From August 2012

A's Offense Explodes

By: Malaika Bobino

Oakland, CA – It’s been an amazing two months, now at seventy-four wins, this ball club is just getting started.  The Oakland A’s ended their season last year with seventy-three wins and have reached milestones that have surprised themselves.

Tonight, the A’s did not disappointing in their return home.  They embarrassed the Boston Red Sox in a 20-2 victory.  Earning their seventh straight win, the team scored 20 runs for the fourth time in Oakland’s history.

“I don’t think you can get any better than that,” manager Bob Melvin said when asked is he satisfied with the offense.  “That was pretty impressive across the board.”

The A’s wasted no time in getting the bats going, in the second frame Oakland scored four runs all earned.  Brandon Moss and Jonny Gomes each knocked in a run.  While Josh Donaldson blasted a 2-run homer to center field to extend their lead 4-0.  Donaldson continues his streak and has homered in three straight games.

The hits continued in the third, Moss doubled for the second time scoring in a run.  Gomes also hit his second single and scored in a run.  After seven hits, six runs and one home run, Red Sox’s pitcher Aaron Cook’s night ended.

“I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t be quite as rough,” said Cook.  “I was leaving balls in the middle of the plate up to a real good hitting team, that’s really hot right now.  The ball was up from me and they’re hitting it on the barrel, it’s not a good night.”

Boston’s bullpen quieted the A’s offense for only one inning.  They avoided a shutout thanks to Jarrod Saltalamacchia solo home run in the fourth.  The next and final run came in the seventh.  Pedro Ciriaco advanced to third on a wild pitch then scored off Mauro Gomez ground out to third.

“There’s nothing really to talk about, the score was 20-2,” Dustin Pedroia said.

Unfortunately, Oakland is now the talk of MLB.  The offense was unstoppable.  Moss, George Kottaras, Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson combined for four home runs and 20 RBI’s.  The A’s have outscored their opponents 59-18, during their seven game winning streak.

“You don’t get games like that, hardly ever,” said Brandon.  “Boy, that was fun.”

Moss hit a 2-run homer in the fifth and Kottaras hit a solo home run in the sixth and a two-run homer in the eighth.  Moss had a spectacular night as he recorded his first career-high four hit game.  He went 4-4 in the cycle, two doubles, four RBI’s and a home run.

Reddick capped off the night with a grand slam in the seventh which topped off a nine run inning.  It was his first career grand slam and the 18 runs earned by the seventh frame matched a season-high for Oakland.  The last time that happened was against Texas in 2000.

“We had a blast,” Josh Reddick said.  “Everyone is running to the bat rack and ready to bat.  You can’t wait to get in the batters box.”

“We’ve put ourselves into a position where we’re the good team,” said Jonny.  “Look at the numbers on this team, were pretty good.  We’re definitely not going to be scared of any competition.  How quickly things change, to where we might have a bull’s eye on our back and guys might be playing us different.”

Legislators Defend Environmental Protections

Jared Huffman

Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and 32 other Assemblymembers and Senators have blocked  last-minute legislation to undermine California’s most significant environmental protection law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
This 42-year old law has protected communities from pollution and allowed citizens to have a voice in decisions affecting their neighborhoods, public health, and quality of life.
Legislative leaders said Thursday they have dropped plans to overhaul California’s environmental regulations in a way that would have made it easier for developers and local governments to build new projects.
California’s business community made a highly visible push this month to loosen the state’s landmark law, known as the California Environmental Quality Act.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg on Thursday told a group of reporters that the effort would not go forward this year, despite legislative language introduced a day earlier.
“This law, for all of its strengths and its fault, is far too important to re-write in the last days of session,” said Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
In a letter sent earlier in the week to Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez, Huffman and his colleagues urged the leaders to “oppose any proposal to create significant new exemptions or otherwise re-write CEQA in the days ahead.”
“The protections CEQA affords are too important to change without careful, thoughtful analysis and review by stakeholders, the public, and a full, deliberative legislative process,” said Huffman in the letter. “We stand ready to work with you on thoughtful CEQA improvements.”

Free GED Classes in Marin City

Free GED and basic skills classes will be conducted at the Marin City Community Development Corporation starting starting Sept. 4.  at 441 Drake Ave. in Marin City.
The classes, which offer small, personalized and individualized instruction, will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
The classes will prepare students to take and pass all five GED tests. Students can work at their own pace.
The classes are open entry and all are welcome. For information, call (415) 339-2837.

