Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up to Mike Prado for landing a new job as a regional-level investigations chief for U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, D.C. He has risen in his career in law enforcement from working as an investigator aide for the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office to a federal agent investigating child pornography, gangs, and drugs and weapons trafficking. We hope his successor will be as amenable to collaborating with local law enforcement projects focusing on drugs and gangs. The more influence Valley people have in Washington, D.C., the better chance that we will get the time, funding and attention our challenges deserve.

Thumbs up to Firebaugh internist Dr. Oscar M. Sablan for receiving the Frederick K.M. Plessner Memorial Award, honoring a California physician who best exemplifies the ethics and practice of a rural country practitioner. The California Medical Association notes that when he and his wife, Dr. Marcia Sablan, a family physician, arrived in Firebaugh 30 years ago, they moved here from Hawaii. The idea was to work three years in an underserved area covered under a program that forgives medical loans. Three decades later, their practice remains on the corner of O and Ninth streets and they are the only full-time doctors in the town of 7,800.

Thumbs up to the Exchange Club of Fresno for its support of the annual Silent Sleigh program at Christmas for deaf children. The club has donated $1,000 each of the past two years to Silent Sleigh. The donations are used for bus transportation, food and gifts for the children. Silent Sleigh is in its 28th year.

Thumbs up to Reps. David Valado, R-Hanford, and Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, for breaking GOP ranks last week and voting against The Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act, a slap at President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration reform. Even though this bill was strictly political theater intended to whip up the GOP base, Valadao and Denham stood up for the many Valley residents who would benefit from immigration reform. That’s more than we can say for the three Valley lawmakers who supported the bill: Devin Nunes, R-Tulare; Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove.