Daily Archive: March 11, 2011

National

Obama sees 'huge opportunity' in Mideast uprisings

MIAMI (AP)—President Barack Obama says the uprisings across the Middle East offer a “huge opportunity” for the U.S. as a new generation awakens to opportunities in the larger world. Obama describes the uprisings as “winds of freedom.” And he says the forces that swept Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak out of office should be aligned with the U.S. and with Israel. ADDRESSING STUDENTS—President Barack Obama gestures while speaking at Miami Central Senior High School in Miami, March. 4. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)

National

63 percent under 30 admit driving while on phone

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP)—The U.S. Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports magazine have released a poll that illustrates how widespread distracted driving is among young people and a plan to help fight it. The poll says 63 percent of people under 30 acknowledge driving while using a handheld phone and 30 percent say they’ve sent text messages while behind the wheel. For those over 30, the percentages were 41 percent on the phone and 9 percent texting. Only about a third of the young people said they feel such behavior is very dangerous.

Opinion

Stop housing cuts

Once again, the Republican Party is showing that it cares very little about the average American and their struggles. While taking a stab and crafting a budget that will serve the nation in the long-term, Republican members of the House of Representatives proposed cutting $5.7 billion from affordable housing programs. They also want to eliminate more than $550 million from a program that offsets rent costs for low-income senior citizens and do away with over $200 million that helps people with disabilities pay for housing. If that weren’t enough, they also want to end funding for a program that provides counseling to families fighting foreclosure.

Opinion

A coach and his player win the game of life

(NNPA)—It is a story that reaffirms one’s faith in humans. The Associated Press headline last month read: “Coach Donates Kidney to Player.” It didn’t take long to learn that Tom Walter, the baseball coach at Wake Forest University, had donated one of his kidneys to Kevin Jordan, a freshman outfielder who had never suited up for the team. The story of the White Coach donating a kidney to a Black athlete from Columbus, Ga., transcends sports; it supersedes the strong bond that unites a coach with his players. It is not a commentary on Black-White relationships. Rather, it is a story of two courageous people whose commitments to each other went beyond offering or accepting an athletic scholarship.

Opinion

Should we bank on the recovery?

(NNPA)—Good news—the unemployment rate is dropping, last month from 9 percent to 8.9 percent, a scant drop. Better news—the private sector is finally generating jobs, 192,000 to be exact, last month. Best news—there is optimism about economic recovery and spin doctors are saying that we are finally moving forward. Bad news—part of the unemployment rate drop has to do with people who have dropped out of the labor market. They can’t afford to look for work anymore, so they are just looking for light. If those who dropped out stayed in, we’d be looking at much higher unemployment rates. Worst news—several states are trying to cut public sector employees using the fiction that these folks are too well paid and have too many benefits for the states to afford them. We have runaway legislatures in Wisconsin and Indiana, where Democrats refuse to be badgered by those Republicans who have sent reason running and are determined to pulverize unions. Even worst news, is the intransigence of Washington Tea Party Republicans that want to cut budgets so drastically that they will minimize the future possibilities of our nation.

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Opinion

Grand ­Overreach Party

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—The Republican beat down of the Democrats in 2010 was huge. Not just they re-took the house huge, but it was a beat down of historic proportions. They flipped governorships they flipped state houses and senates they flipped everything short of the bird at President Obama and some Republicans surely felt like they did with such a resounding victory. At the time, I commented that the GOP leadership with Boehner, and the soon to be departed Michael Steele seemed to be pretty humble about their success. They seemed to have acknowledged that such a resounding victory might have been as much about rejecting Democratic ineptitude as it was about endorsing Republican policies. Boy was I wrong. The last few weeks have shown that the Grand Ole’ Party is the Grand Overreach Party as Republicans across the nation have essentially blown all their political capitol in two months.

Entertainment

MAC Ballet fills Pittsburgh dance void

Two local dancers fill a void in the Pittsburgh professional dance world, forming a new ballet company offering Pittsburgh dancers a reason to stay in the area. Introducing the Mid-Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Company (MAC Ballet), a collaboration between co-directors, Gerard Holt and Miriam Scigliano. Holt, a former Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancer, didn’t initially choose dance as his first profession. As a preadolescent, Holt was considering a career in acting, but his parents told him to broaden out and think larger. Cautioned to be more versatile in the entertainment industry, he was told, “You can’t just act. You need to develop other abilities.” DANCE ANYONE?—Gerard Holt co-artistic director has Danielle Shearer from Shaler and Elizabeth Doyle of Allison Park stretch before practicing a new routine. (Photos by J. L. Martello)

Entertainment

‘Busing Brewster’

by Terri SchlichenmeyerFor New Pittsburgh Courier For the last few days of school, you could hardly sit still. All you could think about was the fun you’d have this summer, playing at the park and doing things with your friends. Your brain didn’t want anything to do with school. It only wanted to think about the summer months ahead and having a good time. All summer long, Brewster looked forward to first grade and Franklin School. But in the new book “Busing Brewster” by Richard Michelson, pictures by R.G. Roth, he’s in for a big fall surprise.

Entertainment

I learned long ago. Don’t tell your business!

Dear Gwendolyn: (NNPA)—I am now at the point of not having any friends. This is my reason: Last year, I told my best friend that I was planning to leave my husband. I had told her to keep it a secret. Two months later, I received a call from another girlfriend letting me know that my best friend was all over town telling others my plans. Sure enough, I left my husband and had told my best girlfriend that I was in love with my husband’s brother and was dating his cousin. My best girlfriend had also let the world know my business. I am not a bad person, but it may seem to be because I am courting two men at the same time. But, Gwendolyn, this has happened because my heart was broken. My husband is not a nice person. So, you see, I don’t intend to have any more girlfriends no matter how nice and kind they may seem.—Julia