From November 2009

Bengals stunned by Raiders late rally

<br />

Oakland, CA – In is first start since 2006 back-up quarterback Bruce Gradkowski proved he knows what it takes to lead a team to victory.  No fear, worry or doubt, Gradkowski lead by example in not giving up hope that the Oakland Raiders would bounce back for the win.  Trailing 17-10 with 2:06 left in the fourth quarter Gradkowski threw a 19-yard pass to Zach Miller, then found Chaz Schilens for another 16-yards.  This set up rookie Louis Murphy’s 29-yard touchdown that tied the game 17-17.

“We hung in there and played well in all phases of the game,” said Schilens.”  “I was tired for a second and coach asked ‘do you want to go in’?”  “I replied, ‘let Murphy do it’, I’m very proud of him.”

Thirty-two seconds is a lot of time for any team to get down the field  but for Andre Caldwell that fate ended quickly.  He fumbled the kick off return, giving the Raiders the ball at the 17-yard line.  Gradkowski kneeled three times before kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s field goal gave the Raiders the lead 20-17.  Carson Palmer in desperation threw a “hail mary” pass that Nnamdi Asomugha intercepted to seal Oakland’s victory.

“This is a huge win for the team and especially for myself,” said Louis Murphy.  “We’re not known to be a team that fights back and we all gave 100% out there on that field.”  “I’m just so proud of our team and the confidence is huge for us going into Dallas this week.”

An amazing comeback stunned the Bengals who didn’t controll the ball well enough to stop the Raiders defense.  They fumbled three times and committed eight penalties yet the Bengals scored their only two touchdowns in the first half.  Palmer completed 14 of 22 passes for 207 yards and ran for two touchdowns.

“We ran the ball effectively, we had 167 yards rushing but we didn’t score,” said coach Marvin Lewis.  “Protecting the ball is key to winning games, we didn’t protect the ball and made to many mistakes.”  “We got beat today in every way.”

This loss could be costly for the Bengals as they stand 7-2 in the AFC North.  They are one game ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers who lost in overtime at Kansas City.  Cincinnati was undefeated on the road prior to their loss today and has yet to win a game in Oakland.

“We played a great Raider team, despite their record,” said Chad Ochocinco.  “We watched film all week on their defense and offense.”  “They get a lot of push and cause a lot of havoc.”  ”They are far better than their 3-7 record, they played really well on both sides of the ball.”

The Oakland Raiders will play the Dallas Cowboys this Thursday on Thanksgiving in Dallas, TX.

Note: Defensive linemen Richard Seymour left the game early in the 1st quarter with a lower back strain and did not return.  He is probable this week.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Warriors Return Home for Win

Oakland, CA – The Golden State Warriors biggest distraction is now in the past, last week the Warriors finally traded disgruntled player Stephen Jackson for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.  Jackson’s demands for a trade led to inadequacy on the court.  But after returning from a five game road trip (1-4), the Warriors found the chemistry they had lacked and beat the Portland Trailblazers 108-94.

Monta Ellis lead the team with a season high 34 points, tied his career high with six steals and shut down Brandon Roy with his stellar defense.  Questions arose in regards to Ellis being able to lead this team and he proved all “naysayers” wrong by displaying his ability to play both ends of the court.  Ellis also had eight assists and had 19 points in the first half as the Warriors led by as many as 20 points.

“We really needed to get this win,” Ellis said.  “Everybody came out with good energy and played hard.”  “We played as a team and will carry this win on to the next game in hopes to get more wins.”

The Portland Trailblazers committed 23 turnovers and shot just 33.3 percent.  All Star guard Brandon Roy couldn’t find a basket in the second half.  He was 6 of 17 shooting and 1 of 5 from the 3-point range.  Portland controlled the first quarter but struggled offensively once their center Greg Oden got into foul trouble early.  That’s when the Warriors took over the game.

“We had miss matched opportunities with our bigs and by second quarter we were forced into their game,” Roy said.  “They did a great job of creating pick and rolls while knocking down shots and controlling the tempo.”  “We made a lot of turnovers and did not protect the ball well tonight.”

Oden had a great start before he got into foul, he had 11 points, two assists and 1 block within the first 9 minutes of the game.  He picked up two quick fouls early in the second quarter before being benched through the fourth quarter.  Rudy Fernandez led all scores with 19 points and five assists.

“Everything we talked about doing, we didn’t do, Portland coach Nate McMillan said.  “You’ve got to take care of the ball and I thought in the first quarter we did that, we had good execution and controlled the tempo.”  “We started turning the ball over and we got out of our rhythm and they got 25 fast break points.”

The Warriors were without starters Andris Beidrins (back), Kelenna Azubuike (patellar tendon) and had to sign Chris Hunter form the NBA Development League to meet the NBA’s minimum of eight players.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Western Addition Tech Center Helps Bridge the Digital Divide

By Lee Hubbard

Founded by Bethel AME Church

The computer industry, and the technology that surrounds it, has been one of the main innovative and economic forces in the world over the past twenty years. This industry has helped to create thousands of jobs, foster learning and innovation and open up opportunities for people throughout the world.
While this technology is open to all, many cannot and do not full take advantage of it. But in the African American community, only half of the population, over 19 million, uses the Internet at least once a month, according to a 2009 market research study by Reporterliner.com.
While this number seems relatively high, it fails in comparison to other racial and ethnic groups, creating a virtual digital divide between those that “have” and those that don’t. According to a 2005 study by Dr. Robert Fairlie of UC Santa Cruz, “Are we really a nation online? Ethnic and Racial disparities in access to Technology and their consequences,” blacks are much less likely to have access to home computers than whites, by 50 percent to 74 percent, and less likely to have internet access at home by a margin of 40 percent to 67 percent.
This disparity, according to the report, will “have serious consequences for a population growing both older and more diverse”, and, it will not only harm the black community but also the national economic productivity. The Western Addition Community Technology Center’s mission is to bridge this “digital gap”.
People from Western Addition can come everyday to Melonee Hall in the Western Addition Technology Center, to take advantage of the computer lab, computer training and classes.
“We teach free computer class programs, which include photo shop, power point, word, computer trouble shooting and how to repair your own computer,” said Hall, the administrator. “We also have an open access lab, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
Founded in 2001, by the Allen Community Development Corporation, a non-profit corporation, affiliated with Bethel AME Church, the technology center’s mission is based on bridging the “digital divide.”
“Technology is here to stay,” said N. Felton Cogell, the Director of the Technology Center. “Those who are not into it will get left behind.”
The technology center sits in the old communications center building at 1003 Turk Street, directly next to the San Francisco Emergency Services building. Cogell said participants can learn job skills, web designing, networking computers and how to use the computer to discover one’s family genealogical tree.
“We have helped people with all aspects of work,” continued Cogell. “We teach the basics for searching the internet for jobs.”
“I think the center is underutilized,” said Hall. “A lot of people that live around here could use the services, but they don’t know that the technology center is here.”
For more information visit: www.westernadditionctc.org or phone the center at (415) 431-2206.

Melonee Hall

Melonee Hall

Amiri Baraka Entertains in SF

“Lowku” versus Haiku, revives Fillmore Spirit

By Lee Hubbard

Wearing a black suit with a kente cloth tie, Amiri Baraka, celebrating his 75th birthday, was at ease in the center stage at Yoshi’s jazz club in San Francisco, as the Howard Wiley trio played.
The crowd featured a cross section of racially mixed older men and women who remembered the golden days when Baraka was one of the most controversial poets in the country during the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was during this time he was one of the main forces behind the Black Arts Movement, which was a reaffirmation on black culture and aimed to change the cultural and social conditions of African American people.
In his performance with the Howard Wiley trio playing background music to go along with his poetry which lasted roughly an hour and twenty minutes, Baraka displayed a level of feistiness and political awareness in his works.
He performed several of his poems including Newark, which talks about Baraka’s hometown and the love he has for the city in its bright and dark time. He named this form of poetry as “Lowku”, a “take off of Haiku, but for the illiterate.”
His show was broken into two acts and after performing for forty minutes and taking a fifteen minute break; he came back with some of his most political and up-tempo poems of the evening.
“Undirected, misdirected/be unknown to the most except the host,” said Baraka in the poem Funk lore.
Baraka also performed Play Dat, which was performed over a fast up-tempo jazz beat. This poem was dedicated to poets John Hicks and Hilton Rueves, who Baraka spent time with before they died. He received a standing ovation.
He ended the evening with, “Somebody Blew up America,” which was based on the 9/11 bombings and his interpretation of terror. This poem caused the then Governor at the time Jim McGreevy to tell Baraka he had to apologize because Baraka was the poet laureate of the state. Baraka refused. The practice of naming poet laureates was ended, which Baraka joked, made him the last poet laureate of New Jersey.
Baraka’s electric performance showed the power of words. And the performance by the Howard Wiley Trio was equally as solid as they played tunes from Ornette Coleman, “Kansas City” by Count Basie and several other classical jazz tunes.
Earlier in the day, Baraka appeared all over San Francisco. He attended a photo shoot that featured various San Francisco writers. He conducted a book reading and was on a panel discussion with various writers including Cecil Brown, Marvin X , who had invited Baraka to the bay area, and others at the Fillmore Heritage Center.
His life and legacy were later celebrated at his 75th birthday celebration at the Lush Life Center, which brought back many of the old poets and writers to celebrate his career and writing.
“This is bringing back the old Fillmore spirit,” said Marvin X.

