From November 2011

Jennifer Lee Jenkins Carter, 62

Jennifer Lee Jenkins

Jennifer Lee Jenkins Carter (at left)  was born in Oakland on Oct. 31, 1949.
She is surely loved and will be greatly missed. She leaves to mourn her death her husband, daughter, mother, one brother, four sisters, a host of nieces and nephews, and many good friends.
A Memorial Celebration of her life will be held at the Joaquin Miller Community Center, 3594 Sanborn Dr., in Oakland on Friday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.

AIDS Remains Unspeakable Subject for Many African Immigrants

Matthew Asare

As World AIDS Day approaches on Dec. 1, University of Cincinnati research is shedding light on cultures affected by the world’s highest rates of AIDS and HIV infections.  A study conducted by Matthew Asare, a native of Ghana, finds that among African immigrants, AIDS remains a major public health concern.
Asare surveyed over 400 African immigrants in Ohio to examine attitudes about AIDS/HIV and sex, subjects that are considered taboo for discussion in many parts of Africa, where HIV/AIDS infection and death rates from AIDS are the highest in the world.
Asare’s 64-question survey examined attitudes about condom use, monogamous behavior and sexual communication. He says 51 percent of the participants reported they had been sexually active in the past month but had not used a condom.
Out of the 412 people who answered a question about number of sexual partners in the month that the survey was conducted, 87 percent reported having sex with a single partner, while 12 percent reported multiple sexual partners.
“Polygamy is acceptable behavior in some parts of Africa, (and) … I wanted to examine attitudes about polygamy as this population adapted to a new culture in the United States,” Asare said. “The survey found that out of the 12 percent reporting multiple sexual partners, the majority of those respondents reported that they had not used condoms, nor had they discussed their sexual history with their partners.
“They also did not feel that they were susceptible to HIV or AIDS,” Asare said.
Asare added that men were more likely than women to initiate communication about sexual history, in part because African women felt that this communication, as well as initiating condom use, would cause mistrust in a stable relationship.
The survey found that some of the respondents when they were younger had open communication with their parents about sex, which made them more likely to open those channels of communication with their partner.
 

 

Cassandra “Sandy” Johnson, 81

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Cassandra “Sandy” Johnson, 81, passed away on Nov. 11. She was born in Little Rock, AR, on Oct. 18, 1930.
Raised in Columbus, OH, she was former wife of the late pharmacist Dr. Wesley Johnson of San Francisco, beloved mother to the late Dr. Wesley Johnson, IV, pediatrician; and Holly Johnson Friar, entrepreneur; wonderful grandmother to Morgan Alana and Tayler Michelle Friar and Wesley Arthur Johnson.  
Services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. at Fouche Hudson Funeral Home, 3665 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland.

CPUC Commissioner  Timothy Alan Simon.

CPUC Approves Solar Project for PG&E to Meet State’s Renewable Power Goals

CPUC Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) renewable energy power purchase agreement with Mojave Solar, LLC on Nov. 10. The project is expected to generate about 830 jobs in Southern California over the next two years.
Mojave Solar, LLC, an affiliate of Abengoa, is developing a 250-megawatt concentrating solar power parabolic trough renewable energy generation facility in San Bernardino County. The Mojave Solar project was selected through PG&E’s 2007 Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) solicitation.
Abengoa, the project developer, has made a commitment to diversity by undertaking an outreach effort to recruit minority contractors as part of the construction of the Mojave Solar Project.
The project will provide local construction jobs in a region with an unemployment rate of 15.1 percent. The Mojave Solar project will employ local construction workers and offer apprenticeship training for minority communities.
“Abengoa’s outreach to minority, women, and disabled veteran subcontractors will benefit local economic development and job creation,” said CPUC Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon. “I commend Abengoa for its voluntary commitment to diversity in its hiring and procurement objectives for construction and professional services in building this solar thermal facility.”
 The proposal, which was voted on Nov. 10, is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/WORD_PDF/AGENDA_RESOLUTION/149349.pdf.

CPUC Commissioner  Timothy Alan Simon.

