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Pittsburgh Courier NEW

Vol. 108 No. 16

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www.newpittsburghcourier.com

Published Weekly

APRIL 19-25, 2017

Community voices concerns about PPS Code of Student Conduct by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

In recent years, Pittsburgh Public Schools and its school board would make changes and revisions to its Code of Student Conduct without the public being able to offer its input and suggestions in an open setting.

That’s all changed, now that Dr. Anthony Hamlet is the new sheriff in town. Dr. Hamlet, who is completing his first year as Superintendent of Schools, initiated a series of open forums that the public could voice their concerns about a variety of issues affecting the district. And recently, the district completed a se-

Udin vows to improve Black student proficiency in PPS, if elected

ries of public meetings to gather information as to how to improve the Code of Student Conduct for the next school year. The public meetings were held at Pittsburgh Obama (March 22), Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (March 30), and Pittsburgh King (April 5). “Anybody who has a vested interest in making sure that our children have the right focus, the right vision…we want to SEE PPS A5

by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

DR. ANTHONY HAMLET

Pittsburgh students learn hands-on at ‘Tech Girls Rock’

by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

As she keys instructions into a computer keyboard, the Finch robot’s beak changed from blue to red, then purple and orange – much to the delight of McKenzie Sing. Then, she keys in another set of instructions—the bird-shaped robot rolls forward. She’s enjoying herself amid the array of computers and boxes filled with parts from a much larger robot that knows how to climb a rope. However, the fifth grader at Pittsburgh Spring Hill Elementary hasn’t had too many hands-on opportunities to do any kind of tech learning. “Our school doesn’t have a lot of money, but the Pittsburgh Pirates donated a bunch of laptops so that really helps,” Sing said. “I’m going to CAPA next year to study visual arts. So, computer animation is something I’ll definitely be exploring.” Sing was one of about 80 SEE TECH A4

$1.00

Since announcing his candidacy for election to the Pittsburgh Board of Education, many have asked why Sala Udin, a former city councilman and past president of Coro Pittsburgh, would come out of retirement for what he called an “unpaid, unappreciated, full-time volunteer position.” During a meeting with the New Pittsburgh Courier, Udin said he asked himself that exact question. The idea of doing so, he said, first came to him on Leap Day (Feb. 29) of 2016 when he SALA UDIN watched on television as 30 high school girls were, in Udin’s words, “perp-walked” out of Pittsburgh Milliones (University Prep) in the Hill District after a huge brawl there. “For me, that was more than a fight, that was a culture shift,” he said. “To me, that said something is really, really wrong in the system of education.” Udin said he realized the years of advocacy of improving outcomes for Black students, that he and others like Rev. Johnnie Monroe had engaged in, had fallen on deaf ears at the school board. So, when he learned District 3 board member ThomSEE UDIN A4

GIRL POWER—The Tech Girls Rock initiative gave students an opportunity to learn the latest technologies. Among the students are Tashari Thompson, Amamya Campbell, and April Jones. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

Homewood March for Peace lives on without ‘Freedom’ Blackwell by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

COMMUNITY UNITY—Dina “Free” Blackwell and friend LaKeisha Wolf dance to African drummers during the House of Manna’s 7th annual Homewood March for Peace. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

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The seventh annual Homewood March for Peace was filled with music, food, dancing and fellowship, just as its founder Rev. Eugene “Freedom” Blackwell envisioned. But the Good Friday (April 14) event was different this year—it was the first without Blackwell, who lost his battle with cancer in November. But those who attended agreed that he was there in spirit. “I’ve known “Free” (Dina Blackwell) for years, but this is the first time I’ve been able to come to the march,” said Lakeisha Wolf of Wilkinsburg. “It’s

URA oks funds for affordable housing in West Oakland by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

Even as City Council struggles to find $10 million per year to finance its Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Urban Redevelopment Authority Board has voted to approve a $1.36 million loan as part of a $15.6 million project that will yield 49 affordable housing units on Allequippa Street and along Wadsworth Street in West Oakland. The project involves the rehabilitation of 24 existing rental units at what is now called Allequippa Place, and the construction of 25 new units on vacant lots already purchased from the URA on Wadsworth St. “The existing configuration of Allequippa Place is 24, two-bedroom units,” said Housing Director Tom Cummings, reading from Executive Director Robert Rubinstein’s report. “The new configuration will convert 12 of those to three-bedroom units. The units are in need of substantial repair—including mechanical system replacements and other updates including kitchens and baths.” Except for one three-bedroom unit, he said, the new construction would all be one-bedroom units. All would be restricted to low-income renters. “Five of the units will be targeted to households with incomes at or below 20 percent of the (Area Median Income), 20

SEE HOMEWOOD A4

Ulish Carter says

‘Trail of Tears’ a timeless must-see Opinion B3

SEE URA A4


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INTERNATIONAL

APRIL 19-25, 2017

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

This Week In Black History

CUSTOMER SERVICE—This June 17, 2015, file photo shows an interior view of the Business Class seats on the second floor deck of an Airbus A380 of Qatar Airways presented at the Paris Air Show, in Le Bourget airport, north of Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Fly the funny skies: Mideast airlines troll United DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)—Mideast carriers are having fun at United Airlines’ expense. Dubai-based Emirates released an ad after video went viral of a United passenger being forcefully removed that toyed with the Chicago-based carrier’s longtime slogan. “Fly the

friendly skies..this time for real,” it read. Royal Jordanian tweeted a no-smoking picture saying “drags on our flights are strictly prohibited by passengers and crew.” Now Qatar Airways is getting in on the gag too. An update Wednesday for its iPhone app says it

“doesn’t support drag and drop. We take care of customers as we unite them with their destinations.” Emirates and Qatar have been criticized by U.S. carriers over their rapid U.S. expansion. All three airlines have been caught up in the U.S. ban on electronics onboard.

Nigeria: Talks with Boko Haram continue over Chibok girls by Haruna Umar Associated Press Writer

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP)—Nigeria’s government says negotiations with Boko Haram continue for the release of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped three years ago by the extremist group, shocking the world. The government “has gone quite far with negotiations,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said April 12. He spoke shortly before last Friday’s three-year anniversary of the mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls from a village in the country’s northeast. At least 195 of them remain captive. Nigeria in October announced the release of 21 Chibok schoolgirls, saying for the first time that it had been negotiating with the extremist group, mediated by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The government denied a ransom was paid and that it had freed some detained

Elaine Effort

CAMPAIGN CONTINUES—Bring back our girls campaigners chant slogans during a protest calling on the government to rescue the remaining kidnapped girls of the government secondary school who were abducted almost three years ago, in Lagos, Nigeria April. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) Boko Haram fighters in exchange for the girls. At the time, officials said they were pressing on with negotiations and expected the release of a second group of 83 girls “very soon.” No more have been freed. Osinbajo indicated that Nigeria has faced some challenges in the latest negotiations but didn’t give details, citing security reasons.

Pittsburgh Profiles with KQV’s Elaine Effort sponsored in part by the New Pittsburgh Courier

Pittsburgh Profiles with Elaine Effort heard exclusively on Pittsburgh’s all-news radio station for 30 years

KQV 1410 AM and at WWW.KQV.COM Friday, April 21 at 7:30 P.M. Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 A.M. Sunday, April 23 at 4:00 P.M.

The failure of Nigeria’s former government to act quickly to free the girls sparked a global Bring Back Our Girls movement. Members of the movement demonstrated April 13. in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, demanding that the government do more. The vice president said securing the safe release of the schoolgirls and others held by Boko Haram is “a matter of conscience.” Nigeria’s military in the past year has rescued thousands of Boko Haram captives while liberating towns and villages from the group’s control, but many have been detained as possible Boko Haram suspects. The Nigeria-based Boko Haram’s seven-year Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation.

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Week of April 19-25 April 19 1910—The National Urban League is formed in New York City. It was born out of a merger of the National League for the Protection of Colored Women, National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes and remnants of the Niagara Movement which had earlier help found the NAACP. Among the leading organizers were Ruth Standish Baldwin and George Edmund Haynes. The organization was founded in part to be more focused on economic issues affecting Blacks than the NAACP. Today, it is generally considered the nation’s second most powerful civil rights organization WALTER FAUNTROY after the NAACP. 1971—Walter Fauntroy becomes the first elected Congressional representative from the predominantly Black District of Columbia since Reconstruction. However, Fauntroy did not have voting rights. Indeed, down to this day, the Congressional Representative from Washington, D.C., is still not allowed to vote on major legislation. This bar was once common among capitol cities. But today, America stands virtually alone among major nations in barring the residents of its capitol city from having a voting representative in its national legislature. Critics argue that the bar continues because the city is majority African-American. 1978—Max Robinson becomes the first African-American anchor of a major network television news program when he begins co-anchoring ABC nightly news from Chicago. The Richmond, Va., native died of AIDS in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 20, 1988. April 20 MAX ROBINSON 1871—The Third Enforcement Act is enacted. The Act was designed to give the president greater powers to suppress the actions of terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, as they attempted to stop Blacks from voting. In some instances, the racist groups used armed force to drive out integrated governments in several Southern cities. Under the Act, the president could declare such activities “rebellion against the government” and employ federal troops to restore order. 1899—Jazz great Edward “Duke” Ellington is born in Washington, D.C. Ellington was perhaps the greatest of the Jazz pioneers, popularizing Jazz with his performances, composing and his role as a bandleader. Ellington died in 1974. DUKE ELLINGTON 1909—Jazz great Lionel Hampton is born in Louisville, Ky. Hampton was another of the great band leaders of the Jazz era. He was also known for his skills on the vibraphone. He died in 2002. 1971—The United States Supreme Court rules unanimously that the busing of students from schools of predominantly one race to schools populated mostly by students of another race was a constitutionally accepted method for integrating the nation’s public schools. April 21 1898—An official state of war is said to exist between Spain and the U.S. over Cuba. This Spanish American War was fought with LIONEL HAMPTON major representation of Black soldiers from Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Kansas. For imperialistic reasons of its own, the U.S. aided Cuban independence from Spain. Cuba became independent in 1902. However, when the Black troops returned to America, their greetings ranged from parades and speeches in some cities to assaults and lynching in other cities. 2003—African-American song stylist Nina Simone, born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, dies in Paris. She was was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist. Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with “Little Girl Blue,” and 1974. She was 70 years old. April 22 1692—The notorious “Salem Witch Trials” of Salem, Mass., claim their first Black victim. Mary Black, a slave, is accused of sorcery and jailed. The hysteria created by the trials would lead to the arrests of 141 people (mostly women) and result in 19 of them being put NINA SIMONE to death. Ironically, there is reason to believe that the witch trials were indirectly set in motion by the voodoo stories of a Black slave. It seems that a minister brought to Salem a slave from Barbados named Tituba. He fascinated the minister’s daughters with stories about witchcraft in Africa and the Caribbean. The two daughters shared the stories with other young girls in the area and soon imagination took the place of reality. The girls started acting strangely and claimed they were victims of witchcraft. Superstitious adults began pressuring them to name names and soon dozens of women were being jailed for practicing witchcraft. The trials, which were not limited to Massachusetts, but spread throughout New England, are perhaps one of SALEM WITCH TRIALS the greatest testimonies to how minds can be twisted to believe in the ridiculous and hurt others of as result of false belief. 1922—Jazz great Charles Mingus is born. The virtuoso bass player was born on a military base in Nogales, Ariz. April 23 1856—One of the greatest inventors in American history, Granville T. Woods, is born in Columbus, Ohio. During his life he received 65 patents for electrical, mechanical and communications devices. Among his inventions was an advanced telephone transmitter. The transmitter was so advanced that the Alexander Graham Bell Company purchased the rights to it from Woods, both because it was superior to what Bell had invented and for fear that Woods might become a major rival to the Bell GRANVILLE T. WOODS Company. At his height, the Cincinnati, Ohio Catholic Tribune (Jan. 14, 1886) wrote of Woods: “…the greatest colored inventor in the history of the race and equal, if not superior, to any inventor in the country…” 1872—Charlotte E. Ray becomes the first Black female lawyer in American history. Born in New York City to a journalist father and a politically active mother, Ray was a brilliant student who was teaching at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by the time she was 19. By age 22 she had her law degree and was admitted to the D.C. bar. However, sexual and racial discrimination forced her to abandon her law practice and return to New York to teach. She died Jan. 4, 1911. 1971—Liberian President William Tubman dies. Tubman and CHARLOTTE E. RAY his strong-man rule had kept the West African nation founded by freed American slaves relatively stable but not necessarily democratic. His death laid the foundation for the anarchy and civil wars which would grip the nation for the next 30 years. Tubman also headed a class of so-called Americo-Liberians who often discriminated against the native African population. April 24 1867—The first national meeting of the Ku Klux Klan is held at the Maxwell House in Nashville, Tenn. The White supremacist organization and its various offshoots would go on to launch a wave of terror, which would result in death and injury to thousands of African-Americans over the years. The Klan would remain the nation’s most powerful anti-Black terrorist organization for the next 70 years. The first chapter, however, was actually formed a year earlier in Pulaski, Tenn. Most of the early Klan members were former soldiers of the defeated Confeder- KU KLUX KLAN ate Army from the Civil War. The group’s initial aim was to spread fear among Blacks and prevent them from voting. But as the organization grew, it expanded into anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic and anti-foreigner activities. The first grand wizard was Nathan Bedford Forest. 1944—The United Negro College Fund is incorporated. Over the years, the fundraising activities of the UNCF would result in thousands of college educations for African-Americans. 1944—Whites only political primaries are declared unconstitutional. In a case known as Smith v. Allwright, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a “Whites only” primary law, which excluded Blacks from voting, was a violation of the 15th Amendment and was thus unconstitutional. April 25 1918—Jazz singing legend Ella Fitzgerald is born in Newport News, Va. Orphaned at an early age, Fitzgerald was literally living in the streets when she was discovered in Harlem, N.Y., by bandleader Chick Webb. Despite never having received formal vocal training, musical experts often compared her techniques and vocal range to that of a conservatory trained singer. One of the ultimate compliments to her abilities was given by the great songwriter Ira GershELLA FITZGERALD win who said, “I didn’t realize our songs were so good until I heard Ella sing them.” Fitzgerald died at the age of 79 on June 15, 1997. 1943—Tuskegee Institute President Frederick Patterson writes his famous letter (published in the Pittsburgh Courier) urging the presidents of the nation’s predominantly Black colleges and universities to “pool their small resources and make an appeal to the national conscience” in order to produce more scholarship funds for the education of Black students.


NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

APRIL 19-25, 2017

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METRO

APRIL 19-25, 2017

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

Homewood March lives on without ‘Freedom’ URA allots funds HOMEWOOD FROM A1

a wonderful time. People need to see each other, be together, feed each other, dance, sing. It’s a beautiful experience.” Reverend Rodney Lyde, pastor at Baptist Temple Church in Homewood, has attended every year, and agreed with Wolf. “It’s great that ‘Free’ has kept this going because it’s not about the march, it’s about people participating,” he said. “It reminds us what community is all about. We are demonstrating in this neighborhood and beyond that we are family, and we will see peace proliferate.”

Blackwell’s brother, Eric, who serves as an elder at the House of Manna church his brother founded with his wife seven years ago, said it brought back special memories. “Nothing brought more joy to my life than being here doing ministry in this parking lot with my brother, ‘Freedom,’ walking and talking with people and changing their minds,” he said.The vision of a rebuilt Homewood, where everyone knows and helps each other, and vanquishes the violence that has touched so many in the neighborhood also lives on. House of Manna parishioner Carol

Speaks is certain of it. She would know—her 19-yearold grandson Antwann was killed, shot 17 times in 2013. Her son Charles was shot to death a decade earlier. “I believe in ‘Freedom’ and ‘Free’s vision of rebuilding Homewood. Everything needs to be uplifted—it’s not just houses, you have to rebuild people, too,” she said. “Knowing that ‘Freedom’ is here in spirit but not in flesh is kinda weird. I miss him. But my daughter, who is very reclusive now, barely leaves the house— she came out, she danced, and she smiled. That’s a wonderful thing.”

‘Free’ said it felt a bit strange doing the march without her husband. “My husband, my best friend, my everything isn’t here, physically. It’s surreal, and sad but also exciting because it shows he’s a great leader because he planted the seeds for it to go on—God’s legacy, not ours,” she said. “And I’ll give you an exclusive— There is going to be ‘Freedom’ Day on Nov. 1, a day named for a Black man—that’s big for Pittsburgh. That’s an honor, so we’re going to do a big Autumn Splash—that’s all I can tell you now, except it will be great.” (J.L. Martello contributed to this story).

Students learn new gadgets at ‘Tech Girls Rock’ TECH FROM A1

girls who took a day off from spring vacations to attend the “Tech Girls Rock” initiative at the Sarah Heinz House on Pittsburgh’s North Side, April 13. Sponsored by The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and CA Technologies, the program hopes to spark increased participation by girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, which continue to suffer a deficit of female professionals. The girls enjoyed a conti-

nental breakfast and welcome remarks from Sarah Heinz House Executive Director Jennifer Cairns, and inspirational remarks from Pittsburgh Technology Council President and CEO Audrey Russo. “I can’t believe we don’t have more women running corporations and creating the technical solutions to today’s problems—we buy half the products in the world. We need to be at the table,” said Russo. “Sometimes it’s hard for

girls to be smart, to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid. You won’t look silly if it doesn’t work—and you’ll learn something. So, have fun,” Russo said. In another room, 17-yearold Miracle Buggs, who is home-schooled, builds a bracelet from colored that “spells” her name in binary code. “I don’t know about the building part,” she said. “I’m probably going to continue with coding and programming, but we’ll see.”

Leah Miller doesn’t have to imagine. Much of this is old hat for the 10-year-old, Urban Academy fifth grader from the Hill District. “Me and three friends built an underwater robot called SeaPerch for a competition,” she said. “It had to swim a maze, go up and down and pick up blocks. It did all of that—we beat high-schoolers.”

URA FROM A1

of the units will be reserved for households at or below 50 percent of the AMI, and 24 units will be reserved for households at or below 60 percent of the AMI,” Cummings said. The Area Median Income for the Pittsburgh region is $54,080. At the opposite end of the housing spectrum, the URA board also approved the use of a small parcel on Penn Avenue—which it already sold to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust—for use in the $46 million Eighth and Penn project. The development would restore the historic McNally and Bonn buildings at 711-713 Penn Ave., and add two new buildings extending to the corner and down from Eighth St. on what is now a surface parking lot. On the interior, it would function as a single building and would provide approximately 136 residential units, with retail space at the street level and one level of below-grade parking. The authority also voted to modify its ROLL (Replace Our Lead Lines) loan program to help city homeowners pay for lead

water line replacement on their property by raising the household income eligibility from 120 percent of the AMI to 150 percent. This means a family of four can earn $106,080 and still qualify. An individual can earn up to $74,800. The board then approved hiring Asakura Robinson Company, LLC as a consultant for the completion of the long-awaited Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan. “It is intended that the plan will be formally adopted by the city Planning Commission and incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan,” said Rubinstein. “The scope for the comprehensive plan will include planning gap analysis, an inventory of community assets, the development of community goals and objectives, and an implementation plan and metric evaluation system.” The planning work is expected to take 8-12 months and will be managed by the city planning department and led in cooperation with the Homewood Community Development Collaborative.

Udin vows to improve Pittsburgh schools UDIN FROM A1

as Sumpter was stepping down, Udin decided to run. “I think a culture of mediocrity and low expectations has a death grip on 341 South Bellefield Ave.,” he told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “I don’t believe they (the school board) think our kids are capable of excellence, and I don’t think they believe the system of education is capable of excellence. We need someone inside the bureaucracy; a partner in advocacy.” Udin recalled that 50 years ago, Robert L. Vann Elementary School Principal Doris Brevard produced students who excelled to the point where they consistently outpaced students at other city schools. “She demonstrated that it has nothing to do with being Black, nothing to do with be-

ing poor, it is not the fault of the kids,” he said. “The kids’ brains are capable of academic excellence—it’s our job as adults to bring that out—and it’s not happening.” Ideally, Udin admits that the job should be one done by a young person with passion and energy—not to say he doesn’t possess those qualities. But such candidates lack experience— which he definitely has. “It needed someone who had some standing, someone who had some experience in educational reform, and they’ve got to have some electability,” he said. “Show me a young person with that, and I’ll go to work for them, immediately—there is nobody.” He said he has told Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anthony Hamlet that he would work with him,

as a partner to implement change designed to address the issue of “Black academic performance that’s been dragging along the bottom for years—in a district that’s 53 percent Black.” Udin said he wants to build bridges between the board and all constituencies—parents, politicians, foundations and the business community. Udin said that everyone must be on board, and he feels he has the experience to bring all the parties together. “If elected, I don’t have any allies—yet,” he said. “But I’ve served on an elected body of nine before—and I can count to five.” Udin is opposed on the Democratic side by James Myers, director of community affairs and business development for Urban Innovation 21. The primary election is May 16.


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METRO

APRIL 19-25, 2017

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

Homewood March lives on without ‘Freedom’ URA allots funds HOMEWOOD FROM A1

a wonderful time. People need to see each other, be together, feed each other, dance, sing. It’s a beautiful experience.” Reverend Rodney Lyde, pastor at Baptist Temple Church in Homewood, has attended every year, and agreed with Wolf. “It’s great that ‘Free’ has kept this going because it’s not about the march, it’s about people participating,” he said. “It reminds us what community is all about. We are demonstrating in this neighborhood and beyond that we are family, and we will see peace proliferate.”

Blackwell’s brother, Eric, who serves as an elder at the House of Manna church his brother founded with his wife seven years ago, said it brought back special memories. “Nothing brought more joy to my life than being here doing ministry in this parking lot with my brother, ‘Freedom,’ walking and talking with people and changing their minds,” he said.The vision of a rebuilt Homewood, where everyone knows and helps each other, and vanquishes the violence that has touched so many in the neighborhood also lives on. House of Manna parishioner Carol

Speaks is certain of it. She would know—her 19-yearold grandson Antwann was killed, shot 17 times in 2013. Her son Charles was shot to death a decade earlier. “I believe in ‘Freedom’ and ‘Free’s vision of rebuilding Homewood. Everything needs to be uplifted—it’s not just houses, you have to rebuild people, too,” she said. “Knowing that ‘Freedom’ is here in spirit but not in flesh is kinda weird. I miss him. But my daughter, who is very reclusive now, barely leaves the house— she came out, she danced, and she smiled. That’s a wonderful thing.”

‘Free’ said it felt a bit strange doing the march without her husband. “My husband, my best friend, my everything isn’t here, physically. It’s surreal, and sad but also exciting because it shows he’s a great leader because he planted the seeds for it to go on—God’s legacy, not ours,” she said. “And I’ll give you an exclusive— There is going to be ‘Freedom’ Day on Nov. 1, a day named for a Black man—that’s big for Pittsburgh. That’s an honor, so we’re going to do a big Autumn Splash—that’s all I can tell you now, except it will be great.” (J.L. Martello contributed to this story).

Students learn new gadgets at ‘Tech Girls Rock’ TECH FROM A1

girls who took a day off from spring vacations to attend the “Tech Girls Rock” initiative at the Sarah Heinz House on Pittsburgh’s North Side, April 13. Sponsored by The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and CA Technologies, the program hopes to spark increased participation by girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, which continue to suffer a deficit of female professionals. The girls enjoyed a conti-

nental breakfast and welcome remarks from Sarah Heinz House Executive Director Jennifer Cairns, and inspirational remarks from Pittsburgh Technology Council President and CEO Audrey Russo. “I can’t believe we don’t have more women running corporations and creating the technical solutions to today’s problems—we buy half the products in the world. We need to be at the table,” said Russo. “Sometimes it’s hard for

girls to be smart, to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid. You won’t look silly if it doesn’t work—and you’ll learn something. So, have fun,” Russo said. In another room, 17-yearold Miracle Buggs, who is home-schooled, builds a bracelet from colored that “spells” her name in binary code. “I don’t know about the building part,” she said. “I’m probably going to continue with coding and programming, but we’ll see.”

Leah Miller doesn’t have to imagine. Much of this is old hat for the 10-year-old, Urban Academy fifth grader from the Hill District. “Me and three friends built an underwater robot called SeaPerch for a competition,” she said. “It had to swim a maze, go up and down and pick up blocks. It did all of that—we beat high-schoolers.”

URA FROM A1

of the units will be reserved for households at or below 50 percent of the AMI, and 24 units will be reserved for households at or below 60 percent of the AMI,” Cummings said. The Area Median Income for the Pittsburgh region is $54,080. At the opposite end of the housing spectrum, the URA board also approved the use of a small parcel on Penn Avenue—which it already sold to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust—for use in the $46 million Eighth and Penn project. The development would restore the historic McNally and Bonn buildings at 711-713 Penn Ave., and add two new buildings extending to the corner and down from Eighth St. on what is now a surface parking lot. On the interior, it would function as a single building and would provide approximately 136 residential units, with retail space at the street level and one level of below-grade parking. The authority also voted to modify its ROLL (Replace Our Lead Lines) loan program to help city homeowners pay for lead

water line replacement on their property by raising the household income eligibility from 120 percent of the AMI to 150 percent. This means a family of four can earn $106,080 and still qualify. An individual can earn up to $74,800. The board then approved hiring Asakura Robinson Company, LLC as a consultant for the completion of the long-awaited Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan. “It is intended that the plan will be formally adopted by the city Planning Commission and incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan,” said Rubinstein. “The scope for the comprehensive plan will include planning gap analysis, an inventory of community assets, the development of community goals and objectives, and an implementation plan and metric evaluation system.” The planning work is expected to take 8-12 months and will be managed by the city planning department and led in cooperation with the Homewood Community Development Collaborative.

Udin vows to improve Pittsburgh schools UDIN FROM A1

as Sumpter was stepping down, Udin decided to run. “I think a culture of mediocrity and low expectations has a death grip on 341 South Bellefield Ave.,” he told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “I don’t believe they (the school board) think our kids are capable of excellence, and I don’t think they believe the system of education is capable of excellence. We need someone inside the bureaucracy; a partner in advocacy.” Udin recalled that 50 years ago, Robert L. Vann Elementary School Principal Doris Brevard produced students who excelled to the point where they consistently outpaced students at other city schools. “She demonstrated that it has nothing to do with being Black, nothing to do with be-

ing poor, it is not the fault of the kids,” he said. “The kids’ brains are capable of academic excellence—it’s our job as adults to bring that out—and it’s not happening.” Ideally, Udin admits that the job should be one done by a young person with passion and energy—not to say he doesn’t possess those qualities. But such candidates lack experience— which he definitely has. “It needed someone who had some standing, someone who had some experience in educational reform, and they’ve got to have some electability,” he said. “Show me a young person with that, and I’ll go to work for them, immediately—there is nobody.” He said he has told Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anthony Hamlet that he would work with him,

as a partner to implement change designed to address the issue of “Black academic performance that’s been dragging along the bottom for years—in a district that’s 53 percent Black.” Udin said he wants to build bridges between the board and all constituencies—parents, politicians, foundations and the business community. Udin said that everyone must be on board, and he feels he has the experience to bring all the parties together. “If elected, I don’t have any allies—yet,” he said. “But I’ve served on an elected body of nine before—and I can count to five.” Udin is opposed on the Democratic side by James Myers, director of community affairs and business development for Urban Innovation 21. The primary election is May 16.


LIFESTYLES New Pittsburgh Courier

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APRIL 19-25, 2017

www.newpittsburghcourier.com

Debbie Norrell

Lifestyles Report

WWYD What would you do if you were on a commercial airplane and you were in your seat, the seat that you paid for, probably, some time ago, and now you are asked to give your seat up? Thanks to almost everyone having a cell phone with a camera, we know what Dr. David Dao did. He said he did not want to get off the plane. And it seems like no one else wanted to give up their seat, either. As Dao was being dragged off the United Airlines flight, did you see anyone else jump up and say, “No, let me get off, I’ll take the $800.” People protested, people took pictures and I’m sure they called their friends to tell them, “you’ll never guess what just happened on this airplane.” There has been a lot of buzz about this story and it is surely buzzworthy. Now that the passenger has a broken nose, a concussion and major facial injuries, the public and the airline seem like they want to blame the victim. Dao’s past has been dug up and splashed across newspapers, social media and television. Now, he is the bad guy just because he was trying to get to work and by the way, his wife was with him. It seems like the airlines (most of them) have been on a “greed gravy train” for some time now. Perhaps since 9/11, passengers have to pay for their baggage, blankets and pillows. The peanuts and pretzels have almost dried up, and, if you want to watch a movie, you have to pay for it. Does anyone remember the days when it was a pleasure to fly? Some people believe that the airlines are forced to overbook to make money. Well, you need to do your homework; most airlines are making so much money just on charging you to check one piece of luggage that there is no reason to overbook a plane. We all know how many seats are on the plane and the airline should know if there are crew members that may have to get on the plane to get to their next assignment. An airline should never have to offer money to passengers to get off the plane. Do they think that these people don’t have places to go and things to do? Who books a flight without a plan? You could be going to a wedding or a funeral, or maybe you have a connecting flight or a cruise ship to be on. You are on the plane because you had a plan and your plan does not include getting off to accommodate an airline crew member. I really wonder how they selected that one person to pull out of their seat. Why didn’t they approach his wife or the lady that was screaming, “This is all too much?” Reportedly, Dao has not yet filed a lawsuit, but it has been reported that he has an attorney. I’m sure the airlines will want this to go away quickly. Pay attention, people, to what happens to Dao; it might be the new normal. (Email Debbie at debbienorrell@aol.com)

THAT NEW JACK SWING—Kenya Matthews, Megan Jeffries and Darcel Madkins

IN THE QUE SOUL LOUNGE—Natosha Aston, Kristian Penn and Tina Wilson

Que Jack Swing by Debbie Norrell Lifestyles Editor

More than 1,000 people found their best ‘80s and ‘90s looks to attend the annual Omega Psi Phi Mardi Gras, hosted by the Iota Phi Chapter, on March 11 at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum. DJ Nick Nice kept the crowd on their feet in the main room with

keeping his curls fresh, ladies dressed like TLC and a few that were pushing the Salt & Pepa look. The fun night in Homewood was all to raise funds for the many programs supported by the Iota Phi Chapter. Jabari Weatherspoon, chapter Basileus, says those programs include the Thanksgiving giveaway, THAT JHERI CURL MAN—Janae and Chris Edmonds

DANCING TO NICK NICE—Janus Reese and Nikia Gilbert

MARDI GRAS READY—Michelle Rodd, Lou McCaskill and Tonja Jones

OMEGA MEN—Jabari Weatherspoon and Albert Reese plenty of music from back in the day, while the Bill Henry Band threw down in the “Que Soul Lounge.” The New Jack Swing look was everywhere. There was that man with a bottle of Jheri Curl spray that was

Christmas toy giveaway, Black College Tour, Student Talent Hunt and student scholarships. Next up for the Iota Phi Foundation of Omega Psi Phi is their annual Golf Outing on May 22.

BILL HENRY BAND

EVENT CHAIRS—Noel Roach and Albert Reese

LADIES OF ZETA PHI BETA (Photos by Debbie Norrell)


ENTERTAINER New Pittsburgh Courier

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APRIL 19-25, 2017

www.newpittsburghcourier.com

Cover To Cover

‘Finding Gideon’

by Terri Schlichenmeyer For New Pittsburgh Courier

It wasn’t where you put it down. The last time you saw it, it was over there where you laid it. You remember doing that; you even gave yourself a brain-nudge so you wouldn’t forget but now it’s not where it should be, and that bugs you. Now, as in the new novel “Finding Gideon” by Eric Jerome Dickey, you’ll have to chase it down. At an age when most boys are focused on their little toy cars, Jean-Claude was busy saving his mother’s life. The French prostitute known as Thelma (or was she Margaret, or Catherine?) had crossed the wrong johns, gotten pregnant, and told their wives. She hinted that Medianoche was a father. She hinted that the Beast was a father. She was lying to one or both, and the

Beast told Medianoche to kill her. He was swinging Thelma around by her neck when her “snotty-nosed” 7-year-old son picked up Medianoche’s gun…and shot the assassin in the face. That was the first man the boy gunned down. Thelma set him on the second one, too, which changed him, and made him a killer. He was a sought-after, talented assassin when he learned that Medianoche had lived, and Gideon (his professional name) knew he had to finish that long-ago job. Medianoche hadn’t planned on killing his best friend, but when he learned that the Beast had been lying for years about Thelma, there was no other choice. Once the Beast was gone, Medianoche could assume leadership of the Four Horsemen, the group that ruled Buenos Aires, and that’s how it always should’ve been. But this young assassin, Gideon, complicated things. Medianoche heard that Gideon was looking for him, to settle a dubious score. It wasn’t enough that he’d taken Medianoche’s eye, and destroyed his face. No, Gideon was looking for Midnight, and there would be war. Which only meant that Midnight had to find Gideon first… I have to admit, I spent the first 30 pages of this book hating it. As he often seems to do, author Dickey jumps feetfirst into his novel by letting the characters jump feet-first into bed. There is a bit of prelude this time, but it’s strangely fixated on dog waste before we get to tiresome erotica. Usually, I’d recommend skipping that and starting the book several pages in, though with “Finding Gideon,” you really shouldn’t. You need that beginning; it’s nasty, but it sets up a first-rate thriller and a surprise: this latest Gideon tale has character development that makes many of the killers human, almost likeable. Readers get a better understanding of who Gideon is, and what drives him.

by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

Take one listen to Narue Pearson’s videos on YouTube, or his songs on Soundcloud, and you’ll instantly hear potential. The 2013 Brashear High School graduate has been performing for audiences over the last four years, and recently showcased his talents for students at his former high school. “I loved it so much,” said Brashear student Janaya Sowell, 15. “His songs should be on the number one hit list.” Pearson also performed the next evening at California University of Pennsylvania. His latest YouTube video, “Feel No Ways,” showcases his vocal range on the newschool style ballad. Another video, “It’s Obvious,” is more up-tempo, but still has an underground feel to it, while showing off his vo- HIGH POTENTIAL—Narue Pearson, a 2013 Brashear High School grad, came back recently to perform at his former high school. He’s on the rise in the music industry. (Photos by Gail Manker) cal capabilities.

BRASHEAR—Students from Brashear High School with Narue Pearson. “I always knew I could sing,” Pearson said. “But when I was younger, I didn’t really focus on music as much, I just wanted to party and all that.” Brashear student Sabi Nowadia, 16, called the April 7 performance “fun, and they really know how to sing and rap.” Pearson, a current Point

Park University student, said that when his father, John, died during his senior year of high school, it was a turning point. “The last thing he was saying was, ‘I want you to take music seriously,’ because he was into music. He said, ‘you have what it takes to make it.’ “It was a motivation-

FANS—Narue Pearson, with students from Brashear High School.

al thing,” Pearson said, “So after that I just went hard, hit studios up, networking, doing local shows. Before, I didn’t really have a purpose, I’m just rushing through life. But now I see, ‘wow, I can do this.’” Pearson said his father always stressed to him to “do good, stay motivated,

and don’t be the stereotypical African American male that’s just out here in the streets, selling drugs or not doing right.” Pearson has a five-song EP coming out in late May, and has a current single, “Love me or let me go.” He can be reached via Instagram and Twitter (@naruepearson), as well as You-

Tube and Soundcloud. Pearson also said he wants to do more than sing. He eyes Justin Timberlake as the standard. “You don’t hear any drama with him,” he said. “He is just straight up classy, he has Grammys, he acts in movies, I want to do all that stuff. The goal is to win a Grammy.”

Pittsburgh women motivated by ‘Inspire to Conquer’ by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

Pittsburgh author Lynn S. Manley says she’s been through a lot. She persevered, overcame many obstacles, and now has written another book to help women deal with life’s twists and turns, trials and tribulations.

Conquer,” is available on Amazon.com, local Barnes & Noble bookstores and Bradley’s Books locations. Manley will hold a book signing Saturday, April 22 at Bradley’s Books at Pittsburgh Mills (2 to 4 p.m.) and Friday, April 28 at Barnes & Noble, Homestead Waterfront (6 to 8 p.m.). To contact Manley, e-mail

LYNN S. MANLEY

“We always have these goals, like lose weight, or make more money, but we don’t have goals to, say, not get irritated, or to come out of bad relationships,” Manley said. “Things like not regretting your life, and not letting go of stuff. Those are (“Finding Gideon” by Eric Je- just as important as losing rome Dickey, c.2017, Dutton, weight and making money.” $27/372 pages.) The book, “Inspired to

staceytoots@comcast.net. The 167-page book discusses certain topics such as “Missunderstanding,” geared towards women, hence the “Miss.” “We as women, we misunderstand each other, or we get mad at each other over dumb issues. We don’t talk it through, don’t settle it,” Manley said. “Sometimes

it’s serious misunderstandings, and sometimes it’s not.” In the chapter, “Deal with getting older,” Manley said, “Women put on so much Botox and stuff and it’s unnecessary, (the chapter talks about) just accepting getting older, like a fine wine, loving it. We all complain about it and we don’t like it, but we must accept it. Love the skin that you’re in,” Manley said. “Inspire to Conquer” also helps women cope with the lack of a father figure, Manley said. “The dad means so much, it messes up women (when they’re not around). They look for love in all the wrong places. The book talks about how you can go on without your dad, but it hurts.” Other chapters in the book deal with women not having a good relationship with their mother, and domestic abuse. “A lot of people have gone through abuse, so this book would be perfect for them,” said Denise Hopkins, of East Liberty, who read the book a month ago. “We need to get back to realizing how important we are. There’s a lot of scriptures in the book to keep you going. You feel like someone understands how you feel.” Manley, who grew up in Garfield and now lives in Tarentum, said “Inspire to Conquer” is mostly for women, 13 years of age and up. But men can learn from the book as well. It’s a compact read so people can finish the book in a few hours. Manley wrote her first

book, “Through the Fire but not burnt,” nine years ago. She began writing “Inspire to Conquer” two years ago, and penned the final words a few months ago. “I want to write things that inspire,” she said. “Things people read and come away feeling

stronger, feeling encouraged. They can come out reading the book saying, ‘I don’t have to be in this bad relationship, I can conquer this, I can go back to school.’ No matter what you’ve gone through, you can still accomplish your goals.”

THE BOOK ‘INSPIRE TO CONQUER’


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PEOPLE

APRIL 19-25, 2017

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

Jazz the night away

Tim Stevens’ B-PEP held its annual Jazz “Fun-raiser” on April 17 at the Wyndham hotel in Oakland. Many Pittsburgh jazz legends entertained the packed house for six hours of the best Jazz you’ll ever hear. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

PITTSBURGHERS SANDRA WILLIAMS, STEPHANIE SIMMANS

KENNY BLAKE

BETTY DOUGLAS

DR. NELSON HARRISON

DWAYNE DOLPHIN

GROOVIN’ TO THE MUSIC

HONOREE CYNTHIA VANDA

HONOREE ALMA SPEED FOX

HONOREE HERMAN L. REID

CAROL NEYLAND


PEOPLE

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

APRIL 19-25, 2017

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Are Pittsburgh’s Black youth getting more into baseball? The Pittsburgh Pirates have more Black everyday players than any other team in the National League, but some say more must be done to keep Black youth interested in the game by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

When the Pittsburgh Pirates faced the Boston Red Sox in a make-up game at Fenway Park last Thursday (April 13), they had three Black players in the lineup: Andrew McCutchen (RF), Josh Harrison (2B) and Josh Bell (1B). You’ll hurt your eyes trying to find another team with as many Black players starting a MLB game. Of the eight starting field positions for the Pirates, three are occupied by African American players. According to MLB.com’s depth charts of all 30 teams from April 13, no other team in the National League had more than two Black starters, and only one team in the American League, the Oakland Athletics, had three. There were four teams that had no Black players as starters (Astros, Padres, Nationals, Rockies). A report by USA Today revealed that African Americans made up just 8 percent of MLB opening day rosters in 2016. But with McCutchen as the face of the organization over the past seven seasons, and the emergence of Harrison and Bell, does this translate into more Pittsburgh Black youth becoming interested in baseball? There are kids like Lincoln resident Caleb Dalton, 9, a member of the Paulson Jr. Pirates, who told the New Pittsburgh Courier he likes playing baseball, especially hitting. “I like how I play, and I like how I succeed in baseball,” Dalton said. “(Hitting) feels wonderful.” Caleb has a brother, Joshua, 7, also on the team. Their mother, Monique Dalton, said her sons playing baseball “teaches them discipline, following direction, team-playing, resilience and not giving up.” On the other hand, there are plenty of African American youth in Pittsburgh and across the U.S. who have no interest in the game. That’s why Charles Saunders, director of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program in Pittsburgh, said the jury is still out on whether the Black Pirates star players enhance the visibility of the sport to Pittsburgh’s Black youth. The local RBI program was established by the Pirates in 1994 as part of a Major League Baseball initiative to grow awareness, provide physical and financial resources, and facilitate competitive play to youth in underserved communities.

Know of someone we should feature in next week’s edition of the New Pittsburgh Courier? Tell us about them! Call 412-4818302, and ask for Rob Taylor. Or email Rob, at

rtaylor@new pittsburghcourier.com

FUTURE STARS—From left: Joshua Dalton, Zion Hickman, back, Caleb Dalton, middle, and Kimere Mack, after a practice for the Paulson Jr. Pirates youth baseball team in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Rob Taylor Jr.) Saunders said the RBI program here has nine communities with youth baseball teams; East Hills, Northview Heights, Braddock, McKeesport, Carnegie, Duquesne, Homewood, Mt. Oliver, and the Hill District. As many as 1,300 youth

ages 5 to 19 have participated in the various baseball leagues in a particular year, Saunders said. But last year, the number stood at 800. Saunders said the number could increase with more active participation from African American Pi-

rates players. “I understand Pirates (Black) players have time constraints, with traveling, batting practices, games, etc.,” Saunders said, “but could you imagine the amount of kids that would come out if, (more players) were at the field?” Saunders said Pirates

“Parents are searching for absolutely anything to save their children. Getting involved with this is a gateway into getting our kids to be productive members of society.” CHARLES SAUNDERS

CHARLES SAUNDERS, LOCAL RBI DIRECTOR

players have supported the local RBI program in the past with appearances. He hopes that in the future, there could be even more. “You would get more of a turnout from the youth,” Saunders said. “That would be a promotion in itself.” “Getting more kids to play baseball and softball, of all races, is a large objective of Major League Baseball,” said Patricia Paytas, SVP of Community and Public Affairs for the Pirates. “The Pirates share in that goal and are working diligently with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania to provide baseball and softball opportunities to those youth in our community who are living in underserved areas. Almost 1,000 youth belong to Pittsburgh’s RBI program, and many of these youngsters are Af-

rican American. Through this effort, we help to organize teams and leagues, train coaches, provide equipment and uniforms, and give RBI participants the opportunity to come to PNC Park and watch the Pirates play.  When they’re here, they see Andrew and J-Hay and our other players.  We hope our players, along with our youth baseball and softball efforts can inspire them to continue playing baseball and make their own dreams come true,” she said. Saunders also said, “The Pirates, in my opinion from 25 years of experience, are more involved with youth sports impacting African Americans than any of the other professional teams in this city.” The dearth of Blacks in the highest level of professional baseball starts early, Saunders said. From a financial perspective, many colleges and universities don’t offer complete scholarships for baseball, like they do in football or basketball, Saunders said. And, “To be recognized in baseball, you have to be on a travel team. That costs a lot of money. Now, you take that same (Black) kid, with that same athleticism, and make him start shooting jumpers.” Saunders said that route is just more financially feasible for many Black families. Former Steelers player Ryan Clark seemed to echo the same sentiments, speaking on ESPN’s First Take a few years ago. “That’s what happened to me. Played baseball all growing up, was my first sport, was playing really well, making all-star teams, and a guy came to me that I played basketball against, (he said) ‘I’m starting this SEE BASEBALL A12


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PEOPLE

APRIL 19-25, 2017

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

Fast cars, storyline make ‘Furious 8’ a big hit

The Fight For $15

by Mercedes J. Howze For New Pittsburgh Courier

The Fight for $15 and Movement for Black Lives joined together at a

rally at Freedom Corner in the Hill District, April 4.

Mayor Bill Peduto attended the rally. “In order for Pittsburgh to be a

city for all, we must have an economy for all where all workers receive the

wages and compensation they deserve,” Peduto said.

They picked up their copy!

The eighth installment of “The Fast and Furious” film series is out and has broken a box office record as the biggest opening in movie history with $100.2 million in domestic revenue and $532.5 in global revenue! Fast cars and pure curiosity drove millions of fans to the theater this Easter weekend. I had one question in mind: What’s “The Fast and the Furious” without Paul Walker?  “The Fate of the Furious,” starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, defies the laws of filmmaking in two ways. First, the

Merecedes on…

Torrie Robinson, Ambridge The New Pittsburgh Courier wants to put your photo in next Wednesday’s edition! All you have to do is take a pic of yourself hold-

Anwan Wesley, Pittsburgh’s own ing up your own Courier, post it on Facebook and tag us in it! Our Facebook page is Facebook.com/thenewpittsburghcourier

Abdur-Rahman Shareef and mother Alieyyah, Homewood

Or you may email your photo to the new managing editor, Robbie, at rtaylor@new pittsburghcourier.com

To find out where to purchase the New Pittsburgh Courier in your area, call 412-481-8302 or visit www.newpittsburghcourier.com

Movies movie managed to keep its awesomeness even after losing one of its biggest stars. Walker’s unexpected passing in 2013 left a huge void and “Furious 7” (2015) seemed to be the perfect conclusion to the film series. But, even after 16 years and a devastating loss, the movie calmed all fears and suspicions regarding its ability to continue. The advanced action, elaborate car chases and thick storyline is the reason why “The Fate of the Furious” is the best of the eight movies in the series. Encompassing rare technology, extreme action and the most elite cars in the world, “The Fate of the Furious” is groundbreaking, and nothing like the other seven movies. But, this film is more than exotic automobiles and fighting scenes; it upholds the truest values of family, loyalty and devotion. My favorite scene includes a baby in a car seat with no car. You’ll just have to see the movie to develop your own appreciation for this production. The movie even pays a small tribute to Walker towards the end; a great moment to tie everything back together. You will love the surprise guests, fresh new faces and the old friends who return. I am so happy for Director F. Gary Gray. The same man who brought us “Friday” (1995), “Set It Off” (1996), and “Straight Outta Compton” (2015) crafted this intense blockbuster. His vision and guidance is evident, and jumps off the big screen. This is Gray’s first time directing a “Fast and the Furious” film. The only other time an African American person directed a film from this series was John Singleton in 2003’s “2 Fast 2 Furious.” It’s a daunting uphill battle for the Black filmmakers in Hollywood, and now he holds a crown that most directors will never earn. In addition to the box office record, Gray manages to take the film series to a whole new level. The only thing the film is missing, sadly, is Walker. Other than that, “The Fate of the Furious” is exceptional and tastefully continues the  story of crime-fighting and fast driving. (Follow Mercedes on Facebook... Mercedes J. Howze - and on Instagram, @moviescenequeen)


RELIGION

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

APRIL 19-25, 2017

Bethany Baptist hosts 2017 Priscilla Shirer Simulcast by Karen Harris Brooks For New Pittsburgh Courier

Merriam-Webster describes a simulcast as a “program that is broadcast simultaneously on radio or television or on more than one station, or in several languages.” It originated between 1945-1950. Today’s technology extends across state limits and country borders, reaching far across the vast oceans of God’s world. It’s because of this technology that on April 8, approximately 250 women from Pittsburgh stood together in one accord with women around the globe, embracing their love for Jesus Christ and a fervent desire to grow in His spirit. The Priscilla Shirer Simulcast was broadcast live around the world, as the attendees shared the spotlight with fellow Christians across the U.S., Austria, South Korea, Botswana and more. Bethany Baptist Church, located at 7745 Tioga St., Homewood, served as host for those who desired to arm themselves prayerfully for war against the enemy. They arrived at Bethany from near and far, from Youngstown to the state of Maryland. It was seven and a half hours of prayer, praise and fellowship, but time was of

a quick wit. It was because of that comfortable personality that women of different ethnicities and faiths were able to embrace the concept of the simulcast. The feeling of an audience viewing a movie quickly disappeared at the start of the program, as each individual became a part of a massive participatory congregation. It appeared as though Shirer was actually standing on the pulpit of the Tioga Street church. “Diversity is as varied as the issues, experiences, and desires brought to the table,” Shirer said. “We are as unique as each fingerprint.” She challenged the group to open their hearts to hear every song of worship and every message. The far-reaching lesson joined together women who had walked in the valley experience and voluntarily reached out to those facing similar challenges. Wisdom and compassion flowed from one to another as the message of prayer touched each participant who sat within the sound of her voice. Shirer, the author of “Fervent, A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer,” shared her weapon of prayer boldness, making it a day of reflection, rejuvenation and renewal. Tamara Knight, a member of the audience and a

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. www.stbtmchurch.org

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. www.metropolitanbaptistchurch.com metropolitanbaptist2224@gmail.com

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

PRISCILLA SHIRER

over the world. It was communal, yet independent,” she said. Donna Allen of Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church, East Liberty, felt her day “was one of introspection and continued, personal growth. My prayer life is strong, but each day I am always open to more tools to make it even stronger. This was truly a powerful day for me and so many others,” she said. Christian male vocalist and worship leader Anthony Evans Jr., brother of Shirer, led the many congregations in praise songs, reflecting praise and worship moments in true Baptist form. His soul-stirring renditions reached back in time to “Amazing Grace,” proof of his uncompromising message of faith. Shirer’s goal was to “equip and challenge,” and the world-renowned prayer warrior, also known for the movie, “The War Room,” met that challenge. DENISE MCDONALD (Photos by Rick Savido) Bethany Baptist members little concern to those in at- licensed minister from Mt. Linda Savido and Shirley tendance. Shirer, who holds Ararat Baptist Church in a master’s in biblical stud- East Liberty, agreed that ies and is a graduate of Dal- the communal spirit was las Theological Seminary, far-reaching. “My biggest possesses a unique ability take-away was the safe to reach the masses in a environment that Priscilla sophisticated, down-home, created within the diverse PRE-ANNIVERSARY girlfriend style, touched by group of women from all CONCERT

The New Pittsburgh Courier welcomes your church news, events, and announcements! Please send information at least 2 weeks in advance, to: Church Circuit New Pittsburgh Courier 315 East Carson St. Pittsburgh PA 15219 You may also fax to: 412-481-1360 You may also email us: religion@newpittsburghcourier.com

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APRIL 21—The Unity Baptist Church of Braddock, 420 Fifth St., will sponsor a pre-anniversary concert featuring the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Male Chorus, under the direction of Brother Tony Mitchell, at 7 p.m. Come celebrate the 14th church anniversary by hearing this dynamic Gospel Male Chorus. For more information, call 412-646-1787.

