Ohio Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers an Energy Worker with Mesothelioma in Ohio Instant Access to The Nation’s Top Lawyers for a Better Compensation Outcome

We are especially focused on assisting power plant workers who have mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos at a power plant on the Ohio River especially in places like Steubenville.””

— Ohio Mesothelioma Victims Center

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, November 17, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Ohio Mesothelioma is now offering a person in Ohio who has been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma or their family on the spot access to the nation’s top mesothelioma-with the goal being much better financial compensation. The group is especially focused on assisting energy or utility workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in because these types of workers really can receive a million compensation settlement-as they would like to explain anytime at 800-714-0303.http://Ohio.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

Energy workers in Ohio with mesothelioma include:

* Power plant workers
* Oil refinery workers
* Public Utility workers
* Nuclear power plant workers

The Ohio Mesothelioma Victims Center says, “Our number one goal is to see to it that a recently diagnosed person with mesothelioma in Ohio receives the very best mesothelioma financial compensation for this rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure-especially if their exposure took place as an energy or public utility worker. As we mentioned these types of people can receive a million dollars in financial compensation provided they have the nation’s most skilled and experienced mesothelioma attorneys assisting them.

“Before you hire a lawyer/law firm to assist with a mesothelioma compensation claim in Ohio please call us at 800-714-0303 so at a minimum you know exactly what specific attorneys you should be talking to. Please don’t shortchange yourself on mesothelioma compensation because you hired a less than qualified lawyer/law firm. We are especially focused on assisting power plant workers who have mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos at a power plant on the Ohio River especially in places like Steubenville. ”http://Ohio.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter

The Ohio Mesothelioma Victims Center wants to emphasize there is a statewide initiative available to a diagnosed victim anywhere in Ohio including communities such as Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Steubenville, Bellaire, or Youngstown.

Aside from their focus on the best possible compensation the Center is also extremely passionate about the best possible medical treatments. For the best possible mesothelioma treatment options in Ohio the Ohio Mesothelioma Victims Center strongly recommends the following three heath care facilities with the offer to help a diagnosed victim, or their family get to the right physicians at each hospital: Case Western Reserve University Cancer Research Center Cleveland, Ohio: http://cancer.case.edu/ , Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Columbus, Ohio: http://cancer.osu.edu/, the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute Cleveland, Ohio: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/cancer.

High-risk work groups for exposure to asbestos in Ohio include Veterans of the US Navy, power plant workers, factory workers, plumbers, electricians, coal miners, auto mechanics, machinists, and construction workers. Typically, exposure to asbestos occurred in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, or 1980’s. http://Ohio.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

The states indicated with the highest incidence of mesothelioma include Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Washington, and Oregon.

For more information about mesothelioma please refer to the National Institutes of Health’s web site related to this rare form of cancer: https://www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma.

Michael Thomas
Ohio Mesothelioma Victims Center
email us here

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Review: ‘School Girls’ Is a Gleeful African Makeover of an American Genre


From left, Nike Kadri, Nabiyah Be, Paige Gilbert and Mirirai Sithole in “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play” at the Lucille Lortel Theater. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The reach of American culture may be wide, but it is not always as profound as Americans might hope. At a girls’ boarding school in Africa, dreams are built on the backs of whatever Western brands the students have heard of. Walmart and White Castle (“a castle with food!”) are just as good grist for the fantasy mill as a “Calvin Klean” dress to wear to the dance.

And so it is for theater. “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play,” which opened on Thursday evening in an MCC Theater production, is a comedy built on borrowed templates: not just “Mean Girls,” as the subtitle admits, but also a whole genre of clique-bait movies including “Heathers,” “Jawbreaker” and “Legally Blonde.”

But something fascinating happens when the author, Jocelyn Bioh, a New York playwright and actor, applies those templates to the world of her parents, who emigrated from Ghana in 1968. The nasty-teen comedy genre emerges wonderfully refreshed and even deepened by its immersion in a world it never considered.

The outline of “School Girls,” gleefully directed by Rebecca Taichman at the Lucille Lortel Theater, will seem both familiar and not. Paulina (MaameYaa Boafo) is the haughty queen bee of a fictional in-group at Aburi Girls’ Senior High School, a real institution in southeastern Ghana. (Ms. Bioh’s mother was a student there, and apparently something of a mean girl herself.)

