From November 2012

West leads Pacers to win over Kings

By: Malaika Bobino

Sacramento, CA – Coming off a shooting slump, no one expected him to have a night like this.  He was in a zone unlike no other and the Kings could not figure out a way to stop him.  David West recorded a season-best performance in leading the Indiana Pacers to a 97-92 victory over Sacramento.

“This is a tough building to come and play in,” West said.  “I just tried to be aggressive and take my shots when they were there.  I felt a good rhythm and guys did a good job of finding me early to mixing things up.”

Without their top guy, Danny Granger who is sideline with a left knee injury, the Pacers have won four of their last five games.  David went 13 for 20 from the field and recorded his fifth double-double with a game-high and season high 31 points and 11 rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins also recorded his fourth double-double with a team-high 19 points and 16 rebounds.  Unfortunately, mistakes proved costly in the end for the Kings who were without their starting guard, Tyreke Evans for the first time this season.

Marcus Thornton who started in place of Evans missed a 3-pointer that would’ve tied the game with 5 seconds left in the fourth.  But that wasn’t the only reason Sacramento lost their eleventh game.  They got off to a slow start, forced shots and didn’t rebound when they needed to.

“It felt good going up, but I just missed the shot,” said Thornton.  “My teammates and coaches had confidence to get the ball in my hands.  I wish I could have it back.”

“We wanted to play a low scoring game,” Kings coach Keith Smart said.  “But we didn’t get out of the gate they way we wanted.  And that game winning shot is still missing.”

The bench was the key to keeping Sacramento in the game in the first half.  Both Francisco Garcia and Jimmer Fredette scored 12 points off the bench.  They sparked the offense and got the crowd back into the game.  Fredette hit a three to beat the buzzer in the first quarter and cut the lead from eight to three points.

Garcia hadn’t played since the November 11th game at the Los Angeles Lakers and did not expect to go in tonight.  It’s the first time he’s scored in double figures since April 11, 2011 when Sacramento faced off against Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It felt good to be out there with my teammates, we play this hard everyday,” said Francisco.  “My team always look for me in a lot of screens so I was just out there being aggressive.  You know it’s tough to lose so we just try to stay focused everyday and keep getting better.”

Winning only four games can be extremely frustrating but luckily for the Kings, it’s still early in the season.  They can turn things around but before they do the chemistry needs to be there.  Losing their leading scorer in Tyreke was a hugh loss especially since he’s lead all scores over the last five games.

Jason Thompson got into foul trouble guarding West and finished with 3 points and 3 fouls in 22 minutes.  Cousins was 5 for 7 from the field and struggled against Roy Hibbert.  Passing up countless perimeter shots that were available was a concern,  as well as driving to the basket only to be blocked.

“He forced too many shots,” Smart said.  “He needs to start taking those shots that are available.  That’s what David West does.  West takes the open shots.”

PUEBLO Works for Police Department Accountability

PUEBLO Executive Director Rashidah Grinage. Photo Ken Epstein.

By J. Douglas
Allen-Taylor

With the Dec. 13 date fast approaching for a federal court hearing on the fate of the Oakland Police Department, the City of Oakland might have avoided a court takeover of OPD if it had followed the advice of a local grassroots police watchdog organization.
Long before the beginning of the Allen v. Oakland “Oakland Riders” federal lawsuit that brought OPD to the brink of federal receivership, People United For a Better Life in Oakland (PUEBLO) was warning police and city officials about the same police misconduct issues on which the federal case is based.
“We want to create a system in Oakland where police are truly held accountable for their behavior,” PUEBLO Executive Director Rashidah Grinage said in a telephone interview this week. “Right now, most people in the city rightfully understand that the police can do virtually anything and get away with it most of the time.”
Begun as a project of Oakland’s Center For Third World Organizing in 1989, PUEBLO is now an independent, volunteer-based nonprofit that counsels victims of alleged police misconduct, monitors police activity, advocates reform, and works closely with police and government agencies to implement it.
The group’s most successful effort so far has been to upgrade the power and abilities of Oakland’s Citizen Police Review Board (CPRB), the official city agency overseeing the police department.
“When we first got involved with CPRB, it was virtually a shadow puppet play,” Grinage said. “They had hearings on police misconduct, but the hearings were meaningless. They had no subpoena power. They had no investigators of their own. They could not even compel officers to attend hearings of complaints against them.”
Working with the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Friends Service Committee, PUEBLO organized a major hearing on review board problems before the Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee that eventually convinced the full council to change Oakland law to give the CPRB expanded powers.
But reforming how complaints against Oakland police are judged led PUEBLO to another major flaw in the process: how complaints against police are received from citizens in the first place.
After the CPRB was formed, Oakland operated under a system in which citizens who had a complaint about police conduct could file with either the CPRB or with the Internal Affairs Division of the police department.
But in a 2005 survey, PUEBLO discovered that more than 54 percent of Oakland citizens did not know of the CPRB option, and so Internal Affairs was taking in 10 times the number of complaints that the Review Board was receiving.
Two years later, PUEBLO helped organize public support for what they called “civilianization” of the police complaint process. Helped by then-OPD Chief Wayne Tucker and support from former Mayor Ron Dellums’ citizen police task force, PUEBLO was instrumental in 2011 City Council passage of a measure to take citizen complaints entirely out of the hands of the police and put the CPRB in charge.
While Grinage said she has “some suspicions” that the change will not take place because of Oakland Police Officers Association police union interference, CPRB is currently scheduled to take over all citizen complaint intake in January of next year.
Meanwhile, Grinage is encouraging citizens with police complaints to contact PUEBLO first, so that the organization can help them prepare their complaint and guide them through the process. PUEBLO can be contacted at (510) 535-2525 or at pueblo@peopleunited.org.

Champion Swimmer Piankhi Gibson Had His Start at DeFremery Pool

 Piankhi (inset right) has goals of becoming the best swimmer he can be.

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps (right) encouraged young swimmer Piankhi Gibson (left) at the Diversity Select Camp in Colorado Springs where the Olympian spoke to a group of young swimmers. Photos by Gibson family.

Gibson’s mother, HuNia Bradley (inset left), says she is very proud of her son,

By Ashley
Chambers

Champion swimmer Piankhi Gibson, 20, could achieve the almost impossible mission of succeeding Michael Phelps, as the next Olympic Butterfly-Stroke gold medalist.
He is the only male swimmer to win the 100-yard butterfly as a freshman in the North Coast championship. He holds 11 medals, including four first place finishes from his high school career.
Piankhi met Phelps and received words of encouragement. He knows that with continuous practice, an Olympic future is not far from his reach.
Raised in West Oakland, Gibson graduated from Acalanes High School in Lafayette and is now a sophomore at Auburn University in Alabama.
Gibson first learned to swim as an 8-year-old with the local recreational swim team at DeFremery Pool in West Oakland. He then swam with the Oakland Undercurrents based at Laney College, the national swim team Concord Terrapins and the Crow Canyon Sharks.
He earned nationwide success in the Junior Olympics and Far Western championships. He had continued success throughout high school, winning the 200-medley relay as a sophomore and finishing third place in the 50 freestyle in his junior year.
In his senior year, Gibson won the 50-freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, breaking another barrier as the first to win both races.
Gibson says Dominic Cathey who swam for UC Berkeley, the Oakland Undercurrents and is now a coach for the team inspired him.
Gibson also had a chance meeting with Olympic gold medalist Phelps when he attended the Diversity Select Camp in Colorado Springs as an eighth grader, where the Olympian spoke to young aspiring swimmers.
Majoring in business marketing at Auburn University, he is motivated to make swimming a popular sport and to encourage other young people.
“There’s this fear of water and swimming. If more kids learn how to swim when they are young, they’ll be more interested,” he said.
As a result of his swimming, Gibson received a partial swimming scholarship to Auburn. But even with the scholarship, Gibson’s family cannot afford all tuition fees.
“I want to get to a place where I’m not worrying about if I can pay, so I can put in the work to be the best swimmer I can be,” he said.
Now completing his third semester at Auburn, Gibson is hoping to receive donations to help him pay $2,500 for tuition this semester.
“We want people around the Bay Area to give,” said Paul Cobb, Post publisher. The Post News Group is donating $100 to Gibson’s tuition fund. “If 25 people give $100, we can help Piankhi swim to glory.”
Gibson’s mother HuNia Bradley says she is very proud of her son and grateful for the donation of The Oakland Post in supporting her son’s education.
Inspired by Gibson’s story, Pastor Brondon Reems of Center of Hope Community Church responded to Cobb’s request and said, “I’m giving $100 personally, and the church will give $100 for Mr. Gibson; and we want to have [Gibson] at the Center of Hope as a motivational speaker to speak to our youth.”
Writer Marvin X, Pastor Ken Chambers, Sr. of West Side Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Phyliss Scott, Tree of Life Empowerment Ministries also donated.   Cobb, Reems, and Chambers plan to contact ministers, community leaders and individuals who may want to contribute to Gibson’s  tuition.
To donate, call (510) 228-7596 or email huniasdsk@gmail.com.

Changing of the Guards

By: Malaika Bobino

Oakland, CA – At this point in the season, change is for the good or for the best interest of the team.  The time has come for two football teams to make a decision on their starting quarterbacks.  The San Francisco Forty-Niners back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick replaced Alex Smith when he suffered a concussion two weeks ago.  The 49ers won the last two games under Kaepernick and he just got the nod to start his third game.

“I don’t know if it’s a hot hand or whatever you want to call it,” said Colin.  “But I’m just happy I get to go back out there.”

The Monday Night victory over the Chicago Bears was his best work.  The way he moved out of the pocket and passed the ball was an understatement on what this guy can do.  But Kaepernick’s second start against the New Orleans Saints proved he was the one to lead this team.  Not an easy decision by any means and certainly not fair to sit Alex Smith for suffering a concussion but when you have two good quarterbacks, what do you do?

Head coach Jim Harbaugh has already stated “we’ll go with the hotter hand”.  However, if anyone has a comment about the recent changes it’s Smith.  After being cleared to play by the doctors, Alex wants his starting job back but the young, swift more agile player in Colin has him questioning if that’s going to be possible?

“It sucks,” Alex said.  “I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion.”

Across the Bay Bridge, the “changing of the guards” continues.  The Oakland Raiders also have some decisions to make with their starting quarterback as well.  Unlike San Francisco’s 8-2 record, the Raiders have suffered many set backs since bringing on a new staff, which includes head coach Dennis Allen.

Former head coach Hue Jackson left a mess for Allen to resolve.  Especially, with Carson Palmer who has failed in leading this offense to victory.  The turn overs, getting in the end zone and the struggles in getting past third downs has been a problem all season.  Palmer has taken the blame for many of the offenses woes but at this point something has got to change.

