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saco-indonesia.com, Wibowo yang berusia (20) tahun , mahasiswa Universitas Palangkaraya (Unpar) Kalimantan Tengah (Kalteng) telah ditemukan tewas terseret arus dan tenggelam di Sungai Barito. Korban telah ditemukan dalam keadaan tak bernyawa setelah tim penyelamat melakukan penyisiran selama empat jam usai menerima laporan.

Saat kejadian, mahasiswa Unpar semester III, warga Jalan Sengaji Hilir Gang Kuala Lumpur Muara Teweh ini ketika sungai sedang surut. Wibowo telah dilaporkan tenggelam sekitar pukul 17.00 WIB dan telah ditemukan pada pukul 21.00 malam Wib di kawasan Jalan Panglima Batur Muara Teweh.

"Korban ditemukan telah meninggal dunia di Sungai Barito setelah empat jam tenggelam," kata warga Muara Teweh, Dadang, Jumat (7/2).

Peristiwa nahas yang telah menimpa atlet bulu tangkis di Barito Utara ini telah terjadi karena tidak bisa berenang. Namun, korban bersama adik dan kawan-kawannya nekat mandi di Sungai Barito yang dangkal di dekat Muara Sungai Butong (anak Sungai Barito).

Di tengah mandi bersama, korban yang juga putra seorang PNS Dinas Perhubungan Barito Utara itu memisahkan diri dari teman-temannya. Wibowo juga sempat meminta tolong, namun teriakannya tidak dihiraukan oleh rekan-rekannya yang berada di sungai tersebut.

"Tanpa diketahui penyebabnya tiba-tiba korban terbawa arus, namun karena asiknya mereka mandi, sehingga tidak menghiraukan korban berteriak minta tolong," beber warga lainnya, Agus.

Kemudian teman-temannya berlarian berupaya untuk menolong, tetapi korban sudah terseret arus bawah yang deras dan hilang ditelan Sungai Barito. Upaya pencarian dilakukan hingga malam hari oleh jajaran anggota polisi dan TNI-AD setempat serta warga setempat dan korban telah berhasil ditemukan tidak jauh dari tempat kejadian musibah.

"Surutnya Sungai Barito memudahkan pencarian terhadap korban dan jasad korban langsung dilarikan ke rumah sakit umum daerah (RSUD) Muara Teweh untuk divisum," ungkapnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

MAHASISWA UNPAR TEWAS TENGGELAM DI SUNGAI BARITO

Setiap rumah biasanya telah memiliki sofa diruang keluarga ataupun di ruang tamu. Sofa yang telah terawat baik dan bersih akan dapat membuat ruangan terlihat lebih menarik dan telah memberikan kesan yang baik untuk pemilik rumah. Karena Image si pemilik rumah dipertaruhkan, sofa juga harus dibersihkan secara berkala. Repot? Tentu saja tidak. Untuk dapat membersihkan sofa,Anda hanya perlu melakukan langkah-langkah mudah berikut ini.
Cara bersihkan Sofa Kulit Oscar

Pertama,campurkan deterjen dengan air hingga berbusa. Sikat sofa dengan sikat halus atau sikat gigi di bagian sofa yang kotor dengan halus dengan busa dari air deterjen tersebut. Setelah terasa bersih,keringkan sofa dengan lap kering dengan cara ditekan-tekan atau dijemur. Untuk campuran pembersih,Anda juga dapat mencampurkan sedikit cuka di campuran deterjen air.

Apabila takut deterjen atau cuka akan merusak sofa, maka sebaiknya di coba dahulu di bagian belakang atau pojok yang tidak terlihat.
Cara bersihkan Sofa Kain

Sofa kain sangat berbeda cara memberihkannya dengan sofa oscar. Sofa kain memang lebih gampang kotor tetapi sofa kain lebih mudah di bersihkan, yakni hanya dengan vacum cleaner. Untuk orang yang alergi debu, sebaiknya sofa divacumm setiap hari agar tidak ada debu yang menempel di permukaan sofa.

