From May 2013

Marin City Celebrates the Life of Pastor Fred Small, 82

Evelyn Small (lower left corner) giving the eulogy. Inset: Pastor Fred Small (taken on January 7, 2009). Photos by Godfrey Lee.

About 300 people attended the service May 25 to celebrate the life of Pastor Fred Hood Small at the Cornerstone Church of God in Marin City. Small, who was 82, passed away on May 15.
Small was born on December 4, 1930 to Daisy Hattie Irene Jackson (Small), and Robert Lee Robinson in Lancaster County, South Carolina. He and his half brother, Freddie Lee, who shared the same biological father, grew up in separate households.
Small met Cleola Lucille Jones while in high school and was soon convinced that she was someone special. For the next four years, their relationship grew, and they married on Feb. 5, 1954 in Washington, DC.
Later that year, the couple accepted Christ into their lives on the same Sunday morning under the ministry of Pastor J. Durham.
The couple had four children, two sons and two daughters.
After serving in the military for four years during the Korean War, the family moved to Marin City. He became Marin City’s first postman, working in that position for more than 13 years.
Small became pastor of the Peoples Inter-Cities Fellowship, where he served for 54 years.
After a lengthy illness, his wife died on November 2, 2004.
Three years later on March 4, 2007, Small married Evelyn Clark. “These were the best years of my life. He was the joy of my life, an answer to prayer and a great cook,” she said. From this marriage, an additional three stepchildren and nine step grandchildren came into the Small family.
Small enjoyed playing pool, dominoes and bid whist. He loved people, especially those from Marin City. He loved feeding and crowding them into his small house and had a way of reaching and touching people in all walks of life.
Pastor Small leaves to cherish his memory: his wife Evelyn Clark-Small; sons Ronnie and Marcus Small; daughters Alfreda Akognon and Robin Krueger; daughters-in-law Kathleen and Melanie Small; sons-in-law Pastor Emmanuel Akognon and Gordon Krueger; grandchildren Shola (Maude), Mysha (Sonny), Quinlan, Tenika, Joshua (Ariana), Shonte, Sherrell and Shemaiah; great grandchildren Shea, Riley, Kingston, Gabriel, Josiah, Aryiah and Hannah;
Step children Clinton R. Hendrix, Yolanda Brown, and April James (Kris); step grandchildren Demetric, DeJohn, Yasmin, Jonathan, Kamaria, Monet, Ryan, Kris and Mya; brother-in-law Earnest Clark Jr. (Carrie); sister-in-law Cheri Bracken (Terry); adopted daughters Gina Doumate, Renae Warren and Janice Valentine Jones; many friends, family and loved ones.

Future of Voting Rights at Stake Before Supreme Court

LDF lawyer Debo Adegbile

By Pete Williams,
NBC News Justice
Correspondent

Before the current U.S. Supreme Court term ends in late June, the justices will decide the fate of the most potent part of a law widely considered the most important piece of civil rights legislation ever passed by Congress ― the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
If the court were to strike down part of the law, which it has signaled a willingness to do in the past, it would dramatically reduce the federal government’s role in overseeing voter discrimination in a wide swath of the nation.
The U.S. Supreme Court prepares to enter June with the term’s biggest cases yet to be decided.  NBC’s Pete Williams looks at what’s left on the docket.
Signed by President Lyndon Johnson and renewed by Congress four times since then, most recently in 2006, a key provision requires states with a history of discrimination at the polls to get federal permission before making adjustments to their election procedures.
The requirement applies to major changes, such as redrawing congressional district boundaries, and minor ones, like moving the locations of polling places. The law was at the core of the legal battles last year that blocked strict new voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina.
Under the pre-clearance requirement, nine entire states, 12 cities and 57 counties elsewhere are presumed to be acting improperly whenever they seek election changes. They must get permission from either the Justice Department or a special panel of three federal judges.
Shelby County, Ala., is urging the Supreme Court to strike down two provisions of the Voting Rights Act ― the pre-clearance requirement and the map of covered jurisdictions.
“This is based on criteria that came from the 1964 presidential election. It’s 47, 48 years old,” says Frank “Butch” Ellis, the Shelby County attorney.
“The South has changed in that 48 years. It’s not current. It’s not relevant anymore,” he says.
The areas covered by the law, Shelby County argues, include localities that have made substantial reforms but miss other parts of the nation that have failed to root out discrimination at the polls.
Four years ago, the Supreme Court narrowly rejected a challenge to the pre-clearance requirement. But the court’s decision strongly suggested that several justices had doubts about the law’s constitutionality, given recent electoral reforms. “Things have changed in the South,” said the 2009 majority opinion. “Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare.”
The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) says the current map is a close enough fit to cover the areas of greatest concern. “Congress is not a surgeon with a scalpel when it acts to legislate across the 50 states. But it can reasonably attack discrimination where it finds it,” the group says.
When the court heard the case in February, LDF lawyer Debo Adegbile conceded that the South has made progress. “But some things remain stubbornly the same, and the sustained effort to deny African-Americans the franchise is part of Alabama’s history to this very day,” he said.
The Supreme Court’s more liberal members noted that most voter discrimination lawsuits come from areas in the 16 states covered in whole or in part by the law. “The formula seems to be working pretty well in terms of going after the actual violations on the ground and who’s committing them,” said Justice Elena Kagan.
But the court’s conservatives said Congress failed to consider the most up-to-date evidence when it last renewed the law in 2006. “Is it the government’s submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than the citizens in the North?” asked Chief Justice John Roberts.
If the court strikes down the challenged parts of the law, the remainder of the Voting Rights Act would remain in effect, including provisions that allow civil rights groups to challenge election changes one-by-one.  But that is a less effective strategy, they say.
Using those lawsuits, by themselves, “continues to be an inadequate remedy to address the problem of these successive violations,” Adegbile said.

Graduate Tammia Hubbard

Tammia Hubbard

Tammia Hubbard

San Francisco native Tammia Hubbard graduated from Ithaca College recently, receiving her bachelors degree in English. She graduated from Sacred Heart Cathedral High School in San Francisco in 2009.
Hubbard is also a track athlete who won the New York State Collegiate Track conference with 100 meter hurdles for Ithaca and qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships in Madison, Wisconsin last weekend.
Hubbard looks forward to attending law school to become an attorney. Photo courtesy of the Lee Hubbard.

