Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,
A little fun distraction, doing civic duty. Moving to Fresno we have become reasonably active in very local politics. We have attended local public meetings held by the mayor, councilman, neighboring community college, an area development agency, and even an alcohol license presentation by a new bodega. We feel more a part of the community as a consequence.
On Friday, there was a ground-breaking for a small park a couple blocks from home. I decided it would be good practice at photo journalism, and it got me away from my YouTube/Internet/books routine. It's just a sliver of a park, about a third of an acre, created by the space from an old streetcar right turn and a long-departed gas station. It's not Central Park, but it is one of the first parks to be built in Fresno in decades.
All the regular city government people were there and clearly happy to be at a gathering demonstrating something positive. I expect these folks have mixed feelings about many public events where complainers outnumber fans, but today we were all in favor of our little park. Mayor Jerry Dyer and Councilman Esmeralda Soria were the lead speakers, touting this small step for city progress before they joined others and turned over symbolic shovels of ground-breaking dirt. Next Monday, real construction starts on the 12-month, $3 million project.
After the dirt was done I wanted to thank Councilman Soria for her effort at our neighborhood improvement, but she was busy being interviewed by local television. Finishing up her second term in office, she is clearly comfortable in front of the camera.
When the chat was done, I told Soria that the neighborhood appreciated getting our new mini-park. I must have been too enthusiastic, because Brittany Jacobs from ABC30 asked me to repeat the comments on-camera for the evening news! I was not as comfortable as was the council member, but I must have been good enough, because my 10 seconds did make the 6:30 news.
And now it is on to the weekend, unplanned as usual.
John and Marianne