CPUC Approves Solar Project for PG&E to Meet State’s Renewable Power Goals

CPUC Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) renewable energy power purchase agreement with Mojave Solar, LLC on Nov. 10. The project is expected to generate about 830 jobs in Southern California over the next two years.
Mojave Solar, LLC, an affiliate of Abengoa, is developing a 250-megawatt concentrating solar power parabolic trough renewable energy generation facility in San Bernardino County. The Mojave Solar project was selected through PG&E’s 2007 Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) solicitation.
Abengoa, the project developer, has made a commitment to diversity by undertaking an outreach effort to recruit minority contractors as part of the construction of the Mojave Solar Project.
The project will provide local construction jobs in a region with an unemployment rate of 15.1 percent. The Mojave Solar project will employ local construction workers and offer apprenticeship training for minority communities.
“Abengoa’s outreach to minority, women, and disabled veteran subcontractors will benefit local economic development and job creation,” said CPUC Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon. “I commend Abengoa for its voluntary commitment to diversity in its hiring and procurement objectives for construction and professional services in building this solar thermal facility.”
 The proposal, which was voted on Nov. 10, is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/WORD_PDF/AGENDA_RESOLUTION/149349.pdf.

Clarence Hugh Gilmore, Sr., 79

Clarence Hugh Gilmore

Clarence Hugh Gilmore, Sr., 79, died peacefully at his home in Las Vegas, NV on  Nov. 14.
Born in Crockett, TX to Payne and Bertha Gilmore on May 4,1932, he was the the 11th of 14 children. Mr. Gilmore was the younger brother of former Oakland Vice Mayor, the late Cater Gilmore.
Clarence retired from the City of Oakland as Supervisor of the Public Works Department. He served for several years as president of the NAACP, Alameda and Hayward branches, A veteran of the U.S. Army, he ran unsuccessfully for Alameda County Supervisor, District 3.
Mr. Gilmore is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mamie Gilmore; 2 adult children, Clarence Jr., “Ricky” and Wannetta Hughes, 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grand children. He also leaves three sisters: Olive Black, Erma Montgomery, Claudine Ary, and one brother, Paul.
Services will be held Tuesday,  Nov. 22, at 1:30 p.m., at the Chapel of the Chimes, 32992 Mission Blvd., in Hayward. The wake/quiet hour  will be held Monday, Nov. 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the same location.

Nation’s Largest Expo for People with Disabilities Coming to San Jose

David Korse

Thousands of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded veterans and healthcare professionals will attend Abilities Expo on Friday, Nov. 18, to Sunday, Nov. 20, at the San Jose Convention Center. Admission is free, and event hours are Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 The Abilities Expo brings together a large range of exhibits, workshops, celebrities, events and activities to appeal to people of all ages with the full spectrum of disabilities—including physical, learning, development and sensory disabilities. Complimentary loaner scooters and wheelchair repair will also be available onsite during show hours.
 “It is our privilege to provide this forum for the community of people with disabilities in the Bay Area to come together and gain access to life-enhancing technologies, education and resources,” said David Korse, president and CEO of Abilities Expo. “Between the adaptive events, the dynamic workshops and the thousands of products and services on display…this is a must-attend event for everyone in the community.
Attendees will learn about cutting-edge products and services for people with a wide range of disabilities. They will find mobility products, devices for people with developmental disabilities, assistive technology, medical equipment, home accessories, essential services, low-cost daily living aids, products for people with sensory impairments and much more.
Workshops will be available free-of-charge to all attendees. Sessions will focus on travel, home modifications, navigating health reform, employment, dating, tips for caregivers, mobility solutions and cutting-edge treatments for children with motor disorders.
Attendees of all abilities can learn some hip-hop wheelchair dancing moves, enjoy canine assistance demos, watch performing arts and play adaptive sports.
Several award-winning films from the recent SuperFest International Disability Film Festival will be shown on Nov. 20.
Presented by the Bay Area Coalition for Employment Development, this conference is designed to increase the hiring of people with barriers to employment by sharing resources and effective practices among workforce development professionals.
 For more information, visit www.abilitiesexpo.com/sanjose.

Services Scheduled for June White

June White passed away suddenly on Thursday, Nov. 10.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, she later moved to Oakland, where she has resided since 1962.
Ms. White was a dedicated and active member of Wings of Love Maranatha Ministries, where she served as head usher for the past 21 years.  
She retired from the U.S. Federal Government after 45 years of service, working at the Oakland Naval Supply Center and Department of Energy.
Among her hobbies, she loved gardening, and was especially helpful in providing clothing and food for anyone she thought was in need.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22 at Wings of Love Church, 7007 MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland.
A quiet hour will be held on Monday, Nov. 21, at Thompson Funeral Home, 9900 International Blvd. in Oakland.

