Monthly Archives: August 2007

WHAT A FAMILY NEEDS TO SURVIVE FINANCIALLY IN TEXAS!

ARE YOU FINANCIALLY SECURE?

The yearly salary needed for a family of four to meet basic needs ranges from $29,982 in the Brownsville area to $45,770 in the Fort Worth area, according to a report released Thursday by a nonprofit research organization.

The report from the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities looked at what a family needs to earn to afford housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and other basic needs without relying on government assistance.

For the report, the nonpartisan group assumed that the family had employer-sponsored health insurance. The housing budget was based on the cost of public housing subsidies and the food budget assumed that the family would never eat out and rarely purchase meat.

“What we have found is that in Texas, a two-parent, two-child family needs to earn between $9,332 and $25,120 more than the poverty level to stay afloat,” said Frances Deviney, the study’s co-author.

The federal poverty level is $20,650 for a family of four.

The group says in a news release that more than one-third of working families in Texas are low-income.

Suggestions from the group on what can be done include: making higher education more accessible and affordable; expanding job training and career development opportunities; and implementing a low-rate personal income tax.

A FEW GOOD MEN AND THE INSITE HOST DBA NETWORKING MIXER / CONGRATULATIONS TO BERNADETTE BROWN EVENT!

FORMING BUSINESS CONTACTS!















If you weren’t at the FOX Sports Grill Thursday evening you missed quite an event. A Few Good Men celebrated their 5th Anniversary by inviting The Insite to host their DBA Networking Mixer. The event also recognized Bernadette ‘Powerhouse’ Brown for her recent victory as the National Association of Black Journalist Regional Director. Dozens of people came out to the event at eatery in the Galleria Thursday night. The guests were treated to great give aways including a 3 day/ 2night stay at one of 28 major resorts around the country. That prize pack was supplied by Sullivan’s Travel. Lot of familiar faces at the event: Bernadette Brown, Julie ‘The Socialite’ Grayum, Howard Brown, Pat Brown, Mary Benton Craig Bell (KTRK), Rucks Russell (KHOU), David Ellison (Houston Chronicle), Katishia Cosley (KTRK), Councilman Ron Green, Lester ‘Noni’ Ross, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Anthony Caroll (Wachovia Bank), Latricia Sells, Robert Hart, Jeffrey Joseph, Kelly King and the members of A Few Good Men – they are: Tavares White, Damon Gims and Deric Vaughn!

A FEW GOOD MEN LINK: http://www.theorghouston.com/afewgoodmen.htm

CELEBRATING BERNADETTE BROWN’S BIG VICTORY IN LAS VEGAS!

SEE YOU AT THE FOX SPORTS GRILL TONIGHT!


COME OUT AND CELEBRATE THE VICTORY OF HOUSTON’S VERY OWN BERNADETTE BROWN AS SOUTHERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALIST TONIGHT. BROWN HAS ACHIEVED AN AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENT AND SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED FOR HER HARD WORK AND DEDICATION TO JOURNALISM. IT’S YOUR CHANCE TO MIX AND MINGLE WITH BROWN AND OTHERS AT THE FOX SPORTS GRILL – THURSDAY AUGUST 30, 2007…MAKE SURE YOU BE THERE!

WHEN: THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2007
TIME: 7PM
WHERE: FOX SPORTS GRILL (IN THE GALLERIA)
WHY: TO SUPPORT A LOCAL WHO’S DONE WELL

THE INSITE AND FELLOW STREET TEAM MEMBERS WITH THE NEW CAMERA WILL DEFINITELY BE THERE TO SNAP ALL OF THE PHOTOS!

FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL: ISIAHCAREY@GMAIL.COM

HOUSTON CHRONICLE COVERS FOX 26’S NEW MORNING ANCHOR!

SIBILA VARGAS FROM CNN TO FOX!

Article by Mike McDaniel:

Sibila Vargas, a CNN entertainment reporter and anchor, will become an anchor of Channel 26’s morning show on Oct. 1.

