[HOME]

  1. Introduction
  2. Open Letter to the Board of Trustees
  3. University's Response to Open Letter
  4. Response to University
  5. YouTube Documentary
  6. Preuniversity Settlers
  7. Oakland Bill of Rights
  8. Declaration of Freedom
  9. Problems
  10. Solutions
  11. Actions
  12. UPMC
  13. PITT
    SempleFest
  14. Jul. '09
  15. Aug. '09
  16. Sept. '09
  17. Oct. '09
  18. Origin of SOUL
  19. WPXI - Group talks trash
  20. National Disgrace
  21. Gratitude
  22. Support Letters
  23. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  24. Pittsburgh City Paper
  25. Media - Broken Trust?
  26. Feb. '10
  27. Jun. '10
  28. Done Deal?
  29. Mayor's Reply
  30. Pitt Fireworks
  31. Pitt Fireworks
  32. Pitt Fireworks
  33. Aug. '10
  34. Sep. '10
  35. Letter to Legislators
  36. Letter to Chancellor
  37. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  38. A Call for Compassion
  39. WPXI Coverage
  40. Human Dignity
  41. Letter to the Editor
  42. SempleFest
  43. Request for Apology
  44. The Shame of a University
  45. Firebombs Must End
  46. Call To Action
  47. Fireworks Press Release
  48. Shadow on the Lawn
  49. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article
  50. Right-to-Know Law Testimony
  51. University Impact Aid Law
  52. Proposal University Impact Aid Law
  53. Nordenberg Must Resign
  54. Allegheny County Council Testimony
  55. Time for New Leadership Message
  56. Time for New Leadership Testimony
  57. Class-Action Lawsuit?
  58. Nordenberg Must Resign Paid Message
  59. Time for A New Beginning
  60. Letter to the Editor
  61. Letter to the Editor
  62. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  63. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
  64. A New Paradigm
  65. In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Casciato
  66. Symbol of Domination
  67. Revised University Impact Aid Proposal
  68. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  69. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  70. Community Objectives
  71. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  72. City Planning Commission Testimonies
  73. Letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
  74. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  75. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  76. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  77. End The Shame
  78. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  79. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  80. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  81. March from P.H. to The Run
  82. Decimation of an Urban Community
  83. Public Comments
  84. 18 Questions
  85. Dishonest Public Position
  86. Belief Precedes Experience
  87. City Council Public Comments
  88. A Sacred Place
  89. Investigations Needed by Oakland Residential Community
  90. Letter to Council President
  91. March from P.H. to The Run
  92. Lack of Integrity
  93. SOUL Program Implementation

Enough Is Enough! Trashed street photo.


[HOME]

