PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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saco-indonesia.com, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) telah memanggil Wakil Ketua Pusat Pelaporan dan Analisis Transaksi Keuangan (PPATK), Agus Santoso, terkait penyidikan dalam kasus pemberian Fasilitas Pendanaan Jangka Pendek dan penetapan Bank Century sebagai bank gagal yang berdampak sistemik.

Dia juga akan diperiksa sebagai saksi terkait  dugaan korupsi mantan Deputi V Bank Indonesia, Budi Mulya.

"Yang bersangkutan diperiksa sebagai saksi," kata Kepala Bagian Pemberitaan dan Informasi KPK, Priharsa Nugraha, saat dikonfirmasi, Senin (27/1/2014).

Agus Santoso diketahui pernah menjadi Deputi Direktur Departemen Perencanaaan Strategis dan Hubungan Masyarakat (DPSHM) Bank Indonesia (BI).

Selain Agus, KPK juga berencana memeriksa mantan Direktur Hukum BI Ahmad Fuad, pegawai BI Rudiatin S Djadmiko, mantan pegawai BI, Eddy Sulaiman Yusuf, Deputi Gubernur BI Halim Alamsyah, mantan Pegawai BI Rusli Simanjuntak dan Pegawai BI Doddy Budi Waluyo4


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

KPK PERIKSA WAKIL KETUA PPATK

Saco-Indonesia.com - Wali Kota Bandung Ridwan Kamil selalu memiliki inovasi untuk memajukan Kota Kembang tersebut. Sebentar lagi Bandung akan memiliki 'kota teknologi', sebuah kawasan seluas 600 hektar atau setara dengan Kecamatan Kemang, Jakarta Selatan.

"Saya ingin tempat itu menjadi tempat orang-orang kreatif, yang bisa mendukung UKM atau start-up yang berbasis teknologi untuk membuka usaha di sana. Mereka bisa menggunakan tempatnya gratis untuk 6 bulan pertama," ujar pria yang biasa disapa Emil itu saat berbincang dengan merdeka.com di Jakarta, Rabu (12/3).

Di Amerika Serikat, ada sebuah kawasan yang dikenal sebagai kota teknologi di Silicon Valley di kota San Jose. Silicon Valley melahirkan perusahaan kelas dunia seperti Yahoo, Google, dan Apple Computer. Emil sebelum menjabat sebagai wali kota adalah seorang arsitek terkenal, mimpinya adalah membangun sebuah legacy di Bandung.

"Daripada lahan tersebut hanya digunakan sebagai lahan perumahan biasa, saya pikir Bandung butuh sesuatu yang lebih. Perumahan yang bisa membantu industri kreatifnya dikenal oleh dunia internasional, orang-orang mudanya bisa berkreasi dan berprestasi," jelasnya.

Bandung saat ini adalah kota yang penduduknya adalah pengguna aktif media sosial. Ada lebih dari 80% penduduk yang mempunyai akun jejaring sosial. Ridwan sendiri di-follow oleh 450.000 akun di Twitter. Dia mengatakan bahwa banyak hal yang dilaporkan oleh masyarakat Bandung melalui media sosial, sehingga banyak masalah segera diketahui oleh pemerintah.

"Di sosial media ada segalanya," ujar Emil.

"Kita tidak bisa pakai perasaan. Ada hujatan, ada kritik, ada saran dan ada pujian. Semua ini kita pakai sebagai sumber informasi, dan kita pakai juga untuk menyampaikan informasi kita ke masyarakat," tambahnya.

Kota teknologi di Bandung ini akan menjadi sebuah kawasan yang terkoneksi dengan internet dan sosial media. Di luar terlihat seperti kawasan normal, tetapi di dalamnya akan berisi tempat-tempat untuk orang kreatif. Setiap orang yang ingin mengembangkan kreativitasnya, bisa bertemu dengan komunitas yang tepat dan bisa menikmati fasilitasnya.

Mimpi kota teknologi ini akan terwujud dalam jangka panjang, setidaknya sampai 15 tahun ke depan. Perlu ada peraturan daerah yang bisa memastikan proyek ini terus dijalankan. Indonesia butuh terobosan baru, membangkitkan prestasi orang-orang muda, seperti apa yang direncanakan oleh Emil.

