From December 2011

An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports

December 12, 2011

We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.

We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the four of us we have six children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 31 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.

We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible. Read more


Support Casa Vincentia Shelter for Young Pregnant Women

By Lenora

Casa Vincentia, a home for homeless pregnant women ages 18-25, is in need of financial donations to maintain this shelter for desperate women and their unborn child.
Some argue the right to life but little talk about how that translates into a formula for everyday life. Right to life and a right to homelessness can be one in the same for these young women. What about the young woman who chooses life over abortion? The young women at Casa Vincentia choose to have their babies, where they learn:  “Being pregnant is not an illness, it is a temporary condition.”
Casa Vincentia is a former convent for nuns attached to Saint Cyril’s School, now known as Millsmont Academy School. Sister Maureen Webb established the shelter 25 years ago, designed to offer an alternative to women so they would not have to choose abortion or homelessness.
 Barbara Jackson has been Executive Director for the past 17 years. Despite many change, the mission has remained the same. Casa Vincentia offers the women a nurturing, loving and caring environment. Their motto is: “Welfare is a stepping stone not a resting place.” Read more

Peralta Moves Funds From Banks

Abel Guillén

The Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees has vote to demonstrate its support of the principles of the Occupy Movement by beginning the process of moving its assets from large banking institutions.
The resolution, introduced by Trustee Abel Guillén, asks the Peralta’s Chancellor, Wise E. Allen, to provide the board with a list of recommendations on how best to bring about a timely, efficient and responsible redirection of financial resources.
“This is a concrete and practical action to shift our financial resources, and that reinvesting in our community and education, we can put our money where our mouth is,” said Guillén. “We hope other institutions of higher learning will look at Peralta, and take a similar leadership role as we has done.”
“The resolution states that Peralta’s mission is better aligned with the goals of community banks, membership-based credit unions, and community development financial institutions (CDFIs), that often operate from a ‘triple-bottom-line’ that allows them to place importance on educational, financial, social and environmental goals while meeting the needs of its communities,” said Guillén.
The Peralta Colleges – Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland – serve 30,000 students, employ more than 1,500 teachers and staff, and have an annual budget of $140 million.
. “Something exciting is happening in our society. People are waking up to their own power, their own sense of indignation at the way that wealth is being shifted, and that financial institutions have not been held accountable,” said Peralta Trustee Nicky González.
According to the resolution’s supporters, the board’s decision is similar to the call recently made by the Occupy Movement to transfer accounts from large institutions to smaller banks. The movement has identified the financial misconduct of big banks as a main culprit for the nation’s growing economic inequality.

County Housing Authority Wait-Lists Openings

The Housing Authority of the County of Alameda (HACA) will be accepting applications from families eligible to occupy three-bedroom and four-bedroom Public Housing and Project-Based units.
The Housing Authority will have 109 three-bedroom units through the Public Housing and Project-Based Voucher programs located in the cities of Castro Valley, Dublin, Fremont, Hayward and Union City.  Also available will be 12 four-bedroom units in Dublin and Union City.  The Housing Authority serves all the cities and unincorporated areas in Alameda County with the exception of Alameda, Berkeley, Livermore and Oakland.  
The waiting list is not open for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program or for one-bedroom, two-bedroom or larger than four-bedroom applicants at this time. However, the Housing Authority anticipates opening the waiting list for all programs, including Section 8, and all household sizes some time next year.  
Applications will be accepted on-line only and may be submitted anytime day or night between 9 a.m. Dec. 19, to 4 p.m. Dec. 22.  The application will be available on HACA’s website at by clicking on “2011 PH and PB Wait List” during this time period.  
The date and time of the application will not affect the applicant’s placement on the wait list as long as it is submitted during the opening period.  All eligible applications will be placed on the wait list.  Applications will then be selected by lottery as units become available.
If you have any questions, please contact or (510) 727-8514.