Marin County’s High Breast Cancer Rate May be Tied to Genes

Dr. Kathie Dalessandri

By Jason Bardi,
Courtesy of UCSF

Marin County, has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world, a fact that scientists know has nothing to do with the land itself but with some other, unknown factor.
A new study that analyzed mouth buccal cell samples stored frozen at UC San Francisco (UCSF) suggests what this factor may be: a genetic trait present among women within the county’s predominantly white population.
In an article published online by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, which will appear in the November 2012 print issue, surgeon scientist Dr. Kathie Dalessandri, colleagues at UCSF and the company InterGenetics Inc. in Oklahoma City, describe how, in a small, retrospective pilot study involving the mouth cells from 338 women living in Marin, slight variations within the DNA of a human gene for vitamin D receptor were associated with breast cancer risk.
“While the findings must be validated in a much larger, prospective study,” Dalessandri warned, “we found that women who were at high risk for breast cancer were 1.9 times more likely to have a specific vitamin D receptor variation than the general population.”
A larger, collaborative prospective study in Marin County is ongoing, spearheaded by the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. This study includes an examination of breast cancer risk on a scale involving thousands of women.
For now, Dr. Dalessandri said, there is no clear-cut advice on the level of vitamin D needed for breast cancer prevention, but variations in the Vitamin D receptor may be an important modulator of risk.
The discovery does not rule out that there may be other factors involved in the elevated breast cancer risk in Marin County, said Dalessandri, but it gives an important clue moving forward.

Bill to Keep State Parks Open

Senator Mark Leno

Millions of dollars in funds that were underreported by the Department of Parks and Recreation would be used keep California’s state parks open to the public under a bill proposed by Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Mark Leno.
The plan would also match private donations made for the purpose of keeping parks open and pay for long deferred park maintenance projects.
Leno, D-San Francisco, proposed legislation to appropriate the funds solely for the benefit of the state’s park system during the Committee’s informational hearings regarding how the department was able to underreport $20.4 million in the State Parks and Recreation Fund.
“While we clearly need to fix the serious problem that allowed more than $20 million to go virtually unnoticed, the silver lining today is that we have an opportunity to prevent the closure of parks and invest in long overdue repairs throughout the parks and recreation system,” said Leno.
“Our parks are important to all Californians, and our top priority is to ensure that people in every community continue to have access to these natural treasures for years to come,” he said.
The Senate proposal places a moratorium on full park closures for two years, gives the Parks and Recreation Commission more oversight authority and a role in reviewing deferred maintenance, provides a sustainable, long-term strategy for park funding, and appropriates the found money exclusively to keep parks open.
The Budget and Fiscal Review Committee also heard testimony regarding reporting discrepancies between the Department of Finance and the State Controller’s Office in the overall accounting of the state’s special funds.
The State Parks and Recreation Fund is one of the state’s more than 500 special funds with dedicated funding sources that support specific public programs. The Department of Finance recently conducted a review of those funds, finding $3.9 billion in discrepancies.

Bethel AME Celebrates Women’s Day

Rev. Kia Granberry

Rev. Francine Brookins

By Post Staff

Bethel AME Church in San Francisco will hold its annual celebration of women in the church on Sunday, Aug. 26.
This year marks the 160th anniversary of the church, located at 916 Laguna St., and the theme for 2012 Women’s Day is “Women’s Season: Working, Walking and Praising Together.”
Guest speakers for the day are Rev. Kia Granberry, director of communications at Mississippi Boulevard Christian, one of the largest and oldest African American multi-site churches in Memphis, Tennessee, who will speak at the 8 a.m. morning service, and  Rev. Francine Brookins, senior pastor of Bethel AME Church in Fontana, CA. , who is speaking at the 11 a.m. service.
Rev. Granberry is a minister, community leader and entrepreneur. She was the first woman to preach at a historic church in Memphis founded by slaves. She also became one of the youngest executives for a major nonprofit benefiting troubled youth in foster care.
Rev. Brookins is a powerful preacher who is committed to social justice and is an advocate for the marginalized voices in society. In addition to her service to the church, she is an attorney who specializes in mediation, arbitration, and conflict resolution.
Rev. Brookins was assigned in 2009 to pastor Bethel AME in Fontana, where she led the congregation in building a new $1.5 million church within two years.  Prior to serving at Bethel, she was pastor for four years at Wright Chapel Church in San Francisco.
For information call Bethel AME Church in San Francisco at (415) 921-4935.

America’s Cup – Boats on the Bay

Team USA (right) turns in front of the San Francisco landscape during America’s Cup World series practice on Monday. Photo by Scot Tucker/SFBay.

