Wish Book readers make a huge difference from community

Despite the deep economic uncertainties in 2022, Wish Book readers generously donated more than $900,000 to the Mercury News’ annual holiday campaign, making a big impact on their neighbors who faced even greater challenges. “This remarkable result is a testament to the power of local journalism partnered with the generosity of our community members,” Bay Area News Group Publisher Sharon Ryan said. Wish Book and Share the Spirit, its sister campaign in the East Bay Times, raised a combined $1.5 million, marking the third consecutive banner year that donations have topped seven figures. Donations ranged from a few dollars to $100,000, with many Silicon Valley companies providing matching funds. One story that particularly captured the attention of readers detailed the plight of Mariana Garmash and her two young boys, who fled war-torn Ukraine and found themselves in a gap as refugees without refugee status so were unable to receive certain federal services. That’s where Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley stepped in, and readers fulfilled the agency’s $30,000 “wish” to support its program to provide housing and food assistance, counseling services, and school and camp

Stand: A Hard Look at the Life of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

“He was one of the greatest.” – Shaquille O’Neal It has been called the greatest college basketball game ever played. On February 3, 1990, on CBS, the LSU Tigers hosted the high-flying Lions of Loyola Marymount University. LSU won in overtime, 148-141, in a game loaded with future NBA first-round picks. In this game, the Tigers had twin seven footers in Stanley Roberts (21 points and 12 rebounds) and seventeen-year-old freshman Shaquille O’Neal who posted a triple double (20 points, 24 rebounds and 12 blocks). Loyola Marymount had their own power couple in Hank Gathers (48 and 13 who led the nation in scoring and rebounding the previous year) and Bo Kimble, the nation’s leading scorer, who tallied 32 and 11. And the smallest man on the court, 6-1, 165-pound sophomore Chris Jackson dropped 34 points with nine assists. “He was about as smooth as they come,” recalled James Brown of The NFL Today, who called the game for CBS Sports along with broadcast partner Quinn Buckner. “[Jackson] could pack that ball and create his own score, and nothing phased him. I was impressed just

Bay Area big wave surfer sues State Parks and two rangers over alleged dog-related tasing, arrest

Prominent Bay Area big wave surfer Shawn Rhodes got out of the ocean just north of Santa Cruz on a midsummer day and was walking up the hill with his dog Yoda when two park rangers confronted him over the chocolate Lab’s lack of leash. What happened next in Wilder Ranch State Park near the popular Four Mile Beach surf spot led to Rhodes’ allegedly violent arrest, an excessive-force lawsuit, and, according to Rhodes, a real bummer for Yoda. Rhodes claimed in his lawsuit against California State Parks and rangers Jamie Stamps and Cameron Weaver that when the two rangers sought to stop him over Yoda that day in August 2020 after he finished surfing, he told them he would put his surfboard leash — a cord intended to keep the board from floating away after a wipeout — on the dog when he reached the top of the hill and could put down his board. Stamps “wasn’t having it,” Rhodes said by phone, after filing the suit this week in U.S. District Court in San Jose. “She said, ‘That’s not a legal leash.’” Rhodes

Readers donate record amount to Bay Area News Group’s Share the Spirit campaign

Worries about high food prices and rising inflation didn’t stop generous readers from contributing a record amount to this news organization’s annual Share the Spirit campaign, benefiting nonprofits in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. “This remarkable result is a testament to the power of local journalism partnered with the generosity of our community members,” Bay Area News Group Publisher Sharon Ryan said. As of Thursday, $600,702 in donations had been raised, according to Dee Dee Robillard, the East Bay Times’ community projects director who administers the program. That is $25,000 more than the previous year, she said. “We are just so pleased that our readers make it possible to make these grants to deserving causes every year, and we really are so grateful to everyone who helped,” Robillard said. Anticipating that some readers might not have extra money to share this year, given rising costs and other economic challenges, the community projects director said that she talked with potential donors and asked if they could give a little more this time out. They rose to the occasion, she said. “It reflects something that is happening

