Letters: Denouncing racism | Full picture fail | Schools must reopen | Stories effective | Comparing California | Space pays

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Stop the hatred, violence against Asian Americans We want to live in a community we can be proud of. As pastors and community leaders, we detest the hatred and violence toward our Asian American neighbors, as reported in the East Bay Times, February 22 (“Chinatown on edge after rash of attacks, robberies,” Page A1). Lunar New Year should bring hope in a dark time of pandemic. Violence toward Asian Americans reminds us of the shameful legacy of racism in California history, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and “Yellow Peril.” The anniversary of the Japanese Internment Camps Executive Order, February 19, 1942, is another painful reminder of our nation’s unjust treatment of American citizens of Asian descent. We do not want to pass on a legacy of “us against them.” Our church stands for the acceptance and inclusion of all people. Rev. Heather Leslie Hammer Rev. Kathy La Point-Collup Rev. Chelsea Constant Asbury United Methodist Church Livermore Op-ed fails to give full picture of protests The Feb. 23 op-ed by…

CA man, 61, arrested in San Francisco on charges of sexual exploitation of 10-year-old girl

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities here have arrested a 61-year-old man in connection with federal charges in Ventura County that allege he sexually exploited a 10-year-old girl, court records show. Barry Rossman is in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, awaiting extradition to Southern California. He was charged in the federal Central District of California with coercion of a minor, production of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography, court records show. At his first appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler this week, Rossman was advised of the charges and kept in custody. Federal prosecutors in Ventura County, in anticipation of his transfer there, have already filed motions to keep him in jail while the case is pending. The charging records allege that on Dec. 30 and 31 of 2019, Rossman — who used the screenname “itsben6969” — knowingly “used, persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a 10-year-old minor girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct.” Authorities allegedly found nude photos of a prepubescent girl on an electronic device belonging to Rossman and seized two computers, a thumb drive, and two cellphones as part of the investigation.…

Raiders cut ties with underperforming receiver Tyrell Williams

The Las Vegas Raiders released receiver Tyrell Williams on Wednesday after two injury-plagued seasons with the team. Williams initially signed a four-year, $44.3 million deal as a free agent to join the Raiders in 2019. He struggled with injuries to his feet his first season and then missed all last season with a torn labrum. Releasing Williams clears nearly $10 million in salary-cap space for the team. The Raiders go from $18.9 million over to around $9 million over. The actual salary cap has not been set yet by the league. Williams, who spent his first four seasons with the Chargers, had a great start to his Raiders career. He caught a TD pass in his first five games that season. Overall, he had 42 catches for 651 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games in 2019 but was hampered down the stretch by injuries to both feet. The 29-year-old Williams has 197 catches for 3,181 yards and 23 touchdowns in 69 career games. The Raiders drafted Henry Ruggs III in the first round last year and Bryan Edwards in the third round and are…

Kurtenbach: The 49ers’ offseason is taking shape — you probably won’t like it

The reality 49ers’ 2021 offseason is coming into view and it’s not going to get many folks excited. That’s not to say that it’s bad. No sir. It’s only to say that it won’t bring about the kind of intrigue and big names that many fans might be craving after a disappointing season. Two things stand out above all else ahead of NFL free agency opening on March 17: 1. Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2021, unless Deshaun Watson becomes available and… 2. The Niners’ free agency period is going to be about maintaining players, not adding them. Related Articles Inside the 49ers: Could childhood teams seriously snag free agents Juszczyk, Verrett? Could J.J. Watt, Deshaun Watson flee Houston Texans together to become 49ers? Kurtenbach: Why the 49ers loved the outcome of Super Bowl LV 49ers already setting sights on 2021 to snap Lombardi Trophy drought Which 49ers greats deserve Hall of Fame honors? Patrick Willis leads the list Perhaps those two truths were evident to you well before this column, but the ramifications of both of those facts…

