politics

School Parcel Tax Tops Quiet November Election

Oct 28, 2015

  Next Tuesday is a quiet election day for most of Sonoma County, but voters in Rohnert Park are being asked to extend a parcel tax to fund local schools. 

    The student population attending the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District’s 11 schools now stands at 5900, well above the 4000 or so they were projecting just five years ago. Superintendent Robert Haley says most of that increase has come through intensified efforts to retain the students already living within the district’s boundaries—not from new residents arriving.

A Reporter Adapts to Elected Office

Sep 10, 2015

The newest member of the Santa Rosa City Council has gone from watching and critiquing on one side of the dais to deliberating and voting on the other. And he's enjoying the change.

   Santa Rosa’s local politics have long been split between two factions, especially around issue of growth and development. That’s something, Coursey has found, that still lingers, even though it’s not as overt as before.

Building Bipartisan Collaboration in Sacramento

Sep 1, 2015

A freshman state senator faces a steep learning curve upon arriving in Sacramento. One lesson that former Sonoma County supervisor Mike McGuire has embraced is rooted in the demographics of his district.

  State Senator Mike McGuire has also been in the midst of the long-standing tug-of-war over the future of the Sonoma Developmental Center. Changes are overdue at the aging facility, he acknowledges, but the fast-track deadline to relocate the remaining residents at the SDC is a poor way to begin.

Environment, Immigration Top Issues for Latinos

Aug 19, 2015
wasan gredpree/iStock

  Immigration is a top political concern for Latino voters in California, but a new poll finds that envcironmental issues are equally important to them. Suzanne Potter reports.

KRCB

Even though the next election season seems far off, political progressives in Sonoma County say the time is now to start organizing. They’re taking lessons from successful politicians in nearby Richmond. 

Gayle McLaughlin will be speaking again next weekend, Saturday, June 27 at the Praxis Peace Institute, 4 pm, Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma Community Center, Room 110, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. (Details on event page.)

Sonoma County Voters Reject Measure A

Jun 3, 2015

  A bid to raise the sale tax and use the revenues for road repairs fell well short of the 50% vote needed for passage yesterday, as anti-government sentiments prevailed in a low-turnout special election.

Composting’s Cloudy Future in Sonoma County

May 29, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  From modest beginnings in the 1990s, commercial composting in Sonoma County has grown into a sizable enterprise, one that has been embraced by both consumers and farmers. But with big changes about to kick in, the future of composting here is uncertain.

  Alan Siegle, co-owner of Sonoma Compost, recalls how they had to persuade county supervisors to launch the operation more than 20 years ago.

Privatization May Threaten California Parklands

May 20, 2015
Photo of Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe, courtesy of NASA.

  Yet another  brewing legislative battle in Washington could change Californians' access to some popular public lands. Lori Abbot has a report.

Reopening Palm Drive Hospital

Nov 25, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Dr. Richard Powers has practiced family medicine at Sebastopol’s Palm Drive hospital for decades. Now he’s going to help run the closed and bankrupt facility, which he is intent on seeing reopened next spring.

In addition to seeing Palm Drive Hospital reopened early next year, new board member Dr. Richard Powers is also hopeful that the facility’s bankruptcy creditors will also be getting paid soon.

 

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

For many Mexican immigrants in Sonoma County, President Obama’s moves to relax deportations for millions, while welcome, fell far short of what they had hoped for.

There was widespread speculation about how far-reaching the president’s actions would be, so the final announcement, says Jesus Guzman of the Graton Day Labor Center, was deeply disappointing to many of the workers there.

The chart below, prepared by the Pew Research Center, compares Executive Action on immigration issues by President Obama and other recent Chief Executives.

Engaging with Local Boards and Commissions

Nov 7, 2014

  It takes more than just a desire to serve, and perhaps some relevant personal background, to win a seat on a local board or commission, and to be an effective member of that body. So where does one get that specialized training? One place is a event for that very purpose, being held tomorrow at Santa Rosa Junior College. Here’s more about it.

FAll 2014 Election Results

Nov 5, 2014

  Sonoma County voters came out strongly for education spending in this election, but they also largely supported current or returning city council members while  adding a newcomer to the county board of supervisors.

Full Sonoma County election results can be found here.

Latino Candidates Seek School Board Seats

Oct 31, 2014

 Regardless of the results in this year’s election, the modest increase in Latino candidates in local school board races this fall is seen as an encouraging development by Latino community leaders in Sonoma County.

   Demographic diversity is helpful among the elected members of local school boards, says Laura Gonzalez, a second-term trustee for Santa Rosa City Schools. But she places an even higher value on cultural sensitivity.

 

Candidates Quizzed on 'Citizens United' Stance

Oct 21, 2014

  “Citizens United” is the short-hand name for the controversial 2010 decision by the US Supreme Court . That ruling concluded that campaign contributions are a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, even when they are made by corporations and other large organizations. The backlash against Citizens United includes a broad campaign to overrule it through a nationwide constitutional amendment, an effort that is also focusing on local elections in Sonoma County this fall.

Atrocities Alleged in Chinese Falun Gong Crackdown

Oct 14, 2014

 Enzo Guo fled his native China and sought asylum in the United States, because he knew he was at risk of being imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong.  He’s since learned that he may have escaped an even more grisly fate.

