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Presentation for the 2011 National Health Journalism Fellowship on "Growing Up In Oakland: The Long Arm of Childhood," a three-part series in the Oakland Tribune by Beatrice Motamedi, published …

Presentation for the 2011 National Health Journalism Fellowship on "Growing Up In Oakland: The Long Arm of Childhood," a three-part series in the Oakland Tribune by Beatrice Motamedi, published May/June 2011.

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  • 1. Growing up in Oakland: the long arm of childhood Three-part series published in the Oakland Tribune, May 31, June 1 and June 2, 2011, by Beatrice Motamedi. A project for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. Photo of Torrance Hampton, 19, of East Oakland, by Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune.Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 2. background and (brief!) bio • midcareer turn into teaching - 20 years as a reporter, then OUSD • four years in OUSD, many examples of kids, trauma, resilience; just couldn’t stop thinking about Jamari • constructivist model; not what you learn alone, but what you build together • the authentic voice: how kids sound, what they say, what they can teach you, when they have the opportunity to exercise their right to self-expressionThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 3. The series: the goals • Stay in place — focus on Castlemont campus (3 schools) • Be real — get to know the kids; be accountable; no “one-offs” • Spend time — one full year, one full cycle of change, growth • Connect the dots — from Jamari to the big picture. How does trauma weather teens? • Give kids voice — let them tell a part of the story Alizhey Black,15, student at East Oakland School of the Arts. Photo by Esmerelda ArguetaThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 4. Castlemont, then: East Oakland High School, 1927 Photo in Oakland Tribune archives; also online at the Oakland Public Library at http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt009nc73h/? layout=metadata&brand=oac4Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 5. “Detroit of the West” — Chevrolet plant, East Oakland, Photo from collection of the Oakland History Room at californiaimages.blogspot.com 1917Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 6. Mother’s Cookies Photo courtesy of Darin Marshall at Wikipedia Commons, http:// factory, 2006 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mother_factory.jpgThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 7. And now: Castlemont campus of small schools, 2011 Photo by Jane Tyska/ Oakland TribuneThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 8. “Killside” Street, one block photo by Beatrice Motamedi west of CastlemontThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 9. Main entrance, Castlemont Business and photo by Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune Information Technology SchoolThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 10. three troubling stats for teens • Dropout rates = 78.2% at Leadership Preparatory High School, 55.9% at Castlemont Business and Information Technology School and 43.2% at the East Oakland School of the Arts. • An area of nearly 35 square miles with 121,000 residents, 63,000 in the so-called "Castlemont Corridor," and 21,000 of them teenagers, East Oakland does not have a full-service supermarket. • The stat kids suggested I useThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 11. Oakland Youth Homicide Study, Oakland Unified School District, May 2011Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 12. Oakland Youth Homicide Study, Oakland Unified School District, May 2011Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 13. what I started hearing •Academic anxiety — am I going to graduate? How do I move on? Where’s my hope? (Len Syme) •Lack of healthy food — “what’s a farmer’s market? what do you mean by ‘thriving retail’?” taking medicine with food “is a problem” (Su Park) •Random violence and unsafe streets — spike in student homicides; “my mama never let us come out the house;” feeling “caged” (Kevnisha)Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 14. what students wrote • “You would think that you would be safe around here, but death is around the side. And when you turn left, you see violence, and when you turn right, you see your future is running away from you. I have a little niece that (has) grown up in a good environment but when she moved to Oakland, I could see how fast the environment changed her around.” —Tevita, 17 • “I can tell when I’m stress(ed) because my stomach starts to hurt, my hands get sweaty and my body feels funny. This affects me mentally because it make me think about it all day long, causing a big damage.” —Perla, 17 • "I say food makes me happy, and it’s true, because after eating, I feel full and I (forget) about all the things that cause me to be stressful. But then again after two hours, I eat more and more." —Luz, 17 • “I feel like I want to punch something so hard ... I can’t concentrate at school or anywhere. I feel tired and my whole body and sometimes my head hurts so bad.” — Alejandra, 17Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 15. what the research suggests • teens who are exposed to significant stress have higher adult rates of asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes, are at higher risk for some cancers and stroke (Felitti/Anda) • stressed teens = reduced ability to regulate key hormones that restore equilibrium after stress (the SAM/HPA axis) — similar to insulin resistance (Taylor) • stress = increase in inflammatory proteins, putting immune system on permanent alert and worsening both the risk and the symptoms of illnesses that include inflammation, from asthma and eczema to diabetes and heart disease (the Dunedin child abuse study/Danese) • repeated activation of stress systems impairs their functioning over time and destroys neurons in the hippocampus, where complex reasoning develops (Taylor) • increased asthma risk: early parental stress doubled the risk of asthma by age 6 (Sandberg) • memory loss, inability to focus or to manage time: violence/death is “normalized” and “you get very focused on the present” (McClung/OUSD mental health coordinator)Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 16. what the data show • Homicide, unintentional injury and suicide are leading causes/death for AlaCo teens; homicide/injury = 2/3 of all teen deaths • Only 1 in 5 AlaCo teens has the recommended daily serving of fruits/veggies, compared with 1 in 2 adults; children aged 2-11 are “over twice as likely” to consume the fruits/veggies they need. AlaCo has the fourth-highest % of kids statewide who are overweight (29.1%) • AlaCo adults who don’t complete high school are twice as likely to have diabetes than those with a h.s. diploma or higher • 14.4% of AlaCo teens received psychological counseling in 2008, compared with 8.8% statewide (California Health Interview Survey data) • In the Bay Area, AlaCo has the highest % of kids living in poverty — 13.8%Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 17. sample/student work: discussion prompt/writingThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 18. Unnatural Causes lesson plans Place Matters lesson plan archiveThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 19. sample/student work: neighborhood report cardsThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 20. DEAL OF THE DAY TIMEOUT SPORTS Super Sightseeing Tours TRIPS ON THE BAY DAN WHELDON San Francisco Bay to the ocean THAT WILL FLOAT WINS INDY 500 50% off Day 1: the science of $25 for $50 3.5-hour ANYONE’S BOAT ON FINAL TURN ultimate San Francisco tour See it. Share it. Buy it now. GotDailyDeals.com OVERFLOWING PRISONS teen stress Counties brace for inmate influx EAST BAY SHERIFFS say jails have the space to take absorb these prisoners into the lo- cal jails,” said Contra Costa County what he called “realignment,” shift- ing responsibility from the state to sions of the vehicle license fee and sales tax, there will be no money to in state prisoners, but they don’t have the money Sheriff David Livingston. counties starting July 1 to jail and implement it. Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court monitor low-level, nonviolent felons Without a constitutional guar- By Lisa Vorderbrueggen money from the state before and decision launched Ahern and Liv- to save the state money and to ease antee of funding, the next Legisla- lvorderbrueggen@ have not always received the money ingston, who oversee a combined prison overpopulation. ture faced with deficits could raid bayareanewsgroup.com as promised,” said Alameda County 6,700 jail beds, into the front line of Counties could also receive some the realignment account and leave East Bay jails have beds but no Sheriff Greg Ahern. “We are looking accelerated talks over how Califor- offenders in state custody. The state counties paying for hundreds or • The link between early exposure cash to take on the hundreds of in- for full funding and constitutional nia will resolve its pernicious prison must shed 33,000 inmates over the thousands of inmates. mates the state is expected to divert guarantees of continued funding.” overcrowding problem. next two years in order to meet the That’s the sticking point for sher- to counties as California tries to Sheriffs are “literally meeting The justices ruled that the state’s court ruling. iffs such as Livingston and Ahern. meet court-ordered prison popula- every week with (Gov. Jerry Brown) glutted prisons constitute cruel and The Legislature adopted realign- Without money, they cannot tion reductions. and his staff to make sure there is unusual punishment. ment as part of the state budget. to stress and adult health = the “Counties have been promised going to be adequate funding to Brown this year introduced But without highly disputed exten- See INFLUX, Page 13 GROWING UP IN OAKLAND HOMETOWN HERO long arm of childhood Her reach stretches into lives “I was happy to make 19 (years old). ... Young black men like of youths me need some role models … because we don’t ever know if we’re going to make it through • “Young black men like me need to 20.” — Torrance Hampton, Oakland resident Antioch woman has been using tough love role models, someone to get me to fight drugs for more than four decades By Paul Burgarino through the next 5 years, pburgarino@bayareanewsgroup.com ANTIOCH — Shirley Mar- chetti chatted with a probation officer in the courtyard of the REACH Project center one after- because we don’t ever know if noon when she received a long- awaited gift. An 18-year-old Brentwood man handed her a camouflage- patterned T-shirt that read “Be we’re going to make it to 20.” All That You Can Be: Be Drug Free.” “I think this is pretty much the greatest gift ever,” Marchetti, 76, told him, holding up the shirt to see whether it would fit. Marchetti has worked to coun- sel troubled teens in East Contra Costa County since her oldest son was offered drugs while a student RAY CHAVEZ/STAFF at Antioch Junior High School in Constant threat of violence makes teens Torrance Hampton, 19, lost his friend Marquis Woolfolk to violence when Marquis was shot and killed in November in East Oakland. 