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Out of 'other people's money'

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

I don't get it, again. First came the August Wilson Center with its $10 million deficit. Now the latest fiasco in the black community, the Hill House Association, is in the red to the tune of over $600,000 for 2013.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff, Kevin Acklin, said no one is asking for any money, but Hill House needs “help in generating a steady stream of money by supporting its mission and urging supporters to give” ( “Struggling nonprofit Hill House Association asking Pittsburgh for support” ).

Who exactly are the supporters of these two organizations? And what group stands to benefit most from these fiscally strapped institutions? It stands to reason the answer is the black community at large. But nowhere is there any visible evidence in the Hill District or elsewhere in black neighborhoods of fundraisers to save these two cultural meccas. An audit “attributed the problems to reduced funding from contributors such as the United Way, the loss of certain government contracts and increases in general operating costs,” according to the Hill House news story.

It seems the Wilson Center and Hill House have run out of “other people's money,” as Margaret Thatcher eloquently said, explaining the consequences of a socialized government.

Then another headline reads: “Cost of legal battle over Wilson Center put on taxpayers' tab” — for over $750,000.

Martin Luther King opined, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Nicholas Evanish

South Park



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