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A's offense soars in win over Reds

Oakland, CA – It was a short night for the starting pitchers who found themselves watching their bullpen take over early. It’s been awhile since Bronson Arroyo allowed a season-high seven hits over four innings. But tonight the Oakland A’s took advantage for the 7-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

“The flipped the tables on me tonight,” said Arroyo. “I usually pitch on the beaten path, and they came at me with an approach that was a bit awkward.”

Over his last previous four starts, Bronson came into tonight’s game with a 1.57 ERA. But that meant nothing to a soaring A’s offense that dominated early. The last time Arroyo gave up so many hits was July 7, 2011 against the Cleveland Indians when he surrendered eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Oakland got off to a quick start in the second when Bronson gave up three hits that included Josh Reddick’s RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Stephen Vogt for the 2-0 lead. Brandon Moss got things going with a double after Yoenis Cespedes grounded out to leadoff the inning.

“That’s vintage American League, to have a whole bunch of left-handed hitters or switch-hitters they throw at you,” manager Dusty Baker said.

That’s exactly what happened in the next frame. The A’s were non-stop in their at-bats and all Cincinnati could do was watch in amazement. Oakland added four more runs to end Arroyo’s night on the mound. He walked Coco Crisp to leadoff the inning then followed with two back-to-back singles before Cespedes lined a RBI single to right field.

The right-handed pitcher left pitches right over the middle of the plate, mostly fastballs each time. Moss’ sacrifice fly scored in a run and Josh Donaldson connected with Bronson’s first pitch for a two-run homer for the 6-0 lead. At that point there was no looking back for the A’s.

“I wasn’t surprised they swung early, I was surprised at some of the pitches they swung early on,” said Arroyo. “Donaldson hit a first-pitch breaking ball out of the park after seeing a changeup his first at-bat and rolled one over to the shortstop for a hit.”

Joey Votto leadoff the next frame with a solo blast to left field. But Todd Frazier’s double off the wall to follow Votto’s home run ended with a no man’s land attempt when Yoenis threw to second as Frazier was caught in between bases for the putout.

Oakland added one more run before Bronson departed, he walked Crisp again to leadoff the fourth. But this time Coco stole second base before Seth Smith scored him in. The A’s southpaw also had some troubles of his own and saw his shortest outing this season.

Tommy Milone allowed six hits, a season-high four walks, and three runs in 4 2/3 innings. Milone got himself into a jam loading the bases in the fifth after issuing two free passes back-to-back before walking in Jay Bruce for the Reds final run to end his night on the mound.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Tommy. “Something was a little bit off. I wasn’t able to throw it where I wanted to. It was just an uncomfortable feeling.”

The A’s defense did a good job keeping the Reds off the score board for the remainder of the game. Cincinnati left eleven runners stranded on the night. They have dropped four of their last five games and were without their start player Brandon Phillips who is out on maternity leave.

“It’s always nice to get those big leads,” Donaldson said. “It’s been one of those things here lately where we get the opportunities and haven’t cashed in right away. Tonight the ones we had early in the game we were able to take advantage of.”

National Mentoring Conference For Black Men Visits Oakland

By Tasion Kwamilele

Bishop Jackson

From left to right: Comedian Tommy Davidson, O.K. Program founder Donald Northcross, and Bishop Bob Jackson.

The National African American Male Mentor Conference was held last weekend in Oakland at the Downtown Marriott, hosted by the National Our Kids Program, which promotes the importance of responsibility in the lives of young Black men.
The conference sought not only to raise awareness but responsibility and accountability for issues facing Black men today.
“The conference workshops were full of energy and important information, and a list of incredible speakers helped to make the three-day event a huge success,” said Donald Northcross, founder of the O.K. Program.
A reception last Thursday featured Coye Francies of the Oakland Raiders.  Speakers included Seattle Seahawks running back and Oakland native Marshawn Lynch, Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church, actor Bill Cobbs and “In Living Color” actor and comedian Tommy Davidson.
Davidson told an audience of over 200 conference participants that the main issue facing young African American men today is homicide.
“Homicide (is) the number one cause of deaths of African American males from ages 16- 21 – this isn’t happening all of a sudden,” Davidson said. “It is the result of societal ills that have plagued African American communities from the very start.”
Bishop Jackson said the event was “the most profound conference” he had ever attended.
“The Our Kids Program should be replicated throughout the entire United States of America.  It addresses the issue of Black on Black crime in the city of Oakland,” Jackson said. “I believe it is the answer to inner-city violence”
For more information about the Our Kids Program, visit www.okprogram.org

Alameda County Fair-17 Days of Fun

zendaya coleman

zendaya coleman

This year’s 101st celebration at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton runs June 19 to July 7 featuring $1 admission and $1 rides on opening day. With the theme “Summer Fun Starts Here,” the fair kicks off with a number of popular traditions, including exhibits, animals, horse racing, and the Big O Tires free concert series.
Grammy award-winning producer and artist Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will be among the performers on June 29 at the nightly concert series starting at 7 p.m. as well as Disney’s “Shake It Up” star Zendaya on July 6. The fair will also feature three daily shows of Freestyle Motorcross, one of the fastest growing motor sports activities in the world.
Special event days include $2 Tuesdays on June 25 and July 2; Senior Free Thursdays on June 20, June 27, and July 4 sponsored by Jackson Rancheria Casino; Kaiser Permanente Kids Free Fridays on June 21, June 28, and July 5; Fireworks shows on June 21 and June 28 sponsored by Fremont Bank, and July 5 sponsored by Chevron.
June 21 is Military Appreciation Day – with a valid military I.D. or veterans’ proof of service, receive free admission.
Through the Feed the Need Food Drive on June 26 benefiting the Alameda County Community Food Bank, those attending the fair can receive free admission and $1 for all carnival rides if they bring four non-perishable food items.
The Alameda County Fairgrounds is officially designated by the State Office of Emergency Services as a Regional Disaster Recovery Center and on June 26, they will be packing over 100,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger to provide for the safety of the community.
The fair is closed on Mondays and open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. For more information, including sign ups to help with Kids Against Hunger, visit www.alamedacountyfair.com or call 925-426-7600.

