Northern California Wildfires Community Workshop -  

WHEN: Friday October 27TH - 6:00-9:00 PM

WHERE: Grand Ballroom, DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country One DoubleTree Drive - Rohnert Park, California 94928  


The Atlas and Tubbs wildfires have ravaged Napa and Sonoma counties since October 8th. Combined, these are the deadliest and most destructive fires in the state’s history.


As the thermometer rises this summer, North Bay rivers and lakes might seem like a good place to cool off. But these warmer temperatures can also bring the threat of blue-green algae to our waterways. It contains a toxic bacteria harmful to people and animals. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Advance Health Directive Image
My Care, My Plan: Speak Up Sonoma County

My Care, My Plan, Speak Up Sonoma County is a local initiative promoting the idea of advance health care planning. Reporter Steve Mencher talked with two of the volunteers driving this effort, and learned why everyone over 18 should update their plan regularly to fit changing circumstances. 

Find out what to include in an advance health care directive in this KRCB video.

Changing How We Think About Aging

Apr 4, 2017

Don’t look now, but you’re already aging. So how are you going about it?  A science-based, musical show that is heading for Santa Rosa wants to change how we think about getting older.  Bruce Robinson has a preview.

Dr. Bill Thomas's  Changing Aging Tour will be at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa on Thursday, April 6. It's a three-part event, and visitors can attend any or all of the segments. Thomas explains how they fit together.

Tiffany Camhi

Can you remember what your school lunches were like? For many the thought can conjure up memories of bland sandwiches, dry meat meat patties and sugary juices. But with stricter food regulations and a general move towards healthy and nutritious eating those meals are poised to become a thing of the past. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi visited one North Bay school district offering a different kind of lunch.

A Summer Camp for Organ Transplant Recipients

Jul 21, 2016
Rhian Miller, KRCB

  Life is often more complicated for kids who have had an organ transplant. But a special camp in the hills of western Sonoma County brings them together for a few days each summer. Reporter Rhian Miller visited their annual session this week.

The Annual Solid Organ Transplant Camp by Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford –its official name—wraps up this year’s session on Saturday.

Caring for Aging Parents

Jun 27, 2016

  Taking care of aging parents is complicated, both medically and emotionally.  A new how-to handbook offers some practical advice.

There are myriad challenges involved in caring for parents whose health issues increase as they get older. One of the biggest, says eldercare specialist Kira Reginato, can be persuading seniors to accept home help workers.

  Reginato says she wrote Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents largely out of her own experience, but it’s not meant to be an all-inclusive guide.

Living With Parkinson's Disease

Apr 4, 2016

  Living with Parkinson’s Disease isn’t easy, but sometimes the progression of the neuro-degenerative disease can be slowed down for years. We hear from someone who is doing that on today’s North Bay Report.

For most people, getting a Parkinson’s diagnosis would be devastating news. But his case, says Evan henry, was a little different.

  Exercise is widely considered one of the most effective responses to Parkinson’s Disease, says Henry. And that can take many forms. 

Revised Tobacco Sellers Licensing Measure Approved

Mar 29, 2016
CA Department of Public Health

  On a third attempt, Sonoma County Supervisors yesterday approved a new ordinance that will require sellers of tobacco products to be licensed. The measure is meant to curtail youths’ access to cigarettes, and reduce the number who start smoking before age 18.

Turning Wine Waste into Healthy Snacks

Mar 1, 2016

  It has to be used sparingly, but flour made from dried grape skins and seeds is both healthy and nutritious. And it’s starting to catch on.

The first local commercial use of grape skin flour was in making gluten-free cookies,  recalls Tom Keener, co-founder of Wild California.

Health Benefits Discovered in Wine Waste

Feb 29, 2016

If red wine is good for your heart, that’s mostly due to a compound called resveratrol, which is found in the skins of red grape varietals.  But new research suggests that powdered white grape skins may be even more beneficial.

Torey Arvick, chief scientist for WholeVine is persuaded that their testing has verified the superior health benefits of chardonnay grape flour over red varietals.

Making Better Use of Wine Waste

Feb 27, 2016
The Royal Journal of Green Chemistrty

For every pallet of wine produced in California, there is a small mountain of grape waste, called pomace. In our modern age of sustainability, new efforts are being made to find constructive uses for that byproduct.

Food products weren't what WholeVine was created to investigate, says Chief Science Officer Torey Arvick.

Their first products were cooking oils, cold-pressed from pomace that was differentiated by varietal. Arvick says the differences of the grape types remain distinctive in the oils.

Aging in America is Changing

Feb 24, 2016

  Longevity and the changing nature of retirement was a central topic at the annual Economic Outlook Conference at Sonoma State Wednesday morning. But a short-term look at the local economy was part of the program, too.

 As the remainder of the demographic bulge known as Baby Boomers head into retirement, Age Wave CEO Ken Dychtwald says they are increasingly redefining that that means.


Anti-aging Drug Development is an Uncertain Path

Feb 22, 2016

  A new biotechnology that targets certain cells apparently associated with aging holds promise for drugs that could increase human “health-spans.” But the Marin-based start-up that is out to pursue that approach faces long odds for success.

  Beyond their initial focus on osteoarthritis, Unity Biotechnology co-founder Judith Campisi anticipates that their approach of selectively eliminating senescent cells can eventually be applied to a broad array of maladies associated with aging.



Cells May Hold a Key to Aging

Feb 21, 2016


Researchers in Novato and elsewhere may have found a way to slow aging in human tissues. The concept is so promising that a new biotech start-up has been launched to put it into practice.

