Sports alternative (March 4, 1992)
Covering sports has always been a challenge for alt-weeklies. By the time we run a game story, it’s already a week old. To combat that, CP covers a team that no one has likely ever heard of — the Pittsburgh Bulls. The Bulls were a professional indoor lacrosse team and played their games at the then-Civic Arena between 1990 and 1993. The sport never caught on, however, and we’re not sure whether it’s because the team went 10-24 in that period or because nobody gave a shit about lacrosse.
Thank God they didn’t leave before they won (March 22, 1995)
In 1995, the Pittsburgh Pirates were only five years into the worst losing streak — 20 years — in the history of pro sports. But the news of the day wasn’t whether the Bucs would ever win again; it was all about whether they’d even stay in town. The ownership group at the time wanted to sell the team to new owners who planned to move the team to Washington, D.C. That sale never went through, and Kevin McClatchy eventually bought the team and kept it in town once the city pledged to pay up for a new stadium.
The day the music died, at least for a little while (March 22, 2000)
The closing of famed rock club Graffiti led arts editor Mary Binder to examine whether the city’s music scene was in a death spiral. In addition to Graffiti, the Electric Banana, the Decade and Cloud Nine had recently closed, all following the loss of the Syria Mosque several years earlier. Binder writes: “Graffiti, the Decade and the Banana ... were always about the music. Perhaps that’s what has diminished — the attitude that the music is the focus.” On the other hand, Binder also noted an indie venue hoping to make it — the Mr. Roboto Project.
Here comes the neighborhood (March 23, 2005)
Music editor Dan Eldridge details how young Pittsburghers connected to the punk community are buying and rehabbing houses in neighborhoods like Garfield, Braddock Hills, Polish Hill and Highland Park. “I feel like it’s social equity and cultural equity,” said new homeowner Mary Tremonte. “We’re investing in the world we want to live in.”
Remember when the police got along with the community? We don’t either (March 21, 2007)
Charlie Deitch examines the strained relationship between police officers and residents in African-American communities. Police officers are wearing tactical uniforms and driving their armored vehicle, called The Bear, into neighborhoods like Lincoln-Lemington and Homewood. Then-police chief Nate Harper, who later spent some time in federal prison for theft in office, tells CP: “We don’t want this to become a police state, but these tactics serve to put fear in the criminal element.” However, residents say these tactics are part of the problem: “If police want a good relationship with black residents,” said activist Paradise Gray, “they have to stop treating Homewood like Baghdad.”
Internet kills the video star (March 20, 2008)
After 12 years in business, Dormont’s Incredibly Strange Video closes up shop due to online competition from the likes of Netflix. Owner Bruce Lentz was the go-to guy for strange and rare horror and sci-fi films. But in the end, he says, location might have done him in: “You’ve gotta get off your lazy fat Pittsburgh ass and get in a car and come through a tunnel to get here.”