  1. Introduction
  2. Open Letter to the Board of Trustees
  3. University's Response to Open Letter
  4. Response to University
  5. YouTube Documentary
  6. Preuniversity Settlers
  7. Oakland Bill of Rights
  8. Declaration of Freedom
  9. Problems
  10. Solutions
  11. Actions
  12. UPMC
  13. PITT
    SempleFest
  14. Jul. '09
  15. Aug. '09
  16. Sept. '09
  17. Oct. '09
  18. Origin of SOUL
  19. WPXI - Group talks trash
  20. National Disgrace
  21. Gratitude
  22. Support Letters
  23. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  24. Pittsburgh City Paper
  25. Media - Broken Trust?
  26. Feb. '10
  27. Jun. '10
  28. Done Deal?
  29. Mayor's Reply
  30. Pitt Fireworks
  31. Pitt Fireworks
  32. Pitt Fireworks
  33. Aug. '10
  34. Sep. '10
  35. Letter to Legislators
  36. Letter to Chancellor
  37. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  38. A Call for Compassion
  39. WPXI Coverage
  40. Human Dignity
  41. Letter to the Editor
  42. SempleFest
  43. Request for Apology
  44. The Shame of a University
  45. Firebombs Must End
  46. Call To Action
  47. Fireworks Press Release
  48. Shadow on the Lawn
  49. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article
  50. Right-to-Know Law Testimony
  51. University Impact Aid Law
  52. Proposal University Impact Aid Law
  53. Nordenberg Must Resign
  54. Allegheny County Council Testimony
  55. Time for New Leadership Message
  56. Time for New Leadership Testimony
  57. Class-Action Lawsuit?
  58. Nordenberg Must Resign Paid Message
  59. Time for A New Beginning
  60. Letter to the Editor
  61. Letter to the Editor
  62. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  63. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
  64. A New Paradigm
  65. In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Casciato
  66. Symbol of Domination
  67. Revised University Impact Aid Proposal
  68. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  69. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  70. Community Objectives
  71. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  72. City Planning Commission Testimonies
  73. Letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
  74. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  75. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  76. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  77. End The Shame
  78. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  79. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  80. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  81. March from P.H. to The Run
  82. Decimation of an Urban Community
  83. Public Comments
  84. 18 Questions
  85. Dishonest Public Position
  86. Belief Precedes Experience
  87. City Council Public Comments
  88. A Sacred Place
  89. Investigations Needed by Oakland Residential Community
  90. Letter to Council President
  91. March from P.H. to The Run
  92. Lack of Integrity
  93. SOUL Program Implementation

U Pitt Puppet Master

Every story has two sides. The story of how Oakland’s two largest universities benefit a community has already been told. OaklandDignity.com shows the story of how these universities’ domination, insatiable greed, broken trust and silence are a deadly combination that can slowly lead to the near extinction of that same community; they can control others like puppets on a string. This website focuses on the devastating impact of the University of Pittsburgh on South Oakland, though the impact of Carnegie Mellon University on North Oakland is nearly as devastating. No community in America that hosts universities deserves such an experience.

Panther Hollow, one of Pittsburgh’s first Italian neighborhoods, is located in Oakland. Its longtime residents’ efforts to protect and preserve that sacred legacy are on the website www.SavePantherHollow.com.

Carlino Giampolo

UPITT Institutional Master Plan
The University of Pittsburgh has proposed a massive Institutional Master Plan that will bring further decimation to Oakland.
You can download it here:

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher Must Resign

February 4–8, 2019

Carlino Giampolo with signs
Photo by Christopher Pasquinelli

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher took office in 2014. The longtime residential community of Oakland genuinely trusted he would end the destructive policies of his predecessors that decimated the business and residential neighborhoods of Oakland. That trust has been broken.

The chancellor's expansive purchases of properties and support of developers, the recently proposed massive Institutional Master Plan, and the plans to make Oakland an innovation district are indicative of his choices to further destroy the university's host community.

One such destructive policy is his support of a roadway from Hazelwood Green, through Panther Hollow, and to Pitt. This policy is reminiscent of Chancellor Edward Litchfield who, in 1963, sought to destroy Panther Hollow by building a 21st Century Research Park. Today, in order to make Oakland an innovation district, Gallagher's support of the roadway will bring massive development that will destroy this historic neighborhood and give him the glory that had eluded Litchfield.

The university's lack of transparency goes well beyond its exemption from the state's Right to Know law, lack of oversight of the university by city, state and federal agencies, and the media's unwillingness to investigate the university's impact on Oakland. Together, these are an elixir for the tragic decimation of the university's host community.

Oakland's generation at the turn of the 20th century never imagined that the university's seemingly innocent move from the North Side to Oakland in 1909 would bring such massive destruction. It is not hyperbole to say that no community in America has ever been more decimated by a university's presence than Oakland.

Next week, every day from noon to 1 p.m., there will be a gathering in front of the Cathedral of Learning to call for the chancellor's resignation. Those who want to participate are most welcome. Anyone who knows about wrongdoing at Pitt can contact District Attorney Stephen Zappala (412) 350-4400 or U.S. Attorney Scott Brady (412) 644-3500.