<br />


Bay View Residents Want RAB Board Restored By Navy

By Lee Hubbard

Hundreds of residents from the Bay View Hunters Point neighborhood came out to a San Francisco Board of Supervisors special Government Audit and oversight committee meeting last week to discuss the fate of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and the Navy’s dissolution of the Restoration Advisory Board.
Supervisor John Avalos and Supervisor Eric Mar called the hearing to talk with the residents of District 10 where the naval shipyard sits and to hear about the Navy’s dissolution of the RAB.
The RAB is a community group comprised of selected and elected Bay View Hunters Point community members that oversee the Navy clean-up activities and can address community concerns with the Navy. The RAB board had addressed the issues with the Shipyard during the last 15 years, but this board was dismissed in February by the Navy after the Navy felt that the RAB was not conducive to the clean-up and had bcome politicized. Amy Brownell, an environmental engineer with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and a former RAB member agreed with the Navy’s position.
“The RAB meetings did not provide a diversity of opinion within the Bay View Hunters Point community,” said Brownell.
She said that the RAB meetings would drift from the issue of the cleanup of the shipyard to concerns over redevelopment to minority contracting.
This opinion was a rare one at the Supervisor meeting, as various people questioned Brownell and the Navy’s position. They reiterated that the RAB board was the only form of democracy residents of Bay View Hunters Point had in voicing concerns with the Navy.
“The RAB should be reinstated immediately, because it should have never been dissolved in the first place,” said Leon Muhammad, the former community chair of the RAB board. “The RAB’s purpose is to voice community concerns and questions about the cleanup process. The Navy may not want to address our questions, but that’s why we are there.”
Others echoed Muhammad’s concerns regarding the RAB. Espanola Jackson, a longtime resident of Bay View said that the RAB is needed, as it provides democracy to residents of Bay View and what happens with the Shipyard.
“The RAB board issue needs to be resolved,” said Ed Donaldson, a bay view housing and community activist. “There needs to be more of a partnership with the RAB and the Navy, that is based on transparency and being upfront.”
No one from the US Navy was present at the hearing. Bay View Hunters Point residents also questioned an impending proposal to give the Lennar Development group, which has been selected to develop the ship yard, an early transfer of the shipyard, before the clean-up and restoration of Naval Shipyard is completed.
The transfer would help to streamline the Lennar Hunters Point Shipyard development which will total 1,300 homes, parks, trail ways and possible San Francisco 49er stadium. In the first phase of development, 88 units, which include two and three bedroom townhouses, are already past the developmental stage and are scheduled to be finished in January and June 2011. Another 159 units are scheduled to be completed in 2012.
Michael Cohen, head of the Mayors office of Workforce and Economic community development, talked in favor of the early transfer to Lennar in 2010, calling it “a non traditional early transfer.”
“Once the source removal is done on the land, then it will be 100 acres that will be the same as most Brownfield sites across the country,” said Cohen.
But many disputed this. They said that parts of the shipyard are so contaminated that the Navy needs to clean it up thoroughly before transferring it to the city of San Francisco, as they called part of the Shipyard a “superfund site.”
“They’ll clean it up, at some point, but at what cost to the existing population?” asked Minister Christopher Muhammad of the San Francisco Nation of Islam, which has raised many of the key questions regarding transfer.
“Anytime you are dealing with people’s health, we need to be careful and be on the side of caution,” continued Donaldson.
While he says that development of the shipyard needs to take place, he believes that things should be done correctly.
The future of the transfer will take place at future board hearings. The RAB board resolution will go to the full board of Supervisors on November 17.

The view of the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge and the shoreline of San Francisco Bay from the Hunters Point Shipyard is a priceless asset acquired by Lennar when the Navy and the City transferred the Shipyard’s Parcel A to the notorious Florida-based mega-homebuilder for one dollar. – Photo: MIT.edu

The view of the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge and the shoreline of San Francisco Bay from the Hunters Point Shipyard is a priceless asset acquired by Lennar when the Navy and the City transferred the Shipyard’s Parcel A to the notorious Florida-based mega-homebuilder for one dollar. – Photo: MIT.edu

SCLC Leader Lowery Urges SF NAACP To Keep Their 100-Year Faith and Fight

By Lee Hubbard

Together Again In the Struggle

“A new beginning” was the theme civil rights icon Reverend Joseph Lowery stressed at the freedom fund dinner for the San Francisco branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The NAACP dinner, attended by more than 1,000, was hosted by former San Francisco resident and actor Barry Shabaka Henley and the people got to hear Grammy award winning singer Regina Belle.
As the keynote speaker for the SF NAACP dinner, the Reverend Lowery civil rights icon who fought for black voting rights with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and black political engagement in the 1960’s says that blacks have freedoms today that he did not have as a young man. He said that the struggle continues, even though Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States.
“What happened on January 20th of this year, signals a new beginning for us, the nation and the world,” said Lowery. “In the 1960’s when I was fighting to help to get blacks the right to vote, I knew that the United States was going to have a black president, but I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime.”
Lowery, the 88-year old, former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights group that he and Dr. King founded, said that the NAACP was at the front of the civil rights revolution which took place in the 20th century. He said that the group has to regain focus for the challenges of the 21st century and the countries challenges.
Lowery, one of the first nationally known activists to support Barack Obama said he was sold on Obama after he acknowledged the history of African Americans in this country. “Even though Obama is President, the black community cannot take anything for granted.”
“There are those forces in this country, that lust for the failure of this administration,” said Lowery.
Lowery said that regardless of political party, blacks need to fight for universal healthcare and political and economic advancement, and that an energized NAACP needs to signal a “new beginning” which should engage the youth and fight on the various issues that are needed “with energy, a new perspective and the joy of a new beginning.”
Some of the people in attendance included former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, Bart Board Director Lynnette Sweet, the Reverend Calvin Jones of Providence Baptist Church, the Reverend Joseph Bryant of Calvary Hill Baptist Church, London Breed of the African American Arts and Cultural Center, Western Addition community activist Wade Woods, Amelia Ashley Ward of the Sun Reporter Newspaper, Bay View community activist Ed Donaldson, Dr. Kenneth Monteiro, head of the San Francisco State Ethnic Studies department, Brigette LeBlanc of BWOPA, Kofi Bonner of Lennar Urban, Millard Larkin and a host of others.
“This event signals that the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP is doing very well,” said Reverend Amos Brown, the Pastor of Third Baptist Church and head of the San Francisco NAACP. “We are moving in the right direction with a focus on the criminal justice system, education, economic empowerment, political awareness and voter empowerment. And there is no generation gap between the Moses and the Joshua generations within the Black community”
NAACP honorees at the dinner included Brenda Gaynelle Jackson as the Youth Leader in Action award winner, Charlie Walker, the Community activist award winner, Virginia Marshall, the Outstanding Educator award winner and Dr. Arelious Walker, pastor of True Hope COGIC, who was named the Faith Award winner.

