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Archive for May, 2012

Krannert Events

May 15, 2012 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
For Immediate Release: May 1, 2012
Bridget Lee-Calfas, Advertising and Publicity Director


The U of I Department of Theatre’s Summer Studio Theatre returns to Krannert Center for its 21st season. Under the direction of UI Department of Theatre Interim Head Tom Mitchell, Summer Studio Theatre will once again provide a three-show series to Central Illinois audiences. This year’s program selections offer a diverse array of theatrical experiences. During the month of June, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself)will alternate with the chamber musical Gone Missing. In the month of July, The Diary of Anne Frank, adapted in 1997 by Wendy Kesselman, will be presented. The summer season will also feature a special two-evening-only performance by vocalist Kent Conrad and pianist Paul Johnston entitled Sprung and Awakened: A Cabaret About Change.

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself)
By Donald Margulies
Directed by J.W. Morrissette
Nineteen-year-old Louis de Rougemont grew up on adventure stories and sets off from London to create his own. The high seas beckon when he’s invited to join a pearl fishing expedition off the coast of Australia with a salty Victorian captain. An encounter with an octopus leaves him stranded on a deserted island, and after years alone and an eventual marriage to an Aborigine woman, he treks home, where his amazing but inconsistent tales are greeted with cheers . . . and skepticism.
Fr-Sa Jun 1-2, Tu-We Jun 12-13, Sa Jun 16, and Th-Fr Jun 21-22 at 7:30pm
Sa Jun 2 at 2pm

Gone Missing
By the Civilians
Written by Steven Cosson from interviews by the company
Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman
Directed by Tom Mitchell
Musical Direction by Kent Conrad
A New York Times top 10 play from 2007, Gone Missing boasts wry songs and lively montages of what’s somehow disappeared from our lives: a black Gucci pump, an uncle’s fortune, Sniffle the doll, Atlantis, a sweetheart’s photo, various body parts. Based on interviews with New Yorkers, this witty musical tracks emotional and philosophical responses to life’s transient pleasures and the many ways we cope.
Th-Sa Jun 7-9, Th-Fr Jun 14-15, Tu-We Jun 19-20, and Sa Jun 23 at 7:30pm
Sa Jun 9 and Sa Jun 23 at 2pm

The Diary of Anne Frank
By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman
Directed by Lisa Gaye Dixon
Wendy Kesselman’s new adaptation of Anne Frank’s personal account of the dark events of World War II includes selections from Anne’s other writings and chronicles from Holocaust survivors. Despite her terror and forced exile into a secret annex, Anne retains a hopeful outlook as she bears witness not just to the horror but also to the goodness in our world. The cast for this production includes local adult actors and features performances by two local youth, Dominique Allen and Max Keagle.
Th-Sa Jul 5-7, We-Sa Jul 11-14, Tu-Sa Jul 17-21 at 7:30pm

Sprung and Awakened: A Cabaret About Change
Kent Conrad, voice
Paul Johnston, piano
Using a mixture of biography and invented truths, a series of meditations on the effects of change—real or imagined—are presented through monologue and song.
Sa Jun 16 at 10pm and Su Jun 17 at 7:30

Tickets and Information
Tickets are on sale Monday, May 7, at 10am. Tickets can be purchased by phone, mail, online, or by visiting the Ticket Office.

Ticket Prices
Regular Performances $18 / SC & Stu 15 / UI 10

Sprung and Awakened: A Cabaret About Change $10

Performance Details
All performances are in the Studio Theatre; there will be no late seating.

How to Order Tickets
Online: www.KrannertCenter.com
Phone: 800/KCPATIX (800/527-2849), 217/333-6280
TTY for deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired patrons: 217/333-9714
Fax: 217/244-SHOW (217/244-7469)
Email: kran-tix@illinois.edu
Mail: Krannert Center Ticket Office, 500 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801
In Person: Krannert Center Ticket Office, open 10am-6pm daily


May 14, 2012 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Patricia Thibault
Social Security District Manager in Pittsburgh, PA

Summer will be here before we know it. That means millions of high school and college students will be searching for jobs. Whether a new worker is beginning the career of a lifetime or just earning some extra money for the school year to come, there is one question that is likely to be on each new worker’s mind when they see their first pay stub: Where’s the rest of my money?

Generally, employers are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare tax from a worker’s paycheck. The amounts you pay in Social Security and Medicare taxes are matched by your employer. Usually the money that is withheld is referred to as “Social Security taxes” on the employee’s payroll statement. Sometimes the deduction is labeled as “FICA taxes,” which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. So let us tell you how that money is being used, and what’s in it for you.

