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A4 AUGUST 10-16, 2011

METRO Oldtimers celebrate youth CONTINUED FROM A1

But this year, I said if I can walk, I’m marching with the kids parade because this event is important for the children, the commu- nity and the city,” said Har- ris. Brentley, who’s marched

in the parade in each of the event’s five years, said the idea of bringing young and old together to foster unity is inspiring. “This nexus of old and

young, it was a brilliant in- cite on the part of the Old Timers,” he said. “They are talking, learning to social- ize, and learning that it’s not about the color of your T-shirt, or your neighbor- hood—it’s about together- ness.” And the togetherness was

evident. Along with Harris and Brentley, the march in- cludedmembers of the Perry High School marching band, and football players and cheerleaders fromtheNorth- side Stallions. Old Timers Vice President Fred Fortson

said this year’s eventwas the best attended yet. “It’s grown every year.

Even with the rain this morning, people are coming out,” he said. “I’m very pleased.” Will Thompkins said the

message of nonviolence and togetherness is reaching the youth. “Naturally, you always

want to reach more, but all these communities are com- ing together as family and convincing young people to do the right thing, to cele- brate life,” he said. “It’s a day-by-day thing, but we’re making it.” And when participants

made it to West Park, they were welcomed with music, and by vendors selling a broad variety of food, hand- made clothing and art, and with a children’s area filled with inflatable carnival playhouses.Therewere also tables set up by Dollar Bank, Manchester Youth Development and the Black Political Empowerment

Project. Dena Ligons, representing

the Stallions, said the cele- bration gets better every year. “It would be nice to see

some more support from the individual residents, along with the neighbor- hood groups, but the kids are getting the message,” she said. “We have to con- tinue to show them differ- ent things to bring themto- gether—music, dancing— as a community.” The only complaints

voiced were about the lack of media attention. Harris lamented that they come out for the Batman movie, but not for the Oldtimers annual celebration. “This is something I’d like

to see in all the city neigh- borhoods,” she said. Mildred Tyler, who han-

dles media outreach for the Oldtimers was also disap- pointed by the lack ofmedia attention at the beginning of the day. “They’ll come for shoot-


FAMILY AFFAIR—Mildred Tyler, center, is joined by several generations of family at the 5th Annual Northside Oldtimers community celebration in West Park Aug. 6. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

ings, but not for this. That’s not right,” she said. “If they hear a ‘code blue,’ they’ll be all over the place.” The Oldtimers gathering

was a two day event, Satur- day and Sunday. It’s one of

the largest community gatherings in the city draw- ing hundreds of people from all over the city, plus former North Side residents who come in from out of town to attend. The two days are

filled with food, games, fun and entertainment for all ages, at West Park on the North Side. The park was packed both days. (Send comments to cmor-

Curtis sets record straight Langley, Oliver to be closed CONTINUED FROM A1

quarters, but suggested that the other stores be con- tacted. While most reports stated

that the group of kids went into the Target store, which opened just weeks prior, Target staff said they did not. The Target store man- ager was not available but Target personnel who did not want to be identified said the youth never en- tered the store. Another Target store employee Kim Nemkovich said, “The indi- viduals did not affect our store and itwas business as usual.” “Because we are an anchor

in the community we have reached out to have a meet- ing with Target andMcDon- ald’s,” Rev.Curtis said. The church would like to

discuss the incident and perhaps possible future partnerships, he said. As of the time of the interview he had not received a re-

sponse, but said it was still early. Also since the incident,

the church has received some backlash. There have been negative comments, some Rev. Curtis said have been racial, and sugges- tions for the church to can- cel future community day events. While the suggestionsmay

have beenmade,Rev.Curtis made it clear that he will continue to hold the church’s annual community day. “Too many folk benefit

from this. It is a very posi- tive event,” he said. “We cannot let a negative inci- dent like this affect such a positive event.” Master Yusuf Owens, of a

local martial arts studio who attended the commu- nity day and held martial arts demonstrations, agrees that the picnic should not be cancelled and said, “It (the community day) is a very good thing. (Reverend)

Curtis should be com- mended forwhat he’s doing. There is a need for us to reach into the community and we cannot stop because of a few bad apples. The media doesn’t break things down, they go for what’s sellable. “We have to let them (the

disruptive people) know that we’re not going to stop something good for our peo- ple, but we just have to make it not available to those who are disruptive.” Owens suggested that se-

curity measures be put in place for future events. To the youth who were in-

volved in the incident, Rev. Curtis said, “There are peo- ple that love themtoomuch (for them to act like this.) And whatever caused the venting of this nature, the church is here for them. No matter what the issue may be. As the church’s motto states, ‘We are a ministry that cares.’”