ORGANIZATION KICKOFF EVENT

APRIL 23—The Women of Excellence, Ladies of Faith, will hold their kickoff event from 2 to 4 p.m. at Healthy Village Learning Institute, 2988 Boyd St., McKeesport. Donation is $10. Donation includes a drawing for a Mother’s Day gift basket and light refreshments. Hear more about this community-based outreach. For more

Cephas chaired the committee that offered service from the parking lot to the event’s culmination. Although other churches within Western Pennsylvania hosted the simulcast, Savido said, “It was a bless-

www.cathedralofhope.com

ing to be the only church hosting in the Pittsburgh area.” Bethany Baptist Church is under the direction of Rev. Dr. William R. Glaze, senior pastor.

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

New Destiny CME Church 1018 Bidwell St. 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.

To have your church included in the Praise & Worship section, contact Ashley Johnson at 412-481-8302 ext. 128 for rates.

TERRI LYN GREENE, CATHERINE BOSTON, JOANN OWENS

Church Circuit information, call 412-583-0594.

BETHEL AME LAY WITNESS SUNDAY

APRIL 23—Bethel AME Church, 2720 Webster Ave., Hill District, will hold its annual Lay Witness Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. The guest speaker will be Mr. Julius L. Redd, retired school administrator for the Pittsburgh Public Schools. For more information, call 412683-2160. Reverend Dr. Steven A. Jackson is pastor.

MOUNT CARMEL SPRING REVIVAL

MAY 13—Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 90 Port Perry Rd., North Versailles, invites you to their Spring Revival, at 7 p.m. nightly. The guest preacher will be Rev.

Dr Alyn E Waller, of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia. For more information, call 412-823-2841. Reverend Barbara A. Gunn is pastor.

CARRONE CHURCH ANNIVERSARY

MAY 21—Carrone Baptist Church, 7119 Frankstown Ave., Homewood, will celebrate its 132nd church anniversary. Pastor Alonzo Murphy Jr. will bring the 10:30 morning message. Dinner will be served after the morning service. Reverend Dr. John Welch will deliver the 3 p.m. message, along with guests Rev. B. DeNeice Welch and Bidwell Presbyterian Church Music Ministry. For more information, call 412-3719919.

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

We are looking to feature our positive youth from our church community. You can mail their bios and photo to:

New Pittsburgh Courier 315 E. Carson St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Fax: 412-481-1360

or email: religion@newpittsburghcourier.com


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PEOPLE

APRIL 19-25, 2017

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

A fond farewell to Mr. Dan Rooney by Aubrey Bruce For New Pittsburgh Courier

There had to be an eerie silence in the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton after the crack of dusk on April 13. Oh, and for those of you who are just returning from planet Mars, the reasoning for the deafening silence in the Hall was because Pittsburgh Steelers chairman and NFL icon Daniel Milton Rooney passed away. He was 84 years old. Mr. Rooney was a Pittsburgher through and through, attending high school at North Catholic, then graduating from Duquesne University. This past Monday, April 17, a public viewing was held for Mr. Rooney at Heinz Field, followed by the funeral mass this past Tuesday, April 18 at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland. The Steelers were purchased by his father Art Rooney Sr. in 1933 and quickly became the laughingstock of professional football as well as the world of sports. It took more than 40 years for the team to evolve into and produce a brand of excellence, creating and maintaining a standard that enabled the franchise to usher in the new millennium as a genuine sports dynasty. In 1969, Dan Rooney began managing the day-to-day operations of the team and selected Steelers Hall-of-

AUBREY AND DAN ROONEY—A December 2012 photo of Steelers chairman Dan Rooney and New Pittsburgh Courier sports columnist Aubrey Bruce. (Photo courtesy Aubrey Bruce) Fame head coach Chuck Noll. Dan was appointed team president in 1975 and was officially given full operational control of the franchise. He did not reflect the typical sports owner whose prime motivation was to sell tickets and turn a profit. As his team grew into a sports powerhouse, he also became one of the driving forces that helped change the political, economic and social history of African Americans forever. The crowning example was the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule was created in 2003 as a NFL

policy that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations jobs. It is sometimes cited as an example of affirmative action, though there is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates. On January 21, 2007, the Steelers turned theory into reality and hired Mike Tomlin, the team’s first African American head coach. But what I’m about to say is far more important than just winning and losing football games and championships.

After being brought to America in the bottoms of slave ships, African Americans were emancipated after 246 years, but it took another 143 years for Blacks to be considered for the position of President of these United States. In 2008, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were involved in a hotly-contested political race competing for the Democratic Party nomination to run for president. Clinton was the odds-on favorite because she had been the first lady under President Bill Clinton. Mrs. Clinton

was also the sitting senator from America’s fourth largest state (New York). Meanwhile, Obama was a little-known senator from the state of Illinois with less than five years of experience in the U.S. Senate. Against all public opinion, Dan Rooney endorsed Obama on April 14, 2008, tipping the scales even more for Obama after Rooney’s family friend, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, endorsed Obama earlier in the year. Dan had been a lifelong Republican but had become one of the sculptors of Democratic Party history. Two Irishmen became a principal part of the vision that helped to propel Obama into the White House. I can almost guarantee that if Ted Kennedy and Dan Rooney had chosen to endorse Hillary Clinton in 2008, she would have become the first woman elected to serve as President of the United States in 2008, as opposed to losing a questionable election in November 2016 to the current president, Donald Trump. Dan Rooney was gracious to me for over three decades, long before affirmative action or the Rooney Rule existed. The Rooneys didn’t need the Rooney Rule. Dan Rooney created it for the sake of the future. Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II weren’t the first NFL ownership group to hire a Black head coach,

but they were far more diligent and insightful at doing so. At the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, I asked Mr. Rooney to take a photo with me. About fifty photographers started clicking away. I guarantee you that less than a handful of them even knew who I was. History has proven that from early on in his life, Dan Rooney almost always peered into the future before making societal and life-changing decisions. His legacy will live on in the Steelers Great Hall, the NFL and most importantly, in the hallowed halls of American History. (Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741. Follow him on Twitter@ultrascribe.)

Inside Conditions

AUBREY BRUCE

Are Pittsburgh’s Black youth getting more into baseball? BASEBALL FROM A9

AAU basketball team, we want to play during the summer,’ and it was intriguing to me, like we’re going to travel, we’re going to do all this type of stuff. I was like, cool,” Clark said. Another primary reason why Pittsburgh’s RBI program isn’t larger in youth numbers, according to Saunders, is a lack of adult coaches and volunteers. “There’s not the buy-in that there once was,” Saunders said. “It’s hard to teach kids to get involved in something if you don’t know too much about it yourself. The little nuances, the fundamentals, the techniques of baseball—not a lot of guys in our community can teach that.” Saunders, who has been RBI director here for 17 years, said the Black community in Pittsburgh must “step up” when it comes to promoting the game of baseball to area youth. The benefits of youth baseball for African Americans here is more than meets the eye. “Parents sign their kids up for baseball because they see what’s going on in their communities, and they want their kids to participate and get active in something positive,” Saunders said. “It gives them structured activity. It’s a physical game, so when it’s over, they’re tired and not going to want to go outside and cut up. “They have the identity of

putting on a uniform, being an athlete, as opposed to something negative,” Saunders said. Saunders said the local RBI program also stresses education, and assists teens with everyday life issues. “Parents are searching for absolutely anything to save their children,” Saunders said. “Getting involved with this is a gateway into getting our kids to be productive members of society.” There are other leagues for Pittsburgh’s Black youth to join, including one in conjunction with the local YMCA, such as the Paulson Jr. Pirates and Chadwick Jr. Pirates in the Lincoln-Larimer area. Darrell Hopson, coach of the Chadwick Jr. Pirates, agreed with Saunders. “We try to get them to play some type of sport to keep them focused and positive. We basically become their role models,” Hopson said. Hopson said the kids feel safe under the coaches’ watch, and “we give them respect, they respect us, and learn to respect other people.” Hopson, who played little league baseball in Pittsburgh and has been coaching the game for 20 years, said he loves teaching the 5- to 9-year-old kids. “Basics and fundamentals of baseball, respect for their teammates, and they learn they have to keep up with their grades, and respect each other. Positive things.”

BASEBALL AND FAMILY—Tamitra Ray, of East Hills, with her grandson, Terron Whitehead, after practice at Paulson field in Lincoln-Lemington. Whitehead plays for the Paulson Jr. Pirates. (Photo by Rob Taylor Jr.) Tamitra Ray, of East Hills, grandmother of Paulson Jr. Pirates player Terron Whitehead said, “I think it helps him pay attention more, work with peers and the brotherhood that they’re starting to develop, sooner rather than later.”

The Pirates seem to find their way into a positive note when talking about diversity. They had the first all-Black and Latino starting lineup to play a Major League baseball game on Sept. 1, 1971. “The Pirates have a long

tradition of outstanding African American players, who were not only exemplary athletes, but were also exemplary human beings,” Paytas said. “No one epitomizes that more than the great Willie Stargell. We couldn’t be more proud of

our current African American players like Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison and Josh Bell. They are also tremendous athletes, and equally good men.  Men that we believe kids, especially young African American children, can look up to.”  

A new sheriff in town, and Connie Hawkins hall of famers

by Bill Neal

For New Pittsburgh Courier

:10—So you know who Myron Brown, aka “Flyin Myron” Brown is, right? StoRox High School state champion who went on to break every scoring record Slippery Rock University had to offer, drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA, and meantime captured back-toback slam dunk titles in the CBA, finishing with a killer career in Italy and Brazil…Anyway, “Flyin Myron” ain’t flyin’ no more. But like they say, the apple don’t fall too far from the tree, ‘cause his son Julian is in the cockpit now, and he’s navigating his own 747. Just off our annual celebrity B-Ball game at Ingomar Junior High with the great Margo Hinton and fellow teachers and J. B. put on a show. Ten left-hand dunks or so, a few 3s and a couple blocked shots. But no one knew the flight plan would include young Mr. Brown with his elbows on the rim!!! And just barely 6’3” …maybe. Hey Julian, you need to play the funky music man (I’m just sayin’)! :09—I don’t know what’s gotten into your Pirates, but whatever juice they drank on the way to Chicago, they need

to stock the private plane ine… fridge with it. They’re kick:05—Celebration that will ing the Cubs Windy City honor ten of Pittsburgh’s butts. Just swept them over MVPs…Most Valuable Perthis past weekend, after sons. Along with the legends only winning one game at of the game, this year’s Connie Wrigley all of last year!!! Hawkins Summer Basketball :08—Pens win again. You League Hall of Famers are; knew that. No competiHosea Champine, Mark Haltion with the Blue Jackets. sel, Eric Carter, Coach Ringo Bring on who’s next for the Saunders, Kenny Lewis, Dave second round. Burris, Rico Annendanza, :07—Brother Everett over Nate Duck, Vince Lackner, at CMU. I’ve been trying to Kevin Price, Corey Gadson, put you “in the locker room” Shaun Harvey, and Jimmy where my regular readers Nickles. Once again, anyone are anointed to, but a cerlisted here that hasn’t called BILL NEAL tain beautiful woman that in, please do so ASAP - 412you and I knew won’t give 628-4856. me your detailed information as request:04—I kinda can’t say this, that or the ed, so I can do you good. “I don’t know other about political stuff. But I can tell what else I can tell ya!” you this, whatever you’re thinking…be :06—I am going to give you this one last thinking about Dwayne Woodruff being time and that’s it. Frank Foster, aka “The your next PA Supreme Court Justice… Hazelwood Heat” could play with anybody, Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! anything, anywhere, anyhow. Big heart! :03—You know how I have to keep reBut of course he did. If you’re gonna do minding you old, old school people about battle with the likes of Bobby Byrd, Norm what you forgot? Well, be reminded of Nixon, Ronnie McCrae and Hosea Champ- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

Overtime

I know, I know, your first thought of Smokey is “Ooh Baby, Baby” and “Tracks of My Tears,” but do not forget…“Going to A Go-Go,” “Tears of a Clown,” “I Second That Emotion,” and “The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage.” “Easy Rockin But Rockin None the Less,” “Plug It In” and “Enjoy the Run Down Memory Lane.” (P.S.—Not to mention quite possibly the greatest musical waiter in history… Smokey Robinson!) :02—Speaking of old school, we’re doing it every Friday night with or without ya. But we’d rather do it with ya. It’s “Stompin at the Savoy” every Friday night, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. $10 cover, valet and street parking, cash bar, cash kitchen, VIPs, celebs, 50/50 prizes and surprises, and most of all, datin’, drinkin’, and dancin’, the way it used to be! :01—My people…that means everybody! You know how I try to encourage your good behavior at high school games? Well, please be reminded, the same thing holds true for AAU competition. Maybe even more so since you’re on the road most of the time. Let your kids play the game while you pay the bills. :00—GAME OVER


BUSINESS New Pittsburgh Courier

Chicago Mayor’s education plan falls short B4

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APRIL 19-25, 2017

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Ask Brianna: What money moves should I make in my 30s? AL SMITH

Toyota promotes Al Smith Albert (Al) Smith Jr. has been named group vice president, Social Innovation for Toyota Motor North America. He is responsible for Toyota’s diversity and inclusion, shared impact, and environmental sustainability functions across North America. “I’m thrilled Al has joined Toyota’s Social Innovation team, bringing with him a deep understanding of the principles and behaviors that underlie the Toyota Way, including respect for people,” said Chris Reynolds, executive vice president, corporate resources and chief diversity officer, TMNA. “Al’s experience in financial services, sales, operations, and customer service lay the foundation we need in Social Innovation to better serve our stakeholders—from team members, dealers, investors, local communities and customers.” Smith has previously served as group vice president, Service Operations and Corporate Planning for Toyota Financial Services and Lexus Financial Services. Since beginning his career at Toyota in 1990, he has held various leadership positions including TFS eBusiness champion, Toyota Motor Sales corporate manger, Office of the Web, corporate manager of Sales Strategy and Fleet department. “Social innovation and diversity is a vital part of Toyota’s promise to give back to the communities in which we operate and respect all people,” said Smith. “I am honored to take on this role, and look forward to leading key Social Innovation programs, SEE SMITH B2

IT’S A WRAP—Lettuce Eat owners Audryanna and Richard Hatcher, and staff member Bryce Burgess are pleased to introduce the Big Wrap to their customers at Monroeville Mall.

Lettuce Eat at Monroeville Mall offers healthy alternative by Diane I. Daniels For New Pittsburgh Courier

August 2016 was a busy time for Audryana and Richard Hatcher. The entrepreneurs relocated their businesses from the Galleria of Pittsburgh Mills mall in Tarentum to locations they consider more conducive for their customers. During the grand opening of Lettuce Eat in Monroeville Mall’s food court, they donated all proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Richard was involved with the Foundation’s Pittsburgh 50 Finest campaign, and at the end of the campaign, the couple donated $13,000. R&R Eyewear Excellence, also owned by Richard, opened its new office location at 1298 Freeport Rd. in Fox Chapel. Audryana, COO and general manager of Lettuce Eat, describes it as a “fast casual healthy eating” eatery. Using the slogan, “Food served fast and fresh,” she said the menu is inclusive of salads, soups, wraps and fruit bowls. The build-your-own salads offer over 30 toppings. “The possibilities are endless. Our selections consist of many proteins, veggies and fruits,” Richard added, “(and) topped with one of our 14 unique dressings, our salads have endless possibilities.” Wraps, a major staple of Lettuce Eat listed as a “Big Wrap” on the menu, offers choices of whole wheat spinach and herb, tomato basil or garlic and herb bread, and are vegetarian or meat friendly. Ingredients such as stuffed grape leaves and hard-boiled eggs are often substituted for meat.

