North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

latimes.com

Democrats say they want to help, but not ready to implement Brown’s school funding plan.

ALSO: Roundup of Republican bills killed by California Senate committees this week.
 

pdxcityclub.org

A proposed California school funding system overhaul prompts some tough talk at the Capitol.

ALSO: A broad coalition supports an attempt to stop cuts in California’s Medi-Cal program

Sonoma County presents a prosperous and inclusive face to the world, but upon closer examination, this area is also home to serious and growing income inequality. A new report spells it out in detail, and Bruce Robinson has this preview.

Ginny Browne, author of The State of Working Sonoma in 2013 report, says that in summary, it shows that the “hourglass economy” is expanding in Sonoma County.

pdxcityclub.org

A proposed California school funding system overhaul prompts some tough talk at the Capitol.

ALSO: A broad coalition supports an attempt to stop cuts in California’s Medi-Cal program

What Sonoma Clean Power Can do for Your Business

Apr 25, 2013
Image courtesy BoDean

Starting in January 2014 Sonoma County residents and business will have a choice in where they buy electricity. The county is forming a local public power agency to purchase energy from renewable sources, at prices competitive to PG&E. Danielle Venton reports that could be a big boon to local business. Business opportunities within Sonoma Clean Power will be featured at the 2013 Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Rohnert Park this Friday. 

County's 'Clean Power' Agency Gains Momentum

Apr 24, 2013
KRCB

  Sonoma County residents can soon expect an option in where they buy their electric power. Danielle Venton reports this week the county Board of Supervisors moved forward on plans create a new local power authority, which could overturn PG&E as the primary supplier of electrical power in the county.

triplepundit.com

The American Lung Association “State of the Air” report has Los Angles topping the list.

ALSO: San Jose State University has created a new master’s degree in battery technology.

  A new interactive map, made public today by the California Environmental Protection Agency, enables viewers to identify the zip codes most impacted by localized sources of air and water pollution. “Cal Enviroscreen” compiles toxic clean-up sites, traffic emissions, areas of where pesticide use is high and hazardous waste generators. That information is then displayed on maps, which also show in greater detail what types of pollutants are found in each area.

kcra.com

The energy-efficient makeover is projected to save taxpayers a half-million dollars a year.

ALSO: California undocumented driver license bill moves forward.

Egrets and Herons

Apr 22, 2013
Gordon Sherman, courtesy of Audubon Canyon Ranch

Egrets and herons were nearly driven to extinction by fashionable hatmakers more than a century ago. Today they are a popular symbol of wildlife conservation. Bruce Robinson talks with a scientist who studies them.

thecoming.net

Economists are concerned the downward trend won’t continue.

ALSO: Californians receiving extended federal unemployment benefits will soon see a nearly 18 percent cut.

   Isolation can be one of the biggest problems faced by aging senior citizens. A group in Petaluma is exploring a new, cooperative model to foster greater inter-reliance for this population.

The Petaluma Village Exploration Project will host an open meeting on Tuesday evening, April 23, at 7 pm in the Methodist Church at 410 D Street in Petaluma. They also hold regular noon meetings at the PEP Housing offices at 951 Petaluma Blvd. South. Additional information is available through the group’s blog.

wikipedia.org

U-C officials say non-resident students, who tend to decline admission at a higher rate, should make up about ten percent of the freshman class.

ALSO: A bill to help DOJ confiscate illegally possessed guns passes assembly.

Joe Martinez / United Farm Workers

  Along with the horrific Boston bombing, this week’s news also contained some hopeful prospects for advocates of national immigration reform. KRCB’s Bruce Robinson spoke with some of them.

A more detailed analysis of the policies contained in the Senate immigration reform measure can be read here. Support for  the bill will also be a major theme at the annual May Day March and Rally in Santa Rosa on May 1. Details below.

freebeacon.com

The accounting changes will not affect what employees pay toward their benefits.

ALSO: Lawmakers blast public utilities commission head for anti-safety attitude.

