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MODESTO, CA – (November 28, 2011) – Soul and R&B singer and musician Aaron Neville will appear at the Gallo Center for the Arts for a Christmas performance on Tuesday, December 20 at 7:00 PM. Neville is known for his 1966 hit single “Tell It Like It Is,” and his collaborated duets with Linda Ronstadt; “Don’t Know Much,” “All My Life,” and “When Something is Wrong with My Baby.”

Tickets for this performance range from $15 19 to $45. A 15% discount is available for groups of 15 or more. For tickets or more information, visit or call (209) 338-2100.

Neville has released over 20 singles; including three #1 hits on the Adult Contemporary format and a fourth on the R&B format. His versatile sound and duet work with other outstanding artists have led to 12 Grammy nominations, 3 Grammy awards, one Dove nomination, and one Academy of Country music nomination.

For Aaron Neville, there is an equally intimate connection between his music and the faith that has sustained him for his entire life. Through challenge and tragedy, he’s managed to thrive, protecting both his heart and his voice. Ask him how and he says simply this: “He who sings once, prays twice.”

Information Provided by The Gallo Center

Foreclosed Homeowners Re-Occupy their Homes

SAN FRANCISCO – Carolyn Gage was evicted from her foreclosed home in January. Earlier this month, she moved back in.

“I’ve been in here for 50 years. I know no other place but here. I left and it was just time for me to come back home,” said Gage, who is in her mid-50s.

Gage’s monthly payments spiked after her adjustable rate mortgage kicked in, and she could no longer afford the payments on her three-bedroom house in the city’s Bayview Hunters Point district. She says she tried to modify her loan with her lender, Florida-based IB Properties, but to no avail.

When Gage initially left about 10 months ago, she took some personal items with her, but left most of the furniture and continued paying for some utilities.

“It didn’t feel right for me to move. I just left my things because I knew I was going to return to them eventually,” she said.

She had to re-activate a few utilities when she returned, like the water, but found the process fairly easy.

Walking back into the house was an emotional moment for Gage, but a joyous one.

“I was like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; there’s no place like home,” Gage said. “It’s a family home; I plan to stay there.”

Gage was one of about two dozen homeowners who gathered Tuesday for a community potluck on Quesada Avenue for residents facing foreclosure and are refusing to leave their homes.

Homeowners expressed outrage at the way predatory lenders have targeted their community.

Residents of the Bayview are starting to see how the African-American community was especially victimized in the foreclosure crisis.

Gage believes that single women and elders in the black community were targeted for predatory loans. At the peak of the housing boom she was solicited for an adjustable rate loan to do some home improvements, even though she told the loan agent that she was on disability and did not have a steady income.

According to a report released last week by the Center for Responsible Lending, African Americans and Latinos were consistently more likely than whites to receive high-risk loan products. About a quarter of all Latino and African-American borrowers have lost their homes to foreclosure or are seriously delinquent, compared to under 12 percent for white borrowers.

Bayview residents Reverend Archbishop Franz King and Reverend Mother Marina King, who are founders of the St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, are also facing foreclosure. Their eviction date is set for Dec. 22.

King expressed deep anger and sorrow at the situation facing the black community in the Bayview.

“First redevelopment moved us out of the Fillmore and now we’re losing our properties too? It’s like there’s nowhere for us to go,” he said.

Grace Martinez, an organizer with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) who helped to arrange the event, commented that banks have become increasingly hostile to their efforts. “They call the police on us; they laugh at us.”

Vivian Richardson, a homeowner on Quesada Avenue whose house was also foreclosed on, also has no intention of leaving. Her current eviction date is set for Dec. 31, but she, like many of her neighbors, is asking her lender to reduce the principal on her loan in order to make the monthly payments more affordable.

Richardson has been attempting to modify her home loan for the past two years. Earlier this month, tired of the lack of communication from the lender, Aurora Loan Services based in Delaware, she worked with ACCE to coordinate an e-mail blast to Aurora’s chairman.

On Nov. 3, over the span of one to two hours, approximately 1,400 emails were sent and more than 100 phone calls made, imploring Chairman Theodore P. Janulis to stop Richardson’s eviction. A spokesperson from the bank called her an hour after the blast and asked her to send an updated set of financial information so that they could review her case.

Two weeks have passed and she has yet to hear anything further. The bank spokesperson commented that Richardson’s case is still being reviewed internally and they hope to get back to her by the end of next week.

However, Richardson has lived in her house for 13 years and plans to stay regardless of the bank’s decision.

“I will defend the home,” she said.

On Dec. 6, there will be a national day of action, “Occupy Our Homes,” where people across the country facing predicaments similar to Gage and Richardson may follow their lead.

