‘Balers Score Another Title

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The following events, organizations and people deserve either a
Thumbs Up or a Thumbs Down this week:
THUMBS UP: The San Benito High girls softball team pulled off an improbable and impressive feat last week in winning a second straight Central Coast Section championship. The ‘Balers defeated top-seeded Carlmont, 2-1, to grab the title. When the ‘Balers won last year, coach Scott Smith was unable to attend because he was at his daughter’s wedding in Texas. So the ‘Balers did it again last week so Smith could join the celebration. And with returning league Pitcher of the Year Marisa Ibarra, who has compiled a 56-4 record her first two seasons, currently a sophomore, look for the ‘Balers to be a source of community pride for next season, also.

THUMBS UP: The San Benito Water District’s board of directors voted Wednesday night to adopt a regional water plan that creates a partnership between San Benito, the Santa

Clara Water District and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency. The adoption of a regional plan could, among other positive aspects, create a $25 million state grant to help pay for implementation of said plan. We applaud the local board for joining in the regional effort and hope progress comes to fruition.

THUMBS UP: Hollister School District recognized 123 students on Tuesday for becoming fully proficient in English through the course of their school year. The majority of the students come from Spanish-speaking homes, and took part in a celebration ceremony that honored their reclassification from “English learner” to being fully proficient in English. This type of learning environment places the children in a position to be a positive influence on multiple language cultures. We applaud the students and the district for making the effort.

THUMBS DOWN: A house fire on Tuesday morning resulted in three firefighters being forced to go to the hospital for treatment, and $300,000 in damage being caused to the home. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but aspects of the home environment have local officials frowning. For openers, firefighters at the scene said front room of the house was waist-deep in clothes, making it difficult to maneuver. A code enforcer said the household had been warned repeatedly about alleged debris and junk stored in and around the home. We are grateful no one was seriously injured.

THUMBS UP: It appears the mother humpback whale and her calf that wandered through the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta have made it back to the Pacific Ocean. The duo were the subject of international media attention after getting as far as 90 miles inland, and things looked a little touch-and-go for a while after scientists said the whales were suffering from infections. But they made it back. Maybe they knew what they were doing all along.

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