Daily Archive: May 23, 2013



The Rooney Rule…will it work in Pittsburgh?

ULISH CARTER The Rooney Rule, can it work in the corporate and nonprofit world of Pittsburgh and beyond? According to the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh “State of Black Pittsburgh” reports every year Blacks are way behind Whites in just about every aspect of progress, with employment and education being the biggies. In an effort to remedy this problem Tim Stevens, head of B-PEP and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald pulled together a meeting with several of the corporations, and non-profits to discuss how they can improve the state of Black Pittsburghers with the Rooney Rule.


Share your money before you die

by Jason Alderman Now that the long-debated estate tax rules have finally been settled, let’s get real: Despite all the hoopla raised, most people probably would never be impacted whether the lifetime estate tax threshold had stayed at $5.12 million or reverted to $1 million. In the end, it actually went up a bit to $5.25 million for 2013.



Time to share the ‘truth’ about ‘timeshares’

DAMON CARR More than 10 years ago while vacationing in Florida, I was given an offer that I could not refuse. “Come to this FREE two-hour seminar and you’ll get two-FREE tickets to Disney World and two-FREE tickets to Universal Studios.” Back then, tickets to both Disney World and Universal Studios were approximately $60 per ticket. I’m a sucker for FREE stuff. I was one of the first people in line at the seminar. It turned out that this was no seminar. It was a high-pressure sales environment for timeshares. At the time, I had no earthly idea what a timeshare was. All I knew was that the sales representative wanted me to pay $15,000 for the right to have access to a condo for one week out of the year, every year. Even back then with absolutely no knowledge of timeshares, I thought this was one of the silliest concepts ever conceived. Today, I know it is.



Common sense leads to ­common cents

JAMES CLINGMAN (NNPA)—Some people say “common sense is not common,” which may be the main reason Black people are not as far up the economic ladder as we should be. Having been in this country since it started, having provided the free labor that led to the creation of much of the wealth now enjoyed by those in charge, and having built a history of self-help and entrepreneurial initiative since our enslavement, Black people have the strongest case and the greatest need to exercise a little common sense when it comes to working collectively to improve our position in the U.S.



Henry Grimes Trio brings jazz history to Pittsburgh

THE HENRY GRIMES TRIO from left: Henry Grimes, upright bass; Ronnie Barrage, drums and percussions; Lee Robertson, alto and soprano saxophones. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) In celebration of Black Music Education Month, the Black Music Education Project, presented a special Jazz appreciation event at the Ira Freeman Center, located at 5006 Penn Avenue, in the Cultural District of Garfield. World renowned bassist Henry Grimes, percussionist extraordinaire Ronnie Burrage and super saxophonist Lee Robinson, came together for the first time. The Ira Freeman Center is a community art space dedicated to enriching the community with a positive outlook in a progressive multicultural setting. The evening’s performance was well received by the community audience. Many of Grimes improvisational fusion tunes on violin, and upright bass, were complemented by the electrifying sounds of Ronnie Barrage on Drums and percussion and the riveting sounds of Lee Robertson on Sax, put the audience in a state euphoria.



Do you really make a difference?

LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK Over the years I have often written that passing conversations and incidents result in columns. Last week a neighbor of mine, Janet Lemore Thompson, PhD died, and the home going ceremony was at her church, Grace Presbyterian. The message was delivered by the pastor emeritus, Rev. Johnnie Monroe. The message was brief and right on target, “She made a difference”. As we listened to those who were a part of her life reflect on the accomplishments of Janet, if it had not been for time constraints we could possibly still be there. Tuesday was election day and for several years, in some instances, and months in others, there have been a number of Blacks who have titles, positions, jobs who have worked tirelessly on the behalf of a political candidate, particularly for mayor of Pittsburgh. I question how many of them, if any at all, understand or can possibly relate to the message “making a difference”. At this time I will not name who these people are, but I will in the near future, because the time is long overdue for these people to be exposed for what they are. I have disagreed for many years that Pittsburgh Blacks are the most indifferent Blacks in America. However, in recent months I have come almost full circle–that may be right. Let’s analyze why certain Blacks were so diligent in their support for a certain candidate. Was it because it would benefit the Black communities? I doubt that, because in some campaigns these same people have supported candidates who had dismal track records when it came to resolving problems of Black people.