From February 2010

All-Star Saturday Night

Paul Pierce returning 3-point winner

Dallas, TX -  The Footlocker Three-Point contest on Saturday night at American Airlines Center got underway for for six players Paul Pierce (Celtics), Chauncey Billups (Nuggets), Danilio Gallinari (Knicks), Channing Frye (Suns), Daequan Cook (Heat) and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors).  Pierce wasted no time to lead with 17 points in his first attempt.  Billups then tied Pierce for second place behind Curry who became a fan favorite with his natural form of “banking” shots to put him the finals along with Pierce and Billups.  Returning champion Cook was eliminated in the first round along with Frye and Gallinari.

Pierce led off the final round with 20 points setting a strong pace for the remaining players to follow.  Billups up next had 14 and Curry who made four out five attempts in his first rack was nearly half way to matching Pierce with 60% of his shots but fell behind with his last two racks missing shots of the rim.  He finished in second with 17 points but not a bad start for this rookie sensation who made his first appearance in this years All-Star activities.

Erasing the memories of the 2002 NBA All-Star where he made only eight shots in the first round.  Pierce walked away the winner of the Three-Point contest.  After watching Curry fail to top his score, Paul rejoiced by jumping in the air with a wide smile slapping hands with teammate Kevin Garnett in celebration.

“I take pride in competition,” Pierce said.  “Like I said, back in ’02, when I didn’t do well in it and the way I’ve been practicing and shooting well this year, I was like, ‘this is a great opportunity for me to come out here and redeem myself’.”  “I didn’t get invited for seven years and all I needed was another chance, this was the opportunity where I got invited, and I took advantage of it this time.”

Three-time dunk champion is Knicks Robinson

Dallas, TX -  The dunk contests aren’t what they used to be when you had the likes of Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Spud Webb flying through the air!  Over the years, the lack of marquee players have diminished in this competition where only the elite would join.  Years later a new generation enters the contest with creative dunks that you see from players not necessarily as popular of those in the past.  Their is one player who returns for his crown and he is not a marquee guy with the fame and flare but a reserve player that knows how to please a crowd!  Nate Robinson enters his fifth slam dunk competition.

In defending his title Robinson defeated Toronto Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan in the 2010 dunk event, earning his third win making him the first three-time champion.  Breaking his tie with two-timers Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Harold Miner and Jason Richardson.  He defended his 09 title after receiving 51% of votes from fans via online at NBA.com.

“You’ve got to kind of figure out a dunk that nobody’s tried,” said Robinson.  “Finding something new, or at least refurbished, to dazzle dunk devotees or kind of like a tribute dunk, I guess or you know, a copycat dunk, you could say.”  “But myself, I think, ‘What can get the kids out of their seats? What can get people’s attention?’ That’s what you’ve got to try to do.”

After Gerald Wallace and Shannon Brown were eliminated in the first round, Robinson went for local appeal by recruiting four Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders to stand in support as scenery.  He tried twice to come from behind the basket and twist in a slam, but missed, so Robinson went with a big bounce from the left wing that he caught and jammed home.

DeRozan had Raptors teammate Sonny Weems face the rim and toss the ball off the backboard while DeRozan ran up behind and then vaulted him.  He controlled the rebound with his right hand and jammed it through, this dunk got the crowd on it’s feet!  But Robinson saved his best for last.  This time, the Knicks guard scooped the ball off the backboard, spun and put it through with two hands, backwards, in a move that accentuated his size and leaping ability.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Saints Shock Colts in First Super Bowl Win

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Miami Gardens, FL – There were only two teams that were undefeated during the regular season, they met  in Super Bowl XLIV!  One team returns after winning their first super bowl four years ago and the other is brand new to it all.  After much anticipation the New Orleans Saints shocked the entire world as they watched one of the best quarterbacks fall to defeat in clinching their first Super Bowl win over the Indianapolis Colts 30-17.

“Our defense made the right plays at the right time,” Darren Sharper said.  “And that’s what we did tonight!”  “This win is very special for us, for the organization, fans and city of New Orleans.”

The Colts looked to be the more poised team in the first half, Peyton Manning delivered just as the season MVP has done in his career.  He marched his team down the field with the New Orleans Saints defense squandering how to contain them.  It didn’t take long for the Colts to get on the board with a field goal.  Later they followed with Manning connecting with Pierre Garcon for a 19-yard touchdown.  They made no mistakes and started the game off strong!

The Saints couldn’t stop the surging offense of the Colts.  There defense being so fast and quick on the outside New Orleans just looked confused on the field.  During the second quarter they brought out their biggest weapons and their best running backs in Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush.

“Bush, is one of the most talented players in the NFL,” said Drew Brees.  “What he did in that Arizona game was one of the most impressive performances since he’s been with the team.”  “He helps us in every way when he plays that kind of football and he did that today.”

During the third quarter a new Saints team emerged, they came out with more energy and more hungry!  It was definitely the unexpected on-side kick that paved the way of success for New Orleans.  Throughout the third quarter the Saints defense came alive and caused havoc for the Colts which led to the most costly mistake of the game.  Manning throwing a 74-yard interception with 3:12 left in the game to sealed the Saints victory.

Manning was elected the regular season MVP, but Brees was the games MVP leading his team from a 10-point deficit completing 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns to tie the Super Bowl record for most completions in Super Bowl history.

“I certainly know how it was three years ago when we won,” said Manning.  “I know the people of New Orleans and the Saints have the same feeling right now.”  “We really felt as underdogs we had the better team.”  “To be in that position where maybe a lot of people we’re picking against us, we liked the spot we were in.”

The city of New Orleans has yet to fully recover from Hurricane Katrina almost four years ago yet the run to the Super Bowl championship captured the attention of football fans everywhere.  The game received its highest ratings in 23 years, being the most watched Super Bowl in history.  This championship came after devastation hit the city of New Orleans and a destroyed Superdome that was repaired in 2006, the first year of Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton.

Commissioner Roger Goodell called this Super Bowl “more than a game.”  “I keep thinking of the word ‘magical’,” he said.  “When you think about the relationship between the city of New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and the Saints, it was more than just a football game.”  “The hopes, the dreams and the struggles of that community were all reflected in that football team.”  “It was a great night for the people in new Orleans and the Gulf Coast.”

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Israel Houghton Wins Third Grammy and Beyoncé Breaks Record During the Music Industry’s Biggest Night

Sandra Varner’s Celebrity Profiles

Beyoncé

Beyoncé

Israel Houghton

Israel Houghton

Beyoncé and Israel Houghton take home Grammys during the music industry’s biggest night
I watched the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards at KPIX/KBCW, CBS 5 in San Francisco and during a break, I caught the Beyoncé interview with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, further confirming that this lady dynamo is still grand and very much in charge and at age 28, has accomplished more than most ever will.
According to trade industry publication, The Hollywood Reporter, CBS’ presentation of the annual Grammy Awards was the highest-rated telecast for the event in six years.
The Sunday-night program was up significantly from 2009, rising 32%, which marks two years of consecutive ratings growth for the telecast.
The Grammys pulled 25.8 million viewers and a 9.8 adults 18-49 rating, according to time-zone adjusted national ratings, making it the most-watched and highest-rated Grammys since 2004.
The evening launched with an upbeat number from Elijah Kelley (“Hair Spray”) who opened for Lady Gaga and is said to be on tap to star in the Sammy Davis Jr. story.
Beyoncé made history as the first woman to walk away with six Grammys in one evening.
Donnie McClurkin was nominated for Best Gospel Performance category for “Wait on the Lord,”  a duet with Karen Clark-Sheard; this made McClurkin’s fourth Grammy nomination overall.
On Feb. 26, during a live airing on the FOX network, McClurkin will vie for his second NAACP Image Award win in the Outstanding Gospel Artist category, which he received in 2004.
McClurkin alongside colleague Yolanda Adams have been selected to be a part of the celebrity panel of judges for the next edition of BET’s Sunday Best, joining original judges Mary Mary and host Kirk Franklin, all of whom are returning for their third season. The show premieres April 4.
Congrats to Integrity recording artist, Israel Houghton, for his third consecutive GRAMMY win for  Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.  Houghton’s third award now joins the other two on his trophy shelf.  In 2007, Alive in South Africa received a bow for the “Best Traditional Gospel Album” and in 2008 A Deeper Level snagged an award for “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album .”
From its genre-blending roots reggae and heavy rock to sanctified funk and power pop, The Power of One features songs of hope, redemption and revelation.  Houghton collaborated, once again, with long-time friend and producer, Aaron Lindsey and Tommy Sims, whose writing, recording and performing credits range from Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks to Bonnie Raitt and Kelly Clarkson.

Census Counting on Clergy

David Glover, Director of OCCUR. 

David Glover, Director of OCCUR.

By Lee Hubbard

The importance of responding to the 2010 United States Census was the main goal of a faith based prayer breakfast sponsored last week by OCCUR (Oakland Citizens Committee for urban Renewal).
Reverend Arnold Townsend of the Rhema Word-Moriah Christian Fellowship church in San Francisco and Berkeley said that ministers are uniquely suited to do outreach for the upcoming census count because “Preachers take their own census every Sunday morning and they always know who’s there and who’s missing. We as a community can’t afford to be missing this year.”
‘We need to understand the importance of the census”’ said David Glover, Director of OCCUR. ‘There was a time when there was a deliberate effort not to count black people. This census is about empowering people and their communities.’
Glover told pastors that people being accurately counted in the census could add up to $1,500 a person to cities.
He said past census numbers for the Black community have been undercounted “due to black mistrust of government and census takers along with unstable home lives and some failing to realize the importance of the census. “
Lia Bolden, a senior partner specialist with the US Census Bureau said, “In the nation, black males between the ages of 18 and 25 are the most undercounted group in the country.”
“The youth 18 and older, must be counted,” said Bishop J.E. Watkins of the Jack London Square Chapel of the Church of God in Christ, who has a ministry that targets black youth. The Reverend Arnold Townsend of the Rhema-Moriah used the example of New Orleans to illustrate the importance of the census, “New Orleans was in bad shape before Hurricane Katrina, and because they weren’t getting the federal resources they needed, due to the undercounting of blacks in that area”. He continued, “Hurricane Katrina was devastating to black people, because, as a result, blacks were scattered all over. This deprived the city of those resources that the city needed.” He also said it’s up to faith leaders to realize their importance as it relates to the census and the black community. Townsend stressed the importance of addressing faith leaders due to their contact with a majority of people and their extensive influence and leadership. OCCUR and the U.S census will facilitate outreach events and host a help desk from March 19 thru April 19 at the Eastmont Computing Center at 6948 Foothill Blvd in Oakland.

One Toyota of Oakland Opens New Store

From left to right: Tom Devany, Brian McCafferty, Brad Barnett, Councilmember Larry Reid and Joseph Haraburda. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

From left to right: Tom Devany, Brian McCafferty, Brad Barnett, Councilmember Larry Reid and Joseph Haraburda. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

One Toyota of Oakland’s co-owners Brad Barnett and Brian McCafferty have bravely branded Toyota’s reputation by opening their new dealership in the middle of the largest recall in the automaker’s history.
Even though most dealers would wait, Bennett says they see their last Monday ribbon-cutting opening as “an opportunity.” By announcing their (510) 569-1111 service calling number they plan to stay ahead of the wave of their customer’s concerns. They are banking on their reputation for good service to create customers
If you’ve ever wondered why someone didn’t re-invent the car business, you can stop wondering. Someone just did.
One Toyota of Oakland opened the doors of its brand new 118,000 square foot facility at 8181 Oakport Street, and in doing so, opened the newest and largest Toyota dealership in northern California. McCafferty credits the company’s ONE PRICE, ONE PERSON® sales process he pioneered at his Toyota dealership in Avondale, Arizona, as being the recipe for success in Oakland.
“With the new sales process customers will not be subject to the time draining demands of negotiating for a price or being shuffled from person to person or department to department in order to finalize a sale,” McCafferty says, “At most dealerships, two people buying the exact same car on the exact same day would pay different prices for that car. At One Toyota of Oakland, everyone pays the same price, no matter what the size of your paycheck.
Brad Barnett says”Our ONE PRICE, ONE PERSON® process means that everything we do is totally transparent. Not only do we post the absolute lowest possible price on every new and used car on the lot, we show the customer all of the data that goes into that price, and they get it all from one person.” At most dealerships the customer has to negotiate with a salesperson, a sales manager and a finance manager, but at One Toyota of Oakland, one person – the first sales person to shake your hand – handles the entire transaction from drive-up to delivery.
Councilmember Larry Reid says the One Toyota of Oakland dealership opened at an opportune time for Oakland because “it creates much needed jobs and will help revitalize our local economy.” He said One Toyota of Oakland says it is committed to becoming an active participant in the economic growth of the city, and has already hired 105 people in a variety of positions. He praised the dealership for contracting with a local car wash company, employing an additional 20 people and hiring construction crews to customize the building. One Toyota of Oakland’s investments in the new dealership include more than $1 million in new automotive repair and diagnostic equipment, more than $50,000 in personnel training, and a commitment to local charitable organizations. In November the dealership donated 500 turkeys to the City of Oakland and $1,000 to the Police Athletic League.
McCafferty said their $22 million purchase price for the dealership was “pennies on the dollar” because it was $14 million less than the original price.