Cara bersihkan Sofa Kulit Asli

Karena sofa berbahan kulit asli jauh lebih mahal dari pada bahan sofa lainnya, sebaiknya untuk dapat membersihkan sofa jenis ini digunakan cairan pembersih khusus kulit. Cairan ini juga dapat dibeli di toko yang menjual bahan-bahan kulit ataupun di supermarket.

Semua cara membersihkan sofa di atas dapat dilakukan sendiri dirumah dengan pengeluaran biaya atau harga yang murah, sehingga Anda tidak perlu memanggil tukang untuk membersihkan sofa secara khusus. Tetapi apabila sofa Anda telah rusak sedikit dan membutuhkan ganti kain atau service sofa lainnya, silahkan hubungi Subur Furniture karena kami juga telah memberikan jasa mengganti kain, oscar ataupun kulit untuk sofa lama kesayangan Anda dengan harga yang murah.

Selain untuk rumah terlihat lebih rapi, bagus, dan terawat, sofa yang bersihpun juga akan membuat anak kita yang tidur diatas sofa lebih pulas dan aman. Jadi tips untuk membersihkan sofa ini boleh dishare untuk teman-teman yang lain agar tamu yang datang atau keluarga yang pakai sofa dapat duduk dengan bersih.

 

CARA MUDAH MEMBERSIHKAN SOFA

Selama ini tekanan darah tinggi memang sudah diketahui sebagai faktor yang bisa meningkatkan risiko stroke. Namun baru-baru ini peneliti telah menemukan bahwa tekanan darah yang naik sedikit saja sudah bisa meningkatkan kemungkinan seseorang terkena stroke.

Hasil ini telah didapatkan peneliti setelah menganalisis data dari 760.000 partisipan yang telah diikuti selama 36 tahun. Mereka telah menemukan bahwa kenaikan tekanan darah yang sedikit, seringkali disebut juga pre-hipertensi, bisa memicu terjadinya stroke. Kenaikan sedikit saja pada tekanan darah bisa meningkatkan risiko stroke hingga 66 persen.

"Analisis ini telah memberikan konfirmasi terhadap bukti-bukti pada banyak penelitian. Penelitian ini telah mengonfirmasi bahwa kenaikan sedikit tekanan darah saja penting dan sangat berimbas pada risiko stroke," ungkap Dr Ralph Sacco dari University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Sebelumnya penelitian di Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, juga telah menunjukkan bahwa 20 persen stroke terjadi pada orang yang telah mengalami pre-hipertensi. Hasil ini tetap sama meski peneliti memperhitungkan faktor lain seperti kolesterol tinggi, diabetes, dan kebiasaan merokok.

Dr John Volpi dari Houston Methodist Hospital di texas telah menyarankan agar orang senantiasa mengontrol tekanan darah mereka. Jangan remehkan tekanan darah yang naik secara perlahan, meski tak sering. Karena itu bisa berimbas pada hal lainnya dan bahkan bisa memicu stroke. Lakukan juga gaya hidup yang sehat dan makan makanan bernutrisi untuk menjaga tekanan darah tetap stabil.

Awas, tekanan darah naik sedikit saja tingkatkan risiko stroke
Portal Lowongan Kerja Indonesia. Update Informasi Lowongan Kerja Terbaru Januari 2014 di PT. SHIMANO BATAM sebagai Production Trainer. Perusahaan tersebut sedang membutuhkan tenaga kerja profesional untuk menempati kursi kekosongan. Bagi anda yang berminat untuk menempati kekosongan tersebut, silahkan baca persyaratan pendaftaran dan simak artikel selengkapnya di bawah ini :
 
Profil Perusahaan : We are a world leader in innovative bicycle components manufacturing and fishing equipment. In part of our expansion of product range in the SEA team, we are seeking dedicated talents to join our team in a fast pace, challenging environment.
We believe that people are our strength, and developing their talents and knowledge are vital to our growth.
 
