Thumbs up, thumbs down

May 18, 2013 

Thumbs down to Fresno County Supervisors Andreas Borgeas, Judy Case and Debbie Poochigian for nitpicking a symbolic resolution supporting children's programs. What should have been a five-minute item became a debate spanning two meetings and consuming three hours. Rest assured, if the agenda item had been a symbolic resolution supporting farmers, Borgeas, Case and Poochigian would have said "aye" in a heartbeat.

Thumbs up to Dr. Varoujan Altebarmakian of Fresno. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York on May 11 in recognition of his contributions to the Fresno community and his charitable work abroad. Among the other recipients were singer Dionne Warwick, actress Mia Farrow and retired NFL coach Dick Vermeil. "Ellis Island represents the collective dreams of all who passed through it over the past 100 years, and these dreams shaped what this country ultimately became and what it currently is," said Altebarmakian, who is physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Fresno.

Thumbs up to Fresno's University High School academic decathlon team. The squad, coached by Sean Canfield, won the small schools national championship for the seventh straight year, outdistancing the runner-up school by 7,000 points. The team members are Omoshola Aleru, Samuel Barretto, Adam Cooke, Angel Elizondo, Chris Gu, Rosamond Herling, Richard Martinez III, Noah Priester and Eric Zamora.

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