Belafonte, George Appear at Marcus Books Events

Marcus Book Store will host Harry Belafonte, who is speaking Nov. 30 at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley. Though the event is already sold out, people may purchase his autobiography, “My Song,” and the book will be autographed. The books can be picked the day following the event.
Nelson George will appear at the Oakland Marcus bookstore to speak and sign his latest novel, “The Plot Against Hip Hop, “Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. According to storeowner Blanche Richardson, “Nelson George is a Marcus Books staff and customer favorite.  This novel is a hardboiled tale, jazzed up with authentic street slang and name-dropping. His street credibility shines in this quick moving murder mystery that educates its audience on Hip Hop’s pioneer generation.  A great read!” The book sells for $15.95.
 Marcus Book Store of Oakland is located at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The phone number is (510) 632-2344.  

Jackson Ellis

Mr. JE Builds Marketing, Promotion Empire

By Ashley
Chambers

Jackson Ellis

Jackson Ellis, or Mr. JE, is the go-to guy for all your entertainment and marketing needs.
Since 2003, Mr. JE has been planning and executing a wide array of events from fundraisers for his Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity to the celebration of the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. He has been intricately involved in many of the biggest happenings in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Whether someone wants to find a show featuring a live band, the next fashion extravaganza, or an event for building a business, Mr. JE can point him or her in the right direction. Defining himself as the “Entertainment Concierge,” this young entrepreneur says he has “all the information that you need, existing relationships with businesses, entrepreneurs; I save you the time, effort, energy and money.”
Mr. JE found his calling as a student at Fresno State University, throwing fundraising ventures for initiation dues to the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and as a marketing assistant for The Fresno State Athletic Corporation. He says, “I started learning the business side of what it takes to throw a successful event. It showed me that if you put the right selection of things together, it makes what your doing a lot more successful.”
Mr. JE has been enjoying the success of many of his entertainment ventures, including the celebration of the 2008 Presidential Election of President Barack Obama, one of his most memorable events in conjunction with Everett & Jones in Jack London Square and local Obama supporters.
Most recently, he and business partners Jareem Gunter and DJ D Sharp celebrated the third year anniversary of their weekly show and networking mixer, Monday Soul. While this event builds a platform for aspiring artists to perform, Mr. JE is also building an empire. He started his company, JE Media Group in 2006, with the idea to do it all, from planning to booking, marketing and executing events.
 “What you don’t see is where you decide to market and to whom you decide to promote [your event] ,” he said.  “I can do all that, but all those things are a part of any type of project.”
“There’s an actual industry that fits what you’re interested in. You have to experience things and learn what you want to do, then network your way into it. It’s a work in progress.”
You can visit Jackson Ellis at www.facebook.com/jackson.d.ellis or www.twitter.com.jemediagroup.

Meeting Clarence Van Hook, a Living Treasure

By Augusta Lee Collins

From left to right: Clarence Van Hook, Pastor Kevin Barnes and Augusta Lee Collins. Photo by Adam L. Turner.

I generally stop by the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO) to work on the computer, leave fliers about my weekly performances, look over the fine collections of African American books and chat with the locals/librarians and staff.  
When I arrived at AAMLO, a librarian shouted, “There he is!” pointing directly at me and this cowboy hat wearing, youthful happy looking man, who walked up to me and said, “My name is Clarence Van Hook, and I was trying to get the librarian to let me listen to your CD.”  
“You look like you can play the blues. Are you any good?”  He asked.
 “I can play the blues, and I am ready, and I am hungry,” I told him.
“Where is your guitar?” He asked.
I told him I didn’t have it with me, but Mr. Van Hook said, “I got two guitars out in my truck. Let’s go outside and play”.  
Well, Mr. Hook and I sat on the curb in front of the AAMLO and played for at least 45 minutes.  We shared the blues and began talking about our experiences when we discovered that we both had worked with Lightin’ Hopkins.  
I recognized this man’s history with negro spirituals and the old gospel standards. I was impressed by his knowledge and the delivery of these forms of music not widely being performed here in the Bay Area by Black artists.  
Mr. Van Hook would mix blues and spirituals and gospel standards as I had pictured our ancestors as they performed more than 150 years ago.  This man is one of our living treasures, a window to our past.  
Listening to Mr. Van Hook, I was receiving a real life musical history lesson.  Like I received from Lightin’ Hopkins. I could not let this get by me.  So, we exchanged numbers.  And, we went off in our own directions stating that we would stay in touch.
Weeks later, he showed up at my gig at Pizza Pazza with a huge following of guests, including family and relatives.
We performed together that night with Mr. Van Hook’s 7-year-old godson Markus, who stole the show.  We all had a great time, and the audience went crazy.
Mr. Van Hook has returned three more times to Pizza Pazza, 3905 Piedmont Ave., each time bringing the house down.  What a treasure.  

