From September 2008

Post News Group case goes to court

By Post Staff

The trial of The Post News Group vs. the city of San Francisco began last week after almost 4 years of debate and preparation.

The case involves the dumping of large cans of unused newspaper ink into the San Francisco Bay Area, before current Post publisher Paul Cobb, purchased the newspaper chain at the end of 2004.  While previous owners were found to be at fault in the case, charges were not filed until Cobb, who had no knowledge of the allegations, puchased the paper.

During interviews with local media, Cobb and members of his legal team have wondered why San Francisco District Attorney waited until he took over ownership to pursue legal matters, citing possible conflicts of interest between Harris and the family of former Post News Group owner Velda Berkley.  “There appears to be a conflict of interest in the case between Velda Berkley and the district attorney’s mother,” Cobb’s former attorney, Clinton Killian, said during an inteview with San Francisco Weekly.

For more information on the case follow the links to the stories below. Read more

Rev. Ward Pastors Historic Star Bethel Baptist

By David Scott

RevEarlJamesWardmug.jpgRev Earl James Ward remembers answering two major calls to service as a Marine and a Minister. He is the new pastor at Star Bethel Baptist Church where he gave the prayer of blessings on his newest neighbor, The Vital Life Services HIV/AIDS Center which now occupies the building formerly owned by Your Black Muslim Bakery.
His church, located at 5800 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, also owns other parcels along that commercial strip.
Ward answered the call to serve his country as a Marine when he fought in the Vietnam War from 1966-1968. He said, “God saved my life so I could preach the Gospel.”
“I was in enemy fire, when I fell into a Pungee Pit, which is a deep pit with razor sharp bamboo tips at the bottom with a reputation for instant death. I thank God that my rifle jammed in the side of a bamboo stick which saved my life.  After spending 3 months in the hospital I had a new outlook on life.” Read more

Lee and Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich Discuss Economy and Iraq

Leereich.jpgCongresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) and former Secretary of Labor Dr. Robert Reich sat before an audience of 250 on Saturday, September 20th and discussed the future of American and the need for crafting a more cogent and inclusive economic policy.
The discussion, held at the Oakland Museum, also centered on what role the 9th Congressional District can play in ending the occupation in Iraq and the financial crisis that has prompted Congress to consider a massive, $700 billion bailout for mortgage markets on Wall Street.
Reich said he didn’t oppose the bailout plan that was being debated in Congress, but added that it’s imperative that the federal government attach condition on the bailout package that discourages “huge, irresponsible decisions” that lie at the root of the problems on Wall Street. Read more

Get Wise About Your Credit Matters

Dear Credit Lady:
I hear a lot of people talking about Debt Settlement lately, what is Debt Settlement?
Simply Confused

SvonneUnderwood.jpgDear Confused
Debt Settlement is when your creditors agree to accept a lump sum payment for less than the actual balance due. In simple terms, it means your creditors agree to take less.
It is accomplished by negotiating with your creditors. The IRS as well as some creditors, refer to Debt Settlement as Debt Forgiveness, Settlement in Compromise, or a Negotiated Settlement.
Occasionally, a creditor may agree to accept a lesser amount and will allow the settlement to be paid over time, by making monthly payments. This is very rare as most of the time in order to obtain a favorable settlement, it must be paid in full and typically within 10 days of reaching an agreement.
The best settlements occur when cash is available to immediately settle the account. For this reason, most debt settlement programs are based upon your setting aside funds each month so you accrue funds and the Certified Debt Specialist has money to offer your creditors a lump sum settlement. Read more

Volunteers Clean and Beautify Oakland Creeks

Volunteer.jpgOn Saturday, approximately 1,000 volunteers participated in Oakland’s Creek to Bay Day at 23 sites throughout Oakland.  Participants in the 13th annual cleanup and beautification event removed over 1,000 pounds of trash, 300 cubic yards of green waste and just under 100 pounds of recyclables from around Oakland’s creeks and Lake Merritt.  In addition, volunteers installed 150 durable storm drain markers with the message “No Dumping – Drains to Bay/Lake”.  The largest single turnout was at Dimond Park, where well over 200 volunteers spent the morning beautifying Sausal Creek and its surroundings.

Black Male Teachers Wanted!