The America’s Cup racing village opened Tuesday at San Francisco’s Marina Green, where race organizers introduced the sailors who are participating in preliminary races this week for the international regatta.
Practice runs began Tuesday afternoon on the Bay. The America’s Cup World Series races take place Wednesday through Sunday and involve 11 different boats representing eight teams.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee welcomed the sailors at a news conference Tuesday morning, saying residents are “going to see a level of excitement they’ve never seen” during the races, which will culminate in the America’s Cup Finals in September 2013.
Lee said he expects tens of thousands of people to come out for the races, which are projected to bring about $1 billion in economic benefits to the Bay Area.
“It’s not just for San Francisco; I say a billion dollars to the economy to the Bay Area with all the different activities,” he said.
Iain Murray, CEO of the America’s Cup Race Management, said the Bay’s waters should prove “very exhilarating and testing” and that “we’re in for a spectacular next five days.”
Qualifying races began Wednesday, followed by quarterfinals on Thursday and Friday, semifinals on Saturday and a final race on Sunday.
John Kostecki, a tactician for Oracle Team USA, which won the last America’s Cup in 2010 and chose San Francisco as the location for next year’s finals, said he expects a lot of action this week along the race course, which spans about 2 miles.
“It’s tough to navigate,” Kostecki said. “It’s a tight race course, and it will be very crowded.”
The America’s Cup World Series will return to San Francisco again from Oct. 2-7 before heading to Italy in April and May 2013.
The regatta will then come back to San Francisco for the Louis Vuitton Cup between July 4 and Sept. 1, 2013, followed by the America’s Cup Finals from Sept. 7-22, 2013.
More information about the races is available at www.americascup.com.

Free Mental Health Classes

The fifth annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family Education Program will be held Sept. 6 to Dec. 6 at Grace Lutheran Church at 2369 Barrett Ave. in  Richmond.
The free 12-week course covers the major mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, borderline personality disorder, major depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.
These mental health healing conversations are designed to help spouses, siblings, children, parents, cousins and close friends of a loved one suffering from a severe and persistent mental illness.
Families members who are sick from stress should know they are not alone  and need not suffer this pain. There are solutions.
The program follows the curriculum medical model developed by Dr. Joyce Burland. According to past Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, mental illness carries a stigma that is influenced by culture, class, race, ancestral nationality, gender and age.
He said that quality of care differs disproportionately among poor people, the homeless, African American, Mestizo Americans, Indigen Americans and Asian Americans due to cultural, ecologic, economic, political and social factors.
Wheelchair access is available. For information  call Baby Raff at (510) 374-9651, Dolores Ruff at (510) 593-7971 or  Dr. Mujahidun Sumchai at (510) 237-9277 . E email family2familyrichmond.nami@gmail.com.

Left Coast Gospel Festival Sept. 8 at Craneway Pavilion

Minister Marvin Webb.Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC).

Minister Marvin Webb of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church is an activist whose commitment to fighting gun violence in Richmond has led him to produce the left Coast Gospel Festival, which takes place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 8, at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.
The shows will feature Gospel artist, including Grammy Award nominee Troy Sneed, as well as Christian comedians and rap artists.
Webb, who is himself a Gospel recording artist, hopes the event will unite community members and showcase a positive side of Richmond that is often unseen.
“We hope to start a movement to stop the violence in the community and change what people think of Richmond and highlight the beauty of the city,” he said.
To purchase tickets to the Left Coast Gospel visit www.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at a number of locations including Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, The Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL), Reeds Records in Berkeley and Nu Revelations Book Store in Hayward.
Tickets are priced at $20 for adults and $15 for youth. Churches and organizations are encouraged to attend. For more information or group tickets call  (510) 501-8114.

Contra Costa College Welcomes Dr. Denise Noldon

From left to right: Dr. Denise Noldon, Dr. McKinley Williams and Dr. Helen Benjamin, Chancellor Contra Costa Community College District.

By Kia Croom

Contra Costa College held a community reception recently to welcome its new president Dr. Denise Noldon, a longtime  instructor and administrator in higher education.
Noldon was was chosen among four finalists in May as the college’s 11 president. She replaces former president McKinley Williams, who retired.
The Aug. 15 reception at the college was attended by elected officials, community and civic leaders. Among the speakers were Dr. Bruce Harter, Superintendent, West Contra Costa Unified School District, and Dr. Helen Benjamin, chancellor.
Event highlights included a performance by the children of the childcare center and former president Williams’ passage of a baton to Noldon.
“I really believe that the college and the community are fortunate to have Dr. Noldon as the … president of CCC.  She brings a wealth of experience and dedication to student success that will enable her to continue the tradition of excellence that has been associated with one of the premier community colleges in the nation,” said Williams.
Noldon is an East Bay native and alumnus of Berkeley High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling/student development in higher education from California State Long Beach.
She earned a doctorate in College Student Personnel Administration at the University of Maryland at College Park.
She has worked for 20 years as an educator and taught at Drexel University in Philadelphia and Oregon State University, serving also as an administrator at Chabot and Las Positas Colleges.
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.

Dr. William Morris Jenkins, Jr., 83

Dr. William Morris Jenkins Jr. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC).

By Kia Croom

The community is mourning the loss of pediatrician Dr. William Morris Jenkins, Jr.  who served families in the East Bay for many years. He died on Aug. 15 at his Piedmont home.
For more than 50 years, Jenkins worked as a pediatrician at North Oakland Pediatrics and Richmond Pediatrics, until his retirement earlier this year.
Jenkins is remembered as a dedicated medical practitioner who provided pediatric services to thousands of children in underserved communities and conducted over 1 million patient examinations during the course of his career.
He received numerous awards including the 2001 Doctor of the Year Award from the National Medical Association.
Jenkins was born on Feb. 12, 1929, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He graduated from Morehouse College and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College in 1957. He completed residencies in OB/GNY, Pediatrics and Cardiology.
He was preceded in death by his brother Lewis Jenkins and sisters-in-law Emma Jenkins and Madlyn Jenkins.
He is survived by his wife, Carol Lee Jenkins; sons, William Morris Jenkins, III and John Lewis Jenkins; daughter-in-law Amy Yamner Jenkins; and grand-daughter Ella Sandy Jenkins.
Services will be held 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25 at Hilltop Community Church, 3118 Shane Drive in Richmond.
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.

Soda Tax Not a Viable Solution

Jim McMillan. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC).

By Jim McMillan

The desired results cannot be obtained by simply placing a tax on sodas.
If people want the sodas they will pay the extra money. There are jurisdictions within 5-15 min where there are not taxes, and people will go there.
The problem should be attacked from the standpoint of education. Start with the state health department, food and drug agencies, etc. Do educational programs in schools and health facilities, and educate people to the dangers of concentrated sugars in soda.
If such a tax did succeed, the funds would be general purpose and serve the general purpose of the city, for which we already pay taxes. I don’t think it’s a desirable and effective way to curb the consumption of sodas.
The point is why cause the people who are going to buy soft drinks anyway to spend extra money. It’s not a viable solution to a problem we need to work collectively to address.
It’s a health problem, not a tax problem.
Jim McMillan is a former member of the Richmond City Council.

Chevron Richmond Sponsors Run to End Hunger and Homelessness

The Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) will host the 26th Annual GRIP Harmony Walk and 5K Run to End Hunger and Homelessness, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Richmond Civic Center Plaza.
Proceeds of the benefit, which is sponsored by Chevron, will support the GRIP Family Housing Shelter, which houses more than 100 homeless families each year and the Souper Center , which serves more than 90,000 meals to West County’s homeless and hungry.
For the first time in its 26-year history, the event will include a 5K run. With anticipated attendance of more than 700 people, the run will be the largest walk/race in West Contra Costa County.
After registering, participants can enjoy a free pancake breakfast and a short warm-up exercise preceding the walk/race, which starts promptly at 9 a.m.
Immediately following the walk/race, the Harmony Walk Community Fair and Festival promises fun and excitement with kids races, give-a-ways, free food and beverages, a petting zoo, live performances and more than 30 exhibitor booths.
This year’s festival will also feature  a dog walk and costume contest.
“GRIP’s staff and volunteers house the homeless and feed the hungry every day,” said Kia Croom, Program Director and Event Coordinator.  “We are so excited to expand the (event) to include a 5K Run this year and are confident the race will add another dimension of excitement.”
“Chevron Richmond is proud to serve as the presenting sponsor of an event that supports GRIP, which helps to provide programs and services vital to homeless individuals and families in the Richmond community,” said Andrea Bailey, Community Engagement Manager, Chevron Richmond Refinery.
“Programs like GRIP are important to the community, addressing core needs and helping to transform the lives of people in Richmond,” she said. “That’s why Chevron has sponsored the walk for the last five years.”
To register to walk or run for the 26th Annual GRIP Harmony Walk and 5K Run to End Hunger and Homelessness presented by Chevron Richmond, visit harmonywalk.teamraiseeasy.com.

Love Center Ministries Celebrates 40 Years

Bishop Walter L. Hawkins

Love Center Ministries, Inc. at 10400 International Blvd. in Oakland is holding its 40th anniversary celebration, Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21 at the church campus.
Founded by Bishop Walter L. Hawkins, the church and its ministries’ music department have produced many songs that are heralded around the globe and copied by numerous recording artists and brought national and international distinction to the City of Oakland, notably through its “Love Alive” albums.
On Friday, the first night of the celebration, there will be a Homecoming Concert at 7:30 p.m. Many of the original song leaders from the signature albums will perform.
Saturday night activities feature a banquet, with closing ceremonies on Sunday at 10 a.m., with guest speaker Bishop Keith Clark from Word Assembly Church, also in Oakland.
Tickets are available at the church or by calling  (510) 729-0680.

Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian Leader, Dies Abroad

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

By Emily Wax

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who was once hailed as a major U.S. ally against terrorism but whose 21-year rule was tarnished by the killing and jailing of political protesters and a grisly border war with former ally Eritrea, died late Monday while being treated abroad for an undisclosed illness. He was 57.
The death was announced by Ethiopian state television, which said only that  Meles died shortly before midnight after contracting an infection. The government did not specify where he died, and the circumstances of his death were laced with intrigue.
The highly active prime minister, who attended the Group of 20 summit in Mexico in June, had not been seen in public for about two months.
Government officials were vague about his whereabouts, saying he was suffering from an unspecified illness after receiving medical treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Europe.
Meles, a onetime Marxist guerrilla who redefined himself as an economic reformer, was a strategic U.S. military ally in the Horn of Africa. He allowed the United States to send drones into neighboring Somalia from Ethiopian territory.
With Washington’s backing, he sent Ethiopian troops into Somalia to fight Islamist militants and other anti-American fighters between 2006 and 2009.
His death plunged his impoverished nation of 75 million people into political uncertainty. Developments were being watched closely in Washington, which has provided more than $2 billion in aid to Ethiopia since 2010. The Washington area is also home to more than 200,000 Ethiopian immigrants, the largest population of Ethiopians outside the country.
Historically known as Abyssinia, Ethiopia was a monarchy for much of its history and was ruled from 1930 to 1974 by Emperor Haile Selassie I. He was replaced by Soviet-backed dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who ruled from 1974 to 1991. The country has suffered from droughts, famines and grinding poverty that led to violent dissent.
Meles’s dramatic rise to power began when he joined an armed rebel group. He quit medical school at Addis Ababa University in 1974 and “went to the bush” to wage a revolution against Mengistu’s repressive communist regime.

Romney Stands for Richest 1%

Mitt Romney

By Jesse
Jackson, Sr.

Raise taxes on the rich? “Class warfare” the Republicans rail. Any dis¬cussion of inequality, says Mitt Romney, should be held privately “in quiet rooms.”
Yet the Romney agenda for the country opens a new offensive in class warfare — only on the side of the few, not the many. America’s inequality has already reached extremes not seen since 1929 before the Great Depression. In 2010, the richest 1 percent captured an obscene 93 percent of the nation’s income growth. The top 1 percent now has as much wealth as 90 percent of Americans.
As Warren Buffett, one of America’s richest men, told New York Times columnist Ben Stein: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Romney and Republicans demand extension of the extra Bush tax cuts that go to those earning more than $250,000 a year. In addition, Romney calls for slashing individual tax rates across the board by 20 percent, eliminating the estate tax that applies only to the multimillionaires and sustaining the concessionary 15 percent tax rate on capital gains income overwhelmingly pocketed by the wealthiest Americans.
He promises to pay for these tax cuts by closing “loopholes,” but refuses to identify them. But even with the most generous assumptions, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center — a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution — found that the rich don’t collect enough in loopholes to pay for the proposed tax cuts. Romney’s tax plan would end with the richest Americans getting a tax cut while most Americans end up paying more.
Class warfare straight up.
On spending, Romney claims that he can cut federal spending while increasing spending on the military and putting off his (poisonous) plans for Medicare and Social Security for a decade (so that those 55 and over won’t vote against him). But neither Romney nor running mate Paul Ryan will reveal what they would cut. Ryan’s budget calls for devastating cuts in Medicaid and food stamps. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that more than three-fifths of the Ryan cuts in the first decade come from programs for the poor. Class warfare again.
Add to this the Romney “Bain Capital” economic policy. Romney criticizes Obama for not signing more corporate trade treaties, despite the fact that our trade policies not only ship jobs abroad but rack up more than $1 billion a day in trade deficits, more than half to China. (To be fair, Romney pledges to certify China as a currency violator, but every candidate promises to get tough with China, then folds once in office).
Romney also wants to repeal even the modest reforms of Wall Street that Obama got through Congress. He opposes raising the minimum wage and echoes Republican scorn of worker rights and unions. But the decline of unions has contributed to an economy in which workers no longer gain a fair share of the increased productivity and profits that they help to create. Once more, class warfare on the side of the CEOs and against working families.
Increasingly a Southern-based “whites only” dominated party, Republicans wrap their class warfare into scorn for “those people”: poor people of color. Can they con¬solidate support among white blue-collar workers, even as their policies attack those workers? Divide and conquer is an ancient strategy in warfare and in politics. Will it work for Mitt Romney, so clearly a man of, by and for the 1 percent?
We’ll know in November.

Warriors Donate Technology Room to “College Track” After School Center

Celebrating the opening of the College Track technology room are ( L to R) Warrior Girl Lisa, Warrior Legend and Community Ambassador Alvin Attles, Warriors General Manager Bob Myers, College Track Student Chardonnay Collins, College Track Student Isaiah Berry, College Track VP of Programming Jeannie Johnson, College Track Oakland Site Director Shria Tomlinson, College Track Oakland Student Life Director Gurpreet Takher, College Track, College Track Chief of Staff Linh Huynh, College Track VP of Development Sean Sullivan, Warrior Girl Danielle.