Ann Washington’s 105th

Ann Washington

Ann Washington

By Tanya Dennis

So what does a one hundred and five year old woman wish for on her birthday? Ann Washington told this reporter that “After one hundred and four years I done give up!”
Mrs. Washington’s quick wit was quickly and clearly evident during the interview, and she’s lived long enough to know exactly what she wants.
“Í love to eat and I love to play games: Bridge; Checkers; Bingo; Whist; Dominos and going to the Casino to play nickel and penny slots are my favorite past times.”
The Berkeley Senior Center in Berkeley hosted a wonderful gala for Ann who lives in her home independently. When asked the secret of her longevity Ann responded, “Good clean living, eating the right food and minding my own business.”
“I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but don’t care for meat and I’m tired of chicken and fish.”
Sixty guests dined on a tasty turkey dinner, then gathered around the guest of honor and sang “Happy Birthday”. Ann jokingly made blowing signals at the cake across the table as her daughter Eunice La Gone and close friends blew out the candles.
Born in what Ann describes as a “one store town,” Burr Texas, near Horton County Texas, Ann married at age twenty to Willie Jones and subsequently moved to Houston. She was married to Jones for fifteen years, then divorced him and married Willie Washington to whom she was married to for seventeen years before he died. “I like Willie’s” Ann said with a devilish twinkle in her eye.
Willie Washington, a widower with seven children and Ann moved to Oakland in 1944. Ann worked in Practical Nursing and Domestics before retiring twenty-five years ago. She has eighteen grandchildren, and thirty-seven great-grandchildren. Only one daughter is still living. Resplendent in gold brocade, Ann sat regally observing the festivities until the cake arrived. “I eat good, but I really like sweets,” she said with a sheepish expression.
When the dessert arrived, Ann kindly and subtly let me know the interview was over.

Colemans Give Marcus $1,250.00

Arlene and Douglas Coleman contributed $1,250.00 to the Marcus Books  Fund last week. Their donation equals that of Oakland Businessman Jake Sloan and Oakland attorney John Burris. Motivated by Sloan, who was the first to contribute three weeks ago, the Coleman family wants all Marcus supporters, customers and booklovers to donate any amount, if one is able, or buy one or more books during Black history Month. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Arlene and Douglas Coleman contributed $1,250.00 to the Marcus Books Fund last week. Their donation equals that of Oakland Businessman Jake Sloan and Oakland attorney John Burris. Motivated by Sloan, who was the first to contribute three weeks ago, the Coleman family wants all Marcus supporters, customers and booklovers to donate any amount, if one is able, or buy one or more books during Black history Month. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Young Entrepreneurs in the East Bay

Charlie Fyffe

Charlie Fyffe

Eric Brock

Eric Brock

Part 1
By Tanya
Dennis

The nation’s unemployment rate is spiraling towards ten percent with each passing month, and the jobless rate has more than doubled from a year ago. Almost two million college graduates are unemployed, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers predict companies will hire 22 percent fewer graduating seniors than they did last year.
These statistics are not standing in the way of Charlie Fyffe, Erica Alexis, Rebecca Payne or Eric Brock, four young entrepreneurs, all twenty-five years or younger, who are forging their way through this recession to economic success. I asked each one the book that most inspired them:
Charlie Fyffe, a twenty-one year old graduating senior at UC Berkeley, is a multi-talented young entrepreneur specializing in entertainment, marketing, and non-profit community work. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Charlie developed his first business venture at the age of 15, a gourmet brownie delivery service for family friends and relatives. Upon graduating from Loyola High School with a 4.2 cumulative GPA, he received the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship and numerous leadership awards. During his first three years in college, he focused his energy towards building a vast network of young black entrepreneurs from some of the country’s top universities including Columbia, Howard, and Boston College. Charlie has been featured as a guest speaker at the Black Solidarity Conference at Yale University and he has spoken on financial literacy at local middle schools and high schools all over the Bay Area, CA. During his senior year at Cal, he officially launched Charlie’s Brownies at his school campus within the Tully’s Coffee franchise. Among his many accomplishments, Charlie is the President of Artistic Grassroots Latter (AGL), a positive lifestyle brand clothing line: AGLBrand.com In the near future, he plans on developing The SLAG Coalition, a non-profit organization geared towards advocating for “Sustainable Living and Growth” in disadvantaged communities. Charlie will be releasing his first book on entrepreneurial leadership in 2011.
One of Fyffe’s favorite quotes is by Will Smith, “You can often project your success in life by looking at the top five people you spend most of your time with. If you don’t want to be those people, you know what to do…” Charlie’s recommends reading EMyth by Michael E. Gerber. Contact Information: Charlie@AGLBrand.com or call at 310.738.2773
Eric Brock, also twenty-one years old, is a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond. Eric started “Specialty Services” in 2007. Specialty Services serves as an umbrella for a wide array of businesses: carpet cleaning; valet services; car washing and detailing, lawn mowing and barbering.
“My Dad instilled the value of hard work. The work ethic I learn from my Dad enabled me to evolve basic skills into lucrative business opportunities. If I continue to “over-deliver” with Specialty Services then I will prosper financially as well as benefit my community.”
Specialty Services clients include the Berkeley Black Repertory Theater; Steven Art Design Gallery in Point Richmond; CA Robinson of the Police Activity League (PAL); The View of Life Project; and actor Tyrise Gipson.
“Through my work in the community I hope to become a philanthropist and support other community efforts.”
Eric’s book recommendation is “The Tipping Point” By Malcolm Gladwell. Contact Eric at (510)253-3782. Or wiseguy1788@yahoo.com.

5,000 Youth Jam Black College Expo

From Left to Right  -  Top Row:  Tana Dale Sanders, Monquette Letsinger, Mike Scott, Katryna Howard, Theresa Price, Taylor Nelson, Gregory Hunter, Dexter R. Hall, Taylor Nelson, Tana Dale Sanders; Middle Row: Christian Trigg, Dominic Hebert, Brandon Luckey, Shojdel Curtis, Daniel Mastin, Lance Harris III, Ronald Mack, Cleveland Bellard, Shaun Allamby, Kamaren Spencer, Kheyon Smith;  Bottom Row : Kierstin Allamby, Richard Williams, Shaun Allamby. Photos by Gene Hazzard, graphics by Alapi Bhatt.

From Left to Right - Top Row: Tana Dale Sanders, Monquette Letsinger, Mike Scott, Katryna Howard, Theresa Price, Taylor Nelson, Gregory Hunter, Dexter R. Hall, Taylor Nelson, Tana Dale Sanders; Middle Row: Christian Trigg, Dominic Hebert, Brandon Luckey, Shojdel Curtis, Daniel Mastin, Lance Harris III, Ronald Mack, Cleveland Bellard, Shaun Allamby, Kamaren Spencer, Kheyon Smith; Bottom Row : Kierstin Allamby, Richard Williams, Shaun Allamby. Photos by Gene Hazzard, graphics by Alapi Bhatt.

