Monthly Archive: September 2010

DamonCarrBox

Business

The mortgage tax deception

I recently received mortgage solicitations in the mail from two different companies on the same day. As a player in the mortgage industry I like to see what my competition is doing. As a result I analyze all mortgage related marketing material that comes across my desk. For some reason both mail pieces were super hyper in selling their potential customer on the idea of the mortgage tax deductions. Both mail pieces expounded on the idea that by utilizing your home to finance various goals you will, in effect, reduce your tax bill. Ironically, as I was reading various financial publications I subscribe to, I came across an article written by a financial advisor who was illustrating the benefit of making minimum payments on mortgages while investing all you can in various investment vehicles. This financial consultant reasoned that since interest rates on mortgages were averaging 6 percent and that long-term investment vehicles were averaging 12 percent, you are in effect netting a 6 percent return.

Business

Is there a scam looking for you?

Bernie Madoff was convicted of scamming Jewish friends, business associates and even foundations of more than $50 billion. Kirk Wright was convicted of scamming African-American friends, business associates and prominent NFL players of more than $150 million. In both of these cases, most of the victims were “referred” to these criminals by respected and successful friends. Scam artists are all around us and their schemes are ubiquitous. Scammers are lurking in our barbershops and beauty parlors; in e-mails from Nigeria and with our friends on Facebook and Twitter; on the telephone supposedly representing victims of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina; and even in our churches and social clubs trying to sign us up for natural gas accounts or “once in a lifetime” investment opportunities. Factors such as the slow economy, home foreclosures and the Internet have increased the bandwidth for potential scams. But why do scams work and how can we avoid them?

Business

Business Calendar

Finance seminar SEPT. 29—The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University will host a Finance and Business Seminar from 8-9:30 a.m. at Chatham University, Howe-Childs Gatehouse, Woodland Rd., Shadyside. This is the fourth in a four-part seminar series held in conjunction with Grossman Yanak & Ford LLP about finances, which is a critical part of business. After each session there will be an “ask the finance expert” session. The topic is “Is It Time for a Tune-Up? Preventative Maintenance for Your Assets.” Presenters Karen T. Mangis and Anne M. Stalter will discuss some potential risks and results of a lack of control, as well as cost effective controls for small business owners. Registration is required and the cost is $20 per seminar, which includes a continental breakfast. For more information, visit http://www.chatham.edu/cwe.

Sports

Batch has great game; Steelers seek 4-0 start

Ben who? Charlie Batch, who had one foot out of Pittsburgh at the beginning of the season as he dropped to fourth string quarterback, had the best game of his career, leading the Steelers to a 38-13 blowout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers keeping them among the select few undefeated teams in the young NFL season at 3-0. CAREER PERFORMANCE—Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) hands the football to quarterback Charlie Batch after catching a first quarter touchdown pass from Batch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sept. 26, in Tampa, Fla. Steeler Isaac Redman (33), looks on. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Now they play their first conference game Sunday against the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens, fresh off their best offensive game of the season beating the Cleveland Browns 24-17.

Sports

Perry steamrolls Oliver; Langley nips Schenley

Once again, Greg McGhee and his receivers controlled the momentum in this one. McGhee completed 11 of 15 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Eric Frye caught seven of those for 130 yards. They also connected on scores from 9 and 56 yards in the game. Devin Ghafoor brought in five passes for 109 yards; including a 58-yard score in the first half. BIG WIN—Perry quarterback Greg McGhee completed 11 of 15 passes for 225 yards and threw for three touchdowns in the Commodore’s 35-0 win over North Side rival Oliver. (Photo by William McBride) Perry’s defense also held Oliver to 60 yards total offense, including -30 on the ground.

Sports

Inside Conditions…Batch-‘out’

A few NFL rules and regulations can be difficult to understand, sometimes even bordering on the absurd, but there is one particular rule that make perfect sense to me. It is better known as the blackout rule. If a game is not sold out 72 hours before kickoff then the locals have to show up in person at the stadium or put their hands on the radio in order to receive their “football” healing for the week.

Sports

Clairton’s Desimon Green lights up Chartiers-Houston, 48-0

In a rare battle of undefeated teams, Chartiers-Houston at Clairton, the Bears (4-0) stomped the Buccaneers (3-1) as badly as everyone else they’ve faced this season, winning 48-0 in front of a sold out Neil C. Brown Stadium last Friday night. While storms rolled through the region causing many to be without power; Clairton’s high-powered offense electrified the home crowd. MAN AMONG BOYS—Clairton quarterback Desimon Green threw four touchdown passes in the Bears 48-0 win over Chartiers-Houston. (Photo by William McBride)

Lifestyle

100 Black Men 6th Golf Classic

The 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania, Inc held their 6th annual 2010 Imhotep Mentoring & Scholarship Golf Classic awards at Southpointe Golf Club in Cannonsburg to raise funds for the program and scholarships for the seniors involved. One of the purposes of the group is to enhance educational opportunities for African-Americans with an emphasis on young Black males. Celebrities and concerned men throughout western Pennsylvania participated to help raise funds for needy students. Former Steelers great L.C. Greenwood and Olympic champion Roger Kingdom were among them. FIRST FLIGHT WINNERS WITH PRESIDENT

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Lifestyle

Victor Grigsby publishes ‘Family Matters: A Guide for Building Godly Homes’

Dysfunctional is a pretty strong word, but that’s the term Rev. Victor Julius Grigsby uses to describe his own family—before Christ —in his recently published book: “Family Matters: A Guide for Building Godly Homes.” The book combines “a mixture of personal testimony, biblical reference, spiritual principle,and practical living,” as Rev. Grigsby relates his family’s journey “from the edge of dysfunction to a family transformed and functioning in the Spirit of God.” REV. VICTOR GRIGSBY (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) In September 2009, the Lord commanded the well-known and highly respected, second generation preacher to write. Nine months later—in May 2010—the finished manuscript emerged, and the copyright was obtained, ironically, on Mother’s Day weekend.

Lifestyle

Church Circuit

Preparation course OCT. 1—The Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry will host a Parish Nurse Basic Preparation Course from 8:45 a.m.-6 p.m. at Beulah Presbyterian Church, 2500 McCrady Rd., Churchill. This is a four-day course that will include modules on prayer, self-care, healing, ethics and more. The fall session is $395 per person. For more information, call 412-232-7997 or e-mail parishnurse@ mercy.pmhs.org.