From January 2011

Raiders welcome new head coach, Hue Jackson

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Oakland, CA – The Oakland Raiders and Al Davis introduced Hue Jackson as the new coach.  After one year as the Offensive Coordinator, Jackson helped the Raiders improve to a 8-8 record for the first time in almost eight years.  Compared to the likes of Jon Gruden, Jackson’s feisty ways challenges the players to become better.

“He’s made a tremendous impression on me and our organization,” owner Al Davis said.  “There are some similarities to his coaching ways as with Gruden that I like a lot.”  “Today is a big day for the Raiders, I couldn’t be more happy to introduce our new head coach.” Read more

Rev. Harry Williams Gives a Voice to Child Prostitutes

Rev. Harry Williams

Reverend and social activist Harry Williams recalls the first time he heard gunfire outside his front door in East Oakland. The shooting was tied to the neighborhood’s heated criminal culture, where drugs, thug life, and prostitution marked every corner.
Williams could have moved. But instead, he remained in East Oakland as a school teacher, imparting history, English, creative writing, and non-violent communication lessons to crime-entangled teens. Their plight inspired him to start a nonprofit, Hoodmovement 21, which offers technical assistance to ministries seeking to affect positive change in inner city communities. Read more

Arts Commission Offers Grants to Nonprofits

The Alameda County Arts Commission announces the release of  guidelines and applications for Alameda County-based nonprofit organizations.
Information can be found at the Arts Commission website www.acgov.org/arts (click on “Programs”). Standard grants awards are $1,000 each. The application deadline is March 1.
The Artsfund Grants Program supports all types of arts programming including dance, literature, media arts, music, theater, visual arts, and multidisciplinary arts programs presented in the county by Alameda County nonprofit organizations. Last year’s program awarded grants of $1,000 to $1,500 to 42 nonprofit organizations.
During the 2011 funding cycle, between 45-55 arts organizations may be awarded grants. The Arts Commission staff will host two free workshops to assist organizations in preparing their grant applications. Reservations are required. Read more

Life of Mother of Civil Rights Celebrated in Bay Area

Dr. Susheel Bibbs

Winter will be busy for Dr. Susheel Bibbs, who will be speaking in the Bay Area on Mary Ellen Pleasant, remembered in California as the Mother of Civil Rights.
Pleasant who began her work the 1860s, had achievements that went unsurpassed until the 1960s. Her dramatic life was part of the story of slavery, abolition, the gold rush, and the Civil War; she helped shape early San Francisco and covertly amassed a joint fortune once assessed at $30 million.
In January and February, Bibbs, who has researched and presented since 1991, will be sponsored in galas, lectures, the opening of a newly revised exhibit on Pleasant, and three screenings of her award-winning PBS films.
“It’s wonderful to be able to keep her inspiring saga and legacy alive,” said Bibbs. Read more

Oakland Bay Area Links Hosts Cotillion

Left to right, First Row: Alyana Smith-McFee, Monica Deshay, Meredyth Floyd, Gabrielle Davenport, Ashlee Wood, Megan Frank, Brandon Taylor, Erica Lang; Second Row: Asya Brown, Channing Carney-Filmore, Erica Parker, Natassija Jordan-Oliver, Alexis Brown, Shevonne May, Naomi Thompson; Third Row: Albrey Bristo-Brown, Keir Abrams, Kennedy Welch, Wade Lloyd Robinson, Anthony Trainor, Clinton Hill, Xhjyl Kelley-Gossett, Allen Williams, II, Justin Scott; Fourth Row: Chad Washington, David Thomas, Jr., Philip Forestant, Blake Terrell, Jason Anderson, Lawrence Mays McDonald and G’bari GIlliam.

The Oakland Bay Area Chapter of the Links, Inc., hosted its 55th Annual Cotillion at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel on Dec. 18.
The magic of “A Legacy of Elegance” honored 15 debutantes, escorts and their families for their commitment to leadership, community service and academic achievement.  The event, with nearly 700 guests in attendance, was emceed by Tracy Porter and Oakland Bay Area Links President Thywara (Terri) Porter.
“For the young adults, this transformative process unfolds by the acquisition of skills to navigate new challenges and opportunities,” said Diane Harris-Wilson, this year’s Cotillion chair.
The Links, Inc., is an international volunteer organization founded in 1946 in Philadelphia and based on a commitment to friendship, service and sisterhood in 250 chapters. The Oakland Bay Area chapter has a legacy of service that spans 60 years.   Through its philanthropic efforts, the Links has awarded over $1 million  and volunteered nearly 200,000 hours. Read more

