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Pittsburgh Courier


Vol. 109 No. 6

Two Sections

Published Weekly

FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018

State Disparity Study panel hears from local Black businesses on contracting by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

As part of the information gathering phase of its historic state-wide disparity study to determine the level to which minority-owned small businesses have been discriminated against in state contracting, the Department of General KERRY KIRKLAND Services held its next-

“We know there are factors that prevent our small diverse businesses from being able to compete, and this study will provide us with hard data to allow us to get to the root of the problems…” KERRY KIRKLAND Deputy Secretary for the Department of General Services

to-last public hearing at the United Steelworkers Building in Pittsburgh on Jan. 30. Spokesman Troy Thompson said the department was pleased with the turnout. “It went very well,” he said. “We were SEE DISPARITY A5

PPS spotlights achievements of alumni District honors 21 for Black History Month


7 of 11 homicides Black lives

January homicides: 11 victims, seven of them African Americans by Chris Morrow and Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writers

In the first month of 2018, 11 people were killed in Allegheny County, seven of which were African Americans. From the perspective of the New Pittsburgh Courier, one person killed is too many, let alone 11 to begin the

by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

When Nisha Blackwell attended Westinghouse High School, she remembers looking at the names of the illustrious graduates on the school’s Wall of Fame—Billy Strayhorn, Chuck Cooper, Mary Lou Williams—and thinking, “I want to be on there.” At the rate she’s going, she has a good chance. Blackwell, the founder and owner of Knotzland, the artisan bowtie and accessories business based in Homewood, is among those being honored by Pittsburgh Public Schools during Black History Month. Reached by phone while on a business trip to Manhattan, Blackwell said the ALISHA MURRAY, a 2010 Pittsburgh Public Schools graduate, is one of 21 PPS alumni being recognized by the district during experience is surreal. Black History Month. “It’s like I’m watching someone else see their “That changed my life,” she “This year, it is important for graduate Alisha Murray, can dreams come true,” she said. “I’m said. us to take a different approach remember writing in her fifthso busy working at it, I don’t reIn all, the district will high- to celebrating Black History grade yearbook that she wanted ally think about it. But now that light the contributions of 21 PPS Month” said Anthony Hamlet, to be a music teacher—and now I do—it’s pretty awesome.” graduates who are making their EdD, Superintendent of Schools. she is, at the district’s South Blackwell credits her Westing- marks in the arts for Black His- “From award-winning authors to Hills 6-8 School in Beechview. house English teachers, Miss tory Month. The district’s web- muralists, we acknowledge that “It’s an honor. I really think it’s Hall, Ms. Turner and Ms. Amos, site has posted a pictorial tribute the city has heroes right here in great that they would do this as with pushing her to do her to the alumni. PPS schools are our own backyard, making his- a way to honor and celebrate our best—and Ms. Harris, the guid- also hosting events and learning tory and depositing rich art and culture,” she told the New Pittsance counselor who got her into opportunities to celebrate Black culture into the community.” SEE PPS A7 Edinboro University. History Month. Another of the honorees, CAPA

Rev. Shanea Leonard among CORO Leadership awardees by Rob Taylor Jr.

Downtown. Reverend Leonard won the Individual Leadership Award, while Sara Innamorato, a candidate for state House District 21, won the Leadership Award in the CORO Alumni category. Peyton Klein, founder of Global Minds Initiative, won the Innovation Leadership Award, and Casa San Jose, run by Sister Janice Vanderneck, won the Organization Leadership Award. “King’s legacy and message is more relevant now than ever,” said CORO Pittsburgh president and CEO Sabrina Saunders Mosby in a statement. “In order to address the challenges we face as a community we need to nurture ethical leadership and foster networks of civic engage-

Courier Staff Writer

Reverend Shanea Leonard, of Judah Fellowship Christian Church in the Hill District, is under a mandate—not a suggestion—a mandate, “to care for those who are marginalized in our community…I cannot ignore the plight of my people and the necessity to rise above where we often find ourselves relegated to,” she said. “I have dedicated my life to helping in whatever way I can.” Her dedication to African Americans in the Pittsburgh area was recognized at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership (CORO Pittsburgh) 11th annual MLK Leadership Awards, Jan. 20, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel,


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REVEREND SHANEA LEONARD won the Individual Leadership Award at CORO’s MLK Leadership Awards, Jan. 20

Marc Morial says

year. Oftentimes, the new year is filled with resolutions, life changes, and hopes for personal and professional betterment. But unfortunately for many of Pittsburgh’s African American communities, homicides against our own, by our own, steadily continues. The Courier will continue to place this issue at the forefront of the minds of our community, because violence of any kind, especially against each other, is unacceptable, and should never be tolerated. JAN. 9—Diron Lamonn HopSEE HOMICIDES A5

Making reading, learning a priority for Black youth by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

Six-year-old Kendall Wildy was there, with her peers, enjoying the books, enjoying the words being orated from inside the books. And she was brought to the African American Read-In by her father, Nathaniel Broadus, who was just doing to his daughter what his mother did to him. “As a young person my mother brought me here to the Homewood Library to read, and it’s really important that I’m able to pass those experiences on to my daughter,” Broadus said. “She’s learning to read now, and having those building blocks and being able to see other people getting up and reading” is important for Kendall, Broadus said. But also, “being able to do stuff like this communally is important, for us as Black people, just to be able to get together and do simple things like read as a group, I think it’s SEE READING A5

State of the Union offers a ray of hope Opinion B3



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


This Week In Black History

VIBRANT FASHION—In this photo taken Jan. 22, a customer wears hijab one of a collection made by Nefisa Abam a muslim fashion designer in Accra, Ghana. (AP Photo/Jordi Perdigo)

Ghana sisters blending style, tradition for Muslim women by Jordi Perdigo Associated Press Writer

ACCRA, Ghana (AP)—Two sisters in Ghana are creating Islamic-friendly fashion from the locally produced fabrics that are wildly popular across West Africa. Sekina Abam, 27, said it can be difficult for women in Ghana to avoid discrimination when wearing the Islamic headscarf known as the hijab. Muslims make up 18 percent of the population. She and her 32-year-old sister Nefisa found that many hijab options sold in the markets of the capital, Accra, came from outside the country. None came in the vibrant print fabrics for which Ghana is internationally known. “I said to myself, ‘Why not come up with something from myself that will meet the hijab rules while using African prints?’” she recalled. Now she and her sister share a workshop where they turn out colorful headscarves and flowing, conservative dresses. Sekina is in charge of the clothing line known as Libaas Hilaan that includes everything from casual wear to special occasion apparel, while Nefisa directs the Nefeesah Hijab brand. Hijabs sell between 30 ($6.50) and 100

($22) Ghana cedis, while dresses and abayas can sell for as much as 850 cedis. To meet the steady demand for their product after five years, the sisters are now helped by their mother and two other workers. In recent years, Muslim women in Ghana have been able to wear the hijab more freely at school and in the workplace. In 2015, former President John Mahama proclaimed freedom of faith, opening the way for more displays of religion in the secular country. For the Abam sisters, the struggle is to find the right balance between fashion and Islam, being mindful of tradition while making something that younger women will feel comfortable wearing on the streets of Accra. “A woman naturally wants to look beautiful, and coming from an African setting where is Islam is minimal like in Ghana here, it’s difficult for her to wear black or something that is print-less, design-less,” Sekina said. “She wants to fit in but she also wants to try to obey God a bit. So I decided to come up with these designs that would meet such needs. “The idea is to make it easy for our Muslim sisters and mothers to wear their hijab so that they will be always motivated to wear the hijab,” Nefisa added.

African leaders nearly demanded public apology from Trump by Elias Meseret Associated Press Writer

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP)—African leaders last week came close to demanding that President Donald Trump publicly apologize for his vulgar remark about the continent “that defies all forms of diplomatic etiquette,” according to a draft declaration obtained by The Associated Press. The draft, created during an African Union summit on Jan. 28 and 29, says heads of state and government are “deeply appalled” by Trump’s reported comparison of African countries to a dirty toilet. It warns that the strategic partnership between Africa and the U.S. is at risk because of Trump’s “racist and xenophobic behavior.” The African leaders appear to have changed their minds on issuing the draft

declaration because of a Trump letter to them last week pledging his “deep respect” and saying Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would make an “extended visit” to the continent in March, his first in that role. The letter emerged after Trump met with Rwanda’s president and new African Union chairman Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Many African leaders had been outraged by Trump’s comment last month, after nearly a year of little attention by his administration to the world’s second most populous continent. Concerns have been widespread over proposed deep cuts to U.S. foreign aid and a shift from humanitarian assistance to counterterrorism. Trump has said he didn’t use the vulgar language, while others present say he did.

Ahead of the summit, the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, declared that “Africa cannot keep quiet” about Trump’s “shocking” remarks. But by last Monday he had toned down his stance, telling reporters only that African leaders had received a “letter of correspondence” from Trump and “we’ve taken due note of it.” The draft declaration, however, shows how the 55-nation continental body came close to speaking out. It says African leaders were “dismayed and shocked by the increasingly consistent trend from the Trump administration to denigrate people of African descent and other people of color thereby promoting racism, xenophobia and bigotry.” It calls on the U.S. to retract Trump’s remark and demands that he officially and publicly apologize to all Africans and people of African descent.


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Week of February 7-13 February 7 1871—Alcorn A&M College (later “University”) opens in Mississippi. The great Black legislator Hiram Revels resigns his seat in Congress to become the first president of the institution, which would grow to become one of the leading Black colleges in the nation. At first it was only open to men but began admitting women in 1895. 1883—Eubie Blake is born James Hubert Blake in Baltimore, Md. Along with Noble Sissle, he popularizes Ragtime music. The genre had its birth in Black bars and whore houses in Southern and Midwestern cities. But Sissle and Blake took it mainstream with hits ranging from the “Charleston Rag” to “I’m Just Wild about Harry” to “Shuffle Along.” Blake died when he was 100 years old on Feb. 12, 1983. 1967—Comedian-actor Chris Rock is born on this day in Andrews, S.C. He is the oldest of seven children. EUBIE BLAKE and NOBLE February 8 SISSLE 1894—Congress repeals the Enforcement Act and thus made it easier for states, especially in the South, to take away Black voting rights. Originally passed in 1870, the Act had established criminal penalties for interfering with a person’s right to vote. After its repeal, Southern states passed a host of measures including poll taxes, literacy tests and so-called vouchers of “good character”—all designed to block or limit the number of Blacks who could vote. 1925—Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the “Black Moses,” enters federal prison in Atlanta, Ga., after being convicted of what many Blacks felt were trumped up mail fraud charges. Garvey, a master of grandeur and showmanship, had built the largest Black mass movement in African-American history by emphasizing racial pride, economic empowerment and the building of a Black empire in Africa. Born in Jamaica and having traveled throughout South America, Garvey had become distressed with the plights of Blacks throughMARCUS GARVEY out the world and organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association—UNIA—in 1914. He brought the UNIA to America in 1915 and its growth exploded. At its height, the UNIA had several hundred thousand members and owned businesses ranging from bakeries to shipping lines. Garvey’s rapid growth and increasing power on masses of Blacks are what attracted negative attention from the federal government. After his imprisonment, the organization never recovered. He died in London, England in 1940. 1968—In what became known as “The Orangeburg Massacre” police opened fire on protesting Black students on the campus of South Carolina State University. The officers responded to rock-throwing with a volley of shots, which left three students dead and 27 wounded. The students were protesting a segregated bowling alley near the school’s campus in Orangeburg, S.C. The students killed were Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton and Henry Smith. 1978—Leon Spinks defeats Muhammad Ali and captures the heavyweight boxing championship. Ali regains the title in September of the same year becoming the first person to win the title three times. February 9 ALICE WALKER 1944—Award winning novelist Alice Walker is born in Eatonton, Ga. She is known for “telling the Black woman’s story.” Perhaps her most famous novel was “The Color Purple.” 1995—Dr. Bernard Harris becomes the first African-American to walk in space as part of a joint Russian and American mission. However, Harris was far from being the first Black person in space. That honor goes to a Black Cuban pilot who flew aboard the Soviet Soyuz 38 in 1980. His name was Arnaldo Tamayo-Mendez. February 10 DR. BERNARD HARRIS 1854—Educator Joseph Charles Price is born on this day in Elizabeth City, N.C. Largely unknown today, Price was a world-renowned scholar who founded North Carolina’s Livingstone University. He was also a powerful preacher and orator who raised funds to advance African-American education throughout the nation. His basic educational theory was “educate the whole person”—hands, head and heart. 1927—Opera singer Leontyne Price is born Mary Violet Leontyne Price in Laurel, Miss. She first achieved international fame when she was selected to play “Bess” during the European tour of the George Gershwin Broadway production of “Porgy and Bess.” She became a sensation in Europe signing contracts to sing in just about every European language. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York LEONTYNE PRICE City in 1961. 1989—Ron Brown was elected chairman of the Democratic Party becoming the first African-American to head one of the two major political parties. 1992—Renowned author Alex Haley dies. He was also a biographer and scriptwriter. Haley is perhaps best known for the novel “Roots,” which became a major television series and for the “Autobiography of Malcolm X.” Haley was born Aug. 11, 1921 in Ithaca, N.Y. 1992—Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of the rape of beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington. ALEX HALEY February 11 1644—Eleven Blacks confront the ruling Council of New Netherlands (later New York) with a petition demanding their freedom. This was probably the first legal protest action by Blacks in American history. The petition is granted and the Blacks are freed because they had worked off the terms of their indentured servant contracts which were usually for seven years. But these Blacks had worked for up to 18 years. Shortly after this victory, however, no more Blacks were allowed such contracts but were instead treated as slaves for life. 1990—Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is released from prison on Robben Island after 27 years. He had been jailed for his militant activities against the then White-ruled South African government and its system of rule known as Apartheid. Mandela would go on to become the first Black and first democratically elected president of South Africa (1994-1999). He enabled a peaceful transition to Black majority rule. Mandela was one of the most respected and admired men in the world. In South Africa, he was known as “Madiba”—an honorary title given to elders in his tribe. February 12 NELSON MANDELA 1793—Congress passes the first Fugitive Slave Law. The law made it easier for a slave owner to re-take control of a slave who had escaped to freedom. Blacks and their supporters were outraged because the 1793 law only required the “word” of a White man before a magistrate to declare any Black person a run away slave and have him or her arrested and placed in bondage. Under the law even Blacks who had earned their freedom or had never been slaves were placed in danger. 1900—Legendary poet James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) writes the lyrics to the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as part of a birthday tribute to Abraham Lincoln. In time, the song would become JAMES WELDON the Black National Anthem. 1909—The NAACP is formally founded by a group of 60 progresJOHNSON sive Blacks and Whites in New York City. The organization, originally called the National Negro Committee, was the outgrowth of the Niagara Movement, which met in Niagara, N.Y., in 1905. The NAACP would go on to become, and remains, the nation’s largest civil rights organization. 1930—The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment is funded. More than 400 Black men from rural parts of Georgia and Alabama are lured into the program with the promise that they would be treated for syphilis. But the program was actually designed to study the effects of untreated syphilis on the body. Thus, the men were given fake anti-syphilis medicines as their diseases advanced. The unethical “experiment” went on for 40 years as most of the men gradually died. A reporter exposed the study in 1972. Several government agencies, including the U.S. Public Health Service and Center for Disease Control, were involved. On behalf of the nation, President Clinton apologized to Charlie Pollard and other surviving members of the racist experiment in 1997. February 13 1635—The nation’s first public school is established in Boston, Mass. It was called the Boston Latin School. Blacks could not attend. 1907—Wendell P. Dabney establishes the groundbreaking Black newspaper known as The Union, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The paper’s motto was “For no people can become great without being united, for in union there is strength.”



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


Minorities hear division in Trump’s call for unity by Errin Haines Whack Associated Press Writer

President Donald Trump’s call for American unity in his first State of the Union address struck an us-versus-them tone for many minorities, raising questions as to what extent Americans are put off by a leader who continually draws criticism as bigoted and xenophobic. For many people of color, Trump’s address before Congress on Jan. 30 hardly reflected a shift in his ideology or his bruising style of governance. To them, the president simply softened what he’s been saying all along, particularly when it comes to immigration, and sought to add a veneer of tolerance by using the stories of people of color to illustrate his points. “After more than a year of toxic policies and attacks on marginalized communities, the time for hoping Trump might change is long over,” said Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson. “Behaving like an adult for one speech doesn’t change those facts.” In taking credit for a drop in Black unemployment, Trump showcased a Black welder’s journey from unemployment to a meaningful career. At one point, he reiterated his disgust for NFL players’ national anthem protests against systemic racism by praising a 12-year-old White boy’s act of patriotism. And he conflated immigration with urban gun violence by highlighting two Long Island families who were victimized by gang members who were in the coun-

try illegally. “President Trump can pause his Twitter habits long enough to deliver a prepared speech to a national TV audience, but isn’t doing anything real to bring us together or improve the lives of everyday Americans,” Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said in a statement. Reps. John Lewis of Georgia, Maxine Waters of California and Al Green of Texas—all Democrats who have criticized Trump— decided to skip the speech entirely. Others wore black to show their displeasure, and several wore sashes or ties made of African Kente cloth, a nod to the president’s reference to African nations as “shithole countries.” “There was nothing to clap for, nothing to be happy about, nothing to smile about and nothing to be applauding about,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat. “He takes credit for things he has no right to take credit for.” As Trump touted the low Black unemployment rate, several Black members of Congress sat stone-faced amid cheers from their Republican colleagues. The speech, historically a list of priorities for presidents, was also about what Trump didn’t say. There was scant reference to hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, no mention of the racial violence that erupted last summer in Charlottesville, Va., nor of the evolving #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

STANDING IN SOLIDARITY—Members of the Congressional Black Caucus wear Kente cloth-inspired prints, during the State of the Union address on Jan. 30. (Lauren Victoria Burke/NNPA)

CBC Chairman offers stinging rebuttal to President Trump’s State of the Union address by Freddie Allen NNPA Newswire

Rep. Cedric Richmond, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus railed against President Donald Trump’s boasts about the economy, especially his claims about the Black community, in a blistering response to the president’s State of the Union address. CBC members also wore Kente cloth-inspired prints to the State of the Union address. Richmond said that every action taken by President Trump, since his election, has been destructive for poor, working-class, and middle-class communities throughout the country, as well as communities of color.

