Daily Archive: January 27, 2011


Lane new Pittsburgh superintendent… First Black ­female selected to full term

On Dec. 13, former Pittsburgh Public School District Deputy superintendent Linda Lane was voted in as the first African-American female superintendent in the district. Her appointment, which passed with a vote of eight to one, came exactly four years to the day from her initial appointment as deputy superintendent. NEW SUPERINTENDANT—Linda Lane thanks the board for giving her the opportunity to lead the district. (Photo by J.L. Martello) Lane follows in the footsteps of Helen Faison who became the first African-American woman to be named acting superintendent in 1999. Her contract extends through the end of the 2014 school year. “As superintendent, I will not shy away from the difficult decisions that will need to be made to ensure that our students continue to improve their academic achievement at all levels,” Lane said. “To achieve our vision of ‘Excellence for All,’ it is up to all of us—the entire community—to rededicate ourselves to the work of preparing our students to be lifelong learners who can earn a college degree or workforce certification.”


Report: Most available jobs require no college

The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board has released a five-year analysis of advertised jobs in the Pittsburgh area that indicates that most do not require education beyond a high school level. The Supply Demand Analysis Part 1 report noted that as of July, the last month of the study, the 25 most frequently advertised jobs pay between $10 per hour and $45 per hour. These top-25 positions accounted for 15,500 ads in that one month alone and represented 30 percent of all job listings. There were, for instance, advertisements for more than 1,500 nurses aids and orderly positions, paying an average of $12.50 to start, more than 900 customer service positions, paying an average of $15 per hour, and more than 800 retail sales supervisor positions, paying an average of $19 per hour.


POISE celebrates 30 years

POISE was founded with $164,000 by the late Bernard Jones in 1980 as an outgrowth of his previous work with Urban Youth Action and was designed to develop and enhance the participation of African-American philanthropists in the economic and social development of the Black community of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. On Dec. 9, donors, past scholarship recipients, and partner agencies celebrated Poise’s 30 years of fostering achievement at an anniversary gala at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. HELPING HANDS—Event chairs for the POISE 30th Anniversary Gala Sean and Greer Reed Jones accept a painting from President and CEO Mark Lewis for their work and ongoing support of the foundation. (Photo by J.L. Martello) The evening included an awards ceremony, an anniversary salute and film presentation, cocktails and an hors d’oeuvres reception with music provided by Roger Humphries’ RH Factor. “We had about 200 people attend, so given the weather it was great,” said POISE President and CEO Mark Lewis. “Not only was it a celebration of our 30 years, but we also recognized some of our donors and community partners.”


Local hip-hop artist Young Brocc turns life around through his music

Alvin “Young Brocc” Briskey became interested in the hip-hop culture and knew he wanted to become a hip-hop artist in 2005. In his early years, he was in jail but decided to turn his life around and get on the right track. He was not into playing cards or video games, but he was very interested in poetry, reading and writing. He turned his poetry and life experiences into songs. He is an artist that has his own unique sound. YOUNG BROCC (Photo by Ashley G. Woodson) “Everybody now-a-days is trying to sound like someone else verses back in the day everyone had their own independent style. Everyone was spitting punch lines but now everyone doesn’t do it that way. Everyone is rapping about things they are not living and if they are living what they are talking about, it is only to a certain extent. Some people rap about what they would like to have and there is nothing wrong with that because you are setting a goal for yourself. Some rappers are in the game just to hear themselves talk, but they’re not talking about anything. You should rap about things that are really going on and that others can relate to, not just one individual. I am a versatile artist, but my music is also mainstream hip-hop music. I can rap about anything and it will still sound great,” said Young Brocc.


City League Girls Basketball Preview

by Malik Vincent The Westinghouse Girls basketball team has been a perennial threat to win the City League crown for some time now. However, coach Phyllis Jones said her team is “under construction” right now and believes Allderdice is the favorite to win it all this year. Dragons’ coach, Dave Walchesky, disagrees. MARRITTA GILCREASE “(Coach) Jones is tremendous,” Walchesky said. “Westinghouse always brings a seasoned team to the table every year. They should never be counted out of the equation.” But with Allderdice losing only one starter from last season, Jones’ point could be valid.