ONYXWomen celebrates 20 years CONTINUED FROM A1

compasses a business mag- azine and a television talk show that focuses on finan- cial empowerment, career advancement,


trepreneurial development and wellness. Jackson was inspired to

launch the company on Mother’s Day 1991 by her husband and son, who had recently been diagnosed with autism. After deciding to stay at home to spend more time with her son, Jackson’s family pushed her to become self employed in order to fulfill her career aspirations. “Just the fact that I was

able to accomplish my per- sonal objective by being able to start a business has been important to me,” Jackson said. “And to see (my son and my company) both growing parallel and they’re both sustaining.” Jackson has received sev-

eral awards including the SBA Minority Champion Award and the New Pitts- burgh Courier’s Women of Excellence Award. Now she will take the time to honor others in the business com- munity and those who have helped her and others to reach career milestones. A special award will be

presented for Robert Lavelle, Dwelling House Savings and Loan. The event is co-sponsored by E. Holdings, LLC, FedEx Ground, PNC Bank and Fifth Third Bank. The other honorees are

Janai Williams, principal, E. Holdings, LLC; Ruth Byrd-Smith,Department of Minority, Women & DBE; Grace Robinson, State Farm Insurance; Chris Moore, radio and television personality; Doris Carson Williams,AfricanAmerican Chamber of Commerce; Rod Doss, Editor and Pub- lisher, New Pittsburgh Courier; Eric Strong, Strong’s Cleaners; Lynne Hayes-Freeland, The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show; Rosemary Crawford, Crawford McDonald, Esq.;

Connie Portis, The Pitts- burgh Black Directory; Bev Smith, The Bev Smith Show; Vice Chancellor Robert Hill, Public Affairs University of Pittsburgh; Me’chelle Humphries- Hayes, Center of Attraction Hair Salon; James and Pamela Johnson, African- American Music Institute; William Pryor, Pryor Furs;

WrennaWatson, solicitor to the Allegheny County con- troller; William Robinson, County Council member; Debra Hickman, Giant Eagle Franchise, East Hills; Phillip Petite, Equal Opportunity Review Com- mission, City of Pittsburgh; and Ronald and Judith Davenport, American Urban Radio Network.


tion to our physical footprint is just the be- ginning.We remain committed to becoming a system of quality schools that promotes high student achievement in themost equi- table and cost-effectivemanner,” said Super- intendent Linda Lane. “Addressing the Dis- trict’s underutilized classrooms will provide us our largest savings in the long run. The way to achieve these savings is through a combination of school closings and by ad- dressing our under-enrolled classes.” If approved the plan would see the clo-

sure of Fort Pitt PreK-5, Murray K-8, Northview PreK-8, Schaeffer K-8, and StevensK-8, in addition toOliver and Lan- gley. The earliest the board would vote on the proposal is Nov. 22. Themost recent proposal is part of a larger

district strategy to increase class sizes and reduce thenumber ofunder-enrolled classes, which is projected to save the district $32 million. Consolidating schools would be one possiblemethod for reducing under-enrolled classes, along with rebalancing feeder pat- terns, reducing class offerings, and combin- ing classes or grade levels. “Larger high schools are going to be able to

offermore course offerings. So there’s going to be some tradeoffs at smaller high schools,” Lane said. “The smaller a school gets, the fewer resources they can draw.” If the district uses the method of consoli-

dating schools as outlined in the new plan, 4098 empty seats would be eliminated from the 10,000 currently not being uti- lized. This would save the district between seven and eight million dollars. “Our work to build a sustainable district

includesmore than just school closings.We are looking inside our schools to realign ev- erything from under-enrolled classes to course offerings—from feeder patterns to staff reductions,” Lane said. “We need to change our educational delivery of services in away that accelerates achievementwith fewer resources.” On the eve of the 2011-2012 school year the district is bracing itself for the impact

