The Union’s new sitcom: At home with the Kellars and Hemigs

The husband of the city editor of The Union is giving his spouse’s boss, Jim Hemig, some cover in the newspaper’s editorial pages this weekend — without even disclosing the relationship to readers.

“Regarding publisher Jim Hemig’s editorial ‘Homeless Lives Matter,’ I’m thankful for The Union’s desire to keep the local homeless issue on a front burner following Dr. Marbut’s presentation at Center for the Arts,” Kellar writes.

There is no mention of the rancor and polarization caused when some prominent housing experts were not included in The Union’s “town hall” forum or some of the misinformation in The Union about homelessness.

Besides Dr. Marbut, “the traveling homeless consultant,” our local experts include Hospitality House Executive Director Cindy Maple; Michael Heggarty, the Director of the Health and Human Services Agency; local public health officials and others.

“It seems obvious this will require city and county financial commitment and leadership,” Tom writes —ignoring that there already is city and county financial commitment and leadership.

All the details from the Rood Center are here in a memo that the Rood Center actually prepared for The Union — and should have been published in full in the newspaper.

This has not gone unnoticed. I have heard “electeds,” government leaders and homeless experts complain about The Union’s poor handling of this issue.

The “Other Voices” that ran at the top of the Op-Ed page is signed “Tom Kellar is a housing specialist with Hospitality House at Utah’s Place in Grass Valley.”

But there is no mention that Tom is married to The Union’s City Editor Liz Kellar.

Podunk. For background, “Ethical journalism: A Handbook of Values and Practices for the News and Editorial Departments” is here.

A video of “It’s a Small World” is here:

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.

One thought on “The Union’s new sitcom: At home with the Kellars and Hemigs”

  1. BTW, The Union seems to pick and choose on this front when it suits the management.
    In 2014, this disclaimer was added to the bottom of an article: (Editors note: Tom Kellar is married to The Union City Editor Liz Kellar.) http://www.theunion.com/news/13985364-113/spittler-kellar-thankful-hospitality

    Yet it was left out in this case, when the conflict was much more of an issue (praising your spouse’s boss). Podunk journalism with a capital “p.”

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