From September 2009

Warriors optimistic about the upcoming season

Oakland, CA – Media Day kicked off at the practice facility this morning!  The usual routine of interviews and photos was interrupted by the anticipation for one player, the captain of the team.  Stephen Jackson who voiced his opinion during the off season about wanting a trade had a table full of reporters anxiously awaiting his arrival.  Walking with a smirk on his face Jackson slowly walked past his seat and then quickly looked back before jokingly addressing the media “what’s up “vultures”?

“You already now I got fined so don’t ask me questions I’ve already answered,” said Jackson.  “What I said over the summer is how I feel.”  I had a big part in helping this team over come hurdles and each player that has assisted (Baron Davis and Jason Richardson) have been traded.”  “I feel like I’m next and we’re not getting better, I want to win!”  “We need to focus on winning and work hard to be successful.”

Jackson made it clear that he stands by his comments of wanting a trade but will do his part as a player and a captain by continuing to get this team back to the playoffs.  The controversy surrounding Jackson’s trade demands had no effect on the remaining players on the roster.  Only a few players had remarks regarding Jackson’s comments.

“You guys (media) make it seem like he’s going to take a hit for his comments but I guarantee you that tomorrow morning in practice everybody will be focused on winning,” said Ronny Turiaf.  “Our job is to focus on winning games and we leave the rest to management.”

Turiaf along with new and returning players have high hopes for the upcoming season and is excited to get back on the court!  “I’m super excited about this season because we have guys who want to be here!”  Turiaf explained that he kept in touch with majority of the players in the off-season and that everyone had a sour taste in their mouths regarding how the season ended.  But this year everyone is driven to make a change for the better.

One of the major concerns at media day was coach Don Nelson’s “run and gun” type of tempo on the court.  The Warriors are known for their shooting and putting points on the board however, the defense has not been a factor for this team.

Stephen Jackson said, “defense has been a big problem in the past and I can’t guard everybody.”  “Our defense will definitely have to pick up a lot and I credit myself for being able to play at both ends while many players aren’t able to do that.”

Corey Maggette, who was injured last season is healthy and ready to play.  He also gave his thoughts on concentrating more on defense this year.  “We have three of the best 3-point shooters in the league and we can all put up points.”  “This is my 2nd year with the team and moving assistant coach Keith Smart on the defense side will help us put more pressure on other teams.”

One player many did not recognize in uniform was former NBA player Steve Smith!  Smith is a TV analyst for NBATV, he donned a Warrior uniform while taking photos and gave interviews.  “We are showing the fans Media Day, what players are doing and what goes on behind the scenes,” said Smith.  “In my day we didn’t have the opportunity to be apart of a video game nor have so many people in attendance during Media Day.”

This segment will air before the season starts so check your local listings.  The Warriors will open up the Preseason against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 4th at Oracle Arena.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Chargers Win Against Struggling Offense

Oakland, CA – The Raiders lost their second home game of the season to the Denver Broncos 23-3.  Oakland’s struggling offense needs a lot of work.  JaMarcus Russell threw two interceptions in the first quarter, both passes intended for rookie wide receiver Darruis Heyward-Bey.  Another less than stellar performance from Russell left concern in the minds of many.

He completed only three of his first eighteen passes for 42 yards and has the lowest percentage among quarterbacks through two games at 35.2 percent.  Russell’s only options for wide receivers are two young rookies and a injured Chaz Schilens who is schedule to return next week.  The Raiders passing game is definitely in trouble and hopefully will be the main focus in practice this week.

“We weren’t in position for a lot of our plays,” said JaMarcus Russell.  “During the week I’m seeing progress with our rookie receivers, we do what we can to get us all on the same page and it will take time.”  “We have more games to play, the fans are fed up and I understand that.”  “But again, until you come out and play like I know we should and get back on track it will be a different story.”

The Raider fans were not pleased and booed Russell throughout the entire second half.  Oakland’s offense continued to struggle when RB Darren McFadden fumbled three times, including one at the Bronco’s 6-yard line in the third quarter.  Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton connected with both WR Brandon Marshall and RB Knowshon Moreno for two touchdowns.  Orton went 13 for 23 for 157 yards.  He has yet to throw an interception this season.

The Raiders defense did their best in trying to control the game.  But the costly mistakes by the Raiders led to Denver taking advantage and scoring when needed.  The Raiders defense was exhausted last week and just became frustrated yesterday.

“There’s some glaring problems that need to be fixed, in all phases of the game,” said Nnamdi Asomugha.  “I don’t think we have quite a read on who we are and that’s concerning.”  “At this point you want to know what type of team you are and have an idea on what the outcome is going to be.”

The Raiders were held to 137 yards, their second straight week with less than 200 yards of offense.  This is the third time since the start of the 1993 season that Oakland had back-to-back games like that, with two in 2006.

The Raiders are on the road next week when they face the Houston Texans October 4,2009.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Oprah Picks African Story Collection: ‘Say You’re One of Them’ by Uwem Akpan

Oprah Winfrey, whose book club selection has been known to shoot sales numbers into the stratosphere — call it the Eat Pray Love Effect — chose a collection of short stories by Nigerian native Uwem Akpan today. “Say You’re One of Them” is the debut book by Akpan, a Jesuit priest who studied creative writing at the University of Michigan.
The book’s stories are set in Africa, and are often told from a child’s point of view. “Say You’re One of Them” was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction — as was another Oprah Book Club pick, David Wroblewski’s “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.” (Has she read “Finding Nouf” by Zoe Ferraris yet? That book took our award).
While popular wisdom in the publishing industry is that short story collections don’t sell, Akpan found a major publisher (Little, Brown) which supported his debut. On his website, Akpan writes about the very different world where the stories began:
I was inspired to write by the people who sit around my village church to share palm wine after Sunday Mass, by the Bible, and by the humour and endurance of the poor.
Growing up, my mother told me folktales and got me and my three brothers to read a lot. I became a fiction writer during my seminary days. I wrote at night, when the community computers were free. Computer viruses ate much of my work.
Finally, my friend Wes Harris believed in me enough to get me a laptop. This saved me from the despair of losing my stories and made me begin to see God again in the seminary. The stories I saved on that first laptop are the core of Say You’re One of Them.
The idea of Oprah moving to engage her audience with both a short story collection and with fiction set in Africa is certainly welcome among literary types. Most of them, anyway. “[‘Say You’re One of Them’] only reinforces Western stereotypes about Africa — that it is a wasteland of child soldiers, poverty, and corruption,” Rob Spillman, the editor of “Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Fiction,” writes in the Huffington Post. “While there are serious problems in much of Africa, this is not the only reality.”
– Carolyn Kellogg

Oprah Winfrey (right) and book cover.

