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OP-ED: We Make a Difference – “Strength in Numbers”

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“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (KJV)

“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (KJV)

Steph Curry did not win this year’s NBA Finals alone. ~ Strength In Numbers

None of us complete our insignificantly small or big goals in life alone. ~ Strength In Numbers

Charles Dickens wrote: “It was the Best of times and the Worst of times.” Hopefully the former will apply to Oakland. ~ Strength In Numbers

Those recent unusual June raindrops alleviated my having to spend $17 for a badly needed car wash. ~ Strength In Numbers

Though the Greeks and Shakespeare wrote plays that required men to dress as women, Bruce Jenner has been able to evolve into an authentic woman because of all those dollars. ~ Strength in Numbers (dollars that is)

As cell phones are starting to capture all sorts of images, more police are being required to wear body cameras. ~ Strength In Numbers

Walking down a hospital hall, grocery store aisle, or mall corridor, strangers wear various versions of a Golden State Warriors t-shirt, smile and often pause for brief conversations, if only to say, “Go Warriors!”

As baby boomers are starting to age, housing needs are changing as well. Let’s welcome change together. ~ Strength In Numbers

Lake Merritt is not experiencing the droves of daily walkers, runners and bike riders like it used to. Where have all those boomers gone? To the YMCA, 24-Hour Nautilus, 24 Hour Fitness and some to churches or Temples to pray for more mental/physical strength and overall good health.

Find a group to play cards, play baseball, or bowl with. ~ Strength In Numbers

It will get you out of yourself and into community.

If all of us can vote for a new president, governor, or mayor, we can build a new Coliseum complex and/or ball park in the port area. After all, doesn’t that land belong to Oakland? ~ Strength in Numbers

Las Vegas, the stock market and even t-shirt manufacturers continue to thrive by Strength in Numbers.

Who would have thunk it?

Little Riley steals the scene at one of the recent press conferences, made this “Daddy’s girl” and thousands like me follow the normally mundane after-game interviews. ~ Strength In Numbers

Finally, Happy Father’s Day to all of the past, current, and future NBA finalists and non-finalists who are and continue to be exciting role models. You’re our Spartacus’ of today. ~ Strength in Numbers.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (KJV)

“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (KJV)

Steph Curry did not win this year’s NBA Finals alone. ~ Strength In Numbers

None of us complete our insignificantly small or big goals in life alone. ~ Strength In Numbers

Charles Dickens wrote: “It was the Best of times and the Worst of times.” Hopefully the former will apply to Oakland. ~ Strength In Numbers

Those recent unusual June raindrops alleviated my having to spend $17 for a badly needed car wash. ~ Strength In Numbers

Though the Greeks and Shakespeare wrote plays that required men to dress as women, Bruce Jenner has been able to evolve into an authentic woman because of all those dollars. ~ Strength in Numbers (dollars that is)

As cell phones are starting to capture all sorts of images, more police are being required to wear body cameras. ~ Strength In Numbers

Walking down a hospital hall, grocery store aisle, or mall corridor, strangers wear various versions of a Golden State Warriors t-shirt, smile and often pause for brief conversations, if only to say, “Go Warriors!”

As baby boomers are starting to age, housing needs are changing as well. Let’s welcome change together. ~ Strength In Numbers

Lake Merritt is not experiencing the droves of daily walkers, runners and bike riders like it used to. Where have all those boomers gone? To the YMCA, 24-Hour Nautilus, 24 Hour Fitness and some to churches or Temples to pray for more mental/physical strength and overall good health.

Find a group to play cards, play baseball, or bowl with. ~ Strength In Numbers

It will get you out of yourself and into community.

If all of us can vote for a new president, governor, or mayor, we can build a new Coliseum complex and/or ball park in the port area. After all, doesn’t that land belong to Oakland? ~ Strength in Numbers

Las Vegas, the stock market and even t-shirt manufacturers continue to thrive by Strength in Numbers.

Who would have thunk it?

