Daily Archive: March 31, 2010


Blacks show support for health care bill

While most in Pittsburgh’s African-American community have voiced support for the health care bill signed into law on March 24, some still have differences of opinions. There are many who wish the bill had included sharper reforms and some who are still unaware of how the bill will actually affect them. FREE RIDE?—Newly signed national health care legislation promises coverage to the uninsured. But some caution the mandate to buy insurance is too weak to force compliance, and the result will be higher costs. “I am definitely for the health care reform bill,” said Branden Ballard. “As the richest nation in the world, it is about time that those who are most vulnerable, children and the elderly, have complete access to health care regardless of their situations.” Many of those who’ve supported the bill from the beginning and others who have supported the cause before President Barack Obama took office view health care as a human right.


Insurers and providers react to health care bill

At 11:54 a.m. March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Senate overhaul of the health insurance industry, which the House of Representatives approved two days earlier. On March 30, the president signed the final, reconciled version. Initial reaction from health advocates and community leaders was largely positive. Wilfred Payne, executive director of the Alma Illery Medical Center in Homewood, said the new law is positive for the Black community because it would prompt more uninsured Black men to get insurance.


Philly rep enters governor’s race

To hear him talk, one might take Anthony Hardy Williams for a Republican, but that’s because the life-long Democrat says experience has taught him no party has a monopoly on good ideas—or bad. ANTHONY HARDY WILLIAMS As a former PepsiCo employee and small business owner, he says government can’t grow an economy, but it can create business-friendly environments that can. And as a student who struggled to get Cs until he went to a private school, he favors anything that rescues failing inner-city youths from bad public schools—including vouchers.


Council honors Courier for 100 years of service

It was fitting that Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle sponsored the resolution honoring the New Pittsburgh Courier and its forerunner, the Pittsburgh Courier for a century of importance in the African-American community, fitting because his grandfather once worked at the Courier. “It’s an honor to have you here today,” he said to the assembled Courier staff. “It’s impossible to put into a proclamation all that the Courier has done and what it has meant to people. But we wanted to recognize you for the fine work you do.” CENTENNIAL—District 6 Councilman Daniel Lavelle presents New Pittsburgh Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss and staff with a proclamation celebrating the newspaper’s 100-year anniversary. March 30 was proclaimed Pittsburgh Courier Day. Reading from the proclamation, Lavelle noted the Courier’s 1907 origin as the writing outlet of H.J. Heinz security guard Edward Harleston, which attorney Robert L. Vann took over and publicly chartered in 1910. This, he said, transformed the Courier “into the vanguard for economic and political empowerment of African-Americans, effectively offering an alternative voice to the misrepresentations of African-Americans in mainstream media.”


Mississippi stamp draws criticism

by Rebecca NuttallCourier Staff Writer While sifting through her mail, Joy Maxberry Woodruff was shocked to see a familiar symbol looking back at her. That symbol was the Confederate flag, which is prominently featured in the Mississippi state flag as part of the U.S. Postal Service Flags of the Nation stamp series. “I’m still in shock, I’m so surprised that there wouldn’t be more sensitivity with our U.S. Postal Service,” Maxberry Woodruff said. “They’ve done such a great job of promoting diversity and goodwill in our country that this was so contrary to their normal mode of operations. I was disappointed and dismayed.” MISSISSIPPI STATE STAMP


Payne’s opponent challenges dismissed

On March 26, Judge Joseph James dismissed two challenges made by former City Councilwoman Tonya Payne against her opponents in the race for the 19th legislative district. The challenges claimed incumbent Rep. Jake Wheatley and District 8 School Board Rep. Mark Brentley did not have the required number of signatures on their petitions. TONYA PAYNE “I immediately noticed she filed in the wrong court,” said Brentley. “This petition is supposed to be filed in Commonwealth Court; she filed in Common Pleas Court. It’s a state issue.” As it turned out, Brentley was right. Judge James dismissed the challenges because he said they should’ve been filed with Commonwealth Court.


Pennsylvania tops Black homicide list

Crime continues to be an epidemic plaguing the Black community, especially among young people. A report released earlier this year by the Violence Policy Center found that among the 50 states, Pennsylvania has the largest number of Black homicides. “We want our study to be a tool for people to use to talk about effective ways to address gun violence,” said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the VPC. He said the study also helps to identify where the violence occurs.


Speak Out…What is your view of police wearing T-shirts supporting the officers in Miles case?

In the recent St. Patrick’s Day parade 70 police officers wore T-shirts in support of the three officers who allegedly beat Jordan Miles. We asked you what you thought. Here’s what you said: “I think that it is ridiculous. I also believe that the officers made it clear how they really feel about what happened with Miles. They think that it is okay and they are sticking by each other.”Shabaka PerkinsWilkinsburgDrummer Shabaka Perkins, Monique Wynn, Lorenzo Reese


Community Calendar

Forensic seminars APRIL 9—The Duquesne University Wecht Institute of Forensics Science and Law will host the Forensic Fridays Seminar from 1-4:30 p.m. at Duquesne University,…


U.S. slave ship replica sails into Old Havana harbor

by Will Weissert HAVANA (AP)—A U.S. replica of the 19th century Cuban slave ship Amistad glided into the millpond-calm waters of Havana Bay and docked March 25, a reminder of the countries’ intertwined past and perhaps a small gesture toward a brighter shared future. HISTORIC SHIP— U.S.-flagged vessel Amistad arrives to the port of Havana, March 25. The ship is in Cuba to observe its 10th anniversary and commemorate the day in 1807 when the British Parliament outlawed slave trade. Built in Connecticut, the black-hulled, two-masted re-creation of the schooner, whose name means “Friendship,” flew the flags of the United States, Cuba and United Nations. It was one of the few times a ship under Cuba’s flag and the Stars and Stripes has called on the island in 51 years of estrangement since Fidel Castro took power.