Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up to the Big Fresno Fair for drawing 641,351 people through the gates during its 13-day run. The last time the fair drew in excess of 600,000 was in 1992 when it was 17 days long. More than ever, the fair is woven into the fabric of our community. Besides offering exhibits, livestock auctions, amusement rides and horse racing, it hosted a marching band review and scholastic competition. And the Save Mart/FoodMaxx "Feed the Need" drive collected 143,676 pounds of food.

Thumbs up to the Sunkist Growers A.W. Bodine Scholarship Program. It has awarded six scholarships to students from agriculture backgrounds. The recipients are: Raquel Campuzano Santamaria of Orosi; Steve Escarcega of Hanford; Scarlett Ceja of Tulare; and Rose Pier, Octavio Viramontes and Omar Viramontes of Earlimart. Each will receive $2,000 annually for four years of college based on an annual review.

Thumbs up to Ruiz 4 Kids. The charity, which was started more than 20 years ago at the suggestion of Ruiz Food Inc. employees, distributed $270,000 in 2012. This year's beneficiaries are CASA of Tulare County, Wish Upon A Star, Blind Babies Foundation and Miracle League of Visalia.

Thumbs down to Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Granite Bay, for opposing the bill that reopened the federal government and averted a debt default by the United States.