Daily Archive: February 24, 2011


Deep enough, far enough, or just too much?

(NNPA)—President Barack Obama has proposed a 2012-2013 budget that is, at best, politically pragmatic. Responding to the Republican sway in congress, he has decided to impose a set of his own cuts, anticipating those his opponents might offer. Their response is predictable. The Obama cuts are not deep enough; they do not go far enough. And, I think they are just too much. In other words, President Obama has been forced to take the knife to programs he supports, and he chooses to do so to hold another set of programs harmless. He would cut community service programs, but he’d hold firm on education. In yielding to the new Republican majority, he has also reminded us that education is a priority for him, and that he will not cut the plethora of educational programs that buttress his vision.


Guest editorial… Wisconsin workers fight for union rights

Thousands of workers, students and union supporters rallied at the capitol of Wisconsin Saturday to protest against Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s cynical ploy to use the state’s budget woes as an excuse to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public employees. Like many governors across the nation Gov. Walker is faced with a budget crisis due to the recession, rising health and pension costs and the upcoming cuts in state aid. Many governors will oppose raising taxes and instead propose mass layoffs and drastic cuts in social services to close gaping budget deficits in their states.


World renown artists perform for Cooper Classic

by Kevin Amos “Synthesis,” a soul and jazz showcase featured Rex Rideout, a four time Grammy-nominated producer, arranger and musician, as well as Dwayne Dolphin and Poogie Bell at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Special surprise guests included Bryan Mills of Chuck Brown Fame, Howie Alexander, Neo-Soul and Jazz greats Ledesi and Sean Jones. This spectacular concert honored the legacy of Chuck Cooper; the first African-American drafted into the NBA and was the second annual event. PRODUCER—Thomas Bell, left, with son Don Bell. Don produced the Jazz Showcase. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) Cooper’s life after basketball was notable for his level of commitment to the community. Cooper worked for and eventually rose to the position of director in several neighborhood organizations. He was named head of the city’s parks and recreation department in 1970, becoming Pittsburgh’s first Black department director. Later he moved into an urban affairs post at Pittsburgh National Bank, where he spearheaded development and affirmative action programs.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited Mosaic Night Club in the Strip District, CJ’s in the Strip District, Montage in Wilkinsburg, Ya Momz House Recording Studio in East Liberty and the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty. My first stop was at Mosaic Night Club in the Strip District, where Jessica Holter’s The Punany Poets presented “The Head Doctor” also featurin’ other local poets. The ladies came out to represent at the Shadow Lounge at Jenesis Magazine’s Valentine’s Day event. My next stop was at CJ’s in the Strip District, where The Variety Band performed R&B hits all night long to a packed house and everyone was on the dance floor.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 24 Jazz jam CJ’s Restaurant & Lounge presents “The Roger Humphries & RH Factor Jazz Jam Session” at 8 p.m. at 2901-2911 Penn Ave., Strip District. There will be live jazz and fun every Thursday night. Must be 25-years or older and there is a dress code that will be enforced. No tennis shoes, sweats, or athletic gear. For more information, call 412-642-2377.


Chamber talks Shale

Not surprisingly, there was a near full house at the African American Chamber of Commerce for Marcellus Shale Coalition President and Executive Director Kathryn Klaber’s Power Breakfast presentation. Klaber’s PowerPoint broke down the shale gas drilling process into its component parts to show that there are multiple supply chains, and therefore multiple business opportunities for small and minority-owned companies, depending on their expertise. GETTING IN ON THE GOLD RUSH—African American Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Doris Carson Williams joins Marcellus Shale Coalition President and Executive Director Kathryn Klaber and Doug Matthews of U.S. Steel in answering questions about supplying products and services to Marcellus companies. The areas she highlighted were site preparation, production, transportation and logistics, water management and piping. “Actually, if you look at our website, at our 173 members, you can get an overview of the supply chain,” she said.


Not older…better (and more powerful)

According to The Global Impact of an Aging World, a report released recently by The Nielsen Company which analyzed data from more than 50 countries, Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are redefining what it means to be “old” just as they defined what it meant to be young and middle aged. As of 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2011, the oldest of the group started turning 65! And, because Baby Boomers in this country account for the largest share of sales of any generation throughout most product categories—companies, who have previously largely overlooked seniors in marketing plans, are going to have to sit up and take notice!


Report: Credit card clarity shows that real reform is working

(NNPA)—On May 22, 2009 President Barack Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, also known as the CARD Act. At the time, many consumer advocates rejoiced at the enactment that stopped the ability of card issuers to raise annual percentage rates even when customers were current on their existing balances. Moreover, the sum of reforms enacted took a full 15 months for all provisions to take effect. Despite the protections consumers gained from the CARD Act, some industry executives warned that the historic reform would make credit costlier and less available. Further, there were predictions that rules and oversight would bring “unintended consequences” for consumers.


Business Calendar

Diversity workshop FEB. 23—The Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative will host Bridging the Cross-Cultural Communication Gap in the Multicultural Workplace from 8:30-11 a.m. at the City-County Building, Room 920, 414 Grant St., Downtown. This is an interactive, participative workshop that will provide guidelines and information on how to communicate more clearly, efficiently and considerately with people from other cultures. Rhonda Coast, President of International Development Resources and Lynda Stucky, President of Clearly Speaking, will be the facilitators. Registration is required and the cost is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. For more information, call 412-402-6706 or visit http://www.wpdiversity.org.


McGhee picks Howard

by Malik Vincent After weighing options for his upcoming collegiate football career, Perry’s Greg McGhee signed a National Letter of Intent with NCAA Division I FCS (formerly I-AA) Howard University last week. Located in Washington DC, Howard is one of the premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country. DRIVING THE LANE—Greg McGhee of Perry looks to drive the lane against Allderdice. McGhee scored 19 points in the Commodores 71-69 come from behind win over Allderdice. Perry clinched the number one seed in the City League playoffs. (COURIER PHOTO/WILLIAM MCBRIDE) “When I went down for my visit, it still had the city vibe but it was much more exciting,” McGhee said. “It made me realize that there is a whole other world outside of Pittsburgh.” McGhee, as a freshman at Perry, started off as the Commodores’ fifth-string quarterback. After a constant effort to improve, the very next season, he was designated as the team’s starter.