North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

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California missed one of its two annual Oroville Dam inspections last year. It has one field engineer for every 57 dams it must inspect. And there’s a potential conflict of interest in how the state inspects dams. Yet its program draws praise.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Ghilotti Construction Company

The North Bay’s Highway 37 is one of the Bay Area’s many roadways that’s been plagued by flooding during this winter’s very wet season. But a recent U.C. Davis study suggests sea level rise is also playing a major factor in the highway’s flooding and transit agencies are taking note. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi has more.

    

School Start Times Could Push Back to 8:30 A.M.

Feb 20, 2017
taringa.net

ALSO: Democratic state lawmakers have introduced a bill to create a single-payer health care system for all Californians, including immigrants living in the state illegally.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Chris Nichols.

Mexican Senators Meet With California Dreamers

Feb 17, 2017
Andrew Nixon / capradio.org

ALSO: Winter rain and flooding in California has meant heavy erosion off hillsides and into the state’s waterways. Ecologically, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Today's reporting by Sally Schilling and Amy Quinton.

An informational meeting about the expanding business of agri-tourism drew an intensely interested cross section of farmers, promoters and others to the Petaluma Community Center yesterday. 

Tim Zahner, Chief Marketing Officer for the Sonoma County Tourism office, says that the agricultural and culinary diversity of Sonoma County is one of the area’s greatest attractions.

Nancy Fiddler sees expanding operations to bring more visitors to her Rollin’ F Ranch near Sebastopol as a critical step to maintain her business viability.

California's State-Run Retirement Program Imperiled By House Vote

Feb 16, 2017
flickr / capradio.org

ALSO: Nearly a hundred workers are part of a 24/7 crew assigned to the emergency Lake Oroville spillway repair project. 

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Randol White.

The records made by the Beatles have sold millions of copies, and their songs have been heard exponentially more often. Yet there are details and surprises within that familiar music that can be revealed through careful deconstruction.

Producer George Martin not only supported the Beatles' studio experimentation, says Scott Freiman, he sometimes had a hand in the innovations himself.

onenewspage.com

  ALSO: The Trump administration has approved emergency aid for California to help the state respond to the Oroville Dam situation and last month's heavy storms.

Today's reporting by Randol White and Ben Adler.

As school budgets shrink and curriculum requirements tighten, are Sonoma County students still getting taught about the arts? Creative Sonoma is trying to assess the situation, with an eye toward boosting those efforts going forward.

Creative Sonoma Director Kristen Madsen says the plan to address shortcomings in local arts education will be as comprehensive as possible—and give priority to areas where the needs are greatest—but implementation will have to proceed in stages.

Report: Lawmakers Should Extend Cap-And-Trade

Feb 14, 2017
mercurynews.com

ALSO: Emergency conditions are improving for communities downstream from Lake Oroville according to incident command. However, an evacuation order remains in place for some 180-thousand people until engineers say the emergency spillway structure is safe.

Today's reporting by Ban Bradford and Randol White.

KRCB-Television has come out a winner in an auction of broadcast spectrum rights conducted by the FCC. While most viewers will not notice the resulting technical changes, the station’s long-term economic health has gotten a significant boost.

At the conclusion of the FCC spectrum auction process—which took more than three years to play out, North Bay Public media CEO Nancy Dobbs says the organization was able to accomplish the goals it established at the outset.

Brown Hasn't Supported "Sanctuary State" Bill In The Past

Feb 13, 2017
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The “sanctuary state” bill on a fast-track in the California Legislature is backed by many of the state’s Democrats, but Gov. Jerry Brown has already vetoed similar legislation.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

It’s hard to miss The Big Chair, a large, whimsical piece of public art alongside Highway 116 south of Sebastopol. But it has some serious intentions behind it.

Because the original chair was exposed to the elements for ears, it required some repairs before being seet up at its new home, explains Kenny Forrest.

The installation of a formal memorial to Lars Speyer next to the chair is planned for later this spring.

Federal Immigration Raids Appear To Reach California

Feb 10, 2017
Chris Gierowski / KTLA

ALSO: A new PPIC Poll On Trump, Climate Change, and Obamacare.

Today's reporting by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez (KPCC) and Ben Bradford.

  

It’s true:  Big Brother IS watching us. And listening, and reading our emails and more, while we are making it easier for our data to be captured and sold.