New Report on Health Impact of Smart Meters

By Assemblymember
Jared Huffman

Last year, we requested this independent scientific study by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) in response to concerns and questions that were being raised by our constituents regarding potential adverse health effects from smart meters. It was our hope that a rigorous, independent scientific analysis would elevate the debate over smart meters and help point the way to sound, science-based public policy decisions.
We are grateful to CCST for undertaking this project, for assembling an impressive team of independent experts and reviewers, and for working diligently to complete a report that is responsive to our requests. Read more

Woolsey Applauds Call for Increased Offshore Drilling R&D

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) released a statement this week praising the final report of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, a presidential panel investigating the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year:
“The report demonstrates the need to strengthen regulation of offshore oil drilling to ensure that a disaster of this magnitude never happens again,” she said.
“I was especially pleased by the panel’s call for Congress to provide mandatory funding for oil spill response technology research and development, at least at a level above what was authorized in 1990, which was when the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) was passed into law.”
Last year, the House of Representatives passed Woolsey’s bill, H.R. 2693, the Oil Pollution Research and Development Program Reauthorization Act, which would have increased the authorized level of appropriations for oil spill response technology from $22 million to $48 million, she said. This legislation also would have provided $12 million in grants to institutions of higher learning and research centers to improve technologies used to prevent, combat, and clean up oil spills.
“Unfortunately, the bill was not taken up by the Senate,” Woolsey said.  “The Commission’s report on the Deepwater Horizon tragedy underscores the need to increase funding for oil spill response, prevention, and mitigation technology research and development.”

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Woolsey Applauds Call for Increased Offshore Drilling R&D

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) released a statement this week praising the final report of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, a presidential panel investigating the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year:
“The report demonstrates the need to strengthen regulation of offshore oil drilling to ensure that a disaster of this magnitude never happens again,” she said.
“I was especially pleased by the panel’s call for Congress to provide mandatory funding for oil spill response technology research and development, at least at a level above what was authorized in 1990, which was when the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) was passed into law.”
Last year, the House of Representatives passed Woolsey’s bill, H.R. 2693, the Oil Pollution Research and Development Program Reauthorization Act, which would have increased the authorized level of appropriations for oil spill response technology from $22 million to $48 million, she said. This legislation also would have provided $12 million in grants to institutions of higher learning and research centers to improve technologies used to prevent, combat, and clean up oil spills.
“Unfortunately, the bill was not taken up by the Senate,” Woolsey said.  “The Commission’s report on the Deepwater Horizon tragedy underscores the need to increase funding for oil spill response, prevention, and mitigation technology research and development.”

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Asante Children’s Choir of Rwanda Spreads Joy

By Godfrey Lee

The Asante Children’s Choir performing at the Cornerstone Community Church in Marin City. Barbara Kayaga (at bottom wearing a black blouse) is choir director. She is from Uganda. Photos and collage by Godfrey Lee.

The Asante Children’s Choir from Rwanda has brought a lot of joy and beauty during its tour through Marin County and cities on the West Coast..
The choir’s “Sound of Hope” tour expresses the hopefullness and joy that they have as Christians. Asante means “Thank you” in Swahili, and Asante sana means “Thank you very much.” The children sing as ambassadors for all of their friends back home in need of the same opportunities that have been given to them.
The West Coast concert tour began in Washington state on Nov.  3 and will end on Jan. 22. The choir will have performed in 65 in churches, shopping centers, and schools including the Whitworth University in Spokane, Portland State University in Oregon and Azusa Pacific University. Read more

Akilah Bolden-Monifa Named CBS Bay Area Communications Director

Akilah Monifa

Akilah Bolden-Monifa has been named San Francisco Bay Area Market Communications Director, CBS Local Media.
Bolden-Monifa, who has served as Communications Director at KPIX-TV (CBS 5) and KBCW-TV (The CW Bay Area) since December 2002, is assuming a new and expanded role that is designed to manage public relations  for all of the CBS Local Media organizations in the Bay Area: CBS 5, The CW Bay Area, KCBS All News 740 AM / 106.9 FM, Alice @ 97.3, Live 105.3 FM, 997 NOW, KFRC-AM and the stations’ online presence, including CBS San Francisco.com. Read more

Malia Cohen Speaks on District 10 Issues

By Lee Hubbard

Malia Cohen

Just days after being sworn in as the new Supervisor in San Francisco’s District 10, Supervisor Malia Cohen sat down to talk to the San Francisco Post about her new position and what it means for District 10 and Black residents of San Francisco.
“The heaviness and the serious of this position is finally starting to sink in.,” she said.  “When I was campaigning, you knew things were important, but now here you realize the seriousness. The issues have to be confronted.”
Cohen has been assigned to serve on three supervisor committees. She is chair of the City and School Board committee, vice chair of the Public Safety Committee and a member of the Land Use and Economic Development Committee.   Read more

Ed Lee, SF’s Interim Mayor

San Francisco’s interim Mayor Ed Lee with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan after Lee’s swearing in on Tuesday in San Francisco. Photo by Maisha Everhart.

