Monthly Archive: July 2012



Black diabetes deaths double that of Whites

Almost 19 percent of all African-Americans in the country are living with diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the country, but twice as many African-Americans are dying as Whites. This disparity is closely linked to disparities in healthcare and also increased rates of obesity in the Black community. Nationwide, 35.7 percent of African-Americans are obese while only 23.7 percent of Whites are obese. DEAN LARRY DAVISUniversity of Pittsburgh “The diabetes epidemic we’ve been seeing is because people have been getting more and more obese and inactive,” said Mim Seidel, community based education and internship coordinator at Chatham University.


Schenley supporters still fighting

When the Pittsburgh Board of Education voted to close the iconic Schenley High School in 2008, it claimed an extensive asbestos problem would have cost nearly $100 million, making renovation of the structure economically infeasible. NOWHERE TO GO—Sports trophies and sweatshirts that were still piled in an office at Schenley High School four years later were discovered by Councilman Bill Peduto during an April visit. (Photo by Bill Peduto) At the time, the New Pittsburgh Courier reported that independent engineer Jet Lafean testified asbestos was a non-problem, with 00.00 percent showing up in analyzed plaster samples. But with pending budget shortfalls, rising building overcapacity costs and other looming expenses, the board believed its own reports saying asbestos was a major liability issue and voted to shutter the 92-year-old building.


Pa. NAACP leads rally against Voter ID law

by Joby Brown (Beaver County)—Beaver County residents joined the Pennsylvania NAACP in Harrisburg rally to have the Voter ID Law repealed. The state Supreme Court starts its hearing July 25. Mike Turzai, the Republican Majority Leader of the PA House of Representatives, stated after the General Assembly passed the law, “Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.” JOHN W. JORDAN speaks to Beaver County residents. (Photo by Joby Brown) Hearings on the constitutionality of the highly controversial law, signed into existence by Gov. Tom Corbett on March 14, are scheduled to begin July 25, with a decision expected within 10 days. A massive rally on the state capitol steps has been organized by the NAACP, ACLU, AFL-CIO, League of Women Voters, SEIU, AFSME, AARP and others, to protest and hopefully influence the court to overturn the law, and was set for July 24.


African Heritage Association raises academic achievement

According to a 1999 report by the University of California at Los Angeles Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, arts education has a positive impact on the academic success of low-income students. The study compared low-income, high arts involved students with high-income, low arts involved students and found similarities between the standardized test scores and dropout rates of the two groups. HELPING HANDS—Walter Smith, Sheila Washington, Charon Battles, Janice Parks, Eric Asongwed. (Photos by J.L. Martello) While these results show how an arts education can narrow the achievement gap in urban school districts, many of these districts are being forced to cut their art programs due to budgetary restrictions. This discrepancy has been the motivation behind the Young Men & Women’s African Heritage Association, a non-profit organization providing arts, educational, and cultural programs to at-risk children and families.


DC: Making progress in an AIDS hot-spot

by Freddie AllenFor New Pittsburgh Courier WASHINGTON (NNPA)—As Washington, D.C., hosts the 2012 International AIDS Conference this week, residents in the nation’s capital continue to battle epidemic levels of HIV/AIDS. SIGNS OF HOPE—People hold signs and balloons as they participate in the AIDS March in Washington, July 22. More than 20,000 international HIV researchers and activists are meeting this week in the nation’s capital this week with a sense of optimism not seen in many years. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)



Divisiveness is detrimental Cohesiveness is constructive

I moved to the Hill District in 1943 and my memories like the untold numbers of other persons will remain with me forever. At that period of time the Hill was a genuine melting pot, nationally recognized. There were Jews, Italians, Syrians and colored [not Black yet] and a limited number of Mexicans. We were more than neighborly we were neighbors. We were more than friendly, we were friends and some of those friendships are life long. In the early days we lived in what we described as party walls, now they are called row houses. We lived in alleys, for example there was Ours Alley now it is named Ours Way.



The end of AIDS

(NNPA)—There was a refrain that was heard in almost every speech this week at the International AIDS Conference in Washington: We are on the verge of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. That wasn’t a statement that could be made 30 years ago when the pandemic was first identified. It wasn’t a statement that would be uttered at the last International AIDS Conference I attended two years ago in Vienna. But in the nation’s capital this week, that was all the buzz.



Marriage is not a right

by Derryk Green May was a game-changer for the national conversation on homosexual marriage. Derryk Green On May 8, North Carolinans overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 1. The ballot measure changed the state’s constitution to define marriage as a union existing solely between a man and a woman. The approximately 61 percent to 39 percent vote in favor of the Amendment 1 makes North Carolina the 30th state to vote against homosexual marriage.