North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Manufacturing Efficiency Boosted with Clean Energy

Sep 27, 2016

Increased use of clean power would boost manufacturing in California, not hurt it, according to a pair of new studies. Suzanne Potter has details.

Hearing Seeks Road Map To Fix Foster Youth System Failures

Sep 27, 2016

ALSO: Governor Jerry Brown has decriminalized underage prostitution in California, starting next year. He also vetoed a measure that would have required county sheriffs to charge fees that cover the costs of issuing concealed carry permits.

Today's reporting by Julia Mitric and Ben Adler.

  Whether the motivation is political or religious, or just protective parenting, efforts to see certain books suppressed seem as persistent as the seasons. So Banned Books week is here again to remind us of that. 

The American Library Association has released the video below which lists the top ten banned books of the past year. 

Goodbye To Surprise Medical Bills, Not Orphan Oil Wells

Sep 26, 2016

Governor Brown also signed a bill allowing for CPR training to become a high school graduation requirement and vetoed a bill that would have added a diaper benefit for families who receive welfare.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

Jonathan Bravo, LandPaths

For several years, LandPaths has been offering hikes and other outings for Sonoma County’s Latino residents. This weekend, they took that program a big step further.

Conflicting Poll Numbers In California's U.S. Senate Race

Sep 23, 2016

ALSO: Gov. Brown has signed a package of bills intended to speed up graduation rates at California State University campuses.

Today's reporting by Amita Sharma and Chris Nichols.

Islam vs. Feminism: the False Dichotomy was the topic of a talk given Thursday afternoon at Sonoma State, part of the feminist lecture series there. On her way to the campus, the speaker also visited KRCB to explain her topic and how she came to it.

This issue is hardly limited to Islam, notes Sabina Khan-Ibarra. She also contributed to an anthology that addressed it across multiple faiths.

One Year After Vetoing Drone Bills, Brown To Act On Many More

Sep 22, 2016

ALSO: Bills that deal with cyberbullying, trademarking names in California state parks and protecting nail salon workers were among the dozens signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

Today's reporting by Daniel Potter and Chris Nichols.

Tiffany Camhi

Three years ago, some Sonoma State students successfully built and launched a tiny research satellite into space. Now a new team of students is working to get an even smaller satellite into orbit. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.  

Find out more about the project here.

Potential gubernatorial candidate Tom Steyer recently claimed the state has spent $5 billion to execute 13 people since 1978. In reality, the state has spent this money to house and prosecute hundreds of death row inmates. We rated it Mostly False.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

Although no one will see them all, voters across Sonoma County are being asked to decide 23 separate ballot measures this fall. That’s in addition to the 17 initiatives everyone will see from the state. To find out why so many, KRCB News turned to Sonoma State Political Science professor and ballot measure analyst David McCuan for insights.

In addition to the centralized budgeting that resulted from the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, Professor McCuan observes that it has also led to some significant changes in the make-up of the state legislature—and their actions.

ALSO: Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that sets new state goals for cutting pollution from methane, hydroflourocarbons and black carbon

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Julia Mitric.

Tiffany Camhi

Near West Marin’s small farming town of Tomales there’s a ranch that is sucking tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The ranch was part of an experimental carbon farming project a few years ago and now it’s sharing the results. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Find out more about Stemple Creek Ranch and its farming practices at its website. The Marin Agricultural Land Trust hosts many events from educational talks like "Carbon Farming 101" to farm tours and tastings. Check their events page for more.

Jobs Report: Strong August For California

Sep 19, 2016

ALSO: California is using more renewables and less natural gas this summer. Improving drought conditions are playing a role.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Amy Quinton.

Rhian Miller, KRCB

  Across California, mountaintop fire lookouts are increasingly rare. Spotters can’t penetrate the smog in the southland, and elsewhere, ubiquitous cell phones have diminished the need for them. But in the remote coastal highlands above and east of Jenner, the Pole Mountain Lookout remains active and essential.  Today, reporter Rhian Miller takes us there.

Brown Signs Berkeley Balcony Collapse Law

Sep 16, 2016
Gov. Brown Press Office via Twitter

  ALSO: The Central Valley in California has some of the highest rates of poverty in the nation, in a report the U.S. Census Bureau published today.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford.

