Friday, July 22, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers Training-Camp Schedule Released

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 12:11 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin observes his team at training camp in August 2015 - PHOTO BY AARON WARNICK
  • Photo by Aaron Warnick
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin observes his team at training camp in August 2015
Since the Pirates are starting to have their struggles, maybe it’s time to start looking ahead to Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at St. Vincent’s College, in Latrobe.

The team will open camp on July 28, with the first public practice on July 29. The Steelers were 10-6 last season, and any hope of bettering that mark starts with what Coach Mike Tomlin once famously called “football in sweatpants.”

As in previous years, City Paper will be live at training camp preparing our 2016 Steelers Preview. If you're in the mood to read about them now, check out our preview from last year and see how close we were in our predictions. According to a release from St. Vincent’s College: “Fourteen public practices are scheduled this summer with a special 7 p.m. night practice set for Friday, Aug. 5, at Latrobe Memorial Stadium preceded by Steeler Fest in downtown Latrobe from noon to 6 p.m.”

The full release from St. Vincent’s is after the jump.

Continue reading »

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Republican National Convention Live Blog: Day 4

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:37 PM

10:38 p.m.:

10:37 p.m.:


10:28 p.m.:

10:27 p.m.:


10:20 p.m.:


10:05 p.m.:

News Editor Rebecca Addison is streaming live from the RNC Convention Floor on City Paper's Facebook Page:
9:42 p.m.:

9:40 p.m.:

9:29 p.m.

From Editor Charlie Deitch
News Editor Rebecca Addison just sent this tweet:
Maybe he has a good sense of humor.... I've always wondered if he thought this was a good one:
cp25history_box_24.jpg





9:16 p.m.:
8:40 p.m.:
From Ryan Deto
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PAPER PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
After a long and exhaustive search (it was also exhausting because it's been hot out here all week), City Paper found the only voter registration booth near the Republican National Convention. And “near” might be a stretch considering the booth is about a mile away from the Quicken Loans Arena, the site of the convention. There are none inside the convention perimeter; none in the demonstration-filled Public Square; none on the pedestrian-only street East 4th Street, which is filled with convention tourists and Ohio locals. This comes at a time when Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has consistently claimed how many new voters he has brought in while campaigning.

The lonely booth in Willard Park, which is mostly cut off to vehicular traffic thanks to security, was set up by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. Patricia Carter of the non-partisan LWV said the league saw an opportunity to get voters registered considering the traffic created by the convention. But so far, they have registered just 15 new voters over four days.

When they applied for tent spot with the City of Cleveland, city officials said they could place their booth in Willard Park or Perk Plaza, which is slightly closer, but still a 10 minute walk to the convention site.

“We believe we should get everyone to vote,” said LWV co-president Susan Marnane. “That is how the best decisions get made.”

Additionally, there appeared to been little voter-registration presence in Pubic Square whatsoever. City Paper spoke with several legal observers who are assigned to watch the action, and they said they have not seen any person going around and asking people to register to vote. Natasha Segarra, a Downtown Cleveland resident who has been a regular at Public Square during the convention said she has not seen people trying to resister people to vote, either.

“There is a lot of potential for voter registration,” said Segarra. “I think it is really weird, especially because [Ohio] is a swing state.”

In fact, Ohio has been losing registered voters of the years. The Buckeye State expires voters if they fail to frequently vote and tens of thousands of voters will have to re-register if they wish to vote in the November election, according to Reuters.

Emily Waters, a paid political petitioner attempting to get Ohio voters to sign her petition in Public Square, was baffled that there were no voter registration presence close to the convention.

“Why are they not registering people to vote? That is fucked up,” said Walters. “This is an amazing opportunity, either they don't want people to vote or they are just missing out.”

It could be the former. CP reported on July 20, that Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said to a group of young Republicans attending the RNC: “I don't' want to increase voter turnout unless they vote for me.”

8:15 p.m.:


8:00 p.m. 

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:

Cuyahoga County resident Peter Jedick is at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week to promote his new book How Democrats Bankrupted America. According to Jedick, the book examines America's debt crisis and provides solutions for solving it.

"We have this huge national debt that nobody wants to talk about," says Jedick.

Despite its importance, Jedick says the debt crisis hasn't garnered as much attention in the upcoming presidential election as it should.

"Trump has mentioned it. He talked about renegotiating," says Jedick. "But the solutions he comes up with aren't well thought out. I don't think he's going to think real hard about anything until he gets in [to office.]"

Because of his passion over the debt issue and the little faith he seems to have in Trump's ability to solve it, you'd think Jedick would be rethinking voting for his party's presidential candidate. He isn't.

"His personality isn't the greatest, but I'm a conservative Republican so he's who I'm going to go with," Jedick says.

The fact that many in the Republican party aren't a fan of Trump isn't new. Before his opponents dropped out of the race, many Republican leaders were hesitant to express support for the reality TV star who catapulted into notoriety thanks to an incurable case of verbal diarrhea.

While some delegates at the convention this week seemed to be hoping for a last minute hail mary, and Trump's former opponent Sen. Ted Cruz failed to endorse the Republican nominee in his speech last evening, most have resigned themselves to standing behind him.

One of the reasons seems to be that while Republicans like Jedick aren't sure Trump has actual plans for how he'll improve the country, they're confident he'll fill his cabinet with people who do.

"There comes a point where you have to embrace the unexpected, you have to embrace the unimaginable," says Florida delegate Sean Jackson, who initially supported Jeb Bush. "Even though Trump wasn't my first choice, I am learning every day what a formidable candidate he is. A perfect example is his running mate selection. I think he's doing a good job at putting in place people who will make America great again."

And other delegates at the RNC say even though Trump wasn't their first choice, his victory in November will ensure a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

"I switched to Trump after he became the last person out of the 17 that were running," says David Foreman, alternate delegate from Texas who supported Sen. Marco Rubio. "More important to me than Trump or even [Hillary] Clinton, is the issues. I support the issues. And I support the Republican party because we can't afford to have liberal justices appointed."

"If for no other reason, the Supreme Court is why you vote for him," says Arizona alternate delegate Corky Haynes. "He's also put out a list of the type of constitutionalist he would pick."