Once the senescent cells are dead, explains Campisi, the body has natural mechanisms to dispose of them.

Tick Borne Diseases

Feb 9, 2016


  Rain means Tick season in Northern CA, which brings the risk of Lyme disease... and more. Researchers in Hopland have recently identified two new tick-borne diseases, bringing the total found there to eight. Reporter Valerie Kim has details.

Health Games -- Innovation or Fad?

Dec 29, 2015

Medical professionals are increasingly using games in their efforts to make people healthier. Is the trend here to stay?

The games take many forms and are designed to address a host of conditions: from asthma to diabetes, depression or stroke. In fact, your doctor may soon be suggesting health games as a way to improve your well being.

Re-introducing Medicinal Herbs

Nov 11, 2015

After a lifetime of studying, growing, and teaching the use of medicinal herbs, Rosemary Gladstar is going back to basics in her latest book.

After working with medicinal herbs for more than 40 years now, Rosemary Gladstar is more convinced than ever of their importance and efficacy.

Activism as a Key to Improving Latinos’ Health

Oct 15, 2015

  Improving community health requires political participation. That was the theme of this year’s Latino Health Conference, which used the Portrait  of Sonoma County as its starting point.

At the Forum, Dr. George Flores from the California Endowment also noted the critical importance of reaching out to the current generation of Latino youth.

  One way to increase such engagement, suggested Oscar Chavez, is to take a cross-generational approach.

Grants Boost Food Stamp Use at Farm Markets

Oct 7, 2015

There are 4.4 million food stamp recipients in California, and the participants in that program, now known as Cal Fresh are now able to use their benefits at many local farm markets. A new series of federal grants is out to expand those opportunities.

  It took some time for the use of electronic CalFresh cards to become easy and widespread in California, says Martin Borque, Executive Director of the Ecology Center in Berkeley. But that use was accelerated by some carefully negotiated measures to hold costs down.

Pinkwashing in Alcohol Beverage Advertising

Sep 12, 2015
Alcohol Justice

  Alcoholic beverages are known to contribute to breast cancer. Yet some of those same products are associating themselves with fundraising campaigns to promote awareness and treatment of breast cancer. A new study examines that inherent contradiction.

Sarah Mart’s study is published in the peer-reviewed journal, Addiction. You can read an online  summary here.

When the Inside Air is a Health Hazard

Aug 26, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

 What can be done when the air inside a child’s home is a hazard to his health? A team of inspectors and builders visited one such home recently, in search of answers—and found some.  KRCB’s Bruce Robinson reports.

Assessing Indoor Air Quality

Aug 25, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Indoor air quality problems can be a serious health concern, but they are invisible, and often hard to detect or trace.  On today’s North Bay Report, Bruce Robinson tags along as an old and heavily used building gets checked out by specialized environmental inspectors.

Gaining in the Fight Against AIDS

Jul 12, 2015

The AIDS epidemic of the 1990s and before has slowed considerably in Sonoma County, and survivors are now living much longer. But that doesn’t mean the risk of the disease has gone away.

The recent decrease in new HIV/AIDS diagnoses is not yet statistically significant, says Sonoma County’s Deputy Health Officer, Karen Holbrook. But it is consistent with some longer-term trends.

Another trend, notes Face to Face Executive Director Rick Dean, is increasing life expectancy for those who have a positive diagnosis.

Landpaths Introduces ‘TrekSonoma’ Outings

Jun 25, 2015

  Landpaths is one of several local groups that is active in preserving and protecting scenic and unspoiled properties across Sonoma County. But they are also committed to getting people out on those lands, and will introduce a new series of extended outings later this summer.

Hiking across the countryside as part of a small group, says Landpaths Executive Director Craig Anderson, becomes a collective experience, which is quite different from traveling alone or with just one or two other people. 

  A new model for integrating adults with developmental disabilities into their surrounding communities has them living with willing families and becoming part of the household. California Mentor is the progam making that happen here in the North Bay.

Not only is there a growing number of clients hoping to find a Mentor household to join, but Adam Barngraff, program manager for California Mentor in their Napa office, explains that they try to have several options to offer each client.

Responding to Pollution's Health Impacts

May 13, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Science has shown that the trigger for cancer and other serious illnesses is often exposure to something harmful in the world around us. But translating that knowledge into protective public policy remains difficult. In this report, we hear from someone deeply engaged in that struggle.

Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences

Apr 23, 2015

  ACEs—Adverse Childhood Experiences—have been identified as a frequent root cause of poor health and bad behaviors. Now, efforts to lessen their long-term consequences are beginning to take hold.

   Recently, Jane Stevens has applied her journalism skills and background to the creation of a pair of online resources about ACES. The website Aces Too High, she explains, is intended for the general public, while ACES Connection is meant for social service and other professionals.

Kaiser Announces Large-scale Autism Study

Apr 13, 2015

Kaiser Permanente is launching a large-scale genetic study of children on the autism spectrum and their parents, in hopes of unraveling the factors causing the disorder, and recent increases in the rate of diagnoses. 

   The new study, getting underway this summer, will collect genetic information from approximately 5000 individuals with autism, plus both their parents, Lead researcher, Dr. Lisa Croen, says the scale of this effort will enable them to seek correlations among the patient population being studied.

'Big Data' Aids Flu Predictions

Jan 30, 2015
Flickr user William Brawley

 It's the height of flu season and public health officials want to know where it's headed next. On today's North Bay Report we learn of a project to use "Big Data" to improve estimates of flu trends.