Sunday, April 29, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 29, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Atema mirror' Copyright 2001 SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2001 newsstand IN SPORTS Coming Monday: The Pirates pitching problems a blessing in disguise for Curve fans. Stadium funding building rancor BY RON KAMPEAS The Associated Press An all-American pastime may soon be coming to a ballpark near you: the tax revolt. Across the country, more and more fans, small businessmen and communi- ty leaders say using public money to build sports arenas for major league teams is "corporate welfare." They hope to unite long-simmering local protests into a nationwide movement. "It's using taxpayers' money for private enterprise, and to preclude what the pub- lic said Erika Tarlin, a school librarian and lifelong Boston Red Sox fan who opposes plans to tear down historic Fenway Park and build a new one. Ten years ago, such opposition was almost unheard of, and team owners almost always won referendums usu- ally, overwhelmingly. In recent years, however, opponents have scored significant successes. Last year, after losing four referen- dums, the San Francisco Giants caved in and opened a stadium financed mostly by the private sector. Other recent refer- endums, for NFL franchises in Arizona and Seattle have passed, but barely. In Pittsburgh, local authorities stepped in to salvage a plan after it was overwhelm- ingly defeated in a 1997 referendum. "It's been an uphill said Raymond Keating, a Washington-based economist whose Small Business Survival Committee opposes the use of public funds for stadiums. "But when you explain economics to people, light bulbs go on." Please see All Legislator: Marriage tax must go Visiting congressman with a role in federal spending targets trade, surplus as other key issues. BY ROBERT IGOE Staff Writer In U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller's home dis- trict, fans cheer the Cubs and the Bears rather than the Pirates and Steelers. But no matter who they cheer for or what colors they sport, all those folks have one thing in common: Weller has a large say-so in how their tax money is spent. Weller, R-ffl., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, visited Altoona Friday to rally votes for Bill Shuster's campaign for the 9th Congressional District seat. But he took some time out to speak to the Mirror about his committee work on one of the most powerful boards in Congress with control of raising and spending the vast majority of taxpayer dollars. Please see AS Minus Jagr, Penguins defeat Sabres IN LIFE Mystery Tours way to explore county Mirror photo by Jason Sipes A student flashes a peace sign during a unity rally last week outside Old Main on Penn State's main campus. THE REGION'S RACIAL TENSIONS Talk of football and finals have taken a back seat at Penn State University to a simmering dispute about the ugly face of racism. In a region where nearly all of the resident population is white, minority students say they encounter subtle signs of racism regularly. But with a recent wave of hate mail and death threats at University Park, those signs can't be called subtle anymore. At PSU: A state of unrest ALTOONA CAMPUS Atmosphere remains calm BY MICHAEL EMERY Staff Writer The burgeoning racial unrest at Penn State's University Park campus has included a barrage of hate mail, student protests and death threats. By comparison, race relations at Penn State Altoona have been much more tranquil. No cases of hate mail have been reported. There have been no student protests. And there have been no death threats. "We haven't felt the ongoing racial tensions here that have been going on at University said Onida Haskett, a sophomore at Penn State Altoona and the outgoing president of the Black Student Union. Rasheed Coins, a freshman from Englewood, N. J., and the incoming president of the Black Student Union, agrees, saying the atmosphere on the Penn State Altoona campus is more like a cohesive family rather than a divided community. The racial scene seems significantly rosier at Penn State Altoona than it does at the University Park campus, although student lead- ers said things at the Ivyside campus aren't picture-perfect. Please see A10 Minority mix Comparing the white and minority populations of area counties and their respective Penn State campuses: Mirror graphic by Tom Worthinglon II MAIN CAMPUS Penn State combats racism BY DAN LEWERENZ The Associated Press STATE COLLEGE LaKeisha Wolf never goes any- where alone anymore. She's always with friends she trusts, and she always lets people know where she's going. Most of the time, she has a professional bodyguard at her side sometimes two. Wolf, a senior and the president of the Black Caucus at Penn State University, has received four death threats in the last two years. The latest, in a letter mailed to a reporter at the school newspaper, has touched off a firestorm on this sprawling cen- tral Pennsylvania campus, where the university boasts a histo- ry of treating all people as equals and where black students say there is an undercurrent of racism. A Pittsburgh native who spent her first two years in college at Penn State's Altoona campus, Wolf said blacks have long felt hostility at Penn State. Students come knowing there will be times that they feel uncomfortable, even threatened, she said, but she never imagined it would go this far. Please see AID NAAGP guest speaker calls for stronger family values BY KAY STEPHENS Staff Writer Former Pittsburgh Steelers standout Mel Blount challenged the NAACP Saturday night to tackle issues that focus on the basic princi- ples of why the organization was founded. "Even though we're in 2001, we haven't come as far as you Blount told those attend- ing the annual Freedom Fund Dinner spon- sored by the Blair County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the Calvin House. Blount, who started a boys' home in Vidalia, Ga., where he was born, and who in 1989 opened another one in Clayville, Washington County, told dinner guests not to be afraid of challenge or change. "As I work and travel around this country, seeing things that are going on in the African American communities I can see there's work to be Blount said. Please see A10 Donald Witherspoon president of the Blair County Chapter of the NAACP, presents a check for to former Steeler Mel Blount to be used for the Mel Blount Youth Houses in Pittsburgh and Atlanta.: Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 "US. 0150" 0 7 9 0 Lottery numbers, A2 Sunny, Forecast, A2 FIORE'S MEGA SALES EVENT Today Noon to 4 Mon. thru Fri. 9 to 9 n Take an additional 8% Discount .rs mem, i-AV NOTHING u.Mii.At'Hii. 2002, NO NO ACCRUAL DURING THE DEFERRAL PERIOD. You .MAY IN EASY PAYMENTS IN APHII. 2002 WITHOUT ANY PENALTY, YOtn.l.RKrKIVK 1 YEAR FREE INTEREST. i. at DISCOUNT OFF QLOCAL OJMWMEtt A13 Outdoors Obituaries A13 I Scoreboard Opinion A8 I Politics I Sura C9 C8 Stocks CDs.Mutuals E4 Q GNMMH Newsmakers B2 Strange Brew B5 Astrograph Movies Puzzle Travel D4 I I 03 D4 Couples D6 Yesteryear 1 02 G3