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Alamat : Batam
 
Lokasi Kerja : Batam
Posisi Pekerjaan : PRODUCTION TRAINER
 
Responsibilities :
 
  • To set training module/ method to support production
  • Developing new training or methods of training for up-grade human quality
  • Trains & teach assembly and production workers in the classroom
  • Monitoring, visit & audit the workers at works station for ensuring no wrong process/ system committed by workers.
  • Data documentation

Requirements :
 
  • Senior High School with more than 10 years experience/ Minimum Diploma degree with 5 years experiences in training & development people
  • Familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field
  • Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.
  • Able to speak, read and write in English
  • Have strong leadership skill, Innovative and creative
  • Proficient to do presentation
 
Interested applicants are welcome to send the application letter and resume (not more than 1 MB) to:
Baca Selengkapnya di : Lowongan Kerja Januari Terbaru di PT. SHIMANO BATAM | Batam
 
 
Tag Lowongan Kerja Terbaru Januari 2014 : Bekasi, Bogor, Karawang, Malang, Banda Aceh, Bandar Lampung, Banyuasin, Batam, Baturaja, Bengkalis, Bengkulu, Blambangan Umpu, Bukittinggi, Gedong Tataan, Gunung Sitoli, Gunung Sugih, Gunung Tua, Indralaya, Jambi, Kalianda, Karang Baru, Karang Tinggi, Kayu Agung, Kisaran, Koba, Kota Agung, Kota Bumi, Kota Pinang, Kuala Tungkal, Kutacane, Lahat, Lhokseumawe, Limapuluh, Liwa, Manggar, Manna, Martapura, Medan, Menggala, Metro, Pagaralam, Pandan, Panguruan, Pariaman, Payakumbuh, Pekanbaru, Pematang Siantar, Prabumulih, Pringsewu, Sabang, Salak, Sawahlunto, Selat Panjang, Solok, Stabat, Subulussalam, Sukadana, Tebing Tinggi, Ambarawa, Anyer, Bandung, Bangil, Banjar, Banjarnegara, Bangkalan, Bantul, Banyumas, Banyuwangi, Batang, Batu, Bekasi, Blitar, Blora, Bogor, Bojonegoro, Bondowoso, Boyolali, Bumiayu, Brebes, Caruban, Cianjur, Ciamis, Cibinong, Cikampek, Cikarang, Cilacap, Cilegon, Cirebon, Demak, Depok, Garut, Gresik, Indramayu, Jakarta, Jember, Jepara, Jombang, Kajen, Karanganyar, Kebumen, Kediri, Kendal, Kepanjen, Klaten, Kraksaan, Kudus, Kuningan, Lamongan, Lumajang, Madiun, Magelang, Magetan, Majalengka, Malang, Mojokerto, Mojosari, Mungkid, Ngamprah, Nganjuk, Ngawi, Pacitan, Pamekasan, Pandeglang, Pare, Pati, Pasuruan, Pekalongan, Pelabuhan Ratu, Pemalang, Ponorogo, Probolinggo, Purbalingga, Purwakarta, Purwodadi, Purwokerto, Purworejo, Rangkasbitung, Rembang, Salatiga, Sampang, Semarang, Serang, Sidayu, Sidoarjo, Singaparna, Situbondo, Slawi, Sleman, Soreang, Sragen, Subang, Sukabumi, Sukoharjo, Sumber, Sumedang, Sumenep, Surabaya, Surakarta, Tasikmalaya, Tangerang, Tangerang Selatan, Tegal, Temanggung, Tigaraksa, Trenggalek, Tuban, Tulungagung, Ungaran, Wates, Wlingi, Wonogiri, Wonosari, Wonosobo, Yogyakarta.
 
 
Demikianlah Informasi mengenai Lowongan Kerja Januari Terbaru 2014 di D3 / Lowongan Kerja / Riau / SMA. Semoga artikel Lowongan Kerja Januari Terbaru di PT. SHIMANO BATAM | Batam dapat bermanfaat untuk menggapai karir anda, dan dapat mengurangi pengangguran yang ada di Indonesia. Terima Kasih.