Communities are destroyed by silent compliance. Accept the responsibility to choose what positive action you will take to end this tragic social injustice.

Carlino Giampolo
February 2, 2019

Additional information is on the websites: www.SavePantherHollow.com  www.PantherHollow.us

P.S. You most likely know the melody to the 1970 song by Steam that goes:
Na Na Na Na / Na Na Na Na / Hey Hey-ey / Goodbye
Join us next week as we adapt the words and joyfully sing:
Na Na Na Na / Na Na Na Na / Galla-gher / Must Resign


The Decimation of an
Urban Community – South Oakland

By Carlino Giampolo

September 4, 2018

It is not hyperbole to say that no urban community in America has been as severely impacted by a university's presence as South Oakland has.

The policies of the University of Pittsburgh administrators have affected the residential and business districts of South Oakland in a profound and devastating way. Since 1968, the longtime residential population has declined by approximately 80%. On one residential street, the decline is far greater. South Bouquet Street has declined 98%, from over 200 longtime residents to presently only two, while the student population has increased from about a dozen to nearly 800.

As we will see below, the business district has been similarly decimated.

SOUTH OAKLAND – 1968

(Forbes Avenue & Fifth Avenue from Halket Street to Craig Street;
South Bouquet Street; Oakland Avenue; Atwood Street; Meyran Avenue;
Semple Street; Bates Street)

In 1968, the above eight streets in South Oakland were home to:

16 Family Restaurants (Employing waiters and/or waitresses. Hotels excluded.)
12 Barber Shops
11 Gas Stations & Auto Repair Shops
11 Dry Cleaners and Alteration Shops
9 Beauty Salons
9 Men & Women's Clothing Stores
7 Shoe Stores & Shoe Repair Shops
7 Grocery Stores
3 Flower Shops
3 Bread & Bakery Shops
2 Supermarkets
2 Movie Theaters
2 Hardware Stores
1 Bowling Alley

In addition:
Syria Mosque – Demolished by UPMC in 1991 and property sold to Pitt in 2016.
Forbes Field – Demolished by the University of Pittsburgh in 1971.

16 Family Restaurants – Black Angus Restaurant, Canter's Restaurant, Scotty's Diner, Cicero's Restaurant Lounge, The Clock Restaurant, Gustine's Restaurant, Lasek's, Burnett's Restaurant, Hungarian Village, Bamboo Garden Restaurant, House of Chiang, B & G Restaurant, Lincoln Pancake Kitchen, Home Plate, Joey Diven's Oakland Cafe, Henry Henry Restaurant.
12 Barber Shops – M & J Barber Shop, Chuck's Barber Shop, Guy Cozza Barber Shop, Schenley Barber Shop, Jerry's Barber Shop, Edwards Barber Shop, Jack's Barber Shop, Al's Barber Shop, Tech Barber Shop, Enrico's Barber Shop, Abe Rosenthal Barber, Joe Bellisario's Barber Shop.
11 Gas Stations & Auto Repair Shops – Spohn Amoco Station, Oakland Gulf Service, Stuckert Esso Service, Tamburi's Sunoco Service, Weston's Atlantic Service, Oakland Auto Service, Forbes Field Garage, W & S Auto Repair, Ernie's Auto Body Repair, Peetz Auto Repair, Heglas Auto Body Shop.
11 Dry Cleaners and Alteration Shops – One-Hour Martinizing Cleaners, One Hour Dura Cleaning, Daniel's Cleaners, Crandall McKenzie Dry Cleaners, Art Cleaning and Tailoring, Charley The Tailor, Sam Ross Tuxedo Rental, Cherubin Cleaning Pressing & Alterations, Simeone Tailor Shop, New Oakland Tailor Clothes Cleaning, Mannarino's Alterations.
9 Beauty Salons – Studio de Creste, Starlite Beauty Haven, Claffey's Beauty Shop, Victor's Fifth Avenue Coiffures, House of Heaton Beauty Shop, Violet Touch Beauty Salon, Marcel Beauty Salon, Meyran Avenue Beauty Shop, Rose Marino's Beauty Salon.
9 Men & Women's Clothing Stores – Leonard's Men's Shop, Price's of Oakland, Tweed Shop, Maxine's Womens Clothing, Dorothy's Millinery, Fashion Hosiery Shop, The Men's Sports Wear Pro Shop, Klothes Kloset Used Clothing, Oakland Haberdashery Shop.
7 Shoe Stores & Shoe Repair Shops  –Wally's Shoes, Oakland Star Shoe Store, Atwood Shoe Service Repair, Russo & Son Shoe Repair, Mike's Shoe Service Repair, Oakland Shoe Repairing, Medical Arts Shoe Service.
7 Butcher Shop & Grocery Stores – Dan Snider Butcher Shop, Atwood Grocery, Bellanca's Market, Atwood Oriental Food Store, Modern Food Market, Howard's Market Grocery, Leff's Market.
3 Flower Shops – Georgetson's Flower Shop, Thompson Flower Shop, Gidas Flowers.
3 Bread & Bakery Shops – Cibrone Breads Bakery, Kunst First Class Bakery, Oakland Bakery.
2 Supermarkets – A & P, Giant Eagle.
2 Movie Theaters – Strand Theatre, King's Court Theatre.
2 Five- & Ten-Cent Stores – Autenreith Five & Ten, Forbes 5-10-25 Cent Store.
2 Hardware Stores – DeBroff's Hardware, Oakland Hardware & Toy Company.
1 Bowling Alley – Cicero Strand Lanes.
Syria Mosque – Demolished by UPMC in 1991 and property sold to Pitt in 2016.
Forbes Field – Demolished by the University of Pittsburgh in 1971.