B-Side BBQ – Food for the Soul

Part 2
By Robert Arnold

BBQ

For husband and wife team Tanya Holland and Phil Surkis, of B-Side BBQ located at 3303 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland, it was important to honor the area where they set up shop. They’ve done this by commissioning Oakland artist April Banks to create a series of pieces inspired by West Oakland’s Black Cowboy Parade, an annual event for nearly 30 years.
However, if you look closely at the art, you might be surprised to find Holland and Surkis mixed into the 19th Century images.
“We had a little fun with it,” says Holland.
There is something very appropriate about seeing Holland and Surkis on the wall, each donning a cowboy hat – they are cowboys of the “New West.” Mavericks who are tirelessly working to feed a neighborhood that’s just starting to come back from hard times.
B-Side’s tag line is “Old West Oakland.” As West Oakland residents, they know first hand that it’s a big deal for neighbors to finally have a place to go for dinner without traveling to other neighborhoods.
“We’re meeting new people every day, and we’re thrilled when folks who live in West Oakland come in!” says Surkis.
If you’re reading this, it’s time to saddle up, and mosey on down to B-Side BBQ. Holland and Surkis are serving up food for the soul, and then some.

Barbara Lee: Food Stamps Cut Avoided

SNAP Challenge

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, flanked by clergy leaders on Monday, defended the  food stamp program against proposed congressional cuts. Front Row:  Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Back row, from left to right: Pastor Lucy Kolin, Resurrection Lutheran Church; Suzan Bateson, Executive Director, Alameda County Community Food Bank; Rev. Joe Smith, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry, First African Methodist Church in Oakland; Pastor Jeremiah Captain, Galatians Missionary Baptist Chuch; Pastor Charley Hames, Beebe Memorial Cathedral; Pastor Zachary Carey,  True Vine Ministries and Pastor Mark Smith, Brookins AME.
Lee on Thursday celebrated the defeat of the House of Representives bill that would have cut $20 billion for food subsidies for the poor. “Defeating the .. bill today is an incredible victory for the nation’s poor and vulnerable. The president’s veto threat went a long way in garnering support for the defeat of this bill,” she said.

Ray Carlisle, NID-HCA Receives $800,000 for Housing Counseling

Ray Carlisle, President of NID-HCA

Ray Carlisle, President of NID-HCA

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has announced $814,488 in federal grants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to NID Housing Counseling Agency (NID-HCA), which is headquartered in Emeryville.
The grants will be used to assist families and individuals with their housing needs and to prevent future home foreclosures.
“I am pleased that (the agency) was selected for this competitive funding to provide housing counseling services to families,” said Lee.  “Homeownership is key to catapulting families to the middle class and building wealth.”
Founded in 1985, NID-HCA is a HUD-approved National Intermediary that is the oldest and largest minority real estate trade association in the nation.
“Congresswomen Lee is recognized in the halls of Congress and at the White House as a leading progressive advocate for policies that will help those working families most affected by the recent financial crisis share equally in the nation’s economic recovery. She understands that knowledgeable and fair homeownership opportunities helps build family and community social and economic stability and well-being,” said Ray Carlisle, President of NID-HCA.
NID-HCA delivers housing counseling and education services through its 33 local branches to minority communities in urban and suburban areas throughout 15 states in the country.  The agency has eight offices throughout the state, all located in urban communities.
For more information, visit www.nidonline.com

Teamsters Dispute with Local Trucker Haunts Army Base Project

Bill Aboudi

Bill Aboudi

By Ken A. Epstein

A high profile lawsuit has reignited a long simmering dispute between Oakland Army Base small businessman Bill Aboudi and the Teamsters union.
When you hear what the sides are saying, it sounds like you are talking about two different people. The union accuses Aboudi of criminally mistreating his workers and says he should be shut down.
But many of his employees and West Oakland community leaders repeatedly turn out to defend the businessman as a “stand up guy” who goes out of his way to improve the health and wellbeing of the community and gives jobs to the formerly incarcerated.
Aboudi is owner of AB Trucking, a company with 12 employees and six trucks that does business with the Port of Oakland.
He also owns Oakland Maritime Support Services (OMSS), which has earned national recognition for providing a place where air-contaminating trucks can park on port land away from the West Oakland community, which had been suffering from off the charts asthma rates.
OMSS is also the home of 18 small businesses: a mini-mart, doctor, sign painter, truck repair, tire replacement and scales where big rig truckers can find the services they need without driving into West Oakland.
The Teamster’s opposition to Aboudi seemed to be vindicated on May 21 when an Alameda County Superior Court judge issued a court order in a wages and hours lawsuit, ordering him to pay 73 workers about $965,000 in back wages and interest, dating back to 2004.
“We know that for the past several years that the word inside (City Hall) has been that the big bad Teamsters have been trying to take out the small local businessman who has done good for West Oakland,” said Doug Bloch, political director for Teamsters Joint Council 7, speaking at last week’s meeting of the City Council’s Community and Economic Development committee.
The real issue, said Bloch, is that the” Alameda County Superior Court has just handed down a … verdict against AB Trucking. Good people were hired… and not paid at all for the work that they did.”
Defending Aboudi at the CED meeting was Margaret Gordon, former port commissioner and co-director of West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, who has been a leader in the fight for breathable air in West Oakland.
“I’ve known Bill since 1996,” she said. “When we started the maritime air quality improvement plan, the Teamsters weren’t there. Bill was there.
“OMSS has been a life saver for West Oakland. (Bill) has always participated in every event that we have had. He’s been there when the union was not there.”
According to Aboudi, the legal dispute is not settled.  He said he is appealing the ruling, arguing that the judge based his decision in part on state regulations, not federal Department of Transportation rules for the trucking industry.
He also emphasized that the lawsuit and judgment was against AB Trucking, which is a separate entity from the OMSS.  He accuses the Teamsters of promoting the suit against AB Trucking as a reason why the city should cancel its rental agreement with OMSS.
The issues for the Teamsters have their roots in the federal deregulation of the trucking industry in the 1980s, which resulted in the creation of many low-paid, non-union owner-operators with only one truck, as well as small operations like Aboudi’s.
The Teamsters want to organize owner-operators into the union.  In their Oakland campaign, the union has focused on Aboudi, portraying  him as an enemy of labor. A Teamsters website describes him as “a greedy California hustler who doesn’t care about the port truckers.”
Outspoken in his position, Aboudi says the choice should be up to the owner-operators. He argues they have the right to choose to become employees and join a union or continue to own their businesses.
As for the owner-operators, many of whom are people of color, there is widespread concern that should the industry become unionized, they would not be the ones to be hired in those jobs,
Somewhere along the line Aboudi also ran into conflicts with Master Developer and Army Base landlord Phil Tagami.  Aboudi claims that the city’s agreement with Tagami allows him to benefit financially if OMSS loses its rental agreement with the city.
Dexter Vizinau, a consultant who represents some of the businesses at the Army Base, also spoke in favor of Aboudi.
“I am pro union,” he said. ”I have a client that has come under attack, and in the past I have tried to mediate.
“I don’t agree to the way they (the Teamsters) go about trying to fill their ranks by attacking (him). The way you get people is to educate them, embrace them and show them what the benefits are,” he said.
Erick Gaines, who identified himself as a former addict and an ex felon, told the audience at the CED meeting that Aboudi had saved his life when he hired him nine years ago and gave him the opportunity to give back to the community by training others to drive trucks.
“When I crossed over, I got a second chance at a first class life – it all feels good now,” he said. “I don’t know what I’d do or where I’d go” if Aboudi’s trucking company closed, he said.
“I don’t think there’s any more people like Mr. Aboudi,” who would give him a job and allow him to use the company’s equipment for free to train new drivers, said Gaines.
“He’s been a pillar to the community, and it would be a travesty to lose him.”
The Teamsters website is http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2013/03/big- ftrouble-for-teamster-hating-union.html. Bill Aboud’s website is www.helpabtrucking.com