Little Riley steals the scene at one of the recent press conferences, made this “Daddy’s girl” and thousands like me follow the normally mundane after-game interviews. ~ Strength In Numbers

Finally, Happy Father’s Day to all of the past, current, and future NBA finalists and non-finalists who are and continue to be exciting role models. You’re our Spartacus’ of today. ~ Strength in Numbers.

Business

Gov. Newsom Signs Package of Laws Supporting Restaurants, Bars

California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a COVID-19 recovery package Friday supporting small hospitality establishments around the state, including restaurants and bars.

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Oakland, CA, USA February 21, 2011 Folks enjoy a sunny day with al fresco dining at the historic Last Chance Saloon, made famous by author Jack London, in Oakland, California/ iStock

California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a COVID-19 recovery package Friday supporting small hospitality establishments around the state, including restaurants and bars. 

Signed at a restaurant in Oakland, the legislative package includes Assembly Bill (AB) 61, Senate Bill (SB) 314 and SB 389 – bills that, among other provisions, extend COVID-19 special permissions like outdoor dining and to-go licenses for alcoholic beverages. 

Funding for the package will come out of the governor’s California Comeback Plan which allots $10.2 billion in small business support. So far, the state has spent $4 billion on an emergency grant program and $6.2 billion in tax relief for small businesses. 

“These innovative strategies have been a lifeline for hard-hit restaurants during the pandemic and today, we’re keeping the entrepreneurial spirit going so that businesses can continue to create exciting new opportunities and support vibrant neighborhoods across the state,” said Newsom. 

The state support comes at a time when many Black-owned small businesses in California, including restaurants, are struggling to recover after being hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) research, 13 % of Black-owned businesses have had to close down due to the pandemic, compared to 8% of White-owned ones. For Latino-owned businesses that number is even higher at 18 %. 

Due to the pandemic, Black businesses have experienced higher revenue loss, more layoffs of employees and less success in getting government funded relief like assistance from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. 

“We have all seen the fallout from the pandemic and recession and the effect on BIPOC people and BIPOC small businesses owners has been devastating,” said Tara Lynn Gray, Director of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. She was speaking at an IGS event last week titled “Diversity and Entrepreneurship in California: An Undergraduate Research Symposium.”

“These are problems that have to be addressed. Access to capital continues to be a challenge,” Gray continued. “We are seeing bankers like Wells Fargo, Citi and JP Morgan Chase making significant investments in BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) small businesses, communities and individuals. That is a trend I would like to continue to see.”

Gray pointed out there are a number of state programs like the Small Business COVID-19 relief funds that prioritize providing relief funding to underserved businesses in the state. 

Authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) respectively, AB 61 and SB 314 establish a one-year regulatory grace period for businesses operating under temporary COVID-19 licenses to get permanent expanded licenses, such as outdoor dining authorization.

The one-year grace period will begin once the pandemic emergency declaration has expired. 

“Outdoor dining has been a critical lifeline that has helped these establishments keep their doors open during these challenging times,” said Gabriel.

 “AB 61 provides important flexibility so that restaurants can safely expand outdoor dining and continue to serve the communities they call home. I applaud Governor Newsom for his thoughtful leadership in protecting both public health and small businesses as we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gabriel continued.

Wiener also stressed the importance of pandemic protocols for small businesses in California.

“SB 314 ensures the public can continue to enjoy outdoor dining with alcohol and that our small neighborhood businesses can continue to benefit from this change. The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and it’s important we make changes to modernize our entertainment and hospitality laws to allow them more flexibility and more ways to safely serve customers,” he said.  

SB 389 allows restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars that sell food to continue to sell to-go alcoholic beverages through Dec. 31, 2026.

“This is an important step toward helping our restaurants, which have been hit hard by the pandemic,” said Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), SB 389’s author. 

“It will ensure their recovery, protecting jobs and our economy. I thank Gov. Newsom for supporting this new law,” he continued.

