By Natasha Lennard
New York Times
August 19, 2011
From inside Mary Lee Ward’s small and sparsely
furnished living room in Bedford-Stuyvesant, it sounded
Friday as if a block party was in full swing in the
street below. Cars and trucks honked their horns
melodically as they passed and almost 200 voices could
be heard cheering and chanting.
But this was no street party; it was not yet 9 a.m. and
the crowd outside was there as a line of defense.
Ms. Ward – a tiny, soft-spoken 82-year-old – faced
forcible eviction by a marshal on Friday morning
because of a subprime mortgage she bought in 1995. And
so neighbors, friends, housing advocates and supporters
had formed a thick human wall outside Ms. Ward’s small
gray house on Tompkins Avenue in Brooklyn.
Shortly after 9:30, the local state assemblywoman,
Annette Robinson, emerged from the house with news.
“The marshal will not be taking action today,” Ms.
Robinson said over a bullhorn as Ms. Ward stood by her
side. Ms. Robinson vowed to negotiate with the deed
holder to keep Ms. Ward in her home.
A COMMUNITY PRESENTATION
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17TH at 7:00 PM
CHIPPEWA EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH
239 BRAUN ROAD, BEAVER FALLS, PA 15010
Carolyn Knapp and Carol French own working dairy farms in Bradford County, PA. Both have signed gas leases for their property and have experienced the impacts of heavy drilling activity in their community. They have devoted large amounts of time learning about the hydraulic fracturing process and the overall impact it has on the community. They will provide a perspective on fracking that is not being provided by the gas companies. Questions will be taken after their presentation.
Chippewa Evangelical Free Church is not a sponsor and does not endorse the speakers for this event. Chippewa Evangelical Free Church maintains neutrality on the issue of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling. CEFC is only providing a meeting place and is neither for nor against gas drilling.
Some Unions to Skip 2012 Democratic Convention
By SAM HANANEL
Aug 12, 2011 – WASHINGTON (AP) — About a dozen trade unions plan to sit out the 2012 Democratic convention because they’re angry that it’s being held in a right-to-work state and frustrated that Democrats haven’t done enough to create jobs.
The move could pose a larger problem for President Barack Obama next year if an increasingly dispirited base of labor activists becomes so discouraged that it doesn’t get the rank-and-file to the polls in the usual strong numbers.
The unions — all part of the AFL-CIO’s building and construction trades unit — told party officials this week they are gravely disappointed that labor was not consulted before Democrats settled on Charlotte, N.C., where there are no unionized hotels.
"We find it troubling that the party so closely associated with basic human rights would choose a state with the lowest unionization rate in the country due to regressive policies aimed at diluting the power of workers," Mark Ayers, president of the building trades unit, wrote in a letter to Democratic Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
It’s time for a Main Street Contract for the American People. National Nurses United has embarked on a campaign to reverse national priorities and policies that have placed the interests of Wall Street over the crisis facing American families today. The goal is to chart a new contract for the American people — for a better life today and a more secure future for our children and future generations. www.mainstreetcontract.org
Local CWA Union Rep Angered by Verizon Claims
By Megan J. Miller
August 8, 2011 – BEAVER — A local representative of the Communication Workers of America union said Verizon workers were forced to go on strike after the communications giant “put outrageous demands” on them in contract negotiations.
Thousands of Verizon landline employees across several states were striking Monday after talks broke down between the company and the workers’ unions, the CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Michael Rossi, president of the CWA chapter that includes about 250 workers in Beaver County, as well as the Sewickley area and parts of Lawrence and Mercer counties, told The Times that he was angered by a statement released by the company that accused the unions of walking away from the table “instead of continuing to work through the issues.”
The company’s demands include freezing pensions and requiring workers to contribute more to their health insurance premiums, above the 7 percent that Rossi said they now pay.
The proposed changes in benefits over time and holiday pay would cost union members approximately $20,000 per year, he estimated.
“(Verizon) made over $20 billion over the last 4 years,” Rossi said, categorizing the company’s demands as “another attack on the middle class.”
Verizon, for its part, pointed out that its landline business has significantly declined as wireless usage grows and said in a news release that its contract terms reflect “today’s economic realities in our wireline business.”
By Jasiri X and Paradise Gray
According to the New Pittsburgh Courier, “The average homicide victim in 2010 was a 33–year-old Black male with four prior arrests, most likely shot on the North Side, in the Hill District or the East End with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the early morning hours of a Saturday in July. The average shooter was a 29-year-old Black male with four prior arrests. The motive was likely retaliation. And according to the clearance-rate data, there is a 46 percent chance that he is still at large.”
This is why we decided to dedicate our latest video to the problem of violence in our community.
“City of Steel” was filmed on Pittsburgh’s Northside at, Northview Heights housing project, Allegheny County General Hospital, Zone No.1 Police Station, Union Dale Cemetery, and the newly reopened state prison, SCI Pittsburgh.
“City of Steel” was produced by Rel!g!on and directed by Paradise Gray.
This is the third video, in the four video series entitled “The Pittsburgh Press”, which was made possible by a generous Seed Award from the Sprout Fund.