Haynes and fellow Arizona alternate Barbara Wylie of Grassroots Grandmas, a conservative Tea Party group, say Trump is filling his knowledge gaps with people and organizations like the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

"He knows he doesn't know it all," says Haynes.

"Like him or hate him, we need him," says Wylie. "And he's listening to the right people."

7:53 p.m.
From MultiMedia Editor Ashley Murray

About 15,000 journalists descended on Cleveland for the Republican National Convention this week, and the media center — dubbed "Media Row" — is full of work stations for nearly 90 outlets. There are the big players of course — CNN has its own CNN Grill just outside of the Quicken Loans Arena. But there's also a diverse range of outlets, from legacy media to two guys in a sound booth uploading to Soundcloud. There's media for media — Skype has partnered with the Associated Press to "offer a cost-efficient alternate solution to satellite broadcasting," a Skype representative tells City Paper's multimedia editor Ashley Murray.

Logo TV's — the LGBT-focused TV network — political correspondent Raymond Braun has been walking around inside and outside of the convention wearing a rainbow flag so LGBT Republicans "feel comfortable talking to me." The network is here looking at two main topics: the experience of being LGBT and Republican, and "how you reconcile being part of a party that adopted what is widely considered the most anti-LGBT platform ever," he says. "My mission is to bring LBGTQ issues front and center in American politics." Braun says he's spoken to most white gay men at the RNC, and says "They're saying 'Human beings are complex and the party does not represent all of our views, but we can make change by speaking out on what matters to us.'"

Al Jazeera network tells Murray they brought five teams from their Arabic, English and Balkan services as well as their Washington, D.C., bureau. "Al Jazeera Arabic [in Doha, Qatar] is going live to the RNC three times a day," AJ news producer Ahmed Alsamariaa says.

Down the hall at Media Row, at local CBS affiliate Cleveland 19 News, a station editor says work has been exciting and busy for his station between the Cavs' NBA championship win and the RNC. Anchor and reporter Dan DeRoos prepares for a live shot on a TV set. "It literally feels like Cleveland is spinning right now, but in a good direction."


6:40 p.m.


CP's multimedia editor Ashley Murray also couldn't miss Pa. 12th District delegate Mike McMullen, who was walking around the RNC in a Crosby jersey with a Terrible Towel draped over his shoulder. You can take the delegate out of Pittsburgh, but you can't take the Pittsburgh (or, Pittsburgese, just listen) out of the delegate.



6:22 p.m.

20160721_134725.jpg
CP's multimedia editor Ashley Murray followed up with Desmond Harrison, the local vendor we covered on Tuesday. Harrison has since set up shop in a better spot — on Prospect and East 4th, across from the Q. Sandwiched between vendors who traveled from Nevada and Arizona, Harrison says he's barely broken $1,000. (He told CP on Tuesday that he invested $3,000 in product.) Still hopeful, he says "I learned a lot this week."


5:48 p.m.
From Editor Charlie Deitch:
Pastor Lori McPherson - PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY CHARLIE DEITCH
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Charlie Deitch
  • Pastor Lori McPherson

It's north of 90 degrees, sweat is beading off her upper lip and Pastor Lori McPher son of Maryland says she has to stand in Public Square in front of anti-gay, anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-everything protesters at the RNC in Cleveland.

“Somebody has to do it,” McPherson says, “No one from the GOP's going to do it. The delegates arren't going to stand here and contradict their hate speech.”

As she stood there, McPherson occasionally laughed as the protesters made inane, insulting and completely ridiculous comments about the evils of masturbating, being black, being gay, being muslim or pretty much anything other than a white male who spews asinine rhetoric. She almost seems like it doesn't bother her. Don't let that look fool you.

“I mean, how could it not bother me,” she says. “This is the worst kind of hate speech. You can't let that go unchecked.

“You just can't.”


5:24 p.m.

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:
Sean P. Jackson - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Sean P. Jackson

According to RNC delegate Sean P. Jackson, chairman of the Black Republican Caucus of Florida, the biggest problem facing American education is "a lack of funding." And how can the nation's lawmakers solve that problem?

"Put some more money for education in the budget," Jackson says.

His notion is far from traditional. Republicans aren't known to be advocates for increasing federal spending for much besides national security. And locally, former Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) spearheaded one of the largest cuts to education funding the state has ever seen.

But at an education event held earlier today, Jackson said education funding issues are hurting schools around the country. And he said it's not just about increasing funding, but also ensuring funds are being spent correctly at the local level.

"I don't think it's an unpopular idea among Republicans," Jackson says. "Allocation of funding at the local level has been prioritized in the wrong ways."

Today's event was hosted by the National School Board Action Center as part of their campaign to make public education a talking point in the presidential election. They'll also be hosting an event at the Democratic National Convention next week.

"We have not heard from our candidates about education at all," says JoDee Sundberg, NSBAC president. "I would like to hear what their plans are. Will they be advocates for the 50 million children around the country in public schools?"



5:00 p.m.:


4:54 p.m.:



4:52 p.m.:


3:55 p.m.:

3:00 p.m.

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:


Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to reporters about why Latino voters should embrace the Republican party.



2:50 p.m.:

2:09 p.m.:
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows
From Ryan Deto
On Day 3 of the Republican National Convention, Cleveland Chief of Police Calvin Williams spent an afternoon walking around Public Square meeting and greeting protesters, demonstrators and bystanders. Public Square is a large park in Downtown Cleveland, just a few blocks from the Quicken Loans Arena, the site of the RNC.

“So far so good,” said Williams about policing during the convention. There have been some arrests, like at a flag burning near the convention site  on July 20 and Public Square saw a minor scuffle erupt when Alex Jones, of controversial conspiracy website Infowars.com, made an appearance, but largely, violence has been absent.

After three days, nothing controversial has happened involving police officers, and a deeper look into the policing strategies may reveal why. For one, there are thousands of police officers present all throughout Downtown Cleveland, from nearly 20 different units, some hailing from as far away as California. The convention site is also walled-off by more than two miles of 8-foot-high chainlink fence, cutting off access to a block of downtown about a square mile in area. There are even several small police boats patrolling the Cuyahoga River, which runs down in a small valley from the convention site.

