Daily Archive: January 6, 2012


Black college grad unemployment rates double White counterparts

According to data from the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for young African-American college graduates more than doubles the unemployment rate for the White population. At 19 percent, the unemployment rate for Black college graduates far surpasses the 8 percent White unemployment rate, which includes those without even a high school degree. For White college graduates the rate is 8.4 percent. “I have friends on both sides who for whatever reason have been unemployed and are still having a hard time finding a job. I have friends in different fields who are having trouble finding a job,” said Bruce Talbert, 42, of Philadelphia. “The competition now is so steep, more than it was a couple years ago, because of the economy and jobs are so scarce; a lot of companies have pulled back.”


Advocates: More gay-friendly senior housing needed

by Kathy Matheson PHILADELPHIA (AP) — At age 62, Donald Carter knows his arthritis and other age-related infirmities will not allow him to live indefinitely in his third-floor walk-up apartment in Philadelphia. But as a low-income renter, Carter has limited options. And as a gay Black man, he’s concerned his choice of senior living facilities might be narrowed further by the possibility of intolerant residents or staff members. OUT OF THE CLOSET—Donald Carter poses for a photograph Dec. 15, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) “The system as it stands is not very accommodating,” Carter said. “I don’t really want to see any kind of negative attitude or lack of service because anyone…is gay or lesbian.”


Republican Congressman slurs Michelle Obama, then issues apology for ‘big butt’ quip

(NNPA)—First Lady Michelle Obama’s physical dimensions were the target of criticism by a Wisconsin Republican recently who criticized the First Lady’s Healthy Food Initiative as unwarranted government intrusion. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., issued an apology to the First Lady Dec. 22 in a handwritten note. The congressman’s spokeswoman declined to detail what the note said. Sensenbrenner was apologizing for saying Obama has a “big butt,” Dec. 10 at a Wisconsin church bazaar, then repeating the reference to her posterior in a cellphone conversation that was overheard in a Washington area airport. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner “I regret my inappropriate comment and I have sent a personal note to the First Lady apologizing,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement Dec. 22.


Proposed change in eligibility rules endangers food stamps for 170,000 Pennsylvanians

by Eric Mayes (NNPA)–John Manton is struggling to hang on unemployed, without health insurance, worried about keeping his home. He’s now also concerned that proposed changes to eligibility requirements for food stamps will leave him worried about something else: putting food on the table. “I can’t cut any further, I’m cut to the bone now,” said the 64-year-old Roxborough resident.


Surge in polls help Obama’s re-election prospects

(NNPA)—After winning the show-down with House Republicans shortly before Christmas over extending unemployment insurance and receiving an uptick in his job-approval ratings, President Obama is now in a better position to win re-election, despite a sluggish economy. With the Iowa caucus over and New Hampshire as the next GOP battleground, Obama is expecting to face former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the general election next November. Former Speaker of House Newt Gingrich, like other candidates before him, briefly assumed the front-runner mantle before his poor performance in Iowa. The good news for Obama is that his populist themes and his willingness to call out Republicans are winning over voters.



Pittsburgh pays Jesse James to investigate Frank James

On Dec. 26 I read a local paper and there was a column about how the city of Pittsburgh had paid a Philadelphia Police officer to write a fairy tale [lie] about the conduct of the three 200-pound policemen who arrested young 145-pound Jordan Miles. The conclusion was not surprising to me, because I really understand a person in blue whether they are male, female, Black or White—they are supportive of each other right or wrong.


Let the games begin

(NNPA)—Most Americans have been enjoying the holiday haze since House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, folded and allowed the two-month extension of unemployment insurance and the Social Security tax cut, and other key matters. Indeed, if the French take the month of August off by law, we almost do the same in the period between Christmas and New Year. Except for retail establishments that support the great American pastime—shopping—few businesses got substantive work done in the last week.


Letter To The Editor…Tax vote was in best interests of constituents

Dear Editor: No one runs for elective office hoping that someday they will have to raise taxes. But on December 6th we voted for a one mill increase because we believed—based on all of the available information and testimony—that this decision was in the best interest of our constituents, and all the citizens of Allegheny County. As two of the 11 members of the Allegheny County Council who voted to raise the millage from 4.69 to 5.69, we want to make sure you understand why we took this difficult step.


MCG 25th anniversary features Billy Taylor tribute

The Manchester Craftsmen Guild, in celebrating their 25th anniversary, payed tribute to jazz legend Billy Taylor. Taylor is one of only three jazz musicians appointed to the National Council of the Arts and who has also served as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He developed one acclaimed concert series after another including the Louis Armstrong Legacy Series and the annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. TAYLOR TRIBUTE—From left: Norman Simmons, piano; Paul West, bass; Jimmy Owens, trumpet; Houston Person, saxophone; and David Gibson, drums Taylor is also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award and a host of prestigious and highly coveted prizes. This distinguished ambassador of the jazz community and the world at-large, was also a special friend and mentor to both Marty Ashby and Bill Strickland.