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$150K Dress Worn by Lupita Nyong’o at Oscars Reported Stolen

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In this Feb. 22, 2015 file photo, actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the Oscars wearing a dress made of pearls at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.  Los Angeles sheriff's detectives are investigating the theft of the $150,000 custom Calvin Klein dress worn by Nyong'o at the 2015 Academy Awards. The dress was reported stolen from Nyong'o's West Hollywood hotel room late on Wednesday Feb. 25, 2015. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

In this Feb. 22, 2015 file photo, actress Lupita Nyong’o arrives at the Oscars wearing a dress made of pearls at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Los Angeles sheriff’s detectives are investigating the theft of the $150,000 custom Calvin Klein dress worn by Nyong’o at the 2015 Academy Awards. The dress was reported stolen from Nyong’o’s West Hollywood hotel room late on Wednesday Feb. 25, 2015. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The theft of a $150,000 pearl-covered gown worn by Lupita Nyong’o at the Oscars doesn’t surprise Hollywood stylists who have personally experienced the seedy side of red carpet fashion.

Style expert and fashion commentator Mary Alice Stephenson has for years heard stories about similar stolen celebrity items.

“It’s not shocking to me that this would be taken out of her hotel room,” said Stephenson, who once had a nabbed Fendi bag held for ransom.

A dress like the custom ivory one designed by Francisco Costa for the Calvin Klein Collection could fetch a lot of money on the black market, Stephenson said.

“There are a lot of collectors out there who are very private and have private collections of stolen merchandise,” she said. “Some of these dresses have global fame as big as any Van Gogh.”

However, Los Angeles Auction House director Bryan Abbott noted that the black market would be problematic for fetching top dollar in this case.

“Celebrity-related material has additional value because it’s related to the celebrity,” he said. “If this was stolen, you wouldn’t be able to realize that additional value.”

“I can’t think of a harder thing to sell than a high-profile Oscar dress by a famous manufacturer that’s associated with a famous personality. You’d have to bury it for a hundred years,” he added.

The 6,000 disconnected pearls wouldn’t even be worth much on their own, Abbott said.

“Most pearls don’t have much of a resale value to start with, unless they’re from a famous manufacturer such as Mikimoto,” he said. “If the dress were made of Mikimoto pearls, it would be millions of dollars.”

Sheriff’s deputies responded to call late Wednesday from a West Hollywood hotel after the custom dress was reported missing from the hotel room of the actress, sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Bowman said.

Nyong’o was present when deputies took the report, but she wasn’t in her room when the elaborate gown was taken, Bowman said. Her publicists said they would not comment on the theft.

Representatives for the actress reported the theft. Detectives suspect the garment was taken sometime between 8 and 9 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s Lt. William Nash said.

Detectives were at the hotel Thursday looking for clues, including surveillance video that might reveal what happened.

Nyong’o won an Oscar in 2014 for her role in “Twelve Years a Slave” and was a presenter at Sunday’s ceremony.

The 31-year-old actress has become a darling of Hollywood’s red carpets in the past two years, with commenters and fans praising her fashion choices. She accessorized the dress with Chopard diamond drop earrings and three Chopard diamond rings.

Before the awards ceremony, Nyong’o told The Associated Press on the red carpet, “I’m just wearing my diamonds and pearls. My homage to Prince,” referring to a popular song by the musician.

Nyong’o told a reporter for Yahoo Style that she was involved in the design of the dress.

“We talked about it being fluid and liquid,” she told the site. “I wanted it to be an homage to the sea.”

A representative for Calvin Klein declined to comment. But late Thursday night, the fashion house did tweet a close-up photo of the dress, writing “have you seen this dress?” with the hashtag “freethepearls.”

___

Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP. Associated Press writers Leanne Italie and Alicia Rancilio in New York, and Lindsey Bahr and Derrik J. Lang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Black History

COMMENTARY: New Las Vegas Raiders President is Female, Black, AND Asian

We have never been comfortable with mixed-race kids and what to call them. But since 2010, the multiracial population has grown from 9 million to 33.8 million people, a 276% increase according to the 2020 Census.

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Sandra Douglass Morgan is the new president of the Las Vegas Raiders. Twitter photo.
Sandra Douglass Morgan is the new president of the Las Vegas Raiders. Twitter photo.

By Emil Guillermo

I confess to being a Raiders fan from a very early age.

