Daily Archive: September 10, 2010


Juvenile probation officers heal community

(This is fourth in a four-part series dealing with the juvenile justice system.) In 2008, the disparity between Black and White juvenile offenders in Alle­gheny County rose to its highest peak in the past five years. Commonly referred to as the backbone of juvenile court, probation officers are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring these offenders repay their debt to society and go on to lead productive lives. RUSSELL CARLINO “We’re always trying to keep the community safe and hold kids accountable. The big challenge in addition to that is developing competencies for youth,” said Russell Carlino, the county’s director of juvenile probation. “We’re doing more assessments regarding the juvenile’s risks and needs so we really try to determine them so we can address that appropriately.”


Fundraiser for Haitian trade school a success

The music was great, the food was great, and perhaps most importantly for a roof-top fundraiser, the weather was great. So event organizer Russell Bynum said it was no surprise that the fundraising event to help build a technical trade school in Haiti was a success. FUNDS FOR HAITI—Russell and Kathy Bynum, Leon Pamphile, Anna Singer with “Sammy,” a moluccan cockatoo, and Don Kortlandt. “We had about 60 people attend, hear the presentation, enjoy the music and food. We even had Haitian art for sale,” he said. “It went very well. People got to make new friends and enjoy scenes of hope as we work to rebuild lives.” Entertainers included Bynum’s wife and gospel singer Kathy, local jazz icons Etta Cox and Al Dowe, Dr. James Johnson and Pamela Johnson from the Afro-American Music Institute, the Caribbean Vibes Steel Band, and opera singer and WQED radio host Anna P. Singer, who hosted the event at the Mt. Washington home she shares with Donald Kortlandt.


Nielson: Blacks talk, text more than any other ethnic group

(NNPA)—According to a new analysis of cell phone usage by The Nielsen Company, African-Americans spend more time on average talking and texting than any other ethnic group. The voice and text results are compiled from one year (April 2009-March 2010) of mobile usage data gathered by Nielsen, which analyzes the cellphone bills of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers each month in the United States. Nielsen found that African-Americans use on average more than 1,300 voice minutes a month, compared to the next most talkative segment, Hispanics, which talk on average 826 minutes a month. Asian/Pacific Islanders logged on average 692 talk minutes a month, followed by Whites, who use approximately 647 voice minutes a month.


Verizon to sell smart phones for prepaid service

by Peter SvenssonAP Technology Writer NEW YORK (AP)—On Sept, 2 Verizon Wireless announced it’s opening up access to smart phones for customers who prepay for service, such as people with poor credit and those who don’t want to be tied down by long-term contracts. Prepaid service has long been the domain of low-end phones, but such companies as Sprint Nextel Corp. and Leap Wireless International Inc. have recently introduced smart phones for their Boost, Virgin Mobile and Cricket brands.


Beck rally no more than White pity party

The Glenn Beck rally was both galling and satisfying at the same time.It was galling because Beck, Sarah Palin and the predominantly White crowd that inhabited the National Mall Aug. 28 presumed to have a grievance on a par with what Blacks were going through 47 years ago when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. The subtext behind the so-called “Restoring Honor” was definitely an act of making Blacks and other Americans of color scapegoats for the poor economy. That Beck used God to do it harkens back to the Great Depression-era ravings of Father Charles Coughlin and his radio attacks on Jews sprinkled with rationalization for the acts of Hitler and Mussolini.


Is America marching in two different directions?

(NNPA)—“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”—Martin Luther King Jr., Aug. 28, 1963. On Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C., two groups of Americans gathered on the National Mall to express their vision of freedom 47 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. Unfortunately, the two groups seemed to be marching in different directions. One rally, co-convened by Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the National Urban League and a coalition of civil rights organizations, marched from Washington’s Dunbar High School to the site of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial under construction on the National Mall. That group marched to “Reclaim the Dream” that Dr. King so courageously and eloquently articulated at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963: “And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back…We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”


Eight weeks to go

(NNPA)—In just eight weeks, voters will go to the polls, in what many see is a referendum on the economy and the policies of the Obama administration. Republicans hope to take at least one house of Congress, probably the Senate, and they may be well on their way to so doing. Unless she picks up her pace, California Sen. Barbara Boxer will be very vulnerable to former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Never mind that Fiorina led HP at a time when they exported jobs internationally, and that she was ingloriously fired from the computer giant. In a very recent debate, Fiorina looked polished and Boxer did not, although Boxer did a better job of answering questions and presenting her record.


Black magicians: The overlooked entertainers

When the word magician is mentioned, images of David Copperfield, Criss Angel and David Blaine are instantly conjured up. But in actuality, there are a crop of African-Americans who are holding it down in the world of illusion and sleight of hand. JOHN HAMILTON Some of those magicians include master illusionists John Hamilton and Kenrick “ICE” McDonald. Hamilton was the first and only Black American in 1979 to represent the United States in the World Congress of Magic in Brussels. In 1986, Hamilton, who is originally from Cleveland, created “Magic With A Message,” a school assembly program enjoyed by over two million children of all ages.


Cover To Cover…‘In the Shadow of Freedom’

Open wide, or close up tight? When it comes to borders, that’s a question that divides countries, states and even families. It’s a question that might seem answerable with one word, either way, but it’s really not. Like everything these days, it’s complicated and contentious. And then, there are the exceptions… In the new book “In the Shadow of Freedom” by Tchicaya Missamou with Travis Sentell, you’ll read the story of one immigrant and his journey to the U.S., starting with his childhood.



Debt negotiation practices exposed

I recently received a phone call from a friend of mine. He was stressed out, confused and scared. He recently went through a divorce that resulted in him accumulating more than $60,000 in debt. As if the events leading up to the divorce weren’t overwhelming enough, he’s now dealing with the mounting pressure of trying to make payments on this new debt in addition to paying the rest of his bills and expenses, eat and have a life.