Daily Archive: January 18, 2012


Lessons from King: Shared struggles, linked destinies

(NNPA)—We are experiencing the most insidious assaults on communities of color we’ve seen in decades. As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy we are reminded that in times like these we can’t honor the sacrifices of our ancestors without standing up for justice today.


All-female cast reads August

The December edition of the August Wilson Center’s monthly Reading Roundtable Series broke new ground with a first staged reading of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” with an all-female cast on last month in the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. “There are so few roles for women in August Wilson’s plays,” said reading director Vanessa German. “I’ve always wanted to get on stage and say some of the wonderful monologues that August wrote for men. It’s the language, and the ferocity of the story; to have the opportunity as an actress to come alive inside of those words is earth shaking.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District, CJ’s in the Strip District, Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood and Melange Bistro Bar in Downtown Pittsburgh. My first stop was at Melange Bistro Bar in Downtown Pittsburgh where Jay Owens of VIP Entertainment celebrated his birthday in grand style with family and friends from all over the city. Everyone came out for Steelers Weekend at Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 19 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.


100 years later and it still doesn’t work

There has been such an enormous amount of attention given to the production of Bio-Diesel, Ethanol and other forms of alternative energy. You can drive out in the Midwest or Texas and see windmills twirling all over the scenery. How much of a difference has this made to our carbon “foot print”? The answer is disappointing. There hasn’t been much of a dent made. In fact, there may have been more harm than good. Windmills are not rocket science. People have been using windmills for water power since the 16th century. Energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens invested many millions of dollars and reached a firm conclusion: It is not the answer. He has decided not to build another single windmill. Besides that, virtually all of the parts that go into a windmill are made in China. There is no significant impact on American jobs or energy output.


Rate on 30-year mortgage drops to record 3.89 pct.

by Derek Kravitz WASHINGTON (AP)—Fixed mortgage rates fell once again to a record low, offering a great opportunity for those who can afford to buy or refinance homes. But few are able to take advantage of the historic rates. Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.89 percent. That’s below the previous record of 3.91 percent reached three weeks ago. Records for mortgage rates date back to the 1950s. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage ticked down to 3.16 percent. That’s down from a record 3.21 percent three weeks ago.


Business Calendar

Business Series JAN. 19—The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host their Business Program Series at 12:15 p.m. at the Downtown & Business branch, 612 Smithfield St., Downtown. The topic is “Build Your Business Using ‘Every Door Direct Mail’ an Exciting Shipping Solution from the US Postal Service.” Michelle Dugas, business development specialist for the US Postal Service, will discuss an efficient way to promote services by getting marketing messages directly to customers while reducing mail preparation costs. She will also show attendees how to build traffic, find new customers and increase revenue. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 412-281-7141 or e-mail ­business@carnegielibrary.org.


Inside Conditions…Créme de la créme

As I sat and watched the NFL playoffs the last two weekends, the games initiated a thought process for yours truly. Alex Smith versus Drew Brees, Eli Manning versus Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco versus T. J. Yates, Tom Brady versus Tim Tebow all were part of the top of the food chain of the NFL. There is a quarterback in Pittsburgh that is revered. His name is Ben Roethlisberger. He has from the beginning taken the media and the Pittsburgh fan base by storm. The management of the Pittsburgh Steelers has coddled and catered to Big Ben since his career was launched.


Ali still the Greatest as he celebrates 70th

“Rumble, young man, rumble,” used to be his battle cry. But Muhammad Ali is an old man now, ravaged by his years in the ring and his decades of braving Parkinson’s disease. The voice that used to bellow that he was “The Greatest” is largely muted now, save for those times in the mornings when he is able to whisper his thoughts. FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE—In this May 25, 1965, photo, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston, after dropping Liston with a short hard right to the jaw in Lewiston, Maine. Ali turned 70 on Jan. 17. (AP Photo/John Rooney, File) The face, though, is still that of the most recognizable man on earth. Maybe not as finely chiseled as it was in his prime, but close enough. “It’s not like he doesn’t look like himself,” said his oldest daughter, Maryum “May May” Ali. “It’s the same face, the Parkinson’s hasn’t affected that.’”


Broadway to campaign trail, Mormon’s the Buzz

For a religion many Americans still describe as “cultish” and “secretive,” the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has gained a lot of mainstream clout in the past couple of years. On Broadway, the irreverent musical satire, “The Book of Mormon,” was the hands-down favorite of 2011, winning nine Tony Awards. On television, “Big Love,” a fictional HBO series about a Mormon polygamist, enjoyed a five-year run ending last March. And on the GOP presidential campaign trail, front-runner Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are both Mormons with deep roots in the 181-year-old church.