From September 2008

Redevelopment Agency Moves Ahead With Grant Program

By Wade Woods

FredBlackwell.jpgOn Tuesday evening the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Commission authorized Fred Blackwell, the organization’s Executive Director to select and appoint members of the Grant Selection Committee to review completed grant applications and select grant recipients.
The objective of the Grant Programs is to provide start-up or expansion capital in the form of “micro grants” not to exceed $25,000 to existing nonprofit organizations, for profit businesses (including Kiosks) and startup businesses that will benefit the District.  The Grant applicants must be able to show how the proposed activity will benefit the District.
The goal of the Grant Program is to attract new businesses and to encourage retail activity that provide a needed service within the District in order to increase foot traffic within the District and create a viable commercial core by providing retail services, jobs and a safe environment. Read more

The Fillmore Project: Community Forum on History of Urban Redevelopment

By Wade Woods

fillmoreproject.jpgThis Saturday September 20, 2008 there will be a community Forum Day held at the African America Art and Culture Complex to provide the Fillmore Community member and the general public with an opportunity to discuss the impact of Urban Redevelopment on the Fillmore Community, culture and way of life.  The event will be a documented forum to dialogue, gather information, and bridge the generational gap between those who have been affected and those who will be affected by these policies.  Urban Renewal policies, which continue to shape San Francisco’s cultural landscape, have displaced entire communities of color and are currently targeting the Bayview Hunter’s Point District. Read more

ACE on the CASE

Ace.jpgBy Ace Washington

First I’d like to thank God for the knowledge and courage to bring reports to my associates.  I think that it is paramount to mention right now that we have seven weeks to go before the presidential election and it gave me great honor to travel with the Post Newspaper Group to Denver a few weeks back for the national Democratic Convention.
I had the pleasure of working with editor Wade Woods and Kevin Jefferson while in Denver. While we were there we met the publisher of the Post, Paul Cobb, his wife Gay Plair Cobb and Executive Conway Jones Jr. We were able to chronicle and assimilate information that took place there and it was quite an honor for me. Read more

Marin’s 11th Annual Blues and Soul Attracts Over 7,000

Bluesandsoul.jpgThe Marin City’s 11th Annual Blues and Soul “Party in the Park” on September 1st was attended by 7,000 people. It was a beautiful sunny day where locals enjoyed great music, plenty of vendor and mouthwatering food.  Pictured above,  top row- from left is Narada Micheal Walden, Producer Felicia Gaston, KBLX DJ, and Frankie Lee;  middle row – Zakiya Blues Band, Gail Muldrow, Fillmore Slim and Miko Marks;  bottom row -  Huey Lewis, Mrs Hooker and John Lee Hooker Jr. Photos by Ace Washington.

Obama Opens SF Office

By Post Staff

obamaoffice.jpgSan Francisco for Obama officially opened it’s San Francisco Office last Saturday at 939 Market Street at 5th.
The office will be open from 9am to 9pm seven days a week until Election day.  Phone banking will take place everyday between 10am and 8pm.
A statement from the campaign states, “California will play the vital role of engaging the residents of Nevada to vote for Senato Obama.”
Besides opportunities to volunteer at local events, there will also be opportunities to travel to Nevada to get out the Obama vote.  Anhoni Patel is the coordinator of the San Francisco Office.
For information on how you can support the Obama Campaign call the San Francisco Office at (415) 670-9840 or email at sanfranciscoforobama@gmail.com

African American Coalition To Hold Election Forum

By Wade Woods

AileenHernandez.jpgThe African American Democratic Club in conjunction with African American Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco NAACP, Black Leadership Forum, A Philip Randolph Institute and the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition will be hold a joint candidate’s Forum, endorsement and interview meeting this Saturday, September 20th at Rasselas Jazz Club located at 1534 Fillmore Street at Geary Street  beginning at 12 Noon to 2:00pm. Read more

