Tagged Articles

Protesting Neighbors Halt Home Auction

By Talia Ehrlich Dashow

Lynette Neidhardt, an Oakland homeowner for the past 23 years, had filled out forms and done everything the bank had told her to do in an attempt to avert foreclosure.
Despite her efforts, she was told that her house, where she is still living, would be auctioned off  on the steps of Alameda County Courthouse.
Joining with her friends and neighbors Nov. 12, just a few hours before the property was to be sold, she staged a protest at US Bank offices in Oakland, chanting “Stop the auction, stop the sale today!”
She and her friends showed up in person ask for more time, to make sure that the bank could not avoid listening.  Providing support were members of the Oakland chapter of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), which is working to resist foreclosures.
There was no manager at the bank and no mortgage office. So far, no one at US Bank had sat down with her to discuss renegotiating her mortgage, she said, although she says that federal law requires someone at the bank to meet with her face to face. Read more

Hampton U. Opens Largest Proton Therapy Institute

William R. Harvey

Hampton University recently celebrated the grand opening of the HU Proton Therapy Institute, the world’s largest freestanding proton center.
Proton therapy is regarded as the most precise form of cancer treatment available because it targets and kills tumors with millimeter accuracy, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. The procedure leaves a patient with minimal side effects, unlike conventional radiation therapy, which is especially important for pediatric patients.
The institute is expected to treat approximately 2,000 patients per year with prostate, breast, brain, lung, ocular and pediatric cancers. The institute’s 200-ton cyclotron originates and spins the protons at 60 percent of the speed of light, sending the resulting beam down a beam line to the treatment room. The actual treatment of protons lasts a mere 60 seconds. Patients are treated five days a week, from five to ten weeks. Read more

The World Series Comes Back to Bay Area

San Francisco, CA – It’s been eight years since the San Francisco Giants made their last appearance in the World Series. The wait is over, the Giants shocked the world win they beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2, game six of the National League Championship Series. Now, the biggest show in baseball returns to San Francisco.

The past three trips to the World Series were unsuccessful as the Giants lost to the New York Yankees in 1962, the Oakland A’s in 1989 and the Anaheim Angels in 2002. This time it’s a different ball club, this young team lacks superstars and marquee players. A strong chemistry, great pitching staff and the will to win best describes the 2010 Giants team. Read more

New Walgreens Opens Monday

Walgreens celebrates its return to 301 E. 18th Street with a free grand-opening event on Monday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public celebration features prize giveaways, a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. and health screenings in conjunction with the AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour bus.
The national retailer demolished the obsolete building at this site and invested in a new, energy-efficient venue with updated amenities to serve the East 18th/Parkway neighborhood. The lighting, coolers/freezers and HVAC units will use less energy than the previous equipment. There will also be a new drive-thru pharmacy and larger pharmacy waiting room as well as an immunization room that protects customers’ privacy. Merchandise has been shelved lower to make it easier for shoppers to reach products, and the new store will expand its product selection with a focus on adding ethnic merchandise and product requests from the community. Read more

CONVICTION, The true story of an innocent man, wrongfully convicted

Compelling and uncompromising, CONVICTION is the story of siblings Betty Anne and Kenny Waters.  From early on they shared an impenetrable bond that ushered them through a challenged childhood filled with impish deeds that led to being separated, thrust into living apart.

Kenny’s rambunctious-ness often went into overdrive fueling a pattern of misdemeanor offenses while making enemies along the way.  A failed marriage gave way to a strained relationship with his daughter yet, Kenny and Betty Anne remained as close as their circumstances allowed.

When the consequences of Kenny’s misfortunes fall into the hands of a vindictive parole officer, he is wrongfully convicted of murder, which serves as the basis of this film.  Renowned civil rights attorney Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project, who also worked on the O.J. Simpson trial, factors prominently into the telling of this story; Scheck worked alongside Betty Anne (who put herself through law school) to help free Kenny Waters. Read more

CONVICTION, one of the best films of the year is the true story of an innocent man, wrongfully convicted

Compelling and uncompromising, CONVICTION is the story of siblings Betty Anne and Kenny Waters.  From early on they shared an impenetrable bond that ushered them through a challenged childhood filled with impish deeds that led to being separated, thrust into living apart.