While the misery of losing becomes frustrating, all is to blame.  It’s no longer the offense but the defense as well.  The head coach has said repeatedly, that “this team must continue to get better”.  After their eighth loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland has decided to activate their third quarterback Terrelle Pryor for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

No word on if Carson will be benched but this definitely makes a statement as to the disappointment thus far.  With five games left, the Raiders should take a page out of the 49ers notebook on how they used both Smith and Kaepernick with the “wild cat”.  At this point in the season, it doesn’t hurt to shake things up for a win.

“There will be a time where we’ve got to look at him and see what he can do,” said Dennis.  “We need to look at any options at this point with everybody.”

“Little Africa” Find a Home in Guangzhou, China

Residents of “Little Africa” in Guangzhou, China.

By Greg
Taylor

“Little Africa” located in Guangzhou, China faces many challenges as an immigrant community in a foreign land.
Adjustment of the two communities (Chinese and African) has been precarious at times considering the diverse cultures.
There are, however, positive signs of successful coexistence, if not, outright integration resulting in marriages and children.
The Nigerian community (the largest group) is mainly here for business reasons and exploits this opportunity to make money.
For more go to: http://thebayareaeffect.info/2012/11/20/africans-cause-chinese-to-hold-their-noses.aspx

World AIDS Day, Getting to Zero

President Barack Obama

By Jesse
Brooks

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day,  an opportunity for people to come together globally, demonstrating international solidarity in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
“Getting to Zero” has been chosen as the theme for the years between 2011 and 2015, signifying a push towards greater access to treatment for all: zero new HIV infections, zero HIV/AIDS discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.
In 1981, doctors began to see gay men come into hospitals stricken with a mysterious disease.  By 2008, that disease we now know as AIDS had claimed the lives of 2 million people around the world, gay and straight. Over 33.4 million are living with the disease; and in 2008 alone, 2.7 million people became infected.
After decades of awareness, education and research, the tide is finally turning. According to a recent UNAIDS report, the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) is increasing, with over 6.65 million patients in middle-income and low-income countries receiving treatment by the end of 2010.
In the same year, nearly half of pregnant women living with HIV received prophylaxis, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Being on treatment has an impact on prevention as well. In sub-Saharan Africa, clinical trials have shown that among HIV-positive people who receive ART the risk of transmitting the virus to a partner is cut by 96 percent.
Increased access to HIV-care services resulted in a reduction of new infections from 3.1 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2010, and a 22 percent decline in AIDS-related deaths in the past five years.
Researchers have unveiled new prevention methods that show promise in the fight to get zero. Encouraging developments out of the Obama administration finally have put the U.S. on a course to address the battle at home.
In July 2010, the Obama administration unveiled its National AIDS Strategy, which was required of poor countries seeking funding, but until then, the U.S. never had one its own.  The U.S. government also lifted a 20-year ban that kept HIV positives from entering the country, which enabled the 2012 International National AIDS Conference to be held in Washington DC this year.
Standing in the way of reaching zero are the more than 65 percent of new infections that come from people who infect others and do not know their own status.
Stigma is still a driving force, allowing people to live in denial about personal risks. Many people remain afraid to get tested, and if they do test positive, they are afraid to seek care due to fears of disclosure.
For the young it is the feeling of invincibility, thinking HIV cannot happen to them. Pressures on women in some countries make it difficult for them to protect themselves, and condom-free sex feels good.
Economic challenges will also affect prevention programs, so difficult decisions will be made on where to best target limited resources at the risk of causing unintended HIV incidence increases in communities left behind.
Finally, many have begun to recognize housing, education, mental health/addiction treatment, and jobs as effective tools in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. However, throughout the world, we have yet to hear global leaders demonstrate sustainable commitments to provide these basic human needs to all.
To win this battle with HIV, the world must get to zero. The theme will run until 2015, and it is envisioned that different regions and groups around the world will choose one or all the identified zero goals.
For more information email mrjessebrooksii@gmail.com or call (510) 575-8245.

Port Director Omar Benjamin Retires

Omar Benjamin

Omar Benjamin, the Port of Oakland’s executive director retired on Nov. 12 after he became embroiled in in a scandal in which $4,500 in public funds were used for a party at a strip club.
Benjamin and Maritime Director James Kwon had been on paid administrative leave since mid-October. In a news release issued Monday night, the port announced that Benjamin had stepped down effective immediately.
Port officials had initially been investigating Kwon, who had submitted receipts for a 2008 gathering at Treasures, a strip club in Houston.
According to public records, Kwon had also expensed $476 in haircuts, $1,000 in wine, bills from massage parlors, golf outings and a $350 pair of Ecco golf shoes.
Benjamin said he did not remember being at the club. But Kwon said Benjamin not only was there but had told him to pick up the tab.
Acting Executive Director Deborah Ale Flint is directing day-to-day operations at the port, the fifth-largest container port in the nation.

Sherrilyn Ifill to Lead NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Sherrilyn Ifill

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) announced Sherrilyn Ifill will become its next President and Director-Counsel.
A long-time member of the LDF, Ifill has served as assistant counsel in LDF’s New York office where she litigated voting rights cases, including the landmark Voting Rights Act case Houston Lawyers’ Association vs. Attorney General of Texas.
In 1993, she joined the faculty of the University Maryland School of Law where she continued to litigate and consult on a broad and diverse range of civil rights cases while grooming the next generation of civil rights lawyers.
Her book, “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” reflects her lifelong engagement in and analysis of issues of race and American public life.
She is a respected civil rights strategist who provides regular political commentary on both national and local television and radio programs particularly during Supreme Court nomination hearings.

