North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

California Update for Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dec 19, 2017
J. Richard /

• During the holidays Americans produce a lot of waste. CalRecycle is working on policy recommendations to reduce the amount of holiday trash destined for landfills.

• Lawmakers in Washington are gathering support for Tuesday's big vote on tax reform as some California non-profits warn of its potential impact.

Today's reporting by Ezra David Romero and Chris Remington.

California Penal Code Section 396 generally prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency. This law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials and gasoline. The law also applies to repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, freight and storage services, hotel accommodations and rental housing.

Marc Levine
Office of Marc Levine

With the year coming to an end, we check in with one of our state officeholders about what was accomplished in 2017 – and what’s on the horizon in Sacramento for 2018.

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, December 18, 2017

Dec 18, 2017

• Ghana’s new president believes his country might consider changing laws criminalizing homosexuality if a coalition comes together to seek change. 

• A third federal court in Washington State said this week the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving the military is unconstitutional. 

• In Palm Springs, the two newest members elected to the council now make the entire council the first all LGBT council in the nation.

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

California Update for Monday, December 18, 2017

Dec 18, 2017
Tim Williams / NASA

• The fires burning in Southern California have charred more than 250,00 acres. NASA is testing science instruments intended for space by measuring environmental impacts in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

• California’s minimum wage goes up another 50 cents in January, as part of a law gradually raising it to 15 dollars an hour over the next few years.

You can find a summary of new laws taking effect in 2018 HERE

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

The National Weather Service as issued a RED FLAG warning for potential Wildfire Danger throughout high elevations in the San Francisco North Bay, the East Bay Hills, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

Winds will gust from 15 to 30 miles per hour, up to a possible 50 to 60 mph in some areas. 

Due to high winds and low humidity, outdoor burning is NOT recommended. 

This warning is in effect from Friday night until Sunday evening.

California Update for Friday, December 15, 2017

Dec 15, 2017
Ozzy Delaney / Flikr

• A new study out of UCLA found that 27 percent of adolescents speak and behave in a way that does not align with stereotypes about their given gender.

• The CPUC adopted rules requiring more frequent inspections of utility lines in areas of increased wildfire risk.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola and Sally Schilling.

KRCB-FM Radio 91's 2017 Holiday / End-of-year fundraiser continues through Saturday December 16th. Radio 91 is raising funds for public radio in Sonoma County. Support this trusted, independent and essential radio service. CLICK HERE to donate online or call 707-584-2020. There are many awesome "thank you" gifts - treat yourself or give them as holiday presents! A membership to KRCB-FM Radio 91 / North Bay Public Media makes a great gift too! Your tax-deductible donation helps keep public radio on the air in the North Bay.

sign for net neutrality
Stacie Isabella Turk/Ribbonhead via Flickr

Net neutrality is dead. The FCC has voted to remove rules that require internet giants like Comcast and AT&T to treat all traffic the same.

They’ll now be able create a fast lane for companies like Netflix and a slow lane for that new app being created in a Silicon Valley garage. News director Steve Mencher talked with Tara Sharp, head of marketing at local ISP Sonic about what it all means.

Read more at the New York Times.

California Update for Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dec 14, 2017
Hector Amezuca /

• Another California lawmaker faces allegations of inappropriate behavior. This time, it’s Democratic state Senator Bob Hertzberg of Los Angeles.

• From “horrible” to “slightly less horrible” – that’s how the California Assembly’s budget committee chairman describes the federal tax overhaul deal reached Wednesday by congressional Republicans.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Woman in red amid Fountaingrove fire damage
Diane Askew

Friday evening at 6:30 join KRCB for our second post-fire TV news special. We’re calling this one “The New Normal” – partly because we’ve heard the phrase so many times as it applies to wildfire danger here in California.

(We'll be simulcasting the program on Radio 91)

SRJC to Host Community Forum on Immigration Reform

Dec 13, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Santa Rosa Junior College will be hosting a community forum on immigration reform on Dec. 14.


The forum will provide information regarding the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status programs and what people should expect in 2018.


The forum will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Carpenter’s Union, 1706 Corby Ave., Santa Rosa.

California Update for Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dec 13, 2017
Don Goofy / Flikr

• Now that California's released applications for cannabis dispensaries, retailers are scrambling to get their ducks in a row so they can open their doors come January.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

Tim Blake and Taylor Blake at Emerald Cup
Stacey Dennick

The 17th annual Emerald Cup, a celebration of all things cannabis, was held December 9 and 10, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. Reporter Stacey Dennick joined the crowd of approximately 25,000 attendees. 

California Update for Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dec 12, 2017
Mark Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP

• Six large blazes are burning in Southern California, and Governor Jerry Brown announced this week that a year-round fire season is the new normal. CAL FIRE says residents will need to adapt.

