North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

  Respondents to an online survey regarding the condition of Sonoma County’s roads, and possible ways to fund improvements confirmed the scope of the problem, but offered mixed reactions to a series of suggestions for funding improvements.A total of 624 anonymous Sonoma county residents responded to the survey, posted by Save Our Sonoma Roads.Sonoma County supervisors have been evaluating several taxes and other measures to expand the number of roads to be maintained in good condition.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The ruling is a relief to Stockton leaders who get a fresh chance to negotiate with creditors.

ALSO: Lawmakers consider bill to create health care interpreters program.

Tall Ships Return to Bodega Bay

Apr 1, 2013
historicalseaport.org

They’re back! Following a wildly successful debut visit last spring, a pair of tall-masted wooden sailing ships will return this afternoon to Bodega Bay, one year to the day after their local debut.

  Ticket information, reservations and a schedule of activities are all available from the Tall Ships website. The two vessels will visit Bodega Bay April 2-8, before sailing on to Eureka.

The new law affects women with “dense breast tissue,” which makes cancer harder to spot on a mammogram.

Also: The plastic bag ban debate is back...

Jobs Made Real

Mar 29, 2013

YouTube videos offer far more than casual entertainment. Corralled and curated on a new, locally developed website, they can also help teens explore career options they might never have otherwise considered.

Although the Jobs Made Real website was designed with teens in mind, Chops Teen Club Executive Director Diana Curtin says she got an unexpected demonstration of its wider demographic appeal…in her own home.

Rebooting the North Bay iHub

Mar 28, 2013

 Business incubation is about creating jobs, not just getting start-ups launched. So the North Bay iHub (Innovation Hub) is retooling itself with a redefined focus. Bruce Robinson gets the inside story from a couple of the key players.

Click the link to see the updated and redesigned website for the North Bay iHub.

Business is Booming for CA Baby Boomers

Mar 28, 2013

Proposed cuts to federal "entitlement" programs would likely ripple through California's business economy, in ways that most analyses have not examined. Lori Abbott outlines a recent study that focuses on those impacts.

Protecting Endangered Snow Leopards

Mar 27, 2013
Snow Leopard Conservancy

Snow Leopards are found only in the high, wild mountains of central Asia, where harsh climate just one of the dangers they face. But the rare cats also have an ally, in Sonoma zoologist Dr. Rodney Jackson. Bruce Robinson talks with him.

Dr. Rodney Jackson will talk about snow leopards in a presentation at the Sonoma Veterans Hall tonight at 7 pm. The program is hosted by Sonoma Birding.

Land Lines – Endangered Phone Species?

Mar 26, 2013

For generations, telephones have served as lifelines for  people in remote locations. But the rise of cell phone technology is eroding the overall availability of directly connected telephones, commonly called "land lines." So efforts are being made to protect that service for those who need it most. Mark Scheerer reports.

It's Not Just for Athletes -- Title IX Workshops at SSU

Mar 25, 2013
Image courtesy Sonoma State University

More than 40 years ago, in June 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments Act into law. On March 27, Sonoma State University is dedicating the day to Title IX with workshops and lectures about gender equality. KRCB’s Danielle Venton spoke with visiting lecturer Donna Lopiano for a preview.  

The Sonoma County Office of Education held its annual countywide spelling competitions earlier this month. Awards were given to the top four spellers in both the elementary and junior high events.

Elementary Spelling Competition: Fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade spellers competed in the annual Elementary Spelling Competition. The 19 participating students had previously won school and regional spelling bees, which made them eligible to compete for the title of county spelling champion.

  The devil is in the details when it comes to calculating benefits for veterans and other groups. So they are alarmed about a proposed change in the funding formulas they depend on. Lori Abbott takes a closer look.

You can see and use the AARP Chained CPI Calculator here.

The U.S. Navy’s ‘Green Fleet’

Mar 18, 2013

 Strong leadership in the development of renewable bio-fuels is coming from an unexpected branch of American government—the US Navy.

From sails to oil to steam to nuclear power, the US Navy has a history of adapting quickly to changes in energy systems. It’s something they are continuing today, in response to both climate change, and rising fuel oil costs. And not just at sea.

Plan to reduce vineyard pollution on hold

Mar 17, 2013
Courtesy of Flickr/jcookfisher

Grape growers are wondering what’s next after a controversial new set of water regulations have apparently been scrapped. The regional water board announced earlier this month its new laws are on hold. As KRCB reports, the proposed rules would have placed stiff demands on local winemakers.