Holy Names University staff involved in the Early Admit Program are (L to R): Dr. Kimberly Mayfield, Education Department Chair, Dr. Julie Henderson, Education Department professor; President William Hynes; and Tammy Dain, Community Relations Manager. Photo by Adam L. Turner.

Holy Names Guarantees Admissions to 9th Graders

By Ken A. Epstein

Holy Names University staff involved in the Early Admit Program are (L to R): Dr. Kimberly Mayfield, Education Department Chair, Dr. Julie Henderson, Education Department professor; President William Hynes; and Tammy Dain, Community Relations Manager. Photo by Adam L. Turner.

“Congratulations!”  The brochure says. “You’re going to college!”
This is the welcoming document received by 200 Oakland and West Contra Costa County ninth-graders who already have been accepted into Holy Names University’s new Early Admit Program.
When they and their parents sign the contract, the students are pledging to maintain a GPA of 2.7 throughout high schooland complete the standard college preparatory curriculum (called the A-G academic requirements).
Students are not required to take the SAT or ACT exam.
In exchange, Holy Names University, at 3500 Mountain Blvd. in Oakland, guarantees admission and a $9,000 scholarship. However, students are not bound by the early commitment. They can decide in their senior year whether to attend Holy Names or another university.
“Over 200 students have signed up in the first three months – we’ll feel very accomplished if we reach 500 this first year,” said Dr. William Hynes, President of Holy Names, who initiated the Early Admit Program.
 “As the program grows, as its reputation spreads, high school counselors are betting the kids will do better in school, ”  he said.  “This program incentivizes preparation for college.”
As part of the program, which started in August, Holy Names provides information nights at the schools so students can plan for college and links each student with a college mentor who provides tutoring and other academic support.  Students also will receive help writing their admissions essay and with filling out their FAFSA financial aid application.
The Early Admit Program fills a crucial need because it responds to students’ worries about their futures, says Marilyn Harryman, a retired head counselor who worked in Oakland schools for 33 years. Read more

Gaye and  McKinley Williams. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

Richmond Honors Retiring CCC President McKinley Williams

By Kia

Gaye and McKinley Williams. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

More than 400 well-wishers attended McKinley Williams’ Retirement Celebration and Scholarship Fundraiser Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Contra Costa College (CCC) Physical Education Complex.
The event commemorated Williams’ six-year presidency at CCC as well as his contributions as an educator and academic leader and was hosted by the CCC African American Staff Association and CCC Culinary Arts Department.
 The celebration also kicked off the Gaye & McKinley Williams Scholarship Fund. Michelle Jackson served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
The program included a village assembly call performance by the Fua Dia Congo Drummers and an invocation by Rev. Paul Foster, Pastor of Abundant Faith Church.
Dr. Wise Allen of the Peralta Community College District and Dr. Helen Benjamin of the Contra Costa College District also spoke, and the Black Song & Poetry Ensemble performed.
Elected officials presented resolutions honoring Williams’ achievements, including Richmond Vice Mayor Tom Butt, San Pablo Mayor Cecilia Valdez, San Pablo Councilmember Leonard McNeil, Supervisor John Gioia, and representatives of Congressman George Miller, Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner.
Williams was roasted and toasted by co-workers and neighborhood friends including Rafael Madrigal, President of the CCC Foundation; Dr. George Herring, former President of Merritt College; Jeanette Moore, former Dean of Enrollment Services; Peter Garcia, President of Diablo Valley College; and Joe Fisher of the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC). Read more

Teresa Cox

Teresa Cox Keynotes The African Network’s (TAN) Conference at the San Jose Fairmont

