Saturday, March 16, 2002
During the early morning hours last Saturday, the Oakland home of University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg was inundated with .38 Caliber bullets in what was apparently a drive-by shooting. The shooting left two people injured, butler Jules Anthony III and chauffeur Steven Ambrack, both employees of Nordenberg's estate. Nordenberg was supposedly home at the time of the shooting. Pittsburgh Police reported that this more than likely was a continuation of what has been a spat of gang-related actions perpetrated between Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon and Nordenberg.
Later on that week, the responsibility for the malicious crime was claimed by Cohon and his CMU (Cronies Maxin' tha Undaground) crew. Cohon released a statement last Tuesday through a Carnegie Mellon spokesperson that read, “Somebody must have been praying for that fool, ‘cause I swear I aimed right for his head. Punks like MN best get their bitches off my street. We been layin' down ho's and commercial technology ventures up in dat since MN been maxin’ on his momma’s titties. I catch MN, I'm putting a bullet in his brain.”
In a reactionary statement to the shooting, this week Nordenberg secured $240 million in technology grants from the State of Pennsylvania which were earmarked for Cohon, and released the following statement through University of Pittsburgh spokesperson Robert Hill: “Am I the only one who can’t believe this insanity? Jared Cohon is delirious and should be found, tried, and prosecuted. Does he even realize that he is a middle-aged white University administrator and not some hoodlum gangster? Originally I thought he was just having a nervous breakdown, but driving around in a 1964 Cadillac and shooting up my home is just taking this too far.”
The area in dispute between the two gangs is commonly referred to as Craig Street, which is located directly between the University of Pittsburgh campus, turf commonly known to be held by Nordenberg, and Carnegie Mellon University, turf known to be held by Cohon. For the past two years, the two gangs have vied for influence on the street, a key area for both prostitution and biotechnology venture capital.
The rift was supposedly caused by a legal action by Nordenberg against Cohon last year over a building reported to be the home of a new technology center funded by Pitt and Intel. Cohon responded to the litigation by spray painting gang epithets around the building and sending the CMU football team to accost and beat up unsuspecting Pitt Honors College students walking to class. The violence was escalated further when it was reported that Pitt hired celebrity lawyer David Boies to aid in the lawsuit. Cohon's statement at this time was: “Something wrong? Yeah. It's just too bad you don't know what it is... brother.”
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In a press conference Wednesday, the Middle Eastern restaurant Road to Karakash, located on Atwood Street, announced it is the bomb. This announcement comes only two weeks after India Garden, another Atwood Street restaurant, made the announcement that it was the bomb.
“Yes, it is true, my friends,” said Mustafa Ibn, “With the opening of Klub Karakash, we, the Road to Karakash, are the bomb! There is no better dance club anywhere in this great city.”
This statement represents a new chapter in the ongoing, worldwide Hindi-Muslim conflict. It was eerily similar to India Garden's now famous “Pub I.G. is the Bomb!” campaign run earlier in the year.
“We like to think that we are still the greatest club, that is, pub, in the Pittsburgh area,” said Pub I.G. spokesman Sri Velmin. “All of you know how we have the most beautiful bartendresses around and the tightest security.”
Pub I.G. bartender Jennifer Gerrard added, "Where else can you get $1.50 bottles of Coors Light and Yuengling Lager, not to mention great drink specials all the time? Plus, we have a kick-ass DJ every single night!”
“Their DJ, he is nothing,” said DJ Ali Muhammet, Klub Karakash's new spinner. “They think that wooden walls with Hindu gods can be better dance than Allah.”
Klub Karakash, while adhering to many of the tenets of Islam, has broken from tradition in one regard: they sell alcohol. “Yes, Allah might be angry with me for permitting a bar on my land. But in Pittsburgh, if I not have alcohol, Allah will be mad with me for not running good business. My sympathies go out to the Americans that died because of some of the fools of my faith. However, Klub Karakash is not just trying to put Pub I.G. out of business, we want to see the Hindu scum gone from our block. This is a holy jihad of Allah!”
“This is jihad?” asked Velmin after hearing Ibn's statement. “We are a peaceful people, and only doggerels such as these followers of ‘Allah’ would say these foolish words. Pub I.G. will always be the jewel of Atwood Street Minor.”
This is the latest incident in the ongoing Atwood Street battle first begun by the Mad-Mex/La Fiesta “Tex-Mex” war in 1999.
In an attempt to compete with Downtown's forthcoming Gene Kelly statue, the city of Homestead has come up with a new image which honors its lineage. Its new statue of the fist of industrialist tycoon Henry Clay Frick honors a long line of proud bourgeoisie dominance.