Partly inspired by the Occupy movement, the day of action is supported by various community organizations like Take Back the Land and ACCE. The call to action is for people to move back into their foreclosed properties and to defend the properties of families facing eviction.

Martinez commented on the growing anger people are feeling. “The idea is, ‘I want what’s mine.’” She said many homeowners had trusted the banks and ultimately, “People were buying into a lie.”

Sunrise Ceremony: an alternative to the Traditional Thanksgiving

As the majority of Americans prepared for their traditional Thanksgiving dinner; some were buying a turkey and side dish items as potatoes and corn, others packed their bags and began a trip to San Francisco to celebrate the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony.

Since the 1970s and just before sunrise, thousands of people gather on Columbus Day and on Thanksgiving Day at Alcatraz Island located in San Francisco’s peninsula waters. Starting at dawn the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony offers an alternative to Thanksgiving Day.

The ceremony commemorates more than 500 years of resistance to colonization of the indigenous groups around the globe and it also honors the 19-month American Native occupation of Alcatraz in 1969; an occupation that intended the construction of a center for Native American Studies.

During the celebration, native advocates came together to share traditional dances, speeches, songs and prayers.

An extra 9% tuition increase for university students in California


Bilingual Weekly News | By Mayra Barrios

As student demonstrators gathered across the state, the California State University (CSU) officials approved —in a private meeting— an increase in tuition of averaging $498 for the fall semester of 2012 across the 23 campuses in the state. The increase would be the second increase for students in 2011, out of nine tuition increases in the last decade.

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A Clinic to serve the homeless

IMG_4713 | Mayra Barrios

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA – After ten long years of planning, Dr. Randy Pinnelli is finally moving-in and settling into what will be a new office at the Gleason House Medical Clinic. The clinic opened its doors earlier this week and is part of the Care Link program which provides no-cost medical care for the homeless community.

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Campus Plans Teach-In to Discuss Occupy Movement

MERCED, Calif. — The University of California, Merced, will hold a teach-in on campus Dec. 7 to give students, faculty and staff a chance to discuss the many issues raised by the Occupy movements that have spread across the nation.

The teach-in will be from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium. Faculty members will share their thoughts and insight on this and other movements, and students who recently traveled to New York to interview Occupy Wall Street participants will also present.

The teach-in is cosponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the Academic Senate, Associated Students of UC Merced and the Division of Student Affairs.

More information on the teach-in will be available next week.

Notice of Road Closure Sixth Street between Central Avenue and D Street

Tracy, CA – To facilitate the construction of the Downtown Plaza, Knife River
Construction Company will be closing a portion of Sixth Street between Central Avenue
and D Street beginning November 28, 2011, until December 12, 2011. The intersection
of Central Avenue and Sixth Street will remain open for northbound, southbound and
westbound directions.

Traffic will be detoured using Seventh Street, Central Avenue and D Street. Proper
detour signs and pre-warnings will be posted to direct traffic. A proposed detour plan is
attached for traffic circulation.

Drop off and pick up service for Greyhound bus passengers will occur on Central Avenue
in front of the Tracy Transit Building.

For further information please contact the Engineering Division of the Development
and Engineering Services Department at (209) 831-6400 or go to the City’s web page, for any updates.

Click below for .pdf of map | information provided by the city of Tracy

11 22 11 – Press Release – 6th Street Road Closure.doc

Pacific purchases a new building in San Francisco

Prime location at 155 Fifth Street will be the future home of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and future University programs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (Nov. 22, 2011) – University of the Pacific today announced the purchase of a former Wells Fargo office building to establish a new San Francisco campus in the city’s South of Market district. The building will undergo an extensive renovation and is expected to open in mid-2014.

University of the Pacific closed a $47 million deal with CDC/TMG 155 Fifth Street Associates, to purchase 155 Fifth Street, a seven-story building with approximately 395,000 gross square feet of space. Five floors of the building will house the University’s prestigious Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, as well as classroom space for other future University programs. The remaining two floors will be leased as premium office space. The building will undergo a comprehensive renovation, including a complete replacement of the building’s exteriors and interior spaces, expected to take approximately two years.

“This new facility allows Pacific to strategically expand its footprint in San Francisco by providing a highly visible presence downtown,” said Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific. “This gives us important opportunities for our dental school, which has been in San Francisco since 1896, and also allows us to build programs for students in our eight other University schools and colleges.”

“I am proud to welcome the University of the Pacific’s Dugoni School of Dentistry to their new home in SoMa,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “This new campus represents a significant investment in San Francisco, bringing new jobs, new economic activity and one of the top dental schools in the nation to the heart of our City.”