By Carla

Teresa Cox

Harvesting African Entrepreneurial Opportunities and Promotion of Trade and Commerce between the USA and Africa was the theme of The African Network’s conference at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel last Saturday.
Hosted by TAN President Dr. Paschul Iwuh, the global non-profit organization, headquartered in Silicon Valley, fosters innovation in technology and business among people of the African Diaspora.  “We leverage available resources through our programs with education, networking, mentoring and creating an environment to match people with opportunities.  We don’t provide funding but everything else,” he said beside, Sade Sobande, Director of Media and Public Relations.  “Through the TAN Conferences we create an eco system where entrepreneurs, venture capitalist, community, business and policy leaders come together to discuss investments and opportunities,” said Sobande.
About 75 guests had the opportunity to hear from Myles Stevens, Principal of Stevens & Associates who has created architectural projects throughout West Africa and Chid Liberty, Founder and CEO, Liberty and Justice, Liberia who fosters entrepreneurship opportunities at the micro level.  The Honorable Teresa Cox, US Trade Advisor to the Department of Commerce served as keynote speaker.
Cox, a member of the Industry Trade Advisory Council advises on international trade agreements to promote the economic interest and opportunities of the United States and bargaining positions for global trade negotiations, Congressional and International relations, and other trade-related policy matters. She is the only representative from Northern California Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Read more

London Breed

Activists Push for London Breed as District 5 Supervisor

By Lee Hubbard

London Breed

When San Francisco District 5 supervisor Ross Mirkarimi was elected Sheriff of San Francisco, his position on the Board of Supervisors opened up.  
This opening, which becomes effective Jan. 8 when Mirkarimi becomes sheriff, has sparked a debate in San Francisco ’s Black Western Addition community, which is in the heart of District 5.
District 5 includes the areas such as Lower Pacific Heights, Haight Ashbury, Fillmore, Western Addition and Japan Town. Many Black activists want Mayor Ed Lee to appoint someone Black as supervisor, which would give an African American a leg up for the November election, which will determine the fate of the post for the next four years.  
Mayor Lee has said one of the qualifications he will use in making his appointment is whether the person can win in November.
Among those reportedly interested in the District 5 seat are Julian Davis, president of the board of Booker T. Washington Community Service Center; Gabriel Haaland, political director of SEIU Local 1021; Phil Ginsburg, Recreation and Park Department Director; and Michael O’Connor, the co-owner of the Independent Music Hall.
 Breed, who directs the African American Cultural Center on Fulton Street, has expressed interest in the position.  She has a large segment of the Black activist community behind her, pushing Mayor Lee to appoint her as supervisor.
“ London is a woman who is definitely qualified to sit in that seat,” said Bridgette LeBlanc, with Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA).  “She is a native San Franciscan who was raised and works in the community.  She is a leader who is electable, and she can build bridges.” Read more

Reverend Al Sharpton

Sharpton Says Walgreens Slashes Services to Poor

Reverend Al Sharpton

Reverend Al Sharpton, President and Founder of National Action Network, this week condemned recent actions by Walgreens, noting the retailer’s decision to end its relationship with Express Scripts will result in increased prescription costs for “the elderly, union members, Medicaid patients, the working poor and families of color.”
In a letter to Walgreens CEO Gregory Wasson, Sharpton writes, “A failure to resolve any issues with Express Scripts, a low-cost prescription program, will have a significant and detrimental impact on New York City residents locally” because Walgreens is preparing a merger with Duane Reade Drugstores. Both Walgreens and Duane Reade have a significant New York presence.
In releasing the letter, Sharpton said that Walgreens has “a troubling history with regard to underserved minority community,” noting that over the last five years, Walgreens has been subject to legal actions in a variety of states regarding efforts to abandon or restrict Medicaid program patients from coming to their stores (CA, DE, NY and WA have brought suit against Walgreens for these actions); that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission brought one of the largest and most flagrant racial discrimination cases against Walgreens for its unequal, unfair, illegal employment practices against 10,000 African American retail management and pharmacy employees; and that Medicaid patients have been subject to unequal treatment and care at Walgreens (in July 2009, a child in Denver died after Walgreens refused to fill a prescriptions over a Medicaid coverage dispute). Read more

President Obama, with First Lady Michelle, greets members of the military at the 440th Structural Maintenance Hangar at Fort Bragg, N.C., Wednesday.