Teaching Fellows Graduate from SF State

Maya Cook

Norma Hernandez

Courtesy of SFSU
Communications

A year after the launch of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at SF State, its first set of graduates say the program has prepared them to be more informed, compassionate and powerful educators.
The Noyce program provides financial support, special seminars on science and math teaching and learning, and hands-on opportunities in research and teaching for those who receive the scholarship.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program is open to undergraduates with science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) majors, as well as STEM graduates enrolled in the University’s teaching credential program.
The students’ experiences in the program equip them to teach at some of California’s high-poverty, urban schools where a shortage of STEM educators is expected within the next decade.
The 12 graduating Noyce Scholars are “teacher-inquirers” who conduct research within a classroom and bring their findings to bear in their teaching practices.
“I am incredibly proud of all our current and graduated Noyce Scholars,” said Larry Horvath, assistant professor of secondary education and principal investigator on the Noyce grant to SF State. “Their commitment to provide high quality math or science instruction for all students is inspirational and a valuable asset for our local school districts.”
The graduates include Maya Cook, a math major with an emphasis in teaching, who plans to enroll in SF State’s teaching credential program.
“I come from a close, big family where I was influenced to be passionate about education, cultural heritage and social justice,” she said. “My ability to teach might come from my family but my desire definitely comes from the youth I’ve had the privilege of learning from.”
Cook conducted her Noyce research at June Jordan School for Equity, observing an algebra class to learn more about what high school students need to succeed in math class. The answers, she said, sometimes went beyond the classroom.
One of her students, who had trouble with the materials, began to ask Cook personal questions about her family and upbringing. “When I told her my son has autism, she told me that her younger brother had speech problems as well, as a child,” she said. “This experience taught me that students want to know a teacher’s heart. She wanted to know who I was and why I was really there.”
“The improvement I saw from spending a few minutes talking blew me away,” Cook said. “I hope to be able to find a respectful connection with every single one of my future students.”
Another of the graduates is Norma Hernandez, who discovered she wanted to be a math teacher after realizing in college “that I enjoyed doing my math homework a lot more than anything else and was willing to help out my fellow classmates with their math homework.”
Hernandez graduates this spring from SF State’s teaching credential program after attending the University as an undergraduate. The single mother is now a student teacher at Philip & Sala Burton Academic High School for 9th grade geometry and pre-calculus.
“Many of the students that I serve come from diverse cultural backgrounds and from a mixed socio economic status,” Hernandez said. “They all require different needs and as a teacher I have to make the material more interactive for those special needs.
I have found that staying conscious of how students are learning has enabled me to diversify my teaching style.”

Cousin Seeks to Chart A New Path for Bethel AME

Reverend Philip Cousin, Jr.

By Lee
Hubbard

When Reverend Philip Cousin, Jr. stepped into the pulpit at San Francisco’s Bethel AME last week, it was the first time he had ever been to California.
Two weeks ago, Cousin was introduced to the Bethel congregation as the new pastor by Fifth District Bishop T. Larry Kirkland and they welcomed him with open arms.
“This is a great opportunity for me as a pastor,” said Cousin. “I had never been to the Bay Area, but my wife Angela is from Stockton, so she knows the area.”
Cousin said his main mission is to grow the church. Bethel AME, the oldest black church in San Francisco, is a church with a thousand members on the rolls, but it also has an aging congregation. Cousin wants to do more community outreach to bring more young adults and families into the church. He also wants to help expand the church services, such as affordable housing.
“Providing more affordable housing is an issue all over the country,” said Cousin.
The 57-year old was the pastor of St. Joseph AME Church in Durham, North Carolina for the past 21 years. He views the move west as a new start for him. Cousin succeeds the controversial Reverend John J. Hunter who was relieved of his duties as pastor of Bethel AME in February by Bishop Kirkland.
“Bethel has a lot of programs that I have been interested in…I can come here and build upon what they’ve been doing,” said Cousin. “I like the church’s computer center that is open to the community, the housing units the church provides and the federal credit union the church has established.”
A number of Bethel’s programs have helped the black community and other people of color, Cousin said.
“I see the move as an opportunity to work with different cultures, so that we can co-exist as equals,” he said.
Cousin comes to Bethel with a history of black activism in the Durham area. He led the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, was a former Durham County Commissioner, and also served on the Durham school board.
“When I headed the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, we tried to really involve the younger people, letting them know that everything we did as a community was political,” he continued. “Through politics, we as black people have a chance to improve our life situation.  Even when the people may not look like you, they may have your concerns at heart.”
Cousin wants to bring that same approach to San Francisco now that he is pastor of Bethel AME.
“What is the unemployment rate in the African American community in San Francisco? What can we do politically to improve peoples’ lives and be a voice for the voiceless?” Cousin said.

From Girls to Young Women

From left to right: Mieasha Harris, Auna Harris, Supervisor John Gioia, Richmond’s Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Vicki Winston, Sharon Kidd, Carla Thomas.

By Mieasha Harris

Earlier this month, Girl’s Inc. of West Contra Costa County congratulated its first group of young girls for completing the College Bound Girls Program (CBG). All four of the graduating seniors in the program completed high school and have been accepted into a college or university.
A host of families, friends, elected officials, students and staff attended Girl’s Inc. third annual End of the Year Celebration at the Richmond Recreation Complex to recognize and support the CBG graduates; “We Are on Our Way” was the chosen theme of the night.
Richmond’s Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Supervisor John Gioia congratulated the girls and offered encouraging words for completing the program and high school.
Like many of the graduates, Jocelyn Perez is the first in her family to graduate high school and go to college. She will be attending San Francisco State University in the fall to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatrician.
“Girls Inc. has taught me that girls have the ability of being ‘strong, smart, and bold,’ ” Perez said. “Strong in the sense of being able to overcome any challenge that you encounter; smart because we as girls are intelligent…and bold in the form of being brave and learning to become an actual leader.”
Featured speaker Xavier Abrams, Vice President of Mechanics Bank in Richmond, spoke about her childhood years at Girls Inc., learning about etiquette, and how those skills came in handy later on in her life.
“Growing up, there was no one to tell me to go to college. So when I joined this organization, I felt like I could do something with my life,” said Annelise Williams, who plans to become a Forensic DNA Analyst. She will be attending Solano Community College in the fall.
The event was marked with Zumba entertainment, a slide show highlighting the organization’s progress, a silent auction, and raffle. Food was provided by Portomex Restaurant and Corn Cravings.
CBG graduate Alia Edington will be attending University of California, Santa Cruz and plans to become a doctor.
Edington said, “After joining Girls Inc. and Cal Maritime’s Summer Academic Enrichment Program, I became more active in school, changed my group of friends, and raised my grades from a 2.8 to a 4.2 GPA.”
All graduates received plaques, certificates from Congressman George Miller and Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, scholarships, a selected book from Girls’ Inc. Executive Director Mieasha Harris, and a CBG t-shirt designed by graduate Malaya Harris, who will attend Expressions College for animation.
For information on Girl’s Inc. summer/fall programs and various after-school activities, call 510-232-5440 or email office@girlsinc-wcc.org.