Over 5,000 students and parents from the Oakland Bay Area to Portland, Oregon attended the 7th Annual Black College Expo held last week at the Marriott Oakland City Center. Wells Fargo, US Navy and Metro PCS combined their resources to sponsor the Expo. These companies joined the Expo’s mission to share resources with students to help them get into college and learn about scholarships and internship opportunities.
During the event, HBCUs (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) and UC alumni recruiters accepted over 1,000 applications from high school and college students. Company representatives also shared information about scholarships, summer internships and employment opportunities. The students and parents were invited to attend seminars on How to find money; Why attend an HBCU; Hot Careers and workshops for student athletes.
“I was very impressed with the students and parents who attended the Oakland Expo because the students came prepared and dressed for success,” said Lt. Gary Nunn, US Navy – Civil Engineer Corps and Accession Officer – Region South.
Dr. Ruth Love, UC Berkeley Education Professor and former Oakland Schools Superintendent, said educational expos play a major role by showing students how to get scholarship information and to find out where the future career opportunities will be.
The event concluded with a scholarship presentation to local high school seniors, Katryna Howard (Fairfield High School in Fairfield) winner of $1,000 scholarship and Monquette Letsinger (El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito) winner of $500 scholarship sponsored by Wells Fargo and National College Resources Foundation. The after-show was kicked off by drumline team, Cougar Cadets Corps. KMEL Radio Personality, Lady Ray hosted KFC’s Step-Show & Dance Competition. Local artist, Lil Kev and R&B group, O.N.E. entertained the gathering
“Some of BCE’s attendees are Well Fargo’s customers and as a corporation we want to do all we can to help the build our future leaders and community. Education is the key to the future and we are proud to be sponsors of Black College Expo for past 7 years.” said Dexter Hall, Wells Fargo – Vice President/Manager.
For more information about the Black College Expo tour or for sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities, please call our corporate office at (877) 427-4100 or visit website: www.thecollegeexpo.org.

Butler’s Taking Georgetown By Storm

Dalvin Butler

Dalvin Butler

Part 2
By Tasion
Kwamilele

Dalvin Butler, an Oakland native and Castlemont High graduate is taking Washington, D.C. by storm. Butler’s now an eighteen-year-old freshman Government major at Georgetown University. In fall of 2009, Butler was elected to Georgetown’s College Academic Council, where he serves as the only African American representative.
“By working with all interests groups on campus, our council amends the curriculum. We are currently trying to establish a business minor at the school,” said Butler.
He admitted that Georgetown’s lack of diversity “took me out of my comfort zone and sometimes caused me to be quiet in his classes.”
Now, after growing comfortable on campus, he is taking advantage of all that the institution offers.
“Georgetown is one of the best schools to attend to learn about government and politics. I am interested in running for the Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA). GUSA writes legislation and confronts the different situations and issues that arise on the campus,” said Butler.
For Butler, an issue of great importance on Georgetown’s campus is increasing diversity awareness and strengthening the ethnic studies department.
“Georgetown is a predominantly white school. Their history is taught, ours is not and I want to change that. Not to say that their history is irrelevant, but African American Studies and other ethnic studies are desperately needed to be added to the curriculum,” said Butler.
Along with his quickly attained Georgetown accomplishments, Butler keeps Oakland uppermost in his goals. He has created The ReInnovation Scholars Program, his own non-profit organization, to motivate and help Oakland and Richmond drop-outs return to school. The program will help the youth attain their GED as well as attend colleges, and vocational schools to receive trade skills training.
Butler believes that by stressing the importance of education, he hopes his example will inspire Oakland’s youth to also become high achievers and return to their communities to help others.
“Education is extremely vital not just in Oakland, but globally, in terms of being successful. I encourage all youth and adults to attend council meetings and OUSD Board of Education meetings to advocate for the necessary resources for our schools and communities,” said Butler who also is preparing himself for a future leadership role in Oakland
“One day I plan to run for office in Oakland, potentially the mayoral position to shape my community. Oakland deserves, and significantly needs elected officials that are going to work effortlessly and solve serious issues to bring Oakland back to a flourishing safe community that it once was.” said Butler.
The ReInnovation Scholars Program will begin accepting applications on August 1st, 2010. For more information visit http://thereinnovationscholarsprogram.org.

“Booked” for Support

Community asked to give
financial support to Marcus Books

Yahasantewaa Williams proudly holds up the book which she purchased after the Marcus Community meeting on the first day of Black History Month.

Yahasantewaa Williams proudly holds up the book which she purchased after the Marcus Community meeting on the first day of Black History Month.

Two young supporters of Marcus Books. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Two young supporters of Marcus Books. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

By Lee Hubbard

A cross section of people from all over Northern California showed up in Oakland at Marcus Book store Monday night to discuss ways to keep the oldest black bookstore in the country open.
Conducted by Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb, the history and legacy of the store was discussed as patrons walked in and out buying books. Many of the attendees volunteered to help spread the word to their friends, neighbors, churches and social groups. “We must use all methods of marketing, but more importantly, this is an opportunity to structure internet marketing and promotions campaign as well”, said Wil Ussery, who lives in San Francisco.
Ussery also proposed a multi-level strategy involving refinancing, creation of a foundation and securing investors as ways to bring more revenue the black book store.
“We have to convert communication about what’s going on at Marcus books, into support for the store within the community,” said Walter Riley, an Oakland attorney who was able to return home safely from the recent Haitian earthquake. Riley also explained how individuals could contribute to their favorite non-profit tax-exempt organization to encourage them to purchase books for their libraries. He also asked the attendees to have their churches, temples and mosques purchase books for their libraries.
Rev. Dion Evans, religious broadcaster for KFAX’s “Issues after Dark” radio program said he will use his program to promote faith-based community for the store.
The store has been at the center of black literary and black cultural life across the country. But the recent economic downturn along with the advent of the large discount book stores and the decline in black book sales over the last few years, helped to shrink the sales of the business.
Some of the ideas bantered about at the Monday meeting included having organized fieldtrips of students to visit the stores in San Francisco and Oakland to buy books, get various political and social organizations involved in buying books as a group purchase, have collegiate and high school departments buy books, and encourage fundraising efforts to help fortify the stores finances.
Douglass Coleman, an Oakland based black activist, wrote a check for $1,250 dollars to Marcus Books. He said that Marcus has had an everlasting impact on his life and he was giving back to help the store when it is in need.
“This store is an important institution to the African American community,” said Coleman. “A light is turned on in your head, when you come into this place.”
Alona Clifton, a former Peralta College Board member and Vice President of the Oakland chapter of Bay Area Woman Organized for Political Action, said she is going to organize her group to hold a series of meetings at the Oakland Marcus Books location and encourage its members to shop at the store for books, cards, calendars, posters and children’s books.
Clifton said she would help lead the effort to help coordinate the 1,500 various Black interdenominational houses of worship, in the nine bay area counties, “to buy and order books through Marcus for the youth in their churches,” said Clifton. “They need to develop libraries for their children. Marcus Books Store needs to be a conduit to provide books to Black children who need them.”
Sylvester Brooks, a member of the Associated Real Property Brokers, a group of black realtors, said he would help to spread the word through his association.
“Through our newsletter, I will help inform our members about the plight of Marcus Books,” said Brooks. “We will make a donation through our legal fund to buy books. To give back to the community that helped to support us.”
For more information on how to join the campaign to save Marcus Books contact Paul Cobb or Maxine Ussery at the Post (510) 287-8200.