“Promises Made, Promises Kept”

President Obama, with First Lady Michelle, greets members of the military at the 440th Structural Maintenance Hangar at Fort Bragg, N.C., Wednesday.

President Barack Obama saluted returning troops returning from Iraq Wednesday, declaring that the nearly nine-year conflict is ending honorably, “not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home.”
Marking the conclusion of the war at this military base that’s seen more than 200 deaths over nearly nine years of fighting in Iraq, Obama never tried to declare victory. It was a war that he opposed from the start, inherited as president and is now bringing to a close, leaving behind an Iraq still struggling.
But he sought to declare a noble end to a fight that has cost nearly 4,500 American lives and left about 32,000 wounded.
“The war in Iraq will soon belong to history, and your service belongs to the ages,” he said, applauding their “extraordinary achievement.” Read more

Perry Lang, BCA’s Executive Director.

Soulful Holidays Cabaret to Benefit Black Coalition on AIDS

Perry Lang, BCA’s Executive Director.

A soulful holidays cabaret highlighting Black LGBTQ talent and other local performers in San Francisco will celebrate the holidays on Sunday evening, Dec. 18 in the Castro District.
John Weber and Friends are hosting the “Soulful Holidays” cabaret, which will benefit the Black Coalition on AIDS (BCA). The cabaret will be held Sunday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Trigger Bar and Dance Club, 2344 Market St. in San Francisco. Tickets will be sold at the door. General admission is $10; the VIP reception and party is $40.
The cabaret will showcase local performers (some in drag). Participants include Mercedez Munro, BeBe Sweetbriar, Troy Brunet, Stephen Dorsey, Rotissary Ethnicity Jackson-Houston Ross, Garza, Nikki Starr, Sister Roma, Terry Dyer and more.
“We are going to have a fabulous time and raise money for a worthy cause,” said Weber, community philanthropist and Emperor XXXVI of San Francisco.  “The Black Coalition on AIDS has been providing services and support to the LGBTQ in San Francisco for 25 years, and we just want to organize and give something back during tough economic times.”   Read more

Mayflower Community Chorus performing with Jujuana Williams on left. Photos by Godfrey Lee.

Mayflower Community Chorus “Feels the Spirit”

By Godfrey Lee

Mayflower Community Chorus performing with Jujuana Williams on left. Photos by Godfrey Lee.

The recent “Feel the Spirit” concert of the Mayflower Community Chorus was a moving tribute to Black spirituals and songs, a series of three performance that underscored the powerful meaning of the music.
The concert was performed in San Rafael on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 at the Marin Center Showcase and on Dec. 11 at the Church of Saint Raphael.
Daniel Canosa, chorus director and conductor, is from Argentina where he studied composition and orchestra conducting at the Argentine Catholic University and Universidad Nacional De La Plata. In California, he founded the Apollo Baroque Orchestra in the Sierra Foothills and the Camerata California in Sacramento. He has also conducted the Auburn Symphony Orchestra and the Camilla Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, Canosa became the first Artistic Director of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony in San Francisco. Read more

De Lauer’s – the landmark newsstand and paperback store established in 1907 at 13th and Broadway in downtown Oakland.

Will Oakland Landmark De Lauer’s Newsstand Be Replaced by 7-Eleven?

By Ken A. Epstein

De Lauer’s – the landmark newsstand and paperback store established in 1907 at 13th and Broadway in downtown Oakland.

