Daily Archive: August 8, 2012



47 of 58 homicides Black lives…Numbers rapidly rising—12 in July

In July, Allegheny County was plagued by 12 homicides bringing the total to 58, with 47 of the victims African-Americans. We are quickly on the way to passing last year’s total of 73 homicides, 58 of them taking Black lives. Last year was the lowest year of homicides in four years. While the beginning of 2012 brought hope that the senseless killings would continue to decline, that hope is quickly fading. Each month the New Pittsburgh Courier displays the names and circumstances behind the senseless killings that have occurred, and while no life deserves to be taken in such a tragic way. We as a community must open our eyes and look at who the real victims are. Are the names on the list true victims, or do they increase their chances by involving themselves in illegal activities that are known to bring harm? The answer is both. We as a community need to be real. Once we get rid of the illegal guns in the hands of our young people, the drugs, the gangs, etc., then we can begin to clean up our streets and have the safe neighborhoods that were not so long ago.



County report confirms minority pay inequities

Though it was begun under his predecessor, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald fully supported an audit of the county’s hiring, pay and advancement procedures to determine if minorities and women were being short-changed. Now that the Gender and Race Equity Audit appears to show they have, he is working to see what remedies can be enacted. “I am turning this report over to new County Manager Willy McCain and his deputies and asking that he review (it) to determine what recommendations we may be able to implement and possible action plans for other steps.” BILL ROBINSON Though the report found no evidence of systematic discrimination, it did find inequities related to “structure, misclassification, contracts, longevity and promotions.” The report also noted that while the county has made strides in improving minority representation, hiring still favors White males and females.


Hill District Master Plan completed

With the completion of the Greater Hill District Master Plan, the Urban Redevelopment Authority has issued a massive Request for Proposals to begin developing public and private properties centering on the Centre Avenue business corridor. City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle hailed the announcement. “This is a milestone for the Hill District and presents a rare opportunity in which neighborhoods’ interests and markets can be aligned,” he said. “It will be a process of rebuilding and that’s always tough. But I’m ready for all that it brings.” R. DANIEL LAVELLE The RFP covers 37 publicly owned lots, including the current site of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Zone 2 Station and 23 privately owned parcels, the bulk belonging to Central Baptist Church and its development corporation.


Family Reunion shines through rain

While the 9th Annual Pittsburgh Black Family Reunion ended on a stormy Sunday, not even the rain could put a damper on the three-day event featuring live performances, a basketball tournament and local vendors. “I have been to the reunion in previous years, and I think once again Community Empowerment has thrown an amazing event successfully showcasing the talent of our community,” said Ricky Burgess Jr., a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and the former president of the Black Graduate Students’ Organization. BLACK FAMILY REUNION—Amargie Davis and T. Rashad Byrdsong from the Community Empowerment Association family. (Photo by Ashley G. Woodson) “I think it is important to have a forum where people of different ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and from different neighborhoods can all come together peacefully to do something positive.”


Douglas shatters glass ceiling with historic win

by Will Graves LONDON (AP)—Gabby Douglas believed two years ago, when she convinced her mother to let her move halfway across the country. Martha Karolyi became a convert over the winter, when the bubbly teenager with the electric smile developed the tenacity required to be a champion. Under the brightest lights, on the biggest stage, that belief shattered a glass ceiling. Even if the first African-American to win an Olympic all-around title didn’t quite realize it. “I kind of forgot about that,” Douglas said with a laugh. AMERICA’S DARLING—Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas displays her gold medal during the artistic gymnastics women’s individual all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Aug. 2, in London. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) Don’t worry, Gabby, the world is going to have fun reminding you.


Community Calendar

Health Center Open House AUG. 9—The Hill House Health Center will host an Open House from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 1835 Centre Ave., Hill District. This is celebration of National Community Health Center Week. This is an opportunity to meet the staff, learn about community health centers, free prostate and cancer screenings and more. For more information, call 412-261-0937.


Homicides hit McKeesport

Allegheny County Police are investigation the death of a McKeesport man shot at his home. This is the second homicide in the city within two days. Late Monday evening, Aug. 6, Jabar Ford, of Dravosburg, was shot and killed when someone fired shots as he answered the door of a home in the 1400 block of Coursin Street in McKeesport. Ford, 20, was shot in the chest. No suspects have been named and police are asking that anyone with information contact them. Ford’s murder comes only one day after Tameko Walls, 37, was found shot to death in the parking lot of a car wash next to an after hours club known as the McKeesport Sportsman Club, where a fight had broke out.



This Week in Black History

For the Week of August 8-14 August 8 1865—Explorer Matthew Henson is born in Baltimore, Md. Henson would become the first person to reach the North Pole on April 6, 1909. However, it was his boss Robert E. Perry who would receive widespread public recognition and a presidential citation for the honor. But in later years, records would show that Henson actually beat Perry to the top of the world. Henson would comment that when Perry discovered that he had beat him to the North Pole, he became “hopping mad.” Years would pass before Henson would gain some recognition for his accomplishment. Nevertheless, to this day, most history books still continue to give the honor to Perry.


Boston advises teens on how to break up—safely

by Bridget Murphy BOSTON (AP)—Andrew Curtin said it happened at least twice at his Boston-area high school in the last year. Angry about a breakup, a boy ended up at the school nurse’s office with a broken hand after punching a locker or a wall. “You don’t think about when you see two people walking down the hall, ‘Are they in a bad relationship or is it good?’” the 17-year-old Waltham High School senior said. PREVENTING TEEN VIOLENCE—Peer leaders, from left, Jaylin Green, Tinisha White and Tyler Jones, all of Boston, perform a skit during the Break-Up Summit at Simmons College in Boston, July 26. The summit is part of a national program aimed at preventing dating violence. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) But he was among about 250 teenagers doing a lot of thinking about healthy relationships at a seminar at Simmons College on July 26. And the dating advice was coming from an unlikely source: city government officials.