Thumbs down to SkyWest, US Airways and American airlines for keeping a group of Chowchilla middle school students holed up in Fresno Yosemite International for 15 hours. The students were taking a long-awaited trip to Washington, D.C. Communications among the managers and staff of the airlines crash landed that day. Stuff happens while traveling, but there was no excuse for not providing plenty of food from the restaurant (or getting it delivered in), nice hotel rooms, constant updating and special attention for this group. In any case, people should be updated every 30 minutes with a status report. Instead, the students were left dangling all day in the airport. C’mon, airline reps, get with it. Jump out there, buy the students some tokens and shuttle them over to Blackbeards for fun.
Thumbs up to the 200 immigrants who will be sworn in as new citizens at 10 a.m. today in the Satellite Student Union at Fresno State. The special naturalization ceremony timed to coincide with United Nations World Refugee Day, will be hosted by The Maddy Institute in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Citizenship Academy and the Network for Integrating New Americans of the Central Valley. Speaking at the event will be Maddy Institute Director Mark Keppler, Fresno City Council Member Esmeralda Soria, Rep. Jim Costa and Jonathan Crawford, director for the Fresno Field Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Welcome new Americans!
Thumbs up to Harmanjodh Pannu of Selma, 8, a patient at Valley Children’s Hospital, for selling his toys at a yard sale and donating the money to the hospital for cancer research. He raised $655 at his event. “Harma” was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2009 and he has been home schooled ever since. His neighborhood school, Indianola, has extended him an invitation to attend school anytime he feels well enough. Teachers come three days a week. Harman said the treatments he gets at the hospital can be rough. “At first I was pretty scared because of the needles, and it kinda hurt a lot.” Now, he is concerned about other children and hopes to raise more money for research. He is the son of Parminder and Sarbit Pannu and he has a baby sister, Guneet, 8 months. He continues to receive treatments, regularly donating coloring books, pencils and new toys. Well done, Harman!
Thumbs up to the journalism students at Pershing Continuation High School in the Central Unified School District and the Fresno Elks Lodge for donating 11 videotaped interviews of local veterans to Fresno’s Legion of Valor Museum. The tapes are personal accounts of the Vietnam war. Elks National Foundation funded the $2,000 project.