From August 2010

September Is Sickle Cell Awareness Month at Love Center Church

By Jesse Brooks

TLC formed in 1991 and released its debut album “Ooooooohhh...On the TLC Tip” in 1992.From left to right: rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. Lopes died in a car accident in 2002.

As part of Sickle Cell Awareness month, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, a vocalist in the Grammy Award-winning trio TLC and spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), is coming to Oakland’s Love Center Church, 10440 International Blvd., on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 4 p.m.
“This will be the kick off of this program that will target highly African American populated cities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout the country where the disease is prevalent, said Watkins, who established “I Wanna Be Free,” a community service initiative and national public awareness campaign that targets youth between the ages of 12-18 who are afflicted by sickle cell anemia. Read more

David Scott, Nordstrom’s All-Star “Happy Feet” Fashionista

By Carla Thomas

For shoe shoppers, a trip to the salon shoe department at Nordstrom San Francisco Centre to be served by top salesman David Scott is a special treat.

David Scott fitting Post reporter Carla Thomas with shoes.

Though Scott’s clientele includes Bay Area VIPs, he gives everyone the five-star treatment and has become a local celebrity himself. By creating happy feet he has been recognized as the store’s customer service all-star for the past nine years.
But Scott is not only a fashionista He is also a freelance journalist and performs as a comedian.  “Chauncey Bailey (the Post’s late editor) inspired me  to realize the power of Black media. While working with him at the now defunct Soul Beat Network in East Oakland, I was the Business Beat Anchor on Tuesdays,” Scott said.
A native San Franciscan, he grew up in Geneva Towers and Diamond Heights. His older sister Rhonda Scott still resides in the city along with his mother, a Muni retiree after 27 years of service. Read more

Marching for Peace in Brookfield

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

The family of Elliott Noble is on a memorial march in the Brookfield neighborhood in East Oakland. Here they are marching Westbound on Edes Avenue towards Ira Jinkins Recreation Center.

It was December 2005 when SF Chronicle staff writer Henry K. Lee wrote an article highlighting the life and mission of Venus Noble, mother of two sons who were simultaneously shot, one killed on the scene, at Richmond Parkway in Richmond.
The eldest brother, Larrie Noble Jr., survived two shots to the head, but the younger brother, Elliot Noble, 20 years old at the time, was fatally shot as they prepared to attend a vigil for death row inmate Stanley Tookie Williams.
“It was a case of mistaken identity, but today we plan to memorialize my brother who would have turned 25 years old, ” according to Larrie, who wrote on Facebook that Elliott would have celebrated his birthday on Aug. 19. Read more

Idris Elba Stars in Action Heist “Takers”

By Sandra Varner

Idris Elba

Previously best known as the calculating de facto leader of a Baltimore drug empire in HBO’s critically acclaimed original series “The Wire,” Idris Elba is quickly making his mark as an actor to watch in Hollywood with a string of well-received performances in high-profile films.
Elba started his career in his native London, where he had become a mainstay on British television by his mid twenties. His leading role debut was in the HBO Original Film, “Sometimes in April,” by critically acclaimed director Raoul Peck.  Set during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Elba’s portrayal of Augustan, a Hutu soldier who trying to save his Tutsi wife and family during the mass killings, received rave reviews. A prolific run of leading roles followed in Tyler Perry’s dramatic feature, “Daddy’s Little Girls,” opposite Hilary Swank in the thriller “The Reaping” and in the horror thriller “28 Weeks Later.” Read more

PG&E Offers Energy Assistance Program for Customers in Need

Albert F. Torres

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering a new energy-assistance program designed to help families in need.
Known as Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF), this one-time payment program is sponsored by PG&E and administered by the Salvation Army. Funding, provided through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) along with PG&E customers and shareholders, will pay up to $1,500 to income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship. Read more

PG&E Offers Energy Assistance Program for Customers in Need

Albert F. Torres

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering a new energy-assistance program designed to help families in need.
Known as Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF), this one-time payment program is sponsored by PG&E and administered by the Salvation Army. Funding, provided through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) along with PG&E customers and shareholders, will pay up to $1,500 to income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship. Read more

