Tagged Marin

New Bill Addressing Concerns with Smartmeters

PG&E Smart Meters

Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D–Marin) introduced new legislation in response to consumer concerns raised over potential health effects of Smartmeters, the Advanced Metering Infrastructure currently being deployed by California utilities to better manage electricity consumption and pricing.
Huffman’s bill, AB 37, directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide an “opt-out” alternative for customers who do not wish to have a wireless Smartmeter installed. It also directs the utilities to disclose important information about the Smartmeters to consumers, including the timing, magnitude, frequency and duration of Radio Frequency (RF) emissions so that individual consumers can make informed decisions.  The bill directs the CPUC to temporarily suspend deployment of Smartmeters until this opt-out alternative is in place.
“This bill is about giving consumers reasonable choices.  Whether or not you believe RF exposures from Smartmeters are harmful, it’s only fair that consumers who are concerned about health effects be given complete technical information and the choice of another technology for devices that are installed at their homes,” said Huffman.  “We can do that while preserving the effectiveness of the smart grid and all the benefits it will bring for consumers and the environment.”
The California Council on Science and technology is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the safety of Smartmeters and a preliminary report is expected later this month.
Assemblymember Jared Huffman represents the 6th Assembly District, which encompasses southern Sonoma County and all of Marin County. First elected in 2006, Huffman chairs the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and also serves as Co-Chair with Senator Fran Pavley of the Legislative Environmental Caucus.

“Gospel in the Afternoon” Concert in Marin City

Singers who were performing in the Gospel in the Afternoon program at the Manzanita Recreation Center.

The “Gospel In The Afternoon”, a benefit concert for the Marquerita Johnson Senior Center, was performed last Saturday at the Manzanita Recreation Center in Marin City. The audience, mostly the older women in the community, had an enjoyable and relaxing time listening to the Gospel and Christmas music.
Two gospel groups, “Emmit Powell and the Gospel Elites” and “Florence Williams and the Gospel Jubilees”, performed at the concert, along with Jenia Fusilier, Greg Simons, and Carol Thomas.
The Senior Sunshine Club provided the raffle. Hot dogs and soft drinks were provided for lunch.
The concert was co-sponsored by the Marin City Community Services District, Bay Cities Refuse Company and the Marguerita Johnson Center in Marin City. It did raise some money for the Senior Center’s program. The goal is to raise  $10,000 to support their program and activities for the upcoming year. Programs that help support those who are impacted by the issues facing our senior population will also be funded. All donations are tax-deductible.
For information about the Marguerita Johnson Senior Center and its activities, call Johnathan Logan at (415) 332-1441, or Marie Gaines, Coordinator, at (415) 332-9323.

World AIDS Day Celebrated

Allsup offers free posters to promote prevention and treatment

Today is World AIDS Day and an opportunity to recognize the many faces of AIDS, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services. Allsup is offering free World AIDS Day posters to promote prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and related disabilities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the United States. One in five of those people is unaware of their infection. An estimated 56,300 people become infected with HIV, and more than 18,000 people with AIDS die each year in the U.S.
These statistics illustrate the scope of the epidemic. However, numbers often mask the faces of the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters living with AIDS and the loved ones that are lost to the disease.
The physical toll of HIV/AIDS often makes it impossible for individuals to work. At the same time, they incur healthcare expenses that leave them with few resources. The National AIDS Housing Coalition estimates that 70 percent of those living with HIV/AIDS are at risk for homelessness. Obtaining SSDI benefits has been shown to help stabilize their housing situations so they can better meet their needs and focus on wellness. Read more

Chevron’s a Global Corporate Leader in AIDS/HIV Education and Eradication

By Jesse Brooks

Rhonda Zygocki, Vice President, Policy, Government and Public Affairs for Chevron.

Dr. Marcia Martin, Director of Get Screen Oakland.

David McMurry is Manager of Global Health & Special Projects for Chevron.

Ernesto De La Torre is Coordinator of Global Public Health for Chevron.

