Conversations on Race Series Addresses Policy Reform (Aired: September 3, 2020)

Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County has been hosting weekly conversations to discuss racism in our community.  In Monday’s conversation, CAP’s Communications Manager, Marcus Clarke, spoke with Sheba Person-Whitley, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. In this excerpt, Clarke asks Person-Whitley what it means to fight for equity in a County that considers itself liberal and inclusive.

Kaiser Begins Phase 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Trial in Northern California (Aired: August 28, 2020)

Northern California residents can now join the efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Kaiser Permanente began recruiting participants for an advancedclinical vaccine trial at the beginning of August. Dr. Nicola (NICK-oh-la) Klein, director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center spoke with KRCB’s Adia White. Adia starts by asking what happens during a so-called “phase three” trial, and when a safe and effective vaccine might be ready for general use.

For more local coronavirus updates, visit

(Photo: Dr. Nicola Klein – Kaiser Permanente) 

Crew Shortage Reveals California’s Reliance on Incarcerated Firefighters (Aired: August 27, 2020)

California’s efforts to fight destructive fires across the state were hampered this year by an unexpected circumstance.  Coronavirus precautions made inmate crews a less reliable source of labor.   This system has long been criticized as their pay typically tops out at a few dollars per hour. Some describe it as “slave labor.”  Nor Cal Public Assistant News Director Adia White spoke with KQED Science Reporter Kevin Stark about the issue. 

Read Kevin Stark’s article, Shortage of Inmate Firefighters Hampers Response in Bay Area”

(Photo: Incarcerated firefighters clear brush in Santa Barbara – U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Brian Ferguson) 

Timely Film Tells Story of Napa, Sonoma Essential Workers (Aired: August 26, 2020)

In a film now available on the web and through KQED’s series Truly, CA, Eva Rendle explores the aftermath of the 2017 Wine Country Fires, and their impact on agricultural workers and others at the bottom of the pay scale in our divided and unequal community.  KRCB news director Steve Mencher spoke with the filmmaker about what she learned. She has moved to Colorado, where she continues to work on socially relevant documentaries.

Farmworkers Risk Hazardous Air to Continue the Harvest (Aired: August 25, 2020)

Fire Cam 1The LNU Lightning Complex Fires broke out in Napa and Sonoma Counties during this year’s peak grape harvest season. Reports are now surfacing that vineyard workers are being asked to continue the harvest despite poor air quality. KRCB’s Adia White spoke with Omar Paz, Lead Organizer of North Bay Jobs with Justice about health and safety concerns for agricultural workers. 

Report workplace violations by calling the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health at (707) 649-3700.

(Photo: A view of the wildfire smoke blanketing Healdsburg – Via

Board of Supervisors Rejects County Sheriff’s Request to Fund Legal Services (Aired: August 14, 2020)

Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick requested $50,000 from the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday for legal services. Essick intended to explore the legality of a ballot measure aimed at strengthening oversight of his office. KRCB’s Adia White reports.  

Read more about the Board of Supervisors’ discussion in the North Bay Bohemian article, “Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff’s Association Mull Legal Action Over Ballot Measure.”

Learn more about the Evelyn Cheatham Ordinance in this January interview with Attorney Jerry Threet and KRCB’s Adia White. Threet is one of the authors of the ordinance and the former director of the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach.

(Photo: Sheriff Mark Essick at the special meeting on August 12 – County of Sonoma)  

Community Action Partnership Hosts Discussion on Law Enforcement Accountability (Aired: August 13, 2020)

We’re in the midst of a national debate about law enforcement oversight and accountability. That was the subject of this week’s edition of the virtual “Community Conversations on Race”. These interactive panels have been presented by local nonprofit Community Action Partnership.

In this excerpt, Moderator Mary Watts Sparks asks Black Lives Matter organizer Amber Lucas and Santa Rosa Police Chief Ray Navarro to share their thoughts.

(Photo: A Black Lives Matter protest in Sonoma – Diane Askew)

CEO Discusses Racism and Starting a Sonoma County Business (Aired: August 11, 2020)

Every Monday, the Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County hosts a community conversation on race. On July 27, the conversation focused on the experience of local Black business owners and influences. In this excerpt, moderator Joy Dehnert asked Letitia Hanke about the barriers she’s faced as CEO of her own roofing company in Santa Rosa. 

You can hear the entire conversation with Joy Dehnert, Letitia Hanke, Amber Lucas, and Malia Anderson HERE

Local High Schoolers Are Finalists in NPR Podcast Contest (Aired: August 6, 2020)

Back for its second year, the NPR Student Podcast Challenge wrapped up in June.

Among two thousand entries in grades 5 thru twelve, the story of Popo the Clown, a local entertainer, rose to be one of only 25 finalists, although it didn’t win one of the two top awards.

NPR’s website celebrates the work, produced by students at St. Helena High School, as a “witty and poignant conversation” that “helped the students say goodbye to high school in preparation for life beyond.” The production work was completed during the pandemic, and sounds fully professional. Advising the students was teacher Elizabeth Ganshorn.

News Director Steve Mencher talked with two of the producers, Reid Ivanoff and Josie Goldfarb. 

School Re-Openings Around the County (Aired: August 5, 2020)

Our friends at Sonoma West publishers are a unique local resource. For years, they produced newspapers that reflected life in the towns of Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Windsor and West Sonoma County. Now only the Healdsburg paper continues in print, while the others live as digital information sources. 

At NorCal Public Media, we’re partnering with Sonoma West to take advantage of their unparalleled expertise and access. For example, when we wanted to find out about the current state of school re-openings, we knew exactly who to ask.  

From Katherine Minkiewicz, Zoë Strickland, and Heather Bailey, here’s a round robin update on Sonoma County schools in their respective coverage areas.

Find links to the individual publications at You’ll also find to ways you can get involved with Sonoma West’s journey to become a nonprofit news source.

(Photo: Brent Keane – Pexels)