The County of Sonoma encourages residents to participate in upcoming workshops that will gather public input to shape the Recovery and Resiliency Plan to ensure the safety, livelihoods, and economic prosperity of the residents of Sonoma County.

“Sonoma County will recover from these devastating fires, but we cannot do it alone,” said Board of Supervisors Chair James Gore. “We invite community members from every corner of the County to come to the table and share your ideas about what actions will help lead to a successful recovery and resilient future.”

“How do you move from a place of simply trying to stop bad things and asking instead how would you make products and services in a sustainable manner?” asks managing partner of Ecosystem Investment Partners, Adam Davis. Now that the trouble with pollution has been internalized, we need the economy to follow. Is is possible to protect profits and the planet? Despite claims that a win for the environment is a loss for the economy, corporations are finding innovative ways to have it both ways.

Many Steps Needed to Move Toward Zero Waste

May 11, 2017

Recycling is up in California. So is composting. But we are still sending millions of tons of garbage to landfills. Various ways to cut that back were on the agenda at a Zero Waste Symposium at SoMo Village Thursday. 

Public Banking Institute

A municipal public bank wouldn’t pay bonuses and dividends, and could have a more flexible relationship with federal regulators. All good reasons, says a local supporter of the alternative fiscal businesses, for creating one to serve the region’s cannabis industry.

Marc Armstrong co-founded the Public Banking Institute.

Getting to a Renewably Powered Future

Jul 24, 2016

  Sooner or later, clean electricity will have to power our future. But that future world will be significantly different than the one we live in now. In this first of a three-part series, KRCB explores the projections of two local energy industry analysts.

Transportation is a huge consumer of oil and gas, and converting that to renewably-sourced electricity will be one of the biggest challenges we face, says Richard Heinberg. Because moving people around is just the tip of the melting iceberg.

For the first time in 20 years, a new Economic Development District has been formed in California. It’s a partnership between two North Coast counties that has quietly gathering momentum over the past couple of years.

You can find the Economic Development District's  survey here, in both English and Spanish.The deadline for completing it is April 21.

Protest and Politics at Annual Business Event

Jan 27, 2016
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  The presentation of the annual State of Sonoma County Report was enlivened this year by boisterous protests from a crowd of county workers unhappy with ongoing contract negotiations. But that wasn’t the biggest news to come out of the event.

New Year Brings Higher Minimim Wage

Dec 29, 2015

  While the "Fight for $15" continues, in an effort to support low-wage workers nationwide, California's minimum wage will see a modest increase as 2016 begins.

Supervisors Back Revised Living Wage Ordinance

Dec 8, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  After five months of further study, and a bit of tinkering, Sonoma County Supervisors have lined up behind a new Living Wage Ordinance for the firms and non-profits that contract with the county.

Supervisors Susan Gorin and James Gore comprised the Ad Hoc committee that spent much of the past several months studying and discussion the Living Wage Ordinance with a host of stakeholders. It was time well spent, says Gorin.

Homeless Encampment Relocates

Nov 17, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB News

  After 10 weeks in a parking lot next to the empty former offices of theSonoma County Water Agency, a camp of more than two dozen homeless adults made a hasty move move to a new, and much smaller site Tuesday.

The Growing “Gig Economy” in the North Bay

Oct 2, 2015

  Technology and social media are enabling freelancers and other one-person businesses to prosper and proliferate, empowering individuals and changing the nature of employment. 

  Innovative software and increased connectivity are fueling the growing Gig Economy, says analyst Steve King, but that can be a mixed blessing.

At the same time, adds Joshua Simmons, Community Manager for O'Reilly Media, social currents are driving entrepreneurial people of all ages to explore this individualized approach to work.

California Continues to Grow Green Jobs

Sep 4, 2015

  California's continued employment growth includes a significant number of "green jobs." Suzanne Potter has the numbers.

Legislature Urged to Address 'Wage Theft'

Sep 1, 2015

  Wage theft--when workers are not paid for their time on the job--is a low profile issue that involves some big numbers. Suzanne Potter reports on the campaign to get the California legislature to crack down on it.

Energy Efficiency Boosts California Economy

Aug 21, 2015

Reducing the energy used by buildings and appliances across California has saved consumers billions, while also creating jobs and stimulating other sectors of the economy. But there’s still more that needs to be done for the state to meet its long-term goals.

Supervisors Adopt Living Wage Proposal

Jun 9, 2015
Bruce Robinsoon, KRCB

  Sonoma County Supervisors have unanimously backed a $15 per “Living Wage” for workers paid directly or indirectly by the county. But it’s going take a year or more to be fully implemented.