Kenny’s rambunctious-ness often went into overdrive fueling a pattern of misdemeanor offenses while making enemies along the way.  A failed marriage gave way to a strained relationship with his daughter yet, Kenny and Betty Anne remained as close as their circumstances allowed.

When the consequences of Kenny’s misfortunes fall into the hands of a vindictive parole officer, he is wrongfully convicted of murder, which serves as the basis of this film.  Renowned civil rights attorney Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project, who also worked on the O.J. Simpson trial, factors prominently into the telling of this story; Scheck worked alongside Betty Anne (who put herself through law school) to help free Kenny Waters.

I sat with Scheck in a hotel lobby during the Toronto film festival to discuss this movie and the work he is doing through DNA discovery to overturn wrongful convictions.

Sandra Varner (Talk2SV): The work that you do is bittersweet.  Using DNA discovery to free innocent prisoners and persons wrongfully accused came into popular vernacular during your work on the O. J. Simpson trial back in 1994.  You and law partner Peter Neufeld had started The Innocence Project in 1992 to free such persons. Yet, of the many cases The Innocence Project has processed (some 230), many if not all of the cases are hard fought and encounter innumerable many road blocks on the way to a person’s long awaited freedom.

Scheck: Well, it’s frustrating but we’ve made so much progress and attitudes have changed. But we find that in case after case, yes it’s true, some prosecutors are coming forward and are willing to say, ‘we made a mistake.’  We’ll even set up what we call convictions integrity units as they have in Dallas, in New York, in other prosecutors offices across the country because they want to correct the injustices. At the same time, some people, I think, are foolishly afraid that it’s embarrassing for the system. What people have to recognize is that only 10% of felony cases have any biological evidence that you can subject to DNA testing.  What about the other 90% of the cases where there’s mistaken eye witness identification or false confessions or bad forensic science or police officers and prosecutors who cross the line or defense lawyers that are not adequately funded or not competent to do the job?   These are all serious problems for the system and when we attack those, it makes it better for everybody.

Oakland-based civil rights attorney John L. Burris is a contemporary of Scheck’s and had this to say about his work –

Talk2SV: What is your comment about the work being done at The Innocence Project?

Burris: Tremendous work, there are many great people, good people doing great work. Some of them in small places and they don’t get a lot of attention for it. They (The Innocence Project) get a lot of attention for it and it’s well deserved. Because before them, no one was focused on this whole question of what do we do about people who’ve been convicted of crimes and we have reason to believe that they’re innocent? Now, fortunately, DNA came along and they were able to use a scientific method to go back and do this work. I mean, there is nothing more painful, just think of a person who has been in jail for 20 years who did not commit the crime and no one listens to them. Because everyone says they’re innocent in jail and you can’t figure out who is telling the truth or not. You can’t do everything and solve all problems; you have to focus in on what you can do. They are focused in on this problem and the world’s a better place because they have; most of the people they’ve freed have been black people. So, it’s a step forward, a giant step forward; unfortunately, it only affects a small number of people, but it’s a very positive development and they certainly are people that I have the utmost respect for.

Go to www.Talk2SV.com to read my interviews with CONVICTION’s star and Bay Area native, Sam Rockwell, renowned Oakland-based attorney John Burris and the full interview with civil rights attorney Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project.  Each of them provides insightful commentary on wrongful convictions and eye-opening perspectives.

Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame Seeks Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the 18th Annual Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame luncheon and awards ceremony, set for Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Lincoln Avenue in Oakland.
The event is hosted by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women.
Nominations are being sought for outstanding women in 11 categories: Business and Professions; Community Service; Culture and Art; Education; Environment; Health; Justice; Non-Traditional Careers; Science; Sports and Athletics and Youth.
The deadline for nominations is Dec. 3. Read more

Michelle Obama Rated World’s Most Powerful Woman by Forbes

Michelle Obama. Photo by Conway Jones.