Styling herself as a woman of the world, Paulina rules with both favors and cruelty. “Are you determined to look like a cow?” she asks one of her underlings, a girl named Nana who swallows the insult along with the rolls she hides in her gingham uniform. The other girls, who depend on Paulina for status, giggle — and later, in private, apologize.


From left, Ms. Kadri, MaameYaa Boafo, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Ms. Be, Ms. Gilbert and Ms. Sithole in a scene from the play. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The particular insult is no accident; looks are key to a story set in motion by the arrival at Aburi of a recruiter for the Miss Ghana beauty pageant. Paulina assumes she will be selected as the local contestant, and that a glamorous life will quickly follow, including a date with Bobby Brown. (The play is set in 1986.) Though she permits the other girls to compete, it is only to set off her greater charms.

Continue reading the main story

Culture News: Tim Lennon Leads, David Armstrong Steps Down, And Bourdain Explores Seattle

Tim Lennon of new arts organization, LANGSTON

Tim Lennon of new arts organization, LANGSTON MICHAEL B. MAINE

Tim Lennon Is The New Executive Director of LANGSTON: Vera Project’s former ED will now lead the new non-profit arts organization, which will be “dedicated to the cultivation of community through Black arts and culture,” and located at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in the CD. Having Lennon at the helm of this new organization will guarantee a bright future for Black arts and culture in Seattle—can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

David Armstrong Steps Down As Artistic Director of The 5th Avenue Theatre: After an incredible 18-year tenure that included Broadway hits like Hairspray and The Pajama Game, to a fantastic array of artistic works like Room With A View and Fun Home. “David set The 5th Avenue Theatre on an artistic journey when he started here nearly two decades ago,” said Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry in the press release. “We will always be grateful to David for his incredible vision and leadership over the years,” said Managing Director Bernadine Griffin.

Bordain with The Gods Themselves. He looks like he got some sun.

Bordain with The Gods Themselves. He looks like he got some sun. CHRIS BARNES

Anthony Bordain Visited Seattle: He checked out a weed farm, ate at Mamnoon, and hung out with Seattle glam band The Gods Themselves. The show airs on Sunday.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu Was On The Daily Show: Talking about his motivations behind making his new doc about the Simpson’s Indian character, The Problem With Apu, and what it feels like “when your only image is a cartoon character voiced by a white guy, so it’s a white guy in brown paint…and this country has a history of that.” Kondabolu will be at Northwest Film Forum this Sunday and the Neptune next month.


Anastacia-Reneé KELLY O

Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Reneé Remounts Her Solo Show At Annex: Anastacia-Reneé is better known for her poetry, but for the last two years she’s been working and reworking 9 Ounces: A One Woman Show. In the piece, she fully embodies three different generations of people: a young language-loving girl named Alice, a down-but-not-out Luna, and an elderly woman named Saraphina. They’re all striving to overcome layers of oppression, from the bullshit poor people have to go through just to get healthcare, to the constant pressure of racism, to the many challenges presented by yoga. This is the biggest stage she’s had for these characters, but if there’s anyone who knows what to do with more room, it’s Anastacia.

ACES Is A New Expo & Symposium For Artists of Color: It’s POC-led and community curated. And free. The event, at the Seattle Center Armory this weekend, will feature performances, exhibits, and workshops “while focusing on the challenges and solutions” that artists of color face in the Pacific Northwest.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Backus, Highwaymen paintings to be auctioned Sunday


Their bright, tropical colors were popular for motels, medical offices and banks. As many as 200,000 paintings may still exist today. ANTHONY WESTBURY/TCPALM

VERO BEACH — Three paintings by Highwaymen mentor A.E. Backus and 100 paintings by various Highwaymen will be auctioned to the highest bidders Sunday afternoon.

Starting in the mid-1950s, a loosely organized group of 26 African-American artists, mostly from the Fort Pierce area, used vivid and bright colors in rendition of tranquil Florida landscapes. Backus, an established white regional landscape artist, mentored the first two Highwaymen artists, Harold Newton and Alfred Hair.

MORE: Artist Ray McLendon shares Florida Highwaymen art with students

Over a 40-year period, the Highwaymen created 150,000 to 200,000 paintings.

Half of the 26 are still living, and 12 of them are still painting.


The A.E. Backus Museum honors the passing of Florida Highwaymen, James Gibson, with a exhibition of his career. Ten percent of sales of any Gibson’s paintings will be donated to his scholarship fund. CINDY DOUGAN/TCPALM Cindy Dougan/TCPALM

In 1995, Jim Fitch, acquisition agent for the Florida Masters Collection and founder of the Museum of Florida Art and Culture, dubbed them the Highwaymen because they not only sold their paintings door-to-door throughout Florida, but also from the trunks of their cars along the eastern coastal roads.

