EDITORIAL: Thumbs up, thumbs down

FresnoJune 20, 2014 

Thumbs up to artist Perry Huffman for donating a portion of his sports collection to Fresno State athletic scholarships. A retired artist for The Bee who specialized in portraits for more than three decades, Huffman gave 51 pieces to the school. The pencil sketches included Jim Sweeney, Tom Seaver, Jeff Tedford Jerry Tarkanian, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Jim Maloney, Joe Garagiola, Darryl Rogers, Daryle Lamonica. The list goes on.

Thumbs up to Ben From, 86, a former ag teacher and Fowler farmer, who will be honored at a dinner today at Sunnyside Country Club. It is being hosted by his former students at Fowler and Parlier high schools, who still revere him as a mentor, father figure and friend for all he taught them about life and livelihoods. He gave the same care to kids of the powerful and poor, they say. Good for this exceptional teacher and to his grateful students.

Thumbs down to the Fresno City Council for killing a long-overdue moment in local democracy — a debate on public behavior at council meetings. The council on June 12 was to debate new rules for public comment: two-minute limit per speaker (three minutes now), eight minutes total comment per speaker per day (no limit now). President Steve Brandau pulled the item. No council member raised a ruckus. Fresno for years has needed a community chat about decorum when exercising free-speech rights in the people's legislative chamber. Responsibilities flow in both directions. This truth gets lost amid political passions. It's time revisit it. That's you, City Council.


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