And while the police presence and warzone-like aesthetic might be off-putting to some, police expert and University of Pittsburgh professor David Harris said that it is not that surprising, considering the ethos of law enforcement.

“The perceptive of law enforcement usually follows the ‘better-safe-than-sorry’ model,” said Harris. “But this is not always fair, if you come out to protest.”

Harris said that protesters may be drawing the short straw, considering the majority of their demonstrations are happening blocks from the convention entrance, blocks away from the delegates they’re trying to influence. Some protests have occurred right next to the entrance, but the largests ones have taken place at Public Square, where delegates and convention goers can easily circumvent.

“You want delegates to see the protests, and not effectively cut off the protests to the people who count the most,” said Harris.

A similar situation occurred in Pittsburgh in 2009 when the city hosted the G-20 Summit at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. All highway exits and bridges were blocked and a line of police officers blocked protesters in the Strip at around 31st Street. No international leaders saw the lass of protests.

The same is going on here. In fact, City Paper reported the basically silent protests going on at another Cleveland-designated “demonstration site,” more than two miles from convention. And all this after the ACLU of Ohio won a case against the RNC, after challenge their strict protest rules.

But when the protests have actually escalated to a somewhat tense level, the police have been there to effectively calm the action with a relatively new method: bikes. The Cleveland Police Department purchased hundreds of mountain bikes, thanks to a federal grant, and have had officers ride into action and form barriers with their bikes. The city received a $50 million federal grant for convention security. $20 million for new equipment and the rest for personnel.

Chief Williams says that the police department has been trained to use the bikes in this way and that the technique emerged about a year ago. Harris said he has not heard of police forces using bikes in this way before, but said bikes can be effective tools for officers since they are the fastest way to get around dense areas.

Bikes may also be a more calming force, since people are rarely intimidated by them, according to Harris. He says this is in contrast with mounted police on horseback. “A bicycle can’t kick you.”

Another new technique potentially calming the crowd is the use of hand-held video recorders. Even though police officers have body cameras, they sometimes are holding up camcorders to document the action. One Cleveland police officer told CP this is to get a different perspective than the body cameras.

Harris said hand-held video recorders, in addition to being regulated differently than body cameras, also offer a different perspective to the public too. “Being on video might chill your desire to practice your first amendment right.”

Harris also wonders if the constant visible presence is necessary. He said when the G-20 summit was in Pittsburgh, police officers also amassed large numbers and used similar techniques when policing Downtown Pittsburgh. He said the result was mostly a ghost town.

Harris thinks having officers at the ready, but in a not publicly visible staging area would be a more effective method

“You want to be ready for anything, but not necessarily present yourself [an omnipresent] way,” said Harris.



12:30 p.m.:
Photos from Day 3 at the RNC are up now, from photographer Aaron Petan. 
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

10:15 a.m.:

CP's multimedia editor Ashley Murray reports on the party atmosphere at the Republican National Convention. Bars inside the security perimeter are open all day but issue a last call each evening before the session begins. Is it so Republicans don't skip the speeches and stay outside to imbibe? Don't worry, the bars open again immediately after the session and serve into the wee hours. 



8:48 a.m.:
_img_3241.jpg.jpg
A Roundup of Day 3 happenings from around the web:
By Charlie Deitch

The big news from Day Three was of course Sen. Ted Cruz not endorsing Donald Trump. Last night, I compared it to a mic drop. But I think this scene from the Original Bad News Bears movie is closer to what happened. In the film Joey the pitcher was slapped by his dad and he got revenge by letting the other team score. Cruz, if you remember, took quite the personal beating from Trump. In recent months Trump has called Cruz a liar and attacked both Cruz's wife and father. This was definitely Ted Cruz's "Throw the ball Joey" moment. I'll have some more thoughts on Cruz's speech later once I arrive in Cleveland for the last day of the convention.

Our Own Ryan Deto described the feeling in the room last night thusly:

"Members of the crowd were even shouting "Endorse Trump!" But, Cruz didn't give in to their demands. "Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust and are faithful to the [U.S.] Constitution," said Cruz, but did not say to vote for Trump. Cruz, ironically, mentioned Republican Party unity a few times in his speech."

Politico also gives a nice take on Cruz's defiant moment:

"Ted Cruz could have done more than anyone on Wednesday night to unite the divided Republican Party by uttering a few simple words: Vote for Donald Trump. Instead, he chose payback."

Finally, I'll leave you with this great piece by Theo Anderson at In these Times magazine from Chicago. He wanted to ask delegates what Trump's catch-phrase "Make America Great Again" really meant in terms of substance. His interview subjects didn't appreciate the question or apparently the inference that it meant well, nothing.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo recap of Day 3 at the RNC

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 6:27 AM

Aaron Petan's photographs from Day 2 at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. 
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan


PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan


dsc_1719.jpg
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Republican National Convention Live Blog: Day 3

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 10:57 PM

11:06 p.m.

10:50 p.m.

10:44 p.m.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
From Reporter Ryan Deto:

Texas U.S. Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz did not give an endorsement to Donald Trump.

Cruz congratulated Trump on winning the nomination at the start of his speech, but did not mention Trump during the rest of his 20 minute talk.

Members of the crowd were even shouting "Endorse Trump!" But, Cruz didn't give in to their demands. "Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust and are faithful to the [U.S.] Constitution," said Cruz, but did not say to vote for Trump.

Cruz, ironically, mentioned Republican Party unity a few times in his speech.

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich attempted to cover up for Cruz.

"Ted Cruz said that voters should vote [for those] faithful to the Constitution, and the only nominee who will be faithful to the Constitution is Donald Trump." 


10:35 p.m.

Ted Cruz be like:

via GIPHY




10:29 p.m.

10:15 p.m.

News Editor Rebecca Addison is passing the time outside the RNC in Cleveland with a little Pokemon GO.


10:11 p.m.

10:08 p.m.

9:40 p.m.

9:30 p.m.
From Ryan Deto:

The first speakers on night three of the Republican National Convention was a mix of fiery orators and inexperienced novices in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Laura Ingraham, a popular conservative radio host, took on a Trump-like demeanor and pandered to the crowd. The crowd roared when she insulted the media and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. "Hillary Clinton believes that there is a government solution to every problem. No Hillary, you are the problem," said Ingraham.