Richmond said that nothing that the president said during his speech wiped that slate clean. The CBC chairman also leveled the charge made by lawmakers and economists alike that Trump is just riding the economic wave that began during President Barack Obama’s tenure. “He boasts about a booming economy, but it is not something he can take credit for,” said Richmond. “Much like the money he inherited from his father to start his business, President Trump inherited a growing economy from President Obama.” Richmond continued: “The low Black unemployment rate he boasted about has been falling for eight years and has only changed by one percent since he took

office. In addition, while the Black unemployment rate is at an historic low, it is still double the rate of White unemployment and doesn’t take into account the fact that African Americans are disproportionately underemployed and underpaid.” Janelle Jones, an analyst working on a variety of labor market topics within EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE) told Vox that, “The recovery of employment was happening long before Trump got into office.” Richmond also said that even though the president’s infrastructure proposal sounded good, he doubted that the proposals would live up to their promise. “We know that it will be more of the same: toll

roads, reduced federal costshare, and giveaways to his wealthy friends in the construction industry,” said Richmond. “It is important to note that he said nothing about contracting with minority firms.” Richmond said that the CBC can now answer the question that Trump posed to the Black community in 2016, “with 100 percent certainty.” Richmond continued: “African Americans have a lot to lose under the Trump Administration and we have lost a lot already, especially when it comes to his justice, voting rights, education, housing, and healthcare policies. President Trump is still who we thought he was and we won’t be fooled by this speech.”



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


CORO Pittsburgh Leadership Awards

SABRINA SAUNDERS MOSBY, president and CEO, with CORO Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors.

WTAE-TV ANCHOR MIKE CLARK was the host of the event, Jan. 20.

Rev. Leonard, Innamorato among four awardees


ment and trust. We have such tremendous leaders in our region who are doing incredible work and lift Dr. King’s legacy through their leadership and service. I am grateful that we can acknowledge the work and leadership of our silent community champions each year. The Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards finalists are a refreshing example for those of us who are committed to ensuring that all of our communities thrive.” Mosby called Rev. Leonard “a presence to be reckoned with, with such a sweet soul. Reverend Leonard has a ton of courage, and (in her acceptance speech), she

just captivated the audience with such a strong and unwavering commitment to her work, and it’s something to be commended.” Reverend Leonard, who is often seen fighting for the betterment of African American students in dealings with Pittsburgh Public Schools officials, told the Courier she feels the biggest issue facing African Americans nowadays is “the residual effects of slavery. At the core of all that Black people face in this country on a daily basis is the overarching and lingering stench of this country’s biggest sin, how it has treated Black and brown people. Chattel slavery in this coun-

try is the root of the industrial prison complex and the distrust between Black people and the police…Yes, we have a plethora of issues to surmount within the Black community, but for me, the majority of our problems in modernity have a very clear root in the institution of racist, bigoted, capitalistic and sinfulness of chattel slavery we have experienced in this country.” WTAE-TV anchor Mike Clark was the emcee for the CORO MLK leadership awards, and performances included spoken word (Jacquea Mae) and artistic dance (Trevor Miles). Mae and Miles are CORO Pittsburgh alumni.

CASA SAN JOSE won the Organization Leadership Award.

SARA INNAMORATO won the Alumni Leadership Award.

CORO ALUMNI made special performances throughout the evening, including Jacquea Mae.

1HOOD was a finalist for a CORO Organization Leadership Award. Pictured are Celeste Smith and Jasiri X.

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FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


Read-In a benefit to Black youth Black businesses involved READING FROM A1

important.” This year’s theme for the 29th annual African American Read-In was Literary Healing: Liberation Through STEAM, “Rising to the Top.” More than 30 people signed up to read portions of books to the young ones. Dozens of youth were able to hear the words from the speakers during the three-hour event, Feb. 3, and some youth read books to the crowd, as well. “When I hear them I start crying, really,” said Lorena Amos Brock, president of the United Black Book Clubs of Pittsburgh, the sponsor of the event. “And the fact that they’re reading and enjoying it. This (event) is so intergenerational—you’ve got very old people and very young people exchanging this reading that we weren’t able to have a long time ago.” Brock said it’s the fifteenth time her organization has held this event. “It’s important for the children of all ages to get a chance to hear what older

people read, and for the younger people to share what they’re reading, and how we can combine that intergenerational reading together,” added Cynthia Battle of the United Black Book Clubs of Pittsburgh. “Children don’t like to do what you tell them to do, they do what they see you do. So, if they see you doing things and you see all these wonderful people with stuff to share,” it will leave a more impactful, lasting impression on the kids, Battle said. Brock looks at the ReadIn as not only about books, but about confidence-building in children. “We should always give our children an opportunity, even though they’re nervous, to get up and show their stuff, and then for the adults to say, ‘Aw, wasn’t that wonderful.’” Broadus is hoping his daughter, Kendall, will continue the family tradition of holding literacy in high regard. “Hopefully it encourages her in her later NATHANIEL BROADUS, with 6-year-old daughter Kendall Wildy, at years to get her peers out the African American Read-In, at the Homewood Library, Feb. 3. here in the library, read(Photo by J.L. Martello) ing,” he said.

7 of 11 January homicides Black lives HOMICIDES FROM A1

wood, a 25-year-old Black male, was found fatally shot by police after they received multiple 911 calls, lying in the 1400 block of N. Murtland Street in Homewood. He had been struck several times. Police have not identified a suspect. The investigation continues. JAN. 12—Shevall Davidson, a 24-year-old Black male, was fatally shot multiple times shortly after he left the J & S Food Mart on Seventh Street in Duquesne. Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Callers may remain anonymous, 412-255-8477. JAN. 17—Louise Lewis, a 73-year-old White female, was found fatally shot on the porch of her Clairton home in what Allegheny County detectives said was a murder-suicide. Her 72-year-old husband Robert was found inside the home with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. JAN. 17—Tiffany Korbelic, a 36-year-old White female, was found fatally shot in a home in on West Elizabeth Street in Hazelwood along with 55-yearold Raymond Furlong, in what county detective also said was also a murder-sui-

cide. Furlong, they said shot her then turned the gun on himself. JAN. 18—Anthony Bullock-Fields, a 29-year-old Black male, was shot and then run over at the intersection of Jucunda and Amanda Streets in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood. Pittsburgh police have not yet identified a suspect. The investigation continues. JAN. 20—Albert Boxley, a 30-year-old Black male, was found shot multiple times at the intersection of Mullins and Dickson Streets on Pittsburgh’s North Side. The shooting was captured on surveillance video, and with the help of an eye-witness, police arrested and charged 27-year-old Louis Campbell with the killing. He is currently in the Allegheny County Jail. JAN. 22—Shayne Henderson, a 21-year-old Black male, was found fatally shot in the basement of an apartment building on Everton Street in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood. Henderson’s was the third fatal shooting on Everton in as many months. Police have not named a suspect. The investigation continues JAN. 28—Craig Rhodes-Mitchell, a

24-year-old Black male, was found with multiple gunshot wounds in a home in the 1300 block of Centennial Street in McKeesport. County detectives have yet to identify a suspect and are asking anyone with information to call the tollfree county Tipline at 833255-8477. JAN. 28—Robert Monti, a 42-year-old White male, was found by police shot multiple in the 1200 block of Broadway Avenue in Stowe Township. He died a short time later at Ohio Valley Hospital. County detectives have yet to identify a suspect and are asking anyone with information to call the toll-free county Tipline at 833-255-8477. JAN. 28—Devlen Prosdocimo, a 24-year-old White male, was shot multiple times, after being lured into a drug deal robbery on Wilner Drive in East Hills. Video shows, 17-yearold Malik “Lil Chief Keif” Johnson shooting Prosdocimo several times after he attempted to flee the robbery. Johnson is in the Allegheny County Jail. JAN. 29—Tyqueon Goins, a 20-year-old Black male, was found shot multiple times in a car on Meadows Street in Larimer. Though Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Alicia

George said initial reports indicated the shooting “may be gang related.” police have not yet identified a suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at 412323-7800.

in state Disparity Study DISPARITY FROM A1

pleased with the response. Events like this will be a determining factor in the information gathering portion of the study.” Curt Topper, Department of General Services Secretary, echoed those sentiments. “The public hearings give small and small diverse businesses the opportunity to be part of the change that is going on here in Pennsylvania,” he said. “Their thoughts, concerns and feedback will be valuable to helping the commonwealth shape a more diverse, inclusive and fair state contracting climate.” Over the course of the three-hour session, small and minority-owned businesses presented written and/or verbal testimony to the department, documenting their experiences with state contracting. County Councilman DeWitt Walton, who is also the assistant to the president of the International United Steel Workers Union and vice president of the Pittsburgh A. Phillip Randolph Institute, helped plan the event. He said having to change the time and move the venue from the Allegheny County Courthouse did affect the turnout, but while it wasn’t poor, it was not as large as he’d hoped.

“It’s clear there are challenges that must be met in terms of how and where state contracting dollars are spent. This is a sincere effort to address that and build a process where more people can effectively compete for those dollars,” he said. “But challenges bring opportunities. It just becomes a case of addressing them in a constructive manner.” In all, 51 individuals either spoke or provided testimony to the department. Their testimony will become part of the $900,000 state-wide study Gov. Tom Wolf commissioned last year, which was later expanded to include all PennDOT contracting, as well. Deputy Secretary for the Department of General Services Kerry Kirkland said he expects the first draft to be complete by June. “We need to do a better job when it comes to delivering policies and programs that will enable our small diverse businesses to get a fair shot at doing business with the commonwealth,” he said. “We know there are factors that prevent our small diverse businesses from being able to compete, and this study will provide us with hard data to allow us to get to the root of the problems and move forward in the right direction.”


FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018



Take charge of your health today. Be informed. Be involved. ESTHER BUSH

Researchers try to determine why Black community hit hardest by Alzheimer’s disease

Stop, and take a mofor proteins in the brain ment to ASK: Do you that are associated with know anyone with AlzheiAlzheimer’s. They also mer’s disease? With the use magnetic resonance Alzheimer’s Association imaging (MRI) to look for reporting that more than structural changes in the 5 million people in the brain. Neuroimaging studUnited States are living ies have shown that many This month, the “Take with the disease, there people have the patholoCharge of Your Health is a good chance that gy of Alzheimer’s in their Today” page focuses on everyone knows someone brains—but some people Alzheimer’s disease. Erricka who has the disease or is develop the disease and Hager, health advocate, affected by it. others do not. Researchers and Esther L. Bush, presiAlzheimer’s disease is like Dr. Cohen want to undent and CEO, both of the the most common form derstand why Alzheimer’s Urban League of Greater of dementia. Dementia develops in some people Pittsburgh, spoke about this describes symptoms of and not in others because topic. memory loss and the they think it will provide the EB: loss of other cognitive key to preventing anyone Good abilities that are serious from getting the disease. morning, enough to affect everyday To do this, Dr. Cohen and Erricka. life. Though researchresearchers like her need Alzheiers do not know exactly people to help them further mer’s what causes Alzheimer’s the study of Alzheimer’s. disease is disease, it is characterized In their study (details a health by abnormal deposits of about the study can be topic that proteins in the brain called found elsewhere on this we’ve amyloid plaque and tau page), Dr. Cohen and her ERRICKA HAGER never tangles. It is a disease colleagues are looking covered that gets worse over time, for people all along the before. I’m glad we’re taking leading to breakdowns spectrum of Alzheimer’s the time today to discuss in cognitive and physical disease—people who this disease, efforts to learn functions and, eventually, Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is exceptionally demanding. show no symptoms, peomore about this disease death. There is no cure for ple with mild symptoms and the resources available Alzheimer’s, but treatment heimer’s disease and why create better interventions risk factors. But with the and people who are living locally for our readers and it disproportionately affects and treatments. We know advances in neuroimaging, for its symptoms is availwith the disease. their families. This month’s African Americans. from research that the late early diagnosis is now posable. Because the greatest “We’re in a special time page is filled with informa“Because African Amerstages of Alzheimer’s looks sible. Now that they have known risk factor is age, in the field of Al heimer’s tion and current research icans have higher rates of the same in all patients. But disease research,” says Dr. early diagnosis allows early the tools, researchers are about Alzheimer’s. It even Alzheimer’s and are often we want to know if there’s a Cohen. “We’ve developed trying to understand much treatment and preparation features the Alzheimer’s diagnosed much later in the difference in the early stag- enough technology where for the changes the disease more about Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center es of the disease between disease—including why Afri- progression of the disease, brings. we’re about to understand a (ADRC), a local resource whites and African Amercan Americans are twice as we want to know more Recent developments in lot more about how this diswith which our health eduabout the disease specificans and if the disease technology have completely likely as non-Latinx whites ease progresses. But what cation office has previously ically in this population,” progresses differently.” to develop the disease. changed the way Alzheiwe need are people who partnered. I’m certain we’ll Dr. Cohen and colleagues are willing to sel essly give Ann D. Cohen, PhD, assis- Dr. Cohen says. “For many mer’s disease is diagnosed. be successful in providing reasons, African Americans use neuroimaging to look tant professor of psychiatry A few decades ago, Alzheiup their time to participate readers with a brief introare less likely to be involved at the brains of people at the University of Pittsmer’s disease could not be in these studies. Those are duction and overview of in research. They’re at with and without memory burgh School of Medicine, diagnosed until the brain the people who are really Alzheimer’s and ways they greater risk for developing loss symptoms. They use is one of the researchers was examined after death. going to help us understand can find support in the Pitts- It was nearly impossible to the disease, and we need positron emission topograinvolved in a study trying to the disease and how to burgh area. phy (PET) scans to check know the early markers and understand more about Alz- to know why so we can prevent it.” EH: Yes, Ms. Bush. Before reading this page’s content, I didn’t know much about Alzheimer’s disease. I think one of the reasons we’ve been running the “Take Charge” page in the Courier for seven years is to connect readers with health informaAlzheimer’s disease and Research who worked basis. ADRC also maintains tion, resources and to disrelated disorders can have Center for the New a caregiver support group, seminate current research. devastating effects on (ADRC) is a Pittsburgh which is affiliated with the I also think people need to individuals, families and key resource Courier in the Alzheimer’s Association. know that they are never communities. These effects for up-to-date 1950s and The group meets on the “alone” when they or their can be physical, emotional information 1960s and last Tuesday of the month families experience health or even financial. Research and referrals later died with from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hill problems. More than 5 has shown that providing to support dementia. House, 2nd Floor, 1835 million people are living with information and support to services The center Centre Ave. The center’s the disease in the United affected persons and comwithin the region. also provides speakers support group and community Lecture Series brings States, and over 400,000 of munities is important. This ADRC has a commitment nity education programs are researchers and clinical ex- on Alzheimer’s disease to those people live in Pennsupport can help to ease to increase public awarefree and open to the public. perts to community settings. community groups around sylvania. It’s safe to say that the burden of Alzheimer’s ness about Alzheimer’s For more information, or to This creates interactive and the city. The center accepts most of the Courier readers disease and related condisease. The center proudly educational programs. It is speaker requests from request a speaker, contact have heard of Alzheimer’s. ditions. The outreach core offers a community lecture church groups, community Melita Terry, outreach coornamed in honor of Walter Personally, I’ve known one of the University of Pittsseries two times a year. programs and senior orgadinator, at 412-692-2712, or Allen, a prominent African person who was affected by burgh Alzheimer Disease Its Walter Allen Communizations on a year-round visit American photographer Alzheimer’s. I always wished I was able to provide more support to my loved ones in their time of need. EB: I’m sure your loved ones appreciated all the support you provided during such a tough time. I, too, didn’t realize that AlzheiAre you African American and between the ages of mer’s affects the African 50-89? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a study. American community so Researchers want to determine how different parts of disproportionately. But the brain are connected and understand how these medical advances and connections allow us to think, behave and feel. This understanding of diseases study involves undergoing brain imaging and completing through research continues behavioral evaluations. Compensation is provided. to be so needed. This study requires three visits over three days in EH: I agree. Dr. Cohen Oakland. For more information, or if you are interested discusses advancements in in participating, visit both understanding the gepublicdetails?guid=abdb4de3-0e00-49e6-b0a0-a3canetic markers of the disease 2d6e7c2a. When you click “I’m interested,” a member of and how technology has the Pitt+Me team will contact you. changed the way the disease is diagnosed. The future of how and when diseases like Alzheimer’s are detected and how it is treated through research is here. I now know more about local resources and support groups like ADRC and all the wonderful things they offer to people and families affected by the disease. I feel equipped to refer any personal contacts as well as any of our health education office clients. As you mentioned earlier, I’m also eager to continue working with ADRC in a multitude of ways in order to continue to educate the communities The University of Pittsburgh CTSI, UPMC, and Urban we serve. League of Greater Pittsburgh are proud to partner with EB: I second that. Thanks the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research for having this chat with me, Program. As part of this exciting new precision medicine Erricka. We’ve provided initiative, All of Us Pennsylvania is a local effort to enroll some great information and more than 120,000 participants in our region. Nationally, local resources for famithe goal is to enroll 1 million+ people. Over the coming lies who are affected by months you will be reading and hearing a lot more on Alzheimer’s. I look forward the “Take Charge” Courier pages. For now, we invite to chatting with you next you to learn more at month as we discuss Down syndrome.