“I’m tired of all those unions and their supremacy,” artist Mellon B. Rockford exclaimed. “I really wanted to express the bitter struggle which the capitalist has gone through in his quest to crush the working man. Sure, robber barons have traditionally gotten big homes, large bank accounts, and social acceptance, but in terms of artistic integrity and grass roots support, they've been misrepresented. It's just not right. I wanted to do something to change that.”
Rockford continued to explain that his inspiration arose from the 1892 Homestead strike in which Frick hired Pinkerton armed guards to quell a union uprising. In the incident seven US Steel workers were killed or “appropriately put in their place” as Rockford interprets.
“I wanted to remind all working people that they are merely cogs in American society,” Rockford explained. “If these ‘working people’ had a real place in our society then they would either own a big home or a Mercedes Benz.”
Homestead city council was in debate about where to place the new statue. Initial opinion was campaigning for a spot next to either Pier One Imports or Dave and Busters, “spots where affluent whites could identify.” However, council president Max McMartsen suggested a less prosperous location to “remind the less fortunate that we control their destiny.” Deliberation is expected to continue well into May, while the statue’s construction is projected for early autumn 2002.
Financial support for the statue has come from record-setting donations from area corporations. USX reportedly gave over $1.2 million, while Mellon Bank and Alcoa have each put up $500,000 respectively. This allowed Rockford to use a combination of weather-treated bronze from Parma, Italy and genuine human decayed bone excavated from graves of former steelworkers to make the statue.
Pitt Police responded to its second complaint in three months from the Bates Hill apartment of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) member Matt Lynman. Police were called to the scene Thursday night after neighbors reported groaning and screaming from next door. Pitt Police arrived to find 13 men huddled together in the bathroom wearing nothing but boxer shorts underwear.
This scene was remarkably similar to a November 29th incident where university police found four men gathered together in the bathroom and one man with a weight hanging from his arm. At that time, Lynman denied any fraternal hazing, claiming that they were friends who were "just messing around."
Lynman and AEPi are once again denying hazing charges, this time claiming the 13 men were engaged in homosexual practices.
"We're not Greek, we're gay," Lynman reported. "This was a 100% sexually oriented activity taking place in the bathroom. There was no hazing of any kind going on. The screaming that was heard was the pleasure occurring from anal copulation and oral pleasure. This was not a fraternity event."
Pitt Police let Lynman and the 13 other men go with another warning and advised the men that they should take their sexual relations to the Schenley Park oval in the future.
While Pitt Police were convinced of the group's story, Inter-Fraternity Council president Bill O'Ryan was not as easily persuaded. "I really would love Lynman to come out of the closet and admit he is Greek. But right now, it’s just not socially acceptable to be Greek, and this kind of hiding and shame is a by-product of that social stigma. We really need to stand up for our rights as fraternity members and let the whole city know, 'I'm Matt, I'm frat.'"
Cumpie's Restaurant and Lounge is getting national attention this month, as HBO reportedly paid $100,000 to use the South Oakland hotspot in an upcoming episode of The Sopranos.
"They made me an offer I couldn't refuse," Cumpie's owner John Brimley said.
Writers for the hit show wanted a break from the artistic confines of the New Jersey suburbs, so they took their Mafia misadventures down the turnpike to Pittsburgh. After scouting several bars in and around "Pittsburgh's Little Italy" of Bloomfield, producers decided on Cumpie's because of its pristine South Oakland location and old world ambiance.
"Here at Cumpie's we believe in greasy pizza, cheap beer, and the perpetuation of Italian-American stereotypes," Brimley explained.
During filming, the stars of the show partied with regulars at Cumpie's Sunday Night Karaoke Bash, where actor James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) wowed the crowd with his dead-on Sinatra covers. But it was Brimley and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) who stole the show with their dramatic reenactment of the famous Joe Pesci "I'm funny how?" scene from Martin Scorcese's Goodfellas.
"I never thought bad Brooklyn accents and gratuitous violence could be so damn hilarious," Pitt sophomore Amy Rotello said.
Sopranos insiders won't reveal much about the long-awaited 4th season, but producer David Chase hinted at a possible pregnancy scare for Jamie-Lynn Sigler's character Meadow Soprano and SGB President Jeff Alex, and a series-altering shoot-out at a local Olive Garden Ristorante.
"I think this Cumpie's episode is Emmy-worthy," Chase was quoted early last week.