Ingraham even included a tangential joke and insulted men who wear skinny jeans and keep their hair in "man buns."

However, other than the energy expounded by Ingraham, many of the speakers did not give a boost to the thousands in attendance. Businessman and developer Phil Ruffin rambled on and praised Trump for "paying his bills on time."

Michelle van Etten, of Women in Business for Trump, which formed less than two months ago, appeared to not have much public-speaking experience. She struggled to look at the audience while reading the teleprompter. 

But a motive for many of these inexperienced speakers seemed evident. Three of the five speakers were from Florida, which could be a key swing state in the general election this November.

9 p.m.


8:03 p.m.


7:55 p.m.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, right in blue shirt, talks to a group of young Republicans Wednesday afternoon at the RNC in Cleveland - PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, right in blue shirt, talks to a group of young Republicans Wednesday afternoon at the RNC in Cleveland
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says GOP will die if Hillary Clinton is elected
By Ryan Deto

At a meeting of members of the Young Republicans Caucus at the Downtown Cleveland Marriott, the message from established Republicans to youthful GOP members was clear: desperation. “If Hillary [Clinton] wins, you may never have another chance,” said Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick in terms of seeing the Republican Party survive.

Many on both sides of the aisle have made this claim since Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump won the nomination by using what his allies have called straight talk but most others have labeled as hate speech toward immigrants and Muslims and focused on what some would consider progressive trade policies. But Patrick believes the end of the Grand Ole Party will come because of voter fraud that would apparently occur if presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

“Voter fraud will be an institution,” said Patrick.

Patrick didn’t hide his skeptical feelings about the voting process either. He told a story of when he was running for office and how he made sure not to focus on increasing voter turnout. “I don’t want to increase voter turnout unless they vote for me,” said Patrick. (In the last primary elections, Texas had the second lowest voter turnout rates of any other state; around 80 percent of adult Texans did not vote.)

This confession came at the same time Patrick twas told by some of the young Republicans that many of them were looking for a candidate other than Trump. He responded to the group that voting for one side or another is “not about people, but about principles.”

But some of the younger speakers at the gathering said they were focused on getting more young people to join the Republican Party and convincing youth to get involved in government. In fact, one delegate from Arkansas talked about making the party more inclusive and creating participation across all demographics.

“We need to reach out to minority communities,” said Daren Waddles of University of Arkansas Little Rock Young Republicans. “We know there are those in the black community who share our values.”



7:00 p.m.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Rebecca Addison
Today was a lucky day for Oklahoma delegate John Roberts. He purchased the last pair of Reagan Bush cufflinks from the Freedom Marketplace at the RNC.

"I grew up in the Reagan Era. That's who I saw on TV and it was a very formative experience for me," Roberts says. "So there's a real sense of nostalgia attached to these."

You can't take two steps in the marketplace without tripping over Reagan merchandise. The former Republican president, who has been elevated to sainthood by many in his party, can be found on t-shirts, lapel pins, framed memorabilia and, of course, cufflinks.

"Reagan's usually the favorite," says Jonathan Toler who was running the All Pro Classics booth. "We obviously try to go with items that feature whoever the candidate is and other fan favorites."

But while traditional merchandise is popular at conventions, other vendors are keeping up with pop culture trends. At the Future Female Leaders booth, you can find a t-shirt with a picture of the founding fathers above the words "squad goals."

FFL is aimed at increasing female leadership in the Republican party. And with merchandise like elephant-print dresses and skirts, and a t-shirt that reads "girls just want to have guns," it's clear the group is putting a Republican spin on the fashions currently being marketed to young women via social media sites like Instagram.

"We're a social movement for young conservative women," says Victoria Feldmeier, a Pittsburgh-area native who was working at the FFL booth. "Our merchandise is a little sassy, definitely conservative. We promote being a conservative woman in a world where that's often viewed negatively."

4:50 p.m.
PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photograph by Rebecca Addison
From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:

Less than an hour ago, a protest near the entrance to the RNC drew a swarm of police after opposing groups clashed when one tried to burn the American flag.

But down the street at an art installation at the 5th Street Arcades, the mood has been much calmer. Vote for The Good Life is a non-partisan art installation aimed at reducing tension between the opposing political factions involved in this month's conventions.

"We aim to emphasize the common ground between the two parties, which is that we all want the good life," says Sofia Seidel, an organizer. "We feel that dialog needs to come from a place of understanding our common ground."

And so far, organizers say it's been working.

The United Nations has identified health; education and skills; fair, honest, responsive government; protection; clean environment; food and water; freedom; jobs and income; social connections; exposure to arts and culture; and housing and transportation as quality of life indicators. Participants at the installation are asked to play a game or dialog around these "good life" indicators.

"We had this really avid Trump fan," Seidel says. "We asked him to do a dialog with one of our artists who is very blue, very Democrat. When [the Trump fan] left he said 'I think you guys tricked me; I feel like I made a friend.'"

4:46 p.m.: 

4:40 p.m.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ashley Murray
From Multimedia Editor Ashley Murray:

Legal observers make sure police action lines up with protesters' First Amendment rights

As protesters bring their views to the streets, and police are charged with making sure they can assemble peacefully, there is another level of security protecting them — legal observers.

Throughout Cleveland this week for the Republican National Convention, several legal observing groups are watching to ensure that the law enforcement do not break First Amendment laws. Among them are the dozen Amnesty International team members in neon yellow shirts. City Paper ran alongside Amnesty International's Eric Fererro and asked questions as he and other observers watched police surround a spontaneous and tense crowd at 9th and Superior.

What are your observers watching for right now?

What our observers do is they monitor and make sure people are able to protest peacefully. So the're watching how police respond to the protest, where officers are, where equipment is being set up, we go to both the sanctioned events that people have permits for as well as spontaneous protests that we learn about through social media and other monitoring, and try to monitor as many of the protests and events that we can.

Has your team contested any police action in Cleveland this week?
So far what we've observed is by and large peaceful protests and by and large police acting appropriately to protect the right to protest peacefully, whatever you view may be. When we do see things that are questioning or concerning, the observers gather follow-up facts and information about it. So we have a couple of individual situations where we're still doing that. For example, a possible arrest [Monday] that we're still following up on to understand the circumstances around it.

