Isaac Ceja

Event uses fun and games to address two community threats: violence and COVID-19

Pastor Cheryl Ward has been working with young children for many years and recently added teens to her ministry. So it seemed fitting for her to bring youth and their families together on Sunday for an event meant to confront two threats: violence and COVID-19. At Liberation Park on Sunday, she and the Black Cultural Zone organized “United Against Violence and COVID-19 in Oakland,” an event that she hopes is the first of four.  “Kids are always saying that they…

Oakland police lieutenant on leave along with police chief wife, amid criminal allegations

Oakland Police Lt. Lee French and his wife, Richmond Police Chief Bisa French, are on leave and under investigation, after a domestic violence restraining order was filed against them by a relative who claims they pinned her down and threatened her boyfriend and his family. The Oakland Police Department Thursday confirmed that Lee French was put on leave and said an internal investigation is underway into “criminal allegations.” In court documents, 18-year-old relative accused the Frenches of attacking her and…

Making mental health a priority, Oakland Roots adds therapist to soccer club

During every Oakland Roots home soccer game, Lisa Bonta Sumii stands on the opposite team’s sideline, carefully watching the players’ body language.  At the end of a recent game, when she noticed defensive player Akeem O’Connor-Ward standing still with his hands on his hips, staring blankly as his opponents celebrated a 1-0 victory, Bonta Sumii walked over to comfort him.   As the soccer club’s mental health and sports performance specialist, Bonta Sumii intervened to keep O’Connor-Ward from getting too down,…

How to make Telegraph Avenue safer for bike riders

Cycling has become safer on Telegraph Avenue over the years, thanks to protected bike lanes that impose a barrier between two-wheel and four-wheel traffic. In 2016, Oakland supported a pilot project that made the thoroughfare bike friendly from 20th to 29th streets. With the introduction of protected lanes came a dramatic decrease in car-bike collisions. Since then, the city has been working to bring the same safety measures to the corridor between 37th and 52nd streets. The advocacy group Bike…