North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Hector Amezcua / sacbee.com

A former California Senate Republican leader who negotiated the budget deal that ended the largest deficit in the state’s history died over the weekend.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images / Via NPR.org

ALSO: Gov. Jerry Brown is coming to the defense of an embattled Republican legislative leader who played a crucial role in passing California’s cap-and-trade deal last week.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Ben Adler.

Greater Farallones Sanctuary Map
National Ocean Service | NOAA | Department of Commerce

When the Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries were expanded in 2015, advocates happily described them as "permanently" protected. That protection is now threatened by an April 28 presidential executive order which seeks to review the expansion, as Steve Mencher reports in the second part of a two-part story.

NOAA/Google Earth

Time is growing short to make your voice heard on the president's Executive Order to review and possibly shrink the National Marine Sanctuaries off the coast of Northern California, and elsewhere around the state and nation. The sanctuaries were expanded by President Obama in 2015 after extensive public input and hearings. In the first of two stories, Steve Mencher describes what the protections mean and what's at stake now.

politifact.com

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield recently claimed California hasn't built a single major water storage project since the 1970s. 

Find more Politifact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Tiffany Camhi

Horses have played an integral part in Sonoma County’s history: From prehistoric times to the modern day. Now a new exhibition at the History Museum of Sonoma County looks to highlight the role horses have and still play in the county. KRCB's Tiffany Camhi reports.

Equine Epochs opens July 22 and runs through November 5th. Check out the History Museum of Sonoma County website for special events and talks associated with the exhibit. 

Brown Agrees To Work On Affordable Housing

Jul 20, 2017
Creative Commons

ALSO: On the first day of hearings by the Trump Administration's voter fraud commission, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla expressed continued concerns about the panel's request for what he called sensitive voter data.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Chris Nichols.

Benefitting from B Labs’ Assessment

Jul 19, 2017

Long before benefit corporations were established as a category of business empowered to allocate resources to more than maximizing profits, many companies took voluntary steps to aid their communities and their workers. Now, some of them are finding additional ways to expand their positive impacts through B-Corp certification. 

Fetzer Vineyards has a long. proud history of modeling sustainability within their industry. Yet through the B Labs' certification process, says Director of Regenerative Development Josh Prigge, they discovered how much more they could be doing.

This week on Sonoma Spotlight:  

Monday, July 24 – Main Stage West – 2017-2018 Season Announcement  

Roland chats with Elizabeth Craven about the upcoming 2017-2018 Main Stage West lineup of shows, which include Grace, Mary Shelley's Body, Daddy Long Legs, Buried Child, Lungs and Eurydice. The season runs from September 8th, 2017 through May 27th, 2018. More information is available at: www.mainstagewest.com  

Map of National Marine Sanctuaries off North Bay coast.
NOAA

(Editor's Note: The comment period for public input on these National Marine Sanctuaries has been extended to August 14.)

twitter

Recreational pot will be legal in CA come January. Yet the state's chief marijuana regulator admits many key details of how the system will function are still being worked out. One major, unresolved issue is how to design a banking system.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

Measuring and Improving Corporate Citizenship

Jul 18, 2017

In an era of expanding corporate hegemony, a growing number of smaller businesses are seeking to boost their image—and revenues—through good behavior, as “benefit corporations.”  Bruce Robinson reports on the standards that have been developed to encourage and measure those efforts.

Benefit corporations offer an alternative to the conventional corporate model, which, Heather Paulsen observes, is virtually compelled to consider little but its own interests.

Cap-And-Trade Deal Passes California Legislature

Jul 18, 2017
KGO-TV

A bipartisan supermajority extended the state’s cap-and-trade program yesterday evening.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

flickr/lance_mountain

As the thermometer rises this summer, North Bay rivers and lakes might seem like a good place to cool off. But these warmer temperatures can also bring the threat of blue-green algae to our waterways. It contains a toxic bacteria harmful to people and animals. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

What Is Cap-And-Trade?

Jul 17, 2017
National Center for Policy Analysis

ALSO: Activists and farm workers are urging state regulators to ban a pesticide that President Trump has decided to allow farmers to continue to use.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Ben Bradford.

politifact.com

Republican candidate for governor Travis Allen recently claimed California’s taxes “are among the highest in the nation.” PolitiFact California examined the state’s key tax categories and rated this Mostly True.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Find more fact check HERE.

Tiffany Camhi

Point Reyes National Seashore is home to one of the most historic morse code radio stations in the United States. In 1999, it became the last commercial station to send and receive morse code messages. But a group of dedicated volunteers are keeping the tradition, and the station, alive. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

KPH opens its doors to visitors every Saturday from Noon - 4p.m. Check the Maritime Radio Historical Society website for upcoming events at the station. Night of Nights occurs only once a year on July 12th.