In addition to the above, there was a vast array of establishments that supported an eclectic multi-ethnic residential community, such as children's toys and clothes, fine jewelry, gifts, novelties, electrical appliances, wallpaper, and paint.

Business Establishments in 2018

In 2018, the number of businesses that supported a longtime residential community has declined tremendously. Today, there are no supermarkets, movie theatres, bowling alleys, hardware stores, shoe stores and shoe repair shops, dry cleaners and alteration shops, bread and bakery shops, children's toys and clothes stores, novelties and gift stores, electrical appliances, wallpaper, and paint stores.

The two main streets in South Oakland's business district (Forbes Avenue & Fifth Avenue) now have only seven business establishments, other than restaurants in the categories shown above, that support a longtime residential community: One gas station (Stuckert's Exxon), three barber shops (Supercuts, Sport Clips, Enrico's Hair Cutting for Men), two clothing shops for men and women (Rue 21, Whimsy on Fifth), and one flower shop (Gidas Flowers).

The administrators of the University of Pittsburgh have made conscious choices leading to the decimation of the residential and business districts of South Oakland. What is equally tragic is that Pitt's 5,000 faculty members are silent enablers.

Neither the chancellor and his administrators, nor the university's faculty, can answer this question in a positive manner: When the streets in the heart of our business district are predominantly dormitories, student housing, and university-owned buildings, how can we grow an eclectic, multi-ethnic, longtime residential community?


City Council Public Comments

December 18, 2018

I have spoken before this council on numerous occasions to express the Panther Hollow community's adamant opposition to the proposed roadway from Hazelwood Green, through our neighborhood, and to Pitt and CMU. Our will to protect and preserve our unique heritage as one of Pittsburgh's first Italian neighborhoods is unbreakable.

Unfortunately, our Italian mayor and this council will be setting aside nearly $20 million in this budget and future budgets for this roadway. Those monies should be reallocated to the districts of Councilmen Burgess and Lavelle, or any district where the basic human needs for housing are not being met.

The mayor and city council are perceived as puppets of Pitt and CMU. These economic giants are worshipped as gods because they control the purse strings of the city. However, their uncontrolled growth has decimated the business and residential districts of Oakland.

