Thumbs up to Mike Watney for volunteering to donate a kidney so Jon DeChambeau could increase his chances of getting a transplant. The two men have known each other for years through the local golf community, but were not close friends.
Jon is years away from a match on the transplant list, and one way to speed up the process is through a paired exchange program. If the donor and recipient aren’t a blood-type match, as is the case with Watney and DeChambeau, the donor gives his or her kidney to an unknown patient who is.
The recipient then receives a compatible kidney from someone in a similar situation. This is a grand gesture of generosity by Watney, and we wish both men the best. For more information on donations, go to www.kareforkidney.com
Thumbs down to Dr. Yorai “Benny” Benzeevi, chief executive officer of HealthCare Conglomerate Associates, operators of Tulare Regional Medical Center. As reported by The Bee’s Lewis Griswold, Benzeevi is bankrolling efforts to derail passage of Measure H, the Kaweah Delta Health Care District’s $327 million bond election that is underway and will conclude at 8 p.m. May 3.
Campaign documents filed with the state Fair Political Practices Commission show that Benzeevi donated $38,000 to the company that produced an anti-Measure H mailer and automated calls. The mailer, sadly, is of the ilk that are all too common in politics. It claims that the bond measure vote is “secret” when it’s not and inaccurately states the annual cost to district taxpayers.
That an executive of a nearby hospital would try to shoot down Kaweah Delta’s bond effort while cloaked behind a smear mailer is beyond the pale. In addition, Benzeevi didn’t even have the courage to answer questions from Griswold. Instead, he issued a statement in which he said, “I love this community and have worked very hard to improve it.”
If Benzeevi truly loves Visalia, he has a weird way of showing it.
Thumbs up to James Carter, 11, David Valencia, 10, Daniel Ortega, 14, and Gamaliel Edina, 13, for winning free tickets to the Golden State Warriors playoff basketball game. Kaiser Permanente and the Fresno Police Activities League provided this treat to the boys, who are members of the Boys & Girls Club of Fresno County.
The kids were seated in the Kaiser Permanente suite at Oracle Arena when the Warriors beat the Houston Rockets. These particular boys were chosen to go with Fresno Police Southeast District Commander Lt. Mark Salazar because of their good grades, leadership in the club and being well-rounded students.
James and David attend Vang Pao Elementary School, Gamaliel attends Sequoia Middle School, and Daniel goes to Roosevelt High School. Be nice to these guys, folks, because if they keep going as they are, one day they will have their own private boxes.
Thumbs up to Ignacio Villegas Arellano of Wasco, 101, for becoming a U.S. citizen this week. As reported by Juan Esparza Loera in Vida en el Valle, this proves it is never too late to accomplish your dreams.
When he was born, Mexican Revolution General Pancho Villa was winning his battles, the United States had yet to enter World War I and television was a decade away from being invented. A native of Florencia, Zacatecas, México, proudly waved a tiny American flag as he joined 682 other people representing 51 countries in becoming the newest U.S. citizens.
Villegas, who was born Aug. 28, 1915, lives in Wasco. His influence is already taking hold. His 94-year-old wife, Maria de Guadalupe Correa de Villegas, will take the oath on Monday. They will celebrate their 75th anniversary later this year. Congratulations, all around!
Thumbs up to Wells Fargo for donating $45,000 to the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. The school will open its new student-run stock trading room with the money. It will become one of just four such training labs in California.
The Fresno State Foundation has provided $2 million for investments by the Student Managed Investment Fund. Finance students have grown the fund from $2 million to $2.8 million. That is quite a final exam!