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Caltrans Names New District Director, Dennis T. Agar to Lead District 10

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The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dennis T. Agar to the position of Caltrans District 10 Director.

Agar has over 24 years of diverse and valuable Caltrans experience including a wide variety of managerial, supervisory, and technical experience from the district and headquarters.

As District Director, Agar is responsible for overseeing projects and the maintenance and operations of over 3,500 lane miles. Agar manages over 500 permanent and 85 temporary help employees. He oversees an annual budget of $75.6 million and over $3 billion worth of highway construction projects and programs.

District 10 is a geographically diverse district lying in the northern San Joaquin Valley encompassing eight counties; three urban counties on the valley floor and five rural counties located in the foothill and mountain region of the Central Sierra. The counties include Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne.

Prior to his appointment, Agar served as the Caltrans Division Chief of Traffic Operations. Agar assumed the duties on January 22, 2013, and was responsible for the statewide Traffic Operations Program for Safety and Mobility, with nearly 1,350 employees and a budget of about $200 million. The Division establishes statewide policies and procedures, identifies and prioritizes the programming of safety and operational improvement projects, and manages the statewide Transportation and Encroachment Permits and Outdoor Advertising programs.

Agar spent four years as District 10’s Deputy District Director of Program and Project Management before a short-term assignment as Acting Division Design Chief in Headquarters. Dennis came back to District 10 on October 19, 2009, to serve as the Caltrans District 10 Deputy District Director for Maintenance and Operations. He led District 10’s maintenance and operations for almost four years before promoting to Caltrans Division Chief of Traffic Operations.

Agar also served as Project Manager and Branch Chief of Design, in District 3 (Marysville), in addition to numerous engineering, staff and senior level assignments.

Agar graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) with the State of California and a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute.

Agar replaces Interim District 10 Director Amarjeet Benipal

Bay Area

Vice Mayor: Business Group Wants to Buy Coliseum, Attract WNBA Team

The group will provide additional details of its effort at a news conference at 11:00 a.m. Friday at a site to be determined.

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Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan.

Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan said a local business group has made serious inroads to buy the city’s 50% stake in the Oakland Coliseum complex and to bring a WNBA team to the city.
Kaplan’s office shared a news release Monday about the effort by the African American Sports and Entertainment Group.

Kaplan said the group is in negotiations with the Oakland-Alameda Joint Powers Authority, has submitted a formal proposal to WNBA officials, and has submitted a term sheet to the city, which the City Council’s rules committee recently voted to advance to the full council for a vote.

The group will provide additional details of its effort at a news conference at 11:00 a.m. Friday at a site to be determined.

“I am pleased that there is such great interest in doing an important development at the Oakland Coliseum that will provide jobs, revenue and community positivity,” Kaplan said. “My goal is to help this process move forward before the summer recess.”

Kaplan said the group has the backing of more than 30 community groups of faith-based institutions, labor organizations, civic leaders, and job development organizations. She did not name the groups

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Art

City Selects Ayodele Nzinga as Inaugural Poet Laureate

As poet laureate, Nzinga will make an inaugural address, partner with the city’s youth poet laureate Myra Estrada on a reading series, deliver four readings in Oakland, and write a poem that commemorates the city.

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Oakland first poet laureate Ayodele Nzinga, author of “SorrowLand Oracle” and “The Horse Eaters,” in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy City of Oakland).

Poet, playwright, and community activist Ayodele Nzinga was selected as Oakland’s inaugural poet laureate, city officials announced on June 11.

Nzinga is the founding producer and director of the West Oakland theater company Lower Bottom Playaz, established in 1999. She’s also the founding director of Black Arts Movement Business District Community Development Corporation, which produces BAMBDFEST, an international arts and cultural festival celebrating the arts in the Black community.

“Her decades-long commitment to Oakland’s art scene will feed the richness of her storytelling as she nurtures creativity in others,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement.

Nzinga is the author of at least two books of poetry: “SorrowLand Oracle,” a collection of spells, incantations, prayers, and “The Horse Eaters,” which is described as an origin tale, a reclamation of memory and a movement toward wholeness in thought.

Nzinga said she is “overjoyed” with her selection as Oakland’s first poet laureate.

“I look forward to representing ‘The Town’ and the honor of bringing poetry to the people!” she said in a statement.

As poet laureate, Nzinga will make an inaugural address, partner with the city’s youth poet laureate Myra Estrada on a reading series, deliver four readings in Oakland, and write a poem that commemorates the city.

“Whether in the visual performing arts, music or literature, the talents of the Town’s artists are world-renowned and deserve recognition and financial support,” J. K. Fowler, cultural affairs commissioner and chair of the poet laureate selection team, said in a statement.

City officials closed nominations on May 19 for Oakland’s inaugural poet laureate and five members of the city’s literary community selected Nzinga from other nominees based on five criteria.

That included their poetic work, and among other things, their understanding of civic stories around belonging, culture, and equity.

Nzinga will serve a two-year term until May 2023. Her selection comes with a $5,000 honorarium.

The date for the inaugural address by Nzinga has not been set.

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Business

Go Fund Geoffrey’s

Whether it was Paul Mooney, Faye Carroll, Sugar Pie or Jay-Z performing or whether it was Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Elihu Harris, or Kamala Harris along with many of the Bay area’s elected officials they too have come to bask in the limelight of Geoffrey’s Inner Circle.

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Geoffrey's Inner Circle

For more than 30 years Geoffrey Pete ‘s business, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, has been a cultural hub because of its full-service restaurant, live entertainment, nightclub parties, jazz music and community special occasion events. Faith-based organizations have also rented the spacious facilities for services and concerts. Their full-service restaurant, bar and live entertainment business along with their tenants and multilevel event rental spaces have been severely interrupted and devastated by the COVID 19 lockdowns and restrictions.

Whether it was Paul Mooney, Faye Carroll, Sugar Pie or Jay-Z performing or whether it was Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Elihu Harris, or Kamala Harris along with many of the Bay area’s elected officials they too have come to bask in the limelight of Geoffrey’s Inner Circle. Now those lights are dimmed due to the economic conditions that have descended on high intensity people-contact businesses.

Thanks to a group of customers and supporters a Go Fund Me page has been opened for the public to contribute to support Geoffrey’s Inner Circle https://gofund.me/b2541419.

The Post newspaper has notified the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce that regular articles concerning the needs of Geoffrey’s and other Black-owned Businesses will be published weekly.

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