Thumbs up to Fresno County Superior Court Judge Adolfo Corona and civil rights attorney Robert Navarro for negotiating a deal that enabled the Rev. Floyd Harris Jr. of Fresno to avoid convictions for misdemeanor charges of obstructing traffic and participating or sponsoring a rally without a permit.
A year ago, Harris, a prominent African American leader in Fresno, pleaded not guilty to the charges. A few days later, Corona allowed Harris to withdraw his not guilty plea. The judge then told Harris if he stayed out of trouble for a year and didn’t engage in the type of conduct that led to the charges, the case would be dismissed.
Harris stayed out of trouble, and on Tuesday the judged wiped Harris’ record clean, reported The Bee’s Pablo Lopez.
Thumbs down to the Board of Equalization, which is the subject of six ongoing audits by the state. One of those audits is focused at the board’s personnel practices, which resulted in 16 high-level managers receiving special pay raises in 2015 that BOE has yet to justify. The raises ranged from 1.9 percent to 10 percent and came on the heels of the standard raises that went to all state employees, reported Adam Ashton of The Sacramento Bee. You would think that our state’s tax collectors would embrace transparency and utilize best practices. As this story illustrates, BOE operations need more sunlight.
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Thumbs up to Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr for using his big Twitter following for a good cause – an excellent lesson for other famous people to use their Twitter powers for good rather than evil. The former Fresno State star is credited with helping spread word with his 247,000 followers about a suspected abduction when he retweeted an Oakland police lieutenant’s alert about a missing child.
On Jan. 14, Carr retweeted Lt. Chris Bolton’s information about the case. Police were contacted on Twitter by someone who saw the Amber Alert and a vehicle described in the tweet, according to a Sporting News account via Omnisport. The 3-year-old was found unharmed in less than 24 hours. Carr responded with an appreciative message: “Great news! Thank you for letting me know they are safe! God bless y’all!”
Thumbs up to Fresno Chaffee Zoo, for its big news of an expected Southern white rhinoceros, the first rhino calf in zoo history, officials say. The calf was bred in the zoo before the African Adventure exhibit opened in October 2015, so it’s been a long pregnancy for Kayla and her partner Tim. The calf is due next month.
Thumbs up to Kaiser Permanente Fresno for spending part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day beautifying Stone Soup Fresno by working on their grounds and refreshing their buildings. Stone Soup provides services to refugee families in the area near Fresno State. In a partnership with Hands On Central California, this is the 12th consecutive year KP Fresno employees spent their MLK holiday volunteering with nonprofit organizations.
Thumbs up to PINC (Philanthropy Inspired by the Needs of our Community) for helping Valley job hunters take a step up in their job searches. PINC donated 80 pairs of high heels to Dress for Success Fresno, a group that provides women with clothing and accessories for job interviews.
Thumbs up to Break the Barriers and the Fresno office of Telepacific Communications for teaming up on a surprise holiday party for underserved youths. Telepacific’s staff donated 32 gift bags with new shoes, socks, brushes, school supplies and Christmas stockings filled with sweet treats. Break the Barriers hosted the party.