The Golden State Warriors have donated a new technology room to College Track, a national after-school program that helps students from underserved communities go to college.
The Warriors on Aug. 13 officially donated the lab to College Track, which is located at 117 Broadway in Oakland.
The computer lab will allow students to access technology to improve their ability to complete homework, essays, papers and learn how to conduct online research, engage in online learning and tutoring and learn to use software and programming skills to help better their chances at college success and graduation, according to the organization’s staff.
The Warriors  donated 10 new computers for the lab and 15 others that will be given to students who do not have computers at home.
“Everything wonderful that’s happened to me has come through College Track, and with this gift I know it will be the same for the future classes and students, too,” said College Track student Chardonnay Collins, speaking at the opening.
“With this gift the Golden State Warriors demonstrated their shared values with College Track … to level the technological divide that is as wide as the achievement gap in urban cities where we serve,” said Gurpreet Takher, Student Life Director at College Track
Founded in 1997, College Track has grown each year. Currently, with a staff of 45 and an operational budget of over $9,000,000, the organization supports close to 1,000 high school and 400 college students at centers in East Palo Alto, Oakland, San Francisco, New Orleans, Aurora, Colorado and Los Angeles, with plans for annual expansion.
To reach College Track call (510) 835-1770 or go online to www.collegetrack.org

Ollie May Coby is 103

Ollie May Coby

At 103 years old, Ollie May Coby still attends church Sunday school and morning worship service at Bethany Baptist Church in Oakland, studies her Bible, cleans and cooks collard greens, corn bread, sweet potato pies, fruit cakes and black-eyed peas.
Born in Hilly, Louisiana on April 1, 1909, Coby was the granddaughter of former slaves in the deep South. She has lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement and the election of the first African-American president.
During the Great Depression, when her husband was unable to find work, she supported her family by working as a domestic.  In the 1950s, she and her husband Jim relocated to California to be near their two daughters and their families. She resides in Oakland.

New AC Transit Manager Will Hire Drivers

David Armijo

By Spencer
Whitney

After working 30 years in transportation services, David Armijo knows the bus industry inside and out. The new general manager of AC Transit has worked as a bus operator, designed bus routes and schedules and managed operators.
“When I attended San Diego State University, I majored in public policy and had a professor advise me to get into the transportation business because traveling is something that people will always need,” Armijo said.
“I’ve worked in the transportation business for decades, and I see that the demand has only increased,” he said.
As the head of the agency, his duties include reducing the carbon footprint left by bus exhaust by utilizing hydrogen batteries and fuel cells for hybrid buses.
In the next three years, he says AC Transit will buy 300 new buses to replace the older models.
“Each month, we have about eight operators retiring. So we are definitely looking to expand our brand and hire some fresh faces to operate the buses,” said Armijo. “We are also looking to increase bicycle access.”
Armijo says his goals include providing safe and reliable bus service. One big project has been the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT), which travels in exclusive lanes to avoid traffic and can be powered by hybrid electric or clean diesel.
The $150-million project was approved recently by the San Leandro City Council and the Oakland City Council.
The BRT route will begin at the 20th Street Uptown Station in Oakland, continue along East 14th Street to downtown San Leandro, then along Davis Street to San Leandro BART. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, with the system fully operational in 2016.
“We want to do right by the community, and this project will create local construction jobs for the community,” said AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson. “Overall, the BRT will make transportation around the Bay Area faster and safer.”
AC Transit expects BRT will lead to increase  corridor ridership from 25,000 to 36,000 people per day and operate at 28 percent faster travel speed during the afternoon rush hour.
Those who interested in applying for jobs as drivers can fill out an application online at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/actransit/default.cfm.
Applicants should be at least 23 years old an have a minimum of seven years driving experience and no at-fault accidents in the past three years.

First Lady Visits Sikh Shooting Victims’ Families

First lady Michelle Obama greets Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, left, Sikh temple secretary of the board of trustees, and Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi on Thursday, Aug. 23 before talking to victims of the Aug. 5 Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek. AP Photo.

Michelle Obama visited Milwaukee this week to meet with family members of those killed and injured in a Sikh temple shooting this month.

“It’s my honor to be here with you,” Obama told Temple secretary Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal and Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi during a brief exchange before meeting with the families.
“I’m sorry it’s under these circumstances, but I am anxious to meet with the families and lend whatever support I can,” she added.
The meeting was held away from the press and was not open to the general public.
The White House said the first lady’s visit Thursday was part of the administration’s outreach to the Sikh community after the Aug. 5 shooting.
Rajwant Singh, the chairman of the Maryland-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said her visit was a welcome gesture.
“It is important that these families hear firsthand how she and the president feel about this terrible tragedy,” he said.
A gunman killed six people attending Sunday services before killing himself. The gunman was associated with white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups. Investigators say they may never know for certain what prompted his attack.
While the president himself has not  traveled to Milwaukee after the shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder attended a memorial service.
As the Sikh community in this Milwaukee suburb continues to mourn the dead, they have taken solace in one fact: The killing has drawn attention to their religion and given them a chance to share traditional Sikh messages of peace and justice with a global audience.
“There’s a prayer we say twice a day, asking God to please give peace to everybody and give progress to every person in this birth,” said Inderjeet Singh Dhillon, one of the temple leaders. “We don’t mention a person’s name or color or religion. We just say one word for every human on Earth.”
There are an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 Sikhs living in America. However, it’s not uncommon for Sikhs to keep to themselves, leaving non-Sikhs to wonder from afar about Sikh customs.
Sikh leaders in the U.S. have tried to change that. They have encouraged people of all faiths to visit their temples and sit with them on the floor to partake of free meals. One of those leaders was Satwant Singh Kaleka, the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and one of the six people killed Aug. 5.
Kaleka tried to fight off the gunman with a butter knife, buying time for others to hide in the temple. The gunman, white supremacist Wade Michael Page, later killed himself during an ensuing gun battle with police.

