Women’s Independent Press

Informing Women About Our World

Archive for November, 2010

Business Program Calendar

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Business Library Schedule

Carnegie Business Program Calendar

December 2010

Programs are held on Thursdays at 12:15 pm at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Downtown & Business, 612 Smithfield St., Downtown.  They are free and open to the public.




Thursday, December 2         Reduce Holiday Stress by Learning to Say “No”

                                                Nancy Stampahar, Silver Lining Solutions


If you find yourself making offers to help with something, adding social activities to your schedule or saying “yes” to requests when you really don’t want to, you must learn to think before you react.  Learn how develop assertive communication skills, live your life with less resentment and stress, and care for yourself while still taking care of others.



Thursday, December 9       How to Get Organized for the Upcoming Tax Season

           Diana Smith, Tax Specialist

                                               Internal Revenue Service, Pittsburgh Office

It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time again, but  it won’t be long before year-end statements will arrive in your mailbox.  You’ll find that preparing to file your taxes doesn’t have to be a hassle after Ms. Smith explains the most efficient ways to organize your important 2010 tax documents.  She’ll also tell us about current IRS updates that may save you time and money.


Thursday, December 16       I.O.U.S.A. – One Nation, Under Stress, In Debt

                                                 PBS documentary  (DVD – 85 minutes)


Throughout history, the American government has found it nearly impossible to spend only what has been raised through taxes.  Weaving together archival footage and economic data to illustrate America’s current economic situation, this film features candid interviews with Warren Buffet, Alan Greenspan, Paul Volcker and Paul O’Neill. Some say I.O.U.S.A.  “may be to the U.S. economy what An Inconvenient Truth was to the environment.”




Thursday, December 23       No Programs – Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 30

LinkedIn Secrets

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Business, Feature Article


3 Reasons Why Most Women Entrepreneurs Fail To Attract Clients Using LinkedIn

By Kristina Jaramillo

There are over 80 million influential professionals from over 200 countries on LinkedIn that can become your woman-owned business’s potentials customers. In fact, LinkedIn’s membership is what Neilson Online is calling “The world’s largest audience of affluent, influential professionals” as you will find executives from all Fortune 500 companies there. Plus, you will find experienced professionals from large and small companies and every type of business and industry imaginable.

So, why aren’t you able to attract more clients?

You as a woman entrepreneur have courage, vision, intuition and persistence. You connect easily with others. You are passionate and enthusiastic. In fact, you cannot stop talking about what you. And, you don’t forget to emphasize the benefits of your services to your potential customers. You are a real pro at using your contacts – but you are just not connecting with anyone on LinkedIn.

Out of the 80 million professionals, there are only a few internet marketers and companies that are successfully getting more clients each and every single day from LinkedIn. Below, you will find out their secrets to attracting clients that are ready, willing and able to invest in their products or services.


3 Reasons Why You Are Not Attracting More Clients and Making More Money with LinkedIn


Reason #1 – You are waiting for prospects to come to you

Clients who are willing to pay for your products and services will not just fall into your lap.  As an entrepreneur you have to make it part of your job to go out and find them.

Think of it this way, who is the interested party in this situation: You or the person who doesn’t even know they know they need your services or products.

You have to be the one the take charge and find your prospects. Here are a few ways to easily engage with others on LinkedIn…

  • Update your status message daily.
  • Start a vigorous discussion in various groups that you belong to. This will enable you to prove your expertise in your given area.
  • Answer questions on the Q & A Boards. This will show your experience and help you become a thought leader.


Reason #2 –You fail to take advantage of LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups – where you can network, join conversations and show prospects that you have the answers to their problems. Yet, most small business owners and internet marketers do not actively seek groups that they should belong to.

