If you’re looking for a morning chuckle, check this out. You know how Jimmy Kimmel has celebrities read mean tweets about themselves on his show? Well, last night at the State of Downtown 2015 event Mayor Ashley Swearengin read some mean tweets about downtown Fresno. I can honestly say I never thought I’d hear the words, “I legit saw a hooker twerk,” come out of our mayor’s mouth. Take a look at the video student writer Rory Appleton shot.
I realize this sounds like it could be some fake new story from The Onion, but it’s not. Those of you who follow The Beehive know that Timmy T has become something of an Internet jester in recent years, so this all could be some attention-grab for him. Whatever his motivation, the Facebook posts are priceless:
The event served as the release party for Fierce Creatures’ new album, with nine other bands joining for a free, all-ages show in the heart of downtown Fresno. The crowd was big. People were raving all evening about it. It was, to put it simply, a big win for downtown and for the local music scene.
I’ll have some in-depth thoughts about the event to share later, but for now let’s celebrate the night in 140-character form.
The Valley’s new online video portal GottaLoveFresno.com — I wrote about previously here — got its official launch this morning at downtown eatery Brick. Mayor Ashley Swearengin introduced the new site and many of the local folks who create content for the site were there to mingle. The Bee’s John Walker was there too — to snap some photos. See his entire gallery here.
In announcing her candidacy, Swearengin said: “I could not be more pleased with the progress of our city. We cannot stop now.”
From the sound of the today’s story — and other recent news coverage — most are considering Swearengin a shoo-in for a second term. The Bee’s George Hostetter writes:
Swearengin almost certainly will face competition in the June primary, and it’s looking almost equally certain that none of her opponents will have the name recognition and war chest to run anything other than a long-shot campaign …
That means the 2012 mayoral election is shaping up as a replay of the 2004 race when incumbent Alan Autry, despite his best efforts to find an acceptable candidate to take his place, ran a low-key campaign against weak competition in the primary and won in a landslide.
That, however, is countered by disgruntled Facebook commenters (what else is new?) who don’t seem to be buying it. One writes: “Who’s running against her? I’ll work for them 24/7 for FREE.” So I throw it to you, voters of Fresno, would you vote for another four years of Ashley? Why or why not?
UPDATE: Here’s more info, from The Bee, on the end of Swearengin’s show. Still no word on who will replace him.
ORIGINAL POST, 9/12: Paul Swearengin announced today that his morning radio show, heard on KFIG (AM 1430), will end this week.
He says he will continue to do special assignments for the local sports talk radio station but will focus more time on church work.
Swearengin started covering local sports while at Fresno State in the late ’80s. He joined KFIG after working for KSEE (Channel 24.1). He’s been the host of “Dog Talk” and an announcer for Fresno State Baseball.
During his time in Fresno, Rick Roddam has been a radio personality, a comedian, a program director, an event host, a local advocate and the head of his own clothing line. On Monday, he bids Fresno farewell after 11 years. We couldn’t let him leave without one last exit interview — he insists he’s done plenty during his time here (that’s radio for ya), but was up for one more.
What’s so awesome that it’s getting you to leave Fresno?
I had a Jules Winnfield style moment of clarity and I’ve decided to ‘wander the earth.’
Tell us a little background on how and when you came to Fresno. Did you think you’d be here this long?
I came to Fresno in 2000 because KRZR offered me a job. I planned on staying here for a few years and then moving on to someplace bigger and better. Little did I know that Fresno sucks you in … and you never really leave.
Three afterthoughts: It’s nice to see City Hall tapping into the blogosphere (more on that later), the Mayor is a pretty good actress and we need more of Mr. Fitness on the Fresno Internets immediately.
Once you voted, some results were public — meaning, you could see not only what people voted for, but the personal information they entered while voting.
In true Fresno Mag failing fashion, the top of the report said, “We don’t like spam either. Your contact information will remain confidential.” *facepalm*
I’ll let someone else lecture Fresno Mag on how to do an online survey correctly (use our comment section, if you wish).
My favorite part was seeing some of the ridiculous things people were voting for. Two things were quite clear: Fresno Mag’s awards have their ballot-stuffers (no duh!) and some voters REALLY can’t spell.
There’s a lot of hilarity, and you can check it out here (until Fresno Mag fixes the settings, that is), but here are 10 favorites, as selected by Heather McLane and myself.
Then I darted over to Star Palace for Fashawn’s big show. Nearly 700 people showed up to see the young rapper’s first local show of the year, many of them crowding up close to the stage and rapping along. If there was a show where you looked at Fash and said, “This kid is a star in Fresno,” it was this show.
Here are some videos of Fashawn and co-headliner Curren$y. (NSFW language)
Well, Cutter used Fresno as a bit of a punching bag — basically for no reason — in her finished piece:
“Fresno is an interesting place to see Swift perform. Basically, the whole town has gone bananas over her — including the mayor, who has officially proclaimed today “Taylor Swift Day.” (In part, this may be an attempt to distract residents from the fact that Fresno was recently rated the number one Drunkest City in America by Men’s Health magazine, but still …)
“A dusty farm town in the middle of California, Fresno is the land of monster trucks and short-haired, churchgoing ladies in ruffled homemade aprons and Easy Spirit shoes who sell their crafts at the Big Hat Days festival in neighboring Clovis. Swift, who does not drink or swear or flash cleavage, is huge here.”
Yesterday, KMPH got its hands on this and took it to Mayor Ashley Swearengin for response. As you might expect, the mayor wasn’t too pleased. Per KMPH’s story:
It’s the mayor’s birthday. She’s 38 today. I hope, Ms. Mayor, that you get everything you want this year — like lots of money to fix our budget, more life downtown and a “Twilight” poster for your office wall. (OK, I’m just guessing on that last one).
The City of Fresno is officially submitting its Google Fiber application on Thursday and there’s a corresponding rally at City Hall at 1 p.m. People are encouraged to bring their “I Want My Google Fiber” signs. One person will get picked to hit the “submit” button.
Fresno’s Google Fiber campaign has picked up a lot of steam since we last talked about. The Facebook page has more than 8,500 fans, which is not only one of the biggest for any city, but it’s also the largest Fresno-related page or group on Facebook.
If you haven’t seen them yet, here are some of the cool videos that people in the community have made for the Fiber Fresno effort:
It was a sold-out event, impressive considering it started at 7:30 a.m. Way to get up early, downtown supporters. The chatter I’ve heard thus far sounds mixed. On one hand, it was a good pep talk. On the other, it was just that — more talking.
One of the really cool parts of Swearengin’s presentation was an animated transformation of a section of the Fulton Mall, created by Bertz-Rosa Design. The point was to show Fresnans what the mall could be.
The picture above is the last scene of the transformation. You can watch it from the start here. Rooftop partying, happy shoppers, cars — I like it.