1968. REACH Project Inc., co- • “I would estimate that 100% of founded by Marchetti and then- Antioch police Sgt. Leon LeRoy See HERO, Page 13 our students are impacted by OLDER THAN THEIR YEARS IN MORNING REPORT First of three parts Now both were determined to toward graduation. By Beatrice Motamedi TUESDAY graduate. “Man,” Marquis had said, “I violence in some way or form .... Correspondent Part Two: Weathering For three months, they stayed think we’re going make it.” It was at the funeral of the adolescence — stressors after school, working hard to Two days later, he was one of boy he wanted to graduate with that jeopardize teen health. make up the classes they’d four boys shot as they stood on the that Torrance Hampton finally missed. porch of an East Oakland house. There’s no way you can not be, cracked. instantly in September, sharing In fact, the Friday before The other two were treated at Standing near the altar, he Thanksgiving, Torrance and Highland Hospital. Marquis died laughs and stories and hopes. Marquis had traded high-fives thought hard about what to in the ambulance. say. Both seniors, Torrance and Both had survived wild times and after turning in assignments that Marquis Woolfolk had bonded poor choices. earned them three credits each See THREAT, Page 13 in our community.” JOE RAEDLE/BLOOMBERG 27 Pledge to help Missouri town Youth homicides Teenagers, ages 13 to 18, killed in Oakland since 2001 16 15 16 President Barack Obama greets residents of Joplin, 11 12 12 10 Mo., during a visit Sunday to the tornado-ravaged com- 6 6 munity. “I promise you your country will be there with 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 you every single step of the way,” he said as he pledged Source: Oakland Unified School District BAY AREA NEWS GROUP federal aid to all storm-bat- tered parts of the nation.Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 21. Backstory to story “The reporters had a lot of concern about this (rebar) .... They were wondering. would the Bay Bridge open in time, because the engineers said this one problem could tie the bridge down longer. “The engineers told everyone not to worry, that they were already working on the problem.They kept it calm and that’s what made me want to become a civil engineer, to be the kind of person who can solve problems ...” From “A Sky-High, Real-Life Education,” by Marquis Woolfolk, Oaktown Teen Times, October 2009 Photo of Margena Wade and Marquis Woolfolk, Sept 2009/ courtesy of Margena Wade, CalTransThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 22. Oakland Trib story on Marquis’ death, 11/22/2010Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 23. Op-ed on Marquis, 12/4/10 Marquis and I spent maybe two hours outside as one period ended and another began, hammering out what he wanted to say, noun by noun, verb by verb. At one point the fire alarm went off, and we had to move to an interior courtyard where there were no tables or chairs, only a concrete wall near a raised bed of ivy. I gave Marquis my laptop and I said what I usually say — go ahead, you can’t break anything — even though we both knew he could. Marquis set the computer on his knees, his slender, ashy fingers fluttering nervously over the keyboard as he searched for the right letters. I did the thing that works best in these situations. Now that he knew his story, I shut up and let him tell it again. Slowly, the paragraphs stacked up, one by one, and like the bridge, the story took shape. Marquis, whose grade point wasn’t at the point where he would be able to graduate, let alone apply to college, wrote about wanting to study harder and pursue an engineering degree. ”I would have to stay in school and work on my math and science,” Marquis wrote. “I know that it’s going to be hard work but if I put my mind on it, I will be able to be up on a bridge again.” From “Marquis Woolfolk’s story should’ve been very different,” Beatrice Motamedi, the Oakland Tribune, 12/4/10Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 24. Two boys, two stories, one lede It was at the funeral of the boy he wanted to graduate with that Torrance Hampton finally cracked. Standing near the altar, he thought hard about what to say. Both seniors, Torrance and Marquis Woolfolk had bonded instantly in September, sharing laughs and stories and hopes. Both had survived wild times and poor choices. Now both were determined to graduate. For three months, they stayed after school, working hard to make up the classes they’d missed. In fact, the Friday before Thanksgiving, Torrance and Marquis had traded high-fives after turning in assignments that earned them three credits each toward graduation. "Man," Marquis had said, "I think we’re gonna make it." Two days later, he was one of three boys shot as they stood on the porch of an East Oakland house. The other two were treated at Highland Hospital. Marquis died on the way there, in the ambulance. *** Torrance’s experience is typical of a traumatized teen. Speaking at his friend’s funeral, the words went past in a blur. Then it was over, and Torrance was walking back to his pew when it hit him: I am exactly like Marquis. I am Marquis. I am 17, the child of a single mother, a young black man. It could have been me. Torrance ran out of the funeral home at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. He started crying and waving his arms, black parka flying. He stumbled over the curb and into the street. People began shouting from the sidewalk. But Torrance didn’t respond: he raved and waved his arms and walked in circles and then he fell down and he stayed there, in the middle of the street on a bright fall morning, rocking and moaning to himself as the cars sped by, horns blaring. Finally a teacher got Torrance back onto the sidewalk and hugged him hard until he stopped moving. "What do they want from us?" Torrance cried, rage subsiding into anger and anger melting into tears. "This is the sixth person I know who died. The sixth person; I shook his hand. What do they want from us? What do they want from a black man? I’m scared. I’m scared." From “The long arm of childhood,” Beatrice Motamedi, the Oakland Tribune, 5/31/11Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 25. DEAL OF THE DAY SPORTS: NBA FINALS BUSINESS LeBRON IN