US First Lady Michelle Obama beat heads of state, chief executives and celebrities to be named the world’s most powerful woman by Forbes magazine.
Kraft Foods boss Irene Rosenfeld was number two in the magazine’s annual list. Oprah Winfrey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completed the top five.
Singers Lady Gaga and Beyonce Knowles made the top 10 while Queen Elizabeth II appears at number 41. Read more

Pat Burrell’s 3-run homer not enough for Giants win

San Francisco, CA – It started off great, everything seemed to be in place for the Giants.  Matt Cain pitched OK, nothing comparable to Lincecum the night before but he definitely improved from his last start at the end of the regular season.
San Francisco got the runs they were looking for early yet it wasn’t enough to go up 2-0 in the series.  The Braves forced the game into extra innings and Rick Ankiel’s tie-breaking home run in the eleventh lifted Atlanta to a 5-4 win over San Francisco.
“It’s hard to describe or put into words,” Ankiel said.  “The biggest homer of my career by far, and to be honest with you, I wanted to go from the batter’s box to the dugout.”  “I didn’t want to run the bases, I wanted to be with the guys but what a cool way to win.” Read more

God On Wall Street – Why Focus On Wealth Creation

By Pastor Curtis
O. Robinson, Sr.

But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm his covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. –Deuteronomy 8:18 (NAS)

Earlier this week, President Barrack Obama held a town hall meeting that was televised on a few news channels, and, of course, the number one topic was jobs for this sluggish economy.
It does appear that the economy is starting to gain some traction, and I believe that these areas of movement will present themselves in a new paradigm going forward. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2010. Corporate profits for the second quarter increased $72.7 billion compared to an increase of $148.4 billion in the first quarter of this fiscal year.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that corporations are loading up with cash in their coffers. That’s pretty good considering that you could have bought me with two wooden nickels if you would have told me that Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were going to file bankruptcy. So it appears that the rotation is moving forward and not backward; or is it? Read more

Forum with Marin Community Foundation Trustee Candidates

Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin  will host a countywide forum to meet the candidates for appointment in October as the Marin Community Foundation’s (MCF) Poor and Needy Trustee.
The event will be on Thursday, Sept. 30, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Whistlestop at 930 Tamalpais Ave. in San Rafael.
The event gives an opportunity for each of the candidates to introduce themselves to the general public as well as to allow community members to voice their questions, concerns, and interests around how the candidates plan to effectively represent Marin’s underserved communities. Read more

Marin City Scholastic Academy Seeks Support

Women Helping All People Scholastic Academy (WHAPSA) is a private, non-profit, K-8 school that prides itself in developing the critical thinking skills of its young scholars, preparing  them for the vigorous coursework of high school.
Many academy students who transfer out and go to public schools are ahead of their peers in writing, math and science. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of students who have been at the academy for two or more  years score proficient and above proficient on standardized tests.
The academy’s teaching staff consists of dedicated and experienced educators whose passion is to produce young, ambitious intellectuals who respect themselves, others and their environment. Read more

Marin Women’s Hall of Fame Seeks Nominations

Pictured above are former honorees of Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. From left to right - Front Row: Edna Muse, Angeles Arrein, Catherine Munson, Joan Linn Bekins, Jean Taylor, Remmy Kingsley, Marilee Eckert, Joan Capurro; Middle Row: Dr. Lois M. Moore, Joanne Dunn, Elberta Eriksson, Phyllis Faber, Pamela Lloyd, Ethel Seiderman, Krystyna Demkowicz, Teveia Barnes, Phyllis Thelen, Dr. Nahid Angha, Ann Brebner, Mary Murtagh, Jean Startkweather; Back Row: Carolyn Horan, Dr. Shirley Thornton, Sister Marion Irvine, Rev. Fu Schroeder, Deborah Santana, Heidi Kuhn, Beth Ashley, Felecia Gaston.