Reverend Joseph Lowery

Reverend Joseph Lowery

SCLC Leader Lowery Urges SF NAACP To Keep Their 100-Year Faith and Fight

By Lee Hubbard

Together Again In the Struggle

“A new beginning” was the theme civil rights icon Reverend Joseph Lowery stressed at the freedom fund dinner for the San Francisco branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The NAACP dinner, attended by more than 1,000, was hosted by former San Francisco resident and actor Barry Shabaka Henley and the people got to hear Grammy award winning singer Regina Belle.
As the keynote speaker for the SF NAACP dinner, the Reverend Lowery civil rights icon who fought for black voting rights with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and black political engagement in the 1960’s says that blacks have freedoms today that he did not have as a young man. He said that the struggle continues, even though Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States.
“What happened on January 20th of this year, signals a new beginning for us, the nation and the world,” said Lowery. “In the 1960’s when I was fighting to help to get blacks the right to vote, I knew that the United States was going to have a black president, but I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime.”
Lowery, the 88-year old, former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights group that he and Dr. King founded, said that the NAACP was at the front of the civil rights revolution which took place in the 20th century. He said that the group has to regain focus for the challenges of the 21st century and the countries challenges.
Lowery, one of the first nationally known activists to support Barack Obama said he was sold on Obama after he acknowledged the history of African Americans in this country. “Even though Obama is President, the black community cannot take anything for granted.”
“There are those forces in this country, that lust for the failure of this administration,” said Lowery.
Lowery said that regardless of political party, blacks need to fight for universal healthcare and political and economic advancement, and that an energized NAACP needs to signal a “new beginning” which should engage the youth and fight on the various issues that are needed “with energy, a new perspective and the joy of a new beginning.”
Some of the people in attendance included former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, Bart Board Director Lynnette Sweet, the Reverend Calvin Jones of Providence Baptist Church, the Reverend Joseph Bryant of Calvary Hill Baptist Church, London Breed of the African American Arts and Cultural Center, Western Addition community activist Wade Woods, Amelia Ashley Ward of the Sun Reporter Newspaper, Bay View community activist Ed Donaldson, Dr. Kenneth Monteiro, head of the San Francisco State Ethnic Studies department, Brigette LeBlanc of BWOPA, Kofi Bonner of Lennar Urban, Millard Larkin and a host of others.
“This event signals that the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP is doing very well,” said Reverend Amos Brown, the Pastor of Third Baptist Church and head of the San Francisco NAACP. “We are moving in the right direction with a focus on the criminal justice system, education, economic empowerment, political awareness and voter empowerment. And there is no generation gap between the Moses and the Joshua generations within the Black community”
NAACP honorees at the dinner included Brenda Gaynelle Jackson as the Youth Leader in Action award winner, Charlie Walker, the Community activist award winner, Virginia Marshall, the Outstanding Educator award winner and Dr. Arelious Walker, pastor of True Hope COGIC, who was named the Faith Award winner.

Reverend Joseph Lowery

Reverend Joseph Lowery

Bishop Reems Brings Clergy and Community Together to Show Love Upon Richmond

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

The public rape of a 15 year old Caucasian female from Richmond High following a school sponsored homecoming dance has caused emotions to run high, but responses from a diversity of faith leaders from various communities have produced a significant shift in positive support. Last week alone, three Prayer Vigils were hosted on or near the campus of Richmond High School.Only one was hosted inside of the school.
Bishop Ernestine Reems gathered a group of approximately 100 persons to pray in the cafeteria of Richmond High School. “We just come to pray and go home. We felt the pain of this incident and we know there is an evil spirit present over the Bay Area. We have come in the name of Jesus to bring healing,” stated Bishop Ernestine Reems, founder of Center of Hope Community Church of Oakland and alumnus of Richmond High School. She also stated, “We just want to let the City of Richmond know that we love them and we care for her and that is why we are here today.”
Pastors from around the Bay Area and from a diversity of denominations prayed in solidarity for the victim, her family, the accused perpetrators and their families. The following are excerpts from the offered prayers:
Don Jones, New Life Community Assembly, Richmond, prayed, “We look to see a significant change in this school. Let this be a starting place, oh God. We open our mouths and cry unto you because we know You will show us great and mighty things. We pray for the victim. We pray, God, that You would touch her young mind, even now. May this (rape) not have a long lasting effect on her – in the name of Jesus.”
Father John Maxwell, Father of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Richmond, prayed, “So LORD, this night, we ask you to preserve that girl and her family. We also ask for these young men that we realize that they need to be treated with respect. No matter what they have done. No matter how heinous it is what they have done – they are human beings. They did not treat the young girl like a human being but we pray they will be treated like human beings. We pray for the victim and the victimizers.”
Pastor Port Wilburn, Senior Pastor of Rock Harbor Church, San Pablo, prayed, “We are light-bearers to come into this place and bring light. We can’t bring justice, only You can do that. We can’t bring peace, only You can do that. We can’t bring even love, only You can do that. Help us, oh LORD, for it was a dark day, a dark place and a dark deed that took place on this campus. It was so dark that the light was summoned to this place.”
Antoine Miller, Senior Pastor of Rehoboth Christian Fellowship, Oakland, stated, “What is wonderful for me to see is the Black Clergy actively engaging the community against evil regardless of the victim’s ethnicity. Wrong is wrong regardless of the color of one’s skin and I stand with those who stand on the side of God for all people.”

Bishop Ernestine Reems (left) prays in the sanctuary of Greater Joshua Church of God in Christ while Rev. Andre Shumake (right) prays for the students of Richmond High School.

Bishop Ernestine Reems (left) prays in the sanctuary of Greater Joshua Church of God in Christ while Rev. Andre Shumake (right) prays for the students of Richmond High School.

Sakura Kone’ Raises Money to Save Wesley United Methodist

By Godfrey
Lee

Sakura Kone’, a spokesperson for Rebuild Green/New Orleans is seeking funding to restore the Wesley United Methodist Church building in New Orleans, which suffered extensive damage from the Katrina Hurricane.
Kone’ recently spoke at a friend’s house in Tiburon to raise money for rebuilding this historic church building. Kone’ also showed “Welcome to New Orleans,” a video about Malik Rahim, the co-founder of Common Ground Collective, and his work to help those who were still suffering from the effects of Katrina, and to bring awareness of the poverty and the hurricane damage that many blacks must still live with in the Lower Ninth Ward
Sakura Kone’ is the director of Media Relations for Rebuild Green/New Orleans, a grass roots non-profit organization that builds inexpensive, sustainable, energy efficient green reconstruction. Kone’, and a coalition of groups including Rebuild Green, has united to save the Wesley United Methodist Church from being demolished to become a parking lot if it is not restored. They also hope to turn the church into a community center.
Located on 2517 Jackson Ave in New Orleans, Wesley United Methodist Church is 174 years old, and is one of the oldest and most significant historical sites in the Unites States. According to Kone’, Wesley United is the second oldest African American church in New Orleans and the eighth oldest African American Church in the U.S. In the early 1840’s, slaves voluntarily built the church. And when the church was completed, both slaves and whites worshipped in that church, which was something not very common at that time.
Wesley United was a site that was used by the abolitionist movement, and was also part of the Underground Railroad, functioning as a stopping point and a hiding place for slaves who were trying to escape to freedom. The church soon became a key-organizing site against the racism of Jim Crow laws and against lynching that was prevalent during 1865 when the KKK was founded.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, Wesley was used as an organizing site for the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr., knowing the history of Wesley United, made it a point to spend a lot of time at the church.
Today the church building has suffered damage from the strong winds and floodwaters from several recent hurricanes; and the congregation has moved out of the building and joined another congregation for worship. The church building has been gutted and the pews have been taken apart and sanded down. However, that’s only the beginning of what needs to be done, and the cost of the repairs is estimated to be over one million dollars due to structural issues.
If the building can be restored, it will be transformed into a center that can help the community deal with issues of poverty. According to Kone’, the City of New Orleans has a very high crime rate, and is the murder capital of the United States. He said the crime rate has been exacerbated by the many teenagers who were part of the Katrina evacuees, who then returned without a guardian or parents, to a city that has not reopened many of the schools and has insufficient recreation facilities. Kone says because there are no job training programs, the youth become involved in the drug trade.
Kone said If Wesley United is restored, it can then become a center for skill and job training in the building trades and culinary arts with chefs from the unions who will offer to train young people at no cost.
He said training in the digital arts will also be available because New Orleans is often used to film movies..
Common Ground Relief, a local grassroots community group that is associated with Kone’, is working to raise the one million dollars and obtain supplies needed to make the necessary repairs for the church.
Sakura Kone’ said “A major part of US history will be lost if the church is unable to acquire adequate resources because it stands be demolished and the property sold for construction of a parking lot. For more information, go to www.savewesleyunited.org.