Helen Brooks Celebrates 104th

By Post Staff

Standing, daughter Lily Brooks-Toney; sitting: son Frank Knight, and mother Helen Brooks, 104 years young. Photo by Jesse Brooks.

Standing, daughter Lily Brooks-Toney; sitting: son Frank Knight, and mother Helen Brooks, 104 years young. Photo by Jesse Brooks.

Helen Brooks, who recently celebrated her 104th birthday, says her biggest joy has been family, watching her children grow up.
Born on June 12, 1909 in Ennis, Texas, the same year that the NAACP was founded, Brooks earned her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Prairie View A&M University in 1930 and then moved to Oakland from Fort Worth, Texas in 1936.
She married Clifford Brooks in 1939. The coupled moved to Hayward in 1956 and converted a barn into a two-story home, where she still lives today.
Aside from cataract surgery in each eye, Brooks has lived a healthy life, free of medication.
“I took care of my body when I was young,” she said, “and now my body is taking care of me.”
“Everything is working natural on its own,” Brooks said smiling, showing all of her own teeth.
She was previously featured in The Post on her 101st birthday. Her grandfather was 107 when he passed. Up to the time of his death, he never needed eyeglasses to read the daily newspaper.
She is the mother of three children: Frank Knight, Lily Brooks Toney, and Carl Brooks, who died in 1980. She  also has four grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. She says her goal is to live to be 110.

Reid, Brooks Lead on LED Lights

By Ken A. Epstein

Councilmembers Larry Reid and Desley Brooks and  Interim Deputy Police Chief Danielle Outlaw spoke  at the press conference announcing new street lights at the corner of 98th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. Photo by Ken A. Epstein.

Councilmembers Larry Reid and Desley Brooks and Interim Deputy Police Chief Danielle Outlaw spoke at the press conference announcing new street lights at the corner of 98th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. Photo by Ken A. Epstein.

Thanks to years of efforts by Councilmembers Larry Reid and Desley Brooks and outspoken community members, the City of Oakland has begun installing 30,000 greener, brighter street lights designed to enhance public safety, reduce crime and save money.
The project, announced Tuesday morning by the city at a press conference at the intersection of 98th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, began last year as a pilot program.
District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid said he was excited the project has finally come to pass. He said he had originally met 15 years ago with the company, Amland, to discuss the possibility of bringing improved lighting to the city.
Since then, Reid said, “My colleague Councilmember Brooks has been leading the charge after hearing the cry from the neighborhoods about how we need to brighten up this community in which we live, to give people a sense of hope that things are getting better (and) safer.”
“I want to thank the community and the people who are standing behind me, who came out and said it’s just too dark,” said said Brooks, speaking at the press conference. “We know that there are places in Oakland where there’s insufficient street lighting and that in other places where there is street lighting, it isn’t bright enough,” said Brooks at the press conference.
“These lights will change that. They will change what our city looks like.”
The city has a contract with Amland Corp. of San Jose to do the installation, which began in May and is scheduled to be completed by December. Existing High Pressure Sodium cobra head streetlights will be replaced with Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights, which are more energy efficient, are cheaper to operate and have a longer lifespan – a 15-year minimum.
The total cost of the new lighting is estimated to be $14.8 million, which will be paid for by reduced electricity costs and  $2.9 million in incentive rebates from PG&E.
“It started with community people talking about what they needed, partnering with their government to make change,” said Brooks.
The new lighting is an example of the kind of program that would be funded by the alternative city budget backed by her and two other councilmembers, she said.
Brooks characterizes the alternative budget as one that both improves city services and public safety, contrary to the mayor’s proposal, which Brooks says gives too much of the funding to the Oakland Police Department.
“(The City Council is) looking at the budget right now. And this project is exactly what my colleague Larry Reid, Noel Gallo and I are talking about in terms of partnerships that have to be made with law enforcement in order to make a difference in our community,” she said  “If we all work together, we can make a change in this community.”

City Takes One-Third of Job Funds Off the Top

“City staff’s unprecedented take of funds is far beyond the guidelines that are set forth in Department of Labor standards”

Agnes Ubalde replaced Bryan Parker as WIB chair

 

By Ken A. Epstein

Kathy Chao Rothberg, executive director of Lao Family Community Development speaks at Thursday Oakland WIB meeting

Kathy Chao Rothberg, executive director of Lao Family Community Development speaks at Thursday Oakland WIB meeting

Nonprofit agencies that receive federal money to help unemployed workers are upset following the announcement that the city’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB) will take one-third of the total annual funding to pay for administrative overhead, while adding nothing to the pot for adult and teenage jobseekers.
The proposed budget for the WIB for 2013-2014 is $4.8 million.  The city is taking $1.5 million or 32 percent off the top.
Three years ago before the city became WIB system administrator, overhead was only 16 percent or $918,000.
“The need  (in the community) is great, but the funding is actually going to the department (of) the city, and I really don’t see the justification,” said Kathy Chao Rothberg, executive director of Lao Family Community Development that provides support for unemployed youth and adults in East Oakland.
Where is the plan for providing more jobs services to the unemployed and meeting the needs of employers? She asked, speaking at the Thursday morning meeting of the Oakland WIB.
The WIB distributes Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding for job training for teenagers in school and out of school, training and placement for the formerly incarcerated and long-term laid off workers as well as supporting the one-stop job centers in downtown Oakland and in other satellite locations.
“Your training dollars are underfunded, your (job) providers are underfunded, and the city is overfunded,” said Richard de Jauregui, planning director of the Oakland Private Industry Council.
“Thirty-two percent is an unprecedented number and far beyond the guidelines that are set forth in Department of Labor standards,” he said.
The city only takes money out of the WIA funding, he said.  “All they do is take money out, there is no buy in by the City of Oakland.  If you look at other workforce investment areas, there is a lot more buy in by local authorities.”
Oakland’s WIA funding is 9 percent less this year than last, but the city’s costs have risen, said Al Auletta, a program manager in the City Administrator’s Office.
Increased city overhead is connected to the rising costs  of staff, greater health insurance costs and a new city facilities charge, he said
Also at Thursday’s meeting, Agnes Ubalde replaced Bryan Parker as WIB chair.

