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.