The new building will contain labs, classrooms, research and support space for the dental school, as well as clinical changes and technology enhancements to support patient care. The location offers close proximity to public transportation, including a nearby BART station, for students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors.

“We are proud to be part of the exciting development activity taking place in the South of Market neighborhood,” said Dr. Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., dean of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. “The new facility will allow easier access for our patients to receive oral healthcare and provide state-of-the-art learning environments to support our academic programs.”

Continental Development Corporation (CDC), owned by Richard Lundquist, originally developed the building and owns the adjacent InterContinental San Francisco. Lundquist said, “The dental school’s new location in the center of the city and close to public transportation will enhance health service benefits to the local community.” He added, “We look forward to the upcoming synergistic relationship with a great university and the added vitality its young professionals will bring to the neighborhood. The impressive improvements planned for the building will continue the rejuvenation of the Fifth Street corridor and will provide hundreds of new construction jobs.”

The University previously announced the key partners for the renovation and construction project: The San Francisco office of SmithGroup, Inc. is the lead architect. San Francisco-based Plant Construction Company is the general contractor. Nova Partners, Inc., of Palo Alto, was hired for project management services. The San Francisco office of Grubb & Ellis represented the University in purchasing the building and will market the leasing of the two floors of office space. About 200 trades people are expected to be employed on the project.

Total cost of the building purchase and renovation is expected to be $151 million. The University will fund the cost through an upcoming fundraising campaign, revenue from commercial leases, and the sale of two properties currently used by the dental school in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. sizes, practical experience and a vibrant residential life. Founded in 1851, Pacific is the oldest University in California. Its breathtaking Gothic main campus in Stockton is home to seven schools and colleges. In addition to the dentistry school in San Francisco, Pacific also has the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento—one of California’s largest law schools. Total University enrollment is nearly 7,000.

Caltrans Releases Documents Related to Technician’s Falsified Reports

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans today released hundreds of official records—including
test results, correspondence and certified engineering reports—related to
its response to an employee caught falsifying data during a construction
project in September 2008.

The records released today confirm that a Caltrans employee, who was
subsequently fired, falsified data on three projects:

· The La Sierra Avenue Bridge in Riverside in September 2008
· A retaining wall at Braddock Drive on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles
in April 2007
· An overhead sign foundation on Interstate 580 in Oakland in March

In a separate and independent review validating Caltrans’ findings, the
Federal Highway Administration also concluded that the employee’s
falsification was limited to those three structures. Certified engineering
reports released today confirm the safety of each of the structures.

The records show that although the former employee worked on the Bay
Bridge, none of his work on the bridge was falsified. The records also show
that the Bay Bridge is structurally sound.

“We have confirmed that the totality of the problem regarding falsified
data is limited to one transportation technician’s work in three
locations,” said Acting Director Malcolm Dougherty in a letter sent today
to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing. “Caltrans performed
an engineering analysis to ensure that each location is structurally safe.”

information provided by Cal Trans

FINAL SCAN Cover Honorable Mark DeSaulnier-11-21-11.docx.pdf

FINAL Table of Contents 11-20-11_1634.pdf

FINAL Executive Summary.pdf

Latinos fall 2nd Minority Victims to Diabetes

Latinos fall 2nd minority victims diabetes

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA – During the month of November health care organizations advocate to better educating the communities across the nation on diabetes as part of the American Diabetes Month. Worldwide Diabetes Day was observed during November 14th.

The United States Department of Health Human Services (USDHHS) reports that diabetes is documented to be the sixth (6) leading cause of death as a result of its complications. When comparing the San Joaquin County (SJC) Public Health 2011 Health Status Report which estimates 26 million U.S. residents to live with diabetes; an increase of 10 million if compared to the 1999 USDHHS report.

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Exercise Across California

PICT5305  | By Mayra Barrios

TRACY, CA – McKinley Elementary of Tracy Unified held the kick off for the Exercise Across California program on Thursday, November 17.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, the University of California, Davis Cooperative Extension, initiated, Exercise Across California, a fitness program that encourages fourth grade students to exercise.

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OPINION: How Did So Many People Lose Their Jobs

Thomas Benigno

I have been watching the great tragedy in America, watching millions of American citizen’s lose their jobs. It seems as though it started in the year of 2004 when we were in the third year after the 911 attack on the Twin Towers. America seemed to be in shock that it could have happened here in the strongest country in the world, so we thought at the time. Seven years later we are still at war and still spend billions to maintain the war. President Bush’s staff still maintained that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the surrounding areas. One of the main reasons the war went on as long as it did. The military build up continued as did the war, but something was wrong. The economy seemed to slip into a major recession from that period and never has recovered to this day. Many of those who supported the war thought that the money machine would continue forever, and the whole nation would benefit from the military buildup of arms and ammunition.

