Thumbs up to the Christopherson family, who recently celebrated their fifth Eagle Scout award. Jared, 17, is the last in a long line of outstanding Scouts in the family. Becoming an Eagle Scout is a major challenge for any young man, and only about 5 percent achieve the rank. Eagle Scouts must earn 21 merit badges, complete a community service project, serve in a position of leadership and attend a leadership conference, among other things.
Jared’s project – constructing 150 feet of wooden railing for a wheelchair ramp at Katey’s Kids Park in Kerman – was the most time-intensive and involved project of all the guys. Jared logged 332 hours, typically working on the project twice a week for a month and a half. The Chrisophersons are an excellent example of peer pressure at its finest. No one wants to be teased by brothers all their life!
Thumbs down to Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky for his outrageously soft ruling in the Stanford rape case. And a second down thumb to the impossibly stupid letter the rapist’s father, Dan A. Turner wrote defending his son. He only enraged people more against his son. Brock Turner, 20, was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault, including intent to commit rape. Other students caught Turner on top of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, leading to his arrest.
Persky sentenced Brock Turner to six months in county jail and three years of probation, though prosecutors had sought six years in prison. Online records show Turner is expected to be released from jail after three months. the Associated Press says. To officially recall Persky, organizers would need to collect signatures from 58,634 registered county voters.
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At the sentencing, Persky said he imposed a lighter sentence given the defendant’s lack of prior criminal history and suggested Turner had “less moral culpability” because he had been drunk when he assaulted the victim.
Thumbs up to the Central California Women’s Conference for awarding 62 Valley nonprofits $101,000 in grants. The usually sold-out conference is held annually in September and features dozens of speakers. This year’s keynote luncheon speaker will be TV journalist and author Lisa Ling. The event will be Sept. 20 and tickets are $110. In addition to these grants, last fall CCWC donated $24,000 to six local nonprofits to fight hunger and awarded $7,500 in scholarships.
Thumbs up to Fresno State for setting a record on the number of sweet corn ears sold when the crop hit the stands opening day. An estimated $10,799 was tallied at the Gibson Farm Market from the sale of yellow, white and bicolor corn grown on campus. A record 36,892 ears were sold opening day, totaling 65 bins.
Thumbs up to AT&T for contributing $20,000 to support courses in programming, residential electrical and mobile air conditioning in rural Fresno County. The Westside Institute of Technology and West Hills College Coalinga will offer the classes.
Thumbs up to Grundfos Pump Co. for donating a trailer to Central Unified School District. Over two years, students in the applied technology classes like wood shop and electrical engineering, will build a tiny house on the trailer. Sean Wolfe, project manager for Grundfos, coordinated the collaboration when he realized a marketing trailer was going to be recycled in the scrap yard. We cannot wait to see the finished product.
Thumbs up to Kaiser Permanente Fresno for funding free recreational swimming for children at five neighborhood pools during the day and the option to swim with their families at night. With a $30,000 grant, kids will get free daily access to learner pools at Fink-White, Pinedale, Quigley, Einstein and Romain neighborhood centers. There also will be family swim nights at each of the pools. As a bonus there will be free swim classes, community events to teach residents about exercise and healthy eating, plus junior lifeguard classes so 15 teens from low-income neighborhoods can become lifeguards. Details: 621-2900.