Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sara Sidner - On the Front Lines in Mumbai

We've all heard and read and seen the images on television from the 60-hour melee/murder/rampage in India's Financial District over the las few days. The attack by suspected Islamic militants has left at this writing over 150 people dead and many hundred wounded.

What you may not have seen, if you were not watching CNN, is former KTVU Reporter/Anchor Sara Sidner, literally on the front lines.

Ms. Sidner was reporting the news while bombs were going off in the background and in one report, she was confronted by an angry mob (she said you could smell the alcohol on their breath) who demanded that she get the H-e-double-hockey sticks outta there!

Sara Sidner conducted her interviews with the utmost professionalism and showed what a true journalist looks like in a real live news situation. This was no fluff - I'm talking life-threatening danger. And "girlfriend" still looked good during the entire segment!

I am often frustrated by the lack of attention given to local anchors of color, particularly African Americans, in the Bay Area, who have so much talent that seems to - well, I'll just say, seems to not get the "fanfare" given some others.

So many times I've watched the news on KTVU and wondered why Sara Sidner isn't sitting in that anchor chair. Well, it seems God had something bigger for her.

I suspect we'll be seeing lots more of Ms. Sidner on the network airwaves from here on out.

That's what I call "Local Girl Makes Good."

You go, Sara!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ms. Bonita's Pies

When I was a little girl, we used to visit my mother's family in North Carolina in the summer.

If you've ever been to North Carolina, you know it's beautiful. The air is fresh and there is greenery and life all around.

Okay, so there's the tobacco farms where people worked their fingers to the bones for the companies that made the cigarettes that killed so many. And the poultry plants where people used to work for less than minimum wage. But forget about that for a minute - ;0

I'm talking about the North Carolina where my grandmother sat on the porch of her one-story wooden house and watched us play in the yard, under the pecan tree. And it wasn't called a "Pe-KAHN," tree. They pronounced it "Pe-CAN" tree.

Well, those days are long gone. Grandma is gone, the house is barely standing and long vacant. The "kids" now have kids and grandkids of their own. But, the one thing that remains is the old Pe-CAN tree in the front of what's left of the yard.

Heck, instead of forty acres and a mule, I'd settle for half an acre and a Pe-CAN tree.

If you can't get to North Carolina, or if you don't have your very own pecan tree. Here's something almost as good.

Ms. Bonita's Pecan Pies.

These pies conjure up all those images and memories for me. They can do it for you too. And, for those of you who don't like nuts or are allergic to them, there are fruit pies, sweet potato pies and buttery pound cakes.

Stay tuned for more info in the "not-so-distant" future.

Now, this is what I call "Soul Food."

Providence Baptist Church of San Francisco Opens 50 New Senior Housing Units

On November 9, 2008, the Providence Bapist Church of San Francisco unveiled its Senior Housing Project. The development opened 50 brand new housing units for senior citizens in the Bayview Hunter's Point Community.

Many dignitaries were on hand for this momentous event, including, "Da Former Mayor" Willie Brown.

Providence Baptist Church is located at 1601 Mckinnon Ave, San Francisco, where Reverend Calvin Jones, Jr. is the Senior Pastor.

Visit their website - which says it all - Providence Cares. Or call them at (415) 641-8719.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

President-Elect Obama says "I Will Be In Charge"

How many people remember the scene in the movie "Hustle and Flow" where Terence Howard is being carted off to jail?

He turns to his female "sales associate" and says, "You're In Charge!" "Keep saying, it 'I'm In Charge.'"

And Taryn Manning repeats over and over, "I'm in charge!" "I'm in charge!" "I'm in charge!"

Well, if you remember the movie, you will recall that she turned things around.

That's how I felt this morning watching President Elect Barack Obama's third press conference in three days. He announced his Economic Advisory Team this morning. I can feel confidence being restored to the American people.

I love his swagger. I love his tone. I love everything about him.

President Obama - You're In Charge!

Peace and Blessings,


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Be Thankful for What You Got

In the words of the late Curtis Mayfield,

"You may not drive a great big Cadillac, gangster whitewalls, TV antenna in the back. You may not have a car at all, but remember,brothers and sisters you can still stand tall. Just be thankful for what you got."
Happy Thanksgiving Week. Be a blessing to someone.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A TRUE "Urban Cowboy"

Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, Las Vegas, NV - Nov. 21-23, 2008

Bill Pickett

December 5, 1870 - April 2, 1932

William (Bill) Pickett was a legendary African American cowboy from Texas.

From 1905 to 1931, the Miller brothers' 101 Ranch Wild West Show was one of the great shows in the tradition started by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody in 1883. The 101 Ranch Show introduced bulldogging invented by Bill Pickett, one of the show's stars.

He died in 1932 as a result of injuries received from working horses at the 101 Ranch. His grave is on what is left of the 101 Ranch property near Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Bill Pickett was inducted into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1972.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photography by Edward Miller


(copyright protected)

Congratulations to Dimensions Dance Theater Oakland - 35 Years and Still Going Strong

Thanks to our friends who were out and about last Saturday, November 15.

I can't be in more than one place at a time, but I have friends who keep me informed. My sister attended the Dimensions Dance Theater 35th Anniversary Celebration at the Mormon Temple in Oakland.

She reports that it was an amazing night. Stay tuned - my photographer was there and promises me he has the pictures to prove it.

Once again, OAKTOWN in the house.

Yes we can!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FAME Oakland 150th Anniversary Celebration

First AME Church in Oakland celebrated its 50th Anniversary over the weekend.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Dr. J. Alfred Smith were among the award winners.

Pam Moore from KRON 4 served as Emcee.

First AME Church is located at 530 37th St,Oakland, CA 94609,(510) 655-1527.
Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry is the Senior Pastor.

(Photos courtesy of Edward Miller Photography - copyright protected)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Memory of All Who Died in the Jonestown Massacre

This week we've heard a lot about Jonestown and Jim Jones and the People's Temple. I believe I have suffered somewhat of a "suppressed memory" about the events which occurred thirty years ago.

The date of the mass murder/suicide was November 18, 1978.

There were 918 people who died. Rep. Leo Ryan, NBC correspondent Don Harris, NBC soundman Bob Brown, newspaper photographer Greg Robinson, and Temple defector Patty Parks – were shot to death at the Port Kaituma airstrip.

Sharon Amos and her children Liane Harris, Christa Amos and Martin Amos – died at the People's Temple house in Lamaha Gardens in Georgetown. The remaining 909 died in Jonestown.

My daughter, a high school junior, came home last night after watching the "Jonestown" documentary at school yesterday. She could not believe what happened on that day. She was even more surprised to find out that one my high school classmates, Dorothy Rollins, was among the dead. She said, "Mom, I can't believe you never mentioned it."

I felt so ashamed that I had put the events out of my mind. Someone once said, "Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it."

May we never forgot those who lost their lives in Guyana. Lest it happen again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Congratulations to Barbara Rodgers, RTNDA Lifetime Achievement Award

I had the pleasure of attending the Nor-Cal Radio and Television News Directors Awards Ceremony last weekend at the Kabuki Hotel in San Francisco where Barbara Rodgers, Retired KPIX/CBS News Anchor was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

It was a star-studded event emceed by KGO's Rosie Allen and KCBS's Mike Sugerman. Rodgers whose illustrious career spans over three decades has covered everything and everyone, including, Nelson Mandela.

Here's to you, Barbara - a rare jewel.

How many people think that Ms. Rodgers is way too young to retire? Yes, that's what I thought. Me too.