Ninety-Five Arrested as Protesters Occupy SF Bank of America

Occupy SF protesters inside the Bank of America. (Photo: Steve Rhodes).

Occupy supporters and students marched Wednesday through the streets of the San Francisco Financial District, storming into a bank and shouting slogans as they tried to set up camp in the lobby.
The arrests came after about 100 demonstrators rushed into a Bank of America branch, chanting “money for schools and education, not for banks and corporations.”
Police officers in riot gear cuffed the activists one-by-one as hundreds more demonstrators surrounded the building, blocking entrances and exits.
According to police, 95 were arrested. Authorities said they were taken to jail, cited and released. No injuries were reported.

Toy and Coat Drive for Verde Elementary Needs Help

Volunteers are working hard this holiday season to obtain 300 toys and over 100 coats for the children of Verde Elementary School in North Richmond.
The ongoing economic crisis has hit North Richmond, one of two lowest income communities in the state, especially hard.
“Over the years, it’s been gratifying to see the community come forward and help Verde students with generous donations of toys and coats,” said Supervisor John Gioia.
“Those who donate, and the kids who receive the gifts get great joy from this event.  It brings the community together,” he said.  “We are asking the community to continue the tradition of helping those less fortunate and helping us reach our goal of one toy for every child, and a coat for each child who needs one.”
 Lloyd Madden, President of the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC), who attended Verde School, said that his organization is contributing $200 and will appeal to others to follow their example.
Cash or check donations are especially welcome and tax deductible. All donations must be received by noon, Friday, Dec. 9. Checks should be made payable to the non-profit Neighborhood House of North Richmond c/o 2011 Verde Toy and Coat Drive. Toys must be unwrapped. This year the drive is asking for NEW light jackets (instead of heavy winter/snow coats), sizes XS to XL. Children will be able to wear these year-round.
The 14th annual Verde Holiday Drive is sponsored by John Gioia’s office and volunteers who work for the City of Richmond. The toys and coats will be distributed at the Verde Holiday Party at the school on the morning of Friday, Dec. 16.  

Richmond Rockets Basketball Team - From left to right: Patrick Mitchell, Nick Wong, Tita Davis, Royce Mitchell, Deontae Banks, Elize Bibbs and Ronnie Lau.

Richmond Rockets Take Off With Inaugural Victory

By Kia Croom

Richmond Rockets Basketball Team - From left to right: Patrick Mitchell, Nick Wong, Tita Davis, Royce Mitchell, Deontae Banks, Elize Bibbs and Ronnie Lau.

The Richmond Rockets kicked off  their season with an exciting 78:71 inaugural win over the Bay Area Matrix.
Hundreds of basketball fans of all ages poured into Richmond Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center to watch the Rockets display their on-court talents and make history.  
“I’m here to see the Richmond Rockets,” shouted Kathy Clemmons, a long-time Richmond resident and team fan, as she and her friends proudly rooted for the Rockets from their courtside seats.
“With this team comes a since of pride and ownership for our community. It´s something fresh, something new,” she said enthusiastically.
The cheerleaders weren’t the only ones rooting for the team. Eager fans chanted “Richmond Rockets” over and over. Brightly colored signs were flying high as fans showed support for their favorite players.  Many in the audience who did not initially have a favorite player most likely left with one. The Rockets took off on the court, and a love affair began between them and the people who had come to see them.
Excitement and intensity increased as both teams vied for the win. There were a number of pivotal moments where it was seemingly either team’s game.  Rockets fans nearly leaped from their seats as Joel Smith closed the first quarter with a three-point shot, with just moments on the clock, leaving the Rockets up 22:13.
Rockets’ fans were anxious at the end of the second quarter with their team and the Bay Area Matrix tied at 37 to 37. The Matrix had the ball. Rockets player Chris Adams grabbed the rebound and scored for two, giving the Rockets the lead.
In the third and fourth quarters, the Rockets held a narrow lead, ultimately winning their first victory.
Eric Marquis, the team’s Chief Executive Officer, was excited to see the players’ hard work pay off in such a big way. “We put in time day and night, night and day, he said. “To see the support from the community is lovely and then to win the game is the icing on the cake.”
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.

Catholic Charities of the East Bay - From left to right: Ray Neubauer, Peggy Wilcox, Frank Malifrando, Cynthia Rothschild, Mey Saeteurn, Lisa Raffel, Chevron’s Nigel Hearne, Solomon Belette, Elaine Zhang, and Cristina Hernandez.

