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Know Your Zone

New Evacuation System for Alameda County



Benjamin Sow/Unsplash

Alameda County has launched a new evacuation software system, Zonehaven, to provide neighborhood-level evacuation orders in the event of an emergency such as a wildfire. Under this system, all parts of Alameda are divided into zones to improve evacuation management. The website, which is compatible with computers, smart phones, and laptops, provides real-time data in the event of an emergency such as traffic conditions, weather, and incident location.

Know Your Zone before the next emergency – look up your zone number and memorize it. Be sure to bookmark the webpage for quick access to the site.

For more details, watch the Know Your Zone PSA HERE. This is a new tool that will complement existing emergency notifications, including AC Alert and Nixle. If you have not already, sign up for AC Alerts at

Become a Peer Counselor

In this online learning event, participants will learn how to develop therapeutic skills ‘just by listening and being kind.” There is the opportunity to practice skills needed to be present for others experiencing difficulties in life, work, home, school, or community.

It will take place on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The session will be presented by Briana Moore of the Ahbedelight Education and Consulting Symposiums.

Being present requires the ability to listen for and be mindful of the other person or group. Participants will explore active listening skills, learn new creative tools, and develop an understanding of how stress and chronic stress can cause harm to the body, mind, and spirit. Register by August 23, 2021. REGISTER HERE

If you can’t attend on August 25, but would like to receive a link to a recording and resources, CLICK HERE.

Serve Your Community

Supervisor Carson needs District 5 Representatives in the following boards and commissions:

  • Alameda County Fair Association Board of Directors (1)
  • Public Health Commission (1)
  • Parks, Recreation & Historical Commission (1)
  • Consumer Affairs Commission (1)
  • Veterans Affairs Commission (1)

This is an opportunity to serve your community and represent District 5! Please note the eligibility requirements and commitments associated with each position.

For more information and to apply, visit the Boards and Commissions site:


Fearing the Unknown for Vaccinations

When we choose to trust science, we should then weigh our options before we accept or reject any product touted as being the cure.  



Vaccine Bottles/ CDC

People have a right to be distrustful about the government and its claims about any vaccination being safe and dependable, especially for people of color. 

Through the years Blacks and other minorities have repeatedly been misled, tricked and hoodwinked into taking medications, vaccinations and treatment that have been alleged to be helpful, only to be used and abused.

However, to do nothing can be equally harmful to our well-being.

So, the question arises as to what we should do?

The simple answer is to do absolutely nothing.  But, obviously, doing nothing doesn’t resolve the dilemma. I suggest that you research as much as possible and figure out what is good for you and your loved ones.

Sometimes our scientists make mistakes. What is good for one person may have the opposite effect on another.

These can be life-and-death situations, so to err in decision-making can be fatal. You must trust your heart and understanding of what is at stake and be confident in your choice.

When we choose to trust science, we should then weigh our options before we accept or reject any product touted as being the cure.

The Tuskegee experiment was just a fragment of what was going on then, and, in some instances, experimentation with Black lives still exists. If need be, pray for a better outcome before you plunge yourself into the unknown.

Never allow group data, either pro or con, to be the deciding factor.

Personally, I took the vaccination in hopes to show that the perceived harm may be misplaced.

To this very day I have not had any known complications materialize from that shot. I can’t speak for the future, and I feel all that can be done is do what you feel is feasible and allow it to play out one way or another. I did the research and I got vaccinated.

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FOOD: Sweet Potato Creme Brûlée

NNPA NEWSWIRE — I put my foot down and said, “Today’s the day, no more procrastinating!” Until I realized I don’t know how to make it different than the rest. But my mom made a suggestion that changed the game: Sweet potato creme brûlée.



A fantastic sweet potato creme brûlée recipe that’s easy and fun to make. Not to mention the fact that it’s delicious!
A fantastic sweet potato creme brûlée recipe that’s easy and fun to make. Not to mention the fact that it’s delicious!

The Bake

By Paris Brown, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Today is finally the day where I take on creme brûlée, one of the fanciest desserts of all. I’ve wanted to make it for a long time with my own twist, but I just never got around to it.

So, I put my foot down and said, “Today’s the day, no more procrastinating!” Until I realized I don’t know how to make it different than the rest. But my mom made a suggestion that changed the game: Sweet potato creme brûlée.