Santa Fe Neighborhood Council Pancake Breakfast

By Kia Croom,
Contributing Writer

The Santa Fe Neighborhood Council will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser Thursday, June 6 at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, 165 South 7th St. in Richmond from 7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
The menu includes pancakes, eggs, bacon or sausage along with coffee, milk or juice. Proceeds will support the work of the neighborhood council.
For ticket information contact (510) 236-8386 or email lindawhitmore@aol.com.
com.

Live Music, Food and Fireworks at Richmond Independence Day Celebration

Oakland East Bay Symphony and Music Director Michael Morgan.

A family-friendly Target Independence Day Celebration led by the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Music Director Michael Morgan will be held on Wednesday, July 3 on the waterfront at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the evening will include pre-performance entertainment, food and fireworks. The event is hosted by the symphony, Craneway Pavilion and the City of Richmond.
Craneway Pavilion, located inside the historic Ford Point Building on 25 waterfront acres, delivers spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline, with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the entire event space as well as a 20,000-square-foot patio, perfect for viewing the City of Richmond’s Firework Display.
The event is free to the public and in the six years since its inception has become one of the Bay Area’s most popular and talked-about Independence Day Celebrations, made possible thanks to the generous support of Target.
The live music begins at 6:30 p.m., featuring performances by top local music groups. At 8 p.m. the Oakland East Bay Symphony, conducted by Michael Morgan, will perform patriotic, spirited works to celebrate America’s Independence Day including a set of John Williams works celebrating an American institution: the movies.
The City of Richmond’s fireworks display will launch over the water just as the symphony closes its program. The evening will be hosted by KDFC Radio’s Dianne Nicolini.
The Craneway Pavilion is located at 1414 Harbour Way South in the Marina district of Richmond and can be accessed from the 580 freeway. The wharf area and parking will open at 5 p.m.  and the Pavilion will open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs.
For more information, visit www.oebs.org or www.craneway.com.

From Girls to Young Women

From left to right: Tiffany Harris, Program/Office Manager, Jocelyn Perez, Malaya Harris, Annelise Williams, Alia Edington, and Mieasha Harris, Executive Director.

By Mieasha Harris

Earlier this month, Girl’s Inc. of West Contra Costa County congratulated its first group of young girls for completing the College Bound Girls Program (CBG). All four of the graduating seniors in the program completed high school and have been accepted into a college or university.
A host of families, friends, elected officials, students and staff attended Girl’s Inc. third annual End of the Year Celebration at the Richmond Recreation Complex to recognize and support the CBG graduates; “We Are on Our Way” was the chosen theme of the night.
Richmond’s Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Supervisor John Gioia congratulated the girls and offered encouraging words for completing the program and high school.
Like many of the graduates, Jocelyn Perez is the first in her family to graduate high school and go to college. She will be attending San Francisco State University in the fall to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatrician.
“Girls Inc. has taught me that girls have the ability of being ‘strong, smart, and bold,’ ” Perez said. “Strong in the sense of being able to overcome any challenge that you encounter; smart because we as girls are intelligent…and bold in the form of being brave and learning to become an actual leader.”
Featured speaker Xavier Abrams, Vice President of Mechanics Bank in Richmond, spoke about her childhood years at Girls Inc., learning about etiquette, and how those skills came in handy later on in her life.
“Growing up, there was no one to tell me to go to college. So when I joined this organization, I felt like I could do something with my life,” said Annelise Williams, who plans to become a Forensic DNA Analyst. She will be attending Solano Community College in the fall.
The event was marked with Zumba entertainment, a slide show highlighting the organization’s progress, a silent auction, and raffle. Food was provided by Portomex Restaurant and Corn Cravings.
CBG graduate Alia Edington will be attending University of California, Santa Cruz and plans to become a doctor.
Edington said, “After joining Girls Inc. and Cal Maritime’s Summer Academic Enrichment Program, I became more active in school, changed my group of friends, and raised my grades from a 2.8 to a 4.2 GPA.”
All graduates received plaques, certificates from Congressman George Miller and Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, scholarships, a selected book from Girls’ Inc. Executive Director Mieasha Harris, and a CBG t-shirt designed by graduate Malaya Harris, who will attend Expressions College for animation.
For information on Girl’s Inc. summer/fall programs and various after-school activities, call 510-232-5440 or email office@girlsinc-wcc.org.

1,500 Richmond Students Explore Outer Space

By Post Staff

There may be no scientific proof of life beyond Earth, but that didn’t make the alien spaceship landing at DeJean Middle School any less exciting to student Celsa De La Cruz.
“You can get inside it, and you feel like you’re actually in space!” said De La Cruz, a seventh grader at DeJean, who was among more than 1,500 Richmond students who had the opportunity to board a model UFO, touch a rocket missile and go for a ride in the multi-access space simulator as part of the Traveling Space Museum’s “Space Day.”
Sponsored by the For Richmond coalition, a new community service organization in Richmond, “Space Day” brought a dozen interactive and shocking space-themed attractions to DeJean for the day on Friday, May 17.
“What these kids learn today, they remember and Space Day is all about giving students the opportunity to soak up new ideas,” said Ivor Dawson, founder and president of the Traveling Space Museum, Inc., an award-winning organization that brings the wonders of space to students in elementary and middle schools across the U.S.
For Richmond sponsored the event as part of its mission to improve the quality of education in Richmond by increasing access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, expose students to new, science-oriented ideas and increase academic performance. This is the third space-themed event For Richmond has sponsored; earlier this year, the coalition organized two traveling space exhibits at Richmond elementary schools in partnership with the Chabot Space & Science Center.
“This puts science in a whole different context, and makes it really exciting for these students,” said Madeline Kronenberg, For Richmond education chair and board president of the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
“These kinds of opportunities make science education come alive – students will not soon forget the experience of being spun around in a space simulator.”
DeJean History Teacher Doug Marques said teachers were also thrilled with the exhibit – and thankful to For Richmond for sponsoring it – because this kind of interactive programming helps elevate the classroom curriculum.
Even English teachers were talking about developing writing assignments based on the day of space fun, Marques said.
“This kind of program is great because it gets kids excited to learn and dream about their own futures and careers,” he said.
For De La Cruz and the other students who had the chance to see a 17-foot-long full-motion flight simulator, learn how to flush a space toilet and touch a Lunar Roving vehicle, among other activities, Space Day was simply about experiencing something new and novel.
“It’s cool because I get to see something I’ve never seen before,” she said. “I loved it!”
For more information about the Traveling Space Museum, visit http://www.travelingspacemuseum.org/.