Oprah Winfrey (right) and book cover.

Face of Defense: Woman to Lead Drill Sergeant School

By Crystal Lewis Brown
Special to American
Forces Press Service

FORT JACKSON, S.C., – Army Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King of the 369th Adjutant General Battalion has been selected the next commandant of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School.
When she assumes responsibility in September, the ceremony not only will be commemorating a new school leader, but also the school’s first female commandant.
King, who learned of the selection in June, will replace Army Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Newsome as head of the school.
King enlisted in 1980, and, soon after, attended the same school she later would be slated to lead.
“I went to Drill Sergeant School before I went to my basic school for my [military occupational specialty],” the Clinton, N.C. native said. “The Drill Sergeant School has set the foundation for my training, so it’s ironic that I’m going home.”
Despite her rank as a specialist, she said she was expected to perform at the same level as the rest of the students. “They held me to the same standards that they held the [other] drill sergeants,” she said.
Her graduation was held in the morning, she said, “and I was on the trail that afternoon.”
King said it is important to note that a hard worker will shine, regardless of gender. “It really doesn’t matter if you’re male or female,” she said. “If you…enforce standards, people will respect you.”
King said it has not really set in that she will be the first woman to hold the school’s top spot, but said she hopes the selection will encourage other women.
“Because I’m doing it … that means another female command sergeant major can do it,” she said. “I think it’s going to set the bar higher for them, not just for drill sergeants, but for other female soldiers.”
Even now, King said, being selected as commandant is a surprise. “It’s sort of one of those moments of … utter disbelief,” she said.
King added that she is honored and humbled by the selection, and is grateful for the chance to take the reins.
“I feel like I’m chosen to lead a noncommissioned officer who is charged with a high degree of responsibility,” she said. “I’m responsible for them as they lead, mentor, counsel and train America’s finest.
“There’s nothing else that can compare to that.”
(Crystal Lewis Brown works in the Fort Jackson, S.C., public affairs office.)

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Cosby: Visit Schools, Know Your Kid’s Teacher

By Tasion Kwamilele
Post’s Washington

Howard University was graced with the presence of long time activist and entertainer Bill Cosby. Cosby was a panelist on the “All Our Children” forum, moderated by CEO Michelle D. Barnard of the Independent Women’s Forum
Panelists included Cosby, Alvin Poussaint, PH.D., and Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the D.C. public school system. The panel discussed topics such as poverty, inner city education and the effects of parenting.
“…We will gather parents and children to really take the bull by its horns to do everything that we can to ensure that every child has the American dream,” said Barnard.
In lower income communities it has been found that parents are not as involved in their children’s education as parents in higher income districts. The Brown vs. Board of Education fight was fifty years ago so why are we still discussing equal education among students?
Cosby said, “You’ve got to go visit the schoolteacher. Someone is spending six to seven hours with your child and you don’t want to know who it is?”
Howard University students have taken the initiative to create jobs for university students to help in local schools by mentoring and tutoring.
Audience member and longtime civil rights activist, Dorothy Height, PH.D, inspired Howard students to continue their efforts.
Height said, “The harder the kids push back, the closer we have to come to them. We have to just say to the children to have hope there will be a future,”
The crowd rose to their feet, and applauded the panelist as the night ended. Cosby concluded by saying, “You value yourself, you value your life, and you will value your child.”

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Save Underground Treasures

Rev. El Tyna McCree’s Underground Treasures was one of the businesses affected by the BART demonstrations after the police shooting. She has never recovered. She has not received assistance from BART or the City to help her stay open. Donations can be sent or purchases can be made this week. Her one-of-a-kind, upscale, fashion boutique at 385-17th Street also houses her travel business. She also survived a brutal hate crime assault that left her partially disabled (google Eltyna McCree).Contact; 510-625-9407/510-435-7050. Donations to The Committee to Assist Rev. McCree. Photo by Gene Hazzard

Rev. El Tyna McCree’s Underground Treasures was one of the businesses affected by the BART demonstrations after the police shooting. She has never recovered. She has not received assistance from BART or the City to help her stay open. Donations can be sent or purchases can be made this week. Her one-of-a-kind, upscale, fashion boutique at 385-17th Street also houses her travel business. She also survived a brutal hate crime assault that left her partially disabled (google Eltyna McCree).Contact; 510-625-9407/510-435-7050. Donations to The Committee to Assist Rev. McCree. Photo by Gene Hazzard

Rainbow/PUSH Protests SF Fed

By Lee Hubbard

Over one hundred people marched and protested in front of the San Francisco Federal Reserve building on Steurt and Market Streets last week, to protest the banks lending policies. The protests were led by the Reverend Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, as he tried to help highlight the impact of home foreclosures across the county and specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“We’ve got to find comprehensive solutions to keep people in their homes,” said Jackson. “There is no time to waste.”
Jackson said the Federal Reserve was picked because it bailed out banks, giving them money without any interest rates to help them get through the financial crisis over a year ago. Now these same banks are charging interest on student loans and to people who are losing their houses due to foreclosures. In the month of July, banks repossessed more than 87,000 homes, and 360,000 households or one in every 355 homes received a foreclosure-related notice last month.
“We are facing dramatic unemployment, eight and a half million jobs lost and four and a half million homes in foreclosure across the country,” said Jackson. “We need a structural plan to help people restructure loans so they can stay in their houses.”
Jackson said that this is the start of a national effort to highlight the banking practices of the Federal Reserve, to protest the banks loan practices. He said that pressure needs to be applied to President Barack Obama and US Federal Reserve Chairmen Ben Bernanke, to help set up a program so that people can stay in their houses and avoid home foreclosures. Jackson said that the Federal Reserve needs to put pressure on the various banks across the country to work with homeowners so that they can avoid foreclosure.
“People want to stay in their homes,” said Jackson. “The more public pressure we apply, the more this issue will have to be addressed.”
Nationwide, 23 percent of homeowners are now “under water”, owing more on their mortgage than their house is worth. Jackson’s Rainbow Push group has made a national effort to go to the various Federal Reserves across the country to protest the banks loan practices and highlight the issue. The Reverend Amos Brown of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco says the issue is one of injustice.
“Banks are not giving people any adequate time to restructure loans,” said Brown. We need to have consistency all across the board.”
The San Francisco rally featured over one hundred people and it brought out activists and ministers from various areas of the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and the Contra Costa County areas of Pittsburgh and Antioch, which have been impacted dramatically by foreclosures.
“We are at the point in time when this is important,” said the Reverend Kurt Smith of Grace Bible Fellowship in Antioch. “Contra Costa County is taking one of the strongest hits when it comes to foreclosures in California.”
Smith said people are leaving Antioch and Pittsburgh cities in droves, as they are losing their houses as a result of predatory loans and getting behind in house payments.
“The fed has to do something about this,” continued Smith. “Loans need to be restructured in Contra Costa County.”
Bridgette Leblanc with Black Woman Organized for Political Action says this is an issue that people have to be vigilant about.
“The banks get money for free and then they charge high interest rates for student loans and homes and everything,” said Leblanc.
Jackson said the foreclosure crisis is impacting the black and brown communities especially, as these communities are targeted by banks and become victims of unfair loan practices. He said the protest and pressure needs to be applied to the federal government and the Federal Reserve.
“Jesse James got paid twice,” continued Jackson. “We bailed out the banks, but not the home owners.”

Lillie Cook (left) and Lillie Mae with Rev. Jesse Jackson at the home foreclosure demonstration in front of the San Francisco Reserve Building on Friday last week. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Lillie Cook (left) and Lillie Mae with Rev. Jesse Jackson at the home foreclosure demonstration in front of the San Francisco Reserve Building on Friday last week. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Lee’s Aide to Intern in Mombasa, Kenya

Sasha Worblin, a staffer for U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee has received a prestigious internship at Kituo Cha Shoria, a Kenyan Center for Legal Empowerment.
Werblin, a Smith College graduate and Bay Area native, has been a social justice and public health advocate working briefly for several law firms and OCCUR before joining Congresswoman Lee’s staff. Her internship will begin in October.
For more information visit the following website:

Oakland Deputy City Attorney Named President-Elect of National Bar Association

The Oakland City Attorney’s Office congratulates Deputy City Attorney Demetrius Shelton after his election as President of the National Bar Association, an organization that represents a network of more than 44,000 predominately African American attorneys, judges, legal scholars and law students worldwide.
Shelton, a litigator in the City Attorney’s Office, was overwhelmingly elected by the members of the National Bar Association. He was announced as President-Elect at the organization’s 84th Annual Convention in San Diego last month, and will be sworn in as president of the association in 2010.
“On behalf of the entire City Attorney’s Office, I congratulate Demetrius for his leadership of the National Bar Association,” City Attorney John Russo said. “He has been a great representative for the City of Oakland and I strongly support his efforts to bring more people of color to the legal profession.”
Shelton ran on a platform of preserving the National Bar Association’s mission and promoting its commitment to progressive change and equal opportunity for all. He previously served on the NBA’s Board of Governors and most recently held the position of Vice President of Regions and Affiliates. The National Bar Association, founded in 1925, is the nation’s oldest and largest network of minority attorneys and judges.

Demetrius Shelton

Demetrius Shelton

Leadership Excellence, Youth Jobs

By Post Staff Part 8 of Series

For Johnell Gardner, a summer job at Leadership Excellence in Oakland, where he is helping to set-up a youth run eco-janitorial company, has not only meant money in his pocket but an important step toward realizing his dreams.
“This is helping me to grow – I want to get my janitorial license, to own a janitorial company and have my own business,” said Gardner, 24, an alumnus of Skyline High School.
About 35 young people are working at Leadership Excellence at a variety of summer placements scheduled to end Sept. 30. Some are working to establish the new green janitorial service, learning all aspects of business development, including marketing, bookkeeping, business licensing and regulations, accounts payable and receivables, logo creation and use of environmental friendly chemicals and maintenance techniques.
Other job placements include Cold Stone Creamery in Emeryville; Critical Mass Health Conductors, where they work as health educators in a community health project run in partnership with Bay Area Black United Fund; Urban Hieroglyphics, a local community art program; and Community Organizing through Radical Empowerment (C.O.R.E), which promotes community organizing and service learning.
Leadership Excellence has received federal stimulus funding to pay the youth through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, overseen by the Oakland Workforce Investment Board (WIB).
This year’s summer jobs program has provided work for nearly 1,100 Oakland youth, ages 14 to 24. Leadership Excellence is one of the 13 organizations selected to be part of the program by the WIB, which is composed of local, business, labor, education and community leaders. The Oakland Private Industry Council has administered the program on behalf of the WIB.
Led by Executive Director Saleem Shakir, Leadership Excellence runs a variety of programs, all designed to educate African American youth for personal growth and social change.
“We are very grassroots – we work within our community,” said Shakir. “We’re working to empower young people to become full citizens in our society. You have to know yourself to be able to interact fully with people of different backgrounds.”
Leadership Excellence’s community service, cultural and consciousness raising programs include Camp Akili, an annual summer camp for high school youth; Oakland Freedom School, a youth literacy program that utilizes works of African and African American authors and an interactive approach to teaching reading; SOLO (Sisters Overcoming Life’s Obstacles) for adolescent women and MECCA (Men Educating Culturally Competent Africans) for adolescent men, which support the teenagers in confronting the complex transition to adulthood.
The organization also takes a group of youth every two years to West Africa, where they are involved in community service projects and cultural exchange.
“Historically, we have been involved in youth development and leadership. It became clear in the last four or five years that young people have a need for income, and we have become more focused on job training and job placement,” Shakir said.
Leadership Excellence was founded in 1989 by Dr. Shawn Ginwright, sociologist and author, and Nedra Ginwright, who promoted the agency as a national model for serving urban youth.
For more information on Leadership Excellence, call (510) 267-9770 or go to