Unless the city acts to preserve its downtown Broadway corridor, De Lauer’s – the landmark newsstand and paperback store established in 1907 at 13th and Broadway – could be replaced by a new 7-Eleven, operated by the world’s largest chain of conveniences stores, based in Dallas, TX.
The issue for those who are concerned is more than whether the city will maintain a viable business that is part of Oakland history.  Also at stake is whether Broadway, Oakland’s main boulevard, will become a strip mall of fast food restaurants and chain outlets, or whether it will develop to reflect the city’s local identity.
The owners of De Lauer’s at 1310 Broadway, Fasil Lemma and Abdo Shrooh, had been struggling financially but have stabilized the business and are now operating in the black.  They were stunned when they learned recently that the new owners of their building, Citrine Advisors, had leased their space to 7-Eleven. Read more

Lee Backs Law to Restore the American Dream for the 99%

Congresswoman Barbara Lee this week joined fellow members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to introduce the Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act.
Provisions of the law would create jobs, end  wars and protect social security and Medicare.  Specifically, the law would create emergency employment by providing for 2.2 million jobs through on-the-job training and direct hire programs for cops, teachers, firefighters, construction and maintenance workers for schools, parks and public land workers, work study jobs for students, health providers including nurses and assistants and a new Community Corps. Read more

Augusta Lee Collins

August Lee Collins Upcoming Performances

Augusta Lee Collins

Augusta Lee Collins, singer and songwriter, will be performing at the Boardwalk, 9426 Greenback Lane in Orangevale, CA, on Jan. 7, with guest appearance by Fillmore Slim.  
Collins appears every Friday at Pizza Pazza, 3905 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland.
He performed recently at The All Star Haiti Emergency Relief Fund Fundraiser at Everett and Jones BBQ, Oakland, in Jack London Square with Danny Glover as special guest.  Contact Augusta at (510) 695-9339 or visit his blog:

Sylvia Britt (left) and actor Wilson Cruz.

Sylvia Britt Wins National “HIV HERO!” Award

Sylvia Britt (left) and actor Wilson Cruz.

Sylvia Britt, a HIV Wellness Navigator at Summit Hospital East Bay AIDS center in Oakland, has been named a national “HIV Hero!” in a nationwide contest to identify heroes who help victims fight HIV in their communities every day.
Winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Grammy Award-winning singer Dionne Warwick, actor Wilson Cruz, movie director Dustin Lance Black, author Malaak Compton-Rock and HIV advocacy leader David Munar. Essays were submitted by either the winner or someone in the winner’s community.
An HIV patient herself, Britt is a peer advocate for women with HIV/AIDS. She is actively engaged in local, statewide and national policy and advocacy for women with HIV and serves on the Kaiser Permanente HIV Advisory Board.
Britt has helped many women with HIV, including refugees from all over the world with no family or community to stand by them. She serves on the leadership committee for the 2012 WORLD International Aids Conference and was recently honored with a college scholarship in her name.
California has the second highest incidence of HIV in the U.S. San Francisco is the third highest city in the country with the most reported cases of HIV. There is an ongoing need to raise awareness about HIV. and one way to do that is to celebrate individuals who fight HIV in their communities every day. Read more

Alejandro Granado

CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program Helps 400,000 Needy Americans

Alejandro Granado

CITGO President and CEO Alejandro Granado and Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II launched the seventh consecutive year of the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program this week in New Jersey.
The CITGO-Venezuela  program will provide heating oil to more than 400,000 people this year in 25 U.S. states, including residents of over 250 homeless shelters, members of over 60 Native American tribes, families living in tenant-owned cooperatives and thousands of single-family households.
 “Over the years, the program has become the most important energy assistance program by an oil company,” said Mayor Dana Redd of Camden, NJ.
“CITGO is very proud to mark the seventh anniversary of our Heating Oil Program. Increasing energy costs continue to affect the quality of life for millions of people…We believe it is our obligation to use the strength of our resources to help alleviate the burden for those struggling to pay for home heating costs,” said CITGO President and CEO Alejandro Granado.
This year’s program was launched with a delivery of fuel to the Camden, N.J., row-house of a grandmother living on a limited income. Arlene Grier, who raised three children in her home on Merrimac Road, thanked Granado and Kennedy after they made a delivery of free heating oil to her home. Read more

