Daily Archive: July 14, 2010


Community mourns Lavelle…Family, leaders reflect on his life of giving

Politicians, dignitaries and other high profile people, as well as the common folks came out to pay their respects to one of the most prominent and respected men in Pittsburgh history. Robert R. Lavelle, 94, a resident of the Hill District, passed away peacefully on July 4. Lavelle’s homegoing service was held at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in the Hill District, July 9. Lavelle was laid to rest at Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville. FAMILY FAREWELL—Sons Robert M. Lavelle and John W. Lavelle, with their mother, widow Adah Moore Lavelle, at Allegheny Cemetery. He will always be remembered for his faithful devotion to God’s word and for his many years as an elder, a Sunday School teacher, and Wednesday night Bible study and worship service leader at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church; as a Realtor who founded his own business in 1951 and in 1969 incorporated it as Lavelle Real Estate; and as a banker who served as a director of Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association, a minority-controlled institution, for more than 50 years.


White women protest single-gendered school

At a Pittsburgh Board of Education public hearing where testimony was overwhelmingly directed at the restructuring of Westinghouse High School, few African-Americans participated. Those who did testify at the July 12 meeting did not have children who would be affected by the changes and their voices were lost behind a group of White women who have deemed the proposed single-gender academies as a practice of sexual apar­theid. LONE SUPPORTER—Arita Gilliam stands alone with the only testimony in favor of single-gender academies at Westinghouse High School. “It is difficult to see this proposal as anything other than a ‘Hail Mary’ play, to try something—anything—to fix the problems of low achievement and low enrollment in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. But this is a very harmful proposal that will solve neither,” said Jeanne Clark, president of the Squirrel Hill Chapter of the National Organization for Women. “Since no data has been publicly revealed to justify the reasoning, one can only guess about that reasoning.”



Gainey first elected Black city Dem chair

Coming up on an off-year election, with no contested municipal elections, Ed Gainey has his work cut out for him, but he is unfazed. “Yes there are obstacles, but we have two important races with two strong candidates,” he said. “My job is to get out the vote. Joe Sestak has name recognition after his win over Arlen Specter and Dan (Onorato) has a successful story to tell. So, to me, it’s actually an advantage to be able to concentrate on the two races that will have the biggest impact.” ED GAINEY Getting the Democratic vote for the Senate and gubernatorial races is Gainey’s job because on June 29, he was elected to head Pittsburgh’s Democratic Committee.


Mo’Nique honored to fill void created by Arsenio’s absence

ATLANTA—Mo’Nique takes her position as one of the limited number of Blacks to ever host a nationally televised talk show very, very seriously. In fact, during a recent phone call from her Atlanta residence, the 2010 Academy Award winner spoke on the significance of her Oscar award in addition to her successful late-night talk show on BET. MO’NIQUE Although she earned the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the film, “Precious,” she downplays her acting abilities and out of respect for the acting artistry, continues to call herself a comedienne who happened to win the prestigious acting award. “I still stand on the shoulders of pioneers like Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen,” she offered humbly, while naming Richard Pryor as her ultimate comedic hero. She didn’t provide any foresight on upcoming new movie roles. “I’ll let you know when it happens,” she said.


Jesse Jackson: Cavs’ owner’s comments personify a ‘slave master mentality’

CHICAGO (AP)—Jesse Jackson criticized Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday, saying Gilbert sees LeBron James as a “runaway slave” and that the owner’s comments after the free-agent forward decided to join the Miami Heat put the player in danger. JESSE JACKSON Shortly after James announced his decision last week, Gilbert fired off an incendiary letter to Cleveland’s fans, ripping the 25-year-old and promising to deliver a title before James wins one. He called James’ decision “cowardly” and later told The Associated Press he believes James quit during a handful of Cavaliers playoff games. “He has gotten a free pass,” Gilbert told the AP in a phone interview late July 8. “People have covered up for (James) for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is.”


National battle for teacher funding continues… Pittsburgh should not have to lay off teachers

With state budget decisions looming, many are worried what effect the ever present recession will have on education funding. In May, President Barack Obama’s administration began struggling to push through legislation that would provide $23 billion in emergency support to preserve education jobs. The bill is aimed at helping more than 100,000 teachers who have been laid off across the country. GRADUATING CLASS OF OLIVER HIGH SCHOOL—As teachers are laid off across the country, who will be left to lead tomorrow’s graduates? “It is crucial that we keep our teachers in the classroom,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Our teachers are vital to our students’ success, our economy’s success and our nation’s success. We must act now to prevent teachers from being laid off and ensure that America’s students have the knowledge and skills to succeed in the 21st century.”


Buffalo Soldier Lt. Col. Charlton promotes military service

(Part two of a series) When most people think about the military draft, enforced for several U.S. wars, their thoughts are negative. But for Lt. Col. George N. Charlton Jr. the draft led to a long worthwhile career. “I consider myself fortunate. I would’ve never volunteered,” said Charlton, 87. “If I had it my way, after everyone graduates from high school, they would enlist, get some discipline. I would recommend it for everyone—boys and girls.” HISTORIC SNAPSHOTS—Lt. George Charlton reflects on military photos taken by former Pittsburgh Courier photographer Teenie Harris. In 1943, Charlton was drafted into the army where he would soon serve as a Buffalo Soldier in World War II. After he completed his training in California, the war would take him to parts of Africa and Italy, but he would not be alone.


URA moves on Hill YMCA, North Side, Larimer projects

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh has cleared the way for projects to begin in several of the city’s Black neighborhoods. Chief among the items authorized during its July 8 meeting of the URA board was the purchase and transfer of 18 lots along Centre Avenue to the YMCA as the site for its new Thelma Lovette facility. The properties, valued at $237,250, include 14 lots that stretch from 2108 to 2140 Centre Ave. and another four on Hemans Street that will serve as a parking lot. YMCA representative Phil Jones said the bulk of $13 million in funding is in place and he expects construction to begin in late August or early September.


Community Calendar

Fresh Fridays JULY 16—The Charm Bracelet Project will host its Fresh Fridays series from 4-6 p.m. at the North Side Farmers Market, Cedar Avenue and…