COVID: Millions of free masks to be distributed by White House

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it will send millions of free masks to food banks and community health clinics in the coming weeks under a new program aimed at providing better protection against COVID-19 to low-income people who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Under the plan, 25 million masks will go out starting in March to 1,300 community health clinics and up to 60,000 food pantries and soup kitchens in California and other states. “Not all Americans are wearing masks regularly, not all Americans have access, and not all masks are equal,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients. “With this action we are helping to level the playing field, giving vulnerable populations quality, well-fitting masks.” The news comes as California closed in on 50,000 deaths from the pandemic Wednesday, with low-income residents suffering disproportionately. Put in perspective, the death total in California from COVID-19 is 14 times higher than the death total from every major earthquake in California’s recorded history combined, including the 1906 San Francisco quake, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake and the 1994 Northridge quake. As the winter surge…

Streaming movies: ‘Billie Holiday’ a powerful tale of government racism

In her first starring role in a major movie, singer Andra Day makes a convincing case for an Oscar nod as tragic blues legend Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels’ operatic “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” bowing Friday on Hulu. Also out this week: Tabloid sensation Armie Hammer shares screen time with Gary Oldman in a multi-pronged drug epic, and a Jewish-themed horror serves up a devilishly good PG-13 time. Here’s a rundown. “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”: Racism endorsed and executed by high-ranking government officials gets deservedly slapped upside its loathsome head once again. If the powerhouse “Judas and the Black Messiah” and the revelatory documentary “MLK/FBI” failed to convince you of the disgusting measures deployed by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and other white henchmen to snuff out Black voices, Lee Daniels’ melodramatic, absorbing and frustrating take on the showdown between Holiday and Harry J. Anslinger, who headed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, certainly should. Nothing’s ever understated about Daniels’ films  (see “Precious” and “The Butler”) but his exclamatory style, for the most part, works in this fiery retelling of Holiday’s run-ins…

Yelp Top 100: San Bruno, Berkeley restaurants named best places to eat in 2021

Yelp is out with its Top 100 Places to Eat in 2021, and Bay Area restaurants have snagged two spots on the coveted list. Mazra, a relative newcomer in San Bruno, cracked the top tier at No. 2 while Berkeley’s Creekwood ranked No. 36 in this annual crowd-sourced rating of restaurants that diners visited in 2020 and hope to return to this year. “Whether you’re looking for a white-tablecloth experience or a grab-and-go vegan deli sandwich, there’s something for every taste and budget on the list,” Yelp’s editors said. Indeed, the array is vast and fascinating, with spots going to hot dog joints, bakeries, coffeehouses, grills, sushi bars, fusion specialists and farm-to-table restaurants. How does Yelp pull all those together in one rating system? “This year’s list was determined, in part, by user submissions. From the submitted restaurants, we narrowed the list down with the expertise of our community managers, trend expert and data science team to finalize the rankings,” explained Brenae Leary, senior communications manager for Yelp. Mazra opened on the upper Peninsula in March 2020, just as pandemic restrictions were hitting the industry.…

States pass virus aid, not waiting for Washington

By Brian Witte | Associated Press ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Not waiting for more federal help, states have been approving their own coronavirus aid packages, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help residents and business owners devastated by the the pandemic’s economic fallout. Maryland and California recently moved forward with help for the poor, the jobless, small businesses and those needing child care. New Mexico and Pennsylvania are funneling grants directly to cash-starved businesses. North Carolina’s governor wants additional state aid for such things as bonus pay for teachers and boosting rural internet speeds. The spending also provides fuel for critics who say states don’t need another massive infusion of cash from Congress. The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion relief plan would send hundreds of billions of dollars to state and local governments. Governors and lawmakers say their state spending is targeted at Americans who remain desperate for help nearly a year after the pandemic began shuttering businesses. In Maryland, where direct stimulus checks were being distributed as part of more than $1 billion in relief, Catrina Garrett said the boost from the state was crucial.…