Sakura Kone and a coalition of groups including Rebuild Green and United Saints have joined forces to form Restore Wesley United to transform the Wesley United Methodist Church building into a community center, offering courses in the arts to Central City children. Photo by Eliot Kamenitz/The Times-Picayune.

Sakura Kone and a coalition of groups including Rebuild Green and United Saints have joined forces to form Restore Wesley United to transform the Wesley United Methodist Church building into a community center, offering courses in the arts to Central City children. Photo by Eliot Kamenitz/The Times-Picayune.

Wesley United Methodist Church.

Wesley United Methodist Church.

Whitmore Leads Black Publishers

The West Coast Black Publishers Association (WCBPA) elected their 2010 – 2012 officers.
The officers are: Vernon Whitmore (pictured), The Globe, Oakland/Richmond, was elected President;1st Vice President, Peggy Hunt, Tri-County Sentry, Oxnard, ; 2nd Vice President, Joe Hopkins, Pasadena Journal, Pasadena; Secretary, Melanie Polk, L.A. Watts Times, and Treasurer, Hardy Brown, Riverside Black Voice, Riverside.
“There is no doubt that newspapers are having a tough time in today’s economy. Now as never before, the WCBPA must meet new challenges as a unified association in order to obtain its fair share of advertising dollars,” said Whitmore.”
WCBPA’s mission to provide regional and national corporate advertisers with a vehicle for the effective marketing of their products and services to the black community; and to advance the cause of the Black Press in the United States of America.
Members of the WCBPA include African American publications in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.
For additional information please contact Vernon Whitmore at 510-297-4412 or e-mail wcbpassociation@aol.com.

Are We Misplaced?

By Audrey Cuff

Editor’s note: Read this mind-grabbing story of a brilliant woman and think about how our children are sorted. First of a series by Black educators around America.

African American students account for only 14.8 % of the general population of 6 – 21 year- old students, but they make up 20% of the special education population across all disabilities.
My personal experience may cause you to wonder about these placements..
I can recall the enthusiasm I had about learning when I entered elementary school. My enthusiasm was diminished when I was placed in a special education program. Eventually my passion for learning was buried completely
I entered the seventh and eighth grade testing well below grade average. I cannot recall a teacher ever giving me any words of sound encouragement My language arts class was held in a room where the window had to be covered because my peers would look into the classroom and laugh at the students that occupied the class. And I was educated with worksheets.
I remember the feeling when my teacher passed out the worksheets and word-find puzzles as if she was on the assembly line, “This assignment should take you all period.”
The assignment took me 15 minutes. I was told to sit quietly until the end of the period. I was considered a good student; so I passed.
As a special education student in the eighth grade, the end of the day seemed forever coming, and the long walk home alone was dark and dreadful. Other kids talked enthusiastically about their challenging math assignments or the English assignment that required knowing about “dangling modifiers, and fragmented sentences.” I had little conversation about my work level, so I often played out my week in my mind. . I would think about my stress-less word find puzzles or how the teacher would entertain the class from her desk.
Friday was a day of freedom ( as though the other days were not) It was the day to turn in our weekly packet and enjoy a movie that I am certain did not fit the school curriculum. While the movie played, the students let their so-called disabilities become visible by leaving their seats, talking intensely about the night before, and becoming argumentative with the person next to them. I often stared intensely at the blackboard, hopeful that the teacher would intimidate the class with some work.
The teacher sat quietly in her domain, reading a book and occasionally glancing at her watch. The clock chimed 3 o’clock, and the day came to an end. Most of the kids headed for their buses in a rush while a small portion rushed toward the dirt path home. It was always easy to spot my classmates in the eighth grade because of their heads held low like mine, but it was our dark skin that was our ultimate bond.
My teacher had my mother genuinely convinced that she tried all the different educational strategies to get me to learn the basic sentence structure. She stated, “I don’t know what is wrong with your daughter. She just cannot grasp the basic concepts of Language Arts.” As a result, every time I attempted to write a paragraph, she had convinced me too. At the end of the year, during graduation, I can still see my teacher and her equals sitting upright in their chairs placed directly behind the graduates, with their proud, well rehearsed grins and cherry red cheeks predicting summer vacation. As I approached the podium to receive my diploma, I did not hear the applause because my gut was reminding me that I was ill equipped for high school.
Thirty years later, I hold a teaching credential and a doctorate….and I imagine this article demonstrates that I am indeed capable of writing a paragraph. But I wonder how many others are having their “dreams deferred” and their spirits dampened in tens of thousands of special education classrooms around the country

Oakland Native Takes D.C. By Storm

By Tasion
Kwamilele

Howard University has a diverse population of students that travel from many parts of the World but California has taken the campus by storm. Other than the International Students, California is next in furthest distance traveled by Howard Students. Tadarell Randolph, who just transferred to Howard, is becoming one of the leading faces on campus, proof that not all Oakland youth are traveling down a road of destruction.
Randolph is a native of Oakland, graduating from Skyline High School in 2007. While at Skyline he played football, gaining many acknowledgements, and during his senior year he received one of the highest honors by ESPN. He was ranked 88th in the nation of all high school students
Upon graduation, Randolph attended Merritt College, majoring in Social Behavioral Science. While attending Merritt, Randolph completed an internship at Batten Barton Durstine & Osborn (BBDO) Advertising Agency in San Francisco – one of the top advertising agencies worldwide.
Randolph soon applied to Howard University and was accepted for the fall 2009 semester, majoring in Television Production with a minor in Sociology.
Since his arrival to D.C. in August, Randolph has made his presence known on the University’s Campus. He has hosted one of the most anticipated events, the Midnight Madness Basketball Game, that marks the beginning of the basketball season for the Howard Bison’s. He also co hosts a new radio show, “Instant Replay” on Howard’s radio station, WHBC, Monday thru Friday, at 8:30 am, which discusses music and sports.
“My father passed away and my mother raised me as a single parent, so I have always been driven. Oakland builds tough skin and, because of the diverse population, it gives you the ability to adapt to a new environment. I’m just taking advantage of all that Howard has to offer because Howard is a big network,” said Randolph
Randolph has a passion for music and one day hopes to work in the music industry. He has a true passion for wisdom.
“There are a lot of students trying to achieve, for the wrong reasons, but I want to separate myself and set a legacy for the next young black man or woman to follow,”
Upon graduating from Howard in 2011, Randolph hopes to work as an accountant for top advertising agencies.

<br />


“Are We Prepared?” The Fire Next Time

By Cecilia Carey,
Training Program
Manager

It has been eighteen years since the Oakland Hills Fire. When it was over, it was labeled the worst urban disaster in U.S. history. The fire ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others. The fire destroyed over1,600 acres including 3,354 single-family homes and 437 apartment and condominium units. The economic loss has been estimated at $1.5 billion.
Let’s get closer to home. Can you remember the last time you were frying something on your gas stove and the hot oil splashed on the flame? Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Unattended cooking causes nearly 90 percent of all kitchen fires. I remember as a little girl, my grandmother would use the crock-pot to cook the oxtails we were having for Sunday dinner. She would let the crock-pot cook all day while we were away at church. We would get home and the house would smell so good; we didn’t know then that we were actually endangering life, limb and property.
Fire Safety Tips
• Never leave cooking food unattended.
• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
• Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
• Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
• Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
According to the U.S Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association, fires kills more Americans each year than all natural disasters combined and African Americans in this country are disproportionately affected by home fires and account for 25 percent of all fire deaths while we represent less than 13 percent of the population.
Being prepared can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 82 percent.
• Install smoke alarms outside of sleeping areas and each level of your home
• Keep the area around the smoke alarm free of cobwebs and dust.
• Test your alarm each month and change the batteries at least once a year.
• Determine at least two ways to escape out of each room in the home.
• Purchase escape ladders for upper levels.
• If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl and stay low to the ground.
• If you must use a door to get out, feel the door before opening. If it is warm, use your second way out.
• If all your exits are blocked, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help with a bright colored cloth at the window.
• Once you are out, stay out!
Get your Fire Safety Kit for Home and Office from Business Emergency Safety Training
Kit includes:
1 Personal Alarm Signal, 1 Fire Blanket, 1 Pair Fire Retardant Leather Gloves, 2 N95 Mask, 2 Packs Burn Gel, 1 Solar Powered Flashlight, 3 8.4 oz pouches of water (drinking). .Order yours today!
Can call Business Emergency Safety Training or BEST at 510 893-2781 for more information. You can also visit the website at www.best2train.com or visit our store at 1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 100 downtown Oakland.