Vargas’ career has been largely linked with the entertainment world. Before joining CNN she was a freelance entertainment reporter for the CW affiliate in Los Angeles and a host or co-host for such shows as ABC’s The View, TV Guide Channel’s Hollywood Insider and the syndicated shows Manhunt and Real TV.

She also has appeared in cameo, usually as a reporter, on several television dramas, including Charmed, The Practice and ER.

“I’ve been wanting to go back to my roots and do hard news,” said Vargas, who will move here with her husband, cameraman Alex Pappas, and their two sons, ages 6 and 1. The move here, Vargas said, “is a blessing to my family. Houston is one of the places my husband said he’d like to move to.”

She began her broadcasting career as a writer and producer at the CW station in her native New York City. She is a cum laude graduate from Long Island University.

D’Artagnan Bebel, KRIV general manager, hailed Vargas’ “passion for news,” while Kathy Williams, Channel 26 news director, said, “Sibila’s personality and style are perfectly suited for our program. A seasoned news veteran, she brings a unique perspective to this position that will be an asset to our show.”

DAVID MINCBERG IS RUNNING FOR COUNTY JUDGE!


Dear Friend:

I’m embarking on a new venture and I want you to be one of the first to hear about it, because its success depends on the participation of friends like you who really care about the future.

Harris County will elect a new County Judge—the chief executive—in the November 2008 General Election, and I’m excited to tell you that I have decided to seek this important office. I will spend the next fifteen months convincing voters we need a change in county leadership.

Harris County government is a critical part of this major American metropolitan center. Now home to more than four million people from every corner of the globe, Harris County is growing so fast we will be adding population equal to the entire City of Dallas in the next twenty years.

We have been growing for many years and for many good reasons, most associated with our reputation for being a good place to do business. Growth—managing it and making it work—is a challenge county leaders will face for decades. The new County Judge will play a key role in setting the course to meet this unprecedented challenge.

The impact of the County on our families is sweeping. From ports to hospitals, courts to constables, toll roads to taxes and with a budget topping one billion dollars, Harris County government affects us all. A new County Judge, one with extensive business experience in planning, management and finance—who won’t wait for problems to grow roots before solving them—can make a real difference in preparing our county for the future. And the future is what this election is all about.

I have been fortunate to build a successful business from scratch while also being extremely active in the civic and charitable works of our community. I have learned many lessons in my business and civic work that have prepared me well to guide the County through the challenges it faces. I look forward to the opportunity of working for all of the citizens of Harris County and devoting all my experience and energy to that effort.

I will bring a new and fresh approach to leadership and problem-solving at county government. I want to steer a more direct course to environmental excellence and commit more effort to improving the quality of life for all county residents. I will also push for updated rules on ethics covering all our county’s elected officials, its employees and the vendors who provide it goods and services. Taxpayers deserve transparency in County business and program decisions, to have ready access to full and frequently-updated financial disclosure information from elected and appointed county officials, and to receive prompt, efficient and accurate responses to requests for public information.

I also propose improvements to the county’s financial management. Harris County must be organized and managed in a straightforward businesslike manner. Policies and goals must be clearly articulated and methodologies established for measuring success and correcting shortcomings. Experience has taught me that by giving people clear goals and holding them accountable, much can be accomplished. As chief executive officer, it is up to the County Judge to lead the way, because the better the county can set and manage spending priorities, the better the outcome for the taxpayers’ bottom line.

I have many more ideas to discuss with you and others who care so much about our community, but it takes a substantial amount of resources to communicate with the vast number of voters in Harris County—there are nearly two million registered voters in our county. And, as with most things worth doing, campaigns require the help of many to be successful. That is why I’m asking you to be one of the first to join the David Mincberg Campaign for County Judge.

By donating today you can start the effort to bring change to Harris County government—a change that will better prepare our area for the future.

