Daily Archive: March 10, 2010


Dems endorse Payne over Wheatley

With a vote of 74-49, former city Councilwoman Tonya Payne won the Allegheny County Democratic Committee endorsement for state House representative over incumbent Rep. Jake Wheatley. TONYA PAYNE “Tonya Payne is very popular in the Democratic committee and especially the city committee,” said James Burn, Allegheny Democratic Committee chair. “The committeemen and women are very familiar with her and she worked it very hard.” This race is only one in a long line of elections between opposing forces battling to represent the Hill District and North Side neighborhoods. Throwing his hat in the ring with Wheatley and Payne for the 19th Legislative District seat will be Pittsburgh Public School Board representative Mark Brentley. Brentley declined to comment on the race.


Miles charges dropped, police protest may follow

To the relief of his family and supporters, after two delayed hearings, charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest against Jordan Miles were finally dropped last week. VINDICATION—Jordan Miles, the CAPA High School senior who said he was beaten during a Jan. 12 arrest, talks with reporters after having assault and resisting arrest charges dropped March 4. While reaction from the Black community was a mix of relief and calls for further action, according to two city police officers, some bureau members are calling for payback. The two officers, who asked to remain anonymous, said a text message blast went out some time March 5 calling for officers to either refuse to patrol Homewood and to “take their time” responding to any calls there.


40 young elite to be honored by Courier

The New Pittsburgh Courier will again honor some of Pittsburgh’s most dedicated and talented individuals at their Fab 40 event March 26 at the US Steel Building, Downtown. The event honors 40 African-Americans under the age of 40, who are making strides to uplift the Pittsburgh community. JADA GRANDY and K. CHASE PATTERSON “It was an honor any time someone is recognized for their good work, whether it be in their profession or in the community, it is exciting,” said K. Chase Patterson, field representative for Councilman Mike Doyle and one of last year’s Fab 40 honorees. “But along with the honor comes an expected charge to continue one’s good works.”


12th Ward tired of broken promises

As one of the most active wards in the city, the 12th Ward Democratic Committee frequently hosts community forums where constituents can hear from candidates in upcoming elections. Each time the constituents hear the candidates’ platforms and are able to ask questions in the hope of gaining future ammunition to hold officials accountable if they are elected. WARD CHAIR—Rev. Jacque Fielder, 12th Ward Democratic Committee chairwoman, encourages her constituents to ask questions and hold elected officials accountable. However, at the most recent forum on March 3, many constituents had grown tired of the song and dance. “No one stood out. They all played on the same things—veterans, heath care, education,” said Robert Germany. “To me it just seems like they talked about what they accomplished in the past, but we’re in the here and now.”


NEED launches 2010 fundraising drive

Since its inception in 1963, NEED, the Negro Emergency Education Directive, has provided nearly $20 million in grants to college-bound African-American students. Between now and the end of 2011, the organization seeks to raise nearly half that amount during its annual fundraising campaign, which kicks off with its 47th annual Scholarship Dinner at the Pittsburgh Hilton March 15. SYLVESTER PACE “NEED is in the midst of remarkable growth, and we realize that scholarship and grant dollars are only one piece of the college access pie,” said Sylvester Pace. “We are now offering the youth of this region more services than ever before, including mentoring, college advisement in all of the Pittsburgh public high schools, and internships with regional corporations and organizations.”


Smith-Ribner running as people’s advocate, focused on education, veterans

For the past 35 years, Doris Smith-Ribner has worked in public service in Pennsylvania. In the May Democratic Primary she will battle for her next public service position, as Lieutenant-Governor. DORIS SMITH RIBNER “I felt the Lt.-Governor position would give me a bully pulpit, if you will, to advocate for our people,” Smith-Ribner said. “I’ve spent many years in public service. It’s something I love and I feel I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve loved my career and I feel I can do even more.” Her opponents are Philadelphia City Controller Jon Saidel, who received the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee endorsement, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty and State Rep. Joshua Shapiro of Abington.


Speak Out: Do you care about the lack of Black participation in the Winter Olympics?

There were very few Black participants in the recent Winter Olympics so we asked Pittsburghers what their take was. Here’s what you said: “I wasn’t really interested in the Winter Olympics except for the hockey. The African-American I did know who played hockey is one of the best in the world, although he played for the Canadians. But as a whole I wasn’t really interested because these aren’t sports that African-Americans participate in. Brian SmithPenn HillsSelf-employed


Never too old to dream…85-year-old author’s children’s book

Nightly dreams are a likely occurrence for everyone. But Crawford Square resident Rachel J. Poole turned a vivid dream she had in 2007 into an inspiring and uplifting children’s book. HONORED—Rachel Poole is honored by Pittsburgh City Council. “I had the dream at the age of 82,” recalled Poole, 85. “It was a vivid, heart-warming dream that was about me. I was transformed from an old woman, which I am now, to a young girl who had hair that was made of green beans that hung to the middle of her back. I was happy to see that I was young and I could go outside and see animals that don’t get along. I was able to feed them. I love children and I love animals so it was great.”


Community Calendar

Science fair MARCH 13—Carnegie Mellon University will host the 26th Annual Charles Drew Science Fair at 9:30 a.m. at 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. This fair is for students in grades 6-12 and engages students to participate in meaningful scientific inquiries and to encourage long-term interest in careers in science and technology. There will be an awards program at 1 p.m. For more information, call 412-391-7807.


Haiti rebounds, rainy season looms

by Herb BoydFor New Pittsburgh Courier PORT-au-PRINCE, Haiti (NNPA)—Hurricane-ravaged Port-au-Prince continues to rebound even as the rainy season approaches the island of Haiti. This week, U.S. officials are scurrying to deliver portable toilets, hurricane-resistant tents and plastic tarps that Haitian Tourism Minister Patrick Delatour has said he prefers for the coming torrential rains, possible hurricanes and mudslides. Already eight people were killed over the weekend in flooding after a downpour—and the rainy season has not fully started in earnest. RECOVERY CONTINUES—Haitian workers continue to press for normalcy as the people prepare for the rainy season.