WatchSonoma Watch

Labor group won’t back Assembly candidate in primary

(Left to right) Eric Carlstrom, Diana Conti, Marc Levine.

More than 60,000 union members living in the North Bay are expected to receive a slate mailer in the coming weeks bearing recommendations for who they should vote for in the June primary.

A candidate endorsed by the North Bay Labor Council, in turn, can benefit from hundreds of volunteers manning phone banks, walking precincts and performing other campaign duties.

However, the council is taking what may be an unprecedented pass on endorsing in the 10th Assembly District primary, featuring incumbent Assemblyman Marc Levine, Santa Rosa Councilwoman Erin Carlstrom and Marin college trustee Diana Conti.

Marc Levine mailer calls for fracking moratorium

Marc Levine.

A mailer Assemblyman Marc Levine sent out across the North Bay last week spotlights his stance on fracking — the controversial fossil fuel drilling practice — and the source of money he used to pay for the correspondence.

State Sen. Noreen Evans’ GMO food-labeling bill clears state Senate committee (w/video)

State Sen. Noreen Evans.

Proposed legislation by state Sen. Noreen Evans requiring all foods containing genetically modified organisms to be labeled in California cleared its first hurdle Wednesday in Sacramento.

Mike McGuire leads money race in state Senate contest

Mike McGuire (PD FILE, 2012)

Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire raised $117,376 this reporting period to further boost his overwhelming financial advantage in the race for the North Coast’s state Senate seat, campaign finance records show.

Money race heats up for Assembly seat

Marc Levine.

Santa Rosa Councilwoman Erin Carlstrom raised more money this reporting period than any other candidate seeking the 10th Assembly District seat, pulling in more than $100,000 in less than three months, campaign finance records show. But Assemblyman Marc Levine maintained his formidable fundraising advantage, with $422,239 on hand as of March 17. The San Rafael Democrat reported raising $61,538 since Jan. 1.

Lawmakers join fight for Sonoma Developmental Center

The Sonoma Developmental Center is the last large undeveloped property in the Sonoma Valley. The site’s future is in doubt after a state task force in December recommended that California’s four remaining developmental centers be downsized. (CONNER JAY / The Press Democrat)

A coalition of Sonoma County government agencies and environmental groups is ramping up its fight to protect the Sonoma Developmental Center from development and to maintain residential care for an unspecified number of severely disabled clients.

State Sen. Noreen Evans exercising new-found stature in Legislature

The state Capitol in Sacramento

State Sen. Noreen Evans is back in a high-profile leadership role and taking on some of California’s most powerful interests with her legislative agenda, only a month after the Santa Rosa Democrat appeared to be losing political steam in Sacramento.

Assemblyman Marc Levine proposes stiffer fines for striking cyclists, others

A cyclist and cars share the lane on Point Reyes/Petaluma Road west of Petaluma. BETH SCHLANKER/PD

California drivers who hit and injure cyclists or other ‘vulnerable road users’ could be slapped with fines of up to $1,000 under legislation proposed this week by a North Coast lawmaker. The fines would represent as much as a 10-fold increase over current penalties, and according to Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, would lead to fewer collisions between bikes and vehicles.

San Jose mayor pitches pension changes in Santa Rosa

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed speaks during the 8th Annual CEO Summit at IBM offices in San Jose on April 22, 2011. (Associated Press)

Cities and counties need to move quickly to stem rising retirement costs before they overwhelm budgets to the point where it becomes impossible to deliver routine services, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed told the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association on Thursday.

State Sen. Noreen Evans proposes labeling GMO foods in state

Peter Breyfogle feeds his daughter, Katherine, 1, an organic package of pureed fruit and grains as Abraham Schroeder, left, feeds his son, Nathaniel, 8 months, a jar of organic pureed peas during lunch at Five Guys on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 in Petaluma. (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat)

State Sen. Noreen Evans plans to introduce legislation today that would require all foods containing genetically modified organisms to be labeled in California, a move sure to reignite a contentious and costly battle that the state’s voters last weighed in on in 2012.