Cyril H. Wecht: A most reliable and trustworthy friend

I was born in the Hill District and it was a melting pot. The citizenship consisted of coloreds, Jews, Italians and Syrians and that was reflected in the makeup of the student body at Fifth Avenue High School. The immediate neighborhood was overwhelmingly Jewish and there was a relationship between some of us that lasted a lifetime. For example, a number of us met a young Jewish individual who played on the football team with us. He was an accomplished violinist, outspoken and an extremely bright high honor student. Cyril H. Wecht was his name and none of us who knew him were surprised that he would be successful in any career of his choosing. Cyril demonstrated in his early college life that he believed in equality by becoming involved in the civil rights movement under the leadership of the legendary A. Phillip Randolph.


A ‘Used Up’ Michael Steele to seek second term as GOP leader

(NNPA)—Although the Republican Party appears to have gotten as much use as they wanted out of Michael Steele, the embattled chairman of the Republican National Committee told supporters Monday night he will seek re-election next month. “Yes, I have stumbled along the way, but have always accounted to you for such shortcomings,” he told the 168-member committee in an e-mail sent after a telephone conference call with them. “No excuses. No lies, No hidden agenda. “Going forward, I ask for your support and your vote for a second term.”



Obama needs a shutdown not a Clinton

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—In the wake of 2010 mid term elections and President Obama’s recent deal with the Republicans on the Bush Tax cuts a curious narrative seems to have occurred in the press. Many have been saying that Obama needs to act more like Bill Clinton, that after his 1994 mid-terms he ‘triangulated’ more moving to the center and avoiding liberal hot button issues like Healthcare and Gays in the Military. The narrative further goes that Obama caves in to Republicans too often, resulting in policies like the Tax Deal or healthcare that lead to him giving into Republicans, chastising his own base for not having his back and leaving the center annoyed that no real business gets done. When Obama trotted out Clinton last Friday to justify his Tax deal it even further solidified this discussion of Clinton post 1994 as a model for Obama. But let’s be honest, Bill Clinton isn’t a model for the Obama presidency and any suggestion that he is ignores the ineptitude of the early Clinton presidency.


A Black Christmas in 2010

by Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. (NNPA)—As we approach the Christmas season this year, it is important for African-Americans and others to stress the necessity for freedom, justice, equality, and peace in our communities across America and throughout the world. A “Black Christmas” should mean that this will also be the season for African-American empowerment and stronger financial sustainability. The fact that the unemployment rate among African-Americans is still at an unprecedented high level should mean that the thousands of dollars that we are spending during these Christmas holidays should be spent more wisely. We are billion-dollar consumers of products and services. A “Black Christmas” for us should mean that we should save our money in proportion to what we spend and buy. We should support and buy from African-American owned businesses. We should save our money in African-American owned financial institutions. We should be more prudent on how we use what money we do have.


Teen girls dizzy over Mindless Behavior

Reminiscent of boy groups Kris Kross, the Jackson 5 and B2K, the four spirited teenagers of the musical phenomenon Mindless Behavior are on a mission to become forever etched into the hearts, minds and CD collections of young girls throughout the world. And the group plans on doing that by one screaming and crying fan at a time. MINDLESS BEHAVIOR Mindless Behavior is a group of four 13-year-old boys—Prodigy, Ray Ray, Roc Royal and Princeton—that easily blend together epic dance moves, far-reaching pop songs and futuristic fashion and style. “We’ve always looked up to Michael Jackson because he had compassion and a great work ethic and his dance moves were exceptional,” said singer Ray Ray, who grew up under the tutelage of famed Los Angeles battle dancer Tommy The Clown. “You need a great work ethic to make it in this business.”