Daily Archive: October 1, 2010


New homes renewing Homewood

A year and a half ago Bryan and Julie McCabe and their daughters Kyra and Sierra were living in Wexford looking to buy a home closer to his job in Pittsburgh—now he can walk to work. At that same time, demolition of the Garfield Heights Apartments forced Tiffany McGinnis, her son Germal McCray Jr. and daughter Tayshia McCray to search for a new home. Now they are neighbors—in Homewood. Though neither planned it, they are helping to rebuild the neighborhood, while they build their lives as homeowners on Susquehanna Street. NEW NEIGHBORS—Homeowners on Susquehanna Street in Homewood enjoy a beautiful fall day from their front porches. (Photo by J.L. Martello) They were among the first four families to buy in what will eventually be a 30-home complex within walking distance of Faison Elementary School. Of the 10 built to date, all are occupied.


Survey: Americans don’t know much about religion

by Rachell Zoll (AP)–A new survey of Americans’ knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths. Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn’t know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.


Five African-Americans receive their white coats from Pitt

by J.L. Martello The Pitt School of Dental Medicine held their white coat ceremony for their first year students at Scaife Hall Sept. 15. The emblematic white coat ceremony is held for incoming first year dental medicine and dental hygiene students. PROUD STUDENTS—Erika Andrews, Jocelyn Ball, Chijioke Eseonu, Barbara Anne Graham and Kendra Sims (Photo by J.L. Martello). Once a student receives their white coat they can then study to get their degree in dental medicine after completing their undergrad studies. Thirty-six dental hygiene and 80 dental students received their white coats. There were students from 18 states and six different countries. Four women and one man were African-American.


Republicans pledge: ‘A trick bag for America’

(NNPA)—The Republican Party has spent most of the past two years as the “Party of No,” opposing nearly every policy proposed by President Obama and Democrats in Con­gress—a strategy that has worked politically, according to polls that say this November’s election could sweep Republicans back into the majority in the House and possibly the Senate. But until last week, the Republican Party had offered no agenda of its own—so party leaders finally produced one: the lofty-sounding “Pledge to America.”


Black folks and the illusion of inclusion

(NNPA)—Unfortunately, too many Black folks in this country are blinded by a debilitating condition best described as the illusion of inclusion. This was graphically demonstrated at a town hall meeting during which Mrs. Velma Hart, an educated, stylishly-dressed Black woman relayed her deeply felt economic concerns to President Barack Obama. With a firm voice, Mrs. Hart told the President that “I am one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly, I am exhausted. Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class….”


Young, gifted and poor

(NNPA)—The 2009 poverty numbers were released last week, and things are a lot worse than many economists thought they would be. The poverty rate jumped up a full percentage point, from 13.2 to 14.3 percent. This means that one in seven Americans live in poverty, 4 million more than a year ago. This is the third year the level of poverty and the number of poor Americans has risen. The poverty rate among African-Americans rose, too, from 24.7 percent to 25.8 percent. The rate for Hispanics rose from 23.2 percent to 25.1 percent. African-Americans have the highest poverty rate of any racial ethnic group. In contrast, the rate for non-Hispanic Whites is 9.4 percent, less than half the rate for African-Americans.


Kuntu’s 36th and possibly last season celebrates Penny

Kuntu Repertory Theater will dedicate its 36th season to the local Pittsburgh writers who were influenced by prolific playwright Rob Penny. “We’ve done a three-year plan where we started by focusing on Rob Penny’s plays and then we did a year of the writers who influenced him and now we are finishing that plan by doing plays by writers who were influenced by him,” said Vernell A. Lillie, founder and director of Kuntu Repertory Theatre. “I thought Rob created great Black female and male characters and he looks at Black people in a lot of different areas and that’s what drew me to Rob.” VERNELL A. LILLIE


Cover To Cover…‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’

When the doctor said you needed a booster shot, it made you wince. You’re all grown up and you know that a vaccine is nothing but a poke, a sting, and lots of protection. No big deal. So why is there a little kid part of you that wants to wail when the needle approaches your arm (or worse)? Few people ask for shots, but if you’ve ever been treated for hemophilia, leukemia, the flu, Parkinson’s disease, an STD, lactose intolerance, appendicitis or dozens of other illnesses, you owe big thanks to one woman who never volunteered to help you. Read more in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.