Back to School Rally Pumps Up Students

Oakland families enjoy Back to School celebration and back pack giveaway downtown in the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on Saturday, Aug. 18..

By Lee Hubbard

The fifth annual “Attend and Achieve” rally took place this past weekend in the plaza around Oakland City Hall, bringing together close to 1,500 Oakland students and their parents for a day of festivities, including speakers, work shops, entertainment, free food and backpack giveaways.
The event was designed to help families get ready for the start of public school in Oakland on Aug.  27.
“This event is about getting students pumped up and ready for school,” said Chantal Reynolds, a member of the Oakland Youth Commission, who worked at the event.
The annual event is the brainchild of Dee Dee Abdur Rahim, Nyeisha DeWitt and Tameka Raymond of Oakland Natives Give Back.
This year, the rally was co-sponsored by KQED, the Mayors office, the Oakland Unified School District, the Oakland Housing Authority, Imagine That and other Oakland non-profits.
“We are working hand-in-hand with various city agencies and nonprofits to celebrate the start of the school year,” said DeWitt, who also serves as director of the citywide dropout prevention program of Oakland ’s Promise Alliance.
“I am excited that we have so many parents out with their children to highlight the importance of community celebrations,” DeWitt said.
The day kicked off with a free breakfast provided by Jamba Juice. The youth then went to workshops by age group to talk about back to school issues and how to be prepared for a successful school year.
One of the workshop presenters was attorney Adante Pointer. He said it was important that young people see people who look like them as achievers.
“I was just telling the kids to achieve and not to be afraid to pursue their dreams,” said Pointer. “Where you start doesn’t have to be where you finish.”
At noon, participants were provided a free lunch by Mr. Pizza Man. After lunch, a rally took place with Oakland school’s superintendent Tony Smith, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Eric Johnson, executive director of Oakland Housing Authority.
“(This festival) emphasizes the importance of regular attendance and aligns parents, the school district and our community partners around the common goal of providing the conditions necessary for student success,” said Smith.
“We want to make sure kids show up to school on the first day, as a way to cut down on chronic absenteeism, which impacts learning,” said Johnson. ‘

Black Men Caught in Prostate Cancer Screening Controversy

Dr. Chiledum A. Ahaghotu, M.D.

By Dr. Chiledum A.
Ahaghotu, M.D

Prostate cancer is the leading type of cancer in men in the United States, with over 240,000 men diagnosed and 30,000 thousand dying from it each year. Also, for reasons that are not completely understood, African-American men have the highest rates of prostate cancer in the U.S, as 1 in 5 will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.
African-Americans are also 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2.5 times likely to die of the disease.
When caught early, prostate cancer can be treated, usually successfully. But because many men experience no symptoms, it is often identified only by an abnormal result on a basic prostate cancer screening called the PSA test.
The PSA test is a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by the prostate gland. An increase in the PSA level is often the only sign of early prostate cancer. The PSA test is also valuable in monitoring patients after treatment.
In May 2012, despite tremendous opposition from prostate cancer experts, legislators, healthcare advocates and cancer survivors across the country, a US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) Committee announced a recommendation that PSA testing should no longer be performed routinely.
The task force came to this decision based on studies in the U.S. and Europe suggesting that prostate cancer screening does not appear to improve survival in patients with this disease.
One of the major concerns raised by opponents of the recommendation is that the studies lacked representation by African-American participants.
The USPSTF committee also failed to acknowledge the impact of screening on declining cancer death rates. Opponents of this recommendation felt that the bottom line is that fewer men are dying of prostate cancer, and it is very likely that early detection has played a role in this outcome.
Despite the decrease in death rates, African-American men continue to carry a disproportionately higher death rate and, among men under the age of 60, are 4 times more likely to have metastatic disease at diagnosis.
There is currently ongoing research to find better screening strategies than the PSA test. However, until these tests have been confirmed, the PSA test continues to be important part of early detection.
Any man that is over 40 years of age should have meaningful dialogue with his healthcare provider to understand the details of the PSA test, its value, and possible shortcomings.
Prostate cancer screenings are not provided under the Affordable Care Act, so make sure you choose a health insurance policy that covers PSA screenings. However, Medicare provides regular prostate cancer screenings.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Week is Sept. 16-22, and free prostate health assessments will be offered at over 500 locations across the country. To find a location, visit www.prostateconditions.org/screening-site. Or call 303-313-4685/Toll free: 1-866-4-PROST-8.
Learn more about prostate cancer at www.prostatehealthguide.com.
Chiledum A. Ahaghotu, M.D., F.A.C.S. is Chief of Urology at Howard University Hospital and Adviser to Men’s Health Network.