Giants preparing to welcome fans to Scottsdale Stadium: ‘It’s going to be a huge difference’

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — With no fans at the ballpark and no team personnel stationed along the side of the playing field to collect foul balls due to COVID-19 protocols, Giants left fielder Alex Dickerson logged a lot of extra steps during the 2020 season. He also made a lot more maximum-effort throws. Whenever a foul ball rolled into the left field corner at Oracle Park, Dickerson had to leave his position and chase it down. He developed a peculiar habit of picking the loose baseballs up and firing them at cardboard cut-outs, often striking fans directly in their digitalized faces. Old habits die hard, but Dickerson knows he’ll have to be far more cautious this year. The Giants are welcoming 750-1,000 fans at each of their home spring training games, beginning Sunday when they host the Angels at Scottsdale Stadium. Related Articles 3 big things from SF Giants spring training: Gausman blows hitters away, La Stella makes jobs easier, decisions harder Spring training: Giants sell out of tickets for Cactus League games at Scottsdale Stadium ‘Jeopardy!’: Giants fan crushes A’s fan in battle of Bay…

COVID real estate: Commercial property rebound depends on tech demand

SAN JOSE — The outlook for commercial real estate in Silicon Valley remains “hazy” for the moment due to ongoing economic setbacks and uncertainties that the coronavirus has unleashed, Colliers International reported Wednesday. One possible bright spot in the dark and forbidding economic landscape created by the coronavirus: a surge in venture capital funding for startups and a boom in initial public offerings by up-and-coming tech companies. “The outlook for office remains hazy in the short term,” according to the Colliers International Market Forecast Report 2021 for Silicon Valley that was authored by Lena Tutko, a senior research manager with the commercial real estate brokerage. Among the factors behind the fuzzy prospects for the office market in Silicon Valley: the effects of the coronavirus have created some conflicting trends regarding office usage. “While the pandemic has shown that remote work is a viable and productive option for some, it has also been isolating and challenging for many,” Colliers stated in its outlook report. As a result, the office market in Silicon Valley — and the rest of the Bay Area — is in a kind…

Here are 10 trailblazing Black architects you should know

By Mae Hamilton | Variety If you were asked to name the greatest American architects, who would you pick? Folks like Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra and Philip Johnson usually spring to mind. However, alongside those men were many Black architects that also pioneered in the design world alongside their white colleagues while simultaneously facing major social barriers — all while never attaining the same level of recognition. In fact, Black people were still barred from studying architecture and design in many states until the 1950s and ‘60s. Due to segregation, even the most successful and well-known Black architects — such as Paul R. Williams — famously could not live in the homes they designed. Still, not only did these architects break ground on the buildings they designed, but they also broke real-world racial barriers and proverbial glass ceilings. The art and architecture that surrounds us can influence the way we live our lives, but they also reflect the times during which they were made. Design can be used as a way to bring people together, with public works projects like affordable housing, or be…

Coronavirus: California’s recovery continues to outpace nation

After weeks of consistent improvement, cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. rebounded slightly to begin this week. In California, however, the decline in cases has continued unabated. On Tuesday, county health departments across California combined to report 6,247 new cases of COVID-19, according to data compiled by this news organization. While that doesn’t quite match the state’s recent hundred-day lows, it did lower California’s daily average to about 5,815 cases per day over the past week, its lowest point since the first week of November and 87% below its peak last month. Nationwide the past two days, the country has reported week-over-week increases in cases, according to data collected by the New York Times. Cases have still declined about 74% from an all-time high last month and 37% in the past two weeks, to an average of about 68,000 per day, but for the first time since mid-January, the nation’s recovery from its winter wave appears to have at least briefly stalled. California recorded a 52% decline in cases over the past two weeks, outpacing the nation as well as its own previous two-week period.…