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Dwin Plans to Win

Miguel Dwin hopes to win his bid for re-election by counting on Emeryville’s voters to re-elect him to the School Board on November 3.
Dwin’s an Accountant with fiscal budgeting experience.
Even though he says he delights in ensuring fiscal accountability through monitoring the annual budget, he feels that motivated students and committed teachers have to work with the administrators as a team to guarantee support for each student’s achievement.
“Every student must have an opportunity for an excellent education to be prepared for college and a job,” he said.
Dwin credits colleagues Josh Simeon and Cheryl Webb, who also are running for re-election and Oakland Superintendent Tony Smith for expanding his vision.
“Tony Smith set the foundation for Emery’s educational culture and positive direction. Tony taught me how to galvanize the community around schools.”
Dwin attended Oakland’s St. Columbus Elementary School and St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley. Miguel graduated from San Francisco State University in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting, and moved to Emeryville in 1996.

Miguel Dwin

Miguel Dwin

Annual Walk , Oct. 3 Protests Teen DateViolence and Domestic Abuse Domestic Violence

A Safe Place in collaboration and partnership with CNC and Project Transition, Oakland Parks and Recreation Radical Roving will sponsor the 2009 Annual Walk Against Teen Dating and Domestic Violence on Oct. 3 at Lake Merritt Boathouse in Oakland.
Teen dating violence impacts the lives of young adults at a tremendously high rate. Teens in our community are experiencing disturbing levels of violence in their dating relationships. Dating violence and domestic violence shatters the lives of families every day.
Ex. Dir. of A Safe Place, Carolyn Russell, explains the significance of A Safe Place, “Violence in the home impacts our greatest resource: our children. Children who witness domestic violence most often suffer at the hands of the perpetrator. Those of us who work with victims of domestic violence see first hand the trauma experienced by young children. The psychological, physical and social effects of witnessing domestic violence are most often long-term. Society must understand why a zero tolerance in the home, church and community is needed to eradicate intimate partner abuse. Our goal at “A Safe Place” is to promote peace in the home. We need the community’s support to be successful in creating healthy families.”
The mission of “A Safe Place” is to break the cycle of violence and prevent intimate partner abuse through community education and outreach. The Annual Walk promotes the efforts of “A Safe Place”, bringing awareness to an issue that plagues our families and our community.”
The Walk provides an opportunity for community organizations to give a voice for those who can no longer speak. Supporters will mourn those who have lost their lives due to domestic violence, support those who continue to live in violence and create a zero tolerance for relationship abuse.
The event will be a day of entertainment, children’s activities, and food. The keynote speaker is Reverend Margaret Taylor, poetry by Aaron Coleman, and special performance by female rap artist SugaT. Local artists Urban Voices Collective will feature conscious-raising spoken work, R&B, funk, jazz, hip hop by Keldamuzk aka DIVA from the DIVA Project, Paradise, Big Dan, Members of Sounds of Urban Life Soldiers, Rufus Wonder, Alejandra Mojica, and Melvin Bell. Oakland Healthy Start will provide free health screenings.
Renew your commitment to eradicating domestic violence and promote peace in our homes and in community. The event will be held at the Lake Merritt Boathouse, October 3, 2009. Register on-line @ or call (510) 986-8600. No registration the day of the event.

Ex. Dir. of A Safe Place, Carolyn Russell.

Ex. Dir. of A Safe Place, Carolyn Russell.

Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Northern California State Conference Meets in Oakland

The Northern California State Conference of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship will convene at the Oakland Airport Hilton Hotel, October 1-3. The conference will feature Psalmist Shirley Murdock, Bishop Liston Page II and State Bishop Charles Dickerson.
A lecture series for economics and financial literacy will be presented Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2, at 6PM and will feature Dr. Claybon Lea, Jr., Pastor of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church and Regional Bishop Milton White of Pasadena. Recording Artist Derrick Hall, Peniel Full Gospel Baptist Church Choir and the Pearly Grove Full Gospel Church of Fresno are also slated to perform.
The conference’s day sessions start at 10:00 am and evening sessions begin at 6:00 PM.
Bishop Paul S. Morton is the International Presiding Bishop for this fast growing fellowship of pastors and churches. Bishop Dickerson the State Prelate for Northern California states that “this year’s conference is not about Full Gospel churches only, but it is about the Kingdom being established and every pastor being equipped to do ministry even in difficult times.” Bishop Dickerson further explains that while there is a conference registration fee for churches, that’s not the issue. “If a church can’t afford to pay the registration, still come and bring your leaders to be equipped for ministry in this hour. Don’t let the money stop you from coming, just get here”.
Local Churches co-hosting this conference include: House of Prayer Evangelistic Center-Pastor Erik Nation, Harvest Fellowship, Pastor Chris Williams, Peniel Full Gospel Baptist Church, Pastor Geary Miller, Victorious Living Ministries, Pastor Don T. Jones, Greater Praise Temple, Pastor Norman Bradley and Calvary Hill Community Church- Pastor Joseph Bryant, Jr.
For more information, call (559) 266-1420.

