stnorbert / Flickr, Creative Commons

A bill sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk attempts to address the long waits faced by students for counseling. If approved, Senate Bill 968 would require each University of California and California State University campus to have the equivalent of one, full time ‘mental health counselor’ for every 1,500 students.

Language in the bill claims one in four students has a diagnosable mental illness and that only 60 percent of students seek care.

Kari Greer/U.S. Forest Service

Wildfires have spread loss and misery across much of California this summer. While firefighters and weather conditions are breaking up blankets of smoke from the Carr Fire and Mendocino Complex the peak of fire season is far from over. New devastating conflagrations in coming months are almost a certainty – meaning more bad air quality likely is too.

NSPR's Marc Albert interviewed Venessa Vidovich, supervising public health nurse for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency's Communicable Disease Unit about the dangers that lurk in wildfire smoke and how best to avoid them. 

Map used courtesy of Cal Fire

On Sunday, The Mercury News published "Homes in the fire zone: Risk growing as more people move to once rural regions,” which was reported by Lisa Krieger and delved into why California’s fire seasons seem to be getting worse, and why large areas once thought nearly immune from such risks are now recognized as quite vulnerable. 

Northern California was mentioned as having many at risk communities. This included the entire City of Chico that is considered to be in the Wildland Urban Interface, defined as where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildfire. 

David A. Hoffman / Flickr, Creative Commons

Catching a wild bird and strapping a band onto its foot may not seem that revealing if you aren’t in the bird world, but for biologists at Lassen Volcanic National Park the information they collect from this type of tracking tells them a lot about the park’s condition.

Each year Lassen Volcanic National Park holds public demonstrations on bird banding, which take place the third weekend in July. This year the demonstration was led by wildlife biologist Mike Magnuson who taught people everything from how to monitor birds to how to tell if they’re male or female.

Adia White




On a dock overlooking a private lake on the outskirts of Chico, coaches from the Ability First Sports camp are teaching students adaptive water skiing. This camp is hosted at Chico State for a week every summer, and students with physical disabilities come from across the western United States to learn a number of wheelchair sports. There’s tennis, skateboarding, rugby and basketball practice. 


Adia White

Candie Siligo watched as her five-year-old son slid down the plastic water slide that parents and school staff set up at Manton Elementary to celebrate the kids’ last day of school. Many kids were running around the playground, spraying each other with squirt guns. The day seemed celebratory, though emotions ran high just under the surface. Today isn’t just the last day before summer, this school is shutting its doors permanently.  

Siligo said she and other parents wanted to make sure their kids remembered the best of Manton Elementary, before they scatter to different schools across the county next year.  

Adia White

How many ways can you start a wildfire? You may be surprised that nearly all fires are human caused. That could mean they were started by arson, but many happen by accident. Anything from a chain dragging on the ground to a lawnmower spark can start a wildfire.

PETER SIMS / Flickr, Creative Commons

“Hello, this is Lupe Green. I’m calling from Tehama County, California and my question is how is the issue of water resources for the North State being addressed? I am concerned about the availability of water in the North State over time, given climate change, droughts, increased acres of orchards, and water demands from the southern part of the state. Will the many individual water wells run dry?”

The northern Sacramento Valley is lined with walnut orchards, almond orchards and the communities we call home. All of this takes water, and a lot of it. If you rely on a well, then Lupe is right, there are a number of things that you should be concerned about; especially in an ever changing political and environmental climate. 

As the brewing trade war between the United States and China escalates, North State farmers are caught in the middle. Farmers like Bill Carriere, the CEO of Carriere Family Farms and a board member of the California Walnut Commission.

Carriere greeted me outside of his office and walnut processing facility near the small town of Glenn. In the parking lot, we watched as one of his employees loaded crates of walnuts into a semi-truck. Carriere said the truck will be driving these crates to the Port of Oakland. His company ships their walnuts to 25 different countries, including China.

Carriere Family Farms grows twelve different varieties of walnuts. They have orchards in Glenn, Butte and Colusa counties. They also buy walnuts from just under 100 other farms, all north of Sacramento and package the walnuts for global export at their processing facility.

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.”