Leslie Jones McCloud's feed

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Indiana Blood Center Taps tw telecom for Data, Internet and IP Telephony Services

TW Telecom Services to Connect Indiana Blood Center's 11 Locations Throughout the State

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- tw telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC), a leading provider of managed voice, Internet and data networking solutions for businesses in Indianapolis and throughout the U.S., today announced that Indiana Blood Center has selected the company to provide advanced voice, data and Internet services to connect the organization's 11 locations located throughout Indiana. Indiana Blood Center will also utilize tw telecom's metro MPLS IP network for IP VPN telephony and intra-office communications.

"After reviewing our options, we were impressed that tw telecom had the flexibility to move as quickly as we do," said Tim Bryant, CIO, Indiana Blood Center. "Our business is dynamic and growing rapidly, and we needed a communications partner that can adapt quickly to our evolving needs. tw telecom showed us they are that partner."

Indiana Blood Center is a vital link in Indiana's health care infrastructure, supplying more than 550 units of blood to more than 60 Indiana hospitals every day. The nonprofit community service organization was founded in 1952 to provide a continuous, safe and adequate supply of blood products and testing services.

"Indiana Blood Center provides a critical service to Hoosiers, and we are pleased that tw telecom services will help the organization continue its remarkable level of service to the communities it serves," said Barbara Hansen, vice president and general manager for tw telecom in Indianapolis. "We're also gratified that when Indiana Blood Center evaluated us against our competitors using metrics such as flexibility, reliability, network infrastructure and customer service, we came out on top."

tw telecom connects more commercial buildings to its fiber network than any other competitive communications provider. In fact, it has the third highest market share of retail Ethernet ports in service. With its own metro fiber networks and one of the ten most interconnected IP backbones in the world, tw telecom has the national capability, robust product portfolio and national/local customer care teams to support mission critical enterprise applications and to deliver the industry's most sought after customer experience.

About tw telecom

tw telecom holdings inc., a unit of tw telecom inc., headquartered in Littleton, Colo., provides managed network services, specializing in Ethernet and transport data networking, Internet access, local and long distance voice, VoIP, VPN and security, to enterprise organizations and communications services companies throughout the U.S., and globally. As a leading provider of integrated and converged network solutions, tw telecom delivers customers overall economic value, quality, service, and improved business productivity. Please visit www.twtelecom.com for more information.

About Indiana Blood Center

Indiana Blood Center lives a daily mission to supply blood and blood components to Hoosier patients in need at more than 60 Indiana hospitals. We are a non-profit community service organization licensed by the FDA and the Indiana State Department of Health, and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). For more information, visit www.indianablood.org

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Agilysys Announces 'Cash for Computer Clunkers' Assessment Program

Assists customers cost-effectively updating to newer IBM server and storage technology

CLEVELAND, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Agilysys, Inc. (NASDAQ:AGYS), a leading provider of innovative IT solutions, announces a Cash for Computer Clunkers assessment program which is aimed at assisting customers with assessing equipment eligible for trade-in incentives on existing technology when updating their enterprise with new IBM server and storage technology.

"Realizing the constraints being placed on organizations as a result of the current economic climate, Agilysys is working with our customers to ensure they have the best systems in place now to assist with future growth," said Lou Sciacchetano, vice president of sales, Agilysys IBM Technology Solutions. "While many company's may be delaying IT purchases due to their financial situations, the Agilysys Cash for Computer Clunkers assessment program is a great way to assist companies with installing more reliable technology platforms today while at the same time receiving trade-in credit on their older, more inefficient systems."

The Cash for Computer Clunkers assessment program complements Agilysys' previously announced certification in IBM's Dynamic Infrastructure Specialty Program, which is focused on helping customers build a new, more dynamic infrastructure designed to bring more intelligence, automation, integration and efficiencies to their organization. By assisting customers with identifying equipment eligible for trade-in incentives through various vendor offered programs, Agilysys is well-positioned to more accurately respond to its customer's multi-faceted IT challenges and help with the creation of dynamic infrastructures.

The Agilysys Cash for Computer Clunkers assessment program runs through December 31, 2009. Further information on the assessment program may be found on the Agilysys website at www.agilysys.com/ibmsolutions.

About Agilysys, Inc.
Agilysys is a leading provider of innovative IT solutions to corporate and public-sector customers, with special expertise in select markets, including retail and hospitality. The company uses technology -- including hardware, software and services -- to help customers resolve their most complicated IT needs. The company possesses expertise in enterprise architecture and high availability, infrastructure optimization, storage and resource management, identity management and business continuity; and provides industry-specific software, services and expertise to the retail and hospitality markets. Headquartered in Cleveland, Agilysys operates extensively throughout North America, with additional sales and support offices in the United Kingdom and China. For more information, visit www.agilysys.com.

Monday, November 2, 2009

FDA release guidelines for H1N1 diagnosis

SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today published a guidance document that should help manufacturers develop diagnostic tests for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

Although there are not any FDA-approved or cleared tests that diagnose this specific infection, during this pandemic manufacturers can submit a request to the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

If granted, the EUA will allow the test to be used during the national public health emergency declared by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in April. This guidance document outlines what information the FDA recommends that manufacturers include in these EUA requests.

The EUA authority allows the FDA to authorize use of unapproved or uncleared medical products or unapproved or uncleared uses of approved or cleared medical products following a declaration of emergency, when certain criteria are met. The authorization ends when the declaration of emergency is terminated or the authorization is revoked by the FDA.

The EUA authority is part of Project BioShield, which became law in July 2004.

While the FDA encourages manufacturers to submit appropriate premarket applications for these tests, the agency also recognizes that it may not be possible to generate complete clinical validation data that would normally be included in an application. However, this guidance outlines information the FDA recommends be included, and the FDA gives these requests thorough and careful review to protect the public health.

During this declared public health emergency, manufacturers of 2009 H1N1 influenza virus tests that are unable to submit a complete premarket notification may use the guidance to submit a request for an EUA.

The guidance document is part of the FDA's ongoing efforts to provide public health authorities managing the pandemic with reliable and accessible diagnostic tests. The guidance is available online and will remain in effect throughout the public health emergency.

Monday, October 19, 2009

CDC 2009 H1N1 Flu Status Report

CDC 2009 H1N1 Flu

"As of today, influenza is widespread in most of the United States. We're seeing it continuing to increase in some areas. We're seeing a slight decrease in some areas. We note that it's now present throughout the united states. It's still remains overwhelming H1N1 pandemic influenza and influenza is a tough enemy. It's unpredictable. Although there has been a slight decrease nationally and in some areas, in other areas it's still on the upswing. We wish we could predict the future. But we can't. We do know that flu season generally lasts well into may. So, we've got many, many months ahead of us where we don't know what will happen and we need to take the best steps we can to protect ourselves." —Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oct. 6 CDC press briefing

I cannot even buy a flu shot because I'm already sick. Each week, it is a different symptom. This week it is a swollen throat. Dizziness is constant, bed rest is best. When will this end?! (I never get sick! Why do I have the flu?)
Take bleach water mix with you in spray bottle or Lysol or Clorox wipes when running errands!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Swine Flu, Seasonal Flu tips to stay healthy

Red Cross Offers Important Tips for Caring for Someone With the Flu

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that the H1N1 (swine flu) virus has now spread throughout the United States, the American Red Cross has a set of tips for people who are sick or are taking care of someone who has the flu.

Flu viruses spread from person to person in droplets of coughs or sneezes, and can also spread if a person touches droplets on another person or object and then touches their own mouth or nose before washing their hands. To prevent the spread of the flu, it is important to remember to wash your hands and cover your cough or sneeze.