Even though I was born and raised in San Francisco, as a young boy I cheered Clem Daniels at Frank Youell Field. Old School. Then Daryl Lamonica. Then Kenny Stabler. Warren Wells. Gene Upshaw. Hewritt Dixon. George Atkinson. George Blanda. I loved them all. When they left Oakland the first time, they broke my heart. When they came back, I bought season tickets and broke my bank. And then they left again and broke my heart for good.

I started rooting for the 49ers. I know, blasphemy.

But I always keep an eye on the Las Vegas Raiders. And on July 7, 2022, when they announced a new president, I took a double take.

She looked like a Filipina. To me, she clearly had some Asian blood.

But then they announced her, Sandra Douglas Morgan, and all the stories had some variation of this line: “Morgan becomes the first Black woman in NFL history to ascend to the title of team president.”

Almost every story I found heralded her Blackness. Hooray.

Only it was partially true. From what I found, only NBC News with California homeboy Lester Holt had the story with all the facts.

Morgan was Black. But as my Asian radar suggested, she was also Asian. Not Filipino, but Korean. NBC showed a picture of her mother.

We’ve been here before.

When something great happens to a mixed-race person, why do we ignore the mix?

The Raiders in Las Vegas are trying so hard to be modern and “progressive” (for the NFL). You’ll recall the team gave Colin Kaepernick a tryout.

So why doesn’t a forward-thinking team in Las Vegas, one of the most diverse cities in the nation, just come out and announce that Morgan is both Black and Asian?

Is it because we don’t want to see the Asian parts? Is it the wrong suit in a game where Black trumps?

As I’ve said, we’ve been here before. Kamala Harris is from the East Bay. Her Black father was mostly absent from her life, and her mother, an Asian-Indian UC cancer researcher, was dominant in her upbringing. Still, Harris publicly identified as Black most of her life.

Through her time as a politico in San Francisco, to her rise as attorney general for the state, to her announcement in Oakland seeking the nomination for president, Harris was always Black first. I always noticed. And wrote about it in the Asian American media.

When did things change? When she was selected as the vice-presidential running mate of Joe Biden. And then, of course, when they won and were inaugurated.

How many times did you see the phrase, “First African American, first Asian American, first woman to be vice president of the United States.”

It was American diversity history. Reporters stumbled over how to get it right.

And now, because human nature is what it is, most people have stumbled back to convention. Kamala? Oh, she’s Black.

But it’s not just Kamala. Tiger Woods has always had this problem. When he came on the scene with his first Masters victory in 1997, stories hailed him as the “Black man in a green jacket,” or “the Black man in a white man’s game.”

The column I wrote, published later in my book “Amok,” pointed out calling Tiger “Black” is once again, just half right. His mom is from Thailand. Tiger described his mix as “Cablanasian.” That made people smile but never stuck.

And now as he slumps back from missing the cut at the British Open, Tiger is back to Black.

Why is this all important? There’s accuracy of course, but it shows we have never been comfortable with mixed-race kids and what to call them. But since 2010, the multiracial population has grown from 9 million to 33.8 million people, a 276% increase according to the 2020 Census.

I know mixed-race kids. I made a few of them. I prefer they say they are Asian because they are. But their mom is white. But that doesn’t show. They get passed over and face both subtle and not so subtle discrimination all the time.

The Jewish faith offers a guide. It believes that what defines you passes by way of your mother. Hence Kamala, Tiger, and yes Saundra Douglas Morgan would be Asian.

But in America, the Census uses a “you are what you say you are” basis. Is it just easier to say Black and leave it at that? And ignore Asian? Maybe until someone points it out.

Here’s a vote for being accurate and fair. When Saundra Douglas Morgan made history, we all should honor our diverse America where we can be Black and Asian and anything else. Proudly.

Especially when we make history together.

Emil Guillermo is a veteran journalist and commentator. His work is on www.amok.com

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Advice

A Wedding and Evening Sail on the Matthew Turner

This mock wedding shows “how sometimes we are so caught up in the celebration, and full of elation that we don’t make sure this partnership will contribute to our elevation,” said Gregory. The event heightened “the awareness of the right-Ship, relation-Ship, and friend-Ships so you won’t be emotionally Ship-wrecked and can sail together to your destination of purpose.”