Mynette Theard, 60

Mynette Theard

Mynette Theard, a longtime Oakland Unified School District employee and leader in SEIU Local 1021, died on Oct. 30. She was 60 years old.
Mynette Theresa Theard was born Oct. 9, 1952 in New Orleans and moved as a young child with her mother and extended family to Berkeley, where she attended Berkeley High. She ultimately lived in Richmond and worked as a School Security Officer for the Oakland Unified School District,
In her positions as school security officer and a leader in her union, she was a source of support for her fellow workers and comfort and guidance for many children. She worked tirelessly for the protection of workers rights and opportunities at every level.
She is survived by her extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She is preceded in death by parents, Marion O’Rita Marshall Theard and Sidney Joseph Theard, and her sister Patricia Ann Theard.
A mass in celebration of her life was held on Nov. 15 at St. Columba Catholic Church, 6401 San Pablo Ave. in Emeryville.  She had been a resident of Richmond.
The Oakland Board of Education passed a resolution in honor of her memory on Nov. 14.
Charitable donations can be made in memory of Mynette Theard to the American Cancer Society.

Marlena Shaw Delivers an Eclectic Sound

Marlena Shaw. Photo by Alan Mercer.

By Lee
Hildebrand

The title of Marlena Shaw’s debut album, “Out of Different Bags,” released in 1967 by Chess Records, proved prophetic. Throughout her long career, she’s been tagged with various stylistic bags: soul, jazz, even disco.
“I just consider myself a singer,” Shaw, 70, says by phone from Las Vegas, her home for the past 41 years.
Gospel music is the foundation of her vocal approach. She grew up singing and playing piano at Union Baptist Church in New Rochelle, New York, where her childhood friend Richard Roundtree was a also a member.
Later, during the 1970s, she recorded two gospel songs — “No Hidin’ Place” and “The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away” – on a couple of her albums. The only instrumental support to her vocals was her own pumping gospel piano.
Shaw does not play piano in her live performances, however, although she says she might if she didn’t have “fake fingernails.”
“On one of those records,” she explains, “you can hear my fingernails clicking. I told somebody, ‘I should get two monies ‘cause I’m playing piano and percussion.’”
Gospel music continues to inform Shaw’s singing. “I am very spiritual,” she says. “I know that my Redeemer lives.  Everything about my music, to me anyway, is because of the gospel. A lot of people say they hear a jazz style, but I was accused of having too much jazz in me when I was playing for the church.”
From 1968 to 1973, Shaw toured with the Count Basie Orchestra. She says Basie asked her to record with the band, but that Chess, to whom she was under contract, blocked it.
“They didn’t even want me to be associated with the word ‘jazz,’ she recalls. “How shortsighted was that?”
Shaw became more firmly identified with jazz after producer George Butler (the late brother of noted Oakland pianist and composer Jacqueline Hairston) signed her to Blue Note Records in 1972. Blue Note label-mate Horace Silver advised her on how to protect her songwriting and publishing rights.
In recent years, Shaw was been collecting royalties for her 1969 Chess recording of the Ashford and Simpson song “California Soul,” which has been sampled by hip-hop artists including Gang Starr and DJ Shadow and used in television commercials and a video game.
Her hits over the years include a vocal rendition of Cannonball Adderley’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (Larry Williams and Johnny “Guitar” Watson had a 1concurrent hit with a version of the tune that had entirely different lyrics) and the Carole King-Gerry Goffin ballad “Go Away, Little Boy.” Shaw’s arrangement of the song, originally a hit for Steve Lawrence as “Go Away, Little Girl,” sports a saucy, humor-laced monologue that has long been a highlight of her shows.
Shaw will perform Thursday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Raazz Room, 222 Mason St. in San Francisco, with three of the Bay Area’s finest jazz musicians – pianist Glen Pearson, bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Leon Joyce, Jr. – providing accompaniment.

An Evening of Poetry and Song at the Hannah Gallery

From left: Vernie Hollingsworth, E. Wayne Tyree, Florence Williams, Jenia Fusilier, Citrina Niles, Gary and Michelle Schelfer, Larry Beachum, Ruby Wilson, Pashia Lord.

The Hannah Gallery hosted an evening of Gospel Word, song and poetry last Sunday evening.
E. Wayne Tyree, the main poet and speaker, was introduced by Ralph Wheeler.
Tyree’s poetry and social commentary has won him acclaim in New York and on the East Coast. His poetry has been described as “often stinging and hauntingly beautiful spoken word.”
Jenia Fusilier, Pashia Lord, Citrina Niles, Voices of Praise and Florence Williams participated in song.
Here is a poem that Tyree wrote and shared at the Hannah Gallery. It is a prayer for President Obama.
Make Him Your Possession
Lord, in your invocation, walk with President Obama along the sacred rivers flowing in his mind. Guide President Obama to the springs of grace. Protect him from the jealousies of our eyes. Fill his heart with love and the goodness of your charity.
Lord, talk to President Obama in the corridors of his being. Take him into the confidence of your love, his wealth. Keep from his spirit any mysticism of doubt. Shower President Obama with the reigns of the shepherds you placed in the fields.
Lord, lead President Obama with the peace of a healing thought, the strength of a pure word spoken in your presence. Keep him grounded in faith.
Lord, give President Obama your guidance every hour of the day. Keep his heart open to the wisdom of service. Make of him your possession. Give him the light of knowing thy will.
Amen
@ E. Wayne Tyree 2012

Tony Saunders and Friends Perform in Marin City

From left: Matt Clark (piano-keyboards), Angelo Luster (sax), Darin P. Gray (drums), Tony Saunders (bass), Anna Lissa Jade, Daryl Prater, and Stacy Hogg (backup). (Photo by Godfrey Lee).

