Friday, February 28, 2014
DEAR ABBY: Recently, my friend went to a wake and told me the person in the casket was holding a fork. My friend told me there is a story behind this custom. Can you tell me what it is? -- DAILY READER IN WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.
DEAR DAILY READER: The story, titled "Keep Your Fork," has been widely shared on the Internet. It appeared in "A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul" and was authored by Roger William Thomas.
It concerns a young woman who had been given only a short time to live, and who instructed her pastor that she would like to be buried with a fork in her right hand. She went on to say, "In all my years of attending church potluck dinners, when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would say, 'Keep your fork.'"
She said the main course was her favorite part of the meal because she knew "something better was coming ... something wonderful, and with substance." What she wanted was to convey to her loved ones at her funeral her belief that something better was to come.
Study: 83 percent of California homes out of reach for teachers
Only 17 percent of homes in the state are considered affordable on a teacher's salary, and none is in San Francisco.
Teachers help form the foundation for strong, local communities, yet just 17 percent of homes for sale in California are affordable on a teacher's salary. That percentage drops to zero in pricey San Francisco, where the average teacher can't afford a single home. With the current median list price in California at $485,000, the state's 300,000 elementary, middle and high school teachers, who have an average annual salary of $69,300, will find it difficult to impossible to find an affordable home. How did we get to this point?
The California real estate market has been exceptional since the gold rush in the 1800s. People continue to come from across the country and around the world seeking the sun, surf and silicon (jobs). This demand has driven up home prices across the state for many decades. Compounding the affordability problem, in many areas, not enough new homes have been built to keep up. The result is that homeownership is out of reach for most working Californians. In fact, according to the Census, 71 percent of Californians households earn less than $100,000 per year.
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What is an affordable price?
Finding an affordable home is about balancing your income with your monthly mortgage payment and other expenses. A general guideline when buying a home is that a monthly home payment should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income. On an average annual salary of $69,300, a teacher should pay no more than about $1,600 a month. Given current interest rates, property taxes, home insurance and homeowners-association (HOA) expenses, a teacher can afford a $260,000 single-family home or condo. Of the 50,559 for sale in California, just 17.4 percent are listed below $260,000.
Just how hard is it to find an affordable home? In San Francisco County, the average teacher earns $59,700 per year, and there are zero homes for sale that we have calculated as affordable on such a salary. By comparison, there are 139 listings with price tags over $1 million. In San Mateo, Calif., there are seven homes for sale in a teacher's price range, while there are 254 homes listed for more than $1 million.
Pockets of affordability along the coast and inland
Counties along the Pacific Coast are generally much less affordable than inland counties, but ocean-loving teachers can find a few more options in Marin and Orange counties, where 12 percent and 9 percent of listed homes are affordable on a teacher's salary, respectively. Away from the coast, from Riverside up through San Bernardino and Sacramento, teachers can afford a third to half of homes for sale.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014
Perez Hilton whips up a Twitter firestorm after being accused of 'likening black women to Hitler'
PUBLISHED: 15:04 EST, 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:56 EST, 26 February 2014
The ever-controversial Perez Hilton has whipped up a Twitter firestorm after stating that 'inside every gay man is a fierce black woman.'
The openly gay gossip columnist, who has a one-year-old son through surrogacy, posted the remark yesterday and was quickly branded 'racist' and 'ignorant' as a result.
But adding further insult to injury Mr Hilton, 35, then stated that he wasn't sorry for what he'd said and brazenly tweeted: 'Some present logical arguments but then Hitler attempted to justify the holocaust too.'
Under fire: The ever-controversial Perez Hilton has whipped up a Twitter firestorm after stating that 'inside every gay man is a fierce black woman'
Within the space of a few hours, the news site Jezebel.com announced: 'Perez Hilton Just Compared Black Women to Hitler on Twitter.'
And Clutch Magazine also called him out for the tweet.
Britni Danielle wrote in an article: 'Over the course of several tweets, Hilton went from trying to explain what he meant (apparently, giving Black women props) to asserting that he was “not sorry” for what he said.
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'After being taken to task for several hours, Hilton then compared those who had the gall to call him out on lazy stereotyping of both black women and gay men to the Nazi leader, because….who even knows.'
Some commenters noted how Mr Hilton's remarks have become more outlandish the more successful he's become.
'I remember when Perez Hilton’s “headquarters” was located in a local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Hollywood!' one mused.
Source of controversy: The openly gay gossip columnist, who has a one-year-old son through surrogacy, posted the remark yesterday and was quickly branded 'racist' and 'ignorant' as a result
But adding further insult to injury Mr Hilton, 35, then stated that he wasn't sorry for what he'd said and brazenly tweeted: 'Some present logical arguments but then Hitler attempted to justify the holocaust too'
'In recent years, he has become even more mean spirited, to the point I can’t read his blog any more!
'The insults and outing of gay people (those of which who may want to keep their lives private for whatever reason) is just too much.'
Mr Hilton, who was christened Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr. but changed his name for professional reasons, is an American blogger and television personality.
His blog, Perezhilton.com - formerly PageSixSixSix.com - is known for posts covering gossip items about celebrities. He is also known for posting tabloid photographs over which he has added his own captions or "doodles".
His blog has garnered negative attention for its attitude, its former outing of alleged closeted celebrities and its role in the increasing coverage of celebrities in all forms of media.
The blogger moved from Los Angeles last year and is now based in New York with his first child, Mario Armando Lavandeira III, born on February 16, 2013.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2568634/Perez-Hilton-whips-Twitter-firestorm-accused-likening-black-women-Hitler.html#ixzz2uWmqOyST
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The Montreal Alouettes released Arland Bruce on Wednesday, two weeks after the receiver was fined by the Canadian Football League for Twitter comments about openly gay NFL prospect Michael Sam.
Bruce misspelled the word "gay" in his message that urged Sam to "man up" and get on his knees and "submit to God fully." Bruce later apologized.
Bruce, 36, is three-time CFL all-star and has played on two Grey Cup championship teams in 12 seasons with Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, B.C. and Montreal. Last season, the former University of Minnesota player had 64 receptions for 851 yards and five touchdowns.
At the time Bruce was fined — along with Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Bryant Turner Jr. — CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said in a statement, "The comments made by these players are extremely disappointing and do not represent the CFL's views or the views of the vast majority of our players. The CFL is supportive of openly gay athletes in professional sports and we commend the courage shown by Michael Sam."
Shortly after the tweets, Turner apologized in a series of tweets, calling his post "inappropriate and insensitive." The Bombers said team president Wade Miller and general manager Kyle Walters had spoken to Turner at the time, and that "any athlete with the ability and determination has the right to succeed in their sport."
The Alouettes also denounced "the regrettable comments" by Bruce at the time.
"Our organization supports all types of diversity. Every individual is unique and free to make his or her own choices," Alouettes' general manager and coach Jim Popp said.