North Bay News

News for and about Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties

On September 10th and 12th Sonoma County will test emergency alert and warning systems. During this testing period, residents and visitors may receive a phone call, an alert on their mobile device, or experience interruptions in local radio and television. After the tests, Sonoma County Emergency Management will study any gaps in the existing systems and make improvements for a safer, more prepared County.

California Update for Friday, August 3, 2018

Aug 3, 2018
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

• To fully repeal Obama-era car emissions standards, the Trump administration first must strip California of a long-held right.

• With large leads in both polls and fundraising, Democrat Gavin Newsom is signaling that he’ll only hold one general election debate against Republican John Cox in the California governor’s race.

Today' reporting by Ben Bradford and Ben Adler.

Mendocino Complex fires August 2, 2018
San Francisco Chronicle

Containment lines are growing around the Mendocino Complex Fires, but thousands of homes are still threatened. Firefighters are concerned because a red flag warning is in effect over part of the weekend.

Reporter Adia White spoke with Cal Fire's Public Information Officer Tricia Austin for an update.

Keep an eye on local fires with the San Francisco Chronicle's interactive fire tracker.

On Friday, August 3, 2018, the final active shooter training exercise will take place at Piner High School in Santa Rosa starting at 8:30am and ending at approximately 5:00pm.

“This training has proven to be invaluable and has greatly prepared all of us for an active shooter incident,” explains SRPD Sergeant Robert Reynolds. “The police department, fire department and our EMS partners will continue to work together in the future. A special thank you to the Santa Rosa City Schools for their support and allowing us to use Piner High School as the training site.”

NWS Sacramento

The Mendocino Complex fires have consumed 110,166 acres and destroyed a combined 14 residences and 24 outbuildings. 12,200 structures remain under threat. The larger of the two fires, the Ranch Fire, is burning northeast of Ukiah and is 33 percent contained. The River Fire is burning near Hopland is 50 percent contained.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento has issued a Red Flag Warning, which is in effect from 11:000 am Friday to 11:00 pm PDT Saturday. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Efforts to put a rent control initiative on the November ballot have fallen short in Santa Rosa. Organizers did not gather a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters. Rent control was one of many subjects at a recent meeting of the Alliance for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery.

Reporter Adia White tells us more about the hopes of several speakers at the event, who believed that rent control might have helped residents who struggle to stay in the area after the recent wildfires.

California Update for Thursday, August 2, 2018

Aug 2, 2018
Don Thompson / AP

• Governor Brown advocates for limiting power companies’ liability when their equipment causes the fires.


• Women’s health groups in California say expecting mothers with low-risk pregnancies should think twice before opting for a caesarean section.

Today's reporting by Ben Bradford and Sammy Caiola.

Coffey Strong
Diane Askew

After the devastating October wildfires, communities across the North Bay are grappling with how to rebuild in a way that is fair, just and efficient.  Several community organizations, working under the umbrella of the Alliance for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery and Rebuild, hosted a meeting on July 19 to talk about using the reconstruction efforts to improve the lives of all North Bay residents.

California Update for Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Aug 1, 2018
Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

• Following nine years of research, the state's water board has proposed to increase water flows in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. The board says this will prevent an ecological crisis including the total collapse of fisheries.

Today's reporting by Nadine Sebai and Ezra David Romero.

• More than half a million heavy-duty trucks made by Cummins will be recalled nationwide due to excessive emissions

Today's reporting by Nadine Sebai and Ezra David Romero.

Adia White
Steve Mencher / KRCB - Northern California Public Media

We've added a new, full-time reporter to the news department here at KRCB. Adia White comes to us from Chico, where she's covered local news, including California's deadly and unpredictable fires.

She tells us about what she'll be keeping an eye on in the coming months, in conversation with KRCB news director Steve Mencher.

California Update for Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jul 31, 2018
Noah Berger / AP Photo

• Fire crews are having some success keeping the Carr Fire from returning to the city of Redding.


• As California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown debate who should pay for the billions of dollars in wildfire damages striking the state, Californians might wonder how much government help is available to rebuild their homes. The answer? Not much.

Today's reporting by April Ehrlich (Jefferson Public Radio) and Ben Adler.

• Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer has a new tell-all book that spills the beans on the Trump administration’s true beliefs about the LGBT community.


• Guerneville men have been found guilty of stealing the pride flag from the downtown plaza.  Both received probation and community service hours cleaning the river. 


• The annual Lazy Bear weekend starts this Wednesday in Guerneville.  Keep your eye out for bears, cubs, and otters arriving in Guerneville from all over the country.

California Update for Monday, July 30, 2018

Jul 30, 2018

• In Redding, anxious residents waited for word about their homes and—in at least one case—loved ones.

Today's reporting by Bob Moffitt.

California Update for Friday, July 27, 2018

Jul 27, 2018

• President Trump has authorized 12 billion dollars in temporary aid for farmers as the U.S. continues to negotiate trade deals with major importers. The relief package has pros, and cons, for the California dairy industry.


• California Governor Jerry Brown Thursday declared a state of emergency for Shasta, Mariposa and Riverside counties. Three wildfires are threatening seven thousand homes in California.