Bay Area Churches of Christ Mass Worship Comes to Richmond

Left to Right Otheree Christian, John Bradshaw, R.M. Jackson, Fred Crayton, Blake Hutchings, Matthew Jackson, Joe Rutherford; Back Row: Michael Grisby, James Sankey, Robert Winton, Thaddeus Brantley, James Hurd, Jerald Stroughter Sr. Edward Corbett. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee.

By Kia Croom

The 2013 Bay Area Churches of Christ Mass Worship was held recently at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center. The event was attended by more than 1,700 community members.
The April 21 event, hosted by Bay Area Churches of Christ, featured a Bible class facilitated by Minister Fred Clayton of Westside Church of Christ and sermons by Stacy Jones and Greg Brinkley.
The event included congregational exhibits designed to promote fellowship among participants and afford them an opportunity to learn about Bay Area churches.
Bishop Ronald Jackson of MacDonald Avenue Church of Christ and Minister Fred Clayton of Westside Church of Christ held a debriefing meeting on May 17.
The Bay Area Churches will begin planning for the 2014 Bay Area Worship Service, tentatively scheduled to take  place April 20, 2014.
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.

Book Review: “Unsinkable” by Nicole Bradshaw

By Terri Schlichenmeyer,
The Bookworm Sez

You need a vacation.
Just a little getaway, that’s all. A few days outside, sand and sun, drinks with umbrellas served by someone in a uniform. Luxurious accommodations, rich food – yeah, you could see that kind of life becoming more than just a vacation.
But would you move, permanently?  In the new book “Unsinkable” by Nicole Bradshaw, the LaRoche family decided to return to Canada and leave France behind forever. But they would actually leave behind much, much more.
The night started so well, and ended so badly.
Fifteen-year-old Corrine LaRoche snuck out of the house to see her boyfriend, but then she caught him cheating. When she returned home in tears, she found the police in her house – and one of them had his foot on her father’s neck.
That kind of harassment didn’t happen often, but it happened enough. Corrine’s father was a Negro man; her mother was white. Years ago, they’d left Canada to move to Cherbourg, France, hoping to make a good life for their family overseas.
Now it was time to go back home.
With plans for his wife to join them later, Corrine’s father booked second-class tickets for himself and his daughters on the Titanic.
Though her sister was less than awed, Corrine was amazed by the size of the great ship. She could hardly believe that something so big could float on water. The Titanic was nearly as big as Cherbourg itself!  There was music on-deck, tables with umbrellas, and lots and lots of people.
But the one person who caught Corrine’s eye was a handsomely uniformed young white seaman who seemed quite attracted to her. His name was Christopher and his uncle was the Captain of the Titanic.
So when he invited Corrine to have dinner with him in the first-class dining room, she naturally accepted – although no one else was happy about their budding romance.
Christopher’s mother had hoped he would marry a girl from his social class, and not a common Negro girl. Corrine’s father distrusted white people, too. But for Corrine and Christopher, nothing would stop their growing love.
Nothing, of course, except an iceberg…
I was so excited about this book. It had such promise: a novel loosely based on a true story of the only Black family on the Titanic.
I couldn’t wait to read it. Unfortunately, I should’ve…
When I say that author Nicole Bradshaw “loosely” based “Unsinkable” on truth, I mean very, very loosely. The setting of the book is 100 years old but its language is modern, which ruined the story for me right there.
There are some obvious historical details that are wrong here, and we’re expected to accept several big stretches of imagination on top of that. Yes, this is fiction, but it could’ve been much better fiction had it not been modernized, altered, or contrived.
To say that this book was a disappointment to me is an understatement of Titanic proportions and for that, I can’t recommend it. Overall, my opinion of “Unsinkable” is that it just tanks.
“Unsinkable” by Nicole Bradshaw, c. 2013, Strebor Books,  $15, 320 pages

Recovery? Not for the Common People

By Jesse
Jackson

Without vision, the Bible teaches, the people perish. And in Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Newark and cities across the country, the people are perishing.
Each week in Chicago, we witness more pain. Teachers are laid off and schools are closed. Transit workers are terminated and bus service is cut. Families lose their homes, and thousands remain underwater, unable to refinance mortgages greater than the worth of their home.
Hospital budgets are cut, and costs go up. Summer Pell grants are cut, and students drop out into an economy with no jobs. Schools cut athletics and music and afterschool programs, and can’t understand why more students drop out.
Parking meters are sold off, and parking becomes unaffordable.
In the pain, we start turning on each other. Parents revolt as administrators pretend that school closings are progressive reforms.
Teachers strike against schools without adequate textbooks or libraries. Banks hound homeowners to collect on subprime loans that were peddled fraudulently by agents who targeted African Americans and Latinos for higher rates.
The cities head into a hot summer with more unemployed youth, fewer summer programs, fewer jobs programs, less hope and more dope.
The supposed recovery hasn’t reached the people. The new jobs offer less pay, less security and fewer benefits than the ones that were lost.
African-American families lost nearly a third of their wealth between 2007 and 2010. (Hispanic families lost more than 40 percent). A fragile middle class has been devastated. Investors and corporate CEOs clean up. The top 1 percent have captured all of the income growth over the first two years coming out of the recession and then some.
We cannot cut our way to a prosperous economy or a healthy city. We can’t cut our way to good schools, safe streets or affordable health care. We have to find another way.
In Washington, investigations reveal how Apple and other corporations transfer billions abroad to avoid paying taxes. Apple’s CEO says this is all at least arguably legal.
What he doesn’t say is that the companies spend millions on lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the rules. We don’t have that power. We must see our way through — and mobilize people to act.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sparring with teachers, transit workers, parents, students, the young and the old. If the city doesn’t blow, some say he might profit politically by looking tough. But that won’t revive the city. No one will gain or profit morally by looking tough.
It would be wise if President Barack Obama and Emanuel convened a summit to create a prototype for urban policy. A meeting of stakeholders and key leaders from HUD, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The aim would be to put forth a vision of what must be done, a plan for how to do it, and a budget that lays out the costs. We should make this a model for cities across the country.
The summit should assess the assets of Chicago — not simply our budget and tax base, but also public pension funds, what the government, hospitals and universities buy, and how we can use that money to anchor our economy — and put people to work.
It should lay out what we expect from the state and the federal government — and what it will cost to rebuild the public sinews of our economy — from schools to public transit to hospitals to training. It should pave the way for robust urban development.
It’s time for vision, for a plan, for some hope. Let’s have the summit before the city explodes, not after.