Update Immunizations to Avoid Whooping Cough Epidemic

The California Department of  Public Health has declared an epidemic of whooping cough in California with 3,076 cases reported this year, a seven-fold increase over the total number of cases reported in 2009.
Locally  in Alameda County, 121 cases have been reported this year as of the end of July, compared with nine cases for 2009, according  the county Health and Human Services Agency.
“Immunization is the key to controlling this illness. All Californians, in particular families with infants and young children, are urged to obtain vaccinations to prevent whooping cough,” said Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson in a letter to constituents.
Whooping cough, also called Pertussis, causes coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It spreads easily when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes and it can be fatal in young babies.
The disease often starts with mild symptoms associated with the common cold like a runny nose, sneezing, a mild cough and low or no fever. After one to two weeks, however, symptoms can worsen quickly and can last for months. These symptoms include bad coughing attacks that may lead to vomiting, problems breathing, a red or blue face, extreme tiredness, a “whoop” sound and sweating spells.
For information or immunizations contact your health care provider. To find an immunization center near you call (866) 358-2966 toll free or visit

Opinion Domestic Violence and the Church

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Sometimes before there are any visible manifestations of domestic violence, there is the manifestation of power and control.
What potential role does the church play in the manipulation of that power and control?
I believe church leadership must counsel according to the teachings of the Bible.
But what happens when a person in the relationship seeks to “use the Scriptures” to obtain power and control over a spouse or significant other?
In some instances the church is failing in its oversight of how the interpretations are applied within the relationship, thus setting up potential domestic abuse as a result of misinterpretation.
Once Scriptures are misinterpreted, and by default, misapplied, the couple is left vulnerable to at least eight identifiable behaviors that can lead to domestic violence.
First, the use of intimidation: this can be done by looks or gestures.  Second, emotional abuse: this can be done by calling one out of their names or seeking to make them believe they are guilty of something.
Third, Isolation: this can be done by controlling whom the person sees or where he or she can go. Fourth, minimizing, denying and blaming: this can be done by making light of manifested abuse, shifting abuses blame.  Fifth, by using children: this can be done by threatening to take the children away from the spouse.
Sixth, male privilege: this can be done by the man seeking to treat the woman like a servant or defining himself as a king.  Seventh, economic abuse: this is done by withholding money or not allowing access to family income.  Eighth, coercion and threats: this can be done by threatening to leave (even suicide) or threatening to report the other person to some government agency.
Any one of these eight issues is the groundwork for power and control.  Once someone within the relationship seeks to live beyond his or her control or power, the person may use physical or sexual violence to maintain that position.

Dreamgirls ‘The Musical’ Hits the Bay Area

By Tasion Kwamilele

“Dreamgirls” stars Chester Gregory and Moya Angela in William Ivey Long’s costumes. Photo by Thomas Iannaccone.

The national tour of Dreamgirls began its run in the Bay Area Aug. 25 at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre.  Based on successful R&B acts, such as the Supremes, Shirelles, Jackie Wilson, and James Brown, Dreamgirls brings to life the tragedy and triumphs of a 1960s girl group as it breaks into the entertainment business.
With an all-star cast of recording artist and actors, the show will deliver an amazing experience each and every night. Award-winning singer, actor and songwriter Chester Gregory is one of the many acclaimed cast members. Read more

NASA and Mary J. Blige Encourage Science Careers for Women

Mary J. Blige

NASA is collaborating with award-winning recording artist Mary J. Blige to encourage young women to pursue exciting experiences and career choices by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
A public service announcement featuring veteran NASA space shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin and Blige debuts this week on NASA TV and the agency’s website at:
NASA’s Summer of Innovation  project and Blige’s Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now  have much in common. The NASA project is part of the President’s Educate to Innovate Campaign. It started earlier this summer to help keep middle school students engaged in fun and stimulating education -related activities during the school break.
“Working with (Blige’s Foundation) is a rare opportunity to help spread the  message into communities not always readily accessible to us,” Melvin said.
“Mary’s presence can help NASA make the message more appealing to these communities and increase the pipeline of underrepresented students going into these disciplines.

