Thumbs up to the 47 big-hearted Bee readers who have donated through a Go Fund Me account nearly $4,000 to Graciela Pacheco, 18, a single mother of Alyssa Sherlynne. Pacheco was shamed out of her Fresno middle school for becoming pregnant at 14. Mackenzie Mays of The Bee told Pacheco’s story as part of an ongoing series on sex education and teen pregnancy in the central San Joaquin Valley.
A student at Fresno City College with goals of becoming a Spanish/English translator, Pacheco hopes to buy a car with the contributions. She picks up shifts in-between classes as a server at Panda Express. The mother of her so-called “baby daddy” helps watch her daughter. To contribute online, go to www.gofundme.com/graciela-pachecos-mom-fund.
Thumbs up to New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, for launching moonshots over Miami this week. Bee reporter B.J. Anteola reports that Judge’s impressive rookie season just got a little spicier. The former Fresno State star turned Major League All Star won the Home Run Derby on Tuesday at Marlins Park in Miami.
Judge smashed 47 home runs over three rounds, including one homer that traveled a derby-best 513 feet. “I was just trying to have fun,” Judge said on the ESPN broadcast. Judge led the majors with 30 home runs at the break and was a considered a favorite.
During batting practice, Judge hit the ceiling of Marlins Park. TV broadcaster F.P. Santangelo tweeted that he was told no one has ever hit the Marlins Park’s roof, including Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton.
Thumbs down to the phone scammer who is impersonating a Fresno County sheriff’s deputy. According to Tony Botti, sheriff’s office spokesman, the man orders his target to pay a certain amount in fines to avoid arrest and requests the potential victim meet him at different locations to pay the fine. In other calls, the scammer wants gift cards into the hundreds of dollars, and requests that the buyer read the card’s security code over the phone. To report a problem online, go to www.fresnosheriff.org; click on “report a crime.”
Thumbs up to Andrew Fiala, director of the Ethics Center at Fresno State and chairman of the philosophy department, for getting national recognition from the American Philosophical Association. He was honored for a column he wrote for The Bee. The essay was titled “Without faith in humanity, cynicism grows and democracy becomes mob rule.”
He observed in the commentary how much Americans distrust their leaders and the political process. He was one of five philosophers honored, including those from Rutgers University, Stanford University, City University of New York and the University of Oxford. Fiala writes every Saturday for The Bee.
Thumbs up to Fresno County Board of Supervisors for selling off the old juvenile hall property near downtown recently. The Bee’s Marc Benjamin reports that the $1.5 million sale – the minimum bid the county would take – was unanimously approved by the supervisors. The 12.6-acre property was sold “as is” to Carosella Properties of Bakersfield.
The complex of buildings at Tenth Street and Kings Canyon Road has been a nuisance for years, would cost more to demolish than the value of the land itself, and the county continues spending into the six figures for annual building and property maintenance.
It is a long-overdue decision. Sale of that ugly building, known as the “hall of shame,” is a good riddance.