Thumbs up to Fresno Police Capt. Mark Salazar and his posse for making a little boy’s 8th birthday unforgettable. Ladainian Wiggins’ grandmother invited Salazar to stop by the birthday party and upon hearing of the invitation, 11 officers joined in. The officers came in early for their shift, bringing Ladainian a scooter, soccer ball and an air hockey game and staying for his party, Salazar told The Bee’s Ashleigh Panoo.
This became a nice example of community policing when someone at the party recognized one of the officers as the person who had recently arrested him. The officers and partygoers laughed, Salazar said, because they were making a different sort of contact this time. Two officers returned to the home Saturday evening with extra gifts for Ladainian’s siblings and relatives.
Thumbs down to the State Center Community College District Board of Trustees for continuing to hold their meetings in a small space at Fresno City College that is totally inadequate for a district that serves about 1 million people, 18 unified and high school districts and has 45,000 students.
The Tuesday board meeting was so packed with faculty that any members of the public who wanted to go would not have been able to get a seat. In fact, Fresno Bee reporter Rory Appleton got access only when a district staff member offered him her seat.
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Let’s be clear: These meetings must be held in a space large enough to accommodate the public, and they should be live-streamed on the district’s website. It’s past time for State Center to join the 21st century and show taxpayers that they embrace transparency.
Thumbs up to Disneyland for adding the popular Fastpass program to two of its most popular attractions – Toy Story Midway Mania in the Disney California Adventure park and the Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland. If you do the math, the number of rides making use of Fastpass is now 16. Anything that gives relief from those torturous lines is a good thing. Jim Silva of The Modesto Bee explains that the Fastpass program allows guests to pick up passes at the rides, then return later in the day for designated lines with shorter wait times.
Thumbs up to Live Again Fresno, a Christian advocacy group helping residents of Fresno’s slumlord hotels, for helping out the Hotel California residents find permanent housing after their residences were shut down over safety concerns. The group has set up a GoFundMe account to raise $15,000. By Wednesday, more than $3,000 had been raised.
Thumbs up to Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, for visiting the troops in the Middle East during the holidays. It’s imperative that those who are voting on our military engagements – and all other subjects that mean a lot to people – get out of their comfortable chairs and gather research and experience firsthand.
Thumbs up to the students at Valley Life Charter School in Visalia for organizing a stuffed-animal drive for the Tulare County District Attorney Office’s Child Abuse Response Team. The event began with Jordan Nguyen, a fifth grader, who worked with his friends to collect 671 stuffed animals in his garage. “That was surprising to me,” Jordan told ABC30. The DA’s office was surprised and happy as well. Jordan already is planning another collection next year.
Thumbs up to the Saint Agnes Women’s Club for giving $105,000 to Saint Agnes Holy Cross Center for Women. The women’s center offers educational programs and respite for homeless and low-income women and their children. The donation helps fund the Center’s educational programs, such as six-week-long summer programs for children and young people ages 4 to 17, and personal services for women and children including laundry and showering facilities and weekly distribution of clothing and diapers.
The money will also help to revitalize the center’s playground area for children.