Celebration of the Church Hat Tradition

Great things DO happen in Oakland! Afternoon Tea: A celebration of the Church Hat Tradition is a multicultural and a multigenerational gala affair.
Ladies from ages 9 to 99 from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds will gather together for a second year of the Tea Party.
The affair will take place on Saturday February 6, 2010 at 2 o’clock until 4 o’clock in the afternoon at Shiloh Church: 3295 School Street, Oakland.
All proceeds benefit the first ever Youth Center at Shiloh Church. Tickets for the event can be purchased online www.shilohchurch.com/church-hat-2010.
For more information about the youth center which will serve middle school and high school age students, please visit the website http://www.shilohchurch.com/h2oproject For more information about the tea party please feel free to contact Angela at 510-261-2052×175 or a.sherwin@shilohcf.org

Jazz Saturday’s at the 57th Street Gallery

Last Saturday Arnita Calloway hosted “Jazz Saturday’s” at the 57th Street Gallery located on the corner of 57th Street and Telegraph Avenue.
The crowd enjoyed standard jazz tunes by Bill Crossman on piano, Al LaZard on Sax, Sandy Poindexter, Violinist, Dartanyan Brown, Bass, and Lea Weinstein, vocalist. Food was provided by Mz. Kizzie’s Kitchen.
Save the date: February 13th for the next event. “Jazz Saturday’s” will be hosted every second Saturday, of the month from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Admission: $20.
For more information call (510) 451-5245 or email akfcalloway@hotmail.com

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele issued the following statement and released a web video to honor the month long observance of Black History Month. The web video, entitled “Pioneers Who Have Paved The Way For Others”, can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com.
“Each year our country dedicates the month of February to celebrate the many accomplishments of African Americans and recognizing their extensive contributions to a diverse American society. Black History Month is a time to reflect on the advancements African Americans have made in this country and show respect to heroes of the past while acknowledging the leaders of today who will guide our country to even greater things.”

Ark House Victorious in San Francisco

Present and past youth, residents of The Ark House.

Present and past youth, residents of The Ark House.

Pastor Melinda McClain at Supervisor’s meeting.

Pastor Melinda McClain at Supervisor’s meeting.

Bishop Yvette Flunders testifying before Board of Supervisors.

Bishop Yvette Flunders testifying before Board of Supervisors.

By Jesse Brooks

With a threat of eviction looming, San Francisco’s Ark House, the first ever transitional living facility specifically targeting youth that are homeless by abandonment from family support, because of their sexuality, came out victorious.
Cheers and sounds of relief erupted, after a unanimous decision by the San Francisco City Council removed the unique program from their chopping block, and restored funding till the end of the year. Cuts, would have led to the program’s doors closing. Some of the Ark’s residents have horrific stories of how they were abused physically and emotionally by parents and family members who tormented them because they were homosexual, transgender, or questioning their sexuality.
One story that stood out was about a youth, who arrived at the program with cigarette burns all over his back, as his mother tried to burn the gay out of him. These youth come to the Ark House because even in traditional shelters they are at risk from abuse from people, who are ignorant, don’t understand, and are hateful because of who they are.
At the Ark House, Pastor Melinda, a City of Refuge (COR) Minister says “these kids get a chance as residents to experience being in a family, withblic Health, where the decision on which programs to cut came from, why did the department chose to select The Ark as part of their budget cuts? It is reported that earlier this year Mayor Gavin Newsom instructed the health department to come up with $13 million in mid-year cuts. He said that so far, $7 million in cuts has been identified, including a $144,000 mid-year cut for Ark House.  The Ark’s problems started when AIDS Healthcare Foundation which rented space at COR, closed their health clinic and pharmacy in the front part of the building in September 2009, due to their own budget cuts. Their leaving took away considerable needed revenue. 
On November 1, 2009, the program was displaced by a previous landlord, terminating their lease to increase his income, opening up his space for market-rate tenants. Then in December The Ark was notified that their program along with many other programs that benefit young people and women was slated for the chopping block, due to the city’s economic woes.  
The Ark is a social arm of COR in San Francisco. With the leadership of the pastor of City of Refuge Bishop Yvette Flunders and Pastor Melinda McClain, a pastor from the church, they organized a meeting to discuss defensive action. The call to action was for many people to show up at the board of supervisors meeting. Over 50 people attended the meeting on behalf of The Ark House, demanding that the program stay open. Staff, allies and clients gave riveting testimonies of how the Ark saves lives. Convincing testimonies were from present and former clients themselves, representing these marginalized youth, testifying how the program has already made a difference in their lives. There were statements from youth, who are on the program’s waiting list, telling how their entry into the program was stalled pending the decision of the board. In the final hour the Board voted to restore all funding till the end of the year, placing the handling of the situation in the hands of the County Controller’s office to work with the program to work out their challenges.
Instrumental in advocating for the Ark were supervisor Duffy and Daly, with support from Campos. Ultimately, Bishop Flunders felt it was the emotional testimonies from the youth that need the service that made all the difference. She feels they put a face on the need, and made a critical difference in the vote.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for our youth to show up and exercise their political rights.” stated Flunders after the victory. 

WORDS 2 LIVE BY LAUNCHES ON KFAX AM1100 “THE SPIRIT OF THE BAY”

Bishop Keith Clark

Bishop Keith Clark

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Monday, February 1, 2010 was a historical day in the ministry of Bishop Keith Lee Clark as his radio broadcast – WORDS 2 LIVE BY – began airing daily on KFAX Radio. Bishop Clark is a featured guest on THE WORLD HIT GOSPEL SHOW hosted by Tinka on KMEL’s 106.1 FM station. Every fourth Sunday he shares contemporary and practical perspectives on varied issues related to faith.
On Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Bishop Keith Clark began airing sermons and lessons on the radio show ISSUES AFTER DARK, also airing on KFAX weeknights from 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm PST. Clark found immediate success and is now being touted as a ‘must listen to’ preacher. His books and CDs are in high demand.
JoAnn Carr, Words 2 Live By team member, shares thoughts regarding the newest broadcast, “People should expect to hear the Word, rightly divided and where you live.” Tracy Freeman, Words 2 Live By’s inaugural sermon announcer on KFAX stated, “Bishop Clark shares the Word in a practical, yet meaningful way – many questions people have will receive answers.” Rounding out the Words 2 Live By Team is Trina Taplin, “In the coming months, people of God will gain a greater understanding of God’s Word.” Taplin goes on to share, “Bishop Clark is very transparent in his delivery, electrifying and biblically accurate.”
The Words 2 Live By Radio Ministry’s first week of airing included sermons addressing husbands and wives. The sermons were entitled: HOW A HUSBAND SHOULD LOVE HIS WIFE and HOW A WIFE SUBMITS TO HER HUSBAND. Each broadcast is professionally mastered and available for purchase by visiting the Words 2 Live By website at www.w2lb.org. Words 2 Live By is also on Facebook. To send a Friend Request, visit – www.facebook.com/words2liveby.
Tune in each weekday afternoon at 2:00pm PST for the Words 2 Live By Radio Broadcast on KFAX. On February 12, 2010 Bishop Keith Clark will begin a lesson on SEVEN WAYS TO KNOW YOU ARE IN A BAD RELATIONSHIP. To listen online visit, www.kfax.com (click listen live) or tune into your radio AM1100 “The Spirit of the Bay.”

