesterday we met Vietnam veteran Martin Lesinski  and heard a poem he wrote about coming to terms with his wartime experiences. We continue with that interview today. As a sergeant, Lesinski  felt keenly responsible for the safety of his men. As he told News Director Steve Mencher, it was a burden that grew as the war wound down in the early 1970s. A warning: some of his descriptions of battle are very graphic.

New Protections For LGBT Seniors In Long-Term Care Facilities

Sep 14, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: The California Legislature has voted to let K-through-12 students who return to the U.S. after leaving the country when their parents were deported to also return to school.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.