Thursday, June 25, 2015

California Assembly committee will hold special hearing on the status of boys and men

Members of the California State Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color will host a hearing to discuss issues young men in Salinas are facing.

The hearing will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, June 26, in Building K of the Performing Arts Center of Hartnell College, 411 Central Avenue.

Participants will include:
Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, SR., Select Committee Chair;
Assemblymember Nora Campos;
Marc Philpart, PolicyLink;
Jerry Tello, National Compadres Network
Andrea Manzo, Building Health Communities—East Salinas
Ray Bullick, Monterey County Health Department
Brian Goldstein, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Frank Guzman, National Center for Youth Law
Ray Corpuz, City Manager, City of Salinas
Gary Petersen, City of Salinas, Salinas GRE Committee
Kelly McMillin, City of Salinas, Salinas Police Department

A special book sale for educators coming to Marina

It's that time of the year when students and teacher take a deep, deep breath and stock up in energy and good humor.

While you're at it, why not stock up in books?

The Friends of the Marina Library will host a "special educator's sale" at their sorting location in Marina. Cristina Medina Dirksen, former Herald reporter and mom extraordinaire is organizing the event, so come by check out their goodies.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 3195 Tallmon St. in Marina. For more information text 277-8586, email,  or like their Facebook page here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Helping shape the next generation of journalists

For the next couple of weeks, I'll be a staff member with The Mosaic, a  workshop that brings together some of the brightest aspiring journalist in Silicon Valley.

And boy, they smart! During the first day of the workshop, our young reporters came up with really good story ideas, all based on what's making headlines these days and their own life experiences. Like, how frustrating it is to take the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, the new way California will evaluate how students learn. They were time consuming and scheduled right after AP testing, which means they took a toll on the students. Were they worth it? I'll find out when my reporter gets don with his story.

Another reporter is writing about counselors-for-hire. And yet another about race relations in this country. And these are only my reporters: the other newsroom staffers are writing about the drought, the ban on plastic bags, the Warriors epic season, and more. So much meaty stuff.

The Mosaic San Jose High School Journalism Workshop began in 1993 when a group of San Jose Mercury News journalists put into practice their idea to inspire the next generation of journalists. Participants complete a rigorous application process, and during the two-week workshop they develop their journalistic skills by hitting the streets for news stories and opinion columns that reflect the community from a teenage perspective while meeting professional standards.

I'd been asked to teach journalism in high school before, but haven't been able to for  complicated reasons. If I'd known how fun and rewarding this could be, I would have done it sooner.