Daily Archive: March 24, 2010

National

Beaming Obama signs historic health bill

by Darlene Superville WASHINGTON (AP)–A beaming President Barack Obama on March 23 signed a historic $938 billion health care overhaul that guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and will touch nearly every citizen’s life, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a divisive, yearlong debate that could define the November elections. HISTORIC SIGNING— President Barack Obama signs the health care reform bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington, as Marcellus Owens, 11, from Seattle, Wash., looks on. Other key Democrats stand in back in support. Celebrating “a new season in America”—the signature accomplishment of his White House so far and one denied to a line of presidents before him—Obama made the massive bill law with an East Room signing ceremony. He was joined by jubilant House and Senate Democrats as well as lesser-known people whose health care struggles have touched the president. Obama scheduled back-to-back events to mark the moment, with much of his White House audience, as well as hundreds of others, heading to the Interior Department immediately after the signing.

Metro

DJ says he lost gig due to racism

When Mike Robertson got a call from a fellow DJ Tom Brown about splitting a new six-hour per night gig at the 941 Saloon on Liberty Avenue, it sounded like a nice job, and it would certainly help with the expenses of having a new baby on the way. So the two went to meet the owner to firm up the details of the job—and things went from good to bad. SPINNING—DJ Brotha Mike, who spins discs at the New Amsterdam in Lawrenceville, said he was denied a gig at the 941 Saloon on Liberty Avenue in February because he is Black. “I thought it was pretty much just a formality,” said Robertson. “The owner’s girlfriend had recommended us because she’d heard both of us down at New Amsterdam. But when we sat down with the owner, she gets up and calls Tom way to talk. And when he comes back he said, ‘She doesn’t want you because she thinks you’ll bring in the wrong crowd.’ He said she’d had an incident with some rowdy Black patrons a few months earlier—so we weren’t hired because of my presence.”

Metro

Catholic schools to merge

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh recently announced the closing of four predominantly African-American schools. The four institutions in the Hill District, Wilkinsburg and Homewood will be reconfigured into two new institutions beginning in the fall 2010 school year. “It’s kind of the reality of the situation that we’re in here, the declining demographics of the city,” said Father Carmen D’Amico, pastor of Saint Benedict the Moor School. “There’s less and less school-aged children and more and more competition so we’re all competing for a dwindling number of students. I think the consolidation of the schools is a good thing.”

National

Before health care vote, a weekend of ugly discourse

NEW YORK (AP)—Remember how shocking it was six months ago when Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” to the president? Suddenly, that outburst seems positively genteel. STAYING THE COURSE— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a large gavel as she walks through the Cannon Rotunda after a Democratic Caucus, along with, from left: Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., John Lewis, D-Ga., and John Larson, D-Conn., on March 21 on Capitol Hill in Washington. From the “N-word” and anti-gay slurs being leveled at congressmen by protesters right outside the Capitol, to a shout of “baby killer!” within the chamber itself, to veiled and not-so-veiled threats online, the weekend saw an explosion of stunningly ugly discourse. What is going on? Is our political culture sinking ever lower?

National

California kids stay calm, help deliver mom’s baby

by Sudhin ThanawalaAssociated Press Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—By the time 9-year-old Jabari Sanders called 911, his mom was already giving birth to his little brother in the bathroom of their home. “The baby’s coming now!” Jabari told the dispatcher as his mom screamed in the background. So the woman on the other end of the line talked the 9-year-old and his 11-year-old sister through the ordeal, telling them to towel off the baby and tie its umbilical cord with a string while they waited for paramedics. Their father, Geoffrey Sanders, called the calm kids “super heroes.” PROUD FAMILY—This March 16 picture shows the Sanders family, from left: Alana, Faith, 11, Geoffrey, newborn Joseph, Jabari, 9, and Janelle, 2, in Fremont, Calif. Jabari and Faith helped their mother Alana deliver Joseph at home March 9.

Metro

PAT route changes begin April 5

Currently, if need be, anyone on the North Side could take the 16B Brighton to the Giant Eagle on Camp Horne Road. But in less than two weeks, that will change. Not only will the 16B not go there, or to Ben Avon or Emsworth, it won’t be the 16B, it will be the 16 Brighton. All other 16 buses will not only have new routes, but new names. The 16A Aliquippa becomes the 14 Ohio Valley and no longer serves Aliquippa, going only to Ambridge. And the 16D Manchester becomes the 18 Manchester. On this route, service will be discontinued on North Avenue, Fulton Street and Manhattan Street between Western and Pennsylvania avenues, and on Western between Allegheny and Manhattan. Service will also be discontinued to Woods Run/McClure Avenue, Brighton Heights and New Allegheny. EXACT CHANGE—As of April 4, the 16D bus will become the 18 Manchester and follow a different route. It is one of 60 route changes in the first phase of PAT’s multi-year Transit Development Plan.

Metro

Speak Out: Has Jordan Miles incident distracted leaders from addressing Black-on-Black violence?

There ha been several community meetings to address the Jordan Miles case but none recently to address the Black-on-Black violence, so we asked Pittsburghers what they thought and what should be done. Here’s what you said: “I don’t think that it’s distracted the city, I think that it actually awakened it, because unfortunately they don’t get involved unless it’s one of their own. We need to stop being divided by our beliefs, traditions, culture, and religion and come together and take care of our own babies.” “Free,” Cynthia Hill and Ruth Thomas “Free” Homewood Social worker

Metro

Community Calendar

Women’s history event MARCH 24—The Community College of Allegheny County Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity will host “The Feminist Movement in Western Pennsylvania: Yesterday and Today” from 1-3 p.m. at the Student Services Center Auditorium, 808 Ridge Ave., North Shore. This is a panel discussion for Women’s History Month celebration. The event will include regional pioneers in the movement as well as current leaders. For more information, call 412-237-4430.

National

Some Haitians say they feel forgotten after devastating quake

by Guy DelvaFor New Pittsburgh Courier PORT-AU-PRINCE (NNPA)—Many Haitians are still in desperate straits—and some even say they feel forgotten—as they crave for food, shelter and other basic needs two months after a devastating earthquake left more than 220,000 people dead in the Caribbean country that is now struggling to recover from the disaster and to rebuild. “I pray every day for someone to give me a tent. I have 5 children, including a 7 month-old. When it rains everybody gets wet,” said Joceline Magloire, 37. “This situation is unbearable. I heard that a lot of people are collecting money on behalf of Haiti. Why don’t they buy those tents and ship them to us here,” she said angrily. ON THE GROUND IN HAITI—Guy Delva, a native Haitian who is secretary general of the Haitian press group, SOS Journalists, is now an occasional Haiti correspondent for the NNPA News Service.