County School Board to Decide AIM School’s Fate

AIM passes but OUSD fails state audits

Oakland’s AIM Charter School rated among nation’s best.

Oakland’s AIM Charter School rated among nation’s best.

The wait is almost over for parents, students and teachers at American Indian Model School (AIM), whose future hangs in the balance. The Alameda County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, June 25 to decide whether the nationally acclaimed charter school will be allowed to continue next school year.
Strengthening AIM´s position, the State Controller has issued reports covering the last two fiscal years that found the school in compliance with state requirements.
Ben Chavis, founder of the AIM school, says the school has received a clean bill of health while the school district is receiving failing grades from the State Controller.
“OUSD says we’re not in compliance but the state controller says we are,” Chavis said.  The State Controllers office recently released a report that was highly critical of the district, finding that “accounting records were deficient, and certain supporting data was unavailable.”
Chavis said he is surprised that an Alameda County Board of Education spokesman is claiming that the office has never received a report produced by AIM answering all the charges against the school’s administration. How could they miss the 16 binders of information that were turned over to the board for review? He asked.
The county school board will meet on Tuesday, June 25  at 313 W. Winton Ave, Hayward.  For more information or to review the meetings agenda, go to www.acoe.org/acoe/Home/Board

Mills Grove Church’s “Common Ground” Community Garden

By Post Staff

Members of the Mills Grove Christian Church grant writing committee are: (L to R): Majeedah Rahman, Brenda Barnes, Karen Barrett, Rosa Celestine, Rev. Clarence Johnson, Sharon Dalke, Rahime Butcher (rear), Melissa Butcher, Deloris Suarez, and Angie Dalke (lower right). Photo by Ken A. Epstein.

Members of the Mills Grove Christian Church grant writing committee are: (L to R): Majeedah Rahman, Brenda Barnes, Karen Barrett, Rosa Celestine, Rev. Clarence Johnson, Sharon Dalke, Rahime Butcher (rear), Melissa Butcher, Deloris Suarez, and Angie Dalke (lower right). Photo by Ken A. Epstein.

Mills Grove Christian Church is working to develop a community garden, “Common Ground,” on an empty lot owned by the church at 5410 Fleming Ave. in Oakland.
The garden will be operated as a cooperative. The 2,200-square-foot lot will be divided into several gardening plots. Based on the available space, an estimated 32 garden plots will be created – 10 subsidized by the church to serve low-income, under-served individuals and families in Alameda County.
Children and adults will have the opportunity to learn about organic gardening, nutrition and environmental sustainability while working collaboratively.
Funding for the project was raised in part from a San Francisco Foundation grant and other donations.
A fundraising dinner was held June 15 at the church to support the garden. Music was provided by Dr. Terrance Elliott.

Kofi Bonner Heads to Morehouse College

By Babatunde
Harrison

Kofi Bonner jnr with mother and father

From left to right: Gladys Bonner, Kofi Sanpeney Bonner and Kofi Bonner. Photo by Babatunde Harrison.

When Kofi Sampeney Bonner, Jr., 17, became a senior at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, he started searching for a college where he could realize his ambition to study science and become a doctor
“I chose Morehouse College because it is the best university where a young person like me can work hard and develop himself into an international role model for others to follow and emulate,” said Bonner.
“I was attracted to Morehouse primarily because it is the world’s most renowned historic Black college and, secondly, because it has an accelerated science program that fits into my future plans – the ‘3-2’ program,” he said.
The program allows students to earn their first science degree in three years and a second science degree at Morehouse or at another university, Bonner said.
“It is my intention to study physics in my first three years and bio-medical engineering in the second half. Eventually I want to end up with a qualification as a medical doctor.”
Bonner says he inherited his passion for education and achievement from his parents, and he plans to honor that. His father is an architect and city planner who attended UC Berkeley. His mother, also a city planner and housing development coordinator with the City of Oakland, attended Wisconsin University.
The youngest in the family, he has two sisters, Noelle and Afia Bonner, who  graduated from Stanford University and Boston College.
His father and mother met at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, before they moved to the United States in the early 1980s.

Father’s Day Visits to Dads in Prison

By Gretchen Kell,
UC Berkeley
Media Relations

Father and son at 2013 California Men’s Colony Father’s Day event. Photo by Sister Teresa Lynch.

Father and son at 2013 California Men’s Colony Father’s Day event. Photo by Sister Teresa Lynch.

