Thumbs down to Sandridge Partners for allegedly pumping thousands of acre-feet of water from the underground aquifer in Tulare County and exporting it 25 miles through pipes and canals to an almond farm in Kings County. Visiting Judge Harry N. Papadakis put a temporary halt to the pillaging by issuing a preliminary injuction against Sandridge, which is controlled by developer and farmer John Vidovich of Los Altos Hills and others. You may recall that Sandridge agreed to permanently export water from Kings County to Southern California in a $73 million deal in 2009.
Thumbs up to Dr. Dominic T. Dizon and Marilyn Mitchell for teaming up on a new, faster way to test patients for Valley fever. Dizon is an associate clinical professor at UC San Francisco-Fresno, and Mitchell is supervisor of the microbiology lab at Community Regional Medical Center.
Thumbs up to every Tulare County resident who contributed to the "Be Inspired Children's Book Drive" at College of the Sequoias. A total of 6,100 books were collected to help promote literacy in Tulare County. Thumbs up, too, to event organizers Read for Life, Disney, BC Television, First Book and ABC30.
Thumbs up to Augie Garrido, a former Fresno State outfielder and a 1996 inductee into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame. On Tuesday, Garrido became the winningest coach in college baseball history as his Texas Longhorns defeated Texas State. With the victory, Garrido eclisped Gordie Gillespie's all-division record of 1,893 wins.
Thumbs up to Coarsegold Elementary School's seventh-grade team, Ranchos Middle School's eighth-grade team and St. Joachim School's seventh- and eighth-grade teams for winning Madera County academic pentathlon titles. Nearly 400 students competed in the competition. St. Joachim's teams swept the super quiz after Coarsegold and Ranchos posted their wins.
Thumbs up to Peter Carey, who is retiring after 40 years, including 25 as leader, with nonprofit Self-Help Enterprises in Visalia. During Carey's tenure as CEO, 3,900 homes and apartment units were built.