Joe Stewart Signed to 3-Year CEO Contract at Doctors Medical Center

JosephStewartmug.jpgWest Contra Costa  Healthcare District Board last week approved a three-year contract for Joseph  A. Stewart to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Doctors Medical  Center (DMC). After serving as Interim CEO for the past year,  Stewart will become Doctors Medical Center’s official Chief  Executive Officer effective October 1, 2008.
“One of my first priorities is to recruit a senior management team  that brings strong leadership and stability to the hospital,” said   Joe Stewart, Chief Executive Officer. “At the same time, I am   immediately reinvigorating the organization’s quality-focused   initiatives. I expect to succeed by helping DMC excel clinically.”
Stewart has over 25 years of experience in hospital administration.  Most recently, Stewart served as Interim CEO of Doctors Medical  Center and previously as President and CEO of Butler Health System  in Pennsylvania.

Faces Around the Bay: Carolyn Taylor

CarolynTaylor.jpgCarolyn Taylor is not just talking about Obama; she has worked at his headquarters and we met her recently at the Obama Victory Party in the Oakland Hills.  When asked why Obama, she responded, “ Obama is solid and the best man for the job as USA President in 2009.  Barack Obama sends out a vibe of positivism, productivity and peace.  I see him as a strong, smart and sociable leader who cares about people.  He has the eagerness and willingness to turn this country around.  He’s interested in the tax issues, and I believe he will turn this economy around.”
Taylor is the owner of Catco Services, Creative Lighting & Design, at 360 Grand Ave, “where you can see energy efficient lighting”.  She did the lighting for Evergreen Baptist Church, the Hyatt Regency in the Embarcadero Center, and Skates…to name a few.
Taylor attended Lone Mountain, the Univ. of S.F. and majored in drama and dance. “You need back-up” says Taylor, “so I eventually switched from the stage to lighting”    Taylor worked in L.A. and New York in stage film and did commercial films for television for 8 years.
She has been a member of Evergreen Baptist Church since 1994.

Photo and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

School Closings Meetings Meetings

The Oakland Unified School District is holding community meetings on the possibility of closing small schools and to hear public reaction to major reforms undertaken during the past few years.
The community will be asked to provide feedback on Results-Budgeting, which is the district’s method of allocating funds to individual schools, and on the criteria that the district is using to decide which schools may be considered too small to be sustainable.
The meetings, to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be hosted by Interim Superintendent Dr. Roberta Mayor or a member of her Senior Cabinet on the following dates: Read more

Teachers Oppose Parcel Tax to Raise Their Pay

By Ken A. Epstein

JackOConnellmug.jpgIt may seem a little difficult to understand why understand Oakland teachers are opposing a parcel tax measure on the Nov. 4 ballot that would raise teachers’ pay by about $10 million a year.
But more than 100 members of the Oakland Education Association’s Representative Council voted  last week unanimously, with one abstention, to oppose Measure N, which could provide teachers with as much as a 7 percent salary increase.
The measure was placed on the ballot in August at a specially called board meeting by State Administrator Vince Mathews and his boss, State Supt. Of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, over the objection of six of the board’s seven members.
The cost to local property owners would be  $20 annually for 10 years.  To pass, the measure needs to receive the support of two-thirds of the voters. Read more

William Shorey, Oakland’s African American Hero Of The Seas, Influenced Jack London