Dr. Laura Resigns After Saying “Ni–er” 11 Times on Air

By Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

Nita Hanson

Sarah Palin

Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Here we go again.  One more time, a clueless commentator with a microphone and an audience of millions, has brazenly insulted Black America and reacted as if we were the perpetrators.  The latest incident involves Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the host of the Dr. Laura radio show. On August 10th, Dr. Laura made racially insensitive statements and repeatedly used the “n-word” in responding to Jade, a black woman caller, who complained that her white husband’s friends and relatives use racial slurs and make racially demeaning comments in front of her.
Instead of offering helpful advice, Dr. Laura scoffed, “some people are hypersensitive.” She noted that “black guys” use the n-word “all the time,” and repeated the word 11 times during the call for emphasis. But her most revealing comment was, “I don’t get it.  If anybody without enough melanin says it, it’s a horrible thing, but when black people say it, it’s affectionate. It’s very confusing.”  As she admitted, Dr. Schlessinger most emphatically doesn’t get it and she is very confused about what constitutes racism. It is beyond comprehension that she would consider Jade “hypersensitive” for being offended by the n-word. Read more

Friends of Faith Fancher Walk to Raise Breast Cancer Awareness

By Carla Thomas

Friends of Faith Walk - Rita Williams Only One 2 Walk-a-thon Team.

If Faith Fancher could have lived to see how the community has rallied together in the fight against breast cancer, she would be proud.
The energy and sense of camaraderie was in the air to celebrate the life of Bay Area broadcast heroine Faith Fancher and fight the epidemic of breast cancer at the 6th annual Friends of Faith Breast Cancer Challenge Walk-A-Thon at Lake Merritt last Saturday morning. Read more

Celebrity Wedding Planner Diann Valentine This Week at Stonestown Mall in SF

Diann Valentine

Celebrity Wedding Planner Diann Valentine will offer event-planning advice at Stonestown Mall in San Francisco this week as a part of her WeTV tour.
Raised in Oakland, this well known stylist will offer provide tips on entertaining, while showcasing her new affordable invitation ideas from The Diann Valentine Invitation Collection currently sold at
“The tour began in Seattle and it’s going really well,” she said.  “I’m enjoying offering tips on entertaining fabulously at home without breaking the bank.”
WeTV and Celebrity Wedding Central are also featuring Diann Valentine in an on-air and online series of customized vignettes designed to educate and entertain viewers on the many different aspects that go into planning their big day.
The author of “Weddings Valentine Style” is proud of her new wedding invitation because it combines experience of over two decades.  “This new line was inspired by all the celebrity weddings I did. However I’ve integrated many elements with affordability in mind,”  she said.
Valentine attended Skyline High School and Cal State East Bay with dreams of becoming an attorney.  “But I was a naturally creative designer as a kid, she said.
“I love to be creative and decorate,” she continued.  “I had plans to go to law school, but in the end I had a creative bug that I couldn’t let go of.”
“People tend to underestimate Oakland people and there is a lot of creativity (here),” she said. “People of Oakland have a special resilience about them.”
Some of her  clients have included singer Toni Braxton and actress/talk show host Monique.  According to Valentine’s, WeTV show in development is scheduled to debut in 2011.
Check out Diann Valentine and her WeTV Tour Saturday, Aug. 28th, 1 p.m. – Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco and her website

Congressman Miller Celebrates Antioch Water Recycling Program

Rep. George Miller

Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) is celebrating a success story in water recycling at the Antioch Water Recycling Program run by the Delta Diablo Sanitation District. T
The program is part of a Bay Area-wide plan to add more than 100,000 acre-feet of sustainable and reliable drought-year water supply for the region.
“We’re celebrating a success story in water recycling – for the Bay Delta region and for all Californians,” Miller said. “This was a collaborative effort that included work here in California and the approval of Congress – but none of it would have been possible without the hard work and comprehensive vision of the teams at the City of Antioch and Delta Diablo. Because of their work, the Bay Area Water Recycling Coalition has become a leader in water recycling projects.” Read more

Holdsworth holds forth for Chevron on canvas

By Conway Jones

Anthony Holdsworth in the Montclair District, Oakland, creating an oil painting of the Chevron Station. Photo by Conway Jones.

