Uploaded and ready to put in your iPod (or iPhone or whatever other device you use to listen to podcasts), it’s another episode of Flowing with Famous, where I sit down with Mike Seay to talk Fresno arts, entertainment, politics and more.
It might help if you picture us sitting at a dive bar somewhere.
In this episode we discuss:
Rick Ross performs — not in Fresno — but at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.
Rick Ross came to Fresno on Thursday night, but the concert from hip-hop’s grunting boss of braggadocio is being overshadowed this morning by what happened in the Save Mart Center parking lot after the concert: A man was shot in the leg, suffering non-fatal injuries.
What that gunshot did — besides sending one victim to the hospital and another six to Fresno PD headquarters for question– was call in to question, once again, the place of hip-hop shows in our community.
I knew the response that was coming as soon as I heard the news. You probably did too.
From The Bee’s comment section: “It’s a known fact that shootings, drugs, gangs and rap go hand in hand. This is why rap concerts must be banned.” From ABC30′s Facebook page: “Hip hop sucks. Ban it” and ”No more rap shows at smc.”
Here in Fresno, we go outside and see sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures. So when your mom shares something on Facebook that she got from someone she knew 20 years ago, it’s easy to believe it’s legit. We can’t just look out the window and know better. Besides, when did Mom ever lie to you?
However, many of the pictures getting passed most frequently are, at worst, totally Photoshopped or, at best, being used in the wrong context. This includes the original version of the now meme-ized pic above. The original, with a sky from Nebraska looking down ominously at Lady Liberty, is still the first thing that comes up in a Google Images search for “Hurricane Sandy.”
A few years ago, I wrote a column in The Bee about what I thought was a stuck-in-the-1950s policy regarding hair length at Clovis Unified. As you might imagine, the response I got to that column wasn’t exactly positive. I have to imagine the people who are upset about that column are probably upset about the latest Clovis Unified story that’s making national news. And, no, I’m not talking about that lip dub video.
Students in a Fresno County, California, school district are taught that HIV can be spread through kissing, and the right way to prevent STDs is by going out in groups with friends, getting plenty of rest, and practicing abstinence. Their “Lifetime Health” textbook, which Clovis Unified School District uses for its high school sex education curriculum, makes no mention of condoms or contraception.
It is, at least for the moment, casting a dark shadow over what was expected to be one of the biggest films of the year. Just like in Aurora, countless fans flocked to midnight screening around the country last night (Fresno included), clocking a record-breaking $28-30 million.
But what happens now? As I drove to work this morning, I was listening to a report about the shooting on KMJ. Hosts Blake Taylor and Ray Appleton agreed the shooting would hurt ticket sales this weekend and people would probably be less likely to dress up and go to midnight premieres in the future.
Former KMPH (Channel 26.1) anchor John Malos is returning to local TV. He will host “Connect With Me,” a new talk show on the Me-TV Network seen locally on KGMC (Channel 43.6) and Comcast Channel 187. The show will originate from a set that has been built at Ventura TV’s showroom. Ventura is the lone local sponsor on the station owned by Cocola Broadcasting.
The show debuts at 10:30 a.m. April 9.
“I am truly excited to host ‘Connect With Me’ as I feel that the show will provide a unique and interesting forum for viewers to engage me and my guests, to get the answers and stories they’re not getting anywhere else,” says Malos.
Since his departure from KMPH in 2005, Malos has made several attempts to launch a talk programing including an online version.
The new TV show will have a varied daily themes that will include business, the community, arts & culture, entertainment and sports. There also will be a segment called “On the Air… Off the Press,” that examines traditional and electronic media.
You can contact the show via phone, social media, and email.
“One of the best things about this show is that viewers will be able to call-in or use social media to connect and interact with John and his guests, which ranges from local business owners, celebrities, industry experts, community leaders, and more,” says Ara Catchatoorian, Executive Producer and one of the show’s creators.
If you miss the live morning show, it will be repeated at 7:30 p.m.
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?
News of the day: A federal appeals court this morning ruled California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Read more in the link below. As happy as some people are, this is certainly not the end of this issue.
Court: California gay marriage ban unconstitutional is.gd/clCGOz
The fate of all-ages, underground music venue The Bel-Tower is up in the air after a weekend in which the club was shut down by local authorities and its loyal fans began a campaign to save the Belmont Avenue space.