Word Game: Jan. 29, 2023

TODAY’S WORD — DETRACTS (DETRACTS: dih-TRAKTS: Diminishes the importance, value or effectiveness of.) Average mark 52 words Time limit 60 minutes Can you find 68 or more words in DETRACTS? TODAY’S WORD — DETRACTS dare dart date dater dear drat east tact tare tart taste taster tear teat test tetra tetrad trace tract trade tread treat tsar race rate ratted react read redact rest aced acre acted arced aster cadet cadre card care caret cart case cast caste caster cater cedar cesta crate crest sacred sate scad scar scare scat scatter sear seat sect star stare start stat state stater stead stet To purchase the Word Game book, visit WordGameBooks.com. Order it now for just $5 while supplies last! RULES OF THE GAME: 1. Words must be of four or more letters. 2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of “s,” such as “bats” or “dies,” are not allowed. 3. Additional words made by adding a “d” or an “s” may not be used. For example, if “bake” is used, “baked” or “bakes” are not allowed, but “bake” and “baking” are admissible. 4.

Bridge: Jan. 29, 2023

With apologies to “Dilbert,” here’s another real-life memo from a harried project manager: “Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule.” Some players seem to think it’s not whether you make your contract or go down, it’s how much time you take to do it. In today’s deal, North’s response of two hearts was a “transfer” to spades, and South’s jump to three spades showed good spades and lively game interest. (I am not a fan of these “super accepts,” which sometimes convert a plus score into a minus, but if South was ever going to indulge in one, this was the hand for it.) Against four spades, West led a low club: four, jack, ace. South drew trumps and next led the ace and a second diamond. West won with the queen and shifted to the five of hearts. When South tried dummy’s ten, East’s jack covered. South took his queen and led another diamond, but West won and led a second heart through the king to East’s A-9 for down one. “At least you didn’t take all day to go

Horoscopes Jan. 29, 2023: Oprah Winfrey, persuade others to do and see things your way

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Sara Gilbert, 48; Heather Graham, 53; Oprah Winfrey, 69; Tom Selleck, 78. Sara Gilbert (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)  Happy Birthday: Use knowledge and experience to guide you when facing uncertainty with friends or relatives. Your strength and assistance will put you in an excellent position to barter and persuade others to do and see things your way. Do your best to save; it will ease stress and enhance your attitude. Your numbers are 9, 17, 23, 28, 33, 36, 42. ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your playful attitude will take you where the action is and encourage you to get involved in something physically exhilarating. Turn something you enjoy doing into a lucrative endeavor; start small and let your idea grow. 3 stars TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Alleviate stress. Concentrate on what you can achieve and turn your idea into something tangible. A romantic gesture is apparent; don’t misread what someone is offering. Ask questions, be direct, share your intentions and leave no room for error. 3 stars GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Push forward until you are satisfied with what

Ask Amy: She ruined my Thanksgiving with her woke scolding

Dear Amy: Due to a health condition, an acquaintance completely sequestered herself during the pandemic, and has remained so for almost three years now. I think it’s messing with her mind, as she is getting further “out there.” On Thanksgiving, I was joyful that we could finally spend time in our home with two other family members. But that evening I got a long email from her about how she can no longer honor Thanksgiving now that she is aware of how the Indians were treated, that it’s a bogus holiday, and she hopes I will join her in boycotting it going forward. Right there, she ruined what had been a joyful day. I was angry. I am angry. I try to be as woke as the next person but believe that we can celebrate and be thankful as Americans on a day set aside specifically for this purpose without turning it into a “thing.” I’m tired of her religious, political (even though we are on the same side) and now holiday emails about things that she feels very strongly about, where she expects (even