"It's important to know what to do to protect yourself and others when you are taking care of someone who has the flu," said Sharon Stanley, chief nurse and director, Red Cross Disaster Health and Mental Health Services. Recent survey results conducted by the Red Cross reveal that six in ten Americans feel that they need more information about how to care for someone with the flu*. The following tips can be helpful:

If you are ill:
-- Stay in a room separate from common areas of the home and avoid
contact with others as much as possible.
-- Stay at home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without
using medicine to reduce the fever.
-- Get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
-- Consider wearing a facemask, if available and tolerable, when sharing
common spaces with household members.

-- Check with your healthcare provider about whether to take antiviral
medication, or if fever persists, whether antibiotics are needed.

When caring for someone who has the flu:
-- Disinfect door knobs, switches, handles, toys and other surfaces that
everyone touches.
-- Use detergent and very hot water to do dishes and wash clothes. It's
okay to wash everyone's dishes and clothes together. Wash your hands
after handling dirty laundry.
-- Designate only one adult as the caregiver. People at increased risk
of severe illness from the flu should not be caregivers.
-- Deal with crisis situations calmly and confidently to give the best
support to the person being cared for.
-- Remember your own needs as well.
-- Practice healthy habits. Eat a balanced diet. Drink plenty of water.
Get regular exercise.

-- Get enough sleep and rest.

Caring for someone else can be stressful. Common symptoms of stress include sleep disturbances, headaches, muscle tension or aches, a change in appetite, skin problems, anxiety, depression, frustration and overreacting. If someone is dealing with a lot of stress, it's important to ask for help. If a caregiver is in a stressful situation, they should express their feelings to people they trust, get into a regular schedule of seven to eight hours of sleep, exercise, and take some time to relax.

According to the CDC, most people who have become ill with the H1N1 virus are moderately ill, similar to the illness that occurs during the regular flu season. H1N1 is affecting many young adults and children, people ages five to 24. The majority of people sick with H1N1 don't need testing or treatment. However if someone is severely ill and is pregnant, and has trouble breathing or has an underlying condition like heart disease, lung disease (such as asthma) or diabetes, it is important to get treated promptly within the first 48 hours.

The Red Cross also offers the award-winning Family Caregiving quick reference guide with a companion DVD for purchase on www.RedCrossStore.org.

For more information on the flu, visit www.redcross.org, www.flu.gov, or contact your local Red Cross chapter.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org/.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama says he'll accept Nobel as 'call to action' - Yahoo! News

Obama says he'll accept Nobel as call to action - Yahoo! News
In other words, President Obama is damned if he do and damned if he don't with certain people. Those certain people look petty and have a serious case of sour grapes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Family Guy" Abortion Episode To Be Banned? MacFarlane Says Look To DVD Release

"Family Guy" Abortion Episode To Be Banned? MacFarlane Says Look To DVD Release

I'm with the President, not Stupidly

It is stupid not to use one's skill set to defuse or de-escalate a situation. That is what police officers do all day long all over the country-- correctly. However, when they do not do that, situations, misunderstandings and arrests occur.
Ask any police officer if they are anxious to fill out unecessary paperwork for a battle of egos. The answer is no. However, instead of throwing cold water on the hot tempered Harvard Law professor, the veteran officer joined in the ego struggle and hauled the man down to the station only to see him released later.
The police officer did this because he could and because he wanted to prove a point and teach the Harvard Law professor a lesson.
A lesson in what? Intolerance? Acting stupidly?
We don't even have to look at race. We can just look at basic facts: A Harvard Law professor and a seasoned veteran law enforcement professional could not come to terms, work out a simple misunderstanding or find a solution on their own.
The officer's solution was to assert his authority to arrest. The professor's solution was to cry foul and reportedly yell and scream. I cannot see if he had stood silent except for yes sir answers to questions that he would have been placed under arrest.
The situation will be made worse if that is the case.
However, if these two intellegent men cannot come to a reasonable agreement, then how can the general population of morons that comprise the rest of the world be expected to do better? I'm no professor nor veteran cop. I have a big mouth and an attitude problem when provoked. Don't ask me to understand s*it else.
So when the President says the officer acted "stupidly", understand he is referring to the basics in law enforcement that were ignored--de-escalating situations and soothing flared tempers. Police are taught conflict resolution but it is useless or stupid if it is not practiced.
It is also stupid to yell at a cop. He could arrest or shoot you.
And that is my explination of "stupidly."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jackson had something for everyone--no need to blame Jamie

Well, I went to the Jamie Foxx web site and there is a virtual race war-of-words going on there. Some are accusing Mr. Foxx of being a racist after viewing the Black Entertainment Television Awards Show last week.
If any of you watched Michael Jackson’s memorial on Monday and heard Al Sharpton entire speech, then maybe you will get the hint that Mr. Jackson was indeed a black man. Don’t blame Jamie Foxx for that, for he too is a black man. There are some things relatable across the races and some things relatable to the races. Mike’s last CD was a testament to the love he felt for his community. His entire music catalog is a testament to how he loved music and his fans.
Invincible was played at every stepper’s set for years and still got some play before he died just because it was gooooood! We like and appreciate that Mike, so thanks. We liked all of his songs but some of those syncopated beats scream foot work and some scream other dance moves--stuff I‘m too old to do. We all like some things more than others. That is just the way people are made up. No one calls Foxx a racist when he is hosting the Country Music Awards. He is just as funny and shocking as ever. So I think the rub in all of this is that Foxx reminded folk that Michael Jackson was a black man.
Some of his fans do not want to take this fact into consideration. He was everything but to them. The truth is that he was a little black boy from Gary, Indiana--which is 85 percent African American--who grew up in Los Angles using his talent to his advantage. Was he more than just a black man? Yes, just as all black men are more than just a black man and just like all white men are more than just white men,
et cetera. We are all more than just our race. However, it seems being black sticks under the craw of many. I don’t know why but it just seems to make a difference. As assimilated as we are, it should not be but it is and it takes a great effort on a black person’s part to downplay anything that gets in the way of acceptance. Mike proved that. As blacks we are still making and counting firsts. Mike proved that too.
Let us not find a blame in all of this surrounding MJ’s death but take entertainment at face value and not make it a political action committee. If you want to fight for rights or anything else good that helps the human race, President Obama has several very fine outfits people can join.

P.S. Ladies no one will care if you work, are on government assistance, have had children out-of-wedlock or whatever. Those things are your personal choices and do not give nor take away your right to speak out. So please stop prefacing comments with ”I am a single mother…” No one cares and we are not giving out awards for choosing to birth and/or raise children. We used to but not anymore because everybody’s doing it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Older hybrids a chore at state emission test sites

In Indiana, all vehicles must pass an emission test. It does not matter if the vehicle is electric, natural gas or hybrid--just like the cute 2006 Prius I wanted to buy.

Something told me to research the emission testing record before taking the plunge. I found numerous boards where owners are complaining the hybrid cars are untestable or outright putting out too many emissions. These are the type of cars you must take to the dealer. In Indiana one must pass emission testing to get tags for the vehicle.
I called someone at the Indiana emissions testing office and he said get the dealer to test the vehicle before buying it and resolve all issues.
He said all types of vehicles have failed the testing including the Prius. I was heartbroken.
If you have an issue with your hybrid, please let me know. I want to find out what I am getting into before it is too late.
This is so not fair.
Prius message board

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Job Seekers: What Not to Do

Well, here are some additional dos and don'ts for job seekers. Apparently one cannot use links to additional information when corresponding with recruiters because it is a pet-peeve.