In a few weeks, panini-style sandwiches made from ciabatta bread will be added to the menu. Richard said he and Audryana take great pride in offering only the freshest produce for their foods. “Every

cline, we decided to leave when we did, opposed to being at risk of having to scramble to find a location if the mall closed. Monroeville Mall management wanted a healthy option-type establishment in their food court. Our tim-

DYNAMIC DUO—Audryanna and Richard Hatcher working in tandem at Lettuce Eat at Monroeville Mall. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels) day we bake our chicken, create the soup of the day, and cut all produce purchased from the Strip District and local farmers markets.” An assortment of drinks and desserts are also a part of the menu. Lettuce Eat originated in 2015 out of the couple’s quest to lose weight and a personal desire for quality vegetable and meat options. “The experience at the Pittsburgh Mills helped us perfect our services and menu choices,” Richard said. “When the mall began to de-

ing was good. Since we have been here our business has tripled.” Pleased with the success of Lettuce Eat, the Hatchers plan to offer a lunch catering service by the summer in Monroeville and Penn Hills for small businesses and other facilities, with an expansion next year to cater larger events. Within three to five years their goal is to franchise their concept. SEE LETTUCE B2

“Ask Brianna” is a Q&A column from NerdWallet for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. She’s here to help you manage your money, find a job and pay off student loans—all the real-world stuff no one taught us how to do in college. Send your questions about post-grad life to askbrianna@nerdwallet.com. I’m upending this column’s usual question-and-answer format and posing a question of my own to the experts this week. In a couple of days, I turn 30. Besides pondering the existential stuff (Am I where I thought I’d be? Did I wear enough crop tops when I was 22?), I want to know this: What should I focus on financially in the coming decade? Here are four tips for embracing financial adulthood. 1. STEP UP RETIREMENT SAVINGS If you heeded advice to start saving for retirement in your 20s, look for ways now to kick it up a notch. “If you’re just dabbling in retirement savings in your 20s, you should be maxing out by your 30s,” says Bobbi Rebell, the author of “How to Be a Financial Grownup.” You can contribute up to $18,000 a year to a workplace plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b). If that feels unattainable, contribute at least as much as your company’s match, if offered. Try a Roth individual retirement account if you don’t have a workplace retirement plan, or the plan has limited investment options or high fees. You can save up to $5,500 a year in a Roth IRA if you’re single and earn less than $118,000 in modified adjusted gross income. Married? The income limit is $186,000 for joint filers contributing the maximum to a Roth. If you earn more, you SEE BRIANNA B2

CFPB keeps financial services industry accountable On April 5 a committee hearing before the House Financial Services Committee was supposed to be one of two mandated sessions required by the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This spring, as in past years, Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) appeared to testify before Congress on the past year’s efforts and achievements. Instead of affording Director Cordray the chance to speak about consumer trends and concerns captured in a 50-page report on 2016’s efforts, nearly six hours of partisan attacks called for his dismissal and an end to the CFPB as we know it.    According to committee chair, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, “Not only must Mr. Cordray go, but this current CFPB must go as well.” Somebody needs to call a timeout for behavior that devolves a congressional hearing into an extended partisan tirade. That kind of behavior neither respects consumers nor the oaths lawmakers took to speak and act in support of the American people. As the tone of any public forum is set by those entrusted with leadership roles, shame on the committee chair and all committee members who shirked their sworn governmental duties. For the record, either Director Cordray or his staff has appeared more than 60 times before lawmakers since CFPB began. Indulging partisan attacks while ignoring a document that attests to the real-life concerns of consumers and their finances is an inappropriate use of public

resources. nation and finally What was lost in Charlene Crowell put in a complaint a marathon attack with CFPB. Within was CFPB’s service two weeks we reto America’s consumceived a response ers that more reafrom the company soned minds would and a check for the have heralded. Since difference. We are CFPB opened its so grateful to CFPB doors:   and this avenue of •$12 billion was reresolution.” turned to 29 million “Time after time consumers harmed by financial compa- the CFPB has shown to be an effective nies; agency and has kept our financial sector •97 percent of complaints sent to busi- accountable to the public,” noted Yana nesses received timely replies; and   Miles, Senior Legislative Counsel with •More than 1 million consumer com- the Center for Responsible Lending. “With plaints were filed—1,136,000 to be exact.    Director Cordray at the helm, CFPB has “With the help of complaints,” noted Di- helped restore financial freedom for milrector Cordray, “we dig deeply into poten- lions of working families.”   tially unfair practices, so we can prevent And many of those working families minor issues from becoming major prob- included Black and Latino consumers lems. We also use complaints to identify who are frequently targeted for financial opportunities to educate and empower abuse.  For consumers of color, CFPB’s acconsumers about the marketplace and tions are strongly welcomed. Before the their rights and to understand what the Bureau’s creation, consumer protection rules of the road should be when we con- was shared by several federal offices and sider and undertake rulemaking.” holding predatory lenders accountable “Through the questions they ask us, the was on a long list of other duties. With stories they tell us, and the complaints CFPB, consumer protection is the sole they submit, the voices of consumers re- focus, violations are verified and enforcemain foundational to the Bureau’s work,” ment actions return hard-earned monies added Director Cordray.   to families.   For example, the story of a California “The CFPB leveled the playing field beconsumer was included in the report.   tween consumers and financial companies “We had actually lost over $1,000…For in a way that no other regulator had prea very frustrating month, we tried every- viously, said Paulina Gonzalez, Executive thing to reach the company for an expla- Director of the California Reinvestment

Commentary

Coalition. “It stopped scammers, created real consequences for illegal behavior by corporations, and increased transparency into the marketplace so that people are better equipped to make important financial decisions. Consumers want, need, and deserve a strong agency that stands up for their interests,” A similar reaction came from Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “It is disappointing but not surprising that payday lenders, debt collectors, for-profit colleges, and other industry groups have turned to their allies in Congress and the courts in an effort to weaken the Bureau so they can keep exploiting financially vulnerable Americans.” In the throes of the foreclosure crisis, consumers and their advocates spoke up, stood up and insisted on changes to ensure that never again would irresponsible lending practices jeopardize the nation’s economy. Director Cordray and his staff have worked to bring financial justice to the millions who have been harmed. Perhaps now is the right time for people to stand up and be heard once again.   According to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Ranking Member on the House Financial Services Committee, “The Consumer Bureau and Director Cordray are doing exactly the job they are supposed to do, and they are doing it well.”

(Charlene Crowell is communications deputy director for the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.) 


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BUSINESS

APRIL 19-25, 2017

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

Ask Brianna Five steps to overcome

BRIANNA FROM B1

can contribute a reduced amount. Or save $5,500 a year in a traditional IRA instead. Those contributions are tax-deductible now, whereas you pay taxes upfront on your Roth contributions. 2. WRAP UP OUTSTANDING DEBT No house or kids yet? Those delightful but money-sucking milestones might be around the corner. Think child care, college savings, a car upgrade and home maintenance. You’ll also need life insurance when you have children and homeowners insurance when you own property. Rebell recommends getting rid of other debt before your family expenses mount. Use portions of bonuses or tax refunds to pay off your high-interest credit cards or student loan debt. If you have good credit and a solid income, you may be able to refinance student loans to get a lower interest rate. 3. STREAMLINE YOUR FINANCES Now is the time to automate your financial life, including setting up recurring transfers to a savings account and putting your bills on autopay. Additional family responsibilities and moving up the career ladder might limit the time available in your 30s to track bills and expenses. “You’re not going to have more time to devote to all this stuff,” says Cristina Guglielmetti, a certified financial planner and owner of Future Perfect Planning in Brooklyn, N.Y. “So keep things as simple as possible.” Consider using an automated investment adviser for your Roth IRA, which will pick investments for you based on your risk tolerance and rebalance them as you age. Look into rolling over old workplace retirement accounts to a single IRA, which means fewer statements and, potentially, lower fees than a 401(k). 4. CHECK ON YOUR PARENTS’ FINANCIAL HEALTH As an ultimate sign of being a grown-up, you can talk to your parents about whether they are on track to meet their retirement savings goals. The discussion may be uncomfortable, but you should figure out whether they’re counting on your financial help in the future. An analysis by Fidelity, a financial services company, says people should aim to have savings of at least 10 times their salary by age 67. A retirement calculator can offer them a more customized target. Long-term care insurance also should be on your parents’ radar, Rebell says. It will help pay for at-home assistance with daily activities or residency in a nursing facility if needed. Premiums increase as people age, so they should buy long-term care insurance by their early to mid-50s, AARP recommends. But such policies are expensive, and your parents’ premiums may increase. For help with these potentially difficult conversations, consider paying a fee-only financial planner to meet with your parents for a one-time checkup. Your parents can weigh retirement savings and long-term care options, and you can pay them back for helping you get to 30. (This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Brianna McGurran is a staff writer at NerdWallet. Email: bmcgurran@ nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ briannamcscribe)

BUSINESS CALENDAR

conflict in the workplace by Zach Rinkins For New Pittsburgh Courier

(TriceEdneyWire.com)— Do you have a co-worker that gets on your last nerve? Do you have a toxic supervisor? Or, does one of your colleagues have a serious communication challenge? These issues can arouse conflicts in the workplace. Conflict among employees can decrease chemistry, morale and profits. Priscilla Dames, chief executive officer of Wingspan Seminars, L.L.C., a conflict resolution firm, encourages employees to be builders and not dividers. “Conflict resolution is c o m m u n i t y - b u i l d i n g,” Dames explains. “Your work environment is a community. And, there are multiple teams working in that community. Supervisors typically don’t want to settle disputes between employees. The Indiana native notes, “according to industry data, managers spend about 34-percent of their time trying to resolve conflicts.” She says it has a negative

impact on the bottom line. The longtime conflict management expert says many conflicts often arises out misunderstandings and perceptions. “Our job is to de-escalate conflicts. If not, we will lose productivity, workforce moral, and money,” Dames shares. “But, everybody benefits when we build positive alliances.” “We must all understand that we are trying to improve the overall bottom line. A positive workforce boosts productivity and profits.” Dames delivers this guide to resolving conflicts in the workplace. Find Common Ground: “It is very important to know and understand your personal and the organization’s mission and goal. When everyone is on the same page, we can move forward together.” Honor and Play by the Rules: “Anytime you want to resolve conflicts, you have to understand the rules of dealing with conflicts in your professional environment. Most organi-

RFP Bootcamp

zations have human resources dep a r t m e n t s. Use the HR department to find out the appropriate ways to manage conflicts at your job.” Respect Differences: “There PRISCILLA DAMES are so many differences in the workplace ranging you want longevity at your from age, sex, culture, re- job, you have to learn to ligion, and perspective. Be work with your colleagues. patient and open-minded. Relationships are a major Embracing workplace di- part of your success. If you versity can expand your relate to your colleagues on worldview and enhance a professional level, then you are focusing on what your career.” Communication is Key: they really want out of the “Communication is huge. work experience and are Establishing a relationship more likely to succeed in starts with communication. that environment.” (For more information, log on You have to consider your tone and language when to www.WingspanSeminarsLLC. talking to people. Commu- com.) (Zach Rinkins is an award-winnication facilitates underning multimedia journalist and standing on both sides.” Remember Your Goals: sought after professional speak“You must always ask your- er. Find out more information at self, ‘what’s in it for me?” If www.ZachRinkins.com)

Retail store job cuts deepen as more buyers shop online

APRIL19—The Chatham Women’s Business Center, in partnership with the Diversity Business Resource Center and Abator, a half-day RFP workshop, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Braun Hall, Woodland Rd., on the Shadyside campus. The boot camp is designed to assist business owners develop customized criteria and processes in preparing responses. Content is presented by experienced multiple contract awardees and covers strategies for: solicitation review; statements of work (SOW); terms and conditions (T&Cs); boilerplate development; best and final offers (BAFOs); and, debriefs. Light lunch will be provided. Event is limited to 20 attendees. For more information call, 412-365-1235.

PowerBreakfast

APRIL 21—The African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pa. will host its monthly PowerBreakfast meeting, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Rivers Club in Oxford Towers, Downtown. The speaker will be Covestro President Jerry MacCleary, who will discuss how the company is committed to suplier diversity. Cost is $20 for members, $30 non-members. For more information, call 412-392-0610.

Startup Seminar

APRIL 22—The Chatham University Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will present MyBusiness Startup to Product Boot Camp, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Techshop Pittsburgh 192 Bakery Square Blvd., East Liberty. Topics include methods to test your concepts, building and designing prototypes, finding manufacturers, regulations, packaging, distribution and pricing. Partial scholarships are available. To apply, call 412-3651235 or visit www.chatham.edu/cwe/events.

NEW YORK (AP)—Retail stores are cutting jobs at the sharpest pace in more than seven years, evidence of a seemingly inexorable shift away from employee-heavy stores as Americans increasingly shop online. A combined 60,600 retail job losses over the past two months have had less to do with the health of U.S. consumer spending than with changes in buying habits. In the age of Amazon, traditional stores, from J.C. Penney to Macy’s, have accelerated store closures and are experimenting with the use of fewer employees to staff the remaining stores. The industry has also been bruised by a string of bankruptcy filings, most recently from Payless ShoeSource. The company announced this week that it was closing nearly 400 stores, nearly 10 percent of its fleet. The job cuts in the retail industry, unwelcome as they are, are still a relatively minor burden for the overall U.S. economy. But for Americans seeking a foothold in the job market, the pullback represents a painful obstacle. Retail accounts for nearly onethird of first-time jobs in the United States, so a retrenchment by the industry’s employers can block access to the job market for many. As shopping on the web has expanded, retail jobs have represented a declining share of the labor market. They now account for 10.9 percent of jobs, compared with 11.6 percent in 2000, says Michael Niemira, principal of The Retail Economist, a research firm. And experts expect more store closings—and job losses—in coming months. “It’s principally about the impact of online shopping and how consumers are shopping differently than ever before,” Niemira said. “It’s harder for the industry to consistently do well and make money.” Take Fernando Ramirez, a 19-yearold restaurant server and college student, who was looking Friday to buy some sweaters at a Kohl’s in Tustin, California. Ramirez said he stops at a department store or mall once or twice a week to see what’s available. But most of his buying is done on the web. “It’s mostly to browse and see what they have,” said Ramirez, who lives in Tustin, Calif. “I do more of my purchasing online now.”

The two-month contraction in retail jobs _ 30,900 lost in February and 29,700 in March _ marked the largest two-month decline since December 2009, when the industry shed 62,200 jobs. That month’s loss had signaled the end of a prolonged decline in the industry resulting from the Great Recession. The retail industry losses for February and March were contained in Friday’s U.S. jobs report from the government. The report offered an overall mixed message: Hiring in the United States dropped to its weakest pace in nearly a year, but the unemployment rate managed to reach its lowest level in nearly a decade. The jobs report pointed to dire problems confronting many of the stores populating shopping plazas and malls. Department and general merchandise stores _ a category that includes Macy’s and Wal-Mart _ shed 34,700 workers last month. Clothiers let go of 5,800. Retailers involved in high-priced big ticket items such as furniture stores and auto dealers barely added jobs. Nor are wages keeping pace. Average hourly earnings for retail employees, including managers, has inched up just 1.1 percent over the past year, compared with a 2.7 percent average increase for all U.S. workers. The struggles of many traditional retailers can be traced most of all to Amazon and other online retailers. Amazon’s Prime membership program, costing $99 a year, has been a juggernaut, with services like streaming music and video that have created fierce loyalty. Analysts say Amazon Prime members disproportionately buy more and spend more. In the process, Amazon has redefined the standards for its rival retailers. They now feel more pressure to limit costs while expanding services and offers for shoppers, from free shipping to non-stop discounting, which take a toll on profit margins. It’s hardly just Amazon. One online-only retailer, Chewy.com, sells an array of pet supplies beyond what’s generally available in physical stores, including high-end organic pet food. The fast-growing company plans to add about 3,200 jobs this year, raising its head count to 6,900. Though traditional retailers are ex-

panding their own online presences, those operations require far fewer workers. The labor involved in selling an item online through a distribution center can be 50 percent less than if it were sold in a store, estimates Pete Madden, a director at AlixPartners, LLP, a consultancy. Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics LLC, a research firm, says he expects earnings for the first quarter for the 113 retailers he tracks to drop 6.8 percent. That would be the worst quarterly performance since 2013. Stores are also increasingly adopting technology that reduces the need for employees, like shopping kiosks and iPads where shoppers can buy online while in a store. And some traditional stores like Macy’s are testing self-service in some of their shoe departments. In the restaurant industry, executives have touted the benefits of automation for customers. Ordering kiosks, for instance, can help speed up lines and improve order accuracy. Though it’s still early, chains including McDonald’s and Panera have introduced ordering screens in some stores. And some sit-down chains have introduced table-top ordering tablets. One of the hard realities of the new shopping era is evident at the Richmond Town Center outside of Cleveland, where the number of employees working at stores appeared to exceed the slim number of shoppers on a cold spring afternoon Friday. Two of the mall’s three anchors_ Sears and Macy’s _ have closed in the past year. The third, J.C. Penney, is slated to close in June. Tiffany Fulton was cutting through J.C. Penney to get a new battery for a watch. She doesn’t shop at the mall regularly, she said, and her buying habits, especially for clothes, involve stocking up “every blue moon” and then not shopping again for six months or even a year. She said she goes to the mall every once in a while for some “retail therapy.” “If I need to feel better, I might stop by,” Fulton said.