Chevron Gives $1 Million to Six Richmond Nonprofits

By Kia
Croom

Catholic Charities of the East Bay - From left to right: Ray Neubauer, Peggy Wilcox, Frank Malifrando, Cynthia Rothschild, Mey Saeteurn, Lisa Raffel, Chevron’s Nigel Hearne, Solomon Belette, Elaine Zhang, and Cristina Hernandez.

Six Richmond area nonprofit organizations will share  $1 million in grants donated by Chevron as part of its California Partnership Program, which  invests in economic development and education.
The California Partnership Program grants will improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in schools, offer training in emerging industries and promote economic development.
“Our contributions are designed to help people and businesses thrive,” said Nigel Hearne, General Manager of Chevron Richmond’s Refinery. “When businesses and nonprofits work together, we can ensure better education and jobs for the next generation and a better future for all of our communities,” he said.
West Contra Costa County Unified School District will receive $200,000 to improve STEM curriculum and education, increase the number of students completing STEM classes and improve test scores in STEM subjects.
The Contra Costa Economic Partnership will receive $200,000 to help West Contra Costa students transition from high school to post secondary education, training and high demand careers.
Solar Richmond will receive $171,886 to train Richmond residents for jobs in commercial solar installation.

The Contra Costa College Foundation will receive $100,000 to develop a STEM education infrastructure for students beginning in junior high school.
Catholic Charities of the Eastbay will receive $168,924 to offer mentoring for low-income residents between the ages of 18-24 to help secure employment as early childhood education teachers.
The Stride Center will receive $159,190 in grant funds to create 76 jobs and technical internships in the computing and e-waste recycling fields.
Grant recipients were selected based on their capacity to improve education, expand vocational training and increase job opportunities in Richmond and West Contra Costa County. Each proposal was evaluated through an open request for proposal (RFP) process and scored by criteria that included the evaluation of each organization’s technical approach, capacity to execute the project and management plan.
Chevron started the California Partnership in 2009, which has benefitted more than 24 organizations providing about $15.2 million dollars to support economic development and education initiatives.             
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.

Parcel Tax Loses

By Post Staff

Oakland voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly defeated three ballot measures, including Measure I, which would have provided $60 million in parcel taxes to preserve city services.
Sixty-two percent of voters voted against Measure I, an $80 per single-family home parcel tax that was put on the ballot by the City Council to stabilize the city’s budget.
Seventy-three percent of voters defeated Measure H, which would have given the City Council to choose a city attorney instead of voters.
Measure J, which would have allowed the city to change the deadline for fully funding a police and fire retirement plan for employees hired before June 30, 1976, was voted down by fifty-three percent of voters.
Mayor Jean Quan said in a prepared statement that the failure of Measure I means that Oakland will have more difficulty maintaining current level of police staff and will not not be able to restore senior centers to full day services, add tree and road crews, improve internet access at public libraries or upgrade police technology.
“The city finances remain very fragile,” Quan wrote. “Fortunately the city has for the first time in many years the required $30 million in reserves. I will continue to work with the community to find new ways to generate revenue including economic development projects and attracting new businesses to Oakland.”

4,000 and 10,000  protesters filled Sproul Plaza on Tuesday.

Generations of Protesters Converge at UC Berkeley, CSU

By Ken A. Epstein

4,000 and 10,000 protesters filled Sproul Plaza on Tuesday.

Responding to attempts to dislodge “Occupy!” encampments in Oakland and other cities across the nation, local protesters are intensifying efforts to organize and link their actions.  At UC Berkeley Tuesday night, a crowd estimated at between 4,000 and 10,000 filled Sproul Plaza: student anti-fee hike demonstrators, members of the Occupy Oakland movement who marched from Oakland to the campus down Telegraph Avenue and hundreds of gray-headed veterans of the 1964 Free Speech Movement (FSM).
The FSM veterans were originally slated to meet on campus for the annual Mario Savio Memorial lecture, named in honor of the late leader of the 1960’s student sit-in. But the event was moved to the plaza to join students who are protesting continued tuition increases and attempting to build an Occupy Cal! encampment.
Lynne Hollander Savio, Mario Savio’s widow, characterized the protests of UC students as a “struggle to return the University of California to the people of California.”
She said that the commitment of young people to fight for their rights has “inspired (FSM veterans) to move from despair” to hope for the direction the country is now taking.
Speaker Robert Reich, a UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, decried the growth in income inequality in the U.S. where the top 400 richest people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million.
Praising the young protesters, Reich said, “The age of apathy is over folks.”
During the day, protesters on campus beat drums and chanted as they held up signs reading “Hella Occupy” and “Defend Public Education” and displayed pictures from 1960s student protests and marches led by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
In other news, Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) joined striking faculty members, staff, students and supporters of the California Faculty Association (CFA) at a rally Thursday at California State University East Bay.
Hancock spoke at the rally in support of the strike, saying, “This is a pivotal moment for California’s educational system.  In times of economic fragility such as we are in now, we are faced with gut-wrenching choices.  It is all too easy for high-level managers to shift a disproportionate burden of cutbacks and suffering to those who are the real heart of the university system – the faculty, staff and students.  
“I am here to congratulate and support the faculty of this great university for having the courage to stand up for fairness and for making a stand against the destruction of our education system.
“You have been more than patient as you have watched the California university system diminished by drastic budget cuts, skyrocketing tuition and fee increases, reduced resources for faculty and staff and an intransigent administration refusing to compromise on contracts.
“I urge the university’s administration to listen to you – to heed the voices of the faculty, staff and students who are the heart and soul of this great university.  You ARE the 99% and your voice WILL be heard.”