Short-Cut Introductions

With more people looking for work in today's economy, I've been seeing an increase in what I call "lazy introductions" come across my desk. It goes something like this: "I'm writing you to introduce myself. I live in New York and I'm looking for a job," and in the signature is a link to a LinkedIn profile or possibly a resume. A brief introduction should come with a background, highlights, and reason for connecting. A job search is a job in itself and requires some personalization and effort for each and every introduction.
-- Lindsay Olson, partner, Paradigm Staffing
read more

Monday, June 1, 2009

Autism/Special Education software wins honors

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio--ComputEd Gazette and the Association for Educational Publishers (AEP), two organizations respected for their highly competitive awards programs, recently honored VizZle(TM), a web-based software for educators from Monarch Teaching Technologies, Inc. (MTT) with awards for MTT's autism/special education software.

"The special education field desperately needs viable, cost-controlled solutions to optimize a school's ability to serve children with special needs like autism," said Terry Murphy, CEO of MTT. "Now more than ever as public schools try to qualify their spending under federal stimulus funding guidelines."

VizZle both earned the Teacher Tools/Special Education Website accolade and received the distinction of a standout review for its autism and special education software by the ComputEd staff writers (http://www.computedgazette.com/page8.html).

AEP sponsors one of the educational publishing industry's largest and longest-running competitions, the prestigious Golden Lamp Awards. The AEP describes Golden Lamp Finalists as "...defined by their superior use of content, design, and fulfillment of the product's educational mission. Four finalists are chosen in each entry category, representing 16 of the year's most elite educational products." VizZle was named as a finalist in the Technology Innovations category, which is considered an award in and of itself. The final winners will be announced in June (http://www.aepweb.org/awards/index.htm )

VizZle is a proprietary, web-based software as service providing educators and parents with convenient, easy-to-use tools to create or modify customized interactive visuals-based educational materials for autism and special education. For more information, visit http://www.monarchtt.com/.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When is it Safe To Hire Someone With a Criminal Record?

New Carnegie Mellon Study Provides Empirical Basis For Employers To Use in Assessment of Prior Criminal Records

PITTSBURGH-Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created a model for providing empirical evidence on when an ex-convict has been "clean" long enough to be considered "redeemed" for employment purposes.

The new study, which appears in the current issue of Criminology, estimates that after five years of staying clean an individual with a criminal record is of no greater risk of committing another crime than other individuals of the same age. The research comes at a time when President Barack Obama's crime agenda includes breaking down employment barriers for people who have a prior criminal record, but who have stayed clean since their earlier offense.

"In the past, employers had no way of knowing when it might be safe to look past a criminal record," said Alfred Blumstein, co-author of the study and the J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research at Carnegie Mellon's H. John Heinz III College. "Hiring an ex-offender was a totally arbitrary decision. We believe our model can change that and help provide employers with data in making such decisions. Or it can be used by state criminal-record repositories in deciding when a prior arrest is too 'stale' to warrant distributing." Blumstein's co-author is Kiminori Nakamura, a Ph.D. student at the Heinz College.

The issue of employing ex-offenders has become more of a problem, as a vast majority of larger U.S. employers now perform criminal background checks, Blumstein said. He noted that advances in information technology allow criminal records to be kept longer and to be distributed easily, and employers are concerned about liability risk if the former offender commits a new crime. Blumstein said this makes it difficult for a large number of people who have committed crimes when they were much younger, but have stayed clean since then.

The study, funded by The National Institute of Justice, used criminal-history records of more than 88,000 first-time offenders in New York in 1980. Most committed new crimes within the first few years after their initial arrest, but only a small minority had a new arrest after staying clean for at least five years. After determining whether the offenders had remained clean during the ensuing 25 years, the data on the 1980 offenders was compared against two comparison groups. The study determined that after about five years those in the offender group were at or below the risk of arrest as people in the general population who were the same age. A more demanding comparison is with people of the same age who had never been arrested. Those with a prior record had to stay clean longer, but their risk could be close enough even to that low-risk group.

Future studies will address other states and sampling years to assess the consistency of results. This effort is intended to develop standards for employers and record repositories to help reduce the handicaps imposed on those who had committed a crime when they were younger.

About Carnegie Mellon: Carnegie Mellon (http://www.cmu.edu/) is a top private research university with world-class programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the fine arts.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


GARY-Attorney Tony Walker implored the Gary Common Council to ban
the wearing of low-slung pants modeled after prison inmates.In an open
letter to the Council, Attorney Walker argues that the prion dress style does
economic harm to the City of Gary by lowering property values and
deterring commerce and business investment. Attorney Walker defines this
dress style as "blight" and compares to the aesthetic of Gary's dilapidated
physical structures. The proposed ordinance would make it an infraction to
wear pants below the waist line punishable by up to a $100 fine and/or
community service. Violators would be issued a summons appear in
Gary City Court but would not be eligible for arrest based upon the violation.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Academy Award Nominee Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) Also Guest-Voices

International hip-hop superstar and 12-time Grammy Award winner Kanye West and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson get animated when they lend their voices to THE CLEVELAND SHOW, the highly anticipated FAMILY GUY spin-off set to debut this fall on FOX. West will appear as KENNY WEST, an all-around cool kid and the archenemy of CLEVELAND JR. (Kevin Michael Richardson), and the two will engage in a “rap battle” for the affection of high school hottie CHANEL (Henson).

THE CLEVELAND SHOW is a new animated series that follows everyone’s favorite soft-spoken neighbor CLEVELAND BROWN (Mike Henry) to his hometown in Virginia, as he settles down with his high school sweetheart, DONNA (Sanaa Lathan); her unruly kids; and his own 14-year-old son, Cleveland Jr. (Richardson). Once in Virginia, Cleveland has a few surprises in store for him, including ROBERTA (Reagan Gomez-Preston), a rebellious new stepdaughter; RALLO (Henry), a 5-year-old stepson who loves the ladies; and a collection of neighbors that includes a loudmouth redneck, LESTER (Richardson); a hipster wanna-be, HOLT (guest voice Jason Sudeikis); and a pious pair of talking bears, TIM (Seth MacFarlane) and his wife ARIANNA (guest voice Arianna Huffington).

Kanye West’s fourth consecutive chart-topping album, “808s & Heartbreak,” was released in November 2008 and has sold over 1.5 million copies to date. He has received numerous accolades for his latest album, and his hit single “Heartless” has been at the top of the charts for 16 weeks and counting.

Taraji P. Henson earned an Academy Award nomination in 2009 for her supporting role opposite Brad Pitt in the critically acclaimed film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Henson has appeared in “Hustle & Flow” with Terrence Howard and “Talk to Me” opposite Don Cheadle. Her upcoming films include “Hurricane Season” opposite Forest Whitaker, “Once Fallen” with Ed Harris and Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” Her television credits include “Boston Legal” and “Eli Stone.”

THE CLEVELAND SHOW is a 20th Century Fox Television production. Seth MacFarlane, Rich Appel and Mike Henry are executive producers and co-creators of the series.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Say It Isn't So: Sun-Times Media Group files for Chapter 11 debt protection

NEW YORK – The Sun-Times Media Group, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and dozens of suburban newspapers, says it has filed for bankruptcy, making it the fifth newspaper publisher in recent months to seek protection from creditors.
Editor & Publisher article on Sun-Times

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Obama to unveil proposals to help small businesses (AP)

The broad packages of measures to reduce small business lending fee but to increase some Small Business Adminstration loans to 90 percent. (AP)

read more | digg story

Saturday, March 14, 2009

PARADE Magazine | Nicolas Cage, Single Dad On and Off-Screen

Nicolas Cage gained recent box-office fame for his adventurous role in the puzzle-filled National Treasure series. This time around, in Knowing, Cage is unraveling the mystery behind an ominous message.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The 10 Major Newspapers That Will Either Fold or Go Digital

24/7 Wall St. has created its list of the ten major daily papers that are most likely to fold or shut their print operations and only publish online

read more | digg story

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

NAMIC Announces CNN Anchor T.J. Holmes as Host for The 2009 NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast

National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications today announced that T.J. Holmes, anchor for the weekend edition of CNN Newsroom, will serve as host for the NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast.
Robert J. Miron, chairman, Advance/Newhouse Communications, will serve as honorary chair for the NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast, which will feature the presentation of the Next Generation Leaders Awards.
Scheduled for Friday, April 3, 2009 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., the event is being held in conjunction with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Cable Show as part of Cable Connection - Spring.