Spending Father’s Day in prison might sound grim, but dozens of Bay Area youngsters and their incarcerated dads couldn’t wait to be reunited last weekend in Soledad.
They spent four hours together hugging, talking, eating and playing games through a statewide program called Get on the Bus, which considers UC Berkeley “a flagship” among California schools for the dedication of its student volunteers.
Every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Get on the Bus provides free transportation to California prisons for hundreds of children and their caregivers in an effort to keep families separated by crime intact.  UC Berkeley students not only accompany the children to prison, but raise more than $4,000 a year to sponsor bus trips, help families prepare their paperwork, and run a class on campus about the prison system’s effects on the family.
“These visits help parents and kids get important questions answered, like ‘Am I still loved? Do I still matter?’” said UC Berkeley alumna Alayna Johnson, the Northern California regional coordinator for Get on the Bus.
“A four-hour visit may not seem like much to the general population, but those four hours mean everything to these families. If they didn’t, people wouldn’t ride a bus for up to 10 hours one way, just for that precious time.”
UC Berkeley junior Julie McCormick knows firsthand how important it is for kids to stay connected to their parents behind bars. During her K-12 years, her mother served three different sentences. Traveling hours to prison was expensive for the family, as were the rates for prison phone calls.
“I tried to treat Mother’s Day like any other day, or just block it from my memory completely,” said McCormick, who is a Get on the Bus volunteer. “I went through practically my entire childhood, and over half my life, without her.”
Forty percent of inmates never get a visit in prison, said Johnson. If they did, she added, research shows their chances of relapsing into crime would drop, and their children would be more emotionally and socially adjusted, and less likely to commit crimes.
UC Berkeley students are so serious about this issue that, in 2011, they began a Get on the Bus class on campus. It is one of many DeCal (Democratic Education at Cal) courses, which are pass/no pass, initiated by students and sponsored by faculty.
The class hosts trips on Mother’s Day to the California Institution for Women in Corona and on Father’s Day  to Soledad’s Correctional Training Facility and Salinas Valley State Prison. The 16 students in last year’s class also toured San Quentin State Prison.
“Our Get on the Bus students go beyond typical volunteerism to having a holistic understanding of the issue, and developing true empathy for the people they serve. It really helps to humanize the issue for the student volunteers,” said recent UC Berkeley graduate Rahkii Holman, who taught the 2012-13 course. McCormick will help teach the course that begins in the fall.
Katherine Culpepper, executive director of the Center for Restorative Justice Works, a non-profit based in Southern California that runs Get on the Bus, said many college students are Get on the Bus volunteers, but that UC Berkeley “is our flagship for what we’d love other colleges and universities to do.”
“Its approach, with the educational component of a class to teach how incarceration affects the family, goes further than any other effort by our 1,000 Get on Bus volunteers,” she said. “This is important work, and we can realistically expect that these Berkeley students will be informed and effective advocates for this cause for decades to come.”

Rising Star Sydney Nycole Reeves Gives Back to the Bay Area

By Spencer
Whitney

Sydney Nycole Reeves

Sydney Nycole Reeves

Sydney Nycole Reeves, a 21-year-old singer and songwriter from Berkeley, has been working hard to build her brand in the Bay Area.
Her blend of R&B, soul, and pop music has led the young artist to perform and open up shows for industry heavyweights like Chris Brown, Robin Thicke, Neo and Trey Songz.
Reeves discovered her love for music while she was still attending Berkeley High School and says what started out as a hobby for her ended up becoming her passion and career.
“I was an athlete playing volleyball and softball in high school and had to balance that with singing,” said Reeves. “Finding time for singing was definitely a challenge. But on my 16th birthday, I had a chance to visit a studio and work with producers who helped me find my voice.”
Three of the songs she recorded when she was 16 helped her secure an artist development/songwriting deal with actor and singer Jamie Foxx. After taking a few years to polish her skills, she is finishing up her demo tape to send to record labels.
“It’s been a work in progress, but I’m looking to spend more time in the studio and make sure the music sounds natural,” said Reeves. “At the end of the day, it’s about doing what you love, and I want to convey that in my songs.”
Since then, she has penned over 60 songs and has gone on to secure a television commercial with actor and entrepreneur Blair Underwood and partnered with television producer/writer Eric Von Lowe (Cosby Show, Even Stevens, Walt Disney) on his teen book release “Boyfriend From Hell,” providing music for the book’s website and the upcoming movie version of the book starring Nickelodeon star Keke Barber.
Besides making music, Reeves works with children in community outreach programs and charities, serving as an advocate for Alameda Foster Youth Alliance and Stop the Violence in Berkeley.
She is also the Ambassador of Arts for Bright Future International, a charity that works with underprivileged children around the world by providing programs that help them achieve academic and professional success.
“It’s been a great experience, just being able to watch her grow as a well-rounded artist and build her brand,” said Gary Reeves, Sydney’s father and manager. “She understands the importance of giving forward to her community.”
Currently, she is working with her band, “ASAP” and will be performing at the California State Fair on the promenade stage on July 28.

Children’s Book: “Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her”

By Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Bookworm Sez

Mister And Lady Day

Nobody listens to a thing you say.
Grown-ups are always telling you to hush, be quiet, don’t yell, and always use your inside voice (even outside). You know you’re never supposed to keep secrets, but don’t be a tattle-tale. Talk louder but stop shouting. Don’t make so much noise.
Speak up, the grown-ups say, but the only people who listen – really listen to a kid like you – are your pets. And in the new book “Mister and Lady Day” by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, you’ll see that even famous people know who’ll lend an ear.
When Billie Holiday was a little girl, she dreamed of becoming a star.
And that’s just what happened: she grew up to be a famous jazz singer. People called her Lady Day and they loved to hear her voice. But even big-time stars get lonely sometimes, and they need someone to listen to their dreams and fears.
Lady Day had her dogs.
There were, in fact, lots of dogs in Lady Day’s life. There was a tiny poodle she carried in her pocket. She had a little spotted beagle, and two Chihuahuas that she fed with a baby bottle, a giant Great Dane, and a medium-sized terrier named Bessie Mae Moocho.
There was a wandering mutt with a sad face who ran away but always found his way back home.
But the dog that Lady Day loved the most was a boxer named Mister.
Wherever Lady Day was, Mister was there, too. She knitted sweaters for him and bought him a mink coat. She cooked for him and even sang to him. When Lady Day performed at fancy clubs in Harlem, Mister was there – and sometimes, he even had a steak!
When the show was over, he guarded Lady Day in her dressing room.
Then, one day when her career seemed to be at its best, Lady Day got into trouble. She had to leave home, and Mister couldn’t come. She cried and cried, and promised him that she’d come home as soon as possible.
She wasn’t sure if she’d ever see him again. If she did, would he remember her? Would Mister be happy to see her when she returned?
So you say that your child’s BFF is a D-O-G?  Then she’ll know she’s in good company when you’ve got “Mister and Lady Day” in the house.
By giving young readers a sense of Billie Holiday’s deep love of dogs, author Amy Novesky makes this true story into one that kids – especially kids with cherished pets – can completely understand.
Novesky lightly glosses over the kind of trouble that Lady Day found, but curious kids will find more of an explanation on the last page. On the flipside, small children will love looking at the colorful collage-watercolors by Vanessa Brantley Newton.
Overall, if you’ve got a young animal lover in your life, put this tale on the shelf and stick around. “Mister and Lady Day” is a book that 3-to-8-year-olds will want to listen to again and again.
“Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her” by Amy Novesky, illustrations by Vanessa Brantley Newton. c. 2013, Harcourt, $16.99, 32 pages.