Academy of Art Student Seeks Sponsors

By Ashley Chambers

Saalihah Mays

Saalihah Mays, a top student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, is seeking financial contributors to help her realize her educational goals. Mays is studying Multimedia Communications with aspirations to become an entertainment host.
“Education is the only way to get to where you want to be,” she said. An ambitious and hard worker, she is also an active participant in the support of education for children in Haiti.
“In one of my classes, we decided to make a video to put on the Internet so people can see that these kids in Haiti need uniforms and other educational necessities,” Mays said.
Due to family crisis, Mays needs $4,500 to help her pay her school fees. She is asking for financial gift donations to assist in this need.
“I’m looking forward to new things in life, and I’m just trying to meet my goals and succeed,” Mays said.
Please send all contributions/donations to: Academy of Art University, Attn: 2nd Floor Accounts Receivable Department, C/O Saalihah Mays Student ID# 03481637, 79 New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA 94105. Read more

Raiders playoffs hopes slipping away

Oakland, CA – The Detroit Lions might have shocked themselves, quarterback Matthew Stafford orchestrated two scoring drives that gave them their first lead of the game.  It’s another page out of the Raiders story book on losing in the final seconds.

 The Lions 28-27 victory over Oakland was a crushing defeat, Ndamukong Suh’s right arm blocked a game winning field goal attempt.  As he celebrated throwing his helmet into the air, the chilling silence left many in disbelief as fans left the stadium.

Read more

Sherlock Holmes II – better, stronger, funnier!


Jamie Foxx

He has costarred with Jamie Foxx (Due Date), Terrence Howard (Iron Man I) and Don Cheadle (Iron Man II) and now, Robert Downey, Jr. brings his A-game to the sequel, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” the action-packed romp that gets better the second time around.  Downey returns as the ever beguiling London detective and inventor –with an arsenal of new surprises and clever witted phrases– set within a visually stunning film directed by Guy Ritchie with musical score from Hans Zimmer.  Costars Jude Law (as Dr. Watson) and Rachel McAdams (as Irene Adler) are back again along with new characters Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) as Sherlock’s arch nemesis. The plot thickens with the addition of Sim (Swedish actor Noomi Rapace), the mysterious Gypsy who gives the bad guy a real go for it.   


During a press conference to discuss Sherlock Holmes II, Downey had this to say.

The sequel is stronger than the original—

Robert Downey, Jr: Well, after the first one worked out pretty good we later talked about things that we would like to improve, other directions we could go –blah, blah, blah– and then there is the reality of doing it. Anybody who has ever been involved in making the second part to a first that worked, there should be a whole online support team for this. And we have been through it. We continued to speak about it, over lunch and so forth because there is so much to learn [about the characters].  Again, I think the greatest disguise was us disguising ourselves as consummate –by the number of professionals– when in fact; we are all kind of incredibly eccentric.  Warner Bros gave us the opportunity to try to do something that is complicated.  And, the great thing, we had the time to do it. Read more

Red Tails - Oprah & Tyler show support

New Year’s Eve boasts a bounty of stars

Fancy food, fancy shoes, fancy formal wear– if you have high expectations for the New Year, so does New Year’s Eve, the new movie from New Line Cinema helmed by Director/Producer Garry Marshall (Valentine’s Day, Pretty Woman), packed with a bounty of A-List stars and a potpourri of pop culture.

The film’s all-star cast includes Academy Award® winner Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, two-time Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank and Sofia Vergara.

Much like Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve is a collage of vignettes centered on the central theme of the holiday in New York City. The heartbeat and pulse of the film celebrate love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts. As for its’ poignancy, everal scenes will grab you, particularly Halle Berry as Nurse Aimee, who provides doting care on a somewhat irascible terminal patient (Robert DeNiro) as he contends with making peace over his estranged daughter. We later discover who carries the heartbeat of Aimee’s affection, her deployed husband (Common), thousands of miles away at war. Read more

Award-Winning Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presents REJOICE!


