Daily Archive: January 7, 2010


2009 Top 10 local stories

WAMO sale leaves hole in Black community Within six months, pending the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, Pittsburgh will lose its only urban radio stations. On May 15, Sheridan Broadcasting Corp. announced the sale of stations WAMO-FM 106.7, WAMO-AM 860 and WPGR-AM 1510 to St. Joseph Missions for $8.9 million. CONFRONTING BLACK-ON-BLACK VIOLENCE—One of the major problems of 2009, if not the major problem, was Black-on-Black violence. There were a record number of vigils, marches and community meetings in 2009 to confront the problem. Shown above was one of the many.


Those lost in 2009 will not be forgotten

In 2009, we lost several icons, who through their talent, their wit and their will, left indelible marks on the community and improved the lives of African-Americans throughout Pittsburgh and beyond. Harvey Adams Jr., a civil rights pioneer who survived Korea, diabetes, the 1968 riots in the Hill District and who helped integrate the Pittsburgh police force, died Sept. 7 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 80. ADAMS, CHRISTIAN, FISHER, DOSS and BRUTUS Adams also implemented a minority police recruitment program, organized and implemented youth athletic and educational programs and organized police and community councils for the city. In 1970, the Guardians, along with the NAACP, the National Organization for Women and the American Civil Liberties Union successfully sued the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, winning a consent decree that required one African-American and one woman be included in each four new recruits hired.



62 of 87 homicides Black lives…2009 lower than previous year

With a decrease of 27.5 percent from last year’s homicide count of 120, this year proved to be a step in the right direction. Could it be that the numerous community peace vigils and marches were the answer for taking the streets back when it comes to violence? Although the decrease means something, one cannot forget that even one name on the list is one too many. There had been a steady decrease month-by-month, but December put a stop to the trend, with a count of 12, which was the deadliest month of the entire year and up more than 50 percent from that of December 2008, with only five murders.


Lavelle sworn in…Hits the ground running

As R. Daniel Lavelle begins his first term as the new councilman for District 6, he has begun reconnecting with those he heard from during his campaign. After being sworn in Jan. 4, Lavelle is already beginning to plan a series of discussions to create a blueprint of what residents envision for their neighborhoods. I SOLEMNLY SWEAR— Judge Dwayne Woodruff swears in Daniel Lavelle as District 6 councilman as Rachael Lavelle holds the Bible. “Immediately we’re going to reach out to all the community groups, non-profits and corporations and have discussions with them to come up with an agreed upon agenda,” Lavelle said. “We’ll get a better sense of what the top priorities are once we go out and meet with the groups.”


Mayor blindsides council, vetoes prevailing wage bill

On Dec. 31, after most members of city council had gone home to enjoy New Year’s Eve festivities, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl vetoed the prevailing wage bill approved on Dec. 21 by city council. The bill, which was approved unanimously, would have required employers to pay certain service industry workers a wage on par with others in the industry. LUKE RAVENSTAHL While the mayor’s veto would have been overturned if council had demonstrated the same support as when they first approved the bill, this was not the case. During a special meeting called by council president Doug Shields, only five votes were cast to overturn the bill, one short of what was required.


Wheatley to make three additions to staff

After losing his chief of staff, R. Daniel Lavelle, to city council, Rep. Jake Wheatley has restructured his staff to include three new legislative aides. Though the third aide, to represent the North Side, has not been selected, the two other aides will serve the areas of Wheatley’s district they call home. KENNETH WOLFE Uptown native Renee Aldrich will serve as the legislative aide for Uptown, the Hill District and Downtown. As the president of Uptown Partners, an organization made up of residents, business owners and representatives of Mercy Hospital and Duquesne University, Aldrich has been a long-time advocate for the neighborhood.


Metro Beat

Bus driver suspended The W.L. Roenigk bus company suspended Pat Kinnear last Monday while they investigate allegations that she left a sleeping first-grader on the bus after she dropped off students at Linden Elementary. The student was found at the bus garage by another driver and then taken back to school. This is the second time in the past three months, the company has faced an incident where a driver left a student on a school bus.


Community Calendar

Spirit of King JAN. 14—Port Authority of Allegheny County, the Kingsley Association and the Pittsburgh Pirates will host the 2010 Spirit of King Awards ceremony…


Africans fear profiling after attempted bombing arrest of Nigerian national

PHILADELPHIA (NNPA)—When Islamic fascists piloted passenger jets into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, it was a moment that changed how many Americans perceived people of Middle Eastern ethnicity in general and Muslims in particular. Immediately there was a social backlash during which many American Muslims and Middle Eastern immigrants faced resentment where there had been none before. SPEAKING OUT—Lansara Koroma, right, founder and executive director of the International Forum for the Rights of Black People with shop owner Ishmael Donzo. After the attempted bombing of a passenger plane by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian national, the question arises again within the African immigrant community. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Abdulmutallab, 23, was charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to destroy Northwest Airlines passenger flight 253.


Analysis: 2009 transformed U.S. racial dynamics

by Jesse Washington (AP)—The year began with a harmonious glow at the inauguration of the first Black president, as America marked a stunning victory over its racial demons. “That lasted about a day,” President Barack Obama said two months later. He attributed that to the economic calamity threatening all Americans, but his statement also applied to the notion that all our racial problems had been solved. HISTORIC MOMENT—In this Jan. 20 file photo, Barack Obama, left, joined by his wife, Michelle, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The dynamics of race were transformed in 2009 because the most powerful person on Earth was no longer White. But despite that potent symbol—and sometimes because of it—race remained a volatile and often divisive subject.