In regard to Fresno hiring a public relations firm to bolster its image: I agree with Fresno City Council Member Jerry Duncan that in the long run, it's what we as Fresnans actually accomplish, not paid-for press releases, that will determine our reputation.
One thing Fresnans can do is to back our own City Council, which recently voted to join 320 other American cities, all of whom have challenged themselves to try to reverse global warming by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 7% of 1990 levels by the year 2012. If Fresno could do that, it would really be something to be proud of.
Here's what everyone can do: Learn to practice energy efficiency at home, in the office and in the shop. Find ways to transport people and goods using as little fossil fuel as possible. Increase use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels and methane. Plant more trees, since they store carbon dioxide. Work to get a cleaner city, healthier air, new industries, new jobs, and most of all, cut back on dumping thousands of tons of heat-holding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Doing good work beats paying somebody else to brag on you.