Daily Archive: November 12, 2010

Metro

‘Help the Needy, Not the Greedy’… Local organization gives furniture to poor

From an early age Hank Commodore developed a love for the Lord and a passion to give back to those who were less fortunate than he. Before it was to needy children, but now through his organization Help the Needy, Not the Greedy Get On Board for the Right Thing, Commodore is helping disadvantaged families by providing furniture. HANK COMMODORE (Photo by J.L. Martello) “I give the Lord all the praise. I do this out of my own pocket,” Commodore said. “I have been doing this for years and it has been a blessing.” Help the Needy, Not the Greedy was first started in 2007 and according to Commodore, founder and chairman, it has given away more than $3 million in furniture to those who are less fortunate. For more than 20 years, he began purchasing furniture from a local store and giving it out. Now he receives furniture donations from stores.

Metro

Summit moves on dropout prevention blueprint

Every nine seconds, a student in America becomes a dropout. For Pittsburgh high school students the dropout rate averages at approximately 35 percent, reaching as high as 50 percent for African-American males. SABRINA SAUNDERS In the opening minutes of the 2010 Graduate Pittsburgh Summit on Nov. 4, the audience of educators, youth advocates, students, parents, and leaders in government, business, and the community heard the stories of four local dropouts who are now on the path to graduating.

Metro

Midterm results could quell Obama’s agenda

With Republicans gaining 60 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, President Obama now faces the prospect that his agenda initiatives on passing Card Check, Illegal Immigration reform and Cap and Trade may be dead in the water. There is even the possibility that his signature Healthcare legislation could be rolled back, or defunded. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who will take over as Speaker of the House in January, said his priority is repealing Obamacare. PRESIDENT OBAMA However, the first priority of the lame-duck session will be extending the Bush-era tax rates. Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi prevented a vote on the issue last month. The lower marginal rates, and increases in the child tax exemption and the Earned Income Tax Credit expire at the end of the year. President Obama said he is willing to negotiate.

International

US defends human rights record

by Frank Jordans GENEVA (AP) — The U.S. stood accused Nov. 5 of human rights violations ranging from racial discrimination to prison overcrowding and abuses by its troops, as friends and foes lined up to chide Washington in a U.N. forum the U.S. has pledged to be an equal member of rather than shun, as the past administration did. LISTENING—United States’ Michael Posner, right, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy Human Rights and Labor, and United States’ Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Affairs, listen to question during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 5. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Esther Brimmer said Washington was proud of its record but prepared to engage critics during the country’s first comprehensive review before the U.N. Human Rights Council.

National

Mass. town makes peace with Du Bois, a native son

by Russell Conteras GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP)—He’s the most famous son of this quiet mountain hamlet in western Massachusetts. But until recently, people looking for signs of W.E.B. Du Bois’ life and legacy in Great Barrington would have had a hard time finding them. NATIVE SON—A mural in downtown Great Barrington, Mass., honors African-American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois. As the town prepares to celebrate it’s 250th birthday, Du Bois, one of its most famous and controversial native sons, is being included in it’s history and promotional material. (AP Photo/Shana Sureck) For decades since Du Bois’ death in Ghana in 1963, the civil rights activist and scholar has drawn praise for his writings but scorn from residents upset that he joined the Communist Party, became a citizen of Ghana and often criticized the U.S. over race relations.

Metro

Speak Out: What is your reaction to the election results?

November 2 was mid-term election time and the Republicans won big so we asked Pittsburghers their reactions and this is what you said: “I’m not too happy because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. At least I tried to do something by voting. I’m not the type to complain without doing something about it.”Kevin White PitcarinUnemployed

National

Newly-elected Black Republicans—Where will they fit?

NNPA—Election Day victories for two Black Republicans raise a rare question in the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress: How will two African-American members of the Grand Old Party interact with the Congressional Black Caucus? Fourteen Black Republicans ran for Congress in the Nov. 2 mid-term elections but, after all the votes were counted, only Tim Scott, a South Carolina businessman, and Allen West, a Florida-based Army veteran of the Iraq War, will take seats. They are the first African-American Republicans to be elected to Congress since 1995. So far, West has said he wants to be part of the CBC, while Scott is still undecided and is leaning toward not participating.

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Opinion

The Republican’s historic night

With all the pundits giving their views on Tuesday night’s election results, I found very little insightful analysis of what really happened. So, if you want the traditional election analysis, then go on the Internet and read all the conventional analysis. I want to deal with the election results from a different slant. Tuesday’s elections proved to be historic for the Republican Party. Two Blacks were elected to the House of Representatives, two Hispanics were elected as governors, and one Indian female was elected governor. Listening to all the election night coverage, you would have never known that this took place. This is why diversity within media (at all levels) is critically important.

Opinion

On President Obama and Oscar Grant

(NNPA)—There was something heady in the air on Jan. 20, 2009, so heady, hot and special that I barely felt the bracing cold as I sat outside to watch our President take the oath. There was hope in the air and it was filled with high energy. There were pronouncements that this was a new, post-racial era. And even as I shared high hopes and high energy, I was skeptical of any post-racialism. You see, in the same month that the first African-American was inaugurated as President of the United States, another African-American man, an unarmed Oscar Grant, was executed by transit police officer Johannes Mehserle who said he mistakenly shot his gun instead of his taser in Oakland, Calif. Grant, who was unarmed, handcuffed, and the father of a baby girl was pronounced dead on Jan. 2, 2009.

Opinion

Increasing college aid

In a significant sign of progress on the higher education front, financial aid has increased dramatically since the Obama administration took office. In the past year, students received $28 billion in Pell Grants—that’s $10 billion more than was issued the previous year. This news makes it clear the federal government is mindful of the rising costs of a college education and willing to invest to provide an opportunity for anyone willing to put in the work to obtain a degree.