Thumbs up to Dominic Grijalva of Selma for landing a T-shirt design job for Broadway’s biggest name, Lin-Manuel Miranda, author and star of the Tony-award-hogging sensation “Hamilton.” Grijalva designed shirts for Miranda’s show “In the Heights.” The shirts were inspired from moments in the show, which Grijalva is very familiar with. He directed it at the Selma Arts Center last year. Grijalva and Miranda discovered each other on Twitter; they met in person backstage in New York after “Hamilton” so now they are BFFs.
Check out the designs at www.teerico.com. See? You can get there from here! When he finishes up his education at Fresno State here, he is Broadway bound, hoping to become one of the “Mad Men” in the ad industry.
Thumbs up to World Changers volunteers, especially Jared Newcomer of Virginia who worked through an injury requiring stitches to help Fresno families. World Changers is a group of 110 volunteers who worked for days repairing 10 properties for low-income residents in the Valley. The volunteers came from eight local churches and also churches in Virginia, New Mexico and Arizona. The World Changers volunteers pay about $270 a person plus travel expenses to spend a week of vacation helping people in cities across the nation. The efforts were focused around Jefferson Elementary School near downtown Fresno. Homeless people served the volunteers breakfast at the Fresno Rescue Mission, where World Changers participants stayed earlier in the week. The volunteers did roofing, yard maintenance, fence repair and painting among their tasks.
Thumbs down to the hobbyist unmanned drone operators who are interfering with firefighting efforts in our burning forests. Unmanned drones twice entered restricted airspace near the Trailhead Fire in the rugged foothills of El Dorado and Placer counties last week. Firefighting aircraft were forced to ground because of the potential for accidents. Federal authorities are warning that they could fine and prosecute hobbyists caught flying drones that interfere with firefighting aircraft. Keep your toys at home during fire season.
Thumbs up to Talon Smith of Fresno, 14, for taking home a gold medal and $10,000 for winning the 11-14 age division at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Artists Piano Competition in Salt Lake City. Musicians from nine countries competed. Talon, who also is a composer, began his lessons at age 5 on a $100 piano his mom found at a yard sale. He played it for years, until his parents recently replaced it with a new Steinway. He told Bee reporter Donald Munro the best three words to describe him are: “Available for hire!”
Thumbs up to Diane Naylor of Oakhurst, who was recently crowned the 2015 California queen of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club Inc. She has lost a total of 225 pounds, with 177 coming off since she joined the club. At her heaviest, she was 380 pounds. Today, at age 63, she is 155. Her food strategy was replacing sweets and starchy carbohydrates with vegetables, and adding in exercise, education and fellowship with others in her club. “Don’t try to go it alone,” she says, praising her TOPS support group. “And never give up on your dream.” There are about 15 TOPS chapters in the Valley and foothills.
Thumbs up to Valley PBS for its Ready to Learn program, which is designed to help families in rural communities learn to appreciate early learning for their children. The hope is they will envision a future broader than field work. The program is funded by a grant from the Independent Television Service A television special about a Fresno family of migrant farmworkers is featured in an America ReFramed documentary “Class of 27” Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. on the WORLD channel. The Valley PBS team encourages parents to read to their children, teach them their colors and numbers, enroll them in preschool and other extracurricular activities.
Thumbs up to the mother who stepped forward to contact police and tell them that her son had been involved in a fight at a Manchester Center movie house in Fresno. A fight broke out among young people and one pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim. When police interviewed the son, he admitted that he had committed the crime. He was taken to juvenile hall and booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. The 16-year-old victim’s injuries were non-lethal.