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.

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.

Calling for cooperation and united purpose, while still throwing red meat to core supporters, President Trump earned high praise from local Republican leaders and scorn from local Democrats as he delivered his first State of the Union Address Tuesday.

For Congressman Doug LaMalfa who represents most of the North State's interior, President Trump hit all the high notes.

“All in all it was, I think a really great effort tonight and I think laid things out in a common sense manner,” he said. 

Meanwhile Democrats heard much to be alarmed over.

Marc Albert

 

According to the old saw, in California, whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting. 

 

And the fighting never seems to stop. 

 

Last night, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation held the final of three mandatory meetings to collect public comment on a new initiative announced in the fall: maximizing the amount of water delivered to San Joaquin Valley agriculture and cities farther south, maximizing electricity generated by hydropower at California’s dams and re-evaluating protections and consideration for creatures deemed threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. 

 

Marc Albert

So packed was the room, that forty minutes into the meeting, aspiring candidates had to prop open both doors to the outside with garbage cans to let in the cool night air.

Coming less than a week after the national Women’s March buoyed opponents to President Trump, enthusiasm was high at the Chico library where the crowd gathered to parse four prospective Democrats looking to win the seat of California’s 1st Congressional District.

There was the attorney from Auburn, Jessica Holcombe:

“They’re stealing from us! They’re taking our Medicare, they are taking our Medicaid, and we know that Social Security is on the chopping block.” 

After a weekend of suspense over the government shutdown, brinkmanship in Washington is on pause, if only for a couple of weeks.

After all the hoopla, North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa, was breathing an exhausted sigh of relief.

“It’s good to finally be past this silly, 72 hour mess,” he said.

But as the ink dries on this latest continuing resolution, the issues surrounding the impasse remain. LaMalfa had little praise for the process.

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