Wendy Wheelwright
Steve Mencher / KRCB - North Bay Public Media

(Editor's note: This week, Kaiser Permanente announced a million dollar grant to keep the HOPE project going well into 2019. Our original story ran in June)  

California Update for Thursday, July 26, 2018

Jul 26, 2018

• Democratic challenger Jessica Morse claimed in a misleading and inaccurate tweet that California Rep. Tom McClintock has authored only "three laws since he's been in office." 

Find more Politifact California fact checks HERE.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols.

SOFA district
Sonoma County

Santa Rosa is among 14 finalists for a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies that challenges cities to bring art and artists into a public conversation about civic life.

The city will apply for $350,000 for its project to embed artists in four city agencies. KRCB news director Steve Mencher spoke with Tara Thompson, the city's arts coordinator about the opportunity.

The application is due in August. Decisions will be revealed in November for projects due to start in July, 2019.

California Update for Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Jul 25, 2018
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

• As wildfires increasingly scorch California year after year, state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown are debating who should be liable for the billions of dollars of damages.


• The California State Auditor's new report says 86 cases reached the point where investigations were necessary. Of those, it gave seven examples of extreme abuse by state employees.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Randol White.

California Update for Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jul 24, 2018

• California’s agriculture sector contributed approximately 8 percent of statewide greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. The report from the Air Resources Board named livestock as the main contributor.

• California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that gives proponents of local ballot measures the same opportunity to negotiate deals as backers of statewide initiatives.

Today's reporting by Nadine Sebai and Ben Adler.

Homeless person in doorway
Born1945 via Flickr

To better understand the housing crisis in our region, KZYX in Mendocino County is putting a human face on homelessness. Reporter Sarah Reith is listening to people who are unhoused and sharing their stories. We’ll begin today with Sean Jarstrom. He’s recently sober and just wants a little understanding. 

• Democrats in Congress introduce a bill to ban the use of the “gay panic defense” in federal courts. 

• Leaders of the Episcopal Church approves same-sex marriages through the Episcopal Church organization here in the U.S..


• California Governor Jerry Brown signs legislation authored by Assembly Member Evan Low that makes June officially and legally “Pride Month” in California each year.

Outbeat News can be heard Sunday nights at 8:00 pm as part of Outbeat Radio on KRCB FM Radio 91.

California Update for Monday, July 23, 2018

Jul 23, 2018

• Ballot measure campaigns to repeal the gas tax and to make it easier for cities to expand rent control are raising millions of dollars in contributions. We’ll take a look at the early cash haul.

• California’s unemployment rate remains at a record low of 4.2 percent in the latest jobs report out Friday. But a closer look shows 2018 has not exactly been a banner year for the state’s labor market.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Ben Adler.

California Update for Friday, July 20, 2018

Jul 20, 2018
Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

• Premiums in California’s individual marketplace will increase for the fifth consecutive year, due in part to federal changes and a predicted departure of healthy consumers.

• A new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday requires vote-by-mail ballots to come with prepaid postage.

Today's reporting by Sammy Caiola and Ben Adler.

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Enthusiasts
Steve Mencher / KRCB - North Bay Public Media

The Sonoma City Council will be talking about cannabis at its Monday July 23 meeting. On the agenda – a citizen petition to hold a referendum making sale for recreational and medical use legal in the town.

A month ago about 50 folks gathered at the Sonoma Grille to talk about cannabis. They were united by their interest in the plant – with a focus on the business of pot.

Our news director Steve Mencher was there as organizer Michael Coats kicked off the meeting of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Enthusiasts.

Searching for the Gold Spot
Photo provided

Fires bring death and destruction, as anyone who has lived in Sonoma County can attest. But filmmaker Maya Khosla, whose documentary "Searching for the Gold Spot" plays on KRCB TV 22 August 7 at 9 p.m., discovered that fire also brings new life.

She spoke with KRCB news director Steve Mencher about the film and her related work as Sonoma County's poet laureate.

Watch the trailer for "Searching for the Gold Spot: The Wild After Wildfire"

California Update for Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jul 19, 2018

• The California Supreme Court has removed from the November ballot a measure that would have asked voters if the state should be divided into thirds.

• Democrats are touting fundraising numbers for their Congressional candidates, which they say shows greater enthusiasm than among Republicans.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Ben Bradford.

California Update for Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Jul 18, 2018

• Are there limits on smoking pot at a private residence? Where else is it legal to light up? PolitiFact California tackles these questions in an update on what’s legal and what’s not under state’s marijuana law.

Find more Politifact California fact checks HERE.


• Fires are raging across California with a blaze near Yosemite among the largest at the moment. It's only 5% contained.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Ezra David Romero.

Birds flying
Jim Morris, California Rice Commission

Lisa Morehouse has been traveling throughout the state of California, looking for stories to tell about food and the environment. Those tales have been featured on public radio station KQED and now are coming together in the "California Foodways" podcast.

It's the surprises that are the most fun for any storyteller. For example, Morehouse learned that rice farmers and bird lovers have common goals in the rice bowl of California's Central Valley.

California Update for Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Jul 17, 2018
Andrew Bowen / Capital Public Radio

• California state Senator Kevin de León got an endorsement from the state Democratic Party over the weekend. But it might not bring De León as much help as his backers hope.

• When lawmakers return in August, Governor Jerry Brown will have one more month to pass a bill to regionalize California's electrical grid.

Today's reporting by Ben Adler and Ben Bradford.