In 2004, the Highwaymen were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

MORE: Learn about Highwaymen Trail

Ron Rennick, who conducts auctions of Highwaymen paintings three times a year at his real estate office, said 42 of the Highwaymen paintings belong to a Stuart widow whose husband died recently.

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The Stuart couple started their collection of Highwaymen paintings in the early 1990s, almost a decade before a 2001 book, “The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters,” and several newspaper articles gave the group of artists renewed popularlity.

Among Highwaymen artists besides Hair and Newton represented in the auction are George Buckner, Mary Ann Carroll, James Gibson, Samuel Newton and Roy McClendon.

MORE: Without this teacher there would have been no Highwaymen

The other paintings are owned by various people who consigned them for sale, he said. 

Rennick said the group of 103 paintings is close to the largest lot of 106 he has sold in one auction.

“Usually, we have 95 to 100,” he said. “That’s our ideal number to sell in three hours.”

The highest price a Backus painting has fetched during the 20 years that Rennick has been holding these art auctions was $38,500, while $9,350 is the most paid for a Highwayman painting, he said.

Art auction

What: Three paintings by A.E. Backus and 100 Highwaymen paintings.
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Rennick Real Estate & Auctions, 15 Royal Palm Pointe, Vero Beach
How to preview: Go to Rennick’s office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. Sunday until the auction, or view at www.rennickauctions.com/a-e-backus-highwaymen-paintings-auction-2/.
How to bid: No deposit is required, but bidders must register with the auctioneer. A 10 percent buyer’s premium will be added to all successful bids. Payment may be made with cash, check or credit card.
Contact: Rennick Realtors at 772-562-5015

Read or Share this story: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/entertainment/tcpalmsocial/2017/11/16/e-backus-and-100-highwaymen-paintings-auctioned-sunday-vero-beach/868513001/

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The American Black Film Festival and Lightbox Announce Winner of the 2017 Documentary Film Initiative

Director Muta’Ali’s Documentary Storm Over Brooklyn to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Racially Motivated Killing of 16-Year-Old Yusuf Hawkins

Inaugural Competition Sponsored by 21st Century Fox and National Geographic

The American Black Film Festival and Lightbox, the award-winning U.S. and U.K. production company, today announced that director Muta’Ali is the recipient of their first annual documentary film development fund. Muta’Ali will work with Lightbox and ABFF to develop his feature documentary Storm Over Brooklyn.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171116006269/en/

Muta'Ali, Director, Storm Over Brooklyn (Photo: Business Wire)

Muta’Ali, Director, Storm Over Brooklyn (Photo: Business Wire)

The ABFF Lightbox Documentary Initiative was launched earlier this year to support and foster documentary filmmakers with diverse voices and perspectives and is sponsored by 21st Century Fox and National Geographic.

Muta’Ali’s Storm Over Brooklyn was selected from over 200 submissions for documentary films that covered a wide range of topics that reflect the experiences of people of color today. ABFF and Lightbox hope to get the film funded and finished in time to have its world premiere at the 23rd annual American Black Film Festival in Miami in June 2019.

Storm Over Brooklyn will revisit the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black American teenager who was shot to death after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on the evening of Aug. 23, 1989. Hawkins had come to Bensonhurst with three friends that day to look at a used car when they were attacked by the hostile mob, whose members mistakenly believed that Hawkins was dating a neighborhood girl who was white. The incident shocked New York and the nation, and unleashed a torrent of racial tension in an already divided city and led to nationally televised protests and marches led by the Rev. Al Sharpton. The growing unrest indubitably contributed to the ousting of New York City Mayor Ed Koch in favor of David Dinkins, who became the city’s first — and as of now, only — African-American mayor. Hawkins was just 16 years old at the time of his death.

“2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of Yusuf Hawkins’ death and all these years later, it is fair to say, we are still living in very precarious times,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO, ABFF. “We were incredibly moved by the relevance and power of this story and Muta’Ali’s vision for the film. The ABFF Lightbox Documentary Film Initiative is an extension of what I started with the American Black Film Festival, and I am delighted to be able to provide this new platform in partnership with Lightbox, and we are deeply grateful to National Geographic and 21st Century Fox for standing behind this meaningful initiative.”