Alzheimer’s disease

Community Resource Spotlight: University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer Disease Research Center

Connectomics in Brain Aging

New Precision Medicine Initiative Launched



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018

PPS alumni recognized for Black History Month PPS FROM A1

Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “I just feel so thankful to even be considered as an example. It’s a blessing that all my hard work has paid off.” She said she could never have done it without the

district’s support. “I became a much better musician,” she said. “It gave me the opportunity to increase my skills under marvelous teachers and enhance my love for music and performing. And now I’m teaching kids how to read and

write music—we have a lot of amazing musicians here.” For the full calendar and information on each artist the district is highlighting throughout the month, please visit www. tory.

NISHA BLACKWELL, class of 2004

CARTER REDWOOD, class of 2010

Our columnists KNOW SPORTS.



Read the latest columns from Bill Neal and Aubrey Bruce at AUSTIN-SMITH BERNICE H. Of Pittsburgh East End, Bernice was Carried Away by Angels into Heaven on Sunday, February 4, 2018, elevated following a long courageous battle with Cancer. Beloved wife of Chauncey W. Smith; Loving Mother of Lynn Austin Scott and Chuck Austin 2: cherished Grandmother of Camille L. Trott and Rev. David O.B. Trott of Bermuda, Evangelist Laray E. Dyer and Min. Silbert Dyer of Atlanta GA and Marianna L. Scott of Pittsburgh PA; dear (GG) Great-Grandmother of David Jr and Amiel Austin Trott as well as Melody Rae Dyer. Also survived to grieve by numerous loving Nieces and Nephews a plethora of admiring Friends and associates and a host Smith Family In-Laws. Bernice was predeceased by four siblings; Rev. Evelyn Spencer, Marjorie Carter, Betty Crockett and Howard Hosbey. A life-long member of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church (located at 271 Paulson Avenue, Pittsburgh 15206) where a Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, February 8 at 1:00pm with Family Visitation of 2 hour duration, beginning at 11:00am and repast immediately following Memorial. Arrangements have been made by White’s Memorial Chapel, Located in Point Breeze. In lieu of oral tributes: the family suggests, as her passions have been Early Cancer Detection and Support, that memorials be made in the name Of Bernice Austin-Smith to your choice of relevant Non-Profit Organi ations.

HOWARD ALEXANDER, class of 1992

DJ BLAKK STEELE, class of 1998


LIFESTYLES New Pittsburgh Courier


FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018

Debbie Norrell

Lifestyles Report

Delta’s Annual Card Party is a winner

Comfort zone My first flight was around 1969 or 1970, I went to Detroit to see my sister. It was such a pleasant trip. I used to really enjoy flying and yes, I am one of those weird people who even enjoyed in-flight meals. I never had a bad meal on a flight. In the last decade so much has changed when it comes to flying; there is no free food, no free pillows or blankets and there is a charge for just about everything. One of the biggest problems to date in my opinion is the increase of comfort animals on airplanes. These animals have taken on several names. They are known as therapy pets, service dogs and emotional support animals. What I want to know is when did all of this start and how did these people function before these animals were allowed to accompany the owner anywhere and everywhere? I have yet to encounter one and not sure what I would do if I did. I hope the rule changes before I elect to fly again. A friend of mine was at a local Eat n’ Park recently and someone had their emotional support animal at the buffet. My friend was so disturbed by it that he left. I think the person and the animal should have been the ones to leave. A lot of these socalled support animals are being pimped by their owners. People are claiming dogs, pigs, ducks, turkeys and even peacocks as support animals so they do not have to pay to fly them on the airline. Deb Davis, community outreach manager for Paws with a Cause of Wayland, outside Grand Rapids, said it’s easy to spot the impostor service dogs: those carried in a purse, or those that growl, bark or act aggressively. In other words, the pretenders often lack good public manners, she said. Reportedly, blind people fought hard to get public access for their dogs, and that right is being “diluted” by a proliferation of questionable service and support pets. The ACCESS Advisory Committee members include representatives of the airlines, aircraft manufacturers, flight attendants and disability rights groups. At one point, some committee members favored recognizing as service animals only dogs and miniature horses, which are the only animals covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Can you imagine flying with a miniature horse on the plane?” Did you know that like dogs, miniature horses can be trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, according to the ADA? They can be used as guides for blind people or to pull wheelchairs. These animals, which can be house-trained, typically range in height from 24 to 34 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 70 to 100 pounds. In the case of service dogs, airlines can ask passengers questions such as: What tasks or functions does your animal perform for you? What has it been trained to do for you? Describe how the animal performs this task or function for you. They cannot ask travelers about their disability. “I had no idea.” (Email Debbie at

EXECUTIVE BOARD—Anita Walker, Judy Clark, Renee Carter White, Diana Jaden, Cheryl Morano, Christine White Taylor, Alyssa Ford-Heywood, Jenea Laymon and Marlene Cabiness (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

by Debbie Norrell Lifestyles Editor

The Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. held its Annual Card Party on Saturday, Jan. 6, at the DoubleTree Monroeville. The Annual Card Party is a fun-filled event that includes lunch, card games and bingo. More than 300 attended the annual event. Some of the day’s highlights included the large 50/50 raffle, the basket auctions and a bingo game that is not for the amateur bingo player. Veteran bingo-caller Carolyn Peterson gives those who call bingo in error a hard way to go, but it is all in the fun of the afternoon. The Deltas say the purpose of this event goes beyond fun for their attendees; its purpose is to raise money to assist their chapter in implementing their service programs and to provide scholarships to students in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

EMCEE—Anita Walker


CARD PARTY COMMITTEE MEMBERS—Beatena Milliones and Tynesha Frazier

CARD PARTY COMMITTEE MEMBERS—Curtistine Walker and Marlene Cabiness

FRIENDS—Jovita Smith, Carol Adams and Judy Clark – chapter president

Since its founding in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. has clearly distinguished itself as a public service organization that boldly confronts the challenges of African Americans and, hence, all Americans. Over the years, a wide range of programs addressing education, health, international development, and strengthening of the African American family have evolved. In realizing its mission, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. provides an extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five-Point Program Thrust of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement. Mark your calendars for Journey Wellness, Feb. 17, at the Thelma Lovette YMCA, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for screenings and other valuable fitness tips.

GET THAT WINNING TICKET—Danaa Thompson–Smith, Sybil Thompson

THEY BARED THE COLD—Clyte Portis, Haley Comer-Williams and Karren Little

SUPPORTERS—Doug Ransaw, Maurice Smith, Ken Minefield, Willie James, Fred Crawford, Ron Lawrence and Jessie Jenkins



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


Deborah Cox takes on iconic role in ‘The Bodyguard’ Whitney Houston won Grammy for movie’s soundtrack album by Genea L. Webb

Written in 2012 by Alexander Dinetarius, “The Bodyguard” is based on the Grammy-nominated sing- 1992 movie that starred er Deborah Cox cites the Whitney Houston as pop late Whitney Houston as star Marron and Kevone of her largest musical in Costner as bodyguard Frank Farmer. The story influences. “She was one of my biggest is brought into present day inspirations and ‘The Body- and changes the focus from guard’ movie and soundtrack, the bodyguard to Marron I watched the movie and lis- and expands the role of tened to the soundtrack over Marron’s sister, Nicki. The and over,” Cox said in an in- show, which will feature 17 terview with the New Pitts- costume changes for Cox and more Whitney Houston burgh Courier. So when the script came songs than the movie will her way to portray Hous- run at the Benedum Theton’s character of Rachel ater, Feb. 27-March 4. Instead of watching the Marron in the musical version of “The Bodyguard,” movie and listening to the soundtrack, Cox stayed away Cox readily accepted. For New Pittsburgh Courier

DEBORAH COX as Rachel Marron, with Jaquez André Sims, Brendon Chan, Willie Dee and Benjamin Rivera in “The Bodyguard.” (Photos by Joan Marcus) from both and delved into the script to find moments she could make her own. “I wanted to bring something different,” explained the married mother of three, who enjoys watching movies and going to the spa when she isn’t performing. “This is a romantic thriller

DEBORAH COX as Rachel Marron and Judson Mills as Frank Farmer in “The Bodyguard.”

and it’s going to have you on the edge of your seat. The stalker is very prominent in this and there are more songs that weren’t in the movie, including ‘One Moment in Time,’ ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody,’ and ‘I’m Every Woman’ and the songs are sung in their en-

tirety. The show is very entertaining.” Cox is no stranger to the theater stage. She starred on Broadway as the title character in the closing cast of “Aida” and as Lucy in the 2013 revival of “Jekyll & Hyde.” She burst onto the musical landscape in 1995 when Clive Davis (who also discovered Whitney Houston) signed Cox to Arista Records. Her powerhouse ballad, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” from her “One Wish” album spent 14 weeks atop the Hot R&B charts in the United States and eight consecutive weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album, which was released in 1998, also went platinum and is still her highest selling album to date. Following the success of “One Wish,” Cox lent her soaring vocals to the single “Same Script, Different Cast” alongside Houston for the album “Whitney: The Greatest Hits.” Cox also provided the

vocals for the 2015 Angela Basset-directed Whitney Houston biopic, “Whitney.” Cox began starring in “The Bodyguard” in the fall of 2016 and is riding high on portraying another strong, Black female siren on stage. “Rachel is making the choice of putting her family and priorities first. She is a superstar, so she is isolated and she is also a single mother who is protective of her son and she’s lonely as well,” explained Cox. “You get to see how complicated love can be. It’s important for women to be OK with being alone instead of needing to have a man to complete them and be OK with doing things on their own.” Cox is confident that Pittsburgh audiences will adore the show. “People are definitely going to be dancing,” she said.

(Sponsored by PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh, “The Bodyguard” tickets can be purchased by visiting  or calling 412-456-6666.)



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018

Cover to Cover

‘Black Ink: Literary Legends’


‘Detroit ‘67’ tackles the tough issues

by Terri Schlichenmeyer For New Pittsburgh Courier

Read this. And that. Read what’s next to it, what’s above it, and the next page. Read it, because words soar. Read it because you can. As you’ll see in “Black Ink,” edited by Stephanie Stokes Oliver, it wasn’t always so. For 200 years of this country’s history, it was illegal for a person with black skin to read. Also illegal was writing in words that made sense; slaves who defied the law faced severe punishment, as did their teachers. Because of that, the story of “full literacy among African Americans has yet to be documented,” says Oliver, and this book helps “fill that void.” When Frederick Douglass was a young man, for instance, he was owned by a “kind and tender-hearted woman” who taught him to read. Before he fully understood the process, however, she turned “evil,” but Douglass was undaunted. Seeing that which was started as a means to a better future, he used “various stratagems” and found unaware “poor White children” who helped him fill in the blanks. Books helped Ta-Nehisi Coates to learn who he was, while Booker T. Washington saw a schoolroom as “paradise.” Zora Neale Hurston once claimed that she was “supposed to write about the Race Problem”—problem was, that wasn’t her interest. As one of the best students in his eighthgrade class, Malcolm X dreamed of being a lawyer until a teacher put him down with words meant to “be realistic.” Instead, it lit a fire in young X’s spirit and drove him to be successful. By virtue of reading this far here, you know you’re a reader. But what kind of meaning does the written word hold? For the 27 African American writers included in “Black Ink,” words are everything. Stephanie Stokes Oliver pulls together African American literary giants who seem to make literacy something that should be in bold neon letters. Indeed, the essays you’ll find in here will make bookworms want to stand up and cheer.

Playing now through Feb. 11 at Falk School by Genea L. Webb For New Pittsburgh Courier

Police brutality, racism, unemployment, and lack of opportunity are just some of the themes that are discussed in New Horizon Theater’s play, “Detroit ’67.” “I want the audience to walk away with the question of where do we go from here,” explained the play’s director, Herb Newsome. “In 1967, police brutality, the Vietnam War and a lot of issues were affecting the Black community and America. The play is a mirror of what’s happening today.” The timeliness of “Detroit ’67” is one of the reasons New Horizon Theater Chairperson Joyce Meggerson-Moore chose to include the play in this season’s lineup, and why she and her board specifically wanted to present it as the theater’s Black History Month selection. “We talked about it last year after the movie ‘Detroit’ came out and the movie and play are in our minds right now, and we can capitalize on that. We look at a group of plays and see if our audience will enjoy it. This play has real

themes that represents real-life people called “The Detroit Projects.” The second and real events and we’ve been doing in the series, “Paradise Blue,” was develplays like this for the past few years oped with Voice and Vision, the Hansberry during Black History Month,” Megger- Project at ACT, New York Theatre Workson-Moore said. shop and McCarter Theatre. “Detroit ’67,” set to the backdrop of the “Young people should be able to identisoulful sounds of Motown, tells the story fy with the theme of police brutality and of siblings Chelle (Alexandria Danielle racism and some of the other issues and King) and Lank (Lamar Darnell Fields) hopefully it will spark a dialogue,” said who are trying to make ends meet after Meggerson-Moore about the play. the death of their parents by operating an “Detroit ’67” will be shown at the Falk unlicensed bar in their basement of their School Auditorium, 4060 Allequippa St., Detroit apartment. That’s a risky business through Feb. 11. Free parking is available since police are cracking down after-hours across the street at the Veterans AdminJook Joints in Black neighborhoods. When istration lot. For more information visLank offers help to a mysterious stranger, it or call 412tensions escalate at home and in the com- 431-0773. munity. Newsome is excited to be directing New Horizon’s version of the show, which is being sponsored by The Heinz Endowments, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Pittsburgh Foundation and Chris Moore Communications. “I saw the production in New York City two years ago and I produced it in Los Angeles, and when I found out that New Horizon was doing it, I had my own vision about what I wanted it to look like and sound like. I’m excited to revisit it,” explained Newsome, who is friends with “Detroit ’67” playwright Dominique Morisseau. “With the election of this president, it seems like it’s given people the voice to sprout hate again. When you have it come from the upper echelon, people think it’s OK and it sets us back. We need to keep dialogue open.” “Detroit ’67” is the first play in a series of plays based on Morisseau’s “DETROIT ‘67” is now playing at the Falk School Auditorium through Feb. 11. (Photos courtesy Lionness Photography) hometown of Detroit,



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


Praise & Worship ST. BENEDICT THE MOOR CATHOLIC CHURCH Crawford & Centre Ave. Pgh., PA 15219 412-281-3141 Mass Sunday 9:00 A.M. & 12:00 P.M. Sunday (Gospel Choir Mass) 12:00 P.M.

METROPOLITAN BAPTIST CHURCH 22 Sampsonia Street, Northside Pittsburgh, PA 15212 412-231-2554 FAX 412-231-6395 Rev. Lacy F. Richardson, Ph.D., Pastor Church School.................................9:30 A.M. Worship Service.................8:00 & 10:45 A.M. Bible Study/ Prayer Wednesday...................6:30/7:30 P.M.