The Making of 'Rebels With a Cause'

Mar 15, 2013
Kelly-Yamamoto films

The thousands of acres of open space and shoreline now protected and accessible to the public might not be there but for the efforts of a handful of visionary conservationists just few generations ago. A new documentary by a couple of North Bay film-makers  tells their story. Bruce Robinson has theirs.

See below for upcoming screening dates, and a map showing the footprint of the proposed Marincello development.

Sonoma's Biochar Initiative

Mar 14, 2013

It cleans water, sequesters carbon underground, and boosts agricultural production. Yet the material known as biochar is just beginning to be appreciated and used in the 21st century. Bruce Robinson chats with an advocate.

More information  about the Sonoma Biochar Initiatve, including how to join, can be found here.

Peter Hirst of New England Biochar explains how the stuff is made in this video.

Be nice to your local bicyclist. It’ll soon be law.

Mar 12, 2013
Flickr user Phil King

Sonoma County bicyclists are anticipating an extra layer of legal protection from enraged drivers. The Board of Supervisors has voted to move ahead with an ordinance that would make the county to first in the nation to allow harassed cyclists and pedestrians to sue for damages in civil court. 

Local Road Repair Needs Mushroom

Mar 10, 2013
SOS Roads

All across California, the projected costs for maintaining local streets and roads far outstrips the funds available for that purpose. In the first of a two-part report, KRCB’s Bruce Robinson examines the size of the problem in Sonoma County.

  

  No one disputes the need for huge expenditures to preserve and maintain public streets and roads in our communities. But not one seems to have a clear idea of where that money will come from, either.

As bad as the cost estimates are now, they could get worse in a hurry, warns Santa Rosa Public Works Director Rick Moshier.

thefreshscent.com

• A bill at the CA State Capitol would allow individual employees to work four 10-hour days each week.

• California lawmakers move closer to expanding Medi-Cal eligibility.

Napa Valley College instructor Greg Miraglia was pleased, and a little surprised, when his new course in LGBT studies quickly developed a waiting list last fall. Now he’s making plans for it to continue on into the future. 

Greg Miraglia is also a regular part of the Outbeat Radio production team on KRCB.

sfgate.com

• Brown says Medi-Cal expansion has to be implemented in a financially sustainable way.

• PUC Director takes full responsibility for widespread budget errors.

"Tools as Art"

Mar 7, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  From paper Mache to a video installation, vise-grips and nails to a toilet seat, the "Tools As Art" exhibition  at the Sonoma County Museum mixes whimsy and practicality with dash of the inscrutable. Bruce Robinson offers a preview.

Protection of Mendocino Coastal Lands Urged

Mar 7, 2013
courtesy of and copyrighted by Scott Chieffo Photography

Now that permanent protection of the California coastline from the Golden Gate to Point Arena is assured, new efforts are underway to extend safeguards further north into Mendocino County. Lori Abbott has this update.

Younger Prison Population Declining

Mar 6, 2013

It's a nationwide trend, and California is joining in: the number of young people incarcerated is going down. We get details in this report from Lori Abbott.

mototribe.com

• Budget cuts and higher construction costs put CA’s local roads system in a crisis.

• Hundreds of thousands of people may choose to leave their company’s health plan.

• The crowd and energy level weren’t as big as last year's rally.

• About 50 pilots, medics and mechanics from the California National Guard are being deployed to Afghanistan.

North-South Art Projects

Mar 5, 2013
Sonoma County Museum Foundation

A just-concluded international partnership between high school art students from Santa Rosa and South Korea proved to be creative, educational, and inspirational. Bruce Robinson takes a closer look.

Below, the Korean students are seen with the Peace Tree they constructed from the wreckage of a warship, and adorned with living plants. It is on display at the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in Gyeonggi-Do, Korea.

County Moves Forward on Fluoride Study

Mar 4, 2013
Flickr user OiMax

Last week the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the needed engineering and financial studies for adding fluoride to municipal water. The decision provoked an outcry from some area residents, deeply suspicious about fluoride's proposed benefits. However, public health advocates say fluoride is a safe, clearly effective way to promote healthy teeth.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

• McCarthy says Republicans must show voters the Party cares about their lives.

• Republican Senator Tom Berryhill  calls CEQA is an economic impediment.

'The Belle of Amherst'

Mar 1, 2013
BarbaraDana.com

The poetry of Emily Dickinson is the focus of the Big Read, Sonoma County this year. To help bring it to life, actress Barbara Dana is here this week, sharing her portrayal of the 18th century writer for local school groups and other audiences. KRCB’s Bruce Robinson spoke with her.

Pages