Lightbox’s Jonathan Chinn added, “I was immediately impressed with Muta’Ali’s passion and creative ambition for the film. The fact that he has already secured Yusuf’s family’s blessing and their active participation in the film along with the participation of many of the key players in the story points to a film that cannot only enter the ongoing conversation we are still having about racial discrimination in America, but that can do justice to the memory and legacy of Yusuf Hawkins. Lightbox and ABFF are thrilled to be collaborating with Muta’Ali on this important and timely film.”

Lightbox and initiative sponsor National Geographic recently collaborated on the Emmy Award-winning feature documentary LA 92, which used only archival footage to tell the story of the lead-up and conflagration of the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 that followed the acquittal of four white LAPD officers accused of beating Rodney King. LA 92 has recently been nominated for a Cinema Eye Award and two International Documentary Association Awards, including the award for Best Feature.

“National Geographic is thrilled to be part of this year’s inaugural competition, and the selection of Muta’Ali as this year’s winner is a perfect choice,” said Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production for National Geographic Channel. “Nurturing up-and-coming talent is incredibly important to us at National Geographic, and working with Lightbox and ABFF on this initiative and discovering filmmakers like Muta’Ali is really exciting.”

Muta’Ali hails from Westchester County, New York. His debut film, “Life’s Essentials With Ruby Dee,” a documentary about his late grandmother, featured notable subjects including Harry Belafonte, Alan Alda, Phylicia Rashad and Spike Lee. His goal is to have his artistic body of work be wholly focused on what he calls “Love, Art & Activism.” In response to winning the ABFF Lightbox Documentary Film Initiative, Muta’Ali stated, “I am thrilled to have been selected as the first beneficiary of this important initiative. Jeff and Jonathan are the ideal partners to help me take the complex story of Yusuf Hawkins and his killing out of my head and onto screens. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for this opportunity and I look forward to creating a film that is true to who Yusuf was and true to all the people who have fought for equality in his name.”

Join the conversation on social media by visiting ABFF’s multiple social media platforms:

About Lightbox

Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multinational media company focused on creating high-quality nonfiction programming for film, television and digital platforms. It was founded in 2014 by Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers and cousins Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. Simon and Jonathan’s partnership represents a seamless melding of two distinct but compatible backgrounds and a strongly shared creative sensibility. Since its founding in 2014, Lightbox has produced many notable projects, including documentary films “Atari: Game Over” and “The Thread” for Xbox Entertainment Studios; an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal titled “Fantastic Lies”; and several series for both the U.K. and U.S. markets, such as “The Traffickers” for Fusion, “Inside British Vogue” for BBC, “The Runner-Up” for Esquire, “War Child” for Channel 4 and the groundbreaking “Captive” for Netflix. Lightbox recently released its first theatrical feature documentary, LA 92, about the 1992 LA riots for National Geographic’s Documentary Films Division, and is currently in production on the first and only authorized documentary about legendary pop icon Whitney Houston, which is slated to hit theaters in 2018. Prior to co-founding Lightbox, Simon Chinn became one of the world’s most successful feature documentary producers with two Academy Award-winning documentaries, “Man on Wire” and “Searching for Sugar Man,” to his credit. His other prior producing credits include “Project Nim,” “The Imposter,” “The Green Prince” and “My Scientology Movie.” Jonathan Chinn co-founded Lightbox on the heels of a successful career as one of the most respected nonfiction television showrunners in the U.S., winning an Emmy for “American High” (Fox/PBS) as well as the Television Academy’s prestigious Honors Award for “30 Days” (FX), which went on to become FX’s highest-rated unscripted series. Other producing credits include “Kid Nation” (CBS), “Push Girls” (Sundance) and “Hotel Hell” (Fox).

About ABFF

The American Black Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. It supports emerging artists to foster a wider range of images, stories and storytellers represented in the entertainment industry. The festival is committed to the belief that black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry and strengthen the black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Today, ABFF is recognized as the preeminent pipeline to new black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, film, television and digital content targeted to upscale African-American audiences.

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 760 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.


21st Century Fox is the world’s premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic, STAR India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 350 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50% ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds a 39.1% ownership interest in Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves 22 million customers across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Volunteering: good for the soul

By Jan Collins

Jan Collins
Jan Collins
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember that volunteering as a way of helping others is good for the soul.