 

Editor : Maulana Lee

Sumber : Merdeka.com

Seperti Amerika, Bandung akan punya kota teknologi

 Tips Merawat AC di Rumah
Sekarang ini juga sudah banyak rumah-rumah yang ada mesin pendingin udara (ruangan) atau AC. Untuk di kota, bahkan hampir tiap rumah juga punya AC atau pendingin ruangan.

Agar performance AC selalu dalam kondisi yang prima, maka diperlukan perawatan/pemeliharaan yang sangat rutin. Keuntungan jika dilakukan perawatan yang sangat rutin adalah:
- Umur part terutama kompresor menjadi lebih lama.
- Pemakaian enersi listrik efisien.
- Kapasitas pendinginan AC selalu maksimal.

Berikut adalah tips-tips atau pedoman cara untuk merawat mesin pendingin ruangan (udara) atau AC:

1. Cek filter udara unit indoor (dalam ruangan)
Karena fungsi AC antara lain adalah untuk dapat menyediakan udara yang sehat buat pernafasan, maka AC juga selalu diperlengkapi dengan filter.
Filter udara telah mempunyai fungsi ganda, yaitu
>> Untuk menjaga agar sirip-sirip coil pada unit indoor tidak cepat kotor.
>> Untuk membuat udara yang dihembuskan dari indoor bebas dari debu. Filter telah terbuat dari bahan khusus yang gampang mengikat partikel-partikel debu, bakteri, serbuk, bulu binatang, asap rokok dan lain-lain. Jika cukup banyak kotoran terakumulasi pada filter, maka akan dapat menyebabkan aliran udara fan blower terganggu, sehinga kapasitas pendinginan akan turun. Filter indoor sebaiknya dicuci minimal sebulan sekali. Membersihkan filter juga dapat dilakukan sendiri. Filter yang rusak juga harus diganti dengan yang baru. Filter umumnya mudah dilepas dan dipasang dengan cara slide-out dan slide-in.

2. Cek tekanan refrigran dan arus kompresor.
Tekanan yang berkurang juga merupakan indikasi telah terjadi kebocoran. Jika tekanan berkurang setelah unit dipakai bebarapa bulan atau setelah setahun, hal ini juga menunjukkan telah terjadi kebocoran yang sangat kecil. Perlu pemeriksaan yang teliti untuk dapat menemukan kebocoran seperti ini. Arus kompresor yang over menunjukkan kemungkinan terjadi refrigran over charge.

3. Cek kemungkinan kebocoran.
Secara berkala setiap 6 bulan atau minimal setahun sekali amati bagian-bagian perpipaan apakah menunjukkan adanya tetesan atau perembesan oli. Jika dijumpai hal ini, maka menunjukkan adanya kebocoran kecil.

4. Pencucian sirip-sirip coil evaporator dan kondensor.
Sirip-sirip pada coil evaporator & kondensor juga berfungsi untuk dapat memperluas kontak antara coil dengan udara. Jika sirip-sirip ini sampai rusak atau bengkok misalnya, maka dapat menghambat aliran udara. Gunakan sisir khusus yang dipakai untuk dapat memperbaiki sirip-sirip yang bengkok.

Dalam jangka waktu yang lama pada permukaan sirip sirip coil akan terakumulasi debu atau kerak. Hal ini juga akan dapat menghambat kontak antara sirip-sirip dengan udara, sehingga kapasitas pendinginan akan turun. Oleh karena itu sirip sirip coil evaporator maupun kondensor minimum setahun sekali harus dibersihkan. Membersihkan sirip-sirip coil diperlukan peralatan khusus dan teknisi yang terlatih.

Sirip-sirip pada AC, terutama bagian outdoor lama kelamaan akan terjadi korosi yang dapat menyebabkan kontak dengan udara menjadi kurang baik. Sirip dengan bahan khusus seperti Blue-fin misalnya, mempunyai kelebihan lebih tahan lama terhadap korosi daripada sirip aluminium biasa.