"T.J. Holmes is one of today's most respected young journalists and Robert J. Miron is one of our industry's most distinguished business leaders," said Kathy Johnson, president, NAMIC.
"We are honored that they will join us in recognizing another outstanding group of young executives who personify NAMIC's vision and are shaping the future of the communications industry."

Holmes' appearance as host of the NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast is made possible courtesy of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In addition to supporting this year's event, Turner is a NAMIC Annual Corporate Sponsor.

As an Annual Corporate Sponsor under its Bright House Networks banner, Advance/Newhouse is a supporter of NAMIC's national agenda. Throughout his illustrious career, Miron has earned many accolades such as the NCTA's Distinguished Vanguard Award and induction into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. Miron is a member of the Walter Kaitz Foundation's board of directors, serves as chairman of the executive committee for C-SPAN, and holds membership on the executive committees of the Cable Center, CableLabs and the NCTA.

Presented in partnership with Multichannel News, the awards program recognizes the industry's up-and-coming business leaders who reflect and embrace NAMIC's mission to educate, advocate and empower for multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. Since its inception in 2006, the Next Generation Leaders Awards has emerged as a premier platform for recognizing exceptional business achievements.

Awards will be presented to executives of color, age 45 and under, in three categories: Cable MSO, Cable Programmer and Technology Company or Discipline. Winners selected to receive 2009 Next Generation Leaders Awards will be announced in March.

Sponsors of the 2009 NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast include the NCTA; Suddenlink Communications; The Sportsman Channel; A&E Television Networks; Ensequence; The Food Network; and Bright House Networks. 2009 Planning Co-chairs are Mark Kang, vice president, Affiliate Relations, The Sportsman Channel and NAMIC Board Director; and Danielle Wade, vice president, Customer Service and Marketing, Bright House Networks and NAMIC Board Director.

For more information on the 2009 NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast and Next Generation Leaders Awards or inquiries pertaining to sponsorship, table/ticket purchases contact Sandra Girado, manager of Meeting and Events at the NAMIC national headquarters, 212-594-5985. Online registration for the NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast can be accessed via www.namic.com.

NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) is the premier organization focusing on multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry, founded in 1980.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Business News You Can Use 3/3/09

Editor's Note: I understand that this is a lot to read. Go slow and find out how to fund your business--no matter your residence. I am using Indiana because I live in Indiana.

Introduced on day 43, President Barack Obama said Tuesday during and address to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the economy must be jumpstarted and mentioned the Consumer and Business Lending Initiative included in the economic stimulus package.

It is for up to a trillion dollars to the American people and helps frozen credit markets. Individuals should check their state’s web site for specific information.

Although it is a lot to read, not reading it will prevent you from understanding how to access the funds being given to states.

I have picked out the most relevant points explaining the Consumer and Business Lending Initiative:

Consumer & Business Lending Initiative – Up to $1 Trillion: Addressing our credit crisis on all fronts means going beyond simply dealing with banks.
While the intricacies of secondary markets and securitization – the bundling together and selling of loans – may be complex, they account for almost half of the credit going to Main Street as well as Wall Street. When banks making loans for small businesses, commercial real estate or autos are able to bundle and sell those loans into a vibrant and liquid secondary market, it instantly recycles money back to financial institutions to make additional loans to other worthy borrowers.
When those markets freeze up, the impact on lending for
consumers and businesses – small and large – can be devastating. Unable to sell loans into secondary markets, lenders freeze up, leading those seeking credit like car loans to face exorbitant rates.
Over the next several days, President Obama, the Treasury Department and the SBA will announce the launch of a Small Business and Community Bank Lending Initiative: This effort will seek to arrest
the precipitous decline in SBA lending – down 57 percent last quarter from the same quarter a year earlier for the flagship 7(a) loans through:
• Use of the Consumer &Business Lending Initiative to finance the purchase of AAA-rated SBA loans to unfreeze secondary markets for small business loans.
• Increasing the Guarantee for SBA Loans to 90%: The Administration is seeking to pass in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act an increase in the guarantee of SBA loans from as low as 75% to as high as 90%.
• Reducing Fees for SBA 7(a) and 504 Lending and Provide Funds for Both Oversight and Speedier and Less Burdensome Processing of Loan Applications.
Small Business and Community Lending Initiative: Few aspects of our current financial crisis have created more justifiable resentment than the specter of hard-working entrepreneurs and small
business owners seeing their companies hurt and even bankrupt because of a squeeze on credit they played no role in creating. Currently, the increased capital constraints of banks, the inability to sell SBA loans on the secondary market and a weakening economy have combined to dramatically reduce SBA lending at the very time our economy cannot afford to deny credit to any entrepreneur with the potential to create jobs and expand markets. Further adding to this frustration is the sense that
community banks – which still engage in relationship lending that serves their local communities -- have been overlooked not just during this crisis, but over the last several years.
Over the next several days, President Obama, the Treasury Department and the SBA will announce the launch of a Small Business and Community Bank Lending Initiative: This effort will seek to arrest the precipitous decline in SBA lending – down 57 percent last quarter from the same quarter a year
earlier for the flagship 7(a) loans through:
• Use of the Consumer &Business Lending Initiative to finance the purchase of AAA-rated
SBA loans to unfreeze secondary markets for small business loans.
• Increasing the Guarantee for SBA Loans to 90%: The Administration is seeking to pass in
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act an increase in the guarantee of SBA loans
from as low as 75% to as high as 90%.
• Reducing Fees for SBA 7(a) and 504 Lending and Provide Funds for Both Oversight and
Speedier and Less Burdensome Processing of Loan Applications.

The President said that the country must put Americans back to work. He said the multi-faceted economic stimulus package impact is being felt because of tax cuts and such and transportation projects.
The President said of the three and a half million jobs, 400,000 will be infrastructure projects including laying broadband lines.
The President said 14 days after signing the bill into law shovels are hitting the ground and people are being put back to work.
It is up to anyone interested to go to their state’s web site to find out how the stimulus package money is being spent where they live.
In Indiana, there is a new web site dedicated to this along with a personal message from Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
The message said:
Thank you for visiting INvest.in.gov. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by the President will send unprecedented amounts of funding to states designed to stimulate the economy and to help those states with severe budget crises. Because we've been more careful about state spending, we've been able to balance our budget, repay all debts, and build strong reserves, so Indiana is in a different fiscal position than many other states. We still face difficult times, but we are holding our own and maintaining vital services that have been slashed severely in other states.

My direction to our team has been simple: jobs, speed, prudence, and long-term value. We will use these dollars to put Hoosiers to work quickly. We will use them carefully, making sure to protect education and other services in the years after these one-time funds stop coming. And whenever possible, we will use them to create assets of lasting value: roads, bridges, buildings, but also better prepared teachers, more energy efficient homes, and so on.