LETTUCE FROM B1

one priority is the patient; we dedicate time so that we can provide one-on-one services during visits,” he said concerning his other business, R&R Eyewear Excellence. Services there include eye examinations, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses, screening and monitoring for different medical conditions. Richard noted that they carry a wide variety of eyeglass frames. A graduate of Hampton University, Richard has 11 years in optometry, eight as a manager, nine as an Ophthalmic Technician and three years in a surgery center. Thrilled that he and his wife are entrepreneurs, Richard, a 32-yearold Penn Hills native, said he always knew that he didn’t want to work for

someone else all his career. Feeling this is a good time to start a business with the right idea and product, he SMITH FROM B1 suggested anyone considering entre- such as in STEAM-fopreneurship should have a passion cused education, Buckle for what they are doing. “Be creative. up for Life, and TeenDare to be different because people Drive365.” Smith serves as executive are tired of the same things. “Audryana and I have sacrificed advisor of Toyota’s African and don’t live beyond our means,” American Collaborative, Richard said. He indicated they chaired the Boy Scouts of started their businesses with their America’s Thunderbird own resources and no outside assis- District, and served as a tance. Admitting that they lean on sponsor board member of their faith and have a lot of patience, FFA Foundation. Smith he said if they can operate their busi- received a Bachelor degree in business administration nesses, anyone can. “All you have to do is be dedicated,” and computer science from Richard said, “put your mind to it California State University in Long Beach. and not limit yourself.”

(AP Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber in Washington, AP Food Writer Candice Choi in New York, AP Writers Mark Gillispie in Cleveland and Amy Taxin in Tustin, California, contributed to this report.

Training Event

APRIL 27—The Duquesne University Small Business Center presents Before You Sign: Effective Commercial Lease Agreements, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Rockwell Hall Room 108, 600 Forbes Avenue, Uptown. Topics include: How to review a commercial lease; How to determine a fair rental rate per square foot; What items are included in the lease as opposed to being the tenants responsibility; What is an Estoppel Agreement, and What is a Punch List. Cost is $25. For more information, call 412-396-1633.

Invention Showcase

JUNE 13 to 15—INPEX, the country’s largest inventor showcase returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with an opening night party and a rooftop Beer Garden networking event at Sienna Mercato, Downtown. Both are open to exhibitors and business attendees. For the complete schedule and to register, visit www.inpex. com.

Smith Lettuce Eat thriving at Monroeville Mall promoted

A former manager in the retail industry with a decade of experience, Audryana is a strong believer in customer relations. In charge of the eatery’s five employees, her directives are to have a pleasant attitude and always strive to please the customer. The Woodland Hills High School graduate said her goal is for Lettuce Eat to provide tasty and fresh options for all shoppers and mall employees. She enjoys being an entrepreneur because it affords her the opportunity to control her own life and schedule. “I’m able to focus on my young son and husband all while working at something I like,” she said. Richard also is a strong believer in customer relations. “Our number


OPINION

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER

APRIL 19-25, 2017

B3

‘Trail of Tears’ a timeless must-see

Guest Editorial

Calmer voices needed to turn down fury over Syria The Trump administration is turning up the rhetoric on the conflict in Syria. The heated rhetoric could put the United States in confrontation with Russia, which backs the government of President Bashar al-Assad. In the last few days there has been wild accusations and dangerous ultimatums issued regarding the Syrian conflict. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer compared Assad’s actions to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Spicer also declared unequivocally that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons in leading the German military during World War II. “We didn’t use chemical weapons in WWII. We had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer declared as he attacked Russia for backing the Assad regime, which has been engulfed in a civil war since 2011. When offered a chance to clarify a few minutes later Spicer dug in deeper. “When you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” said Spicer to the shock of many in the White House briefing room. Spicer’s historically inaccurate remarks triggered swift rebukes as people pointed out that Nazi concentration camps used poisonous gas to kill Jews and others during the Holocaust. Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on the battlefield, but used them as a tool of mass murder against his own civilians and conquered populations. Spicer later walked back some of his remarks. Spicer’s remarks are the worst of the overheated rhetoric that have emerged since President Donald Trump ordered the recent launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian air base. The attack was an incredible turnaround for Trump, who urged President Barack Obama not to attack Syria under similar circumstances in 2013. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley escalated the Trump administration’s rhetoric against Russia for its support of Assad. In an interview that aired Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Haley said the administration would hold Russia accountable for Syrian government attacks against civilians. “This is something to let Russia know, ‘You know what? We’re not going to have you cover for this regime anymore. And we’re not going to allow things like this to happen to innocent people,’ “ Haley said. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow on Tuesday with an ultimatum for Russia that it could either side with the U.S. on Syria or embrace Assad. But what would the punishment be for Russia, whose military has helped Assad score a series of battlefield successes in the six-year war with Syrian opposition groups? Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately showed that he wouldn’t back down, saying Russia knew about planned “provocations” to blame Syria’s government for using chemical weapons. He said the U.N. should first investigate the attack. “It reminds me of the events in 2003 when U.S. envoys to the Security Council were demonstrating what they said were chemical weapons found in Iraq,” Putin told reporters on Tuesday. “We have seen it all already.” All of this tough talk and heated rhetoric could lead to unintended consequences and new conflicts between the United States and Russia.

Founded 1910

Rod Doss Editor & Publisher Stephan A. Broadus Assistant to the Publisher Allison Palm

Rob Taylor Jr.

Jeff Marion

Office Manager

Managing Editor

Circulation Consultant

John. H. Sengstacke

Editor & Publisher Emeritus (1912-1997)

“Trail of Tears,” a Native American documentary, was an award-winning documentary back in 2008 that has reappeared at video stores recently. I discovered it at Target in my search for old movies. Much like Black History, the facts in this documentary will never get old and should be known by all Americans. Even though I’ve studied Native American History and have watched several movies that document their history with “Cheyenne Autumn” (1964) starring Richard Widmark being the best, I was very impressed with the documentary and still upset that this occurred in America and the government not only gave support to it, but was part of it. During the late 1830s the Cherokee Nation and other tribes were uprooted from their homes throughout the Southeastern part of the U.S., mostly Georgia, but also including parts of South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and sent to Oklahoma. We are not talking about what we normally see on TV or the movies, but thousands of people who were uprooted from their farms, plantations, and businesses by U.S. troops by order of President Andrew Jackson. Men, women and children had to walk, ride in wagons, and eat spoiled food from Georgia to Oklahoma. There were no trains, buses, or cars. Thousands died, mostly the elderly and children, on their way. The reason given for this move was simple. Whites wanted the land the Native Americans had farmed, the homes they built, the wealth they accumulated. Jackson said he was protecting the Indians because if he didn’t force them to move, Whites would kill them and take their land. So instead of doing the right thing and protecting the Native Americans as they would White Americans if a force threatened them, they used the

by Dr. E. Faye Williams

Ulish Carter

Just Sayin’ U.S. military to force these people out of their homes and marched them halfway across this country to a total foreign land that no one wanted at the time to settle. They weren’t given anything for their homes; many were beautiful homes. Nothing for their farms, or livestock. Yes, I know that when we think of Indians or Native Americans we see teepees or tents on TV, but these people had wood and brick-built homes much to the envy of White Americans, because they were told that if they adopted the White man’s lifestyle they would be accepted by White America. So, they dressed like Whites, spoke English, and accepted Christianity thinking this would lead to acceptance by White America. They were forced out, most penniless, after years of fighting through the court system to keep their homes. And even after a favorable Supreme Court decision, President Jackson chose to ignore the court order. And we talk about President Donald Trump. There have been worse days for people of color. If you can purchase or get it from your library please check out “Trails of Tears,” a truly great and timeless documentary that tells the true history of America that we all should know about Native Americans. It also deals in detail about Black Indians, as well as the overall relationship between Blacks and Native Americans.

The past two weeks have been flooded with President Trump’s bombing of Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and others as well as his threat to do the same to North Korea if they don’t stop testing weapons of mass destruction. He has asked Congress for a $54 billion increase in the military budget which would lead to massive reductions in Social Security, Medicare and all other domestic social programs. With these military strikes, he has moved the country and the media attention from domestic failures such as health care, to war. Have these strikes made America safer? Has it improved our living conditions? No. I know most of the people killed in these attacks were terrorists, but both sides in Syria can be called terrorists. On one side is President Assad and the other, Isis. Which is worse? I’ve said it many times and I will say it again; when it comes to the Middle East there are very few clear cut good guys, so our best bet is to arm everyone and let them decide who represents them. Because right now there’s no real threat to America from any of the countries we are bombing. I know the politicians are saying Iran and North Korea, but are they really threats? If they ever get a nuclear bomb and launch it at the U.S. with all the nuclear bombs we have, we can wipe theirs from the sky then wipe out the country that fired it. Now after all this, we would have to deal with the nuclear fallout. Hopefully with all this going on the media will stay focused on what really matters to the American people and that is, what are the president and the “Do Nothing Congress” doing for the masses of people in affordable housing, employment as a whole, and livable wages, health care, and affordable education? (Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)

Reversal of fortune

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—I’ve been left to wonder which hurts more. Does it hurt more to have a disappointment occur without expectation or does it hurt more to be able to anticipate a disappointment and see it materialize?  I’ve come to the realization that when it relates to the U.S. Justice System, a disavowal of patterns and practices that’ve served to protect the integrity of the process and broadly protect the rights of citizenship hurts whether anticipated or not. My great disappointment in the Justice System came on June 25, 2013, in the Shelby County v. Holder decision.  The Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which invalidated the “Pre-clearance” requirements of Section 5. Progressive observers predicted a retrenchment of extra-legal policies that served to suppress the voting rights of non-whites who are likely pro-Democratic voters.   Events since that decision have proven the progressive prediction correct.  The pre-1965 experience of a segment of society rendered powerless because of an inability to vote looms large as a future possibility, as well. Laws passed in a significant number of states since 2013 have served to restrict voting rights and have, when contested, earned the condem-

nation of judges who’ve seen through the subterfuge and determined that these laws are no more than vehicles targeting the voting rights of minorities. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell’s adamant refusal to perform his constitutionally mandated responsibilities of conducting the confirmation process of Judge Merrick Garland signaled a commitment by Republicans to obliterate the changes to social justice achieved in the past 50 years. My next disappointment in the Justice System came on February 9, 2017 when Jefferson B. Sessions assumed the office of Attorney General of the U.S. Although initially giving a broadly-general statement of understanding his job of assuring justice under-the-law to all citizens, his subsequent actions seem more like rationalizations of the White Citizens’ Council.  Sessions’ most recent and egregious act is his refusal to implement already-established consent decrees with police departments that have demonstrated disparate enforcement of the law (i.e. Ferguson, Baltimore and Chicago). In the face of overwhelming evidence and, in some cases, cooperation of the offending police department, Sessions has chosen to overlook the discriminatory patterns and practices in training and enforcement and excuse them to the isolated actions of individual officers.

Somewhere along the way, Sessions has missed the fact that no individual or institution is above the law. These isolated actions he’s willing to explain away have immeasurable impact on individuals and our communities that reach far beyond an isolated event. My most recent and greatest disappointment in the Justice System came on April 10, 2017, with Neil Gorsuch taking the oath as the newest Supreme Court Justice.  The addition of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court appears to be little more than the appointment of a Scalia-on-steroids Justice who offers little hope of justice for any except the moneyed and well-aligned. The Gorsuch confirmation threatens to again send women to back-alleys for abortions.  It threatens to solidify control of corporate interests over the lives of ordinary citizens, including environmental issues, healthcare and workers’ rights.  It threatens elimination of laws which control the effective implementation of civil rights initiatives.  Considering the ages of current Justices, this Gorsuch threat could last 40 years or more and impact society for generations beyond that. (Editor’s Note: This story has been edited for length purposes. Dr. E. Faye Williams is national president of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.  202-678-6788.  www. nationalcongressbw.org)

Remember the Chibok Girls

by Frederica S. Wilson

On Thursday, April 14, 2017, the world marked three years since Boko Haram terrorists burst into dormitory rooms at the Government Secondary School in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok and kidnapped nearly 300 girls simply because they dared to get an education. In the days leading up to this date, there will likely be plenty of headlines devoted to the Chibok girls, as these now young women are famously known. This happens each time we reach yet another sad milestone: 500 days, one year, two years, 1000 days, and counting. Soon after, however, the news reports will fade and this ongoing tragedy will slip once more to the backburner. The 195 Chibok girls who haven’t been able to escape their captives or were not among the 21 released last October, are still the most compelling symbols of the Boko Haram insurgency, but we must never forget that the group has committed increasingly heinous acts in the past three years from which innumerable victims may never recover. Let me count the ways. More than 2.6 million people are currently displaced across Nigeria and its neighbor nations in the Lake Chad region, and Nigeria is in the process of building a comprehensive orphanage to house approximately 8,000 children who’ve been separated from their parents. At least one million children have been forced out of school. Millions more Africans are at risk of starving to death and

countless men, women and children all of ages, both Christians and Muslims, have been kidnapped, tortured, and/or killed. It gets worse. In addition to engaging in the human trafficking of women, forcing them into sexual and domestic slavery, the insurgents also use children as suicide bombers. Even ISIS, to whom Boko Haram has pledged allegiance, has expressed concern that the group goes too far. As a mother, a former educator, and indeed, a human being, I have felt heartbroken, shocked and angered by the daily horrors our West African sisters and brothers have been forced to endure. The actions of the world’s most deadly terrorist group have also emboldened me to use my voice and every resource available in the fight to ensure that the Chibok girls are not forgotten and to help eradicate Boko Haram and repair the damage it has caused. I have traveled twice to Nigeria to meet with victims’ families and government officials and brought the #BringBackOurGirls movement to the United States. Each week that Congress is in session, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle participate in a “Wear Something Red Wednesday” social media campaign that helps maintain pressure on the Nigerian government to keep working to negotiate the release of the remaining Chibok girls and pull out all stops to defeat Boko Haram. On December 14, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that Senator Susan Collins,

R-Maine, and I sponsored that directs the U.S. secretaries of State and Defense to jointly develop a five-year strategy to aid the Nigerian government, the Multinational Joint Task Force created to combat Boko Haram, and international partners who’ve offered their support to counter the regional threat the terrorists pose. In a telephone conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in February, the two leaders pledged “to continue close coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria,” according to a readout from the White House. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also has reportedly praised the Multinational Joint Task Force’s efforts to defeat Boko Haram a “success story,” but while the terrorist group may be down, it is far from out. On June 12 we will mark another milestone in this terrible saga. That is the day the State and Defense departments’ five-year plan is due. It also is the deadline for the director of National Intelligence to assess the willingness and capability of Nigeria and its regional partners to implement the strategies outlined. We must use our collective voice to ensure they don’t miss this urgent deadline. (Editor’s Note: This story has been edited for length purposes. Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and represents parts of northern Miami-Dade and southeast Broward counties. Visit her Facebook and Twitter pages and congressional website.)


B4

APRIL 19-25, 2017

I won’t be silenced by Solar Industry’s intimidation tactics (TriceEdneyWire.com)—Being a journalist who covers issues important to the African American and other marginalized communities, I have taken on powerful forces over the years. I have provided a voice for underrepresented communities and engaged both the private and public sector, but always strove to be accurate and respectful. After all, how can I demand civility and fairness from others if I don’t practice it myself? Earlier this year, I wrote a piece in a publication that focuses on issues in the African-American community. It was about the rooftop solar business. I expressed concerns that industry bad actors were misleading consumers. I focused on three aspects that worried me: First, that new customers may be unaware that the panels can cost upwards of $15,000 and can generate an additional lien against their home, making it harder to sell. Second, rooftop solar salespeople often tell customers that they will save a lot of money on their utility bill, which is not always true. Third, salespeople engaging in high-pressure tactics often do so in the hope that a customer will sign a contract before they understand all of the

Julianne Malveaux

Commentary complexities of a long-term financial agreement. In response to my article, the Solar Energy Industries Association—which represents the rooftop solar industry in Washington—wrote a response in the same publication refuting my piece. I didn’t fully agree with SEIA, but I respected their right to voice their opinion. I saw their response and was hopeful that going forward the industry would take more steps to protect minority consumers. I decided to move on and continue writing about the other issues important to me. However, in the last few weeks, I have become a target of an intimidation campaign led by SEIA. Specifically, a gentleman named Michael Schmidt, a senior vice president at Crosscut Strategies, who claims to be an agent of SEIA, has repeatedly called and emailed me and my staff. In one call, he even asked a staff member why I had not responded to him and asked: “what was I afraid of?” In his correspondence to a woman in my office, Mr. Schmidt states that I wrote: “that solar companies are targeting communities of color”. Mr. Schmidt went on to say that: “The SEIA team finds this abhorrent and they wanted to follow up with her about what she knows, since the column didn’t provide details. SEIA takes this issue and consumer protection generally very seriously.   Would it be possible to arrange a quick call between Dr. Malveaux and SEIA’s general counsel about this?” I believe that Mr. Schmidt’s suggestion that I speak with SEIA’s general counsel, Tom Kimbis, is an attempt to assert that my comment about “targeting communities of color” could be libelous. If SEIA wanted to provide me with facts to change my mind, why couldn’t Mr. Schmidt provide me with that information, or connect me with SEIA’s communications or policy experts? The suggestion that I speak with SEIA’s in-house attorney was designed to intimidate. Be assured, I take this threat seriously. I believe I did nothing wrong, but I do not have millions of dollars to defend myself. SEIA represents companies like Tesla that are worth billions of dollars. It wouldn’t be a fair fight. I want to be clear: I wrote the rooftop solar piece based on recent correspondence sent by three Democrats in the Congress to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The letter was read by Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, a Hispanic, and Reps. Emmanuel Cleaver of Missouri and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, both African Americans. At the end of the letter sent by those Congressmen, they stated that the high-pressure sales tactics used by bad actors in the rooftop solar industry are often targeted at the least sophisticated consumers. Therefore, the matter is a “particular concern for minority communities in our districts and around the nation.” That is where I got the line in my piece that SEIA seems to be so upset about. If Abigail Ross Harper, the head of SEIA, or anyone at the association has an issue with what I said in my piece, then they should have reached out to me and asked to speak. I would have agreed and had an open mind. But the fact that they decided to try and use a hired gun to try and intimidate me and my staff only makes me believe that my original piece—that the rooftop solar industry does not respect minorities—was sadly all too accurate. (Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author, and Founder of Economic Education.)

