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POSTED March 23, 2012 7:52 p.m.

Home where Black Panther Party was founded flipped

OAKLAND  (AP) — The Black Panther party preached "power to the people," but in the San Francisco Bay area's thriving real estate market, the power is in the property.

Realtors expected to close a deal Friday on the Oakland home where the militant black power group was founded in 1966.

Panther co-founder Bobby Seale's family sold the house in October for $200,000 to real estate investors who renovated the home with chic maple and quartz upgrades, The Oakland Tribune.

After the improvements, the home was put on the market for $400,000 — almost 40 times what Seale's parents paid for it in 1960.

Seale said he and Huey Newton drafted the party's manifesto in the dining room.

"We would come in from patrol at night, unload our weapons at my house, and lay them all out across the long dining room table," Seale wrote in his 1978 autobiography.

The surrounding streets that armed party members once patrolled in the name of black empowerment are quickly gentrifying, with longtime residents like Seale departing for less expensive suburbs.

Seale, now 75, has worked as a draftsman and a carpenter. He made improvements on the house and wanted to do more, but his sister persuaded him to sell.

 The house's dramatically increased selling price was part of "the same crap that got this financial debacle started in the first place," he said.

But Seale didn't hold the cutthroat realities of buying and selling homes in the Bay Area against the new residents.

"People move. Humans move. Power to the people, whether they're black, white, blue, whatever," he said.

 

Police: 5 people found dead in San Francisco house

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco medical examiner wheeled out the bodies of five people found dead Friday inside a home after what police said was a possible murder-suicide across the street from a private high school in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood.

A woman with access to the house discovered three of the bodies and called police shortly before 8 a.m., according to police spokeswoman Cmdr. Lyn Tomioka.

When officers arrived, they found a total of five dead adults — three women and two men. Tomioka said at least four of the victims were related, and investigators were looking into the identity of the fifth.

Deal reached to save Benicia State Historic Park

BENICIA  (AP) — Officials say a deal has been reached to save Benicia State Historic Park, one of 70 California parks scheduled for closure due to budget cuts.

The deal still needs final approval from the Benicia City Council and director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The historic park is home to the state's third capitol, and was scheduled for closure on July 1 as the state seeks $22 million in savings.

Parks officials are scrambling before the July deadline to find partners to help keep the doomed parks open.

The city is also working on an agreement to keep Benicia State Recreation Area open, and say a deal could be reached by June or July.

 

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