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View Article  Indigo Girls Update: Win a pair of FREE tickets to the show and meet and greet!

Only 20 tickets left!

The Lambda Foundation appreciates the community?s interest in the meet and greet with the Indigo Girls. To clarify, Lambda has agreed to purchase 75 tickets @ $42 and they will receive the $35 meet and greet for the Foundation.  The monies raised will be used to continue the good work Lambda has supported in our community for the past 25 years.  Unfortunately, they cannot sell meet and greet tickets separately from the show itself or they will end up losing money on the event. 

The timing is unfortunate for those who purchased tickets before the meet and greet was organized, but please understand that this was out of control of the Lambda Foundation.  They very much appreciate the Indigo Girls? support and regret that some fans may be unable to attend.  You might consider trying to sell your tickets or perhaps making a ?Pride? gift to a friend or family member.  You could also consider donating your extra tickets to a local LGBT organization and realize the tax write off.  

Please note that you can buy the package, use your original tickets and sell/give away/donate the Lambda tickets.   

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents has partnered with the Lambda Foundation and we will hold a drawing for a set of two tickets to the concert and the meet and greet.  To enter, please email your full name and contact information to sue (at) sitnscoop dot com.  We will use a random drawing to select the winner on June 14, 2009 (PrideFest).   

 Good luck!

View Article  Some Pride Tidbits

Dykes on Bikes of Western PA are gearing up for their first Pride appearance this year.

June 6th is our scheduled Pre-Pride Bike Ride to get everyone geared up for the Pride Parade and Pride Festivities.  This ride will head east from the South Hills. All supporters of the GLBT community is invited to attend.  The following ride is planned:

 

June 6th -Bike Run Fee $20

 

Meet at the Rhythm House in Bridgeville, PA which is right off I-79 and close to several gas stations.  We will meet at noon and leave at 12:30.

 

We'll head out on PA 50 towards Route 980 heading south to hit the country turns of Route 519.  This will connect us to Route 136 where we will head east until we meet Route 30 and cruise into Greensburg where we will stop at M&M Leather for some bike accessory shopping.  This stop will be about an hour.  From there, we'll ride to the Link Bar in Irwin, PA for an early dinner.  The Link is expecting us around 4pm.   Dinner will be included in the $20 bike run fee and proceeds will go to DOB Charities.

 

After dinner everyone is welcome to continue the group ride back into the city for a post-ride drink at Cattivo.

 

I can't wait to see everyone and I hope all of you are as excited for the pride parade as I am.  Please RSVP for this ride on the events section of www.pittsburghdykesonbikes.com so I can give the Link Bar a head count for dinner.  If you have any questions, please email me at info@pittsburghdykesonbikes.com

 

Miranda

 

The event lineup has been released.  This is alphabetical.  You can visit the Pride homepage for a schedule when it is ready to release.

The stage will be filled by the following acts:

Ben Hackett

Jeremiah Clark

Vida

Levi Kreis

Knot Dance

Zafira Dance Company

Brian Starks Hip Hop dancers

Nancy Hammond

Katie Costello

Kyle Abraham

Vanessa German

Drag Only Two Queens

Eric Himan

Thea Austin

ETTA COX/ VANESSA GERMAN

Pittsburgh Gospel

RCC

Pillow project

Autumn Ayers

Drag

Andy Moore

Dreams Of Hope

Knot Dance

Brad Yoder

CLO

Cyote Grace

Phat Man Dee

Zafira Dance Company

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View Article  Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Nominations Due in June

I was named one of Pittsburgh's 40 under 40 in 2004 (I was 34).  At the time, I thought it was something cool, but not earthshattering.  Looking back now, I can see how mistaken I was.  I've made a lot of contacts and had doors opened for me because of this little award. 

For several years, I've been dismayed at how underrepresented the LGBTQ community has been among recipients. The year I won, there were three openly gay persons among the nominees.  Since then, there seems to be a quiet succession of white gay men being nominated, but that's about it. 

This is an opportunity to celebrate some of the great work being done in our comunity and create opportunities to get into those areas reserved for the traditional stakeholders.  You know who is breaking new ground.  Nominate them.  Get others to nominate them as well. 

Help PUMP & Pittsburgh Magazine honor individuals under the age of 40 for the amazing work they do to make our region a better place to live! Over the past ten years, we have honored a diverse cadre of individuals who are CEOs, volunteers, entrepreneurs and more for their invaluable contributions to our community.

40 Under 40 is all about a commitment to the region. If you know someone who deserves to be honored, be sure to submit his or her name for consideration. The deadline for nominations is June 6, 2009.

Nominating Guidelines:
You may nominate more than one person. You may nominate yourself. Eligibility: Past winners are not eligible. Current employees and board members of PUMP and WQED and their immediate families are not eligible. Nominees must be between 18 and 39 years of age before Nov. 1, 2009. An independent panel of judges will determine winners.

