Daily Archive: May 13, 2011

Metro

Fab 40 showcases bright future

Those wishing they had a time machine to see into the future of Pittsburgh had no further to look than the New Pittsburgh Courier Fab 40 Reception at the US Steel Tower on April 29. This year’s list of honorees represented a cross section of the city’s young African-American elite, a group of individuals as committed to achieving their professional goals as they are to helping others. PITT STARS—The Pitt stars from left: Latika Davis-Jones, Ph.D., Marisa Bartley, Melissa Wade, Kezia Taylor Esq., Allyce Pinchback and Bethany Miller Esq. Back row, from left: Yolanda Covington-Ward, Oronde Sharif, Jessica Brooke Ruffin and Nicole Manns. “I feel humbled. I think it’s always a pleasure to have people recognize you for things you would do anyway,” said Les Scales, credit officer, PNC Financial Services Group. “I think it’s important to recognize young African-Americans because we have such a lack of positive representation.” Each year as part of their annual series of events, the Courier recognizes 40 individuals under the age of 40 who have been recommended by readers. Though the group of young men and women come from a variety of backgrounds, they all seem to share the same sense of humility and modesty.

Metro

3 make case for controller

On May 17 many will head to the polls to vote in the primary election for the candidate that they feel best represents them. While many are focusing on the Allegheny County Executive race, the race for County Controller is just as hot. The three democratic candidates, Valerie McDonald Roberts, Pa State Rep. Chelsa Wagner, for the 22nd District and George Matta, are campaigning until the end and wanted to let residents know why they should be chosen as the democratic candidate. MORE THAN NUMBERS—Democratic candidate for Allegheny County Controller Valerie McDonald Roberts lays out her qualifications as rival Democrat George Matta and Republican Bob Howard wait their turns. The County Controller, which is currently County Executive democratic candidate Mark Patrick Flaherty, is the chief elected fiscal officer of Allegheny County and provides general supervision and control of the county’s fiscal activities. The office’s responsibilities include maintaining the accounting systems if the county and conducting audits of all county expenditures and offices. It is comprised of the Accounting Division, Asset Management and Tax Lien Division, Auditing Division, Weights and Measures Division and the Management Systems Division.

Metro

Brentley faces 3 challengers

No matter their differences, the four candidates for District 8 school board director agree on a few things. For one, they all believe parent engagement is one of the key solutions to turning around low achievement at some of the Pittsburgh Public School District’s lowest performing schools. MARK BRENTLEY, LISA FREEMAN, DELORES LEWIS and ARITA GILLIAM RUE What District 8 Representative Mark Brentley and his three challengers also agree on is that Brentley does not have a single ally on the nine-person school board. All four of them, even Brentley, agree that’s a bad thing. Incumbent candidate Brentley has been the lone no vote on several controversial decisions made by the school board in recent years. In the May 17 primary election, he will take on fellow North Side residents Arita Gilliam Rue, Lisa Freeman and Delores Lewis.

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Metro

Holley, Bassant challenge Allen

After less than two years serving on the Pittsburgh Public School District board of directors, District 2 Representative Dara Ware Allen will face off against two challengers in the primary election May 17. Allen, who was appointed to her position by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in August 2009, has received the Democratic Party’s endorsement. REGINA HOLLEY “Having been involved the past 18 months, I’ve gained a real understanding of the critical issues facing the district,” Allen said. “I felt that it was my responsibility to continue to run to ensure continuity at a challenging time right now. My level of investment has deepened.” Throughout her time on the school board, the district has gone through a number of highly controversial school reconfigurations, mainly in the East End. Although Allen stands by the decisions she has made to close and reconfigure certain schools, she said these decisions were the most difficult.

Metro

County hopefuls make case at Chamber Forum

The African American Chamber of Commerce Candidate’s Forum for Allegheny County office hopefuls yielded some fireworks, most from the Democratic county executive candidates firing at each other rather than Republicans. The May 9 forum at the Rivers Club featured former county council President Rich Fitzgerald and county Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty on the Democratic side, and former County Councilman Chuck McCullough and businessman D. Raja on the Republican side seeking their respective party nominations for county executive. EXECUTIVE SESSION—Looking to replace Dan Onorato as Allegheny County executive, from left, Democratic candidates Rich Fitzgerald and Mark Patrick Flaherty, and Republicans Chuck McCullough and D. Raja. Three candidates forcounty controller; current county Real Estate Director Valerie McDonald Roberts and Rivers Casino executive George Matta on the Democratic side, and Republican Bob Howard, a retired businessman, made their pitches for the job.

National

Michelle Obama lauds US forces in bin Laden raid

by Thomas BeaumontAssociated Press Writer CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP)—First lady Michelle Obama said Saturday that the U.S. military specialists who killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden showed “the very essence” of public service. Mrs. Obama made her first public remarks about bin Laden’s death during the commencement address at University of Northern Iowa. U.S. officials have said Navy SEALs shot and killed bin Laden and four others May 2 at his luxury compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. CALL FOR PUBLIC SERVICE—First lady Michelle Obama gives the commencement address at the University of Northern Iowa graduation May 7, at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Metro

Lumpkin runs for Wilkinsburg School Board

Recognizing a need for change prompted Tiffany Lumpkin to run for a seat on the Wilkinsburg School Board in the upcoming election. Hearing the concerns of Wilkinsburg residents, she decided to run because she wants to be part of the solution and a conduit for change, Lumpkin said. As program director of the Family Group Decision Making program at Small Seeds Development Inc., Lumpkin has her finger on the pulse of many issues facing today’s youth. The FGDM program mostly serves the eastern neighborhoods with the goal of empowering families to draw upon extended family and community resources to better think, plan and utilize existing resources in addressing family issues. The program aims to keep children with their natural families. TIFFANY LUMPKIN

National

Colin Powell: Obama blew away the birthers

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP)—Colin Powell told graduates of South Carolina’s premier historically Black university that they were graduating during a tumultuous time that saw a royal wedding, a pope’s beatification and a U.S. military assault that killed Osama bin Laden, “the worst person on earth.” But the former secretary of state and Joint Chiefs chairman told South Carolina State University’s 400 graduates on May 6 that he particularly enjoyed another recent event: “That was when President Obama took out his birth certificate and blew away Donald Trump and all the birthers!” GEN. COLIN POWELL

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Opinion

Donald Trump is a celebrity racist

(NNPA)—There is one area in which Donald Trump is no celebrity apprentice—racism. After being exposed as a publicity-loving idiot after he questioned the authenticity of President Obama’s birth records, Trump quickly shifted away from the discredited birther attack and began raising wild and unsubstantiated charges about Obama’s academic achievement, a record that includes the future president finishing in the top 10 percent of his class at Harvard Law School and being elected president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. Although journalistic lapdogs are willing to parrot Trump’s ridiculous and increasingly outlandish charges about President Obama, few have chronicled his racist behavior and comments.

Opinion

Ex-offender discrimination

When pundits discuss America’s still too high unemployment rate, they usually tell stories of individuals with impressive work histories and college degrees who are having a hard time finding a job after being downsized. Or, they relate tales of former manufacturing employees lost in our new, more tech-driven economy. Rarely does anyone share the plight of the more than 65 million Americans with some sort of criminal past who have a hard time finding work.