The taxes paid now translate to a lifetime of protection, when you eventually retire or if you become disabled. In the event that you die young, your dependent children and spouse may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work. Today you probably have family members — grandparents, for example — who already enjoy Social Security benefits that your Social Security taxes help provide.

You may be a long way from retirement now, so you may find it hard to appreciate the value of benefits that could be 40 or 50 years away. But consider that your Social Security taxes could pay off sooner than you think. Social Security provides valuable disability benefits — and studies show that a 20-year-old has about a three in 10 chance of becoming disabled sometime before reaching retirement age.

Another bit of helpful advice for young workers: be wary if you’re offered a job “under the table” or “off the books.” If you work for any employer who pays you only in cash, understand that you’re likely not getting Social Security credit for the work you’re doing.

Want to learn more about Social Security and what it means to young workers? If so, we invite you to enjoy a webcast: Social Security 101: What’s In It For Me? The webcast will fill you in on the details you should know to get the most out of Social Security. Check it out at www.socialsecurity.gov/webinars/social_security_101.html .

If you have questions about Social Security, the best place to go is online — to www.socialsecurity.gov  .

Owning Vs. Renting

May 14, 2012 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By: Mary Grace Musuneggi


Many of our clients have grown up in Western Pennsylvania; an area of ethnic and cultural diversity. This area brings with it the basics of a strong work ethic. Growing up as the daughter of a hard-working, strict Irish Catholic mother, I understood the rhetoric of all the various philosophies that inundated this region. No matter what the nationality, religion or family dynamics; the values were all there. Hard work, family unity, the importance of the home.

Although there were times that my mother barely had enough income to feed us day to day, she would sometimes work two jobs to be sure that we had a roof over our head. That roof came in the form of owning a home. Homeownership was without a doubt the most formidable goal for families. In my neighborhood, I only knew one family that rented.

Owning a home reiterated the voice of “Gone With the Wind,” that “land” is the most important thing you could own. The American Dream. Our circle of acquaintances and family believed that owning a home brought with it security, safety and success.

Today’s economy has challenged these beliefs, as owning a home today can bring with it excessive debt, no security, a lack of safety, struggles; and in fact, can be the source of owning an asset that is worth a whole lot less than what it was worth when it was purchased.

While for many generations passing on a family home to children was an important goal; today passing on a home with a mortgage or especially one that is “underwater” can create serious financial issues for an heir.

We had been taught that we should never rent. Why pay to add equity to someone else’s real estate when we can add equity to our own. If we were paying rent, we could easily turn that rent into a house payment? But today the argument is that if real estate does not appreciate, then during the first 5 to 10 years of owning a home with a 30-year mortgage most of your payments are going towards interest. And then there is the overlooked “costs of ownership” like landscaping, maintenance, painting, appliances, issues with plumbing, heating, electric; or roof repairs.

And considering that many studies have shown that most people who have purchased a home since 2006 have lost money; the rules have changed. Renting now needs to be seen as a viable housing option.
-Continued on Reverse-
But on the other hand, with housing prices so low, wouldn’t this be the best time to buy?

So who should rent?

Young people coming out of college with large education loans and credit card debt.

People without substantial down payments.

Those with no emergency funds and household savings.

Someone not prepared to stay in their home for at least 5 years.

Seniors who like their freedom to travel extensively and not be tied to their home.

Retirees who don’t want to carry a mortgage during their retirement years.

Those who don’t have the skills or income to handle their home maintenance issues.

Singles who don’t want the responsibilities of yard work and household chores.

Parents who can’t afford to pay the mortgage and all household expenses; and at the same time also pay for adequate life insurance and education funding to protect their children’s futures.

Future retirees who are unable to invest in their retirement while they are investing in a home.

Anyone who thinks other assets will grow faster than their home equity will grow.

So the decision to own vs. rent depends on the person and their circumstances. Although this may just be the right time for you to buy; it is very obvious that over the last 6 years many owners should have been renters.

Like all financial decisions, knowing all the upsides and downsides; being knowledgeable and understanding all the ramifications, is the best way to make the right decision for you and your family.