At this point, he told me we had to run. Listen to the audio below of the Amnesty International legal observers running after protests in Cleveland. As we ran, Fererro continued explaining the situation.


You'll see what happens is we move quickly to get into situations and then we stay at a safe distance to observe. They take notes, they document, they do audio notes, they take pictures, they take video and then all of that gets recorded as part of the observations. Then they'll piece that together with other observer teams and so we'll stuff from different points of view.

You have 12 observers in Cleveland? Are they all here?
There's also other protests going on right now. Sometimes we'll have multiple teams at one protest, sometimes we'll have teams farmed out across different protests.

Have you contributed information about questionable police activity at protests in the past?
We had observers in Ferguson and Baltimore during some of the unrest there following police shootings. And then of course around the world. We've had observers in Egypt when the Arab Spring protests began for example.

What is an example of good police practice in protest situations?
You want police to have a presence so that they're protecting the safety of everyone. You don't want them to have an overbearing presence so that people's right to speak and their ability to come together and voice an opinion is chilled or more inhibited. For example we've seen police on bikes going back and forth around some of the public squares during the protests. That is a good practice, that they keep a presence up but it's not overwhelming or chilling. We saw earlier in the public square a bit ago police essentially form a line down the middle of the square so that these two kind of opposing groups of protesters could continue to protest, but it wouldn't escalate into violence. That kind of deescalates without dispersing a crowd. Allowing all that protest to happen, people with all kinds of views being able to co-exist, that's a good example

What is a bad example?
A bad example would be an order of dispersal too early. An order of dispersal when they could've maintained peaceful protest in other ways. And of course you get into how they order a dispersal. Do they give enough notice for people to leave after they order it? Do they use any kind of reagents like tear gas or that sort of thing? If so, that has got to be a last resort.

CP followed up with Ferrero this afternoon, and he says his observers are questioning the dispersal of the crowd once the protest moved to 9th and Lakeside avenues.

4:34 p.m. 
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows
From Billy Ludt:
A Republican National Convention occupation is taking place at Goodrich-Kirtland Park, outside of Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The space is located next to an airport, off of Interstate 90, opposite Lake Erie.

Around 40 occupiers have set up camp on the grounds, hailing from separate parts of the country. The trees and playground equipment in the park is adorned in proper fashion, most noticeable is a sign hanging from the park’s jungle gym, reading “Occupation of the RNC.”

“What we are doing here is not camping; we are occupying,” says occupier Coulter Loeb.

Representation from both pro and anti-trump and various religious ideologies are set up at the park, in light of the protesters’ and occupation’s low turnout.

“There wasn’t too much organization of people trying to come together,” says occupier Coulter Loeb.

Despite the conflicting ideologies and heated demonstrations taking place two miles away in downtown’s Public Square, conversations have been peaceful in the park. Loeb says occupiers stayed up until 3 a.m. today, discussing various views. Last night, a talent show was organized and held in the park, and occupiers put their personal talents on display.

Operations at Goodrich-Kirtland have not all been smooth.Cleveland designated Goodrich-Kirtland an open space for demonstrations, but Secret Service has prevented occupiers from having access easy access to electricity.

“I have been relying on other friends to find out what’s happening at the convention center,” says Loeb. Communication between Loeb and medical or legal consultation has been cut off as well due to the lack of electricity, running through two 10 amp batteries in the time he’s been in the park.

“People were kind of skeptical about even camping in the park,” says occupier Greg Clark.

The skepticism came from the police and armed Donald Trump supporters currently in Cleveland.
Clark said he and others made their way to Cleveland after attending the Rainbow Gathering in Vermont.

“This guy walked up a little bit ago, and he put it best by saying like, ‘Y’know, cops is like this:” and John, an occupier, who wished to withhold his last name, held his arm straight up, hand flat. “‘Now the reporters is like this:’” his hand now at eye level. “‘And the amount of people here that are actually protesting is actually like this:’” moving his hand to the ground.

Members of the RNC occupation plan to make their way to Philadelphia next week to protest the Democratic National Convention. Protesters are planning to converge and pool together supplies for the trip out, but a meeting place has yet to be determined.


3:38 p.m.:

3:20 p.m.:



2:30 p.m.:
PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photograph by Rebecca Addison

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:

A handful of pro-choice advocates gathered in the free speech zone set up in Cleveland's public square this afternoon. There they shared personal stories about the importance of abortion and reproductive health access for women.

“We want to send a message to all the anti-choice advocates here,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. “Whether it's defending Planned Parenthood or other reproductive-health services, women of color have had it harder and taken it on the chin like they always do. This is about a lot more than politics. For women across the country, one in five will need access to an abortion at some point in their lifetime.”

The free speech zone was set up by the City of Cleveland. Speakers signed up at city hall and are given 30 minutes to speak.

Unfortunately for the pro-choice women, another group entered the square soon after they began speaking. Spewing hateful statements about pro-choice advocates, the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBT community, the counter group quickly drew a larger crowd of spectators than the group in the free speech zone.

But a large portion of the people surrounding the counter group, were police officers, with a half dozen rows of police in front of and behind them.

“It's really funny. It's political protests combined with a circus,” says Marnie Halasa, who dressed as a butterfly with a sign saying “Let Democracy Fly.” “The anti-Trump and pro-Trump protesters are all talking to each other here and mostly being civil. So the huge police presence is unsettling. I understand it, in light of [the shootings] in Dallas and Baton Rouge, but I think it's overkill.”

2:00 p.m.:
PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photograph by Rebecca Addison
From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:
Today is Zac Alberty's third day protesting at the convention. But unlike the anti-Trump contingent, Bible thumpers and "Hillary for Prison" people, Alberty's message is a little lighter.

Today in the public square, his neon green sign reads "Make Memes Great Again." Yesterday, his sign said "Shrek is Love. Shrek is Life."

"I'm just trying to make people laugh," says Alberty. "There are so many signs of hate out here."

As a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Alberty says he isn't affiliated with either side in the upcoming election. The Cleveland native says the convention has been good for his city and the restaurant where he works and he hopes there won't be any violent incidents.