Marin Women’s Hall of Fame invites the public to submit nominations that highlight women leaders  with outstanding achievements.
Nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee, and those chosen as honorees will be inducted at the 23rd Annual Gala Dinner and Ceremony March 19, 2011, at Embassy Suites in San Rafael.
Since 1987, the Women’s Hall of Fame has recorded honoree biographies, photographed their portraits for posterity and videotaped interviews for broadcast on local public access television.
To date, 110 women have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.  These women leaders are featured throughout the year at special events, dinners and recognized as positive role models in the organization’s mentoring program.
Women may be nominated in the categories of:  Arts, Business & Professional, Community Service, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health & Fitness, Public Affairs, Science & Medicine, Religion and Spirituality, Social Change, Sports and Recreation, Technology, Volunteer Leadership, Youth Leadership. Read more

Christian Groups Send Trauma Kits to Haiti

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with over 80 percent of its people living in abject poverty, is still traumatized just eight months after a devastating earthquake that killed more than 250,000,
Only 28,000 of the 1.5 million people displaced by the earthquake have moved to safe transitional housing, and 40,000 more children will die this year from diseases caused by malnutrition. Crime is rising, and desperate people see little hope for recovery. The crisis is not over.
As a response to quake and its aftermath, the David C. Cook organization donated more than 9,000 Haiti Trauma Kits this spring to any community group that could place the kit into the hands of church leaders in Haiti. Read more

A Mother Who Thought Outside the Box

盒子外面 hézi wàimiàn

By Gregory Taylor

There is a lady who, in her own words, has been thinking “outside the box” for over a decade.  A single mother who grew up in East Oakland, she attended Elmhurst Junior High and Castlemont High Schools.
Thirteen years ago, she did the inconceivable and placed her two-year-old son in a Chinese childcare center.  Her reasoning involved a mixture of convenience (it was close to her work), cultural diversification and  “language immersion.”
Five years later, while her son attended Lincoln Elementary School in Oakland Chinatown, a Chinese music teacher detected something unique in his singing voice and taught him to sing Chinese Operas.
The next 10 years saw this youngster perform at the State Department before Condoleezza Rice, sing arias at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, and for his crowning achievement, a solo New Year’s performance that was beamed to nearly 2 billion people in Asia.   Read more

Zimbabwe Drops Charges Against Allen Temple Health Workers

Zimbabwe’s Office of the Attorney General this week dropped charges against four U.S. health workers, a New Zealander and a Zimbabwean arrested Sept.10 on charges they had illegally provided medical services.
The six were initially accused of running HIV/AIDS clinics in Harare and Mutoko without authorization. The Americans work under the auspices of the Allen Temple Baptist Church AIDS Ministry in Oakland.

Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Jesse
Brooks

Monday, Sept. 27, is the third annual National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a time to pause and mourn the hundreds of thousands of gay and bisexual men who have died during this epidemic.
It is estimated that there are 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States. African Americans, who are 12 percent of the population, account for nearly half of all people living with HIV.
African Americans also account for a disproportionate number (46 percent) of the 56,000 new HIV cases in the U.S. each year. Black gay men and Black heterosexual women comprise the second and third (respectively) largest number of new HIV infections across all racial groups each year. Read more

Local Leaders Offer Free Day of Financial Planning

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson and other East Bay representatives are sponsoring a free Day of Financial Planning, Saturday, Oct. 2, at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.
The event, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will offer participants an opportunity to speak to professional financial planners about their specific questions. These planners are volunteering their time and expertise to provide unbiased financial planning information.  All individuals, including business owners, seeking free financial advice are encouraged to attend.
Sponsors include the Financial Planners Association, East Bay Chapter; Assemblyman Swanson; Senator Loni Hancock; Assemblymember Nancy Skinner; and Mayor Ron Dellums.
For information call (510) 286-1670.

