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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 29, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Altoona Mirror £ © Copyright 2001 SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2001 $1.50 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 community 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 public wants,” 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 — usually, overwhelmingly. In recent years, however, opponents have scored significant successes. Last year, after losing four referendums, the San Francisco Giants caved in and opened a stadium financed mostly by the private sector. Other recent referendums, for NFL franchises in Arizona and Seattle have passed, but barely. In Pittsburgh, local authorities stepped in to salvage a plan after it was overwhelmingly defeated in a 1997 referendum. “It’s been an uphill battle,” 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 Stadium/Page 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 district, 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-Ill., 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 Tax/Page A5 El 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 Park,” said Onida Haskett, a sophomore at Penn State Altoona and the outgoing president of the Black Student Union. Rasheed Goins, 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 leaders said things at the Ivyside campus aren’t picture-perfect. Please see Altoona/Page AIQ Minority mix Comparing the white and minority populations of area counties and their respective Penn State campuses: White I Percent I Minority Blair County 126,059    97.6    I    3,085 Penn State Altoona 3,462 91.1 338 Centre County 124,134]    91.4    11,624 Penn State main campus 40,571    88.5    4,649 All of Pennsylvania Percent ■ 2.4 86 ■ 11.5 I ; 10 48M I 86 0    1    7M    I    14    0 Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll MAIN CAMPUS Penn State combats racism By Dan Lewerenz The Associated Press STATE COLLEGE — LaKeisha Wolf never goes anywhere 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 central Pennsylvania campus, where the university boasts a history 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 Main/Page Alo NAACP guest speaker calls for stronger family values By Ray Stephens Staff Writer Former Pittsburgh Steelers standout Mel Blount challenged the NAACP Saturday night to tackle issues that focus on the basic principles of why the organization was founded. “Even though we’re in 2001, we haven’t come as far as you think,” Blount told those attending the annual Freedom Fund Dinner sponsored 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 done,” Blount said. Please see NAACP/Page AIQ Donald Witherspoon (left), president of the Blair County Chapter of the NAACP, presents a check for $6,000 to former Steeler Mel Blount to be used for the Mel Blount Youth Houses in Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Mirror photo by Kelly Bennett _ DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 BIG FOUR I 7 | 0 I Lottery numbers. A2 WEATHER Sunny, 66° ■ Forecast, A2 FIORE'S MEGA SALES EVENT Today Noon to 4 • Mon. thru Tri. 9 to 9 NO PAYMENTS NO INTEREST^ UNTIL APRIL 2002    C*32    8%    D,scoum That’s right, pay NOTHING until April 8008, NO Finance Charges, NO Accrual during the deferral period. You may BEGIN EASY PAYMENTS IN APRIL 8008 WITHOUT ANY PENALTY, YOU’LL RECEIVE I YEAR FREE INTEREST. THACH HH.m . ITM YOUR CHOICE! ONE YEAH NO PAYMENT*! AND NO INTEREST OR TAKE AN ADDITIONAL IE* DISCOUNT OEF THE I LOWEST SALE: PRICE. 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