"I friggin' love Cumpie's," Gandolfini interjected. "Bada Bing? Fahgetaboutit! These sonsabitches here got stuggots of goddamn steel or somethin'!"
University of Pittsburgh Honors College students (“nerds”) were awakened early Wednesday morning by marauding Panther football players who forcibly removed them from their current Forbes-Craig Apartments. The invasion followed a two-alarm fire that completely destroyed the football players’ house on nearby Semple Street (see "Fire Destroys Semple Street House"). The nerds were relocated to a gymnasium in the Fitzgerald Field House.
Earlier in the night, as the last burning remains of the house were extinguished by firefighters, Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and Panthers Head Coach Walt Harris met with the homeless student-athletes on, what was earlier, their front yard. During the discussion, Pitt star quarterback David Priestley suggested the players be allowed to live in (university-owned) Forbes-Craig Apartments. Nordenberg initially balked at the idea, but Harris went over his head and ok'ed the move, citing his players need for rest in the off-season. “I can't have my players worrying about where they’re going to live,” Harris added. “As Tangerine Bowl Champions, we have a lot of work to do, and my boys need the very best available.”
Shortly after daybreak, the move began. As players huddled on Forbes Avenue in front of their newly designated place of residence, Priestly informed the other new tenants that they could take any room they wanted. As the jocks ran screaming into the building, nerds quickly jumped out through open doors and windows. The former tenants' belongings soon followed.
Nordenberg and Harris monitored the move from across the street atop Harris’ “coach's golfcart.” Priestly was also present, accompanied by tackle Rob "Ogre" Pettiti. As nerds hurriedly gathered up their possessions and whatever dignity remained, the chancellor politely assured the shaken geeks through his megaphone that they would be accommodated. Harris' shouts of “MOVE IT, MOVE IT!” quickly drowned out Nordenberg's megaphone. The football team, settled in their new apartments, saw them off from their windows and doorways, chanting “NERDS, NERDS, NERDS!”
“I'm tired of these jocks pushing us around all the time,” honors nerd William Francis complained. “This is no way for a college student to learn. How can I be expected to study my quantum physics with all these balls bouncing around? I swear, one day I’m going to get those jocks and beat them at their own game–perhaps I'll have sex with Priestley’s girlfriend, maybe on the Moonwalk at the Bigelow Bash. That'll show him.”
The nerds are currently residing in the Fitzgerald Field House, where each was provided a 3 by 6-foot cot. There is also a 1950's era black and white television for their viewing pleasure, and the chancellor assured them that “anyone with allergies will be provided with a foam rubber pillow.”
Fire ravaged a South Oakland home early Wednesday morning at 238 Semple Street. At approximately 1:53 a.m., the fire broke out and quickly spread, causing all tenants and guests to evacuate. The fire was large enough to necessitate the use of two separate fire companies.
The house was being rented by members of Pitt’s football team. At the time of the fire, the residents were all inside entertaining guests, including fellow students, members of the cheerleading squad, and sorority sisters. Various witnesses say the party was pretty tame, with casual drinking, dancing, and even some “stair diving” into a pool of beer. However, as guests noticed a curtain fire spreading across the room, they fled.
Firefighters from two local companies arrived shortly thereafter to combat the blaze while tenants and guests were safe in the front yard singing “our house, our house, our house is burning down.” The house could not be saved, leaving only the original brickwork standing.
University Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and head football Coach Walt Harris arrived as the firefighters were leaving the scene. One small fire was burning but remained contained as a lineman and two cheerleaders toasted marshmallows. When asked how the fire was started, tenant David Priestley stated, “faulty wiring, I guess.”
Reports of one guest blowing flames using a high-proof liquor could not be verified. Although neighbors reported hearing chants of "fireball, fireball, fireball!" moments before the fire began.
Coach Harris did add, “if my boys say it was faulty wiring, I gotta believe them.” While Priestley was overheard cautioning Nordenberg, "you know, Chancellor, the school should be more careful.”
No one was injured.
Jason Simms, a junior at Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity, was diagnosed Tuesday with a virus.
“I’d gotten one before,” said Simms. “When I was in high school, I got that shitty Michaelango virus, and it totally destroyed my hard drive. But this virus was different. I'm not sure how I got it.”
When asked to review the events of the past weekend, Simms reported a fairly typical one. Friday night, he and his old pledge class went to see “The Wedding Planner” at McConomy Auditorium. Saturday night, SAE threw a “total kick-ass party” where Simms “got fuckin' hammered” and had sexual intercourse with a University of Pittsburgh undergrad known only as “Kim.” Sunday was spent writing a program for class.