Volunteering also helps build a stronger society, according to Benjamin Franklin, who is known as the Founding Father of American Volunteerism. (In his spare time, he gathered volunteers to sweep the streets of Philadelphia, organized the nation’s first volunteer fire department, and established a voluntary militia.)

Today, about one in four Americans volunteer through or for organizations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics, women continue to volunteer at a higher rate than men.

If you are interested in taking the leap and becoming a volunteer— or if you already volunteer but would like to do even more – check out the 23 organizations in this article that need you. Focused on advancing justice and equality, they were showcased at last month’s “I Believe Anita Hill!” networking event in Columbia.

Auntie Karen Foundation

The Auntie Karen Foundation, founded in 2001, creates and implements a series of replicable community outreach programs designed to empower, enlighten, and educate through the arts. auntiekaren.org

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands provide after-school and summer programs for young people that are designed to meet their needs and interests and teach them the skills they need to succeed. More than 25 national programs are offered in the areas of education, the environment, health, the arts, careers, alcohol/drug and pregnancy prevention, gang prevention, leadership development, and athletics. begreatacademy.org

Carolina Peace Resource Center

The mission of the Carolina Peace Resource Center is to advance the cause of peace and justice—and peaceful resolution of conflict—in the world by facilitating and encouraging research and education. carolinapeace.org

Choose Well

Choose Well, a contraceptive access initiative that aims to reduce unintended pregnancy in South Carolina, provides education and access to eight forms of free and low-cost birth control. facebook.com/choosewellinitiative

Communities In Schools of the Midlands

Communities In Schools of the Midlands surrounds students with a community of support that encourages them to stay in school and be successful. cism.org

Epworth Children’s Home

Children ages four to 18 come to Epworth from severely stressed families, and the goal is to nurture and love them by providing counseling, medical care, and spiritual enrichment. Founded in 1896, it is a member of the United Methodist Association of Health & Welfare Ministries. epworthchildrenshome.org

Every Black Girl

Every Black Girl (EBG) aims to center black women and girls as active agents of change who can thrive beyond the adversities of their communities. facebook.com/EveryBlackGirlFamily

Connection of South Carolina

Based on the concept of parent-to-parent support, Family Connection of South Carolina is a support network of families and professionals who care for children of all ages with disabilities and special health care needs.  familyconnectionsc.org


FoodShare’s mission is to provide “Good, Healthy Food for All.” The goal is to improve health and enhance the quality of life in South Carolina by providing access to fresh affordable food, quality cooking and skills education, and food-based entrepreneurial opportunities. foodsharesc.org

The Harriet Hancock Center

The only LGBT community center in Columbia, this provides a safe and welcoming space for South Carolina’s LGBT community and its allies, and offers a variety of resources. harriethancockcenter.org

Homeless No More

Formerly known as Trinity Housing Corporation, Homeless No More was created in 1989 in response to the rising number of homeless families in the Midlands. The organization seeks to eradicate family homelessness as it helps parents and children achieve lasting independence. homeless nomoresc.org

League of Women Voters of South Carolina

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization. Formed from the women’s suffrage movement, the league actively registers and encourages citizens to vote and is also active in the areas of social and economic justice and citizens’ health and welfare. lwvsc.org


Founded in 2005, PASOs’mission is to build a stronger South Carolina by supporting Latino communities with education, advocacy, and leadership development. scpasos.org

Planned Parenthood

South Atlantic Planned Parenthood

South Atlantic is a nonprofit healthcare provider offering a wide range of affordable, reliable reproductive and sexual healthcare services in 14 locations across South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. ppsat.org

Senior Resources

Senior Resources is a nonprofit organization that coordinates services, provides resources, and encourages the personal choices that allow Midlands area senior citizens to remain independent. Senior Resources celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2017. seniorresourcesinc.org

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

STSM, one of 15 rape crisis centers in South Carolina, advocates for and supports survivors of sexual assault and abuse and educates the community to identify and prevent sexual violence.stsm.org


Sistercare provides shelter and support services for survivors of domestic violence and their children in Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Newberry, and Fairfield counties. It also promotes prevention of domestic violence through community awareness and training. sistercare.org

South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center SC

Appleseed advocates on behalf of the low-income community to address social, legal, and economic injustice. scjustice.org

The Cooperative Ministry

For more than 35 years, The Cooperative Ministry has been helping people experiencing poverty in the Midlands by offering financial programs and services designed to alleviate an immediate crisis and place individuals and families on the path toward economic self-sufficiency. coopmin.org

