Daily Archive: October 5, 2011


Lavelle charged with election violations

The election petition circulated in early 2010 for state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill, had the signatures of dead people, people who had moved out of state, people who were in jail, and people who swear they never signed it. But Pittsburgh Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, then working as Wheatley’s aide, did sign the petition, attesting its truthfulness, and submitted it. As a result, he has been charged with forgery and making false statements. R. DANIEL LAVELLE Wheatley did not return calls or email requests for comment. Lavelle referred comment to his attorney, Wayne DeLuca. DeLuca said this challenge had nothing to do with the total number of signatures on Wheatley’s nominating petitions, it only focused on the one petition Lavelle signed.


Dock Fielder passes at 82

Dock Fielder, last of the Black ward powerbrokers has died. After multiple recent hospital stays, the 82-year-old former 12th Ward Democratic Chairman, remembered by friends in the Sept. 21 New Pittsburgh Courier, died in his home Sept. 29. His daughter Jacque, who succeeded him as 12th Ward chair, said she will always think of him kind of like Moses. “He rescued a lot of people form poverty, who had no education,” she said. “He got them jobs, helped them get GEDs and go on to success.” DOCK FIELDER Even though his death was not unexpected, Jacque said it is still difficult, but the family is coping well. “I miss him already,” she said. “We were very close, even though we disagreed a lot. I’ll miss his wisdom. He would tell me how to do something, but he wouldn’t explain why, then I’d do it my way and it wouldn’t work out. I should have taken his word for it.”



47 of 60 homicides Black lives

Out of the 60 murders in 2011, 45 were Black and 40 were Black men. While the month of September may have had one of the highest number of deaths, it also had the lowest number of Black homicides, month to date, where only three of the seven were Black. All were under 40 years old and two were under 30. But three is still too many. Although the homicides were down, the shootings were still out of hand. Especially when, several of them occurred during daylight hours, when children could have been coming home from school or playing outside.


Ex-offenders jobs bill gains support

For the past several months, the Formerly Convicted Citizens Project has been working to gain support for legislation that would remove questions of criminal convictions on job applications. The group’s most recent stop of their “Move the Box” campaign trail was to a Public Safety Council meeting at the zone 3 police station. “I’m working closely with city council to bring new legislation to the city. I’m advocating for people, like myself, who have turned their lives around,” said Dean Williams, FCCP director. “I have been asked by city council to go around to their constituents to educate them about this legislation.” DEAN WILLIAMS (Photo by J.L. Martello) The legislation, first proposed by District 9 councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess in April, would move questions about convictions to the interview portion of the application process. By removing convictions from the initial consideration process, FCCP hopes formerly convicted citizens will be judged based on their merits as opposed to their past.


First African woman to win Nobel Peace Prize dies

by Jason StraziusoAssociated Press Writer NAIROBI, Kenya (AP)—Kenya’s former president called her a mad woman. Seen as a threat to the rich and powerful, Wangari Maathai was beaten, arrested and vilified for the simple act of planting a tree, a natural wonder Maathai believed could reduce poverty and conflict. WORKING FOR PEACE—In this Aug. 28, 2006 photo, Wangari Maathai, Noble Peace Laureate and conservation heroine, right, is seen with then-Sen. Barrack Obama in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim, File)


Community Calendar

Wellness Fair OCT. 6—The UPMC St. Margaret Bloomfield-Garfield Family Health Center will host a Community Wellness Fair from 3-6 p.m. at 5475 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. There will be free blood pressure screenings; Ask the Doctor, Ask the Pharmacist and Ask the Dentist sessions; and various other information. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 412-361-7562.


This Week In Black History

Week of October-14October 8 1775—Slaves and free Blacks are officially barred by the Council of Officers from joining the Continental army to help fight for American independence from England. Nevertheless, a significant number of Blacks had already become involved in the fight and would distinguish themselves in battle. Additional Blacks were barred out of fear, especially in the South, that they would demand freedom for themselves if White America became free from Britain. 1941—National Black political leader and two-time candidate for president of the United States Jesse Jackson was born on this day in Greenville, S.C. After the 1968 assassination of Civil Rights Movement icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jackson, who was one of his top aides, would become the nation’s most prominent and influential civil rights leader. JESSE JACKSON


Read any good personal letters lately? Me neither

by Randolph E. Schmid WASHINGTON (AP)—If Mark Twain were alive today would he tweet, “OMG, reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated, LOL”? When Twain did read his premature obituary, he sent a letter assuring friends the report was overblown. But when was the last time you got a personal letter in the mail? If you live in a typical American household, it’s been a while. According to the Postal Service’s annual survey, the average household gets one personal letter about every seven weeks. It was a letter about every two weeks in 1987.


Troy Davis mourned as a martyr by 1,000 in Ga.

by Russ BynumAssociated Press Writer SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP)—Sent to death row 20 years ago as a convicted cop killer, Troy Davis was celebrated as “martyr and foot soldier” Saturday by more than 1,000 people who packed the pews at his funeral and pledged to keep fighting the death penalty. Family, activists and supporters who spent years trying to persuade judges and Georgia prison officials that Davis was innocent were unable to prevent his execution Sept. 21. But the crowd that filled Savannah’s Jonesville Baptist Church on Saturday seemed less interested in pausing in remorse than showing a resolve to capitalize on the worldwide attention Davis’ case brought to capital punishment in the U.S. FIGHTING ON —Friends and supporters chant in the street and block traffic outside Jonesville Baptist Church following the funeral of Troy Davis in Savannah, Ga., Oct. 1. Davis died by injection for the 1989 slaying of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. (AP/Photo Stephen Morton)



Dock Fielder, last of the big guys

There has been a history of Black politicians who possessed real genuine influence and clout that had a positive impact upon the lives of Black people. As a youngster prior to my becoming involved in politics and during that period of history when Blacks were overwhelmingly registered Republican, there was a Black man who was a power broker and his name was Mr. Earl Sams. It was ahead of my times, but those whom I have the utmost respect for swore by him as a committed, concerned, courageous and stand up Black chairman.