May Events

May 01, 2012 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

May 2 - Accessorize & Socialize - Register today and you may bring a young adult - collegiate to the event compliments of WIN-Pittsburgh…We want to support our future young professional women – Olive or Twist – 140 6th Street 2nd floor – Pittsburgh – RSVP required – register online www.winpitt.org   ($45 per person – non member, $30 member)

May 4 – Gallerie Chiz - Opening Artists’ Reception – 8:30-5:30 with Ashley Buckley on the violin – show runs 5/4 – 5/26 – 5831 Ellsworth Ave, Shadyside, Pittsburgh – www.galleriechiz.com

May 8 – Siba-cucina
530 Northpointe Circle Seven Fields, PA 16046 724-741-6000 (off Rt. 228) (www.siba-cucina.com 
7:00-9:00 PM 

Jessica Lee performs with Mark Strickland

May 9 - Brown Bag Lunch - 12:00 – 1:00pm - Speaker: Barbara Mohajery, Esq. Topic: Get it in writing. Barbara Mohajery, Esq., Mohajery and Associates, will uncover the “plain English” of legal contracts and review what to look out for before you sign or write a contract. Learn to recognize what the legal wording means, what must be covered to make a contract legal and when you should get legal advice - Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania 1650 Main Street Pittsburgh – FREE - RSVP: 412.782.5344 x 209 or volunteersofamerica@voapa.org

NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh Presents
 STANDING FIRM- A free event
The Business Case to End Partner Violence
How Partner Violence affects company liability
Wednesday, May 9th
 Allegheny County Human Resources Building
100 Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
 For more information, contact
 Mary Pam Kilgore at 412-260-4178

May 10 – ET Jazz Networking Show at Little E’s (Entrepreneurial Thursdays)
949 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, 412.392.2217
5:30 - 8:00 PM -There will no ET Jazz Networking show on May 3 (Spring Break). The show resumes May 10 - 21st Century Writing and Media.

May 11 – Silk Screen Opening Night – 8 pm – midnight - Rivers Club, 301 Grant Street, One Oxford Centre Pittsburgh – Opening Night Film featuring “The Lady” – tickets $20 – Harris Theater, 7:00. Gala Advance - $85, regular $100, extended $125

May 11 - Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series - 7:30-9:00AM
Venue: James Laughlin Music Hall, Chatham University, Shadyside Campus
Cost: $25.00 ($12.50 for students with valid ID) Register Online at www.chatham.edu/cwe  - Speaker: Christine WardTopic:”Social Entrepreneurs: How Women and Girls can Solve Economic and Social Challenges”

May 13 - Have you registered for the 20th anniversary Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure - We are less than two weeks away from our deadline for mailing all Race packets. Register ONLINE by 8 a.m. on May 2 to receive your Race packet, which includes your Race t-shirt, in the mail. Don’t miss all the great activities we have planned as we acknowledge our 20th year in the fight against breast cancer. This year, we are honored to have Dr. Bernard Fisher, a pioneer in breast cancer research and treatment, as our Honorary Race Chair. Leslie Sansone, a nationally recognized fitness expert and creator of the Walk at Home program, will lead this year’s warm up. http://www.komenpittsburgh.org/

May 15 - Developing New Market Opportunities – 9-12 PM - $15 - Location: Robert Morris – visit http://www.sbdc.duq.edu/EventDetail.asp?id=314  to register

May 15 - Building Bridges for Business (@bridges4biz) will present its monthly #SmallBizPgh Twitterchat - between 7-8 pm EST featuring Los Angeles-based award-winning entrepreneur and public relations expert, Lisa Elia. At the event, which can be followed on twebevent.com using hashtag #smallbizpgh, Elia will answer Pittsburgh entrepreneurs’ and Building Bridges for Business’ question on starting and sustaining a small business.

May 16 - 12 noon-1:30 pm - Westin Hotel, 1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh - Celebrate the achievements of eight exceptional women at the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s 30th Annual Tribute to Women Leadership Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 16 at the Westin Hotel. The luncheon begins at 12:00 pm and Silent Auction at 11:00 am. Cost is $70 per person or $1,000 for a table of 10. Proceeds from this event support YWCA programs and services. Register online at www.ywcapgh.org . For more information, please call 412-255-1261 or email ttw@ywcapgh.org.

May 17 - Disability Resource Breakfast - 8:30 – 9:30 AM - Speaker: Mick Sittig, Ph. D., Psychologist, ReMed - Topic: Psychosocial Dynamics of Relationships Following Traumatic Brain Injury - TBI turns the world upside down, causing relationships to evolve or devolve. Learn about anticipating and managing the changes in oneself, with others and with the world at large - Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, 1650 Main Street, Pittsburgh – FREE - RSVP: 412.782.5344 x 209 or volunteersofamerica@voapa.org

May 17 - Pittsburgh Professional Women May Workshop: Your Inner Committee - with Special Guest Speaker Dr. Nancy Mramor - from 1-3pm - LeMont Restaurant, Mt. Washington, Members $35, non Members $49 - Prices increase on May 10th - Register on our new website www.PittsburghProfessionalWomen.org  - Valet Parking $6 - Does a part of you want to play while another wants to work? - Do you want to achieve a goal but you stop yourself? - Do you criticize yourself or compare your achievements to others?

May 18th – Cocktails and Cuisine for Women in Crisis –
An Afterwork Grazing/Sipping event that benefits Crisis Center North.
6PM at the Woodlands in Bradford Woods . Tickets are just $65 with
over 25 chefs/ wine/beer and spirit purveyors. Silent and Live auction
with amazing, unique trips. This event sells out so don’t miss out!
MC is John Burnett with jazz by “It Takes Two”! For tickets go to
Www.CrisisCenterNorth.org  or call 724-935-6100

May 18 - Kauffman FastTrac® Listening to Your Business™ Workshop - 8:30 am to Noon - Place: Chatham University, Gatehouse - Cost: $40.00, Register online at

Student Rate: $20.00 with valid ID (email
pdecker@chatham.edu < ?xml:namespace prefix = mailto />

May 19 - Pittsburgh Professional Women & ESSpa Invite You to a Special Mothers Day Fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation from 6-8pm, ESSpa Kozmetika, 17 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh -Enjoy Champagne, Beverages, Snacks and Networking for a Great Cause with Special Guest Speaker Michelle Wright, WTAE 4 News Tickets just $30 www.mothersdayatesspa.eventbrite.com

May 21 - Building Bridges for Business will present its Small Business Works event at the Kingsley Association in Pittsburgh’s East End from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event – which will feature prominent speakers, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald – will educate aspiring entrepreneurs on finding capital to start and grow their businesses. Interested entrepreneurs can register at www.buildingbridgesforbusiness.org .

May 22 - Rev-Up Marketing is teaming up with Babb University and 21st Century Employee Assistance Partners (EAP). On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, from 1 to 3 pm they will host a workshop for human resource personnel on legal and community resources options for elderly and caregivers. This workshop has been approved for 2 HR CECs. - Panelists for the workshop include: Julian E. Gray, Certified Elderlaw Attorney, Mary Phan-Gruber, MSW, ACSW, Deputy Administrator with the Area Agency on Aging, Donald H. Goughler, President and CEO of Family Services of Western Pennsylvania, and James R. Long Ph.D., CEO of 21st Century Employee Assistance Partners. The panel will discuss legal issues that require planning and foresight, present eldercare resources and how to access them, and identify work behavior trends that may indicate a need for help. Networking and lunch from 12:00 - 1:00 pm. Seminar will begin at 1:00 pm in the ballroom. Free on-site parking. Space is limited. Please RSVP today at ~ www.events.constantcontact.com  . Anyone is welcome to attend, but feel free to share with HR personnel needing CE Credit Hours.

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

May 4 – Public Policy Discussion and Luncheon
May 16 – Public Policy Discussion and Luncheon

Visit http://www.worldpittsburgh.org/  for additional details


Class: Self-Defense for Women
Dates: June 3 - 24 (four Sundays)
Time: 10 – 12
Place: Falk School, Oakland

Spring Special: sign up with another woman and take $10 off each registration. Details and a registration form are attached. Please let us know if you need any more information.

Lioness Martial Arts

** A complimentary 3-part teleclass series for solo professionals who want to attract more clients through public speaking.

Presented by Sam Wieder, MBA of Commanding Confidence
Join us for one or more of these complimentary 30-minute, business-building teleclasses:

Session #1 (11:30 a.m. – 12 noon, Tuesday, May 1, 2012)
Public Speaking Slip-ups that Cost You Clients:
The 3 Biggest Mistakes that Prevent Professionals from Attracting Clients through Public Speaking–and What You Can Do Instead

Session #2 (11:30 a.m.- 12 noon, Thursday, May 3, 2012)
Powerhouse Preparation for a Client-Winning Speech:
What You Need to Clarify to Make Your Public Speaking Profitable

Session #3 (11:30 a.m. – 12 noon, Tuesday, May 8, 2012)
Tantalizing Speech Topics to Boost Your Business:
What to Talk About to Make Your Ideal Potential Clients Want to Talk to You