Although that is a tragedy, it is not perceived as such because 1) the tragedy has occurred slowly over a long period of time rather than a single moment in time; and 2) the tragedy has resulted not in any physical loss, but the etheric death of hopes and dreams. When will council epiphanize that enough is enough of this uncontrolled growth?

That decimation is shameful. When you meet with Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, the president of CMU, and their administrators, ask them if they feel any sense of shame for what their universities have done to Oakland. They will tell you no. Dominators pass their shame onto their victims. What are each of you and the mayor going to do with this shame? You can't pass it on to the longtime residents of Oakland, because we don't want it. End the shame by giving it back to the universities. In so doing you will take back your own power, and be the leaders the citizens of Pittsburgh elected you to be.

There are two pathways toward change: tragedy and human dignity. The pathway of tragedy is well worn out, the human dignity pathway not so much. To get on this pathway will require from each of you a new system of beliefs and attitudes, thoughts and feelings, and choices and decisions. It requires new desires, expectations, and imagination.

Now is the time for each of you to pause and reflect on why you became leaders. What were your ideals, principles, and integrity, and how far have you deviated from them? What wrongdoings by yourself and others, both inside government and those who interact with government, are you aware of, but have masked, denied, or ignored? End that shame also.

A new year gives hope for a new beginning, not just better than the past, but a genuine new beginning. Make the resolution to have spirituality, whatever you perceive it to be, as the essence of your every word and deed.

Carlino Giampolo

 


Open Letter to
University of Pittsburgh
Chief of Staff Kathy Humphrey

Kathy Humphrey
Chief of Staff
University of Pittsburgh

September 23, 2017

Shameful and Pitthetic

Pitthetic: noun – a university, organization, government entity, or individual that negatively impacts a community by action or inaction; adjective – pathetic as a direct result of a university, organization, government entity, or individual’s negative influence.

Dear Ms. Humphrey:

The above given definitions of “Pitthetic” aptly describe the devastating impact Pitt’s presence has made on the community of Oakland. It is not hyperbole to say that no urban community in America has been as severely impacted by a university’s presence as Oakland has. No other university has grown to 35,000 students and taken over the ownership of more than 100 buildings in its host community. Nor has any other once-thriving, multi-ethnic urban community lost over 80% of its residents due mainly to a university’s presence. Pitt’s unprecedented, insatiable greed and uncontrolled growth is a ruthless cancer decimating Oakland’s residential and business districts. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

My grandparents settled in Oakland before the university arrived in 1909. For over half a century prior to the university’s arrival, thousands of hardworking immigrants came to Oakland and built this neighborhood for their families and future generations. I can say with confidence that if my grandparents, and others who had built in Oakland alongside them, could have foreseen the unfathomable scope of the destruction to the landscape—as well as the pain and suffering the university’s presence would bring to future residents—they never would have allowed the university to move from the North Side to their beloved Oakland. The conscience that permeates the university, especially in the last five decades—in which economic profit trumps human dignity—continues today. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

On February 6, 2017, I wrote a letter with these concerns to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and emailed a copy to you, requesting you forward the letter to members of the Board of Trustees. The decisions of the board have a profound impact on our community, and I believe they should be aware of our concerns. Either you ignored the letter or it was never delivered to you, because I received no reply. In the past, your predecessor even admitted to me that some of my emails to Chancellor Mark Nordenberg were never delivered, because he would intercept them.

I did ask our Oakland councilman and senator to assist me in asking you to forward the letter, but they chose not to get involved. These decisions illustrate that power is simply the ability to choose whether or not to take action. The university leaders have an inordinate amount of power because other Oakland leaders’ refusal to act enables the university to exert their own power unrestrained, instead of helping to end the suffering of their community. I have no confirmation that the Board of Trustees ever received my letter. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

One month after sending you that email, I attended the memorial service for the renowned Dr. Thomas Starzl, a friend of our family. He was a person of high dignity and a humanitarian in every true sense of the word, and he will always have our family’s deepest respect and admiration. I am certain that if he were alive today, he would tell you that Oakland didn’t need to be decimated by university policies in order for him to perform his remarkable work.