Poster with cast of Angels in America, National Theatre
National Theatre

Tony Kushner's play "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" is a huge hit in London this summer. There are no more tickets available to see Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane in this powerhouse production at the National Theatre. But you can see the show in Sebastopol starting July 20 at the Rialto Cinemas. It's part of a series of events "captured live" and streamed to movie theaters, as Steve Mencher reports.

Study: GPS Rules Too Tough On Juveniles

Jul 13, 2017
Brett Meyers / Youth Radio

ALSO: Democratic leaders in the Legislature have postponed a vote on extending the climate change program, cap-and-trade.

Today's reporting by Steve Milne and Ben Bradford.

Baby tree planted in Tahoe National Forest
Trees for a Change

You're invited to a birthday party July 14 -- and the site is perfect: Armstrong Woods. The celebration recognizes a decade of work by a Santa Rosa-based company that honors and memorializes friends and loved ones with a unique and sustainable gift. Steve Mencher talked with Kim Isley, "treehugger in chief," about her brainchild.

Find out how you can give the gift of a tree at the Trees for a Change website.

Support Lacking For California Cap-And-Trade Extension

Jul 12, 2017
calwatchdog.com

ALSO: Backers of increasing the time it takes California school teachers to earn tenure are trying again after several failed attempts in previous years.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

Expanding Collaboration Between Disparate Arts

Jul 11, 2017

  Sonoma County sculptor Bruce Johnson is known for his massive redwood and metal structures. But he has also been central to some unexpected collaborations with artists from quite different fields. 

Sculptor Bruce Johnson’s name for his Poetry House provided a parallel for Elizabeth Herron’s long poem, The Poet’s House.  But she says the finished space was also rich in inspiration.

Choreographer Nancy Lyons says she and her colleagues in the SoCo Dance Theater also drew inspiration from Johnson’s work—in a very tactile way.

CA Could Limit Drug Company Gifts To Doctors

Jul 11, 2017
elcerritoprogrssives.com

ALSO: California lawmakers attempting to address the state’s housing crisis are taking two approaches. They’re passing bills to subsidize housing for low-income residents and looking to encourage more building.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Ben Bradford.

Information about trash and recycling at recent meeting
Steve Mencher

It's easy to forget about trash. We bring it to the curb once a week, or send it down a chute, and it disappears. But trash is becoming an increasingly important subject in our region, as we try to figure out how we can avoid creating ever-higher mountains of garbage near our towns and cities. Steve Mencher reports on a recent gathering where trash and jobs were the central focus.

Learn more about "Don't Waste LA," an inspirational model for dealing with the stuff we generally throw away.

Battle for the Net Tweet
ACLU

July 12th is being promoted across the Internet as a “Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality.” The forces on the other side of this issue proclaim their allegiance to what they call an “Open Internet.” But as Steve Mencher reports, these two things are not the same.

Find more on Net Neutrality from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And visit Battle for the Net.com to find out what you can do about keeping Net Neutrality.

Affordable Housing Fee Passes California Senate

Jul 7, 2017
marketscale.com

ALSO: California Governor Jerry Brown is again pledging an end-run around the Trump administration on climate change.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

Sheriff Steve Freitas
Sonoma County

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas announced today that he will be leaving office August 1. A recall effort had sought to end the sheriff's term early, but it has been withdrawn due to the new circumstances. Steve Mencher has an "exit interview" with the sheriff.

Listen to Bruce Robinson's story about the recall effort.

Advance Health Directive Image
My Care, My Plan: Speak Up Sonoma County

My Care, My Plan, Speak Up Sonoma County is a local initiative promoting the idea of advance health care planning. Reporter Steve Mencher talked with two of the volunteers driving this effort, and learned why everyone over 18 should update their plan regularly to fit changing circumstances. 

Find out what to include in an advance health care directive in this KRCB video.

ICE / Reuters

ALSO: One year after California’s End of Life law went into effect, the bill’s authors say it is working as expected but can be improved.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Chris Nichols.

Tiffany Camhi

Lake Berryessa was once a popular destination for boaters, fishermen and families looking for a day of fun at the lake. It brought in millions of annual visitors. Now it attracts just a fraction of that. In part because several of its resorts were demolished or severely downsized in 2009 by the Bureau of Reclamation. But as KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports, a proposal for Napa County to take over resort management could bring tourists and revitalization back to the lake.

Pages