If they do join groups they make these two mistakes:

  • They become a member of a group – but they sit there like a lump on the log. How can you expect prospects to come to you if you do not take the time to make yourself heard?
  • They join groups where there are like members. Let me put it to you this way, do you want to be a member of a group that is full of your competition or do you want to belong to a group that is full of people who could turn out to be your prospects. It sounds pretty obvious to me that you would want to be where your prospects are. But many entrepreneurs fail to think outside the box and strictly join groups based on their field of expertise.


Another way, to take advantage of LinkedIn groups is to create your own group. This is the absolute best way to create your own community of followers. You are the one who is in charge of the type of content that is posted. You can make sure what you have to say is heard and you have the power to control your own group.  From my experience, many group members religiously check out what is being discussed in the groups they find the most useful.  Why can’t your group be one of them?

Reason #3 – Failure to Create Content and Distribute it to the Different Groups

Eric Gruber (My Partner at GetLinkedInHelp.com and Founder of Article Marketing Experts) belongs to 50 different groups. Now, if each of the 50 groups has at least 1,000 members, then each time he submits content, he is getting his content in front of 50,000 potential clients – just with a couple clicks of the mouse.

So, you need to create content that…

  • Proves your expertise
  • Sparks controversy and debate
  • Gets people talking
  • Entices prospects to visit your blog and website
  • Motivates prospects to take action (using your products or services of course)


If you need help creating content, check out these free article templates.

Just by avoiding these common LinkedIn mistakes, you will begin to build your list of connections and prospects. Continue the conversation – and you will turn these prospects into paying customers and clients.

Now the three mistakes I outlined in this article is part of a larger special report where I detail 14 LinkedIn mistakes and the opportunities you are missing. You can get it for free at www.GetLinkedInHelp.com.


About the Author:
LinkedIn Expert Kristina Jaramillo creates online marketplace opportunities for women entrepreneurs who want more website traffic, prospects and profits. Now, with her free special report, you can uncover how you can become “the trusted source for your industry on LinkedIn” and along with easy ways to gain more connections fast by avoiding the top 14 mistakes. Get this information for free at

Social Security Serves Veterans

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Social Security Administration

By LeeAnn Stuever

Social Security Manager in Downtown Pittsburgh


On Veterans Day we honor our Nation’s veterans for their service to America. What better time than now to tell you about the many benefits and the wealth of information Social Security has available for veterans and military personnel.


In September, the agency published final rules about the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act.  The HEART Act changes the way we treat some cash payments to members of the uniformed services and veterans under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.  As Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue noted at the time, “This law allows the men and women of our armed forces, veterans, and their families to keep more of their military-related payments while also maintaining eligibility for valuable cash and healthcare benefits.”


The HEART Act does the following:

  • Treats most cash military compensation as earned income for SSI purposes, which generally provides a higher benefit to the service member as a result of the SSI program’s more favorable consideration of earned income.
  • Excludes certain State annuity payments to disabled, blind or aged veterans from countable income and resources used to determine SSI eligibility.
  • Excludes any cash or in-kind payments provided by AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps from countable income.






Social Security also makes it easy to get information about benefits for wounded warriors. The first place to go is our website designed specifically for our wounded veterans: www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors. There, you will find answers to a number of commonly asked questions, as well as other useful information about disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Please pay special attention to the fact sheets available on that website, Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors and Expediting Disability Applications for Wounded Warriors.


You will also find a “webinar” that explains the Social Security disability application process and expedited processing available to wounded warriors. This outreach program provides general information about Social Security disability benefits as well as topics unique to wounded warriors, and is a great way to orient yourself to disability benefits for veterans and active duty military.


It’s important to note that benefits available through Social Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application.


Military service members are covered for the same Social Security survivors, disability, and retirement benefits as everyone else.  Military personnel have been covered under Social Security since 1957, and people who were in the service prior to that may be able to get special credit for some of their service.


To learn more about Social Security for current and former military service members, read Military Service and Social Security. You can find the publication online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10017.html.

