Love of community starts at home—Valley residents must boost the region

I recently attended—as an observer—the “Meeting of the Minds,” a presentation and discussion on the Creative Economy Council’s report titled Making the Grass Greener: Recommendations to Retain, Attract, Develop, and Support Knowledge Workers. As a “knowledge worker,” and one interested in helping make Fresno and other Valley communities more vibrant, I was impressed with the […]

California school libraries: dead last

North Dakota has one for every 312; Arkansas, one for 437; Oregon, one for 451—but California has one library media teacher for every 4,363 students, making our state last in school library media staffing. Nationally, 20 states mandate a certificated library media teacher in their schools: Georgia for all schools over 251 students, Virginia for […]

Why do we love reality TV?

Watching season five of American Idol auditions over the last few weeks, complete with humiliating scenes in which Simon Cowell tells someone that he looks like the Incredible Hulk’s wife, has renewed my fascination for the kind of pleasure this brings. “Elimination TV,” in which contestants, viewers or judges vote someone off the show each […]

Smaller schools for better educations

Better schools! This is the demand of parents and business. This is the promise of presidents, governors and mayors. This is the challenge of school district officials and administrators. Superintendents are expected to answer the demands, address the promises and meet the challenges in order for student learning to improve. The new superintendent of Fresno […]

Martin Luther King: the dream unfulfilled

On a hot summer day almost 43 years ago, tens of thousands of Americans—black and white—marched for change. They marched to fulfill the dream that began 100 years before when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. They marched to end injustice and oppression. They stood side-by-side in front of the Lincoln Memorial to hear that the […]

Want justice? Listen to the victim Central Valley a leader

Victims have been in the news lately. Hurricanes and earthquakes have killed thousands and displaced millions. Then there are the victims of wars and insurrections, with the daily toll of those killed by seemingly random bombs. Fears of a worldwide flu pandemic obscure the thousands dying daily of already endemic diseases. Last, but not least, […]