East Liberty Presbyterian Church ANGELIQUE STROTHERS, a praise and worship leader at Macedonia Baptist Church, Feb. 4. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

Macedonia Baptist Church Interactive Service

The Courier

is The Voice

of Black Pittsburgh


Kathleen “Kathy” Kaharick Maneese, 74, passed away January 26th, 2018 after valiantly battling metastatic breast cancer for over 22 years. An iconoclast, Kathy fought her entire life for truth and justice and lived with integrity and purpose. She was accepting and full of love for everyone she encountered throughout her life. Growing up in Johnstown, PA, she was the oldest of six children of Stanley and Emily Kaharick (both deceased). Kathy attended Bishop McCort High School, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and, upon graduation, joined the Peace Corps where she served mothers living in poverty in Goiânia Goiás, Brazil. While working at Auberle family organization, she met her loving life partner and husband, William (Bill) Beigle Maneese, eventually eloping in 1972. They enjoyed culture, travel, and serving their community for nearly 13 years before the adoption of their first child, Liana Martina Maneese, 33 and owner of The Good Peoples Group, and later their second daughter Kayla Marlana Maneese, 31 and a determined chef and baker currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. In 1980, Kathy became manager of youth programming for the Pittsburgh Metro Alliance of Business, where she coordinated programming for the YWCA, and developed foreign admissions services for colleges in the tri-state area. She retired from The United States Postal Service in 2005 and continued to fight for equity, antiracism, environmental justice, and animal rights through her support and involvement with numerous groups, social movements, and volunteer work. Kathleen was a true renaissance woman; art and creativity came naturally to her, and she had a knack for being handy. Above all, Kathy wholeheartedly loved her children and 9yr old grandson, Liam Matthew Maneese. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, William Manese and daughters Liana Martina Maneese 33, and Kayla Marlana Maneese 31, and her beloved grandson, Liam. She is also survived by her siblings: Diane Kaharick, Mary Ann McQuillan, Joseph Kaharick, Jerome Kaharick, and Mark Kaharick, her mother-in-law Betty Maneese, sister-in-law Linda, and numerous nieces and nephews. No services will be held at Kathy’s request, but in her memory, challenge yourself to learn something new toward creating a more just community. Before she passed she was going to start reading the book Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. Please send family contributions, or donations made on her behalf to an organization that supported justice for all people, to The Good Peoples Group, 460 Melwood Ave. Suite 202 Pittsburgh PA 15219. A spring remembrance is being planned. Details will follow at a later date.

Rev. Dr. Randy Bush, Senior Pastor 412-441-3800 116 S. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Journey Worship........8:45 a.m. Sanctuary Worship...11:00 a.m.

Curious about Quakerism? You Are Welcome at our Meetings for Worship Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Pittsburgh Friends Meeting 4836 Ellsworth Avenue 412-683-2669

New Destiny CME Church 114 North Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15233 412-231-7882 Rev. Kornelus Neal, pastor The Rt. Rev. Marvin Thomas Sr., presiding bishop Sunday School....................................9 A.M. Morning Worship Service............11:00 A.M.

Join our growing Praise and Worship Church Community! For rate information, call 412481-8302, ext. 128.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEXT CHURCH EVENT! We want to place your event in our Church Circuit weekly calendar! Send info to: New Pittsburgh Courier 315 E. Carson St. Pittsburgh PA 15219 Or Email us! religion@ newpittsburgh


FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


BUSINESS New Pittsburgh Courier

Chico Butler, and his pursuit of justice People B10



Young entrepreneur finds success in call center industry

by Sarah Skidmore Sell It’s always good to pay off your credit card debt, but now may be a better time than ever to do so. Americans’ debt levels have been growing and interest rates are rising—a combination that could put consumers in a bind if they carry a balance on their cards. The Federal Reserve said earlier this month that overall consumer borrowing in the U.S. jumped 8.8 percent in November, the most in more than two years, a sign of growing confidence in the economy. The category of debt made up mostly of credit cards jumped $11.2 billion, the most in a year, to $1.02 trillion. That is the highest level on record, without adjusting for inflation. Rising debt levels can mean consumers feel better about the economy and are more willing to spend. But some experts say people may be over-extending themselves. And with the Federal Reserve expected to hike a key interest rate further this year, the cost for carrying debt on credit cards is likely to rise. “Everyone has this sense that there is a storm brewing,” said Bruce McClary, spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “All indications that we’ve seen are that people are carrying higher balances from month-to-month and more are behind on their monthly payments. That’s not a healthy mix.” So what can you do? TAKE CONTROL “To know where you are going, you need to know where you have been,” McClary said. That means taking a hard look at your financial picture. Take stock of your debts, along with associated interest rates and minimum payments. Track your spending to get a sense of where your money goes each month. REDUCE RATES Ask your credit card companies if they will lower your rates. The average annual percentage rate on a credit card is around 16 percent. That’s pretty steep, so you may want to consider moving your balance to a card with a lower or zero-interest introductory rate to help pay it off faster. A word of warning: you’ll probably have to pay a balance transfer fee and pay the balance off before that promotion window ends or you could face accumulated interest. PICK A PLAN There are two common debt repayment strategies—avalanche and snowball. The avalanche works by putting all your extra money toward your highest interest rate debt. Once that’s paid off, you start paying off the next most expensive debt until it’s all gone. While the avalanche makes the most sense financially, sometimes the snowball method provides more motivation. With this strategy, you pay off the smallest debt first, to boost your spirits. Then you use

Find what you need from jobs to cars to housing B4-B6

FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018

Why now is a critical time to pay off credit card debt AP Personal Finance Writer


Tavere Johnson Jr. says he’s just ‘your average genius’ by Stacy M. Brown For New Pittsburgh Courier

Johnson and his family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Florida, when he was 13. Johnson said he’d always been “a hustler,” who played sports and loved sneakers. “I had a lemonade stand and then I went to work at a car wash,” Johnson said. “I was a sponge, though, who put himself around the right people, because I always had that entrepreneurial and hustler spirit.” In a lot of ways, Johnson said he’s like his father, Tavere Johnson, Sr. “He’s my mentor and he motivates me,” Johnson said. “I’m a hybrid of him, but I’m a little more tenacious, especially in this digital age, but he’s the root of it and is what’s got me going. Everything springs from there.” Johnson began his career in the corporate world of call centers just three years after he arrived from Jamaica. As he climbed the corporate ladder, Johnson said he also attended trade shows and seminars to further his knowledge and experience. At just 21, Johnson founded his first lead generation call center with a group of partners, and later he used his own capital to start a healthcare lead generation agency call center, which he said is currently valued at more than $4 million. “It’s one of the more dynamic call centers,” Johnson said. Writing the book, he said, was a personal milestone. Johnson knew right away that he didn’t want to just distribute the book to his parents and family friends. “I want to make an impact, a positive impact, so for six or seven months and from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., after I got out of the daily grind, I wrote and put this book together,” he said. Johnson continued: “I am the average genius. That’s the cornerstone of what drives me and encourages me to instill this in everyone that I rub shoulders with. I don’t think I’m a cliché genius and I feel like everybody can accomplish what I have and what I will, so I want to be of encouragement.” If there’s one message Johnson said he wishes everyone would take from the book, he said its positivity. “Positivity always wins,” Johnson said.

(NNPA)—At 28, Tavere Johnson Jr. has established himself as an author, creative entrepreneur and, as many who know him say, a forward thinker. The Jamaican-born Johnson has still another way of describing himself: “Your Average Genius,” or “YAG” for short, which also happens to be the title of his new book that should hit book stores this year. “I just try to reveal the very simple idea of the average genius, who lives inside all of us,” Johnson said. “I used the word average not to downplay the greatness of us, but to encourage and promote courage, work ethics, drive, self-confidence and the willingness to risk it all for what you believe in and to be great.” In fact, Johnson has a unique view of stress. In one chapter of his book, subtitled “Enemies and Obstacles,” Johnson explains the need to battle adversity and not being overcome by stress. “Most people look at the word stress and they frown upon it,” he said. “I actually enjoy stress. If you are stressed, it means something that you care about is at risk, so the question becomes, ‘What are you going to do about it?’” Johnson’s friends note that he approaches life and business with an eye on what’s applicable. He said “YAG— Your Average Genius,” is for the budding businessperson, the titan of the industry or even the everyday go-getter. The tome is a way of sharing how a spiritual—but not religious—and positive approach will bring success by maximizing individuals’ resources, approaching obstacles with positive energy and taking time to consider a person’s goal and the consequences of obtaining them, he said. “At this point in my life, I want to make a positive impact on people I rub shoulders with,” Johnson said. TAVERE JOHNSON JR. Born in Jamaica,

(Find more information about “Your Average Genius” or catch up with Tavere on Twitter @king_tav and Instagram @king_tav.)

Smart money moves for Black Americans in financial distress by Sean Pyles For New Pittsburgh Courier

Record-level credit card debt and fluctuating incomes create financial challenges for many American households, especially those with lower incomes. The effects may be felt especially keenly in Black households, where historic and systemic racial discrimination has led to greater disparities in wealth and debt. But there are moves that families facing such hardships can make to better their finances, including improving their credit profile and seeking alternatives to risky products such as payday loans. DEEPLY ROOTED DISPARITIES IN DEBT AND WEALTH Disparity in wealth and debt feed into one another, says Pamela Chan, project director of human insights at Prosperity Now, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. “If you are a person who doesn’t have a lot of wealth to start from…then when emergencies hit, that often causes someone to lean on debt to get through those periods,” Chan says. “Then

CREDIT CARD LOGOS are posted to the door of a business in Atlanta, Wednesday. Record-level credit card debt and fluctuating incomes create financial challenges for many American households, especially those with lower incomes. The effects may be felt especially keenly in Black households, where historic and systemic racial discrimination has led to greater disparities in wealth and debt. (AP Photo/ David Goldman) once someone takes debt, if they don’t have wealth, they’re much more vulnerable if something happens when they’re trying to pay off their debt.” Institutional discrimination against generations of Black Americans and its

far-reaching consequences have contributed to Black households facing greater financial hardship than White households, Chan says. The wage gap is one example. As of 2015, Black men made 22 percent less

than White men with, for example, the same education, experience and region of residence, a 2016 report from the Economic Policy Institute found. In 2016, the median wealth of White families was almost 10 times the

median wealth of Black families—$171,000 compared to $17,600—according to the Federal Reserve’s 2017 Survey of Consumer Finances . HOW TO IMPROVE FINANCES TO BUILD WEALTH Reducing debt is the first step toward building wealth. Before taking action, Michigan-based accredited financial coach Weslia Echols recommends planning a long-term strategy. “The first thing I ask people to do is take a deep breath. When you do that, and assess the situation fully, you won’t look for a quick answer like a payday loan,” Echols says. “Getting out of debt is a long-term process.” Echols recommends establishing a clear budget and payoff plan. Here are tips to improve your financial profile. •BUILD YOUR CREDIT: Your credit report and score are among the most important aspects of your financial life. When they’re in the best shape possible, you become more appealing to lenders, increasing your access to credit at lower in-

terest rates. Start by checking your free credit reports at for erroneous information, like an account that’s not yours that could be lowering your score. Then start raising your score by making on-time payments on all accounts, including credit cards and loans; payment history is the largest single factor affecting it. The credit bureau Experian advises keeping your credit utilization—or how much of your credit limit you use—below 30 percent. •BE STRATEGIC ABOUT DEBT: The 2017 Survey of Consumer Finances shows that Black families are more likely to carry debt-to-income ratios—that’s how your debt compares to your income —greater than 40 percent, a marker of financial distress, according to the Federal Reserve. Nine percent of Black families had DTIs above 40 percent, compared to 6 percent for White households. Manage your debt as cost-efficiently as possiSEE SMART B2



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018

Neighborhood Allies receives $300,000 grant from KeyBank Neighborhood Allies, a community partner committed to creating and maintaining healthy neighborhoods,  today announced that it has received a two-year $300,000 grant award from the KeyBank Foundation to support its investment strategy that is being developed to  expand opportunity, improve resident satisfaction and confidence, and attract additional public/ private capital. We expect this important investment to ultimately leverage over $1 million dollars in support of the equitable revitalization of the Upper Hill District. Through this initiative, an Upper Hill District Healthy Neighborhood Action Plan will be produced and community revitalization projects will receive direct financial assistance and technical support. The Action Plan will be rooted in resident input, be informed my market realities and will honor the equitable revitalization principles outlined in the Greater Hill District Master Plan. By working in close coordination with our Hill District based partners and through the formation of public-private partnerships, with the support of this grant, Neighborhood Allies will identify effective strategies, coordinate activities, and invest in projects and programs to help:  •Boost homeownership rates •Stabilize homes •Connect residents to promising employment opportunities •Widen the capacity of neighborhood CDCs and •Leverage additional resources to ensure long-term success in the Upper Hill District “We’re pleased to support Neighborhood Allies and its community partners in the revitalization of Pittsburgh’s Upper Hill District,” said Todd Moules, Market President for KeyBank. “This neighborhood investment is a part of our commitment to improve the communities that we serve.” This investment is part of KeyBank’s National Community Benefits Plan, which includes $16.5 billion in investments across the communities it serves, including in the Pittsburgh region. Th“The Hill District is a regional asset, and KeyBank’s support of equitable development opportunities will help assure that buildings are preserved for affordable homeownership,” said Marimba Milliones, president & CEO of Hill Community Development Corporation.  “This thoughtful approach improves the community and will help to prevent displacement.”


In the Trump era, consumer protection agency changes course (NNPA)—In the wake of a recent series of anti-consumer actions taken by Mick Mulvaney, the Trump-appointed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Acting Director, a bicameral call for accountability was released on January 31. Led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two other Congressional Black Caucus Members, Congressmen Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Al Green, D-Tex., joined Senators Richard Blumentha, D-Conn., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., as signatories. Together, the group of lawmakers seek to know what prompted Mr. Mulvaney’s actions as well as his ties to the payday lending industry. A Jan. 31 letter calls into question the following specific actions that have occurred over the past month: •Halting implementation of the agency’s final rule preventing abusive payday lending (the ‘Payday Rule); •Announcement of the Bureau’s intention to initiate a rulemaking process that appears designed to weaken the Payday Rule; •Withdrawing a Bureau lawsuit against four online payday lenders who allegedly misled customers on interest rates that spanned a low of 440 percent to as high as 950 percent; and •Ending an investigation of World Acceptance Corporation, a high-cost installment lender that began in 2014 after consumers complained of unaffordable loans and aggressive collection practices. “For too long, some payday, auto title, and installment lenders have taken advantage of American workers who need a little extra money to pay an unexpected medical bill or fix their car,” wrote the lawmakers. “For too many families, one unexpected expense or tight week traps them in a cycle of debt that lasts months or years…

Charlene Crowell

Commentary The rule finalized by the CFPB last October was carefully balanced to end that cycle of debt while ensuring that borrowers retain access to needed credit.” The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act that created the CFPB intended for it to be an independent agency, charged with serving as the consumer’s financial cop-on-the-beat. Its director was to be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to a five-year term of service. Additionally, CFPB was to secure its funding directly from the Federal Reserve Bank, rather than through Congress’ annual appropriations process that could enable powerful special interests to restrict necessary funding. Even though the Dodd-Frank Act also defined a succession plan for an Acting Director in the event of personnel changes, two people were appointed to this same role. One, Leandra English was lawfully appointed by the former Director Richard Cordray, while another, Mr. Mulvaney, was appointed by President Trump. The lawmakers’ letter is addressed to both appointees. An appellate federal court will eventually decide who should be the legal Acting Director; but in the interim, Mulvaney leads CFPB while retaining his position as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In his prior role as a South Carolina Congressman, he co-sponsored a bill to eliminate the CFPB and accepted nearly $63,000 in campaign donations from payday lenders. These donations included $4,500 from World Acceptance Corporation’s political action committee. “The CFPB spent five years honing the Payday Rule, conducting research and reviewing over one million comments from all types of stakeholders: from payday lender, to state regulators, to faith lead-

ers,” wrote Ranking Members Warren and Waters. Now Mr. Mulvaney oversees the daily operations of the same Bureau that returned $12 billion to nearly 30 million consumers in about six years. Instead of regulating financial services, this Acting Director prefers allowing private enterprise to determine consumers’ choices—including those that are harmful and predatory. He also wants financial businesses to have more input on determining what regulations CFPB should use in their supervision and monitoring. As CFPB’s Acting Director, Mulvaney also wrote a letter to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen advising that “for Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, the Bureau is requesting $0.” Mulvaney added, “While this approximately $145 million may not make much of a dent in the deficit, the men and women at the Bureau are proud to do their part to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.” When the federal deficit is hundreds of trillions of dollars, it strains credulity to believe that $145 million will lighten the nation’s debt. But an emerging pattern of the current administration is to allow lengthy delays that could eventually become denials. Key consumer protections in student loans have been delayed as well, and through the Congressional Review Act, a rule that would have allowed consumers to have their own day in court to resolve financial and credit issues has also been rejected. Moreover, Mulvaney directed the CFPB to delay implementation of its prepaid card rule that was designed to help stop abusive fees for users. “I certainly understand the desire to protect taxpayer dollars,” said Debbie Goldstein, executive vice president with the Center for Responsible Lending, “but I think the mission of the CFPB is to protect the taxpayers, the American people, from lenders who target them for high-cost and unaffordable loans. And the best way to save Americans millions of dollars is by preventing predatory lending, not by draining the CFPB’s resources.” (Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications deputy director. She can be reached at

Smart money moves SMART FROM B1

ble and pay it off faster by lowering your interest rate. Transferring the balance to a zero-interest credit card is an option for borrowers with solid credit. If you don’t qualify for such a card, look into whether a debt management plan can help you pay down your credit card debt faster and cheaper. If your monthly debt payments exceed half your income, you may want to seek legal advice on whether bankruptcy makes sense for you. Though it doesn’t erase all types of debt, it can offer a fresh start and help you meet other financial goals, such as saving for retirement. Resources like can point you to local legal aid. •AVOID RISKY PRODUCTS: Thirty-nine percent of Black Americans are likely to use high-interest loans, like payday loans, compared to 21 per-

cent of White Americans, according to a 2016 report from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. These loans can carry interest rates upward of 300 percent and lead to repeat borrowing, trapping the borrower in a cycle of debt. If you need cash, you can find better loan rates at a local credit union. And apps like Earnin can give you an advance on your paycheck without fees or interest. If you have poor credit, a credit builder loan—also available at many credit unions—can provide the cash you need while you improve your credit. For more help, tap the free advice of a nonprofit, like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. (This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Sean Pyles is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: spyles(at)

Now is critical time to pay off credit card debt CRITICAL FROM B1

that momentum to pay off the next biggest bill and so on, building your efforts like a snowball. It doesn’t really matter which one you use, just that you do it, said Lauren Zangardi Haynes, a financial advisor. You also need to break the spending habits that got you into debt in the first place. If you just can’t find a way to make your payments work at all, consider finding a nonprofit credit counseling organization at STICK TO IT This is the hard part. “It’s an extremely long journey to get debt free and

it can be lonely,” Zangardi Haynes said. She suggests finding a coach or accountability partner to help keep you on track and energized. Remember your sole focus should be getting out of debt, so don’t plan any fancy vacations or big purchases for now. You may backslide or hit some road bumps but don’t let that sap your motivation, McClary said. If possible, set aside a small cushion of cash to help with unexpected expenses that you might be tempted to put on a card. “It’s not going to be easy but it’s worth doing,” Zangardi Haynes said.