Within the opaque society of China, it’s hard to confirm the widespread  allegations of organ trafficking, but expat Fauln Gong practitioner Enzo Guo says the circumstantial evidence is substantial.

The Future of Editorial Cartooning

Oct 7, 2014

  As newspapers struggle to survive and prosper in the digital age, what will become of their specialized contributors, such as editorial cartoonists? They’re hustling to adapt to the new media landscape, as we hear on today’s North Bay Report. 

Mark Fiore and Jen Sorenson will be part of a panel discussing “Editorial Cartooning Today” at the Charles Schulz Museum on Sunday. Find details here.

An Insider’s View of the CIA—Then and Now

Sep 22, 2014
(c) Robert Shetterly/Americans Who Tell The Truth

A veteran CIA analyst says political agendas have corrupted his old office, driving whistle blowers like Edward Snowden to act outside of official channels in order to deliver truth to the public. 

  As a private citizen, Ray McGovern says he is still able to keep up on international and domestic events in much the same way he did while working at the CIA.

The rapid rise to prominence of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) has, in some quarters, been called a failure of US intelligence gathering.  McGovern doesn’t see it that way.

The Koch Brothers and Bohemian Grove

Jul 18, 2014

  Past presidents and cabinet members, titans of business and popular entertainers are all among the elite visitors to Bohemian Grove each summer.  Lately their ranks have also included two other prominent and polarizing figures—the Koch Brothers.

Read the Bohemian Grove Action Network's full report on the Koch Brothers here.

Glass Joins Sebastopol Council

Jun 20, 2014
Marty Roberts

  The abrupt death of Sebastopol City Councilman Michael Kyes last month created a vacancy on the dais. It was filled last night when the other four council members appointed his widow, Una Glass to serve out the remaining five months of his term in office.  Glass is also Executive Director of California Coastwalk and currently President of Sonoma County Conservation Action. She talked about her new assignment earlier this morning with KRCB’s Bruce Robinson.

Community Power Faces Legislative Roadblock

Jun 16, 2014

  PG&E’s ballot measure to block Community-based green energy operations, such as those in Sonoma and Marin Counties, was rejected by voters in 2010. Now the utility is trying again, through a measure in the state legislature, where they have lined up some influential union support behind it.

Scant Drama in Primary Voting

Jun 4, 2014

  In a generally low-key primary election, some local races were decided yesterday, while a few set the stage for bigger drama in the fall.In a generally low-key primary election, some local races were decided yesterday, while a few set the stage for bigger drama in the fall.

Calls Mount for Carillo's Resignation

May 6, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Embattled Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo found no support from his colleagues at this week's Board meeting, as all four urged him to step down, as did most of the speakers in a lengthy public comment period.

Simulating Cuba at the International Model UN

Apr 30, 2014

  Every spring, a group of students from Sonoma State take part in a global simulation of the United Nations, but representing a country very different from their own. The 26 delegates have just returned, bringing back a few honors with them. To get a debriefing on their trip, we hear today from their faculty advisor.

Revisiting the Ideas of Rudolph Steiner

Apr 24, 2014

  Rudolph Steiner is known for founding Waldorf schools and developing the concept of biodynamic farming, but that’s not all. A one-day class taught by a local activist and student of the German innovator will be offered in Santa Rosa on Saturday. Here’s a preview.

Fasting for Immigration Reform

Mar 17, 2014
John F Martin Photography

A series of 24-hour fasts across the country is meant to point out that Latino families bear the harshest consequences of America’s dysfunctional immigration policy. More than three dozen Sonoma County women took part in one that ended Monday morning. KRCB’s Bruce Robinson was there when a shared breakfast was served.

Talking with 'Tom Tomorrow'

Mar 12, 2014

  For some cartoonists, their medium is about more than entertainment. Even before Thomas Nast, there were artists who used their pens to make political points, and today they are legion. Among the most acerbic, literate and unflinchingly liberal is Dan Perkins. But readers know him by an altogether different name.

Questioning America's 'Pivot to Asia'

Feb 27, 2014

Iraq War dissident, former Army Col. Ann Wright, returns to Santa Rosa this weekend to share new concerns about the growing risks of American interventions in another part of the world.

Wright’s alarm over American policies abroad also includes a view of spreading corporate globalization as a destabilizing force.

Stronger Campaign Finance Disclosure Rules Approved

Feb 24, 2014

  Last week, the California legislature passed a pair of measures to require more detailed and timely reporting of campaign contributions. If signed by Governor Brown, they would be in effect for the coming November election. What exactly do they do? That’s the subject of today’s Exchange. 

Latino Voting Patterns in Santa Rosa

Feb 10, 2014

 Santa Rosa’s Latino population has been growing markedly over the past 20 years, yet they remain sharply under-represented in local government. A new study digs into the reasons behind those results.

Kelly Wurtz (Visiting Assistant Professor International Relations at Lehigh University) co-authored the report with Dr. Selby.

Even by California standards, Sonoma County is a strongly liberal and Democratic region. And that regional context, found David Selby, also affects the political inclinations of the local Latino population.

Korean Art Exhibit Brings Controversial History Lesson

Feb 6, 2014

A visiting art exhibit from Santa Rosa’s Korean sister city is also making a statement about the US role during and after the Korean War.

The Sonoma County Museum has scheduled a full weekend of special events, including speakers and film showings, about the Jeju Incident ant the Camelia Has Fallen exhibit.  See the schedule of activities here.

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