We must never forget that Washington does not have the money it is now beginning to distribute. The federal government will be borrowing it, and our children will inherit the bill. Our duty to use it wisely and efficiently is therefore a very solemn one.
The web site itself went on to say:
This website will be maintained to keep Hoosiers fully informed about uses of federal stimulus funds. You are invited to check it often.
While there, I found via press release, the economic stimulus package has already been put to work:

Unemployment Insurance Check amount increase
INDIANAPOLIS (February 19, 2009) - Governor Mitch Daniels announced today that eligible Hoosiers who are collecting unemployment insurance will receive a $25 increase in their weekly benefits.
The $25 weekly increase is part of the just enacted federal stimulus legislation. The increased benefit could extend through the end of 2009. States that participate in the program with the U.S. Department of Labor will be reimbursed for its cost. For Indiana, that could be as much as $185 million.
"We filed immediately so as not to lose a day getting more money to those who have lost jobs," said Daniels. "Indiana will be one of the first states in the nation to act on this opportunity."
Eligible Hoosiers will start accruing the benefit increase when they file their weekly unemployment voucher beginning Sunday, February 22. Increased benefits will be paid with two $25 deposits for eligible recipients beginning Monday, March 2 and then $25 weekly thereafter.
The increased benefit will apply to all eligible Hoosiers collecting state or federal unemployment benefits. The average weekly benefit for Hoosiers collecting unemployment insurance is $290; the maximum benefit is $390 per week.

Also while there, I found the group that could help me access federal grant funding through the state for businesses:
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) responds quickly to help businesses locate, grow and thrive in Indiana. The State of Indiana’s lead economic development agency, the IEDC oversees Indiana’s statewide business attraction and development efforts, coordinates state programs and incentives for companies looking to grow in Indiana, and provides technical assistance, business expertise and funding to Indiana entrepreneurs and high-tech start-ups. The IEDC is led by Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Chief Executive Officer E. Mitchell Roob, Jr. and governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mitch Daniels.

Northwest Contact List
Jim Staton - 219.644.3694
Project Manager:
Cynthia Pruitt - 219.644.3697
Administrative Coordinator:
Mollie Collins - 219.644.3696

There are billions of additional dollars available to Indiana through a competitive grant process provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Examples include: Law Enforcement assistance, Health Information Technology, etc.
The Governor has asked Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Mitch Roob to work with local communities, not for profits, colleges and universities both public and private, and state agencies to ensure that Indiana is competing for as many of these grants as possible and that the projects submitted are as strong as possible.
Project Survey
The state, in conjunction with Ball State University, has created a survey to gather information about potential infrastructure and other projects that may be eligible for stimulus funding. The survey is online and serves only as a tool to gather information. Any entity that wishes to have a project considered for funding or possible grant application should complete the online survey at the link below.
Completion of this form does not mean that the project will or will not receive any stimulus funds. The survey is a central collection point for Indiana project information and is only a means of gathering information.
You may not have answers to all questions, but please provide as much information as possible, including local match funding sources. A sample form is provided below to help you collect your project information.
The deadline to submit is March 9, 2009.
As you can see, there is an impending deadline.
If this information is not presented to you via you local newspaper where you live, you should write a letter to the editor and ask why.

Details on the Financial Stability Plan
Between 2006 and 2008, there was a net $1.2 trillion decline in securitized lending (outside of the GSEs) in these markets. That is why a core component of the Financial Stability Plan is:
A Bold Expansion Up to $1 Trillion: This joint initiative with the Federal Reserve builds off, broadens and expands the resources of the previously announced but not yet implemented Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).
The Consumer & Business Lending Initiative will support the purchase of loans by providing the financing to private investors to help unfreeze and lower interest rates for auto, small business, credit card and other consumer and business credit. Previously, Treasury was to use $20 billion to leverage $200 billion of lending from the Federal Reserve. The Financial Stability Plan will dramatically increase the size by using $100 billion to leverage up to $1 trillion and kick start lending by focusing on new loans.
• Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Limiting Purchases to Newly Packaged AAA Loans:
Because these are the highest quality portion of any security — the first ones to be paid — we will be able to best protect against taxpayer losses and efficiently leverage taxpayer money to support a large flow of credit to these sectors.
• Expand Reach – Including Commercial Real Estate: The Consumer & Business Lending Initiative will expand the initial reach of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to now include commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). In addition, the Treasury will continue to consult with the Federal Reserve regarding possible further expansion of the TALF program to include other asset classes, such as non-Agency residential mortgage- backed securities (RMBS) and assets collateralized by corporate debt.
4. New Era of Transparency, Accountability, Monitoring and Conditions: A major and legitimate source of public frustration and even anger with the initial deployment of the first $350 billion of EESA funds was a lack of accountability or transparency as to whether assistance was being provided solely for the public interest and a stronger economy, rather than the private gain of shareholders, bondholders or executives. Going forward, the Financial Stability Plan will call for greater
transparency, accountability and conditionality with tougher standards for firms receiving exceptional assistance. These will be the new standards going forward and are not retroactive. These stronger monitoring conditions were informed by recommendations made by formal oversight groups – the Congressional Oversight Panel, the Special Inspector General, and the Government Accountability
Office — as well as Congressional committees charged with oversight of the banking system.
a. Requiring Firms to Show How Assistance from Financial Stability Plan Will Expand Lending:
The core of the new monitoring requirement is to require recipients of exceptional assistance or capital buffer assistance to show how every dollar of capital
they receive is enabling them to preserve or generate new lending compared to what would have been possible without government capital assistance.
• Intended Use of Government Funds: All recipients of assistance must submit a plan
for how they intend to use that capital to preserve and strengthen their lending
capacity. This plan will be submitted during the application process, and the
Treasury Department will make these reports public upon completion of the capital investment in the firm.
• The Impact on Lending Requirement: Firms must detail in monthly reports submitted to the Treasury Department their lending broken out by category, showing how many
new loans they provided to businesses and consumers and how many asset-backed
and mortgage-backed securities they purchased, accompanied by a description of the
lending environment in the communities and markets they serve. This report will
also include a comparison to their most rigorous estimate of what their lending would
have been in the absence of government support. For public companies, similar
reports will be filed on an 8K simultaneous with the filing of their 10-Q or 10-K
reports. Additionally, the Treasury Department will – in collaboration with banking
agencies – publish and regularly update key metrics showing the impact of the
Financial Stability Plan on credit markets. These reports will be put on the Treasury
FinancialStability.gov website so that they can be subject to scrutiny by outside and
independent experts.
• Taxpayers’ Right to Know: All information disclosed or reported to Treasury by
recipients of capital assistance will be posted on FinancialStability.gov because
taxpayers have the right to know whether these programs are succeeding in creating
and preserving lending and financial stability.
b. Committing Recipients to Mortgage Foreclosure Mitigation: All recipients of capital
investments under the new initiatives will be required to participate in mortgage foreclosure mitigation programs consistent with guidelines
Treasury will release on industry standard best practices.

f. Posting Contracts and Investment Information on the Web: The Treasury Department
will post all contracts under the Financial Stability Plan on FinancialStability.gov within
five to 10 business days of their completion. Whenever Treasury makes a capital
investment under these new initiatives, it will make public the value of the investment, the quantity and strike price of warrants received, the schedule of required payments to the government and when government is being paid back. The terms of pricing of these
investments will be compared to terms and pricing of recent market transactions during the period the investment was made, if available.
• Drive Down Overall Mortgage Rates: The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve remain committed to expand as necessary the current effort by the Federal Reserve to help drive down mortgage rates – freeing up funds for working families – through continuation of its efforts to spend as much as $600 billion for purchasing of GSE mortgage-backed securities and GSE debt.
• Commit $50 Billion to Prevent Avoidable Foreclosures of owner-occupied middle class homes by helping to reduce monthly payments in line with prudent underwriting and
6. Small Business and Community Lending Initiative: Few aspects of our current financial crisis have created more justifiable resentment than the specter of hard-working entrepreneurs and small business owners seeing their companies hurt and even bankrupt because of a squeeze on credit they played no role in creating. Currently, the increased capital constraints of banks, the inability to sell SBA loans on the secondary market and a weakening economy have combined to dramatically reduce
SBA lending at the very time our economy cannot afford to deny credit to any entrepreneur with the potential to create jobs and expand markets. Further adding to this frustration is the sense that community banks – which still engage in relationship lending that serves their local communities --
have been overlooked not just during this crisis, but over the last several years.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Steelworkers Say President's Choice for Health and Human Services a Good One