The Women’s Shelter

The Women’s Shelterprovides safety and assistance to women who are temporarily or permanently separated from their children, offering temporary housing, transitional housing, dental services and on-site counseling. womenshelter.org


Transitions is the Midlands’ largest homeless shelter, providing men and women 18 years of age and older with meals, showers, health services and housing. transitionssc.org

Women Engaged

Women Engaged (WE) is an African-American Women’s Giving Circle focused on civic literacy, financial empowerment, and social justice. The organization cultivates philanthropy and leverages resources to support member-identified initiatives that address social and economic obstacles in South Carolina. wegivesc.org

Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN)

Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network is a South Carolina-based network created to build a movement that provides a strong, collective voice to advance the health, economic well-being and rights of South Carolina’s women and girls. scwren.org

Jan Collins is a Columbia-based freelance writer, editor, and journalist. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, she is the co-author of Next Steps: A Practical Guide to Planning for the Best Half of Your Life (Quill Driver Books, 2009).

The pendulum swings

Wikimedia Commons

year after Trump was elected president, we finally have something to smile about. This month’s elections brought a tidal wave of victories for Democrats and progressives in gubernatorial, state legislative, county and city races across the country. The next governors of New Jersey and Virginia are Democrats. Many women, ethnic minorities and LGBTQ+ folks were elected. Montana now has its first black mayor and New Jersey has its first Sikh mayor.

In Virginia, Danica Roem became America’s first openly transgender state representative. She is a 33-year-old former journalist who campaigned about traffic problems, jobs and schools. She defeated Robert G. Marshall, a 13-term incumbent who authored several anti-trans bills and who said he was the state’s “chief homophobe.”

In Philadelphia, Larry Krasner was elected district attorney. He is a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer who has defended the city’s poor as well as Occupy Philly and Black Lives Matter protesters.

He has sued the Philadelphia Police Department at least 75 times. His campaign pledges were to stop mass incarceration, end bail and civil asset forfeiture, and to resist the Trump administration.

Maine became the first state where voters defied their Republican governor’s refusal to expand Medicaid. The ballot initiative passed by an almost 20 -point margin. Now an estimated 70,000 low-income residents will get health care coverage.

One of the most intriguing developments is the rise of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). It is not a political party. This month, 15 DSA members were elected around the country. They ran in non-partisan races and as Democrats. This is in addition to 20 elected members already in office. On Nov. 7, DSA was represented in 25 elections across 13 different states. DSA members won races in 11 states, including red and purple states like Montana, Tennessee and Iowa.

In Virginia, DSA member Lee Carter unseated the Virginia House GOP Majority Whip Jackson Miller in a nine-point victory. Carter is a 30-year-old IT specialist and Marine veteran from Manassas. He ran openly as a socialist.

Near the end of the campaign, Miller sent out mailers comparing Carter to Joe Stalin and Mao Zedong. Carter preferred to talk about what he would do as a state legislator rather than philosophizing about socialism. He advocates a state-level single payer health care system and a ban on corporate campaign contributions in Virginia and a limit on individual contributions. Virginia currently has no limit on campaign contributions.

Nevertheless, Carter was quite willing to discuss his democratic vision of socialism when asked. He said he wanted to bring democracy into the workplace by supporting unions and worker-owned co-ops.

He told The New Republic, “If you’re to the left of Barry Goldwater, Republicans are going to call you a socialist anyway, so you may as well just own the label. The issues that I care about and the issues that the Democratic Socialists of America are working on are the issues that the Democratic Party’s voter base cares about.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter Patrick Wilson wrote that Carter was “the kind of rogue candidate that gives an apparatus like the Democratic Party of Virginia a fit.” Carter did get the support of the local Democratic Party and grassroots groups like labor unions, Planned Parenthood, Indivisible, Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution and the Metro D.C. chapter of DSA.

Wilson said that the state party establishment abandoned Carter when he wouldn’t tone down his anti-corporate message, particularly his opposition to Dominion Energy’s plans for a natural gas pipeline.

“The Democratic Party establishment,” Wilson noted, “is aligned with Dominion Energy, a regulated monopoly, and supportive of Dominion’s desire to build the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline across Virginia. Like their GOP counterparts, the Democrats are recipients of the cash Virginia’s top corporate political contributor pumps into the system, and the Democratic Party of Virginia received $125,000 in 2016, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.”

