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Op Ed: LHS Fails to Stand Up

This article contains opinions and/or editorial content

This noon (2020-02-12), Lodi High School hosted a mayoral forum sponsored by the Lodi Optimists. For an event held at noon on a Wednesday. It was quite well attended: 22 community members (including City of Lodi staff participating) and 26 students (plus their teacher).

Bad Timing

Even if we assume that every student is eligible to vote–and discount that probably half of them live outside the city, and could’t vote for mayor–a little over 1.5% of voters were present.

Most of that, I would say, is because of timing.  I had to take off an entire day of work to attend.  Anyone with a job outside of Lodi (which is most of us) would likely have to do the same.  We shouldn’t have to use PTO or lose out on work in order to hear what our candidates are saying.

Record It

Lodi High School has professional-grade video cameras and a professional-grade video editing studio.  When I asked LHS Principal Vince Breunig if the event would be recorded–because this is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience with a live event–I was told:

We also do not currently run a video production class.

So why did we pay for all those facilities and equipment?

Why is it gathering dust when it can be used to connect citizens with their candidates?

Why–in this age of digital media–are we not actively and aggressively teaching our students the skills they need to succeed?

Lost Forever

Because LHS couldn’t record the mayoral forum, I attempted to do so with my laptop and a low-end webcam. It failed.  Not only did my laptop battery die 40 minutes into the forum, the audio quality was terrible.

LHS could have recorded this event with professional-grade equipment.   They chose not to.  This event is lost, forever. All the knowledge, skills, insight, and experience the students could have gained are lost, forever.

LVC Steps Up

In response, the Lodi Valley Chronicle has purchased1I have purchased, out of my own money. a digital video camera that will will be available–for free–for anyone recording events for the Chronicle.

The cost (including tax) was $94.942That’s twice my monthly phone bill, more than my monthly internet bill, and most of my monthly utility bill. It’s also enough to keep the Chronicle online for 9 months. If you would like to help offset the cost of this purchase–or donate to the Chronicle in general, see the “We Support” section on the homepage side bar or contact us directly.


1 I have purchased, out of my own money.
2 That’s twice my monthly phone bill, more than my monthly internet bill, and most of my monthly utility bill. It’s also enough to keep the Chronicle online for 9 months.


  1. DarcieB90 DarcieB90 2020-02-17

    I sincerely appreciate this article! I too do not understand why more events/meetings are not recorded or live-streamed, in this day and age. My hope is that the school we get on board…soon!
    Dori Bilse

    • Blaze Miskulin Blaze Miskulin Post author | 2020-02-17


      You can do more than hope.

      There are 2 seats on the School Board up for election this year–and three candidates in the race (see “Election 2020” in the menu). The current Board President is stepping down, so that seat will also be chosen.

      In addition, the position of District Administrator (Superintendent) will be vacant now that Chuck Pursell has retired. There’s a 3-part forum on February 25th where the public is invited to question the final three candidates. The first of those candidates (speaking at 4:15 pm) is Vincent Breunig–current principal of LHS, who said that they don’t have the resources to record or live stream events.

      LVC is not currently set up to live stream anything (I’ll work on that), but I *will* be recording the event and posting it on the Redleaf YouTube channel.

      If you have a question you’d like to ask the candidates but can’t attend, perhaps you can ask someone to be a proxy and ask the question for you.

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