Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Fresno: The dirtiest city in the land, says Forbes

Forbes put out its “America’s Dirtiest Cities” list this morning, giving Fresno its “booby prize” for being the dirtiest and, in the process, not really telling us anything about our city that we didn’t already know.

Yes, Fresno has poor air quality. Yes, the water here isn’t the greatest — though Forbes uses a 10-year-old example when plenty has been written about the subject since then. From Forbes’ explainer:

The environmental degradation of the Central Valley has many contributing factors. First of all, its geography doesn’t do it any favors. It’s a big, long bowl surrounded on three sides by mountains that trap pollutants from cars and factories and oil fields in an inversion layer. Second, it’s a victim of what brought people there in the first place — rich fertile soils from which grow much of America’s fruits and vegetables. For decades farmers would burn leftover cuttings from their fields after the harvest — dumping massive amounts of lung-choking particulate matter into the air. Burning has been banned since 2004, and the air has gotten cleaner since then, but there’s still a long way to go.

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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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Fres-Know: We’re hot — in more ways than one

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SURVEY SAYS: Fresno is third most romantic city for singles 50+. [WBIR]

GET YOUR FAN: Record temperatures a possibility this week. [The Bee]

REALLY? Website ranks Fresno seventh for “ideal” climate. [Camelot Climate]

MUGSHOT OF THE DAY: Suspected arsonist in Oakhurst. [KMPH]

CONGRATS: Local food blogger Pinch My Salt makes top 50 list. [Cision]

CHECK IT: Chris Colfer reads from his new children’s book. [EW]

OTHERWORLDLY: Fox News covers Fresno’s part in “UFO Triangle.” [Fox News]

MUSINGS FROM L.A.: Columnist visits Fresno, leaves some jabs. [Daily News]

RESPONSE: From The Business Journal’s Gabriel Dillard [TBJ]

WOOT: Local musician Niilo Smeds gets some GOOD press. [Fresno Famous]

LISTEN: Mega podcast combines three local podcasts. [The Fresnan]

BOO: Fire torches historic downtown Hanford building. [The Bee]

REVIEWED: The new Good Times Cafe in Clovis. [Fresno Bites]

HAPPENING: A Tweetup with the ladies of The Full Moxie. [TFM]

GET TO WORK: Third installment of local film challenge is coming. [The Germ]

DO THIS: Find the sights and sounds of Fresno for NPR. [Fresno Famous]

SOMETHING TO TRY: Beginning swing dance classes. [Fresno Swing Dance]

Fres-Know: Dude, where’s our car? Oh, right, it’s stolen.


NEWS: Fresno still No. 1 city for car thefts. [The Bee]

LOOK: Chris Colfer on cover of Entertainment Weekly. [EW]

WTF MADERA: 154 cats discovered at dead man’s home. [The Bee]

YAY FRESNO: Fresno-born comic has Showtime special this weekend. [The Bee]

COOL: Hate FX + Patrick Contreras collabo makes new. [Blabbermouth]

WATCH THIS: Looking for late-night eats. [TasteFresno]

REVIEWED: Getting Irish at O’Sullivans. [Dead in 60 Years]

NICE: Oregon brewing company taps Fierce Creatures. [The Fresnan]

GOOD READ: Storyland celebrates 50 years. [Fresno Famous]

NEWS: Wesson home to become an AutoZone. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: “Critic’s voice” for Fresno. [Good, Bad, Fresno]

… AND: One critic reviews a sandwich he hasn’t eaten. Fail. [Good, Bad, Fresno]

Our five favorite tweets about the Fresno episode of ‘House Hunters’

So what if HGTV’s “House Hunters” is totally fake, we were still happy to see Fresno featured on an episode that premiered last night. It centered around Tamia, who was re-locating from New Orleans to Fresno and had five days to find a place.

Twitter loved it too, apparently, as we saw many a Tweet fly about the episode. But here are five tickled us — with much reverence to comedian Michael Ian Black, who apparently live-tweets new episodes of “House Hunters.”

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Sorry, ladies of Fresno, you’re not good enough for Men’s Health


Men’s Health is back with another list that Fresno is near the bottom of: “Where America’s eligible women live.” Fresno ranked No. 97 out of 100, receiving an F grade, and beating out only Toledo (98), Bakersfield (99) and Las Vegas (100).

Washington D.C., because you’re wondering, ranked No. 1. Full results are on Men’s Health’s site under the headline “Where the babes are.” Makes it sounds super scientific, huh?

Per a press release from the mag:

To determine this ranking, Men’s Health examined data on the ratio of single women to single men, the percentage of college-educated women, the percentage of gainfully employed single women (all from the Census) and the number who work out (Experian Simmons).

Hmmm. I wonder what the ladies of upstart local blog The Full Moxie think about these findings.

Fresno: We’re overpriced, want to be healthier but we’re not very literate


As you may know, I don’t give those rank-the-city lists that call Fresno the best this or worst that too much credence. Most of them, you have to know, are marketing ploys and attempts to get website clicks.

But I do find them entertaining. And Lord knows we Fresnans love to talk about them. So here are a few lists we’ve ended up on recently. Interpret them as you will.

Fresno makes the front page of Yahoo! … and not for a good reason

Fresno and its 15.7% unemployment ranks No. 2 on U.S.News & World Report’s “Top 10 Worst Cities to Find a Job” list — which hit the national spotlight today when it was prominently featured on Yahoo!’s. front page

Even more troubling: Six of the top seven cities are from the San Joaquin Valley with Merced at No. 1, Modesto at No. 3, Stockton at No. 4, Visalia-Porterville at No. 5 and Bakersfield-Delano at No. 7.