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By Godfrey Lee

Sharika Gregory hosted an evening program on July 9, 2022, encouraging adults to develop healthy relationships. The program took place on the tall ship Matthew Turner owned and operated by Call of the Sea, the nonprofit that also contributed to the cost of the event.

Sailing on the ship becomes an analogy of how a husband and wife can make a marriage work. The captain and his first mate on a ship are like a husband and his wife in a marriage, Gregory said.

The single man and woman need to know if they are the best fit for each other before they get married. The couple will also need to know how a marriage works, like how the captain, his mate, (and the crew) need to know how the ship works in order to safely sail it. The married couple needs to trust each other, like the captain and the mate need to trust each other in order to sail their ship.

Top: Sharika Gregory, Neferttiti and Bronchè (Photo by Sierre Salin); Neferttiti and Bronchè arguing; Kee-Beez, Sierre Salin, Diamond, Chase Banks, Aleta Toure, Chris Ragland. Oshalla Diana Marcus, Johnetta Newton, Trevor Palacio, Raul Cedeno III. Bottom: The Matthew Turner ship (From modelshipworld.com).

Top: Sharika Gregory, Neferttiti and Bronchè (Photo by Sierre Salin); Neferttiti and Bronchè arguing; Kee-Beez, Sierre Salin, Diamond, Chase Banks, Aleta Toure, Chris Ragland. Oshalla Diana Marcus, Johnetta Newton, Trevor Palacio, Raul Cedeno III. Bottom: The Matthew Turner ship (From modelshipworld.com.

The event started in front of the Bay Model Visitor Center with a mock wedding between Nefertiti and Bronchè Steward, where Bronchè suddenly realized that he needs to be committed to his wife. The second half of the program began on the ship with Nefertiti and Bronchè arguing, and Nefertiti runs away to the front of the ship.

This mock wedding shows “how sometimes we are so caught up in the celebration, and full of elation that we don’t make sure this partnership will contribute to our elevation,” said Gregory. The event heightened “the awareness of the right-Ship, relation-Ship, and friend-Ships so you won’t be emotionally Ship-wrecked and can sail together to your destination of purpose.”

Around 40 people attended and enjoyed the event, which offered food and drinks donated by the Strawberry Village Safeway. The ship sailed to the middle of the Bay with its engines and then the crew hauled up two of the sails. But there was not enough wind to sail the ship.

The Matthew Turner, a brigantine, is a tall ship owned and operated by the Call of the Seas. She will be used to help the crew on her sister ship, the Seaward, teach sailing and marine environmental programs to adults and middle school-aged youth. The Matthew Turner was designed after the ship Galilee, which was built in the late 1800s by the ship designer and builder Matthew Turner. The length of her deck is 100 feet long, and has a total of 7,200 square feet of sails. She is docked at the Bay Model Visitor Center’s Pier in Sausalito.

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Bay Area

County Fair Sees Over 25 Percent Jump in Revenues Compared to Last Year Pre-Pandemic

The fair wasn’t entirely back to “normal” in that competitions usually held in the exhibit hall were done remotely, which meant no food was judged, but hobbies, crafts, creative writing and art were all judged and given ribbons.

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The Marin County Fair Sees Over 25 Percent Jump in Revenues Compared to Last Year Pre-Pandemic
The Marin County Fair Sees Over 25 Percent Jump in Revenues Compared to Last Year Pre-Pandemic

By Bay City News

The results are in: People in Marin County were ready to have fun at the fair after taking a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Revenues for this year’s Marin County Fair increased by over 25% over 2019’s numbers, according to the county.

The fair, which ran from Thursday, June 30 through Monday, July 4, generated nearly $1.9 million compared to 2019’s numbers of $1.5 million.

This year’s theme was “So Happy Together,” with live performances from Pablo Cruise, Sheila E., Sons of Champlin, and Digable Planets.

The fair wasn’t entirely back to “normal” in that competitions usually held in the exhibit hall were done remotely, which meant no food was judged, but hobbies, crafts, creative writing and art were all judged and given ribbons.

It wouldn’t be a county fair without amateur entertainment, and the county noted that four drag queens, 18 folklorico dancers, 22 ukulele players and 34 bagpipers performed on the community stage.

Proof of COVID-19 and masking were not required. If the event shows an increase in infections, the numbers could show up in Marin’s case data, which is released every Tuesday and Friday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has rated Marin County as “high” for community COVID-19 levels, according to a June 30 report.

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