Valley news of the week -- Feb. 14-20

February 20, 2010 

FRESNOBEE.COM

With the President’s Day holiday on Monday, it was a quiet week for news. We saw some key developments in long-running issues, however -- including water, jail staffing and the death of the Fresno Metropolitan Museum.

Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers on fresnobee.com.

Wedding drama

What happened: Same-sex marriage took the spotlight on Sunday as the Fresno County clerk’s office opened to provide its traditional opportunity for couples to wed on Valentine’s Day. Several same-sex couples used the occasion to dramatize the effects of Proposition 8, which banned the unions in 2008.

What it means: Apart from a federal trial over the validity of Proposition 8, the issue has drawn little public attention in recent months. But our story about Sunday’s event drew well over 100 comments, suggesting it remains a powerful concern.

What readers said:

“The gays are acting just like a 3 year old who wants what he wants and wants it right now. They HAVE civil unions, but they want the rest of us to accept their perversions as normal.”

-- markos13

“Sigh, every argument against same-sex marriage has been refuted by science and our legal system over and over again. But the ignorance persists.”

-- rc_moore


Feinstein waffles

What happened: A week after delighting farmers with a plan to boost water deliveries, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday she might drop the plan, which has drawn opposition from many Democratic legislators.

What it means: Feinstein suggested she might bow to the opposition if other Democrats or the White House comes up with a plan. The development highlights the political perils facing any solution to the Valley’s water crisis.

What readers said:

“Feinstein is a puppet like most pols, to her party. Heaven forbid she use any integrity -- or her entire party for that matter.”

-- dguith

“I hope that you Corporation Farmers … got your money’s worth from your political donations to her. I personally think you should sue for non-performance.”

-- daufever


Met sales begin

What happened: Auctioneers sold off everything but the art at Fresno’s defunct Metropolitan Museum on Wednesday to satisfy creditors left in the lurch following a disastrous renovation project. Hundreds showed up to buy office equipment, furniture -- including 30 Haworth ergonomic chairs -- and historical odds-and-ends. The Met’s art is to be sold separately.

What it means: The auction went ahead despite legal questions. Fresno attorney Robert Rosati asked the state attorney general to determine if those assets should be kept for public purposes.

What readers said:

“800 dollar chairs, I wonder why the Met went under?”

-- imd01

“The furniture didn’t cause the Met to go under. It was the overall lack of a realistic plan to raise money to pay for the furniture and the entire renovation.”

-- Wellitsfresno


Delay for sheriff

What happened: A judge on Thursday refused to give Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims an emergency order allowing her to lay off correctional officers and shut down parts of the jail. She will have to wait till next month for his ruling on her challenge to county supervisors, who blocked the move.

What it means: Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald Franson Jr. voiced some skepticism over the sheriff’s argument that the county Board of Supervisors had infringed on her legal authority. At stake in the battle is the question over how far supervisors can go to set her spending priorities.

What readers said:

“Why is she so hell-bent on clearing out that jail? She seems to not want to hear any suggestions from anyone on how to make this situation work out any other way.”

-- nobodyspecial

“The law violators in this whole mess are the supervisors. Every day that goes by with out solving the revenue shortfall means that more and more employees will have to be laid off.”

-- rlincoln


Hope for pets

What happened: Clovis 5th-grader Hope Graef turned her 11th birthday party into a fundraiser for the SPCA on Monday, asking friends and family members to skip the presents and instead donate money to save dogs and cats from euthanasia.

What readers said:

“Just completely awesome! Now if only we could get people like this into Congress. Way to go, Hope.”

-- isthisnametaken

Catching Up is compiled by Bee managing editor Jack Robinson.

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