I've stopped grousing to myself about the LA Times; I'd rather it lived. All this let-us-hang-the-last-Graham-in-the-entrails-of-the-last-Sulzberger business you hear in the lefty blogosphere is understandable, I suppose; but when the papers go what they take with them can't be so easily replaced.
A new study from UC Davis, to be published today, found that the number of winter chilling hours, essential to the flowering of orchards, has declined as much as 30% since 1950 in large swaths of the Central Valley, where most of the tree crops are grown.
Only 4% of the Central Valley is now suitable for apples, cherries and pears, all high-chill fruits that could once be grown in half the valley, according to the study.
"The power structure defends the status quo and says this is the best we can do," said Austin, whose mantra is that administrators and union bosses are out to protect their own interests before those of the children.Personally, I think stupid-teachers-and-bureaucrats is not a sufficient explanation of why the schools suck -- believe me, we have encountered both in our journey through LAUSD, although I have to say that they have been in the minority. Me, I blame the culture. Does what's going on in Washington strike you as the behavior of a people that values educated men and women? It's like decency -- we say we want it but really the porn smokestacks go 24/7.
That will end, he said, when enough parents stand up and take charge.
It's going to be a little trickier than they're letting on. At most schools, parent involvement is minimal, and the challenges students bring into the classrooms are monumental.
But almost every day, there's more evidence that it's time for the kind of upheaval Austin is talking about.
Anyway, that's just page 2 and 3 of the dead-tree paper. I really ought to read more than the sports section from time to time.