Thumbs up, thumbs down
Feb.26, 2007 - Thumbs up to those involved in the Great Lunch Debate at Yuba City High School.
It's not easy being a school board member. Most meetings deal with fairly dull subjects - like budgets and staffing and standardized testing - that don't do much to arouse public passion. They do their work quietly and methodically, with a few staff in attendance and an occasional influx of parents and students supporting one or another pet cause.
Every now and then, though, some hot-button issue emerges that thrusts school trustees into the spotlight. The planned lunchtime closure this fall of the Yuba City High School campus didn't attract much attention at first, but now students and parents are stewing en masse. A student protest at the campus and a public forum held Tuesday both drew hundreds of people, with the latter meeting stretching more than two hours.
As a result, the closed campus that made perfect sense a few months ago, primarily for student safety, has some folks questioning the school board's common sense. We won't offer an opinion on the proper course, except to note that closed high school campuses are becoming the norm across the country, in most cases with good reason.
What we will do is salute the students who organized the protest to share their opinions in a peaceful display of self-expression. Kudos also to the school board that serves the community, most days, with little fanfare or attention. Whatever the outcome of the Great Lunch Debate, it's a fantastic example of democracy in action.
Thumbs up to Peter Bavasi, former managing partner of the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox. This week marks the end of the transition period to new ownership, and Peter heads back into his well-earned retirement. Bavasi not only stepped in to keep the franchise running after the untimely death of former owner Don McCullough, he took the franchise to the next level with the energy and enthusiasm of someone who loves the game and the Yuba-Sutter community. He accomplished much in a short time and passes on a Gold Sox franchise that is a real community asset. Thank you.
Thumbs down to Florida Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin. In a case where the key legal questions were strictly about the custody of and burial of celebrity Anna Nicole Smith's body, he allowed the proceedings to become the height of sensational entertainment. In the process, the judicial system and the media get black eyes for participating in this circus. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Anna Nicole Smith, you would hope our society could handle issues related to someone's death and burial with more dignity and respect.
Thumbs down to those Colusa residents who apparently aren't much interested in how their town might change its rural, small-town identity after a century and a half. A recent forum at City Hall drew just 11 people to speak out about the city's possible expansion - growth that could see a population in 20 years of some 12,000 residents, more double the current level. The next public forum on the general plan is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Colusa City Hall. Residents would be wise to attend and speak their minds, or risk not having a voice in their community's development.
Thumbs up to the Yuba College men's basketball team for a record-breaking season. The 49ers won a school-record 25 games as well as the Bay Valley Conference title, going 15-1. It's just the fifth conference title in the school's history, and only the third outright.