By MARTIN RICARD Nov. 4 — When Steve Kirkendoll was 4 years old, in 1960, he remembers sitting on his mother’s lap and watching on TV as black people in the South got hosed down and bitten by police dogs just for trying to register to vote. Kirkendall is 52 now. And after what he…

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story and audio slides by KRISTINE WONG and BAGASSI KOURA Thousands of fans packed Oracle Arena to cheer on six church choirs vying for a spot in the finals of “How Sweet the Sound,” a competition for the best church choir in the country. As the choirs sung, shimmied, and swayed their way through the evening,…

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By MELANIE MASON and BAGASSI KOURA SEPT. 25 — After three years and $190 million spent, the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland’s newest house of worship, was officially dedicated today in the presence of Cardinals, Bishops and over 1,500 East Bay residents.  The dedication ceremony of a new cathedral — in which the cathedral is…

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