Nonprofits and faith-based groups met at the Mormon Temple last week at a meeting of the Alameda County Linking Interfaith Groups with Nonprofits (ALIGN), designed to connect businesses, nonprofits and congregations working in area for community advocacy. Photos and collage by Clifford Goler.

Non-Profits and Faith Agencies ALIGN at Temple Hill Resource Meet

By Lenora
Williams

Nonprofits and faith-based groups met at the Mormon Temple last week at a meeting of the Alameda County Linking Interfaith Groups with Nonprofits (ALIGN), designed to connect businesses, nonprofits and congregations working in area for community advocacy. Photos and collage by Clifford Goler.

Who will step forward to answer the call to be relevant to youth at a time when jobs are scarce, crime rates are up and education is lagging? This was the question asked by religious leaders as nonprofits and faith-based groups met at the Mormon Temple last week at a meeting of the Alameda County Linking Interfaith Groups with Nonprofits (ALIGN), designed to connect businesses, nonprofits and congregations working in area for community advocacy.
The two event organizers, Elder Thomas Brighton with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Ana-Marie Jones, Executive Director of Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters (CARD) and Co-Chair of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Network Group, worked tirelessly to meet with religious organizers and event sponsors securing a site and creating an entirely free event. Their mission was to have both groups come together in the spirit of finding a common ground. Ana-Marie said, “There once was the East Bay Resource Center that supported this type of activity, (and) now there is just Compass Point. But we need more.”
The local area has many opportunities to help the community and work together, said Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who stated that, “Oakland has more churches and nonprofits per capita than any other metropolitan city in the United States”
Workshops covered vital information such as how to use social media, connect with corporate sponsors, do fundraising, prepare for natural disasters and find and keep volunteers.
Speaking at the dinner, Elder Brighton challenged everyone to get youth involved in charitable work, organize a group of seniors to work in the community and offer a social program every year to make members aware of their different programs.
Among those who spoke were Solomon Belette, Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities of the East Bay, who talked about breaking down silos; Ibrahim Ozcan of Muslim Pacifica Institute, who talked about sharing food during different Islamic fasting events with other religious communities; and Rabbi Andrew Straus of the Oakland Temple Sinai, who said, “Out of the mountain of despair, there is a stone of hope.”
Event planners and sponsors included the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, BART, Alameda County Community Food Bank, CARD, Post News Group, El Mundo Newspaper and Center for Urban Black Studies. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints shared its resources and facility for the event.

Siegel Tells Why He Quit Mayor Quan’s Inner Circle

By Ken A. Epstein

As a member of the over 60 generation, Oakland attorney Dan Siegel dabbles in social media but had found no reason to make use of it.
Until this week, he had two people who followed his tweets, and one of those was spam. “I sent out this message about resigning my job with the mayor, Monday at 10 a.m. Now, 1331 people are following me.”
Until this week, he had been Mayor Jean Quan’s volunteer legal advisor, a position that he held for many years. “It has been a very long and close friendship,” Siegel said.
“I met her and Floyd (Quan´s husband) in 1968, when they were undergraduates and Asian leaders of the Third World Strike (at UC Berkeley). I was a law student and a supporter of the strike,” he said. Read more

scottland New

Community Leaders Protest Treatment of Scotlan Center

By Post Staff

Community leaders speak out against violations of due process rights for Scotlan Center, which provides jobs and other services to West Oakland Youth. Top from L to R: David Glover, WIB member and OCCUR Executive Director; Matthew Graves, Scotlan Executive Director; Willaim “Bill” Patterson, WIB member and EBMUD board member; Bottom Row: Ron Muhammad; Ben Tapscott, McClymonds High School community support leader and John Bailey, Oakland WIB Director;. Photo by Adam L. Turner.