GIVING International Food Market SCIENCE 50% off Day 2: typical teen LIMELIGHT $10 for $20 of ethnic food ITS DAY and deli sandwiches See it. Share it. Buy it now. GotDailyDeals.com PUBLIC UTILITIES stressors Anger greets plan to raise rates EBMUD’S PROPOSAL calls for a 6 percent increase serves 1.4 million East Bay resi- dents would be on track by 2013 to raise, have been forced to more drastic measures. rates by 5 percent this year and next, but the board of directors de- in water charges this year — and another for 2012 increase rates by one-third over “It seems too easy for them to cided to pursue higher rates out of what they were two years ago. The simply pass it on to customers,” said concern that service levels would By Mike Taugher care, pension and borrowing costs. first rate increases would go into ef- Mary Horton, a former mayor of Pi- decline and the district’s credit rat- mtaugher@bayareanewsgroup.com The East Bay Municipal Utility fect July 1. nole who has been voicing questions ing might take a hit, which could in- Customers of the East Bay’s District may adopt 6 percent rate Some critics are not convinced about the plan. “I’m not necessarily crease borrowing costs. • The Cruz sisters and the largest water utility are likely to increase for this year and next — or that the district has done every- against the increase, but I think it In order to keep rate increases see their bills rise more than antici- possibly lower rate increases — thing possible to keep rates down. should be delayed until they make at 5 percent, the district would have pated this summer and again next when its board of directors meets After all, other government their case.” had to hold 50 jobs open as work- year as the utility tries to combat June 14. agencies that rely on taxes instead Two years ago, the district an- declining revenues and rising heath If approved, the district that of fees, which are much easier to ticipated that it would need to raise See WATER, Page 9 graduation trifecta (credits, GROWING UP IN OAKLAND BART SH0OTING CAHSEE, senior project) “The Castle looks very peaceful and healthy. I would never feel unsafe or at risk in the Castle. I wish it still was a castle.” Mehserle will be released in weeks • Mayo, shreds of lettuce and Family of slain man ‘totally let down’ by pickles — four liquor stores punishment given to former transit officer By Paul T. Rosynsky bracket campus, but soup prosynsky@bayareanewsgroup.com OAKLAND — A year after fac- ing a lifetime in prison for killing an unarmed BART passenger, former transit police Officer Jo- machine = broken for 2 years hannes Mehserle will be released from jail in a cou- ple of weeks. With credits for time served and the leniency of a Los Angeles County judge, Mehserle will be Mehserle set free after serv- ing 11 months of • "I’m not really a good person to ask a two-year sentence issued after JANE TYSKA/STAFF the 29-year-old was found guilty With a tough college-prep curriculum, Castlemont High School once was the neighborhood jewel. But like its East Oakland of involuntary manslaughter in neighborhood, which was hit especially hard by the crack epidemic of the 1980s, the school has fallen on hard times. the killing of Hayward resident Oscar Grant III. about the neighborhood, because I Hazards to their health Mehserle’s release from Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail, most likely in the middle See MEHSERLE, Page 9 don’t really go outside of my house Academic, nutritional, environmental stress combines, IN MORNING REPORT creating health problems that can become hereditary once I get home .... We hear a lot of Second of three parts By Beatrice Motamedi pass the exit exam, earn the required number of credits shooting all the time and everyone Correspondent and present a senior research I project. An outgoing girl with a t’s a Monday morning, big smile, Christina passed the and Christina Cruz is al- English portion of the exam but ready tired. missed math by 19 points. in my community is divided.” “I’m glad you’re here, be- “If it’s not the CAHSEE, it’s cause I need to talk about the credits. If it’s not the credits, J. DAVID AKE/ASSOCIATED PRESS this,” the 17-year-old tells a it’s the senior project,” Christina visitor. “I stayed up all night talking to my mom.” says. “(My mother) thinks that if I don’t graduate, I’m going to Obama taps new leader for give up, just like that. But I’m Christina’s mother is anx- not.” ious about Christina and her Interviews with and writ- twin, Catherine. Seniors at the Castlemont Business and Infor- DEEBA YAVROM/STAFF ings by nearly 100 students at the Castlemont Campus of Joint Chiefs mation Technology School, both Gese Siaki, center, helps adjust the headband of Catherine Small Schools reveal three ma- have failed the math portion of Cruz before going on stage for a Polynesian dance jor stressors jeopardize their President Barack Obama the California High School Exit performance May 19 at Castlemont High School. health: academic anxiety, lack of introduces Army Gen. Martin Exam, or CAHSEE. Until they healthy food and an environment Dempsey during a news con- pass, the graduation party that that limits their freedom and ference Monday at the White their big Samoan family wants WEDNESDAY • PART THREE imprisons them indoors. Even House. In nominating Dempsey to throw for them is on hold. Surviving and thriving: What works to make teens more resilient. to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff, To graduate, seniors must See HEALTH, Page 9 Obama lauded him as “one of our nation’s most respected and combat-tested generals.”Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 26. DEAL OF THE DAY BUSINESS ALIBABA.COM CHEFS FIND Bijou Restaurant and Bar Hayward OPENS DOORS INSPIRATION 50% off Day 3: resilience. FOOD $25 for $50 of French fusion FOR SMALL FIRMS IN THE GARDEN cuisine and drinks & WINE See it. Share it. Buy it now. GotDailyDeals.com GEBRESELASSIE SLAYING TRIAL What works? Brothers found guilty of murder Pair will spend rest of their lives in prison for shooting three in Oakland apartment By Paul T. Rosynsky against them, including killing three witnessed the Gebreselassie broth- prosynsky@bayareanewsgroup.com people, kidnapping a 2-year-old ers gun down his sister, mother and OAKLAND — Asmerom Gebre- nephew and attempting to kill one brother during a Thanksgiving Day • “The middle-class kids have already selassie and his brother Tewodros other person. dinner. “I’m happy but I also have will spend the rest of their lives in The jury also found that both were loss. It’s painful, I will never get my prison after a jury decided Tuesday guilty of two special circumstance family back.” both successfully planned and car- crimes: killing multiple people and Asmerom Gebreselassie, 47, and learned that if you fail, the world is ried out the killings of their sister-in- killing during the course of a kidnap- his brother Tewodros, 43, were ac- law, her mother and her brother on ping. As a result, the Gebreselassie cused of killing their sister-in-law, Thanksgiving Day 2006. brothers will be sentenced in August Winta Mehari, 28, her mother, After deliberating for about to life in prison without the possibil- Regbe Bahrengasi, 50, and her seven days, the jury of 10 women and ity of parole. brother, Yonas Mehari, 17, in what a not at an end .... Minority poor kids two men found the Gebreselassie “For what they did, they deserve LAURA A. ODA/STAFF brothers guilty of all 14 charges filed this,” said Merhawi Mehari, who See VERDICT, Page 15 Yosef Mehari, brother and son of the victims, receives a hug Tuesday after brothers Asmerom and Tewodros Gebreselassie were found guilty of killing three people in 2006 in Oakland. The ONLINE To see a slide show of photos from Tuesday’s verdict, go to InsideBayArea.com. really have some catching up to Gebreselassies will spend their lives in prison without parole. GROWING UP IN OAKLAND BEACH DEATH do." (Len Syme) ‘Pop pop pop there go another young man shot … City asks Follow your heart because this world is falling apart … Life in Oakland is a living hell.’ why man — Poem by Kevnisha Harris, 15, a freshman at the Castlemont Campus of Small Schools allowed • role models and mentors; outside To thrive, resiliency is key to drown Alameda firefighters, Surviving adversity support (YU, clinic): even one adult helps to make teens stronger, and those police stood on beach as man killed himself can make a lasting difference By Peter Hegarty skills can be taught phegarty@bayareanewsgroup.com ALAMEDA — City officials are investigating why police and Last of three parts firefighters remained on a beach By Beatrice Motamedi and watched as a 52-year-old man Correspondent stood in the surf and apparently It’s third period at Castlemont killed himself on Memorial Day. Business and Information Tech- The officers and firefighters — nology School in East Oakland. A who later said they are not trained visitor begins a discussion about in land-water rescue — remained poverty, bad food and crime. on the beach as a passer-by Tough times? Tough streets? waded into the water and pulled • control and agency, e.g., Kevnisha’s These high school students aren’t the man’s body to shore after he stressing. drowned. In this class, the vibe is to thrive: “We are absolutely going to do At a school where the dropout rate an investigation,” Mayor Marie poems; Ali’s “dream” story; Enrique is one in two, most Gilmore said. “And we are plan- ONLINE are ready to gradu- ning to do it in as transparent a To read ate. Gary Williams way as possible.” the other Jr., senior class Raymond Zack paced back parts of the president, has an and forth along the shore for and “The Boost” and “Slum Kids “Growing Up athletic scholarship several minutes before he waded In Oakland” to the University of into the waves about 11:30 a.m. on series, go to San Francisco. a stretch of Robert Crown Memo- InsideBay- “Trying to get rial State Beach along Shoreline good grades, play Lifestyle” Area.com. Drive near Willow Street in Al- basketball and get ameda, witnesses said. ready for college can be really For nearly an hour, Zack stood stressful,” he says. “I handle my in the neck-deep water — some- stress by working out or going to times raising his arms above the play basketball.” surface — before he eventually It’s a big contrast to first pe- riod, where students are tired and See DROWNING, Page 15 worried. “When I am expected to do things, I get stressed,” admits se- nior Alejandra Munoz. LOCAL NEWS • PAGE A3 Moses Nervis, a self-described “budding cartoonist,” has trou- ble handling multiple demands: “(S)chool, my cartoons and some Snow melt program my Mom got me in — it’s too much.” Tevita Lanivia can’t wait to could spell move to Utah, where his sisters live. “You would think that you trouble would be safe around (Oakland) JANE TYSKA/STAFF The snowpack in the Sierra but death is around the side,” he Kevnisha Harris, 15, a freshman at the Castlemont Campus of Small Schools, shows her is two to three times its normal poems in East Oakland. The school, which is divided into several smaller schools, offers depth, thanks to a wet winter See SOLUTIONS, Page 15 services to help students deal with the stress of living in an urban environment. and cool spring. But hot summer weather could turn a gradual thaw into flooding.Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 27. What to eat: DEAL OF THE DAY 3 What to see: Celebrating What to do: n does East Bay eateries FESTIVAL Woody Allen isn’t Native America Paris in new where food BUSINESS celebration kicks romantic comedy fancy, just delicious Wilson off new-look Fest starring Owen Ethnic Dance Super Sightseeing Tours BAYER CUTS SPORTS TimeOut Week end SEASON San Francisco Bay to the ocean 50% off May 27, 2011 540 JOBS IN POSEY OUT FOR SEASON? IN FULL $25 for $50 3.5-hour EMERYVILLE ng Feeliive? ultimate San Francisco tour FRACTURED FIBULA,THREE TORN ANKLE LIGAMENTS fest to Bay Area A guide fun stu fairs and BLOOM See it. Share it. Buy it now. GotDailyDeals.com POWER STRUCTURE PG&E billing is about to change HOUSEHOLDS that use the most electricity will see heavy users, the California Pub- change that will benefit high-usage the higher rate you pay — a system lic Utilities Commission rejected customers.” designed to reward energy conser- rates lowered; everyone else will pay a bit more PG&E’s request to add a $3-per- PG&E uses a complex electrical vation. month service charge to every rate plan with four levels, or tiers, of Consumers can find out how By Dana Hull for households that consume the household’s bill over concerns that billing. Tier 1, or “baseline” custom- much electricity they use each dhull@mercurynews.com most electricity while slightly rais- the fees would violate state law. ers, use a minimum level of electric- month, and the charges for it, on SAN JOSE — State regulators ing them for everyone else. “It is a huge victory to defeat the ity when judged by regional and sea- page four of their monthly PG&E The new rates, which have been customer service charge,” said Matt sonal averages. Customers are then bill, under the area marked “Elec- on Thursday approved the most under intense debate and discussion Freedman, staff attorney with the charged an increasingly higher rate tric Account Detail.” significant electricity rate changes for more than a year, are expected consumer advocacy group TURN, as their electricity use rises above PG&E serves customers from for PG&E’s residential customers in to go into effect by the end of June. The Utility Reform Network. “But the baseline level through Tiers 2, 3 one week before pub a decade, effectively lowering rates While approving a break for the change in electric rates is a big and 4. The more electricity you use, See PG&E, Page 9 “This was one of the most precious students you would PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY ever want to meet — very quiet, respectful, focused.” BART promises end date: an unexpected Future to secret meetings Transit agency board calls for an overhaul of ONLINE For live traffic updates, gas prices, time hook transportation news and more, go to unfulfilled committee procedures InsideBayArea.com/traffic. By Denis Cuff and called for a staff report in two dcuff@bayareanewsgroup.com weeks with details on how to cor- BART directors vowed Thurs- rect the problem. day to stop holding secret closed- In the interim, all unnoticed door committee meetings. board committee meetings are Responding to a Bay Area News canceled immediately, BART Group editorial that said the meet- Board President Bob Franklin an- ings violated California’s open nounced. meeting law, the BART board The transit system provides called for an overhaul of its com- public notice for some regular mittee meeting procedures as soon committee meetings that are held as possible. concurrently with board meetings; “We need to change the way we the board meets twice a month on Ditiyan Franklin, 17, was shot and do business immediately,” BART Thursdays. Director Joel Keller, of Brentwood, But BART gives no public ac- said during the meeting in Oak- cess or notice of closed-door meet- land. Other board members agreed, See BART, Page 9 killed at 2:30 p.m. on May 25 as 2010 CENSUS he was riding his bicycle near the Castlemont campus and his home. COURTESY OF THE FAMILY Ditiyan Franklin, 17, attended his senior prom last week. The Castlemont High student was fatally shot Wednesday The next day, Castlemont held its in Oakland, blocks from his house. Castlemont High senior killed in broad annual health fair for staff and daylight was weeks from graduating, dreamed of college Sonia Garcia, owner of La Pupusa House, a Salvadoran restaurant in Livermore, serves Tom and Vicki Harland, of Sunol, on Thursday. JIM STEVENS/STAFF students. Garcia moved to the Bay Area from El Salvador in the 1980s. By Katy Murphy and Beatrice Motamedi Bay Area News Group OAKLAND — Ditiyan Frank- Salvadoran-Americans lin was a B student with college aspirations and a big, dimpled smile. Just last week he went find strength in numbers to his senior prom, dressed in an impeccable white suit — a JANE TYSKA/STAFF Data show community ONLINE @ reporting on health: No more To read about the Bay Area’s memory stored in a key chain Castlemont Leadership Preparatory High School students sign now the fourth-largest changing demographics, view photo his father now carries in a poster Thursday for Franklin. He was set to graduate June 17. his pocket. Latino group in U.S. interactive maps and more, go to he could have made it.” was the intended target, but InsideBayArea.com/census. Had he lived another month, Franklin would have experi- Franklin, 17, was killed in that they haven’t determined a By Matt O’Brien time hooks, please broad daylight Wednesday by motive for the shooting or iden- mattobrien@bayareanewsgroup.com that Salvadoran-Americans have enced another rite of passage: surpassed Dominican-Americans high school graduation. But on Arroyo Viejo Park, just blocks tified a suspect. The teen was Salvadoran-Americans are now from his house. Robinson said not armed, and no shootout oc- in number and are swiftly gaining Wednesday, gunfire cut his fu- the fourth-largest Latino group on Cuban-Americans. ture short. his son had been riding a bike curred, Joshi said. in the United States, according when the shooting started, and Students at Castlemont’s Those who hope the higher “He was on his way out there to 2010 census figures released that he was hit in the back as he Leadership Preparatory High numbers translate into the political to pave his life,” said