By Mary Rudge
Part 1

Now known far and wide as  Jack London Square, this great Oakland port area is famous for its charm and its history.  This was the home port of Captain William Shorey, the first African American Captain on the West Coast. This remarkable sea captain  became a mentor to Jack London when Jack was a child.
During the many years Shorey was cruising the Pacific Ocean, he had thrilling experiences that were often prominently mentioned in the daily press in several cities.  Captain Shorey had a crew from many races and cultures, and all liked to tell of their homes and their travels. Some of the stories Jack heard from Captain Shorey and others on the ship inspired stories he later wrote.
Some of the adventures which Jack put into his book, “The Sea Wolf”  were actually experiences recounted by Captain Shorey to Jack and his playmates, who were often invited on board because their families and Captain Shorey’s family were friends. The African American families in early Oakland had strong bonds wwith each other, and Jack’s African American foster family, Jennie and Alonzo Prentiss and their children, Will and Priscilla, were friends of the Shorey family.
Captain Shorey loved children, and loved to tell stories. He married Julia Ann Shelton, daughter of a prominent San Francisco family in 1887 and they settled in Oakland where their children were born. Their daughters,  Zenobia Pearl (1888 -1908)  and Victoria Grace (1898 -1971) ,  played aboard ship and also went with their parents to sea. On shore, their home in West Oakland, at 1782 8th  Street, was a center of social life.  They rejoiced when at last, a third child,  William  Jr (1902-1969) was born to them, there. (Members of  the Shorey family  are buried at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland. William, Sr,  his wife, and oldest daughter Zenobia share a  headstone).
Captain William T. Shorey was born on the island of Barbados, British West Indies. The ancestors of most of the Black population of Barbados had been brought from Africa to work in the sugar came fields.  Shorey’s  father was a sugar planter. His mother, a Creole, was said to be very beautiful. Their children received an education.
Shorey, the oldest of 8 children, was only 16 years old when he sailed as a seaman on a whaling ship,  the Emma E Heriman. He learned so well, that he became a skilled sailor, navigator, and trader and a forceful leader. Within five years, he became a licensed  officer, and in five more years, when only 26 years old, he became a ship’s captain. He proved himself to be a remarkable leader, to achieve the status that he held.
In 1891, Shorey  commanded the brig Alexander.  The sleek brig  was not as large as his previous ship, but it was a graceful vessel. The Alexander  survived a near sinking from ice damage in the Bering Straits and  Captain Shorey made his way through storms and dangerous waters. Jack London, who  was 15 years old, heard Shorey  tell of his adventures, when he arrived back in the Port of Oakland. These adventures were set in his mind.
Jack resolved to someday have  sea adventures of his own and follow Captain Shorey’s trails across the sea, and when the time came that it was possible for him to do this, he did.
In the 1880’s Jennie Prentiss, who was Jack’s foster mother, and a group of mothers, including Lucy Disard, Victoria Dewson, and Julia Shorey, Captain Shorey’s wife, worked diligently helping others, through the First African Methodist Episcopal Church. Their families became fast friends. Their children played together  and visited Captain Shorey’s ship. Some of Oakland’s African American residents living today can recall experiences that  members of their family had as Jack London’s playmates.
These were some of Jack London’s childhood friends who shared his adventures. Many of their descendants still live in Oakland. At the time they knew Jack, and the Prentiss family, James L and Lucy Disard resided on Filbert Street. Their children Ida, Martha, Jane, Flora, Mary, Lucy, Charles and William, and the children of Alexander and Victoria Dewson, Evelyn, Ruth, Gussie, Lora, Edwin, Joe and Alexander , who lived on Myrtle Street, the Towns brothers, Lucy Ann Cauldwell, and others all became friends with Jack.
These families, and the children of Jennie and Alonzo Prentiss, Will and Priscilla, and Jack whom the Prentiss family had taken as their own,  were known to be good-spirited, a strong community of loving people. Some of the descendants of these Oakland families, grand children and great grand children, know the history.
Note: References and sources  include Negro Trailblazers, by Delilah Leontium Beasley; For Love of Jack London, His Life with Jennie Prentiss by Mary Rudge and Eugene Lasartemay; Steven Lavoie of the Oakland Library History Room; Larry Odoms of the Oakland Library  Periodical Room; Shannon McQueen and Lavera Wilson, Library Assistants at the African American Museum and Library, Oakland.

