Marc Albert

Reporter, Morning Edition Host

North State Public Radio reporter Marc Albert joined the staff in 2010 as a morning program host. Formerly a reporter at the Oakland Tribune, Alameda Sun, Berkeley Voice and other publications, Marc is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and attended the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. A California resident since 1987, Marc has lived in Kyoto, Japan, Georgetown, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand. He originally hails from New York City. His first public radio experience was at age 16, answering phones during pledge drives at the storied WBAI. He later served as a volunteer reporter at KUSP-Santa Cruz, WBAI-New York and KPFA-Berkeley before embarking on a decade plus sojourn in print journalism. He has proudly called Chico his home since 2008.

Clouds of magenta fire retardant rained down from Cal Fire aircraft Tuesday, as a brush fire scorched about 100 acres of rangeland north of Oroville.  

Cal Fire reported the blaze 95 percent contained by about 4 p.m.  

The fire was initially reported about three hours earlier. The fire was centered near the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Wilbur Road west of Oroville.

Seventeen years have passed since federal officials agreed to restore salmon populations on the Trinity River to levels unseen since it was dammed in the 1960s. Results have been slow. Last week we reported on the frustrations of some locals. Today, in part two, Marc Albert looks into why scientists think success hasn’t been obvious.

Marc Albert

There was still plenty of chill in the March air as about 20 locals straggled into the Junction City Grange Hall for another meeting about undoing a century and a half of damage to Trinity County’s namesake river.

Mike Dixon, implementation branch chief for the Trinity River Restoration Program, a project of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation addressed the audience:

An emergency siren will wail in Oroville at noon today, the first of what officials say will be monthly tests.

The haunting sound will blast for less than a minute according to the Department of Water Resources.

The new siren is meant to warn construction workers of an on-site emergency. The old system was destroyed during February’s near disaster. Monthly tests have been scheduled for noon on the first Friday of each month.

No, the Oroville Dam is not about to collapse.

Officials are responding to a story making the rounds on social media purporting to show that the dam could fail at any time. 

The official retort? “The dam is sound.” That’s a summary of a brief statement from the Department of Water Resources, throwing proverbial cold water on a story dated April 25, and published on the website The story claims that signs suggest that Oroville dam could fail at any moment.

An era of California history will end a year from next January when the once and current governor, Edmund Jerry Brown leaves office. And even though the next gubernatorial election is a good 16 months away, what looks like a crowd of candidates are testing the waters.

Among them, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin. Before she set off on a North State campaign swing, we reached her at her home in Davis.

As the former head of public schools from 1995 through 2002, there’s little surprising that Eastin is focused on education.

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Water, Water Everywhere: With reservoirs replenished after an epic rainy season and plenty of snow blanketing the mountains, state regulators yesterday suspended a rule requiring water districts to prove they had access to enough water to supply their customers for three years.  

The first in a series of seven public meetings concerning recovery and repair efforts at the Oroville Dam is scheduled for this afternoon in Gridley. The meetings are being hosted by the California Department of Water Resources, the entity that manages the facility. According to the DWR, the public will be invited to ask questions directly to department leaders and experts. An informational session begins at 5:30 with a presentation and question and answer period starting at 6:30. The meeting will be held at the Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley.

Faced with the choice of closing fire stations or raising taxes, Butte County Supervisors avoided making any decisions Tuesday, but did punt the toughest decision to the Chico City Council, hoping to deflect blame.

Warning of a looming budget shortfall exceeding $3 million, County Administrator Paul Hahn said all services will come under review.

“We’re not going to have a magic answer here,” Hahn said. “We’re going to have to make some significant reductions in the county’s general fund budget. And that, primarily is composed of public safety.”

Major traffic headaches in the Siskiyous where an overturned big rig has blocked all lanes of southbound Interstate 5. There is no detour available. Caltrans says they may be unable to reopen the highway before night fall. The big rig and its spilled load rest near Flume Creek in Shasta County, about six miles south of Dunsmuir.