The North Bay’s Tight Housing Market Assessed

Apr 21, 2015

Rental vacancies across the North Bay are at record lows these days, and some regional housing market observers say that’s not likely to change any time soon.

  Garrick Brown, regional vice president of research for the international commercial real estate services company DTZ, expects the Bay Area’s tight housing market will continue to put pressure on employers. Especially, he predicts for workers in the Millennial generation, whose attraction to urban centers may wane as they age.

Sonoma County’s Hunger Index

Feb 18, 2015
Redwood Empire Food Bank

 Sonoma County is widely known for the quality and variety of foods and beverages grown and produced here. But a lot of people aren’t able to enjoy that bounty. A public forum Thursday afternoon hopes to refocus attention on the problem and what can be done to address it.

 Sonoma County’s 35.5 million missed meals in 2014 is a stunningly large number. Gail Atkins, Director of Programs for the Redwood Empire Food Bank, explains how it was calculated.


The Annual State of the County Report on KRCB FM

Jan 22, 2015

  Supervisor Susan Gorin presented the annual State of the County Report this morning at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park, and KRCB was there to record it, as you can hear below.

And you can see that missing video from Gorin's address here.

Napa Rebounds From August Earthquake

Dec 10, 2014

 In less than five months, Napa has largely rebounded from the sizable earthquake that shook the area last August, even as the total damages have climbed to more than $550 million.

  Napa City Manager Mike Parness says he is pleased with the way their emergency planning helped the community respond to and cope with the 6.0 earthquake. But planning for a disaster, and actually experiencing one are two different things, so there are lessons to be drawn from what actually happened. One of them involved dealing with debris.


Getting started with Micro-loans

Nov 10, 2014

  Mico-loans are now being facilitated for start-ups and small businesses by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. But even though the amounts are modest—usually between $5000 and $25,000—the review process is rigorous.

Micro-lending in Sonoma County

Nov 7, 2014

  Most California businesses are small, with a dozen employees or less. So where can they find the funds to get started?  One new resource is being offered through the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

On the next North Bay Report, we’ll hear from the owners of two new Santa Rosa businesses that have taken advantage of this new program.  

Sonoma County Living Wage Ordinance Proposed

Sep 8, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

 A new ordinance that would set a $15 per hour minimum wage for all county workers and employees of county contractors is heading for the board of Supervisors. But even that, backers admit, won’t fully cover the cost of living here.

Equestrians as an Economic Engine

Aug 12, 2014

  A new study, to be presented to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today, computes the economic impact of horses and related businesses and activities at more than $600 million per year. We get details in this conversation with the author of that report.

The full report can be read online here.

New Arts Agency Created for Sonoma County

Jun 26, 2014

  A new county-wide arts support organization, authorized by county supervisors this week, is intended to help expand the contribution of the arts to the local economy—both businesses and non-profits.

The entire report  and action plan adopted by county supervisors this week can be read here. Financial details for local arts non-profits can be found beginning on page 24.

Wine Tasting may Soon be Allowed at Farmers Markets

Jun 13, 2014
Flickr user Michael Porter

In Wine Country, tasting opportunities seem to be here, there and everywhere. That may soon include your local farmers market. 

Go Local Updates Directory of Participants

May 12, 2014

  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.

Recruiting Bioscience Businesses

Apr 1, 2014

  With Marin leading the way, four North Bay Counties are teaming up to attract bioscience businesses to relocate. It’s a campaign intended to create jobs, provide interlocking support systems for the companies, and expand economic diversity in the region.

California's Recycling Goals Also Create Jobs

Mar 21, 2014

There are a lot of good reasons for recycling. But one that doesn’t come to mind right away is an economic impact. A new study suggests that boosting recycling also increases employment, and today we take a closer look at that connection.

Read more about this issue here.

Accelerating 'The Crash Course'

Mar 10, 2014

  Chris Martenson’s cautionary “Crash Course” on coming economic and cultural changes is packed with information, but it runs rather long. So he’s working on an abridged version, and gave some local viewers an advance look at it last week. Afterward, he talked with KRCB’s Bruce Robinson.

  Everyone will be affected by the changes Chris Martenson anticipates in his Crash Course. But he says that different generations see them quite differently.

An Upbeat Economic Forecast for 2014

Feb 20, 2014

On today’s North Bay Report, we heard from California State University Chancellor Timothy White, who was the keynote speaker at Sonoma State’s annual Economic Outlook Conference yesterday. Another regular feature at the event is the regional economic analysis and forecast delivered by Economics professor Rob Eyler. He predicted solid growth for California in 2014, with North Bay counties doing a bit better than the state as a whole.