Daily Archive: November 19, 2010

National

France honors ‘beloved’ novelist Toni Morrison

by Jenny Barchfield PARIS (AP)—Toni Morrison is “beloved” in France, the country’s culture minister said Nov. 3, as he inducted the celebrated U.S. novelist into the elite Legion of Honor society. In a ceremony in a gilded hall in the ministry, Frederic Mitterrand pinned a red and gold medal onto the celebrated author’s jacket as a scrum of photographers snapped away. “BELOVED” AUTHOR—U.S. novelist Toni Morrison poses with her son Ford Morrison after being awarded of the Legion of Honor by French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand, unseen, in Paris, Nov. 3. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus). Mitterrand called Morrison—a Nobel laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize—“the greatest American novelist of her time.” “I want to tell you that you incarnate what’s most beautiful about America…(that) which gives a Black child, born during segregation into a modest family in a medium-sized Ohio city an exceptional destiny,” Mitterrand told Morrison, as she listened on from a gilt-covered armchair nearby. “You were the first woman writer to tell the painful history of Afro-Americans.”

National

1 NFL pension, 2 wives equals Pa. court fight

by Maryclaire Dale PHILADELPHIA (AP)—A Pennsylvania woman should get the NFL pension of former Philadelphia Eagle running back Tom Sullivan because he never divorced her before marrying again, a federal judge has ruled. TWO WIVES—This Nov. 27, 1973, photo shows Philadelphia Eagles football player Tom Sullivan in the locker room at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, after a game against the New York Giants. (AP Photo/File) Barbara Sullivan of Summerville, S.C., who has two daughters from her 16-year marriage to Sullivan, is no longer entitled to the $2,700-a-month spousal benefit, the judge said. He found that marriage void under South Carolina’s bigamy law. The NFL must now send the pension payments to Lavona Hill, of Folcroft, whose 1979 marriage to Sullivan was never dissolved when they went their separate ways in 1983.

Sports

The legend of Maurice Lucas

by Armon Gilliam Maurice Lucas, the great power forward from the Hill District who led the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title, lost his battle with bladder cancer and died Oct. 31 in his home in Portland Oregon. Although the basketball legend has passed away, his legacy lives on. He was 58 years old. ARMON GILLIAM As a young and aspiring basketball player growing up in the Pittsburgh area I heard the legend of Maurice Lucas. Competing in high school games, summer leagues and post season basketball tournaments, I recall older basketball enthusiasts offering up many tales about Maurice. They told me about Maurice the “Intimidator” or “Enforcer” who played a rough house brand of basketball and enjoyed a lot of success on the high school, college and pro level. As a student of the game, I eventually did some research on this basketball legend.

Metro

Dinwiddie Alliance rejects PAT changes

Shortly after the Port Authority of Allegheny County put forth its preliminary plan to reduce service in anticipation of a projected $52 million shortfall, members of the Dinwiddie Community Alliance contacted PAT about restoring the Hill Loop and Church Loop routes they said seniors rely on for shopping, doctor visits and Sunday services. In September, as part of its efforts to increase efficiency, the Authority eliminated the 84C Loop routes—which linked the Hill with the South Side allowing shopping at the Giant Eagle on weekdays and provided service to all the Hill Churches on Sundays. Parts of those routes were taken up by the 81 Oak Hill and 83 Webster.

International

Ugandan prez puts on hip-hop hat

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP)—He’s 65, he’s been president for more than two decades, and he’s Uganda’s newest rap star. Facing a February election, President Yoweri Museveni has released a rap song and video that’s become a sensation in this East African nation, played at dance clubs, on the radio and as a mobile phone ringtone. Enthusiastic supporters at a rally in northern Uganda last week called for Museveni to perform “U Want Another Rap.”

Opinion

A notice to the GOP

(NNPA)—More often than not, virtually everything we as adults do is for the betterment of our children, and of course, their future. Some of us work two/three jobs just to provide food and shelter, while others sacrifice their own dreams so that the next generation may attend college or perhaps even graduate school. We collectively work towards a stronger, brighter tomorrow in the hopes that our children and our neighbors’ children will be afforded greater opportunities, and we all will progress as a society. If this is the underlying premise for our individual and group advancement as a nation, how can we possibly justify the volatile environment we are leaving for today’s youth? When more than 50 percent of those aged 16-24 were unemployed according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this summer, how can we even begin to validate partisan bickering and an obstruction of the President’s agenda? My message to the GOP—we simply cannot.

Opinion

Who let the duck out?

(NNPA)—Congress convenes on Monday, Nov. 15 for its lame-duck session. Some of the Democrats that will sit in the majority are not going to be coming back to Congress in January. Some of the Republicans, now in the minority, are licking their chops because they will occupy the majority in a few short weeks. There is work that must be done by this lame duck Congress, but how much work will they do, really? Will the Democrats hold their majority power knowing it is really gone? Will Republicans, buoyed and buttressed by the likes of Sarah Palin and those who abuse tea in the name of their party, crow and bask their early month victory? Will the White House dig in or get downright penitent? Right now, following politics is better than watching a soap opera or a train wreck. Except for the fact that these politics affect all of us and all of our lives.

Opinion

New Orleans battles back

(NNPA)—It’s been five years since Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma stormed into New Orleans, destroying lives, families and entire communities. The city’s res­toration has been slow going: early on, returning homeowners wanting to rebuild found themselves bogged down in red tape. The last two years, however, have brought about significant changes in the city’s landscape and once devastated neighborhoods are starting to thrive. The two storms left New Orleans with more than 65,000 abandoned homes and empty lots. Anyone living in an urban environment can tell you that such blight will eventually lead to both an increase in crime and a decrease in the quality of life for community residents. And, that’s exactly what was happening in New Orleans, until local officials and community groups began to develop programs designed to do away with urban blight.

Opinion

Black American patriotism: Time to end Black poverty

(NNPA)—No one should ever question the patriotism of African-Americans. Black soldiers, men and women, from our communities have fought heroically and valiantly in all of the wars to free and protect the United States of America. From Crispus Attucks, the first to die in the fight against the British in Boston in March of 1770 at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, to today in Afghanistan, where African-American soldiers are sacrificing with others to protect the security and geo-political interests of America. During recent 2010 U.S. Veterans Day observances across the nation, it was another time for pause, reflection and analysis of the history of centuries-long, resolute patriotism in the African-American community against the contemporary social backdrop of lingering and growing poverty within our communities.