North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

It took the full negotiating power of California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders to push their transportation funding deal across the finish line Thursday.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Getting Proactive About Recall Safety

Apr 6, 2017

An automobile recall repair notice is a warning that something could go wrong with the car unless a part is replaced or fixed. But many of those warnings are going unheeded. So a new Bay Area business is trying to help.

The non-profit arm of Recall Masters is MotorSafey.org, where anyone can check on any pending recalls that might apply to vehicles they own. Find it here.

Brown On Road Repair Funding: It's Now Or Never

Apr 6, 2017
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: State Republicans say California should pay for its crumbling roads with existing funds, not a gas tax hike. We’ll take a look at those funds.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Chris Nichols.

Pursuing a Sustainable Economy

Apr 5, 2017

As the annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference marked its 12th year this week, a recurring thread was the many ways these ideas have taken hold in the wider economy.

Gas Tax Votes Hard To Come By In California Legislature

Apr 5, 2017
fresnobee.com

ALSO: Californians may soon be able to choose a third gender when filling out government documents such as driver's licenses.

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

Changing How We Think About Aging

Apr 4, 2017

Don’t look now, but you’re already aging. So how are you going about it?  A science-based, musical show that is heading for Santa Rosa wants to change how we think about getting older.  Bruce Robinson has a preview.

Dr. Bill Thomas's  Changing Aging Tour will be at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa on Thursday, April 6. It's a three-part event, and visitors can attend any or all of the segments. Thomas explains how they fit together.

State Senate Passes Bill to Make California A "Sanctuary State"

Apr 4, 2017
sfgate.com

Lawmakers in the state Senate voted along party lines Monday to pass a bill that would prevent state and local law enforcement from using their resources to aid federal immigration enforcement.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

A Lesson to be Learned from Fukushima

Apr 3, 2017

The flaws that were disastrously exposed at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant were enabled by that county’s compliant culture, says an internationally recognized physicist. And he believes that holds a lesson for Americans.

The cultural compliancy of the Japanese people may have contributed to the attitudes that enabled the Fuukushima disaster to happen, but Dr. Ohska  says they are now being further tested by the official statements that have come after the nuclear accident.

Fresno Drivers, Truckers Pan Road Taxes, Fees

Apr 3, 2017
thinkstock / cbslocal.sanfrancisco

California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have a huge challenge this week: Convince all but one Democrat to vote for an unpopular set of fuel tax increases and vehicle fees to repair the state's crumbling roads and highways.

Today's reporting by Ezra David Romero of Valley Public Radio (CPRN.)

Tiffany Camhi

In poverty stricken areas throughout the world uncared for dogs are a common sight. But the Sonoma County based non-profit, Compassion Without Borders, is dedicated to caring for and adopting out these animals. Now they’re celebrating the grand opening of a new dog rescue facility in Santa Rosa. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

For information on how to apply to volunteer at Muttopia or foster a rescue dog check out the Compassion Without Borders website.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

ALSO: A California lawmaker wants to encourage people to adopt shelter animals by giving them a tax deduction.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Sally Schilling.

Teaching Media Literacy

Mar 30, 2017

How prepared are today's young people to deal with the growing amount of misinformation on the Internet?  In today's North Bay Report we look at legislation to update public school curriculums to teach youngsters survival skills for the digital age. 

While some may be concerned that teaching students about fake news could bring politics into the classroom, the sponsor of SB 135, Senator Bill Dodd, doesn't think the legislature will agree.

Brown, Democratic Leaders Announce Transportation Funding Deal

Mar 30, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: Immigration arrests outside courthouses "are perfectly legal" but are "making us unsafe." That was the reaction Wednesday by the chief justice of the California Supreme Court to recent comments by the head of U.S. immigration enforcement.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Chris Nichols.

Tiffany Camhi

Sausalito’s work-in-progress tall sailing ship, The Matthew Turner, will soon reach another milestone this weekend. The nearly finished ship will move from its harbor building site down into the water of the San Francisco Bay. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

The Crew of the Matthew Turner plans to launch the ship at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 1st at the Bay Model, Corps of Engineers ramp in Sausalito. The public is invited to view the launch from the Bay Model parking lot or Marinship Park.

US Fish and Wildlife

ALSO: California state officials say Covered California will continue operating as usual now that the House Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act has been pulled.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Ja'Nel Johnson.

Asbestos Verdict Fails to Clear the Air at SSU

Mar 28, 2017
Sonoma State Star

For 24 years, Thomas Sargent was an environmental health and safety specialist at Sonoma State. Earlier this month, a Sonoma County civil jury agreed that he'd been harassed and forced to resign under duress in 2015, after complaining about the school's handling of asbestos in Stevenson Hall. But the verdict has not put an end to the concerns, as Steve Mencher reports.