<br />


Study: Create an Oakland Entertainment Commission

By Lee Hubbard

Every weekend various spots in downtown Oakland and the surrounding areas are frequented by twenty and thirty year-olds trekking to night clubs, lounges and entertainment venues. These spots range from the Den, Mimosa’s Lounge, the Fox and Paramount Theatres, Maxwell’s, Arisomona’s, the Air Lounge, Kimball’s Carnival and others.
“Being a born and a raised Oakland girl, our city is now the place to be and the place to go out,” said Stacie Johnson, a former resident of the city, who lives in the Central Valley. She comes back from time to time to go enjoy the entertainment rebirth but she feels something is missing.
“There are a lot of clubs and they are more diverse,” continued Johnson. “There are more people coming to these spots, more than just black folks, which is good. But it isn’t like it used to be.”
Johnson remembers an Oakland night scene that included several African American night spots such as Geoffrey’s Inner circle, Sweet Jimmies and other places that blacks from all over Northern California would flock to.
While blacks go out to the various new spots, she feels there are no specific the venues that African Americans flock to. Charles Johnson, an Oakland based entertainment entrepreneur, wants to reinvigorate the city’s nightlife, especially, but not only for African-Americans. He is working to help create a stronger, more friendly environment for entertainment.
Johnson was the co-author of a report with Oakland’s Mayor Ron Dellums Community Task Force on Sports and Entertainment, which studied the growing night club scene in the city and explored ways to help it become a sustaining business sector for the city.
The task force had several recommendations that were intended create jobs while growing the entertainment businesses. The report asked the Mayor and the City to create an Oakland Entertainment Commission that would assume responsibility for permits for clubs and venues, thus alleviating the burden placed on the Oakland Police Department.
The report called for resources to educate entertainment patrons and businesses on acting responsibly at venues and events. It also suggested that Oakland celebrate its entertainment history and direct city departments to improve areas around entertainment venues.
“We need to help Oakland’s entertainment businesses grow,” said Johnson. “These recommendations would help do this.”
Sean Kennedy, founder of Illtrendz Productions, an Oakland-based marketing and advertising firm specializing in entertainment, says helping Oakland’s entertainment grow would create employment.
“We need to have a thriving entertainment industry to create more jobs,” said Kennedy, who also sits on the Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission.
“Jobs such as security, bartenders, musicians and opportunities for people who want to open up establishments. These jobs would add to the tax revenues for the city.”
The report recommended that the Oakland Entertainment Commission be modeled after San Francisco’s, which was created in 2003 by the San Francisco club owners.
Geoffrey Pete, owner Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, has been a longtime party promoter and club owner in downtown Oakland. Pete recalled how he and his club would often run into problems with the Oakland Police Department. He felt his business was unfairly picked on by some city officials and members of the Oakland Police Department.
“The police have too much discretionary power over clubs,” said Pete. “If they work to administer it, they shouldn’t be the ones to also decide who gets to operate. We need an independent body that makes decisions. That’s why we need an entertainment commission.”
A call was placed with the city of Oakland’s Police Department’s special events division, which overseas club permits and other matters related to entertainment, about the commission, but no call was returned at press time.
Johnson said that another goal of the commission would be to focus on increasing events that would help to generate revenue and highlight the various cultures in Oakland. He wants the Mayor and the City Council to approve the Entertainment Commission recommendation so the Commission can be operational by 2010.

Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson

Oakland’s the Epicenter of the Bay Area Foreclosure Crisis

The NID-Housing Counseling Agency, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and major lenders, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase, Making Your Home Affordable Clinic held Saturday, November 7, 2009, demonstrated the tremendous negative effects the foreclosure and economic crisis still has on bay area residents of all economic, social and cultural backgrounds.  “The clinic was designed to serve a maximum of 300 clients but drew over 1000 distressed homeowners, with a disproportionate amount of elderly and or disabled African American and Hispanic homeowners.  “With the volunteer assistance of the Men of Valor, Acorn Resident’s Council and staff members of the Mayor’s office and HUD San Francisco Regional Office we were able to adjust our client flow process to assure that all clients would receive foreclosure prevention services in a timely manner”, said Latisha Carlisle-Malbourgh, NID-HCA Manager of Special Programs, organizer of the clinic.   Collage of the clinic, center, Ray Carlisle, President NID, top and bottom right, NID-HCA staff and volunteers assuring clients in lines that stretched around the block that they will be served, left center and bottom, clients meeting with 29 bilingual NID-HCA foreclosure specialist. Photos by Gene Hazzard and graphics by Alapi Bhatt.

The NID-Housing Counseling Agency, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and major lenders, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase, Making Your Home Affordable Clinic held Saturday, November 7, 2009, demonstrated the tremendous negative effects the foreclosure and economic crisis still has on bay area residents of all economic, social and cultural backgrounds. “The clinic was designed to serve a maximum of 300 clients but drew over 1000 distressed homeowners, with a disproportionate amount of elderly and or disabled African American and Hispanic homeowners. “With the volunteer assistance of the Men of Valor, Acorn Resident’s Council and staff members of the Mayor’s office and HUD San Francisco Regional Office we were able to adjust our client flow process to assure that all clients would receive foreclosure prevention services in a timely manner”, said Latisha Carlisle-Malbourgh, NID-HCA Manager of Special Programs, organizer of the clinic. Collage of the clinic, center, Ray Carlisle, President NID, top and bottom right, NID-HCA staff and volunteers assuring clients in lines that stretched around the block that they will be served, left center and bottom, clients meeting with 29 bilingual NID-HCA foreclosure specialist. Photos by Gene Hazzard and graphics by Alapi Bhatt.

City Attorney Checks Into Menlo Hotel

By Lee
Hubbard
Part 2

Housing issues and improvements in her living conditions the Menlo Hotel cannot be occur fast enough for Jacqueline Goodwin, a 5-year tenant of the Hotel
‘Things need to change quick here or they need to close this place and put people somewhere else to live,” said Goodwin.
Over the past ten years, the Menlo hotel has had more than 32 violations relating to tenant complaints. These complaints have ranged from broken heaters, inoperative toilets, rodent and insect manifestations, electrical hazards and a variety of other poor conditions.
A November 10 “Chauncey Bailey Reports” feature story, investigating Menlo tenant complaints, published in the Oakland Post newspaper, found a hotel besieged with a plethora of code violations ranging from elevators not working, bed bugs, rodents, an inoperative elevator, exposed and unprotected electrical wires and several unsafe and hazardous conditions.
Nabiel Ahmed, an attorney for Wade McAlister, one of the first tenants of the Menlo to complain and file a lawsuit, says that the Menlo is pretty “run down,” and conditions are hazardous.
“Just the other day, I saw employees from the hotel moving debris and garbage from the basement outside to vans,” said Ahmed. “I have left messages with the city attorney to look into some of the issues at the hotel, but as of now, they have not gotten back to me.”
Alex Nguyen, with the city attorney’s office Neighborhood Law Center, said the office is taking the issues raised in the November 10 Oakland Post, seriously. Post Publisher Paul Cobb said he had spoken with City Attorney John Russo and County Attorney Richard Winnie, about the conditions at the Menlo.
“Various city staff went out to the building to inspect it,” said Nguyen. “This is the first all-out inspection we have performed.”
In 2007, months before he was slain, Post Editor, Chauncey Bailey contacted City’s Code enforcement and other officials about complaints he had received from the Menlo’s tenants.
According to Nguyen, the Neighborhood Law Center puts an emphasis at community cases ranging from problem liquor stores, drug houses, housing issues and illegal dumping. The city attorney’s investigation into the Menlo hotel follows a visit last Monday by the Alameda Vector Control Services District. Vector Control officers inspect for rat and vermin infestations
News of the city attorney’s investigation into the Menlo hotel was welcomed by Goodwin, who, on Tuesday, saw Alameda County Vector Control services investigators come into the Menlo Hotel.
“I saw investigators go in 10 rooms on each floor looking for bugs,” continued Goodwin.
Calls were placed to Oakland City Councilmember Pat Kernighan for a comment on the Menlo Hotel because her district includes the Menlo. Kernighan did not respond before our printing deadline. Menlo tenants told the Post that they have not heard from Kernighan’s office since their presentation before the Oakland City Council outlining the problems at the hotel.