his father, Thursday. Twon Robinson, who said he tried to run away. School sobbed openly Thursday and economic influence reached by Those whose roots extend to El Mexican-Americans in California sprinted to the scene as soon Oakland Police Department morning after learning of the Salvador, one of the smallest and as he heard about the shooting. spokeswoman Holly Joshi said and Caribbean Latinos elsewhere densest countries in the Western say they still have work to do. “He had two weeks to go. I wish investigators believe the teen See TEEN, Page 9 Hemisphere, now number more “Numbers give you a certain than 1.6 million in the United kind of power, but of course, you States, and about 35 percent reside OPINION: OAKLAND COMMUNITY MUST COME TOGETHER TO STOP THE VIOLENCE. PAGE A7 in California. The latest tally means See CENSUS, Page 9Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 28. Memorial for “Tang,” Photo by Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune May 26, 2011Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 29. Olive Street, May 26, Photo by Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune 2011Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 30. Oaklands Teen Newspaper THE NEXT HOW OUR GARDENS GROW Ali’s “dream” story PEANUTS AN OTT CREATOR? SPECIAL SECTION – page 6 – page 4 & 5 Oaktown Teen Times What if you redesigned a school and nobody June 2011 News & Views of Youth in Oakland, California Volume 4, Issue 4 Judge to rule liked it? on injunction; protests grow Students at the East Oakland School of the Arts (EOSA) are talking about the type of school GLORIA JACK MEJIA-CUELLAR M Media Academy oney for gang injunctions, not they’d like to see, following news earlier this education. That’s the attitude that some Oakland students who attend toward the proposed Fruitvale anti-gang injunction. year that the Oakland Unified School District The controversial injunction would restrict the activity of 40 members of the Norteños gang. A de- scription of the gang by Oakland police on the city attorneys website calls the Norteños "the biggest, photo by Lisa Shafer / Media Academy most well-organized, and the most violent" of the will consolidate the three schools at the photo by Steven Phan / Oakland High gangs present in Oakland. TENDING PHILLIPS GARDEN Kevin Davis, 18, a senior at Oakland High School, waters lettuce planted in the Oakland "Of all the gangs, they care more about pure vio- High School garden. Davis was a close friend of Phillip Wright, an Oakland High student who was murdered in Novem- lence rather than maintaining a drug trade or other ber 2009. The garden, including a gingko tree, is dedicated to Wrights memory. occupation," the description says. The so-called safety zone in which gang mem- Castlemont campus beginning in the fall of OHigh gardens fate unclear bers would be prohibited from gathering would stretch from 21st Street to High Street and from Brookdale Avenue to Glascock Street. A small pocket east of High Street is also part in the air, pending the completion of a Measure B-funded of the proposed safety zone. This area contains the 2012 ... Fremont Federation of High Schools. "I cant tell what will happen to the back area until Many thought Oakland would stop pursuing the buildings are done," said Principal Alicia Romero. the Fruitvale injunction when City Attorney John MINDY NGUYEN Russo, the injunction’s main supporter, announced I Oakland High “Maybe (the garden) will stay, maybe it will move." In a separate interview with reporters from Oakland his resignation in May. Russo took a job as city at- magine walking through the campus of Oakland torney for Alameda. High School. As you pass by the parking lot, you Highs newspaper, the Aegis, Assistant Principal Anisa Rasheed said it is possible that the garden could be ex- - begin to feel curious about what lies beyond the mined to go forth with the injunction. panded. Junior Jabari West, 17, is concerned that “if the portable classrooms. Glancing to your left, you The Oakland Tribune reported on May 17 that are disappointed by the sight of a trashed school “It’s my understanding that it’s supposed to expand,” said Rasheed. “The portables (in front of the garden) are the City Council decided in a 4-3 vote to continue garden, and a picket sign that reads, “parking lot under funding the city’s injunctions, including the North construction.” going to be demolished this summer. Once the portables are taken away, there will be even more space. Part of it Oakland gang injunction against 17 North Side gang It’s a fate that Oakland High students and teachers members. That injunction went into effect last June. hope to avoid. will revert to parking, but not all of it. The garden will schools get bigger, then there will be more actually be a little larger than it is now.” Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert What will happen to Oakland Highs school garden, the Freedman, who issued the North Side injunction, is subject of a yearlong project by students and teachers to The garden, about the size of a classroom, with several reviewing the proposed Fruitvale injunction. He is create a memorial garden in honor of a slain student, is up See FATE page 4 expected to issue a ruling in the next few weeks. Students said that the emphasis on injunctions is fights and riots.” misplaced. “Instead of creating a safety zone, the city of Law Academy closing at McClymonds Oakland should worry about the education of chil- dren, so that when they grow up they won’t commit crimes,” said Media Academy junior Jazmin Garcia. 