Tony Saunders and his band played at the Hannah Gallery in Marin City last Saturday night, performing many songs from Saunder’s new album, “Romancing The Bass” and the hit single “Bigger than Outside.”
Rapper Thiyane Pointer performed with the band.
Saunders has recorded with Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. Versed in jazz, pop, gospel, rock, and R&B, his studio crew has played on more than 250 tracks that Saunders has produced, arranged and composed for other artists.
“Romancing the Bass” is the result years of work with great artists, Saunders said. “It is a mixture of all the music that pours out of my heart. Playing with so many great people of all styles of music has always made my soul pour out great music. ‘Romancing the Bass’ is my romance of life..,” he said.
The son of keyboard legend Merl Saunders, he developed strong ties to families and churches in in Marin City when he visited his Aunt Wilma during summers while he was a boy.
“I am glad to be able to give back to a place where my roots run so deep,” Saunders said. “This concert is a small gesture, given with great love.”

San Leandro High Students Volunteer to Help Feed Families

Pictured, from left to right: Front row-Rayven Savoury, Brianna Fisher, Uneek Jordan, Yanevi Quinn, Julian Parrish, Tekia Doby, LuTillian Hudson; Second row-Veronica Alder, Imani Campbell, Jazree Ridley, Arris Hudson, Brandon Pakeman, Lisa Pakeman; Third row-Angelia Foxall, Niara Parrish, David Fields, Pam Pettus, Wynton Pettus, Monique Parrish, Stephanie Davis; Fourth row- Sonny Sowles, Ronald Thomas, James Parrish, Greg Hill, Arion Johnson. Photo by Niara Parrish.

By Ashley
Chambers

San Leandro High’s Black Student Union (BSU) volunteered at the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) Monday, Nov. 19 to help to feed 31,400 families.
BSU parents LuTillian Hudson and Angelia Foxalo take students to the food bank twice a year, encouraging them to give back to others.
“At a time like this as Thanksgiving approaches, it is important for us to teach the students to help others less fortunate than them,” Hudson said.
The BSU parents say they are consistently motivating students with annual events including a college tour, an essay contest around the Martin Luther King holiday, and a Black History program.
For information about San Leandro High’s BSU events and fundraising, contact LuTillian Hudson at (510) 697-1206.

PG&E, SF Housing Authority, A. Philip Randolph Institute Give Away Turkeys

Pacific Gas and Electric Company  partnered with the A. Philip Randolph Institute and San Francisco Housing Authority for their 6th Annual Turkey Giveaway this week.
In San Francisco, more than 150,000 people live at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. As unemployment continues to soar, need is especially high during the holiday season.
This year, the three partner groups gave away more than 750 turkey baskets at the Hunter’s View, Hunter’s Point and Alice Griffith housing developments in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point community.
Over 150 people showed up at the Hunter’s Point housing development to receive baskets filled with a 10-12 pound turkey, bread, rice, cans of cranberry sauce, yams, corn, greens and cream of mushroom.

Robin Roberts Returns Home After Hospitalization

Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts is home again after spending a week in the hospital with a virus.
Roberts, who is still recovering after a bone marrow transplant she received in September, landed back in the hospital for a virus that wouldn’t respond to medication.
In her blog post for ABC News she said, “Our immune systems usually take care of a virus like this … but mine is only 59 days old, I decided to look at my brief stay as a ‘tune up’ … and then I would be back on the road to recovery. By the grace of God, I am! The virus is under control, and my numbers are going back up.”
It was a small bump in the road for Roberts, who is currently being treated for the rare blood and bone marrow disorder MDS. Her interview appeared on ABC News.

Hunter Challenges Bishop to Send Him Back to FAME Instead of Bethel’s Pulpit After Members Walk Out

Members of Bethel AME church in San Francisco walked out on their newly assigned pastor, Rev. John J. Hunter at their 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services on Sunday as he entered the pulpit through the back door after the church rejected him as their pastor. Presiding elder Rev. W. Bartalette Finney Sr. functioned as the pastor until Sunday and notified members that according to the AME discipline, once seated in the pulpit Hunter became the pastor of Bethel AME. Photo by Rudolph Williams.

By Lee Hubbard
and Post Staff

Parishioners at Bethel AME church in San Francisco were surprised when they arrived in church this past Sunday morning for the 8 a.m. service.
Sitting next to Presiding Elder Dr. William Bartalette Finney was the Rev. Dr. John J. Hunter, the new minister who is slated to lead Bethel. The members were surprised because they had rejected his attempts to enter Bethel’s front doors the previous week.
The pews were moderately filled with close to 100 people.
As the service proceeded, Rev. Cynthia Joseph announced that Presiding Elder Dr. Bartalette Finney would preach the Sunday Sermon.
Finney, however, announced slowly, “Your Rev. John J. Hunter, the newly assigned pastor of Bethel AME Church will be giving this Sunday’s sermon.”
As Hunter took the microphone to give his sermon, he began singing, “God has been good to me,” while most of the members of the church congregation walked out of church in protest and went to the adjacent Browning Fellowship Hall.
“I was appalled that Rev. Hunter was sitting in the pulpit,” said a church member who didn’t want to be identified. “He snuck up in the church.”
Hunter had been ushered in through the church’s back door so the members could not see his entrance.
Meanwhile, Hunter preached from the 44th Psalm in the Bible, a sermon entitled, “Your Testimony Didn’t Begin with You.”
He said God helps to give people a “deeper understanding of where you need to be.” One unidentified member said Hunter didn’t need to be at Bethel.
Hunter was the pastor at First AME Church in Los Angeles from 2004 to last month, when AME Fifth District Bishop T. Larry Kirkland reassigned him on Oct. 28 from FAME to Bethel AME in San Francisco.
In the shuffle, Bethel AME’s pastor over the past 20 years, Rev. J Edgar Boyd, was reassigned to FAME.
This re-assignment stirred controversy however.
The Bethel AME Board of Stewards crafted a resolution to Bishop Kirkland, requesting the formation of a conciliation committee to consider Bethel’s concerns regarding Rev. Hunter.
The Board of Stewards rejected the assignment of Hunter based on reports of his involvement in a sexual harassment lawsuit, a federal tax investigation and questionable use of church credit cards at FAME LA over the past eight years.
Attitudes further hardened after Hunter failed to meet with a group of Bethel AME church leaders who were attending a district conference in Los Angeles.
Hunter arrived in San Francisco the following week where he was presented with the rejection letter at his hotel. He said he would “go back to LA” since he was not wanted by Bethel AME.
However, the next day, during the Sunday 8 a.m. service, he tried to walk into the church. He was met by church members who demanded he show them his assignment papers.
Hunter did not have his papers, and he left the church, which created a firestorm of action.
An emergency church meeting took place later in the week between Bishop Kirkland and members of Bethel when Kirkland flew to San Francisco to listen to their concerns.
At the time, Bishop Kirkland said Hunter “was a preacher in good standing” and that there should be an open dialogue between Bethel’s Board of Stewards and Hunter.
This dialogue had not taken place when Hunter took the pulpit, the first time most people in the church congregation had seen or heard from him.
Between the 8 a.m. and the 11 a.m. Sunday church services, an impromptu meeting took place in the Browning Fellowship Hall. Members of the Bethel Board of Stewards talked about the church “walk out” and the presence of Hunter at the church.
During this time Hunter walked through the hall and tried to talk to skeptical congregants. He said he was shocked he had been reassigned to Bethel after 8 years at FAME, without talking to Bishop Kirkland.
He said he held no “ill will to some of the congregants of the church.”
“Perhaps this is a not a good marriage, but we find ourselves here today,” he said.  “But put yourself in my shoes.”
Hunter began to try to explain what he had been going through and said that the ordeal of the transfer and the church’s reaction to the transfer had affected his health.  He was then asked to go upstairs and talk to the Board of Stewards in private.
“This entire ordeal is a mess,” said another Church congregant.  “We went from Pastor Boyd, a man with great respect and character, to Hunter who has had some troubles as a pastor in his past.”
To further exacerbate the situation, some members were disturbed to hear that Hunter had filed a challenge to the Bishop’s authority to reassign him to Bethel.
He said he wants to be re-instated to the pulpit at FAME.
Bethel was served with a copy of Hunter’s filing, which appealed to the AME Judicial Council to reverse Bishop Kirkland’s decision to remove him from FAME. He charged Kirkland with maladministration.
Several members have said they will continue to walk out or stop attending Bethel until Hunter is removed. One member said, “If you can’t come to the pulpit through the front door with dignity, why should we accept a pastor who slips and slides in through the back door to lead us from the back alley.
“It seems as if Hunter’s playing us in his legal challenges, so he can set up a possible financial settlement for himself,” the member said. “We seem to be just pawns, not parishioners. He’s seeking FAME, not Bethel.”

Jesse Jackson Jr. Resigns From Congress

Jesse Jackson Jr.

By James B. Kelleher,
Reuters

Jesse Jackson Jr. is the namesake son of one of the most prominent black men in the United States, a progressive-minded activist whose ascent into public life prompted talk of a new era of African-American political power.
In the early years, speculation swirled around the Democratic representative to the U.S. House and his appetite and ambition, almost all of it positive. Would he be the next mayor of Chicago? The next U.S. senator from Illinois?
Two years after he was elected to Congress, Newsweek magazine asked if the then 32-year-old Democrat would one day capture the prize that eluded his father, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, and become the first Black president.
The sky’s-the-limit speculation didn’t appear to unnerve Jackson. “I grew up in a house with great expectations,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 1995.
In recent years, the expectations withered and the speculation took a more sinister turn, especially after Jackson’s name was linked to the political corruption scandal that brought down former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
In recent weeks, it was rumored and reported that Jackson would resign from the House in a plea deal with prosecutors.
On Wednesday, the 47-year-old’s political career came to a halt. Weighed down by mental illness and the investigation, Jackson submitted his resignation to House Speaker John Boehner.
His career was book-ended by scandal. Jackson was sent to Congress in December 1995 after winning a special election to replace Representative Mel Reynolds, a Democrat forced to resign after he was convicted of sexual assault and other charges.

