North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Governor Brown has until the middle of next week to sign the budget and issue any line-item vetoes.

ALSO: CA Community Colleges Expand Summer Class Offerings.

Hosted by County Ranger Jeff Taylor, this week's focus is the development of the Tolay Lake Regional Park property.

Hear about a series of upcoming public hearings on how to develop the park, and a Father's Day Hike!

Environmentalists say the maneuver neglects polluted communities.

ALSO: California Insurance Commissioner wants Anthem out of group health exchange.

Jack London, Sportswriter

Jun 13, 2013
Jack London Historical Society

The craft and cunning of competition, age versus youth, and “the allure of the game”—these were recurring themes in Jack London’s writing, especially when the subject was sports.

Only once, says Doc Stull, did London’s writing incorporate a scene that could be seen as a team competition—and seeing it that way is a bit of a stretch.

More new fuels can replace or blend with gasoline and diesel.

ALSO: California drops from the top five states with the highest foreclosure rates.

Climate Change at the South Pole

Jun 12, 2013
Sune Tamm

Melting ice at the North Pole gets more attention than conditions at the high altitude land mass on the opposite end of the Earth, but climate change is making itself felt there as well, though in some less obvious ways.

There are dramatic differences between the North and South poles, explains Sune Tamm. The North Pole lies at sea level and has no land beneath it, so it is comparatively accessible. By contrast, the South Pole stands high atop a remote but substantial continent.

Brown says it’s not just a balanced budget, but a step forward for the state.

ALSO: Budget includes some restored funding for dental care and mental health services.


Mapping Sudden Oak Death

Jun 11, 2013
Center for Invasive Species Research, UC Riverside

  First identified in Marin County nearly 20 years ago, Sudden Oak death is now epidemic in Northern California, especially in coastal forests, such as those near Jenner and Guerneville. Simply tracking the disease is a huge undertaking, so volunteers are being sought to help out in a mapping “blitz” on Saturday.

The annual SOD blitzes in Sonoma and Napa Counties are scheduled for Saturday, June 15, at the following locations:

Democrats are reluctantly accepting Brown’s lower revenue estimates.

ALSO: Democratic State Senator Ron Calderon returns to work.

Resources for Readers

Jun 10, 2013

These are hard times for book lovers. Both the Sonoma County Book Festival and the county’s Public Libraries need additional funding, and are calling for public support to meet those needs.

Greenberg’s mission is to make funding the libraries a higher priority for the county, and he questions whether some other spending choices have been carefully weighed. Such as the local war on drugs, for instance.

Lawmakers will discuss the issue once again this week.

ALSO: President Obama touts the Affordable Care Act in California.


Midnight in Mexico

Jun 7, 2013

It’s not easy being a reporter in a sometimes lawless land with a limited history of a free press. But that’s what Alfredo Corchado has done, as he recounts in his first book, Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness.

  Corchado explains that he chose the title of his book carefully, to imply a glimmer of optimism through the darkness of the events he recounts.


Splitting the 415 Area Code

Jun 6, 2013


From 1947 to 1959, Sonoma County and points north were part of the 415 Area Code. Now that area—comprised of just Marin County and San Francisco— is again dealing with numerical growing pains, but now there are no more easy splits available.

  Even though any given area code can mathematically contain more than 6.8 million numbers, CPUC staffer Katherine Morehouse says the demand for new 415 area numbers is overtaking the remaining supply at an accelerating rate.


Forecasting Earthquakes Before they Hit

Jun 6, 2013

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

A top California union leader says “the fight is on.”

ALSO: FBI searched two Calderon offices, not Latino Caucus office.

The F-B-I has searched the Capitol office of California State Senator Ron Calderon.

ALSO: FBI raid reminiscent of "Shrimpscam"

Silencing Whooping Cough

Jun 4, 2013
Flicker user Lou Bueno

For adults, whooping cough--also known as pertussis-- is an annoying, but not dangerous, respiratory infection. For young infants, however, the cough can be dire, even fatal. KRCB examines local efforts to eradicate the disease.


Need a community immunization clinic? Here's where to go: 

Sonoma County
Marin County
Napa County

California’s smaller political parties say the system is depriving voters of alternative choices.

ALSO: A new commission to recommend changes to CA state parks system.


Children’s Museum to Break Ground

Jun 3, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

First it was a dream. Then it was a campaign. Now the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County is becoming tangible, with the ground-breaking for an elaborate garden and outdoor learning center held over the weekend.


Entrepreneurship at Sonoma State

Jun 3, 2013

The new Entrepreneur in Residence at Sonoma State University hasn’t been residing there long, but he’s hoping to make his presence felt in short order. He spoke with KRCB's Bruce Robinson.

  Not everyone thinks they are entrepreneurial, yet Mark Nelson believes the seeds for that approach to life lie in each of us—and is it more necessary now than ever to nurture them.


A key part of the entrepreneurial spirit is a willingness to take chances, says Nelson, and in the new economy, that’s becoming increasingly essential.

The measure failed twice on the Assembly floor this week.

ALSO: Democrats in the California legislature see a chance to increase funding for numerous projects in this year’s budget.

California Birds Stopover on Their Way to Canada

May 31, 2013
Jeff Nadler

  Many Californians may not realize the birds chirping outside are just passing through on their way to Canada's boreal forest. Wildlife experts say it's important for the area known as "North America's Bird Nursery" to be protected from development and destruction of the nesting grounds. We hear more from Lori Abbott.

Alfalfa's Environmental Upside

May 31, 2013
Capital Press

  Alfalfa farmers are already on their second hay cutting in California’s Central Valley. Lush green fields are swathed with new generation rotary disk mowers that are nearly twice as fast as the conventional sickle mowers, cutting about 150 acres a day. Alfalfa hay fields are cut 4-10 times a season, averaging about seven tons per acre per year. It’s a profitable crop these days, with prices for high quality hay frequently reaching $250 per ton.

Assets at Risk?

May 31, 2013

  Wall Street’s biggest banks remain “too big to fail,” thanks in part to their recently legalized ability to seize depositors’ assets if another crisis should hit. Bruce Robinson talks with banking industry critic Ellen Brown.

  Local credit unions are a popular alternative to big commercial banks for many households and small businesses, Brown agrees, but they also have limitations.

It could become harder to suspend California students who show “willful defiance.”

ALSO: Assembly approves minimum wage increase.

The Workforce Training Disconnect

May 30, 2013

  Businesses and education leaders agree they should work more closely together, to develop a new generation of workers with the skills to match new job openings. But only a fraction of them actively do so.

Ready to Work -- Solving the Skills Mismatch and Talent Shortage, was the 2013 Economic Insight Conference hosted by the North Bay Leadership Council, an association of major employers, non-profits and educational institutions in Sonoma and Marin Counties. KRCB is one of several media company members.

New restrictions on ammunition purchases would require a legal I-D.

ALSO: Brown on budget talks: "I want $2 billion too. But I Don't Believe It."

Forestville Moves to Preseve Downtown Open Space

May 29, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  As the clock winds down on a matching grant to preserve a key piece of open space in the heart of Forestville, the small west county town is confident that the one-time subdivision site will instead be protected as a natural park.

The extension of the bicycle trail will follow the west and north sides of the open space land, as shown in red on the map below.

Assembly Democrats have added their budget proposal to those of Senate Democrats and California Governor Jerry Brown.

ALSO: Assembly approves more restrictions on big box stores.

What the changes may mean for people already in the market.

ALSO: Assembly takes on regulating big box stores.