New Project Helps Teenagers Find Jobs

By Post Staff

upsteenjobs.jpg“If the elevator is broken, we still go up to the twelfth floor with the package,” said Jasmine Shields, Human Resource Specialist at United Parcel Service.
“You take that little dolly and you go up and then you go up again, until you deliver them all.
“I want you to sit down and think, beyond the paycheck, about want you want for the future and if this job can help you get what you want – pay for college, support yourself, or health coverage.”
It was a Thursday afternoon last week, and 30 teenage perspective job applicants listened intently as they learned first hand what they could expect if they went to work for UPS.
Shields and Keisha Lee Cavil, UPS HR Manager, were the first job recruiters to participate in a new program, the Oakland Citywide Youth Jobs Initiative (OCYJI), designed to help local teenagers, especially foster care youth, to successfully navigate the world of work. Read more

UC Unions Against Executive Salaries

UCberk.jpg

Union members rally in front of campus before marching across UC Berkeley to demand a new contact and higher wages.

By Ken A. Epstein

Four unions representing 60,000 workers at the University of California rallied this week at the UC Berkeley campus to demand an end to “poverty wages” for many workers, while executives are receiving excessive salaries and bonuses.
Nearly 96 percent or about 8,000 UC service workers receive wages “too low to meet needs need for a family composed of one adult and one child,” according to a report in May by neutral fact finder Carol Vendrillo.  May of the workers are entitled to publicly funded welfare programs and benefits, including food stamps, reduce price school lunches, Section 8 and public housing and subsidized childcare, the report said.
The unions are asking for comparable pay to that of other state institutions, such as the California State University system and public libraries. Unions are also calling for an end to “retaliation” against employees who represent their fellow union members. Read more

Student Poll Workers Needed for Election Day

Positions are available for young people at local high schools to serve as student poll workers on Election Day,  Nov. 4.
The students, who must be at least 16, will earn $95 for the day’s work. To learn more, come to an information session on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 3:45 p.m. at the Downtown Oakland Career Center, 1212 Broadway in Oakland.
Also available is a series of free Job Readiness Training workshops for foster care youth and other local youth, designed to help them prepare for and find a job.
For more information, call (510) 768-4479 or (510) 768-4482. Or send an email to  kholloman@oaklandpic.org or  rhall@oaklandpic.org.

Clinton and Lee Call for National AIDS Strategy

BarbaraLee.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C. — In light of new statistics showing annual new HIV infections at levels higher than previously believed, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09)  and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) have introduced a resolution in both chambers of Congress calling for a national AIDS strategy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using new methodology, recently estimated that 56,300 individuals were newly infected with HIV in 2006, a considerably higher figure than previously estimated.  The CDC statistics are also evidence of the continued disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS upon African American and Hispanic communities.
“The sobering new statistics on HIV and AIDS in the United States show that this disease continues to take a heavy toll right here at home—particularly in minority communities. Read more

HIV/AIDS Center Opens September 22

Vitallife.jpgTop left to right: Arnold Perkins, Oakland Public Safety Director, Kurt Zimmerman Principal of R.N.Field Construction, General Partner NCK LLC, David Kears, County Health Director, Peggy Bush, Executive Director, Vital Life Services and Assemblymember Sandre Swanson, Middle left to right: Brian Siebold, VP Mechanics Bank; Marcus Hibser, Pres. HY Architects; Kurt Zimmerman, John Micklos, Pres. PCI; Mike Hannigan, Pres. Give Something Back; Ralph Scott, Golden Gate Lock and Key; Jeff Lambertson, Pres. Gemini Air Systems; Roberto Uribe, Pres. R&R Home Improvement Products; Lee Vinney, Tile by Vinney, Bottom left: Nancy Zimmerman, Kurt Zimmerman, Feliciai Favroth, Next Level Real Estate the agent who sold the building, Bottom right: Father Jason Landeza and Father Jay Matthews. Photos by Gene Hazzard.