San Francisco welcomed its first Asian-American leader Tuesday afternoon, as City Administrator Edwin Lee was sworn in as interim mayor before a crowd of hundreds.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Lee to fill the remainder of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s term. Newsom was sworn in Monday as California’s lieutenant governor.
Immediately following the vote, flanked by Newsom and former mayor Willie Brown, Lee took the oath of office.
In a speech afterward, Lee pledged to be a mayor “for everyone” and to tackle the city’s problems “with resolve, and a seriousness of purpose.”
Foremost on his agenda are the city’s nearly $400 million budget deficit and the selection of a new police chief. Read more

Willie Mae “Granny” Fikes Turns 100

By Lee Hubbard

Michelle Daniels (left), a community activist, and Willie Mae Fikes.

The community room at the Hunters Point Bay View Apartments was filled with people from all over San Francisco, joining Willie Mae Fikes to celebrate her 100th birthday   and also hoping to hear her secret for long life.
In the midst of the crowd and noise, Fikes was buzzing with laughter and a warming spirit last Saturday as she celebrated with her friends.
“I feel like I am 25-years-old,” she said. “I sure do not feel like I am 100.”
Born Willie Ailene Roy in Columbus, LA, Jan. 6, 1911, she was raised in Monroe, LA. At an early age, she married Sylvester Billings, who died of typhoid fever in 1937. She had one son from that marriage, Sylvester Billings Jr. Read more

Gavin Newsom Sworn-in as Lt. Governor

With right hand high and left hand on a Bible held by his wife  Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Gavin Newsom, right, is sworn-in as Lt. Governor by his father, William Newsom, a former Associated Justice of the California Court of Appeals, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Jan. 10.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli).

Greenlining Institute Headlines Boozé’s Clergy Breakfast

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (left) and Cortland “Corky” Boozé.

Cortland “Corky” Boozé held a breakfast last weekend to facilitate discussion between the African American faith community and community leaders regarding the future of Richmond.
“This is the beginning of a new Richmond,” said Boozé in his opening remarks at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 235 5th St. in Richmond, Pastor U.G. Redic.
Boozé stated his reasons for campaigning and appreciated his supporters while at the same time extending a hand of unity to those who did not support his candidacy for City Council, a candidacy that took Booze nine attempts before breaking the political glass ceiling. Read more

Improve Your Personal Relationships in 2011

Bishop Andre Jackson

For those who wish to improve their personal relationships,  Bishop Andre Jackson and Carriage Hills Community Church are offering a  communication skills seminar: ‘Mastering the Mysteries of Love’.
The seminar will take place Saturday, Jan. 15 and Saturday, Jan. 22 at Miracle Temple A.P. Church, 2425 Cutting Blvd. Cost is $10 for the 2-day seminar.  Lunch and refreshments will be served.
For information or to RSVP, contact Carla Jackson at (510) 734-6291 or email Bishop Jackson at andrejackmed1@aol.com.

New Law Against Child Trafficking

Sharmin Bock

Assemblymember Sandre Swanson this week introduced a bill, AB 90, to strengthen the law against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors. The new law would eliminate an existing legal requirement that force, fraud, or coercion be demonstrated in cases where a minor victim is involved.
“Trafficking of a minor should be dealt with consistently by law enforcement and our judiciary – whether the minor is physically held captive or whether the trafficker uses mental coercion to hold the victim captive should not matter for the purposes of conviction,” Swanson said.
“AB 90 tightens up our state laws on human trafficking by conforming them to federal law. AB 90 is a monumental step toward unraveling many public and legal misperceptions of trafficked victims. Read more

Richmond Will Celebrate King Holiday By Serving Others

Doria Robinson

Local organizations led by the City of Richmond, Urban Tilth, and Friends of the Richmond Greenway will host “Make a Day On!” in Richmond on Monday, Jan. 17.
Residents and friends will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by working together to enhance Richmond’s public green space, cultivate urban farms and school gardens, and strengthen the community.
The citywide Day of Service represents the single largest community volunteer effort in Richmond. Hundreds of local residents will join hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in making the holiday a day on – rather than a day off – by serving others. Read more

Courtland “Corky” Boozé and Jovanka Beckles Take the Oath

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

From left to right: Jim Rogers, Courtland “Coyky” Boozé, Jovanka Beckles, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Jeff Ritterman, Nathaniel Bates and Tom Butts.