Moral Mondays – A Grassroots Movement in North Carolina

By Benjamin
Todd Jealous

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Seventeen dedicated activists were arrested for civil disobedience on April 29 at the North Carolina General Assembly as they protested attacks on education, health care, voting rights and the poor.
Six weeks and six “Moral Mondays” later, nearly 400 people have been locked up, and the nation is watching.
This is what democracy looks like.
The peaceful protests were started by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference.  Rev. Barber has spent decades fighting for the poor and working class in his home state, building diverse coalitions like the Historic Thousands on Jones Street People’s Coalition and the Forward Together Movement.
Despite name-calling and threats of violence, he has continued to build his grassroots movement to fight poverty, racism and the discriminatory policies of the “Old South”.
Those coalitions were put to the test when North Carolina lawmakers decided to embrace one of the most radical agendas in the nation. In the space of a few months, lawmakers rejected $700 million in federal unemployment benefits and passed up federal funds to expand Medicaid for half a million people.
At the same time, they voted to raise taxes on 900,000 poor and working class people; slash funding for pre-school and kindergarten; and spend time pursuing wildly unpopular proposals, like a bill that would let legislators receive gifts from lobbyists.
Then, following a pattern we have seen across the country, they tried to cement their agenda by suppressing the vote.
Rather than convince the public to vote for them on merit, legislators introduced a voter ID bill that would disenfranchise nearly 500,000 voters and planned to roll back early voting, same-day registration and Sunday voting.
The community had seen enough. What followed was a textbook example of how grassroots organizing can and should work.
In late April, Rev. Barber and the HKonJ coalition organized the weekly Moral Mondays protests at the State House in Raleigh. Next, Rev. Barber engaged the NAACP’s broad network of 100 youth and adult units, organizing 26 local protest events across the state.
In Halifax County, where one out of four people live below the federal poverty line, locals packed Mount Hope Baptist Church.
In the small city of New Bern, more than 250 people packed a community center and cheered two community members who had been arrested at a Moral Monday. Each event made its own point while reinforcing the larger message.
Rev. Barber also took the advice of Dr. King: “If you are comfortable in your coalition, then your coalition is too small”. The protestors getting arrested each week are from all different backgrounds – veterans and students, schoolteachers and blue-collar workers, professors and doctors, labor and environmental leaders, and clergy of different races, classes, faith communities and even physical abilities.
They are unified by shared values and a belief in what Rev. Barber calls “a deeply moral and constitutional vision of society” where “the focus of public policy is justice for all and care for the common good.”
I was particularly moved by the words of Dr. Charles van der Horst, a white doctor from the UNC School of Medicine who would clearly benefit from the legislature’s agenda. He spoke outside the State House last week about the concept of fusion politics:
“This is not a Black thing, this is not a White thing. This is not a poor thing, this is not a rich thing. This is not a Christian or Jewish or Muslim thing. What hurts one person, hurts us all.”
Dr. van der Horst is absolutely right, and his message should reverberate on a national scale. North Carolina will not thrive if it insists on selling off the rungs on the ladder to the middle and upper class.
In the same way, America will not prosper if our leaders refuse to address wealth inequality and the same attacks on education and voting rights.
Luckily, America is listening. The protests have earned growing national press.
The question is whether North Carolina will listen to its own people. Only time will tell, but as Rev. Barber and the state’s activists have proven time and time again, they will not stop fighting until justice is won.
Ben Jealous is president/CEO of the NAACP.

McClymonds Graduate Portia Lee-Fletcher Wins Scholarships

Graduate

Oakland educator Dr. Denise Saddler congratulated McClymonds High School graduate Portia Lee-Fletcher, who won the James D. and Kathleen Saddler Memorial Scholarship presented by the Marcus Foster Educational Fund and a Delta Sigma Theta scholarship.
Lee-Fletcher graduated from McClymonds with a 3.27 grade-point average. An honor roll student, she received an award for over 900 hours of community service, volunteering at Hoover and Lafayette elementary Schools. She also served as a peer leader and was co-captain of the cheer leading team. She will attend Cal State East Bay and plans to become a sociologist or social worker.

Pastor Donnell Jones Celebrates “25 Years of Faithful Ministry”

By Kia Croom

Pastor Donnell “Rickey” Jones.

Pastor Donnell “Rickey” Jones.

Pastor Donnell “Rickey” Jones of New Direction Ministries is celebrating “25 Years of Faithful Ministry,” Sunday, June 23 at New Direction Ministries, located on the Vista Christian School campus, 2354 Andrade Ave. in Richmond at 3 p.m.
The event will feature Bishop Vincent Manyweather of Greater Abundant Life Church.
Jones is founding pastor of New Direction, which is three years old. In his 25 years of ministry, he has traveled throughout California and the Southeast, including Georgia and Alabama.
His ministry has brought him full circle, back to his hometown of Richmond.
It has been challenging and rewarding to be back home doing ministry among the people and community he loves, he said.  “New Direction is a baby church taking baby steps in ministry. The ministry is three years in and moving along very slowly and healthily.”
New Direction Ministries’ worship services are held each Sunday at 10 a.m.
Jones was called into the preaching ministry at the age of 30. After accepting his calling, he moved to Jackson, Tennessee to attend Lane College. After two years, he began pastoring at Fry’s Chapel CME and Montezuma CME Churches.
After pastoring at the two churches in one year, he relocated to Birmingham to attend Miles College. He balanced his studies with a job as director at the male honor dorm on campus.
Jones graduated with honors with a bachelor of science in Business Administration. He later attended Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, earning a bachelor’s degree in bible studies.
He continued his studies at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) Atlanta, where he was elected to represent the student body on the Board of Trustees.
While in seminary, Jones met and married his wife Rev. Christine Jones.
His career took him to Florida, where he established New Direction Ministries, before relocating back to Richmond and establishing New Direction Ministries, West Coast.

Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Hosts Pastor Appreciation

Pastor Bernstine's 7th Year Appreciation 033

Rev.Dr. Alvin C. Bernstine receives presentation from Brenda Reed. Photo by Joe L Fisher, BAPAC.