Haiti And Dry Bones

Dr. R.A. Williams

Dr. R.A. Williams

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

On Sunday, January 31, 2010 at Word Assembly Church in Downtown Oakland a service was held to raise awareness and funds to address the overwhelming needs in the country of Haiti. Haiti has been the focus of much attention since a 7.0 earthquake shook up its residents and left many hungry, homeless and orphaned. Word Assembly recognized the need and was mobilized to action.
Serving as guest preacher for the evening was none other than the renowned PREACHOLOGIST – Dr. R.A. Williams of the McCoy Memorial Church in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Williams preached from the subject: CAN THESE BONES LIVE? The sermon referenced the Prophet Ezekiel’s fourth vision.
While exegetically preaching the prophetic passage, Dr. Williams shared an awesome and enlightening perspective on Haiti’s future. He stated, “This text tonight suggests that no matter how impossible the situation looks, the bones can live again.” Following this pronouncement Dr. R.A. Williams blessed the listening congregation with a perspective regarding vision.
When it comes to vision, Dr. Williams shared, “The Word keeps saying one thing and your situation keeps saying another thing. God will usually give you a vision to encourage you. A vision is usually the beginning of a physical impossibility. The vision is oftentimes far beyond where you are. You may have a vision of a great choir, however, you only got seven members and four of them can’t sing. You have a vision of a church of thousands, a thriving ministry, but your membership is only 20-30 people. Your vision is an international vision, yet the reality is you are doing business out of your trunk. That’s what vision is – it’s so far beyond your comprehension.”
Dr. R.A. Williams is also the President of the organization: PREACHING IS MY BUSINESS. On February 16-18, 2010 he will be offering workshops and classes in Sermon Development, Context Culture, Word Study and will be providing a Sermon Clinic. This conference will take place at 802 E. 46th Street in Los Angeles, CA 90011. For more information call 1-888-949-2378 or visit the website – www.preachingismybusiness.com.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Has Major Significance for African Americans

By Jesse
Brooks

Coinciding with Black History Month, February 7th is the 10th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) and this year, the day carries a heightened significance. AIDS is a leading killer of black men and women. Many of those who are infected with the disease are unaware of their HIV status and may unknowingly transmit the virus to others. This is why it’s critical for blacks to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved!
In 2000, the CDC marked a U.S. AIDS milestone, for the first time U.S. African Americans and Latino cases exceeded those among whites. NBHAAD dates back to 1999, when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded five national non-profit organizations known then as the Community Capacity Building Coalition (CCBC). On February 23, 2001, the CCBC organized the first annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The date was changed to February 7 the following year (2002) and is now recognized on February 7th of each year. The day was established to encourage more blacks to be tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to educate the black community regarding the importance of HIV prevention, early detection, and treatment.
This year’s theme is “HIV/AIDS Prevention-A Choice and a Lifestyle!” The impact of HIV/AIDS on African Americans is a public health crisis that we must face as a nation and address boldly. Nearly 27 years into the AIDS epidemic, approximately half of the new HIV infections that occur each year in the United States are among African Americans, even though they represent only 13 percent of the U.S. population. The virus plagues every segment of the African American community: in 2005, black women accounted for two-thirds of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases among U.S. women, and black men accounted for half of new diagnoses among U.S. men. A recent study in five large U.S. cities found that 46 percent of black men who have sex with men were infected with HIV. Only dramatic action will reverse this calamity.
The expected outcomes as NBHAAD are to: Increase proportion of Black Americans that know their HIV status; Increase awareness of the state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black communities and among high risk populations. Increased leadership, support, collaboration and coordination of HIV services for Black Americans among community stakeholders, public and private health care providers at all levels, the business, entertainment and faith communities and elected officials. Increased capacity for health departments, community based organizations and stakeholders to implement NBHAAD at local levels and to marshal resources and support for HIV prevention services.
• A large part of the challenge for Blacks is testing late for HIV; as a result, some are immediately given an AIDS diagnosis and are further along in the disease process leaving them with fewer treatment options. In the Black community, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death, where Blacks with AIDS often don’t live as long as people of other ethnic groups. Since this epidemic began, more than 230,000 Blacks have died from HIV/AIDS – let’s do the math. 230,000 divided by 29 years (1981) equals 7,931 per year divided by 365 days in a year means 21 Black people die per day to this epidemic.
• Now is the time for treatment to become real for many. We need Black people to survive and let National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2010 be the day you decide to have a conversation with your doctor about getting tested and should you test positive for HIV, have an additional conversation about when to start treatment.
• Local events are:
• San Francisco (Friday-february 5th): SFDPH Office of AIDS will host an event, starting at City Hall (@ Polk Street at 5:00 pm, and MARCH to the CASTRO. A wonderful program will commence at the Harvey Milk Academy at 6:30 pm. Lastly, we will put on our dancing shoes at 10pm at BLACKOUT!
• Oakland (Saturday-February 6th): The Office of AIDS Administration, Get Screened Oakland, and Volunteers of America Bay Area will host an event to recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness. Bench & Bar, 510-17th Street in downtown Oakland from 9pm – 1am. There will be food, games, prizes, comedy by SHANG, and free RAPID (oral) HIV testing with results in 20 minutes.
• Oakland (Saturday-February 6th,): Ambassadors for Change Live CD recording. A free event, as this local renowned choir records their second CD, with their new HIV anthem, “It won’t Last” Love Center Ministries 10110 International blvd, Oakland 7:00 pm .
For questions and comments, email jessebrooksii@gmail.com or call 510-575-8245.

Dr. Tyrone Snipes, New Physician at Watson Wellness Center

Dr. James A. Watson (left) welcomes Dr. Tyrone Snipes as he joins  the Watson Wellness Center. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Dr. James A. Watson (left) welcomes Dr. Tyrone Snipes as he joins the Watson Wellness Center. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

By Post Staff
Part 1

Dr. Tyrone Snipes is the new Primary Care, Internal Medicine provider to the Oakland Community. Even though his work as a full time physician at the Watson Wellness Center is relatively novel he is well acquainted with the area he calls “home” because he was born in Oakland and attended Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist in West Oakland. His parents Tyrone Snipes and Karen Snipes helped to direct his paths toward community service by becoming a physician.
Now Dr. Snipes attributes his training to his belief in God and a strong network of family, friends and mentors.  
He credits Dr. Mukerji, his pediatrician at Kaiser Hospital, for helping him cultivate a love for science and medicine.   While in high school he focused on sports medicine after he suffered a series of personal injuries in Basketball, Baseball and Cross Country. With the help of his attending physicians Dr. Snipes developed an interest in sports medicine. He says his character was further shaped through programs such as Oakland Pals and the East Oakland Youth Development Center
It was during his service as President of the NAACP Youth Council that he says his life was deeply affected. He was tutored by William Patterson and Sonja Martin-Poole.  The NAACP’s inspirational training program allowed him to travel across the country and see other African American youth striving to achieve excellence in academics, arts, and political activism. His counselors encouraged him to attend UC Berkeley where he entered the MESA, (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) program at UC Berkeley. 
Dr. Snipes used the vast amount of resources on his campus and surrounding community to confirm and develop his passion for medicine. During his freshman year he joined the sports medicine internship at UC; working with Track & Field, Football, and Gymnastics.  He focused on injury prevention and rehabilitation. 
Despite the excitement and fun he experienced sports medicine, his curiosity and thirst for knowledge drove him to pursue other internships as well. He worked with Dr. Joseph Clift, who Dr. Snipes recalls as being his pivotal influence in Internal medicine and Primary Care as a potential career.
“I was given a white coat and allowed to interview patients prior to them being seen by Dr. Clift. We then would see the patients together and discuss various topics in medicine. Words cannot describe how proud I was to be a part of Dr. Clift’s clinic. The experience with Dr. Clift was only the beginning of a long list of physicians who extended their support and guidance to me.” 
After completing an undergraduate degree in Integrative Biology and Human Biodynamic with a minor in education, Dr. Snipes joined the RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) and a DOD (Department of Defense) program at SF State with Dr. Frank Bayliss. These programs helped him enter the post baccalaureate program at the University of California San Francisco Medical School, which enabled him to be accepted into medical school at Touro University in Mare Island. 

