Daily Archive: April 6, 2011


Guest editorial…Blacks still jobless

Unemployment fell again in March, this time to 8.8 percent, and that’s great for the Obama administration. But, it’s not good news for African-Americans. Joblessness among Blacks is stubbornly hovering around 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. We all know, however, that labor statistics are flawed, and real unemployment for all Americans is likely well over 12 percent and for Blacks, according to some reports, it is near 25 percent. Twenty-five percent unemployment was the number without jobs during the Great Depression of the 1930s.


Investigate standardized testing

For several years, ever since the No Child Left Behind Act took effect, students, teachers, and school districts have felt the pressure that comes from living in a nation that uses standardized tests as its sole method for measuring student proficiency. When too many students at one school perform poorly on these tests, teachers can be fired, principals replaced and schools closed. Hundreds of teachers were fired in D.C. schools because of poor performance by students on tests. The stakes are high. But, no one would have guessed that the pressure would lead to alleged cheating on these exams. An investigation by USA Today into drastic test score turnarounds at Noyes elementary, a Washington, D.C. public school, revealed that seventh grade students in one classroom at the school each had, on average, nearly 13 wrong answers that were erased and changed to the correct answer.


CAPA grad’s new CD offers Godly fare

Positivity and a faith-based message are just a few things that gospel singer Travis Malloy wants to touch on with his music. “I can’t force Christ on everyone, but I hope that listeners are encouraged to hold on and not give up,” said Malloy, 23. “We need that kind of message to make the world a better place.” FIRST RELEASE—Travis Malloy with his background dancers for his set during the Sweet Inspiration Gospel Music Showcase at the August Wilson Center. (Photos by Malik Vincent) That’s the message he has stood on throughout his whole musical career, which started after graduating from CAPA High School in 2006. The industrious teenager started a quintet called Nu Prayz and then branched out as a solo artist about five years later. He released his debut album, “Lift Him Up” in 2009. “After graduating from CAPA, God took me to church conventions and I started singing and promoting my name and my album so that I could promote Jesus. When you’re at CAPA, it inspires you to want to become something big in life,” said Malloy who splits his time between Pittsburgh and New York City.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the VFW Post in Westview, Pa., Art’s in the Strip District, Galaxy Lounge and Entertainment Center in Homewood, CJ’s in the Strip District and Mélange Bistro Lounge in Downtown Pittsburgh. My first stop was at the VFW Post in Westview, where newlyweds Javon and Shaquel Riley celebrated their marriage with family and friends. Congratulations to both of you and may you have many more years together. Jay and Charniece at the Soul of Sunday event at Melange Bistro Lounge in Downtown Pittsburgh.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 7 Screening and dialogue Robert Morris University’s Center for Documentary Production & Study presents a film screening of “What does Trouble mean? Nate Smith’s Revolution” at 6 p.m. at the Hill House Kaufmann Center, 1835 Centre Ave., Hill District. This is a 56-minute documentary of the journey of Nate Smith and his leadership of the Pittsburgh construction trade unions in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. There will also be a community dialogue of “The Future of Black Construction” with panelists Marimba Milliones, Jules Matthews, Marc Little and Jason Matthews, with Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis as the moderator. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.NateSmithMovie.com.


Financial literacy education can make youth wealthy

The fruits of the Spirit are known as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Six of those qualities distinctly describe Walter Fortson. In his quest to educate and work with young people his love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control is often tested. YOUTH CAN BECOME MILLIONAIRES—Walter Fortson, author of Help Your Children Make Millions has a passion for youth. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels) After working in the human resources field for the City of Pittsburgh for more than 30 years, Fortson has set his sights on preparing young people for their future. Aiming to work with youth ages 14 to 18 he says, “At that age the key is for them to form a financial, career and life plan and not to get into debt.” The author of two books, Fortson’s desire is to help children make millions and to live debt free.



Banning menthol cigarettes will create contraband market

Anyone working in law enforcement today knows that cigarette smuggling is a significant problem. Contraband tobacco markets run deep and wide—operating not only in the United States, but also around the world. What few people know, however, is that the U.S. government is considering a regulatory action that could cause this market to explode. JESSIE LEE Today, the U.S. government is considering whether to ban menthol cigarettes, which constitute nearly one-third of the U.S. market. Any action to ban nearly one-third of the U.S. market of a product that is currently legal is something of concern to everyone in law enforcement.


Payday loans become gateway to long term debt

(NNPA)—In the latest of a series of research reports, the Center for Responsible Lending has found that payday loan customers remain indebted double the time that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation recommends. Payday Loans, Inc.: Short on Credit, Long on Debt verifies how what begins as usually a two-week small-dollar loan becomes a deepening pit of debt lasting on average 212 days in the first year of borrowing and growing to 372 days in the succeeding year. Yet according to FDIC guidance, no payday borrower should be indebted for more than 90 days in any 12-month period.


Business Calendar

Business series APRIL 7—The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host their Business Program Series at 12:15 at the Downtown & Business branch, 612 Smithfield St., Downtown. The topic is “Charitable Giving: Crafting a Gift of Significance.” The seminar will focus on various methods of tax favored giving to charities, including the gift of cash, appreciated securities, real estate and life insurance. Nicole Johnston of AXA Advisors LLC will discuss strategies and vehicles used for these gifts, including charitable trusts. For more information, call 412-281-7141 or e-mail ­business@carnegielibrary.org.


McCutchen, Walker power Bucs to 3rd road win

by R.B. FallstromAssociated Press Writer ST. LOUIS (AP)—Charlie Morton faced down a Cardinals lineup that had been batting .540 against him, showing them he’s no punching bag. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ right-hander won his first road game since the end of 2009 in a 47-degree chill and the offense stunned St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse with a four-run sixth inning in a 4-3 victory Monday night. “He did everything you could have hoped he would have done,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He pitched an outstanding game.” OPENING DAY BLAST—Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen celebrates with Neil Walker his two-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs, April 1, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)