By Kia
Croom

Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church held its 7th Annual Pastor Appreciation ceremony on Sunday, June 9, honoring Pastor Dr. Alvin C. Bernstine for 29 years of service as pastor and 36 years of preaching.
More than a pastor, Bernstine is a community activist and peacemaker with a strong interest in community health. He has been heavily involved in local efforts to end community violence.
He served as a lead clergyman in the Ceasefire/Lifelines to Healing anti-violence initiative in Richmond. He recently obtained a master’s degree in psychology and counseling and was awarded a stipend to pursue a license in Marriage and Family Therapy, although he will remain involved in community efforts to end gun violence in Richmond.
Bernstine was called to ministry in 1977 as a student at Laney College. He transferred to Bishop College in Dallas, Texas before enrolling at Vanderbilt Divinity School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
In 1984, he received a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in preaching and biblical studies. He later attended United Theological Seminary where he earned a Ph.D. in Ministry.
In March 2012, Bernstine was among 100 clergy invited to the White House to participate in the African-American Clergy Forum and meet President Obama.

West Contra Costa YMCA Celebrates 95th Anniversary

YMCA Richmond Honorees

Honorees from left to right: Humanitarian of the Year, Retired Police Captain Darrol Davis; Youth of the Year Gabriela “Gabby” Avilez; Rita Davis Volunteer of the Year, Harvey Wittenberg. Photo by Joe L Fisher, BAPAC.

By Don Lau

The YMCA of the East Bay’s West Contra Costa Branch held its 95th annual meeting and dinner on June 5 at the Richmond Country Club.
The meeting was called to order by Board of Manager’s Chair Steve Barlow, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mechanics Bank. The Inspiration for the evening was given by Board Member Alex Sample, professor at Los Medanos College and former Hercules City councilman.
Dr. John Tysell,retired from Kaiser Permanente, who serves as the board chair, introduced four new Board members: Aaron Winer, Charlotte Dickert, Zach Zeitz, and Darrin Zaragoza. Darrel “J” Tucker gave the report on the Annual Partners Campaign, which involved 90 volunteers and raised over $250,000 to support programs for youth, adults and families provided by the Y in West County.
Carlos Castro, after school coordinator for Kennedy High Health and Enrichment Center, presented the Youth of the Year Award to Gabriela “Gabby” Avilez, a junior at Kennedy High School who next year will be organizing a freshmen girls group at the school to help support their transition to high school.
Carol Frank and Judy Christiansen presented the Rita Davis Volunteer Award to Harvey Wittenberg, a retired lawyer who lives in El Cerrito, for his work as a volunteer mentor in the Y’s Building Futures Program.
Don Melin presented the Fred Breen Humanitarian Award, the highest honor presented by the Y, to retiring Richmond Police Captain Darrol D. Davis. Captain Davis was serving as board chair when the Y in 1982 moved out of the Memorial Youth Center and started decentralizing programs in West County.
The West Contra Costa Y provides programs at over 40 locations including the recently renamed E.M. Downer Family Y in south Richmond.

For Richmond Celebrates First Year

Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus.

Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus.

For Richmond held a community celebration last Thursday to mark the successful completion of its first year and sought community input on how to build a healthier, safer and more prosperous Richmond.
More than 250 people crowded into the auditorium at DeJean Middle School to learn about coalition, and talk about upcoming projects, including advocacy for a Family Justice Center, a one-stop-shop for local victims of domestic violence.
“This is our introduction to this community,” said Richmond Police Detective Hector Esparza, who serves as For Richmond’s public safety chair. “People have heard about For Richmond, and this is our chance to let people know what we’re all about.”
Among those attending the event were County Supervisor John Gioia; Richmond City Councilmen Jael Myrick, Corky Booze and Nat Bates, local school President Madeline Kronenberg, For Richmond’s education chair; community college district Board Member John Marquez; schools’ Superintendent Dr. Bruce Harter; and Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus.
Guests took an electronic survey on what issues they would like For Richmond to tackle. Results showed the community wants the coalition to help improve local job training and apprenticeship programs, increase educational opportunities and boost resources for small business development.
“For Richmond is really a fantastic opportunity to come together around a whole series of really important issues, projects and ideas that are related to one another in terms of being the future of Richmond,” said Police Chief Magnus.
In the past year, For Richmond has not only increased access to science and math education and programming in local schools but also helped several students get into college and receive full scholarships to schools of their choice.
“For Richmond made it possible for my son, Blake, to go to college,” said local resident Donna Smith, whose son will attend Coppin State in Baltimore this fall on a full scholarship thanks, in part, to For Richmond’s advocacy and support.
Superintendent Harter echoed that support, telling the audience that students in Richmond have been tremendously lucky to have had For Richmond on their side this year.
“We need community-based organizations like For Richmond that have the heart of what Richmond needs at the forefront of everything they do,” he said.

City Councilmember Nat Bates Meets President Obama

By Nat Bates

From left to right: Councilman Nat Bates, President Barack Obama, Vice Mayor Corky Booze and Michael Davenport.

From left to right: Councilman Nat Bates, President Barack Obama, Vice Mayor Corky Booze and Michael Davenport.

During my political career, I have been both honored and blessed to have met six Presidents. The first was Richard Nixon, followed by Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
I want to share the experience of my most recent visit with President Obama.
In the middle of March, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced several fundraising events to be held in Northern California in April where the President would appear. Prices ranged from $32,000 to $1,000 to attend the events. Proceeds benefit the DNC and California Congressional Democratic Caucus.
My party, consisting of Vice Mayor Corky Booze and Michael Davenport, was directed to be at Marcia and John Goldman’s home in Atherton by 10:30 am.
We arrived at the Goldman’s residence by 9:45 a.m. 