• The head of California’s judicial system has endorsed a review of sexual harassment policies for judges and court staff, after widespread claims of misconduct across the nation.

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

Burned patio furniture
KRCB/Steve Mencher

We have two stories today from our partners at The California Report. In a moment we’ll hear about whether there’s a direct link between climate change and the fires raging in Southern California and our own North Bay fires.

First, though we have a story about insurance.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – As part of the multi-agency response to the recent fires in Northern California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed asbestos removals at 93 properties in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. 

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec 11, 2017

• The State of Florida has one of the highest rates of new HIV infections in the country in 2015. The state is responding by proposing to provide Truvada, an HIV prevention medication, free of charge in all 67 counties in the state. 

• A new study released last week found that LGBT people of color are twice as likely to experience discrimination on the job and 6 times less likely to call the police for help out of fear of discrimination. 

California Update for Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec 11, 2017
File / Capital Public Radio News

• For their second public hearing, the California Assembly's committee on universal health coverage is pulling in a geographically diverse panel of experts, including Peter Shumlin - the architect of Vermont's failed single-payer plan.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola.

California Update for Friday, December 8, 2017

Dec 8, 2017
Sally Schilling / Capital Public Radio News

• California Treasurer John Chiang’s effort to strike a balance in his run for governor between support for progressive policies and an image of fiscal prudence could prove tricky on the issue of single-payer health care.

• As California gears up for a massive expansion to the legal cannabis market, small towns in rural areas like Coachella Valley see an opportunity.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Daniel Potter.

Cynthia Shirley, MSW, from Portraits of Professional Caregivers
Production still

Monday at 9 p.m. KRCB TV 22 will present the documentary "Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion, Their Pain," about the stresses caregivers and first responders suffer as part of their jobs. News Director Steve Mencher spoke with producer Rodney Whittenberg who started off by describing the background of his filmmaking partner Vic Compher.

Watch the trailer below:

California Update for Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dec 7, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

• The FBI is joining efforts to prevent fraud related to Northern California wildfire recovery efforts.

• October’s fires in Northern California were the deadliest and now—officially—costliest in the state’s history.

Today's reporting by Steve Milne and Ben Bradford.

Undocufund slide
KRCB/Steve Mencher

We’re going to make one more visit to the meeting last week where nonprofits heard from groups raising money after the North Bay fires. Susan Shaw of the North Bay Organizing Project realized early on that help from insurance companies and government agencies would likely bypass undocumented community members. What resulted was the UnDocuFund. Shaw began her talk last week with evidence of why the UnDocuFund is needed.

California Update for Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dec 6, 2017

• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recommendation that the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument be reduced in size is being met with local resistance.

Today’s reporting by Suzanne Potter.

Darius Anderson
KRCB/Steve Mencher

We reported last week on a meeting here in Rohnert Park that brought together funders, government representatives and nonprofits working to coordinate fire recovery dollars.

Wikimedia Commons

The Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Foundation has created a fire relief fund offering qualified recipients a check of up to $500. All students, faculty and employees of the SRJC who have been affected by the North Bay fires are eligible.  

Breanne Beseda, director of marketing and communications for the SRJC Foundation said that some funds had been made available as early as Oct. 10, just two days after the fires broke out.

California Update for Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dec 5, 2017
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio News

• Two women have accused Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of harassment and misconduct, including one allegation of sexual assault. The Los Angeles Democrat is the third California lawmaker to be named in recent weeks.

• A panel of California scientists voted to make chlorpyrifos a Prop 65 substance.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Sammy Caiola.

Survivors of the October 2017 wildfires have one week left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance and to apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). 

The deadline for both is Dec. 11, 2017 for those with losses. 

Outbeat Radio News for Monday, December 4, 2017

Dec 4, 2017

• An Egyptian court ordered the release of 17 men, who were arrested earlier this month of “practicing homosexuality,” while they appeal their convictions to a higher court.  The men are facing time in prison and a fine. 

• Marriage equality came one step closer in Australia after the Senate passed a bill, which now moves to the house.  The bill is expected to pass easily and could make marriage equality a reality by Christmas. 

• Canada’s prime minister formally apologized to LGBT Canadians this week for prior acts of discrimination by the government. 

To provide a financial boost for those affected by the Sonoma County fires, the  Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund (SOS) is offering special assistance grants to  low-income residents for up to $3000. The grants aim to help those who lost possessions, jobs or income due to the fires: get or keep housing by paying a month’s mortgage, rent or security deposit; cover utility bills; buy essential household furniture, a wheelchair or other vital health aids; or cover costs of  medically required dental care and non-routine automotive repairs for critically needed transportation.