Daily Archive: February 9, 2011


Centre Y sets 40% goal

By the time the new Thelma Lovette YMCA is completed on Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Urban Redevelopment Authority Director of Diversity says about 43 percent of the work on the project will have been done by minority contractors, most of them Black. “The majority of those minorities will be African-Americans,” he said. “We wanted the project to show a true appreciation to an iconic figure like Thelma Lovette. So I approached the YMCA, and we agreed to surpass the city goal of 25 percent. They are the owners of this and they mandated it. They said 40 percent but we think it might be 43. Right now, we’re at 38 percent.” NEW FACE ON CENTRE AVE—An artist’s rendering shows the facade design for the Thelma Lovette YMCA under construction and scheduled to open next year in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.


Mayor pledges increased Black media presence

At a meeting with representatives from Pittsburgh’s remaining minority media outlets, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl pledged to improve communication between the city and the African-American community. While the journalists, talk show hosts, and publishers commended the mayor for his efforts, many came to the meeting armed with a list of complaints from their constituency. LUKE RAVENSTAHL “There’s a disconnect between the officials in Pittsburgh and the African-Americans in Pittsburgh. The African-Americans I talk to don’t feel connected to the city. People feel that they are being ignored,” said Bev Smith, a radio talk show host with American Urban Radio Networks. “I think there should be some kind of meeting where the message gets out there that we’re being included.” The consensus among the group was that communication with the mayor’s office, and the mayor in particular, had ranged from being intermittent to nonexistent. Like the community they represent, many from the media felt they too had been ignored by the mayor.


School choice gains support

Over the past few weeks an ambiguous advertisement evoking the civil rights struggle of the 1960s has been popping up in newspapers across Pennsylvania. The advertisement features a picture depicting one of many standoffs in public school integration, and carries the message, “Someone New is Blocking the School House Door.” Likening the current school choice debate with school segregation, the advertisement, sponsored by the Center for Education Reform and a number of non-profit education organizations primarily based in Philadelphia, is being used to promote a tuition voucher system that would give more options to families with students in failing schools. The legislation, proposed by Philadelphia Sen. Anthony Williams and Dauphin Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, would give low-income parents a state education subsidy to be used at their choice of a public, private or charter school. ANTHONY WILLIAMS


Ohio governor names first minority to previous all-White Cabinet

by Ann SannerAssociated Press Writer COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Feb. 2 added the first minority to his previous all-White Cabinet, a move that followed mounting criticism that he was not doing enough to diversify the group of people who supply him with key policy advice. “As I’ve said all along, diversity is a journey—not a destination,” Kasich said a news conference where he announced Michael Colbert as director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. WELCOME TO OHIO—Ohio Department of Transportation crews add the names of new Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor to the welcome sign above the William Harsha Bridge near Aberdeen, Ohio on Jan. 14. (AP Photo/The Ledger Independent, Terry Prather.)


This Week In Black History

The Week of Feb. 11-17 February 11 1644—Eleven Blacks confront the ruling Council of New Netherlands (later New York) with a petition demanding their freedom. This was probably the first legal protest action by Blacks in American history. The petition is granted and the Blacks are freed because they had worked off the terms of their indentured servant contracts which were usually for seven years. But these Blacks had worked for up to 18 years. Shortly after this victory, however, no more Blacks were allowed such contracts but were instead treated as slaves for life. NELSON MANDELA, JAMES W. JOHNSON, WENDELL P. DABNEY


Community Calendar

Love Jones weekend FEB. 10—The August Wilson Center for African American Culture will host a Love Jones Week from 5-7 p.m. at 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. This is a week of events based on the 1997 film “Love Jones.” It will begin with a book launch and mixer for the book, “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” by local authors Damon Young and Panama Jackson. There will also be a reception with the writer and director of the film “Love Jones,” Theodore Witcher; a Soul Line Dancing and Steppers Set Competition; and other concerts. The event will run through Feb. 17. For more information, call 412-258-2700.


Egypt demonstrators entertain to keep morale high

by Diaa HadidAssociated Press Writer CAIRO (AP)—Two rows of men greet demonstrators at the main entrance to Tahrir Square, clapping as people enter, and chanting in the rhythms of a traditional Egyptian wedding procession. “We are becoming bigger!” they shout. “God is Great!” Inside Cairo’s main square, musicians stroll, a man reads poetry to the crowd and vendors hawk potato chips, tea, hot food—even socks. KEEPING THE CROWD ENGAGED—A group of musicians, one playing the oud, center-right, entertain anti-government protesters with songs against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the continuing demonstration in Tahrir square in downtown Cairo, Egypt Feb. 4. Graffiti in arabic on wall behind reads “Down Mubarak the corrupt.” (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)


2 arrested in fatal Ohio frat house shooting

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP)—Two men angry over a dispute at an Ohio fraternity house party left the gathering and returned early Sunday, spraying bullets into a crowd and killing a Youngstown State University student who was trying to separate two groups, authorities said. Eleven other people were injured, including a 17-year-old with a critical head wound.Nineteen-year-old Braylon L. Rogers and 22-year-old Columbus E. Jones Jr. were arrested Sunday on charges of aggravated murder and shooting into a house and 11 counts of felonious assault according to Youngstown police Chief Jimmy Hughes.



Honorable Bill Robinson’s six tier birthday

On Feb. 5 I attended a breakfast in Bill Robinson’s honor. It was held at One Hope Center and it just happened to coincide with his birthday. After being made aware of it being his birthday it came to my attention that I should make the public aware of his history of achievements, and do it in the form of a cake. The first tier was in preparation, graduating from Schenley High School and then Ohio State University and more important his parents instilling in him a sense of commitment.


Recession has expanded racial economic gap

(NNPA)—The notion that when Whites catch a cold, Blacks get pneumonia has been validated in two recent studies that show the economic gap between Whites and people of color has grown during the economic downturn. That’s the conclusion reached by a Center for American Progress report titled, “The State of Communities of Color in the U.S. Economy” and by a State of the Dream report by United for a Fair Economy titled, “Austerity for Whom?”