Anthony Holdsworth is an artist whose subjects are the city streets. He sets up his easel, with his canvasses and oils and brushes, on street corners throughout the Greater Oakland Bay Area and around the world.
He captures the urban landscape, interprets and translates its form and meaning on to his canvasses.
Holdsworth’s art is distinctive, weaving qualities of light that compel attention and convey a mood. He captures textures of sidewalks and geometry of streets and building facades, softening them with his application of light and shadows. His art fills his canvass, placing the viewer in the middle of the scene. Read more

Orquesta Aragon Brings Havana to the Bay

By Carla

Flautist Eduardo Ramon and Ernesto Bacallar, with the band since 1993.

Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall was transformed into an oasis of the best in Cuban music with the 70th Anniversary Celebration of Orquesta Aragon. Direct from Havana, these musicians gave fans, friends and the community a feast of charanga, cha-cha-cha and a multitude of musical fusions while guests danced the night away in the orchestra pit.
The Aug. 13 festivities covered over seven decades of Cuban music, and for many the event felt more like a long awaited family reunion, with Orquesta Aragon back in for the first time since 2001.
When KPFA music director and radio host Luis Medina introduced the group, excited fans gave a standing ovation.  “I didn’t think I’d get a chance to see them in my lifetime,” said Alejandro Gonzalez, Transportation Coordinator and Central Protection Officer of Job Corps-Treasure Island.    Read more

Berkeley Native Raymond Bell Wins Emmy Award

By Tanya

From left to right: George Washington, Satellite Communication Specialist; Raymond Bell; and Rick Williams, Williams & Merriwether.

When Raymond Bell took the stage at this year’s Emmy Awards Ceremony held July 31 at Leonard H. Goldenson Theater in North Hollywood, he had a picture of his mother in his pocket as he proudly accepted his award as Producer of Outstanding Sports Reporting.
Bell, all smiles, stated that he knew without her love, support and belief in him he wouldn’t be in “this moment.” Read more

Rev. Stewart: From Death Row to Pulpit

By Tasion

“Preach the Word” - II Timothy 4: 1-4 “God has placed me in a position of uncharted territory. He has also revealed his abiding presence, his unfailing power and his unsearchable wisdom to accomplish the work that he has ordained’ said Rev. Charles J. Stewart, who was recently installed as pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church by Rev. John H. Green. Photos by Joe Fisher and graphic by Adam L. Turner.

Many adults would say that one of the biggest obstacles in bringing about change is connecting to today’s generation.  Rev. Charles Stewart, newly installed pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, believes he is able to overcome the hurdle.
After serving as a Navy officer for six years and more than 20 years as a correctional officer, he says he knows the system and how to truly touch the lives of ordinary people.
A native of Albany, Georgia, Rev. Stewart lost his father at a very young age. His great-grandmother helped to fill that void as she instilled knowledge and wisdom that has stuck with him for his entire life. Read more

Oakland Pride Festival Set for Labor Day Weekend

By Jesse Brooks

After a six-year absence, the Oakland Pride festival will return to uptown Oakland on Labor Day weekend, Sunday, Sept. 5, Noon to 6 p.m.
Festivities will feature the legendary Chaka Kahn, dance diva Martha Wash and over 60 other artists on stage.
This year’s plan is to have a parade from Lake Merritt at noon that ends up near the festival grounds centered at the intersection of 22nd and Franklin streets, just a few blocks from both the Fox and Paramount theaters and close to the 19th Street BART station, according to Joe Hawkins, party promoter, who is helping head up planning for the event. Read more

Learn Chinese: The Mormons Get It!