As we exited the vehicle, a short line had begun forming at the security clearance table. It took 20 minutes to clear the security area.
Once inside, there was a small musical band and all sorts of food and drinks. The home was an attractive two-story structure with many amenities, as expected from a millionaire.
There was a large swimming pool and two or three acres of open space in the rear that included a beautifully landscaped yard of plants, flowers and trees.  Marcia and John were the perfect hosts as they eagerly mingled with as many guests as possible.
The group numbered between 150 and 200. Several of the guests I spoke with were executives and business people from San Francisco and the Silicon Valley area.
At 11 a.m., Attorney General Kamala Harris opened the program and spoke regarding her recent experience campaigning for Obama in Ohio, Florida and other states. She highlighted the president’s leadership on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay legislation for women.
The AG concluded by thanking the president and Justice Department for joining with California and several states in their successful lawsuit against mortgage and banking giants regarding home mortgage fraud.
At 11:30 a.m., the president’s motorcade arrived escorted by the CHP and Atherton Police. Within minutes lines began to form to take photos with the president. Having arrived early and being acquainted with a few staff members, we were the third group to be photographed.
Once inside, we were individually introduced to the president and provided 3 to 5 minutes to chat. It was noticeable how grey haired he had become since our first meeting in Oakland as a candidate and in Washington DC during his first inauguration ceremonies.
Michael, a 2008 Obama delegate, mentioned his friendly relationship with Obama’s sister Maya and his participation in North Carolina at the convention. The president seemed to have a photographic memory as he remembered Michael and acknowledged him.
I presented the president with a personal letter and my recent re-election campaign literature that also featured him. I also asked how he picked Cal women basketball team to make the final four. He stated that, as a sports fan, he watches and enjoys all men and women sports.
Vice Mayor Booze immediately and enthusiastically promoted Richmond by inviting the president and First Lady Michelle to visit.
As we concluded the photo session, Vice Mayor Booze gave the president his business card. He accepted it and placed it in his pocket. Booze commented, as we were leaving, “Mr. President call me.”
He graciously smiled and thanked each of us for our attendance as we left for another group to be ushered in for their photograph. Vice Mayor Booze was in, shall we say, “hog heaven”.
My personal impression of the president did not change from when I first met him in Oakland. I found him to be an honest, genuine, humble, caring and compassionate individual who is highly intelligent and seems to have an astounding recollection of people, places and events. He meets thousands of people in a month, and for him to recall Michael was quite impressive.
Obama spoke to the guests and highlighted some of his accomplishments and disappointments. He was in good spirits as he stated that even though the election concluded in November, he found himself continuing to seek contributions from his friends.
He humorously indicated raising money was like having a perpetual student in college to laughter.
He said how much he appreciated the Kamala Harris’ support and her tireless efforts in working with his administration. “She is not only competent; she is also the best looking Attorney General in the country, ” he said.
Michael, Corky and I were standing within 10 feet of the AG, and it appeared she enjoyed the comment. To be honest, the president told the truth.
In conclusion, the event was well attended and fun, and I appreciate the opportunity to share with each of you an amazing experience. At some point, I would love to describe further my personal relationship, in particular, with Presidents Carter, Bush and Clinton.

Sanchez walk-off single gives Giants the win

By: Malaika Bobino

San Francisco, CA – The game went into extra innings but before that the bullpen did something they haven’t done in the last two games.  They kept the Marlins off the scoreboard through ten frames, closer Sergio Romo came in the eighth for the second time this season.

He struck out Giancarlo Stanton with a runner on base and pitched 1 2/3 innings.  Sandy Rosario pitched the final 1 2/3 frames without allowing a run for the Giants 2-1 victory over Miami.

“I didn’t have a play,” Justin Ruggiano said.  “If I had dove for the ball, there is no play on that.  My only chance was to get it on a clean hop, which was tough because it was spinning sideways, and try to throw the guy out.”

Ruggiano is speaking of the play that won the game and the ball that dropped in front of him.  Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez hit a walk-off single to left field with the bases loaded in the eleventh inning.  Today’s victory snapped a nine game losing streak against the Marlins at AT&T Park.

“Thank God I was able to contribute to a much needed win,” said Sanchez.

This marked Hector’s third walk-off hit and San Francisco’s eighth walk-off win this season.  After Ed Lucas belted a solo home run in the first inning, the Giants tied the game 1-1 when Gregor Blanco nearly hit a home run but the ball dropped on the warning track and leaped over the wall for a fan to grab it in the fifth.

First-base umpire Mark Wegner ruled Barry Zito would’ve scored on the play and he did.  Home plate umpire Mike Winters did not see the fan interference and allowed Blanco to advance to third base.  But eventually sent him back to second for the double.

Despite Lucas going 3-for-4 with a walk and his first career home run.  Miami stayed cold on their offense.  Placido Polanco got robbed in the eleventh when Hunter Pence’s diving catch ended the inning.  That catch was hug for San Francisco and gave them momentum heading into the bottom of the frame.

“I knew it would be close,” manager Bruce Bochy said.  “It was a great catch that saved the game for us.”

Zito tossed seven innings surrendering only one run on six hits.  An emotional day for the southpaw as he lost his father this past Wednesday at the age of 84.  Barry wanted to stay in the rotation and keep focus.

“I just tried to minimize distractions and take the mound regardless of what it is,” said Zito.  “Some things are a little heavier than others but at this time I don’t wish to discuss my loss at this time.  Let’s just keep it about baseball.”

Giants bullpen falls apart in Marlins win

By: Malaika Bobino

San Francisco, CA – At one point it looked like the Giants were in good hands.  Despite Tim Lincecum allowing a leadoff home run in the second frame, he got into a groove to strikeout eight and retire nine batters in a row.

It was his sixth quality start of the season, despite a no decision in the 6-3 loss to the Marlins.  Through five innings Lincecum was dialed in throwing strikeouts across the plate.  But he was one strikeout away from closing a shutout inning that got away from him.

“We’ve been going to them a lot,” said Tim.  “They’ve been so outstanding that it’s easy to go to them when a starter struggles.  I know I’ve been a culprit to that.  It’s about taking it upon yourself to go deeper in games.

Lincecum failed to hold a 3-1 lead as the Miami scored twice in the sixth.  He threw a fastball to Logan Morrison, who also homered in the second and tripled scoring in Ed Lucas.  Marcell Ozuna whose been a thorn in San Francisco’s back hit a RBI single.

After Tim’s exit in the seventh the bullpen took over and fell apart.  The Marlins scored three runs in the eighth and Jean Machi retired none of the three batters he faced.  He allowed back-to-back infield singles and  an infield hit that scored in a run.

The bullpen has been taxed and it’s starting to show.  The absence of Santiago Casilla has hurt since recovering from knee surgery.  Machi has been available six times in eight days, Jeremy Affeldt appeared in his fifth game in seven days and Chad Gaudin moved up after Ryan Vogelsong’s injury.

“They’ve been used a lot and they’re tired,” said manager Bruce Bochy.  “I think we’ll be ok tomorrow.”

Miami keep the hits going with two more RBI singles in the eighth.  At that point the Giants defense also collapsed.  Luckily it’s a four game series with two more game to go.  San Francisco was lucky that Andres Torres injury was just a bruise while sliding to third in the sixth.

Torres went ahead of his double and was tagged out at third to leadoff the inning.  He misjudged his ball bouncing off the wall and kept going.  Had he stayed at second who knows where the game would’ve gone but sometimes mistakes can happen.

“I had an X-ray that revealed nothing is broke,” Torres said.  “When I dived I really hit my knee hard.  I thought I had a shot and tried to make something happened.  But he threw me out and that was a decision I made and it didn’t work out.”