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Vianey Alderete

Jamtown plans basketball exchange program in Tanzania for Bay Area kids

Ameer Aziz was playing basketball with his 8-year-old son at an Oakland park near 19th Street when he noticed something strange: a man instructing kids about how to play basketball. “Eventually, I walk to him and ask him what was he doing. Was he a coach? And then he spoke with an African accent and said, ‘No, I just like basketball,’” recalled Aziz about the encounter. He remembered thinking it was weird, because the man was doing it for free….

For East Bay immigrants, notary fraud is a common legal threat

Notary fraud is a common set-up in which notaries unlawfully give legal advice to immigrants, and in many cases, pretend to be immigration attorneys. The scam often involves the notary reviewing a victim’s case, choosing which legal documents are appropriate for their case, helping complete these documents, and submitting them to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Office—all acts only lawyers have the authority to do.

Immigration experts and advocates say that notary fraud is one of the biggest issues facing the undocumented community. “It is also a big problem in the East Bay and surrounding areas in Northern California,” said Barbara Pinto, an immigration senior staff attorney at the Centro Legal de la Raza, a legal service agency for immigrants’ rights, located in Oakland.

Oakland schools run test to help students take mainstream English classes

Oakland schools are now in their second year of running a new testing process that will allow students who are identified as English Language Learners (ELL) and who have special needs to have better chances of joining mainstream English-language classrooms for students with and without disabilities. Currently, special education students who are also English learners must take a test to show that they are fluent in English. This standardized test evaluates the student’s English literacy level, and is only available…

After two years, Oakland nearing goal for high school ethnic studies courses

Jason Muñiz stands in the door frame that separates his classroom from the bright hallway full of lockers, with his hands holding onto the frame behind him. He looks back and forth from the high school students who are greeting each other before taking a seat inside the classroom, and welcomes the ones who are just walking in. When the school bell rings, Muñiz walks to the front of the classroom, closing the door behind him. “Thank you for being…

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