When it comes to facing up to the global AIDS epidemic, Chevron does more than just give a monetary donation to organizations fighting AIDS and HIV infection.  Chevron has shown, by their actions of direct community involvement, on the ground, in countries where they operate, and elsewhere in emerging countries, that they have a corporate policy of forming strategic partnerships with local governmental jurisdictions as well as non-governmental community health organizations. The company, which is based here in the bay area in San Ramon, is on the ground, all over the world, establishing strategic partnerships to help promote AIDS prevention, education, testing and treatment.
Chevron is a global corporation with 62,000 employees operating in many areas where HIV/AIDS is prevalent. In the 1990’s Chevron recognized HIV/AIDS was not only affecting the communities where it operates, but its own workforce as well. As a result, Chevron became an early leader in employee education, training and awareness, and has broadened its efforts beyond employees to the communities where they live in urban areas such as Oakland. Read more

Report: Jobs Keep People from Returning to Prison

Andrea Russi

Job prospects are bleak for anyone with a criminal record in California, and the current economic downturn makes it even tougher. Nearly eight million residents have criminal records, and the numbers are growing.
The need to find gainful employment for this disadvantaged group is urgent: the state could release up to 40,000 prisoners over the next two years, by court order. If trends are any indication, 60 percent to 80 percent of them will be unemployed one year after release.
But a new report from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law recommends ways the state can reverse that trend.
The law school’s Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice has released “Reaching a Higher Ground: Increasing Employment Opportunities for People with Prior Convictions.” The report is a compilation of the best ideas from police officers, unions, government officials, employers and academics.
“Increasing employment opportunities for people with criminal records isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said center Executive Director Andrea Russi. “Communities are stronger when their residents have jobs; recidivism rates drop and costs decrease across the board for police, courts, and prisons.” Read more

The Chinese and all that Jazz 中國的節奏 zhōng guó de jié zòu

By Gregory

The nightclubs in China rivaled any I had seen in the States only on a larger scale–I mean gymnasium size.
The music was contemporary and rhythmic summoning the crowds to the dance floor.
I heard R&B tunes from the O’Jays to Michael Jackson.  In more quaint settings, I heard a young man accompanying himself on the keyboard while singing the tunes of Nat King Cole.  The Mainland Chinese have discovered Black America, or should I say its musical art form.  Dare I say their interest seems to be more pervasive and intense than that of the American Born Chinese (ABCs).   It appears that Chinese love the rhythms of R&B and the free-flowing expression of Jazz.  Indeed, the latter might explain the Mainlander’s embracing of Jazz for its unfettered self-expression.
While I was studying Chinese I had a classmate named Victor Siu.  Victor was both a Music and Chinese major.  One day I heard him play the piano.  What he played astounded me.  Here was a Chinese person playing Jazz piano.  I was so surprised at what I was hearing that it encouraged me to start playing the piano again.  There was a bit of irony here, in between Chinese classes Victor would show me some jazz licks and I would show him what Chinese characters were what.
I recently interviewed Victor, who is now the music teacher at Lincoln Elementary School.  He teaches primarily Chinese music and its varying instruments from the erhu to the moon guitar.  His first love, however, is still Jazz.  When I asked Victor what attracted him to Jazz music he stated it was when he first heard Dee Spencer, a music teacher at SFSU, play the piano.  Victor stated, “I couldn’t believe it was the same instrument that I played; I couldn’t believe it was the same instrument, but with completely different sounds.”  Prior to that Victor had been trained to play classically.  His mother is a well-known music teacher in the Chinese community and his father and grand-father were also musicians.  So, it seems it was inevitable that he would be involved with music.
Victor stated that he took jazz theory classes and a lot of African American Studies courses.  He jokingly stated, “I like February, because of Black history month and Chinese New Year.”  His favorite piano player of all-time was Nat King Cole, everybody that performed on the Motown label, and he loves anything by Sam Cooke.  One day Victor will figure out a way to meld Chinese instruments with Jazz music .
Send comments to: gregoryktaylor@yahoo.com