MAP Conference –“Creating Purpose Driven Lives”

By Tanya Dennis

Last Saturday’s “Maximum Achievement Project” Conference titled “Preparing Leaders for the World” offered many pearls of wisdom and highlights from powerful men and women educators, counselors, attorneys, presidents, deans and chancellors.
MAP is an inspirational program designed to assist African American males in achieving their academic goals at Merritt College.
The conference topics were “Cultivating Excellence and Success for African American Males”, “What do you do when they come for you?” and “Learning Communities, Learning Collectively: Teaching Strategies for Black Male Academic Empowerment.”
Teacher’s not utilizing learning communities and collective learning are missing a valuable learning tool, and African American males searching for the keys for success would have found them here, as they listen to the life stories of keynote speakers Attorney John Burris and KBLX General Manager Kevin Brown Jr. This writer will share a few of those pearls:
“It is important for each generation to know where they come from and what they will add to that continuum.”… “You are being prepared for a world you don’t even know.” “If you’re going to be a leader you must be prepared. . . Merritt is a door opener.”-
– John Burris, Attorney at Law – Keynote Speaker
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road can take you there. . . MAP will give you a purpose driven life.” “MAP men will be instrumental in changing the fate of African American men.” – Elihu Harris, Chancellor, Peralta Colleges
“A learning community is a purposeful structure of curriculum linked together so that students find greater coherence in what they are learning and greater interaction with faculty and peers.” – Dr. Siri Brown, Professor of African American Studies.
“MAP men need to go to the middle schools and tell them what’s happening here.” Conference Attendee
We provide an environment that is safe, we provide symbols and rituals that are comforting.” – Dr. Eric Gravenberg Vice-President of Student Services
“The community has a thirst for an educated African American male and I’m just as hungry to become that man.” – “Map Man” Andre Matthews
“I have the ability to construct and build instead of destroying everything around me.” “Map Man” Antoine Johnson
“If I look tall its because I stand on the shoulders of the strong.”- Kevin Brown, KBLX Program Director – Keynote Speaker
“No matter how many doors are closed, there are angels along the way that don’t expect anything in return, that push you along the way, but you must show up on the right path.” – Kevin Brown
“I’m blessed to have the peers and mentors to help me walk the right path.” – MAP Man Antoine Johnson
Carlos McLean, Director of MAP and MAP Men Andre Matthews and De Marcus Foster left last Monday for the National Black Caucus in Washington D. C. Their mission is to promote the MAP project so that it will be implemented in every college in the nation.

Andre Matthews

Andre Matthews

Kevin Brown, KBLX was the MAP luncheon keynote speaker. Photos by Barry Barrayarza.

Kevin Brown, KBLX was the MAP luncheon keynote speaker. Photos by Barry Barrayarza.

Word Assembly: Serving “Jesus Style”

By Dion Evans, Religion Editor

For many, the morning comes with the accompanying question – What am I going to do about food today? For those who live near Word Assembly Church in East Oakland – the answers are immediate.
Rev. Johnnie Clark, father of Word Assembly’s Bishop Keith Clark, leads a Breakfast Ministry every Monday through Saturday. He states, “Our slogan is ‘Doing it Jesus style’” and this can be plainly proven. The Breakfast Ministry has been apart of the Word Assembly Church outreach projects for 6 years. In the last 5 years, Word Assembly, via the efforts of its volunteers, has fed over 12,000 hungry persons.
Tarya Green, a volunteer cook and server, shared, “I donate all the time I can to this ministry because there are so many hungry people on these streets who may or may not be homeless.” Estacia Wells, who volunteers her time whenever she is not at work stated, “People are my passion. There are so many people, especially with the current recession, who are not homeless just hungry.” She expresses the sentiment of the Word Assembly Breakfast Ministry volunteers – “If churches could take the time to give back to the community it would be well appreciated.”
The Breakfast Ministry goes through great lengthens to prepare for the awaiting community. There are volunteers who are constantly cleaning preparing for the day’s meal. The menu is a hybrid of breakfast foods and lunch.
Daryl Wallace, Deacon at Word Assembly Church and Breakfast Ministry volunteerstated, “A lot of the people we are serving attend local drug programs and are in need of a hot breakfast. Our ministry efforts provide them something for their stomachs to help them stay calm and brighten their day.”
When attendees of the Breakfast Ministry arrive they are warmly seated and as they are being served they are met with a 15 minute inspirational message given by either Rev. Johnnie Clark or Deacon Daryl Wallace. “It is important for them to hear a word along with their meal,” stated Deacon Wallace.
Word Assembly Church believes that other churches can make a huge impact on the community’s morale via Free Breakfast Ministries. “We are self supporting, not government funded,” reminded Rev. Clark.
Jerome Williams, a young homeless man who attends the Word Assembly’s Breakfast Ministry shares, “It brings the community into unity. Being able to eat every morning gives you the ambition and the drive you need to make it another day.”
April Hebrard, a 3 year volunteer sums it up this way, “It is such an enjoyment to serve. I am grateful to God for this ministry. This is the Jesus model and we are serving Jesus- style.”
To donate or support Word Assembly’s daily Breakfast Program, call – (510)633-2801. To attend the Breakfast Ministry, the address is 9507 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland.

Rev. Johnnie Clark (center, white shirt) joins volunteers and participants at Word Assembly’s Breakfast Ministry.

Rev. Johnnie Clark (center, white shirt) joins volunteers and participants at Word Assembly’s Breakfast Ministry.

Tarya Green (right) and Estacia Wells prepare to hot breakfast foods for the hungry.

Tarya Green (right) and Estacia Wells prepare to hot breakfast foods for the hungry.

Alameda County Played a Pivotal Role In Saving Healthy Families Programs

Alameda County played a pivotal role in saving a program providing publicly subsidized health insurance to poor children in California. Legislation to save the program, known as Healthy Families, was signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Three prominent Alameda County residents turned out to be key players in negotiations resulting in the new law – Kris Perry, executive director of First 5 California; Carla Dartis, a member of the state First 5 Commission; and Dave Kears, the retired Alameda County Health Director who currently works as a Special Assistant to Alameda County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi. Kears also is a key player on the state’s First 5 Commission, which administers programs helping low-income youth generated through a tax on cigarettes.
Healthy Families was almost eliminated through $175 million in reductions made by the California legislature and the Governor to close the state’s massive budget deficit.
But the program was saved, thanks to emergency legislation that received rare bipartisan support in Sacramento. It closes a funding gap within Healthy Families of about $200 million, of which about $97 million will be generated by health insurers who have agreed to impose a special tax on themselves.
Muranishi said the potential dismantling of Healthy Families was one impact of the State Budget crisis that Alameda County was determined to prevent.
“This was one of the holes in what has become a tattered safety net that we most desperately needed to fix,’’ Muranishi said.

