Daily Archive: February 2, 2011


Pa. Black reps stiffed in shake-up

While Democrats in the state house railed against Republican measures to limit their voice last week, Black Democrats are upset with their own party for the same reason—no voice on key committees. MIFFED AT APPOINTMENTS—Black Caucus Chair Ron Waters, D-Philadelphia. Though the November election saw Democrats go from a five-seat majority in the sate house to a 22-seat minority, Black Caucus Chair Ron Waters, D-Philadelphia, said that should not have translated into fewer Blacks serving on house committees. “We didn’t lose. All the Democratic losses were White legislators,” he said. “In fact, we actually gained in the Black caucus because Margot Davison took a seat that was Republican for a long time.


Hill grocery delayed

In July, with great fanfare, developers and government supporters announced a grocery operator was finally coming to the Hill District. The money was in place, they said, and ground would be broken in the fall for a November 2011 opening that would provide 100 jobs to Hill residents. CARL REDWOOD But in the seven months since that announcement, not a single square inch of soil has been moved to prepare the Centre Avenue site for the 29,000 square-foot Shop ‘n Save. Hill Consensus Group co-convener Carl Redwood Jr. said everything has been pushed back to the spring.


Robinson: CCAC growth tied to Black population

Newly appointed chairman of the Community College of Allegheny County Board of Trustees, William R. Robinson noted it is unique among colleges in southwestern Pennsylvania for having African-Americans as chair and a college president. BILL ROBINSON “Having Black faces in high places has its benefits, but it’s of momentary significance,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s about taking this from a very good college to a great college. I don’t think we can grow as a community college without looking at where the African-American population lives and what facilities we have that are accessible. “ Robinson said though opportunities for income growth lie to the North of the city, the potential growth in student enrollment is in the East and South, where there are larger Black populations.


Achievement gap triumph shared

In 2009 at Independence High School in Columbus, Ohio 84.5 percent of the students attending the overwhelmingly African-American school were proficient in reading. Here in Pittsburgh the outlook is not as bright as the most recent test scores for the Pittsburgh Public School District showed that only 33.8 percent of African-American students are proficient in reading. CLOSING THE GAP—Principal Christopher Qualls shows how his school’s attendance has risen over the past decade. (Photos by Rossano P. Stewart) “This school features some of the same challenges we find here in the city of Pittsburgh,” said Jerome Taylor, executive director of the Center for Family Excellence. “The kids are proficient at levels that would startle and please you.”


Defunding healthcare would hurt Blacks

Despite the recent Republican-led vote in the House of Representatives to repeal the healthcare reform bill signed into law last year, many Demo­crats are confident the repeal will not go any further. What many Demo­crats and those in President Barack Obama’s administration do fear is the likelihood Republicans will vote to defund programs in the healthcare bill, essentially making them ineffective. GARTH GRAHAM, deputy assistant secretary for minority health. In a White House conference call on Jan. 18, the day before the house vote, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Garth Graham, deputy assistant secretary for minority health, explained the impact this could have on the Black community. Voting almost totally down party lines, the house voted 245-189 to repeal the law, with three democrats voting with the GOP.


Speak Out: How do you feel about the Steelers’ eighth trip to the Super Bowl?

The Steelers will play in a record tying eighth Super Bowl this weekend against the Green Bay Packers so we asked Pittsburghers their thoughts and if the Steelers will win and this is what you said: CHRIS HALL “It’s great, it’s fantastic and I am happy to be a Pittsburgher in the ‘Steel City.’ We will most definitely win with our strong offense and our strong defense.”Chris HallHill DistrictArtist


This Week In Black History

Week of Feb. 4-10 February 4 ROSA PARKS 1913—Civil rights heroine Rosa Parks is born on this day in Tuskegee, Ala. It was her refusal in December 1955 to give up her seat to a White man on a Montgomery, Ala., bus that sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement. For refusing to obey the laws of segregation, she was arrested and convicted. Montgomery Blacks responded with a boycott of city buses. A young minister named Martin Luther King Jr. was called upon to lead the boycott, which would last for nearly 13 months. The drama and accompanying legal challenge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court captivated the nation and propelled Dr. King into the national international spotlight as the nation’s premier civil rights leader. Mrs. Parks died in 2005 at 92.



Why do we remain so silent?

A great man once said, “Never focus on the words of our enemies, but focus intently on our silence when we are presented with the opportunity to speak in our behalf.” Has there ever been an occasion when you have left a meeting or just a discussion with someone where you generally just listened, but afterward you would chastise yourself by saying “I should have said…” What about those conversations? After they have been concluded you say, “I wish I had said…” Throughout the course of my life I have been involved in untold numbers of general conversations or meetings—formal or informal—where a brother or sister would sit at the table. I can count on one hand the number of people who have made a comment suggesting that I might have some valid points, in fact, they were unusually quiet even when I made a point that would benefit them.


Democrats and Republicans should end corporate welfare

(NNPA)—Speaker of the House John Boehner wants to cut at least $100 billion from the federal budget. President Obama agrees that there should be some spending reductions, but the budget shouldn’t be balanced on the backs of poor and working-class Americans. There is a way that both camps can have their way—end corporate welfare. According to the Cato Institute, a libertarian policy group in Washington, corporate welfare cost American taxpayers $92 billion in fiscal 2006, a figure that has grown to approximately $125 billion per year. And, the beneficiaries include such major companies as Boeing, Xerox, IBM, Motorola, Dow Chemical, and General Electric.


Ohio stomps on American dream of education

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—I had a friend in high-school named “Jen” who commuted 45 minutes to school each day from her house in Manassas to our school in Centreville, Va. Jen lived with her mother and stepdad, but her estranged father still allowed her to use his address for residency so she could go to high-school in Fairfax County. Fairfax had great public schools and offered more of the AP courses that “Jen” needed for college. Jen, like millions of upper class White kids and parents across America bend the rules of residency and location to create their own little ‘school choice programs’ every year with little or no consequence. No one ever investigated her or questioned her right to drive 45 minutes to school. Apparently the same blind eye and leniency isn’t reserved for poor Black folks, as Kelly Williams-Bolar of Akron Ohio has just found out.