 

Baca Portal Lowongan Kerja Indonesia Terbaru Lainnya :

LOWONGAN KERJA JANUARI TERBARU DI MULTI DISPLAY DESIGN COMPUTER | BANDUNG

LOWONGAN KERJA JANUARI TERBARU DI PT. SHIMANO BATAM | BATAM
 
 
 
Dapatkah aku melukis cinta untukmu?
Mengguratkan sejuta warna
yang bisa membuatmu indah..
Dapatkah aku melukis cinta untukmu?
Seperti notasi mimpi kupu-kupu
bersayap biru,
Terbang bersama menuju negeri pelangi..
Dapatkah aku melukis cinta untukmu?
Mengisyaratkan lelahku di jalan resah!
Puisi Cinta Romantis
Tak terasa kita telah bersama
Kebahagiaan dan kesedihan selalu kita lalui berdua
Aku untukmu dan kau untukku
Hukum itu selalu kita pegang erat-erat
Setiap hembusan nafas selalu menyebutmu
Setiap aliran darah selalu berkata namamu
Siang malam aku selalu membayangkanmu
Sudah ditandai

Tak terasa kita telah bersatu
Semoga tuhan terus memberkati
Hubungan jujur tak kan pernah mati
Aku berjanji untuk setia
Aku yakin kaupun setia
Puisi Janji Romantis
Jangan kau ragukan cinta dan kesetiaanku
Langit dan bumi pun tahu
Cinta kasihku satu
Dan itu hanya untukmu
Ku ingin kau mengerti
Cinta ini suci tak terbagi
Sampai nafasku terhenti
Hanya kau yang ada dihati
Ku persembahkan untukmu janji setia
Mulai kini dan selamanya
 
Akuilah Cinta
Kita tahu
kita percaya
bahwa rasa itu tumbuh sekian lama
dan bernaung di dalam hati
menunggu detik agar mewujudkanya
menjadi kata, kalimat, lalu suara
Aku tak peduli
bila ruang harus menyekat cinta
dan aku mencoba menyeru kepada detik
agar temukan kita di ujung hari
Aku tidak peduli meski dibulan tak berbulan sekalipun
ruang masih saja menyekat cinta
dan aku masih saja mencoba menyeru kepada detik
agar temukan kita di serambi taman surga
PUISI

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

Ms. Plisetskaya, renowned for her fluidity of movement, expressive acting and willful personality, danced on the Bolshoi stage well into her 60s, but her life was shadowed by Stalinism.

Maya Plisetskaya, Ballerina Who Embodied Bolshoi, Dies at 89

A 214-pound Queens housewife struggled with a lifelong addiction to food until she shed 72 pounds and became the public face of the worldwide weight-control empire Weight Watchers.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

Audio

The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

Audio

Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Audio

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52

Mr. Haroche was a founder of Liberty Travel, which grew from a two-man operation to the largest leisure travel operation in the United States.

Gilbert Haroche, Builder of an Economy Travel Empire, Dies at 87

Mr. Goldberg was a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist who was married to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Dave Goldberg, Head of Web Survey Company and Half of a Silicon Valley Power Couple, Dies at 47

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.

But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.

The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.

“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”

The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.

What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.

Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.

“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.

Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.

Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.

Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.

Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.

White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.

The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.

“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”

Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.

“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.

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The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)

But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.

Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.

“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”

Photo
 
Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.

Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.

The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.

The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”

Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.

Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”

Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.

While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.

An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.

“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”

An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.

“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.

But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.

“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde

Under Mr. Michelin’s leadership, which ended when he left the company in 2002, the Michelin Group became the world’s biggest tire maker, establishing a big presence in the United States and other major markets overseas.

François Michelin, Head of Tire Company, Dies at 88

Pronovost, who played for the Red Wings, was not a prolific scorer, but he was a consummate team player with bruising checks and fearless bursts up the ice that could puncture a defense.