Terry McMillan Returns to Bay Area

Celebration of Marcus Book Stores 50th Anniversary Continues

Terry McMillan

Terry McMillan, best selling author of “Waiting to Exhale,” will appear in the Bay Area Saturday, Oct. 2, as part of the continuing celebration of Marcus Book Stores 50th Anniversary.
McMillan’s novel is widely considered a watershed moment in literary history.  Her sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place in the world touched a cultural nerve, inspired a blockbuster film and generated a devoted audience.
Now in the sequel, “Getting to Happy,” McMillan revisits the four women at their own midlife crisis, as they learn to heal past hurts and reclaim their joy and dreams.  They have exhaled, and now they are learning to breathe. Read more

Jury Selection Begins for Bailey Murder Trial

Chauncey Bailey’s Family asked Judge to keep trial in Alameda County

By Thomas Peele
The Chauncey Bailey Project

Mark Cooley

The murder trial of two men accused of killing Post Editor Chauncey Bailey will remain in Alameda County – for now.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon issued a one-sentence ruling late Tuesday that he will take the case through jury selection here while keeping open the possibility of moving it elsewhere if a fair panel cannot be seated.
“It is hereby ordered that ruling on defendants’ motion for change of venue is deferred pending voir dire (jury selection) in this matter,” Reardon wrote.
Lawyers for co-defendants Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey said during a change of venue motion last week that their clients can’t get a fair trial in Alameda County because of “relentless” coverage of Bailey’s Aug. 2, 2007, death. Read more

Job Fair Features East Bay Employers

Job seekers will have an opportunity to meet representatives of East Bay employers at a Job and Resource Fair on Thursday, Sept. 30, sponsored by Oakland Private Industry Council, Oakland Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Employment Development Department (EDD).
The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be held at the Alameda County Conference Center, 125 12th St., Suite 400, in Oakland. Admission is free. Read more

County Announces Youth Leadership Academy

Alameda County is currently accepting applications for Youth Leadership 2010-11, a five-session program focused on leadership and local government designed specifically for county high school juniors and seniors.
This free, award-winning county program will accept approximately 35 high school juniors and seniors representing various geographic areas in the county to come together on five Saturday mornings, over five months to hear presentations and discuss what it takes to be an active participant in local government as a resident, an employee, a community leader, and an elected official.   Read more

Free Community Health Fair in Marin City

By Sally Douglas Arce

Marin City welcomes the community to its free Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25. There will be health screenings and fun for all. For information call 415-366-6421 or e-mail terriegreen1@comcast.net

The Marin City Health and Wellness Center will host its free, fourth annual community-wide Health Fair Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 630 Drake Ave. at the intersection of Donahue Street.
“This fair is all about educating the public about common health problems and increasing access to primary care medical services,” said Terrie Green, the center’s Director of Programs and Community Outreach.  “Good health is about physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.  So, we will give people prevention tips for stress, ideas about healthier foods to eat, how to stay active and ways to head off health concerns.”
The day’s activities will include free screenings and information on blood pressure, skin cancer, prostate cancer, dental screening, breast exams, rapid HIV testing, cholesterol, vision, diabetes and asthma.  Also available will be health education, nutrition, first aid, CPR, and exercise demonstration to promote good health and encourage local residents to use local health care resources within the community. Read more

Woolsey Supports Defense Secretary’s Plan But Calls for Deeper Military Cuts

Rep. Lynn Woolsey

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) is supporting  Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ plan to eliminate $100 billion in wasteful spending at the Pentagon over the next five years.
“Secretary Gates’ plan is a welcome but small step in reining in out-of-control spending at the Pentagon, which I have called for in the Common Sense Budget Act, first introduced in 2006, and in alternative budgets proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC),” said Woolsey, co-chair of the CPC and president of Americans for Democratic Action.
“Much more needs to be done. After all, the United States doesn’t just lead the world in defense spending – we almost outspend the rest of the world combined. A full 43 percent of the world defense spending comes from the U.S., and the U.S alone,” she said.
“The Cold War has been over for 20 years and the need for many of the costly weapons programs it spawned has passed.”
Secretary Gates’ plan should be just a beginning, Woolsey continued. “It’s time for the Defense Department to take stock with a critical eye and spend only on what it really needs, not on what it merely wants.”