Jovanka Beckles and Courtland “Corky”  Boozé, the number one vote getter in the race for the Richmond City Council, were sworn in to office this week.
“This was an election of the people,” said Boozé.
“I have always desired to serve the people regardless of their position or power, regardless of whether they were renters or homeowners or whether they supported my campaign or not,” he said.  “All elected officials in Richmond and beyond are servants to the people, and I will serve the people of Richmond to whom I love so dearly.” Read more

Justice Sotomayor to Preside Over Berkeley Moot Court Competition

Berkeley School of Law announced this week that U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will preside over the final arguments of its honors moot court competition on Wednesday, Feb. 2. J
Judge William Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who teaches a course on federal courts at Berkeley Law, and Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan of the California Supreme Court will complete the judicial panel.
“These are three extraordinary jurists,” said UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley. The participation of the prestigious trio in the James Patterson McBaine Honors Competition will serve as an “invaluable learning opportunity” for aspiring lawyers, he said.
William Fernholz, director of appellate programs at the law school, said Justice Sotomayor’s involvement has stirred a palpable excitement among students.
“Justice Sotomayor is extraordinarily charismatic and uniquely alive in her questioning during oral arguments at the Supreme Court,” Fernholz said. “She is a role model for any student engaged in the study and practice of law.” Read more

Gary Payton Highlights on KDOL

Local Oakland  television show, OAL Great Moments, hosted a contest to give the Bay Area communities an opportunity to choose the next athlete to be featured on the program.
The show’s hostess Shonda Scott has announced that Gary Payton will be the next OAL great who viewers want to see featured.
A graduate of Skyline High School, Payton recently retired from the Miami Heat, ending a 13-year career with an NBA championship.  Throughout his illustrious career, he embodied the mission of OAL Great Moments – to inspire current Oakland Unified School District athletes by profiling successful athletic careers. Read more

Local Officials Respond to Governor’s Budget Plan

Governor Jerry Brown

Local officials responded with mixed feelings about  Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, saying plans to shift more responsibility for programs to local government have great potential but must be accompanied by adequate resources to operate these programs.
“We support the concept that programs serving local residents can be more effectively managed at the local level,’’ said Susan S. Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator.  “But we have been through realignment before – and we are concerned that local government will be saddled with additional responsibilities without being provided adequate sources of funding to carry them out.’’ Read more

Former Miss Oakland Fights Courts, Banks to Save Her Home

By Post Staff

Tanya Dennis can be seen daily picketing the front of the federal building in Oakland.

Oakland school teacher Tanya Dennis believed that if she her foreclosure case could be heard before a judge, she would save her home.  But she discovered that banks are formidable foes, in or out of court.
Dennis is one of the victims of  World Savings Bank’s Pick-a-Pay loans that some State Attorney Generals are bringing to task for predatory lending and deceptive advertising practices.
In 2009, Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia Bank, which acquired World Savings’ bad debt.  But Wells Fargo has made billions on these loans and on people defaulting. Since most homeowners are unaware of serious contractual issues and the occasional shoddy paperwork used by banks, which could result in a break in the chain of title. Dennis says that Wells Fargo’s right to foreclose is seldom challenged by victims of foreclosure. Read more

Business Leader Ted Smith, 80

By Eddie R. Dillard
and Post Staff

Theodis “Ted” James Smith

Theodis “Ted” James Smith died in his sleep at home, Sunday Jan. 9 in Richmond. He was 80.
Born July 25, 1930, in Crossett Arkansas, he moved with his family to Richmond in 1942.  He attended Richmond High School and served in the Army from 1952 – 1959.
With $5,000 in 1970, he established Smith’s Action Maintenance. His company employed more than 1,000 people to service contracts to clean military bases throughout the Bay Area. Smith also had a street sweeping business that contracted with Redwood City, Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Mill Valley, Sausalito, Ceres and other cities in Northern California.
Smith mentored many youth, especially in the Iron Triangle area of Richmond.  He also adopted the Richmond Build pre-construction apprenticeship-training program and gave generous charitable contributions to numerous faith-based feeding programs. Read more

Grassroots Campaign Helped Mayor Quan

San Francisco’s interim mayor Ed Lee with Oakland mayor Jean Quan after Lee’s swearing in on Tuesday in San Francisco. Photo by Maisha Everhart.

By Clifford L. Williams
Part 2

Post contributor Clifford Williams recently interviewed Mayor  Jean  Quan after she participated in a community feeding program.

When you ran your grassroots campaign, what was your base support, and what groups or organizations will you focus on to help bring change to Oakland?
I had about 300 volunteers when we started, and it grew as the campaign drew from all seven districts.  One of my key bases of support came from people who were involved with the school district, including parents, teachers and administrators. Read more