Marcel Pronovost, 84, Dies; Hall of Famer Shared in Five N.H.L. Titles

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

Photo
Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

Photo
The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

Photo
The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.

Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.

The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.

Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.

Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run

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promo umrah januari di Ciracas jakarta
promo umrah april di Kayu Putih jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah ramadhan di Ceger jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah ramadhan di Ciracas jakarta
paket promo umrah awal tahun di Pondok Ranggon jakarta
harga berangkat umrah ramadhan bogor
biaya umrah april di Bambu Apus jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah ramadhan di Balekambang jakarta
paket promo berangkat umroh ramadhan di Cakung Barat jakarta
paket promo umroh februari bekasi barat
biaya umroh mei di Kampung Tengah jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh april di Pisangan Baru jakarta
harga umrah mei di Pondok Kelapa jakarta
paket berangkat umroh juni di Kampung Tengah jakarta
paket promo berangkat umroh april di Cililitan jakarta
biaya paket umroh april di Cakung Barat jakarta
harga umrah akhir tahun di Bali Mester jakarta
biaya paket umroh desember di Makasar jakarta
biaya paket umrah mei di Jatinegara jakarta
promo berangkat umrah awal tahun di Pisangan Baru jakarta
harga berangkat umroh maret di Cipinang jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah awal tahun di Cipayung jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah juni di Munjul jakarta
harga umroh akhir tahun di Pondok Kelapa jakarta
paket promo umrah februari di Malaka Jaya jakarta
paket umrah akhir tahun di Jati jakarta
biaya umrah mei di Pondok Kopi jakarta
biaya umroh awal tahun di Jatinegara jakarta
paket berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Pisangan Baru jakarta
paket promo umrah akhir tahun di Makasar jakarta
biaya paket umroh akhir tahun di Cipinang Melayu jakarta
harga berangkat umrah januari di Cipayung jakarta
paket umroh ramadhan di Kebon Pala jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah maret di Ciracas jakarta
harga berangkat umroh januari di Cibubur jakarta
harga umroh januari di Kalisari jakarta
harga paket umrah februari di Pulo Gadung jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah januari di Bidaracina jakarta
promo berangkat umrah mei bekasi utara
paket promo umroh desember di Malaka Sari jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Pondok Ranggon jakarta
biaya umroh april di Rawa Terate jakarta
biaya paket umroh juni di Bambu Apus jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Pondok Kopi jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh awal tahun di Utan Kayu Selatan jakarta
paket promo umrah februari bekasi barat
biaya umroh awal tahun di Cawang jakarta
paket promo umroh ramadhan tangerang
biaya berangkat umrah juni bogor
harga umrah maret di Dukuh jakarta
paket promo umroh juni di Duren Sawit jakarta
harga berangkat umrah januari di Pinang Ranti jakarta
paket umroh juni bekasi timur
harga paket berangkat umrah desember di Kramat Jati jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Matraman jakarta
paket umroh awal tahun di Utan Kayu Utara jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah desember di Lubang Buaya jakarta
paket umrah januari di Batuampar jakarta
biaya paket umroh februari di Cipinang Melayu jakarta
paket umroh ramadhan di Pinang Ranti jakarta
biaya umroh maret di Munjul jakarta
biaya umroh juni di Kampung Tengah jakarta
biaya umroh juni di Halim Perdanakusuma jakarta
biaya umroh januari di Cililitan jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh juni di Cipinang Cempedak jakarta
promo berangkat umrah maret di Pekayon jakarta
paket berangkat umrah maret di Ujung Menteng jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah februari di Penggilingan jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah desember di Malaka Sari jakarta
biaya paket umrah april di Jatinegara jakarta
biaya paket umroh maret di Pulo Gadung jakarta
paket promo umroh mei di Kramat Jati jakarta
harga berangkat umroh awal tahun di Pulo Gadung jakarta