Daily Archive: April 11, 2012

National

AG vows thorough review in Trayvon Martin case

by Pete Yost Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the Justice Department will take appropriate action in the killing of Trayvon Martin if it finds evidence that a federal criminal civil rights crime has been committed. ACTION PROMISED— Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the Justice Department will take appropriate action in the killing of Trayvon Martin if it finds evidence that a federal criminal civil rights crime has been committed. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Metro

Homewood ‘Prayer 4 Peace’ march draws hundreds

On April 6 House of Manna Urban Faith Community and the Homewood Renaissance Association gathered hundreds of people in front of Westinghouse High School to march through Homewood-Brushton to the corner of Frankstown and North Homewood Avenues. The purpose of the march was to spread hope in the community. LIFT UP—Youth lead hundreds through the streets of Homewood for the 3rd Annual Prayer 4 Peace March, April 6. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Certainly anything that promotes peace in the inner city is a good thing, given that you had both political and religious leaders and also residents working together to show a unified front around peace,” said Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess, who represents Homewood. “I think it also gave hope to the residents that although the violence has decreased, we can do better. We’re looking forward to new development in Homewood’s future.”

Metro

Civic Arena site parking tax proposed for Hill District

With the demolition of the Civic Arena nearing completion, Pittsburgh Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle has introduced legislation that would direct all new taxes generated from parking on the site to development in the Hill District. “There will be about 800 new interim spaces on the site and we want the tax revenue from those earmarked for development in the Hill District,” he said. “My bill calls for splitting the revenue evenly between the (Urban Redevelopment Authority) and the (Sports and Exhibition Authority) to develop the site and develop the Hill.” R. DANIEL LAVELLE Lavelle’s legislation, introduced April 3, calls for a cooperation agreement between the city, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Sports and Exhibition Authority that would allocated 50 percent of the temporary space parking tax to the SEA for infrastructure improvements to the 28-acre arena site. The other 50 percent would go to a Community Development Investment Fund at the URA and used solely for Hill District development projects.

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Metro

‘Take a Father to School Day’ gets national recognition

The Pittsburgh Public School District is gaining national recognition thanks to School Board Representative Mark Brentley. The district 8 representative’s Take a Father to School Day initiative was named a grand prize winner in the American School Board Journal’s Magna Awards. The Magna Awards recognize excellence in school district leadership. The Take a Father to School Day initiative was chosen for its innovative attempt at increasing parent involvement in the PPS. MARK BRENTLEY “We sent them the numbers on attendance and the folks who participated and they were stunned by that,” Brentley said. “I am extremely excited that Pittsburgh was chosen and we’re looking forward to doing bigger and better things in the future in terms of getting fathers actively involved in the education of their children.”

Metro

‘The killing fields’ demolished in Homewood

With a diesel backhoe standing at the ready, Pittsburgh Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced the condemned row houses on Collier Street in Homewood, once known as “the killing fields,” were finally being demolished, almost three years after the city first moved to do so. The area was called “the killing fields” because it was a haven for drugs and violence. A NEW DAY—With Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Homewood-Brushton Community Coalition Chair Sarah Campbell looking on, Pittsburgh Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess praises the long overdue demolition of the so-called “killing fields” row houses on Collier Street in Homewood, April 4. (Photo by Gail Manker) Longtime resident Sarah Campbell, chairwoman of the Homewood-Brushton Community Coalition, who joined Ravenstahl and Burgess for the press event, called it a blessing. “We’ve been asking for this for 20 years,” she said. “This is like a dream come true.”

Metro

Brooks to challenge Rep. Doyle

Janis Brooks says if people are voiceless, their complaints go unheard and the status quo prevails. So instead of complaining, Brooks, a nonprofit administrator from North Versailles, is doing something. She is running against veteran incumbent US Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pittsburgh for his 14th district seat in the April Democratic Primary. She said though she and Doyle agree on most big-picture issues, he has lost touch with his constituents, especially those struggling to get by. JANIS BROOKS “I work with people in need on a daily basis. If you’ve never had to worry about paying the light bill or paying your property taxes, you don’t understand what people are going through,” she said. “We have record numbers of people slipping into poverty. What does that say about the people who were already poor?”

Metro

Community Calendar

Financial Workshop APRIL 12—The Penn Hills NAACP and Lincoln Park Community Center will host a free Financial Workshop from 12-1 p.m. Equal Pay Day APRIL 13—The Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest PA, New Voices Pittsburgh and the American Association of University Women of Pennsylvania will host Equal Pay Day 2012: Economic Justice for All at Market Square, Downtown. This is a day of awareness and action for equal pay, the elimination of poverty and economic justice for all. For more information, call 412-450-0290 or email equalpayday2012@newvoices­pittsburgh.org.

National

This Week In Black History

Week of April 11 to 17April 11 1948—On this day Jackie Robinson signs the contract which would officially make him the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. Robinson became a symbol of pride for Blacks as well as a star player. However, the admitting of Blacks into major league baseball helped bring about the demise of the old Negro Baseball League whose teams had become major economic institutions in cities throughout the nation. JACKIE ROBINSON

National

Attorneys say Zimmerman is isolated, stressed out

by Kyle Hightower and Mike Schneider Associated Press Writers SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is said to be losing weight and suffering from high levels of stress from the intense public scrutiny he is under, his former lawyers said. Meanwhile, a special prosecutor said she will soon make an announcement in the case and the nation’s attorney general vowed separately to take action if evidence warrants it. GEORGE ZIMMERMAN