Joe Gross, 72, Served on Berkeley School Board

Joseph J. Gross

Joseph J. Gross, who served on the Berkeley School and was executive director of Neighborhood House of North Richmond, died on April 25. He was 72.
Mostly recently a resident of Albany, he was born on April 3, 1941 in Detroit, MI. He graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and became active in the 1960s in the Civil Rights Movement. He worked on voter registration in McComb County, Mississippi with the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
In 1970, Gross traveled to Guyana and worked for two years in Tanzania.  He moved to Berkeley in 1978, joined Berkeley Citizens’ Action, helping to reelect Gus Newport as mayor of Berkeley.
He was elected to the Berkeley School Board in the 1980s and served as executive director of Neighborhood House of North Richmond and as executive board member of the Oakland-Berkeley Rainbow Coalition.
Gross co-founded Sustainable Systems, Inc and launched the Communications Technology Cluster business incubator. Sustainable Systems has served as lead consultant to the Bay Area Council for the Bay Area Family of Funds and lead consultant to the East Bay Broadband Consortium.
His work took him to China, Palestine, Hungary, Ghana, and South Africa. He helped build an investment fund and a mixed-income development in Shreveport, LA. He served as a founding board member of the California Emerging Technology Fund, treasurer of the Oakland-based Alliance for Community Development and a board member of the Center for Neighborhood Technology located in Chicago, IL.
He is survived by his wife Erlinda, his daughter Janel Gross, his son- and daughter-in-law Jawanza and Francoise Gross, his daughter- and son-in –law Tamu and Maniang Seck and his step daughter and son-in-law Maria Dolores and Jose Menjivar.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jason Wright, Jasmine, Justine and Joseph III Gross, Madeline and Fatouja Seck and Maricella Menjivar.
A bench will be installed in his memory in Tilden Park. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Regional Parks Foundation, P.O. Box 21074, Crestmont Station, Oakland, CA 94620, with “Joe Gross” in the memo line.

West Oakland’s B-SIDE BBQ

Phil Surkis and Chef Tanya Holland.

By Robert
Arnold
Part 1 -Food
for the Soul

What if I were to tell you that West Oakland is home to bay area’s newest “Gourmet Ghetto”? Hear me out. You may already know about the French trained, award winning Chef Tanya Holland and her now legendary Brown Sugar Kitchen restaurant on Mandela Parkway.  Well, she’s done it again on San Pablo Avenue with her latest venture, B-Side BBQ. B-Side is a full service restaurant focusing on a high quality meats, vegetarian sides, and artisan cocktails. The critics have already caught on- It’s the highest scoring barbecue restaurant in the bay area according to the Zagat Guides. Both Food & Wine magazine and Travel & Leisure have included B-Side on their lists of the best new barbecue in the USA. Yes, the barbecue will make you, “slap yo momma”, but that is far from the whole story here. What might be the most impressive thing about B-Side is that Holland, and her husband and business partner, Phil Surkis, decided to open up shop in a neighborhood that some would call “rough” and “gritty”.  Even the mayor of Oakland told Holland, “You have guts to open on that block.”
The truth is that Holland and Surkis are no strangers to opening in areas that are perceived as “no man’s land” for restaurants. When they opened Brown Sugar Kitchen on Martin Luther King’s birthday in 2008, many foodies were apprehensive about traveling to West Oakland. Soon, Holland’s cornmeal waffles and fried chicken proved too powerful, and now patrons are lined up, waiting to sample Holland’s French influenced take on Southern and Soul food.
Back at B-Side BBQ, Holland says, “Every day we have customers who thank us for being here”.  Indeed, B-Side may very well be a catalyst for change for this stretch of San Pablo. Since B-Side opened, A private company has purchased the historic California Hotel building two blocks away, and is refurbishing it. New trees have been planted along the corridor. Positive change is in the air. Holland’s restaurant isn’t only feeding patrons, it’s nourishing a community. Feeding people is her passion, and she takes it very seriously.  She uses local purveyors to source the highest quality meats and produce she can find.  With Surkis behind the bar mixing up “West Side Julep’s”, the husband and wife team light up when talking about their neighbors. “We welcome all who come through our doors”, says Holland from their restaurant located at 3303 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland. For information and orders visit: www.bsidebbq.com or call 510-595-0227.

Vanessa Moore-Bulnes “A Piece is Missing”

Ms. Vanessa Moore-Bulnes will be signing copies of children’s book,“A Piece is Missing”  at A Hayward Community Festival hosted by Glad Tidings Church, 1027 W. Tennyson Road, Saturday, June 8th from 9am – 4pm.
“A Piece is Missing” encourages young children (2-5) to collaborate during play in order to solve a problem while putting together a puzzle.  It also enhances their awareness of alphabets, numbers, colors and expressions of emotions.
Ms. Bulnes was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and relocated to the Bay Area in 1986.  She earned her BA degree in child development from Mills College. For information contact her at 510-396-2010 or at Vnessa45@yahoo.com.

Oakland Artist Ise Lyfe Turns Notorious Housing Project into Art Exhiibit

The Oakland Housing Authority, California Initiative and Desley Brooks have partnered with East Oakland artist,  Ise Lyfe, to turn an abandoned housing project into an Art Exhibition.  The complex, formerly known as Greenside was one of the worst housing complexes in the city. Picture shows Council member Desley Brooks and artist Ise Lyfe when they met Wednesday to open the week long exhibition. Photo by Babatunde Harrison.

John Taylor, Carol Ruth Silver Jailed in Mississippi 50 years ago

Photo by Adam L. Turner at Post headquarters.

