The Union’s George Boardman’s “modest proposal”

An excerpt from George Boardman’s column this week:

“If we’re going to permit just about anybody to buy assault rifles and 30-round magazines, we can expect more mass shooting. And as Sutherland Spring and Rancho Tehama show, any place can be turned into a killing field. Even Grass Valley and Nevada City.

“Which leads me to this modest proposal: As a public service, everybody in the western county with a concealed weapon permit should post his or her social schedule where everybody can read it: What restaurant they’re planning to patronize, what movie they’re going to see, or perhaps a family outing to Western Gateway Park or a concert at Music in the Mountains.

“That way, the rest of us will know what venues will be populated by good men with guns. You know, just in case …

There, don’t you feel safer already?”

The Union columnist Boardman: Cited more for p.r. than journalism

This is a hoot! From an article in The Union back in 2004. George’s p.r. experience is cited more than his journalism experience:

“George Boardman, a veteran journalist and public-relations professional, has been named business reporter for The Union.

“In 2001 and 2002, Boardman served as assistant city editor for The Union. He previously served as a copy editor for the Independent Newspaper Group in the San Francisco Peninsula.

“His extensive resume also includes stints as business editor and city editor for the San Mateo Times in the early 1970s. He worked in public relations for a variety of businesses in the 1980s and worked as a public-relations writer and consultant through much of the 1990s.

“In recent months, he has contributed several free-lance articles for The Union.

“A San Francisco native, Boardman is married to Mimi Boardman, a co-owner of the Stonehouse Restaurant in Nevada City.”

Will The Union’s George Boardman match my $100 donation to Bear River High journalism?

As regular readers here know, George Boardman sold stock when Donald Trump was elected president. He wrote: “After learning Sunday that the Trump mask is the most popular political mask this Halloween, I sold the rest of our stocks this morning. We decided around Labor Day that if Clinton wasn’t a clear winner two weeks before election day, we would sell our stocks so that we are in cash election day. I hope I’m not in a position to say I told you so when the markets close Nov. 11.”

Ouch! As Jim Cramer of TheStreet.com notes: ” the S&P 500 index is up 21 percent since Trump’s election.” (Though he correctly notes, “None of these moves are about Trump.”)

So much for George’s financial acumen!

Still, I was glad to see him make a plug for Bear River High’s effort to take students to the National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco next April.

I donated $100 to this cause, wrote about it on my blog, and — when contacted — suggested to the journalism teacher that she contact Publisher Don Rogers or Editor Brian Hamilton to write about it in their columns.

So lo and behold, it appeared in Boardman’s column. Whatever. So here’s my challenge  to George Boardman: Match or exceed my $100 donation! I’ll match whatever you contribute over $100 up to $3,500. (The goal of the campaign is $8,820 and $1,050 has been raised so far).

This should be a “no brainer” for George, because he lives in Bear River High “territory,” that is Lake of the Pines. He should want to donate money to help make his local high school sustainable.

Come on, George, we’re counting on you!

 

George Boardman “getting serious about his responsibility to the public”?

I laugh out loud when I read George Boardman’s column in The Union. This blog has repeatedly pointed to his errors, corrections, misjudgments and on and on — as have The Union readers and others.

His column ought to be renamed “Mr. Incompetence.”

So it makes me laugh when he stands on his podunk little soapbox to wag his finger at Facebook, Google and Twitter, as he did in his column this week.

George once crowed about selling his stocks before Trump was elected. (Since then the stock market —including “FANG,” short for Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google —has roared higher). You have to wonder if he’s a little bitter — or if this curmudgeon ever owned them.

Then Boardman wraps up his column throwing mudballs at the local GOP, who took him to task for being a simpleton. Boardman did the same with SYRCL. But he doesn’t address the meat of their concerns: That his comments were “incomplete and inflammatory” — a common criticism of Boardman’s columns.

Replacing a “pseudo-millennial” column with one from a real millennial

I laughed out loud when I read The Union weekly columnist George Boardman’s column this week. George has more experience as a p.r. flack than a journalist, and this week, this borderline Greatest Generation fellow was flacking for millennials.

It’s noble of him, perhaps to save his job as a weekly columnist for fear of being pigeonholed for what he really is: just another “get off my lawn” fellow that The Union parades out for its readers to preserve a declining, aging readership.

Regular readers of Boardman’s column find he embraces few, if any, of the values of millennials. He regularly trashes electric cars, social media, the internet, Nevada City (where far more millennials gather than his “gated” neighborhood of Lake of the Pines), and Measure B to improve our schools, among other topics. Boardman’s Measure B editorial had “get off my lawn” written all over it. Boardman also struggles to embrace change: Though a freelancer, he defends The Union like a “company man.”

The Union needs to come to grips with this. Instead of “remaking” George Boardman (which is impossible), it needs to find a new “voice” for millennials and frankly, most of the rest of us who might subscribe to the local newspaper if it would ever open its mind— but won’t.

Here’s a thought: Make The Union’s digital editor Ivan Natividad a weekly columnist. He does a good job with his columns. Unlike Boardman, he “gets” the internet as an agent for change. An example is here. Ivan lives with his wife and three kids in Grass Valley. Yes, a family living and working here.

Let’s face it: The Union has tilted back to its core conservative readership. Progressive Hilary Hodge is no longer writing a weekly column, since she is running for a local political office, leaving a void.

To secure its future, The Union needs to focus on its future, not the past. But it’s going to have to make that leap.