Church Leaders Urge End to Cuba Travel Restrictions

Religious leaders in the United States and Cuba are hopeful that U.S.-imposed restrictions on religious travel and financial transfers soon will be eased by the Obama administration.
In a Nov. 15-16 visit, a delegation of Cuban Protestant church leaders from the Cuban Council of Churches pressed their concerns about the inhibiting effects of the travel restrictions and financial transfers in meetings with officials of the U.S. Department of State and the National Security Council.
They also spoke at a briefing for members of Congress and their staff aides, hosted by Representatives Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Jim McGovern (D-MA).
One objective of their meetings was to convince the Obama administration to remove severe U.S. restrictions on religious and other `people-to-people` travel, to Cuba. The tightened restrictions, in place since 2005, are an outgrowth of the Bush administration’s new interpretation and application of the U.S. Code governing travel. Read more

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

Black Historian Margaret Burroughs, 93

Margaret Burroughs

Margaret Burroughs, founder of Chicago’s famed DuSable Museum of African American History, died in her sleep this weekend at the age of 93.
Burroughs, who earned a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948, was a political activist, artist, community activist, poet and author of children’s books who helped shape the lives of Chicago residents for decades in large ways and small.
Burroughs gained her greatest notoriety in 1961 when she, with her second husband Charles, founded the DuSable Museum of African American History, which gained fame for exhibits dedicated to the civil rights movement.
After serving as museum director until 1985, Burroughs was appointed Commissioner of the Chicago Park District in 1985.
Burroughs spent her life exposing Black people to Black and African culture. Her work has inspired younger generations to follow in her steps.

Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar Program

Silver Dollar Uncirculated Obverse

On the fiftieth anniversary of the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, AR, the United States Mint introduced commemorative coin in 2007. These 500,000 silver dollars recognize and pay tribute to the strength, the determination and the courage displayed by African-American high school students in the fall of 1957.
In the landmark 1954 decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the United States Supreme Court declared racial segregation in public schools  to be unconstitutional. The events in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, was an important step in the country’s quest for racial equality in public education.
So important was the successful integration of this school to the American Civil Rights movement that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. personally attended the 1958 commencement for the school’s first African American graduate.
The obverse of this coin features a simple, yet powerful design depicting students, accompanied by an armed United States soldier, walking to school. The design includes nine stars, each symbolic of those who faced  violence and hatred of a segregated society unwilling to live by the words of its most important declaration, that “all men are created equal.” Read more

Food Safety Tips for Holiday Feasts

As the holiday season ramps up, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reminding Californians about the importance of safe food handling to prevent foodborne illness.
“Thorough cooking, adequate refrigeration, good hand washing and work area hygiene are the key practices to prevent foodborne illness,” said CDPH Director Dr. Mark Horton. “Properly prepared and handled foods ensure not only a safe holiday meal, but a safe meal every day.”
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths annually in the United States are related to foodborne diseases. Read more

World AIDS Day Will Keep Light on Human Rights

By Jesse

On World AIDS Day, which is observed Dec.1 of each year, it is common to hold memorials to honor people who have died from HIV/AIDS.
Informative and educational events are being held on every continent. The theme for 2010 is Lights for Rights, a campaign that focuses on human rights and HIV by encouraging people around the world to dim their lights in remembrance of the devastating effects AIDS has on the world.
Turning the lights back on expresses the will to help keep the spotlight on human rights and HIV. Read more

Jobs and Youth Mentoring Are Priorities for Mayor Jean Quan

By Ken A. Epstein

Oakland Mayor-Elect Jean Quan (second from left) and Rev. Harvey Blomberg (second from right) present Thanksgiving gifts to neighbors of Miracles of Faith Community Church.

While most of our neighbors are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, Oakland’s  Mayor elect Jean Quan is working furiously to prepare to step into her new role as chief executive of the city.
On top of her busy schedule of meetings and meeting with community leaders are the large numbers of requests for media interviews, some coming from reporters as far away as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Shanghai who are fascinated by Quan’s status as a pioneering Chinese American  mayor of a major U.S. city.
To come to grips with Oakland’s still catastrophic unemployment rate, Quan says she believes that the city’s upcoming development projects, including the Oak to 9th Street, the airport connector and the Oakland Army Base projects, can provide many Oakland residents with jobs for six to 10 years, if local hiring rules are strictly enforced and companies are not allowed to avoid, sidetrack or dead-end the new workers
“I want to make sure it is tracked, and (the newly hired workers) get all the way through the program to get their union cards, guaranteeing compliance of the city and unions,”said Quan in an interview with the Post. “They have to be able get through the apprenticeship get their union cards. Read more