Do you know any Black males who are seniors in high school who want to go to college out of state for free ? Several Black Colleges are  looking for future black male teachers and will send them to universities/colleges for 4 years free.  The ‘Call Me MISTER’ program is an effort! to address the critical shortage of African American male teachers particularly among South Carolina ‘s lowest performing public schools. Program participants are selected from among under-served, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities.
The Call Me MISTER program combines the special strengths and resources of Clemson University with the individualized instructional programs offered by four historically black colleges in South Carolina:  Benedict College, Claflin University , Morris College and South Carolina State University. To provide even greater opportunity and access, students have the option of first attending one of our two-year partner colleges before transferring to one of the four-year institutions to complete their baccalaureate degree. In addition, the project has limited enrollment in the middle school Master of Art in Teaching program.  Please click on the participating schools on the menu to the left to learn more about these schools’ programs. Read more

Obama’s Last Ghost

 By Marvin X Jackmon

Elijah told us the white woman is the white man’s last weapon against the black man. We thought once Barack Obama overcame Hillary Clinton, he would be home free.
But up popped the white woman number two. Of course she lacks Hillary’s political chicanery but she’s still white, so never forget this. And white America went into a tizzy over her until the fall of Wall Street, then she became second page news because America cares more about its money than its mama, and no matter the fall began on Clinton’s watch, the blame game goes to Bush and the Republicans, thus Obama has another chance now that white woman number two is backstage. She may pop up again before the race is over, but for now all eyes are on the economy and the robber barons of international finance.
As former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown noted in the Sunday Chronicle, we all should have known something was wrong when a man who couldn’t qualify for a $13,000 car loan was able to qualify for a $300,000 house loan. Read more

Santa Fe Elementary School Holds Elaborate Open House

By Post Staff

Santafe.jpgFlags waved in front of Santa Fe last week and children and parents from the neighborhood filled the auditorium to capacity, overflowing into the hallway. A program was held in the auditorium including entertainment: a student presentation of “Shine” and introduction of teachers, staff and programs by school principal Carol Johnson.
Johnson reported that the Academic Performance Index at Santa Fe (API) is 690, 26 points growth, with a goal of 750.  Attendance is 91% – goal is 98%.  She reported that 36% of students are proficient in Math on the CST and 28% are proficient in Reading and Language Arts on the CST.  Mrs. Vonncile Harris, PTC President spoke as a parent to parents, “What’s parent participation got to do with it?”
Following the program, students and teachers went to their respective classrooms and gave individual presentations to parents and students, clarifying standards and class procedures. Read more

Biblical Poetry and Praise Dance at the Dancing Poetry Festival

By Natica Angilly

Poetrypraise.jpgYoung people of the First Step Ministries will present Biblical poetry and praise dance at the Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco, on Saturday September 27, at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in the Florence Gould Theater.  Beginning at noon and continuing until 4, the festival presents eighteen diverse performance groups who have dedicated new works to the concept of poetry and dance working together in exciting  presentations.
The First Step synchronized team, directed by Rev. Rickey Rich’ard-Walker, brings children of different cultures together as a faith based community with performance outreach.  Praise dance, modern ballet, ethnic, masked and poetic dances are all energized by well known and emerging performance groups.  Poetry favorites and new works of poetry will premier in colorful pageantry.   The fifteenth annual festival is created by Artists Embassy International, a non profit outreach organization dedicated to cultural understanding for over 50 years, and Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company with poet Richard Angilly and dancers, dedicated for over 30 years solely to poetry and dance as a unified art form.     Read more

Journalist Nancy Hicks Maynard, 61, Dies

NancyHicksMaynard.jpgNancy Hicks Maynard, a journalist and pioneering advocate for diversifying America’s newsrooms, died Sunday in Los Angeles of organ failure. She was 61.
A powerhouse in journalism circles, Ms. Maynard, along with her husband, Robert C. Maynard, owned and co-published the Oakland Tribune from 1983 to 1992. The paper remains the only major metropolitan daily to have ever been black-owned.
Her advocacy extended beyond the newsroom as she and her husband helped found the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in Oakland. She became its president and trained generations of reporters and editors on how to bring people of color into all ranks of the news-making process, and how to cover stories in such a way that many points of view were included. Read more

Faces Around the Bay: Daniel

Daneil.jpgDaniel, at 11 months, has recently moved to our area from Tracy. His favorite toys?  “He has lots of toys, but his favorite things to play with are his feet and toes,” reports Mother.  His first words? “Ma ma, Da da.  And he loves to clap, moves to hip hop and gospel music!”

Welcome Daniel!