I pledge to conduct a campaign of which you will be proud—a campaign that discusses the issues important to our community. I look forward to working with you on this new venture and if you have any suggestions or thoughts concerning the County or the campaign, please pass them along to me at dmincberg@mincbergforcountyjudge.com.

Thank you for your support.

David Mincberg

P.S. The official campaign kick-off event will be Tuesday evening, October 30, details to follow but be sure to hold the date.

INSITE GUEST BLOGGER: MIN. DERIC MUHAMMAD!

HE IS CHALLENGING INSITE READERS!

Editorial By: Minister Deric C. Muhammad

Little Brandon is one of the most intelligent and gifted nine year-olds one could ever meet. He is also my cousin, and an honor roll student. As we sat one afternoon viewing one of the countless CNN news updates regarding the Michael Vick dog fighting debacle, I asked him a
question that inspired this brief op-ed.

“Brandon…what is worse to watch; two dogs fighting or two human beings?” The handsome youngster paused in serious contemplation and gave a look that read “that is a good question”. Five or six seconds later he responds: “seeing dogs fight is worse than seeing people fighting.” When asked why he felt that way, he retorted “I’m not sure.” Brandon and I had a
long talk that day.

That exchange with an innocent child made me to think over exactly how much violence has become woven into the very fabric of American culture. Later on that day, while flipping cable channels, I happened upon a newly popularized phenomenon of savagery called Ultimate Fighting Championship where I watched two bare-knuckled human gladiators beat one
another until one lay unconscious and unable to continue. There was so much blood in the ring afterward that a puddle began to form. I saw thousands cheering them on and I realized that this was entertainment. And then I thought about the Hunter/ Vice President Dick Cheney and the staged shooting of rare pheasants (birds) and deer and then I realized this was recreation. And then I thought about Michael Vick and further realize…this is hypocrisy.

I grew up “in the hood”, as they call it, in northeast Houston. I have never seen as many dog fights as I have this past month on CNN. I personally think that dog fighting is uncivilized, but when you witness the type of violence among human beings that takes place where we come from it kind of takes the sting out of a dogfight. (Sorry, PETA.)

Over 60% of households in the Black community are headed by Black women, leaving it the most “over mothered and under fathered” community in America. There is a natural aggressive tendency in the young Black male to gravitate toward strength, power and security. This is a real reason youngsters join gangs and one of the chief reasons some have an affinity for the pit bull fighting dog. They see these canines as symbols of strength and security. They gravitate toward symbols of strength because the substance is oftentimes absent from the home.

I don’t state these facts to put up a defense or make excuses for Vick regarding any mistakes or errors he may have made in the past. However, it would be hypocritical to pass judgment on him for past missteps, especially when we all have made our own.

I do not understand how Rev. Sharpton, Julian Bond, Russell Simmons (who I consider a friend) and other Vick critics can be so quick to call for his punishment and not as quick to seek him out to offer counsel, prayer and words of wise guidance. What about all of the charities that Vick
contributed time and money to? Does his alleged misdeeds, in relation to these dogs negate all of his good deeds for human beings namely the families of the Virginia Tech shooting victims? What about his community work with at-risk youth in Atlanta and Virginia, the food trucks that he brought to Virginia on Thanksgiving Days to feed needy families, the scholarship opportunities he provided for youth and the monies donated to help single mothers purchase homes?

Any Black leader who would turn his or her back on Vick should reevaluate and rethink their position carefully. Is Vick perfect? No. But guess what, neither are you and I. If somebody stood by you and helped you when the world was against you then I believe that it is your duty to stand by your brother, help him to correct himself and not throw him to the dogs.

Again, I am no fan of dog fighting. But, the scriptures teach us that the human being is the “glory of God”, not the dog. I believe that the 3000 plus human beings who have lost their lives in Iraq defending their country against imaginary weapons of mass destruction are more
important than those dogs. I believe that in a just society, deer hunting and quail killing should be a crime if dog fighting is a crime. I believe that in a civilized society human beings should not profit from savage sport and entertainment, such as ultimate fighting. I humbly submit that most of Vick’s critics do not have the moral authority to lambaste him as they have. We need a cultural revolution in America.