FORUM

Chicago mayor’s education plan falls short (TriceEdneyWire. acting as an employer of com)—Chicago Maylast resort. Rather than Jesse Jackson Sr. or Rahm Emanuel create another hurdle for sincerely wants to do graduation, create an insomething to improve centive to graduate. The Chicago schools. I have problem isn’t that Chino doubt of that. Unforcago’s high school gradutunately, his proposal ates don’t want to work. —called “Learn. Plan. The problem is that they Succeed.”—falls short can’t find work. If the city of the mark. wants to create a requireHis idea is to add a new requirement for ment, it should fill the need. high school graduation. Starting in 2020, all In this way, Emanuel’s plan is a faint echo students eligible for a high school diploma of his mentor Bill Clinton’s welfare reforms. would, in order to graduate, have to demon- In 1996, when Clinton’s welfare reform bill strate that they have a job, admission to col- was passed, the rhetoric was all about impovlege, an apprenticeship or internship, a place erished single mothers going from welfare in a gap-year program or an enlistment in the to work. The plan was to abolish the welfare military. Emanuel touts the plan as requiring guarantee and require that poor mothers go every graduate to have a plan for their lives to work after a limited period of time. before they get their diploma. “If you change Great, everyone is for work over welfare. expectations,” he says, “it’s not hard for kids But in order to hold a job, impoverished sinto adapt.” gle mothers need some way to care for their Sounds good, right? But the City Colleges children, job training, a way to get to their of Chicago, a system of seven community col- job—and a job to get to. None of that was leges, already guarantees admittance to any provided in the welfare reform bill that evenhigh school graduate. So all the high schools tually passed. And the result was, when the will do is get every graduating senior to ap- recession hit, unforeseen consequences—imply for admission, whether they intend to go poverished mothers and their children took or not. That will require a dramatic increase the hit. in school counselors, of course, and there’s no Emanuel operates from the theory that budget for that. (The mayor says he’ll try to poor graduates lack a plan for life after high raise $1 million from private donors to help.) school. What they lack, however, is a real job Chicago has the worst black unemployment or a real training program that would lead to of any of the five biggest cities in the country. a job. Across the U.S., a staggering 51.3 percent of These kids grow up in impoverished neighyoung black high school graduates are unem- borhoods and on mean streets. Often they ployed or underemployed (that is, forced to come from broken homes, without adequate work part time involuntarily or giving up on nutrition, with unstable housing. They atfinding a job). tend schools with massive needs and inadeA majority of young black high school grad- quate resources. If they make it, they graduuates are looking for full-time work and can’t ate into an economy that has little place for find it. The mayor’s plan does nothing to ad- them. dress this grim reality. Instead, it erects a paIf the mayor actually wants to address this perwork hoop for kids to jump though that is challenge—and I believe he does—it will take likely to have very little to do with their plans more than “nudges.” It will take investing in for their lives. schools, providing intensive counseling, reWhy not go a step further down the reform sources for those qualified to go to college but road? Establish the requirement and then who cannot afford it, affordable transportaguarantee every graduate a job, with the city tion and housing, and jobs.

Commentary

I thought mandatory minimums were unconstitutional In an early grade flicts unintended damI learned about the J. Pharoah Doss ages on the citizenry 1964 civil rights bill. I and when social values thought it was the first and attitudes change bill of its kind. I was public opinion over time. wrong. In a higher grade Recently, PennsylvaI found out the first civnia’s State House voted il rights legislation was to restore mandatory enacted after the Civil minimum sentences for War, but it was vetoed by drug offenses, but the the president then Constate Supreme Court degress overturned the veto. I was taught this clared them unconstitutional in 2015. (Based was a good example of “checks and balances” on a 2013 US Supreme Court decision) because one branch prevented the other from Now I am confused again. delaying social progress. We all know the history of mandatory minBut there was a third branch of govern- imum sentencing. It was reactive legislation ment. created decades ago to combat the violence In 1875 another civil rights act was passed. associated with a drug lawmakers thought This time the president and Congress were could be resisted with a stern no. in agreement, but the US Supreme Court deBut over time it was discovered these senclared this civil rights act unconstitutional. tences inflicted unintended damages on I was confused. How could civil rights vio- non-violent offenders, taxpayers, and judicial late the constitution? discretion. And as society continued to maThe Supreme Court said discrimination was ture drug addiction was no longer seen as a prohibited by state and local governments, moral deficiency. It became a mental health but the federal government does not have the issue with many advocating for tax dollars to power to prohibit discrimination by private be invested in treatment and not incarceraindividuals and organizations. tion. But the 1964 civil rights bill outlawed speThe government makes mistakes, but it cific forms of discrimination practiced by the also learns from its mistakes. The data of private sector and there was no challenge to the damage to the citizenry and the change the constitutionality of the bill. in social attitudes proved that mandatory I was still confused. What made civil rights minimum sentencing was a primitive overreconstitutional 89 years later? action to a problem that was more advanced Then I discovered two concepts. than the lawmaker’s problem solving methNow, the unconstitutionality of the 1875 ods, and that’s why the constitutionality of Civil Rights Act was groundwork for the 1896 their methods was challenged after two dePlessy v. Ferguson decision which legalized cades of damage. segregation. But in 1954, the Brown v. Board But Pennsylvania’s state house voted to redecision declared “Plessy” (separate but store something that was declared unconstiequal/Jim Crow) unconstitutional because it tutional after only two years. was proved that segregated schools (which Did anyone ask the state representatives weren’t equal) produced an inferiority com- in favor of restoring mandatory minimums, plex inside of students deprived of equality. what damage was inflicted on the citizenThere was also a capital punishment case ry due to the absence of these requirements in 1958. during the past two years and what social atThe US Supreme Court reexamined wheth- titudes changed over the course of these two er the death penalty constituted cruel and years that normally took two generations to unusual punishment which is prohibited by influence public opinion? If there are no answers to these questions, the 8th amendment. The court stated the meaning of cruel and unusual punishment then mandatory minimum sentencing should must coincide with the “evolving standards of remain unconstitutional in Pennsylvania to decency that mark the progress of a maturing prevent another primitive overreaction. (J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New Pittssociety” and not from its original meaning. In other words, legislation can be declared burgh Courier. He blogs at jpharoahdoss@blogspot. unconstitutional when that legislation in- com)

Commentary

Letters to the editor for publication 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 letters@newpittsburghcourier.com

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James Clingman

Commentary

Radioactivity (TriceEdneyWire.com)—“Well done beats well said every time... When it’s all said and done, much is said and little is done.” There are many Black folks who can tell us what “we need to do” in the context of economic empowerment and other issues that matter.  They have all the answers, but too often deal with them from a symptomatic perspective rather than a problematic perspective.  Some of us believe that simply talking about a problem, mainly by delineating its symptoms, is actually doing the work necessary for a solution.  Think about it.  We cite criminal justice symptoms and educational symptoms, we talk about the wealth gap and the health gap and the income gap, and we regurgitate statistics that justify our symptomatic approach to the dire situations we face every day.   But merely talking and writing about the symptoms have never solved our problems.  Someone has to execute. I hear and read a great deal of information as I look for the solution to our problems.  It’s almost to the point of information overload.  You would think that with all of the activists we have within our ranks that some actual activity, beyond mere exercising our powers of speech and penmanship, would take place.  That is especially true on radio talk shows.  Those I call “Radio-Activists” are adept at identifying the symptoms and saying what “we need to do” while seldom, if ever, laying out the problem and offering a solution—a solution on which they are willing to work and help implement.  Mere “Radioactivity,” and I would add “TV Activity,” while they may inform us, if not acted upon is just more information. And just like knowledge, information is not power unless you use it—use it to your own advantage. So all the pontificators, prognosticators, pundits, and philosophizers who simply offer their assessments of our problems by describing their symptoms, should do a little introspection to see if they are really interested in contributing what they can to solve our problems.  Instead of, or at least in addition to sounding the alarm, they should also offer real solutions and then prepare to contribute some time, talent, and treasure toward solving those problems. Radio activists are usually busy telling others what must be done, as they continue to sit on the sidelines and critique problems.  They seldom are willing to get into the game by initiating the solutions they espouse; instead, they tell others what to do and how it should be done.  Radioactivity, when it comes to economic and political action, is dangerous and seldom results in any real progress, that is, unless someone other than the Radio-Activist picks up the gauntlet and executes a strategy that evolves into a movement to empower our people. Don’t be a Radio-Activist.  The next time you have the opportunity to speak on the air—or via any medium—don’t just say what “we need” to do; follow it up by saying what you either are doing about the issue or what you are willing to do about it.  Besides, after making your transition, wouldn’t you rather have folks speak of you in terms of what you did in addition to what you said?  Don’t you want to leave a legacy of putting your words into action?  Don’t you want your children to know you for your work on their behalf rather than what you said we “needed”? We can see what our ancestors did, many of who never gave a speech or wrote a book; they simply worked to leave something better for those who came after them.  It’s more about the actions than it is about the words anyway.  Frederick Douglass told Harriet Tubman, “I have had the applause of the crowd and the satisfaction that comes of being approved by the multitude, while the most that you have done has been witnessed by the few trembling, scarred, footsore bondmen and women, whom you have led out of the house of bondage…The midnight sky and silent stars have been the witness of your devotion to freedom and of your heroism…‘God bless you,’ has been your only reward.” Everyone can do something.  You don’t have to be rich; you don’t need to be an intellectual; and you don’t have to be a leader.  You have something more than words to give to our people.  Love, trust, respect, encouragement, a smile, a hug, a couple of dollars to a person in need, the willingness start a project, a movement, or an organization, are all things we can do as individuals.  As a collective we can unify, organize, and work on building something for ourselves, because just talking about it will not get the job done.   People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.


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The New Pittsburgh Courier is looking for a display advertising sales representative. Experience in media sales or related area preferred but will train the right individual. This full-time staff position offers salary + commission with full benefits after 90 days, paid vacation after 6 months. Must be a self-starter with leadership skills, reliable transportation, and strong computer, written and verbal communication skills. All resumes will be considered. Must be able to work under deadlines, do comprehensive sales-related research and make sales presentations. Send resumes to jobs@ newpittsburghcourier.com.

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Port Authority is seeking a Manager of Rail Maintenance Training to develop, coordinate and implement employee training and qualification programs for the maintenance of light rail vehicles, track, substations, overhead catenary systems, signals, non-revenue vehicles, facilities and electronic systems. Supervise the development, updating and auditing of all Rail and Facilities preventive maintenance procedures and the Maintenance Work Order System (MWOS). Job requirements include: •High School Diploma or GED. BS degree in Engineering or technical field. Experience in directly related field may be substituted for education. Minimum of three (3) years experience in technical/maintenance experience such as building systems, maintenance, HVAC, LRV, etc. Minimum of five (5) years experience in training and development in technical and / or systems fields. •Demonstrated ability to develop and implement employee technical training programs. •Demonstrated ability in the use of Windows, Microsoft Word and Excel. •Effective and professional communication skills. Preferred attributes: •Rail systems and rail vehicle maintenance experience. Supervisory/management experience. •Project management experience.

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package. Interested candidates should forward a cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to: Amy Giammanco Employment Department 345 Sixth Avenue, 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527 AGiammanco@portauthority.org EOE

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GENERAL REQUIREMENTS: •High School Graduate or Equivalent • Must be 21 years of age •A United States Citizen Must have current, valid PA driver license •Must be currently enrolled and have completed Act 120 training at the time of hire •Upon hiring must adhere to living restriction (10Miles) ADDITIO AL TESTI G I FORMATION: •Civil Service Examinations Background Investigation •Medical and Psychological Evaluation SALAR A D BE EFITS: Base salary 56,285.75 (Entry Level: 43,902.89) Life, Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance Paid Holidays and Vacations •Uniform Allowance •Longevity Pay •Education Compensation PROMOTIONS: •Corporal •Sergeant •Lieutenant •Captain •Chief of Police SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS: •Investigations -9 •SWAT School Resource Officer APPLICATIONS: May be obtained at the Office of the City Clerk, 55 West Maiden Street Washington, Pa, April 24, 2017 between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday thru Friday or download online at www.washingtonpa.us •Applications must be returned to the Office of the City Clerk no later than 5:00pm on May 08, 2017 •Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable testing fee of 60.00 with application (payable to The City of Washington) The City of Washington is an equal opportunity employer

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If you worked at Pittsburgh Metals, Pittsburgh, PA, between 19611972, please contact Asbestos Investigator Sherry Day at (734) 878-5236.

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The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office gives notice that forfeiture actions have commenced against the following seizures of the United States Currency made by the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. §§6801 6802, and other laws of the Commonwealth; 333.00 on May 27, 2009, from Antonio Rutherford at 1325 Sheffield Street; 405.00 on March 17, 2009, from Carlton Ray at Itin Street; 540.00 on March 22, 2009, from Antoine Hunter at Beaver and Preble Avenues; 405.00 on October 8, 2009, from Antoine Hunter at 3128 California Avenue; 815.00 on May 27, 2009, from Jarrod West at 1325 Sheffield Street; 664.00 on April 16, 2009, from Guy Palmer at Rancheria and Wadlow Streets; 1,972.00 on ovember 24, 2009, from Brandon Johnson at Boulevard of the Allies at Hamlet Street; 405.00 on December 11, 2009, from Jade Leon at Biggs Avenue and Glenrose Street; 375.00 on February 9, 2009, from Darryl Cobb at 608 Wood Street; 1,042.00 on March 21, 2009, from Grady Ingram at 14th Street and Penn Avenue; 409.00 on July 2, 2009, from Lamar Carter at 2622 Brownsville Road; 593.00 on March 5, 2009, from Artis Walker at 3032 Arlington Avenue; 421.00 on January 29, 2009, from Desmond Brentley at 214 orth Lexington Street; 340.00 on April 14, 2009, from Orish Walker at 427 Rosedale Street; 613.00 on ovember 23, 2009, from Paul Schmid at Marsonia Street at Biggs Avenue; 843.00 on July 20, 2009, from Thomas Harris at Centre Avenue and Washington Place; 406.00 on January 19, 2010, from Timothy O eal at 2303 Park Hill Drive; 620.00 on ovember 2, 2009, from Jaylyn Jordan at 2330 East Hills Drive, Apartment 14; 2,983.00 on May 16, 2009, from Lonnie Hill at Friendship Avenue; 597.00 on March 2, 2010, from Ghavon Clark at Brushton Avenue at Mohler Street; 2,801.00 on October 14, 2009, from Louis endrick at 1515 Westmoreland Street; 700.00 on January 17, 2010, from Shay Williams at 15th and Smallman Streets; 840.00 on September 1, 2009, from David White at 5634 Mellon Street; 569.00 on September 18, 2009, from Ronald Beck at 7210 Frankstown Avenue; 580.00 on August 4, 2009, from Bennie Wilson at orth Atlantic Avenue and Dearborn Street; 493.00 on September 29, 2009, from Victor Toliver at 6200 block of Broad Street; 1,312.00 on July 23, 2009, from Vern Connors at 7449 Frankstown Avenue, Apartment 1; 625.00 on June 2, 2009 from Anthony Henry at 241 South Mathilda Street; 672.00 on February 6, 2009, from Dajuan Davis at incaid Street and orth Atlantic Avenue; 1,033.00 on March 19, 2009, from Raymont Glass at 6736 Deary Street; 1,039.00 on September 9, 2009, from Howard Horsley at Erin Street and Wylie Avenue; 840.00 on April 7, 2010, from Jerry Coker at 300 Michigan Way; 1,230.00 on July 18, 2009, from Omar Smith at 119 Mathews Avenue; 744.00 on April 20, 2010, from Raymond McCarthy at 1419 Arlington Avenue; 295.00 on April 20, 2010, from Darnell McCarthy at 1419 Arlington Avenue; 444.00 on December 4, 2009, from Michael Smith at 206 Reifert Street, 3rd Floor; 453.10 on May 14, 2009, from Jermaine ennedy at 1508 Arlington Avenue; 900.00 on May 30, 2009, from Gary Hughes at intersection of Allen and Eureka Streets; 920.00 on July 26, 2009, from William Hopkins at 745 Cresswell Street; 1,323.00 on February 28, 2010, from Robert Johnson at 1500 Smallman Street; 675.00 on March 16, 2009, from Brian Milkovich at 313 irk Avenue; 483.00 on April 2, 2009, from Honoray Williams, Flora Harris /or Anthony Upshaw at 2541 Chauncey Drive, Apartment 234; 925.00 on January 26, 2009, from Edwin Williams at 2062 Bentley Drive; 812.00 on July 29, 2009, from Alan ance at 543 Morgan Street; 590.00 on October 13, 2009, from Charles Lloyd at Intersection of Bedford Avenue and Watt Lane; 1,990.00 on May 28, 2010, from James Brown Jr. at 715 Bucyrus Street; 479.00 on January 21, 2009, from Raymond Dean at 801 Allegheny Avenue; 535.00 on April 19, 2010, from Frank Merry at Liberty Avenue and Commonwealth Place; 791.00 on April 6, 2010, from James Brown Jr. at 711 Loren Avenue; 753.00 on March 4, 2010, from Darnell Bonner at 3121 Ashlyn Street; 1,200.00 on January 22, 2010, from Darren Jones at 2100 Block of Letsche Street; 533.00 on July 8, 2009, from Greg Oneal at 1020 Sawmill Run Boulevard; 901.00 on May 29, 2009, from Bruce Cellars at 2060 Bentley Drive; 899.00 on May 20, 2010, from Byron Thomas at Route 279 South and Route 65 Ramp; 608.00 on April 1, 2010, from Christopher Snyder at 36 Cherry Street, Etna; 3,532.00 on January 18, 2010, from Ronald Weathers Jr. at orth Dallas Avenue at McPherson Boulevard. Further, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office gives notice that forfeitures action have commenced against the following seizures of the United States Currency made by the Penn Hills Police Department, in Penn Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. §§6801 6802, and other laws of the Commonwealth; 253.00 on September 9, 2009, from Evan Cunningham at 10730 Frankstown Road; 100.00 on June 26, 2010, from Michael Millender at Eastwood Road at Frankstown Road. Any claimants to the property are hereby notified to file a claim with the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and serve a copy of the claim on the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Asset Forfeiture Unit, at 303 Courthouse, 436 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, no later than May 19, 2017. If no claim is filed on or before May 19, 2017, the property shall be summarily forfeited to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the custody of the Allegheny County District Attorney. LEGAL ADVERTISING

