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March 4, 2011     Post-Gazette
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March 4, 2011

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 4, 2011 1' m, u,,. ...ancia,,y Speaking Ben Doherty "-: /, MIXED NEWS by Sal Giarratani  .... / The Tea Party was mixed over a government shut- down as Republicans and Democrats split on the bud- get, making a government shutdown in March possible. Tea Party activists are split over the prospect. Some ac- tivists were eager for a shut- down. Others hoped that a deal would be made. "If it takes a shutdown of govern- ment to stop the spending I'm for it," they said. "If a shutdown has to be, it has to be," they said. The latent stop gap ends on March 4% The Republicans have a bud- get for the rest of 2011 with cuts of $61 billion. They agreed on up to 8100 billion in cuts. The solution is cut- ting away things that had to be cut down. The software for the insurance industry lets an insurance agent shop around online for the best plan, and it handles the best plan and handles the insurance and plan market- ing and case management. Analysts estimate that Ebix did $131 billion in revenue last )/ear, but in its highly- fragmented industry the company is a giant. It had three buyouts last year and three in 2008. It operates globally in six countries and fifty languages. The market- ing opportunity for leading players is huge. The paper costs for the domestic PC in- dustry alone is $60 million, analysts estimate. It's a spe- cialized market. Ebix is get- ting more respect from in- vestors likely up 50% in price. It's focused on Brazil, China and India and expand- ing into broader financial services as mutual funds and broader current ser- vices. Neither party has demonstrated the ability to make the necessary cuts. The Republicans increased cuts to $61 billion. In a shut- down, services such as the military would continue on, and seniors would still get their Social Security checks. The Republicans would fund a stop gap measure to keep the Government running for two weeks. For the week NASDAQ fell 1.9% and the S&P fell 1.7% and the NYSE 1.5%. While bulls always welcome big price gains, they didn't look so strong under the surface, however volume without funds par- ticipating, lead to nega- tive reversal and stalling. (Stalling involves heavy vol- ume without price progress. It points to funds selling into strength). The uptrend re- mains, heavy volume with- out price progress. It points to funds selling into strength. The market has notched from days of slow trading selling in the last 2 weeks. Northern Oil and Gas was up 7% in huge volume, was tied to being added to the S&P500 Index. Acme Packet rose 8% in quick action. Acme acquired Massachusetts- based New Found Communi- cations, a privately held com- pany that makes software to record IP-based phone com- munications. Just as the economy was being cleared for take-off, the spike in oil products threatened to keep the recovery grounded on a road filled with potholes. On Friday, the Commerce Department scaled back its estimates of GDP growth to a 3.8% gain from 3.2% due to sharper cuts in state and DIVORCE CRIMINAL LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY GENERAL PRACTICE OF LAW WILLS ESTATE PLANNING TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 NORTH END00 Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery, Business Cards Menus Flyers Program Books* Wedding and Party Invitations Announcements Business Forms and Documents COMPETITIVE PRICES 617-227-8929 local government spending. But economists expect growth to accelerate in the first half of 2011. The University of Michigan Sen- timent Index came out Fri- day, and hit a three year high. JP Morgan's Mike Feroli cut his growth fore- cast to 3.5% from 4% for the second quarter, expecting consumers to pick up the pace. He said "higher oil prices, should they persist, will present an obvious spending block." And energy prices remain at their highs, it will pose a chal- lenge to our outlook. Depart- ment store sales are grow- ing with good profits. They staged a quiet turnaround last year making a first gain in market share after a de- cade of lost tuff. Chains like Macy's and Sears Roebuck lead department stores to 40% gains. By 2009, the de- partment stores seized a 30- 40% gain in retail markets. Discount competition like Wal-Mart, Target, Bob's Stores and Luconot Athletics have all taken their bites out of the traditional department store sales. Macy's and Nordstrom took advantage of the recent downturn to im- prove cost structures and merchandizing mixes. They launched exclusive brands and expanded relationships with luxury based names. As a result, their market im- proved 2.5% last year. Saks lead the group with ratings of 81%. It also improved the marketability of stocks such as Polo, Ralph Lauren and Coach. In January, Dillard's posted a 6% jump in stores open at least one year. For 2010, Nordstrom's sales rose 4.8% with the fourth quar- ter up 6.7%. With prospects for economic recovery gain S ing steam, consumers will be more willing to spend on clothing, shoes, household goods and other merchan- dise sold by department stores. It's time to call your financial advisor or call me at 617-261-7777. Rapino Memorial Home 9 Chelsea St., East Boston 617-567-1380 Kirby-Rapino Memorial Home 917 Bennington St. East Boston 617-569-0305 Dino ' C. Manca Funeral Director A Family Service Affiliate of AFFS/Service Corp. Int'l 206WinterSt. o FalfRiver, MA02720 508-676-2454 Mothers for Justice and Equafity I think it was a positive sign to see community people trying to channel their communal grief in ways that create hope and in ways to harness responses to continual violence killing so many young people. Sarah Flint lost her 15- year-old son to violence back on August 20, 1981, to be ex- act. He died after getting stabbed at Orchard Gardens. I am sure every time a young person is killed in vio- lence, she members her son who never made it to his 16 th birthday. She retired from the city's Department of Neighborhood Development and has now become the co- ordinator for a new neighbor- hood group aiming to zero in on the root cause of this vio- lence. Mothers for Justice and Equality was founded last year by Monalisa Smith, vice 'president at Citizens Bank. Last September, her 18- year-old nephew was shot to death. The murder of anyone young or old should never become the norm. The prob- lem has always been what to do. What kind of action to take. The group had a kick-off in Grove Hall last October. City Councilor Ayanna Pressley was there and recalled that day. As Pressley states," (These mothers) are authorities on the issue, they have PhDs in suffering. Their voices need to be heard. Too often we're talking about people im- pacted or vulnerable, but we're not engaging them as stakeholders in finding so- lutions." Pressley is correct. The only way we can change that "norm" is to engage the folks losing their loved ones on the front lines and back- alleys of the community. Killings should always be considered an injustice, but if you're looking for preven- tion and intervention, it has to happen a long time before CORIs become issues. I am glad that this group of mothers have been stirred up to fight for a better future for themselves and their community but where have the men of the community gone? Where are the fathers concerned about their sons and daughters? Parents are the bottom line. The com- munity at large can offer support and comfort. Politi- cians at City Hall and the State House can lend assis- tance but it is the job of par- ents to empower themselves and inspire their children's hopes and dreams. Empow- erment is not a gift, it comes from within. Aren't the root causes of violence all over the place? It begins with a feeling of helplessness. It grows with despair. It is fueled by anger and resentment. It is de- feated when the foundation of the family is strong. Vio- lence is killed when we start loving one another and our- selves. You can't ask government to do that which we should be doing. We need to stop becoming victims and start becoming the real solution needed to ending the mad- ness we too often assume is normal activity In Loving Memory of 5trances (Itchy) 5ord - Boston University Sargent College Alumnus Class of 1952 AUGUST 23, 1931 - JANUARY 22, 201 I The family and friends of Frances wish to inform friends and classmates of her passing on January 22, 2011. She attended her SO u Class Reunion in 2002 at Boston University where she reconnected with many friends. May She Rest in Peace All are invited to attend a memorial service on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 11 a.m. St. Paul's Church, 294 Main St., South, Woodbury, CT Condolences can be sent to 136A Heritage Village, Southbury, Connecticut 06488 Please call Tina 203-405-3042