David Sirota of International Business Times asked Carter about the advice that Democratic Party strategists give to candidates who compete in a suburban district like Carter’s. They are told they should be corporate-friendly “moderates.” Carter replied:

“My district, even though it is a suburb of Washington D.C., it’s the suburb where most of the blue-collar workers live. It’s one of the more affordable places. We have a lot of people that are in the building trades. We have a lot of carpenters, painters, electricians, and so on and so forth, that live here and work throughout the rest of the D.C. area.

“It’s also one of the more diverse places in Virginia. Our population is about 13 percent African-American, about 23 percent Hispanic and Latino.”

Carter said that a lot of candidates are “playing it safe” but that isn’t working anymore. “That’s the big takeaway I got from all of 2016. The center doesn’t hold. We had Bernie Sanders on the left. We had Donald Trump on the right. Things are completely different. The parties are due for a realignment, and who knows how that’s going to shake out.”

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.


By Glenn Ellis

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – African Americans endure more intense and frequent mental and behavioral health issues than their counterparts, at least in part related to poverty and exposure to racism and discrimination, both of which disproportionally affect minorities.

African Americans share the same mental health issues as the rest of the population, with arguably even greater stressors due to racism, prejudice, and economic disparities. Meanwhile, many wonder why African Americans shy away from “getting help” as a potential solution to challenges such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, marriage problems, and parenting issues.

Mental health or mental illness is rarely discussed within the black community. In the black community, mental illness is thought of as a “white person’s disease” it is nothing that affects black people. But mental illness is not dependent upon race or gender. Mental health is extremely important for any and everyone, no matter their race may experience or deal with mental health issues. Without mental health, we cannot be healthy. Everyone experiences emotional ups and downs, including black people.

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.

The stigma surrounding mental illness in the black community is heavy as black people feel as though choosing to seek professional help, such as a therapist is a sign of weakness. The topic of mental health is largely absent from discourse in the black community. It is not a topic that is talked about amongst friends or family given the stigma associated with mental illness in the black community. In fact, some family members may even ridicule or make fun of the individual dealing with the mental illness. As a result, individuals in the black community choose to suffer in silence rather than telling anyone what they may be dealing with.

One of the reasons psychologists say black people suffer more from mental illness versus their white counterparts is because of the psycho-social reason, including socio-economic status, poverty, and crime in African-American communities.

Here are a few things to consider as we address mental illness as a collective community:

  • African Americans in the United States are less likely to receive accurate diagnoses than their Caucasian counterparts.
  • Culture biases against mental health professionals and health care professionals in general prevents many African Americans from accessing care due to prior experiences with historical misdiagnoses, inadequate treatment and a lack of cultural understanding; only 2 percent of psychiatrists, 2 percent of psychologists and 4 percent of social workers in the United States are African American.
  • African Americans tend to rely on family, religious and social communities for emotional support rather than turning to health care professionals, even though this may at times be necessary. The health care providers they seek may not be aware of this important aspect of person life.
  • Programs in African American communities sponsored by respected institutions, such as churches and local community groups can increase awareness of mental health issues and resources and decrease the related stigma

For illnesses such as non-chronic depression, let’s compare it to someone with an ankle sprain. With the sprain, it’s momentarily devastating and sometimes debilitating, but within a period of days or weeks, with proper care, a person is back to feeling whole again and walking in normal stride.

For those with chronic mental illness, be it bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder or other illnesses; let’s look at it like someone with diabetes (another illness greatly affecting African Americans).

Without proper care and management of diabetes, it can kill. But with proper care, a person can live a long, productive and positive life. Of course, it’s no great joy to constantly stick one’s self and monitor one’s blood sugar and diet, but it’s a daily necessity to remain healthy. The same can be said for the treatments of the various mental diseases that afflict millions of African Americans – they may not be “fun,” but they can help to maintain a relatively healthy life.

But as with a sprained ankle, there’s no stigma attached to diabetes. No one says stay away from him or her because that person has diabetes. The same needs to be true about those suffering from mental illness.

Encourage people battling mental illness. Support them. Guide them to seek professional assistance. Let’s lose the stigma associated with those under psychiatric care. In fact, we should applaud them for getting the care they need.

Remember, I’m not a doctor. I just sound like one. Take good care of yourself and live the best life possible!

