Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Local News and History

via clingtomymouth:
The northern California home of Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the progressive Tikkun magazine, was vandalized.

Posters attached to his door and the fence around his Berkeley home attack Lerner personally, and liberals and progressives, as being supporters of terrorism and “Islamofascism,” according to a news release from the magazine.

Oakland literacy program needs your help
An Oakland literacy program designed to address the academic needs of at-risk Oakland families is dealing with a whole lot more than just reading.

The 8-year-old Oakland Parents Literacy Project, a nonprofit group, has become an extension of the region's social services network. It turns out the free dinners included in the program are drawing many more participants who need to feed their kids.

Since the start of the school year, the numbers of participants have grown dramatically.

"Typically, we see about 10,000 people every (school) year," said Denise Geer, the group's executive director. "We saw that many people by January this year."

Verdict upheld against police in gun-planting
A federal appeals court upheld $3.7 million in damages Tuesday against the city of Oakland and two police officers who, according to a jury, planted an assault rifle on a parolee's property.

Jurors found in November 2007 that the officers had violated the civil rights of the parolee, Torry Smith, and his then-girlfriend, Patricia Gray, by fabricating a case against Smith to justify his arrest in September 2004.

via clingtomymouth:
Leap of Faith: How Enmanji Temple Was Saved

Before World War II, historic Enmanji Buddhist Temple in the rural town of Sebastopol was the center of Japanese community in Sonoma County. During the war, the temple was locked up while the Japanese families in the area were forcibly incarcerated. Anti-Japanese sentiment ran high. This inspiring film tells a little-known story of young people who put their bodies on the line to protect Enmanji Temple from being destroyed by hate-motivated arson and vandalisms.