Successful Holiday Parties

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Successful Holiday Parties

What To Do & Not To Do

Dawn Pomaybo




First & foremost, remember this isn’t Vegas…What goes on in Vegas may stay if Vegas but it certainly won’t at your holiday party!


‘Tis the season, holiday cheer and all of the other fixins’ are the perfect recipe for sexual harassment, violations of your drug/alcohol policy and many other possible areas of liability for you.


If you are going to host a holiday party for your employees, try to follow this simple checklist:


1. Ask employees to bring family members—it may avoid some illicit behavior.

2. Remind everyone that your drug & alcohol policy, sexual harassment policy, violence in the workplace policies, etc. still apply at this event.

3. Have taxi services ready & waiting for those that     imbibe too much!

4. Or—better yet, have an alcohol-free party!

5. At the very least, give them the choice, offer non-alcoholic beverages as an alternative.

6. Absolutely, stop serving alcohol before the party officially ends.

7. Designate people at the party to be the “go-to” person if an issue should arise.

8. Remind managers that they are responsible for enforcing all company policies and that the holiday party does not get them off the hook for their behavior either.

9. Serve foods that are rich in starch and protein which stay in the stomach longer and slow down the absorption of alcohol. (stay away from salty, greasy or sweet foods)

10. Reinvent the party concept:  consider an indoor carnival, amusement park or volunteer activity.


Have a safe & happy holiday season to you and yours!

Keeping Your Auto Insurance Policy Current with Your Changing Lifestyle

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Renewing your auto insurance might be one more thing on your ‘to do’ list, but have you considered that your auto insurance policy might be outdated, potentially costing you money?  Just like many other things in life that need periodic upgrading, the insurance coverage for you and your family’s transportation is paramount.  With the increasing amount of driving the average women is now doing, correct auto insurance coverage ranks high in importance. 


Life is constantly changing, and our paperwork needs to keep up.  Consumers often only review their car insurance when purchasing a new vehicle, but when renewing an insurance policy on the same vehicle over several years, they can overlook cost-saving changes that are needed to match their present lifestyle, driving habits and any vehicle equipment upgrades.  

Auto insurance policy updates to consider include the following:

Lifestyle Changes:  Have you gone through any of these changes in the last year, mid-way through your policy term?

·      different route and mileage to/from work, or not driving to work at all anymore and pleasure use only;

·      the number of passengers that travel in your car vs. driving alone;

·      a move to a new geographical location with different weather (more snow) and heavier traffic;

·      new equipment in your car that could result in discounts (see below).

Discounts:  Be sure to take advantage of the many discounts available that may apply to you; they can make a significant dent in your premium payments.

Vehicle Safety Equipment Discounts:

·      front and side air bags in front, passenger or back seats;

·      day-time running lights;

·      anti-theft devices;

·      keyless starter;

·      back-up rear view monitor/camera;

·      wireless tracking devices that monitor your driving behavior – these are installed by the insurance company themselves at your request and gauge actual mileage and speed driven;

·      alcohol sensors that do not allow a car to start if the driver is under the influence.

Vehicle Discounts:

·      cost paid, or estimated to be paid, for your car;

·      VIN, Year, Make, Model, Body Style of car;

·      safety equipment standard on car.

Driver Discounts:

·      your age, gender and driving record;

·      low mileage;

·      car pooling;

·      women as head of the household;

·      college student who lives 100 miles away from home that does not have a car on campus;

·      taking adult and  student driver education courses;

·      bundling multiple vehicles or drivers from the same household, or bundle your auto, life and home insurance with the same carrier.


Brought to you by Women-Drivers.com, a review site for women to rate her experience at dealerships in the United States and locate Certified Women-Friendly Car Dealers. WRITE Your Dealer review today.

Breaking Point:Decoding the Problems of Seniors and Hoarding

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Consumer Education


Breaking Point: Decoding the Problems of Seniors and Hoarding


Hello again!  For fifteen years, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network has been devoted to providing seniors with the highest quality care in their own homes, and to arming families with the information they need to make the best decisions about caring for aging loved ones.