Composting Toilets as an Aid to Sustainability

Mar 28, 2017

For decades, composting toilets have been an off-the-grid novelty. But in a time of limited fresh water and burgeoning interest in sustainable living, they are ripe for re-examination.

Sonoma County is hardly the only place that composting toilets have been put into use for remote rural residences. But Miriam Volat believes this area may be more receptive than most to the wider use of such fixtures.

Regulators Could Standardize How Future Cars Talk to Each Other

Mar 28, 2017
notey.com

ALSO: During her annual State of the Judiciary address to the Legislature the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court warned lawmakers the rule of law is currently challenged in California.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Julia Mitric.

In Reversal, CA Dems Block Welfare Payments Proposed By Republican

Mar 27, 2017
losangeles.cbslocal.com

ALSO: California had another strong jobs report in February. New state numbers show the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in ten years, down to 5 percent from 5.2 percent in January.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford

New Study to Test Viability of Composting Toilets

Mar 24, 2017

Waterless composting of human waste is not a new idea. But in the modern world, it’s never been a popular one either. A new study of the latest models of composting toilets, getting underway here in Sonoma County, hopes to set the stage for changing attitudes toward them.

While the actual study of the efficacy of new composting toilets is just getting started, it required quite some time just to get permission to do it, reports the county’s James Johnson.

Three Democratic Governor Candidates Debate Education

Mar 24, 2017
Ben Bradford / Capital Public Radio

Three of the most prominent Democrats running for California governor in 2018 participated in the first debate for that political race.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

Tiny Homes Project Nearly Ready to Begin Building

Mar 23, 2017

fter being announced last year, a project to build a dozen tiny houses for homeless vets is hoping to break ground this summer and test the viability of a novel form of affordable housing. 

Project Manager John “Yohan” Morgan says the initial residents will each be encouraged to put their personal stamp on their small new homes.

California Farmers Won't Get Full Water Supply

Mar 23, 2017
Curtis Jerome Haynes

ALSO: California State University trustees voted Wednesday to raise tuition 5 percent for undergraduates, despite strong opposition from students and some state leaders.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Chris Nichols.

Obamacare Repeal Carries Big Hit to CA Budget

Mar 22, 2017

Congressional Republicans have long clamored for change in federal health care laws. Now that their actual proposals are moving toward a vote, Health and Finance officials in Sacramento have been able to detail how the replacement plan would affect California. And it’s not a pretty picture.

Gun Safety Bills Pass First Committe

Mar 22, 2017
Zac Bowling/Flikr

ALSO: California Governor Jerry Brown says he remains optimistic that federal money will come through for a major rail project in the state.

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

Hops Making a Low-Profile Comeback in Sonoma County

Mar 21, 2017

Hops were once a major agricultural product in Sonoma County. Now they’re starting to come back, but mostly as a specialty crop for the craft beer market.

 It's not hard to get started growing hops,  says Mike Stevenson of the NorCal Hop Growers Alliance. And its even easier to keep them going once the field has been established.

Making beer is by far the primary use for hops. But not, says Stevenson, the only one.

Democratic State Lawmakers Push Juvenile Justice Reform

Mar 21, 2017
motherjones.com

ALSO: The bill to place the bond on the June 2018 ballot needed two-thirds support to pass. It advanced with the bare minimum 54 votes – all from Democrats, who leveraged their supermajority.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric and Ben Adler.

Winter Rains Boost Gold Fever

Mar 20, 2017
Santa Rosa Gold Diggers

An ounce of gold is worth a little more than $1300 these days, enough to keep even casual prospectors interested and active, especially here in northern California. Today we hear from a Santa Rosa group dedicated to keeping the search alive.

In the great gold rush of the mid-1800s, hydraulic hoses and extended wooden sluice boxes were used by some big operators, but simple metal pans were the most common tools. Today, says Randy Ricci of the Santa Rosa Gold Diggers, that’s just about all that is allowed.

politifact.com

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently claimed U.S. House members won by an average margin of 37 percentage points in November. PolitiFact California found there's nothing inflated about this figure, and rated it True.

Find more fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

photo courtesy of Phyllis Gould

During World War Two women became vital wartime workers, filling in on jobs traditionally held by men. Collectively they became known as “Rosie the Riveter.” And now for the first time, there will be a national holiday recognizing the work of these women, but just for this year. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports a Marin County "Rosie" is behind the effort to get the holiday on the calendar every year.

The Rosie the Riveter World War II Homefront National Park will be holding a special commemorative event with local Rosies tomorrow.

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