Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Mayor reads mean tweets about downtown Fresno

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.

Fres-Know: Our turkey is stuffed with hyperlinks

WATCH THIS: Season 2 premiere of foodie web show “What’s Good Fresno?” [YouTube]

THIS AGAIN: Mayor fighting to outsource trash disposal. [The Bee]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Making your store-bought turkey feel inadequate. [TasteFresno]

GOOD READ: Find handmade local gifts this holiday season. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: A new Fresno podcast about craft beer. [Perfect Pour]

LISTEN TO THIS: New “Flowing with Famous” podcast. [Fresno Famous]

UPCOMING: Zoo Lights begins this weekend at Chaffee Zoo. [The Bee]

YELP REVIEW OF THE WEEK: “It’s great, but … ” [Yelp]

SPORTS: Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas finalist for national award. [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: Must-watch high-school football video. [Sports Buzz]

TWEET OF THE WEEK: Well played, Visalia Fox Theatre. [Twitter]

KICKSTART: Organic Fresno Market. [Kickstarter]

Fres-Know: The ‘Scoopy for President’ edition

WATCH THIS: Latest episode of  “Nothing to Do.” [GottaLoveFresno]

NEWS: City Council votes down Mayor’s requested dough for downtown. [The Bee]

ENDORSED: Obama’s second term by The Bee’s editorial board. [The Bee]

CHECK THIS: Parker’s trip to the San Francisco Giants victory parade. [Storify]

THIS WEEKEND: Two Cities Marathon. Plan your church routes carefully, Northsiders. [The Bee]

VINTAGE: A look back at the 1939 Fresno State football jerseys. [Uni Watch]

WATCH THIS: New promo for next weekend’s Swede Fest. [YouTube]

PWNED: Fresno Teachers Association, by Bill McEwen [The Bee]

ANNOUNCED: Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals’ annual honorees, banquet. [FLYP]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Livening up your Day of the Dead. [Fashionably Bombed]

Timmy T gets upset about Conan bobblehead, renounces key to the city

Timmy T — the local crooner who found the No. 1 spot on Billboard with his 1991 hit “One More Try” — isn’t too happy about all the attention the city has given Conan O’Brien and his bobblehead gag. And he’s doing something in protest: giving up the key to the city he was given back in ’91.

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:


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Our 10 favorite tweets about this Conan/Fresno situation

So, that whole thing about Conan’s bobblehead really took off yesterday, huh? First there was the video, then the Facebook page, then the mayor’s letter to Conan. Needless to say, there was a lot of chatter about this. So we collected some of our favorite tweets — either funny, weird or amusing.

Warning: One has a swear word.

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Our five favorite tweets about Fierce Creatures’ Catacomb Party

Saturday night’s Catacomb Party, the Fulton Mall music festival put together by local band Fierce Creatures and promoter John Esquivel from Religious Appeal, proved to be fiercely successful.

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.

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Fres-Know: Bloggers & Tiaras edition

BEHIND THE SCENES: At this week’s Miss California pageant. [YouTube]

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Cat fight on the morning news. [CBS 47]

GOOD NEWS: Gas prices on the decline lately. [The Bee]

GOOD READ: BMX program helps local kids. [The Bee]

THUMBS UP: Simonian Farms’ new Old Town attraction. [What Fresno Wants]

RECAP: Tech conference/competition 59 Days of Code. [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: Mayor’s address at 59 Days of Code. [That Social Media Blog]

COOL: National recognition for local theaters. [Fresno Famous]

SADS: Mike Scott says goodbye to his dog. [CBS 47]

WTF FRESNO: Drunk 14-year-old tries to walk across 41, gets hit. [The Bee]

IT COULD BE YOURS: The I Heart Sushi food truck. [Craigslist]

FOUND: Hole-in-the-wall eats downtown. [Biz Blog]

GO TO THIS: Fresno Indie Artisans’ American Picnic. [Facebook]

Tonight: Drink wine with the mayor

Tonight is the last Local Bites night, the year-long partnership between Mayor Ashley Swearengin and aimed at getting people out to support local restaurants. And it ends with a toast, at Pinot Wine Bar & Bistro in the Tower District, the former Palomino’s. Though wine is in the name, it’s also serving up some interesting eats as you’ll see in the video below from Meza Films.

The event starts tonight at 6.

Seems like a good place for Mayor Swearengin to wind down after what should be a pretty ho-hum primary election day for her.

Fres-Know: Hey, DeShawn, can we borrow $20?


LOOK: DeShawn Stevenson, the pride of F-No, has an ATM in kitchen. [HuffPo]

READ THIS: Recap of Mayor Swearengin’s State of the City address. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: Fresno food industry website. []

SAVE THE DATE: Tri-Tip Cook-Off 2012. [Taste Fresno]

GOOD READ: High-school kids overcome hardships to graduate. [The Bee]

VOTE: For Fresno Grizzlies’ Parker in Mascot Mania. []

BLOGGINGS: Conlan is funny. [This is Conlan]

WTF LEMOORE: Drunk dude jumps in front of big rig. [The Bee]

WIN: Tickets to this weekend’s Fresno Tequila & Mezcal Expo. [The Full Moxie]

7Qs #10: Gotta Love Fresno

At least week’s launch party for, I cornered some of the site’s content creators and asked them a very pressing question. To me at least.

Starring (in order): Anthony Taylor of Nothing To Do, Nicole Giordano-Ashjian of Street Scene, Roque Rodriguez and Bryan Harley of See Saw Seen, Cindy Wathen and David Kennedy of Blend, Roger and Bo of Who Eats Brunch, Alisa Manjarrez of A La Carte and a certain mayorly lady you might recognize.

PREVIOUSLY IN 7Qs: Rogue Festival | Keith’s BoxCar Cafe | Johnny Q | Parker | Fresno Brewing Co. | Fulton 55 | Dead in 60 Years | Travis Sheridan

Wish you were here: launch event

The Valley’s new online video portal — 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.


Check out for its new original web shows — including Nothing To Do, which I appear on each week.

Will you vote to re-elect Mayor Ashley Swearengin?


From the not-a-surprise-to-anybody-who-follows-local-politics department: Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced Thursday her plans to seek a second term.

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?

Paul Swearengin ending radio show


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.

He’s married to Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin.

The Beehive Interview: Rick Roddam


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.

Radio listeners remember Roddam’s name from KRZR, Y-101 and The Blaze. Recently, however, he hasn’t been able to find a new radio gig, so he’s leaving for Denver. But not without his comedy pals sending him off in the best way they could — with a roast Sunday night at Heroes Sports Lounge.

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.

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The Cross Streets guys go on a Mayorly quest

You enjoy the Cross Streets video series. I enjoy the Cross Streets video series. And apparently, Mayor Ashley Swearengin enjoys Cross Streets too.

As part of her State of the City event today, Swearengin recruited the Cross Streets guys to help her capture the current pulse of the city. I won’t give away too much, but I will encourage you to watch until the very end.

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.

The 10 most hilarious ‘Best of Fresno’ voter responses


The “oops” of the day goes to Fresno Magazine. Today was the last day to vote in this year’s “Best of Fresno” awards, and our local Twitter community (hat tip to @alisa_m_) discovered a pretty grave gaffe on Fresno Mag’s part.

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.

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Fres-Know: Fresher than a batch of homemade Christmas cookies

Obama Gays in Military.JPG

NEWS: Local activist Robin McGehee invited to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal [The Bee]

GOOD READ: Last-minute generosity saves Christmas for local needy [The Bee]

BLOGGINGS: 2010 Fresno blogosphere awards [Daily Dues]

WATCH THIS: “On the Scene” at opening night for “Tron Legacy” [Dumb Drum]

BLOGGINGS: Mayor Ashley Swearengin shares her Xmas food tradition [Taste Fresno]

SURVEY SAYS: Fresno = worst city of business [The Business Journal]

ON THE LIST: Fresno State’s Pedro Ramirez named a top role model [Huffington Post]

RECOMMENDED: Sunday night jazz at Tokyo Garden [Fresno Famous]

SECONDS: More on Claim Jumper’s closing [News Blog]

WATCH THIS: I Heart Fresno talks to local MLB player Jason Donald [I Heart Fresno]

YAY FRESNO: Semi-local band Stone Foxes opening for Black Keys [AZ Central]

STYLIN: Yay. “Famous People” is coming back to life. [Fresno Famous]

KEEP VOTING: Fresno is still No. 1 … but we need to finish strong [Fighting Hunger]

[photo: Associated Press]

Weekend Rewind: Fashawn, NoTown says FresYES and Patrick Contreras Day

Happy Monday to you all. I hope everybody had as fun of a weekend as I did. It was packed with local stuff. Here’s my rundown. Add your own adventures in the comments.

Went to Greek Fest. It was yummy. But we don’t need another post about that.

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)

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Mayor Swearengin snaps back at Marie Claire’s ‘pretentious’ Fresno bashing


A couple weeks ago, The Fresnan dug up this Taylor Swift feature from the July issue of Marie Claire. Writer Kimberly Cutter did some of her interviewing here in Fresno, when Swift played Save Mart Center in April. That sounds innocent enough, right?

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:

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Rally for Google Fiber on Thursday


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:

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‘The state of downtown is transforming’


As you might already know, Mayor Ashley Swearengin held her inaugural State of Downtown breakfast this morning.

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.

For more, you can read this wrap-up from The Bee. Or head over to The City’s Web site, where you can watch video from the event. The Business Journal also has good coverage.

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.

Beehive Society Page: Grizzlies opening night

Grizzlies baseball is back! I went to Thursday’s game with the Portland Beavers with camera in hand, ready to document the sights of opening night (Fresno lost 6-1, btw).

Here’s what I saw — it’s not exactly a Society Page, it’s more like a mix of funny stuff, cool people and opening night scenes.

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