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Re: “A Conversation with Michael Turner

It's a shame that most adults don't have this much clarity, direction and passion for their neighborhoods as this teenager does. I read about One Hood in a City Paper a month or two ago, and as someone who sees these neighborhoods daily I thought that's a great idea, but I don't know if it'll stick. But after seeing what a difference it made in Michael Turner's life, and how he's geared himself to make a difference in the lives of others, you can tell that it's making steady progress. One more thing that really got me about this interview was Turner's advice to Luke Ravenstahl. It's great advice; it's exactly what Ravenstahl should do to prove he cares about the city as a whole and not just the more affluent areas. But you know he won't do it. He won't walk through the streets of Homewood without bodyguards surrounding him and snipers strategically placed (figuratively speaking I hope) because he's terrified of any part of this city that's under the poverty line. But you know what? I would be too if I completely disregarded their needs and treated them like they weren't part of the town I ran. Just picture Luke walking down Lang Avenue in Homewood conversing with people about their everyday problems and thinking, "Wow, I could do something about that." It's almost reminiscent of a dream. Now picture him sitting in his office on Grant Street preparing to throw the first pitch at a Pirates game thinking, "Wow, this will be great for P.R." It's almost reminiscent of reality.

Posted by Mike Wilson on 05/28/2007 at 10:57 PM

Re: “Over a Barrel

It's sickening how far gun-nuts will go to perpetuate this cycle of violence for their own benefit. Of course none of this nonsense about kids with guns in the city even registers with them, since a good 99% of them live in the boondocks or the suburbs. They've never seen the plight of the Hill District or the North Side first-hand, so I can't really blame them for their ignorance any more than I can blame a child playing with a bb gun for theirs; because that's all guns are to them, toys. No, I'm not just an angry, biased city-dweller trying to stereotype this group either. In fact, you can see for yourself, as I did, where all these "enthusiasts" are coming from (at least those in Allegheny County) by logging onto their website (www.acslpa.org) and clicking on Officers and Directors. Only one "high ranking official" in this group lives within the city limits of Pittsburgh. The majority however live far more than a hop, skip and a jump away from areas like Wilkinsburg and Homewood. They tend to accumulate more in places like Verona and McDonald, Pa. By bringing this to light I'm not trying to ruin anyone's fun (although I wouldn't be too devastated if I did). I'm saying that urban culture and rural culture contrast like day and night, so of course there is going to be a "double standard" of sorts if you lump the two together. The city needs better gun-control, and as expected, those on the outskirts of Allegheny County don't. I get it, you feel like that nerd in school that did his homework but got punished along with the rest of the class because they didn't do theirs. Well it builds character. I know because I've been that nerd before. But you know what? The next week came and I wasn't the only one with my homework done. Sometimes we all have to sacrifice for the greater good. So anyway, if it were possible to give the vote on gun-control to the cities and townships themselves rather than to the county as a whole, I would definitely support that fully. But as it stands, I say to the second amendment supporting constituency, look for the greater cause. What matters more, the potential boredom of country-folk on the weekends or the death of thousands to gun violence in Pittsburgh annually?

Posted by Mike Wilson on 05/28/2007 at 10:04 PM

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