FEB. 9—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will host Simple Strategic Planning, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Rockwell Hall, Room 108, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15282. This workshop is designed to teach business owners how to put together a strategic plan that is simple, effective, and exible enough to change as your business changes. Topics covered include format and structure six key areas to plan; strategies for marketing, sales and time management, and the mindset of a successful business owner. Cost: $49. For more information, call 412-396-1633.

Free Government Contracting Webinar

FEB. 13—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will host an online webinar on Government Contracting Basics, 10 to 11:30 a.m. this free webinar will provide an introduction to government contracting and cover the basics of doing business with the government including registrations, regulations, certifications and other factors to consider when getting ready to enter this market. Melissa Becker, Government Contracting Specialist at the Northwest Commission PTAC, will discuss aspects of federal, state and local government contracting. To register, visit or contact Melissa Becker at 814.677.4800 x124 or


FEB. 16—The African American Chamber of Commerce welcomes new Allegheny Conference on Community Development CEO Stefani Pashman as its speaker, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Rivers Club, Oxford Center, Downtown. Cost: $20 for members, $30 for non-members. Call 412-392-0610 for more information.

Training Course

FEB. 19—The Chatham University Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will present From Concept to Launch, a 6-week entrepreneurial training program for women in the early stages of starting a business, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Chatham Eastside, Entrepreneurship Hub, 6585 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA. 15206, on 6 consecutive Mondays, evenings from 6-8pm on Feb 19, 26, and March 5, 12, 19, and 26th. Topics include: identifying target customers and markets, marketing strategies, foundational operations, basic financials, legal business entities, and more. Cost: $95. For more information, call Anne Flynn Schlicht at 412-3651448.

Tax Workshop & Panel

FEB. 22—The African American Chamber of Commerce presents The Implications of Tax Reform on Individuals and Small Business, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at its offices in the Koppers Building, 635 Grant Street, Downtown. Panelist Joan Ellenbogen, Managing Partner of CrawfordEllenbogen Victor Dozzi, Partner and COO of CrawfordEllenbogen John Stillwaggon, President of Stillwaggon & McGill will discuss what the changes in the tax laws will mean for you and your firm. Cost $10 for members, $20 for non-members and includes a box lunch. For more information, call 412392-0610.

Self-Employment Training Event

FEB. 28—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center and AARP Foundation will host a free Work for Yourself@50+ workshop, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Library Homewood Branch, 7101 Hamilton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA. 15208. The workshop is designed to give low- and moderate-income adults age 50+ gain the knowledge, support, and resources they need to make informed decisions and take the right first steps toward successful self-employment. The workshop will walk participants through the Work for Yourself@50+ materials and connect them with local resources to help them reach their goals. The event is free, but registration is required. Call 888-3395617 to do so, and to receive the free 72-page workbook and resource guide.



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


We must resist dangerous GOP agenda

Editorial — Our View

A Pittsburgh without Black lives lost CAN be achieved Maybe, just maybe we all should hope for below-zero temperatures for good. As 2017 came to a close, many parts of the country, including Pittsburgh, were relegated to our homes due to the frigid, freezing, bone-chilling temperatures outside. Many of you may not have gone out on New Year’s Eve, as ABC Television enjoyed record viewership numbers for its annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show from New York City. The bitter cold lasted seemingly another eight days. Nobody was out if they didn’t have to be. Then Jan. 9 came: with it came relatively much warmer temperatures, and unfortunately, the shooting and killing of another Black man in Pittsburgh. Diron Lamonn Hopwood, 25, was shot and killed in Homewood, around N. Murtland Avenue at Upland Street. It happened in the middle of the day, near Westinghouse High School, as students were in class. A school lockdown ensued. Over the next three weeks, 10 more homicides were recorded in Allegheny County—six of them were Black males. Several years ago, the New Pittsburgh Courier began publicly showing the number of homicides in Allegheny County on its front page. Out of that total, we showed the number of Black lives that were lost. In our Jan. 3, 2018 edition, the Courier reported that 78 out of 110 homicides in the county were Black lives. As the newspaper of record for African Americans in Pittsburgh and this region, the New Pittsburgh Courier denounces the gun violence that is so negatively impacting our communities. We place the homicide numbers on our front page each month, including this edition, to bring this devastating issue to the forefront of our readers and our community. This is not an issue that can be ignored. This is not an issue that can go on page 2. This is real, this is happening in our backyards, this is affecting our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, nieces, nephews, sons, daughters…it’s paralyzing us, period. One thing we do know about Pittsburgh, though, is that there are many people and organizations that are tirelessly working to improve our communities. From Rashad Byrdsong, to Tim Stevens, to the hundreds of teachers in Pittsburgh Public Schools and local charter schools…from local pastors and church congregations, to community groups in Beltzhoover, the Hill District, Homewood, the North Side, and Sheraden, to elected officials, to those like Flo Taylor and the MAD DADS… the Courier publicly commends you for your work, and we will continue to spotlight everyone who is making a positive contribution to our community. It’s always said that in the summer months, when the weather is warmer, gun violence escalates. And in colder temperatures, there is less gun violence. Well, as the month of January just showed us, if 11 homicides is “less gun violence,” then that is unacceptable. But, we also saw the first eight days of the year with NO gun violence. Who knows if it was due to those below-zero temperatures? It doesn’t matter “why” there was no gun violence. But it did show us that we CAN have a city without OUR people getting murdered. It IS possible. And we must KNOW that it is possible, so that one day, it CAN be ACHIEVED.

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that box, they made their voices— and no one else’s—heard and it shook the nation. As we prepare for the upcoming 2018 election, all of these issues will be on the ballot again: access to healthcare, tax increases on people who work for their paychecks, preventing gun violence, investing in our children’s education, increasing the minimum wage and protecting to strip away the protections afforded our voting rights.  to millions of Americans under the As Americans, we have a voice in Affordable Care Act.  these decisions, a voice that was paid The GOP has passed spending bills for in the blood, sweat and tears of that actively take resources away Americans who’d come before us. from communities of color. They even Our voice belongs to us, because we found the time to give a massive tax fought for it and we continue fighting giveaway to a handful of super rich for it.  families and major corporations.  We need to honor their sacrifice Yet, over that same year, they’ve re- by showing up at every election. We fused to pass legislation to stabilize need to honor James Chaney—a and decrease health insurance costs, civil rights worker who was killed by to reauthorize health insurance for members of the KKK in 1964 for regnine million kids, to prevent gun istering African Americans to vote— violence which kills 10 times more by proudly earning that “I Voted” African American kids than White sticker. It’s up to us to keep the voice kids or to protect our hard won right of our community strong and we do to vote.  that by showing up and casting our While voters were rejecting Moore, ballots, like so many did in Alabama they were also rejecting more; they and across the country.  were rejecting the Republicans’ danOur foremothers and forefathers gerous and destructive agenda that’s sacrificed life and limb for our right forgotten who we are as a nation and to vote.  put millions of American families at Simply too much is at stake for us risk.  to sit on the sidelines. The issues Those Americans rejected Rethat affect our lives and our chilpublican plans to take away their dren’s lives are debated every day at healthcare and stack the deck in City Hall, in state General Assemfavor of corporations over families. blies and in Congress. We were given They rejected ending environmental a voice in who makes these decisions regulations that protect kids from for us; let’s keep using it.  (Congresswoman Robin Kelly represents Ilasthma. They rejected a party, which linois’ 2nd Congressional District and serves believes its okay to suppress and as a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on outright disenfranchise voters just Black Women and Girls. You can follow Conbecause of their race.  gresswoman Kelly @RepRobinKelly.) When the Alabama voters checked

Robin Kelly


Guard against the distraction of Trump’s manufactured news (—We’ve just heard #45’s first State of the Union message. Some had hoped he’d be decent, if not presidential.  Considering White House paranoia over the Russia investigation, for many, his speech has already been pushed into the fog of forgetfulness by news of the public release of classified information from the House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee.  In coming days, you must guard against manufactured news that is nothing more than a distraction to past, present and future miscreant behavior by the current administration. As I write this, there are roughly thirty-nine weeks remaining until the Mid-term Elections.  My best instincts tell me that it is far past time when we must reject the myriad of distractions that have been launched by the current administration and focus on, in my humble opinion, the most important issue facing our nation -- the manipulation and subversion of our electoral process by an adversarial foreign government.  Although this threat was verified by our national security agencies as valid and operational in favor of #45 during the 2016 presidential election, little has been done by #45 or the Republican led Congress to remedy this problem. On November 6, 2018, I doubt that many Americans will remember the $130,000 in hush-money paid to Stephanie Clifford by a Trump attorney or even that her stage name is “Stormy Daniels.”  Only a few will remember that, allegedly angry with #45 because of the “Stormy” revelation, Melania pulled-out of her

does disservice to our individual and national interests. By not taking remedial action, we’re inviting the same interference in the 2018 and subsequent elections. Not being one to offer a problem without a solution, I am calling on NCBW members and all others who find logic in my weekly missives to inundate their Members of the House of Representatives and Senators with calls/letters urging scheduled trip with #45 to the big corporate/financial ‘shindig’ in Davos, them to ignore the distractions. They must divert their full-attention from Switzerland. the never-ending deluge of “Trump I’m also sure that only those directly or indirectly affected by #45’s initiated drama” and concentrate on developing remedies for the deficienintemperate, “Sh!?hole” comments cies that have allowed the Russians, will retain active and conscious or any other adversary, to interfere memory of those unbalanced rewith our most sacred civil process. marks.  Only because he demonChange will not occur without your strates his indecisiveness so freinfluence. quently will millions of Americans In his last address to the Senate bewonder what policy decisions will spring from the warped mind of that fore his resignation, then-Senator Al “very stable genius?”  In November, Franken warned, “At the end of the day, it’s going to be up to the Amerafter the accumulation of nearly ican people...We will always have two year’s worth of exaggeration, the democracy we deserve, if not the misrepresentation and outright public LIES, averaging a little more government we want.” We ALL have the responsibility to than five per day, I’m sure most stand against those, like #45, who Americans will have placed most would deconstruct those institutions of them into the trash bag of their that provide for the orderly operamemories. tion of government and that have I think, however, that, based on given us relatively consistent social their personalized concerns, enough stability.  We’ve seen how #45 and people will remember some of what those aligned with his perverse value I’ve described or some of the other system try to govern.  The democracy voluminous deviations from presiwe strive for must not and shall not dential normalcy committed by #45. allow them to succeed. What is lacking is that we’re yet to (Dr. E. Faye Williams, national president address the issue of Russian interference in our electoral process.  Unfor- of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc., prolonged attention given 6788.) to any of the issues I’ve mentioned

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.


State of the Union offers a ray of hope (—“It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.”— President Bill Clinton Since the presidential election last year, the Urban League Movement has been vocal in opposing those of the new administration’s policies which erode civil rights and opportunities for underserved communities. But we have remained optimistic that we could find common ground in the area of infrastructure development.

Marc H. Morial

To Be Equal

Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment -- to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit … Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit. Analysis of the Administration’s plan has found it “light on federal funds and details.” Of the $1.5 trillion, only $200 billion would come from federal funds—which would be offset by unspecified budget cuts.

In his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Trump sounded a hopeful but vague note on rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure: Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infra(Marc Morial is president/CEO of the Nastructure investment we need. Every tional Urban League.)

Letters to the editor for publication

Stephan A. Broadus Assistant to the Publisher

Editor & Publisher Emeritus (1912-1997)

(NNPA)—In the Age of Trump, logging onto Twitter can elicit everything from hysterical laughter to deep concern and fear. From time to time, I’ve even had the urge to teach the Trump Administration basic math. However, the Wednesday after Democratic candidate Doug Jones won the special election in Alabama for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacant U.S. Senate seat, I woke up excited about the election results in Alabama. The first thing that I did that morning was log onto Twitter. When I looked at the trending hashtags, I saw one that I’d never seen before. One that surprised me: #ThankYouBlackWomen. I must’ve rubbed my eyes twice just to confirm what I was seeing. But there it was: #ThankYouBlackWomen. In the Alabama special election, African Americans represented slightly less than 30 percent of voters and cast 96 percent of their ballots for Senator-elect Doug Jones. Quite simply, African American voters, especially women, had a dramatic impact on the race, shifting the power dynamics of the Senate.  While the disturbing and shocking allegations against Roy Moore certainly helped increase turnout and steered some voters to Jones, people, especially African Americans, voted because they understand that Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking our country to unimaginable lows.  Republicans have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress since President Trump was elected. In that time, the president has sought to normalize White supremacy and Congress has continued

The New Pittsburgh Courier welcomes all responsible viewpoints for publication. All letters should be typewritten and contain writer’s address and phone number for verification. All letters will be edited for clarity and length. Address all letters to: Letters to the Editor New Pittsburgh Courier 315 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219 You may fax your letter to 412-481-1360, or via e-mail to

CLASSIFIED New Pittsburgh Courier


FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018



Help Wanted

Help Wanted


Create/facilitate dance and movement instruction. Document residency work. Participate/facilitate professional development. Full description and to apply:



Bayer U.S. LLC’s Pittsburgh, PA, office seeks Team Lead IT to lead desktop & device mgmt processes following company governance & policies. Will also oversee partners to properly handle the life cycle & support processes of devices meeting agreed SLAs. Apply at https://, #15350. LEGAL ADVERTISING


Applications for Police Officer for the City of Altoona may be obtained from the Human Resources Department at City Hall, 1301 – 12th Street, Suite 301, Altoona, PA, weekdays between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Applicants or their designees must file completed, NOTARIZED applications with accompanying documentation NO LATER THAN NOON ON WEDNESDAY, March 7, 2018. Return IN PERSON OR BY MAIL to: Human Resources Department Altoona City Hall 1301 - 12th Street, Suite 301 Altoona, PA 16601-3491 A $25.00 processing fee (check or money order) must be paid at the time the application is filed. Applications that are incomplete for any reason will not be accepted, and will be returned to the applicant. Falsification, concealment or misrepresentation of material fact on the application form may result in disqualification. All previous applicants will be required to reapply and repeat the entire application process in order to be considered for employment. REQUIREMENTS: •Must pass a physical agility test scheduled for Saturday, March 17, 2018, at 8:00 A.M., in Altoona. •Must pass a written Civil Service Test to be administered on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 8:30 A.M., in Altoona. •Must have successfully completed a Pennsylvania Act 120 basic training program. •Must be 21 years of age on or before the date of employment. •Must be a United States citizen. •Must have graduated from an accredited high school or have a Graduate Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.) acceptable to the Commission. •Must be licensed to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. •Must be of high moral character and free of felony or misdemeanor convictions. •Must be physically and mentally fit for the full duties of a Police Officer. •Must submit to a Computerized Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA). •Must agree to psychological and physical examinations if offered employment. Starting salary: $43,073.43 The City of Altoona is an Equal Opportunity Employer


The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. seeks an Application Architect in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, responsible for designing, building and maintaining high performing, highly scalable application capabilities in the employer’s operating environment. Design an application’s technical infrastructure, including information systems, databases, programming languages, utilities and testing approaches. Design and develop large-scale multi-tiered Java based applications, batch based processing applications which handle various payment formats and transformations, mappings including NACHA, EDI formats etc. Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Information Systems or Computer Science plus five years of experience in an application development position is required. Experience must include: (i) 60 months of experience with EDI or other batch based payment file formats (ii) 36 months of experience with database-related development skills including complex SQL queries, (complex store procedures and user-defined function in Oracle 11g or higher) (iii) 60 months of experience in Agile (Scrum) SDLC processes (iv) 48 months of experience with product for transaction management including EDIFECS or IBM FTM to support payment orchestration and integration to business applications and processes and (v) 36 months of experience working on payments processing (including ACH or Wire or check processing). 40 hours/week, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Interested individuals apply online at using keyword 279703BR. PNC provides equal employment opportunity to qualified persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, or other categories protected by law.


