Thumbs down to state Democratic lawmakers Henry T. Perea of Fresno, Adam Gray of Merced and Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton for accepting more than $20,000 each in campaign donations from cigarette makers. All three represent high-poverty districts in the San Joaquin Valley where smoking typically is more prevalent than it is in middle-class communities. As smoking harms health and contributes to the high cost of medical insurance, these lawmakers should go cold turkey and quit taking donations from Big Tobacco.
Thumbs up to the Clovis Tennis Club for raising more than $4,000 to alleviate hunger at its 10th annual CROP Hunger Tennis Tournament. CROP, which stands for Communities Reaching Out to People, raises money for the Community Food Bank and international disaster/hunger relief.
Thumbs up to the Fresno Council on Child Abuse Prevention and Fansler Foundation for reaching a record high of training 3,038 mandated reporters in Fresno County. Mandated reporters are professionals and lay people who have a special working relationship or contact with children. They have been trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. Reporting is a crucial step in stopping the abuse.
Thumbs up to Oscar Uvalle of Visalia, the Valley's newest millionaire. Uvalle claimed his prize this week in a lottery game worth $1,154,385.