A Lesson in Humility and Redemption

Kevin Williams (left) and Kwame Kilpatrick.

By Kevin Williams
ONS Peacekeeper

Having an organization within city government that can attract a public figure like a Kwame Kilpatrick is just good for Richmond.
His story is one about choices, mistakes, punishment and accountability. His bad choices ultimately took him from being the mayor of one of the largest cities in America, to an inmate in Michigan’s State Prison system.
That is a powerful story and can be a compelling message when you are as willing as Kwame Kilpatrick is to be completely transparent and honest about one’s shortcomings and failures.
As part of the first Operation Peacemaker Fellowship Speakers Forum hosted by the Office of Neighborhood Safety and its Operation Peacemaker Fellowship Program, Kilpatrick, ex-mayor of Detroit recently spoke to a group of Richmond residents about his rise to the top spot in Michigan’s legislature at 25 years old, to mayor of Detroit Michigan by the time he was 31 years of age, the youngest mayor in Detroit’s history, to a lightening bolt fall from that grace because of a variety of poor decisions.
Sr. Fellows of the program had an opportunity to hear Mr. Kilpatrick’s message and meet him at a national event hosted by the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) in Virginia Beach Virginia earlier this year.
Afterwards they asked ONS Director DeVone Boggan to work to get him to Richmond to share his story with others that they believed would benefit from hearing it.
The Operation Peacemaker Fellowship program is a transformative mentoring intervention designed for those most likely to be involved in gun violence.
This intervention works to transform the attitudes and behaviors that have given rise to the selected individual’s involvement in gun violence.  The Fellowship is representative of those individuals who are most resistant to change and/or are chronically unresponsive to the traditional range of services offered or available in the Richmond community.
The message: Young and old alike in Richmond need to know that life does not need to stop or end just because you’ve been to prison.
As Mr. Kilpatrick said himself during his talk, “I had to adjust my principles and values to change who I was into the man I wanted to be.”
He is a perfect example of redemption, which is as American as apple pie.  He took the worst episode in his life and chose to open himself up completely to learn, grow and share from it, in the hope that his pitfalls would not be repeated by others.
For many within the community of Richmond, particularly those who the ONS serves, his story is their story. He embodies everything it means to be a flawed individual and how bad decisions can have severe consequences – however if you CHANGE your mind, your thinking, your actions, you can forgive yourself, be forgiven and contribute to changing your city, in fact the world.
You can be redeemed!
Many who left the ONS sponsored event felt like they had just been privy to a very personal revelation through conversation in a very public setting.  One member of the audience, a member of National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), said, “it is always good for older men of color to connect in honest fashion with their younger generation of boys and young men, especially those who often are disconnected from such opportunities.
Kwame Kilpatrick still has a lot to offer, not just because of the redemptive qualities of his story, but he is still working hard to aide and assist his community despite his flawed past.”
What makes America so Great, is we collectively love second chances, and Mr. Kilpatrick is the epitome of what a second chance lived should be all about.
The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) is a non-law enforcement department within City of Richmond, which works with between 150-200 young men each year.

Richmond Needs A Health Clinic

Brazell H. Carter, MD

By Brazell H. Carter, MD

Proposition N, the tax initiative aimed at fighting obesity by taxing foods containing excessive amounts of sugar, was a noble idea.
Unfortunately it was ill conceived as it unfairly created a rise in food costs for Richmond residents. Fortunately it was defeated.
As a physician, I agree that for obvious health reasons we need to drastically decrease the consumption of sugar in our diets.  We also need to decrease the amounts of fat and salt in our diets and emphasize exercise as a balanced approach to better health.
The health of the Richmond community and the health of the nation will hinge on our ability to better educate the populace around making wise choices in our dietary selections.
If we are to truly address this issue, let us dedicate our efforts toward building a health education/medical center in Richmond.  We could not only provide information about health for the community, but we could also provide a modern medical clinic to attract more physicians to Richmond.
Currently, health services in Richmond are limited and are likely to fall short of expected needs with the advent of Obamacare.  Many Richmond residents seek medical care outside of the city, a trend likely to increase in the future.
Dr. William Jenkins, a practicing pediatrician in Richmond for over 50 years, died recently. It would be quite an honor to dedicate a medical facility in his name to further serve the people of Richmond.

New Police Cameras on 23rd Street Corridor

From left to right: Don Lau, Detective Hector Esparza, Captain Mark Gagan, Rafael Madrigal.

