Women’s Independent Press

Informing Women About Our World

Archive for November, 2013

Excerpt from Chapter 1- Sal: A Tale of Many Feathers

November 22, 2013 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Sal is a Goffins Cockatoo — and from wherever
he was birdnapped, his trip was probably not
comfortable nor something that Sal wanted. But Sal
had adjusted to his fate, lucky to find a good home.

He made himself very comfortable with Ms. Nelson
and Deuce. He snacked on lemons and other fruits
and vegetables — and soon settled into a routine.
After a while, Ms. Nelson had to leave town due to
a death in her family. And so the search began for
some place that would keep Sal for the week that she
would be away. Ms. Nelson found a pet store that
boarded birds and she left thinking Sal was safe.

But during that week, the pet store was burglarized.
Along with the other exotic birds, Sal was once
again birdnapped. We can only imagine where Sal
was — maybe in some dark smoky room, where
the thieves who stole him plotted yet more sinister

Sal, of course, would be plotting his escape. The
thieves were finally captured and Sal, the only
remaining bird, was identified through some
markings on his little bird body. More than a year
later, Sal was returned to Ms. Nelson much better behaved
than the last time she saw him. Apparently,the thieves had a
way with birds. Of course, there probably isn’t much use for bird training in prison.

SBA Celebrates National Native American Heritage Month

November 18, 2013 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

by Christopher James, SBA Official

November marks an important time in our history and in the history of Native Americans in this country. This month, the U.S. Small Business Administration is celebrating National Native American Heritage Month. And we’re working hard to help build entrepreneurial empowerment for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.

In a White House Proclamation issued on National Native American Heritage Month, President Obama said that the Administration remains committed to self-determination, and the right of tribal governments to build and strengthen their own communities. That is at the heart of SBA’s mission and aim for Native Americans — to ensure that American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians seeking to create, develop and expand small businesses have full access to the business development and expansion tools available through SBA’s entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement programs. And we’ve worked hard to do just that. SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs has worked to meet our objectives to promote outreach, technical assistance and education; to develop and direct training programs; and to coordinate entrepreneurial development opportunities.

This week, SBA Acting Administrator Jeanne Hulit took part in a White House Tribal Nations Conference, where the administration works together to strengthen government-to-government relationships with Indian Country and Tribal governments. Acting Administrator Hulit participated in a discussion on how SBA can support Native American communities in the United States. And John Shoraka, SBA Associate Administrator, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, led a roundtable discussion on our Agency’s 8(a) Business Development Program at the Native American Contractors Association’s first annual conference.

In fiscal year 2013, SBA supported nearly $100 million in lending to Native American businesses, and we counseled and trained more than 12,500 Native American small business owners in the first three quarters of 2013 alone.

Through SBA’s Native American Emerging Leaders and Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshops, we’ve trained more than 400 Native American entrepreneurs and businesses owned by American Indian tribes, Alaska Native Corporations and National Hawaiian Organizations nationwide. And the accomplishments don’t end there. Moving forward, we will continue to improve access to capital, to technical assistance and to procurement programs for Native American-owned small businesses. We are expanding our entrepreneurial development workshops for Native Americans to reach even more rural reservation communities.

We plan to hold roundtables and listening sessions with lenders and native community stakeholders to improve lending practices and assist in access to capital for reservation-based small businesses; host webinars with Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to promote SBA’s microloan and community advantage lending programs; and hold webinars and outreach events focused on exporting for tribes and Native American-owned small businesses.

And later this month, SBA will introduce a new online contracting course to help “Entity-Owned” small businesses through SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program.

SBA has been at the foreground of helping to bridge the gap for Native American-owned small businesses to ensure that they start, grow and succeed. We will continue to support our Native American small businesses and tribal enterprises by providing the resources that support economic development and growth in our communities.

Energize your Thanksgiving Day with Feng Shui Tips

November 18, 2013 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Yvonne Phillips FSII

The very first Thanksgiving Day event was not considered an event, it was a happening! Everyone came together and brought their best displays of food and sat down for a meal that provided them with soul comfort and celebration for the end of the harvest season.