John Taylor was active in Politics and became very active in the Civil Rights Movement. John was a member of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and in 1961 signed on as a Freedom Rider to help integrate Interstate Travel.
After receiving study workshops in non-violent protest, he traveled with other Freedom Riders to Mississippi to demonstrate.  He later traveled to demonstrate in train and bus stations in Louisiana and the Houston, Texas Airport. John spent several weeks incarcerated at the Mississippi State Prison at Parchman.
John later returned to Berkeley and helped to integrate local Businesses.  He worked toward the goal of integrating Public Schools in Berkeley California.   John continued to work as an  AA to Assemblyman Byron Rumford 17th District, Berkeley, California
In 1968, John was appointed by the California State Democratic Party, as Advance Man for former V. P. Hubert H. Humphrey Presidential Campaign.  This was a first for an African American in a Presidential Campaign.  John traveled throughout the country on the campaign trail.

In May, 1961, Carol Ruth Silver rode by bus from New York City through Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN (where she was trained in non-violence and how not to respond to beatings or worse, and where, under the watchful eye of Freedom Rider organizer Diane Nash she wrote her Last Will & Testament, to be sent to her parents in case she was called upon for the ultimate sacrifice).  In Nashville, Carol Ruth joined five male divinity students, two white and three African-American, for the final bus trip into Jackson, MS.  In Jackson She was incarcerated at the notorious Mississippi State Prison at Parchman.
Later she went to law school at the University of Chicago, and her conviction was reversed on appeal.
She worked as a lawyer for civil rights causes, and for the poor, before being elected for three terms to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, along with Harvey Milk, in 1977.  Her book, Freedom Rider Diary, is being published by the University Press of Mississippi (available now for pre-orders — and she promises to autograph any pre-ordered book.)

Last Minute Scramble to Save Army Base Jobs and Businesses

Fred Blackwell

Tom Henderson

By J. Douglas
Allen-Taylor

With Assistant Oakland City Administrator Fred Blackwell admitting to City Councilmembers that the administrator’s office “probably could have done a lot more” in advance to plan for the relocation of Port-related businesses from the old Army Base, Oakland city officials engaged in a series of detailed negotiating meetings this week and last to meet an extended deadline to move those businesses over to Port of Oakland property.
Several tenant companies representing hundreds of jobs-including customs inspectors Pacific Coast Container and truck support firm Oakland Maritime Support Services-had originally been given until the end of this month to vacate from the old Oakland Army Base to make way for the massive Gateway development project scheduled to break ground on the property this fall.
However, after complications developed in relocating the companies to warehouses on the Port of Oakland portion of the Army Base property, City Council authorized a two-week extension for the evictions.
Officials from PCC, OMSS, and other affected companies have said that because their work with the port requires them to be in a location immediately adjacent to the port, they could be forced to go out of business if they cannot make the move to the port portion of the Army Base.

Some Oakland community leaders are saying that companies may already be lining up to take over those port-support contracts if the vacating Army Base businesses aren’t able to move to locations near the port, which could potentially mean that big rig trucks loaded with uninspected cargo could be moving through the streets of West Oakland or other nearby communities.
Brian Beveridge of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project and OaklandWORKS coalition told members of Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee this week, “Recently, Horizon Beverage was purchased by a local developer, and we understand that the new property owner is hoping to move the U.S. Customs Service to the new property.”
OaklandWORKS followed up later in the week with a letter of protest to Reginald Manning, local area port director of the US Customs and Border Protection service, saying in part that moving the customs inspection from port property to the Horizon Beverage site would be a “type of use [that is] not acceptable to our neighborhood. Any cargo that is suspect should be inspected in close proximity to the port (separated) from the West Oakland Community. Our community does not support any activity which we deem to be at risk of health, safety and welfare of the people of this neighborhood.”
PCC currently holds the contract for customs inspections for the Port of Oakland, but PCC representatives have reported that officials of the United States Customs and Immigration Enforcement Agency have issued a Request For Proposal for a replacement company in the event PCC is forced to go out of business because of the relocation problem.
According to the San Francisco Business Journal, Oakland business entrepreneur Tom Henderson bought the 92,000-square-foot Horizon Beverage property late last year from Port of Oakland Commissioner Ces Butner.
The Horizon property is located at Wood Street and 20th Street near Raimondi Park, just across 880 Freeway from the Port of Oakland. Henderson reported to the Business Journal that he plans to set up a conglomeration of companies in the Horizon building under a newly-formed limited partnership company called Berkeley Healthcare Dynamics.
Among other properties, Henderson already owns the old Oakland Tribune Tower Building-which he purchased in 2011 from former Port of Oakland Commissioner John Protopappas-and the Community Bank of the Bay headquarters at 17th and Broadway in downtown Oakland.
Henderson could not be reached for comment before deadline for this story.

In his remarks to the CED Committee members, OaklandWORKS’ Beveridge criticized city officials for not starting the process of relocating the Army Base businesses “until the eviction notices went out.”
Meanwhile, Assistant City Administrator Blackwell told committee members that even though Army Base developer Phil Tagami’s California Capital and Investment Group is handling the evictions and collecting rents from the vacating Army Base business tenants, the developer is not required under its Army Base development contract with the city to assist in finding new locations for those businesses.
“Unfortunately,” the Assistant City Administrator said, “comprehensive retention strategy was not something that was included in the Request For Proposals or the RFQ that the City put out and therefore was not really a part of the scope of work for CCIG.”

Blackwell said that at least two more negotiating sessions-including one on Friday of this week-will be needed with representatives of the Port and Tagami’s CCIG company before any deal is expected.
Tagami’s consent to the relocation may be required because of the possibility it could involve CCIG giving up rights to Army Base property contracted to the company under its development agreement with the city.

City Council has scheduled a review of the tenant relocation on June 11, with Port of Oakland Commissioners expected to vote on possible leases for the relocating businesses two days later.

Sankofa Wins Indie Award

Ellen Agyeman is the owner of Sankofa Arts and Jewelry, at 120 Frank H.Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. Offering one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothing and other accessories from West Africa, she was honored Thursday by the Oakand Indie Awards for her longevity and creativity.
City Councilmembers Larry Reid, Rebecca Kaplan and Lynette McElhaney congratulated her. For information visit: sankofaarts.net or call (510)444-0149. Photo by Babatunde Harrison.

