The Snoqualmie Valley Record wants to hear from you.
As your editor, I cherish feedback from readers. We want these opinion pages to better reflect local happenings, thoughts and concerns from your neck of the woods.
The pandemic’s economic crisis has not been kind to local newspapers like this one. We have been working reduced hours and printing fewer pages as a temporary bandage to keep the newspaper afloat with our current financial resources.
We are doing the best we can to bring relevant local journalism to the valley.
For example, be sure to check out the ongoing coverage by reporter Aaron Kunkler regarding flood issues and their accompanying financial setbacks. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there are 461 severe repetitive loss properties — properties that frequently and repeatedly flood — in King County, with 181 in unincorporated King County. Snoqualmie has the highest number with 200 properties.
Apparently, FEMA’s lack of oversight on these properties has made it more difficult for property owners to lower their flood insurance rates. We may be a smaller news operation, but we are still committed to watchdog reporting, and we are keeping our eye on this ball.
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A random 2020 thought
We have a new benchmark for educational success in the pandemic era’s stay-at-home model: the attention span.
Teachers who succeed right now are doing so because they have harnessed their students’ attention spans.
Because what is the opposite of paying attention? Not paying attention. I don’t have data on how many local teachers can successfully engage a class of 30 young elementary school kids all day through a computer screen. But I do understand, as a parent, how insanely difficult that must be.
Case in point: It was a visual delight to see the recent viral video of a Washington state kindergarten teacher’s animated expressions and “turn on your microphone” sign while she called on kids in her virtual class. And to think she keeps that up all day while making it look easy.
Sadly, I do believe children are not receiving the best education possible by learning from home. Social interactions and connections are a cornerstone of development and the education experience.
However, it was music to my ears to hear from my fifth-grade son’s teacher say that he pays attention, contributes to class discussions and doesn’t seem distracted like the students who may have other windows open on their computer desktop. Sure, my son needs to work on his reading, and no, he doesn’t give 100 percent of his attention 100 percent of the time.
But hearing the teacher say he was paying attention — that was a welcome silver lining in this coronavirus cloud. Kudos to teachers who are making it work.
I was proud to shut down my ninth-grader when he griped about how one of his teachers would talk on and on: Your teacher is doing her job the best she can. Now pay attention.
Andy Hobbs is editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Record. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.