Allen Temple Opens East Oakland Health Clinic

The late Dr. Robert Scott, Gloria Cox-Crowell and Jesse Brooks at an HIV event, one month before Scott’s untimely death in 2009.

By Jesse
Brooks

Bolstering efforts to address health disparities in East Oakland, Allen Temple Baptist Church is opening of a new health clinic to support the community, which is heavily impacted by crime and poverty.
The opening of the Robert C. Scott Wellness Center, named in honor of the late physician, was announced by Allen Temple’s Health Education Ministry at a media conference during the church’s 35th Annual free Health Fair, which took place last weekend on the church’s campus.
Partnering with Allen Temple are La Clinica Del la Raza, Lifelong Medical Care and West Oakland Health Center, which are pooling resources to form the clinic.
Allen Temple is located at 8501 International Blvd.
According to Gloria Cox-Crowell, director of development and a member of the clinic’s planning committee, the clinic is a dream that is coming true after more than two and a half years.
“It is good to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
“The clinic is a blessing to the area and will deliver culturally competent services,” said, Brenda Shipp, chief operational Officer of Lifelong. “It will be addressing the needs of the whole person – the mind, body and spirit,” she said.
Shipp also sees improved access to medical care as a way to cut down on hospitalization. “We can teach youth at an early age about preventive care, reaching them before they become diabetic or have heart disease,” said Shipp.
Dr. Robert Scott. whjo died in 2009,  co-founded the AIDS Project of Eastbay in 1983 and co-founded Allen Temple’s AIDS Ministries in 1994. He was the first African American doctor licensed to practice in Zimbabwe, using his own funds to take his team to Africa to care for the sick.
According to information provided by a 2009 California Health Interview produced by Alameda County, one in five adults in East Oakland are not insured, and more than one in three have not visited a doctor in the last year.
According to the survey, the rate of visits to an emergency room is double the countywide rate, an indicator of poor access to regular healthcare.
Dr. Alvin McLean, who will be a counselor with the medical team, says the clinic will create opportunities for medical students and interns to gain knowledge and experience working with diverse populations.
The clinic’s opening was connected to daylong family health fair that provided resources to thousands of individuals, families and caregivers.
Crowell reported that during a routine exam that day, a patient was diagnosed with late stage of prostate cancer and taken directly to a local hospital for treatment.
“It is these kinds of scenarios that demonstrate the need for community health,” she said.

CDC Finds Tattoos Associated with Skin Infections

Permanent tattoos have become increasingly common, with 21 percent of adults in the U.S. reporting having at least one tattoo.
On rare occasions, outbreaks of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) skin infections have been reported after tattooing.
In January 2012, public health officials in New York received reports of these skin infections in 14 New York residents who received tattoos late last year. All infections were associated with use of the same nationally distributed, pre-diluted gray ink.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) disseminated a public health alert to identify additional tattoo-associated skin infections. Previously, identified cases were reported in Washington, Iowa, and Colorado.
Public health investigations by CDC, state and local health departments, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found contamination in tattoo inks used in two of five identified clusters. All infected persons were exposed to one of four different brands of ink.
Contamination of inks can occur during the manufacturing process as a result of using contaminated ingredients or poor manufacturing practices, or when inks are diluted with non-sterile water by tattoo artists.
No specific FDA regulatory requirement explicitly provides that tattoo inks must be sterile. However, the CDC recommends that ink manufacturers ensure ink is sterile and that tattoo artists avoid contamination of ink through dilution with non-sterile water. Consumers also should be aware of the health risks associated with getting an intradermal tattoo.

“The Piper” Plays “Cops and Robbers”

Jinho “The Piper” Ferreira of Oakland music group Flipsyde goes solo with a one-man play,  “Cops and Robbers,” 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8 at Malonga Casquelourd Center, 1428 Alice St. in Oakland.
Ferreira takes all sides of many difficult issues and plays all the characters to fashion a play drawing on his day job in law enforcement, growing up in Oakland and being a well-known rap artist.
Ferreira is a rapper, actor, screenwriter, 2010 graduate of a Bay Area law enforcement academy and now a playwright. He has toured internationally with The Black-eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Busta Rhymes, and others as one-third of “Flipsyde,” an alternative Hip-Hop band.
According to reviewer, filmmaker and educator Beli Sullivan, “Ferreira’s performance was so honest and real and the story was so tight and cleverly woven, that watching this stage piece was more like watching a film.
“Each chapter or character cut effortlessly to the next while interlacing information and detail that built a story so gut-wrenching and shockingly vivid that when it was over some men and women in the audience broke into tears. “
Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets or (800) 838-3006 .