By Post Staff
Part 2

When Father Jay Matthews presented the Chauncey Bailey Vital Life Services awards to Peggy Bush and Kurt Zimmerman last Saturday for their volunteerism and leadership in converting the former Your Black Muslim Bakery into an HIV/AIDS center the 200 guests applauded and cheered the building’s amazing transformation.
He announced that the Vital Life Services Center would open September 22 to serve patients. Father Matthews, the former pastor and childhood friend to the late Chauncey Bailey said the Center was the type of program that Bailey loved to champion and support. Rev. Earl James Ward, pastor of the Star Bethel Baptist Church, which is adjacent to the Center, christened the center with prayer and well wishes from the neighborhood. He along with Father Landeza the pastor of St. Columbia Catholic Church, also a neighbor, urged the guests to support the Center with prayers, volunteers and financial donations. Read more

Lee Speaks at Prayer Vigil on Fighting Poverty

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee delivered the following remarks during a prayer vigil on “Fighting Poverty with Faith”:
Barbaraleeprayer.jpg“The faith community has always played the critical role of being the nation’s moral compass on tending to the least of these. It is important and timely that we gather here during this historic moment in our history, to once again focus the nation’s attention on the quiet suffering of the millions of American families who live in poverty.
“With the help and guidance of the faith community we can as a Congress, and a country, seize this opportunity to finally and truly address the needs of our most vulnerable.  Record enrollment for food stamps and increasing demand at community food banks and homeless shelters have stretched our communities’ social safety nets to their breaking point.
“Because 37 million Americans living in poverty is 37 million too many. Because 47 million Americans without access to healthcare is 47 million too many. And yet again, our minority communities bear the greatest burden. 31.6 percent Hispanic children under 5 and an astounding 40.7 percent of African American children under 5 grow up under the shadow of poverty. Read more

Dimensions Dance Theater Marks 35th Anniversary

Dimensions-anniversary.jpgCommemorating 35 years of arts and entertainment innovation, Dimensions Dance Theater presents Celebration, a collaborative retrospective that interweaves the company’s most inspired choreography from the past three decades and demonstrates the diversity of its dynamic movement styles. This historic 35th anniversary performance debuts at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 15 at the Oakland Interstake Center (near the Mormon Temple) at 4780 Lincoln Boulevard in Oakland.
Celebration is an ambitious, multi-media presentation featuring the combined efforts of twenty artists and excerpts from Dimensions Dance Theater’s most renowned works, including Panther, Rhythm Harvest (commissioned by World Arts West), Beneath The Baobab by Donald McKayle,(choreographer of Raisin and Sophisticated Ladies), Between Shores, Mudzimu (in collaboration with Banrara of Cuba choreographer Isais Rojas and African mbira musician Stella Chiweshe), Lifted, Sweet Savory Sunday (in collaboration with veteran R&B vocalist Linda Tillery and gospel singer Terrance Kelly) and Cross Currents, a recent collaboration with jazz percussionist and composer Anthony Brown. Read more

Four Seasons Concerts 50th Year

4seasons.jpgIt was 1958 when the late W. Hazaiah Williams presented Marian Anderson, his first venture into the concert world, which he continued until his death in 1999.
On October 4, 7:30pm, Four Season’s Concerts will open their 50Th season (Today’s Artists/Four Seasons) with the Ritz Chamber Players, America’s first chamber ensemble comprised solely of artists with roots in the African Diaspora.  The four musicians  include some of the world’s most accomplished musicians: Terrance Patterson, Clarinet, Kyle Lombard, Violin, Troy Stuart, Cello and Kevin Sharpe, Piano.  Praised for the “fresh, new energy” they bring to the classical genre, they performed for the NAACP image awards in 2006, Carnegie Hall Debut in 2004 (sold out), and International Radio debut with the BBC in 2005. They’ve performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Pittsburg Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, to name a few. Read more

Neighborhood Jam in Oakland

By Gy Green

GregoryJoeBledsoeMug.jpg“I am my brother’s keeper.” Having all heard this proverb many of us don’t even know our neighbors.  Let me state unequivocally, “Knowing who is in your neighborhood helps create a family which begins in your home and extends throughout the community bringing about accountability in each other because we tend to care more.  Thus, the reason for “Neighborhood Jam”, an event to celebrate the unity, responsibility and security generated when neighbors come together.
Gregory Joe Bledsoe, one of the neighbors, will perform at the event. He is an Oakland public school teacher, musician, poet, creator of Oakland Street Peace Festival and lead vocalist for Gregory Joe Bledsoe and Source of Light, his band. He is also a proud recipient of the Peace Award. He performs what he terms as the 3-M’s; Mind-Moving-Motivational music, specifically designed to uplift one’s spirit and give It the freedom to dance. Bledsoe formed Gregory Joe Bledsoe and Source of Light to bring educational and entertaining music, poetry, and song to his own classroom as well as Bay Area audiences.  Read more