5. Periksa aliran udara unit indoor
Kecepatan fan blower indoor juga dapat menyebabkan kapasitas pendinginan berkurang. Periksa bearing mungkin kocak karena aus. Bearing dan as motor fan blower yang kering kadang dapat menimbulkan suara noise, maka berilah sedikit minyak pelumas.

6. Cek saluran pembuangan air dan leveling unit indoor
Kadang terjadi kebuntuan atau kebocoran pada saluran pembuangan air. Cek pembuangan air dengan cara mengisi air dari gelas pada tatakan penadah air pada unit indoor. Cek dudukan indoor apakah tidak ada yang kendor dan tidak miring.

7. Cek Outdoor
Cek baling-baling outdoor apakah dapat berputar dengan lancar. Berilah minyak kalau perlu. Aliran udara yang lemah pada unit outdoor akan dapat menyebabkan pembuangan panas tidak sempurna, temperatur kondensor naik, dan tekanan refrigran juga akan naik serta kapasitas pendinginan turun. Hal ini dapat menyebabkan kerja kompresor tambah berat dan umur kompresor tidak lama. Cek konektor-konektor kabel listrik apakah mungkin ada yang kendor. Cek dudukan unit outdoor apakah tidak ada skrup yang kendor dan dudukan tidak miring.

8. Pembersihan lingkungan sekitar unit outdoor
Agar proses sirkulasi pembuangan panas oleh outdoor tetap terjaga dengan sempurna, maka lingkungan disekitar unit outdoor harus selalu dipelihara. Mungkin ada sampah disekitarnya, atau mungkin ada daun pohon yang dapat menghambat sirkulasi udara.

Demikianlah tips praktis merawat AC di rumah, agar AC tidak cepat rusak dan AC dapat bekerja optimal. Semoga bermanfaat.

 

CARA PERAWATAN AC

Aku mengamati semua sahabat, dan tidak menemukan sahabat yang lebih baik daripada menjaga lidah. 

Saya memikirkan tentang semua pakaian, tetapi tidak menemukan pakaian yang lebih baik daripada takwa. 
Aku merenungkan tentang segala jenis amal baik, namun tidak mendapatkan yang lebih baik daripada memberi nasihat baik. Aku mencari segala bentuk rezki, tapi tidak menemukan rezki yang lebih baik daripada sabar.
Jika Allah yang menjadi tujuan, kenapa harus dikalahkan oleh rintangan-rintangan yang kecil di hadapan Allah? Jika mencari nafkah merupakan ibadah, semakin kerja keras kita, insya Allah semakin besar pahala yang akan diberikan oleh Allah.
Jika nafkah yang didapat merupakan bekal untuk beribadah, maka semakin banyak nafkah yang didapat, semakin banyak ibadah yang bisa dilakukan.
Ilmu itu lebih baik daripada harta. Ilmu akan menjaga engkau dan engkau menjaga harta. Ilmu itu penghukum (hakim) sedangkan harta terhukum.
Menghilangkan sifat dengki pada diri kita akan membantu kita menuju kesuksesan baik dunia maupun akhirat.
Dengan disiplin bukan saja kita tidak mendapatkan sangsi, tetapi dengan disiplin kita akan meraih sukses, terhindar (insya Allah) dari kecelakaan, dan disiplin juga adalah ibadah.
Rencana adalah jembatan menuju mimpimu, jika tidak membuat rencana berarti tidak memiliki pijakan langkahmu menuju apa yang kamu cita-citakan. 
Putuskan apa yang Kita inginkan, kemudian tulislah sebuah rencana, maka Kita akan menemukan kehidupan yang lebih mudah dibanding dengan sebelumnya.
Jangan sampai kita terlena kata mutiara untuk memenuhi kekayaan duniawi yang sifatnya hanya sementara saja, hingga kita lupa akan tugas kita yang sesungguhnya di dunia ini yaitu mengumpulkan perbekalan untuk menuju kampung akhirat yang kekal.
Jadi perkayalah diri Kita baik dengan materi maupun dengan ruhani, dan bagikan kekayaan tersebut kepada orang-orang yang ada disekitar Kita, terutama yang lebih membutuhkan.....pengen tau kelanjutan nya klik di sini

