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APA Dateline - August 12, 2002


A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Dateline: August 12, 2002

-- Middle Class Returning to The Hill in Pittsburgh --
Middle-class African Americans are steadily returning to the area of Pittsburgh known as The Hill, a phenomenon that some researchers are calling "black gentrification." According
to The New York Times, it's happening in various ways in other historic black enclaves around the country, like Harlem and parts of Washington and Chicago. A chunk of
Pittsburgh's Hill was demolished in the mid-1950s for an urban renewal project. Population decline continued through riots in 1968, the crack epidemic of the 1980s, and the
movement of middle-class blacks to other neighborhoods. But since the mid-1990s, says the Times, "more than $300 million in government and private money has been
committed to tear down dilapidated buildings, rebuild public housing and provide upscale housing."

Read the Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/09/national/09HILL.html

Also online, a 1999 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette four-part series on The Hill: http://www.post-gazette.com/newslinks/1999hilldistrictindex.asp

-- Pittsburgh Schools Face Loss of Foundation Grants --
Three foundations that provide funds to the Pittsburgh public schools are pulling out, reports Education Week, withdrawing $3.8 million over the coming school year. The loss could
grow to $11.5 million over four years if the foundations decide things have not improved. The magazine says that the Grable Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, and the Pittsburgh
Foundation cited a "sharp decline of governance, leadership, and fiscal discipline" in the 38,000-student district. Education Week says the board and superintendent have battled
over a number of issues, particularly the closing of 12 school buildings. Most of the grant money from the foundations paid for reading and mathematics programs.

Read the article: http://www.edweek.org/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=43pittsburgh.h21

Education Week homepage: http://www.edweek.org/ew/

-- Tote that Trash, Lift that Pail --
"The strangest stuff litters the flood-sloshed banks of the Mississippi River and her tributaries," writes Outside Magazine. "[T]ires by the hundred, refrigerators, automobiles,
messages in a bottle, urine in a bottle, and (yikes!) the occasional ice chest containing a severed horse head. When the going gets gross, the man to call is Chad Pregracke, a
crusading voyager in the war against trash." The article in the August issue of Outside, "Dude Over Troubled Water," takes a ride with Pregracke and his crew (collectively, Living
Lands and Waters) as they fill their boats full of the flotsam and jetsam left behind by illegal dumpers and Mississippi floods. They pick up more than 200,000 pounds a year.

Read the story: http://outside.away.com/outside/news/200208/200208_troubled_water_1.adp

-- Corporate Organic Agriculture Overtakes Small Farmers --
In the bigger-guy-wins world of modern agriculture, you might think that the little guy still comes in first in organic farming. Salon.com says think again. In "The not-so-sweet
success of organic farming," Salon reports that organic is "poised for a family takeover. In 2001, global sales of organic foods reached $26 billion; by 2008, that figure is expected
to reach $80 billion. Leading the push toward organic is the European Union, where Belgium, the Netherlands and Wales have set government goals to make 10 percent of all
arable land organic by the year 2010. (In Germany, that figure is 20 percent)." Bottom line: "The original vision of organic farming as ecologically sustainable agriculture practiced by
small farmers is giving way to big business. Organic's success is sowing the seeds of its own co-optation."

Read the article: http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/07/29/organic/index.html

Dateline is based on reports from Internet sources and public and private organizations. For more information, contact sources mentioned in the news item. If you have
suggestions or corrections for Dateline, contact Ralph Jassen at mailto:rjassen@planning.org or Cynthia Cheski at mailto:ccheski@planning.org.