Daily Archive: August 25, 2010


Chief Harper: Enough is enough

Last week’s shooting near Willie Stargell Field during a midget football game in Homewood was the last straw for Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper. Even before the incident, Harper was fed up with the Black-on-Black violence in Pittsburgh, but this incident gave him one more reason to be concerned, one more reason to say enough is enough. TIME TO BE PROACTIVE—Chief Nate Harper is fed up with crime in the city’s neighborhoods. “To have that type of violence, to have 30 people (witness it) and no one say who the shooter was, and to make it even worse you have all these kids and to have no counselors come out, what is this telling our community? Get used to it. This is the way we live,” Harper said at an exclusive editorial board meeting with the New Pittsburgh Courier. “Every parent should be upset that these knuckleheads, these terrorists did this.”


Youth football league bonds in show of unity

In their own show of force, all 10 teams in the Allegheny County Midget Football League came together at Chadwick Field in Lincoln-Larimer. Reflecting the show of force demonstrated by Pittsburgh police officers after a violent incident earlier in the week, the teams united on the field Aug. 18 to demonstrate their unity. “We’re here just to show we have unity and support,” said Jose Regus, league president. “It shows that we’re going to stick together and make this league as prosperous as it’s always been. We’re going to continue to do what we’re all here to do, give these kids guidance. We’re about more than football.” The action came as a response to a shooting following a league football game at the Willie Stargell Field in Homewood Aug. 15. After the shootings that left three people wounded, Police Chief Nate Harper threatened to cancel league games in the city if community members did not come forward with information. They did. To further mend the strained relationship between the league and law enforcement, city officials and team coaches met to develop a plan for making the games safer. At the meeting and during the gathering at Chadwick field, the coaches pledged to work harder at policing themselves. “When you see a problem, address it,” Regus said. “We’re just not going to tolerate the things that have happened in the past. We’re going to keep this a kid’s environment.” Despite popular sentiments that Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are often hostile towards each other, coaches, players and fans on teams from the East End to the North Side gathered to voice support for the league. “It shows we will unite around the kids. The thing that happened at the field, it wasn’t a Hill District-Homewood thing,” said Monte Robinson, a Homewoods coach. “It was a great show of support for the league and Homewood especially because that’s where the incident was around. It woke everyone up.” SHOW OF SUPPORT—Jose Regus addresses the packed bleachers at Chadwick field. “I want to say it sends a message that the league itself is serious about doing what’s best for the kids,” said Paulette Bradford, Clairton league president. “We were in a position when there was never anything to do as kids. I’d really hate to see it happen. I hope and pray everybody steps up.”


PAT: Cuts hurt everyone…Black neighborhoods dodge most of the pain

Unlike 50 surrounding communities, Pittsburgh’s Black neighborhoods would not see a total loss of service if cuts planned by the Port Authority of Allegheny County go forward—but they will see significant cuts in some weekend and off-hour daily service. LIFE SUPPORT—Medical tech students at the Stanford Brown Institute wait to tell a stenographer service cuts could jeopardize their and their children’s schooling. During its Aug. 19 public hearing at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the authority repeated its intention to cut service levels 35 percent and raise fares in January unless state legislators find a way to close a $47 million hole in its budget. Still, because Pittsburgh’s Black communities account for a large percentage of the authority’s existing ridership, they would see fewer cuts than neighborhoods that use less transit.


Curtain falls on Schenley athletics

by Malik Vincent For New Pittsburgh Courier The winner of eight out of 19 varsity boys and girls championships in the City League last year will graduate its 95th and final class next spring. This has come with the 2008 decision to permanently close the now Schenley High School facility at 129 Denniston Ave. in the city’s East End. “It’s been a difficult situation,” Schenley’s principal Sophia Facaros said. SCHENLEY HEAD FOOTBALL COACH JASON BELL


Courier honors three legendary activists

Adding a new component to their yearly list of 50 Men of Excellence, the New Pittsburgh Courier will honor three local legends. Receiving the 2010 Legacy Awards are Wendell Free­land, Robert Lavelle, post­­humously and Robert Pitts. ROBERT LAVELLE, WENDELL FREELAND and ROBERT PITTS Through more than 50 years as a civil rights attorney and leader in the Urban League, Freeland pressed the city schools on issues of hiring and achievement in the 1950s and was a lead attorney in the desegregation of Highland Park Pool. He is also well known for his time in the service as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II.


Speak Out: Should Shirley Sherrod accept the job offered her?

Shirley Sherrod of the U.S. Department of Agriculture was fired because an edited tape portrayed her as a racist. After watching the entire tape it was found that she was the exact opposite which led to apologies from the NAACP and others and she was offered another job with the USDA. Should she sue the people who released the false information? We asked Pittsburghers their view and here’s what you said:


Community Calendar

Memorial gathering AUG. 26—The PROMISE Group will host the Jehru M. Donaldson Memorial Gathering for Lost Ones from 12-6 p.m. at West Park, North Shore. This is an event to remember lost loved ones. For more information, call Tonya at 412-452-8594 or Jay at 412-321-1019.


Mandela charity’s ex-chief cuts ties over diamonds

by Donna BrysonAssociated Press Writer JOHANNESBURG (AP)—A trustee of a Nelson Mandela charity said he will leave the organization after being caught up in a scandal involving a supermodel, a warlord and rough diamonds. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund announced Aug. 18 that its former chief executive, Jeremy Ractliffe, was stepping down from the charity’s board after he acknowledged that he secretly possessed alleged “blood diamonds” for more than a decade. GIVING TESTIMONY—Naomi Campbell is seen on a screen in the pressroom of the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, Netherlands, Aug. 5.


Obama doesn’t travel light—even on vacation

by Glen Johnson VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. (AP)—President Barack Obama had a simple task for his first morning on vacation: shoot over to a Martha’s Vineyard bookstore to fill out his daughters’ summer reading list and grab himself a novel. Easier said than done. BOOK SHOPPING—President Barack Obama, with daughters Malia and Sasha, leave the Bunch of Grapes book store in Vineyard Haven, Mass., Aug. 20, where the first family is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. His SUV, part of a 20-vehicle motorcade, passed through a cordon of Massachusetts State Police motorcycle officers, in a protective cocoon of Secret Service agents. Tagging along for the quick trip Friday were White House communications trucks, an ambulance and two vans full of reporters and photographers.


‘48 Hours’ correspondent Harold Dow dies at 62

NEW YORK (AP)—Emmy-winning CBS News correspondent Harold Dow, who helped shape the documentary program “48 Hours” and covered the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst and the Sept. 11 attacks, has died. He was 62. Dow died suddenly Saturday morning in New Jersey, network spokeswoman Louise Bashi said. He lived in Upper Saddle River, N.J., but it wasn’t immediately clear if he’d been at home. HAROLD DOW Dow had been a correspondent for “48 Hours” since 1990. His nearly 40 years with the network also included reporting for “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather” and “CBS News Sunday Morning.”