Today we still celebrate with our family and friends and even those who are far away from their families usually have a family to support them, whether they are the college student or one of our military who happens to be stationed in our area.
People were integrated with the earth because they harvested their own fresh food, they baked their own breads and of course, used everything locally. They used vines to make baskets and they used gourds for drinking cups and they used straw for mats. What a concept for us now as we try to bring this back into our lives! So many look at the buy local as something new! Our décor today is mums, gourds, corn on the cob and straw and they are all of the earth.

When you think of our baked brown turkey and stuffing and acorn or butternut squash and sweet potatoes; they all represent these same traditions as in the past. Some tips that will insure that everyone has a comfortable relaxed atmosphere are:

A round table or an oblong table will create good family relationships and great conversations. No worries if you only have a square table, the softness of a tablecloth and round dishes will also help your family to have a good experience. The elements of Feng Shui are, metal, earth, wood, fire and water. If these elements are in our surrounding area in the room this will also support a good balanced environment.

If you happened to use green placemats and have a salad in that location, this would cover the wood element. If you would add to the table the white dinner napkin, it is symbolic of the metal element. The addition of lovely candles and now you have the fire element to keep people energized. By placing a goblet of water on the table, you will have covered that element also. Your food will be the best of all of these elements as it is of the earth!

Here are the basics:

Create great seating arrangements.
Lovely dinner table décor and settings. Now is the time to use those lovely dishes in the China Cabinet and the real silver.
Complete the whole process with the addition of the 5 elements of Feng Shui.

If you would like to know more about Feng Shui go to www.fengshuiabc1.com for information on classes and events with Yvonne. You can also reach Yvonne at 412-215-8247 or yvonnephillips1@aol.com


November 18, 2013 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Patricia Thibault
Social Security District Manager in Pittsburgh, PA

Succulent turkey. Savory stuffing. Green bean casserole. Sweet potato and pumpkin pie. Every family has its Thanksgiving dinner traditions.
With a carefully followed recipe, everyone around the table can enjoy their favorite dishes.

If you plan poorly and wait to throw the bird in the oven at the last minute, you will end up with a turkey of a dish. The same can be said for financial planning and preparing for retirement. Follow the perfect recipe and you’ll be rewarded with a juicy retirement.

Ingredients: one part Social Security earnings, one part savings, a pinch of planning.

First, start your retirement casserole with a visit to the Retirement Estimator. As useful as a food processor, the Estimator gives you an instant projection of what you can expect to receive in retirement benefits. Just plug in some simple information and the Estimator uses your past earnings and estimated future earnings to project about how much you’ll get when you retire. Like an experienced cook, you can experiment with the recipe and plug in different future earnings and retirement dates until it’s just the way you want it.

Next, fold in the savings. The earlier you begin, the better off you will be. Social Security replaces about 40 percent of the average worker’s pre-retirement earnings. Most financial advisors say you will need 70 percent or more of pre-retirement earnings to live comfortably. To supplement Social Security you also will need savings, investments, pensions, or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to enjoy retirement. Visit the Ballpark Estimator for tips to help you save. www.choosetosave.org/ballpark.

If you have a pension from your employer or a 401k, IRA or similar retirement fund, be sure to add that into the mix.

Like to taste as you cook? Then you’ll want to set up a my Social Security account so you can log in anytime to check your reported earnings and projected benefit estimates. If something doesn’t taste just right — if your earnings are reported incorrectly or you find you need to save more to meet your retirement goals — there’s still time to make corrections before your retirement casserole is done.

Once you’ve added the ingredients of Social Security earnings, personal savings, and any pensions you may have, it’s time to let the retirement casserole bake.

If you pull the retirement casserole out to find it a little underdone, just put it back in for a bit longer. Delaying retirement can increase your benefits and give you more time to build up your savings. To learn more, read our publication entitled When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits. It provides helpful information regarding the things you should consider when making a decision on when to collect retirement benefits. You will find it, along with our other useful publications, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

When the retirement casserole is ready, enjoy it! You deserve a comfortable retirement. Following a traditional Thanksgiving recipe carefully can ensure a satisfying meal. In the same way, following our financial planning recipe will help you achieve a more fulfilling retirement. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov