Thumbs up to Madera High kicker Brisa Meza for proving big things come in small packages. The 5-foot-2-inch sophomore set a school record with 10 extra points and set a Central Section record for most extra points by a female kicker in last week’s playoff game against Mount Whitney. Go, Brisa!
Thumbs down to Herbert Deon Goodwin Jr. for using force and fear to take advantage of two vulnerable women, ages 17 and 42, in a human trafficking scheme. He was sentenced this week by Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. for 36 years to life in prison. Excellent news. Now he’ll get a taste of being held prisoner like his victims.
In announcing the punishment, Sarkisian noted for the record that Goodwin was arrested in April this year while on parole for a 2012 felony conviction of pimping a 15-year-old girl.
Thumbs up to the Sikh Americans community for a very big week. The Valley Sikhs donated $20,000 to Poverello House, 412 F St., Nov. 11. The Pov is a homeless shelter. On a national level, UC Berkeley alumnus Ravinder Bhalla was elected the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. He also is the first turban-wearing Sikh politician to be elected mayor in U.S. history.
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Thumbs up to Doug Hansen of Clovis, who teaches illustration at Fresno State, for being in the brotherhood of the traveling pants. Hansen has the honor of having his patched Levi’s from his college years decades ago displayed for a global audience. Tracey Panek, historian at the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives in San Francisco, requested Hansen’s pants for the company’s permanent collection and they are on display.
The garment got perhaps its biggest exposure, however, this week, while on display in Dubai in the world’s largest shopping mall. Panek displayed them in the store alongside iconic jeans from Jennifer Lopez and Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Thumbs up to Paint It Forward for Heroes in Visalia for fixing up veteran David Crawford’s house in Visalia. A neighbor, Armin Flores, nominated him for his volunteer work with veterans and for being a great neighbor. He also serves as AMVETS Post 22 commander.
A group of veterans and volunteers provided him with a fresh exterior paint job and installation of a 20-foot flag pole. Last Saturday, there was an American and an Army flag flying on the pole.
Thumbs up to Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and staff for filling more than 150 boxes with food, which will be given to families in need at the Poverello House before the Thanksgiving holiday. KP Fresno is also donating $10,000 to the Poverello House to put toward feeding those in need over the holidays. Well done.
Thumbs up to the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans project organizers for unveiling the POW/MIA chair of honor that will be permanently installed at Chukchansi Park.
A plaque will also be mounted above the chair, which will have a brief description explaining the remembrance.
David Black said the chair will remain folded until all prisoners of war and those who were reported missing in action return home. We all will celebrate that day.
Thumbs up to veteran Manuel Blunt for getting his high school diploma two days after Veterans Day. Fifty years ago, he dropped out of Fresno High School to enlist in the Army and fight in the Vietnam War. Blunt, who now lives in Riverside, walked in a special graduation ceremony in Moreno Valley with four other Vietnam War veterans and two from the Korean War.
The Fresno native is among 344 veterans to receive one of these diplomas from the Riverside County Office of Education over the past 11 years. The 68-year-old received the diploma thanks to California Education Code that allows educators to award high school diplomas to veterans of certain wars without requiring them to finish school.
Thumbs up to the donors fulfilling the Evangel Home’s Thanksgiving celebration supplies list. Evangel Home is a shelter for homeless women and children. Their current holiday needs are listed on their web site, evangelhome.org.