The Rise and Fall of Club Nouveau

By Lee
Hildebrand

The last time I visited Jay King in Sacramento, he was sitting behind a deck in his office chastising a Warner Bros. Records executive over the phone. It was March of 1987, and the brash 25-year-old producer was pleased that his recording of “Lean on Me” by his recently formed group Club Nouveau was No. 1 on Billboard’s pop chart but was incensed that it had stalled at No. 2 on the R&B chart. Club Nouveau’s version of the Bill Withers song, which utilized elements of reggae and a then-popular style of Washington, D.C., funk known as go-go, was King’s fourth Top 10 hit in 13 months. He would have only one more.

Club Nouveau, left to right: Samuelle Prater, Valerie Waston, and Jay King.

Club Nouveau, left to right: Samuelle Prater, Valerie Waston, and Jay King.

King, who now lives in Southern California, recently invited me to a Sacramento restaurant to celebrate our birthdays, which are a day apart. We were joined by his girlfriend, his brother, two sisters, a brother-in-law, an 18-month-old niece and a friend.
Born in Oroville and raised in Sacramento, King began his career as a teenage dancer in Vallejo. In 1986, he and his producing partners Denzel Foster and Thomas McElroy recorded a song titled “Rumors” by a trio of former Berkeley High students known as Timex Social Club. The record, issued on King’s own Jay label, rose to No. 1 on the R&B chart and to No. 8 pop. A rival label in Walnut Creek, having learned that Timex Social Club had no written contract with King, quickly signed the group, which broke up not long thereafter. King, Foster and McElroy, along with Sacramento singers Saumelle Prater and Valerie Watson, then formed Club Nouveau (“new club,” in French), recorded an album titled “Life, Love & Pain” and signed with Warner Bros. The disc yielded four Top 10 hit singles: “Jealousy” (an “answer” to “Rumors”), “Situation #9,” “Lean on Me,” and “Why You Treat Me So Bad.”
King’s temper would soon prove to be his undoing. As “Why You Treat Me So Bad” was climbing the charts, the producer threatened to “whip Mo Ostin’s a–.” King, now mellower at age 48, recalled that the Warner Bros. Records president “told me that his fights weren’t physical. I never had another hit record.” Foster and McElroy compounded King’s misfortunes by quitting Club Nouveau in 1988. They set up their own production company in Oakland and proceeded to cut hit after hit, at first with Tony Toni Tone, then with En Vogue.
King, Prater and Watson continued making records — some of which, such as a 1992 version of “Oh Happy Day,” have been minor hits –and still perform together 20 to 30 times a year as Club Nouveau. The three singers, along with their four-piece band of Bay Area musicians, will appear at Yoshi’s in San Francisco at 8 p.m. Friday, February 12.
“There’s no sequencing, no samples, “ the producer stated. “We’re a straight-up group, so what you see is what you get. Everything’s live.”
Send comments and story ideas to Lee Hildebrand at LeeHilde@aol.com.

AFC continues to dominate Pro Bowl

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Miami, Fl – An event that is usually held in Hawaii was moved for a 1-year to Miami.  Despite the unexpected drizzle/rain the coin was tossed and the 2010 Pro Bowl began in front of a sell out crowd of 70, 697.  It was the largest attendance since 1959 in Los Angeles.

Before the game the selected players from both the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints were flown out before the teams officially arrived on Monday for a special introduction.  They viewed the game from the sidelines.  The game got under way and it didn’t take long for the AFC to get down field and score.  Houston QB Matt Schaub quickly connected with teammate Andre Johnson for the games first touchdown.

“We ran a pump route,” Johnson said.  “Coach Turner said ‘when we get a third and six that we’ll call something like that and it was a perfect call’.”  “It was my first Pro Bowl touchdown, you can’t beat that feeling!”

Many of the selected players experienced that same feeling!  Schaub also made his first Pro Bowl appearance and was the Pro Bowl MVP.  He threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter to both Johnson and Brandon Marshall.

“It’s a game you watch growing up as a kid and wonder if you could ever be in,” Schaub said.  “To actually be a part of it is incredible!”  “It’s been a great week getting to know all of these guys and having a good time.”

The AFC defense was led by Oakland’s own CB Nnamdi Asomugha and LB Jon Condo.  Asomugha did not return for the second half due to injuring his right knee.  He had three tackles, Shane Lechler who made his fifth Pro Bowl appearance, kicked a 54 yard punt.  All three Raiders represented Oakland well and enjoyed themselves immensely.

“It’s unbelievable being out here with the best of the AFC,” Condo said.  “It’s an awesome feeling to get the win for the past couple of years.”

“It feels great to get the win because you get the double the amount of money,” said Asomugha.

The second quarter got under way with Aaron Rodgers going for his second touchdown completing a 7-yard pass to DeSean Jackson.  This gave the NFC the lead for the first time in the game.  Unfortunately,  Dan Carpenter kicked a 30-yard field goal to tie the game before halftime.

Frank Gore, a five year veteran made his second appearance at the Pro Bowl and felt honored to return to his hometown.  Being selected to the Pro Bowl along with four of his teammates shows that the 49ers are becoming a better team.

“It’s a blessing to get back here,” Gore said.  “I haven’t played here since college/high school.”  “I am happy to be back out here and play for my family, friends, fans and high school fans!”

The second half began with touchdowns from both teams leading to a battle in the fourth quarter when David Akers kicked a field goal to tie the game again at 34-34.  Next up was the MVP Schaub who found  Chad Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown to seal the AFC victory 41-34.

The Pro Bowl was a huge success in Miami but will return to back to the Hawaiian islands next year.  Players from both conferences enjoyed themselves while playing in the Pro Bowl.  For those who watched from the sideline had this to say…

“This is a fun evening, ” said Peyton Manning.  “They had six of us fly down here tonight after our practice today in Indianapolis.  “Getting to see all of these guys, that I’ve gotten to know over the years playing in the Pro Bowl is great.”  “I’m obviously excited tonight knowing I have a real game next week!”