Since I couldn’t find a sweet potato creme brûlée recipe, I took a pumpkin creme brûlée recipe and tweaked it. Then boom!

A fantastic sweet potato creme brûlée recipe that’s easy and fun to make. Not to mention the fact that it’s delicious!


  • 12 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 2 roasted sweet potatoes, mashed and cooled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • additional sugar for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar
  3. Add heavy whipping cream, mashed sweet potato, vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often.
  4. Remove about 1/3 cup of the sweet potato mixture and add it slowly to the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Keeping the whisk moving quickly keeps the eggs from scrambling. Add the rest while stirring. Add spices.
  5. Add ramekins to a baking dish, then carefully place the mixture into ramekins. Add hot water into the baking dish about half an inch high. Be careful not to get any water into the ramekins!
  6. Bake for 42-45 minutes until the edges are set, and the middle is jiggly. Let stand for an hour, then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  7. Cover the tops with sugar and place in a broiler until caramelized.
  8. Enjoy!!

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Opinion: Voting is the Centerpiece of Our Democracy



August 6 is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. If the constitutional amendments passed after the Civil War — the 13, 14 and 15th Amendments — were the “second founding” of democracy in America, the Voting Rights Act, which after nearly a century of segregation gave legal effect to the 15th Amendment that outlawed discrimination in the right to vote, should be considered the “third founding.”

Selma was its Philadelphia. John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., and Lyndon Johnson were its founding fathers. Over the last decade, the Act and the right to vote have come under unrelenting attack, an attack that is now escalating dramatically.

The Voting Rights Act outlawed the various tricks and traps that states in the South used to deprive Blacks of the right to vote. It outlawed discrimination against racial and language minorities, providing Hispanics with protection, among others. It identified states with an egregious history of discrimination and required pre-clearance of any changes in their election laws by the Justice Department.

The results were immediate. African American, Hispanic American and Asian American registration increased dramatically.

In the former confederate states, African Americans elected to the state legislators increased from three to 176 in 20 years. Local elected officials went from less than 1,500 to 10,500. In 1964, there were five African American representatives in Congress and no senators. Now, there are 51 representatives, three senators and two non-voting delegates. The stunning increase in political participation by people of color culminated in the election of Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008.

The reaction to the law began almost immediately. Republicans under President Nixon sculpted their infamous “Southern Strategy” to capture white voters in the South. In 2013, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, in a shameless act of legislating from the bench, marshaled the right-wing majority of the Court in Shelby v. Holder to decide that the geographical focus of the act was “out of date,” despite the fact that it had just been renewed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress after extended investigation.

Roberts’ assertion that discrimination was behind us was immediately belied by a flood of actions aimed at making it harder for Blacks and other minorities to vote. Without prior review, Republican-led states, particularly those in the South, enacted partisan gerrymandering, dual primaries, and voting roll purges; and closed voting sites, limited early voting, required specific forms of voter ID and more.

Today, this reaction has moved to new extremes. Donald Trump — aided and abetted by Republican senators and governors — has sought to discredit voting by mail, blocking funds for the U.S. Postal Service and the states to gear up for mass voting by mail, the sensible, safe way to vote in the midst of the pandemic.

Trump has even argued that only those votes counted on Election Day should determine the election, knowing that a full count for massive voting by mail will necessarily take several days. Not surprisingly, polls show a higher percentage of Democrats plan to vote by mail, while most Republicans plan to vote in person.

Once more, our elections are endangered by partisan, racially-biased efforts to constrict the right to vote. Once more, it is time for a renewed drive to protect the vote, the centerpiece of democracy. A sensible reform agenda, summarized by President Barack Obama in his address at the memorial for John Lewis, includes making voting day a national holiday, extending early voting, having efficient and widespread vote by mail, automatic and same-day voter registration, and strengthening of the Voting Rights Act.

Importantly, senators Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin have taken up the cause of amending the Constitution to guarantee the right to vote, a guarantee that shockingly does not now exist.

Enforcing the right to vote should not be controversial. It should enjoy support across the political spectrum. However, there are always those who want to limit that right for their own political purposes. Reform is invariably met with reaction.

The right to vote won’t be inherited; each generation must fight to preserve and to extend it. Now more than ever, those who care about our democracy must rally to protect that right once more.

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