"If we can handle the crowds we had down here for the [Cleveland Cavaliers] victory, we can handle this," Alberty says. "I just don't want anyone to get hurt."

1:58 p.m.:

1:39 p.m.:
Pro-life speakers in Public Square clash with uber conservative religious protests on opposite sides of the space.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Photograph by Gabby Fellows

1:03 p.m.: 
Occupiers taking over a playground. 
PHOTOGRAPH BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Photograph by Gabby Fellows
PHOTOGRAPH BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Photograph by Gabby Fellows


11:15 a.m.:

Our photographers and reporters were everywhere yesterday and we have a photo slideshow by Aaron Petan capturing everything from protesters to the Second Amendment in action.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan
10:45 a.m.:
Here's a look back at what others are saying about Day 2 of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan

We covered a wide array of topics from the RNC yesterday on our live blog from tense moments out in Cleveland's Public Square to Donald Trump's historic Republican Presidential Nomination.

The team over at Politifact fact-checked the RNC's speakers including Chris Christie and Donald Trump Jr. While most of last night's statements proved "Mostly False" or worse, Christie was apparently completely truthful in his assessment of Clinton's Benghazi email scandal.


Clearly one of the most entertaining speeches Tuesday night came from Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned presidential candidate turned Trump supporter. I'm not really sure what he was saying, but I think it has to do with Hillary Clinton being best pals with Beelzebub. Huffington Post has more on that


Finally, there was a lot of talk yesterday about Melania Trump's alleged plagiarism of a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama. But the "My Little Pony Defense" is just awesome. 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Photographs from Day 2 at the Republican National Convention

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Aaron Petan's photographs from Day 2 at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. 
   
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
PHOTOGRAPH BY AARON PETAN
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan


Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Republican National Convention Live Blog: Day 2

Posted By , , and on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 10:20 PM

12:30 a.m.:

Day 2 is a wrap. Watch our highlight video below:



10:19 p.m.:


10:15 p.m.:


10:06 p.m.: 
9:29 p.m.
9:15 p.m.

Now that the delegates' votes have been counted, with Republican nominee Donald Trump hitting the magic number of 1,725, the RNC has moved on to its primary mission, attacking Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton.

Several Trump supporters, including Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, criticized Clinton's foreign policy experience as secretary of state.

"If we can't trust her to tell the truth, how can we possibly trust her to lead America," said Sen. Ron Johnson. "America needs strong leadership, someone who will strengthen our borders and defeat ISIS."

9:12 p.m.


Political activist Van Jones just summed up the speakers we've heard at the RNC to this point. He said this convention was about "angers not answers," and the only goal was to attack Hillary Clinton. On a night there were supposed to be thoughts on the U.S. economy it appears to be just another anti-Hillary evening. 


8:55 p.m.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows

From Gabby Fellows:
Folks are walking around inside the highest-trafficked areas outside of the Republican National Convention donned with safety-pinned red and white patches.

They call themselves the RNC Street Medics. They're a team of volunteers devoted to providing primary and secondary first aid to anyone participating in or listening to the protests in the high-stress areas of downtown Cleveland.

"We get all of our medical supplies through money we've raised or donations," a member of the street team told CP. "If we can't buy needed supplies or get someone to give them to us, we all pitch in and purchase them ourselves."

So far, the street team hasn't had to provide serious treatments to rally-goers.

"We just want to do what we can to help those gathered in Cleveland for this cause."



8:40 p.m.



8:37 p.m.

8:34 p.m.
Two twitter reactions to Trump receiving the Republican nomination:



8:19 p.m.


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows
As Donald Trump prepares to address the delegates who have named him the Republican Presidential nominee, CP's Gabby Fellows is reporting that the scene outside the convention is more sedate, but the police presence is still quite large. But the protesters' message has largely remained the same.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows
7:10 p.m.

Donald Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. just announced New York's 89 delegate votes for his father, putting the Republican candidate over the threshold of votes needed to win the nomination.

"I've been able to watch, as a small fly on the wall, all my father has done in creating this movement. Because it's not a campaign anymore, it's a movement, speaking to real Americans," Trump, Jr., said.

6:30 p.m. 


Republican delegates are taking a role call vote to finalize Trump's nomination.

6:00 p.m.

The third session of the RNC got off to an unusual start this evening when Harmeet Dhillon, a self described Sikh American, delivered a Sikh prayer in Punjabi and English. The Republican convention and party have been criticized for a lack of diversity and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, especially, isn't known for embracing diversity. 

But it didn't take long for the convention to return to form. Minutes later, when U.S. Senate. Jeffrey Sessions (R-Ala.) Took the stage to nominate Trump, he took the opportunity to criticize President Barack Obama for statements he made in response to the recent deaths of several police. Characterizing Obama's call for improved community-police relations as political correctedness, Sessions said the country needs a leader willing to tell the truth. 

"The American voters heard his message and rewarded him with a huge victory in our primaries," Sessions said.
                                                                                               —Rebecca Addison
5:50 p.m.
From Gabby Fellows:

Police officers, state highway patrolmen and bomb squads have all been spotted at this year's Republican National convention. Almost always, they are seen in groups of four or more.

“A lot of us cops are from out of state, but we stay in groups mostly because it's been policy to do so for this week,” one officer told CP.

“That way, if one of us gets hurt, there will be someone from our troop to witness it”, another said.

Both officers that spoke are not pictured in this photo.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gaby Fellows

5:09 p.m.

A select group of merchants was allowed into the Freedom Marketplace inside the authorized zone, but luckily Rebecca Addison was able to find this:



5:02 p.m. 
From Reporter Ryan Deto:

City Paper spoke with Jose Sigfredo Landaverde, an immigrant activist from Chicago who walked 360 miles to Cleveland to protest Donald Trump. It took him 27 days and he slept in 
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
campsite and churches to reach the Republican National Convention.

"Trump is trying to separate communities," said Landaverde. "He is terrorizing immigrants with his speech."

Landaverde is also a priest and he said that there is "evil" in Trump's message. He is also critical of Trump's, and many other Republican politician's, attach on Sanctuary Cities (municipalities that don't communicate with immigration officers).

Landaverde said Sanctuary Cities are important because they show we are welcoming and they "provide open doors" to immigrants who feel constantly under threat.