Community Must Mobilize to Fight HIV

You do not have to be infected with HIV to be affected by it. So many African American people have relatives or know someone living, or who has died, as a result of this disease. In the beginning of the AIDS epidemic it was easy for African Americans to disassociate from HIV/AIDS in our community. HIV media coverage was all over the news, dominating the headlines. HIV was a disease affecting gay white men. As the years rolled on and the face of HIV changed, blacks became the largest community affected, yet again disproportionately affected by another disease. The topic became silent in the media. Researchers and the medical community scrambled to find effective ways to reach persons of color. As the high transmission rates persisted, it became evident that the prevention messages created to reach other communities, wasn’t working in ours.
Much of African American history is collected via the spoken word. However spoken words require interaction. We must understand that we are family. What does the face of HIV look like? The face is your brother, sister, mother, uncle; it looks like you. By showing faces of people that look like us, we can then take our strengths and our weaknesses and combine them.
Oakland’s office of AIDS has launched the second phase of a community campaign, “HIV Stops With Us”. Duran Rutledge, Program Specialist, of Oakland’s Office of AIDS says, “When people aren’t bombarded with the reality of HIV, like they were in the 80s, they tend to think that it’s no longer a threat, as it once was. But, with the increase of HIV in our community, we know that not to be true”.
HIV STOPS WITH US is the message of a media campaign launched in August 2008, that I have personally been a part of. These posters feature real persons who are HIV positive, all from the Bay Area. Along with the infected person there is a wide spectrum of HIV negative persons important in their lives: family members, friends, care providers and partners talking about real issues. The campaign ads and website, answer the question, what does the face of HIV looklike? The campaign is meant to highlight how relationships come together to both prevent the further transmission of the disease as well as provide demonstrations of acceptance and support.
The individuals appearing in this campaign share the belief that together, positive and negative, each person has a primary role to play in dealing with HIV. In addition to uniting HIV positive and negative individuals, the campaign deals directly with sex, responsibility, communication, and disclosure of status.
Les Pappas, Creative Director of Better World Advertising says, “It is the intersection of HIV positive and negative persons where everything happens-that’s where the virus spreads or is stopped. It’s also where we as a society create common ground. The goal is to mobilize everyone to overcome the epidemic. Look for me and the other spoke models on your BART train ride and then check out the website”.
Send questions and comments to or call 510-575-8245.

Raiders, Nickelodeon Partner To Celebrate Worldwide Day Of Play

The Oakland Raiders and Nickelodeon are teaming up to promote healthy lifestyles for the nation’s kids. The Raiders will join Nick in celebrating its fifth annual Worldwide Day of Play (WWDP), taking place on Saturday, September 26. Established as a day focused entirely on active play, WWDP aligns with NFL PLAY 60, a campaign aimed at getting children active for at least 60 minutes a day.
To celebrate WWDP, Nickelodeon will go dark from 12 to 3 p.m. ET/PT on Saturday, September 26 to encourage kids to get up, go outside and be active. The Oakland Raiders kid’s website,, will also go dark during this time.
“We are delighted to once again join Nickelodeon in its Worldwide Day of Play, which complements our extensive youth programs promoting fitness and an active lifestyle,” said Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask.
More than 250,000 kids in more than six countries and in every U.S. state are expected to participate in Nickelodeon’s sixth annual WWDP, and more than 1,000 local events are scheduled worldwide.
For more information about joining the Oakland Raiders in your community, visit
For more information on Nickelodeon and its pro-social efforts, visit

Donnie Williams Wins BET’s “I Can Do Good Gospel & Blues Video Competition”

By Lee Hildebrand

Donnie Williams thought he was through with talent contests following his experience with “American Idol” five years ago. With his soaring, amazingly pliant tenor pipes, which bring to mind those of his idols Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-born, Livermore-based soul singer might have given Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson some serious competition during the show’s 2004 season had he not messed up.
“You’re better than all the people we have heard throughout the seasons,” judge Randy Jackson told Williams following his breathtaking performance of “A Song for You” at the audition. Even Simon Cowell’s take was positive, and Williams was put through to Hollywood.
Williams made it into the top 32 and seemed a sure shot for the top 12. The night before he was to return to Hollywood for the next segment of the show, however, he attended a celebratory party thrown by friends. He had too much to drink and, on his way home, was arrested in Danville for driving under the influence. The producers of “American Idol” promptly kicked him off the show and replaced him with George Huff.
The singer was devastated. “I didn’t even go to work for a couple days,” Williams, 26, explained. “My girlfriend at the time and my family and my friends really pulled me through it.”
Williams quit drinking and signed with Chump Change Records, a Berkeley company run by songwriter Paul Tillman Smith, whose tunes have been recorded over the years by such vocalists as Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carne, D.J. Rogers, Lady Bianca, Freddie Hughes, Derrick Hughes, Lenny Williams, Rosie Gaines and Bonnie Boyer. Williams’ sobriety is reflected in the Smith composition “Higher Power,” a gospel-imbued ballad with an anti-substance abuse message from Williams’ new “Just Like Magic” CD.
A homemade video of Williams performing “Higher Power” won him first place two weeks ago in the “ I Can Do Good Gospel & Blues Video Competition,” a national contest held by BET in conjunction with the Tyler Perry motion picture “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” Williams was selected by a panel of judges headed by another of his favorite singers, Marvin Winans, and awarded a $2,500 American Express gift card. BET aired the “Higher Power” video on September 11, and it can be viewed on the internet at
“I told myself I’m done with competitions,” said Williams, who will appear at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, at Yoshi’s in Oakland on a bill with Bay Area singers Sam Bostic and Adesha Johnson. “My friend Jason convinced me to record something, so I went ahead and did it. I didn’t expect to win, because so many times I’ve been on talent shows and something’s come up where it’s not meant for me to win. By me winning this competition, it just really made me know that I still have something to look forward to in this career.”
Send comments and story ideas to Lee Hildebrand at

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Stunning Loss for the Giants

San Francisco, CA – It’s the wild card race and the San Francisco Giants hopes were shattered in the ninth inning.  Chicago Cubs IF Jeff Baker hit a two-run homer off Giants, closer Brian Wilson to win the game 3-2.  A tough loss for the Giants, leading the wild card is the Colorado Rockies who lost tonight against San Diego.