For years, merchants and neighborhoods along 23rd Street in Richmond have been calling for more help in combatting break-ins, prostitution and vandalism in their burgeoning business district.
At the same time, the Richmond Police Department was working to expand its network of live-monitored street cameras that improve response times to incidents and collect evidence.
Bringing together those interests took time and work, but 4Richmond Coalition Chair Don Lau announced Nov. 13 that six new cameras will be added to the network this month, covering 23rd Street from Roosevelt Avenue to the San Pablo city limit.
The additional cameras will bring the total number in the citywide network to 44.
“This is all about partnership — police, business, the community, all coming together as one,” Lau said at a press conference at Richmond Build on 23rd Street. “By working together, we can make a difference on the issues that matter most to Richmond.”
The 23rd Street Merchants Association approached the City of Richmond and Chevron two years ago about funding cameras and related equipment. Chevron donated three cameras, and the city purchased three cameras, but only two were able to be installed.
The cameras draw power from light poles, and some of the older poles on 23rd Street contained antiqued wiring that would damage the sensitive cameras.
“Unfortunately, things progressed a little slowly,” said Rafael Madrigal, president of the 23rd Street Merchants. “We pushed and pushed. And, fortunately, then along came 4Richmond.”
This fall, the 4Richmond Coalition worked with the Police and Environmental Initiatives Division of the City Manager’s Office in conjunction with the Engineering Department to help bring civic focus back to the project.
The city is now including 23rd Street in a larger renovation of streetlight wiring, which means the remaining four cameras can be installed by the end of November.
The cameras will help police focus efforts fighting crimes that concern local merchants, said Detective Hector Esparza.
“It has been a hugely successful program. The cameras have helped in solving homicides and many other crimes,” Esparza said. “It’s all about keeping the public safe — and these cameras help.”

Meet Finalists for Berkeley City College President

Deborah Budd

Brian Ellison

Arturo Reyes

The Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, Dr. José M. Ortiz, has announced that the Presidential Search Committee has selected three finalists for President of Berkeley City College.
The finalists are Deborah Budd, Ed.D., who is currently serving as Interim President, Berkeley City College; Brian Ellison, Ed.D., Vice President of Instruction and Student Services at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE); and Arturo Reyes, Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at the Solano Community College District.
Each of the three candidates will participate in a public forum on Tuesday, Nov. 27, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Berkeley City College Auditorium, 2050 Center St. in Berkeley.
Members of the college community and the public are invited and encouraged to attend the public forum.
Comment forms will be given to all who attend, and the completed forms will be given to the Chancellor for his review.
The Chancellor will interview each of the candidates and make a final decision as to which will become the next President of Berkeley City College.
To learn more, visit www.peralta.edu.

Marshawn Lynch Donates 300 Turkey to His Hometown

Marshawn Lynch (center) partnered again this year with the Salvation Army East Bay Serving Alameda County last Sunday to hand out over 300 turkeys to families From left to right, Captain Dan Williams, Alameda County Coordinator; Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks Running Back; and Lieutenant John Kelley, Garden Street Salvation Corp officer.

Take Care of Yourself During the Holidays

Jonathan Jones

By Post Staff

After Jonathan Jones was featured in the Post (09/13/2011), he was asked to provide Breathing Aerobics training to the staff and clients at Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay.
He has also appeared as a guest on several radio shows to talk about Breathing Aerobics and health. He is a regular guest on David Hollander’s “Protect Your Assets” show, which airs 8 a.m. Saturday mornings on KNBR 680.
“I provide a weekly health tip at 8:15 a.m. on such topics as stress reduction, ways to burn fat and prostate cancer prevention,” said Jones.
During the month of October, his Breast Cancer Awareness messages focused on the importance of mammograms, performing monthly self-exams, and eating foods that support breast cancer prevention.
Jones will release his Breathing Aerobics DVD during the holidays as a gift selection for families. Three of his Breathing Aerobics exercises focusing on weight control for the holidays can be acquired at (415) 236-3806.

Otho James Green, 77

Otho James Green

Otho Green (right) and Bobby Seale ran for Mayor in 1973.

Otho James Green, 77, a management consultant in the Bay Area and Washington, D.C., died Nov. 9 at Heartland Hospice in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
After graduating from Hayward State College and completing a fellowship at the Coro Foundation in San Francisco, Green became a consultant in Industrial Relations for the California State Assembly.
As a result of his work in the State Assembly, he developed an interest in local politics and in 1966 ran to represent the 17th Assembly District in Oakland.
He also encouraged others to become involved in politics, including Ron Dellums, whose political career took off the following year when he successfully ran for the Berkeley City Council.
Green ran for mayor of Oakland in 1973, gaining national recognition that put him on the cover of Jet Magazine. Among those he ran against were Back Panther Party leader Bobby Seal.
In 1968, Green founded Pacific Training and Technical Assistance Corporation in Oakland and by the age of 37 became one of Oakland’s most successful Black businessmen.
The firm employed consultants in almost every state in the U.S. as well as in the Caribbean and Africa.
In the late seventies, he became friends with President Jimmy Carter.
Green also owned a liquor distributorship company in Oakland, co- founded The Green Group, a holding and development company, with his late brother Jackson Green, Jr. and served from 1992 to 1996 as President of Akins and Associates, a consulting firm in Washington, DC.
Survivors include his wife, Jean Tisdale Green of Washington DC; two children: Zuri Michelle Green of Atlanta, Georgia and Otho James (Kobie) Green, II of Washington, DC; three granddaughters and one grandson, a great grand daughter as well as two nephews, one niece, a brother-in-law and two sister-in laws.
A memorial service will be held in Oakland early next year.

80th Birthday Celebration for Pastor Robert Lacy

The public is invited to celebrate the 80th birthday of Pastor Dr. Robert Lacy (left), along with the St. Andrew M.B. Church family and special guest Dr. W.E. Gaddis, President of the California M.B.C. State Convention and other Bay Area pastors, 6 p.m. on Nov. 29 at the Snow Building, 9777 Golf Links Rd. in Oakland.  Dr. Lacy in February of 1975 founded St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church; in September 1978, he organized a K-12th private school; and in Fall 2001, he organized the Theological and Academic University.  Please RSVP. All are welcome to attend.