Please remember that the nomination form is the single piece of evidence on which the judges base their decision. The nominations should emphasize the candidate's impact on the community, how he/she is bringing attention to our region and should contain specific information on organizational involvement and leadership positions.

Nominations can be submitted at:http://40under40pittsburgh.org/nominate.html
 
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View Article  Why is it so hard to find a cleaning company?

Ledcat and I have been exploring finding someone to clean our home a few times a month.  Shouldn't be so hard, right?

Wrong. It has become a nightmare.

I started by identifying what we preferred -- an established company with insurance, a pet friendly person, green cleaning (if possible) and some flexibility so we can be home when they come.  Reasonable?

I asked for referrals and had very few responses.  Those that did come in were very strict and unable to accomodate our schedule (I can't come home from work at 1 PM, sorry, and I have two escape artists so I don't want someone to be responsible for a runaway pet). 

Then I went to Craig's List and that's where the fun began.  My dear lord, the responses indicate ... well, simply put, that people don't read very well.  Not sure if they can't or they don't, but the end result is a big waste of my time.

1.  The woman who works for nuns and wants to clean on the side.  No insurance but she assured me that the nuns could verify she was honest.  That worked out real well for the kids in my childhood parish.  Huh.

2.  The woman who works for the County and assured me she has medical insurance.  Huh. 

3.  The man who can only be paid under the table and needs me to provide cleaners because he's coming straight from his other job and won't have time to go to the store.  Huh.

4.  The "Clean Freaks" company who required me to complete a web form, twice, and then chastised me for never receiving their estimate.  Huh. (I guess clean freak doesn't translate into customer service freak, eh?)

5.  The men who wants to start a cleaning company sometime and needs practice.  Huh.

6.  The company called "Steel City Cleaners" who wanted to schedule an estimate, but then revealed they are actually based in Florida and won't have PA insurance until later in the summer.  HUH? 

7.  The company with no name, two people sharing an email address who don't communicate with each other and an unwillingness to provide references.  Welcome to my home.  Right. 

That's just what I can remember. 

What an experience.  I don't want to use a national chain because they receive very poor reviews for cleaning and their treatment of their employees.  I don't want to pay under the table because that's been a disaster in the past.  I just want to do things aboveboard so taxes are paid, accountability is assured and everyone is protected.

Good grief. 

*************************************************************************************

Update:  Someone just threatened me with libel (yawn) because I allegedly inaccurately described their relocation plans.  They changed their website content after this post went up.  Do they really think there is no timestamp on that or that it isn't something that could be verified in legal proceedings?  Do people really think that sort of thing?  Police track murderes through the Internet! 

But, of course, I'm "bitter" b/c I don't like when people waste my time.  Well, I may be bitter but I'm also free to share my experiences on my blog.  That's why God invented customer service training. 

 

View Article  Patrick Reilly, Theresa Smith and Luke Ravenstahl are liars and think you are fools

This is just beyond pathetic and demeaning. I was ambivalent about Reilly because he had been somewhat helpful, if not effective in some constituent matters.  Now I'm appalled and question my elected officials decision to hire someone capable of this type of deceit.  I hope if he loses, he gets booted from the job working for my district because I sure ain't willing to work with someone who thinks I'm a moron.

Reilly, Theresa Smith and Luke Ravenstahl all produced campaign literature implying endorsements from the Post-Gazette.  None received this endorsement.  Reilly even implied an endorsement from Ravenstahl when the Mayor is supporting Reilly's opponent.

Is that what your looking for in a City Councilperson?  Someone who thinks you are both stupid and unconcerned with the truth?

 

View Article  Pennsylvania state employees granted domestic partner benefits

Breaking news from the Philadelphia Gay News:

Pennsylvania state employees in same-sex relationships will now be able to obtain the same medical benefits for their partners as heterosexual married employees.

The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund, a non-governmental agency that oversees the state benefits programs, will offer medical, prescription drug, dental, vision and hearing-aid benefits to the same- and opposite-sex domestic partners of all PEBTF-eligible employees, which amounts to about 81,000 individuals.

The approximately 60,000 retired state employees eligible for the Retired Employees Health Program will also be able to extend their benefits to domestic partners.

The policy change additionally allows children of domestic partners to be included on benefits plans.

This is great news!  I'm also reading that New Hampshire is set to pass a marriage equality bill making that 6 states (CT, IA, ME, MA, VT are the others).

We are in the midst of interesting times here in Pennsylvania.  Allegheny County is set to pass the anti-discrimination ordinance making domestic partner benefits for County employees the next pressing issue on that level.  The State Legislature is considering anti-discrimination language to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, as well as hate crimes protections. 

Some nice news as we gear up for Pride month. 

