Daily Archive: April 25, 2012


Thelma Lovette YMCA opens

For an hour before the scheduled opening, they came, and for an hour afterward they stayed—all to stand in line so they could say hello to Thelma Lovette, who at 96 had retuned to the Hill District for the grand opening of a new state-of-the-art YMCA named in her honor. The April 18 ribbon-cutting ceremony was an event old friends and young people, who didn’t know her, will say years from now they were there. It was like meeting the queen. GRAND OPENING—Everyone watches as Aaron Gibson and Thema Lovette cut the ribbon officially opening the Thelma Lovette YMCA. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Yes, it is. She’s royalty,” said Centre Avenue YMCA Board Chair Tom Burley. “I had tears in my eyes. She’s special because she has touched everyone in this building.”


Child abuse campaign used to save lives

Donovan McKee was a vibrant 11-year-old, whose life ended tragically on Feb. 12, all because he was left in the care of someone he should not have been. According to reports, McKee was brutally beaten in his Knoxville home for a period of eight hours, when left with Anthony Bush, McKee’s mother’s live-in boyfriend. During that time, McKee was beaten with sticks and hit in the head and all over his body, while his mother was at work and his younger brother, who was not harmed, witnessed it all. DONOVAN MCKEE Allegedly when his mother arrived home and found her son beaten, Cynthia McKee waited more than an hour before calling the paramedics. Finally, after calling authorities, her son was rushed to Children’s Hospital, where he died hours later.


Voter ID bill gets trial run

Some voters showing up to the polls on April 24 might have been surprised when they were asked for identification at the place where they’ve been voting for years. Others, aware of the new voter ID legislation signed into law on March 14, came prepared. Either way, everyone was able to vote. The April 24 primary election was what Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration called a “soft rollout” of the Pennsylvania voter ID bill requiring voters to show identification at polling locations. The legislation won’t be strictly enforced until the November election. POLL TAX—From left: Rev. Richard Freeman, Tim Stevens, William Anderson, Janis Brooks and La’Tasha Mayes. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) “The folks who put this voter ID bill in place have but one goal and that’s to suppress the vote of the working class,” said Jamaal Craig, a Pittsburgh representative with the United Steelworkers. “(We) are committed to making sure anyone who is legally able to cast a vote in November, will cast that vote.”


Women still paid 25 percent less than men

In Market Square Downtown on April 13, the cost of a PayDay candy bar for women was .75 cents. However, for men, the going rate for the same candy bar, was $1. The gesture was part of the annual Equal Pay Day rally, meant to shed light on the wage gap between men and women. “We’re going to find our own economic justice. We’re going to find our own change. Change makes economic sense in the lives of our women,” said La’Tasha Mayes, executive director of New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice. EQUAL PAY DAY—African-American women join others of all races in rallying for equal pay. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “We find ourselves over and over again having to fight for the things we think we’ve already won. Are you going to stand for being three-fourths of a citizen? Are you going to allow women to be second-class citizens in southwestern Pennsylvania?”


Gilda’s offers support to those with cancer

For nearly two years Bradley Thompson and his family supported his wife, Linda, during her battle with stage IV breast cancer. He often wondered what he could do to help his family better cope with the situation. But through the help of a local organization, he, his wife and his two children, 12 and 16 at the time, found support. They found a place to laugh, a place to vent-basically a place to cope with the expected and unexpected ills of the disease. HEALING FOODS—Chef Lionel Hong-Long gives a cooking demonstration to participants for the Gilda’s Club National Minority Cancer Health Awareness Month Celebration April 14 and discusses how healthy eating can help the treatment process. On Dec. 20, 2009, Linda lost her battle, but her family found a way to get through it, all because of Gilda’s Club and its belief that social and emotional support is just as important as medical care when it comes to battling cancer.


Community Calendar

Leadership Awards APRIL 27—Three Rivers Youth will host the 2012 Nellie Leadership Awards Gala at 6 p.m. at the Carnegie Museum, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The theme is “A Moroccan Experience.” Andrew Stockey of WTAE-TV will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and Mr. and Mrs. Eric Springer and Price Waterhouse Corporation will be the honorees. There will also be a “Dancing With the Stars” Competition. For more information, call 412-441-5020 or visit http://www.threeriversyouth.org.


This Week In Black History

Week of April 25-May 1April 251918—Jazz singing legend Ella Fitzgerald is born in Newport News, Va. Orphaned at an early age, Ella was literally living in the streets when she was discovered in Harlem, N.Y., by bandleader Chick Webb. Despite never having received formal vocal training, musical experts often compared her techniques and vocal range to that of a conservatory trained singer. One of the ultimate compliments to her abilities was given by the great song writer Ira Gershwin who said, “I didn’t realize our songs were so good until I heard Ella sing them.” Fitzgerald died at the age of 79 on June 15, 1997. ELLA FITZGERALD


Museum showcases racist artifacts

by Mike HouseholderAssociated Press Writer BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (AP)—The objects displayed in Michigan’s newest museum range from the ordinary, such as simple ashtrays and fishing lures, to the grotesque—a full-size replica of a lynching tree. But all are united by a common theme: They are steeped in racism so intense that it makes visitors cringe. JIM CROW ON DISPLAY—Display of colored items is seen at the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in Big Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)


NUL earns top ratings

(NNPA)—“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”—The great French playwright, Moliere. The National Urban League, now in its 102nd year, has played an indispensable role in the empowerment of African-American and working class citizens, while challenging the nation to live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all. Last week’s arrest of George Zimmerman, a first step towards justice for the family of Trayvon Martin, was a reminder of what we as Americans can achieve when we collectively stand up and speak out for fairness, common sense and the rule of law.