North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

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.

Bad News Beneath the Waves

May 25, 2013

An effort is underway to ban massive gillnets that California fishermen use to catch swordfish and thresher sharks. Opponents say the nets are invisible underwater walls that capture everything in their path, including endangered species. Lori Abbott has more.

Bodega Marine Lab keeps watch on ocean temperatures

May 24, 2013
UC Davis

Ocean waters are warming, sea level is rising, seawater is becoming more acidic, and shoreline erosion is intensifying. The world’s oceans are reacting to increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere.

  “The physical and chemical environment of the ocean is changing with the climate,” said John Largier of the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory. “This affects ecosystems — like tidal marshes and coral reefs that protect us from storms and flooding.”

Taxes on soda, tobacco and oil drilling stall, while several gun control measures move forward.

ALSO: Governor Brown calls for action on climate change.

Training Veterans to Aid Salmon

May 23, 2013
California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

On remote tributaries of the Eel River , unemployed army veterans are learning new skills to benefit the local environment, and boost their standing in the job market.

The NOAA-CCC Veterans Corps pilot program is explained in fuller detail in this video produced by San Francisco filmmaker Kevin White.

Senate Democrats have proposed their own funding plan that eliminates the concentration grants.

ALSO: Brown remains skeptical of LAO's higher revenue projections.

Ben Adler

Governor Brown opposes any new spending, but Assembly and Senate Democrats have different programs in which they'd like to invest.


Air Quality and Asthma

May 21, 2013

Sonoma and Marin Counties are a clean air oasis in the Bay Area, but statewide, asthma and related health impacts associated with air pollutants remain a huge concern.

  One reason the air is so clear in the coastal North Bay Counties, explains the American Lung Association’s Jenny Bard, is because the prevailing winds carry our locally-generated pollution to other areas.


Fracked Nation

May 21, 2013

Climate One Forums
May 23 – Fracked Nation

With a thriving natural gas market in the U.S., oil and energy companies are in a race for fracking rights across the country. The fracking bonanza has led to concern about the oversight of hydraulic fracturing practices. Join a conversation with three experts on the state of hydraulic fracturing and regulation in America.

The bill would protect dispensaries that follow California law from federal prosecution.

ALSO: "Two-tiered" community college courses bill passes assembly.

Transition Nursing Care

May 20, 2013
SSU School of Nursing

Getting released from a hospitalization is only the first step; then you have to stay out. Care Transitions is a pilot program to help make that happen.

So, what does participation in the Transition Care program involve? Sue Pearce, a Manager of Care Management for Memorial Hospital, outlines the steps.

Ben Adler

Brown’s latest budget proposal could be short by more than three billion dollars.

ALSO: Good news and bad news for CA job market.

Cycling excitement races through Santa Rosa

May 19, 2013

Cycling fans were out in force yesterday for the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California. After leaving San Francisco's Marina Green early Sunday morning,  cyclists finished in downtown Santa Rosa shortly before noon. Sprinter Peter Sagan, from Slovaia, pulled away in the final moments to secure the lead. 

As expected, American cyclist Tejay van Garderen secured the overall tour title.  It was van Garderen's first professional stage race, won in the home town of his team, BMC Racing. His newborn daughter joined him on stage for the awards ceremony.

After About a year and a half in place, California’s policy of prison realignment is still controversial.

ALSO:  The California Assembly has again passed the TRUST Act

What you should know about surveillance drones

May 16, 2013

At the mention of drones—remotely guided un-piloted aircraft—many people think of war-torn lands… but what about over Wine County? On Friday, May 17 Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco will address the Sonoma County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He will discuss how how enforcement agencies and private companies around the country are expressing interest in drone technology and what concerned citizens are doing about it.

FDA OKs Day-After Contraceptive for Teens

May 16, 2013
Teva Women's Health

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded access to one type of emergency contraception to women as young as 15 without a prescription. Lori Abbott has more.

"Plan B One-Step" does not terminate a pregnancy; it prevents fertilization of an egg if taken within a few days after intercourse.