Many developmentally disabled youth don’t fit in at conventional colleges. So a west county man is leading a drive to create a new school that’s designed to fit them. Bruce Robinson spoke with him.

A community orientation meeting to introduce the Mulberry Village concept will be held on Saturday morning, April 20, from 10:30 to noon at the Sebastopol Community Center Annex on Morris Street.

americandebtproject.org

Critics say the sky high interest rates trap people in a cycle of repeat borrowing.

ALSO: Governor Brown likely won't be able to change CEQA.

Kim Ingram

  Ask most youth what they think about wildfires in forests and they will usually respond with "they kill trees and animals" or "it’s bad – they burn down homes and put out lots of smoke." They are partially right.Or you could ask youth about considering a career studying the history of fire from a tree cookie--a slice of tree branch that shows the rings--or lake bed sedimentation. Or what role wind plays in how a fire jumps from treetop to treetop or how wildfire can help open pine cones and produce a huge flower show.

Winemakers Prep for Climate Change

Apr 16, 2013
Flickr user Jessica Wilson

The art of making wine is tied intimately to land and the climate. Changing weather patterns, with hotter, drier growing periods, will call on North Coast growers to adapt. As KRCB’s Danielle Venton reports, wine makers are already experimenting with techniques that will enable them to make great wine for many years to come. 

palmbeachpost.com

New state law could effectively outlaw hunting in California.

ALSO: The Franchise Tax Board extends payment deadline after lengthy web delays.

kpel965.com

A bill to tax ammunition in California gets its first legislative hearing Monday.

ALSO: Lowest-income families in California pay the largest share in state and local taxes.

Baja Resort Approvals Challenged

Apr 12, 2013

A coalition of 11 conservation groups has submitted a petition to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to investigate the Mexican government's approval of four massive tourism projects in Baja California. Lori Abbott reports.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Social Advocates for Youth currently operates an emergency shelter for young teens and a transitional home for youth who have aged out of foster care. Soon, they hope to expand their services to meet more of the needs of Sonoma County’s growing number of homeless young people. Bruce Robinson has details.

csmonitor.com

CA has 21 days to submit a plan to reach the 137% cap on prison population, or face contempt of court chages.

ALSO: A bill to prevent private college loan lenders from garnishing 25-percent of a student’s wages heads to CA Senate committee.


 

Hole in the Media Productions

Project Censored publishes a book each year, produces a weekly radio show, maintains an active website, has created several video projects, and is regularly featured in newspaper and magazine articles. Now it’s the subject of a documentary film as well. Bruce Robinson offers a preview.

Project Censored:  The Movie is being shown twice this week at the Sonoma International Film Festival, including a featured Friday evening screening at the Sebastiani Theater.

KRCB photo by Danielle Venton

Big changes are underway at the venerable Hotel Petaluma, as a new owner implements upgrades. But evicted tenants and others contend that the former occupants have gotten a raw deal in the process. Bruce Robinson reports.

salon.com

 

California finally dropped out of the top ten in March.

ALSO: The Boy Scouts of America could lose tax exempt status in CA.

The Covers Story

Apr 9, 2013

A 12-inch square offers artists a flexible frame for all kinds of artistry, so it’s little wonder that many record album covers have become such memorable images. A new documentary examines the stories behind some of those covers, and KRCB’s Bruce Robinson talked with the film-maker.

The Cover Story is being shown twice this week at the Sonoma International Film Festival, at 10:30 am on Thursday, April 11 (at Murphy's Pub) and at 9 pm on Saturday, April 13 (at the Vintage House). 

Gender Pay Gap Persists

Apr 9, 2013
iStockphoto.com

Women breadwinners still aren't bringing home as much "bread" as men, even when they do the same jobs, according to a new annual tally by the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF). In California, the report says the average wage for a full-time female worker is $41,817 per year, compared with $49,281 for a man – and that nationally, virtually no progress has been made on pay equity by gender.  Lori Abbott has more.

ektaxservice.com

Students should now the difference between federally and privately backed loans.

ALSO: Taxes are due next Monday. Don't get caught off guard.
 

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