Sobrante Park Resident Ken Houston Gives Back

Mendoza Family with Ken Houston. From left to right: Victoria Reiz, Stephenopolus, Ken Houston, Christopher Rodriquez, Maria Rodriquez, Isabella Rodriquez and Margarita Rodriquez. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Local Sobrante Park resident and neighborhood advocate Ken Houston organized a charitable turkey giveaway this week in the Woodland and Sobrante Park neighborhoods of East Oakland.
Houston, a second generation Sobrante Park resident, felt compelled to give back during this holiday season, “I see despair and poverty every time I walk out my door,” he said.“Being in the position to help neighborhood families like this is something I couldn’t ignore.”
Connected to the Turner Construction Group, he recently completed renovating a portion of Sobrante Park Elementary School and felt the best way to use those profits would be to immediately reinvest them in the community.
“Sobrante Park has been stricken with murders for years, and just last week a close friend who I grew up and went to school with fell victim to this violence,” he said.  “I love my community and my neighbors and wanted to give them a little something extra to be thankful for, and hopefully brighten their holiday.”
A long time neighborhood advocate, Houston has leveraged his personal relationships to pull together a vibrant coalition of holiday sponsors, including District 7 City Councilmember Larry Reid, and Broadway Mechanical Contractors. Inc., which will provide transportation for the project., helping distribute  500 free turkeys at churches and schools in neighborhoods during the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

Ethel Melba Mouton, 99

Ethel Melba Mouton

Ethel Melba Mouton, the matriarch of the Mouton family, died Saturday Nov. 20. She was 99.
Born Feb. 15, 1911, she raised six children in Oakland, two of whom preceded her in death. She will be laid to rest Friday, Dec. 3. The funeral service and mass begins at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church 1023 Peralta St. in Oakland. The burial service will follow. A reception will also be held at St. Patrick’s.

Living Legend Dick Gregory Speaks in Marin City

By Godfrey Lee.
Melvin Atkins contributed
to this story

Top row from left: Melvin Atkins, Oshalla Dianne Marcus, Dick Gregory. Below: Dick Gregory speaking to the audience in the Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City. Photos by Godfrey Lee.

With less than a 24-hour window in which to act, the Black History Year Committee and the Marin City community came together to host Richard “Dick” Gregory, one of America’s living legends and historic figures.
Gregory had been in Oakland earlier last Thursday to help commemorate the 32nd anniversary and memorial of the massacre in Jonestown, Guyana. The Jonestown massacre, which occurred in 1978, took the lives of over 900 people, including 350 children and infants. The memorial was held at the Evergreen Cemetery and was organized by Jynona Norwood.
Gregory was one of several speakers at the memorial.  “As a family man with 10 children and 12 grandchildren, I can feel the pain of that tragedy, and I want to share my sympathy with family and friends,” he said, identifying grief as a devastating experience that often kills those who cannot rise above it. Read more

The Chinese and all that Jazz 中國的節奏 zhōng guó de jié zòu

By Gregory

The nightclubs in China rivaled any I had seen in the States only on a larger scale–I mean gymnasium size.
The music was contemporary and rhythmic summoning the crowds to the dance floor.
I heard R&B tunes from the O’Jays to Michael Jackson.  In more quaint settings, I heard a young man accompanying himself on the keyboard while singing the tunes of Nat King Cole.
The Mainland Chinese have discovered Black America, or should I say its musical art form.  Dare I say their interest seems to be more pervasive and intense than that of the American Born Chinese (ABCs).   It appears even the stoically reserved Chinese can’t resist the rhythms of R&B and the free-flowing expression of Jazz.  Indeed, the latter might explain the Mainlander’s embracing of Jazz for its unfettered self-expression. Read more

