public policy

  The health and well-being of the fish in California’s waterway and oceans is a perennial concern for the state legislature, something they will take up in their annual Fisheries Forum in Sacramento tomorrow.  North Coast Assemblyman Wes Chesbro chairs the joint Committee that is hosting the forum, and offers a preview today.

  Cathy Millison, who has been the City Manger for Santa Rosa for the past three and a half years, has announced her retirement, effective in the fall, so the search is on for her successor. As part of that process, the city council has invited the citizenry to share their ideas of what criteria should be part of that recruitment effort. We get more on the whole process in this conversation with the city’s other top official.

That public input session is scheduled for 3 o’clock this afternoon in the Santa Rosa City Council chambers.

 Two years ago, a ballot measure that would have required labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients was narrowly defeated by California voters. Now that same issue is being debated by the state legislature, in the form of a bill authored by a local legislator.

In a quiet but significant breakthrough, the US Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to allow the tiny supply of federally grown Marijuana be used in a University of Arizona study to test its efficacy in treating post-traumatic stress disorder in American army veterans. The research project was OK’d by the Food and Drug Administration some time ago, but when it finally cleared the last regulatory hurdle, the decision came as something of a surprise, as we hear from the supporting non-profit that helped make it happen.

  Remember NAFTA, The North American Free Trade Agreement? There was a lot of controversy surrounding its passage 20 years ago. Now a wider successor agreement is quietly moving toward approval, but it’s quite possible that there’s not much controversy this time, because many people don’t know much about it yet. Today’s Exchange segment may help correct that a bit.

UC Davis

The Mediterranean fruit fly is a serious threat to California agriculture. But widespread yearly pesticide spraying has not been effective in eradicating the pest, and state officials seem unwilling to acknowledge that.  Bruce Robinson reports.

UC Davis Entomology Professor Carey says he used the state’s own data on medfly appearances to conclude that eradication efforts have failed.

  But he also understands why CDFA is reluctant to publicly acknowledge that failure.

  Some of us a just getting our holiday shopping underway, but Julie Combs, a member of the Santa Rosa City Council, is already thinking ahead to New Year’s resolutions—not for herself, but for the city. So we asked her about that.

Add your suggestions to Julie's list here (scroll down as necessary).

  A straightforward pathway from the military-industrial complex to a peaceful future is outlined in a recent book by a former defense engineer from Marin County, titled, “Transition to Peace.”

  Former defense engineer Russell Faure-Brac notes that there is an important distinction to be made between non-violence and a more comprehensive state of peace.


 In the aftermath of the shocking abduction and murder of 12 year old Polly Klaas, two foundations emerged to keep her name alive while helping other kids and their families. But they don’t see eye to eye.

Debunking Fracking

Oct 1, 2013

Fracking is not the fossil fuel panacea the oil industry paints it as, says skeptic and peak oil analyst Richard Heinberg. He calls those claims “Snake Oil.”