In this issue of the Women’s Independent Press, Home Instead Senior Care would like to remind you that caring for a senior includes being attentive to your loved-one’s surroundings.   In a three-part series, we will detail the causes, signs, and solutions for senior hoarding.  For more information, please visit www.homeinstead.com.  Until next time…


“A lifetime accumulation of possessions combined with a daily influx of junk mail, bills, and newspapers can quickly overwhelm seniors who may already be struggling physically or emotionally, “ said Home Instead Senior Care Co-Founder Paul Hogan. 


Experts say that seniors are prone to cluttering for a variety of reasons, including anxiety, depression, not knowing how to get rid of possessions, or even memories associated with specific items that hold no intrinsic value. 


“It’s sort of the elephant in the room,” added Dr. Catherine Roster, a University of New Mexico clutter researcher.  “People don’t want to acknowledge there is a problem, which creates an underlying anxiety, stress, guilt, or embarrassment that can have a negative effect on their mental health and productivity.  There are a lot of issues including economics.  When there is a general disorganization, people lose important documents and can’t find bills and then miss payments.  So some serious issues start affecting them.  All the research shows that people are slow to recognize the problem.” 


For seniors, the risks of living in clutter are many, from slipping on loose papers to the threat of fire to the health effects of mold and mildew.  Clutter can also interfere with family relationships and leave adult children wondering if the only inheritance awaiting them is a big mess. 


In order to identify potential trouble, the Home Instead Senior Care network is alerting family caregivers to watch for the signs in a senior’s home that indicate clutter creep could become a problem including:

·         Piles of mail and unpaid bills.

·         Difficulty walking safely through a home.

·         Frustration trying to organize.

·         Difficulty managing activities of daily living.

·         Expired food in the refrigerator.

·         Jammed closets and drawers.

·         Compulsive shopping.

·         Difficulty deciding whether to discard items.

·         A health episode such as a stroke or dementia.

·         Loneliness.




If you, or any organization of which you are a part, is interested in learning more, please contact our office.  We would be happy to speak to your group free of charge about this subject, our services, and even employment opportunities. 




Rebecca Champagne, Human Resource Coordinator

Home Instead Senior Care

1102 S Braddock Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Phone: (412) 731-0733


Yes, Christopher, There is a Santa Claus

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Humor, Mary Grace Musuneggi

With the onset of the Holiday Season, I find it easy to recall the days of my childhood and the memories of my Christmas past.  When I was young, on random Saturdays, my mother and I would ride the streetcar to downtown and get off under the Kaufmanns clock.  I still remember the department store Christmas windows as we walked along Smithfield Street.  I remember the bells of the Salvation Army Santa.  I remember the Christmas music that filled the air.

The wonderful Christmas memories and traditions of my past are probably the reason that the

Holiday Season is still as exciting to me as it was when I was a child. I have never let go of the joy and delight that the season can bring. I have never forgotten the Spirit of the Holiday. And I have never stopped believing in Santa Claus.

More than 20 years ago, when my son, Christopher, was 10 years old, a group of his friends had gathered in our family room to play video games. The boys were talking about the hottest new game on the street; and as I passed by, Christopher called out to me. “Mom, can you buy this new game for me for Christmas?I responded with, “We will see.  Maybe Santa Claus will bring it for you.With that the other boys began to laugh as they chided him with You mean you still believe in Santa Claus?” And in a voice barely above a whisper, hoping I would not hear, Christopher replied, “No, I don’t; but my Mom still does.”

And I do. I believe in the Santa Claus that helps us find the time that we never seem to have the rest of the year. The time to shop, and to decorate, and to bake.  I believe in the Santa that helps us find the extra energy needed to write out the cards, to wrap the gifts, to attend the parties, to cook the dinner. I still believe in the Santa Claus who in years where money was tight, somehow made it appear to help to pay for the gifts and the tree and the new outfits. And I believe in the Santa Claus that brings family and friends closer; that makes us wish for Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All, no matter what the state of the world might be.

