Saturday, April 18, 2009

Local Hot Topics

Our Race for the Cure today drew 41,000 runners, walkers, survivors and supporters. It's one of the largest in the country. I last walked 5 or 6 years ago; the crowd was about 35,000 then. (I've since decided that they need my check more than they actually need me.) It's incredibly moving to be a part of a crowd that large, coming together for a good cause. Everyone should participate in this, at least once.

I joke about the breast cancer girls being the rock stars of the cancer world, but the fact is that millions of people are affected by breast cancer, while MM usually strikes just 15,000 per year. This RFTC raises about $2.6 million for research, education and treatment.

Hot Topic #2 is Helio Castroneves' acquittal on all charges of tax evasion and conspiracy. He's a local hero here for obvious reasons, and even more adored after winning Dancing with the Stars. I'm sure he has his cranky side, too, but he seems like a sincere, happy, and genuinely nice guy; I hated thinking that there might be some truth to the charges. Good on you, Helio!

And finally, we have a contender for Ingrate of the Year. A local family was the beneficiary of ABC's Extreme Home Makeover a couple weeks ago, and the father has been complaining to reporters that the house was not built well, and that there's too much landscaping for him to take care of. (The builder and volunteers also planted 1,000 trees in this blighted neighborhood, and completed significant improvements on more than 20 nearby homes.) The home builder had a chance to reply, stating that in spite of the time frame, the home and auxiliary building were built to their usual standards, and he is not aware of any problems. Now it seems that in trying to extricate his ungrateful foot from his ungrateful mouth, daddy-o claims he's "been under a lot of stress." Yeah, I guess there's only so much pre-screening the producers can do. I'll be checking it out: the episode is scheduled to air May 17.

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