of its most recent realignment plan that left many parents and community mem- bers angry over the closing of Peabody High School and changes toWestinghouse High School. Its newest realignment plan is already garnering negative feedback from the public and will undoubtedly re- ceive more. “To be honest, I had sort of anticipated this,

but I’mreally disappointed that theyhaven’t done some groundwork first.One of things I would’ve liked themtohave done is get some information onwhy students are leaving the district. We know there have been several housing complexes that have closed down, but inGarfield they have actually builtmore housing,” said Regina Holley, the District 2 school board candidate, referring to the neighborhoodwhere Fort PittK-5 is located. “It’s in the board’s hands as to whether or not this will be done. I think people need to understand that years ago you had lots of children living in these neighborhoods. I’m just dumfounded about why we’re not look- ing at betterways to help students and fam- ilies so that theywant to come to the district. I don’t believe all of this can be blamed on the budget deficit.We have to look at what we’ve done to alienate parents and families.” Under the new proposal five school build-

ings will be closed with Langley and Oliver remaining opening to facilitate newly con- solidated schools and centers. Langley would hold a new K-8 made up of students from Schaeffer and Stevens as well as the Early Childhood Center from Chartiers. Oliver would serve as a facility for Mc- Naugher special education students. These changes would reduce some of the

district’s capital costs, but could increase transportation costs. The district has not yet determined how many teachers and staff will be lost through the consolidation. Most of the students from Oliver will

most likely go to Perry, whereas the Lang- ley students would go to Brashear. Possi- ble feeder patterns are: Ft. Pitt to Arsenal and Woolslair, Murray to Arlington, and Northview toMartin Luther King.

PBMF Workshop goes on without Moore

ingly really strict but I feel it was something that I needed as a young journal- ist. It kept me on my P’s and Q’s.” No stranger to similar

functions, this was his fifth and according to him, “final high school workshop.”He’d previously attended work- shops at the University of Alabama, University of Florida, the University of Miami, and Marshall Uni- versity inWest Virginia. “I appreciated how this


shop week.” The 2011 workshop’s web-

page can be accessed at http://pbmfworkshop.wordp Anthony Cave, 18, a fresh-

man at Florida Interna- tional University, made the trip from Miami, Fla. He said he found theWorkshop via Google and noticed that the PBMF program ac- cepted graduated high school seniors.He found the work and process to be rig- orous. “It was intense to wake up

at 7 a.m., daily,” Cave said. “To get up, eat breakfast, study for the news quiz, and have to exceed a cer- tain score to win was hard. The program was, surpris-

workshop forcedme to stand up and stand out,” Cave added. “As a journalist you have to speak confidently and you want people to know exactly who you are.” Cave also mentioned that

the group’s trip to PNC Park also made the trip up north worth his while. Moore believes that the

continued success of the workshopwill depend on its alumni to step forward and do, what he calls, “giving back.” “There are several ways

for the alumni of this work- shop to give back to the cur- rent students,” he said. “One way is to come back and to teach a class. But there are many other ways that they can contribute. There are a ton of things that we have to pay for throughout the week. If it takes someone who is doing well in their career and liked what we did for them, giving aminimumof $25 or as much as $100, would be a tremendous way to keep

NEWSROOM—Students in the PBMF Urban Journalism Workshop work diligently to complete stories for the program’s publication The Urban Agenda. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

our program running strong.” There are a number of

donors—both foundations and

local enti-

ties/businesses that give their time and services throughout the week. For the student newscast,

JCPenney in Monroeville Mall donated the apparel that was worn on set. De- signs by S. Renee rendered makeup services and Elliot Simpson of LeKurion pro- vided hair designs free of charge. The Barbers Inn Male Spa and Barber Shop

cut the young lads’ hair pro- bono, as well. Speaking of community

contributions, Emmai Alaquiva, the artistic direc- tor of the Hip Hop On Lock Music education program opened his doors to the stu- dents. They had to develop a business plan for a music production that they recorded in his studio, Ya Momz House—located in East Liberty. The students split up into

two teams and had to com- pete for which overall scheme was better to the

judgeswhowere compiled of workshop instructors. They made an encore appearance on Lockdown Radio, Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. The radio tran- script was then placed on the HHOL website at Helping in the student

projects were the Post- Gazette, Tribune Review and the New Pittsburgh Courier, as well as various radio and television sta- tions in the Pittsburgh market. (Malik Vincent can be reached at

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