Thumbs up to Dr. Carlos Paz and his wife, Vivian Velasco Paz, for pledging $100,000 to for Arte Américas during the 30th anniversary celebration. Velasco Paz grew up in Laton, the daughter of farmworkers. Her husband is the son of immigrant farmworkers from México.
Juan Esparza Loera of Vida en el Valle reports that Velasco Paz remembers when the couple was poor while he was attending medical school in Chicago and she was working as a lawyer serving the low-income community. In their spare time, they would wander through the National Museum of Mexican Art.
The Ivy League graduates became the new face of benefactors for Arte Américas. “We hope to inspire others to contribute,” said Velasco Paz, who helps run her husband’s dermatology office in northeast Fresno. “We are the next generation of Arte Américas supporters.” The future of the Valley’s artistic community looks bright with their leadership.
Thumbs up to Tommy Masters, director of golf operations at San Joaquin Country Club, and everyone associated with the Third Annual Swing for Wishes charity golf tournament. The event raised $160,000 for Make-a-Wish Central California. There are more than 210 local children with life-threatening illnesses waiting for their wishes to come true, and this contribution will no doubt create a lot of smiles and great memories for the kids and their families.
Thumbs up to the 1,000 new U.S. citizens sworn in by Secretary of State Alex Padilla in a naturalization ceremony Tuesday in Fresno. Padilla’s parents emigrated from Mexico and settled in the Los Angeles County town of Pacoima. Padilla’s father was a short-order cook and his mother was a house cleaner.
He went on to graduate from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. Padilla was a state senator from 2006 to 2014, then won election as secretary of state in 2015. His story is an inspiration all immigrants can hold on to.
Thumbs down to the entitled and lazy tax-money wasters who cheat the system by misusing disabled placards. Twenty-six drivers got their just deserts during an operation carried out in Fresno recently, the state Department of Motor Vehicles reported. Offenders must appear in court and may face fines as high as $1,000. In our view, they should also be ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service helping the disabled.
Thumbs up to the more than two dozen Fresno police officers honored for exceptional work Tuesday in a City Hall ceremony. The awards, presented by Chief Jerry Dyer, included medals for lifesaving, exceptional performance and heroism. (Full list of honorees)
Among the ceremony’s highlights was the Van Meter Award Medal given to officer Jon Linzey. The Fresno cop, husband and father of two young boys was ambushed in a breezeway by a knife-wielding man who murdered two women inside a Tower District studio in 2012. Linzey credits a “hard head” for his survival and the ability to control the attacker who later received a prison sentence of 40 years to life.
Harry Van Meter died in the line of duty Feb. 1, 1907, when he was shot and killed while checking a business. He had been on the force only a year when he died and left behind a wife and child.
Thumbs up to Chad Hayden of Clovis North High School for winning the Third Diamond Coach Award from the National Speech and Debate Association, the only coach from California to be so honored.
Hayden will be recognized at the world’s largest academic competition, the National Speech and Debate Tournament, in Birmingham, Ala., next month. More than 7,000 students, coaches, and parents from across the nation attend the tournament every year. Congratulations and good luck to the locals in the competition.
Thumbs up to Home Depot volunteers for pitching in on a remodeling project for the Boys and Girls Club in Clovis on Thursday. About 50 folksshowed up in their work clothes to renovate the art room, replace carpet and broken windows, install new appliances and storage, and add mulch to the playground.