For much of American history, music has demonstrated a consistent power to unify movements and effect change. But is that still true?

  The earliest music of the civil rights movement, recounts David Walls, overlaid new words onto familiar hymns, making those songs easily learned and remembered.

Brown Signs Bills Distributing Cap And Trade Revenues

Sep 15, 2016
Billy Wilson / flickr

  ALSO: Supporters of California’s Prop 56 – the proposed tobacco tax increase -- launched a new statewide TV ad this week, warning about the dangers of smoking. The ad comes days after the tobacco industry raised another $18 million to fight the tax hike.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Chris Nichols.

Kat Krause

  Audio ecologist Bernie Krause has been capturing the sounds of the natural world for decades. But the changes he hears in those recordings now carry a clear and worrisome message.

  The Animal Orchestra exhibit at the Parisian Fondation Cartier museum is an immersive experience that occupies the entire facility, marvels Bernie Krause, as he offers a partial description of it.

The entire enterprise has been an unexpected success, Krause says, both for him personally and for the museum.

flickr/Chuck Coker

Earlier this week, Marin General Hospital took a first tentative step toward becoming California’s first public medical center to openly allow patients to use medicinal cannabis. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi was at the hospital’s governing board meeting and prepared this report.

California's Uninsured Rate Falls But Poverty Rate Still High

Sep 14, 2016

  ALSO: Brown vetoes tampon and diaper sales tax exemptions, and new regulations will track cannabis.

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

file photo /

  ALSO: The state of California brought in more money than expected in August, after lagging behind in the prior four months.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Ben Bradford.

Holly Hansen

  HALTER, the Horse And Livestock Team Emergency Response project, got started about three years ago, to provide training to fire and rescue workers on how to deal with big animals in difficulty. Already, the Glen Ellen–based organization is making an impact—and getting some major recognition for their efforts.

CA Counts Poll: Poverty Is A Serious Problem

Sep 12, 2016

  ALSO: California salons and barbershops wouldn’t need a license to serve beer or wine, under a bill now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk – though they wouldn’t be able to charge extra.

Today's reporting by Steven Cuevas and Ben Adler

 A well-known quote from Luther Burbank provides the title for “Santa Rosa: The Chosen Spot of all the Earth.” And most of the rest of the concise new video history of the city is locally sourced as well.

The process of making this film has also had a ripple effect benefiting the local history collections for area libraries and museums, explains Don Silverek.

Sonoma County Regional Parks

The second of a trio of three-day kayak trips down the full length of the Russian River wrapped up today, as the participating stakeholders made landfall at Steelhead Beach near Forestville. Riverkeeper Don McEnhill is helping guide the floating conference, and he paused earlier today to discuss the changing political climate that is reshaping the environmental issues in the River's middle reach. 

CA Education Board Approves New School Accountability Standards

Sep 9, 2016
Richard Vogel / AP

  ALSO: California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation to extend the nation's most ambitious climate change law by another 10 years.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Amy Quinton.

  Carl Hiaasen’s latest novel mocks reality TV, restaurant inspection standards, product liability lawyers, and beach restoration opportunists. But he insists that it’s all rooted in the skewed reality of contemporary south Florida.

Carl Hiaasen’s writings also include several books for younger readers, the most recent one being, Skink. He recalls being surprised when it was suggested that he pitch something to that audience, but with a little key guidance, he found a second niche.

  The kayak tour of the Russian River, organized by LandPaths and Supervisor James Gore, back on the water again today, continuing from the Alexander Valley on to Healdsburg. A large and varied flotilla of river stakeholders are taking part, not just conservation and environmental group members, but also government regulators and agriculture representatives. Among that last category is Steve Knudsen, Communications Director for the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, who talked with KRCB News Director Bruce Robinson about his takeaways from the extended descent of the river’s length.

New CA Counts Poll Cites Excessive Use Of Police Force

Sep 8, 2016

  ALSO: If his past veto messages are any guide, don’t expect California Governor Jerry Brown to sign many bills this month that seek to create new tax cuts, breaks or exemptions -- such as sales tax exemptions for diapers and tampons.

Today's reporting by Frank Stoltze (KPCC) and Ben Adler.