Monthly Archive: January 2012

Metro

Homewood homes remodeled for vets, poor

Lenora Jones has lived in her house in Homewood for 15 years, but being on a limited income, over time things she wanted to address—painting, drafty windows, a broken stove—all got beyond her ability to catch up. That all changed Jan. 16, when service professionals and volunteers from AmeriCorps, arrived at her house and, over the course of three days, replaced her stove, put in new cabinets and flooring, and replaced windows—all for free. WE’RE COOKING NOW—Lenora Jones stands in her brand new kitchen, thanks to the Sustainable Home Improvement Partnership, which renovated 14 houses in Homewood. (Photo by J.L. Martello.) “I am so excited,” she said. “I was just asking for something small, but they said I needed a whole new kitchen, and they gave it to me. New floor, new countertops; it’s a really good thing.”

Metro

CEA $250,000 funding helps with consolidation

While almost every other property owner in Pittsburgh was waiting to hear Judge Stanton Wettick’s ruling on tax assessments, Jan. 12, Community Empowerment Association founder Rashad Byrdsong was at the Urban Redevelopment Authority board meeting learning his agency had been approved for $250,000 in new funding. RASHAD BYRDSONG

Entertainment

‘Red Tails’ soars on big screen

The much anticipated feature film about the heroic Tuskegee Airmen has finally hit the big screen. What was intended to be the equivalent to a patriotic John Wayne war flick with Black heroes has turned into a raging controversy of whose vision/version is correct and the Internet is the battlefield. ‘RED TAILS’ CAST

National

Evicted 101-year-old woman can’t go home

DETROIT (AP)—The federal government now says a 101-year-old Detroit woman it promised could move back into her foreclosed home four months ago can’t return because the building’s unsanitary and unsafe. Texana Hollis was evicted Sept. 12 and her belongings placed outside after her 65-year-old son failed to pay property taxes linked to a reverse mortgage and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development foreclosed on the home. HOMELESS—In this Oct. 3, 2011, photo, Texana Hollis, 101, talks to her friend Pollian Cheeks’ granddaughter, Jahzara, after discussing her eviction in Detroit. (AP Photo Detroit News, John T. Greilick)

DebbieNorrellbox.jpg

Lifestyle

Lifestyles Report…It’s all on sale

Have you noticed that no matter what store you shop in there are sale signs everywhere? For those of us who love shopping for a bargain, this can be misleading and downright sneaky. Some of this merchandise is really marked down but some stores know that women are driven to sales racks. If you aren’t careful you could end up with a closet full of stuff just because it was on sale. I know I am driven to the sale rack; I stop there first. Ladies, here is some advice from a New York City-based image consultant, Marla Tomazin.

Metro

Homewood, Larimer among URA priorities

If you ask Urban Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Rob Stephany what the agency’s priorities are for 2012, he points to Homewood and Larimer, and returning equity to a largely Black population that’s seen it steadily eroded for decades. “We have two very important tax credit applications pending related to the Larimer plan and a senior housing project in Homewood,” he said. “What I love about the Larimer Plan is it addresses the market issues they have. I think the Larimer Consensus Group is working at removing the rustbelt scab better than anyone I’ve seen nationally. And it’s their plan, we’re just trying to help.”

National

‘Showtime at the Apollo’ Obama croons, briefly

NEW YORK (AP)—President Barack Obama got some high-profile fundraising help last week from director Spike Lee and musicians Al Green and India.Arie. Obama was in New York Jan. 20 for a high-dollar fundraiser at director Spike Lee’s home and a campaign event at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, with performances by Green, India.Arie and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda. CROONER-IN-CHIEF—President Barack Obama sings before speaking at a campaign event, Jan. 19, at the Apollo Theater in the Harlem. (AP Photo Haraz N. Ghanbari)

National

Obama isn’t first president to serenade public

by Jerry SchwartzAssociated Press Writer (AP)—Is it too much to ask our presidents to uphold the Constitution, command the armed forces, execute the nation’s laws—AND provide us with a little musical interlude? The question comes to mind in the wake of Barack Obama’s recent appearance at the Apollo Theater, when the leader of the free world took a moment to channel the Rev. Al Green, singing a bar from “Let’s Stay Together.” The crowd (and admirers on the Internet) went nuts, reacting in a way they rarely do to, say, a veto message or a Thanksgiving Proclamation.

National

All 2011 unemployment benefits taxable

by Carole Feldman Associated Press Writer (AP)—The jobless rate is dipping, but millions of people are still out of work. And that could have implications when they file their income tax returns. Collecting unemployment insurance benefits? All that you received in 2011 is taxed as income. Unless you requested that federal taxes be withheld, you could be in for a big surprise when you calculate taxes owed.