Kansas Governor Understands the Challenges to Working Families

The United Steelworkers (USW) today heartily endorsed President Obama's selection of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to become the new Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

USW International president Leo W. Gerard said that her nomination is another example of how intent the new Administration is on addressing issues critical to America's working families.
"As both Governor of Kansas and its insurance commissioner prior, Ms. Sebelius has demonstrated a keen perception of the struggles confronting ordinary Americans," said Gerard.
"She knows change is needed and we stand confident in her ability to play an active role in revamping the health care system. Her experience provides her with an in-depth understanding of the complexities of heath care and insurance issues."

Robert Bratulich, USW District 11 Director, which includes Kansas, said,
"President Obama could not have selected a better candidate to head HHS. Governor Sebelius is a stalwart supporter of working families."

Sebelius is in the middle of her second term as governor. Prior to becoming governor, she served for eight years as Kansas insurance commissioner, where she earned praise for her consumer watchdog role. She was an early Obama supporter and worked tirelessly during his campaign.

"Under her leadership the U.S. will finally be on the path towards affordable universal health care coverage," said Bratulich.

The USW represents 1.2 million active and retired workers in North America industries including metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service sector.

Weekly White House Address, President Barack Obama

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hate groups on the rise

Fueled by immigration fears, the recession and the election of a black president, hate groups in America increased their numbers again in 2008. The count now stands at a staggering 926 — a more than 50% increase since 2000.
I'm now deeply worried about the way hate group leaders are exploiting the election of Barack Obama and the economic crisis to swell their ranks and how their anti-Semitic, white supremacist propaganda is promoting violence.
A neo-Nazi leader was quoted in USA Today saying "When the economy suffers, people are looking for answers. … We are the answer for white people."
The day after President Obama was inaugurated, a white man in Massachusetts killed two black people and raped and gravely wounded another. His arrest derailed his plan to also invade a synagogue and kill as many Jews as possible. He'd spent six months reading racist websites and concluded they "spoke the truth about the demise of the white race."
As you know, we not only track and expose the activities of racist extremists — we use innovative legal strategies to put them out of business. We recently won a $2.5 million verdict against the leader of the Imperial Klans of America for the brutal beating of a teenage boy of Latino descent in Kentucky.
As a loyal supporter, you play a vital role in our work. Please help by alerting the authorities to any hate incidents you see and by speaking out against hate whenever and wherever you see it.
And please send an extra gift to aid our crucial efforts to combat extremists who are determined to divide us along racial, ethnic and religious lines. Thank you for your dedication to justice and tolerance.

Morris Dees

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Creepy Trees

Retailer Meijer to harness the wind

WALKER, Mich. - Midwestern retailer Meijer wants to install wind turbines that would produce electricity for its corporate offices and at least two southwestern Michigan stores.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The President highlights Ethics, Education and Entrepreneurs during his Joint Session of Congress Address

What the President said about doing the right thing...
...But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.

I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn’t tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, ''I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself."

And I think about Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina – a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters."

What the President said about Education
In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a prerequisite. Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish.

This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education – from the day they are born to the day they begin a career.

Already, we have made an historic investment in education through the economic recovery plan. We have dramatically expanded early childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life. We have made college affordable for nearly seven million more students. And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children’s progress.

But we know that our schools don’t just need more resources. They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We’ll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools.

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education. And to encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations, I ask this Congress to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country – Senator Edward Kennedy.

What the President said about Entrepreneurs
...(Credit) has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many banks. With so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or to each other. When there is no lending, families can’t afford to buy homes or cars. So businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.

That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to break this destructive cycle, restore confidence, and re-start lending.

We will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.
For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.

In each case, government didn’t supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Run for Public Office today

Look around you. You can control and do right by your peers and constiuents just like President Obama but you have to run for a local public office just like he did.

The current local administration is probably not any smarter than you are but they ran for office and you didn't. Run now.

Some of you are smart enough to do so but have not been encouraged. Some of you are tough enough but have not been encouraged. This is your future too. If you have it in you, please find a local public office in your town or city to run for and when elected do what you are supposed to do.
There is the school board, city council, mayor, county assessor, county board member etc. Just do it!
That will solve America's problems and restore the American Dream.
You can do it if you try!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Notes on President and Vice President’s meeting with U.S. Mayors

The U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting held this week in Washington D.C. was highlighted by a meeting with the President and Vice President of the United States on Friday, February 20 inside the White House East Room.

President Obama announced that he signed February 19, an executive order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs, where former New York City Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion will head up the agency. The office was created to, ”provide leadership for and coordinate the development of the policy agenda for urban America across executive departments and agencies;
(b) to coordinate all aspects of urban policy;
(c) to work with executive departments and agencies to ensure that appropriate consideration is given by such departments and agencies to the potential impact of their actions on urban areas;
(d) to work with executive departments and agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, to ensure that Federal Government dollars targeted to urban areas are effectively spent on the highest-impact programs; and
(e) to engage in outreach and work closely with State and local officials, with nonprofit organizations, and with the private sector, both in seeking input regarding the development of a comprehensive urban policy and in ensuring that the implementation of Federal programs advances the objectives of that policy.”

In short, the office will coordinate all federal urban programs. The President said he is getting letters from constituents across the country about the problems they are facing. He acknowledged that mayors cannot deficit spend and that is why the recovery plan will create 3.5 million jobs and aid state and local governments to stem municipal cutbacks. He reiterated that 18 million will get health insurance and seven million taxpayers will receive financial help to get insurance after job loss.

“What makes this recovery plan so important we are putting America to work in what needs done in critical areas…it lays a new foundation,” the President said.

He said 400,000 people will be put to work across the country in infrastructure improvement based jobs. Infrastructure improvements include roads and highways, bridges, high speed rail, early childhood education, modernization of medical records and laying broadband lines

“We’ve done more in 30 days to advance health care reform than has occurred in a decade,” he said. He also said, what is required in returned is unprecedented accountability and responsibility to the taxpayer.

“They expect to see their money spent in its intended purposes without waste or fraud,” President Obama said.
He said this means he will hold both federal and local municipalities responsible for its use.
“We will use the new tools to watch the taxpayers money with more rigor and transparency than ever. If a federal agency proposes something that will waste money I will put them on notice,” President Obama said.

He said the same goes for local municipalities.
“I will call them out on it.” No compromise or shortcuts, he said.
He said the stimulus plan does not mark the end but the beginning of what he plans to do to attack urban challenges.
The President said he thinks about his start into politics when speaking with mayors--community outreach. He said citizens frequently look to local municipalities in times of financial trouble.

Reporters speaking with the mayors during an impromptu news conference on the white house driveway, after the meeting, asked about this accountability.
The mayors collectively said they welcome having their feet being held to the fire because it is what they have been going through everyday anyway. New Orleans mayor, Ray Nagen, said the money the cities will receive will go through the states to be disbursed. He said it took about three years to get hurricane victim monies. He said the legislature of each state can vote whether to take the money or not.

