Daily Archive: June 16, 2010


Community demands justice for Miles

The battle against police brutality raged on over the weekend when the newly formed Alliance for Police Accountability held a rally calling for justice for Jordan Miles at Freedom Corner in the Hill District. Miles, a soon-to-be graduate of the Pittsburgh Public High School for Creative and Performing Arts, was allegedly beaten by three undercover police officers in January. JUSTICE FOR JORDAN—Organizers march in Downtown Pittsburgh on their way to the City-County building. “We as a people need to do something about police brutality,” said Raenelle Dixon, whose father Charles Dixon was killed in 2002 by a Wilkinsburg police officer. The rally on June 12 featured a number of speakers, including Tim Stevens of the Black Political Empowerment Project; activist rapper Jasiri X; community activist Paradise Gray; Green Party congressional candidate Ed Bortz; Bret Grote of the activist group HRC-Fed Up, and Miles’ mother and grandmother and some friends from CAPA.


Atwater resigns under fire from IUP

Six months after Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Anthony Atwater received a vote of no confidence from the university’s faculty union, he has announced his resignation. TONY ATWATER “From the faculty perspective, we actually welcome Dr. Atwater’s departure. From our vote of no confidence last year we were very unsatisfied with his performance. There are decisions that have been made by Atwater that have compromised the university economically,” said Francisco Alarcón, vice president of IUP’s Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. “I think although some of the administration and the board of governors have indicated they were pleased with his performance, I think it’s no coincidence his contract wasn’t renewed.”


PBMF honors Courier, Thompson

A true celebration of the past, present and the future is the only way to describe the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s 27th Annual Robert L. Vann awards reception that took place June 10 at the William Pitt Student Union of the University of Pittsburgh. GROUP OF WINNERS—From left: Ashley G. Woodson, Debbie Norrell, Rebecca Nuttall, Ulish Carter, Rod Doss, Ashley Johnson, LaMont Jones and J.L. Martello, members of the New Pittsburgh Courier, display their awards for various categories. “The reception was outstanding. Every year we have a great turnout. It was so nice to see the television coverage,” said Tonita Davidson, president of the PBMF. “Sometimes our stories get hidden within the ‘regular’ media and our journalists do not get the recognition, like they should (and the Robert L. Vann awards does that). It encourages journalists and shows it (their stories) do matter.”


CEA to purchase building from HBRDC…Homewood green incubator gets funds

Joined by more than 20 supporters, Community Empowerment Association founder Rashad Byrdsong told the Urban Redevelopment Board their practices were detrimental to the Black community in Homewood. Byrdsong apologized in advance for his comments prior to the start of the June 9 board meeting, then charged the authority had shafted him—mainly because there were no Blacks in high management positions since Mulu Birru left as director. He said Homewood has been ignored to the point where the business corridor “looks like 1968.” RASHAD BYRDSONG


S.C. Dems question Black candidate’s legitimacy

(Afro.com)—Controversy has arisen in South Carolina as Alvin M. Greene, an unemployed veteran facing felony charges, has won the state’s Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.Greene’s win was improbable, as he’s never given a campaign speech, doesn’t have a website, has no campaign signs and only has $114 in his campaign bank account. Yet, more than 100,000 South Carolinians voted for him. As a result of his unlikely victory over four-term state legislator Vic Rawl, Greene will face incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint in November. SENATE CANDIDATE—Alvin M. Greene, South Carolina’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, poses for a photo in Manning, S.C., June 9.


Stack leads Pa. stand against Sudan

Thanks to movies like “Blood Diamond” and “Hotel Rwanda,” Americans are becoming more and more aware of the harsh conditions in many African nations. Terroristic governments and anti-government terrorists perpetuate much of the violence in these nations and others such as Iran. MIKE STACK New legislation proposed by Philadelphia Sen. Mike Stack will attempt to financially weaken brutal leaders in Sudan and Iran and play a role in ­changing these horrific and threatening environments. “The bill mandates that Pennsylvania divest from the Sudan and Iran,” said Stack. “There have been a number of movies about genocide in Africa and people see them and say how did this happen? We have to make sure there are interest groups invested in these African issues.”


Speak Out: Will ‘Take Your Father to School Day’ have a lasting impact?

“Take Your Father to School Day” was recently celebrated by the Pittsburgh Public Schools. We asked Pittsburghers about its lasting effect. Here’s what you said: RONDA HODGE, JEROME JACKSON and CHRIS RICHARDSON “I think it will for some kids; the male being a positive role model in the family, bringing it back to where it needs to be.”Ronda Hodge DuquesneMedical assistant


Community Calendar

Housing workshop JUNE 19—The Mon Valley Initiative will host a Pre-Purchase Housing Workshop from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 305 East 8th Ave., Homestead. This workshop will promote homeownership in the Mon Valley through presentations made by mortgage lending and real estate professionals. The presentations will give information about lending products for low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers that includes down payment and closing cost assistance. There will be a light breakfast and lunch and will be provided. For more information, call Mike Mauer at 412-464-4000, ext. 4008 or visit http://www.monvalleyintiative.com.


Metro Beat

Bus fare on the rise AP—The head of the Pittsburgh area’s mass transit agency says one-way bus fares could rise from $2.75 to $6 or $7. Chief Executive Officer Steve Bland says the Port Authority of Allegheny County faces a $51 million budget deficit despite service cuts and other reforms in the past three years that have saved $52 million annually.