4:39 p.m.

Our CP team is reporting that police have "pretty much taken over Public Square." Ashley Murray reports that Stevedor Crawford, of Columbus, Ohio, held a green toy gun and protested in Cleveland's Public Square, "Tamir Rice was murdered by a P-I-G, was a K-I-D, had a T-O-Y." He told City Paper that he came here, along with for kids, who also protested with him. "I came down here to let it be known that politics is never more important than a 12-year-old boy's life."
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows

4:18 p.m.
Billy Ludt was just at Public Square where he witnessed right wing talker Alex Jones get escorted out of the square by police after a "physical conflict." It's unclear exactly what happened and this cell phone video won't provide a much clearer picture, but the audio paints a picture. Video by Billy Ludt.


3:48 p.m.
CP reporters and photographers in Cleveland say Public Square seems to be the assembly point for protesters and others wishing to speak their mind and assemble for marches, protests, etc. These photos are coming in from CP's intern duo Gabby Fellows and Billy Ludt. More police are beginning to assemble as are everyday citizens exercising their right to carry weapons in public. Also, everyone's favorite crazies from the Westboro Baptist Church are scheduled to be in town this evening. I think I'm really starting to feel America get great again! #sarcasmcrossing.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY BILLY LUDT
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Billy Ludt
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows

3:37 p.m.
Not all vendors are shut out of the restricted convention area. Rebecca Addison is talking with vendors lucky enough to get beyond the fences.


3:19 p.m.
Ashley Murray reports that a small anti-Muslim protest is currently preceding down Euclid Avenue near the convention site. However, unlike other protests, that have gone on, This group is enjoying two columns of bicycle officers flanking them on either side. Murray attempted to interview the protesters and was prevented by officers. She identified herself as a reporter and showed her RNC-
issued credentials but was still told by officers, "I don't care."

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ashley Murray
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ashley Murray
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ashley Murray

3:07 p.m.
Reporter Ryan Deto spoke to some locals who say Clevelanders have been excluded from the excitement surrounding Republican National Convention. 
Uber Driver Lisa Rand - PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Uber Driver Lisa Rand
By Ryan Deto

Cleveland, Ohio might feel like the center of the political and cultural universe right now, but many local residents and business say they aren’t experiencing any of the positive side effects. The Republican National Convention, where presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will likely accept his party’s nomination, has received international attention and has people talking about Cleveland with the same excitement as when the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first NBA championship in June.

RNC officials estimated that the Trump-sized event could have 50,000 attendees and bring in $400 million in economic impact to the city, however most of that appears to be centralized in the designated, partly-fenced-off area surrounding the Quicken Loans Arena, in Downtown Cleveland.

Lisa Rand, a driver with the ride-hailing company Uber, has been driving passengers to the convention and says the expressways heading into Downtown Cleveland were mostly empty during rush hour on July 18 and July 19. “It is kind of a ghost town here,” she said.

Because security efforts have been so extensive, many locals have felt pushed out of the nightlife district in Downtown’s Playhouse Square, according to Rand. “As I try to enter Downtown, the main attractions and where everything should be and where people should be out partying is [fenced off],” said Rand. “You don't really get to be a part of this, especially if you are from Cleveland.”

More than two miles of roads have been closed for the convention, cutting off more than a square mile of Downtown to those without an access pass who want to enjoy the Downtown attractions, including theaters, bars, clubs and restaurants.

In fact, many people City Paper spoke to said many Clevelanders have left town in attempt to avoid the chaos of the convention. “A lot of my coworkers are saying they are going out of town,” said Desmond Harrison, who lives in the east side of Cleveland.

Harrison bought $3,000 worth of unlicensed Trump merchandise in hopes of capitalizing on the popularity of the convention. But his booth, which was licensed by the City of Cleveland, was placed on the outskirts of the action, four blocks from the Quicken Loans and surrounded by eight-foot-high black chain link fence.

“It has been slow, not what I expected,” said Harrison. He thinks there is a bit of fear factor because the scene surrounding his booth looks like a “police state,” he said as 20 police officers in riot gear rode bicycles past him, in formation.

But not all areas to sell merchandise are so guarded. Many other vendors were located closer to the action on East 4th Street, a block from the arena entrance and next to temporary headquarters of many national media outlets. Some of these vendors were from as far away as York, Penn. and North Carolina. One vendor, who said he is a regular at events like these and asked not to be named, said he has spoken to other vendors who traveled from California, Georgia and Alabama. When asked if he had met any vendors from Cleveland, he said he had not.

CP reached out to the Cleveland city officials for comment on the vendor application process, but have not received a response.

And it is not just those looking to capitalize on the extra business the RNC brings who feel left out, Downtown brick and mortar shops say they are also losing business, too. Matt Schelkman, an employee at Phoenix Coffee, which is located less than half a mile from Quicken Loans, says the coffee shop has been very slow because many of their regular customers, employees of neighboring banks and finance institution, have decided to work from home during the convention.

“Not a lot of people know about us because we are a local coffee shop,” says Schelkman. “It’s unusual for a national event to not have a spotlight on local businesses.”

Schelkman expects things to improve and for people to loosen up and explore more of Downtown as the convention rolls on.

2:21 p.m.

Multimedia Editor Ashley Murray talks to a local vendor trying to make some profit off of the Republican National Convention:
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ashley Murray

Vendors try to make a buck off Trump merch

By Ashley Murray
From rhinestone Republican elephants wearing signature Trump hair, to knock-off “Make U.S.A. Great Again” visors (because Trump’s got a trademark on it), everyone’s trying to make a buck.



2 p.m.

The Melania Trump plagiarism scandal train keeps on chugging along. Trump aide Paul Manafort went a little bat-shit crazy this morning over allegations that the speech was copied from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech. He called the notion "absurd" and said Melania used "use words that are common words." He even blamed Hillary Clinton. he said in the Wall Street Journal: “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down.” I think we all need to calm down over this. In fact, in order to help bring peace, I've written a song of hope:

"When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Yeah, let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be."


1:46 p.m.
Shit's about to get real in Cleveland...literally... Apparently the highly contagious disease that can cause vomiting and a whole lot of diarrhea is making it's way through the California Delegation. In case you've forgotten, here's what happened the last time a high-profile Republican was feeling queasy in public.



