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Leimert Park Village Book Fair Announces Its Lineup of Headliners, Crowd Pleasers and Fan Favorites for Its 10th Anniversary

LOS ANGELES, CA- Powerhouse and best-selling author/publisher Zane will headline the Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF)! Zane is a New York Times best-selling author of 32 titles, and considered one of, if not the most, powerful African-American female in the publishing industry. She is the publisher of Strebor Books International — an imprint of ATRIA Books/Simon and Schuster, and the third largest publishing corporation in America. Interestingly, until 2006, Zane, Toni Morrison and Terri McMillan were the only three African-American females to make the print list of the New York Times Best Seller List in this century.

“Voted One of LA’s Five Best Annual Book Festivals,” the LPVBF will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the outdoor promenade of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (BHCP), located at 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in LA.  Thousands are expected to flock once again to this family-oriented festival held in the heart of Leimert Park, the epicenter of the Los Angeles area African American arts, intellectual and literary scene. The Leimert Park Village Book Fair’s tribute to the love of reading cleverly merges the worlds of literary, entertainment and the culinary arts, offering an eclectic mix of literature, art, music and food.

The Wait

The Wait

The book fair’s lineup includes headliners, crowd pleasers and fan favorites, offering an intellectually engaging day, promoting literacy. Along with Zane, who will be signing her latest tome, “Vengeance;” celebrity power couple Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin will share bits about their courtship and love affair from their best-selling novel, “The Wait.” White House correspondent and political commentator April Ryan, author of  “The Presidency in Black and White,” and economist and political analyst Dr. Julianne Malveaux  author of “Are We Better Off” will take time away from the Capitol to talk about the topic of “Are We Better Off?” AND Grammy Award-winning recording artist Bobby Brown will spill the dish in his new biography, “Every Little Step,” on his life and love, Whitney Houston.  

Bobbly Brown

Bobbly Brown

Crowd pleasers like media personalities Rolonda Watts and Flo Anthony will share excerpts from their new books, “Destiny Lingers” and “One Last Deadly Play,” respectively.  There will be an iconoclast conversation between pioneering director-turned-author Matty Rich (“Straight Out of Brooklyn and the “Inkwell) and legendary musician Charles Wright (writer of the hit song, “Express Yourself”). Rich will discuss “Bev,” a gripping novel that centers on the real-life story of a little-known figure in the Civil Rights movement – a white social worker by the name of Beverly Luther. Rich has also secured the movie rights to the book for a film adaptation.  And Wright will talk about his new book, “Up: From Where We’ve Come,” which highlights historical accounts of his past long before he gained status as a musical legend.

For readers who like thrillers and mysteries, they’ll love meeting fan favorites like Pamela Samuels Young, winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction for “Anybody’s Daughter” and Gary Phillips, author of “Cowboys” and “The Cocaine Chronicles.” Best-selling husband-and-wife writing duo  Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes will be signing their latest releases, including “Ghost Summer” and the “Seacape Tattoo.” An award-winning novelist and screenwriter who teaches creative writing at UCLA, Due also nabbed an NAACP Image Award literary nomination for the short story collection “Ghost Summer” this year.  Directing the main stage’s incredible line-up will be known inspirational speaker, award-winning executive life coach, and author of “Betrayal”, Barbara Perkins, joins us as the Mistress of Ceremony.

The culinary stage will also be heating up with reality star Miss Robbie of OWN’s “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” serving up something special – like her famous mac ‘n cheese — and signing her new cookbook. Titled “Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours” the celebrity chef welcomes you into her kitchen to experience more than 150 tasty foods as she shows what it means to put heart and “foot” into a dish. And celebrity Chef Rome Brown – who has cooked for former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal, and NFL player Cam Newton – will share his passion for cuisine and sign his new cookbook, “Eat Like a Celebrity: Southern Cuisine With a

ZANE

ZANE

Gourmet Twist.” Foodies may be familiar with Chef Brown from competing on season one of the Food Network’s reality show, “Extreme Chef.” And while Miss Robbie and Chef Rome will be serving up some serious soul food, Chefs Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu of Mexicano Restaurant at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza will bring an authentic taste of Mexican fare to the book fair’s culinary stage. Affectionately known together as Jaime and Ramiro, the chefs are two of the biggest stars in the Mexican cooking world.  In 2008, the two nabbed a nomination for Best Chef from the James Beard Foundation, and continue to earn recognition for their exemplary Mexican cuisine. 

And for the sports lover, former NBA player A.C. Green  (LA Lakers) and journeyman NBA/CBA player Juanquin “Hawk” Hawkins (Houston Rockets), who is the author of “Stroke of Grace,” will grace the sports pavilion, and offer words of inspiration for both on an off the court.

The day will culminate with a closing keynote speech by motivational speaker, Ramsey Jay Jr., author of “Empower Dreamers to Become Achievers.” Jay is a Wall Street- trained, Ivy League-educated finance professional with more than a decade of global investment management experience.  Named by Ebony magazine as one of the top “30 Young Leaders Under 30,” he recently delivered opening remarks at the White House where President Obama and the First Lady hosted an event, honoring Ray Charles. His message and enriching inspiration has touched many lives, encouraging all people to live their best lives without fear and limitations. 

