From September 2010

Richmond Port Expansion Boosts Jobs

By Lee Hubbard

A Honda CR-Z sport hybrid attempting an incognito entrance at the Port of Richmond

The Port of Richmond has long been seen as one of the number one ports on the West Coast when it comes to handling petroleum and liquid bulk cargos.  But the port is becoming a major entryway for automobiles, with the emergence of the Honda Port of Entry project.
The Honda project has come to the Port of Richmond 7 and 8 terminals. Since April, when the first shipment of 2,800 car arrived, the Port has been bristling with activity.
The project is based on a 15-year lease between Honda and the Port of Richmond, which will create about 200 jobs and an estimated $85 million to $100 million to the Port and city of Richmond over the life of the lease.
“It has taken us a while to get this off the ground, including a year delay, but we are glad this is finally happening,” said Janie Singleton, a spokesperson with the Port of Richmond. ‘This will help to bring more economic vitality to Richmond.” Read more

Nat Bates Wants to Serve As Richmond’s Mayor Again

He considers experience and leadership in supporting jobs a winning combination

By Tasion

Nat Bates

Nat Bates, who has served as the city’s mayor twice before, is now looking for a third re-election to help Richmond return to its former greatness.
Being mayor of a city requires a high level of commitment and assertiveness to get the job done. With high homicide and growing unemployment rates, the city of Richmond is well aware that its next mayor must be a person of high caliber who knows how to get the job done.
Bates is running against incumbent Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and John W. Zieshenne, insurance broker and former Richmond City Council member.
Bates remembers relocating to Richmond in the 1940s when people were coming to California to obtain jobs in the shipyards. He attended local schools and Contra Costa College and earned a degree in psychology at San Francisco State University. He later earned teaching credentials from what is now named Cal State University East Bay. Read more

Experts Meet to Discuss Pathways to Sustainable Energy Future

Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Research.

Can we emulate the ability of green plants to harness solar energy? Can we create intelligent materials, buildings and even entire communities that generate their own energy? Will a price on greenhouse gases reduce emissions? Can the technology that produced an inexpensive anti-malaria drug also be used to extract fuel from agricultural waste?
An international all-star lineup of experts in solar and bio-fuel energy, climate science, urban design and other areas of research critical to sustainable energy technologies will gather in Berkeley for a public symposium Oct. 1-2 to answer these and other pressing questions. The goal is to lay out the best course of action for a clean, green energy future. Read more

Aspire Public Schools to be Recognized on the Oprah Winfrey Show

Monarch Academy, 1445 101st Ave., Oakland

Aspire Public Schools, California’s high-performing public school system serving predominately low-income students, will be appearing this Monday on The Oprah Winfrey Show in recognition of their high-quality public charter schools.
Aspire will be one of only six national public school organizations, and the only one based in California, to be featured onstage with Oprah during a show dedicated to “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” a documentary premiering Sept. 24, which is gaining prominent attention for raising awareness of the crisis in the national public school system. The charter management organization posted record achievement on California’s Academic Performance Index released this week with an overall score of 824. Read more

Allen Temple Doctor, Nurses Released From Jail

By Jesse Brooks

Nurses Gregory Miller, David Greenberg, Dr. Anthony Jones and Church AIDS Ministry administrator Gloria Cox-Crowell being released from jail in Zimbabwe on Monday.

A court in Zimbabwe set free on bail four American medics from the AIDS ministry of Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland. They had been arrested last week and spent three nights in jail in the capital city of Harare for allegedly running an unlicensed clinic and operating without the correct medical licenses.
The judge on Monday ruled that six health workers, including one from New Zealand and the other from Zimbabwe, must pay $200 bail, surrender their passports, and return to court on Sept. 27, according to reports.
Officials from Oakland’s Allen Temple church say they’re hoping to get the court date moved to this week, which would enable the team to return to the U.S. by the end of the week. If convicted, they could face a fine and deportation. Read more

Obama’s Secretary of Education Honors Merritt College, Oakland Public Schools

By Tanya

From left to right: Front - Jada Williams, Peralta College Trustee Linda Handy, Kevin Duan, Jacob Gammel, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Danette Mitchell; Back row: Carlos McLean, Ronald Moss, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Terrance Walker.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited Merritt College last week to see the college’s Maximum Achievement Project (MAP),  which has been earned national recognition for successfully preparing leaders from among students who have been marginalized  by the traditional educational system.
MAP, a federally funded program, was designed to help Black men graduate from college and has expanded to accept male and female low-income students of all races.
The program has successfully utilized educational strategies, including tutoring, leadership courses and one-on-one help, to achieve African American male academic empowerment.   Read more

State’s Most Improved Schools in Oakland

The Oakland Unified School District has achieved the highest ranking as California’s most improved large, urban school district for a sixth year in a row, according to data released this week as part of California’s 2009-10 Accountability Progress Report (APR).
The Report provides results from the state’s academic accountability system, including the Academic Performance Index (API), the state’s primary method for evaluating student achievement.
OUSD’s API surged 26 points, a score which doubled the state average growth rate of 13 points and was the highest increase of any California district with at least 25,000 students. Over the past six years, the Oakland Unified School District has recorded a total of 116 points in API growth. Read more

Michelle’s Nutrition Message

David Glover, OCCUR Director greeted First Lady during Congressional Black Caucus meeting this week. Photo by Conway Jones.