Photo and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

Women’s Day at Bethel AMEC

PaulaMcGeemug.jpgThe public is invited  to celebrate Women’s Day with the Women of Bethel AME Church, Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, Senior Pastor on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at both the 8am and 11am Worship Services.  Bethel AME Church is located at 916 Laguna St., San Francisco, CA.
The focus is “God?s Women of Ages Bridging The Gap As We Walk In Love Paving The Way” (Scripture reference: Deuteronomy 4: 9-10).  Come and hear the dynamic speakers of the day as each of us affirm and gain knowledge on how we can each contribute to bridging the gap. Read more

S.F. Chicana Writer and Asian Women’s Shelter Win Awards

By Post Staff

ElizabethMartinez.jpgChicana writer, activist and feminist Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez and the Asian Women’s Shelter were among the winners this week of the San Francisco Foundation’s prestigious Community Leadership Awards.
Martinez, a resident of the Mission District, was honored for over 50 years of commitment to improving human relations, and the Asian Women’s Shelter, 3543 18th Street in San Francisco, received the award for its support of victims of domestic violence.
Founded in 1988, the Asian Women’s Shelter provides services in 31 languages and is dedicated to assisting Asian women and children escape family violence.
Other winners were Van Jones, Co-founder and Board Member of the Oakland-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; and Malcolm Margolin, Writer, Publisher, and Founder of Heyday Books in Berkeley. Read more

African American Democratic Club Holds Endorsement Meeting

By Wade Woods

Demclub.jpgLast Saturday at Rasselas Jazz Club on Fillmore Street a the African American Democratic Club along with  the African American chamber of Commerce, Communities of Opportunity, A. Phillip Randolph Institute, Black Women Organized for Political Action, Fillmore Merchants Association and the Black Leadership Forum held a lively  endorsement of candidates for local office and propositions for the upcoming November elections.  The most heated debate was over proposition H. Proposition H is concerning the first step towards public power.  Progressives have long battled to take the delivery of electricity out of the hands of PG&E and have the city take on that service.  Proposition H would allow the Supervisors to issue bonds to begin the process.  Opposition to H, lead by PG&E say the measure would give the Supervisors a blank check and put the city in debt.   Read more

Dr. James Calloway In Running For Board Of Education Seat

By Wade Woods

JamesCallowayMug.jpgAs the November election approaches voters are starting to focus on the Board of Education race.  Headlines after headlines tell horrific stories about the state of the nation, state and local schools, including budget shortfalls. Dr. James Calloway comes to the race with specifics to battles the city’s school face and a long resume of accomplishment in the field of education.
Dr. Calloway says that among the programs he wants for the students of the city’s school system is a “specified and individualized excellent educational program for all students, and provide the students with a well-rounded education including both basic skills and enrichment programs and providing the necessary support system.”  Calloway also believes the San Francisco Public School system needs excellent educational leaders, teachers and classified staffs at every school sity with excellent pay for credential and classified staff members.  Parent and student empowerment are another goal of Calloway’s along with short and long range planning for San Francisco Unified School District financial stability by lobbying local, state and federal government for more funding.  Read more

Lack of Oversight Led to Nation’s Financial Crisis

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) said a lack of federal oversight led to the financial crisis that has forced Congress to consider a massive, $700 billion bailout of mortgage markets on Wall Street.
“Our economy is in turmoil. The collapse of Wall Street is crippling families on Main Street,” Congresswoman Lee said. “The government has stepped in to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from failure, helped to finance the sale of Bear Stearns, and bailed out AIG, the world’s largest insurance company.
During Congresswoman Lee’s tenure on the House Financial Services Committee, she repeatedly warned the Administration about mounting excesses due to the rapid deregulation of financial markets, the dangers of predatory lending, and repeatedly demanded more oversight over the financial services industry. Read more

Faces Around the Bay: Kashay Striplin

Kashay.jpgKashay Striplin has worked at Super Cut on College Ave., in Berkeley, for a year, since graduating from Berkeley High.  She is currently attending Los Meandos Junior College in Pittsburg and plans to transfer to Clark, or Spellman. She plans to major in West African Dance and General Ed. While at Berkeley High, in November 2006, Striplin was part of a group of Seniors that toured  Black Schools and says, “ it greatly influenced my interest in going to Spellman”.
Her parents are Karen and Anthony Striplin and she has 4 sisters and brothers: Anshana, Aereona, Anthony Jr. and Maelon.  Striplin loves to read, is interested in drama and comedy, and says, “I’m a ‘big kid’ – I love to play basketball and 4 squares”.
When reflecting on the violence in our streets, Striplin says, “This violence is heart-breaking.  I’ve attended funerals for several of my friends.  And I don’t see it stopping until people can learn the value of life; it is so much more precious than pride.  I wish we could learn to let our light shine.”

