North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

ALSO: California’s sales tax will drop by a quarter of a percent in the new year. The reduction comes from the partial expiration of a statewide ballot measure that helped end California’s budget crisis.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

ALSO: A new law will prevent young people from losing out on jobs because of past, non-violent crimes, or due to their involvement in legal proceedings, like family court.

Today's reporting by Amy Quinton and Bob Moffitt.

New California Law Further Restricts Smartphone Use While Driving

Dec 29, 2016

Starting January 1st, drivers in California will be banned from operating their smartphone -- unless it’s mounted to a dashboard or windshield – and can be activated with one finger tap or swipe.

For a complete list of new laws taking effect in 2017, click HERE.

Todays' reporting by Chris Nichols.

New Law Aims To Protect Rights Of Surviving Homeowners

Dec 28, 2016

A new state law requires loan servicing companies to talk to homeowners directly and tell them about programs that help avoid foreclosure.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

CA Immigrants Scramble to File Documents by Jan. 20

Dec 27, 2016
Igor Trepeshchenok / BarnImages

Some Californians are scrambling to get their identification and work documents in order by January. They are immigrants, concerned about President-elect Donald Trump's campaign promise to deport some 11 million undocumented people.

Today's reporting by Logan Pollard.

Collectibles Law Threatens Used Book Stores

Dec 26, 2016

Used booksellers say a new California law set to take effect at the first of the year could hurt their businesses. It’s designed to make it easier to track the authenticity of famous signatures.

Today's reporting by Randol White.

New Law Bans Tobacco Products At Youth Sports Events

Dec 23, 2016
Jim Mone / AP photo

ALSO: Some Californians could soon taste test what the astronauts drink. Not Tang. Purified recycled wastewater. A new law going into effect allows water districts to bottle 1000 gallons a year of purified recycled wastewater for taste tests.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Amy Quinton.

Dragonflies aren’t just old—they date back to the age of the dinosaurs—they’re strange.  Also colorful, pest-eating, non-threatening to humans, and still surprisingly unstudied.

Among all the strange and unusual things that have been learned about Dragonflies, there is one that stands out above everything else, says Kathy Biggs:  their mating practices.

Small Uptick Coming To California Minimum Wage

Dec 22, 2016

ALSO: The California Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a November ballot measure that seeks to streamline the state’s death penalty system to consider a lawsuit filed by Proposition 66 opponents.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Ben Adler.

All around us, there are edible plants, growing wild. The trick is knowing which ones they are, where to find them, and how best to make use of them.  On today’s North Bay Report, we hear from someone who not only knows all that, she wrote the book on it.

  For Margit Roos-Collins, foraging has been a part of her lifestyle since childhood, a sort of family tradition.

  Police and Sherriff’s departments in California and beyond have long included gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender officers. But now those individuals are increasingly willing and able to let their presence be known, some with the help of a local writer and instructor.

  The Rolling Stones’ infamous 1969 free concert at the Altamont speedway has become mythologized as “the end of the 60s,” a symbolic counterweight to the romanticized images of peace, love and Woodstock. But a detailed new book from veteran San Francisco music writer Joel Selvin shows that the full story of the event is much more complicated.

New Laws 2017: Gun Control

Dec 19, 2016

ALSO: California’s largest public pension fund needs money. So the California Public Employees’ Retirement System is mulling something it hasn’t done in 16 years: Buy stock in tobacco.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Daniel Potter.


   Is it possible to fight poverty and climate change at the same time? The answer is emphatically yes, and Rocky Rohwedder has examples to prove it.

  Rohwedder, who has now retired from his position at Sonoma State, found some important allies in his Ecological Handprints project. One was South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, who wrote an introduction for the book. Others included top-flight photographers who donated their images.

Capitol Park Gets Drought-Inspired Retrofit

Dec 16, 2016
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: California energy regulators have now authorized all three of the state’s major electric utilities to enter a new business—electric vehicle charging.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Ben Bradford. 

Thanks to the passage of Proposition 64, it is now legal to grow, possess or transport small amounts of marijuana. But the measure also can roll back the convictions of people who were jailed for doing those things before November 9th,  a process that is now getting started.

Santa Rosa attorney Joe Rogoway has discovered that in some cases, old efforts to minimize the legal consequences of past marijuana law violations have now complicated the new process of getting those old convictions undone.

Official photo / courtesy

ALSO: California Governor Jerry Brown fired up his rhetoric – and his Latin – to reassure scientists fearful of changes under President-elect Trump.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler.

Tiffany Camhi

Anyone that has ever visited one of Marin County’s crown jewels, the headlands, knows that there is only one of two ways to get there: A scenic two-lane road that winds along the hills or through the Baker-Barry Tunnel shortcut. But soon one of those two main arteries will be shutting down for a lengthy amount of time. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

High Speed Rail Board Looks To Tap 2008 Bond Funds

Dec 14, 2016

The California high speed rail project is seeking to begin tapping the 10 billion dollars in bonds voters approved eight years ago.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

History Museum of Sonoma County

As the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's “Summer of Love” approaches, a new exhibit at the Sonoma County Museum examines that how era played out in the North Bay.

The North Bay was a low-key, out-of-town "incubator" for musicians from the San Francisco scene, observes Eric Stanley, curator for the History Museum of Sonoma  County.

Elizabeth Hiroyasu / courtesy

Wild pigs cause serious damage to grazing lands and watersheds. UC Cooperative Extension scientists have developed a GIS-based tracking app to assess wild pig damage to figure out how to mitigate the creatures' impacts.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric.

The process of setting up a new composting operation in Sonoma is finally taking its first steps. But in the meantime, both residents and compost users are paying significantly more.

ALSO: Field Research will no longer release findings from its public opinion survey known as "The Field Poll."

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

  Fishing has long been a major industry on the Pacific coast, but surprisingly little of what is caught here winds up on local tables. A recent documentary examines that paradox.

 The genesis for the project that became Of The Sea was a series of shorter profiles of contemporary fisherfolk along the North Coast. In the longer documentary, says director Mischa Hedges, they concentrated on five to represent differing aspects of the profession.

House passes water package with controversial CA amendment

Dec 9, 2016
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

ALSO: California's top pollution regulator says she thinks President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will have limited influence in California.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Ben Bradford.

There are plenty of Democrats, union members, and environmentalists in Sonoma County, who often find common cause on local issues and candidates. Collectively, in those cases, they are the Blue-Green Alliance.

iStock photo

ALSO: Democratic state lawmakers in Sacramento have introduced the California Values Act, a bill to further limit state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officers.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Chris Nichols.

Cultivators of cannabis breed their plants for specific characteristics—potency, medicinal efficacy, even appearance. Today we meet someone whose emphasis is primarily on flavors—which can be manipulated in some divergent directions.

Cannabis has long been combined with other things in foods—brownies being a classic example. But Jay Michaels says his cross-breeding efforts have been able to simulate the tastes of some other foods—and quite a range of them.


Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

ALSO: A new statewide campaign aims to shed light on the consequences of driving while high on drugs. The campaign starts a month after California legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

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

Cannabis Training University/Wikimedia Commons

Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors are close to making a decisive decision on where and how much medical marijuana can be grown in parts of the county. It’s a step towards bringing this largely unregulated industry into compliance. But as KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports the process has pitted small cannabis growers against their neighbors in rural, residential communities.