The ever-expanding corporate and governmental intrusion into private personal communications and activities should be of concern to everyone, contends cyber security analyst Bill Blunden. It’s not whether or not one has something to hide, but a matter of protecting vital Constitutional rights.

Obama EPA Head Says CA Must Lead Climate Change Action

Feb 9, 2017
Rennett Stowe / flikr

ALSO: California water regulators have extended existing water conservation rules despite repeated calls from water suppliers asking that they expire.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Amy Quinton.

Bodega Bay’s beleaguered salmon fishery will get a boost from the release of thousands of smolts there this spring. But the fishermen will have to wait another two years for the fish to grow, mature and return before they can be caught.

Three Anti-Trump Immigration Bills Moving Through CA Legislature

Feb 8, 2017
wikiwand.com

ALSO: A group of Republican state lawmakers and Northern California water agencies are pushing for an end to statewide drought restrictions given the wet winter.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Randol White.

Tiffany Camhi

The city of Santa Rosa is joining the ranks of cities across the nation that are broadening civil rights for immigrants but don’t call it a sanctuary city. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports the Santa Rosa City Council adopted a resolution last night declaring it an Indivisible City.

CA Files Amicus Brief Against Trump Travel Ban

Feb 7, 2017
Bonhia Lee / Fresno Bee

ALSO: New reports out from eleven companies with permits to test self-driving cars in California hint at the technology’s progress. 

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Daniel Potter.

In the past five years, one Bay Area city has placed a soda tax measure before its voters, passed a strong rent control measure, and rejected a big-money city council campaign from its biggest employer. And no, it wasn’t Berkeley.

The notable misstep by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, says writer Steve Early, was their backing of a hotly contested soda tax on the city’s ballot in 2012, a defeat that took down their two candidates as well.

AP photo

California Rep. Tom McClintock claimed refugee "vetting was very haphazard," under Obama. PolitiFact California found there have been challenges with vetting Syrian refugees, but that McClintock's claim goes way too far. We rated it Mostly False.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Some of the young people who most need mental health services have been conditioned to avoid them. A new youth-led initiative hopes to use peer outreach to overcome that.

This new collaboration, says VOICES Director Amber Twitchell, is especially timely, as the need for these services continues to mount.

VOICES—an acronym for the organization’s founding name  “Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support” –is more than 10 years old now. In that time it has welcomed and served hundreds of transition youth, and Twitchell says most of them have stayed in touch.

Snowpack Survey Has Farmers And Water Managers Optimistic

Feb 3, 2017
mercurynews.com

ALSO: The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court has reacted to President Donald Trump’s executive orders regarding immigration.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Ben Bradford.

Associated Press

ALSO: The California state Senate has begun passing measures to shield immigrants from new federal policies.

Find full fact checks at  http://www.politifact.com/california/

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Ben Bradford.

Once prolific in San Francisco Bay, but now scarce, Olympia oysters are getting some human help in building new reefs—and helping their benefactors, too.

Linda Hutner, Executive Director of The Wild Oyster Project in San Francisco, says this area is following in the footsteps of other like-minded efforts elsewhere.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The head of the agency tasked with providing permits for sellers of recreational pot told lawmakers this week the agency will "phase in" licensing starting January 1, 2018.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

 

A call to radically rethink how homeless services are structured and provided locally found a generally receptive audience in Santa Rosa this week.  Now the challenge is to implement those ideas.

The Homeless Solutions Summit was well attended by a full spectrum of people concerned about homelessness in Sonoma County. Jennielynn Holmes of Catholic Charities says she thinks the event will mobilize changes.

Trump Refugee Ban Sparks Fierce Debate At California Capitol

Jan 31, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: A plan by the Trump administration to turn Medicaid into a block program could mean higher costs for the state and less access to health care.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Ja'Nel Johnson.

To cure homelessness, give priority to the most challenging individuals. That radical rethinking of the issue served as the starting point for the two-day Summit on Homeless Solutions that began Monday  in Santa Rosa.

 Using a triage process--similar to that employed in a hospital's emergency room-- to determine who among the homeless is in the greatest need may seem like a resource-intensive approach.  And in some ways it is. But in the big picture, says Iain De Jong, it is also surprisingly cost-effective.

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