My advice to you, Brother Mike, is to keep your head up, for this, too shall pass. You never know who your real friends are until you get into deep waters like these. There is a saying among (white) Americans that a D-O-G is a man’s best friend. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us the root of this thinking and how the dog gained such a high place in the
family of Caucasians. I humbly request that you spell it backwards (G-O-D) and there lies “all the friend you need.” If Nike, Reebok and the others want to distance themselves from you, then fine. The more these companies, the NFL, so-called leaders and others distance hemselves from you; you must get closer to G-O-D. His is the only endorsement you really need. That’s real talk, brother.

I challenge the readers of this editorial to shop my question to children and adults, alike. You will be surprised at the responses you receive. I am asking all Black organizations to join me in the lifting up of Michael Vick and to be careful that we do not participate in the public
lynching that is underway. I am asking hip-hop artists, Hollywood power brokers, past and present professional athletes, and yes our community and political leaders all, to not remain silent, but speak up. And last but not least, I am asking Black leaders to remember when someone helped them to turn their stumbling block into a stepping stone.

Minister Deric Muhammad

Millions More Movement Ministry of Justice

askbrotherderic@yahoo.com

THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE UNITY SUMMIT IN LAS VEGAS!

THE NEW HAMMER’S POLITICAL REPORT FROM NEVADA!








The Democratic National Committee hosted the first joint American Majority Partnership Summit , August 23-25 at the Paris/Bally’s Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. This summit brought together the five caucuses of the DNC’s American Majority Partnership: Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA), Black, Hispanic, LGBT and Women, for three days of training, panel discussions, and workshops on mobilizing the Democratic Party’s key constituencies through a coordinated ground game ahead of the 2008 presidential election.

The summit hosted democratic and progressive activists from around the country and provide training and engaged in a dynamic discussion with the civic, faith, and political community. Participating in the unity summit that is setting the agenda for the upcoming 2008 presidential election was Former Texas Democratic Party Vice Chair Carl Davis. Also attending this unity summit from Texas was Former City Councilman Gordan Quan, County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia , Roland Garcia, Joy Demart and Shonda Wygal.

Carl Davis stated that the delegates was inspired during the Unity Luncheon by one of the Bishop’s of the AME Church Bishop Vashti McKenzie.who had everyone on their feet and ready to go and take back the White House in 2008. Also participating in the discussion was Congresswoman Maxine Waters, California, Congressman Keith Ellison, Minnesota, Former Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver Colorado and DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins of Michigan, Also in attendance was Tony & Lisa Jordan and Reggie and Tonja Jones.

Pictured:

1. Carl Davis, DNC Chair Howard Dean, Tennessee Speaker Pro Tem Lois DeBerry,, AME Church Bishop Vashti McKenzie,

2. DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins, Congressman Keith Ellison, Minnesota, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, California and Carl Davis

3. Carl Davis and Former Mayor Denver Wellington Webb

4. Carl Davis, DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins and Nevada State Senator Steven Horsford

5. DNC Chief of Staff Leah Daughtery, Carl Davis and DNC Vice Chair Lottie Schackelford

6. Carl Davis, Shonda Wygal, Joy Demart and Former Councilman Gordan Quan

7. Carl Davis and Ambassador Sidney Williams

8. New Jersey Senator Bob Mendez and Carl Davis with his family, Tony & Lisa Jordan and Kids, and Reggie and Tonja Jones and kids.

NO DRUNK ASTRONAUTS BUT THERE WERE BOOZE RUNS BEFORE LAUNCH!

SHOULD THERE BE ALCOHOL TESTING AT NASA?

NASA today announced it’s considering limited alcohol testing of employees — including astronauts.
The update came after a health and safety report recommended NASA explore testing astronauts and other employees for drugs and alcohol. The review found no evidence that astronauts have been drunk or drinking heavily before any launch — as suggested by an independent panel. But it mentioned booze-buying runs made for shuttle crews awaiting launch.
Astronauts train at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin says he’ll come up with a policy for testing after a mishap or when there are suspicions of substance abuse.
A 1991 law directed NASA to have such a policy, but it’s never been done. Griffin says the agency will now start the process.