The Bel-Tower — which holds about 100 people for shows and is at 69 E. Belmont Ave. — had a meeting at noon today to talk to Fresno PD and local Alcoholic Beverage Control. Afterward, the club beckoned its devotees for a discussion about the venue’s future.
We’ll probably hear specifics from those meetings soon, but it’s already sounds like The Bel-Tower will need to get the proper permits to operate as a venue. Management is anticipating some repair costs to get the place up to code, as well.
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.
We’re third on a list of cities most interested in a healthier lifestyle in 2012, says research from MaxPoint Interactive, aimed at helping companies market health-related products. Soooo, we’re good at New Year’s resolutions?
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.
That was from area business owner Carla Barraza, whose point of view offers a good framework for a story about the makeover in the area. She knew it when it was dangerous place, and now she’s seeing it transform thanks to Fulton 55, Iron Bird Lofts, the numerous other housing developments and the businesses they’ve attracted.
But it was that one statement of hers — not just because of the obvious hyperbole — that I dwelled on for a while. As you’d expect, the oft-belligerent comments on fresnobee.com took exception, spouting off with statement such as:
Of all the controversies we’ve heard related to local nightclub events, this is a new one. Some local police officers and firefighters are facing scrutiny after posing with bikini-clad models outside Aldo’s Nightclub last Wednesday during a car show.
As you would expect, every news outlet in town (including The Bee) latched onto the story, particularly after the Police Chief Jerry Dyer and City Manager Mark Scott announced the incident was being investigated. Meanwhile, the story has spread all the way to Boston TV.
The pics were the work of ClubFlys, a site that has been documenting nightlife events in town for years — and is no stranger to racy photos.
Reading The Bee’s story, one quote that struck me was from ClubFlys founder Sal Hernandez, who said:
A new nightclub in the troubled Granite Park development will go ahead with its debut tonight despite a bungled attempt to firebomb the building this morning.
Club Rome, which is opening at the site of the failed Cabo Wabo and The Edge nightclubs in east-central Fresno, was the target of an arson attempt about 4 a.m. this morning, according to the Fresno Fire Department. Firefighters found flames at the front of the building and heavy smoke inside.
Club Rome employees were cleaning up damage this morning and entertainment director Lewis Everk said damage was minimal.
Two words I never thought would become a regular part of my vocabulary: butt drag.
I feel like I’m being stalked by conversations about butts and butt parts. After this week, I now know more about butt anatomy than I ever wanted to. It’s all thanks to the ongoing court drama about a wrestling move that may or may not be deemed sexual assault depending on the perspective.
I heard and read about those two little words more than dozen times yesterday between news meetings I attend at The Bee, Facebook, Twitter and conversations with friends and family. There are buttons. There are letters to the editor like this. There are dozens and dozens of jokes. There’s debate. There are thousands of links on Google.
I get it, I find the story weirdly fascinating too. But how much butt talk can one person take in a week? Make it stop!
As you might expect, the response has been polarizing. Some think he should be allowed to be student body president. Some don’t. For one, school president John Welty commended Ramirez in a statement released Wednesday. This much is for sure: No internet troll is going to decide Ramirez’s fate as student body president.
But what people have done a good job of — from their Facebook pages all the way to the national media site — is demonizing this kid. The venom being spewed about this is almost laughable, if not for the fact that some people believe it. I’ve seen people call Ramirez disgusting, a disgrace and an embarrassment. To that, I only have to ask: REALLY?
UPDATE: Our new local hero — Victor Perez is his full name, we now know — made the top of CNN.com this evening. Here’s the story from his perspective. Perez is destined to be on “The Today Show” or “Good Morning America” soon.
ORIGINAL POST: By now, you’ve probably heard about the 8-year-old girl, who was kidnapped last night from the front of her home. Thankfully, she was found this morning, and safely returned to her mother.
The latest from The Bee is that the suspected kidnapper, a 24-year-old named Gregorio Gonzalez, has been arrested. But perhaps the most riveting part of the story is how a good Samaritan helped the little girl escape.
[the girl] bolted from the kidnapper’s pickup truck early this morning after the pickup was cut off and stopped by a driver who had recognized the truck from television reports. [Police Chief Jerry] Dyer said the “good Samaritan” had followed the pickup, then cut it off after he saw the little girl’s head pop up in a window.
We still don’t know exactly who this heroic guy is — KMJ says his name is Victor — but he deserves a virtual pat on the back from all of us.
*Note: We’ve removed the girl’s name from this post, keeping with The Bee’s policy of not naming children who are victims of crimes.