?It was a matter of costing things out and making sure it was affordable but, putting that aside, this is something we should have done a while ago, and we?re glad we?re doing it now,? said Dave Fillman, chair of the PEBTF board of trustees. ?It?s just the right thing to do.?

Fillman noted that the domestic-partner policy will help the state recruit new workers interested in an employer that offers such benefits and assist Pennsylvania in retaining qualified employees.

?As with any benefit enhancement, we?re hoping that this will provide a benefit for someone who was considering state service that wasn?t provided before,? he said. ?It?s pretty much a win-win for everyone.?

It is the right thing to do, both for the employee and their families as well as for the economic vitality of the Commonwealth.  Keep in mind, though, that it is not a complete win-win.  Employees must still pay income taxes on the benefits, unlike married employees.  This is still a barrier for many a family and the reason that the "separate but equal" approach to marriage equality is not acceptable.

The criteria are worth a look, too. 

To apply for the program, employees must submit three documents proving the relationship with their partner, which could include a domestic-partner certificate from a government agency, a property deed or lease or motor-vehicle title with both individuals? names, drivers? licenses with a common address, a joint bank account statement or documents proving that one individual has power-of-attorney rights or is the other?s life-insurance beneficiary.

This is more expansive that the City of Pittsburgh which requires shared utility bills and would not accept the drivers' licenses with a common address.  The economic barrier is troubling to me so I am glad that the Commonwealth takes a more reasonable approach to this evidentiary requirement.

Please note that this only applies to state employees.  Pennsylvania is not requiring every employer to provide domestic partner benefits, but this certainly strengthens the case for individual employers to elect to do so.

Hurrah!

 

View Article  Pittsburgh's Dyke March is Back!

4th Annual Pittsburgh Dyke March!

Creating celebratory & political space for dykes for its fourth year
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Meet @ 2:00 pm
March @ 3:00 pm
CMU lawn @ 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh 15213pittsburghdykemarch@gmail.com
myspace.com/pittsburghdykemarch



The Pittsburgh Dyke March is personal, it's political. We are claiming celebratory feminist space for LBTQ (lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer) wimmin. Our realities and issues have been set to the side of the larger "inclusive" GLBT umbrella, and we've been told we must compromise. We've been told to assimilate to appropriation by corporate advertisers and sacrifice our interests to further the "greater good" of the gay community. As womyn loving womyn we are claiming this loving and political space, not only to celebrate the fierce radical spirit of the Stonewall Riots, but to remind ourselves that dykes are, and will continue to be, a revolutionary force to be reckoned with. How we organize and celebrate with one another matters, our love matters, our art matters, and dyke lives matter.

Meet at 2pm
March at 3pmmyspace.com/pittsburghdykemarch

 

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View Article  What I've noticed about the Mayor ...

I'm sure the political bloggers are going to have a great play by play on the resurrection of the billboard controversy

I keep wondering why Dowd speaks for himself and Ravenstahl hides behind Paul McKrell's articulate self?  Well, ok, I answered my own question.  I like Paul, but I wonder what magic potion he swallows to actually say this with a straight face.

Mr. McKrell called the councilman's challenge "one of the most negative campaigns ever waged by a candidate for an office in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh deserves better than desperate mud-slingers."

Yes, we do.  We also deserve better than pay for play chicanery and a tween Mayor dressed up in big boy's clothing. 

View Article  NPR: Being Gay Is the Worst Thing EVER

Gosh, my whole angst about not donating to public radio here in Pittsburgh because the Catholic Church controls the flagship station has been resolved.  I was torn between my pro-choice support for Planned Parenthood side and my want to pay my share, NPR loving side.  I briefly toyed with donating to the national NPR syndicate even though it took over two weeks for someone to respond to my email inquiry. 

All that is just washed away today.  Thanks, NPR!

Pam has a great writeup of this story, but I'll try to hit the highlights.

NPR's Nathan Lee reviewed Outrage.  His reviewed was edited to remove the names of Charlie Crist and Larry Craig.  Lee removed his byline.  NPR removed his explanatory comment from their website.

NPR claims that they are protecting the privacy of public figures.

NPR had no such qualms reporting on the heterosexual affairs (and possible child siring) of John Edwards.  They even held a roundtable.

NPR once again imposing their moral qualms on you the listener.  I guess they are dutifully absorbing the lessons of moral excellence modeled by the Catholic Church.

I invite all of you Planned Parenthood lovin', homosexual lovin' readers to dash off an email to the Pittsburgh Filmmakers asking them to bring Outrage to Pittsburgh. kaboly@pghfilmmakers.org

 

View Article  PG Letter on Marriage Equality

Same-sex marriage is on its way, like it or not. Either get on board or get out of the way.

DAVID R. PIERPOINT
Washington, Pa.

Amen, so to speak.  Thank you for writing Mr. Pierpoint.

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