There’s got to be at least a little bit of sad irony in this happening on the same day an estimated 1,500 Fresno County employees walked out of their jobs as part of a three-day strike to protest a 9% paycut.

Chris Isaak: ‘Fresno’s got it going on’

If you’ve seen his “Wicked Game” video, you might think singer Chris Isaak’s favorite vacation spot is a sultry beach somewhere. But it turns out, as he tells Fox News’ travel reporter, his favorite vacation spot is … Fresno?!?

No, we’re not making this up.

If you’re skipping the video, the Stockton native says:

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Fres-Know: We’ll flash you and mob you

WATCH THIS: FPU had a party-rockin’, flash-mobbin’ orientation. [YouTube]

BLOGGINGS: Fresno vs. Clovis — a sibling rivalry? [What Fresno Wants]

SURVEY SAYS: Men’s Health. City ranking. Fresno *yawn* [CBS 47]

NEWS: Jailed suspects responsible for up to 100 robberies. [The Bee]

LISTEN TO THIS: ‘Flowing’ podcast returns for Fuse Fest. [Fresno Famous]

BLOGGINGS: Seven days of Fresno pho. [Taste Fresno]

GOOD READ: George Hostetter on Fresno’s “soul.” [News Blog]

STUDY THIS: Thirty ways you can use your library card. [Fresno County Library]

BLOGGINGS: A look at Pagan Pride in the Valley. [The Provocation]

NEWS: Middle school students + Ambien = Uhhhhh. [The Bee]

SPORTS DEPT: Q & A with new ‘Dogs hoops coach Rodney Terry. [The Bee]

CHATTIN’: With We Barbarians ahead Friday gig in Frez. [Fresno Famous]

Did They Just Say Fresno? The Oregon lottery vs. the 559

UPDATE: Video and link is back! Woot!

ORIGINAL POST: We’ve seen late-night comics and TV commercials take shots at Fresno. But here’s a new one: the Oregon lottery has us in its sights. It has launched a series of new scratchers that parody reality TV shows. Among them, “The Annoying Housewives of Fresno.”

KSEE 24 is on the case for this one, talking to some Fresno housewives, a kinda-apologetic Oregon lottery rep and Mayor Ashley Swearengin who called this “ignorant.”

Just another reason to hate Portland, right?

Meg Whitman on Fresno: ‘It’s awful.’

UPDATE: Some more reading on this: Here’s a news story, with much more context, from The Bee’s John Ellis. And here’s another take from The Bee’s Opinion Talk blog.

ORIGINAL POST: Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News’ editorial board on Tuesday, gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman had this to say about our fair city’s economic state:

“Fresno looks like Detroit. It’s awful.”

What do you think? Are you offended by this? Or is she just telling it like it is? Is this gonna whip Fresnans into a tizzy again? Between this and Jerry Brown basically having to get dragged into Fresno for their Oct. 2 debate, any Fresnans out there just not feeling the love from the Guv candidates?

Fres-Know: News for real people life


NEWS: Bus riders file suit against Greyhound after crash. [The Bee]

FRESNO DISS O’ THE DAY: A baseball announcer is talking sh*t. [The Fresnan]

GO TO THIS: Mayer Hawthorne. Frank’s Place. Aug. 21. Now with rad poster. [LTC]

OPINIONS: “I know of no one who will ride a bicycle 15 miles to work” [Letters]

NEWS: Comcast is giving you more channels starting today. [The Bee]

BLOGGINGS: Did local filmmaker produce the worst movie ever? [Fresno Famous]

LISTEN TO THIS: Like jazz? Stream Armen Nalbandian’s new album. [BandCamp]

Congrats, Netflix, you have Fresno nailed

So I was doing some browsing on Netflix the other night, because we’ve decided to try that streaming-directly-on-your-video-game-console deal. When I saw that they had a list of popular titles locally, of course I clicked on it.

Netflix’s top three totally has Fresno down. Even I had to chuckle that “Misery” was No. 1.


In summary: Fresno — agriculture, Mexicans and self-hatred.

Did They Just Say Fresno? SNL sucks edition

Since I know nobody watches “Saturday Night Live” anymore, you probably missed this clip from the most recent episode where they talk about Fresno being the “drunkest city.” As expected from a current Saturday Night Live clip, it’s not funny.

“The Mentalist” — a show some people do watch, I think — said Fresno in its most recent episode too. It brings back memories of “Fresno: Smile When You Say That.

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High-speed rail: Here comes the cash

I don’t post every news headline that pops up on, but I feel this one needs some notice simply because of the potential for high-speed rail to profoundly impact this region:

As President Barack Obama voiced strong support for high-speed rail in his State of the Union address Wednesday, federal officials announced that California will get a big share of the $8 billion fund for projects nationwide. California will get $2.25 billion to help build a high-speed rail system connecting Southern California to the Bay Area through the San Joaquin Valley …

Lots of ink has been spilled on this already, of course. But this marks a significant step. I know that high-speed rail is going to take a LONG time to come to fruition, but it might end up having more of an impact on downtown revitalization/culture/Fresno’s city image than just about anything else in our lifetimes.

31 Questions with 31 Days of Fresno


A lot of people have asked Kim Schuller (aka Kim Burly) questions since she started her 31 Days of Fresno blog series — Fresno Famous, Ray Appleton, KSEE 24. But we think, thanks to this Q & A, that we’ve asked her the MOST questions.

It started with a brief few things to give background for this Blog Hop profile that ran in The Bee the other day, but then we decided, “Hey, why not ask Ms. 31 Days of Fresno 31 questions about Fresno.” Then we just had to come up with that many questions.

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