There are all kinds of kids with all kinds of interests and whenever a school system can provide them with time, coaching, instruction and support, the kids come out the winners.

That’s just as true for the FFA kids as it is for the football kids as it is for the music kids as it is for theater kids ...

Yet, when times get tough, the arts programs almost always suffer the deepest cuts.

So we’re happy that Yuba Sutter Arts & Culture is hosting a series of community conversations on various topics, including a talk this coming week (7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, streamed live on YSAC’s Facebook page and later on their YouTube channel) concentrating on arts education. The panel, according to a release from YSAC, includes people who have made careers out of teaching some form of art to young people.

They’ll talk about arts funding, having arts classes as a requirement for graduation, art as a career path, and the intersection of art and mental health.

“The conversation might even go beyond the classroom and delve into how the arts, whether literary, visual or performance, define a community, how art can cross language barriers and how art contributes to quality of life issues,” it was stated in the release.

They’ll also talk about practicing arts education in the time of a pandemic.

The conversation will be moderated by David Read, executive director of YSAC, and will include a well-rounded group of area arts heavy hitters.

“It is commonly accepted that involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork.” So it says in the news release, and we agree.

And they’re fun.


Thumbs Up: Related somehow to the above is a miniseries recommendation: “The Queen’s Gambit” on NetFlix. It’s based on a 1983 novel by the same name. The “art” involved in the story is chess -- a likely life-saving obsession with chess ... by a girl!... starting in the very early 1960s.

It deals poignantly with child neglect, emotional and mental health, addiction and friendship.

There are some adult-themed scenes and language, but nothing too shocking by present-day standards.

We found it particularly inspiring. And as dark as it gets in some places, it keeps coming back right ... You come away from the series happy but harboring some doubt for the heroine’s future. Just like life.

We’d like to know what you readers are enjoying on the tube during the pandemic.


Thumbs Down: I’m informed by a reliable source that I owe an apology to hot rodders for using the label incorrectly in a column last week in which I was whining about the risky driving I witness on Hwy 20 east of Marysville.

I used the descriptive in regards to those drivers who go too fast and pass on a yellow line, etc. The descriptive I should have used was “knuckleheads” ... or “maniacs.” Something along those lines.

“I am 77 years old and I am proud to have called myself a ‘hot rodder’ for about 70 years. The term ‘hot rodder’ was a derogatory term many years ago, but people like myself have worked at educating the general public that this wonderful hobby is very family centered,” our reader told me in an email and suggested going online and check out National Street Rod Assn. for family events across the country.

He’s right, I’m sure. I can’t think of a time when I’ve seen a hot rod enthusiast driving in any sort of risky fashion ... they are usually the responsible drivers.



Quote of the week: We printed a story by Ruby Larson on the re-opening of in-class instruction at Wheatland High, and quoted Schandia Edwards, assistant principal and parent of a freshman and senior at the high school. She was talking about seeing the kids coming back to school: 

“I did get a little teary-eyed because, (for) my freshman, it’s her first real day of high school and I was monitoring the kids and she walked across the quad and it made my heart happy because she was happy hanging out with friends and talking and doing normal teenage stuff. That’s probably the most normalcy she’s had in months.”


Ugh: One-liners with a Halloween flair:

-- Want to read my skeleton puns? They’re pretty humerus.

-- When does Dracula respond to the name Daniella? When he’s waiting for his latte.

-- What do you call two witches sharing an apartment? Broommates.

-- Why didn’t the ghost dance at the Halloween party? He had no body to dance with.


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