Questions then centered around making sure that the cities could receive the economic stimulus if the money was voted approved by each state and how they would like to see it spent.
After hearing from Democratic mayors, reporters on hand called to hear from Republican mayors.

A Republican mayor from Minnesota said, “one of the things we are now recognizing are the tools being put on the table to put our people back to work. The reinvestment act makes sure people are back to work and infrastructure is repaired and amenities offered, enriching the lives of each city’s citizens.
Another Republican South Carolina mayor said he was against the stimulus package at first but now that the recovery bill is law, he thinks, “we need to put as much of the money in long term projects as possible.”
It was apparent that the mayors who attended the meeting were on board with the President's plans.

Vice-President Joe Biden reminded all in attendance about the web site that could help shed light on how the recovery money is spent.

“Only after one month, laws have been signed to strengthen the American people. The results are clear and ready for the people to see it involves patient outreach," Vice President Joe Biden said, during an introduction of President Barack Obama.
“There is so much more to do,” he said.

Biden spoke of how for years America’s cities have been neglected and the concerns of its mayors unheard.
“We know how important cities are. Seven out of ten jobs are in (our nation’s) cities.” They haven’t been paid much attention to thus far.

He said the recovery package signed into law will provide “unprecedented investment in American cities."
“We have to make this work for our people,“ Biden said.
He acknowledged that taxpayers are trusting the government to spend the money in a way that it was intended. He said taxpayers can go to Recovery.gov to see how the money is being spent and make their concerns known.

He asked the mayors to highlight projects that need private investment and growth.
“The world is watching to see how well this will work.” Biden said.


Dancing with Chicago Celebs 2009 Charity Event

Our event is in its fourth year and looks to be the best ever!
When: March 13th
The centerpiece of the evening will be a celebrity dance-off featuring Chicago television, business and sports personalities. Each celebrity will be paired with a professional instructor and will receive personalized choreography and extensive coaching, all, donated by Arthur Murray Dance Centers in Chicago.

The competition will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges, led by US Smooth champion and ABC "Dancing with the Stars" alum, Nick Kosovich. He will be joined by Snow Urbin, a fan favorite from "So You Think You Can Dance," and currently performing with ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" tour.

“Dancing with Chicago Celebrities” is the brainchild of a team of instructors at the Arthur Murray Dance studios in Chicago. Jill DeMarlo, professional dance instructor and Arthur Murray franchisee in Chicago said, “Four years ago, we were inspired by the phenomenal resurgence of ballroom dancing across the country. And the popularity of ballroom dance reality television shows. We decided it would be a lot of fun to put together this event in a way that would benefit a cause I care a lot about.”

“The inaugural event was absolutely terrific – it was one of the most unique and fun charity events I’ve ever attended, let alone been a part of,” said Rick Bayless, reknowned chef and 2006 winner. “I can’t think of anything of I’ve ever done that’s been more fun.”

2007 grand champion Dan Ponce from ABC 7 Chicago said, “I had a blast at this event. My teacher/coach/partner from Arthur Murray, Amy, was fantastic and we couldn’t be happier to have contributed to a great cause.”

Kendall Gill, NBA superstar and professional boxer said, “Being part of this event was fantastic. It’s a great cause and it was a lot of fun. Not only was it a great outlet for my competitive spirit but I’ve found a new hobby.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unity Condemns New York Post Cartoon

The New York Post is sorely misguided in its efforts to downplay the serious lapse in judgment exhibited in today's editorial cartoon by Sean Delonas. To think that the cartoonist and the responsible editors at the paper did not see the racist overtones of the finished product should insult their intelligence. Instead, they celebrate their own lack of perspective and criticize those who call it what it is: tone deaf at best, overtly racist at worst.

"I question the judgment of the editorial editors to move this to print as well as the diversity of its staff that would let them think this passes as comedy," said Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists and vice president of UNITY: Journalists of Color.

UNITY President Rafael Olmeda also criticized the explanation offered by the New York Post. "Are we to believe that the image of a slain chimpanzee juxtaposed with a comment about the stimulus package would not lead reasonable people to draw a comparison with the person with whom the stimulus package is most associated?" Olmeda said. "Surely, Mr. Delonas and the editors can't be that obtuse."

UNITY condemns the cartoon as well as the newspaper's weak explanation.

UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity. UNITY, representing more than 10,000 journalists of color, is comprised of four national associations: Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association.

Some stories don't come with a share button

MUMBAI, India - They are not your typical movie stars.

Ten-year-old Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail lives in a lean-to made of tarpaulins and blankets. Nine-year-old Rubina Ali's home is a tiny bubble-gum pink shack. A murky open sewer runs down her narrow lane.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our President really cares about America

Today, I signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.

This is a historic step -- the first of many as we work together to climb out of this crisis -- and I want to thank you for your resolve and your support.

You organized thousands of house meetings. You shared your ideas and personal stories. And you informed your friends and neighbors about the need for immediate action. You continue to be a powerful voice for change throughout the country.

The recovery plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, provide tax cuts for working and middle-class families, and invest in health care and clean energy.

It's a bold plan to address a huge problem, and it will require my vigilance and yours to make sure it's done right.

I've assigned a team of managers to oversee the implementation of the recovery act. We are committed to making sure no dollar is wasted. But accountability begins with you.

That's why my administration has created Recovery.gov, a new website where citizens can track every dollar spent and every job created. We'll invite you and your neighbors to weigh in with comments and questions.

Our progress will also be measured by the tens of thousands of personal stories submitted by people who are struggling to make ends meet. If you haven't already, you can read stories from families all across the country:


Your stories are the heart of this recovery plan, and that's what I'll focus on every day as President.

With your continued support, we'll emerge a stronger and more prosperous nation.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

This is what a musical genius sounds like, looks like

KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

First Clip for KNOWING

The first clip for Alex Proyas' next thriller Knowing has appeared online courtesy of Yahoo. The clip titled "Derailed" is 1:27 in length and the film will star Nicolas...

read more | digg story

Wednesday, February 11, 2009



Dear Indiana business:

I am writing to alert you of a continuing scam being perpetrated on Indiana businesses. Several businesses have reported receiving a deceptive letter that would appear to come from an official government source. The letter solicits an annual fee of $125 or $150 and claims it will be used for record keeping and processing of a company's annual minutes. It gives the appearance of coming from a legitimate government agency and cites fictitious state law.

Specifically, copies of the letter that have been forwarded to my office appear to come from the "Indiana Corporate Compliance Business Division." They include a return by date to give the false impression that action is necessary on your part.

This letter is NOT an official correspondence from my Business Services Division or any other Indiana state agency. Investigators from my office are working with federal law enforcement to determine who is responsible for these letters and ensure they are stopped. If you received one of these solicitations, ignore it! If you have already responded to such a letters and believe you are a victim of this scam, please call the Business Services Division at (317) 232-6576.

Please also remember you can securely comply with your legitimate business entity reporting requirements to the state securely online through the INBiz portal found on my Web page at www.sos.in.gov/business . As always, my office will provide you with a courtesy reminder when your report is due to be filed. Legitimate notices from my office include the state seal of Indiana and my name.

Best Regards,

Todd Rokita
Indiana Secretary of State

P.S.- Coming soon! - To benefit you, we will be offering images of corporate documents online later this year. Watch our Web site for updates: www.sos.in.gov.

If you would like to receive other types of email updates from your Secretary of State's Office, please click the "Manage Subscriptions" link at the bottom of this email.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thank You for the passage of the stimulus bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan has passed the Senate and is on its way to difficult House-Senate negotiations. Just three Republicans helped pass the plan on a 61-37 vote and they're already signaling they'll play hardball to preserve more than $108 billion in spending cuts made last week in Senate dealmaking. Obama wants to restore cuts in funds for school construction jobs and help for cash-starved states.