Legal Notices

Estate of MARLENE JUDITH STEVENS MCENHEIMER, Deceased of Pittsburgh, PA No. 021800282 of 2018. Timothy S. Stevens Extr., 6393 Stanton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. Leo C. Harper, Jr., Attorney, 816 5th Avenue, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Estate of VICTORENE HARPER, Deceased of Pittsburgh, PA 15206 No. 021800283 of 2018. Leo C. Harper, Jr. & Ronald J. Harper Extr., 816 5th Avenue, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Leo C. Harper Jr., Attorney, 816 5th Avenue, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Estate of LILLIAN A. GURA, Deceased of Pittsburgh, No. 1966125 of 2017. Marc A. Gura, Extr. Kim A. Bodnar, Esquire, Kim A. Bodnar, Attorey At Law, Admitted in PA & Florida, 304 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Estate of BEATRICE FINCH, Deceased of Pittsburgh, PA No. 00322 of 2018. Ivy A. Gilliland, Executrix, 10750 E. Placita Pascua, Tucson, AZ 85730 or to Thelma C. Spells, Esquire, Atty., 1533 Bidwell Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233 Estate of FREDERICK V. PORCO a/k/a FREDERICK PORCO, Deceased of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania No. 02-18-00653 Linda Barnet-Porco, Executor, 1160 Hodgkiss Street, Pittsburgh PA 15212 or to ROBIN L. RARIE, Atty BRENLOVE & FULLER, LLC, 401 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville, PA 15017. Estate of MR. RUSSELL V. MUSTA, Deceased of 203 Key Garden Drive, Moon Township. PA 15108. Estate No. 02-1800570. Mr. Russell B. Musta of 409 Quarter Horse Lane, Clinton, PA 15026 and Amy B. Curry, of 3717 Bakerstown Road, Gibsonia, PA 15044, Co-Executors, c/o Max C. Feldman, Attorney At Law, 1322 Fifth Avenue, Coropolis, PA 15108.



Notice is herby given pursuant to the provisions of the Fictitious Name Act of Pennsylvania that an application for registration of a fictitious name was filed with the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the conduct of a business under the fictitious name of MOLA RESTAURANT with its principal office or place of business at UNIT 1 6018 PENN AVE., PITSBURGH, PA 15206. The name And address, including street and number, if any, of all persons who are parties to the registration are SHI FU COPORATION, 505 WALNUT ST., PITTSBURGH, PA 15238


Michael J. Saldamarco, Esq., Ste. 100, 908 Perry Hwy, Pgh., PA 15229. Notice is herby given that Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for a business corporation which has been incorporated under the provisions of the Business Corporation Law of 1988. The name of the corporation is Shi Fu Corporation.


In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Orphans’ Court Division, Estate of Rosa Mae Conyers, deceased, Case No. 021005223: Notice is hereby given that on January 9, 2018, a Petition was filed by Jacqueline Conyers, to terminate the interests of the heirs and devisees of Rosa Mae Conyers, deceased, in the real estate located at 7813 Susquehanna Street, Pittsburgh PA, 15208, with county tax parcel number 0175-G-000780000-00, and determine that fee simple title is in Jacqueline Conyers. If no exceptions to the Petition are filed within 30 days, Jacqueline Conyers will seek an Order adjudging that Rosa Mae Conyers’ title is in Jacqueline Conyers.


In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Orphans’ Court Division, Estate of Esther Brim and Jessie Pugh, deceased, Case No. 021800340 of 2018: Notice is hereby given that on January 18, 2018, a Petition was filed by Kenneth Bumbrey to terminate the interests of the heirs and devisees of Esther Brim and Jessie Pugh, deceased, in the real estate located at 814 Adelaide Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, with county tax parcel number 0026-P-00177-0000-00, and determine that fee simple title is in Kenneth Bumbrey. If no exceptions to the Petition are filed within 30 days, Kenneth Bumbrey will seek an Order adjudging that Esther Brim and Jessie Pugh’s title is in Kenneth Bumbrey.


In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Orphans’ Court Division, Estate of Mary Dole, deceased, Case No. 021800155 of 2018: Notice is hereby given that on January 9, 2018, a Petition was filed by Arlene Davis, to terminate the interests of the heirs and devisees of Mary Dole, deceased, in the real estate located at 234 West Railroad Avenue, Verona, PA 15147, with county tax parcel number 0365-F-00389-0000-00, and determine that fee simple title is in Arlene Davis. If no exceptions to the Petition are filed within 30 days, Arlene Davis will seek an Order adjudging that Mary Dole’s title is in Arlene Davis.

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Legal Notices

Legal Notices

Legal Notices


February 7, 2018 City of Pittsburgh-Dept. of City Planning 200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-255-2211 These notices shall satisfy two separate but related procedural requirements for activities to be undertaken by the City of Pittsburgh. REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS On or about February 23, 2018 the City of Pittsburgh (“City”) will submit a request to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) for the release of Community Development Block Grant funds under Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, to undertake a project known as Townsend Park Renovation Project. The Townsend Park renovation project will include a renovation of the park with addition of new playground, half-court basketball, walking paths, and handicap accessibility, wall and landscape improvements. The location of the project is Crucible St in the City of Pittsburgh’s Elliot neighborhood. The total projected cost is estimated to be $500,000. FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT The City of Pittsburgh has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required. Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) on file at City of Pittsburgh 200 Ross Street, 2nd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 and may be examined or copied weekdays from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PUBLIC COMMENTS Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments on the ERR to: Michael Petrucci City of Pittsburgh, 200 Ross Street, 2nd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-255-2211 All comments received by February 22, 2018 will be considered by the City of Pittsburgh prior to authorizing submission of a request for release of funds. Comments should specify which Notice they are addressing. ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATION The City of Pittsburgh certifies to HUD that William Peduto in his capacity as Mayor, City of Pittsburgh, consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the City of Pittsburgh to use program funds. OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS HUD will accept objections to its release of fund and the City of Pittsburgh’s certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submission date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer of the City of Pittsburgh (b) the City of Pittsburgh has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58 (c) the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken activities not authori ed by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76) and shall be addressed to: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Planning and Development Division The Moorhead Federal Building i ert e. th oor Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Potential objectors should contact HUD to verify the actual last day of the objection period. WILLIAM PEDUTO Mayor City of Pittsburgh


The Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation, a 501(c)(3) corporation, on behalf of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, is soliciting Statements of Qualifications for “On-Call Consultancy Services.” The selected Contractors will provide “on-call” delivery of a wide range of specialized support services as needed related to transportation planning and analysis transit planning and analysis data collection, database management and data analysis travel demand modeling public participation, meeting facilitation, marketing, and process development economic development planning and analysis Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and water resource planning. Contractors or teams of contractors will specify the area(s) of specialization for which they are requesting consideration. A copy of the “On-Call Consultancy Services” RFQ is available at Copies are also available by sending a written request to: On-Call Consultancy Services RFQ Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation Two Chatham Center, Suite 500 112 Washington Place Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3451




Sealed bids will be received in the Office Of The Chief Operations Officer, Room 251, Administration Building, 341 South Bellefield Avenue until 11:00 A.M. prevailing time February 13, 2018 and will be opened at the same hour for the purchase of the following equipment and supplies: Custodial Small Equipment Custodial Paper Products Custodial Chemicals/Soaps Packaging Materials Printed Forms General Information regarding bids may be obtained at the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Service Center, 1305 Muriel Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. The bid documents are available on the School District’s Purchasing web site at: default.asp Click on Bid Opportunities under Quick Links. The Board of Public Education reserves the right to reject any and all bids, or select a single item from any bid. M. Jordan Purchasing Agent We are an equal rights and opportunity school district



In accordance with Title 25, Chapter 71 of the Pennsylvania Code, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) is accepting written comments on the ALCOSAN Act 537 Special Study. This Special Study provides an update to the 1996 Act 537 Plan that was adopted by the City of Pittsburgh and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The purpose of the Special Study is to amend the 1996 Act 537 Plan to re ect ALCOSAN’s current strategy for the expansion of wet weather treatment capacity at the Woods Run Wastewater Treatment Plant. The entire Act 537 Special Study can be reviewed at the following locations: Andrew Bayne Memorial Public Library, Allegheny County Law Library, Avalon Public Library, Baldwin Borough Public Library, Bethel Park Public Library, Braddock Carnegie Library, Brentwood Library, Bridgeville Public Library, C. C. Mellor Memorial Library, Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale,Carnegie Library- Beechview, Carnegie Library-Brookline, Carnegie Library-Carrick, Carnegie LibraryEast Liberty,Carnegie Library- Hill District, Carnegie Library-Homewood, Carnegie Library-Knoxville,Carnegie Library-Lawrenceville, Carnegie Library-Main/Oakland, Carnegie Library-Mt. Washington, Carnegie Library-Pittsburgh/Allegheny, Carnegie Library-Sheraden, Carnegie Library-South Side, Carnegie Library-Squirrel Hill, Carnegie Library-West End, Carnegie Library-Woods Run,Carnegie Library of Homestead, Castle Shannon Library, Cooper-Siegel Community Library, Crafton Public Library, Dormont Public Library, F.O.R. Sto-Rax Library, Forest Hills Library, Green Tree Public Library, Lincoln Park Branch Library, Monroeville Public Library, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, North Versailles Library, Penn Hills Library, Pleasant Hills Public Library, Plum Borough Community Library, Robinson Township Library, Scott Township Public Library, Shaler North Hills Library, Sharpsburg Library, South Fayette Township Library, Turtle Creek Public Library, Upper St. Clair Township Library, Western Allegheny Community Library, Whitehall Public Library or on the ALCOSAN website at http://www. All comments must be in writing and submitted within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice to: Jeanne K. Clark Director of Communications ALCOSAN 3300 Preble Avenue Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania 15233 Written comments received during the review process will be included in the final submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

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Classifieds 412-481-8302 Ext. 140 E-mail: Deadline/Closing/ Cancellation Schedule for copy, corrections, and cancellations: Friday noon preceding Wednesday publication







Pre-Bid Site Tour immediately following Pre-Bid Conference. All participants must provide and wear safety vests and appropriate footwear. Transportation will be provided via regularly-scheduled light rail service. 1:30 p.m. Bids Due March 7, 2018 Purchasing and Materials Management Department Authority reserves the right to reject any or all Bids


Electronic Proposals will be received online at the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Ebusiness website ( Proposals/bid submittals will be due 11:00 AM on February 26, 2018 and will be read at 11:15 AM., the same day, at Port Authority’s Heinz location (345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-2527), for the following: Electronic Proposal Ebusiness website ( B171178AR Processed Stone B180101 Refurbishment of Railcar Trucks (Motor and Center) B180102 Magnetic Track Brake Suspension Replacement Parts No bidder may withdraw a submitted Proposal for a period of 75 days after the scheduled time for opening of the sealed bids. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held on each of the above items at 10:00am February 14, 2018 at Port Authority’s Heinz location (345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, PA). Attendance at this meeting is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged. Questions regarding any of the above bids will not be entertained by the Port Authority within 48 hours of the scheduled bid opening. These contracts may be subject to a financial assistance contract between Port Authority of Allegheny County and the United States Department of Transportation. The Contractor will be required to comply with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations. Contractor is responsible for expenses related to acquiring a performance bond and insurance where applicable. All items are to be FOB delivered unless otherwise specified. Costs for delivery, bond, and insurance shall be included in bidder’s proposal pricing. Port Authority of Allegheny County hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively insure that in regard to any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprise will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in consideration for an award. The Board of Port Authority reserves the right to reject any or all bids.



The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): MOBILE FLEET WASHING SERVICES IFB# 300-06-18 The documents will be available no later than January 29, 2018 and signed, sealed bids will be accepted until 10:00 a.m. on February 19, 2018 at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, at which time they will be opened and read aloud. Parties or individuals interested in responding may download a copy of the Solicitation from the Business Opportunities page of www.HACP. org. Questions or inquiries should be directed to: Kim Detrick Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-456-5116 Opt 1 A pre bid meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Dept. 100 Ross Street 2nd. Fl. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Friday, February 9, 2018 10:00 A.M. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation. Caster D. Binion Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.




Separate sealed Bids for the Work as listed hereinafter will be received at the Purchasing and Materials Management Department of Port Authority of Allegheny County (Authority) Heinz 57 Center, 345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15222-2527 until 1:30 p.m. on March 7, 2018 and will be publicly opened and read immediately thereafter at the same address. Each Bidder shall be solely responsible for assuring that its Bid is both received and time stamped by a representative of the Purchasing and Materials Management Department at or before the advertised time for submission of Bids. Bids received or time stamped in the Purchasing and Materials Management Department after the advertised time for the submission of Bids shall be non-responsive and therefore ineligible for Award. EMBEDDED LIGHT RAIL TURNOUT REPLACEMENT SHJ-18-05 The Work of this Project includes, but is not limited to, the furnishing of all labor, materials, equipment, tools, supervision and incidental items necessary to replace all rail, plates, fasteners, strap guards, insulated joints, connections to existing rail, replacement of reinforced concrete pavement and maintenance and protection of rail and bus traffic. Bid Documents will be available for public inspection and may be obtained on or after February 5, 2018 at Authority’s offices at the following address: Port Authority of Allegheny County Purchasing and Materials Management Department Heinz 57 Center 345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-2527 Bid Documents are available for purchase as follows: Bid Documents are available in an electronic form on compact disk upon payment of $15.00 per CD. Payment shall be by check or money order (NO CASH), payable to “Port Authority of Allegheny County.” No refunds of payment will be made. Upon request, Bid Documents can be mailed upon receipt of payment in full. Should the purchaser wish to have the Bid Documents delivered via special delivery, such as UPS or Federal Express, the purchaser shall provide its appropriate account numbers for such special delivery methods. This Project may be funded, in part, by, and subject to certain requirements of, the County of Allegheny and/or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Authority, in compliance with 74 Pa.C.S. § 303, as may be amended, require that certified Diverse Businesses (“DBs”) have the maximum opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts and subcontracts for this Project. In this regard, all Bidders shall make good faith efforts in accordance with 74 Pa.C.S. § 303, to ensure that DBs have the maximum opportunity to compete for and perform contracts. Bidders shall also not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, disability, national origin, sexual origin, gender identity or status as a parent in the award and performance of contracts for this Project. If aid is required to involve DBs in the Work, Bidders are to contact Authority’s Director of Employee Relations and OEO at (412) 566-5262. The Bidder’s attention is directed to the following contacts for Bidder’s questions: Procedural Questions Regarding Bidding: Cynthia Denner - Authority (412) 566-5117 All other questions relating to the Bid Documents must be submitted by mail or email to: Port Authority of Allegheny County Heinz 57 Center 345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527 Attn: Cynthia Denner E-mail: In addition, the Bidder’s attention is directed to the following schedule of activities for preparation of its Bid: 10:00 a.m. Pre-Bid Conference February 15, 2018 Port Authority of Allegheny County Heinz 57 Center 5th Floor – Neal Holmes Conference Room 345 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527 (Attendance is not mandatory, but strongly recommended)

FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018










The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby requests proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Collection Agency Services Rebid RFP #150-30-17REBID The documents will be available no later than February 5, 2018 and signed, sealed proposals will be accepted until 2:00 P.M., February 23, 2018 at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested may obtain information from: Mr. Kim Detrick – Procurement Director/Chief Contracting Officer Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 2nd Floor, Suite 200 100 Ross Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-456-5116, Option 1 or by visiting the Business Opportunities section of A pre bid meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 February 15, 2018 2:00 P.M. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and login, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation. Caster D. Binion Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.