A Musical Celebration

Concept & Book by Ron Stacker Thompson
Music & Lyrics by Nolan Shaheed

Additional Lyrics by Ron Stacker Thompson

Directed by Margo Hall

Musical Director Jacqueline Hairston Choreography by Traci Tolmaire

December 2011; San Francisco, CA — Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (LHT) will continue its 31st
season with the world premiere of Rejoice! A Musical Celebration, by Ron Stacker Thompson and
Nolan Shaheed. A musical retelling of the biblical nativity story, the book is written by Ron Stacker
Thompson, who is best known to Bay Area audiences as the founder of the Oakland Ensemble Theatre,
but has gone on to write for films such as Hoodlum, Sister Act 2, The Cemetery Club, Deep Cover, A
Rage in Harlem, Funny Valentines, Split Second and America’s Dream. Songs for the production are by
Nolan Shaheed, who has worked with such names as Marvin Gaye, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Diana
Ross, Phil Collins, and Anita Baker. Read more

Mike Hannigan (left), Chairman of the Workforce Investment Board  (WIB) and John Bailey, Executive Director., WIB. Photos by Adam L. Turner.

City Sits on $1 Million for Youth Jobs Programs

Last year’s federal funds for youth services and training is mostly unspent in city accounts

By Ken A. Epstein

Mike Hannigan (left), Chairman of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and John Bailey, Executive Director., WIB. Photos by Adam L. Turner.

Since the city has taken control of disbursing federal job funds for services to Oakland youth, over $1.2 million – 83 percent of funding for the year ending June 30, 2011 – has been trapped in the bureaucracy, undistributed to the agencies and young people who need the money.
This means that most of last year’s money, the funding for July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, is still unspent. The city has yet to expend the money that it has received for the current year.
In addition, these agencies did not receive their contracts from the city until this past April, three months before the end of the fiscal year.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) youth dollars are designed to serve 250 extremely at-risk youth. In 2010-2011, $1,510, 169 was budgeted for these programs, of which $860,000 was meant to pay the agencies and the balance paid in stipends, work experience and direct services, such as bus passes, to young people.
The Oakland Workforce Investment Board staff announced that as of Nov. 9, 1,254,794 was left unspent, 83 percent of the WIA youth funds for 2010-2011. This was the budget for year-round programs. Federal summer job funds are in a separate pot.
Rather than the fiscal year used by the state, the city started its funding for providers in January 2011, which has meant that agencies will not receive funding for programs they operated in the first six months of the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Read more

George  McCovery

Lose a pound, lose a day on your sentence Judge Donna Miller Releases Inmate George McCovery Early for Losing Weight For Losing Weight By Judge Donna Miller

George McCovery

An overweight inmate got out of jail early — not for good behavior — but for dropping some pounds.
A Florida judge kept her word that she’d free 345-pound George McCovery from Florida’s Lake County jail if he slimmed down while he was behind bars, The Orlando Sentinel reports Judge Donna Miller sentenced McCovery, 37, to 29 days in jail earlier this month for driving without a license, but told him he could get out a day early for each pound he lost, the Associated Press says.
The official weigh-in came 20 days into his stint and after eating mainly vegetables during the jailhouse dinners the big man had lost 25 pounds.
The judge is known in local circles for meting out creative sentences, which have also included orders to start jogging, take dance classes and tutor math, according to The Sentinel . Miller told the newspaper she expected McCovery to lose at most five or six pounds.
McCovery got out last Monday, just in time for a little Thanksgiving stuffing.

Chester McGlockton, 42, Raiders Pro-Bowl Star

Chester McGlockton, a four-time Pro Bowler for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, died early Wednesday morning of an apparent heart attack.
McGlockton, 42, had spent the past two years as a defensive assistant at Stanford.
Born in Whiteville, N.C., he was a high school All-American before starring at Clemson for three seasons. He was selected 16th overall in the 1992 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Raiders and would go on to play 12 seasons in the league.
He retired in 2003 after stints with the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets. In 2010, he completed his undergraduate degree at Tennessee-Martin. Later that year, he took a coaching job at Stanford.
McGlockton is survived by his wife, Zina, and two children.