Navy Destroyer Honors First African American Flag Officer

By Conway

Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr

The USS Gravely (DDG 107) was commissioned in Wilmington, NC, on Nov. 20, joining the fleet in a ceremony honoring the late Vice Admiral Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr., the Navy’s first African American flag officer.
The new Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer commemorates the 38 years of military service of Vice Admiral Gravely, who achieved many “firsts” as an officer in the United States Navy.
He was the first African American to command a warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler); to command a warship in combat (USS Taussig); to command a major warship (USS Jouett); to attain flag rank; to become a vice admiral; and to command a numbered fleet (3rd Fleet).
“This warship is now ready to serve our great nation and carry on the example of a great American, a great man, and a great naval officer, Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely,” said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead, the ceremony’s principal speaker.
Many of the 4,000 in attendance were family and friends of Admiral Gravely himself, including his widow, the ship’s sponsor, Alma B. Clark Gravely.
Mrs. Gravely let the crew know that she believed they were ready to represent the ideals commemorated by the ship’s name. “I have great confidence that you will keep a clean ship, have respect for each other and good morale at sea and on shore at all times,” she said.  “In keeping with these requests from me (and my husband), I know that you and our wonderful ship are ready today to go to sea.  And if in harm’s way will be ready to stay its course.”
The ceremony concluded when Mrs. Gravely ordered the crew, “Bring our ship to life!”  The Sailors manned the rails, bringing the Navy’s newest destroyer to life. Read more

Conference of National Black Churches

Representing 30,000,000 People and 50,000 congregations Combining to address issues and needs of Black members

Leaders of the nine largest historically Black denominations have announced the launch of The Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC).
The organization, representing a combined membership of more than 30 million people and 50,000 congregations throughout the U.S and the African Diaspora, is designed to fill the void for a unified voice of faith advocating on behalf of African Americans and other underserved populations on health, education, social justice and economic empowerment issues. Read more

Black Congressman Urges Vote on DREAM Act

Edolphus “Ed” Towns

U.S. Representative Edolphus “Ed” Towns from New York has taken steps to move comprehensive immigration reform forward by urging his colleagues to vote on the DREAM Act before adjournment of the 111th Congress. The DREAM Act will help improve access to education for immigrants and creates a pathway to legal status for young adults who attend college or serve in the military.
“Congress needs to act immediately on this bill that helps young immigrants realize their full potential and creates a legal pathway toward achieving the American dream,” said Rep. Towns.
Under the DREAM Act, young adult children who meet the following criteria: began living in the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday, lived continuously in the U.S. for at least five consecutive years prior to enactment of the legislation, and hold a high school or GED from a U.S. high school, would be provided a pathway to become U.S. citizens upon completion of two years of service in the military or higher education. Currently, an estimated 2.1 million individuals meet this criteria.
Rep. Towns is deeply committed to strengthening the nation through educational opportunities and immigration reform, according to the Congressman’s staff.  He firmly believes enactment of the DREAM Act is an important part of achieving this goal. Read more

Tuskegee Airmen Saluted at Marin City’s Veterans Day Celebration

Over 500 people attended the one-day celebration in Marin City to honor the Original Tuskegee Airmen of the Bay Area.  The event started with a parade, with several military flyovers- two F16’s provided by the Fresno National Air Force Base, the Historic DC3 Cargo Plane flown by local celebrity James Gabbert, and two PC51’s.  After the parade, attendees ate a soulfood lunch prepared by the Senior Sunshine Club.  The Performing Stars Drama Troupe performed a mini-play portraying the oral history of the Tuskegee Airmen, written by Lesley Currier, Marin Shakespeare Company and taught by Johanna Parker.  Afterwards, the public was able to meet the Original Tuskegee Airmen who provided many photo opportunities and autographs.  The honorees included 11 Tuskegee Airmen and eight widows who represented their deceased husbands. Other participants included Bob Butler, Reporter, KCBS Radio; William Stephens, Marin County Superior Court Judge (ret.); Senator Mark Leno (3rd District); and Supervisor Charles McGlashan, Marin County Board of Supervisors (3rd District).

Book Review Trailblazer, The U.S. Navy’s First Black Admiral, Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr.

By Conway

B. Jones, Jr.

“Trailblazer, The U.S. Navy’s First Black Admiral,” by Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr., USN with Paul Stillwell, and Afterword by Alma B. Gravely.

“Trailblazer, The U.S. Navy’s First Black Admiral”, is a tour de force first-person account of the life of Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. In his youth, he learned well the lessons of Jim Crow in his home-town of Richmond, Virginia. In spite of the various obstacles placed in his path by a narrow-minded society, he went on to become one of the first African Americans to be commissioned as an officer and, ultimately, as the very first African  American officer to attain flag rank in the U.S. Navy.

