Clovis News

Valley news of the week -- Dec. 19-25

Those who make news and those who write about it were busy getting ready for Christmas, so last week was pretty quiet. Happily (for those who put out newspapers and newscasts) there was some bad weather to liven things up a bit. And readers commenting online still found a way to have political battles over stories about the rain.

Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers on

Big bad storm

What happened: A drawn-out storm dowsed the Valley with waves of rain for much of the week. No injuries or major damage were reported, though roads were washed out here and there.

What it means: Similar conditions were expected to bring more rain this week. Meteorologists say it could be the beginning a wet year.

What readers said:

"just think about how much badly needed water is getting away because there are not more dams, thanks sierra club and all the left wing wackos out there."

-- mountainrepublican

"You'd blame 'all the left wing wackos' if your oatmeal was cold in the morning."

-- davemartin7777

"Why should my tax money be spent to build a dam just because you can't figure out how to do something OTHER THAN TRYING TO FARM IN A SEMI-ARID CLIMATE."

-- ahw1982

"global warming. but dont worry, EVERYTHING IS OK. the dollar will not collapse and society will not enter chaos. go back to your jobs and keep consuming. EVERYTHING IS OK."

-- william_of_ockham

New airline

What happened: A new low-cost Mexican airline is promising to put the "I" back in FYI by offering flights from Fresno-Yosemite International Airport to Guadalajara.

What it means: If all goes as planned, Volaris would begin flying in mid-2011, picking up a popular route that Mexicana dropped when it went bankrupt. The airline also has a partnership with Southwest Airlines.

What readers said:

"Volaris is lots cheaper than Mexicana airlines. I hope they will be here for a long time."

-- stravino

"Fresno now has a code-share with Southwest...we'll just have to connect in Guadalajara first!"

-- flyfresno

Eateries close

What happened: A pair of high-profile chain restaurants closed abruptly, signalling all is not yet well with the Valley economy.

What it means: Claim Jumper in north Fresno and a Red Robin restaurant at Manchester Center both shut their doors.

What readers said:

"So Claim Jumper's goes down as does Red Robin. Yet we need more retail and restaurants, presumably, out near Highway 99. It's not going to work people. No more building until we can fill all the vacant buildings around town."

-- djkc

"I am sad to see this happen and for the employees, now out of work. Restaurant servers and the rest of the crew are some of the hardest working people and have to put up with a lot. I really hope all you terrific folks that waited tables, cooked and worked at the restaurant find jobs. It's sad that the building will now sit vacant."

-- Dana Phillips

"I have to be honest, I'm not especially sorry to see a franchise Claim Jumper go down the tube ... but I am very, very sorry for all those employees who are now out of work. What a bummer Christmas for a lot of hardworking people. I hope the New Year brings them an awesome fun job that pays well."

-- DogBitez

"Mr Potter would be proud of such an action just a week before Christmas."

-- DaleStewart

Air Guard probe

What happened: A Sacramento Bee investigation found that U.S. Air Force auditors are probing alleged "double-dipping" by pilots at the California Air National Guard 144th Fighter Wing based in Fresno.

What it means: Some pilots allegedly broke rules by pulling lucrative standby "alert" duty right after working regular shifts flying warplanes. Some have been relieved of command positions.

What readers said:

"I'm an enlisted airmen in the 144th Fresno Air National Guard and we dont get paid much and we have to go through congress just to spend $5.00 for tools. Now I know where the moneys been going. I am very ashamed and disgusted, but I am happy to announce that next year I am resigning from this discrace of a base and transfering to another."

-- Eric_G559

"I think it's worth noting that the allegations raised in the story (true or otherwise) concern a relatively small number of the hundreds + hundreds of people stationed/working at the 144th FW/Fresno ANG base. The allegations are, in fact, being made only against SOME of pilots."

-- Mollymouser

"Listen, those men and women are being paid to spend time away from their families to protect our nation and protect those individuals who now view them as criminals. This is an alleged 'crime' only because some bureaucrat somewhere said it is, not because of malice intent. If we live in a nation where sports and entertainment people can be make millions upon millions of dollars to pretend and play a game for a living, why are we as a society so outraged that defenders of our freedom who are highly trained and highly skilled are making extra money."

-- Thomason1889

"If you would like to see folk that actually spend time away from their families, drive down to Lemoore Naval Air Stations during the next fly in and watch guys that have been gone for 6 to 9 months from their families deployed to a combat zone. Spending one night away from home for an additional 4 days of reserve pay and calling that OK because that didn't get to see their families ONE night is joke."

-- Fresnan18