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Estate of MS. PAULINE A. NICHOL, deceased of 528 Aten Road, Coraopolis, PA 15108. Estate o. 02-17-01879. Ms. Shelley Spernak, 528 Aten Road, Coraopolis, PA 15108, Executrix, c/o Max C. Feldman, Attorney At Law, 1322 Fifth Avenue, Coraopolis, PA 15108

Estate of VICTORIA MARTINO, a/k/a VICTORIA L. MARTINO deceased of Mceesport o. 2148 of 2016. Tammy Tomei, Adm. or to c/o Matthew J. Beam, Esq., Scolieri Law Group, 1207 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, Pittsburgh PA 15219

Estate of SAMUEL K. ANDERSON, deceased of Pittsburgh, PA o. 01667 of 2017. SheilaTerry, Administratrix, 742 Anaheim Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 or to Thellma C. Spells, Esquire, Atty.,1533 Bidwell Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Estate of PHILIP H. JOYCE, deceased of 250 ardley Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 o. 0216-06038, Executor, Timothy J. Joyce, 2345 Harrow Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241, or to American Wills Estates, Lloyd A. Welling, Esquire, 2100 Wharton Street, Birmingham Towers Suite 302, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CITY OF PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA FY 2015 AND FY 2016 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM SUBSTANTIAL AMENDMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION STRATEGY AREA (NRSA)

otice is hereby given that the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA will hold a public hearing on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:30 PM at the ingsley Center, 6435 Frankstown Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. The ingsley Center is accessible to persons with physical disabilities. If special arrangements need to be made to accommodate residents in order for them to participate in the public hearing, please contact Ms. elli Dixon at (412) 255-2212. The telephone number for the hearing impaired is 7-1-1. The purpose of this public hearing is to present the substantial amendments to the City of Pittsburgh’s F 2015-2019 Five ear Consolidated Plan and the F 2015 and F 2016 Annual Action Plans for the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The City of Pittsburgh adopted its F 2015-2019 Five ear Consolidated Plan and F 2015 Annual Action Plan on April 10, 2015 and its F 2016 Annual Action Plan on April 12, 2016. In accordance with CDBG program regulations, the City is allowed to make substantial amendments to its Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plans in accordance with the City’s Citizen Participation Plan. The City has determined that it is necessary to amend the approved CDBG Program for two (2) previously approved program years for F 2015 and F 2016. These substantial amendments are necessary for the establishment of a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) to coincide with the Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant program underway in the Lincoln/Larimer eighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh. The geographic boundaries of the NRSA are the same as the Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant area. Under the CDBG program, grantees may designate local target areas for revitali ation. The Federal Register, published on January 5, 1995, authorized entitlement grantees to develop comprehensive approaches to address economic development and housing needs in a designated neighborhood within their community, known as a eighborhood Revitali ation Strategy Area (NRSA). Communities with approved NRSAs are offered enhanced exibility in undertaking economic development, housing, and public service activities with their CDBG funds. This exibility is designed to promote innovative programs in economically disadvantaged areas of the community. This is considered a substantial amendment in accordance with the City’s Citizen Participation Plan as the following applies: the establishment of an RSA and the addition to the strategies and goals outlined in the City’s Five Year Consolidated Plan. Copies of the Substantial Amendments are on display for viewing by the public for a period of 30 days beginning on Thursday, April 20, 2017 and ending on Monday, May 22, 2017. Copies of the plans may be examined during normal hours of operation at the following locations: Department of City Planning 200 Ross Street, Second Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Urban Redevelopment Authority 200 Ross Street, Tenth Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh 200 Ross Street, inth Floor Pittsburgh, Pa 15219 The Substantial Amendments are also on the City of Pittsburgh’s website (http://pittsburghpa.gov/dcp/community-development/cdbg). All interested residents are encouraged to attend this public hearing and they will be given the opportunity to present oral or written testimony concerning the proposed amendments to the F 2015-2019 Five ear Consolidated Plan and the F 2015 and F 2016 Annual Action Plans. All comments received by Monday, May 22, 2017 will be considered by the City of Pittsburgh prior to the submission of the Substantial Amendments to HUD. Written or oral comments may be directed to the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning, attention Michael Petrucci, Assistant Director for Community Development, 200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. The phone number is (412) 255-2211, fax number is (412) 393-0151, and the TDD number is (412) 255-2222. Mr. Michael Petrucci, Assistant Director for Community Development LEGAL ADVERTISING

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ALLEGHENY COUNTY SANITARY AUTHORITY LEGAL NOTICE CONTRACT NO. 1676

OFFICIAL ADVERTISEMENT THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION of the SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH

The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority is soliciting Bids for CO TRACT O. 1676 - PURCHASE OF CHAI FOR RAC S A D GRIT TANKS. Proposals will be received unti111:00 A.M., Prevailing Time, Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the office of the Authority. ALCOSAN encourages businesses owned and operated by minorities and women to submit bids on Authority Proposals or to participate as subcontractors or suppliers to the successful bidders. Successful Bidders are to use minority or women’s businesses to the fullest extent possible. The Authority reserves the right to reject any or all Proposals, to waive any informality in any Proposal and to accept any Proposal should it be deemed in the interest of the Authority to do so. Bid Security in the amount of One Thousand Dollars ( 1,000.00) is required. Documents pertaining to the submission of Bids are available at the office of the Authority, 3300 Preble Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Any questions regarding this contract document should be directed to BE JAMI J. HEILMA , Contract Supervisor (412) 734-6204. ALLEGHENY COUNTY SANITARY AUTHORITY BENJAMIN J. HEILMAN Contract Supervisor

Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Room 251, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on May 2, 2017, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for the following: Pittsburgh Carrick High School Roof Replacement Plumbing Construction Prime Contract - REBID Pittsburgh Liberty K-5 Playground Improvements General Construction Prime Contract Project Manual and Drawings are available for purchase on April 10, 2017 at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 Mc ean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district

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INVITATION TO BIDDERS THE PITTSBURGH WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY ADVERTISEMENT

LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT Port Authority of Allegheny County REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. 17-06 Port Authority of Allegheny County is requesting proposals for the performance of the following service: LEGISLATIVE CONSULTING SERVICES The work under the proposed Agreement consists of providing government relations and lobbying services (Services) to assist in properly representing the Authority before political bodies and similar organizations as deemed necessary by the Authority. This would include: (1) The executive and legislative branches of the Federal government; (2) The executive and legislative branches of the State government; (3) The City of Pittsburgh and other local municipalities; and (4) Allegheny County government. A copy of the RFP will be available on or after April 11, 2017, and can be obtained by registering at the Port Authority ebusiness website: http://ebusiness.portauthority. org and following the directions listed on the website. Please note that Proposers must register under the ebusiness category of PSLC – Pro Legislative Consulting for this RFP. Proposers may also register in other categories for any future RFPs issued by Port Authority. If you have specific questions regarding this RFP, please contact Catherine Terrill at (412) 566-5188. An Information Meeting for interested parties will be held at 9:00 a.m., prevailing time, April 24, 2017 in the Fifth Floor Board Room of Port Authority of Allegheny County’s downtown offices, 345 Sixth Avenue to answer any questions regarding this RFP. Hard copy proposals must be both delivered to, and time stamped by a representative of the Purchasing and Materials Management Department at or before 2:00 p.m., prevailing time, May 15, 2017, at the Purchasing and Materials Management Department, Port Authority of Allegheny County, 345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15222-2527. Proposals received or time stamped in the Purchasing and Materials Management Department after the advertised time for the submission of proposals shall be non-responsive and therefore ineligible for award. Each Proposer shall be solely responsible for assuring that its proposal is timely received and time stamped in accordance with the requirements herein. This Contract Services may be funded, in part, by, and subject to certain requirements of, the County of Allegheny and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The proposal process and the performance of the requested services will be in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Port Authority of Allegheny County, 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 these Contract Services. In this regard, all Proposers 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. Proposers 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 these Contract Services. Port Authority of Allegheny County reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.

SEPARATE and SEALED BIDS for the following solicitation, will be received by the Office of Procurement, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 1200 Penn Ave., Second Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, until 2:00 P.M. EST on May 9, 2017. Bids must be received in the hands of and clocked in by a PWSA Procurement Officer in sufficient time prior to the opening in order for a bid to be considered. INVITATIONS FOR BIDS (IFB) FOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT HILLCREST STREET, NORTH ATLANTIC AVENUE AND DONNA STREET PWSA PROJECT NO. 2016-GI-103-0 The project includes the installation of 3 systems of green infrastructure (GI) BMPs and approximately 300 LF of 15” storm sewer. This includes excavation work, protecting existing utilities, installation of underdrain piping, installation of BMP storage layers (#57 aggregate and modular storage), installation of new catch basins, cored connections into existing manhole structures, sidewalk restoration, site excavation, and plantings of trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials. The work will include the installation of new catch basins, and associated connections into the existing combined sewer system of the PWSA. All bids must be submitted in accordance with the solicitation that can be obtained by sending an e-mail to cjuratovic@pgh2o.com. There will be no charge for the solicitation, as it will be sent via e-mail. All questions relating to the solicitation itself shall be directed to Jim Tracey, Contract Specialist, via e-mail: jtracey@pgh2o.com, no later than May 2, 2017. All Bidders interested in submitting a bid in response to this solicitation are invited to attend a Pre-Bid Meeting to be held on April 26, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. EST in the Authority’s conference room located at 1200 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA. The purpose of this meeting is to give an overview of the contract requirements and to allow Bidders to ask questions. Bids must be accompanied by a Bid Bond in the amount of Ten Percent (10%) of the bid for the project under construction. Said Bond shall be duly and legally executed with a Surety or Trust Company which has complied with City Ordinances/Resolutions relating thereto. A Performance Bond and Labor and Material Bond in the amount of 100% of the contract value for each awarded project will be required after award. The Contractor must assure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, sexual preference, sex, or national origin. The bidders will be required to submit the package of certifications included with the contract documents relating to Equal Employment Opportunity. The Authority reserves the right to withhold the award of the Contract for a period of 60 days after the opening of the bids. The Authority reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, and to waive any informality or minor irregularity in any bid or bids. The Authority also retains the right to investigate the qualifications of bidders prior to any award and to award contracts only to contractors who, in the sole judgment of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, are qualified and equipped to properly execute the specified work. ROBERT A. WEIMAR, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE PITTSBURGH WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY

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INVITATION TO BIDDERS THE PITTSBURGH WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY ADVERTISEMENT

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) FOR FIRE HOSE INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT AUTHORITY WIDE REBID IFB# 300-12-17 REBID

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) FOR TREE AND SHRUB REMOVAL SERVICES AUTHORITY WIDE IFB# 300-21-17

SEPARATE and SEALED BIDS for the following solicitation, will be received by the Office of Procurement, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 1200 Penn Ave., Second Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, until 2:00 P.M. EST on May 9, 2017. Bids must be received in the hands of and clocked in by a PWSA Procurement Officer in sufficient time prior to the opening in order for a bid to be considered. INVITATIONS FOR BIDS (IFB) FOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT CENTRE AND HERRON AVE. PWSA PROJECT NO. 2016-GI-104-0 The project includes the installation of a linear bioswale with underground storage that captures and directs impervious roadways through depressed curbs. This project includes excavation, fine grading, concrete paver installation, protecting existing utilities, installation of underdrain piping, installation of BMP storage layers (#57 aggregate and modular storage), removal of 1 catch basin, coring to an existing catch basin, minor concrete and asphalt restoration. All bids must be submitted in accordance with the solicitation that can be obtained by sending an e-mail to cjuratovic@pgh2o.com. There will be no charge for the solicitation, as it will be sent via e-mail. All questions relating to the solicitation itself shall be directed to Jim Tracey, Contract Specialist, via e-mail: jtracey@pgh2o.com, no later than May 2, 2017. All Bidders interested in submitting a bid in response to this solicitation are invited to attend a Pre-Bid Meeting to be held on April 27, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. EST in the Authority’s conference room located at 1200 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA. The purpose of this meeting is to give an overview of the contract requirements and to allow Bidders to ask questions. Bids must be accompanied by a Bid Bond in the amount of Ten Percent (10%) of the bid for the project under construction. Said Bond shall be duly and legally executed with a Surety or Trust Company which has complied with City Ordinances/Resolutions relating thereto. A Performance Bond and Labor and Material Bond in the amount of 100% of the contract value for each awarded project will be required after award. The Contractor must assure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, sexual preference, sex, or national origin. The bidders will be required to submit the package of certifications included with the contract documents relating to Equal Employment Opportunity. The Authority reserves the right to withhold the award of the Contract for a period of 60 days after the opening of the bids. The Authority reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, and to waive any informality or minor irregularity in any bid or bids. The Authority also retains the right to investigate the qualifications of bidders prior to any award and to award contracts only to contractors who, in the sole judgment of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, are qualified and equipped to properly execute the specified work. ROBERT A. WEIMAR, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE PITTSBURGH WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY

The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): FIRE HOSE INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT AUTHORITY WIDE REBID IFB# 300-12-17 REBID The documents will be available no later than April 10, 2017 and signed, sealed bids will be accepted until 11:00 a.m. on April 28, 2017 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 Thursday, April 20, 2017 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.

NOTICE TO BIDDERS

Sealed bids will be received by the Upper St. Clair Township School District in the Administrative Offices, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania 15241 until 11:00 a.m., prevailing time, Friday, April 21, 2017, and will be opened at the same hour for: •72-passenger conventional school bus •78-passenger conventional school bus Bidding documents may be obtained by contacting Jonn Mansfield, Director of Transportation, at (412) 833-1600 Ext. 3451 or jmansfield@uscsd.k12.pa.us. The Upper St. Clair Township School District reserves the right to reject any or all bids and proposals. Scott P. Burchill, Secretary BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS

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The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): TREE AND SHRUB REMOVAL SERVICES AUTHORITY WIDE IFB# 300-21-17 The documents will be available no later than April 10, 2017 and signed, sealed bids will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. on April 28, 2017 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 Thursday, April 20, 2017 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 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.

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

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