A little contest to help Walmart choose where it's directing donations to fight hunger dominated Valley readers' time last week.
Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers on fresnobee.com.
What happened: Facebook users in Fresno and Salt Lake City waged a ferocious clicking contest to see which community would win $1 million in Walmart's "Fighting Hunger Together" contest. Salt Lake City appeared to have the highest vote count -- 5.2 million, compared to 4.1 million for Fresno. But Walmart made it clear Friday that it does not yet know who actually won.
What it means: The company plans to announce the winner on Wednesday. But already, the contest might've sparked awareness about the hunger problem here; donations as large as $10,000 poured into the Community Food Bank on Friday, and others talked of setting up food drives.
What readers said:
"For those who don't like Fresno, or who don't like Walmart - that's not the point. The point is that there's $1 million at stake here, and that there are hungry people in our area who could really use this support. You may not like Walmart. You may not like Fresno . but you don't really like hunger, do you?
"Like Like Like Like . Let's do this, Fresno."
"Heck of an effective ad campaign for Walmart costing them only $1.5 million. Extended local media coverage of the contest in Fresno alone must be worth quite a few thousand bucks to the store chain. Toss in local media coverage in all the other competing cities and Walmart wins hands down regardless of which cities get the $1 million or $100k winnings. Though I don't like the smell of this charity advertisement campaign, I will take Mollymouser's gaming guidance and add my 100 votes or whatever for Fresno."
"Okay, 923,000 people in Fresno . about 11 dimes from everyone, walla . over 1 million and this would be fresh food not the ready to expire and damaged stuff Walmart is about to dish out! Ahhhh, but its the competition . its the fact we can beat someone else in need out of their share, its freebies, handouts . but its still cool! CONGRATS FRESNO AND HAPPY NEW YEAR . after the contest, save your dimes . by Easter Sunday we very well could surpass 10 Million! Now that would be cool! Call it 'Dime to Dine' . feed 'our' hungry drive! What ya think?"
"... if this contest actually required people to DO SOMETHING other than just click a mouse, you can bet your bottom dollar that it would have a lot less 'voter turnout."
-- Jon Law Hastings
What happened: The street signs on Punjab Avenue east of Clovis have been repeatedly stolen.
What it means: Several residents of the street and other interested community members are frustrated. Fresno County public works employees have tried several ideas to secure the signs, all in vain. And a suggestion to change the street name was met with debate.
What readers said:
"How about if the county makes the removal of the sign trigger an explosion? So if the little bastards remove it again, their heads blow off? I think it's an idea whose time has come. Wouldn't be any more sign stealing again now, would there be?"
"Interesting article that reminds us of some of the pesky details in city & county management."
"We don't have enough to do, do we?"
Going to college
What happened: Three Edison High School seniors won full, four-year scholarships worth $50,000 to $60,000 a year to three of the nation's most prestigious universities.
What it means: A representative of the nonprofit organization that gives the scholarships said having three from one school in one year is unusual. This year, 310 scholars were selected out of more than 6,000 applicants.
What readers said:
"I love positive stories like this one. Congratulations to these young men and their families!"
-- Mike McKneely
"When you get all educated-up, come back home and make Fresno even better."
Catching Up was compiled this week by John Rich, Bee assistant managing editor/news