 

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Attorney General Bonta, CARB Seek to Defend Rule Limiting Warehouse Pollution in Disadvantaged Los Angeles and Inland Empire Communities

In recent years, the proliferation of e-commerce and rising consumer expectations of rapid shipping have contributed to a boom in warehouse development, particularly in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. 

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Pipelines leading to an oil refinery

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) filed a motion  on Wednesday to intervene in support of South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (Air District) rule requiring warehouses to reduce emissions from heavy sources of on-road pollution that visit those warehouses.

The Air District’s rule regulates these “indirect sources” by requiring owners and operators of some of the largest warehouses in the state to take direct action to mitigate their emissions.   This will reduce air pollution in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, help California meet state and federal air quality standards, improve the health of our communities, and promote environmental justice.

Last month, the California Trucking Association filed a lawsuit challenging the rule as outside the scope of the Air District’s authority, pre-empted by federal law, and an unlawful tax. In defending the rule, Attorney General Bonta and CARB expect to argue that these claims are meritless and that state and federal law supports the Air District’s authority to adopt the Indirect Source Rule.

“California has long been a pioneer in the fight against climate change – and the Air District’s rule limiting warehouse pollution is no exception,” said Bonta. “The fact is: environmental justice and economic development are not mutually exclusive. There is no binary choice here. The Air District’s Indirect Source Rule will have tremendous benefits for those communities hardest hit by pollution, at a relatively low cost to industry.”

“This is an environmental justice and public health issue,” said CARB Chair Liane M. Randolph. “The communities around these huge warehouse facilities have suffered for years from the effects of businesses and freight haulers who have all but ignored the community impacts of their enterprises. This Indirect Source Rule simply requires them to be much better neighbors. The rule is also part and parcel of local clean air plans developed under Assembly Bill 617 with CARB and South Coast staff, local residents, local businesses and other stakeholders to clean the air in and around these high-traffic routes and locations.”

In recent years, the proliferation of e-commerce and rising consumer expectations of rapid shipping have contributed to a boom in warehouse development, particularly in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, as consumers have shifted away from in-person retail shopping. Unfortunately, the distribution of warehouse facilities — and resulting pollution — has occurred primarily in low-income communities and communities of color.

Once a new warehouse is built, the facilities and their associated activities, such as truck traffic, can cause a variety of negative impacts affecting public health. For example, diesel trucks visiting warehouses are substantial sources of nitrogen oxide — a primary precursor to smog formation that has been linked to respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and lung irritation — and diesel particulate matter — a contributor to cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses, and premature death.

The Air District’s Indirect Source Rule requires existing and new warehouse facilities larger than 100,000 square feet to select from a menu of emissions-reducing activities, such as purchasing zero-emission vehicles, installing air filtration systems in nearby residences, and constructing rooftop solar panels.

A copy of the motion is available here.

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Oakland Native Serves in Navy’s ‘Silent Service’ of Submarine Technology

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

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Justin Ziegler

An Oakland native is serving aboard USS Florida, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Fireman Justin Zeigler, a 2008 Life Academy High School graduate and 2017 University of California, Los Angeles graduate, joined the Navy one year ago.

“I joined the Navy to be a part of something new and completely outside of what I had been exposed to,” said Zeigler. “I really wanted to challenge myself. and I feel the core values of the Navy represent what I strive for.”

Today, Zeigler serves as a machinist’s mate whose responsibilities include working on nuclear propulsion machinery.
According to Zeigler, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Oakland.

“I learned resilience from my hometown,” said Zeigler. “I think that’s been a part of my life and childhood. It’s what’s keeping me going while serving in the Navy.”

Known as America’s “Silent Service,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.

There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN).

As a member of the submarine force, Zeigler is part of a rich 121-year history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its allies.
Serving in the Navy means Zeigler is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The submarine force is always out there ready to strike,” said Zeigler.

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

As Zeigler and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means being a part of something more than myself,” added Zeigler. “I’m committing to my team, always striving to be better and bringing more to the table.”

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