<br />


“The Blind Side” Reveals the Michael Oher Story

Sandra Varner’s Celebrity Profiles – Friday, Nov. 13, 2009

Your browser may not support display of this image.
Your browser may not support display of this image.

Left, Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens is the real life subject of the new movie, “The Blind Side” starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron (right). Rated PG-13 and opens in theaters on Nov. 20 from Warner Bros. Pictures.

THE BLIND SIDE is the moving and triumphant true story of Michael Oher, once an impoverished and introverted teen, now a professional football player with the Baltimore Ravens. The Tuohys, a wealthy white family who brought him into their home and into their lives, providing an environment for him to excel, intercepted Oher’s unstable childhood in Memphis, TN.

Sandra Bullock (“The Proposal”) stars as the feisty and unstoppable Leigh Anne Tuohy and demonstrates her dexterity as both a comedic and dramatic actor, Tim McGraw (“Friday Night Lights”) costars as Sean Tuohy, Quinton Aaron (“Be Kind, Rewind”) stars as Michael Oher with Oscar winner Kathy Bates, Lilly Collins, Jae Head, and Tony winner Adrian Lenox as Denise Oher. John Lee Hancock (“The Rookie, “The Alamo”) directs the film.

Aaron in his first major role on film gives an impassioned performance in the lead role. Asked if the two were similar in any way he replied, “Well with me and Michael (Oher), we had a lot of similarities as far as our personalities go. We are both gentle giants, keep to ourselves and we’re both the biggest kids in our school. I hadn’t met him so I didn’t want to try to overact or anything but John Lee (Hancock), my coach, coached me and made me feel comfortable with being myself in the role so I just tried to put myself in the position that was based on the script and do the best I could.”

“The Blind Side” is warm and engaging and displays humanity at its core. A story of compassion, it illuminates what genuine concern, commitment and yes, wealth, can do to transform lives on both sides of a situation. However, money is the least of these in the story of Michael Oher and the Tuohy family.

Leigh Anne, a conservative social butterfly of the first order along with Sean, her supportive husband, a successful entrepreneur and their two children, daughter Collins and Son, S.J., did the unthinkable within their social circle. They embraced an African American teenage boy, from the projects, abandoned by his mother, Denise, with no place to live and gave him shelter. In the process of doing so, they gave each other a greater sense of purpose, resulting in a near fairy tale ending.

About Michael Oher (from the NFL)

The subject of the New York Times bestseller by Michael Lewis, “The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game,” Oher has been the anchor of the Rebels’ offensive line since being inserted into the starting lineup after the second game of his freshman season. He lined up at right offensive guard during his first season at Mississippi before shifting to the demanding left tackle position as a sophomore. He would end his career with the third-best active consecutive starts string (47) among Southeastern Conference players.

Received more national attention as a senior, as the Southeastern Conference’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipient, the honor going to the league’s top offensive linemen. Behind Oher’s drive blocking, the Rebels improved from ranking 84th in the nation in rushing (131.5 yards per game) to 28th (second in the SEC) in 2008 (186.46 yards per game).

New coach Houston Nutt was very confident in putting young quarterback Javon Snead on the field, knowing that Oher would help protect his passer’s blind side. Ole Miss let its left tackle carry them to a 2009 Cotton Bowl victory, as the 2008 squad went from being the 91st-ranked offense in the nation (345.25 yards per game) in 2007 to 29th overall and third in the SEC with an average of 407.62 yards per game in ’08.

Oher was regarded as one of the finest offensive linemen in the nation at Briarcrest Christian School. The EA Sports and USA Today All-American choice was a member of the 2005 Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association All-Star team selected to compete against the Kentucky prep all-stars. He also competed in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, and was named to Rivals.com’s All-American Bowl All-Time Team.

Oher was picked by Tom Lemming/ESPN as the nation’s top offensive tackle and named to the Super Prep All-America team (ranked No. 24 among offensive linemen by that service), which also had him on its Dixie Team. He was rated the fifth-best offensive lineman in the country and eighth-best overall prospect in the South by Scout.com, as well picking up first-team All-American recognition.

As a senior, the first-team All-South selection by Fox Sports and the Orlando Sentinel was credited with 130 knockdown blocks, grading over 90% for blocking consistency, as he did not allow a quarterback sack. As a junior, he posted 83 knockdowns and graded 85%, helping lead Briarcrest to a 10-3 record and 2004 state championship.

Heavily recruited by many major colleges, Oher enrolled at Mississippi in 2005. He moved into the starting lineup in the second game of the season, starting the final 10 contests at right offensive guard. He produced 64 knockdowns, a remarkable total for a team that managed to average only 73.27 yards per game rushing, as the ground attack produced just six touchdowns for the season. For his performance, he was selected Freshman All-American first-team by Rivals.com and The Sporting News.

Oher was named All-Southeastern Conference second-team as a sophomore. He shifted to left offensive tackle in 2006, delivering 83 knockdowns while clearing the way for BenJarvus Green-Ellis to become just the third player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.

Rated the third-best offensive tackle in college football by Lindy’s magazine in 2007, Oher received All-American fourth-team accolades. He started all 12 games at left tackle, coming up with 99 knockdowns that included 12 touchdown-resulting blocks, including each of the team’s eight rushing scores. Green-Ellis gained more than 70% of his 1,137 yards rushing (second-best season total by an Ole Miss player) running behind Oher.

Oher contemplated leaving school after his junior year. He originally applied for inclusion in the 2008 NFL Draft, but two days after announcing his intention to leave, the left tackle had a change of heart and withdrew his application. “While I felt good about being projected as a possible first-round pick and had everybody in my corner, it just kept coming back to me that I was leaving some unfinished business at Ole Miss,” Oher said. “It’s really about winning more games and going to a bowl game. I wanted to be a part of making that happen.”

<br />


Raiders offense struggles Chiefs get the win

<br />

Oakland, CA – Seventy yards, four plays, two minutes and eighteen seconds was all it took for the Oakland Raiders to get going early.  Michael Bush‘s 60 yard run set up a 1-yard touchdown by Justin Fargas on their opening drive.  But things quickly changed as JaMarcus Russell and the offense struggled which led to the starting quarterback getting benched for the second home game this season.

“I was totally disappointed and shocked by coaches decision and really can’t explain it,” said Russell.  “Things were going OK, toward the end we weren’t able to move the ball as well.”

Bruce Gradkowski got his start late in the third quarter and completed back to back passes for 23-yards and scrambled for 9-yards on his first three plays.  However, it wasn’t enough to stop the Kansas City Chiefs from getting the win 16-10.  Jamaal Charles scored on a 44-yard run for the Chief’s first rushing touchdown of the season.  The Chiefs drove the ball down to the 11 before kicking a 31-yard field goal that gave them a 16-10 lead with 6:17 remaining.

“It was good to get the first game back out of the way, said Chaz Schilens.  “We fell out of rhythm and it didn’t look good.”  “It’s frustrating, performance on game days needs to get better because we work too hard in practice.”  “It’s timing and confidence in knowing to execute plays and catch balls.”

The Raiders had six players that dropped passes and had too many penalties.  In Oakland’s last attempt for victory, Gradkowski drove the Raiders to the Kansas City 26 yard line and completed a 22-yard pass to rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey with 38 seconds left in the game.  The Chiefs challenged the play and officials ruled in the Raiders favor.  The next play Gradkowski went back to Heyward-Bey and this time he bobbled the ball several times before being picked off by safety Mike Brown.

“This game is about making plays an we just did not do that whether it was JaMarcus in there or Bruce in there,” coach Tom Cable.  “I’m just looking for the guy who gives us the best chance to win.”

The Raiders played with a healthy offense for the first time since the start of the season.  Cable stated that he wanted to look at film before deciding who will start at quarterback next week against Cincinnati.  Cable’s concerns are with the eight dropped passes and felt Russell missed too many open receivers.

The Raiders will host the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Warriors victory a fresh start for upcoming road trip

Oakland, CA – Ex-captain Stephen Jackson rallied the team to huge win over the Minnesota Timberwolves 146-105.  Jackson had a career high of fifteen assists as he sparked the high tempo offense to near perfection.  The last time the Warriors had a high scoring game was against this same team in 1994 when they had 146 points.

Jackson’s agent recently blasted coach Don Nelson for being a bad coach that nobody trusts as well as breaking up the 2007 playoff team.  Nelson had no comment in regards to Jackson’s agent.  He did state before the game, the Warriors are still open to trading the guard.