1:12 p.m.

Nevermind.
1:07 p.m.
There are reports of shots fired near the RNC

12:46 p.m.

From News Editor Rebecca Addison, the story of a Kurdish man's journey t the RNC:

Kani Xulam came to the Republican National Convention to raise awareness about the plight of his native Kurdistan, whose people he says are being terrorized by Islamic extremist gro
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Rebecca Addison
up ISIS

"The message I have is that Kurds and Americans have a common foe and that foe is ISIS," Xulam said outside of the RNC secured perimeter earlier today, holding a sign that read "Free Hugs."

Throughout Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign, he's painted all Muslim people with the same broad brush, blaming Muslim-majority countries for the acts of ISIS and calling for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants to the United States.

But Xulam told City Paper Trump's characterization is unfair. He says the United States has more in common with Muslim countries like Kurdistan than differences. And he worries about the future of the U.S. if Trump is elected. Instead of being divided he said the world should band together to develop solutions for fighting ISIS.

"What we have here is democracy in action. These delegates were elected and they in turn will possibly elect the next president," Xulam said. "It is important for your own self preservation that you help us defeat these bastards ISIS."
                                                                                                      — Rebecca Addison

12:36 p.m.
Cleveland: Open to Trump's of all walks of life. Here is Donald Trump impersonator Eric Jackman, who along with his twin brother, Michael, run a podcast called Jackman Radio. In fairness, this could be Michael.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY BILLY LUDT
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Billy Ludt
12:30 p.m.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows

12:16 p.m.:
Want to leave the RNC with a souvenir that says, "Hi, I'm Donald Trump and I want to take over the world with a fleet of flag-toting giant Eagles" ? Then CP's RNC correspondent Gabby Fellows has the item for you.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY GABBY FELLOWS
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows


11:45a.m.: 

11:30 a.m.:
Anti-war protesters confront Controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in downtown Cleveland.

11:15 a.m.:
THank God, RIck's here

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pittsburgh City Paper: A roundup from around the Web of Day 1 of the Republican National Convention

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 9:54 AM

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan

We have reporters and photographers in Cleveland starting today both inside the Quicken Arena and outside. They'll start filing reports today, although photographer CP photographer Aaron Petan did file some images from the event's first day.  

The Los Angeles Times reported that the first day of the RNC was a fairly peaceful one with only 
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan
two arrests and one was for an outstanding warrant. Petan did catch this image of a woman being detained by police, but it's unclear if this is one of the arrests on the Cleveland PD's tally sheet.


While this Washington Post columnist was deeply in love with Melania Trump's night one speech, others, including other journalists at the same newspaper, remarked how much they liked it the first time they heard it — from Michelle Obama in 2008. 


Earlier this morning, Donald Trump's campaign, apparently deciding not to let the truth start screwing things up now, denied that Melania Trump plagiarized any part of Obama's speech calling the claims "just really absurd," according to CNN. 


"To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd," Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort told CNN's Chris Cuomo on New Day


Who are we to pass judgment on this issue. Oh yeah, we're the media! But don't take our word for it, give it a look for yourself from CNN:


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan


Politico is calling the convention's first day "disastrous," citing poor scheduling and an attempt to portray this country as a "dark and dystopian portrait of an America in decline" without any signs of "signs of outreach across the aisle or to independents. For most of the night, the convention lineup felt and sounded more like a Tea Party rally on the statehouse steps — with little-known speakers delivering hardline speeches — than a traditional national convention."

And it's kind of hard to say they're too wrong. The day started out with anti-Trump Republicans causing a commotion on the convention floor.
USA Today says there weren't as many protests on the first day as organizers and police thought they would be on the first day, but that doesn't mean it wasn't interesting. A group of armed men calling themselves the West Ohio Minutemen walked through downtown openly carrying rifles and pistols, as is supported by Ohio law, despite Cleveland PD's best attempts to keep it from happening.

"To be honest, we did not expect this kind of media attention," said minuteman Bryon Hennon, 37, a contractor from, Lima, Ohio, who was carrying a loaded 9 mm carbine. "There's a lot of demonization going around about people carrying guns and guns in general, and not everybody who open carries ... has an evil agenda. You don't have to be afraid. It's part of our society. It's always going to be part of our society."


Finally as we move into Day 2, there's no telling what the day holds. We will be running a live blog throughout the day from events around the city of Cleveland. So, while we wait for chaos, please enjoy this adorable photo of baby bunnies living in my garden.

PHOTO BY CHARLIE DEITCH
  • Photo by Charlie Deitch

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

CP's photo coverage from Day 1 at #RNCatCLE

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Photographs by Aaron Petan.
Slideshow
RNC - Day 1
RNC - Day 1 RNC - Day 1 RNC - Day 1 RNC - Day 1 RNC - Day 1 RNC - Day 1 RNC - Day 1 RNC - Day 1

RNC - Day 1

Photos by Aaron Petan

Click to View 25 slides


Monday, July 18, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper: Scenes from Day 1 of the Republican National Convention

Posted By and on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 7:24 PM

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan
City Paper's full news team won't be on the ground in Cleveland until tomorrow, but freelance photographer and Cleveland resident Aaron Petan has been out capturing the scene all day and will be working for us all week. We'll have more tomorrow and will update this blogh if anything breaks tonight, but here are some photos of a march downtown today. Petan witnessed, as you'll see by the photo below, one arrest. Follow this spot all week as we'll be live blogging throughout the day and evening starting tomorrow.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan





























PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY AARON PETAN
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan

Tags: , , , , , ,

Steely Dan brings tour to First Niagara Pavilion

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 3:52 PM

Steely Dan brought their The Dan Who Knew Too Much tour to First Niagara Pavilion on Sunday night, with a crowd-pleasing set of hits. Check out our photos from the show below.

Slideshow
Steely Dan
Steely Dan Steely Dan Steely Dan Steely Dan Steely Dan Steely Dan Steely Dan Steely Dan

Steely Dan

Photos by Luke Thor Travis

Click to View 30 slides


Tags: , , , ,

Listings

Submit an event

Recent Comments

© 2016 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising