Daily Archive: January 18, 2012


From homeless to employed: Agency offers support during hard times

A little over a year ago Sonya McCoullum, a college-educated and skilled woman, had no job, was battling depression and, to top it off, homelessness. She was a single mother with a 2 and 14-year-old and no place to go. They stayed in a hotel, with friends and family, even in their car. The future looked dim and hope was quickly fading, but with a referral to Community Human Services from her therapist, McCoullum found the help and support needed to turn things around. THROUGH IT ALL—Sonya McCoullum, a case manager, uses her experiences to work with individuals in the programs of the Community Human Services. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Everyone has trials and tribulations, that will never go away, but there’s a difference when it’s too hard to deal with. When you can’t pick yourself up or the others around you,” said McCoullum. “But when you feel that ‘I can handle this’ and support the others that are with you, it’s easier (to get over them). I knew what the steps were, but it was just getting that lift, that support and CHS was that support.”


Gainey to challenge Preston

Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh Democratic Chair and a development specialist in Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s office, has announced he will once again challenge state Rep. Joe Preston for the 24th legislative district House seat he has held since 1983. “The third time will be the charm,” he said. ED GAINEY Gainey, 41, of Lincoln-Lemington, lost to Preston in the 2006 Democratic primary election by just 94 votes, a race in which third-place candidate, body shop owner William Anderson, took 516 votes. Though he denied it, at the time, some charged Anderson was put into the race by Preston backers to split the anti-incumbent vote.


Urban Pathways mentoring program creates success

This year marked the 5th anniversary of the Urban Pathways Charter Schools Benefitting African American Males Mentoring Program. At BAAM’s annual recruiting breakfast on Jan. 10 program mentors, mentees, staff and school administrators reflected on how far the program has come in a short time. HOSTS—The Honorable Dwayne D. Woodruff and his wife Joy Maxberry Woodruff. “The point of BAAM is to help you choose a path and a career for life,” said 9th grade student Suron Tomlin. “This is my first year joining BAAM and it is an excellent experience.” “Lets really be mindful about investing in our youth,” said mentor Allyce Pinchback, program officer, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. “Please give your time. It will be a life changing opportunity for not only the youth you mentor, but yourself.”



Cyril Wecht, MD – 21st century John Brown

In 1946 I entered Fifth Avenue High School and met a young Jewish boy who was an exceptional student, talented violin player and even at that period of time was out spoken. He was Cyril Wecht and that was 66 years ago. We both graduated from high school and went our separate ways. Wecht went to college and I went to work on one of my father’s trucks. For a number of years our paths never crossed, but one day I was in Squirrel Hill and we literally just ran into each other; we embraced and reminisced. At the conclusion he said, “We must get together and talk about what we have been doing.” We exchanged phone numbers and the rest is history.


PAT looks to improve Oakland, Downtown service

Two years ago, Port Authority of Allegheny County unveiled a plan for a series of changes to make their system more efficient. Two service reductions and several half implementations later, they recently announced progress on one of the planned changes—Bus Rapid Transit. BUS RAPID TRANSIT—Yvonne Brown came to protest Port Authority’s handling of ACCESS, but stayed to learn more about BRT.


Community Calendar

Adoption Webinar JAN. 18—Adoptions From the Heart will host a Webinar at 7 p.m. This is the first part of the Embryo Ed series. The topic is “Basic facts about Embryo Placement.” This is one webinar of a four part educational series that will help those families who are pursuing embryo placement. The discussion will cover topics such as legal issues, the number of embryo considered for placement and more. There will also be additional materials and resources available to individuals who complete the seminar. Registration is required and the cost is $35 per couple. For more information, visit http://www.afth.org.



This Week In Black History

Week of January 21- 27 January 21 1773—Poet Phyllis Wheatley, born in 1753, was freed on this day in 1773. Kidnapped in Africa and sold as a slave when she was only seven years old, Wheatley would become Black America’s first poet. She grew up in a prosperous Boston family, which allowed her to learn to read. She not only mastered English but also excelled in Greek and Latin. Her first book of poetry received rave reviews in the United States and Europe. PHYLLIS WHEATLEY


New TV One network show focuses on missing Blacks

by David BauderAP Television Writer PASADENA, Calif. (AP)—After 16 years playing a police lieutenant on “Law & Order,” actress S. Epatha Merkerson is turning to some real-life crime stories. SERIES NARRATOR—Actress S. Epatha Merkerson poses for a portrait in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, File)


MLK’s voting rights legacy under attack

(NNPA)—“No nation can long continue to flourish or to find its way to a better society while it allows any one of its citizens…to be denied the right to participate in the most fundamental of all privileges of democracy—the right to vote.”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On Monday, Jan. 16, America will celebrate what would have been the 83rd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The day will be marked from coast-to-coast with parades, speeches, and pilgrimages to the new King Memorial on the National Mall. But in the midst of this outpouring of praise, there is a sinister movement afoot to undo one of Dr. King’s hardest fought victories—the removal of discriminatory barriers to voting and the passage of the Voting Rights Act signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.



Capital offense

I am stunned by all the controversy surrounding presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital (the private investment company that he founded). What’s even more amazing is that the controversy was started by Republicans running against him for the presidential nomination.