Thumbs up to Fresno musician Richie Blue for making a life-saving act by donating a piece of his liver to Caroline Jackson, who has been battling liver disease for the past 15 years. This type of donation isn’t easy; it has required much personal sacrifice by Blue.
We’ll let The Bee’s music and pop culture reporter, Joshua Tehee, tell the rest of the story: “What kept (Blue) going was the knowledge that without his help, Jackson would die. It wasn’t likely she’d die – it was a sure thing. Doctors gave Jackson a nine-month window to find a donor. After August, it would be too late. Both patients are now out of the hospital and healing well.”
Says Blue, with remarkable modesty, “There really are so many people involved,” he says. “I was just a mere cog in the wheel.”
Thumbs down to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon for waiting far too long to remove troubled Assemblyman Roger Hernández of West Covina from his committee assignments.
Hernández has been in constant hot water during his three terms: a drunken-driving arrest (a jury later acquitted him), allegations of campaign money laundering, an ex-girlfriend’s request for a restraining order and, most recently, a restraining order issued after his former wife accused him of violently abusing her.
Despite all of these red flags, Rendon, a Democrat, didn’t strip Hernández, a Democrat, of his committee assignments until July 1, after a judge ordered Hernández to keep away from his ex-wife for three years. Hernández, who is running for Congress, has denied allegations that he abused his ex-wife.
As Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol columnist, wrote: “It’s not much of a punishment. The 2015-16 legislative session has just a month to go and term limits are forcing Hernández out of the Legislature anyway.”
Thumbs up to Philanthropy Inspired by the Needs of our Community, more commonly known as PINC, which donated $80,000 to the Fresno nonprofit Feed Our Future on July 14. A nonprofit helping another nonprofit? That is exactly what PINC was founded to do.
Since 2009, PINC has raised $334,500 for local nonprofits. Founded in March 2014, Feed Our Future provides weekend food to local, hungry children to bridge the gap between school-provided meals, the only daily meals these children would otherwise generally receive. With this donation, Feed Our Future will be able to open a third school site at Olmos Elementary and fund it for three years.
Thumbs up to actor Golden Brooks, formerly of Fresno, for starting her third season in “Hollywood Divas,” a reality series on TV One airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. TV One is aimed at African American adults and is on AT&T U-verse 157 and Comcast 483. Brooks also has a recurring role in “Blunt Talk” with Patrick Stewart and six projects releasing in the near future. She studied at Fresno City College before pursuing her acting career.
Thumbs up to Fig Garden Rotary Club for giving $2,000 to The Metallic Thunder Robotics Team. The grant makes it possible for the home-school robotics team, working out of IdeaWorks in downtown Fresno, to attend its first robotic national championships in St. Louis. Robotics are a terrific way for students to learn coding.
Thumbs up to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California for striking gold at the the national conference in Orlando, Fla. That National Gold Standard Award puts the Valley nonprofit in the top 5 percent nationally. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister and see the smile you can put into someone’s life!
Thumbs up to Fresno Yosemite International Airport for completing the expanded cellphone waiting area. It is a convenient stop for families and friends waiting to pick up arriving passengers. The free waiting area triples the original size, far better handling peak travel times. The area is near the airport terminal, just past the entrance on the right side of the roadway, and is marked with blue signs.