Bonta’s Firearm Measure Approved

Rob Bonta

The California State Assembly this week approved AB 180 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), which would provide the City of Oakland with the authority to regulate the registration of firearms and licensing of gun owners – areas that are currently pre-empted by state law.
“AB 180 is a smart and sensible bill that empowers Oakland and provides local control in addressing gun violence, where it is needed most,” said Bonta.
“Across our state, communities are suffering from a devastating combination of budget cuts to public safety and coinciding increases in violent crime,” Bonta said. “No one can deny that Oakland is suffering from among the highest levels of gun violence in the state and in the nation.
Oakland suffered from 131 homicides in 2012 – 21 more than 2011 and the highest in six years. Twelve of those victims were children, and Oakland has seen close to 40 more deaths due to gun violence this year.
AB 180 now moves to the Senate for assignment to policy committee.
Visit http://assembly.ca.gov/gunviolenceeastbay for updates.

David E. Glover, Thank You!

David E. Glover

By Paul
Cobb

The community of Oakland and beyond will gather Saturday, June 1 at 1:00pm, at the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, to honor David E. Glover for his prodigious body of advocacy work for the causes of justice, equity, fairness and economic opportunity.
His parents Rose and Philmore Glover worshipped at the same church.
His advocacy was believable because he was larger than his words. He practiced what he preached about fearlessly speaking up and speaking out for participation in governmental decision-making.
He built the housing that others dreamed of.
He crossed the digital divide, more than a decade ahead of his time,  to provide technology training to the oft-forgotten youth and the formerly incarcerated.
He convinced low-income residents that there’s a future for them, while simultaneously convincing Fortune 500 Executives that their futures, too, were inextricably tied to their willingness to help underwrite the underserved.
Even while accepting grants from the powerful, he granted them no quarter when they were neglectful or foreclosed on the poor.
Without any notes, or prepared briefs, he would rise to the occasion to drop a dime on businesses or officials that bypassed minority businesses.
He understood how to market the message for the need to reverse the urban-to-suburban-cash-flow-drain through local-hire initiatives.
He trained community and faith-based groups on how to write winning grants He also gave faith leaders the faith to challenge elected and selected leaders to do right.
For more than 33 years, he trained community leaders, was the sergeant-at-arms for guaranteeing citizens’ participation in government acting director.
In 1979, I first hired acting director Sondra Phillips-Alexander, to manage OCCUR and later David. Together, they helped build the organization. David succeeded me as Director of OCCUR. And, the city and nation watched him blossom  as a selfless gifted speaker, organizer and journalist, advocate for economic justice.
He was a master communicator who was even more effective because he listened.
As a  journalist he could  detach himself to describe his own  accomplished. He often visited me and Chauncey Bailey on deadline to help us fact-check from his own recall.
David, my wife Gay, my brother Michael, and I, remained close during the past 30 years. We talked nearly daily about sports, politics, religion and issues of race and fairness.
As my father said of him “David talked as good as he wanted to and better than he should have.”
He often stood at 14th and Broadway holding court with passers-by carrying his bag full of issues and messages.
My office, located in the adjacent building less than 10 feet apart afforded us the chance to see other working daily. True to his biblical namesake, David the Psalmist, his words will inspire us to continue to support his family and his causes. David Glover had our backs when we needed him.  David, I got your bag and the dime that was left at the bottom. I will carry them forward.
See insert inside

Giants avoid sweep, defeat A's

By: Malaika Bobino

San Francisco, CA – The Giants did what they do best at home and that’s win.  They avoided a sweep in the Bay Bridge Series by beating the Oakland A’s 5-2.  This is the first loss for San Francisco in this series since 2008.

“It’s disappointing and frustrating to be doing so well and let them put together hits like that, consecutive hits like that, it’s pretty frustrating,” said A’s pitcher A.J Griffin.  “[Barry] Zito did a good job of executing his pitches.  He’s a good pitcher, he did a great job keeping his team in the ball game.  It didn’t look like he had his best stuff, but despite the walks, he did a good job getting out of innings.”

Despite a rocky start and season-high six walks, Zito threw 6.0 innings, allowing just one run on three hits and five strikeouts.  The Giants ended their stretch of six consecutive games without a quality start.  Barry gave San Francisco some momentum to rally a comeback in the sixth.

Both Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt drove in two runs apiece during a four-run rally.  Sandoval’s two-run single gave the Giants a 2-1 lead and the offense didn’t stop there.  Hunter Pence followed with a single up the middle and that was the end of Griffin’s time on the mound.

“There were some missed opportunities,” Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin said.  “That one inning got away from us.”

Hideki Okajima faced Belt who doubled on a line drive to left center field scoring both Pablo and Pence.  The A’s cut the lead in half in the seventh when Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI single that followed a leadoff walk and single to start the inning.  But the miscues that San Francisco displayed the night before fell upon Oakland.

Adam Rosales throwing error to first baseman Nate Freiman gave the Giants an unearned run to extend their lead 5-2.  The bullpen and defense came alive to stifle the A’s offense for the remainder of the game.  San Francisco ended Oakland’s six-game winning streak and first sweep of the Interleague season series.

“It was nice to get up there, see the ball well and score a few runs,” said Brandon.  “It was definitely something we needed.  Ideally, we wanted to win a few more games in a four-game series.  But it’ll hopefully build more momentum as we head to St. Louis.  They’re a tough team, we’ve got to be ready and come with our “A” game and hopefully get a win.”

It was a must win for the Giants, they entered today’s game tied with the Colorado Rockies for second place in the National League West and remain 2.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.  They’ve gone 7-0 in starts behind Zito at AT&T Park this season.

“I thought it was critical and important that we find a way to win this game,” San Francisco’s manager Bruce Bochy said.  “There’s pride involved and the last thing you want to do is get swept in this Bay series and we haven’t played very well.  We needed something to get us going, get the confidence going and maybe some swagger too.”

A’s center fielder Coco Crisp was the only batter successful in getting hits off Barry.  He went 3-for 5 with a double, RBI single, single and a stolen base (his 11th of the season).  Zito was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat with the way he pitched today.  The defense backed him with huge outs while runners were in scoring position.

“Amazing, really,” said Bochy.  “He was quite the Houdini today.  I don’t know how he did it.  It was sheer determination.”

“It was a tough day,” Barry said.  “I was just missing off the plate on a lot of my pitches.  I had way too many walks, but I was able to pitch out stuff when I had to, and things worked out for me when we scored some runs.”

