Thumbs up to Fresno’s American Legion Post 509, the Legion Riders motorcycle group, the National Guard’s 1072nd Transportation Company and contributors for organizing dramatic display of 350 American flags along Blackstone Avenue for the Memorial Day weekend. It was a grand and impressive show of Old Glory running through the spine of the city. Perhaps other groups could step up and match the effort for the July Fourth weekend.
Thumbs down to the senseless expiration dates on our food, which contribute to an estimated 40 percent of our food going uneaten – a ridiculous practice when so many people go hungry every day. Two Food Labeling Act bills to address this issue have been introduced in the House and the Senate. They are rightfully called “no-duh legislation.”
They are sheer common sense because the dates are irrelevant to food safety, according to Dana Gunders, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council and many others. She told David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times there is no exact science behind the practice. In addition, some places even prevent donations of perfectly good food because the “sell by” dates are past. The new labeling would say “best if used by” dates and “expires on” dates to make it more clear when there is a health risk.
Thumbs up to Krista Miguel, a Fresno State student, for winning a PG&E Better Together Scholarship, worth up to $20,000 a year. Miguel, 21, is studying electrical engineering and will enter her senior year at Fresno State next year. She will be the first in her family to obtain a bachelor’s degree and plans to attend graduate school. She also interned with PG&E last summer. The annual Better Together Scholarships are renewable for five years.
The scholarships are awarded based on a combined demonstration of community leadership, personal triumph, financial need and academic achievement. The scholarships are for college students to complete their undergraduate studies in STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math – programs.
Thumbs up to Fowler High School student Zachary Smith for being named Big Brother of the Year. He volunteers for the High School Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Central California in partnership with the Men’s Alliance at Fowler High School.
The single mother of Zachary’s little brother is exuberant in her praise: “Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the time and dedication that Zack selflessly gives to help bring stability, confidence and ultimately success to my son, Nickolas,” she said. “It is a life-altering experience that will carry him through the rest of his childhood and through adulthood. The positive, stable foundation Zack has helped instill in Nick is priceless.”
Great to hear about two young men off to a good start.
Thumbs up to Valley Center for the Blind for opening its new location at 3417 W. Shaw Ave. Established in 1973, VCB provides services for over 300 blind and visually impaired individuals annually. Services include educational classes such as braille, technology training, orientation and mobility, and independent living skills. In addition to serving Fresno County, the center helps folks in Madera, Tulare and Kings counties.
Thumbs up to Footsteps of Saint Agnes Medical Center, an award-winning expressive arts program for children, teens and caregivers dealing with difficult losses, for hosting a free summer day camp June 25 for underserved Valley children. Camp Sunshine runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 25 and is open to children 5 through 18 years old who have experienced a significant change due to death, divorce, separation or abandonment.
Participants will get art instruction from “The Artist in Me” studio, and experience pet therapy from Saint Agnes Heavenly Hounds and Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch. Details: 559-450-5608 or www.samc.com/footsteps.