Daily Archive: September 3, 2010

Metro

Shuman director works toward bigger impact

Every year 3,500 youths are admitted to Shuman Detention Center. Forty percent of that total is represented by repeat admissions, those who have already had one or more visits to the center. Nothing makes Shuman’s director Wil­liam Simmons unhappier than these startling statistics. Although he only has the youths who come to the center for an average of 15 days, he is focused on doing whatever he can to reduce the recidivism rate. REVOLVING DOOR—Williams Simmons fights his daily battle to lower recidivism rates. “One of the biggest challenges is recidivism. That’s a shame. It says a lot about society itself,” Simmons said. “In addition to that it is because we don’t have any impact on their home life. What kind of services are they getting when they go home? That’s the frustrating part.”

Metro

Nonprofits offer alternatives to thug life

(This is the first in a series of responses addressing Black-on-Black violence.) During his exclusive Aug. 23 interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier editorial board in the wake of the fatal shooting during a midget league football game, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper challenged nonprofits working in African-American neighborhoods to act more cooperatively in the battle to stop Black-on-Black killings. FLORENCE ROUZIER and MALIK BANKSTON “I tried to bring (Community Empowerment Association) and the Kingsley Center together because we need to have more collaboration. It’s harder when you have all these groups competing for the same funds,” he said. “I’d rather make an investment in these programs that are being preventative.”

National

New York imam: Politics behind mosque opposition

by Brian Murphy DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)—The imam spearheading a proposed Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York believes the fierce opposition is closely linked to the U.S. elections in November, according to comments published Monday. ADDRESSES CONTROVERSY—Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, center, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, greets worshipers inside a Muharraq, Bahrain, mosque after leading midday prayers Aug. 20. “There is no doubt that the election season has had a major impact upon the nature of the discourse,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was quoted by the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National in an interview as part of his State Department-funded trip in the Gulf. Rauf did not cite any particular political race possibly tied to the protests, but many conservative candidates and political figures have aligned themselves with the opposition to the $100 million project that includes a mosque and Islamic cultural center.

Opinion

Top candidates owe voters three debates

What Pennsylvania voters want in the upcoming election can be summed up in one word: substance. This isn’t a normal election year. The state is in a recession and faces a massive budget shortfall. A smiling politician promising utopia for nothing won’t cut it this time.

Sports

City League preview—teams to watch in 2010

by Malik Vincent The Pittsburgh City League is ready to pick up competition in the 2010 season with some much needed improvement to its home, Cupples Stadium on the South Side. With that should come some much-warranted improvements with certain teams around the league. DEANDRE BLACK and MANNY REED “We expect to win every game this season,” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said. “Whether those expectations are real or not, that’s what we expect to accomplish. Nothing less.” Haslett and his Dragons posted a 1-9 record in 2009, but feel they have weapons at the skill positions that will help them make a turnaround this season.

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Metro

Champions to salute champions

Champion Enterprises will host their 35th anniversary gala at the Sheraton Hotel Station Square Sept. 17. BILL NEALPresident, CEO Champions Enterprises The highlight of the evening will feature a Champions Award recognition to those who have been most important to the history and success of the agency’s 35 years of dedicated community service. Those to be recognized and honored are:

Opinion

Is America only for White people?

Is America only for White people? The question stuck in my mind following yet another e-mail exchange with a friend of mine, regarding my conservatism. For this particular gentleman, being Black in America is at odds with conservatism. As he put it: “…Particularly as African-Americans, I feel we are in no real position to idealize the American experience and get too choked up about institutions and symbols that were not created with us in mind. Certainly, we cannot cast our lot with those who are actively seeking to destroy those gains we have made.”

Opinion

Judge banks harshly

After the financial sector’s bad business practices nearly caused a collapse of this country’s economic system, it was bailed out—by taxpayers—to the tune of $700 million in government funds. At the time, many Americans balked at the huge sum. Most, however, came to realize that saving banks was a necessary step in saving the overall economy. Most of us also hoped that, down the road, the banks—and those who lead them—would be in some way punished for their many missteps.

Entertainment

Cover To Cover…‘Darius Jones’

You just couldn’t stop yourself. You knew that what you were about to do would get you into trouble. You’d never be able to talk your way out of the mess, even though you’d to try. Getting caught was a high probability, losing everything was a danger. But you just couldn’t stop yourself. In the new book “Darius Jones” by Mary B. Morrison, a young b-baller has everything he could ever want: a beautiful wife, a great career, and a healthy child. Can he stop his life from crashing?

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Business

Understanding retirement plans

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrases 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Roth, TSP, and 457 plans. Do you know what they mean? Are these the latest Levi blue jeans? Are these the new and approved Mazda, Honda, Lexus series? If you’re having a difficult time sorting out the “alphabet soup” of retirement plans, don’t feel ashamed. While many people have heard of the different types of retirement plans, very few understand the difference between these plans. If you ever sat in on one of those 401(k) meetings at work or met with a financial adviser, you’ll understand why. Most financial professionals use a language that’s suited for another financial geek, not the everyday layperson.