Thumbs up to the Fresno Food Expo prize winners, entrepreneurs and organizers for a sixth successful year drumming up business for Valley food industries. The winners in the various competitions were Aro Gourmet Pistachios, Aubrey’s Extreme Jerky, Tioga Sequoia 99 Golden Ale, Lanna Coffee Co., Cold Brew, Tazzaria of Visalia, Bella Luna of Merced, and Me-n- Ed’s Victory Grill.
The Expo has been growing every year, this time playing matchmaker to 132 of Central California’s food and beverage growers and manufacturers, nearly 950 prequalified regional, national and international food service and retail buyers, and nearly 1,000 members of the public looking to discover new yummies.
Thumbs up to good-hearted Valley individuals and companies stepping forward to help displaced workers at Initiative Foods in Sanger. More than 100 employees lost their jobs after a fire destroyed most of the Sanger-based baby food plant.
Thankfully, companies such as Lyons Magnus, Pacific Choice, Ready Roast Nut, Wawona Frozen Foods, Exact Staff, Full Steam Staffing, PrideStaff and AppleOne attended the job fair Wednesday to help employees get work.
“It’s a big family here, and everyone’s been really excited about the community support and the job fair,” Initiative Foods spokeswoman Merisha Toranno said. She said the announcement of a job fair brought tears and applause from the displaced employees.
The company has set up a GoFundMe account for the displaced workers, titled Initiative Foods Fire Fund. It was at over $34,000 Friday at noon; the goal is $50,000.
Thumbs down to the IRS phone scammers, those freaks who are suddenly blanketing the town with calls. These people place threatening calls posing as IRS agents, but what they really are up to is identity theft. Blair Looney of the Better Business Bureau is even getting these calls himself, and he warns that these bullies are fakes, not IRS employees. Hang up is the best advice. Do not give up any bank, credit card information or purchase anything from them. Write down their phone numbers if you get them on your caller ID and report them to bbb.org/scamtracker.
Thumbs up to Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, for persuading the California Energy Commission to fund multiple piezoelectric pilot projects throughout California. Gatto had a conversation with a friend who had just returned from Israel raving about a road that produced energy. Gatto learned that engineers in Israel, Italy, and Japan had successfully installed piezoelectric sensors underneath roadways and railways.
Those sensors, the size of watch batteries, are in effect the reverse of sonar: a vibration comes in, and an electric pulse goes out. Gatto said scientists estimate the energy generated from a 10-mile stretch of four-lane roadway can power the entire city of Burbank, comparable to Clovis.
The CEC studied it, and now there is grant money available for a pilot project. Since Highway 99 is being ripped up for repairs already, why not slip in some of these sensors while they are at it? There’s $7 million up for grabs, applications due in September, and it’s likely that several areas will be rewarded. OK, local transportation experts, go get the application right here: http://bit.ly/2aBBAse.
Thumbs up to volunteers from Home Depot stores valleywide and Behr Paint for donating time on a hot day Thursday to spruce up Mental Health Systems’ Hacienda facility at Clinton and Highway 99. What a nice gesture, sure to lift the spirits of a lot of women and children going through tough times.
More than 40 eager folks started at 6 a.m. replacing plants and bark in the Serenity Garden and around the koi pond, staining concrete, and installing an outdoor blackboard and fountain at Grace’s Place Childcare Center. Home Depot’s $4,000 grant covered materials and supplies. MHS is a nonprofit agency providing mental health and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.