Daily Archive: September 9, 2011


Quick rebound projected for region

A report drafted for the June Conference of Mayors predicted Pittsburgh would be among the first metropolitan regions to reemerge from the prolonged recession and would recover all 35k jobs lost in the last three years by 2012. The report, assembled by IHS Global Insight, looked at the Gross Metropolitan Product form more than 300 metro areas, as well as employment trends, and made predictions on return to peak employment. LUKE RAVENSTAHL The bulk of the optimism regarding the local metro area rests on the fact that the Pittsburgh metro economy has diversified and is no longer based on manufacturing. As such, with medical, university and hi-tech sectors taking the place of the steel industry, Pittsburgh is in far better shape than Detroit which the report predicts will not regain its former strength for at least a decade.


City schools face off for funding

In the Greater Pittsburgh region, there are 247 K-12 schools, including 161 public schools and 86 private schools. With the nation’s growing emphasis on “school choice” more and more schools are competing for not only the attention of parents, but also the attention of private and public donations. The recent education budget cuts at the state level left public schools in the region struggling to find ways to adjust to funding losses. With these recent cuts and their impact on the Pittsburgh Public School District, many are left wondering how the region’s public charter schools and private schools are affected. Since private schools do not receive public funding, they are not required to publicly report their annual budget or list of donors.


Hill development committee looks to leverage funds

A year ago when the Rivers Casino made its first $1 million in payments to the North Side and the Hill District to assist in neighborhood development projects, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill, said unlike the Northside Leadership Conference, which had already leveraged an additional $900,000 in development funds, the Hill had no mechanism to allocate the funding. Now it does. On Aug. 9, Wheatley’s office released a press statement saying the Advisory Committee for the Greater Hill District Development Growth Fund is preparing to review real estate projects with the purpose of rebuilding the neighborhood through residential and business development. JAKE WHEATLEY Each neighborhood will receive $3 million from the Rivers Casino per an agreement made with original casino developer Don Barden, who included it in his application for the city’s only gaming license. The Hill is to receive its $3 million in five yearly installments.


Turner goes to Harvard

La Salle University student and Pittsburgh resident Delvin Turner was selected for the Summer Program at Harvard Law School. In the sixth grade, Turner listened intently as his class studied Thurgood Marshall and his struggle to assist African-Americans gain access to equal educational opportunities. “I was inspired by the fact he used law as a vehicle for change to help those who had been neglected by the legal system,” said Turner, a graduate of Central Catholic High School. DELVIN TURNER When Turner told his mother he wanted to be a lawyer, she took him to the Allegheny County Court House to watch the attorneys argue their cases. “Lawyers, it seemed to me, were intelligent people and sharp communicators who could challenge injustices and work to bring about meaningful change,” said Turner. Turner, a senior at La Salle University in Philadelphia, spent five weeks at Harvard University’s Law School with the Trials Program, which prepares students for the LSAT exam and offers lectures by prominent attorneys. He was one of 20 students selected to attend the program.


Former Courier offensive MVP takes field as Howard starting QB

by Malik Vincent In his debut as the starting quarterback of the Howard Bison, former Perry star and 2010 New Pittsburgh Courier City League offensive MVP completed 15 of 27 passes for 105 yards in a 41-9 loss against nonconference Eastern Michigan. “He made some freshman mistakes, but they did not do a good job of protecting him,” Howard head football coach Gary Harrell said. “He will learn from this experience.” BISON DEBUT—Courier 2010 City League offensive MVP Greg McGhee, a Perry three-year starter who’s currently a freshman at Howard, throws a pass in his debut as the Bison starting quarterback. McGhee finished 15-of-27 for 105 yards in the game. (Howard Athletics Photo/Cleveland Henderson) He is also coached by the record-setting former Bison quarterback Ted White, who is now the team’s offensive coordinator. “Overall, he did pretty good, but he has a lot to work on,” White said. “He did OK on managing first downs, but on third down situation, he has to have a better understanding and execute better.”


Blacks less likely to wear seat belts

by Cyril Josh Barker NEW YORK (NNPA)—Labor Day weekend, millions of Americans hit the highways to get to their weekend vacation destinations. However, the lack of a simple task is killing Blacks on the roads at an alarming rate. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the No. 1 leading cause of unintentional injury death for all African-Americans is motor vehicle crashes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for African-Americans ages 1 to 14. Of those killed while passengers in a vehicle, 52 percent of Black children were not restrained at the time of the crash. Though wearing a seat belt is the best way to avoid injury, Blacks are still failing to buckle up. The problems have become so severe that it has been declared a public health crisis.


Florida A&M women’s hoops player killed

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Authorities say a student athlete at Florida A&M University died after she was stabbed in the neck, and another young woman has been arrested. The Tallahassee Democrat reports that police said Shannon Washington died early Sunday. She was a member of the women’s basketball team.


President Obama must demonstrate bold leadership on jobs

(NNPA)—Any compromise President Obama reaches with Congress will fail to significantly reduce Black unemployment unless the plan is crafted to address joblessness in the three industries where African-American workers are concentrated—government jobs, education and health services. According to a University of California-Berkeley Labor Center research brief titled, “Black Workers and the Public Sector,” 20.9 percent of African-Americans are employed in what is called the public administration sector and 18.5 percent work in education and health services.



Reflections on a former GOPer’s reflections

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—The last several months have been downright horrible for Barack Obama, and for any true American patriot it has been hard to watch. Whether you voted for Obama or not, anyone who cares about this country, our economy national security and healthcare wants to see the president succeed, even if he’s not of your party. However thus far he hasn’t succeeded, or at least to the degree that many in the public want him to, and in fact, his base, is increasingly saddened and disgusted by his perceived “weakness.” I strongly advise all of those who are paying rapt attention to the conflicts in Washington do a little light reading over the coming week, and check out the article “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP operative who left the cult,” by Mike Lofgren. It just might change how you see President Obama.


Something is strange at FEMA

(NNPA)—Hurricane Irene has come and gone. She left a trail of damage from North Carolina to Canada. The recovery phase has started with much anticipation. We ended the Hurricane Katrina recovery with important lessons learned. In all, Black contractors performed over $3 billion in contracts and I am most proud to have been a part of that. However, this Hurricane Irene recovery has started with unforeseen controversy already.