Photo and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

18 Groups Honor Mayor Dellums

By Post Staff

The City of Oakland held a town hall meeting this week, seeking public input and providing information on possibilities for building a citywide wireless broadband network that could used by residents, public safety officers or other city services.
Steve Blum and Cynthia Mackey,  consultants for the city, moderated the meeting, held Monday afternoon at City Hall.
Summarizing the experiences of other cities, Blum said  that smaller wireless projects have been more successful so far than large citywide networks. In the City of Folsom,  for example, small wireless networks have been set up at various hotspots, at the aquatic center, around city hall and the library. It has been very success and is called the “drinking fountain model,” he said. Read more

Community Questions School Closings

By Ken A. Epstein

schools.jpgParents and teachers packed into the community meeting at Claremont Middle School Monday evening, seeking information and expressing misgivings about the possible closing of their schools.
“What is going to happen to our kids?  We can’t jump them from one district to another. Our children are going to go into the street? What is going to happen to them?” Asked a parent of elementary age children.
Despite reassurances by State Administrator Vince Mathews that nothing has yet been decided and that the process is transparent, many worried that the decision to close schools was already made. Read more

Van Jones Wins

VanJonesMug.jpgMalcolm Margolin, writer, publisher and founder of Heyday Books; and Van Jones, known as a youth, civil rights and environmental advocate, were among the winners this week of the San Francisco Foundation’s prestigious Community Leadership Awards.
Van Jones, Co-founder and Board Member of the Oakland-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, was recognized by the foundation for “his inspirational and galvanizing” work in youth and civil rights activism.
Other winners were Chicana writer, activist and feminist Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez, recognized by the foundation for building unity and alliances across traditional racial and gender lines; and the Asian Women’s Shelter in San Francisco, for its dedicated work helping Asian women and children escape family violence. Read more

Network Seeks More Services For Formerly Incarcerated

By Post Staff

reentrynetwork.jpgA coalition of public agencies and nonprofit groups met last week with local officials, calling for expanded services to meet the desperate needs of formerly incarcerated people in Oakland and throughout Alameda County.
The meeting, held last Friday at the State Building in Oakland, was called by the Alameda County Reentry Network to make propose more effective services to the formerly incarcerated in order to reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
The immediate focus is on income, job placement and training, said Arnold Perkins, who moderated the meeting. Perkins, former director of the Alameda County Public Health Department, currently works with Mayor Ron Dellums developing a public safety program. Read more

Parole System Is “Broken,” Says Swanson

By Ken Epstein

Swansonhanock.jpgThe failure of California to provide reentry services for people coming out of prison is tied to the ongoing budget deficit that has ensnarled the state for many months, according to Oakland Assemblymember Sandre Swanon,
“Our system of parole and reentry is broken,” said Swanson, who says that California’s 70 recidivism rate is twice that of other states, costing nearly 10 percent of state budget, or $10 billion, that is spent on the prison system.
“We spend $46,000 a year on a prisoner,” Swanson said. “If we could cut the recidivism rate in half, it would go far to solve our budget mess.”
“We have a responsibility to our neighbors and our communities, who have a reasonable expectation that when a person comes back into community, he or she is prepared to function in a responsible way.”
Among bills introduced by Swanson to support expanded opportunities for the formerly incarcerated are the Green Jobs Worker Training Programs, the Probation Youth Success Act, addressing the AIDS pandemic through the Inmate and Community Public Health and Safety Act and the Transitional Assistance for Re-Entry Programs.

Trial Set for Bailey’s Killing

The murder trial of Chauncey Bailey’s alleged killer, Devaughndre Broussard, may start in February, according to an Alameda County Court Superior Judge.
“There’s more work to be done” before the trail can start, Judge Morris Jacobson said last Friday during  a brief hearing. He scheduled another hearing for Dec. 12, when he hoped a specific date could be set.
Broussard, now 20 years old,  was arrested Aug. 3, 2007 and pleaded not guilty in January. He is charged with shooting Bailey three times with a sawed-off shotgun on Aug. 2, 2007, as the editor walked to his job at the Oakland Post.

Oakland, SF and San Jose Mayors Join Valley Projections “Clean and Green” Event

Mayor Ron Dellums joined San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed at the Silicon Valley Projections “Clean and Green” Event, hosted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The three mayors joined other notable Silicon Valley CEOs, and other distinguished public figures and environmental leaders in a panel discussion about how the Bay Area can work together on climate change.
“What is going to drive the growth of urban and metropolitan areas are the many challenges of global warming. As our cities grow exponentially, it is the mayors who are going to have to confront those issues, such as: planning along transit corridors or providing more public transportation. Bottom line, important decisions are going to have to be made.”
The group discussed a partnership aimed at helping the region do its part toward meeting the State of California’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.