A $10 MILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION IN AUSTIN!

FIXING UP THE OLD GOVERNOR’S MANSION!

Frequent toilet overflows, asbestos and lead paint in the historic Governor’s Mansion will be among the problems addressed when the residence undergoes a $10 million renovation set
to begin this fall. Gov. Rick Perry and wife, Anita, will move out of the 150-year old home for the duration of the project, which could take up to a year and a half. The Perrys have not yet settled on their new residence, but state law requires that he live in Austin while governor, spokesman Robert Black said. Rent for the Perrys was factored into the $10 million estimate.
Tere O’Connell, a preservation architect working on the project, said historic construction materials, like the hearty long leaf pine around the windows, would be preserved. Much of the wood is rotting and would continue to do so without renovations, she said.
“If we were to lose it, it really would be a tragedy because you can’t find wood like that anymore,” she said.
All of the plumbing also will be replaced, including some pipes that have been in use since 1914.
The home is designated a National Historic Landmark and is the oldest continuously occupied executive residence west of the Mississippi River, the fourth oldest in the nation and the oldest
to survive and function in its original form.
The majestic two-story mansion was built in 1856 in the Greek Revival style popular at the time.

SYPHILIS ON THE RISE IN HOUSTON !

THE SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE IS TAKING A TOLL!

BY CHRONICLE REPORTER ALEXIS GRANT:

Facing a syphilis outbreak, the city of Houston’s health department is preparing to launch a month long campaign to raise awareness of the sexually transmitted disease.

The number of syphilis cases reported in the Houston area has increased steadily over the past six years, much as it has nationwide, health officials say.

After a nearly 50 percent jump last year in the number of new cases over the previous year, bringing the 2006 total to 377, the count of new infections is increasing this year at an even more alarming rate.

From January through June, 230 cases had been reported in Houston and Harris County, according to the city Department of Health and Human Services.

“We’re on target to more than double our number of cases from last year to this year,” said Marlene McNeese-Ward, the department’s chief of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention.

Officials are planning an advertising campaign to begin Saturday, including a canvas-sing effort in certain neighborhoods where the most cases have been reported, McNeese-Ward said.

MORE @ CHRON.COM

SETTLEMENT COULD BE NEAR IN SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY LAWSUIT IN LOUISIANA!

SLAUGHTER VERSUS ANDERSON: IT MAY BE COMING TO AN END IN BATON ROUGE!

Southern University President Ralph Slaughter and the Southern Board of Supervisors hope to finalize a legal settlement today.

“I’m hoping we’ll bring some closure to it (today),” said board Vice Chairman Myron Lawson of Alexandria.

Slaughter is suing the board and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, alleging they retaliated against him as a whistleblower after he revealed sexual harassment complaints from female employees against the board’s chairman.

Johnny Anderson, the chairman, also is Blanco’s assistant chief of staff. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The board called an emergency meeting for today to discuss and decide on “the proposal to settle” Slaughter’s lawsuit.

Slaughter, board members and their attorneys will not discuss the details of a settlement because of a gag order placed on the talks by U.S. District Judge Ralph Tyson.

The parties involved have already gone through a drawn-out, four-day court hearing when Slaughter discussed specifics of the harassment allegations and two of the alleged victims testified.

A settlement now would avoid a full trial.

“No one wants to see a court battle, including, I think, the federal judge,” Lawson said.

“We want to do what’s in the best interests of Southern University,” he said.

Just more than a week ago, Slaughter and Anderson left the board’s annual retreat meeting in Shreveport saying they were “optimistic” a settlement was nearly complete.

There was no special board meeting called last week after the retreat because Slaughter was out of town.

The controversy has been ongoing since the allegations against Anderson first became public in November.