Thumbs up to the Hanford Police Department for raising money to replace playground equipment stolen from the United Cerebral Palsy Parent & Me program. The officers raised enough in one day to replace the stolen set and within a week had enough for not just one but two new playsets for the center. The plan is to install the new equipment in a way that is theftproof. The department is accepting donations on behalf of the center. Send them to 425 N. Irwin St., Hanford, or call 585-4730 with questions.
Thumbs down to the California High Speed Rail Authority for beginning an underground utility relocation project that is closing down Kern Street with a little more than two weeks remaining during the Fresno Grizzlies’ regular season. The closure is causing traffic delays and other hassles for baseball fans. In that the high-speed rail project is many years from completion, the authority should have waited until season’s end to start the utility relocation. Why give people even more reason to complain about the controversial rail project?
Thumbs up to the Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association and more than 250 volunteers who completed a façade improvement and cleanup project along the Ventura/Kings Canyon corridor over six Saturdays this summer. This project included cleaning, painting and enhancing structures and landscaping of businesses and alleys along the busy corridor. Participants and sponsors included Wells Fargo Bank, PG&E, Home Depot, Bank of America and Chase Bank. Other supporters included volunteer students from Roosevelt High School, Roosevelt Youth Soccer League, Bob Jones Painting, MetroPCS and Mid Valley Disposal.
Thumbs up to Tyson Foods for donating 40,000 pounds of fresh poultry to Community Food Bank. “No child, woman or man should ever be without food,” said Rep. Jim Costa, “and I commend Community Food Bank and Tyson Foods for their efforts in working to eliminate hunger.” Community Food Bank serves five counties, feeding 280,000 people every month, including 90,000 children. That’s a whole lot of fried chicken dinners. Yum.
Thumbs up to Madera County for grabbing the top spot in the nation for manufacturing job growth among not only small metropolitan areas, but all metro markets in the country. The blog NewGeography.com analyzed metro areas nationwide and found that Madera County was gaining ground in an impressive way. The county shows a 215% growth in food-processing jobs from 2010 to 2014.
Thumbs up to Howard Watkins for creating his photographic archive project. Since the 1970s, Watkins has taken nearly 300,000 photographs at Fresno events. Now he wants to donate his collection to Fresno State, and is raising money to cover the costs for scanning photos, staff work, digital storage space and licensing fees in perpetuity. So far, he has raised about $30,000 but he needs about $200,000. None of the money goes to Watkins for his time to do this work; this is just a way to preserve our history. If you would like to help out, tax-deductible donations can be sent to the Fresno Regional Foundation, with a note that the donation is for the Howard K. Watkins Photo Archive Fund. Donations can be made online or by mail and sent to 5260 N. Palm Ave., Suite 122.
Thumbs up to Ken Dias for receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award from the California Agricultural Teacher’s Association. He has been in agricultural education in Clovis for 32 years. The award is given to a member of the agricultural education profession who has demonstrated the highest level of professional performance and involvement in their program and community.
Thumbs up to Rotary Club of Fresno for giving $4,645 to Valley Preparatory Academy Charter School for a shuttle bus that will transport students to school and for use for field trips, $4,030.95 to Valley Center for the Blind for office equipment and furniture, $2,500 to Stone Soup Fresno for converting a parking lot to a playground for the Early Childhood Development Center, and $2,500 to Light-House Recovery Program Inc. for playground equipment for the after-school program and computers on site for adult GED study program.