Notes – Giants center fielder Angel Pagan was still sore from a cortisone shot for his ailing hamstring.  He hasn’t played since his game winning inside-the-park home run against Colorado.

“They gave me a shot two days ago and it’s made the hamstring even more sore but that’s expected,” said Pagan.  I’ll have a better understanding as to what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next day.  Hopefully, I’ll be apart of the lineup very soon, I’m going crazy right now.”

“He’s not allowed to do a lot right now,” Bochy said.  “Tomorrow he’ll do some running and take BP, and we’ll see where he’s at.”

Giants lack of defense, A's win series

By: Malaika Bobino

San Francisco, CA – A question was asked before the game about the amount of walks given this season from the starters.  Without any hesitation, Giants manager Bruce Bochy explained there is no real reason for the excessive amount of walks issued.

“No answer to why we walk more guys than we should but we’re aware,” Bochy said.

Tim Lincecum walked the first batter he faced and surrendered a RBI triple to Yoenis Cespedes in the first frame.  Second baseman Marco Scutaro’s fielding error scored in Cespedes for a 2-0 lead.  This was the beginning of bad luck for San Francisco and Lincecum.

The A’s won the series with a 6-1 victory over the Giants.  The lack of defense to back Tim was crucial especially after three errors were committed.

“There’s no sugarcoating this thing,” said Bruce.  “We pretty much covered all facets, as far as not playing well.”

Hunter Pence went deep in the second inning to cut the lead in half 2-1.  But Oakland dominated in the fifth scoring four runs.  Both Jed Lowrie and John Jaso hit RBI singles and Nate Freiman capped off the inning with a two-run double for a 6-1 lead.

Brett Pill leadoff the sixth with a solo blast to left field.  A’s pitcher Tommy Milone gave up two singles and a double before his night was done.  Pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias’ sacrifice fly cut Oakland’s lead in half again and San Francisco was off to a good start to rally a comeback.

“I argued everything I could argue,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.  “I was told it was fair and that they should score.”

A controversial play sparked emotions for Oakland.  Andres Torres grounded a double down the third base line through the legs of third base umpire Gerry Davis.  He ruled it fair and Melvin came running out of the dugout to argue the call.

Davis also ruled fan interference on the play which allowed Gregor Blanco to score from first base.  This made Bob turn back around to argue Blanco should be at third.  A’s bench coach Chip Hale continued to yell at the home-plate umpire (Brian Knight) from the top of the dugout and he was ejected.

The momentum was at an all time high for the Giants.  Jerry Blevins who replaced Milone, walked the next batter and now San Francisco had two runners on and was down by two runs.  But Pablo Sandoval grounded into a double play to end the rally and the inning.

“They’re a great team, especially at home and in the later innings,” said Josh Donaldson.  “You know they’re going to come back and put forth a great effort, which they did.”

The effort wasn’t enough for a win, Oakland scored again in the eighth on Coco Crisp sacrifice fly.  The Giants responded with two runs to cut the lead 7-6.  Marco hit a RBI double followed by Pablo’s RBI single.  But again the errors proved costly securing the A’s victory in the ninth.

Donaldson singled on a line drive to left field to score in a run on a fielding error by Torres.  Freiman also had an RBI single leaving no time for San Francisco to bounce back.  Overall, it was tough night for the Giants.  In 4 1/3 innings, Lincecum surrendered seven hits, six runs (five earned), four walks, four strikeouts and one wild pitch.  He’s lost five of his last six decisions.

“I left too many pitches up in the zone, very many pitches in the zone with runners on,” he explained.  “I just didn’t execute all that well with the fastball.”

A's win Bay Bridge Series opener

By: Malaika Bobino

Oakland, CA – The Oakland Athletics swept the Houston Astros this weekend to record their fifth sweep of the season.  They returned home for the Bay Bridge series against the San Francisco Giants and extended their winning streak.

Memorial Day festivities began with an early game that brought a sold out crowd across the bridge for a rivalry game in the Bay Area.  Closer Grant Balfour sealed the A’s 4-1 victory over the Giants for the first of a four game series split between Oakland and San Francisco.

“Hitters don’t like it when they get punched out,” said Balfour.  “Pitchers don’t like it when they walk guys.”

The Giants got the short end of the stick today when Madison Bumgarner walked five batters that resulted in the A’s offense taking advantage.  He was charged with four runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six and one hit batter.

“I tried to throw a fastball down an away,” Madison said of the pitch to Josh Donaldson.  “The ball came back over the plate a little bit but it was still down and he put a good swing on it.”

Donaldson’s two-run homer in the fourth was the crusade for Oakland’s offense.  Bumgarner walked the leadoff batter to start the inning and surrendered two back-to-back singles to both Seth Smith and Derek Norris.  He loaded the bases by walking Adam Rosales before striking out Coco Crisp to end the inning.

It was the sixth walk in the sixth frame that ended his time on the mound.  After his departure George Kontos entered the game to face Yoenis Cespedes who hit a two-run double off the right-center field wall to give them a 4-1 lead.

“Kontos just left a curve up at the wrong time,” said San Francisco’s manager Bruce Bochy.  “The pitch just got away from him.”

The A’s backed Dan Straily’s second solid start along with a scoreless bullpen that was led by Grant’s 11th save of the season.  Straily’s back-to-back quality starts follow his best career outing against Texas this past Tuesday, when he tossed seven shutout innings.  Today he pitched six solid innings giving up four hits, one run (earned), one walk and strikeout.

“You can see, early innings, you can tell he’s got a lot more confidence, the way he’s carrying himself,” Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin said.  He’s throwing a lot of strikes, which is key for him to get ahead to set up his slider and his changeup.  You see a lot of late swings on his fastball, and that all starts by getting ahead.”

“We have the knack for winning the close ones,” said Dan.  “That’s what we do when we play well, play good defense and get big hits.”

The A’s defense was outstanding.  They left no room for error including  a scare by Cespedes when he did a somersault in left-center field while diving for Brandon Crawford’s single in the fifth.  Yoenis was uninjured but had he landed any differently it would have probably cost Oakland another player back on the disabled list.

The Giants tried to rally back in the fifth inning when Buster Posey grounded out and scored Gregor Blanco to cut the lead in half 2-1.  But San Francisco’s offense could not find their at-bats.  They have struggled away from home all year, winning 9 of 23 games.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Crawford said referring to the Memorial Day sellout.  “It was a good day to support our troops.  It just didn’t turn out the way we wanted.”