By Gregory

Sister Nebeker teaches English to Chinese immigrants in Oakland Chinatown. Photo by Gregory Taylor.

“Ni hao ma! Nuestra familia llegará a México en agosto despueés de 2 años de vivir en Malasia.”
After an initial greeting in Chinese, the above letter was written in Spanish by a mother whose family is moving to Mexico in August after living in Malaysia for two years.  She goes on to say that wants her five-year-old son to continue studying Mandarin in Mexico.  She would like the institution to provide her with necessary information regarding location, classes, price, etc. Read more

Preacher’s Kid, Teen Mother, Thanks Parents for Helping Her Graduate from UC Berkeley

McClymonds Alum  wants high school boys and girls to not give up or drop out

By Ashley

Graduating from UC Berkeley as a single parent at 23 was not easy, and as a young mother, I knew what odds were against me.
I knew I wasn’t expected to finish high school and continue to college. It wasn’t expected for me to keep striving towards my goal and become a college graduate.
Knowing this motivated me to achieve my dreams. It proved to be a struggle to balance life as a parent and an aspiring student, but my family support made the difference.
As I finished high school, my grandmother watched my daughter, which helped me focus on my academics, giving me time to adjust to being a mother. I maintained a 3.5 GPA at McClymonds High School and was in the top of my class.
My parents guided me as I made tough parental decisions in raising my daughter. They let me know I was not alone in facing the challenges of being a teen parent. I am also thankful for their love and support as they pushed me to greater heights and encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
The support did not stop there. I received a lot of support in applying for scholarships. And, through the help of my counselors and teachers, I was able to apply to several colleges. To my amazement, I was accepted to attend 10 colleges and I received several scholarship offers. My first choice was the University of California at Berkeley.
Graduating from college as a young mother may seem like quite an accomplishment, but it is just the beginning for me. I am now applying to graduate schools this fall, pursuing a career in journalism. I know that education is vital but most of all, I know that the loving support of family and friends is critical to motivate one to achieve. As I continue my own education, I will use whatever communication skills I attain to encourage those of my generation both boys and girls, to take advantage of school while you can.

Candell’s March to End Youth Violence

Dr. Terence Candell (right) sponsors Stop the Violence march on 73rd Avenue in Oakland.

Dr. Terence Candell (right) sponsors Stop the Violence march on 73rd Avenue in Oakland.

By David Scott

In a response to the violence that is killing many youth in Oakland, Mayoral candidate Dr. Te rence Candell sponsored a youth-led march against violence.
The youth carried signs that read; “No Guns! Let’s Just Chill.” Candell said he was offering a coalition of Oakland youth a “constructive outlet for their anger” over the deaths of Oscar Grant, Mark Dunikan, Damon Williams and many others. The banners acknowledged the deaths of youth and police officers who have been killed in Oakland. “We must pray for the families of all victims of violence,” said Candell. Read more

Gang Summit

Anthony Batts

The City of Oakland, Oakland Police Department and Department of Justice held a two-day Gang Summit in Oakland this week, focused on the fight against violence in Oakland.
Participants in this by-invitation-only summit include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Justice ( DOJ), street outreach workers, crisis response groups, and adult and juvenile reentry service providers.   Read more

Exodus Ministry Offers Help to Girls, Women on the Street

By Miracle

Pastor Phyllis Scott

Did you know that the rate of prostitution in California is rapidly increasing, especially in urban areas? While police departments keep creating new task forces, prostitution still plagues our communities, stealing the dreams of girls as young as 13 years old.
Exodus, a Bay Area ministry founded by Pastor Phyllis Scott of Tree of Life Empowerment Ministries, is a group that is dedicated to helping young, sexually exploited women get off the streets.
Exodus provides educational programs that are designed to motivate and inspire the young girls to turn their lives around. This ministry believes that knowledge is power and that through these programs a yearning for change can begin to evolve. Young women can begin to see  that there are other options than jail, where they can find  something they probably never before experienced: hope. Read more