Letters to the Editor: Dec 19 - 26 | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Letters to the Editor: Dec 19 - 26

Fashion designer sews up victory

I would like to start off by saying what an honor it is to be chosen as one of Pittsburgh's "Best Designers" ["Best of Pittsburgh 2007"]. The story said I hadn't responded to "repeated requests for an interview." I guess there was some sort of confusion in getting a hold of me; I had no idea that I had even won until the issue came out. So, I was bit surprised, and the last thing I would want is for those who voted for me to think that I was ungrateful for the honor or didn't care. I would love the opportunity to thank all those who took the time to vote for me.

I am very excited about my new clothing and jewelry line coming out, and the launch (spring 2008) of my new Web site, www.nickalan.com, where I will be offering some of my new collections. It's a whole new and exciting Nick Alan in 2008. I have been working with a lot of very talented people in the fashion and music industry overseas and here at home. These collaborations have played an important role in the inspiration of my 2008 designs.

I'm a musician as well as a designer, and it's this combination and connection that inspires my designs, and gives me a greater sense of style and edge. And what better way to start the year off, than with this award! Thank you again, Pittsburgh!

-- Nick Alan


Schenley argument doesn't make the grade

I have to say, I'm almost ill having to try to digest the nonsense that the liberal twit Dr. Goddess was trying to pass off as an intelligent solution to the Schenley High School closing situation ["Fast Talk at Schenley High," Dec. 5].

First she tries to say that the mere pennies ($64 million!) that it will take to keep the school open is pocket change for a financially distressed city like Pittsburgh, compared to the "hopes and dreams of students, parents and teachers." And most importantly, for Diversity's sake!

I myself attended Schenley High School in the late 1970s, and I can tell you there was no such thing as "racial diversity" at that time. The percentages were in the neighborhood of 90-10 black-to-white.

Did I mind being such an extreme minority? No, because it was the high school in my neighborhood, and after all, people are people. I had no trouble whatsoever.

How Dr. Goddess defines "racial and class diversity" as something that "works" is something I'm not sure I get. Of course, as any true Liberal Democrat Extremist like her will tell you, if Mark Roosevelt and the majority of the board voted to close this money pit, then they are mean-spirited and "ready to further isolate students who live in poverty." Also she states that the decision has "obvious racial and economic overtones."

Now, I'm no community activist and performance artist (which of course would then qualify me to be considered an expert in this matter, like her). But I remember when it wasn't considered unusual to attend school in your own neighborhood. Can you imagine the money that would be saved not having to bus children from, say, Brookline to the Hill District and vice versa? But, of course, that would make entirely too much sense for anyone in the financially irresponsible school board. I mean, are the board members who are opposed to the closing of the school worried that, without all the busing in of students from other areas, a new school at either Millones or Reizenstein would not be capable of being successful, have excellent performing arts programs, and be the same kind of excellent learning facility that Schenley was?

Does she really mean to suggest that it is the race of the students -- or the percentage of blacks to whites to Asians -- that makes a school successful?

If that IS her suggestion, then is it not Dr. Goddess herself who has "obvious racial overtones"?

Finally, she claims that "this is not just about saving Schenley High School." But of course it is!

I will always have fond memories of my time at Schenley, and I'm proud to call myself an alum. But let's have the common sense to know that a building is a building, and sometimes it is just too expensive to keep it open.

-- Kevin O'Toole, Lawrenceville


Schenley students work well with others

My son is a junior at Schenley High School, and my daughter was in the class of 2006. But it is as a citizen concerned about the future of all our children that I am writing in response to Dr. Goddess's article on the closing of Schenley.

At last I hear the cry going out! This is not about parents of children at Schenley. This is about our city, our future, our children -- all our children. Please continue to cover this issue. There are many questions regarding the preservation of the building, the extent of the asbestos-remediation costs, the real cost of renovating the inferior buildings of Milliones and Reizenstein, not to mention sustainable energy cost analysis. We can save this beautiful building. We can find the money and our children deserve it. The Hill District deserves to have this school preserved.

Students come from neighborhoods all over the city to attend Schenley; they come from diverse backgrounds and families and they work and play together in community. If we as a community can come together, we can preserve this school on the hilltop as a legacy for what urban education can and should be in the 21st century. Let the Schenley students lead the way: They seem to have figured out how to come together across the many divides that threaten to keep us separate and unequal.

-- Holly Thuma, Squirrel Hill


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