Thumbs down to state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, and state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, for voting against a $10.5 billion water bond proposal that would have included $3 billion in surface storage. Senate Bill 848 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, also would provide $70 million specifically for communities that lack safe drinking water. As Vidak, in particular, supports new dams and safe clean water for rural communities, we are puzzled by his vote, which contributed to the bill's failing to get the needed two-thirds majority. Perhaps Vidak and Berryhill were following orders from Republican leaders, but Wolk's bill makes sense for the San Joaquin Valley and the state.
Thumbs up to the Fresno Housing Authority and Scott Vincent, the Fresno preservation architect and his team for their work on the Helm Home. The project won a California Preservation Foundation award. Built in 1901, the home was the residence of William Helm, a Valley sheep rancher. It fell on years of hard times until the Housing Authority bought it.
Thumbs up to Fresno State's nursing program for winning a $700,000 federal grant that will help fund $7,400 scholarships for up to 92 students over the next two years.
Thumbs up to the Cinco De Mayo Charity Golf Tournament, which held its 51st anniversary event at Copper River. The event raised $35,000 for The First Tee of Fresno, which benefits youths with character building and life skills through golf. The tournament has contributed $121,000 to First Tee since 2009.