Answers to questions that should be asked.
1. So, the Miguel Reyes Memorial 5K was the fastest race of the year in the Fresno area. What was the best highlight?
Sure, Olympic runner Diego Estrada broke the race record ahead of speedsters like Fernando Cabada and William Reyes. However, the image of Estrada helping out with the children’s races is the highlight. He stuck around to banter with the kids and ran with them to make sure they didn’t get lost. Afterward, Estrada spoke about the need to promote running to a younger generation.
2. Matilda V. Torres High School sounded great. Instead, the Madera school board voted for Matilda Torres High School. Why?
That’s because board member Ray G. Seibert hought that the name was too long, especially if trustees had chosen Madera North High School at Matilda V. Torres Education Center. The board then voted, 6-1, to remove the ‘V’ from the name. The $160 million facility on Martin and Road 26 in northeast Madera is expected to open in fall 2019.
3. Why are there two horse rides held for Joaquín Murrieta at the same time.
That’s because some riders felt that finishing the three-day event at Lienzo Charro Madera was more convenient than holding it in a makeshift rodeo ground in Cantúa Creek or Three Rocks. The Madera finish was closer to lodging, stores and restaurants. It also allowed for better viewing of riders showing off their horsemanship and such. But, it went against a tradition started 40 years ago. We expect next year’s horse ride to become one. Stay tuned.
4. While the Fresno Unified School District continues to look for a new superintendent, former district administrator Jorge A. Aguilar is in his second month as the new superintendent of the Sacramento City School District. How’s he doing?
It’s too early to determine how the Parlier High School graduate, born to farmworker parents, will fare in the state’s 13th-largest school district (Fresno’s is the fourth largest). The 44-year-old educator is tasked with boosting the Sacramento district’s sagging graduation rates (80.5 percent, compared to Fresno’s 85.4 percent).
What we know is that he got off a strong start when he dropped in at the Black Parallel School Board meeting on his first day on the job. From the Facebook post by Sacramento school board member Jessie Ryan: “His first day on the job as Sac City's new Superintendent, Jorge Aguilar surprised the room at the Black Parallel School Board meeting when he asked them to form a circle. As he spoke to the packed room of educators and community members, he leaned in and also listened. For a community that has felt largely unheard, this was refreshing and left people feeling like a different type of leader was taking the helm of our high poverty, high potential urban district.”
5. What is former México president Vicente Fox, who is scheduled to speak at the Saroyan Theatre on Oct. 18, doing these days?
He’s been a big thorn for President Donald J. Trump with his Twitter posts that make it clear México won’t pay for the border wall and belittles his missteps. Fox has been in Fresno twice, once in 2000 while campaigning for president and later in 2001 as president. Don’t be surprised if he shows up wearing the boots that Fresno bootmaker Luis Jovel made for him.
6. Is it too early to start thinking about the 2018 elections?
Not in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown will be ending his term and Sen. Dianne Feinstein might decide that 84 is a good age to leave the U.S. Senate after 26 years. What we know is that former Los Ángeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is among the top candidates for governor, along with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Feinstein hasn’t announced her intentions yet, so no viable candidate has announced for her post ... yet. That could leave state Sen. Kevin De León, who has amassed $2.8 million in a campaign committee for lieutenant governor but has not indicated what office he will seek. Stay tuned.
7. What’s going on with Univisión now that María Elena Salinas has indicated she’ll leave at the end of the year?
There has been much talk about newspapers shedding reporters, photographers and editors, but the massive use of social media as a news platform has affected all media. Earlier this year, we reported layoffs at Univisión television stations, including in Fresno and Sacramento. Those journalists remaining were expected to shoot their own video. Salinas decided on her own to venture into other areas. But, we have to wonder what happened to the Univisión of yesteryear when ‘Despierta América’ was worth getting up early in the morning to watch.
8. What’s this we hear about ‘Despacito’ becoming the all-time No. 1 video on Youtube?
You heard right. The collaborative effort by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, with Justin Beiber, has gotten more than 3 billion views on Youtube, overtaking the ‘Fast & Furious 7’ song ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.
9. Why was the Tuolumne Street Bridge linking downtown Fresno with Chinatown made into a two-way street?
That’s because the adjacent Stanislaus Street Bridge, which is currently one-way heading west, will be demolished to make room for high-speed rail. The old Tuolumne bridge was too low, so a new and higher bridge replaced it.
10. Will news that Coca Cola will replace Coke Zero with Coke Zero Sugar have an impact on sales?
Highly unlikely. Do you know how many Coke products there are? There are five different Diet Coke brands, including cherry and lime! Speaking of choices, when’s the last time you went looking for a bag of original Frito Lay Fritos? Seems like the grocery shelves are filled with Flamin’ Hot, Barbeque or Cool Ranch. Life was way simpler when there was only one Coca Cola and one Frito Lay Fritos.
Juan Esparza Loera has been editor of Vida en el Valle since it began publication in August 1990. Send questions or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org