First Lady Michelle Obama strongly warned the Black and Hispanic Congressional caucuses that healthy and empowered communities can only emerge when nutrition and obesity are taken seriously.
“Poor health and diet among today’s youth threaten an entire generation that  for the first time in our history runs the very real risk of dying before their parents,” she said
The First Lady stressed the importance of the new Federal programs for improved nutrition education, resources for products and retail options in low-income communities.
For information  visit

California Annual AME Conference Comes to Oakland

By Lee Hubbard and
Wilfred T. Ussery

Rev. Harold Mayberry (top right), Pastor of Oakland’s First AME Church, which hosted The Annual California Conference of African Methodist Episcopal Churches in Oakland. Thousands attended sessions at the Airport Hilton Hotel, Parks Chapel and Beebe memorial Churches this week. Top left to right , Rev. Pamela Mason, Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Presiding Elder W. Bartalette Finney, Presiding Elder Rev. Dr. Booker T. Guyton, Sr. Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry, Rev. Ayisha Benham, Rev. Teresa Nelson, Mrs. Dezie Woods-Jones,President California Clergy Family Association, Mrs. Peggie Peters, Council Member Desley Brooks, Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, Mrs. Mary Guyton, Mrs. Jean Finney and Mrs. Florence Boyd. Photos by Gene Hazzard and graphics by Adam Turner.

The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church this week held its146th session of the California Annual Conference in Oakland.
The statewide conference, held at the Oakland Hilton Hotel, was led by the Rt. Rev. Theodore L. Kirkland, presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District (Western Region) of the AME Church and hosted by the First AME Church of Oakland, led by Rev. Dr. Harold Mayberry.
The California Annual Conference, convocation of Northern and Central California AME pastors and members, is regularly one of the largest gatherings of African American ministers in the country. Under Bishop Kirkland’s leadership, the Southern California Conference will be held Sept. 27 – Oct. 3 at Brookins Community AME Church in Los Angeles. He will also convene the 156th Session of the Missouri Annual Conference from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31 in St. Louis, Missouri. Read more

San Francisco District 10 Race Heats Up 

By Lee Hubbard

The San Francisco Supervisors race for District 10 is heating up, as a large field of candidates seeks to fill the seat currently held by Sophie Maxwell who after 10 years will be termed out in November.

District 10 covers a large area, including Potrero Hill, the entire Bay View Hunters Point, Portola Valley and Visitation Valley.

Candidates are raising the issues that face the communities in District 10: unemployment, business development, crime, affordable housing and the development of the Hunters Point Naval shipyard.

“We need a fighter like District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, someone who will fight for the little people in the district,”” said Mel Washington, owner of Bay Copy, a photocopy business on Third Street. Read more

THE Town, Raven Symone Sept 2010

“The Town” is a dramatic thriller about robbers and cops, friendship and betrayal, love and hope, and escaping a past that has no future.

There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. And, a one-square-mile neighborhood in Boston, called Charlestown, has produced more bank and armored car robbers than anywhere in the U.S. “The Town” is based on these statistics.

Directed by Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck (“Good Will Hunting,” “Gone Baby Gone”) who also stars in THE TOWN, costars include: Rebecca Hall (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”), Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”), Blake Lively (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) and Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper (“Adaptation”). Read more

China Mayors and Provincial Leaders Visit Alameda County

From left to right: East Bay EDA Executive Director Karen Engel; County Administrator Susan Muranishi; Union City Mayor Mark Green; Mr. Liu, Yujiang, Deputy General Secretary, China Overseas Friendship Association; Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; and two members of the delegation from China.

Supervisor Keith Carson and Alameda County officials recently welcomed a delegation of Mayors and Provincial leaders from China.   County officials and their Chinese counterparts discussed economic development and trade opportunities between China and the East Bay region.
“I am excited about the continuing opportunities for cooperation and joint venture with our partners in China,” said Supervisor Carson at the Aug. 31 meeting.
“With our skilled workforce, world-class universities and excellent transportation infrastructure, the East Bay is a natural site for business development and investment.  Furthermore, the East Bay is home to firms that are producing cutting edge technologies that are attractive to Asian companies.” Read more

SmartMeters Are a Hit With Customers

By Conway Jones

Timothy Alan Simon

Pacific Gas & Electric is actively engaged in transitioning 10 million of its customers to the new SmartMeter devices, part of a statewide energy infrastructure upgrade that the company says is critical to California’s economic future.
To date, PG&E has installed 6.6 million of the new meters. The remainder will be installed by the end of 2012.
This automated metering technology is designed to help modernize the electric grid to make it stronger and more efficient. The SmartMeter will also empower customers to better understand and manage their energy use to reduce monthly costs.
At a PG&E press conference last week, the company discussed public concerns about the reliability, accuracy and safety of the new devices. According to a report submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission by the Structure Group of Houston, TX, “Evaluation provides the reasonable conclusion that PG&E’s SmartMeters are accurately recording electric usage within acceptable CPUC tolerances and are being accurately utilized in customer billing.” Read more