Scott Rolen, former Phillies and Cardinals third baseman, lone player elected into Baseball Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame gained a single new member on Tuesday night. Scott Rolen, the eight-time Gold Glove winner at third base, made it in narrowly with 76.3% of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s vote. This was Rolen’s sixth year on the ballot, and he finally made the push across the 75% threshold needed for election, getting in by a slim five-vote margin. Rolen was a star from the beginning, taking home the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year award. After six seasons-plus with the Philadelphia Phillies, Rolen was traded to St. Louis in 2002 and later helped the Cardinals win the 2006 World Series. During the Cardinals’ five-game romp over the Detroit Tigers, Rolen hit .421. Unquestionably one of the best third basemen of all time, Rolen made seven All-Star teams, smacked 316 home runs and finished his 17-year career with a .281/.364/.490 slash line. During his peak from 1997 to 2004, Rolen had a .903 OPS and cranked 20 or more home runs each season. Among players who played at least half of their games at third base, Rolen

Dublin turns back Granada, stays tied atop EBAL standings with two games left

DUBLIN — With Dublin’s advantage over Granada down to one point late in the third quarter Saturday night, Donovan Cooks did what seniors aim to do on Senior Night. He took charge. Cooks scored on a three-point play. He followed that with another basket. Then, as time was about to expire to end the period, he launched a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. Swish. Yes, it was that kind of game for the bearded guard. Cooks finished with 25 points as Dublin — ranked ninth by the Bay Area News Group — held off eighth-ranked Granada 67-60 in East Bay Athletic League play. The Gaels improved to 17-7 overall and 6-1 in the league. Granada dropped to 16-7, 3-4 after losing its third consecutive EBAL game, all by single digits. Dublin coach Tom Costello couldn’t say enough about Cooks after his team finished a week that included road games against San Ramon Valley and Amador Valley without a loss. “Too many to list,” Costello said when asked about Cooks’ contributions. “Leadership, defense, rebounding, high IQ, hits big shots, wants the ball, hits free

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

By ADRIAN SAINZ MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis police chief disbanded the city’s so-called Scorpion unit on Saturday, citing a “cloud of dishonor” from newly released video that showed some of its officers beating Tyre Nichols to death after stopping the Black motorist. Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged, saying she listened to Nichols’ relatives, community leaders and uninvolved officers in making the decision. Her announcement came as the nation and the city struggled to come to grips with the violence of the officers, who are also Black. The video renewed doubts about why fatal encounters with law enforcement keep happening despite repeated calls for change. Protestors marching though downtown Memphis cheered when they heard the unit had been dissolved. One protestor said over a bullhorn that “the unit that killed Tyre has been permanently disbanded.” Referring to “the heinous actions of a few” that dishonored the unit, Davis contradicted an earlier statement that she would keep the unit. She said it was imperative that the department “take proactive steps in the healing process.” “It is in

Recapping the Chicago Bulls: Big Three lead the way to a 128-109 victory against the Orlando Magic

The Chicago Bulls had the win in the bag. With three minutes left in the third quarter of Saturday’s road game against the Orlando Magic, they held a 89-64 lead and every ounce of momentum. But Bulls fans have seen this film before. They know how quickly the ending can change. The Bulls let a 25-point lead evaporate to five. But after back-to-back losses done in by leads lost in the third quarter, the Bulls won 128-109 despite their second-half lapse, salvaging the finale of a three-game trip. The highs The momentum of the game seemed poised to swing in the final minutes of the first half when DeMar DeRozan was called for an offensive foul pushing off on Moe Wagner. DeRozan took immediate grievance with the call, palming the ball in one hand as he raced to argue with the referee — and picked up a technical foul. DeRozan had to be pulled away from the officiating team twice before heading to the locker room, but the frustration only fueled DeRozan, who finished with 32 points and eight assists. Zach LaVine appears to be

Magic’s 2nd-half comeback attempt falls short at home vs. Bulls

For most of Saturday, the Orlando Magic’s 128-109 home loss to the Chicago Bulls looked like it was going to go how most of their games on the second night of a back-to-back have gone. The defensive intensity was lacking early. Their 3-point shots weren’t falling. The Bulls took advantage of the Magic’s lackluster play, holding leads of 25-19 at the end of the first quarter, 60-47 at halftime and 89-64 with 3:27 left in the third quarter. “Us trying to go shot for shot, that’s what started the momentum,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “Back-to-backs are difficult. It forces you to give in sometimes. That’s what we started out doing trying to give in to the easy shot exchange.” The Magic appeared to have lacked answers to the problems Chicago was causing — until their second unit found some solutions. The bench unit of Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs (11 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds), Admiral Schofield, Bol Bol and Moe Wagner found the two-way play the Magic lacked for most of the game. They got the stops needed to cut the deficit to 95-81 at

Minnesota activists renew call for reform after Memphis police killing

By Kyeland Jackson | StarTribune MINNEAPOLIS — Local groups and activists renewed calls Saturday for police reform in Minnesota, reeling anew after seeing a video released by the Memphis Police Department that showed officers tasing and beating a 29-year-old Black man to death. At a news conference held just minutes from the site where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd in May 2020, Nekima Levy Armstrong said the Memphis video revealed that the need for police reform is not limited by the race of the officers involved. “It does not matter that the officers were Black. In that matter, they were blue,” Levy Armstrong said. “We need the attorney general, the governor, and the Legislature to do their damn jobs — to pass the type of legislation that sends a message to the rest of the nation that the time for change is long overdue.” More than a dozen activists and group members gathered around Levy Armstrong nodded in agreement. They held signs reading “Justice for Tyre Nichols” and chanted “say his name” as they stood in support. Many said that Minnesota

Lonzo Ball ‘nowhere near playing’ ― and the Chicago Bulls target the All-Star break for a discussion on shutting down his season

The Chicago Bulls are creeping closer to shutting down point guard Lonzo Ball for a second straight season. Ball hasn’t played for the Bulls since Jan. 14, 2022, when a small tear in the MCL in his right knee spiraled into an increasingly confounding injury requiring two surgical procedures and continuing to cause him pain. Although the Bulls haven’t set a firm cutoff date for Ball to return this season, they are facing a rapidly shortening runway. If Ball can’t make a drastic improvement in the next three weeks ahead of the All-Star break, coach Billy Donovan said the Bulls likely will sit down for a formal discussion on Ball’s season — and his future. “If you start to get to that point, I think there will probably end up being some conversations: ‘OK, what if he’s still not close to playing? What’s the plan going forward?’ ” Donovan said Saturday before the finale of a three-game trip against the Orlando Magic. Ball still isn’t running at full speed. He can’t scrimmage or play basketball. Although he has made marginal improvements — lightly jumping to

Dave Hyde: Bill Parcells questions Dolphins’ risk in riding with Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa’s parents said this past week he’ll play next season. He remains in concussion protocol and will skip the Pro Bowl. Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells wrote the Miami Dolphins are at risk relying on him. It’s only the second week of the Dolphins offseason and if it seems conversation already is funneling to one player that’s because it is. Just as it did during the 2022 season. And last offseason with firing Brian Flores and hiring Mike McDaniel. Just as it’s been with the tanking-not-tanking blueprint dating to Adam Gase’s firing when the quarterback hadn’t been named. Every day is Tua-day, and it will be until he goes through next season playing strong and looking healthy. Or he doesn’t. This was the gamble general manager Chris Grier took in drafting him, the one the Dolphins doubled-down on this offseason in a way questioned by Parcells, Grier’s former boss. Parcells is full of football wisdom to the point veteran coach Sean Payton, once told me, “Every day was law school with him.” Parcells created seven rules for drafting quarterbacks (three-year college starter, 25