“That was all my agent,” Jackson said.  “I can’t take no blame for that!”  “He was upset with some things and spoke his mind; we work good together because we both speak our minds.”  “But I would never bash coach in the paper like that and I never have.”

Kelenna Azubuike led all scores with a season-high 31 points while seven other players also scored in double figures.  Anthony Randolph was a huge presence of the bench.  He filled the shoes of both centers Andris Biedrins (back) and Ronny Turiaf (knee), neither of whom suited up.  Randolph had 23 points and 7 rebounds.

“You have to understand that our two wins were against teams that are struggling so I wouldn’t make too much out of it,” said Nelson.  “But we did play very well and we did a lot of things we’ve been working on which is to share the ball.”

The chemistry on the court has been missing from past games and is definitely something to build on for the future.  The Warriors had a combined total of 38 rebounds, 36 assists and 22 steals.  Everyone played their game and took advantage of the many turnovers made by the Timberwolves.

“This was huge win for us,” said Monte Ellis.  “That’s how we really got our rhythm going by getting steals and out running them.”  “This is what we’re capable of doing, we got a lot of deflections and got the fast break going.”

The Timberwolves turned over the ball 28 times, giving up 47 points on turnovers and 42 pints in the fast break.  Jonny Flynn had 20 points, six assists and five rebounds while Al Jefferson added 18 points to lead Minnesota, which lost its seventh straight. The Timberwolves, who haven’t won since beating New Jersey by two points in the season-opener, is still looking for their second win this season.

The Warriors upcoming five game road trip takes them through Indiana, New York, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Boston.  Despite the off court turmoil with Stephen Jackson and putting behind the last four loses, the Warriors feel good about their win and know they are capable of beating any team.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

49ers no Match for Titans

San Francisco, CA – It was a must win for both teams in week nine.  The Tennessee Titans won their first game of the season last week under returning quarterback Vince Young.  He got his second start of the season today against the San Francisco 49ers.  The Titans are looking for win number two as the 49ers seek to end their losing streak at three games.  Unfortunately, San Francisco lost their fourth game as they succumb 34-27 to the Titans.

“Obviously, after the game there’s not a whole lot to say,” coach Mike Singletary said.  “I don’t think our guys quit, I think they played hard.”  “We didn’t play very smart in terms of giving the football away.”  “The number one thing is we cannot turn the ball over and that’s basically what killed us today.”  “Bottom line was turnovers for us.”

The 49ers committed costly turnovers that led to the Titans scoring 24 points.  Alex Smith’s intended pass for Michael Crabtree was intercepted by Rod Hood.  He then ran it back for 43 yards to set up Young’s quarterback scramble for a 7 yard touchdown to start the second quarter.  But it didn’t take long for Smith to respond with his own quarterback scramble for 8 yards which led to a touchdown to tie the game 10-10.

San Francisco kept the momentum going and moved the ball up field through Crabtree and Frank Gore.  With two minutes left in the first half Smith passed to Jason Hill for a 12 yard touchdown.  That put the them up 17 -10 at halftime.  The 49ers would not score again until late in the fourth quarter and by that time the Titans had sealed their victory.  Tennessee completely dominated the second half from turnovers and great defense.

“They give a lot of different looks on defense,” Smith said.”  “It’s not like your going out there and seeing three different defenses?”  “Your going to see an assortment of pressures, coverages and things that are very unorthodox.”  “They do things that other teams don’t do and that’s what makes it unique.”

The Titans never looked back after Young connected with Chris Johnson for an 81 yard touchdown that was over tuned because he stepped out of bounds.  Making up for his mistake Johnson converted on fourth and inches for his second touchdown of the day .  He finished with 135 yards on a career high 25 carriers.  Young raved about the Titans defense making plays that gave them opportunities to score.

“Our defense was big,” Young said.  “That is one thing we always say,’if we don’t get first downs and things don’t go right, than believe in our defense’ to get us back in the game.”  “The way we started the season was bad, now we have to take it one game at a time and not look to far ahead.”

The 49ers have a short week ahead as they face the Chicago Bears this Thursday night.  Despite the teams solemn mood after today’s loss there is still a lot of football left in the season.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Photos by Miguel Blair

<br />
<p></p>

</p>

</p>

Port Chicago Becomes Full Unit Of National Park System

President Obama last week signed legislation that will incorporate Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial as a full and permanent unit of our National Park System – enhancing the ability of the site to receive needed federal funding to share the important story of Port Chicago with the public.
“This has been a long time coming. The Friends of Port Chicago are tremendously grateful to Congressman George Miller, Senator Barbara Boxer and those who have championed this legislation,” said Rev. Diana McDaniel, President of the Friends group. “Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial will now be a permanent memorial and will help ensure that the lessons and history of racial and social injustice at Port Chicago are shared with America so that the story will not be lost.”
The legislation, signed as part of the FY2010 Defense Authorization Act, was introduced under the leadership of Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and will elevate Port Chicago – the Concord , CA area site where the largest U.S. home front disaster during World War II took place- from an affiliated park site to a full unit of the National Park System. This will allow the Park Service to create a national park visitor center and receive increased funding to hire park rangers to share the site’s story with the public.
“The many stories shared by my father when I was a child, later read and researched in my adulthood, shall now be shared with all children, fostering greater understanding, motivation and inclusion by highlighting the significance of African-American participation during WWII and ultimately to American History,” said Spencer Sikes II, son of explosion survivor Spencer Sikes Sr., and a member of the Friends group.
The Port Chicago explosion at the naval magazine killed 320 men, 202 of whom were African-American. The explosion, work stoppage, and subsequent mutiny trial provide insights into the injustice of racial discrimination, the African-American experience in the U.S. military, and home front life during the Second World War. These events ultimately led to the desegregation of the armed services in the United States .
“Today, the National Park System became one step closer to representing a more complete picture of America ‘s past,” said Neal Desai, Bay Area program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. “Let us hope that increased awareness of the Port Chicago story and the challenges of race and segregation that we faced during World War II will inform future decisions to better our society.”
The blast, felt up to 500 miles away, occurred as merchant ships were being loaded with 5,000 tons of high explosives. The ammunition-loading workforce at the Port Chicago Naval Ammunition Depot was composed exclusively of African Americans. After the disaster, on August 9th, 1944, 258 of the surviving black sailors, who had been sent to Vallejo to load munitions at Mare Island , realized they were on their way to load munitions again and engaged in a work stoppage. They wanted to avoid another catastrophe because of the unsafe working conditions. Fifty of the sailors were charged and convicted of mutiny in the largest mutiny trial in U.S. Naval history. The trial and its aftermath prompted historic steps toward racial integration in the Navy, encouraged by such prominent figures as Thurgood Marshall, who filed an appeal on behalf of the convicted sailors, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who used Port Chicago as a powerful example of the need to desegregate the military.
Because of the exemplary public-private partnership of the Friends of Port Chicago and the National Park Service, the Equal Justice Society will be honoring both groups at their annual gala on December 4, 2009.
For more information visit www.friendsofportchicago.org

Rev. Diana McDaniel

Rev. Diana McDaniel

<br />


George Miller

George Miller

Bart Seeks To Keep New Riders

Now that BART has met the challenge of carrying unprecedented numbers of passengers during the emergency closure of the Bay Bridge, the agency’s next challenge is to keep as many of the new passengers as possible.
On Monday, BART carried 393,200 passengers but with the Bay Bridge now reopened, some commuters might be tempted to return to their cars despite the affordability and convenience of BART.
“We’re overjoyed that commuters turned to BART in record numbers during the bridge closure,” BART Board President Thomas M. Blalock said.
“Time will tell how many of the new riders will stick with BART. The economy is one of the most important factors in ridership. Until the economy improves, we may see the ridership trend downward again now that people have the option to drive across the Bay Bridge.”

