Daily Archive: July 20, 2011

Opinion

Budget brinkmanship baffles and bewilders

(NNPA)—Exactly how long have we known that Aug. 2 is the drop-dead date to increase the debt ceiling? If we don’t do it, our nation will precipitate an international crisis by defaulting on debt that dozens of other countries carry and by signaling that the nation that still sees itself as the biggest and the baddest is nothing more than the shallowest and the weakest. Of course we can avert the crisis; there are still two weeks to go before it all implodes. But why step off on the brink of disaster, except to make a point? Why attempt to diminish our nation, except to be so shortsighted as to think that diminishing the President has no impact on the nation. Does the tearful John Boehner, R-Ohio, that House Speaker who claims to so love his country, plan to ruin it because he simply cannot compromise with Democrats? What in the world is going on?

Opinion

Democrats must draw line in debt talks deal

Congressional Democrats should oppose any deal that would cut benefits to Social Security or Medicare as part of an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders remain deeply divided over debt ceiling negotiations. Congress has to agree to extend the nation’s debt limit by Aug. 2 to prevent a government default on its bill. If the government fails to raise the debt ceiling it could be catastrophic.

Opinion

NUL affiliates served 2.6 million Americans in 2010

(NNPA)—“From your founding amid the great migration, to the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement, to the battles of today…America is a better place because of the Urban League.” President Barack Obama As depression-era unemployment rates and a shrinking social safety net continue to plague urban America, the annual National Urban League census reveals that the organization’s 98 community-based affiliates served a record 2.6 million Americans in 2010—a 25 percent increase over 2009.

Entertainment

Pittsburgh native battles in ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

On July 18, local and national viewers tuned in to the Fox network to watch one of Pittsburgh’s own compete on the reality show “Hell’s Kitchen.” 27-year-old chef, Elise Wims will go head to head with other chefs from around the country in the show that began its ninth season this week. ELISE WIMS “I was more determined than ever. To be the only African-American woman on Season 9 and the only one from Pittsburgh, I felt like I had a lot to prove,” said Wims who is one of two African-Americans on the show. Monterray Keys, from Darby, Pa., is the African-American male on the show. “You have to get outside of your own head and you have to continuously rise to the level of achievement. You have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off,” Wims said.

Entertainment

Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Galaxy Lounge and Entertainment Center in Homewood, CJ’s in the Strip District, the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty (twice) and Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District. My first stop was at the Galaxy Lounge and Entertainment Center in Homewood, where the Smoke Band played hits for their fans and everyone had a great time. Amber, Wadria and Latasha chillin’ at the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty at the “Thriller” event.

Entertainment

Arts & Culture Calendar

Friday 22 Blues Festival The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank presents the 2011 Pittsburgh Blues Festival at 4 p.m. at Hartwood Acres, Pittsburgh. The 17th annual three-day festival will feature some of the best blues musicians, such as Tommy Castro, Savoy Brown, the Lionel Young Band, the Blues Women of Pittsburgh and more. There will also be a KidZone activity for kids, vendors, raffles and more. Proceeds will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. For more information, call 412-460-BLUE or visit http://www.pghblues.org.

Business

Fontana talks funding cuts at Chamber breakfast

For the African American Chamber of Commerce’s last PowerBreakfast meeting until September, President and CEO Doris Carson Williams asked long-time state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, to give the members his take on the recently completed state budget negotiations, and how the final budget may affect small and minority-owned businesses. Though Fontana, who also chairs the city-county Stadium and Exhibition Authority, said he respected Gov. Tom Corbett’s efforts to “right the state’s fiscal ship,” but did not agree with his choices. CUTTING REMARKS—State Sen. Wayne Fontana gives his take on how budget cuts may affect minority businesses to the African American Chamber of Commerce as President and CEO Doris Carson Williams looks on. (Photo by Gail Manker)

Business

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau becomes official

(NNPA)—For everyday people who know what it means to be snookered financially, July 21 is a day worth noting. On this date, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau becomes the official consumer cop on the beat, fighting predatory lending in its multiple forms. The office will craft important steps and procedures that together will promote transparency on the front end of transactions and enforcement in the aftermath of alleged violations.

Business

Slow and steady wins budgeting race

Budgets are like diets: No single approach works for everyone; overly complicated plans rarely work for long; and sometimes it takes a few tries before you get it right. One common stumbling block is thinking of budgets as punishment rather than a means to achieve your life’s goals. Say you dream of buying a house: A budget shouldn’t serve as a constant reminder that you can’t afford a down payment; but rather, as a tool to help identify where the money goes each month so you can adjust spending—and saving—accordingly.

Business

Business Calendar

720 celebration JULY 20—720 Music, Clothing, Café will host its 720 on 7/20 Celebration at 4404 Butler St., Lawrenceville. The celebration will run through July 24 and highlight the achievements of the establishment. Activities will include music, fashion, culture and foods from around the world. There will be performances by Julie Dexter; Off the Record, a Funk, Soul and R&B cover night; an Instant Vintage Launch Party; a Marley Coffee Cupping Event; and a Sundays Best Brunch. For more information, call 412-904-4592 or visit http://www.720records.com.