Daily Archive: February 11, 2011


Don’t mess with the 14th Amendment

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Section I of the 14th Amendment, The immigration debate, has taken another ugly turn. First, Arizona passed a law, now under federal challenge, granting unprecedented powers to police to stop and demand proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. Now, two United States Senators, a Congressman and at least 14 states have proposed amending or reinterpreting the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to deny citizenship to U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.


‘Love Brought Me Back’

Oh, you were a wild child. To you, the word “no” was a sure challenge. Curfews were mere suggestions, mischief was your best friend, and danger was in your blood. While it’s true that you never did anything illegal, everybody counted on you to liven up the room and bring down the house. If only your parents knew…. Author Natalie Cole’s family knew about her troubles several decades ago. In the new book “Love Brought Me Back” (with David Ritz), you’ll read about that regretfully wild time in Cole’s life, and how the love of a stranger saved Cole when it all came back to haunt her.


Obama says White House, CEOs must work together

by Jim Kuhnhenn WASHINGTON (AP)—President Barack Obama prodded American businesses to do their share to help the economy, calling on executives to “get in the game” and begin investing nearly $2 trillion accumulating on their balance sheets. The president, in a speech Monday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, called for a cooperative relationship with the private sector and argued government and business have a shared responsibility. He highlighted new efforts by his administration to improve the nation’s infrastructure, invest more on entrepreneurs and foster greater innovation. PRODDING BUSINESS—President Barack Obama speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington Feb. 7. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) But to a polite, subdued audience he offered a stout defense of government regulations, even as he promised to eliminate those that are too burdensome. He reached back to history, invoking President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s outreach to corporate leaders and evoking the strains of self-sacrifice expressed by President John Kennedy.



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.


Eligible to take advantage of the homeowner credit?

The real estate market was hard hit during the recent financial crisis, but home ownership is still considered a good investment by many. As you file your 2010 tax return, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants notes that this may be your last chance to take advantage of a valuable tax credit if you purchased a home early last year. This article answers five common questions about the credit. How does the homebuyer credit work?


Steel City Sports World treats city to ‘greatest show on earth’

What do you get when you throw these guys and gals listed here together in front of a camera: Damian Jones-Moore (Central Catholic), Daniel Bradley (Gateway), Rushel Shell (Hopewell), Nolan Toran (Gateway), Jones (Central Catholic), Davantae Butler (Gateway), Mike Caputo (West Allegheny), Thomas Woodson (Gateway), Dillon Buechel (Montour), Haakim Oliver (Gateway), Greg McGhee (Perry), Steel City Models and the Pittsburgh Force Women’s Professional football team? You have the makings of the greatest show on earth. For 10 years running, Steel City Sports World has given awards to the top high school football players in the area. STEEL CITY STARS—Front Row: Members of the Pittsburgh Force Women’s professional football team. 2nd Row: Model Ashley Mittenzwey, Davantae Butler (Gateway), Model Ashley Kennedy, Model Janea Barlow, Damian Jones-Moore (Offensive MVP, Central Catholic), Model Bella’lisa Smith and Smokin’ Jim Frazier. 3rd Row: Daniel Bradley (Gateway), Haakin Oliver (Gateway), Thomas Woodson (Gateway), Nolan Toran (Defensive MVP, Gateway) and Dillon Buechel (Montour).



100 years in the making

I can’t remember a time when “The Courier” was not in my life. That’s what we called it back in the day and quiet as it’s kept we still call it “The Courier.” People all over the world know about the historic Pittsburgh Courier, now known as the New Pittsburgh Courier. On Feb. 19, right in the midst of Black History Month, the Courier will celebrate 100 years. On this night of celebration I have the distinct honor of greeting you on the red carpet at Stage AE on the North Shore. Here are the details; the VIP portion of the party begins at 6 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres and plenty of mingling. At 7 p.m. the party continues with a tour of food stations with chef carved roasted New York Strip, five cheese Macaroni, green beans, mushroom and pepper salad, roasted vegetable salad, Jamaican Jerk wings, Caribbean Succotash and more.


Tennis for Sickle Cell

On Jan. 29, the Highland Park Tennis Club hosted Tennis for Sickle Cell at The Club on One Racquet Lane in Monroeville. Dozens of guests enjoyed food, fun, door prizes, auctions and most of all tennis in a climate-controlled environment while raising money for the Sickle Cell Society Inc. TENNIS YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT—Gloria Hill and Lawade Garris, webmaster. (Photos by Debbie Norrell) HPTC was founded in April of 2002 and has more than 130 members of diverse backgrounds. Tennis has been reported as being a great sport to get in and stay in shape and you can try it out for free.