Our “non-stakeholders” when it comes to raising and attracting families in our towns

Neither The Union publisher Jim Hemig (a small-town newspaper publisher struggling with the onslaught of social media) nor hard-right political blogger George Rebane (a retiree and political activist) are raising children in our towns — and it shows. But neither are short on expressing opinions (in the newspaper or KVMR) that undermine those who are working hard to raise children in a rural town. It shows a real lack of community leadership.

In his column this morning Jim, who is seeking to capitalize on the efforts to legalize marijuana with publications like Nevada County Cannibus, glorifies big illegal marijuana grows, visiting one under blindfold and writing about “normal” families who just happen to be growing 36 marijuana plants. (Read “Can pot ads save newspapers”?)

Jim is ignoring what I hear from high-school and middle-school parents and teachers all the time: Children who come to school reeking of marijuana. Perhaps Jim ought to agree to be “black boxed” at a school instead of an illegal marijuana grow to report on that. It’s a pragmatic problem, dealing with marijuana in our schools — not a “growth business” for newspapers.

Meanwhile, our hard-right retirees/political activists — again with self-serving agendas and no children our schools — continue the drumbeat against Common Core as “experts.” KVMR has given Rebane a platform to spew his extreme views on the “news hour.”

The latest is a political diatribe against Common Core — the latest battering-ram of tea party extremists. George is a rabid political ideologue and his focus is political (AKA “the administration joining with progressive activists”).

Not once in his KVMR diatribe does Rebane mention the word “parents” (the other “p” word when it comes to education). That’s highly revealing.

KVMR’s listeners would have benefitted from hearing about “A Parent’s Guide to Common Core State Standards” rather than Rebane’s diatribe. It gives an objective overview of Common Core as well as resources for parents.

“One unique aspect of the new assessment system is that it is both computer-based and computer-adaptive, providing a wider range of questions and allowing parents and teachers to more accurately identify the knowledge and critical thinking skills students have mastered,” as Holly Hermansen, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools has said.

Attracting and retaining families is a major goal of our economic-development strategy: “Aging Millennials (late 20s to mid-30s) participating with existing or emerging families located in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley or Southern California areas.”

But we’re going to need some local leadership to make that happen. Neither Hemig (in The Union) nor Rebane (on KVMR) are providing it.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

6 thoughts on “Our “non-stakeholders” when it comes to raising and attracting families in our towns”

  1. If we’re going to have an intelligent discussion the first step is to get rid of labels (calling names) to distract (nullify) the discussion. It’s a pschycological technique to disqualify all opinions that don’t agree with the agenda of the labeller. I like to read what others have to say, from their experience. All of us have had experiences that others have no idea about, and it’s nice to realize the world isn’t limited to what we think we know. Mr. Rebane isn’t “hard right.” In fact, his website provides a wonderful place for discussion. Some people have problems displaying bad manners that also distract from intelligent discussion….but Mr. Rebane eventually diverts attention back to the subject. Calling names not only distracts but makes the caller appear dishonest.

    1. I agree with much of what is being said here however the name calling began on the hard right blogs including Mr. Rebane’s. He has the power to delete the nastiness (as I’ve seen Jeff do here) but lets it run for a bit before he steps in. I also understand that a person will only put up with the bullying for so long before they stand up to the bullies. It doesn’t make the situation any better to be sure but it is human nature.

  2. George Rebane holds extreme rightwing views, just like the Tea Party Patriots and Sue McGuire (Bonnie’s daughter), who ran unsuccessfully for County Supervisor (against a conservative) and Sue was endorsed by George. It is a very small world on George’s blog. George also does not moderate the personal attacks on his blog. In some cases, it has led to threats of litigation based on false, malicious statements.

  3. More insight into The Union’s professionalism. LOL:

    “It could have also cost me money. I’ve never told anybody this, but there’s a clause in my contract with The Union that stipulates a bonus at the end of the year if Jeffy rips me a specific number of times. I won’t reveal the magic number, but he needs to pick up the pace.

    “I’m confident Jeffy will come through in the clutch.

    Posted by: George Boardman | 06 November 2015 at 02:02 PM”

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