Although for some this holiday season may seem lackluster with the state of the economy, the endless negative news from the media, and the issues facing our country; more than ever, once again, I believe that Santa will appear bringing the blessings of faith and hope; the kindness of strangers and the love of family and friends; the miracle of sharing; the knowledge that all we have is all we need; and the realization that we still live in the greatest country in the world. 

And when years go by these blessing will still exist when hopefully our current struggles will be lost memories.  And as years and years go by Santa will continue to be part of Christmas.  And we at The Musuneggi Financial Group and Single Steps Strategies wish this year that the miracle of Santa will be part of the Holiday Season for everyone we know.


To read more stories by Mary Grace Musuneggi, you can purchase her book “Single Steps: Strategies for Abundant Living” at www.dbeaglepress.com.



Mary Grace Musuneggi



Founder and Executive Director

December 2010

Doing more with less is the key to success for women business owners

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Consumer Education



According to the Department of Commerce, the number of women-owned businesses increased 44% from 1977 to 2007 and added 500,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the number of men-owned businesses increased just 22% and lost 2 million jobs.

This trend comes as no surprise. The Center for Women’s Business Research has been tracking it diligently for years, and I’ve been writing about it for years. Forget the banking crisis, ignore the deficit: this is the business story of our age. Why?

Women do more with less. This is the rule for today’s economy — but women have been doing it for decades. Attracting far less in the way of institutional and venture funding, women build more businesses and more jobs than business on average. They’re more focused on profit than revenue, extremely thrifty and allergic to waste.

Women-owned businesses are customer-centric. Aren’t all businesses? Well they should be, but they aren’t. We all know (and sometimes have to do business with) companies that hate their customers. But women love their customers — not least because they don’t regard service as demeaning. Women are the market, responsible for 85% of consumer spending. For some men, that’s the butt of jokes; for women business owners, it’s the source of success.


Women business owners are exceptionally motivated. I’ve lost count of the number of guys who, starting their companies, have said they can always return to corporate life if they fail. I have never heard a woman say this. More often than not, women start their companies out of rage — because they’re fed up with not being taken seriously in traditional corporation — or desperation, seeking in their own businesses the flexibility they can’t find anywhere else. They have no safety net. This gives them a quality of determination that strikes fear into the hearts of observers.

Women thrive in complexity. For years business author Sally Helgesen has argued that women’s minds are web-like, adept at dealing with non-linear, disruptive patterns. They don’t think that there is just one answer to any problem, and they readily appreciate that, in business, relationships are everything. It isn’t that men never do this, but women thrive on it.

Such women have a lot of psychic skin in the game. In this respect, women entrepreneurs remind me of a wave of immigrants: driven out of a land they found hostile, taking big risks in their determination to create a new world where they can succeed on their own terms. America was built by such pioneers, and today its economy continues to be enriched by the fresh thinking of women who don’t easily accept defeat.

So what happens as women become the mainstream? When we finally overtake men in the number of companies we own, and eventually in their value, too. Will we succumb to the comforts of orthodoxy? When we are no longer on the edge, will we lose our edge?

Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan worked for 13 years as a producer for BBC Radio and Television before running her first company. She has since been CEO of five businesses in the United States and United Kingdom, including InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and iCAST Corporation. She has been named one of the Internet’s Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter and one of the Top 100 Media Executives by The Hollywood Reporter. Her books include The Naked Truth, How She Does It: How Female Entrepreneurs are Changing the Rules for Business Success , and the upcoming Willful Blindness. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, CNBC, and the BBC, and writes for Real Business,The Huffington Post, and Fast Company.

Creating Global Festive Holidays

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Consumer Education


The long standing tradition of festivals of lights is a tribute to celebrating all the good things in life and of the joy of holiday seasons.  Filling the home with lights, music and hosting families and friends to celebrate is what makes festive occasions so memorable.