Saddler Heads Foster Institute

DeniseSaddlermug.jpgA native Oaklander who has been a leader in the educational field for over three decades has been elected as the new board president of the Marcus A Foster Educational Institute (MAFEI), a nonprofit group that supports Oakland families, teachers and schools.
Denise Saddler, an administrator in the Oakland Unified School District,was elected by the institute’s Board of Directors at their July meeting. As a district Network Executive Officer, she supervises 15 elementary schools in West and North Oakland.
Saddler has been active on the institute’s board since she joined in 1986, while she was President of the Oakland teachers’ union, the Oakland Education Association. Read more

Get Wise About Your Credit Matters

Dear Credit Lady:

I have a lot of credit cards that were so far past due that they were sent to collections. I received a large sum of money and would like to settle with my creditors. Is it possible to settle for less than I owe? I do not have enough to pay everyone off especially with the interest and fees that they added to the balance. My dream is to own my own home after I clean up my credit.
Linda Morris
Read more

Dancing Poetry Festival Features Creativity and Innovation

dancingpoetry.jpgCreativity is becoming unique, memorable, surprising, and always challenging yourself. To experience this wonderful journey, you must come to The 2008 Dancing Poetry Festival is on Saturday, September 27, from Noon to 4 PM, at the California Palace of The Legion of Honor in San Francisco.  For information and tickets please call 510-235-0351 or check our website at: www.dancingpoetry.com.
The desire to achieve the extraordinary, and your success in fulfilling that desire, may be in knowing a few easy secrets.  These old dance secrets may serve as guidelines to help you to become a gifted strategist in all the realms of creative endeavor and innovation.  They have been known to be helpful  in changing  perspective.  Consideration of outcome, impact and consequence is now the hottest topic of our new philosophy of  “green”.  A natural connection to ourselves and to the relevance of our creations can be more deeply felt. Common dance dynamics, otherwise known as use of energy forces, may be just the secrets needed to be re-discovered ! Read more

Oakland plans to abandon the poor in public housing

by Lynda Carson

Oakland-If the board members of the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) have it their way, Oakland may end up losing $10,717,140 per year in federal funding for 1,615 public housing units, which may result in the displacement of 1,554 low-income families from Oakland’s public housing. This includes a total of 3,885 family members including children, the aged, disabled and infirm.

With a disastrous housing crisis in full bloom, home foreclosures at an all time high, while the market is saturated with tons of unwanted residential buildings due to a housing market that is as unstable as it has ever been, on September 22 the board members of the Oakland Housing Authority plan to vote on a scheme to dispose of 254 housing sites in Oakland, including 332 buildings mostly filled with very low-income African American public housing tenants.

This may cost an additional $1,036,000 or more in relocation costs to cover expenses for around a third of the public housing families being affected, if the majority of seven OHA board members vote yes on September 22, to apply to Housing Urban Development (HUD) for approval of the plan to dispose of 1,615 public housing units. Read more

Oakland crime threatens Oakland's Money

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article on the rash of Oakland holdups and the effect they are having on the local economy.

Oakland’s Economy Is Threatened By Restaurant Holdups
By BOBBY WHITE
September 6, 2008; Page A4

OAKLAND, Calif. — This city, already hard hit by the economic downturn, is being plagued by a spate of restaurant holdups that further threaten the city’s economy — and have led Mayor Ron Dellums to call in the Guardian Angels.

Since April, armed gunmen have stormed as many as 17 Oakland restaurants, robbing patrons, employees and cash registers. The robberies have brought new criticism to Mr. Dellums, the former U.S. congressman who nearly two years ago swept into office promising to make Oakland “a world-class city.” He has since been under fire for a rising crime rate and charges of poor management. Read more