Admiral Gravely tells his story with the help of Paul Stillwell, who is a Navy veteran, editor and author of “The Golden Thirteen: Recollections of the First Black Naval Officers.” In the Trailblazer book, we see through Admiral Gravely’s eyes and in his voice how he climbed the ladder in the Navy to become the first African American to command a ship, the first to command a fleet, and the first to become an admiral in 1971. His ground-breaking achievements were a tribute to his deeply ingrained strength of character, fiercely dedicated temperament, and dogged perseverance.

Trailblazer also details the personal legacy of Admiral Gravely, the husband and family man, as seen through the eyes of his devoted and loving wife, Alma, including their whirlwind courtship, which lead to their marriage in 1946 – a rich and full union that lasted 58 years – to the death of their beloved older son Robbie in 1978, and finally to Alma’s making peace with the certainty of his impending death.

“Sammie,” as Alma affectionately referred to the Admiral, very wisely drew from a diverse pool of experiences, as well as from leadership examples provided by his fellow officers, in modeling his own command style during his impressive naval service career. He became THE role model to emulate and set a fine example for thousands of African American naval officers who came after him. Read more

Deborah Perry, Cornerstone Church, Ministers in Ghana

Mother Mary McKelvy, Dr. Brenda Stratton and Camilla Cooke from Virginia and Deborah Perry.

Deborah Perry, a long time resident of Marin City and member of Cornerstone Community Church of God in Christ, embarked in September on a 16,000-mile roundtrip, 28-day journey to Africa that would forever change her life.

Feeling a very strong urge to minister beyond her immediate circle and sphere of influence, Perry traveled to beautiful Ghana, West Africa, to assist Mother Mary McKelvy on her annual trip to that nation.

Mother McKelvy, also a member of Cornerstone Community Church and founder of salvation Miracle Faith Ministry, has preached the gospel and ministered in Ghana for more than 16 years. She has also assisted pastors and churches in digging wells, building schools, churches, orphanages, supplying uniforms, clothing, and computers, and doing whatever was necessary to help improve the quality of life for the Ghanaian people.

The plan for the trip was to distribute medical supplies and clothing that had been collected from members of Cornerstone as well as others, to finish building a library and computer learning center and to strengthen the churches in the region. Read more

Trial in Chauncey Bailey Murder Case Begins

By Thomas Peele

The Chauncey Bailey Project

More than three years after the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey, the trial of two men charged with his killing began — slowly — Monday in a courtroom just two blocks from where he fell in a hail of shotgun blasts.

Although jury selection isn’t expected until January, Judge Thomas M. Reardon is considering several motions that could shape the direction of the case.

Besides Bailey’s slaying, defendants Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey are each charged in two additional slayings — the July 2007 shootings of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills near Bey IV’s business and spiritual center, the now defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery. Read more

NAACP: Derrick Jones, Another Black Man Killed By Police

Derrick Jones

The California NAACP has expressed outrage at what it is calling a “misuse of deadly force¨ in the killing of a Black man in East Oakland.

The Oakland Police Department has a history of Black men suffering indignation and unnecessary death at the hands of police officers, according to the California NAACP statement.

This time, unarmed 37-year-old Derrick Jones was gunned down by police and shot no less than five times, the statement said. Final statements reveal Mr. Jones was unarmed, but police said he had a metal object.

“While the police tried to demonize this victim as being a parolee with a criminal past, family, friends, and church members paint a different picture,” said George Holland, Oakland Branch NAACP President.

“He was a small businessman, owner of a local barbershop.  He was the father of 2-year old, Demi, who he brought to work every day while her mother was at work.  This was a human being who did not deserve to be gunned down,” said Holland.

“The California NAACP once again steps forward to monitor this very virulent situation,” said California State President Alice Huffman.

“The NAACP calls for a fair, balanced and thorough investigation that will bring justice to this victim in the African American community,” she said. “This situation will be monitored closely by the NAACP, and we expect and demand transparency in this investigation; and at the same time that the police and district attorney handle this case in an expeditious manner,” Read more