Thumbs up to Christopher Gorham, a Roosevelt High School graduate, for offering to do a big fundraiser screening in Fresno for his new feature film, “Po.” The movie tells the story of of the widowed father of an autistic son. Both are trying to deal with the death.
“Po” is being shown at film festivals across the country, including the recent Newport Beach International Film Festival. He told Bee entertainment writer Rick Bentley that he would “love to raise a bunch of money for autism-related services in the Central Valley. So many insurance plans, mine included, do not cover autism, leaving far too many children locked out of the types of services that can make a real difference in their lives.”
Thumbs down to The State Bar of California for failing its No. 1 responsibility: protecting the public from incompetent or unscrupulous lawyers. As reported by Sacramento Bee political columnist Dan Walters, the State Bar was a mess under Joe Dunn, who resigned in 2014 and is now running for a congressional seat out of Orange County.
“Rather than using its financial resources to improve its attorney discipline system, the State Bar dedicated a significant portion of its funds to purchase and renovate a building in Los Angeles in 2012,” stated a report from State Auditor Elaine Howle. In addition, Elizabeth Parker, who succeeded Dunn as the State Bar’s executive director, told the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 26 that the group is “an organization in turmoil.”
We are not sure as to the prescription for cleaning up the State Bar, but a good place to start would be acknowledging the organization’s conflicting missions of regulating California’s more than 200,000 lawyers and being a trade association that protects its members financial interests.
Thumbs up to child actor Caleb Brown, 9, of Visalia for his role in “Mother’s Day,” a Jennifer Aniston-Kate Hudson feature film. Lucky guy plays Aniston’s son in the holiday comedy, which is directed by Garry Marshall. Caleb also was cast as Teri Hatcher’s son in TV’s “The Odd Couple.” He did make a crack that he thinks his dad is a little jealous. Uh, yeah!
Thumbs up to Cultiva La Salud for hosting a Bike Rodeo on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., to teach novice bicyclists safety skills for the road. Kids and adults are invited to use this road-simulated course. Several high-profile bike-vehicle collisions recently have the community focused on safety. Meet up at Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E. Butler. The rodeo is intended to educate residents about bike safety, and to help grow their confidence and ability to be better cyclists.
Thumbs up to Kaweah Delta Hospital Guild for celebrating its 60th anniversary. Last year the group raised $126,427.00 for patient care equipment and volunteered 19,737 hours with 163 volunteers. The group welcomes men volunteers; Tommy Sullivan, the first male president, will be installed May 3.
Thumbs up to Fresno County farmers for donating a record 25.5 million pounds of food to the needy last year, up 75 percent from 2014, according to food bank officials. The county’s farmers were among more than 100 agriculture companies throughout the state that donated a total of 150 million pounds of produce. Sue Sigler, executive director of the California Association of Food Banks told The Bee’s Robert Rodriguez it was the largest amount ever received by the state.
Thumbs up to the two Fresno families who were surprised with new homes this week by Habitat for Humanity. The Christian organization selected Malee Srisaard, her husband, Ba Xiong, and their family for one of the homes. They have six children, ages 18 months to 18, and have lived in a two-bedroom apartment in southeast Fresno for four years. Their home will be built on South Lotus Avenue.
The second home will go to Yang Vue, her two daughters ages 1 and 2, and her brother, Meng, who currently share a Clovis home with nine other people. Their new house will be built on North Effie Street, several blocks west of Yokomi Elementary School.
The homes are being made possible by a $200,000 grant from the city of Fresno and will be built on infill lots.