Nets win 9th straight against Knicks in battle of New York

It can’t be a rivalry if the results are this lopsided. Even if the Knicks and Nets wanted to feed into the cross-bridge rivalry narrative — which they don’t — the numbers lean too drastically in Brooklyn’s favor. Sunday’s 122-115 victory marked the Nets’ ninth straight victory over their nearby opponent. The Knicks have not beaten the Nets in the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving era. That did not change with Durant watching Sunday’s showdown from the sidelines nursing an MCL sprain in his right knee. Ben Simmons also missed Sunday’s game with soreness in his left knee. “I think what makes it a competitive atmosphere is you have two New York teams,” Vaughn said ahead of tip-off against the Knicks on Saturday. “We’re always jockeying for new fans, old fans, the attention, big city — but I think it needs to grow some more by having some more meaningful games before it gets to (a rivalry). The NBA deemed the week of Jan. 21-28 as a league-wide rivalry week. The Nets played the Philadelphia 76ers in a game with playoff implications given the proximity

Kyrie Irving scores 31 to lead Nets past Knicks as crosstown bullying continues

For this game — and most games against the Nets — the Knicks should be happy that James Dolan refuses to enter Barclays Center. The team owner, who has set the bar at playoffs this season, would’ve witnessed an embarrassment Saturday from his Knicks, who were pathetic for much of Saturday’s 122-115 loss until a too-little, too-late comeback in the fourth quarter. The Knicks (27-24) dropped their ninth straight to the crosstown rivals, although ‘rivalry’ doesn’t really apply to this matchup. It’s more of a bully situation at this point. On Saturday, the Nets (30-19), playing without the injured Kevin Durant, led throughout and got dagger 3-pointers from Kyrie Irving in the final 65 seconds. Irving finished with 31 points in 41 minutes, fileting New York’s perimeter and Jalen Brunson. Brooklyn shot a ridiculous 55% on 40 3-point attempts, ending swaths of Knicks fans to the exits in the final minutes. The audience included the cream-of-their-fields Mariano Rivera and Mike Krzyzewski. It didn’t include Dolan, who revealed he’s been to the arena across the Manhattan Bridge because he wouldn’t be comfortable. His team isn’t very

Candace Parker is signing with the Las Vegas Aces, ending a memorable 2-year run with her hometown Chicago Sky

Candace Parker chose to leave the Chicago Sky for the same reason she joined the team in 2021 — to go home. The Naperville native and two-time WNBA champion on Saturday announced her decision to sign with the Las Vegas Aces as a free agent. In an Instagram post, she cited her family as her primary decision for returning closer to the West Coast. “My family is my reason and my purpose,” Parker, 36, wrote. “They have given me the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced and continue to show me new levels of love and devotion I never knew existed. … While Chicago will always be my home, my family’s home is on the west coast.” Parker will sign a one-year contract with the Aces when free agents are cleared to sign beginning Wednesday, according to ESPN. When Parker came home to Chicago in 2021 after spending the first 13 seasons of her career with the Los Angeles Sparks, she unlocked the final piece of a championship-seeking puzzle alongside stars Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Kahleah Copper. After leading an unlikely 16-16 team to a

Israel to ‘strengthen’ settlements after shooting attacks

By JOSEF FEDERMAN (Associated Press) JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday announced a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians, including plans to beef up Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in response to a pair of shooting attacks that killed seven Israelis and wounded five others. The announcement cast a cloud over a visit next week by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and threatened to further raise tensions following one of the bloodiest months in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in several years. Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet approved the measures in the wake of a pair of shootings, including an attack outside an east Jerusalem synagogue on Friday night in which seven people were killed. Netanyahu’s office said the Security Cabinet agreed to seal off the attacker’s home in preparation ahead of its demolition. It also plans to cancel social security and health benefits for the families of attackers, make it easier for Israelis to obtain weapons and step up efforts to collect illegal weapons. The announcement said that in response to public Palestinian celebrations over the attack