You sang at the service and I was impressed by your powerful voice. I approached you after the service concluded and complimented your singing, and then introduced myself. You responded as if you had never heard my name before, allowing me to believe that you never received my email. When you and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher took office, our community hoped that a conscience of love and respect for our community would emerge, and there would be a new beginning. Instead, the present administration is a continuation of the destructive ways of the university’s past. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

You work in a male-dominated environment both within and outside of the university, and that may invoke pressure. You are the first high-level female administrator since 2007 that I have communicated with concerning our community’s problems. And of course, there has never been a female chancellor in the history of the university.

Though you are a minority in your profession, you are not alone in your silence of watching our community suffer and be decimated by Pitt. Over 4,000 Pitt faculty members have done the same. It is not ignorance that prevents these teachers of our future leaders from breaking their silence and using their voices to defend our community, for our concerns are pervasive and of great importance. Most likely, it is fear that prevents them from putting their values into action. Since 2008, 10 messages were published in their faculty newspaper delineating our problems and the solutions—and yet the faculty’s voices remain silent. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

There are numerous symbols of shame throughout Oakland due to the university’s presence. One of the most egregious is the Mark A. Nordenberg Hall built in 2013 to house 559 first-year students only. That building symbolizes the incessant greed, self-centeredness, and never-ending expansion prioritized by the university leaders. The hall never should have been built. Its effects bring further pain and suffering to our community. Although it greatly enriches the coffers of the university, it has attracted developers who are further destroying our business and residential districts with their student housing projects in order to accommodate the university’s ever-increasing enrollment.

The Oakland Planning and Development Corporation was compelled to initiate a Community Land Trust program to try and keep a semblance of a residential community, but it cannot succeed unless the corporation’s leaders raise their voices to stop the university’s expansion. Our councilman must raise his voice in a similar manner for he is now experiencing the effects of the cancerous spread of increased student enrollment in his own neighborhood of the South Side. He is experiencing the suffering there as more generations of longtime residents leave, while he attempts to pass laws to curb the horrific student binge drinking problem that plagues both the South Side and Oakland. Chancellor Patrick Gallagher makes no attempt to stop this overwhelming student enrollment increase. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

Shame is a real emotion that is often not talked about because it can be too strong or frightening a word. However, shame can destroy individuals, communities, and countries. It diminishes one’s dignity. Almost all adults encounter it in life either by their own actions, or by the shame that is passed on to them by others. Shame-based individuals can be overachieving, competitive, and perfectionist, act super-human or sub-human, and often don’t recognize their own shame. However, feeling shame can be an integral part of one’s spiritual journey as it can lead to remorse and the choice to take appropriate action to end the shame.

Shame that is numbed, masked, denied, or ignored will continue to grow. Our community has been systematically decimated by the presence of the university. No leaders of the university, past or present, have expressed compassion or empathy for the massive takeover of our land by the university, and for the suffering of our people. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

Our grassroots movement began in 2007 with a simple desire to implement an environmental program to end the litter and trash problems in our community caused mainly by university students. Oakland has the reputation of being the city’s filthiest neighborhood. We asked university leaders to provide our community with the equivalent of only $4 dollars of each student’s tuition fee to implement a daily maintenance program, and we were denied. Those squalid conditions are symbolic of the university leaders’ conscience that does not take responsibility for these unclean conditions and tries to pass their shame onto our community.