North Dakota’s House votes to outlaw mask requirements

Masks could not be mandated in North Dakota under a bill passed Monday by the state’s House of Representatives. In a 50-44 vote, the House voted to send the measure on to the state Senate. It would prohibit state and local officials and schools from mandating face masks. North Dakota’s statewide requirement for masks while in public was imposed by Gov. Doug Burgum on Nov. 14 and allowed to lapse on Jan. 18. The state’s largest cities, including Fargo, Bismarck and Minot, have face-covering orders of their own. The bill was sponsored by Minot Republican Jeff Hoverson, who said mask requirements are part of a conspiracy driven by “wealthy bureaucrats who are robbing our freedoms and perpetuating lies,” the Grand Forks Herald reported. North Dakota’s House is overwhelmingly Republican. All 14 of the Democratic House members present voted against the bill, and were joined by 30 from across the aisle. The Senate has 38 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Pac-12 Hotline: Where to find us

*** The Pac-12 Hotline newsletter is published twice a week. (Sign up here for a free subscription.) This edition, from Feb. 16, has been made available in archived form. The Hotline: Where To Find Us In this mid-February window that follows football recruiting season and precedes March Madness, please allow a moment for Hotline housekeeping matters. We have added two items to our weekly content offerings: a Pac-12 football recruiting column, which will tackle issues and trends from the perspective of the teams, and a reader mailbag addressing whatever topics come our way. — The recruiting column is slotted for Thursdays, although this week’s edition — on the threat to the Pac-12 posed by Steve Sarkisian — was moved up two days. — The mailbag is scheduled for Fridays; submit your questions either via email (pac12hotline@bayareanewsgroup.com) or on Twitter (@WilnerHotline). In addition, allow me to catch everyone up on where you can find the Hotline, because our community has grown: We’re now available in 10 of the 12 markets within the Pac-12 footprint. As always, the home base is pac12hotline.com, but the following sites also carry our content (from…

Berkeley passes hazard pay for grocery store workers

BERKELEY — Some grocery store workers in Berkeley will now be paid an additional $5 per hour during the pandemic. Berkeley joins other cities such as Oakland, San Leandro, Long Beach and Seattle and Santa Clara County with its acceptance Tuesday night of an emergency ordinance that would guarantee grocery workers the hazard pay. It will be effective immediately after its adoption, and stay until the city returns to the yellow tier in the state’s color-coded COVID-19 scale, or 120 days from now. The City Council, which unanimously adopted the ordinance, can extend it. The ordinance only applies to grocery stores with 300 employees or more, and whose physical stores are at least 25,000 square feet. A city staff report pointed out that companies such as Whole Foods and Safeway at first implemented “hero pay” or “appreciation pay” in the form of increased pay or one-time bonuses early on in the pandemic shutdown last March. But those bonuses stopped despite the continued risk of COVID-19 exposure. One grocery store worker, John Gomez, told the council during public comment that workers have been subjected to anti-maskers, some…

A’s spring training mailbag: With all these bullpen options, who will make the cut?

Spring training is underway for the A’s in Mesa, and things are slightly different — at least, from a reporter’s standpoint. All interviews with players, coaches, staff are conducted over Zoom and only Zoom. What we see is far more limited than what we’d see in any other, non-pandemic year. Even if the beat looks a little different, baseball is back. From what we’ve heard, bench coach Ryan Christenson has done a nice job making the new normal feel as much as the old normal as the team goes through intake testing and social distancing with protocols in place. Cactus League games start in a few days, some fans will actually be in the stands for that, and this 2021 A’s team is finally starting to take place. You all have questions. I answered some you submitted through Twitter and Instagram. @Mo10_11 on Twitter asks: It seems some bullpen spots are open (depends on Burch’s Smith condition), so there may be competition for a spot between (A.J) Puk/ Kap (James Kaprielian) /(Dany) Jimenez/(Nik)Turley/(Jordan)Weems. Who do you think is gonna make it? And are there dark horses?…

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