Sonoma County

  Back in the 1970s, Sonoma County’s libraries were open 72 hours per week. That’s down to 40 hours per week now, and library boosters are calling for a sales tax increase this fall to reverse the trend and fend off further service reductions.

  The online petition to support additional library funding in Sonoma County can be found here.

As the new restrictions on the use of plastic bags by retailers are phasing in, the Sonoma County Waste Agency is hosting a series of three “Plastic Bag Fairs” for business owners this week. Here’s a look at what they’re about, and why.

The first of the Sonoma County Waste Agency's  three Bag Fairs was held yesterday in Cotati; there’s one today in Santa Rosa, and the third one will be in Windsor tomorrow.

  The latest Go Local directory of participating Sonoma County businesses and organizations is hot off the press and out in stores this week. So today we get an update on their update.

Martin County, Florida

The new Director of Sonoma County’s Libraries wants to improve  channels of communication with staff and patrons, while expanding the system’s digital services.

Librarians are virtually always avid readers themselves, and Lear is no exception. So we asked what he was currently reading.

Lear, 46, is also married to a librarian, and the couple has a young son.

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.

  In an early bid to combat greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy, the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program was set up back in 2009. It just passed its five year anniversary date, which provides an opportunity to review the program's effectiveness.

SCEIP is also co-hosting an Energy Action Forum today at Paradise Ridge Winery  in Santa Rosa, from 4-7 pm,  to honor six local Energy Champions.  They are:

§       Santa Rosa Plaza – Simon Properties, Santa Rosa

§       Sonoma Veterinary Clinic – Dr. Howard Rosner, Sonoma

From a health reporting standpoint, the quality of life in Sonoma County is our greatest strength, but we score lowest in our collective behaviors around eating, drinking and smoking. More from that study, and local reaction to it, on today’s North Bay Report.

Courtesy Flickr user Blodeuwedd. Licensed under Creative Commons

  The worst of the winter weather is past for this season, which is good news for the homeless in Sonoma County. But the people who provide services to that population are already thinking ahead to next winter. Today they’re starting a weeklong process to find out who among the homeless are most vulnerable. Bruce Robinson talks with the coordinator of that effort.

Made Local, Volume 2

Mar 16, 2014

The second quarterly issue of the new Made Local magazine is out (read it here). It’s written and edited by Gretchen Giles, former long-time editor of the North Bay Bohemian, who stopped by to talk about it with KRCB’s Bruce Robinson.

  You may have almost missed it: This has been Mediation Week in Courtrooms all across California. To find out what that’s all about, KRCB’s Bruce Robinson talked with the top administrator of Sonoma County’s Superior Court System.

 In some good news for the local economy, tourism in Sonoma County took a sizable jump upwards ion 2013. Bruce Robinson gets the particulars on the annual tourism report released earlier this week. 

The Graton Casino in Rohnert Park has hired more than a thousand workers, creating many positions that may soon become union jobs. Which is exactly what the tribe expected to happen.

Wei-Ling Huber, President of Unite/Here Local 2850, says the friendly relationship between her union and the Graton Rancheria is not a new development, but grew out of the early stages of the tribe’s efforts to create their new casino.

  Sonoma County and the North Bay is rich with local theater, many active companies of talented performers and directors. To go along with all that, a Santa Rosa-based writers’ group has been encouraging the creation of new plays by local authors. Redwood Writers have just announced the winners in their fourth annual short play competition, and we’re about to learn who they are. Here’s KRCB’s Bruce Robinson

  It hasn’t rained significantly, but the continuing cold weather at night is still a hardship for the growing number of homeless families and individuals in Sonoma County. Recognizing this problem, Santa Rosa and the county have taken a series of actions to help, and we get an update on those measures in today’s program. 

  As the Task Force appointed by County Supervisors to study the creation of a citizen review panel to examine the use of deadly force by Law Enforcement officers, the local chapter of the ACLU has offered its support, and some recommendations. That’s the focus of The Exchange today.

Sonoma_Marin Area Rail Transit

Good news for mass transit in the North Bay. The SMART train line currently under construction will add an important new stop when it starts running.

You can read the full announcement of the expanded service, and the funding that made it possible, here.

Convenience Shop Meets Health Food Store

Dec 17, 2013
Susan Butler

One Sebastopol woman is working to make eating healthy and locally as easy as stopping at the convenience store for a bag of chips. We visit a the construction site of a local business aiming to change the way food is bought and sold in Sonoma County. Susan Butler is starting Locastore -- a micro-franchise focusing on local-only products. 

Watch a video about Susan Butler's Locastore project, or donate to the project at

  Every year, Sonoma County Conservation issues a report card on local elected officials, grading them on both their environmental votes and their accessibility and responsiveness to constituents. The latest round of evaluations are now out, and are the subject of the Exchange today.

 You can see Conservation Action's full report card for all Sonoma County Supervisors and City Council  members, with comments, posted online here.

Sonoma West Times & News

  After 37 years, the body that runs Sonoma County’s Libraries is getting an update. But not all the changes are going down easily, especially how much representation the county will retain on the Library Commission.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Creating a Community Task Force, lapel cameras for sheriff’s deputies, and the idea of  a park in southwest Santa Rosa were all endorsed by county supervisors yesterday, in response to the Andy Lopez shooting. But community healing still is a long way off.

Wanted: Home Grown Stories

Nov 29, 2013
Beverley Dorsey McChesney, Santa Rosa.

Were you born and raised Sonoma County? A new book project, called Sonoma County Baby, wants your story. The book will gather stories of people locally born and raised, partly as a celebration of region’s history, partly as a celebration of a new hospital opening soon in Santa Rosa. 

Creating affordable housing can be costly and keeping it available for low-income households is tricky. But the Housing Land Trust has found a way to do both.

  The Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County was established in 2002, but Executive Director Dev Goetschius says even then, they were employing a fiscal model that had already been proven effective elsewhere.

There are countless interesting stories within Sonoma County’s farms and food, and a glossy new publication is out to find and tell them. Made Local magazine released its first issue this week.

To read the full issue online, click here.

  Sonoma County has a lot of miles of roads to maintain, and a big backlog of places where potholes are plentiful. Which ones are the worst?  Bruce Robinson gets an answer from Craig Harrison, co-founder of Save Our Sonoma Roads, on the Exchange today.

Sonoma County Health Department

  Health care reform—officially the Affordable Care Act—is just getting started, in California and across the nation. But the effects of the new program will ripple out widely—which stimulated much of the dialog at this year's 21st annual Latino Health Forum. 

  The organization and governance of Sonoma Clean Power has been finalized; now the new green electricity provider is moving into the specialized realm of buying and selling sustainably created electrons. 

Even before the specific rates have been established, Geof Syphers, Chief Sustainability Officer for Sonoma Clean Power, is confidently predicting that their pricing will hew close to what utility customers are currently paying.


When Sonoma County supervisors unexpectedly considered sharp reductions in how much medical marijuana patients could legally possess, they re-ignited a debate that continues to simmer up and down the length of California. Bruce Robinson has an update on the issue in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County Economic Development Board

Sonoma County leads the state in job growth right now, but will need to make adjustments as much of the current labor force turns toward retirement. Bruce Robinson summarizes the news from the 2013 State of the County breakfast presentations.