COURIER meets challenges head on with new editor

by Peter Weinberger |

I’m quite pleased to announce that Mick Rhodes, beginning immediately, is the COURIER’s new editor. As avid COURIER readers, I know you are familiar with Mick’s award-winning journalism.

Mick is the seventh COURIER editor in our 114-year history.

Though he will be taking the editor reins, that does not mean Mick will stop hitting the streets and continuing his excellent reporting. It’s who he is, and I highly recommend reading his column in this edition about his role in this new era for the COURIER.

Mick’s family is from Oklahoma, and he is a second-generation Californian. He was born in Duarte and grew up nearby in Glendora. He lived and worked in North Lake Tahoe, Nevada; Pasadena; and Venice, California for 20 years before moving to Claremont in 2008.

He started out as a “stringer” sportswriter for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Los Angeles Times. After that he covered city hall and crime for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

Following a hiatus from journalism during which he worked in the entertainment business, Mick spent 12 years as a stay-at-home dad. Three of his four children went through or are still enrolled in Claremont public schools, and he was a classroom volunteer at Condit Elementary for 13 years.

So, what’s Peter going to do? Well, I’ll continue to enjoy eating bon-bons poolside, but I will also resume full-time work as publisher, just like I did for 13 years with our fifth editor, Kathryn Dunn.

And with the nonprofit still growing and evolving, the COURIER will always need grants and donations to cover our ever-increasing expenses. We launched a new online business directory called Find It! and have another coming this month, linking our website to the MLS. Launching these new digital products takes time and effort to be successful.

Mick’s hiring will also add far more energy to both the editor and publisher positions. We will both have more time to do these jobs! The editing will be sharper, and nonprofit efforts will continue to grow; we even have plans for a Claremont coffee table photo book. Our skillsets complement each other with Mick’s story editing expertise, matched with my business and visuals skills. But when it’s all said and done, our focus for the future of the COURIER — objective local news, while serving the Claremont community as a nonprofit — remains as strong as ever.

Claremont’s Fourth of July, 2022

I could not help but notice this year’s Fourth festivities felt subdued compared with other years. Most of the elements were there, but the schedule of events did have major changes: The 5k run was held Saturday instead of Monday, July Fourth; the parade started at 10 a.m. vs. the regular 4 p.m.; and of course, the fireworks show was replaced by a concert at Memorial Park.

The city had good reasons for these changes, especially considering the amount of water needed for a safe fireworks show. The weather was cool and absolutely perfect, a big difference from the heat on previous July Fourth afternoons. Memorial Park was the center of activity, although many of the games, water slides and kid activities were cut back. There was plenty going on to make fond memories of this summer holiday, but it just wasn’t the same.

All that being said, it’s time to go back to the schedule from previous years. Given all we have been through over the past two years, Claremont desperately needs events that bring residents together. In fact, this should be a priority moving forward to next year.

Having all the activities (included the 5k) on the same day creates enormous buzz, giving people numerous reasons to attend. That was missing. But the changes made to the parade time, and eliminating fireworks, made the biggest impact.

Starting the parade at 4 p.m. is a far better, allowing time for people to meet, greet, and hang out together. House parties along the route help to create a festive atmosphere while the parade is packed with people. That wasn’t the case this year. Let’s face it, most of us don’t start to party until later in the day.

I’d also like to see the city not instantly ban the fireworks show. It’s great having Upland’s show so close to the northeast, but Claremont’s fireworks show is spectacular, and a huge event to foster togetherness. If we can’t do a show at Pomona College, then what about another location? Maybe the show is a little shorter, or certain large fireworks are not used. But just saying, “Sorry, no fireworks show this year,” should not be an option.


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