Are Katherine and T.R. Leaving Grey's Anatomy?

By Kristin Dos Santos
Tue Feb 10, 12:11 PM PST

After months of rumors that Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight may be leaving Grey's Anatomy, costar James Pickens ("The Chief") has added fuel to the fire.

"Yes, she is," he told Us Weekly when asked if Heigl will exit the show. "Wherever Katherine goes, I wish her nothing but the best."

As for Knight, Pickens said, "He's going too."

Nice song and so true

Monday, February 9, 2009

Will Yall Quit FN with me and pass the stimulus bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, urgently pressuring lawmakers to approve a massive economic recovery bill, turned his first news conference Monday night into a determined defense of his emergency plan and an offensive against Republicans who try to "play the usual political games."

15 Companies That Might Not Survive 2009

Institutions fall...but I know they're not trying to close Krispy Kream!

read more | digg story

Rihanna and Chris Brown

Rumor has it that Chris Brown was arrested day before yesterday after the Clive Davis party for going all Ike Turner on Rhianna. Nether were at the Grammys and they were supposed to perform. Eventually CB turned himself in yesterday during the Grammys and was bailed out hours later.
If this is true, they are too young for that sht. Stop it now.
Don't be caught up, caught up like my man and me--young hearts, run free...
and wait until yalls parents get involved. ooooh. a mess.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The problems we have today started many years ago

chicagotribune.com — This is an archived Chicago Tribune article that is more relevant today that it was last year this time. Its topic? Crippling unemployment, a crumbling city and how blacks are disproportionately affected. Recession and unemployment started a couple of years ago within the black community and is an ongoing issue. Now what? Go tell the GOP.

The game show where nobody wins but the wife

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Don Lemon of CNN is interviewing someone who performs grassroots HIV education and she says 18-24 age group is a growing aids problem in aa community amid the down-low brothers.
Wrap it up please!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Spotlight 29 Casino Laughs It Up With Rita Rudner

March 5 Concert is Benefit for Gilda's Club Desert Cities

"Comedian of the Year" Rita Rudner likes to shop. "I love to shop after a bad relationship. I don't know. I buy a new outfit and it makes me feel better. It just does. Sometimes I see a really great outfit, I'll break up with someone on purpose." Now the top Las Vegas headliner is coming to Spotlight 29 Casino on March 5 for a one-night-only concert benefiting Gilda's Club Desert Cities.
Tickets for Rita Rudner are $125, $75 and $50 and are available now at Spotlight29.com and at the Spotlight 29 Casino Gift Shop. Tickets are also available at StarTickets.com or by calling (800) 585-3737, or at Gilda's Club. Proceeds benefit Gilda's Club Desert Cities.

Rudner began her career as a dancer and appeared in the original Broadway productions of "Follies" and "Mack and Mabel." While appearing in "Annie," she realized there were many more female dancers than there were female comics, and she began to study the New York comedy scene and comic structure of Woody Allen and Jack Benny. Her work resulted in countless television appearances, four books, plays, sell-out concerts all over the world and one of the most in-demand shows on the Las Vegas Strip.

She is married to husband/manager Martin Bergman. Rudner has said, "Before I met my husband, I'd never fallen in love. I'd stepped in it a few times. When I eventually met Mr. Right I had no idea that his first name was Always."

Rudner and Bergman spend their time between their homes in Las Vegas and southern California. "In Hollywood a marriage is a success if it outlasts milk," Rudner has said.

Gilda's Club Desert Cities is part of the national Gilda's Club network. The organization's mission is to provide a place where people with cancer and their families and friends join with others to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Free of charge and nonprofit, Gilda's Club offers support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events in a non-residential, home-like setting. For information or to join Gilda's Club, call (760) 770-5678.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Get Involved in Your Schools
I found this on an e-mail list and feel that it is worth passing along to you who are concerned. This is the best way to get vital news out to the public.
These decisions have been made by the school board. No one likes change, but it is necessary in our district for us to proceed with change and progress.
Many Wirt students, special needs students included, come from the Horace Mann area. Wirt students are not exclusively from the 1st District now.
The themed high schools will launch in the fall of 2009.
At Emerson, the student has one class/school day in their major. The rest of the school day is academic work as usual. Emerson is the only Gary high school which made AYP again this year. Emerson's ISTEP scores are the highest in Gary and are competitve with other schools in NWIN. Much of the arts activity is done after school, again requiring heightened parental and student involvement. The performance aspect of Emerson alone is community outreach. The auditorium at Wirt is beautiful, and it will be fully utilized by Emerson. Emerson hasn't had a place of its own in which to perform for years.
West Side will be taking on middle school students as will each of the four themed schools. (Emerson is already 6-12 because of its charter. It's ready-made for this configuration and is ready and anxious to expand.) This all is happening this fall.
The 1st District is not sacrificing its school. Emerson has always been a 1st District school. As it has been for years now, all the Gary high schools have been schools of choice. The kids are bussed all over the city. I have some of the same students I taught at Wirt now at West Side. At least now the movement will make some sense.

Subject: get involved in your schools

First District parents are being told that a student does not have to be a prodigy to attend Emerson. That may be true, but when I went to the Indiana Department of Education website, I did not find any teacher for students with special needs at Emerson.

Not counting Learning Disabled and those with Emotional Disabilities, there are 296 special needs students at Wirt. Where will the special needs students from the 1st District go?

Another concern is where will the students who have no desire to major in the arts go? There is not going to be a new themed schools until 2010 at the earliest, if ever.

I do agree with Nora that it takes parental and community involvement for any school to succeed. I also believe that if this community puts as much effort into making its local schools work as it does for other issues, any school in the 1st District will be successful.

Here are a few more questions:
Will the education of the children in the 1st District be advanced when the majority of them are transferred to Roosevelt, Lew Wallace or West Side? Will the majority of children in the 1st District have the same opportunity to succeed as the students at Banneker and Emerson? Should the board wait until all the schools are themed schools before closing Wirt? Why is the board asking the 1st District to sacrifice its school when West Side is a larger facility and has a state of the art auditorium? Should the school district be subsidizing the Gary Theater Guild with our taxes? Should the students have to compete with the theater guild for West Side High School's auditorium? Should the board be spending money on reconfiguring the high schools or fixing leaky roofs?

Ask questions. Get involved. Here is the link to the school board committee meetings.

Check out this link to see the number of students at Emerson and the cost per pupil:
You will have to scroll down to the bottom of this page to find this information,

Then check out this link to see class sizes and courses offered at Emerson:

Now click on this link to see the number of students and cost per student for Wirt High School. http://ping.fm/8yz6W
Again, you will have to go to the bottom of the page to find this information.

Then check out this link for class sizes and courses offered.
There are 14 special needs teachers at Wirt.


My photo

Nothing much to say...ummm..my teeth are really white and that's a good thing...ummmm...
I will put links to blog posts here from time to time and I would like you to read and comment. Please watch, subscribe to the videos too. Thank you!
Oh Yeah, I started a new blog!
I began DIY Life Hack Mamma because that is what I do most of the time: figure stuff out.
 If you've ever heard of the phrase champagne taste on a beer budget, you've found me. I make soap from scratch because regular soap does not agree with my skin, I recreate restaurant meals at home, create appliances I cannot install or afford (yet,) and in general, I figure out a way from no way. I pray a lot too. Join me on my journey. It will be fun. 
Everything you see me do is for entertainment purposes only. All of my experiments are for my purposes only. It's fun to watch.

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