One stupefying suggestion by a vice chancellor was that longtime elderly residents, among other property owners, should be taxed and pay for a Neighborhood Improved District to end the problem. Another dumbfounding remark by a university vice chancellor was that we should already be satisfied because once a month, the university sends us students who walk around the neighborhood and pick up litter. The yearly increasing student population has exacerbated the litter and trash problem. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

From this basic initiative, our grassroots movement has expanded to deal with myriad problems concerning the university’s presence. There are now 80 links on www.OaklandDignity.com describing actions taken to protect and preserve our community. One of those problems was in 2015 when the city, nonprofit organizations, and others planned to build a roadway through historic Panther Hollow and The Run in Greenfield, to connect the Almono site in Hazelwood to Pitt and CMU. Those who advocated for the roadway weren’t concerned that our two neighborhoods would be destroyed, because they only wanted to satisfy the insatiable expansion of Pitt and CMU, and add to the glory of Pittsburgh leaders in their attempt to make the city the Silicon Valley of the East. Our residents triumphed, but not a voice from the university’s more than 10,000 employees, including your own, offered us support. Should those disastrous plans be resurrected, we will continue to seek the help of the district attorney and others agencies to uncover any wrongdoings.

A similar attempt to destroy Panther Hollow transpired in the 1960s when then-chancellor Edward Litchfield proposed a $250 million 21st century Research Park complex which would have obliterated 60 homes and displaced 250 longtime Italian residents.* Even though our residents triumphed over his efforts, he continued his injurious expansion plans by purchasing the iconic Forbes Field and leveling it. He then convinced a state agency to invoke eminent domain across the street, and proceeded to demolish homes, businesses, and a church.* He is another chancellor who was treated as a hero by the university by having a building named after him. Our true heroes are the men and women who fought for human dignity and social justice to protect and preserve our community’s identity. As our current grassroots movement demonstrates, we will continue to push back on destructive plans such as this. Today, the site where the eminent domain occurred is not for the public good, but rather is now occupied by the university’s Bouquet Garden dormitories. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

The issues threatening the very identity and existence of our residential community are ever increasing. Ten days ago, an article appeared in the online edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette titled, “Study: Pittsburgh and its universities aren’t leveraging full economic potential”. It was conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution and called for the creation of an Oakland Innovation District that would encompass the entire 1.7-square-mile neighborhood. The study was paid for by the Hillman Foundation and Heinz Endowments, the same nonprofit foundation that is part-owner of the Almono site and whose leaders advocated for a roadway through the historic neighborhood of Panther Hollow and The Run in Greenfield.

The article went on to mention that this initiative brings together the “big guns” in Pittsburgh such as: Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Carnegie Mellon University interim President Farnam Jahanian, UPMC President and CEO Jeffrey Romoff, Hillman Family Foundation President David K. Roger and Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant. Did anyone honestly expect this sham study to objectively conclude that Oakland’s residential and business districts must be protected and preserved? These men act with a bully-like consciousness, and we all know the true nature of bullies. Does anyone truly believe that any of them would want a massive University of Pittsburgh-like institution in their own neighborhood? Do you believe any of them want student housing projects to be built adjacent to their family homes? This biased study is a further attempt to destroy our neighborhood and add to our people’s suffering. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

Thousands of Oakland residents’ lives have been severely impacted by the uncontrolled growth of the university. Not only must these individuals overcome personal crises as do all residents of Pittsburgh, but they also must overcome crises from the massive presence of Pitt. One resident named Mary was born and raised in Panther Hollow, and lived there for her entire 87 years. She married another Panther Hollow resident and together, they raised six children. She lost both her husband and one of her sons to cancer, and one of her daughters was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For the past decade, she has lived with her legally blind son. She was one of many exceptional and blessed women from our neighborhood, and her home was always a gathering place for residents to enjoy good food and conversation.

When the city made the decision in 2015 to build a roadway through Panther Hollow, she was overcome with tremendous fear, anxiety, and worry. She and her son had vowed to never leave Panther Hollow, but they were now uncertain of their future. She died in 2016 from heart failure without knowing if the city’s grant proposal to build the roadway would be approved or not. Do you think any of the big guns of Pittsburgh mentioned above, or any of your university administrators, cared about her or her son’s life?