The Giants would have closed their three game lead had they won tonight, instead they’re now four games back with nine games left to play in the season.  Now, the Giants sit in third place tied with the Florida Marlins and a half game behind the Atlanta Braves.

“We know they have a good home record, so it’s a challenge for us to come in here,” said Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella.  “San Francisco basically is still in the hunt for the wild card, and we wish them well but not against us.”

It’s a four game series and anything is possible!  Giants pitcher Brad Penny did his job by pitching well and only allowing a single run in eight innings.  Penny made his fifth start as a member of the Giants tonight.  He has gone 3-1 with 4.01 ERA over his first four starts with the Giants.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done,” said Brad Penny.  “If you look at the numbers, tonight was huge for us.”  We’re still not out of it, if we win nine in a row and hope the Rockies lose.”

Cubs IF Micah Hoffpauir doubled in the fourth, moved to second base on 2B Mike Fontenot’s single and scored when Jeff Baker grounded into a double play. But the Giants tied the game with two outs, bottom of the fourth inning.  SS Juan Uribe was safe on an infield single, then scored on John Bowker’s double.  Bottom of the seventh inning Bowker hit a tie-breaking home run to give the Giants a 2-1 run lead.

“I drove in a couple of runs but it was a tough loss,” said John Bowker.  “We played hard and had the lead…  We’ll come back tomorrow and battle.”

The Giants play six more home games against both the Cubs and Diamondbacks.  They will finish the season with three games in San Diego.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Rangers Win Game 3 of the Series

Oakland, CA – Game three of the A’s vs Ranges series was a battle!  Each ball club played well and went back and forth through nine innings.  Unfortunately for the A’s the Rangers got the win 9-8.  It was a game that came down to costly mistakes, Oakland made three errors, all in field while Texas made none.  This allowed the Rangers to get five unearned runs.

Rangers 1B Hank Blalock had a stellar game hitting two doubles and a two-run homer in the fourth inning.  Blalock put the Rangers up 2-0 after 3B Adam Kennedy ‘s two-out bobble in the first inning went for an error that gave the Rangers one unearned run.

The A’s came alive bottom of fourth inning with a five-run surge against Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter.  It began when Rajai Davis singled, followed by Ryan Sweeney’s double, Kurt Suzuki’s single and Mark Ellis’ double that tied the game 4-4.  But it was Cliff Pennington’s single the put the A’s up 5-4.

The fifth inning the Rangers took the lead on errors by Pennington and Ellis.  Elvis Andrus and David Murphy both stole 2nd and 3rd base.  Marlon Byrd then single which allowed both Andrus and Murphy to score.  Then Blalock’s double gave the Rangers the lead 8-5.

A’s LF Eric Patterson’s first home run of the year came at the bottom of the fifth inning and cut the Rangers lead 8-6.  Both teams then scored in the sixth inning.  Rajai Davis’ double in the seventh inning put the A’s behind by one, but lefty pitcher CJ Wilson struck out Kurt Suzuki and Nomar Garciapparra.

The defense for the Rangers took control in keeping Oakland from scoring the remainder of the game.  The A’s had an opportunity to get on base with Adam Kennedy’s single but Hank Blalock made a diving catch while running to first base to end the eighth.

The ninth inning came down to the closers from both teams.  A’s rookie pitcher Andrew Bailey struck out three top of the ninth, giving Oakland some hope to get back in this game for a tie or win.  Rangers pitcher Frank Francisco allowed no hits as it came down to Kurt Suzuki’s final at bat but Francisco struck him out for the win.

The A’s have committed an error in five straight games.  The three costly errors last night gave them 93 for the season with 10 games left.  They had fewer than 100 errors over the last five seasons, which equals the longest streak in Major League history (Philadelphia, 2001-2005).

Written by: Malaika Bobino

RAIDERS IN THE COMMUNITY: SILVER AND BLACK TEAM UP WITH NICKELODEON Defensive Backs Nnamdi Asomugha, Michael Huff Promote Healthy Lifestyles

The scene on the playground of Treeview Elementary School in Hayward, Calif., was one of kids participating in various football related drills from throwing and catching passes to jumping hurdles.  The Oakland Raiders and Nickelodeon have teamed up to promote healthy lifestyles for children. To show their Commitment to Community and to Bay Area youth, two Raiders players visited the students and taught them the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle.

CB Nnamdi Asomugha and safety Michael Huff surprised the crowd of roughly 200 which was comprised of third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.

Treeview Elementary School Principal William Derek Grasty knew that the players would be coming but wanted to keep the surprise for the kids.

“We appreciate the players. It is very inspiring for the kids. They are very excited about seeing the players. They were hopeful, so when the two players showed up they were very excited,” Grasty said.  The Raiders hosted a junior training camp at Treeview Elementary to show their commitment to health and fitness and to promote Nickelodeon’s upcoming Worldwide Day of Play (WWDP), which takes place Saturday, September 26.

Michael Huff was reminded of the days when he was a child staying active and playing with friends.   “I got to stay out until the street lights came on. My mom let me run around and play with my friends but as soon as the street lights came on it was time to get into the house,” Huff recalled.

Admitting that “he is just a big kid at heart,” Huff hopes the message gets across to the kids.  “We just want to tell the kids to run around, get some exercise, and be out and about. I think this is a great cause.” Asomugha hopes that the kids also learn about teamwork and getting through adversity.

“Anytime you can have a friend around it makes things a lot easier. All we are teaching is competition and healthy living,” Asomugha explained. “You have teammates that are always encouraging you.  Bad things can happen. You can slip and fall but you have to get back up. You have to keep going and that is what we are also trying to teach these kids.”

One particular student, Anthony Perez, took what the players were saying to heart and appreciated their surprise appearance. “It feels kind of good to shake somebody’s hand and see a famous person,” Perez expressed.

After completing passing drills, Perez said, “Being active feels way better. Just turn off the TV and come out and go play. Just be active. It’s good having friends to hang out with and doing things you all like together.”