For more information about the LPVBF, including an electronic press kit with downloadable talent photos for promotional use, visit  www.leimertparkbookfair.com

For the extended lineup with blurbs about headliners, crowd pleasers and fan favorites, visit http://bit.ly/2ab0KNU  For more information about the LPVBF TURNING 10! visit  http://bit.ly/23kqbkr

Obituary: Robert Carl Hill, Jr.

Robert Carl Hill, Jr.

Robert Carl Hill, Jr.

Robert Carl Hill, Jr. of Highland passed away on Tuesday, August 2, 2016.  He was employed by the County of San Bernardino for many years.  His next career was spent at Fedco as supervisor of the maintenance crew, something he did while he worked as owner/CEO of Red-Leg Building Maintenance Company.  He retired in 1999.

Robert is survived by his wife, Margaret Hill; children, Jacqueline D. Hill, Anner Minette Hinds and Robert C. Hill, III; sisters Beverly McCabe and Linda Austin; brother Michael Austin; six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, Uncle Jimmy Jimmerson, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Cornelius & Alma Ruth Austin; brothers John Hill, Cornelius Austin, Jr. & Darrell Austin; and granddaughter Najah Hill.

A Night of Reflection will be Friday, August 12, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Community Hospital of San Bernardino, Henderson Auditorium.  A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, August 13, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Norman Feldheym Library.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Robert Carl Hill, Jr. Diabetic Scholarship Fund, c/o Maggie’s Kids Foundation, P.O. Box 705, Patton, CA   92369-0705.

Board appoints CaSonya Thomas to lead Human Services

CaSonya Thomas, director of the Department of Behavioral Health

CaSonya Thomas, director of the Department of Behavioral Health

A director with 25 years of experience in meeting the social service and mental health needs of San Bernardino County residents was appointed on Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors to lead County Human Services.

CaSonya Thomas, director of the Department of Behavioral Health, will succeed Linda Haugan, who is retiring as Assistant Executive Officer of Human Services on Oct. 15 after more than 35 years of service to the County.

Haugan has spent the past 11 years as head of Human Services, a County agency that includes eight departments, more than 6,000 employees, and a $1.9 billion annual budget. Both Haugan and Thomas began their careers in what is now known as the Transitional Assistance Department as eligibility workers, an entry-level position in County Government. Thomas began her career in 1991.

Their careers illustrate the County’s successful efforts – mandated by the Board of Supervisors – to identify and develop talent from within the County organization, and ensure the County maintains a bench of qualified managers and executives to promote when vacancies occur. This practice will allow a nearly three-month transition for Thomas to work closely with Haugan before assuming her new role.

“It is an honor to receive this appointment, which comes with a tremendous responsibility to the people of San Bernardino County,” Thomas said. “Each day, Human Services changes lives through a number of programs and services, and we will remain committed to our Countywide Vision to build healthier communities by strengthening individuals and families, enhancing quality of life and valuing people.”

Thomas has held a number of positions within Human Services over the course of her 25-year County career, including Director of Behavioral Health and executive and management positions within Human Services. Under Thomas’ leadership, Behavioral Health played a key role in the County’s efforts to assist the survivors of the Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino and the families of those who died.

“CaSonya Thomas is an outstanding employee and an asset to the county. As the newly appointed Assistant Executive Officer for Human Services, Ms. Thomas will bring professionalism and expertise that will continue to strengthen the County of San Bernardino,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman and Third District Supervisor James Ramos.

“CaSonya has proven herself as a successful and well-qualified leader for this position. Her experience, hard work and professionalism will serve our residents and the County well,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood.

“It was a privilege to appoint Ms. Thomas as the Director of the Department of Behavioral Health in 2012, and I am thrilled to now support her appointment as the Assistant Executive Officer for Human Services,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales. “I am so pleased to see her succeed and I have no doubt she’ll continue to do a remarkable job.”

“CaSonya has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the well-being of all county residents,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford. “Her intelligence, compassion and creativity are perfectly suited to the challenges we face.”

Haugan assumed the reins of Human Services in July 2005 after an already-notable career that included the implementation of the landmark C-IV Statewide Automated Welfare System. Her first order of business as Humans Services chief was to successfully and dramatically reduce the County’s food stamp error rate.

Throughout her tenure, Haugan has fostered collaboration between Human Services departments to improve services to the public, a practice that has made the County a consistent leader in winning national and state awards for innovative and effective programs.

“I have had the good fortune of working with many talented people who carry out their public service mission with passion and intelligence. That’s why I feel I am leaving Human Services in a very good state and in very good hands,” Haugan said.

Thomas has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a post-graduate degree in public administration, both from California State University, San Bernardino. She is also certified in healthcare compliance by the national Health Care Compliance Association.

Thomas serves as president-elect to the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA), whose goals include advocating and developing public policy agendas that support access to necessary quality services that promote behavioral health and wellness, and resiliency and recovery in communities. She also is co-chair of the CBHDA Cultural Competence, Equity and Social Justice Committee.

Human Services departments, divisions and offices include Aging and Adult Services, Animal Care and Control, Behavioral Health, Child Support Services, Children and Family Services, Children’s Network, Environmental Health Services, Homeless Services, Preschool Services, Public Health, Transitional Assistance and Veterans Affairs.