Manning and Drew Brees along with their teammates will now prepare to face each other in the upcoming Super Bowl next Sunday.  Yet, being selected to the Pro Bowl is such an honor and to be here for the fans was a great way to begin their week.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Berkeley Public Housing Tenants Demand Resignations

Berkeley public housing tenants demand resignations as they struggle to save Berkeley’s public housing. Photo by Lydia Gans.

Berkeley public housing tenants demand resignations as they struggle to save Berkeley’s public housing. Photo by Lydia Gans.

By Lynda Carson

Public housing and Section 8 tenants appeared at the January 19, Berkeley City Council meeting to protest and speak out against alleged illegal activities of the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA), and it’s policies to privatize and sell their 75 public housing units to an unnamed non profit housing developer.
Tenants held protest signs in front of Berkeley’s Old City Hall in between harsh rain storms pounding the Bay Area before stepping inside Tuesday’s City Council meeting to demand the resignation of BHA Director Tia Ingram, and a few BHA board members involved in the actions to privatize and sell Berkeley’s public housing units that were built as recent as the mid 80s. The residents face displacement from their housing and homelessness, as a result.
Public housing provides housing to poor people on Social Security, General Assistance, SSI, the Cal-Works program and others with no income at all. However, tenants are concerned that if their public housing is privatized and sold to a nonprofit housing developer, they may be victimized and face discrimination because nonprofit housing developers have minimum income requirements that disqualify many poor people from residing in their subsidized housing projects.
Numerous low-income tenants who spoke before the City Council included Keith Carlisle, Zsanna Secreas, Penelope McKinney, Tequoia Nickson and Rose Flippin. They spoke out passionately against the BHA’s policies and alleged wrong doing by BHA staff, while stating that around 209 low-income residents are affected by the BHA’s poor behavior, inadequate housing that has been allowed to deteriorate, infestations of bugs and cockroaches, and actions that have unlawfully tossed Section 8 tenants out of the housing assistance program.
“We are opposed to the selling of our public housing, and are calling for a full investigation into the activities of BHA Director Tia Ingram, and some board members including BHA chair person Carole Norris, for the mismanagement of Berkely’s public housing program and the lack of repairs to our housing,” said Rose Flippin.
Public housing tenant Keith Carlisle said, “Now that the mismanagement of the BHA administration and its board are being called into question by HUD, the BHA director and board want to sell off the problem that they have created. We say no. We say you messed up and you must take responsibility and clean it up. We want a new business model that places us the tenants in partnership with BHA and HUD.”
“In closing we ask that you recall the board that you created. We believe that a conflict of interest exists. Ms. Carole Norris, Chair of the Board of the Berkeley Housing Authority works for ICF Consultants. We understand that this company is a paid consulting firm hired by the city of Berkeley for advice. Part of this company’s mission is helping to provide “Affordable housing strategies.” We don’t feel that Ms. Norris has our best interest in mind. She is a major advocate for privatizing our family homes. We also ask that you fire Ms. Tia Ingram. The Executive Director of BHA, she has committed several illegal acts. She has closed the waiting list so that public housing tenants who wished to move could not do so without losing their subsidy. Secondly she continues to retaliate against tenants who exercise their rights as they relate to habitability issues in their units. We have had enough of her and her intimidation tactics. We ask you the city council to retake the roles of commissioners and help us to save our public housing. Disposing of public housing is not a viable option, and public housing needs to be here for current and future generations of poor people needing low-income housing, regardless of their income,’ said Carlisle.
Councilman Max Anderson stated that he is concerned about the tenants complaints, and said he knows that when so many come forward to speak out publicly, that something must be seriously wrong in the housing authority.
Councilman Kriss Worthington has supported the public housing tenants in their opposition to the sell off of their public housing, and the tenants will continue to try and get on an agenda item at a future City Council meeting, to voice their full concerns.
The public housing residents invite the public to join them in the struggle to save Berkeley’s public housing on Saturday mornings from 10 – 12pm at Intercity Services 3269 Adeline St., in Berkeley, for their weekly meetings.
Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule@yahoo.com

Authors Speak Out About Marcus Books

 Terry Mcmillan Novelist

Terry Mcmillan Novelist

By Terry
MacMillan
Novelist

“Black bookstores are becoming extinct.  Marcus Books is the oldest of them all.  Fifty years is a long time to serve as a cultural vessel and venue for not just a community, but the entire Bay Area.
 In 1989, I stood on the corner of Ashby and Shattuck Blvd. and called Blanche Richardson at Marcus on MLK, Jr. Drive to tell her I wanted to stop by to sign copies of my then novel because my publisher had failed to include Marcus on my short book tour. Blanche picked me up at the phone booth and drove me to Marcus.  We have been friends ever since. 
I have witnessed new authors standing in front of huge audiences because Marcus helped promote their work by the compelling synopsis Blanche would write about their books in mailers.  Black writers consider Marcus books a cultural landmark.  There are trees in my neighborhood that aren’t allowed to be cut down for this same reason.  I can’t imagine Oakland or San Francisco without them. 
As things now stand, the chains who undercut the prices are running too many independent bookstores out of business, and black bookstores are faced with a double whammy.  I will continue to support them no matter what because I am not going to stand by and watch this cultural tree with very deep roots, become another casualty.  The economy is partially to blame, but then there’s also greed and the cut-throat, win-at-all-costs, who-cares-about your neighbor attitude that has brought us here.  It’s shameful.  Marcus Books should still be standing and thriving fifty years from now.  It’s up to us to put our money where our mouth is.  I’m willing.”

Local Customer for 30 Years

 LaRhonda Crosby-Johnson

LaRhonda Crosby-Johnson

By LaRhonda
Crosby-Johnson

It is not everyday you hear folk talk about growing up with a book store. I did. Marcus Books and I were born in 1960 Marcus Books is so much more than a book store. Book stores sell books. A visit to Marcus is an experience. The folks you meet in the book store become a part of your family. Being able to see myself reflected on the shelves of Marcus over the years, has enabled me to face obstacles and thrive in hostile environments. I mean, how could I read about Angela Davis and not become political and conscious? How could I be afraid after reading about Marcus Garvey or Nat Turner? How could I not find my voice, when books were filled with the voices of people who looked just like me?
When I was growing up, I wasn’t exposed to examples of positive Black people outside of my own family/community network. Faces that looked like mine didn’t grace the covers of magazines and we certainly weren’t in the TV Guide line up. Stories read to me during story time in elementary school were about little tow-headed boys and girls with rosy cheeks. In the famous “Dick and Jane” readers, Spot never played ball with anyone that looked like me. Marcus Books placed me in the center of the world and encouraged me to see myself outside the confines of my own backyard.
It isn’t always obvious to the unsuspecting eye, but when you leave Marcus Book Stores, your back is a little straighter, and your head is held just a bit higher. Being Black really is beautiful and a lot of that is due to the service, dedication and sacrifice of the Richardson family and their gift to all of us: Marcus Book Stores.