She was one of my inspirations to begin the grassroots movement to end the domination of Pitt over our community. In 2007, I visited her home and saw her sitting at the kitchen table with head in hands, near tears, and I asked what happened. She replied that once again in numerous ongoing happenings, she and her son could not sleep because of students’ binge-drinking parties. She said others in the neighborhood were suffering the same fate. She also related that her brother-in-law, who lived nearby, had feces thrown into his yard and the family pet poisoned, among other atrocities, because he had reported the drinking problems to the police. Recently, her legally blind son has been hospitalized several times with a serious illness, while other residents on our street are now fighting to prevent outsiders from building town houses for student rentals. Pitt administrators continue to act as if they have had no negative impact upon our community. That is shameful and Pitthetic.

You have the power of choice to make a difference and become a voice for our community. You always were an avid supporter of students, and now is the time to put your values into action. To take that action will require courage, be prepared to be told you are wrong in the pursuit of what is right. The opposite of courage is not cowardice but rather unthinking or silent conformity. Although you are a very active member in your church, you might agree that a person’s choices in daily life are a true religion in itself. You will have to assess and appraise your values. Does the university truly have the right to destroy its host community because it is the “economic engine” of the city?

Seven years ago, I said this at a public city council meeting: “We have told Pitt administrators that they cannot take away our dignity, diminish our intensity, shackle our freedom, or break our spirit. They will never silence the voice of our soul.” Our community hopes you will express the same sentiment to your fellow administrators and break away from the university’s shameful and Pitthetic past. Please forward this letter to all members of the Board of Trustees and share with us your thoughts.

Sincerely,
Carlino Giampolo

*Correction: Forbes Field was purchased by the university in 1958 during the tenure of Chancellor Edward Litchfield. It was not during his tenure but the tenure of his successor, Chancellor Wesley Posvar, that Forbes Field was leveled and eminent domain invoked across the street by a state agency, resulting in homes, businesses, and a church demolished.


The following email was sent to Chief of Staff Kathy Humphrey on November 6, 2017 after she responded to the above letter. She has not replied to the email.

Dear Dr. Humphrey,

Your response is most disappointing in that our community had hoped you would have the courage, empathy, and compassion to be a beacon of light for positive change. You refrained from commenting on all of the cogent points contained in my letter, and chose to ignore the pain and suffering of the Oakland residents caused by the university's presence in our home.

We asked that you open your heart and put your faith into action. Instead, your response seemed to be a generalized collaboration with other university administrators, and was basically a reiteration of a letter sent to me by Vice Chancellor Paul Supowitz in 2013. Therefore, instead of sending you an in-depth reply, you can read my response to Mr. Supowitz at www.OaklandDignity.com (Link 4).

I invite you to engage in more constructive dialogue. Would you like to meet one-on-one?

Sincerely,
Carlino Giampolo
cc: The Pitt News


Confronting Sexual Harassment and
Hostile Climates in Higher Education

A former University of Pittsburgh professor wrote an essay on sexual harassment and discrimination against people of color in the university's Department of Communication. View the essay at:

The following is just one of numerous comments made about the article:

As a former tenured faculty member in the School of Medicine at Pitt, I can say that the immoral culture extends across campus and beyond sexual harassment and gender-based pay discrimination. In addition to hearing complaints over the years from student, medical residents and fellows regarding sexual harassment, I experienced the pattern of administrative coverup and harassment following my reporting of extensive research misconduct by a male colleague. All effort and expense directed by the administrative “boys’ club” was brought to bear to force my departure and protect the male faculty member, no matter the egregious level of admitted misconduct. Like you, I was able to bring these charges to light because I was tenured and successful in my position. I share so much of the experience you have written about: being dragged through the mud professionally and finally deciding to leave the toxic environment because the retribution would likely never end. I continue to seek correction of this through litigation, but as you correctly state, Pitt has deep pockets and unfortunately local judges who are Pitt Law faculty members. I applaud your efforts to continue to bring light to this toxic, immoral culture.

 

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