Daily Archive: August 27, 2010



Is Smooth Jazz savior of traditional jazz?

AUGUSTA, Ga.—The rumors are running rampant throughout many major cities in the nation—live (traditional) jazz is just about dead. Well, during a recent Smooth Jazz” show at the William Bell Auditorium in the heart of Augusta, Ga.’s entertainment district, a lineup of jazz stars headed by virtuoso guitarist Norman Brown, vocalist Phil Perry, keyboardist Alex Bugnon and rising sax superstar Eric Darius, provided jazz lovers with arguably the finest-ever jazz performance in recent times. NORMAN BROWN Billed as the “3rd Annual CSRA Jazz Festival,” the show featured several of the world’s premier jazz men who are predominant when it comes to the nouveau jazz category called Smooth Jazz.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

by Ashley G. WoodsonFor New Pittsburgh Courier This week I visited the Sanders Family Reunion in Penn Hills, Umoja’s African Arts in the Park at Allegheny Commons Park on the North Side, CJ’s in the Strip District, Herbie Hancock at Heinz Hall and Jenesis Magazine at the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty. My first stop was at CJ’s in the Strip District where DJ Nick Nice was on the 1’s and 2’s playing all the hits for the crowd. Chilling at CJ’s in the Strip District.


Six small running backs who come up huge

by Ralph D. RussoAP College Football Writer (AP)—There’s always been a place in college football for the undersized back, but it seems as if there are more great little guys than ever before. Here are six (in no particular order) who will star in 2010. And since small is subjective, we’ll make the cutoff 5-10 and 200 pounds. Dion Lewis, 5-8, 197, Pittsburgh. As coach Dave Wannstedt puts it, Lewis does not run like a small back. Unlike some others on this list, he doesn’t play in a spread which allows him to operate in space. He runs between the tackles and went for 1,799 yards and 17 TDs as a freshman last season. PITT ALL-AMERICAN—Running back Dion Lewis scoots away from a defender during practice. Lewis will need to do the bulk of the work for the Pitt offense in the opener against Utah.


Group provides keys to success

For a working person often struggling to get a head, at times the simplest tasks can seem very difficult, like purchasing a vehicle or working toward improving a credit score. Family Services of Western Pennsylvania understanding the plight of individuals who cannot obtain a traditional auto loan because of credit issues, offers a transportation loan program that provides help to purchase or repair a vehicle. The Ways to Work Program is for people with dependent children and the Keys to Success Program serves those without dependent children. STARTING A GREAT PROCESS—Tia Baker, Transportation Loan Program participant, left, works with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania officials Brian Polinsky and Gwen Porter to start the two- to three-week process of getting a reliable car. A participant in the loan program for about a year, Tia Baker, says the process is very simple. “The hardest part of the program for me was looking for a car.” After filling out an application, meeting the criteria and participating in the financial literacy component she now drives a car she is happy with, a 2001 Hyundai. “My next step is to purchase a home. This program has helped me regain my accountability while rebuilding my credit,” said Baker.


Foreclosure crisis defers or denies the American dream

(NNPA)—As the U.S. Treasury Department devoted a day’s discussion this week to the future of two housing government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) issued a new research report that details the impact and characteristics of foreclosures in the nation’s most populous state, California. Dreams Deferred dispels the McMansion myth that the foreclosure crisis is the result of consumers purchasing high-priced, opulent estates. Instead, the new report found that the majority of California foreclosures were modest homes of three bedrooms or less with a median size of only 1,492 square feet. Although foreclosures are highest in major cities such as Los Angeles, the highest concentration or density of foreclosures occurred in the big-city exurbs of Central Valley and Inland Empire.


New credit card rules take effect

(AP)—The final phase of the landmark federal legislation that placed new restrictions on credit card interest rates and fees takes effect Sunday. Though the bulk of the law’s provisions were enacted earlier this year, there are still a few important changes you need to be aware of: Penalty fees New protection: Fees for late payments and other transgressions will be capped to the amount of the violation, up to $25. Previously, these fees were often between $35 and $39 regardless of how much was owed. Also, a single violation can no longer result in more than one fee.