The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Just in Time Inventory Suppliers RFP #850-10-18 The documents will be available no later than February 5, 2018 and signed, sealed proposals will be accepted until 11:00 A.M., February 26, 2018 at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested may obtain information from: Mr. Kim Detrick – Contract Manager Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 2nd Floor, Suite 200 100 Ross Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-456-5116, Option 4 or by visiting the Business Opportunities section of A pre bid meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 200 Ross Street, 9th Floor Boardroom Pittsburgh, PA 15219 February 15, 2018 11:00 A.M. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and login, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation. A. Fulton Meachem Jr. Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION will receive separate sealed bids for the Occupied Renovation of Glen Hazel Highrise (AMP-33) / Glen Hazel Family Community (AMP-32) REBID. The construction work is estimated to begin in May 2018. The estimated values of the project are in the following ranges Electrical Construction: $1,378,538.00 - $1,657,874.00; Plumbing Construction: $853,151.00 - $1,026,027.00; Bid Documents will be available on or about Monday, January 29, 2018. Bid Documents may be obtained from the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s Webpage, Bidder can register in the website and download the bid documents. The registration and download of the documents are free of charge. A Pre-Bid Conference and Site Visit will be held on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Glen Hazel Recreational Center 895 Johnston Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15207 A site visit will be conducted thereafter. Bidders shall come prepared to review all aspects of the construction site necessary to prepare a bid. Bids will be received at: HACP Procurement Department 100 Ross Street, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Attn: Kim Detrick, Director of Procurement Until 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 19, 2018 at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION reserves the right to waive any informality in, or reject any and all bids. No bid shall be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days subsequent to the opening of bids without the consent of ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. The Contractor will be required to comply with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity requirements for Federally Assisted Construction Contracts. The Contractor must ensure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sexual preference, handicap or national origin. HACP has revised its website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFP documentation. ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH STRONGLY ENCOURAGES CERTIFIED MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESS ENTERPRISES AND WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESS ENTERPRISES TO RESPOND TO THE SOLICITATION. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Kim Detrick, Director of Procurement at (412) 456-5116 Opt 1. Caster D. Binion President & CEO ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

Sealed Proposals will be received by the Municipality of Penn Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania until 10:30A.M. , on Thursday, February 22, 2018 to be publicly opened and read immediately thereafter for the following project: PENN HILLS SENIOR CENTER EXTERIOR RAMP REPAIRS The Project includes work to the Penn Hills Senior Center to repair the steel emergency egress ramp on the exterior of the building. The project includes replacing the steel plate walkway, painting of the structure and replacement of a concrete slab. All Proposals must be delivered to the Purchasing Office, Room 213, Municipality of Penn Hills, 12245 Frankstown Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235 by 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Proposals shall be delivered in a sealed envelope and clearly marked on the outside with the words “Penn Hills Senior Center Exterior Ramp Repairs.” Copies of Drawings, Specifications, Instructions to Bidders, General Conditions, Forms of Proposals and Agreement are on file and open to public inspection at the Penn Hills Purchasing Office, located at 12245 Frankstown Road, Second Floor, Room 213, Pittsburgh, PA 15235 where sets of said documents may be obtained upon payment of $50.00 per set. No refund will be made for the return of any documents. Davis-Bacon wage rates are required to be paid on this project. There will be a non-mandatory pre-bid meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. at the Penn Hills Senior Center, 147 Jefferson Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. Proposals must be submitted on the forms provided by the Municipality of Penn Hills. Proposals to receive consideration must be accompanied by a Certified Check or Bidder’s Bond from a Surety Company authorized to do business in Pennsylvania, made to the order of the Municipality of Penn Hills in an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the total amount of the Proposal as a guarantee that, if the Proposal is accepted, the successful Bidder will enter into an Agreement within 15 days after Notice of the Award of the Contract. The Proposals must be made to the Municipality of Penn Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and shall remain firm for a period of one hundred twenty (120) days. No Bidder may withdraw his Proposal during the one hundred twenty (120) day period without forfeiting his Bid guarantee. Performance, Maintenance, and Labor and Material Payment Bonds, along with Public Liability and Property Damage Certificates of Insurance in the amounts specified, as well as Certificates of Workman’s Compensation must be filed with the executed Agreement upon acceptance of the Proposal from the successful Bidder. The Owner reserves the right to reject any or all Proposals, or any part thereof, for any reason, and also reserves the right to waive any informality therein. Mohammed F. Rayan Municipal Manager

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Classifieds 412-481-8302 Ext. 140 E-mail: ads@newpittsburghcourier.comw Deadline/Closing/Cancellation Schedule for copy, corrections, and cancellations: Friday noon preceding Wednesday publication


FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018















The Municipality of Penn Hills, Allegheny County, PA is seeking proposals from qualified planners and/or planning and community development consulting firms to provide professional services for the planning and implementation of the Municipality’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Program, and other housing and community development activities. The specific services requested by the Municipality of Penn Hills are detailed in an RFP. A copy of the RFP document may be obtained from the Penn Hills Department of Planning and Economic Development, Penn Hills Municipal Building, 12245 Frankstown Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235, or by calling(412) 798-2128, during normal business hours. The deadline for submission of proposals is 4:00 P.M. prevailing time, on Thursday, February 22, 2018, in the Department of Planning and Economic Development Office in the Penn Hills Municipal Building. The contract is anticipated to be awarded during the regularly scheduled Municipality of Penn Hills Council meeting on Monday, March 5, 2018. Each proposal will be rated and ranked in accordance with the following criteria, •Qualifications and experience of the Consultants 40 points •Work Plan 30 points •Previous experience/work in the Municipality of Penn Hills 10 points •Participation by Small Business Firm, Minority Owned 10 points Enterprise, Section 3 (Penn Hills based) Firm, or Women Owned Enterprise (2.5 points each) •Rate of Compensation 10 points Maximum Points 100 points All qualified proposers will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, handicap,sexual preference, or sex. The Municipality of Penn Hills is an equal opportunity agency. Christopher Blackwell Planning Director

Sealed bids for the Russell Road Reconstruction, Jackson Township Project will be received in the office of Benjamin Holland, BUTLER COUNTY CONTROLLER, FLOOR 5, COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER, 124 WEST DIAMOND STREET, whose mailing address is P.O. BOX 1208, BUTLER, PA 16003, on or before 2:00pm, March 12, 2018. All Bids must be plainly marked Bid – Russell Road Reconstruction, Jackson Township Project on the outside of the envelope. All bids will be publicly opened and read at the Public Agenda Setting Meeting of the Butler County Board of Commissioners on March 13, 2018 at 10:00am, in the Commissioner Public Meeting Room located on Floor 1 of the County Government Center, Butler, PA 16003. Bids will be received for the following: Russell Road Reconstruction, Jackson Township, includes widening, adding aggregate, paving, etc. Plans, specifications and bid documents are available via Herbert, Rowland, & Grubic, Inc. 200 West Kensinger Drive, Suite 400, Cranberry Township, PA 16066, (724) 779-4777, Ben Gilberti, P.E. Costs for CD are $10. CD’s may be purchased Monday-Thursday 8AM to 4PM. Each proposal shall be accompanied by a bidder’s bond, or certified check or cashier’s check, in favor of the County of Butler, in the amount of not less than ten percent. The County of Butler reserves the right to waive any informality in and to accept or reject any and all bids or any part of any bid. No bid may be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days. Prevailing wages established under the Davis-Bacon Act will apply to this contract. The contract documents contain requirements addressing prevailing labor wage rates, labor standards, nondiscrimination in hiring practices, goal for minority and female participation, MBE and WBE participation, participation by Section 3 residents and businesses and related matters. BOARD OF BUTLER COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Leslie Osche, Chairman Kim Geyer Kevin Boozel Attest: Scott J. Andrejchak Director of Administration/ Chief Clerk


To place a display ad in the New Pittsburgh Courier call 412-481-8302 ext. 128 or 129



The Washington County Housing Authority will receive separate, sealed bids for a single prime contract with the Authority as follows: PARKING LOT REPAVING IMPROVEMENTS CRUMRINE TOWER & JOLLICK MANOR / WASHINGTON, PA LINCOLN TERRACE / WASHINGTON, PA A certified check or bank draft payable to the Washington County Housing Authority, a US Government Bond or satisfactory Bid Bond executed by the Bidder and acceptable sureties in the amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the bid shall be submitted with each bid. Bids will be received no later than 1:30PM/EST, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 at Washington County Housing Authority, 100 Crumrine Tower, Franklin Street, Washington, PA 15301 at which time the bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. Bids will be held by the Housing Authority for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days prior to contract award. A Pre-Bid Meeting will be held at 2:30PM/EST ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018. Interested parties are to meet at Crumrine Tower, 100 South Franklin Street, Washington, PA. Plans, specifications and contract documents may be examined at the following location: The Pennsylvania Builders Exchange 1813 North Franklin Street Pittsburgh, PA 15233 or obtained through the office of the Architect, Shaeffer & Madama, Inc., 57 Fourteenth Street, Wheeling, WV 26003. A CD containing PDF’s of all bidding documents may be obtained for a $25.00 non-refundable payment. If hardcopies are requested, a $100 deposit is required. Any unsuccessful bidder returning such set within ten (10) consecutive calendar days following the bid opening in good, reusable condition will be refunded their deposit less postage. Non-bidders will not receive a refund. The work to be performed under this contract is a Section 3 Project under provisions of the Housing & Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended, and must, to the greatest extent feasible, provide opportunities for training and employment for lower-income residents of the project and contracts for work in connection with the project be awarded to business concerns which are located in, or owned by, Washington County residents. Particular attention is directed to requirements of Executive Order 11246, 11625 and 12138, as well as Section 3 requirements, as set forth in the Specifications The Washington County Housing Authority reserves the right to reject any or all bids or waive any informality in the bidding. STEPHEN K. HALL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): DRIVERS TRAINING FOR RESIDENT EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS IFB# 550-05-18 The documents will be available no later than January 29, 2018 and signed, sealed bids will be accepted until 11:00 a.m. on February 19, 2018 at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, at which time they will be opened and read aloud. Parties or individuals interested in responding may download a copy of the Solicitation from the Business Opportunities page of www.HACP. org. Questions or inquiries should be directed to: Kim Detrick Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-456-5116 Opt 1 A pre bid meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Dept. 100 Ross Street 2nd. Fl. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Friday, February 9, 2018 11:00 A.M. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation. Caster D. Binion Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.


G E T R E S U LT S !

The New Pittsburgh Courier









Sealed bids for the Etna Road Reconstruction, Slippery Rock Township Project will be received in the office of Benjamin Holland, BUTLER COUNTY CONTROLLER, FLOOR 5, COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER, 124 WEST DIAMOND STREET, whose mailing address is P.O. BOX 1208, BUTLER, PA 16003, on or before 2:00pm, March 12, 2018. All Bids must be plainly marked Bid – Etna Road Reconstruction, Slippery Rock Township Project on the outside of the envelope. All bids will be publicly opened and read at the Public Agenda Setting Meeting of the Butler County Board of Commissioners on March 13, 2018 at 10:00am, in the Commissioner Public Meeting Room located on Floor 1 of the County Government Center, Butler, PA 16003. Bids will be received for the following: Etna Road Reconstruction, Slippery Rock Township, includes widening, drainage, paving, etc. Plans, specifications and bid documents are available through The EADS Group, 15392 Route 322, Clarion, PA 16214. 814-764-5050, Contact Heather Lechner. Documents are to be purchased for the nonrefundable fee of $53.00 for one hard copy set or for the nonrefundable fee of $25.00 for the electronic format set of contract documents, both of which includes PA sales tax, shipping is an additional $15.00. To access the electronic format the bidder must have a valid email address and will require an internet connection. All checks shall be made payable to “The EADS Group, Inc.” Bidders must purchase the Contract Documents (in either format) from “The EADS Group, Inc.” to be eligible to bid this project. Each proposal shall be accompanied by a bidder’s bond, or certified check or cashier’s check, in favor of the County of Butler, in the amount of not less than ten percent. The County of Butler reserves the right to waive any informality in and to accept or reject any and all bids or any part of any bid. No bid may be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days. Prevailing wages established under the Davis-Bacon Act will apply to this contract. The contract documents contain requirements addressing prevailing labor wage rates, labor standards, nondiscrimination in hiring practices, goal for minority and female participation, MBE and WBE participation, participation by Section 3 residents and businesses and related matters. BOARD OF BUTLER COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Leslie Osche, Chairman Kim Geyer Kevin Boozel Attest: Scott J. Andrejchak Director of Administration/ Chief Clerk





How you can celebrate Black History Month... (—Every year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History selects a theme for Black History Month. This year, the theme, African Americans in Times of War, is meant to commemorate the end of World War I, the war that supposedly made the world “safe for democracy.” It is a war that African Americans fought for the right to fight in, a war that saw African Americans go abroad to fight for democracy, only to come home and be oppressed by segregation. Undoubtedly, there will be many programs designed to lift up this theme, which ASALH sees as an opportunity to reflect on the African American role in all wars, including the contemporary “war on terrorism”.  What will you do to celebrate Black History Month? Many will participate in programs at their schools or churches.  Some will gather for lunches and dinners and reflect on African American history.   However, I wonder how many will simply let the month of February slide without doing anything to commemorate this month.  Carter G. Woodson, the founder of ASALH and Black History Month (originally Negro History Week), would be spinning in his grave, if he knew how few of us celebrate this month.  (Of course, Black history is also American history, and we ought to celebrate Black history every month of the year!)  Dr. Eugene Williams Sr. (a retired educator in the DC area) reached out to professional basketball teams to ask them

Julianne Malveaux

Commentary to feature Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Negro National Anthem that was penned by James Weldon Johnson sung at games in the month of February. He has commitments from the Washington Wizards, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors and George Washington University. Other teams, including the LA Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks, are considering the effort as well.  Dr. Williams isn’t representing an organization—he just had a great idea, and started calling NBA team offices with his request.  What will you do to celebrate Black History Month?  Will you mount an effort like Dr. Williams? His independent effort will have an impact and ensure that NBA games commemorate Black history.  What can you do?  Here are a few ideas:   JOIN ASALH ( Memberships range from $45 for students to $100 (or more for life memberships). What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by supporting the organization founded by the man who made our celebration possible?   REGISTER TO VOTE! The struggle for the right to vote is an integral part of our Black history.  Rev. Jesse Jackson once said, “The hands that picked peaches can now pick Presidents.” There are lots of important races in 2018, and you honor Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Evers, Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and so many others with your vote. HELP SOMEONE MAKE BLACK HISTORY. In Georgia, state legislator Stacey Abrams, is running for Governor.  She can win, too, if she can get the voter turnout and financial support that she needs. If you live in Georgia, you can help this woman become the first African American to be Governor of a southern state.  You can learn more about her and get involved in her campaign by checking her out at www. Help this sister make history! MAKE LEARNING BLACK HISTORY A FAMILY GAME. An organization called Urban Intellectuals has developed two volumes of flashcards that explore aspects of Black History.  You can check them out on Facebook, intellectuals, order their cards, and learn more of our history.   GIVE A CHILD A GIFT OF A BLACK HISTORY BOOK. One of my favorites, Preaching to the Chickens:  The Story of Young John Lewis, by Jabari Asim, celebrates a contemporary hero, Congressman John Lewis.  Another, Minty:  The Story of a Young Harriet Tubman by Alan Schroeder, tells the story of the Maryland icon who helped dozens of enslaved people escape through the Underground Railroad (legend says it is hundreds, but at Harriet Tubman Museum (operated by the National Park Service in Church Creek, Maryland) researchers say some of the estimates are too high.  The Youngest Marcher:  The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson will motivate young people to activism. Sit In:  How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney will also motivate young people to take on activist roles.   There are so many other things you might do to celebrate Black History Month.  Encourage your friends, regardless of race, to learn more about the amazing story of African American survival and resilience despite the racism that defines this country.  May your Black History Month be exciting and enlightening!   (Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist.)


Republicans will ride with Trump forever ( N N PA ) — A f ter every Trump Bill Fletcher Jr. outrage, we go through a similar routine. Trump says or does something that most sane people believe to be over the top; he is roundly condemned; some Republicans shake their heads; masses of people ask that something be done…and then it all fades into the next news cycle. What was different in connection with Trump’s recent alleged remarks against Africa, Haiti and Latin America—the notorious “s--thole remarks”—was that some Republicans who were in the room at the time of the alleged remarks first played dumb and then claimed that the remarks had not been verbalized. At that point, there was laughter in the audience. Yet, in talk show after talk show there is a question that keeps getting asked: why isn’t something being done about this situation? Why can’t Trump be brought back to the standard of a respectable politician? The answer is not very difficult, but has several parts. Here goes. First, he is not now nor has he ever been a “respectable” politician. Whether as a reality show celebrity or candidate for office or now as President, he has insisted on being provocative. He believes in stirring things up. It is this modus operandi that inspired his right-wing populist base. They were not looking for what they believed as more of the same. On top of that it remains far from clear that Trump would understand how to be a respectable politician in either case. It seems to run against his nature. Second, who will do anything about Trump? The Republicans control both houses of Congress, the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court.

They look at Trump as a blunt force object that serves the interests of their agenda. Many of them may be personally uncomfortable with him, but they know that if they move to take him down, they may provide momentum for the Democrats. They would rather that the United States become and remain a global laughingstock, than lose the political edge. Third, the so-called moderate Republicans who are deeply uncomfortable with the crudeness of Trump worry that they will be challenged in Republican primaries by the extreme Right should they move against Trump. Perhaps they wonder and hope that there will be deeper revelations in the Mueller investigation of alleged Trump/Russia ties, but for now they will do nothing. Thus, holding Trump accountable is a matter of political power. It is not a matter of morality and good will. If those who see the Trump regime as a threat to humanity do not engage in mass political action, including, but not limited to, electoral politics, the situation will go from bad to worse. By worse, I mean growing authoritarianism. And here we must all be clear that Trump’s infatuation with authoritarianism is not a simple rhetorical device to increase the ratings. It seems to reflect the centerpiece of his worldview: Life is about Trump; Trump is the savior of the U.S.; Trump’s ideas are the greatest that humankind has every experienced. Those who get in the way of Trump’s truth, therefore, are enemies who must be removed. The challenge is now ours.


(Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a talk show host, writer and activist. Follow him on Twitter @BillFletcherJr, Facebook and at

Is the belief in bigotry more powerful than its manifesto? Is the belief type of open bigin bigotry more J. Pharoah Doss otry by an Amerpowerful than ican President in its manifestatheir lifetime. tion? Here’s the I’m going to punch line. use a silly exPresident ample to answer Trump wasn’t this question, scheduled to give but this is a sethe State of the rious problem Union address in contemporary America because until the following week. Campus it eliminates honest discourse and Reform showed up at NYU a week prevents the information age from in advance and pretended President becoming an age of enlightenment. Trump addressed the nation the day Over the centuries thinkers have before. The students overreacted to a questioned the concept of truth. speech that didn’t even occur. They asked how truth was discovThe prank was featured on Fox ered. They asked about the nature News and the Campus Reform repreof truth. And thinkers today still sentative expressed his disappointdebate whether or not the “higher ment in the NYU students. He said, truths” are absolute. “For people that pride themselves on In 1987 American philosopher Al- being so open-minded and so tolerlan Bloom published a book called ant…They made up their minds on The Closing of the American Mind. rhetoric, based on preconceived ideas Bloom wrote, “There’s one thing a about Donald Trump and about the professor can absolutely be certain Republican Party, but not actually on of, almost every student entering facts.” a university believes or says he (or Now, the Campus Reform represhe) believes that truth is relative… sentative dismissed the students The danger they have been taught as know-nothing Trump haters. to fear from absolutism is not error Campus Reform succeeded in their but intolerance.” For these students, main goal which was to prove libBloom suggested, all belief begins eral bias on a college campus. But to take on the characteristics of re- I think Campus Reform and Fox ligion. News missed the absolute truth Thirty years later how entrenched the charade revealed, which was has this religiosity become? the student’s belief in bigotry was Recently, Campus Reform, a self more powerful than its manifestaproclaimed watchdog to the nation’s tion. higher education system, played a Now that was a silly example, but prank on college students at New the danger of this type of religiosity York University. Campus Reform lies when you change the variable. sent a camera crew to get student For example, is the belief in racism reaction to President Trump’s first more powerful than its manifestaState of the Union address. No stu- tion in 2018, and if it is, how can one dent interviewed cared for President challenge the absolutism of that beTrump’s tone and the consensus was lief without being accused of having that the State of the Union address a closed American mind? (J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to was the most racist speech they ever heard. Some even stated they nev- the New Pittsburgh Courier. He blogs at er thought they would witness this

Check It Out

FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


Raynard Jackson


NAACP’s TPS lawsuit is a waste of time (NNPA)—In another episode of “What the hell are they thinking,” the NAACP has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over how the agency is treating people from another country. Enough is enough. We live in the United States of America, not the United States of Everyone Else. Last week, my column was about how Black leaders, who have been appointed by the mainstream media, continue to make every other group’s issues our community’s issues. Now the NAACP has filed a lawsuit against DHS, because they revoked Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Haitians living in the U.S. According to the lawsuit, the NAACP claims, “[Trump] wishes to reduce the number of immigrants of color in the United States.” They basically are asserting that DHS is terminating TPS for Haitians, because of their race and are being denied equal protection and due process rights under the Fifth Amendment. And their radical sister organization, the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) in a press release goes even further, “As evidence of the intent to discriminate, the lawsuit cites public reporting that DHS sought crime data on Haitians with TPS, as well as information on how many Haitian nationals were receiving public benefits. The lawsuit alleges that the Department’s efforts to gather this specific data on Haitian TPS designees “trades on false anti-Black stereotypes about criminality and exploitation of public benefits and suggests the effort to manufacture a public safety rationale for the planned rescission.” You have got to be kidding me. So, let me make sure I understand this correctly. Merely, because DHS is seeking information to determine if a specific group who is living under TPS is in compliance with the requirements of the program, that is somehow racist? This is totally idiotic. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.” The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country: “ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war), an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic, other extraordinary and temporary conditions.” Based on the above, it is clearly established that President Trump, through his DHS, has total and unilateral authority to decide who can be protected under TPS and when they can have that designation removed. Whether Trump is a “racist,” as the NAACP alleges, or not has absolutely no bearing on the president’s authority to determine who gets TPS and for how long. To further debunk the myth that Trump is a racist, one should take note of others who have TPS status. There currently ten countries with citizens in the U.S. listed under TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Do you notice anything that stands out to you? The NAACP alleges in no uncertain terms that Trump “wishes to reduce the number of immigrants of color in the United States.” If that is the case, can they please explain to me why there is not one country whose citizens are granted TPS from a European country? They are all from countries with people of color. The NAACP’s lawsuit is frivolous at best and a waste of the court’s time at worst. This lawsuit will ultimately be thrown out with the quickness, once it gets before a judge. But the bigger question is this: Why is the NAACP and the LDF, yet again, expending so much precious capital on people who are not even U.S. citizens? Should they not be more concerned about getting protection for all the Black Americans in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, and Ferguson, to name a few, whose daily lives are filled with one catastrophic disaster after another? What about the flood of drugs permeating the Black community, what about the tsunami of out of wedlock births affecting the Black community; what about the earthquake of crime destroying the Black community, what about the civil war going on within the body politic in the Black community? I thought the NAACP’s core mission was to fight for equality for Blacks in America and fight against injustice. Just as former President Barack Obama damaged America’s standing by his misguided intervention across the globe, the NAACP is doing the same thing by attempting to intervene on the behalf of non-residents. No, their mission should always be America first, America last, and America always! Does that mean we should not attempt to help others in need? Of course not. But there must be some type of priority placed on our activities. When your own community is in need and hurting, your first and only obligation is to help your own, even if that means your “neighbor” will suffer, temporarily. (Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF). For more information about BAFBF, visit You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.)


FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018




Just days after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, thousands of protesters marched the West Virginia streets, denouncing Trump’s policies and his demeaning words. Republican congressmen were headed to the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, but were met with hefty opposition. Courier photographer J.L. Martello traveled to West Virginia, Feb. 1, to capture the exclusive photos.



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


Neal, Marshall, ‘Automatic O’ headline Hall of Fame class Pittsburgh Basketball Club holds induction ceremony by Smokin’ Jim Frazier For New Pittsburgh Courier

This past Saturday, Feb. 3, despite the very cold and overcast Pittsburgh weather outside, within the walls of the Chartiers Country Club in Robinson Township, there was vibrant sunshine everywhere. John Giammarco, Director of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame sports banquet, said the Hall of Fame was established to carry on the memories of athletes and other sports notables, male and female, who have brought lasting fame and recognition through their athletic achievements. Newly-elected Hall-ofFamer, Courier Sports Columnist Bill Neal, had a lot of people to thank. Penn Hills born-and-bred, Neal has craved out a unique place for himself. When he talks, especially about sports, people listen. Neal, the founder and creator of Champion Enterprises and the Connie Hawkins Basketball League, has received several awards. He said that his giving nature was instilled in him by his parents ear-

ly in his childhood and has spent his life trying to improve the quality of life for youth in Allegheny County with a special emphasis towards low-income and disadvantaged youth. “I owe everything in my professional career to Connie Hawkins. Our league was ranked in the top 10 in the country,” said Neal. “In 1979, we had Maurice Lucas, Jeep Kelly, Sonny Lewis, Bill Varner, Kenny Durrett, Kirk Bruce, Gary Nelson, John Marshall, Bill Clarke, Sam Clancey, Doug Arnold, Karen Hall, Jennifer Bruce, Ricky Coleman, B.B. Flenory and Bruce Atkins—all playing in the league.” “Basketball is a phenomenal, intense game, which transforms lives while connecting people from all gender, racial, global and economic levels,” said coach Karen Hall, a 2017 PBC Hall-of-Famer. “Basketball has given one the opportunity to complete, coach and to meet some pretty special people.” During the ceremony, the ground might have moved a bit, because the great Jonathan Marshall walked in the room. Intimidation


COURIER SPORTS COLUMNIST BILL NEAL, second from left, with Moe Barr, Steve Tarantino and Herb Sendek. (Photos by Courier photographer Dayna Delgado) is always a factor in basketball and the former Clairton High School star was best known because of his physical intimidation. “I am really a nice guy,” said Marshall. “But you better not come down the lane when I was on the court.” Oscar Jackson is the latest in a line of great Duquesne University basketball players to make the Hall, join-

JOHN MARSHALL and wife Tatanise Marshall



ing Flenory, Ron Stevenson, Moe Barr, Gina Naccarato and Gary and Barry Nelson. In 1970, when Beaver Falls won its first WPIAL and state titles, Jackson was the star of the team. He once scored 52 points in a game and was named first-team all-state. “The greatest high school basketball team of all-time

was the 1971 state champion Schenley team that featured Rickey Coleman, Jeep Kelly, and Maurice Lucas. And in 1970, we beat them in the state semi-finals,” said Jackson. “I have so many fond memories. I’m so happy with all the experiences I had and basketball made me the person I am.” Oscar Jackson, who was nicknamed “Automatic O,”

went on to play college basketball at Duquesne. The list of athletes, coaches and officials being inducted were: Moon and Notre Dame basketball player Keith Tower; Langley and Duquesne basketball player Ron Stevenson; Penn Hills and Duquesne basketball player Moe Barr; Beaver Falls and Duquesne basketball player Oscar Jackson; New Brighton and Robert Morris basketball player Gabe Jackson; Ringgold and Pitt basketball player Scott Nedrow; Clairton and Penn State Jonathan Marshall; Laurel Highlands and Virginia Gus Gerard; New Castle and Xavier basketball player David Young; St. Monica (CA) and Pitt basketball and player Jason Matthews. The 2017 PBC Hall of Fame Contributors Class include: Robert Morris University Game Announcer Chris Schovlin; Bob Bozzuto, North Allegheny Athletic Director; John Jenkins, Game Official; and Bill Neal, Connie Hawkins Summer League Director. The Luke Blanock Courage Awardees were: Hampton High School, Isaac DeGregorio; and Dom Giallonardo of Mount Pleasant.

JASON MATTHEWS, with daughter Taylor Matthews and John Giammarco



FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018


The Pursuit of Justice by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

Hercules “Chico” Butler, the man known around town for his stylish Zoot suits… The man known for that infectious smile… The man known as one of the area’s best dancers… The man suffering from PTSD? The man on lifetime parole? “Everybody loves Chico,” he said, “but nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. Nobody knows but Jesus.” “Chico” Butler is the author of multiple books. With what he says he’s experienced over his 85 years in this world, he could write for an eternity. His latest book, entitled “Justice Denied: The Abridged Autobiography of Hercules ‘Chico’ Butler,” is like visiting Kennywood. It’s a Thunderbolt of a roller coaster ride that, like the old Pirate Ship, swings you into an array of emotions as Butler explains his turmoil. A Christian boy, raised in the church in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, who decided to follow his friends into the armed forces. Butler said one of his friends went to the Navy, another to the Marines. As for Chico, he decided on the Army. “Wearing the United States Army uniform made me feel 10 feet tall,” Butler said in his book. “I had a sense of pride, brotherhood and country just putting my legs in my uniform pants, one leg at a time, tucking in my stiffly iron starched shirt, fastening the army belt buckle tightly around my waist and putting on Army boots. I was sharp!” Butler, as he spoke with the New Pittsburgh Courier from his East End home last month, said he was sent off to Korea to fight. And fight he did. He showed the Courier old pictures of himself in uniform, with a Combat Infantryman Badge. “That means that you was not sittin’ around lollygagging,” Butler said. “I was fighting like hell. I fought six and a half months in combat; it was cold as hell in the wintertime, and hot as hell in the summertime. Those North Koreans, they do not play.” War took a toll on the young soldier, who hadn’t even turned 21. In June of 1952, Butler says he was diagnosed by the Army as having “anxiety reaction,” and wasn’t allowed to return to combat. He then worked as an Army “medic,” before finally being honorably discharged in June of 1954. But what happened next changed Butler’s life forever. Butler’s mother, Mattie Wolfe, took her son to the VA Hospital in Coatesville, as Butler, in his words, was not in his right mind. They thought help was on the way. But, according to Butler’s book, the VA said they could not help Butler because the “anxiety disorder” he suffered was a pre-existing condition, and did not originate in combat. Thus, no financial benefits were given to Butler, and, in his words, “The government turned its back on my mom and me; we had nowhere to go, no other help, only each other.” It was the subsequent ex-

cessive drinking, the feeling of hopelessness of not getting the medical help he needed, which caused him to be in the wrong place in the wrong time, in Chester County, Pa. Butler says he was charged, then convicted of a burglary and homicide that he never committed. He says his supposed friends were the ones who probably committed the heinous crime, and he has no recollection of the incident, due to his alcoholism and other medical issues. “I came up in the church, I knew nothing about crimes. They locked my butt up, I did 15 years,” Butler recalled. In the early ‘70s, an organization helped Butler’s sentence be commuted to parole, and he walked out of the Pittsburgh State Correctional Institution a free man. And that’s how Chico Butler, the dancing machine, the master of the Zoot suit, landed in the Steel City. He had actually been here since 1958 when he was transferred from a prison in Philadelphia. But the 1960s soot from the steel mills, the then-lean years of the Steelers, the days of the lower Hill District before the construction of the Civic Arena—he never experienced, because he was falsely imprisoned, he said. Butler went straight to the VA in Oakland in 1972, and he says they later diagnosed him with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Never hearing that term before, Butler says the VA believed he could have only acquired the disorder while in combat, and not beforehand, as the VA in Coatesville determined. He began receiving treatment, getting therapy sessions, and things were looking up for one Hercules “Chico” Butler. But the damage had already been done. Who wants a convicted felon, who is on parole to this day, working a high-level, white collar job? Also, while financial benefits from the VA come these days, what about all the money Butler says he’s owed by the VA from decades ago if he would have been properly diagnosed upon his return from combat? And if he would have been placed in VA rehabilitation in Coatesville, would he ever have been in a situation as to be accused of murder? “They had denied me service-connection disability and my benefits when I first came home, and they have caused me nothing but pain and suffering ever since,” Butler proclaimed to the Courier, “and I’m still fighting for them to recognize me as a disabled veteran who suffered PTSD from 1952, and I have all the medical records and documents that back up my story.” Butler says the VA owes him “an apology. You insulted my intelligence by what you did to me, came back home and you threw me to the curb. How many other veterans did you throw to the curb?” A May 2013 article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review suggests there may have been others. “VA officials… have publicly acknowledged

Hercules “Chico” Butler is known around town for his fine Zoot suits, and being the life of the party. But behind the sharp clothes, there’s a real battle he’s fighting. He says he’ll never give up until his battle for justice is won. that minorities and female veterans often were treated as second-class citizens by VA and other federal agencies, despite wounds, illnesses and injuries as serious as those that white GIs suffered,” the article stated. “VA’s National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, released in 1990, reported that Black and

Hispanic veterans suffered higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems than Whites, largely because they were more likely to serve in ground units and experience combat.” In that article, Penn Hills resident Ronald Hill said at the time he had waited

(Photo by Gail Manker) 43 years for his claim to go through the agency. Hill, the Marine Corps Pfc., called the VA “a racist institution” in the article, in the years after he returned from Vietnam. During the decades-long battle that Chico Butler has been fighting for his justice, he’s used his time in beneficial ways. He’s been speaking with students at area schools for years on how to choose the right path. He stays far away from smoking and drinking, and wants to put smiles on everyone’s faces. He encourages every parent to get a copy of Justice Denied, “not because of me, but because it tells a story about what happened to me, and I hope in Christ that no other Black person, soldier, ex-convict, goes through what I went through.” And what about his famous Zoot suits? Why does he wear them, seemingly everywhere? It’s “medication,” Chico says. “I love what they say. What they say is the

mental medication. When I get trophies from dancing, or if someone asks me to escort them to a party, or to be in their fashion show,” it gives Butler a great feeling, the exact opposite feeling of the shame and guilt he’s felt for some of the tribulations that occurred in a previous life. Thus, look for Hercules “Chico” Butler at, maybe, a school, or the Black Beauty Lounge in the Hill District, or possibly the grocery store. Butler should be dressed to a tee. And now you know why. “They don’t know. They don’t know what I’m feeling,” Butler told the Courier. “A man’s pride shall bring him low, but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. See, no matter how bad you feel, you keep on praying. And my mother, on her dying bed, she said, ‘son, behind the darkest cloud, the sun is shining. So, when the sun’s shining for you, then let your light shine on everybody. You keep smiling, son.’”

HERCULES “CHICO” BUTLER fought for more than six months in Korea in the early 1950s.

IN THIS PITTSBURGH PRESS ARTICLE FROM 1980, Hercules “Chico” Butler is shown speaking to students about the importance of education and making the right decisions.

HERCULES “CHICO” BUTLER said his mother, Mattie Wolfe, fought to seek the medical attention her son deserved, but was denied by the Coatesville, Pennsylvania VA. Those who want to purchase Butler’s book, “Justice Denied,” can call 412-665-0464. (Photo by Gail Manker)

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