Simms’ roommate, Phil “Weasel” Danner, known even at CMU for his excellent programming and de-bugging skills, was also confused. “Jay came home Saturday night with this skanky Pitt chick, right, and he’s out of rubbers so he asks me for one. Well, I was at the last level of the new Bond game, so I told him ‘no can do right now, bro.’ I heard them going at it, so I guess he found one laying around somewhere.”
“I thought I was protected, I always am,” said Simms. “I don't even open mail from my mother without first running McAffee. How could this happen?”
CMU student health nurse Jennifer Collins was the only one who could come up with an answer. “Simms has to face the fact that he put his floppy where it didn't belong. He should know better than that–we provide excellent STD education here and recommend he take notice of our preventative precautionary checklist.”
Freshman wide receiver Roosevelt Bynes followed in his mentor's footsteps yesterday by forgoing his remaining college eligibility in order to become available for a professional football draft. However, unlike his mentor, Antonio Bryant, Bynes did not enter the NFL draft, rather the now-defunct XFL draft.
Published reports coming from Pitt's Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm confirm the speculation. “Yes, Mr. Bynes did declare himself eligible for the XFL draft even though the league does not exist. Myself, [Head Coach Walt] Harris, and [Athletic Director] Steve [Pederson] repeatedly informed Roosevelt that the league was no longer in existence, but he wouldn't listen. I guess sometimes it's necessary for these young men to make their own mistakes and learn from them. The University wishes Roosevelt the best of luck with whatever is his next life endeavor.”
Bynes apparently did not believe the athletic administration when they told him the XFL was no more. “Shit,” Bynes reported when he learned the truth. “I thought coach was lying to me when he told me the XFL was gone. I thought he just wanted to keep me at Pitt. How can [the league] not be around, those games were tight. ‘He Hate Me’ was a beast. I even had my own nickname picked out, I was going to be known as ‘Stikky Fingaz’. Shit.”
Although Bynes’ XFL dreams are shattered, it is possible the freshman wide receiver could land himself in another ring.
Vince McMahon, CEO of the former XFL and current CEO of the World Wrestling Federation, has been in negotiations with Bynes concerning a possible slot in the professional wrestling association.
“I’m really impressed by RB’s loyalty to the XFL,” said McMahon. “Even if NBC didn't go for it, I’m impressed this young man did. I am a man of loyalty, and since RB took a chance on us, we’re willing to take a chance on him. I’m thinking of bringing him into the WWF, possibly as a partner for Billy Gunn or maybe even Scotty 2 Hotty. We already have a few nicknames we’re tossing around for RB, ‘Hell Raizin Roosevelt’, ‘Big Tyme Bynes’, or maybe even simply 'RB’.”
Pending contractual approval, Bynes is slotted for an introductory appearance in SummerSlam 2002.
“I’ll mess Kurt Angle up,” Bynes antagonized.
Pitt junior wide receiver Antonio Bryant captured CL 218’s attention yesterday when he announced he was leaving his Indo-European Folk Tales class approximately 15 minutes early.
“Excuse me, Professor Timmons,” Bryant announced. “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to leave a little bit early today. My Direct TV repairman is coming to fix my dish. I want to thank you and my classmates for the sixty minutes of knowledge I received here today. This is truly a class I will cherish, but it’s just time to move on to the next level of television viewing. It’s not about the reading assignments, I think it’s more about the Must See TV programming I’ve been missing. I really feel like this is something I need to do right now in my life.” Classmates were shocked by Bryant’s surprise departure, but it was a possibility they were prepared for.
“I was sad to see him go, I really was. [Bryant's] got real great insight into the classics,” classmate Jim “the book” Rodgers admitted. “It just means there’s more pressure on the rest of us to step up and take the lead in some of these discussions. Antonio certainly got us to the point we’re at now in understanding these great works, it’s just up to us to continue it.”
Professor Timmons later expressed his well wishes for Bryant in the next phase of his afternoon. “I certainly want to thank Antonio for his participation here today. He’s been a valuable part of this class for the last hour. His insight into Grimm’s Old Hildebrand is really on the money. But I understand Antonio needs to take his knowledge to the next plateau of television viewing and explore the theme of adultery in Ally McBeal and Sex in the City—Mr. Bryant is a gifted student with a great future of cultural analysis ahead of him.”
Bryant is expected to make himself eligible for the optional study group which meets Saturday afternoons in the Cathedral Commons Room. Scholastic insiders have him pegged as a Post-Freudian, Early-Focaultian analyst.