Thumbs up to Fresno High School for celebrating mothers in a most practical way. The school is providing space for a private room for breast-feeding moms. The room is quiet and equipped with a breast pump, changing table and information on raising healthy infants. The lactation room was made possible with last year’s passage of AB 302. Breast-feeding gives infants a great start healthwise and a second big bonus is it’s free. Making it convenient and pleasant for mothers in high school encourages them to continue their classes while being attentive moms.
Thumbs down to the hocus pocus games being played by drugstore chains. As Bee consumer columnist David Lazarus recently documented, when CVS bought Target’s pharmacies in February, there were some pretty harsh changes in price.
For example, he cited a Target customer who was routinely paying less than $50 for sildenafil, generic Viagra. When CVS took over, it was $241. Lazarus suggests consumers check websites like GoodRX.com to see which stores are charging lower prices and which are ripping you off. Savings can often be found through mail-order pharmacies and discount programs.
Thumbs up to students from Saint Anthony’s School for donating thousands of diapers they collected for Saint Agnes Holy Cross Center for Women, a shelter for homeless and underserved women and children. Holy Cross provides diapers for about 235 infants a month at a cost of more than $10,000 a year. Donations are accepted online at www.samc.com/donate. Now, the gift of a happy, dry-bottomed baby is a present any mother would love.
Thumbs up to the Fresno City Council and Central and Fresno Unified school districts for working together to address our community’s drastic parks shortage. They plan to open up more than a dozen school playground areas to residential recreation on weekends. An agreement already has been reached with Central to open Steinbeck and McKinley elementary schools.
A pact between the city and Fresno Unified to use 14 elementary, middle and high school site is expected to be approved this month. All but three of the sites are south of Ashlan Avenue and in areas that have been identfied as underserved by city parks. The agreements will add more than 350 acres of green space for residential recreation on weekends.
While that is a good step forward, that still leaves five days a week with families searching for someplace to play. We still have a long way to go. Meanwhile, get out there and play ball!
Thumbs up to the Fresno County’s travel and tourism industries for generating more than $1.4 billion in spending last year, the highest in 20 years. Visit California, the state’s tourism promotion agency reported the spending estimates in a report. Carline Beteta, president and CEO, told The Bee’s Tim Sheehan that California is the biggest tourism economy in the U.S., even bigger than some countries.
Visitors spent more in Madera County as well, but spent less in Tulare and Kings counties. Tourists support more than 24,000 jobs in the Valley and pull in about $185 million in state and local taxes, thank you very much. Fresno County ranks 15th in total travel/tourism dollars. No. 1 is Los Angeles County at nearly $25.9 billion.
Thumbs up to Producers Dairy on completing its expansion project, boosting production by 20 percent. The 10-acre plant pumps outmore than 1.5 million gallons of milk a week. With the addition, the company will add about 100,000 gallons a day. Additionally, the company buys all of its milk locally, within 25 miles of the plant. Best of all, this means 50 new jobs. Got milk? Boy, do we!
Thumbs up to Bitwise CEO Jake Soberal for his annual open letter to the community, this year pitching a grand and audacious vision for downtown Fresno and the region over the next decade. His tech startup has grown to fill a renovated 50,000 square foot tech nub in a century-old building south of Chukchansi Park. His vision of creating 250,000 new jobs is a pleasant relief from the gloom and doom club.