Jim Mulligan

50 Years of Career Technical Education Excellence

by Jim Mulligan


Here in southeastern Fresno County and a sliver of Tulare County, there exists a school with a geographic reach larger than most. This school has no mascot, no marching band, and no football team. It doesn’t have its own cafeteria or bus fleet. Its student body has never elected homecoming royalty. What it does have is over 7,000 students, enrolled in over 340 high school classes, taught by almost 100 teachers whose primary credentialing criteria is years of experience in their respective industries. For fifty years, the Valley Regional Occupational Program (ROP) has provided career technical education opportunities for tens of thousands of high school students in our area.

From Honduran Air Force to Reedley College

by Jim Mulligan


On a regular afternoon in the bustling capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Cathy Luque was walking with her young one-year-old son. They were approached by a man, a known local drug dealer, on a motorbike who buzzed right up to them and offered her some chilling advice, “You better make sure to take good care of the kid.” After that, it didn’t take long for 1st Lieutenant Captain Select Jaime Luque and his wife Cathy to decide they needed to make a drastic change.

Local Young Reedley Artist: Tamsen Taves

by Jim Mulligan


While they say art is in the eye of the beholder, there are few classical artists whose work would not be appreciated by the masses. One would be hard pressed to harshly criticize Monet or Da Vinci, or speak ill of Michelangelo’s work. Even Pablo Picasso, while his style may be too abstract for some, created images that most would agree, draw the viewer into his world, evoking emotion and contemplative thought.

There’s a New Pizza Place in Town

by Jim Mulligan


There’s a new place in town to grab a pizza and a few other savory treats on a Friday night—or any day of the week for that matter. The Pirate’s Den opened its doors recently this summer and is welcoming patrons who want to satisfy their hunger pangs with delicious pizzas, sandwiches or sizzling chicken wings. I stopped by recently to take home a pizza and wings, and had a chance to chat with owner Victor Villacaña about the new restaurant venture.

Tomanni Bistro in Reedley: More Than a New Place to Eat

by Jim Mulligan


One of the many great things about immigrants is that when they come to the United States, they bring with them a little of their home culture; if we are lucky, they share it with us. Of course, with that comes language and food, two of my favorites, not necessarily in that order. On a recent visit to one of Reedley’s newest eateries, I learned that both language and food are an integral part of their quick success. I learned a Finnish word – sisu – which like many deeply-rooted cultural words in another language, does not have one, straightforward English counterpart. The Finnish concept of sisu roughly means strength of will, determination, perseverance, all in the face of likely failure. It seems just the concept that one might need to understand and employ when deciding to open a restaurant in a very competitive market and during a pandemic.

KCUSD Teacher Spotlight: Kirby Kauk

by Jim Mulligan


If you love the settings of movies like The Horse Whisperer or A River Runs Through It, you have likely dreamt of living in the wilds of one of the most beautiful states in the U.S.A.: Big Sky Country—Montana. At least during the summer months, it seems like an idyllic place to live, be a kid, and experience rural life to the fullest. No one would argue that growing up in suburban towns, urban centers, and even the mega metropolis of a place like New York City don’t give folks these unique opportunities and perspectives.

The Reedley Grammar School Bell

by Jim Mulligan


school district existed, and even before the town had a name, a schoolhouse was erected on the Thomas Law Reed ranch; it was known as the Smith Ferry School. In what some called a twist of bad luck (which others may have deemed arson), an attempt to move that schoolhouse into the burgeoning city of Reedley came to an abrupt halt when the school burned to the ground in February of 1890.

Reedley College Instructor Jenny Peters: Her Students Are Her Inspiration

by Jim Mulligan


If you’ve attended any local sporting events in the last few years, or been to a birthday party with some amazing cupcakes, or taken a Communication class at Reedley College anytime within the last 25 years, you may very well have made the acquaintance of Jenny Peters. Peters is an exuberant sports fan, especially when one of her kids is on the field or in the pool representing Reedley High School and Reedley College.

Serve Reedley

by Jim Mulligan


When Alicia, a single mom of two exuberant boys, found herself in need of some basic items for her new apartment, she didn’t know where to turn. Alicia, because of some family issues, needed to strike out on her own with her boys. She was eventually able to get an apartment, but had exhausted her financial resources doing so. While they had a roof over their heads, they didn’t have much else.

An Unwavering Reedley Christmas Tree Tradition

by Jim Mulligan


Holiday traditions around Reedley are many and varied: from tamales to turkey dinners, house decorating to cookie baking, caroling to care package giving, and so many more. One tradition that hasn’t faltered in our quaint little town is the display of our community Christmas tree. Even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the custom continues. By most accounts, the city has displayed a community tree since before 1920, and for most of those years it has been right downtown, smack in the middle of G Street, serving as a beacon of light and cheer in the heart of our little town.

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