90 students to remain solvent, it Many students think the injunction would waste seemed inevitable that one would money that could fund Oakland schools instead. be forced out,” said Bendich, add- The East Bay Express reported on Feb. 15 that Other students are more hopeful. Sophomore ing, “I hoped that the tradition of the Fruitvale and North Oakland gang injunctions political action in West Oakland have cost $761,128 so far, at a time when the Oak- PAMELA TAPIA McClymonds High would keep us open.” T A total of 45 students are 2011-2012 school year. here will be no Law enrolled in the Law Academy, In addition to the district budget cuts, schools Jashilin Hampton, 16, believes that Academy at McCly- which focuses on legal issues and at Fremont Federation have also been asked to cut monds next year. environmental justice. Among the their budgets, forcing them to lay off teachers. The news came in programs and activities sponsored “The safety zone is pointless because it doesn’t late March, by means by the academy are a news blog, - of a form letter from Principal a debate team, a mock trial, an cia. Kevin Taylor to Ina Bendich, annual Yosemite trip, summer She might be right. Castlemont can become a “dream school” and who has been director of the Law internships, a restorative justice The North Side Oakland gang injunction has photo by Pamela Tapia / McClymonds Academy for 10 years. program that offers alternatives not shown promising results. According to the Bay “I knew that enrollment was to suspensions and expulsions, a CLEARING THE AIR Darrynne Vance, a student in the down and that the academy youth court program and a partner- injunction was enacted, shootings in the zone have would likely be closed. With ship with the Rose Foundation, of an Environmental Protection Agency panel about doubled. pledges to help turn it around. approximately 230 students, and West Oakland ozone levels in November 2009 with See GANG page 2 two academies that both require See ACADEMY page 3 classmate Deven Scott-King. Oakland students honored, get to learn at national journalism convention attended the three-day convention, which newspapers from nine to 12 pages in size “Yeah, I’ll help make … the dream, because it’s included more than 5,000 student journal- in the Best of Show competition on April ists and teachers from around the country. 16. An Oakland Teen Times travel scholar- “It was somewhat surprising that we KIM MEJIA-CUELLAR, CESAR SANCHEZ ship paid for one of the attendees, Kim made it to fourth place,” said Editor-in- & BERENICE VEGA-CONTRERAS Mejia-Cuellar of Media Academy. Chief Cesar Sanchez. “I am proud that Mejia-Cuellar earned an "excellent" our schools newspaper made it so far.” our school,” said Hampton, adding that Oaktown Teen Times O rating in a newswriting contest based on akland students won hon- a presentation by guest speakers debat- Green & Gold was critiqued by Randy ors, listened to prominent ing the pros and cons of "parent trigger" Hamm, journalism adviser at East Ba- journalists and learned laws, which allow parents to force major the ins and outs of writing reforms at low-performing schools. paper for not shying away from "painful she hopes to change Castlemont’s reputation and editing at the National Her twin sister, Gloria "Jack" Mejia- stories," such as shootings, and for doing Scholastic Press Association high school Cuellar, received an honorable mention in a good job covering all three schools on photo by Laura Lem / Media Academy journalism convention in Anaheim, Calif. editorial writing in a contest based on the the Fremont Federation of High Schools GETTING FEEDBACK Sophomore Katelyn Bauzon Students from Media Academy at the same topic. campus. listens to reaction about a music review in Media Fremont Federation of High Schools, The Mejia-Cuellars newspaper, the In addition to going to the convention, Academys newspaper from critique judge Randy as “always the underdog of all of the rest of the and the East Oakland School of the Arts, Green & Gold, won fourth place for See ANAHEIM page 2 Hamm at a national journalism convention in April. by Esmeralda Argueta, Alihzey Black, Esther Gamez, Monique schools.” Hatcher, Maria V. Muniz, Lee Simmons, Lilybeth Villasenor and Erick ZamudioThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 31. Feedback • “That’s not a very good picture of me but my mom is hella proud and I’m okay with it.” —Kevnisha • “I read your article today about teens and stress in East Oakland and it moved me. I am a Castlemont alum, and still live and work in this neighborhood. It is difficult to explain the conditions we live in to those on the outside looking in .... To this day I struggle with the effects of past and current violence in ways that no one can imagine. Your words on the written page help calm that all-too-familiar ache.  I thank you deeply.” — Maribel C., Oakland • Thank you for the article on “Growing up in Oakland.” You may hear this from others: we have read a lot of articles like this. A request: the article that we havent seen a lot of (is) the stories of the men who have done or who are doing the shooting. What goes on in the minds of the men/boys who do the killing? Maybe if we know we can work with THESE young men to get them to stop the killing.” — Stephen F., OaklandThursday, July 14, 2011
  • 32. Closing quote: John’ta Christmas, 16, Leadership "My stomping ground reminds me of a man-made eco-system that plants many seeds but harvests (few)," observes Johnta Christmas, a Leadership junior who unexpectedly placed third in Oaklands Martin Luther King Jr., oratorical contest after Rhynes pushed him to enter. Yet "my life has been placed in harms way less than others would think. Though this place has forced me to eat meals I would later resent and think of things that I would later realize (are) ignorant or foolish, with some bad (has) come some good as well. "I have been taught things that others from foreign lands would never know, and (I) mature faster than my peers."Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • 33. Castlemont slideshowThursday, July 14, 2011

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