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.

Bruce Damonte

 

From schools and potholes to deputies, libraries and ambulance service, voters in a dozen North State jurisdictions will determine the fate of local tax measures, in less than three weeks. With generally frugal local voters counties and cities may have a tough time making their case….North State Public Radio’s Marc Albert has our story. 

Five candidates competing for two seats on Butte County’s Board of Supervisors faced off in a sedate and largely civil forum Wednesday evening in Chico. Though representing different points on the political spectrum, and despite some past acrimony, there were considerable points of agreement about priorities, and the challenges facing local government. NSPR’s Marc Albert reports.  

The newly rebuilt Oroville spillway may get its first real test in coming days. The Department of Water Resources says it will open the spillway gates if the lake level rises beyond a certain point with the incoming storm. It would be the first time water is sent down the reconstructed concrete chute since the original broke apart during last year’s emergency.  

 

Mental health crisis counselors hit the streets alongside police in Chico for the first time Tuesday under an agreement with county officials.

Proud of the program but tempering expectations, Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien said the teams aren’t a panacea. The teams won’t be available 24/7 nor are they a response to recent officer involved shootings O’Brien said.

NASA

"The discussion about climate change can seem a little bit abstract sometimes. My question is: are there observable phenomena in our area that scientists can confidently attribute to climate change?" - Ken, Chico 

That’s a great question and one that perhaps is harder to answer definitively than at first glance. Science has a pretty high bar for declarative statements. That’s pretty much why gravity and evolution are often referred to as theories.

Now, we obviously lack polar ice caps or sea levels here in interior Northern California — the items typically measured, mentioned and argued over — but there are plenty of natural systems locally, and people keeping tabs.

Agriculture is huge in the North State, as are rain, snow and migrating wildlife, not to mention temperature records dating back to the late 19th century.

Officials backing a massive public works project planned for the North State are firing back after a state body’s evaluation gave the proposed Sites Reservoir dismal scores.

Backers of Sites, along with 10 of the other 11 proposals have filed official appeals with the California Water Commission, the group charged with ranking proposals vying for $2.7 billion worth of voter approved bond money for new water storage. 

Only the Nevada Irrigation District and its proposed Centennial Dam on the Bear River declined to appeal. 

Oroville’s City Council moved a baby step closer to allowing marijuana related businesses, including dispensaries, to open up shop.

Casting aside a maximum effort by religious leaders and some elected officials, the council moved forward with proposals that could lead to marijuana being available for purchase legally in Oroville for the first time.

Lengthy, and frequently contentious, officials moved the meeting to the Oroville State Theatre to accommodate a crowd of roughly 150 people, many determined to make their cases.

From a potential sales tax increase in Oroville to making showers available to those experiencing homelessness in Redding, elected officials are set to consider a number of weighty issues around the region this evening.

Oroville

In Oroville the discussion will be purely conceptual, but a bump in the sales tax rate may be on its way.

Jack Berry is an Oroville city council member.

“Well, it’s pretty much up in the air right now,” Berry said.

Last night the Chico City Council approved a deal assigning county mental health counselors to the police department, advanced a low-income housing project and moved forward with plan to relocate a major provider of homeless services.

Following negotiations with Butte County officials, the council approved a plan to assign two mental health counselors to the Chico police, with the aim of responding to calls involving persons suffering a mental break.

Michael O’Brien is chief of police.

It may be mid-winter, but Cal Fire officials are urging the public to prepare for the blazing days of summer and fall. And fire season is no joke.

California fire victims have asked for nearly $12 billion in reimbursement from insurance companies just from fires occurring between October and December, according to figures released Wednesday by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

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