Some of the students’ parents also were in attendance. Joe Zamora of Oakland grew up in the Bay Area and was reminded of when Raiders Hall of Famer, the late Gene Upshaw, visited his elementary school. “I met Gene Upshaw when I was a youngster and that just motivated me to play football and stay active,” Zamora said. “This is nostalgic coming back and seeing my kids doing the same things that I used to do when I was a youngster growing up.”

Now a parent of two, Zamora is appreciative of the players coming out and motivating the kids. “That shows a little consideration as far as from a players standpoint. I know they have busy schedules and different things going on. For them to take the time out and do this is highly appreciated,” Zamora added. “ It gives the kids something to look forward to, seeing people in that spectrum to come back and give them some encouragement. It helps a lot.”

Sue Echols, a physical education teacher at the school, echoed Zamora’s thoughts.

“I think it is fabulous. I am so glad that they are here. They are such great role models for our kids.  Hopefully it will teach them that it is great to stay healthy.” Echols said.

Established as a day focused entirely on active play, WWDP aligns with NFL PLAY 60, a campaign aimed at getting children active for at least 60 minutes a day.  More than 250,000 kids in more than six countries and in every U.S. state are expected to participate in Nickelodeon’s sixth annual WWDP on September 26, and more than 1,000 local events are scheduled worldwide.

To celebrate WWDP, Nickelodeon will go dark from 12 to 3 p.m. ET/PT on Saturday to encourage kids to get up, go outside and be active. The Oakland Raiders’ kids website,, will also go dark during this time.

For more information on the Oakland Raiders, go to the team’s official website, and follow the Raiders on Twitter at

By Raymond J. Tioseco


1. Safety Michael Huff helps during drill

2. Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha tutors youngster

3. Youngsters pose with Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha and Michael Huff during event

A's Unstoppable Against Rangers

Oakland, CA – The Oakland A’s had a huge comeback from last night’s loss against the Texas Rangers.  They outscored, out played and just dominated the entire game.  The A’s walked away with the victory 9-1.  Bottom of the first inning lead-off hitter Adam Kennedy was called for three strikes and ejected after arguing the last call with umpire Eric Cooper.  An unusual way to start a game in the Major Leagues but that didn’t stop the A’s from controlling the game for start to finish.

Daric Barton returned to the line up after sitting out with a bone spur in his left heel.  He got things rolling with a triple RBI by lining a ball right field past RF Nelson Cruz.  Jack Cust was on first base as Barton rounded the bases when Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler’s relay to the plate got away from C Ivan Rodriguez.  Cust and Barton were able to score giving the A’s a 2-0 lead.

“I got to third base and all I heard was, ‘go, go, go.’ I had to get my legs going again,” said Barton.  “I’ve gone with the approach of not trying to do so much and just play my game.”  “If that’s not hitting home runs so be it, I can be productive elsewhere.”  “We’re playing good as a team and our pitching staff is doing real well, so it’s highly possible we can get to .500!”

The Rangers only run came in the sixth inning when Elvis Andrus hit a single, stole second base and scored on David Murphy’s double.  Bottom of the seventh inning the A’s scored five runs which ended any hope of the Rangers winning this game.  Four players singled while both Kurt Suzuki and Eric Patterson doubled.  Rangers pitcher Brandon McCarthy has lost two straight games to the A’s as well as three of his four starts against them this season.

“The difference between this game tonight and the game last night was the seventh inning,” said Rangers manager Ron Washington.  “It busted open in the seventh.”  “If we could take that 2nd inning away on a ball where we tried to make a play and didn’t get it after they scored two runs, we’d gone into the 6th a 1-1 ball game.”

A’s rookie pitcher Trevor Cahill played almost perfect, only allowing one run in the sixth inning.  Oakland’s defense rallied behind Cahill as he baited Julio Borbon into a 4-6-3 grounder with two runners on base in the fifth inning.

“I just think I got lucky,” said Cahill.  “I had some of my best stuff against them, they’re a pretty good team.”  “Tonight, I didn’t have my best stuff but I did get some double plays.”

Cahill has won four out of five straight starts, including the last two against the Rangers.  He pitched seven shut out innings in a 4-0 victory over the Rangers last week in Arlington.  He allowed six hits and two walks but the Rangers were 1-7 with runners in scoring position.  This is his 31st start of the season and his career.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

A's Winning Streak Ends

Oakland, CA – After winning seven games in a row, the Oakland A’s feel short to the Texas Rangers and lost 10-3.  The Rangers were swept by Oakland in their last meeting and recently fell 1-2 against the Anaheim Angels just a few days ago.  Texas returned with avengement by starting off strong with pitcher Kevin Millwood.  He kept the ball off the middle of the plate and executed all of his pitches.  Millwood was at his best giving up three singles, a walk and an unearned run while throwing 90 pitches over seven innings.

The Rangers took advantage of A’s pitcher Edgar Gonzalez by scoring four runs in the first two innings and led 6-0 by the fourth.  They had 15 hits while players, Julio Borbon, David Murphy, Hank Blalock and Chris Davis each had two RBI’s.  Millwood (11-10) actuated a 4-6-3 double play from Mark Ellis in the fifth inning, that play alone gave him the 180-inning mark this season.

The A’s had no defense and pitcher Edgar Gonzalez struggled by giving up six earned runs on nine hits and two walks while throwing 73 pitches over four innings.  Gonzalez (0-3) made his third start since being placed in the A’s six-man rotation.  He was replaced by pitcher Brad Kilby in the fourth inning.

In his first seven major league appearances Kilby has not given up a single run and has 13 strikeouts in 11 innings.  The lefty pitcher did a good job stranding runners at second and third on a one out-jam.  Despite the Rangers lead Kilby allowed no runs for two innings.

The A’s began their rally on a unearned run in the sixth inning when Cliff Pennington was hit by a pitch.  Adam Kennedy moved to third on an error and then scored off a sacrifice fly from Rajai Davis.  In the bottom of the ninth rookie Matt Carson followed Rajai Davis’ single with his first home run that gave the A’s a total of three runs for the game.

Oakland has won seven straight games, nine out of the last 10 and 12 of the last 14 games to move 7 games under .500.  Despite the loss the A’s still have plenty of baseball to play and will continue to finish the season strong.

Written by: Malaika Bobino