Daily Archive: November 9, 2011


Brentley asks Lane to resign… School board faces tough choices

The Nov. 7 Pittsburgh Public School District School Board meeting saw a number of issues brought to the table. Thrown into consideration was the sale of school buildings, preliminary 2012 budget, realignment plan, and both surprisingly and unsurprisingly, the elimination of single-gendered classes at the Academy at Westinghouse. “I think we’ve reached a level now where the direction and the movement we’re moving in as a district has nothing to do with education. (Superintendant Linda Lane) threw together, selling of buildings, closing schools, and the budget all in one big swoop,” said District 8 School Board Representatives Mark Brentley. “I have zero confidence in Dr. Lane and her administration. I did ask for her resignation. I believe there’s a total disconnect here. She refuses to break the mold.” LINDA LANE The district’s recommendation to eliminate single-gender classes at Westinghouse came as a result of notification from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Women’s Law Project of their intent to file a complaint against the District challenging the single-gender programming at Westinghouse.


‘Occupy The Hood’ expanding

Though the temperature has dropped, the size of the crowd at the Occupy Pittsburgh camp beside BNY Mellon has not. The encampment at Mellon Green adjacent to BNY Mellon still includes about 200 people. Many, like Jeff Chech are employed, in their mid-late 20s, and only come to the encampment in the evenings or on weekends. Others are students, and still others are homeless. UNITED WE STAND—Members of New York City’s Occupy The Hood movement Malik Rhasaan, Preach Daimond and “Rithm” George Martinez join Paradise Gray and Jasiri X at Mellon Green. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “There’s a fair amount of young people. But we’ve got people in their 60s, too,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of homeless at the camp and they’ve been helpful, in the medical tent, in the kitchen, handing out food and supplies—one is organizing our donations. This last weekend, one homeless guy helped fix my leaking tent. If you look at 99 percent—it’s them. They are the ones in need.” Chech also said, contrary to some talk he’s heard, there are a fair number of African-Americans at the camp.


Bloomfield, Garfield tackle ‘Drug War’

by M. Abdul-Qawiyy Drug use is not going away, Jonathan Calkins, co-author of “Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know,” said during a “War on Drugs” forum held at the Morningside Church of God in Christ. Hosted by the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, the discussion was to examine whether or not the “War on Drugs,” launched 40 years ago by the federal government, should be abandoned and, if any, what new approaches should be implemented. “The war on drugs assumes that the use of drugs or the drug problem can be solved. I think that’s not the correct phrasing, instead can we, realistically, make the problem smaller? Yes,” Calkins said. Calkins was also joined by panelists Rev. J. David Else and Zone 5 Police Commander Tim O’Connor, whose opinions differed on drug policy.


Diversity sought on $400M PNC building

The new Tower at PNC Plaza project will take four years and cost $400 million, and the company is attempting to see that Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises take part in the project with a proactive recruiting effort. Last month PNC Director of Development John Robinson sent out a mass email to nearly 80 M/WBE contractors asking them to register for a contractor meeting with the PNC Diversity Team and representatives from construction manager P.J. Dick scheduled for Nov. 16 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. He said the outreach effort is part of PNCs’ commitment to strengthening local communities. “PNC is committed to strengthening local communities and businesses in each of the regions we serve,” he said. “We realize that diversity initiatives make good business sense and provide opportunities for continued growth.”


First Black Miss Norway visits United States

(BlackNews.com)—Iman Kerigo, the first woman of African descent to be crowned Miss Norway, arrived in the U.S. last month as part of her goodwill tour. Kerigo, a refugee from Kenya who fled with her family to safety in the United Kingdom, continues her mission to raise awareness on poverty, war and domestic abuse. She visited Los Angeles, Las Vegas and surrounding areas as part of her 12-day visit. IMAN KERIGO As a child born into a life of extreme hardship forged by her family’s struggle in war torn Kenya, she and her mother struggled to survive day-to-day while living under the rule of an abusive father. Iman’s mother’s greatest dream was to simply see her children live. She never dreamed her second child could achieve something so amazing. “My mother was just happy that we were alive but she didn’t want us to live a meager existence,” Kerigo said. “Being crowned Miss Norway gave me the opportunity to make sure that her dream came true.”


Community Calendar

Education conference NOV. 12—The Hill District Education Council will host the 3rd Annual “Summoning the Village” Education Conference from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Milliones U-Prep, 3117 Centre Ave., Hill District. This is to empower parents and the community to create a culture of educational excellence. Topics to be discussed include, bullying, raising an African-American male child, mentoring and mental health concerns. Childcare, breakfast and lunch will be provided. For more information, call 412-621-3341.


Howard adds voice to occupy movement

by Barrington M. Salmon (NNPA)—Howard University alumnus Maria Ellis is one face of the Occupy D.C. movement. She has a graduate degree in International Relations and wanted to go to law school but couldn’t afford it. And as a homeowner, she, like other Americans, feels squeezed by the recession. She is among a vocal group who hold politicians, corporate interests and others responsible for the declining state of the nation’s economy. MARCHING FOR JOBS AND JUSTICE—Howard University alumni and students march near the Treasury Department in Washington, Oct. 28, for Jobs and Justice in solidarity with the Occupy movements. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Ellis’ concerns are what prompted her to join scores of Howard University alumnae, students and faculty on the university’s campus Oct. 28 and to march to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to rally for a change.



This Week in Black History

Week of Nov. 12-18 November 12 1775—General George Washington, first president and “father of the country” issues an order barring free Blacks from serving in the army as the U.S. struggled for independence from England. Washington was also a slave owner. The slave owning aristocracy felt if free Blacks fought for America’s liberation they would demand freedom for their enslaved brothers and sisters. Despite Washington’s order, hundreds of Blacks did fight in the Revolutionary War. HENRY OSSAWA TANNER 1900—Henry Ossawa Tanner becomes an internationally acclaimed artist as he takes a silver medal for his art displayed at the Paris Exposition. Nearly 7,000 artists had entered their works. The Pittsburgh-born Tanner had numerous major works including his painting called “The Banjo Lesson.”



Obama to promote ways for veterans to find work

by Ken Thomas WASHINGTON (AP)—President Barack Obama is promoting new ways to help veterans find jobs in a tough economy while pressing Congress to approve tax credits for businesses to hire former members of the military. Just ahead of Veterans’ Day, Obama planned to meet Monday with leading veterans’ groups, then discuss steps his administration is taking to help veterans who have struggled to find work. The president was to speak from the White House Rose Garden Monday at noon. SUPPORTING THE TROOPS—President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama shake hands with members of the Air Force and Army after the president’s remarks at the 94th Fighter Squadron Hangar, the Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Oct. 19, in Hampton, Va. The actions are part of a larger effort by the White House to draw contrasts with congressional Republicans who have opposed Obama’s jobs legislation a year before the 2012 election. Obama has signed executive orders aimed at spurring job growth and helping homeowners and college students in recent weeks, saying he does not want to wait for Congress to act.



Bill Generett: Talented 10th must meet their obligations

I have frequently been angry, disappointed, disillusioned, and disgusted with the number of Black men whose lack of commitment, forthrightness and concern continues to impede the advancement of Black people across Allegheny County. One of the few times in my 80 years, I took a month long hiatus from our Black problems. There was an occasion that I was in One Hope Center at 1901 Centre Ave. and happened to go the third floor to just congratulate Bill Generett on the acquisition of the $4 million grant in conjunction with a number of other organizations.