With another Christmas season coming around the corner, homes, neighbourhoods, city squares and parks will be glowing with thousands of twinkling lights and candles, lighting up the night skies at the darkest time of the year.  What would Christmas be without the magical affect of twinkling lights? 

The action of twinkling lights turning on and off creates the affect of “new light” being continually generated, warding off the opposing darkness of night with each twinkle.  The result is the creation of happy energy and joyful vibrations to uplift the spirit.  The ancient art of Feng Shui reveres light as a Yang activator, increasing the cheer and positive energy in the environment.  As a perfect reflection of the Tai Chi of Yin and Yang, the twinkling of lights represents new energy being created and the celestial balance of opposing forces of light and dark in harmony with each other.  One can’t help but feel affected by the positive energy created by the display of contrasting energies in a complementary dance of light. 

Throughout the world with all celebratory occasions, the power of lights has been creatively harnessed in grand displays of glowing triumph to inspire and uplift the senses.  No matter what culture, people naturally understand and celebrate the symbolism of the forces of light winning over darkness.  Many religious traditions, such as the Christians, Hindus or Buddhists have understood the effect of lights in the either the form of candles, lanterns or modern day electrical lighting, to signify offerings to God.  With light being revered as the manifestation of yang chi, the more and brighter the lights at ceremonies and altars, the greater the spiritual strength and upliftment of the devotees and worshipers.

The magical science of Feng Shui regards twinkling lights as powerfully attracting the energy of good fortune, and as a tool for enhancing business and more customers.  The Chinese have known this for centuries and utilize twinkling lights and Chinese Wealth Trees in their homes and businesses.  It’s known that shopping malls with large Christmas trees and twinkling lights benefit from increased sales by naturally attracting customers, in comparison to trees with stationary lighting.  With each twinkle of light, energy is activating the positive vibration of the premises. 

In the home, twinkling lights offer a warm welcome to friends and family upon entering, lifting moods and increasing harmony, peace and joy.  Any home can benefit from utilizing twinkling lights at all times of the year, and it’s wise to incorporate this beneficial and ancient Feng Shui tool for happy ambience, abundance and good will.

The universal understanding of good is perfectly reflected in grand displays of twinkling lights.  Motivated by nostalgic sentiment, tradition, spiritual upliftment or the knowledge of Feng Shui, many cultures uphold collective ceremonies of lighting millions of lights on certain nights of the year.  So as the festive season approaches around the globe with Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Years Eve, remember that a little twinkling lights can go a long way in creating a festive and joyful ambience.

Organizing For The Holidays~

November 30, 2010 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Organizing For The Holidays~
by Carole Brecht
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000740163230#!/pages/Organize-Your-Life-Now/167825409901347
** Focus on quality over quantity. Instead of buying lots of gifts, how about more personalized, more thoughtful, and more interesting gifts? Better yet, why not give experiences–dinner at a favorite restaurant, a night at the theater, a manicure and pedicure–instead of stuff? Gift certificates will bring lots of smiles! Often times we give gifts that we would want instead of really giving consideration to the one the gift is going to. 
** Budget, budget, budget–and I don’t just mean money. Budgeting can be apply to time, effort, and other limited resources. Is the fleeting pleasure of handing someone an exquisitely wrapped package really worth 30 minutes of your life? Budget what you’re able to give in terms of cash, effort, and time, and commit to honoring your plan. Keep a running list to work from, what a time saver!

** Keep yourself sane by calling in help. Even the supermen and women among us can’t do everything on their own. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of hiring a sitter for an evening so you can simply have some downtime, ordering some or all of your holiday meals from a local caterer to cut down on your time in the kitchen, or consider hiring a bartender for your party so you can focus on enjoying yourself and spending time with your guests. You deserve a break today!
Happy Holidays!
If you need assistance to organize, prepare or decorate for the holiday season, please call 412-418-4978.