Daily Archive: March 30, 2011


Reform New Orleans police

One of the primary functions of a city is to keep its citizens safe and secure. If it fails on that front, and residents are unable to carry out their daily activities because they are afraid for their lives and, in some cases, leery of the police themselves, it is very hard for that city to function. Such is the case in New Orleans. The United States Justice Department spent 10 months investigating the city’s police department, at the mayor’s request, and discovered a deeply dysfunctional and corrupt system, one that regularly abuses its power and the city’s residents. New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu contacted federal officials just after he took office, making good on a campaign promise to clean up the Crescent City’s long dirty police department. The first step? Figuring out just how widespread the problem actually was.


German brings ‘Root’ to Kelly Strayhorn Theater

A message in sound and words is what Vanessa German promises to audiences who attend her two-day showing of her one-woman show, “Root” at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater April 1-2. “I wanted to create something because I love words and the musicality of words and their sounds. They make their own form of communication. I wanted to put my love and passion for words into a spoken word opera,” said German who hails from Los Angeles but currently resides in Homewood. VANESSA GERMAN


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Double Tree Hotel in Monroeville, CJ’s in the Strip District, The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown, Pittsburgh and the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty. My first stop was at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown, Pittsburgh where the whole city came out to celebrate the holiday in grand style. My next stop was at CJ’s in the Strip District, where everyone was gettin’ their party and dance on with DJ Tee Jay on the 1’s and 2’s. Everyone came out in ‘70s attire at the Double Tree Hotel in Monroeville, Pa.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 31 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 30-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.


Lane: Prepare students for jobs

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane has a lot on her plate. She is working to eliminate a seemingly intractable racial achievement gap, trying to get all 2500 district students “Promise Ready,” and she’s trying to do it facing a $34 million budget gap. THE TOUGH GET GOING—New Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane says the district will overcome budget challenges during the African American Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast March 25. (Photos by J.L. Martello.) “Of course with all that, I thought of the old Chinese curse, ‘May you live in interesting times,’” she said to a near full house at the African American Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast March 25. In her typically positive conversational tone, Lane gave a PowerPoint presentation on how the district will be focusing on improving teachers’ abilities to get results.


Spring cleaning your financial records

I recently spent several hours disposing of some old financial records. I was emotionally spent, my back was hurting and my cheap shredder had broken down. How long do I have to keep cancelled checks and what about brokerage investment statements? I thought to myself, “There has to be a better way?” In the area of record retention, more is not always better. Why is it important to keep financial records? After some serious personal and professional soul searching, I came up with three basic reasons for retaining personal financial records.


New CRL research: Banks’ foreclosure bias hurts everyone

(NNPA)—Fix or Evict, the Center for Responsible Lending’s latest in a series of research reports on mortgage lending and foreclosures, reaches eye-opening conclusions in its ongoing scrutiny of America’s still-unfolding foreclosure crisis. It’s no secret that banks and other loan servicers are harming struggling homeowners by pushing unnecessary foreclosure. Now, this research shows that banks are also acting directly against the best interests of loan investors—the companies that own the loans including pension funds and life insurance companies. Most importantly, the report found that the lending industry’s poor track record on loan modifications cannot be blamed on homeowners who re-default.


Business Calendar

Speed networking MARCH 30—The Minority Networking Exchange will host a Business Speed Networking event from 6-8 p.m. at Tana Ethiopian Cuisine, 5929 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. Individuals will receive four minutes to network with the person sitting across from them. Attendees are asked to bring business cards. There will be a live jazz band afterwards and the cost of the event is $15. For more information, call Vernard Alexander at 412-303-0808 or e-mail Admin@minnetexch.com.


A Final Four of big bets, busted brackets

by Tim DahbergAP Sports Columnist (AP)—Jay Kornegay isn’t sure who the guy is, or exactly what his motivation was. All he knows is no one is laughing at him now. That probably wasn’t the case months ago when the man walked into the sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton, put $10 on the counter and pocketed a betting slip on Virginia Commonwealth to win the national championship. It was the kind of wager that can cause snickers among the knowing, much like betting on the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the World Series. “Maybe it’s someone whose girlfriend went to VCU,” Kornegay said. “I don’t know. But you’d like to be holding that golden ticket.” CINDERELLA—Virginia Commonwealth University head basketball coach Shaka Smart answers questions during a news conference March 29. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


Jungle boogie

The “boys of summer” who are at present hangin’ out at various locations in the “Sunshine State” are putting the final touches on their traveling trunks because the time to get to the train station is fast approaching. If they want to arrive at designated points north then they had better “git to gittin’” as my grandpap used to say snuff cup firmly in hand, snuff juice flying everywhere. As “Jackie Robinson” day approaches, my thoughts dwell on how Major League Baseball can create a lasting memorial to a great “American” athlete. That living and eternal tribute would be a little thing called ownership. There are not any Black owners, only a couple of Black managers, and dwindling numbers of Black players. The impact that Jackie Robinson had on MLB faded long ago. My father used to say “the log that we placed in the fireplace last week will not keep the ‘hawk’ away tonight.”