Daily Archive: July 16, 2013



Pirates 2013: Pittsburgh dares to hope _ sort of

Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez (24) warms up on deck during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park, July 4. The Pirates won 6-4. After twenty years without a winning season, the Pittsburgh Pirates put on a good show in the first half of the 2013 season, and fans in a town so loyal to football and hockey are wondering: Is this finally the time for baseball hope, or is collapse once again just around the corner? (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) PITTSBURGH (AP) – Something odd has been happening the past few weeks in the town that’s home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins – something very strange indeed. People are talking about a professional baseball club called – what was that name again? – the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are speaking about alien things, matters unfamiliar to a community unaccustomed to talking about baseball in anything but resigned tones. Things like five Pirates headed to the 2013 All-Star team – the first time so many are going since 1972. Things like a homer-slamming slugger nicknamed “El Toro.” Things like a closer who leads the National League in saves, a pitching staff that leads the majors in shutouts and a team that has one of baseball’s best records – and for a time the past few weeks, had the very best of all. Too many things have happened between Pittsburgh and its baseball team over the past 20 years to make expectations high – or, more accurately, not enough has happened. But in this, the 21st year since the Pirates last finished with a winning record, the talk in restaurants and bars, on Little League fields and in the concession lines at PNC Park centers around some form of this tentative, hopeful question: Is this finally the year when things change?



Kierra Keeps Caring hosts 4th Annual Walk for Life

Particpants gather in Schenley Park after walking in honor of Sha’Vaughn Kierra Wallace. Courier Photos (J.L. Martello) For the past four years, Carla Gaines-Robinson has hosted a community walk in honor of her daughter Sha’Vaughn Kierra Wallace who was shot and killed in May 2009. The Annual Walk for Life, which was held this year on July 13, also commemorates the life of Jayla Brown, a 19-year-old shot and killed in August 2007.



When Blacks killed by non-Blacks, justice rarely served

by Nicole Austin-Hillery (CNN) — In the iconic film, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch, a White lawyer defending a Black man accused of attempting to rape a White woman in the deep South, is delivering his closing argument to an all-White-male jury: “In this country, our courts are the great levelers … in our courts, all men are created equal,” he says.



First court dog program serves victims of domestic violence

PENELOPE Pittsburgh, PA – In cooperation with Allegheny County District Attorney, Stephen Zappala President Judge, Donna Jo McDaniel, and Honorable Anthony W. Saveikis, Crisis Center North (CCN) will launch Allegheny County’s first court dog program, serving victims of domestic violence. Victims often find that testifying against an abuser can be traumatizing and terrifying. In order to help ease the stress, CCN’s in-house therapy dog, Penelope, will be accompany survivors in magisterial courts as they go through the process of speaking with an advocate, police officer or court personnel.



Trayvon Martin, my son, and the Black Male Code

Bill Stephney talks to his son Trevor, 13 on March 23, 2012 as they sit outside their home in Randolph Township, N.J. The killing of Trayvon Martin was an opportunity for him to repeat a longtime lesson: Black men can get singled out, “so please conduct yourself accordingly.” (AP Photo/Mel Evans) PHILADELPHIA (AP)—I thought my son would be much older before I had to tell him about the Black Male Code. He’s only 12, still sleeping with stuffed animals, still afraid of the dark. But after the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I needed to explain to my child that soon people might be afraid of him. We were in the car on the way to school when a story about Martin came on the radio. “The guy who killed him should get arrested. The dead guy was unarmed!” my son said after hearing that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman had claimed self-defense in the shooting in Sanford, Fla. We listened to the rest of the story, describing how Zimmerman had spotted Martin, who was 17, walking home from the store on a rainy night, the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head. When it was over, I turned off the radio and told my son about the rules he needs to follow to avoid becoming another Trayvon Martin—a Black male who Zimmerman assumed was “suspicious” and “up to no good.” As I explained it, the Code goes like this: