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Archive for November, 2011

December 2011 Business Program Calendar

November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Business Program Calendar
December 2011
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.

December 1 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. Preparing to file your taxes will be easier once Ms . Smith explains the most efficient ways to organize your important 2011 tax documents. She’ll also discuss current IRS updates that may save you time and money.

December 8 What is the Value of Your Coins and Jewelry?
Kitty Litman, Owner
The Coin Exchange, Inc.

Kitty Litman will discuss the current rise in the price of gold and silver and show examples of billion denarious from 4th century Rome, U.S. Continental currency from the 1700s, Broken Bank notes from the 1830s, Hard Times tokens from the 1840s and silver dollars from the early 1900s that reflect many of the same economic conditions we are experiencing today. She will also offer free appraisals for any coins, paper money or jewelry you may want to have evaluated.

December 15 The Amazing Treasures in the Carnegie Library’s William R. Oliver Special Collections Room
Gregory M. Priore, Manager and Archivist
The William R. Oliver Special Collections Room

You would expect to find material about Andrew Carnegie and the early history of Pittsburgh here, but what about Bach manuscripts, original cel paintings from Disney’s Pinocchio and Fantasia, and rare photographs from the Edward Curtis North American Indian Portfolio? Greg Priore will talk about the Oliver room collections, appraising books, historic documents and photographs, and preservation-related issues.

December 22 No programs. Happy Holidays!
December 29

Midwife Center’s Open House

November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Events

Christine Haas, Executive Director


P I T T S B U R G H –The Midwife Center is pleased to invite the community to come see its newly renovated birth suites at its open house on Tuesday, December 13th from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at its Strip District location. The event will feature tours of the birth center and refreshments.

“We are excited to welcome our clients, supporters, and the community to see the updates to our birth center and learn about our services,” says Midwife Center Executive Director, Christine Haas. “We are thrilled with the success of our recent fundraising campaign that allowed us to update our center.”

The Midwife Center anticipates more than 300 babies to be born with the practice in 2011 and more than 350 in 2012 (up from 244 in 2010). More than half of the babies born with the practice are born at its state-licensed birth center, which features three nature-themed birth suites: the ocean room, forest room, and desert room. The remaining births occur at the Center’s primary referral hospital, UPMC Mercy.

TMC’s mission is to provide exceptional woman-centered pregnancy, birth, and well-woman care in southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent birth center. Since its inception in 1982 nearly 4500 babies have been born with The Midwife Center. The facility is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers.

The Center accepts most insurance plans and is a member organization of Adagio Health, Inc., which enables it to provide care to women on a sliding fee scale. The Center is a private, non-profit practice supported in part by patient fees, United Way Contributor’s Choice, and tax-deductible contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations.
More information about The Midwife Center can be found on its new website www.midwifecenter.org

Statistics on Women in Today’s Media

November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Information

Information obtained from

These statistics were gathered to illuminate the current status of women in today’s media. The categories include radio, film, television, and news journalism. The lack of women in top positions is widespread. The research indicates a diminished presence of women in the various forms of media surveyed.
Industry Stats
•Women hold only 3% of clout positions in the mainstream media. (Annenberg Public Policy Center, “The Glass Ceiling Persists,” 2003)
•Only one in four communications/media jobs created between 1990 and 2005 were filled by women. The only area where the share of women increased was in the newspaper industry—the lowest-paid industry in the sector, where many of the women are employed as part-time telephone sales positions.
(Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Making the Right Call,” 2006).
•In 2007, women represented only 12.1% of the boards of directors of corporations in the information industry, and only 11.5% in the arts, entertainment and recreation corporations. In 2006, women represented 14.5% of the directors in the information industry and 14.7% in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry.
(“Census: Women Board Directors,” Catalyst 2007, and 2006).
•For full-time workers in the communications/media sector, a gender and race wage gap persists: White men are paid 29 percent more than white women and 46 percent more than women of color. (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “Making the Right Call” 2006)
•Among communications companies in the Fortune 500, women comprise just 15 percent of top executives and only 12 percent of board members.
(Annenburg Public Policy Center, “The Glass Ceiling Persists,” 2003)
•At current rate of changes, it will take women 47 years to reach parity with men as Corporate Officers of the Fortune 500 (“Corporate Officers and Top Earners,” Catalyst, 2006).
•“With few exceptions, we have not moved beyond tokenism in the number of women in top leadership positions or serving on the boards of communications companies. Men still hold the vast majority of positions. The glass ceiling is firmly in place.” former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Susan Ness (Sheila Gibbons, 2004)
•Groups such as Fox Entertainment, McGraw-Hill, and advertising firms Grey Global Group and Omnicom did not have women in any of their executive positions. (Sheila Gibbons, 2004).
•The median salary for male journalists in all news media is $46,758 and $37,731 for women. (Sources: Dates 2007, Cramer 2007, Nicholson 2007, Media Management Center 2006, 2001. From Fact Sheet #2 in “Women and News” Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, November 2007)

7 Tips to Say “No” and Assert Yourself Today!

November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Feature Article

by Nancy Stampahar of Silver Lining Solutions

The crazy, hustle-bustle holiday season is approaching. By learning how to occasionally say “no” and treating each other with respect, you can take control of the demands at work and home you are facing. You must learn how to not fret over your own feelings of guilt, fears of rejection or possible repercussions. You can still be helpful and considerate of others, but you must take care of yourself first. Before you respond to someone, ask yourself, “What would make me most happy and fulfilled?” Once you develop assertive communication skills, you will be able to effectively handle difficult people and awkward situations.

Aggressive Communication Looks Like This:

“This is what you’re going to do and you have no say in the matter.” Too many dominating, overbearing behaviors surface and push people away or into submission. The aggressive person lacks self-esteem and acts out of fear to control people and situations. Unfortunately, most people get turned off and don’t want to be around this type of person because they are too disrespectful and demanding.

Passive Communication Looks Like This:

“Whatever you ask, I’ll do it whether I want to or not.” Too many unwanted yes’s build up resentment and passive-aggressive behaviors can surface. The passive person lacks self-worth and self-respect. Unfortunately, the word of a passive person cannot be trusted because they are not open and honest about their feelings, needs or opinions.

Assertive Communication Looks Like This:

“I know that this is important to you. This is also important to me. Let’s talk about some options that are fair to both of us.” Respectful, healthy behaviors evolve. This healthy, mature style says, “I hear you. You matter, and I matter too.”

7 Tips to Say “No” and Assert Yourself Today

1. Become self-aware of your communication and behavior patterns. What is consistently happening in your life? How do these patterns affect you?
2. Evaluate the reasons you feel the need to please or control everyone.
3. Realize the goal of assertive communication is to express your thoughts and boundaries while being direct, honest and respectful of others.
4. Realize it is necessary and okay to say “no” sometimes and to ask questions.
5. Example for Anyone: “I see why this is important to you. I am unable to help this time. Let’s try to figure out some other possible solutions that could work.”
6. Example for Boss: “This is what is on my plate right now. Which one of these priorities would you prefer I remove to accommodate your request?”
7. Example for Anyone: “I’d love to join you but my schedule is already full that week. Please keep me in mind the next time. Have fun.”

If you do not address your own unique needs, your frustrations will build, you will feel taken for granted and your performances and relationships will suffer. As Dr. Phil says, “We teach people how to treat us.” It is up to you to face the fears and guilt you carry from your disease to please. Find your courage to change and grow. When you stop feeling guilty and seeking approval of others, your days will be fueled by positive energy, confidence and self-respect. You will feel empowered and in control of your life because you utilized your power of choice. You hold the power. Enjoy the season and assert yourself today!

Source: Nancy Stampahar’s energetic, engaging personality and work initiatives are packed with real-life how to’s and solutions that help you succeed at both work and home. A skilled consultant and the award-winning author of Peace, Love, and Lemonade: A recipe to Make Your Life Sweeter, Nancy’s heartfelt words, expertise and enthusiasm will ignite your power within to succeed, and her famed “Silver Lining Solutions” will have you making lemonade out of lemons in no time at all!

Be a Santa to a Senior!

November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Information

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. But did you know that Home Instead Senior Care partners with local non-profits during the Holiday Season to deliver gifts to needy older adults?

Each year Home Instead Senior Care® offices throughout North America spread holiday cheer to lonely or financially-challenged seniors through the Be a Santa to a Senior program. The program has attracted upwards of 60,000 volunteers over the past six years distributing gifts to deserving seniors. Since introducing the Be a Santa to a Senior program, Home Instead Senior Care has helped provide 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 seniors.
Home Instead Senior Care partners with local non-profit and community organizations to identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts this holiday season. The company then works with local businesses and retail stores to help facilitate the purchase and distribution of gifts by placing trees and ornaments within their various locations. Each senior’s gift requests are written on a Be a Santa to a Senior tree ornament.

Here’s how to help a lonely senior:
1. Find the nearest Be a Santa to a Senior tree location
2. Remove an ornament
3. Purchase the gift
4. Bring ornament and gift back to participating store and give to
store employee.
It’s that easy!
Our trees at Kmart and Target will be available until December 8th. Volunteers collect, wrap, and deliver the gifts to the seniors prior to the Christmas Holiday.
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


November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Information



Today’s water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access. More people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet. And as cities and slums grow at increasing rates, the situation worsens. Every day, lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills thousands, leaving others with reduced quality of life.
• 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people. (5)
• 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease. (11)
• The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns. (1)
• People living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city. (1)
• An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day. (1)

A Holiday Story

November 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Feature Article

by Mary Grace Musuneggi

Two women, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One woman was allowed to sit up in her bed for an hour each afternoon. Her bed was next to the room’s only window. The other woman had to spend all her time flat on her back.
The women talked for hours on end. They spoke of their husbands and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in community service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon, when the woman in the bed by the window could sit up, she would pass the time by describing to her roommate all the things she could see outside the window.
The woman in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where her world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
She talked about how the window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the woman by the window described all this in exquisite details, the woman on the other side of the room would close her eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the woman by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other woman could not hear the band – she could see it in her mind’s eye as the woman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks passed by.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the woman by the window, who had died peacefully in her sleep. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other woman asked if she could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure she was comfortable, she left her alone.
Slowly, painfully, she propped herself up on one elbow to take her first look at the real world outside. She strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
The window faced a blank wall.
The woman asked the nurse what could have compelled her deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside. The nurse responded that the woman was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, “Perhaps she just wanted to encourage you.”
Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.


November 13, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Patricia Thibault
Social Security District Manager in Pittsburgh, PA

More than half a million Americans experience homelessness on any given night. Nearly 20 percent of them are “chronically homeless,” meaning they are on the streets regularly.
Social Security has several programs that pay benefits to qualified individuals, including those who are homeless. These programs include retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs-based program for people who are blind, disabled, or age 65 or older. If you know someone who is homeless, and you want to learn more about how Social Security might help, a good place to get information is at www.socialsecurity.gov/homelessness.

That page includes a link to the Spotlight on Homelessness — a website designed to help the homeless apply for SSI. It’s available at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-homeless.htm.

The homelessness page also includes links to information on health care for the homeless, institutionalization, advocacy groups, reports on homeless outreach, and even links to other websites like the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and HUD.
You’ll find other information helpful to the homeless on www.socialsecurity.gov .

For example, there is a link to our Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool, or BEST. Based on answers to various questions, this tool helps determine the benefits someone might be eligible for and gives information about how to qualify and apply. Go directly to www.socialsecurity.gov/best.

Tell anyone you know who is homeless or threatened with homelessness to use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool and to check out the different types of benefits and assistance they may be eligible to receive. Spread the word about the help available to the homeless.

Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/homelessness to learn more.

Winter Tune-Up For Your Car

November 13, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

by Anne Fleming

As www.Women-Drivers.com advises, it’s always smart to get a winter tune up—before winter arrives. Tires, batteries, belts, blades and fluids will all be checked or replaced to maximize your car’s performance and safety, during the most challenging months on the road.

To avoid accidents or sliding altogether, never exceed the speed limit. When driving in snow or in freezing conditions, reduce the car’s speed to allow time to react.
If you do hit snow or ice, brake gently, in other words, brake in a slow and steady manner. If the vehicle begins to ‘lock up’ and slide, take your foot off the brake and simultaneously down shift.

Did You Know? If in an accident, dial 911 to get help or to call for roadside assistance. Do not continuously run your vehicle’s engine. If you are stranded, run it about every 30 or 60 minutes to get heat in the car.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

· If you veer off the road and are unable to maneuver back onto a road, it’s best for your personal safety to stay in the vehicle.

· Use your lights, high beams, flashlight or flashers to get the attention of other vehicles. Use your cell phone to call 911 to get help or to call for roadside assistance.

· Do not continuously run the engine. If you are stranded, run the engine every 30 or 60 minutes to get heat in the car.

· Do not drink alcohol – it will lower the temperature of your body and increasingly make you drowsy.

Keep the following items with you in the trunk of your vehicle:

· Fist Aid supplies

· Jumper cables

· Ice scraper with brush

· Tire chains

· Blankets

· Salt or sand – or, kitty litter

· Flashlight and batteries

· Emergency flares

· Snow or retractable shovel

· Water

· Extra phone charger

· Large jar candle and matches

· Quart of oil

Did You Know?

November 01, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

That on Nov 1, 1848 the first medical school for women, the New England Female Medical School, opened and in 1874 , merged with Boston University to become one of the world’s first coed medical schools?

That on Nov 8, 1910 the state of Washington passed a constitutional amendment to permit woman suffrage?

That on Nov 8, 1984 - Dr. Anna L. Fisher, a physician, launched into space as the first American mother and third American woman to fly into space on the shuttle Discovery?

That on Nov 11, 1979 - Bethune Museum and Archives opened in Washington D.C. as a center for African-American women’s history, honoring Mary McLeod Bethune?

That on Nov 11, 1993 - The Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. and was conceived by former army combat nurse Diane Carlson Evans and sculpted by Glenna Goodacre? The memorial honors the 265,000 women who voluntarily served during the Vietnam era.

That on Nov 13, 1938 - Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini was beatified?
She was the first American woman citizen to become a saint.

That on Nov 14, 1889 - Journalist Elizabeth Cochran, aka Nellie Bly, sailed around the world in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds, beating the fictional record set by Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days?

That on Nov 14, 1903 - The U.S. Women’s Trade Union League was established?

That on Nov 14, 1946 - Emily Greene Balch, co-founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize ?

That on Nov 28, 1881 - The first organizational meeting was held for the predecessor group to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) ?