Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up to the Red and Nancy Arnold Foundation, which is improving the quality of life for Madera County residents. The foundation, which is funded by the estate of the late Red and Nancy Arnold and managed by their nieces and nephews, has donated $3 million to Madera Community Hospital. This brings the foundation's total gifts to the hospital to $4.1 million since last June. In addition, the foundation has donated $1.5 million to the Friends of Madera Animal Shelter, $500,000 to the Madera Rescue Mission and $250,000 to the Madera County Historial Society.

Thumbs up to Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford. In addition to bucking his political party by working to pass immigration reform, Valadao broke from GOP ranks this week and voted against Republican legislation to implement draconian reforms to the federal food stamp program. "Portions of my district are suffering from more than 30% unemployment, making it nearly impossible for many to find work despite their best efforts. It is unfair to the American people for Congress to implement policies containing work requirements when our national economy is severely suffering," Valadao said.

Thumbs down to Richard James Sesulka of Garden Grove. The tour bus driver is suspected of discharging the waste tank of his bus into the storm drain of the Oakhurst post office before heading up to Yosemite National Park. The storm drain feeds into the Fresno River. Fortunately, witnesses saw what was going on and called the Madera County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff's detectives are seeking a criminal complaint against Sesulka.

Thumbs up to The ARC of Fresno and Madera Counties, which is celebrating 60 years of supporting, training and encouraging the developmentally disabled. The nonprofit will host a fund-raising event Oct. 13 at Wedgewood Banquet Center. Tickets, which cost $55 per person, are available atwww.fresnowinequest.com and by phone at (559) 244-4925.

Thumbs up to Juan Arambula, Marvin Meyers, Kaye Bonner Cummings and Alan Autry. They were honored Sept. 14 by the Fresno County Office of Education Foundation for enriching education through academics, agriculture, arts and athletics.