 by yandre pramana putra

KATA MUTIARA ISLAM TERBARU

Sebuah biro jasa adalah setiap jenis perusahaan yang menawarkan layanan bisnis untuk klien mereka, dalam pertukaran untuk beberapa jenis kompensasi. Istilah ini sering digunakan untuk menggambarkan setiap bisnis yang menawarkan layanan dukungan teknis untuk perusahaan berbagai ukuran, serta jenis lembaga keuangan. Dalam banyak kasus, dukungan yang ditawarkan oleh biro jasa memungkinkan perusahaan untuk melakukan outsourcing fungsi penting untuk biro jasa , sehingga mengurangi biaya operasional dari pelanggan.

Salah satu contoh umum dari biro jasa adalah bank lokal. Nasabah Bank memanfaatkan layanan yang ditawarkan melalui bank untuk mengelola keuangan mereka secara lebih efektif. Dalam pertukaran untuk layanan seperti pinjaman, rekening investasi, dan jasa rekening bahkan memeriksa, lembaga membebankan biaya berdasarkan jadwal yang diberikan kepada pelanggan.

Jenis lain yang umum adalah biro jasa komputer dan jaringan dukungan sistem. Banyak usaha kecil lebih memilih untuk melakukan outsourcing perawatan dan pemeliharaan jaringan internal mereka dan peralatan yang terkait dengan bisnis yang menawarkan berbagai layanan berbasis teknologi. Dalam pertukaran untuk merawat sistem serta setiap komponen seperti komputer desktop, dan mengelola instalasi software, biro seringkali mengenakan biaya bulanan standar. Jadwal tambahan biaya mungkin berlaku jika pelanggan membutuhkan bantuan dengan proyek-proyek yang tidak tercakup dalam ketentuan perjanjian bulanan.


Semakin, perusahaan outsourcing tugas-tugas seperti proses penggajian dan distribusi untuk beberapa jenis biro jasa. Dengan aplikasi ini, biro jasa memelihara informasi tentang setiap karyawan, termasuk spesifik mengenai pemotongan dan deposito langsung. Data ini digunakan untuk menyiapkan gaji berdasarkan jadwal yang diberikan oleh klien. Layanan penggajian yang paling maju juga dana yang dipotong untuk pajak kepada instansi pajak yang tepat, dan mengelola proses menyetorkan gaji bersih ke rekening bank yang ditunjuk masing-masing karyawan. Seperti banyak jenis biro jasa lainnya, layanan penggajian biaya biaya flat, biasanya untuk setiap gaji diproses, sebuah angka yang biasanya jauh lebih rendah daripada mempekerjakan personil untuk menangani tugas-tugas gaji di rumah.

Seiring dengan penghematan biaya yang dapat diwujudkan dengan memanfaatkan biro jasa, perusahaan kecil juga memiliki keunggulan yang mampu memproyeksikan citra menjadi operasi yang jauh lebih besar. Hal ini dapat membantu ketika mencoba untuk klien aman, sebagai model bisnis memungkinkan untuk dengan mudah memberikan tingkat yang sama dukungan kepada klien sebagai perusahaan yang jauh lebih besar bisa mengelola. Bila digabungkan dengan biaya operasional lebih rendah, menggunakan biro jasa untuk beberapa hari ke kebutuhan sehari adalah pilihan yang masuk akal bagi berbagai jenis perusahaan.

by  :  broiman

BIRO JASA

Fullmer, who reigned when fight clubs abounded and Friday night fights were a television staple, was known for his title bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio.

Gene Fullmer, a Brawling Middleweight Champion, Dies at 83

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

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

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

Ms. Rendell was a prolific writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and teeth-chattering terror.

Ruth Rendell, Novelist Who Thrilled and Educated, Dies at 85

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

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 lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85

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

With 12 tournament victories in his career, Mr. Peete was the most successful black professional golfer before Tiger Woods.

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead

Judge Patterson helped to protect the rights of Attica inmates after the prison riot in 1971 and later served on the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

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

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64
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