Thumbs up to the new Miss California Jillian Smith, competing as Miss Yosemite Valley. One of seven granddaughters who have competed in Miss America qualifying events, she is the first to go to the national pageant. That’s a lot of sequins and crystals. A senior at Cal Poly, she is a broadcast journalism major.
The Miss America competition will be Sept. 10 in Atlantic City. Along with the title, Smith received a $25,000 scholarship, which includes $5,000 from the city of Fresno. She also wants to expand the focus on bringing the Dude. Be Nice Project to schools. It is all about throwing surprise parties for “awesome and unappreciated” people. Can’t get enough of that.
Thumbs down to Fresno City Councilman Clinton Olivier for his apathetic reaction to the illegal fireworks issue. On KMJ talk radio Friday, he conceded he had no ideas for solving the problem and figures we should just live with it. Aw, heck. It’s once a year. What are you going to do? A wise caller warned that once you give up on your laws, it is only going to get worse. Good point.
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There’s an old saying. You can solve a problem when it’s small or when it’s big. So how big does it have to get for Olivier to pay attention? Does a child have to die because no medical calls could be taken by 911? Someone’s grandparent? Does the mayor’s house have to burn? City Hall?
Now, the councilman can be commended for his honesty. More folks should ’fess up to that. But he should never advocate for surrender on public safety issues. He needs to just sit in a corner and listen, while more creative, energetic people research this problem, come up with ideas and offer them to the council. We are not the first region to wrestle with illegal fireworks. Perhaps he might want to do a little investigating.
Thumbs up to the Fresno Grizzlies for making a home-cooked meal for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Central Valley. Families from out of town who have children in the hospital can stay in one of the 18 rooms. In 2013, a day room service was added. It gives wait-listed families the ability to rest, shower, and eat a home cooked meal.
Thumbs up to the East Fresno Kiwanis Foundation, which donated $2,500 to the Kiwanis Miracle Mile of Quarters project that raises funds for Valley Children’s Hospital. Members of East Fresno Kiwanis-sponsored Key Clubs, Circle K and Aktion Clubs laid out the quarters in the hospital entrance in the form of a giant K representing the Kiwanis effort in support of the hospital. Very clever!
Thumbs up to Next Generation Philanthropy, a Central Valley Community Foundation partner, for donating a total of $24,000 to Fresno Barrios Unidos, Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation and Community Food Bank. Each nonprofit will be awarded $8,000.
Thumbs up to Amazon for donating $10,000 and six Kindle Fire tablets to the Foundation for Fresno County Public Library to support the Digibus. The foundation was then surprised with a matching donation from Dermody Properties, making the total donation $20,000.
The Digibus provides free access to wi-fi and computer literacy classes in the rural areas of Fresno County. It’s important to be ready for tech-intensive jobs like those offered by Amazon when the company opens its fulfillment center in south Fresno.