Thumbs up to the Valley stores who donated Christmas trees to Project Survival Cat Haven. Thanks to the donors, the haven is not requesting individuals bring their trees in. They have plenty. However, if you want to watch something fun with the family, take a ride out there and watch the bobcats, tigers, cheetahs, lynxes, jaguars, leopards and lions – oh my! – roll and tumble with their fragrant pines. It’s a blast. The haven is at 38257 E. Kings Canyon Road, Dunlap, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday.
Thumbs down to the schmuck who dumped a used Christmas tree over the 6-foot block fence of Natalie Mahan’s house in the Tower District, as she posted on Facebook. Let’s give the lout the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps this is an impaired person who just did not know what do. Here is what to do: In Fresno, Christmas trees can be discarded in green waste bins. Trees should be chopped into three-feet-or-shorter pieces and placed inside the bins, not left along the curb, which is a fire hazard. That is what Mahan posted that she is doing. There are heavy fines for dumping trees in places they don’t belong, like empty lots or alleys. Questions? Call the city’s Solid Waste Management Division at (559) 621-1452.
Thumbs up to Fresno State’s award-winning student winemakers and their support team. Looking for an impressive bottle of sumpin’ sumpin’ to share with a friend? Some of their wines recently took top honors at the Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition, including a gold medal for its 2012 Touriga from Duarte Vineyards. The other award winners were the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Duarte Vineyards), 2009 Petite Sirah (Duarte Vineyards), 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Fresno State Vineyards), 2012 Merlot and a 2011 Tempranillo. Many Fresno State wines are sold at the Gibson Farm Market on campus, 5368 N. Chestnut Ave., 278-4511 or check your neighborhood supermarket.
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Thumbs up to Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center Fresno for being ranked this month as one of the top 15 hospitals in California for breastfeeding results, with 89.7% of the babies exclusively breastfeeding and 95.9% doing any breastfeeding. The hospital policies and practices impact breastfeeding success, according to the the Fresno County Department of Public Health. The exclusive breastfeeding rate for infants born in Fresno County, improved to 56.1 percent, up from 53% in 2013. We are improving, but we have a long way to go, as we are rated 43rd out of 58 counties in the state. The statistics came from the state health department.
Thumbs up to Sonia Relingo, a Mendota dentist, for winning a California Dental Association Foundation Student Loan Repayment Grant totaling up to $105,000 over three years. Relingo, who graduated from the Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington, D.C., in 2013, received the grant in exchange for a commitment to practice in an underserved community. “My entire desire for dentistry has been molded by the fact that I would love to provide community dentistry and care for the underserved, and a grant like this will allow me to work with that population, “ said Relingo, who is currently employed at United Health Center in Mendota, where she provides full-time dental care.
Thumbs up to Sran Family Orchards in Kerman for celebrating 65 years in business with a new almond-processing facility and company rebranding. The Sran family is led by Navdep Singh and Sukhwinder Kaur Sran. It has been farming permanent and row crops since 1950, when a great-aunt came to the United States and started the farm. Now specializing in organic and conventional almonds, the family built a multimillion-dollar plant that opened in October to process its own nuts and service to other growers. The 80,000-square-foot plant can process up to 60 million pounds of almonds a year. That’s 12,000 to 16,000 pounds per hour. The plant also has cold storage, holding up to 12 million pounds, and freezer room, up to 4 million pounds, to reduce handling costs.