During that period many of the the largest companies in America were shutting down for some reason but no one would question why, especially the stock holders, who stand to gain most of the profits from the military buildup. As we have seen, the eight years of the Bush administration and now the third year of a new president, Obama and his administration, are having doubts whether the economy will turn around. THE BIG QUESTION IS, WHY DID SOME 12 MILLION PEOPLE LOSE THEIR JOBS DURING THAT PERIOD? No one seemed to have the answers. To date the Obama administration says we will have 60% of those 12 million back to work by next year. My question is, why and where did those jobs go? Many say it was because many jobs were being out-sorced at a time when the war effort was creating more jobs overseas. That was good for government jobs and military personell, but the private sector struggled to keep up with inflation, that was killing most middle class Americans.. So again to ask why and what happened?

The largest myth we experienced was the housing industry. More and more houses were being built and sold to people who couldn’t afford to buy them. Then when there were no jobs the housing market crashed, destroying the people who had ligiment ownership or equity in their homes. Many saw the forest through the trees and bailed out leaving a gaping whole in the economy. To add insult to injury, the real estate industry started to create a program to short sale those homes to those who had jobs and no homes. The program helped the major banks receive more money, and the government was bailing out those banks. Instead of holding the value of the homes up by lowering the payments for those who were about to be foreclosed on due to NO JOBS, the banks called in millions of loans. The rest is history. The economy is still in the tank and those who made mega bucks from the war effort, were and still are buying up those foreclosed homes. Now the trick comes to light. The homes are being rented to those who have come to America and took jobs away from those poor citizen’s who lost everything.

THE BIGGEST SLAP IN THE FACE TO MANY IS THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BAILED OUT THOSE BANKS FOR FORECLOSING ON THE LOANS. Many say stop complaining and just accept what happens as a change in the times. Go tell that to those who will never recover their looses on their homes and business. If the economy is going to be so good why aren’t investors and corporate business’ hiring people? The government is still helping those business’ stay afloat, by bailing them out. The people aren’t asking to be bailed out. JUST GIVE US THE JOBS WE WERE PROMISED.

Drug Take Back Increases Collections

STOCKTON, CA – United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released the final numbers in November 2011 summarizing the Free Sharps and Prescription Drug Disposal Events that were held on October 29, 2011 throughout the Country.

Nationwide 188.5 Tons were collected; the State of California collected 39,264 pounds which includes the San Francisco Field Division that collected 15,587 pounds.

San Joaquin County is part of the San Francisco Field Division which collected 1,100 pounds through 9 sites throughout the area. The events were coordinated with San Joaquin County Sheriff and Department of Public Works, Manteca Police and City of Manteca, Tracy Police and City of Tracy, the University of the Pacific Police, and the Rho Pi Phi Fraternity at the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Most of the pharmacies in the county provided information for their customers.

To put it into perspective, San Joaquin County collected 334 pounds in April. It is speculated that the increase is due to an increase in partnerships and locations from 3 in April to 9 organizations throughout the county.

The events mission was “to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.”

Another perk to the collection of prescription drugs is to prevent unsafe disposal of unused or unwanted drugs. Drugs not collected are at risk of being disposed down drains or through garbage collection which leads to the contamination of water systems.

Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, partnering with the DEA, will continue to hold occasional prescription drug collection events. For additional drug disposal event locations visit or call 800-882-9539.

City launches Re-designed Website
(TRACY, CA) –, the City of Tracy’s website will have many new features in is re-designed form. The process to re-design the site has been a two year project that was part of the city’s leadership vision.

The website was supported with contributions from community members, business leaders, and the City’s employees.
“Our website is a resource for residents to stay current with City Council agendas, make online utility payments, register for recreation classes, and keep up on the latest news and events happening in the City. The website is a valuable resource for visitors and business partners who are interested in learning more about the services and programs available in our community,” said City Manager, Leon Chuchill.

The changes include live streaming of City Council meetings; site navigation improvements with buttons that quickly and easily lead users to important information about the community, local government management, resident tools, and community programs and services. Throughout the site, local photography highlights events, attractions, retail, and other through an RFP process, the City of Tracy selected Jel, Inc. to partner with City employees and lead the re‐design effort.

Free Smog Test

MODESTO, CA – Valley Clean Air Now (CAN) organizes another opportunity for the community to get their smog for free, and a $500 dollar voucher for the first 50 cars that need repairs to pass the smog. The event will be held at Modesto Junior College West Campus parking lot 208 from Saturday November 19, 201 between 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

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