North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

• Republicans and conservatives are the only groups whose majorities oppose gay marriage.

• Cal Grants could be restored for private university students.

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Steve Liss /

• Research finds nearly 12-thousand incarcerated youth in California.

• The FAA says sequester would close almost two-dozen air traffic control towers at California airports.

Link to proposed FAA closures:

Napa's 'Vine Trail' gains momentum

Feb 26, 2013
Shannon Kuleto, Napa Valley Vine Trail

Cycling enthusiasts are celebrating in the Napa Valley. A long-awaited bike path is gaining momentum. The 47-mile Napa Valley Vine Trail, stretching from Vallejo to Calistoga, will turn the area into a world-class destination for cyclists, both local and visiting. KRCB reporter Danielle Venton tries out the first mile.

• Californians think tighter gun control laws more important than protecting the right to own guns.

• Some Californians could face reduced unemployment benefits if sequestration goes forward.

From Columbine to Newtown, experiences with mass shootings have changed how local law enforcement prepares to respond, should some sort of “active shooter” situation develop nearby. Bruce Robinson reports on how that is playing out here in the North Bay.

The civilian responses that provided the basis for the Healdsburg Police brochure are detailed at greater length in the video below which was prepared by the Department of Homeland Security.

• New legislation would require all savings under realignment to be passed on to counties.

• A state lawmaker wants to establish exclusive courts to cover CEQA lawsuits.

Wal-Mart says expanding into a Superstore in Rohnert Park, essentially adding a grocery outlet, will create 85 new jobs. But at what cost, asks a prominent critic of the corporation. Bruce Robinson spoke with him.

Professor Reich will speak at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa at 7 pm  on Monday, Feb. 25. Ticket and event information here. He also contends that Wal-Mart has a history that demonstrates they are not a desirable community neighbor, nor a good corporate citizen.

Robert Schwandl /

• CA's immigrants should be able to stay and become citizens – if conditions are met.

• California lawmakers want to prevent unauthorized interruption of wireless services.


Outbeat News

Feb 22, 2013

February 24, 2013 – Outbeat News in Depth

Outbeat Now! is now Outbeat News In Depth. Join us for the North Bay’s only news magazine style LGBT radio show that includes the Outbeat Youth segment. Stay connected all month long and share your news and events with us at

Appreciating Beavers

Feb 21, 2013
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

Every schoolchild learns that beavers gnaw down trees, build dams, and keep… busy. Less widely known is just how useful all that activity can be. On today’s North Bay Report, Bruce Robinson takes a closer look.

For a close-up look at beavers in action, restoring a winter storm-damaged home, see the video at the bottom of this page.

Know Your Rights On Campus

Feb 21, 2013
Flickr user sasastro.

Being questioned by a police officer can be a nerve-wracking experience. Civil rights advocates say it's important to know your legal rights and not give law enforcement more power than they're legally entitled to. A local group of community organizers and attorneys host occasional workshops to inform citizens about the legal system. Their most recent workshop, held yesterday, focused on rights within the educational system.

Sonoma County Regional Parks

From  the slopes of Santa Rosa’s Taylor Mountain, hikers can see broad expanses of much of central Sonoma County. Beginning this weekend, they can also see the new park that offers those vistas. Bruce Robinson offers a preview.

Provided by Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office has released surveillance photos of two persons of interest in their investigation of the Feb. 5 Forestville triple homicide. Investigators believe these men and an early 90s  gold-colored Ford Ranger may be connected with suspect Mark Cappello and could have information regarding the killings. Anyone with information pertaining to these subjects or the vehicle is asked to contact detectives at 707-565-2185.  The image are from the Chevron gas station in St. Helena and were taken the day before the homicides occurred.

Sea Otters Hoping for Taxpayers' Support

Feb 20, 2013
Sharon Blaziek

Your California State income tax form this year will include a checkbox to aid the recovery and protection of sea otters. Lori Abbott explains why.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

• Expanding CA Medicaid under federal health law would make good fiscal and policy sense.

• CA lawmaker wants “zero tolerance” law for driving under the influence of drugs.

Cherly Frei

It was a busy holiday weekend for California’s State Parks  And, as Lori Abbot reports, that’s good news for the state budget.

• UC Berkeley labor economist says too many Californians are underpaid.

• Lawmakers introduce bills aimed at bosltering youth vote.

Aquarium Escapees

Feb 17, 2013
Photo provided by Susan Willaims
Bruce Nyden

Exotic aquarium fish and plants are beautiful and soothing in their containers. But if they get out into our natural waters, they can cause enormous problems. Bruce Robinson talks with a researcher who has been studying this issue.

 Importing exotic tropical fish to meet the demand from aquarium owners does inevitably increase the risk that some of those species may get out into the wild. But Susan Williams, Professor of Evolution and Ecology at the Bodega Bay Marine Lab points out that this trade also helps preserve other threatened ecosystems.

• California Department of Finance warned about unreported surpluses as far back as 1999.

• Leveraging federal tax code could raise more than half a billion dollars a year for college financial aid.

When the 9/11 attacks rocked America, Muslim communities here had no idea what to expect. But survivors of the Japanese internment camps during World War II did, and many were quick to act on that experience.

The Day of Remembrance workshop in Sebastopol will be held at the Enmanji Temple from 1-3 pm on Saturday, Feb. 16. It’s free, but advance reservations are requested. Further details in the flyer below.

Credit itup.orgAll plans offer the same benefits; the only difference is the cost.Edit | Remove

• A new California “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” partly behind the 62 percent drop.

• Covered California previews health benefit plan options under new State health-exchange.

Danielle Venton for KRCB.

 From oven mitts, to satellites to self-driving cars... Sometimes it seems like everything that could be invented already has been. But as local kids are learning, as long as there are problems, possible solutions await them. Three students from Calistoga Elementary School recently won 1st place in an international competition for a creative solution to a problem they see everyday. KRCB's Danielle Venton has more.

Associated Press

• Two sectors will lead job growth: technology and construction.

• Democratic lawmakers propose a new tax on oil removed from the ground in California.

Mark Shumerling /

• Recently released Federal fracking regulations have lawmakers concerned.

• Could CA hold an election following an emergency or natural disaster?

Decoding Birdsong

Feb 12, 2013
Danielle Venton for KRCB

Birds speak in a language all their own. Through chirps, warbles, trills and calls, they advertise for mates, warn of approaching predators and defend territories. Naturalist and author David Lukas trains listeners to pick up on these cues and hear a new world, as KRCB's Danielle Venton reports.

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

 Two more public hearings on plans to expand existing marine sanctuaries north from Bodega Head to Point Area are being held  Feb. 12 ands 13. They are a key step toward a permanent ban on oil exploration and drilling along the North Coast.

In addition to the two public hearings this week (details below),  NOAA is also taking comments online here through the end of February.

The remaining meeting schedule is as follows:

• About 200 Californians protest tighter gun laws in Sacramento.

• Bill to provide driver licenses for undocumented immigrants gains steam.

Civic and national freshwater advocates are reminding us not to take tap water for granted. Instead, they say, we should take it as our drink of choice.

In the Tracker's Footsteps

Feb 8, 2013
Danielle Venton for KRCB.

Tracking, the ancient art of detecting subtle signals left by animals, is alive and well today -- especially in the North Bay. Through local tracking clubs, classes and the Point Reyes Tracking School, launched this week, the opportunities are ripe for learning the ways of the outdoors. 

Jim Sullivan (right) organizes monthly classes and meet ups