Angry community supporters and civic leaders showed up this week to a meeting of the Youth Council of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board (WIB) to protest what they are calling the city’s arbitrary termination of federal funding, lacking in “transparency” and  “due process,” to the George P. Scotlan Youth & Family Center, a provider of jobs, training and other programs for West Oakland youth for more than 40 years.
Scotlan, located at 1651 Adeline St. in Defremery Park, has lost a $175,000 contract, though it in good faith began its youth employment program, hired and is paying 20 youth in jobs that were supposed to be paid through that funding.
To date, five months after the city’s termination of Scotlan’s funding, there has been no effort by the city to meet with the agency to resolve the issues that led to the denial of funding for youth services in West Oakland.
“I know Scotlan, people over there have been denied a contract, denied money,” said Ben Tapscott, who has worked and coached in the area for 16 years. “I don’t know what’s responsible for the mess that took place last summer,” he said, but many kids, particularly Black and Brown, were denied the opportunity to work.”
At issue are allegations  which Scotlan director Graves says were leveled by a former disgruntled employee.  On the basis of these unspecified allegations, Scotlan’s contract was cancelled and not renewed. To date, there has never been a meeting with Scotlan or a hearing on the issues.
“I understand that there some questions about Scotlan,” Tapscott said.  “That has been going on for five months. It shouldn’t take someone five or six months to get down to the bottom to it.”
David Glover, a member of the Oakland WIB and Executive Director of OCCUR, shared these concerns. Read more

Derwin Longmire

Judge Throws Out Longmire Lawsuit

A federal judge this week dismissed the discrimination lawsuit flied by Oakland police Sgt. Derwin Longmire against the city. The judge ruled there was no evidence that Oakland Police Department had done anything improper when it tried to fire him for mishandling the Chauncey Bailey murder investigation.
“Undisputed evidence demonstrates that (Longmire) had an affiliation with (Your Black Muslim Bakery) and its members and that was sufficient cause to initiate an internal affairs investigation,” U.S district Court Judge Jeffrey White said in a decision filed Monday.
Longmire had failed “to refute the city’s legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its conduct and has no direct evidence that a discriminatory reason motivated his employer,” the judge said. Read more

Janikowski Leads Raiders to Victory

Oakland, CA – Leading the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders continue to remain in first place.  That means no room for mistakes, penalties were reduced drastically which has been a major problem in years past.  Despite the countless number of injuries including the loss quarterback Jason Campbell, this team still finds ways to win ball games.

With six field goals and one touchdown the Raiders defeated the Chicago Bears 25-20.  Sebastian Janikowski set a franchise record with six field goals in one game.  Carson Palmer and the offense struggled to get into the red zone and the end zone.  Oakland settled for field goals on their first six trips inside the Bears 30 before Michael Bush rushed for a 3-yard touchdown. Read more

Hundreds of West Oakland community members stood in line Tuesday for Thanksgiving turkeys and groceries, while registering to vote, at an event organized by the West Oakland Network (WON), held at the Scotlan Youth and Family Center at 10th and Adeline streets in DeFremery Park in Oakland. Photos and collage by Adam L. Turner.

Families Receive Groceries, Register to Vote, at West Oakland Turkey Giveaway

By Post Staff

Hundreds of West Oakland community members stood in line Tuesday for Thanksgiving turkeys and groceries, while registering to vote, at an event organized by the West Oakland Network (WON), held at the Scotlan Youth and Family Center at 10th and Adeline streets in DeFremery Park in Oakland. Photos and collage by Adam L. Turner.

West Oakland community members stood in line Tuesday for Thanksgiving turkeys and groceries, while registering to vote, at an event organized by West Oakland Network (WON), held at the Scotlan Youth and Family Center at 18th and Adeline streets in DeFremery Park.  
“We are trying to provide for the community as much as we can, and we are going to keep doing what we’ve been doing for 40 years even though we’ve lost our city funding,” said Matthew Graves, Scotlan’s Executive Director.
“We’re trying to keep things going – this country has to have hope, and I hope our federal government can come together and provide solutions in these economic times,” said William “Bill” Patterson,  member of the Executive Committee of the Oakland NAACP and the Oakland Workforce Investment Board.
The WON collaboration, which has organized food giveaways for the past four years, includes the McClymonds High School Alumni Association, Attitudinal Healing Connection, Acorn Residents Council, City Team, and the Oakland chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Ron Muhammad, a representative of WON, said voting awareness and meeting the direct needs of the community with events like this is imperative.
 “We have to get involved at this level because you may be the server now, but you never know when you need to be served with assistance,” he said. “If we want to have an impact on those that impact us, we have to have a seat at the table in voting, so that our voices are heard and our concerns are met.” Read more

Members of the Chinese medical group interact with a child at the local primary schools in Kingston, Jamaica on Nov. 2.

Chinese Navy on Humanitarian Mission to Treat Poor Jamaicans

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Dozens of doctors and nurses fanned out from a Chinese navy hospital ship Tuesday to treat poor Jamaicans as part of a global humanitarian mission to portray China’s rapidly growing military as a responsible power.
The People’s Liberation Army’s 584-foot-long Peace Ark carries more than 100 medical volunteers who provide free surgery, CAT scans, eye care and other procedures.
The floating hospital was launched three years ago and is making its second foreign trip, the Chinese Embassy said. It is on a roughly 100-day journey around the Caribbean, where the United States is the largest investment source and military partner.
The aim of the operation, dubbed “Harmonious Mission,” is to soften the image of China’s 2.3 million-member military and boost its ties with other nations’ armed forces.
“It’s trying to use military powers in ways that are reassuring and not threatening,” said David M. Lampton, director of the China studies program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “The Chinese have a strategy of simultaneously growing their hard power but using it in a soft way that’s reassuring and therefore doesn’t build a coalition of enemies against it.”
The Peace Ark has already visited Cuba and after Jamaica is scheduled to go to Trinidad and Tobago.
Chinese navy Lt. Cmdr. Chen Yong Peng, leader of a team working at a clinic in the Jamaican capital of Kingston, said the mission allows military personnel to build relationships with regional authorities and has nothing to do with countering U.S. influence.
“Our team of medical staff is doing all kinds of surgeries and operations, nearly everything except organ transplants,” he said through a navy translator. “China has had a long history of relations with Jamaica and other places in the Caribbean.”
Hundreds of Jamaicans lined up for hours beneath a blazing sun outside the clinic in Kingston’s Olympic Gardens area. The crowd of women and a few children and men struggled to keep their places in line.
“My eyes are getting worse, and I’m hoping to get some glasses. I’ve been told to get glasses for five years, but I just can’t afford them,” said 48-year-old Pearlene Campbell, who arrived at the clinic before dawn. “I hope these people can help me.”

Members of the Chinese medical group interact with a child at the local primary schools in Kingston, Jamaica on Nov. 2.

Doctor diplomacy has long been practiced in Latin America, most notably by Cuba’s communist government, which each year sends thousands of doctors to provide free care in poor countries in the region. Venezuela also finances many of these missions.
Earlier this year, an 894-foot (272-meter) U.S. Navy hospital ship brought state-of-the-art medical care to Jamaica as part of a five-month goodwill mission to nine countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The Chinese military took its first big stab at overseas disaster relief last year, sending helicopters to help after floods in Pakistan. Last month, the Chinese air force flew 7,000 tents to Pakistan after more flooding and it is shipping aid to flooded areas of Thailand. China also has become the biggest contributor of manpower to U.N. peacekeeping missions.
The U.S. has been generally supportive of the Chinese military’s new humanitarian drive, saying that boosts transparency and chances for peaceful interactions.
But Lampton, the Johns Hopkins analyst, said the Chinese military’s goodwill missions may cause Washington anxiety in the future. “China’s navy and soon air force will be moving further and further into the global commons, which has traditionally been dominated by the U.S.,” he said. Read more

Kandis Westmore

Westmore to Serve as U.S. Magistrate Judge

Kandis Westmore

Kandis Westmore, a veteran law and motion lawyer in the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, has been appointed to serve as the U.S. Magistrate in Oakland.
The United States District Court for Northern District of California announced Westmore’s selection last week. She is expected to begin her service in the near future.
Westmore graduated from University of San Francisco Law School in 1997 and has served in the Oakland City Attorney’s  Office since 1999, handling code enforcement, advice and general civil litigation for the City of Oakland and its employees.
For the past six years, she has crafted and argued trial and appellate court motions on a wide range of legal issues in federal and state court. In 2007, she secured an injunction requiring the city’s contractor to pick up garbage during a strike that triggered a public health and safety crisis.
“Kandis is an example of the high caliber of attorneys this office has hired and developed,” said City Attorney Barbara Parker. “Her appointment as magistrate is a well-deserved recognition of her impressive skills and fine judicial temperament. Kandis’ masterful advocacy has saved the city millions of dollars over the years, securing dismissal of many claims and cases.” Read more