Thumbs up, Thumbs down is The Bee’s weekly look at who’s doing right and what’s going wrong. Comment at www.fresnobee.com/opinion
Thumbs up to Fresno photographer Brian Diener, film major at Cal State Northridge, for his spectacular aerial photos of Fresno. The downtown shots are especially good. He flew around the city just after sunset last Saturday. Diener took the photos around 5:45 p.m., shot through the backseat window of a propeller plane with his Canon S4 (a professional-grade camera that cost about $1,500 a couple years ago).
He came back with some breathtaking views that showcased the “afterglow over Fresno” with city lights freshly fired up to combat the night, while contrasting the navy and light blue skies.
“We didn’t necessarily set out with the intention to cast Fresno in a positive manner,” Diener said. “But rather, we take the opportunity to document it as-is, and use a unique perspective to show others that it IS a positive, beautiful place.”
He tweeted out the photos Sunday night. They’ve been retweeted about 1,000 times and liked about 1,800 times through Wednesday evening – not bad considering he has 383 followers.
Thumbs up to Erin Goldfarb, founder of Dress for Success Fresno, a nonprofit boutique opening Thursday at 3:30 p.m., 1315 Van Ness No. 102. From 5-8 p.m., the boutique will host ArtHop, displaying the work of Chance James.
Dress for Success is an international organization supports women entering the workforce by providing professional clothing and job readiness training such as résumé preparation, mock interviews, career counseling and support groups. Details: facebook.com/dressforsuccessfresno. To donate or partner, email Fresno@dressforsuccess.org or visit the website at fresno.dressforsuccess.org.
Thumbs up to Annalee Abrahamsen, 18, of Fresno for earning the highest recognition of American Heritage Girls, the Stars and Stripes Award. She chose to serve the Valley Animal Center by designing and building tables for the youth education program. A member of St. Anthony of Padua Church Troop, she is the first to earn the award in the Fresno/Clovis area. She attends Legacy Christian Church.
American Heritage Girls Inc. is a national character-development organization for Christian girls ages 5-18.
Thumbs up to Kids Cafe 2019, a restaurant giving job training to Fresno County special needs students, on its first anniversary in business. Thumbs can vouch for their housemade potato chips, the Jim’s Special sandwich on sourdough and the poblano chowder topped with corn, tomato salsa and tortilla strips. The cafe serves paninis, deli sandwiches and wraps, salads, soups, breakfast, espresso and smoothies. It is at 2019 Mariposa at Fulton and parking is metered curbside. Details: 559-233-1059 after 7 a.m..
Thumbs down to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for neglecting to communicate bad air day alert registration forms for the Valley’s Spanish-language speakers. It had to be pushed by a tweet storm to make alert sign-ups available in Spanish, despite the dire health consequences, especially for children and the elderly. Register for air alerts in Spanish at www.valleyair.
Thumbs up to Larissa Mercado-Lopez, associate professor in the women’s studies program at Fresno State, for being selected as a 2018 Emerging Scholar. The announcement is in the latest edition of “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” magazine.
The magazine annually selects inspiring scholars under 40 years of age from across the country who are making their marks through teaching, research and service. Mercado-Lopez researches Chicana literature and feminist fitness, along with student parents at Fresno State.
“As a mother of four children,” Mercado Lopez says, being a mother-scholar has been difficult, but I hope that this award shows the academy what is possible when parents, especially mothers, are given not only support, but meaningful opportunities for growth and leadership,”