Lee Applauds Obama’s Decision to Lift HIV Travel Ban

Urges International AIDS Society to convene conference in the U.S.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee applauded President Barack Obama’s decision to formally repeal the United States travel and immigration restrictions on people living with HIV, which was published today in the Federal Register. Congresswoman Lee sent a letter today to the International AIDS Society (IAS) encouraging them to quickly reach a decision regarding the United States as the host nation of the XXIX International AIDS Conference in 2012.
“The Administration’s action finally clears away the last vestiges of an unjust and discriminatory policy that has prevented the IAS from holding an International AIDS Conference in the United States for the past 19 years.
“I believe that ending this policy is long overdue, and will lend greater credibility to U.S. foreign assistance efforts to fight the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Particularly, it will aid in combating the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, and further erode discriminatory travel and immigration policies in other countries.
“With the lifting of this ban, it is my hope that the International AIDS Society will strongly consider hosting their 2012 International AIDS Conference in the United States. If chosen to host this critical event, the United States would be given an extraordinary opportunity to highlight our commitment to addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to help contextualize the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic on a global stage.
“I applaud the Administration for taking this critical step to end this outdated travel ban.”
Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in the fight against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. She co-authored legislation signed into law creating the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in 2000, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, and the PEPFAR Reauthorization Act in 2008.

Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee

Bay Area Clergy Respond To Richmond Rape

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

From left to right: Dr. Lawrence VanHook - President of the Baptist Ministers’ Union, Chief Chris Magnus - Richmond Chief of Police, Pastor Beto Mejia – Pastor of Victory Outreach ( 261 Harbor Way , Richmond ) and   Rev. Andre Shumake – Richmond Improvement Association address media during a Prayer Vigil outside the front entrance of Richmond High School.

From left to right: Dr. Lawrence VanHook - President of the Baptist Ministers’ Union, Chief Chris Magnus - Richmond Chief of Police, Pastor Beto Mejia – Pastor of Victory Outreach ( 261 Harbor Way , Richmond ) and Rev. Andre Shumake – Richmond Improvement Association address media during a Prayer Vigil outside the front entrance of Richmond High School.

On Monday, November 2nd, a gathering of Christian Clergy from across denominational lines, city lines and ethnic lines descended upon Richmond High School to pray for the young 15 year old female student who was brutally raped following a school sponsored dance. Investigators are still trying to put all the pieces of the drama together and thus far 6 arrests have been made.
Pastor Andre Shumake, President of the Richmond Improvement Association, gathered the coalition of clergy and community groups together to offer condolences and prayers for strength on behalf of the victim and the villains. He stated, “We are here at Richmond High as a result of the horrific incident that occurred last week. We just want to share a few words and we brought many men and women of faith from across the Bay Area who thought to lend their support for this family, as well as, the students throughout this school and this District.”
Dr. Bruce Harter, Superintendent of West Contra Costa Unified School District, stated, “This has been a tragedy of incredible proportions. It is every parent’s worst nightmare what has happen here and we have to stand here and work together as a community to make sure something like this never happens in our community again. We’ve taken it up on every level that we can to make sure that the family and the victim know that our hearts and our prayers and our love goes out to them and that our support goes out to all our students to make sure they are safe from harm of this kind or any kind.”
Also in attendance at the Prayer Vigil was the Richmond Chief of Police – Chris Magnus who stated, “We are working very diligently around the clock to comprehensively and fully investigate this terrible crime. First and foremost, our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers go out to this young survivor of sexual violence and to her family. It is extremely important that we have the faith community so well represented here this afternoon to convey the message that this is not what Richmond is about. Richmond is a caring community and has many people who live and work and go to school here who care fully about their fellow residences. One incident like this does not, in any way, define our community. I am very pleased that Rev. Shumake brought together a group of diverse clergy this afternoon to convey the message that we are all in this together.”
Dr. Lawrence VanHook, President of the Baptist Ministers’ Union of Oakland and Vicinity, took aim at media coverage and questioned why media outlets such as CNN traveled the world to speak to psychologist and experts outside of the City of Richmond instead of persons such as Rev. Shumake who live, work and worship in Richmond, CA. He stated, “I was fumed when I listened to the CNN news and they asked all the ‘white folks’ on TV – they didn’t ask Rev. Shumake what was going on. This is a crisis happening in our community. This is our community and they ask all these experts, professionals, psychologists – and I was just so upset because they didn’t call me, they didn’t call Shumake – they called somebody from New York or someplace. (Media) should ask Rev. Shumake what is going on in this neighborhood. Ask people who live work and worship what’s going on in this neighborhood – We’ll tell you what’s going on.”
The prayer vigil was heavily attended by local media and newspaper groups seeking answers to best understand the “Rape at Richmond.” Rev. Shumake sums it up, “We are not just coming here to be here. We are putting out a cry right now for 100 volunteers to come forth from within the Faith Community. Our commitment to Dr. Harter to the Chief of Police and to this District is that we in the Faith Community are going to put up or shut up. We are calling on 100 volunteers that will go down and have their fingerprints taken so they can volunteer on this campus. We believe that if we can have a presence on this campus – during the lunch hour and in the classroom – that would help turn some of this negative behavior and it will certainly facilitate the teaching that needs to take place in the School District.”
If you would like to be a volunteer within the Richmond Schools call (510)860-3681. On Friday, November 6th at 5:00pm a community gathering will take place across the street from Richmond High School at Greater Joshua Church of God In Christ – 1305 23rd Street, Richmond. This gathering has been called by Bishop Ernestine Reems, Retired Pastor of Center of Hope COGIC Christ of Oakland.

Artists Pay Homage to Amiri Baraka in SF

By Lee
Hubbard

In the 1960’s and 1970’s Amiri Baraka was the standard bearer for a black nationalistic art, based on the principles of Malcolm X and the music of John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Sun Ra. Baraka was the founder of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960’s, which originated in Harlem and the movement helped to spur aspiring black artists to look at themselves and the black community in another light and reflect this self retrospective.
“The Black Arts movement, helped to raise the consciousness of black people,” said Marvin X, a well known poet from that era. “The Black Arts Movement helped to not only raise the political, but also the spiritual consciousness of black people. It elevated our sense of self.”
Born and raised n Newark , New Jersey , Baraka still resides in Newark with his wife and author Amina Baraka. The poet, writer and literary figure, who spanned the 1950’s Beat period through the 1960’s Black Arts movement, through the end of the 20th century, will be honored in San Francisco , Monday November 9 from 3 to 7 p.m at the Jazz Heritage Center, 1330 Fillmore Street. Local artist will celebrate Baraka’s 75th birthday celebration and the impact he helped to make on the black literary scene.
“We are going to honor him on his 75 birthday for being our greatest living poet and playwright,” continued Marvin X. “He is a writer, historian, political activist and mystic.”
Various writers from throughout the bay area will be there to pay tribute to him. Baraka will then perform next door at 8 p.m. at the San Francisco Yoshi’s Jazz Club with Howard Wiley, a Berkeley based jazz musician and his band.
“At Yoshi’s, we will be doing some pretty classical jazz tunes. Stuff by Monk and Coltrane and some classics,” said Baraka. “I am going to read some of my poems, with a mixture of recent and old stuff. I will mix it up.”
An astute political activist, Baraka said he will perform a poem dealing with the election of President Barack Obama. HE also has one on his political detractors, the right wing political establishment, which he says is systematically set up to try and prevent Obama from doing anything positive in this country.
“I supported Obama and will continue to. He has been president for ten months, following the worst president this country has ever had. Anything Obama does, they (the right wing) attack him. People need to hold firm and support him.”
The Black Arts Movement was often seen as the artistic arm of the Black Power movement. It helped to spurn poets, writers and intellectuals such as Baraka, Ishmael Reed, Marvin X, Ed Bullins, Harold Cruse, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Lorraine Hansberry, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Larry Neal, Malauna Karenga and a host of others. Looking back on the movement, Baracka says its lasting impact was in the pride in highlighting and further establishing black culture.
“Before the Black Arts Movement, black art imitated white art,” said Baraka. “We wanted an art that was a reflection of black life and culture. Art that was a mass movement that would effect the black masses. Art that would help in the liberation of black people.”
Looking at art today, he said there may be a need for another cultural revolution within the black community, based on some of the art of today.
“Black art is stronger than it was in the 60’s, but there has been a backward movement,” continued Baraka. “Rap music used to be progressive when it began and in its early days with Bambatta, Blow, and Public Enemy. But corporations have seized it and turned it around. There are a lot of positive rappers, but there are a lot of negative ones. Lots of drug, sex and a lot of negativity in the songs.”
He said a new cultural revolution today would help and uplift black people.
“We need to have the artist see himself as a free agent serving the people again, rather than the corporations,” said Baraka. “Artist need to be attached to the people rather than to the owners.”
The celebration for Amiri Baraka will take place at the San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center, 1330 Fillmore Street. November 9th from 3 to 7 p.m. Baraka will then read his poetry next door at Yoshi’s Jazz Club starting at 8p.m.

<br />