The information included in this column is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center Is Urging a Nursing Home Employee in Louisiana With Proof Their Facility is Short Staffed or Billing Medicare For Needless Care to Call About Rewards

We would be very happy to hear from medical doctor, a nurse, or employee of a nursing home or skilled nursing facility with proof of their employer billing Medicare for hours never worked”

— Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, November 16, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center is urging an employee of a nursing home anywhere in Louisiana to all them anytime at 866-714-6466 if they possess documented proof their employer is billing Medicare as if the facility is fully staffed when the nursing home is short staffed with the result being patients are receiving substandard care. The group is also extremely interested in hearing from a nursing home employee in Louisiana if their employer is significantly involved in unnecessary medical treatments for their patients.

The group believes nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities billing Medicare for hours never worked by staff is a gigantic national problem and they believe these practices are easy to prove. The group refers to this specific type of practice as ‘short staffing’ and they are convinced the potential whistleblower with proof of these types of practices could get a substantial reward as they would like to discuss anytime at 866-714-6466. http://Louisiana.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

As an example of what the Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center is referring to, in June 2017 the Justice Department announced a national healthcare company that specializes long term care agreed to pay the federal government $53 million dollars over allegations that the company or their affiliates violated the False Claims Act by causing the submission of false claims to government health care programs for medically unnecessary therapy and hospice services, and grossly substandard nursing care. In this instance, the whistleblowers will receive a million dollar+ reward for their information.

The Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “We would be very happy to hear from medical doctor, a nurse, a nurse manager or employee of a nursing home or skilled nursing facility with proof of their employer billing Medicare for hours never worked by staff, and or billing Medicare for medical procedures or therapy that were unnecessary over the last three or four years.

“If you possess this type of information please call us anytime at 866-714-6466. This type of information could produce whistleblower rewards starting at about one hundred thousand dollars and go up based on how widespread the wrongdoing is, and the level proof on the part of the whistleblower. Why sit what could be a winning lotto ticket without ever knowing what it might have been worth?” http://Louisiana.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

Simple rules for a whistleblower from the Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center: Do not go to the government first if you are a potential whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing. The Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Major whistleblowers frequently go to the government thinking they will help. It’s a huge mistake. Do not go to the news media with your whistleblower information. Public revelation of a whistleblower’s information could destroy any prospect for a reward. Do not try to force a company/employer or individual to come clean about significant Medicare fraud, overbilling the federal government for services never rendered, multi-million-dollar state or federal tax evasion, or a Louisiana based company falsely claiming to be a minority owned business to get preferential treatment on federal or state projects. Come to us first, tell us what type of information you have, and if we think it’s sufficient, we will help you with a focus on you getting rewarded.”

Unlike any group in the US the Corporate Whistleblower Center can assist a potential whistleblower with packaging or building out their information to potentially increase the reward potential. They will also provide the whistleblower with access to some of the most skilled whistleblower attorneys in the nation. For more information a possible whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing in Louisiana can contact the Whistleblower Center at 866-714-6466 or contact them via their website at http://Louisiana.CorporateWhistleBlower.Com

Thomas Martin
Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center
email us here

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Heat. Tempers. 13-hour Days. Line Cooks Function in an Intense and Brutal World.

Tile(1)Illustration by Stephanie Rudig“To be a line cook you have to be a certain kind of crazy.” 

“You get your ass handed to you. It’s hot as hell back there. You’re running around. The chef is barking orders at you and you’re not getting a lot of help. It’s stressful.”

“This is the only profession where the only thing you get out of it is that you’re passionate and you love it—there’s no money; it’s tiring as hell; and you get sweaty and gross.” 

D.C.’s thriving restaurant industry employs thousands of line cooks. They’re the ones folding ravioli, sautéeing fish, and grilling meat. Yet there’s a disconnect. Despite being on display in the city’s many open kitchens, they still work in the shadows where a “thank you” from a diner is rare, and a living wage that comes with employment benefits is a unicorn. 

Glassdoor, a popular website where current and former employees anonymously disclose salary information, puts the average annual line cook pay at $27,752 in D.C. That’s less than half of the median household income for the District, which is $70,848 according to 2011–2015 Census data. 

With Washingtonians’ insatiable thirst for craft cocktails and knowledgeable service, certain positions within the restaurant industry are becoming more legitimate. The stereotype that servers and bartenders are simply biding their time before starting or resuming more serious careers is lifting. Restaurant owners are investing in these employees by providing them with educational experiences, giving them ownership shares, and expediting paths to leadership. 

The same does not hold true for cooks, who are often stuck receiving apprentice pay after years on the line. They work intense hours in front of hot grills radiating suffocating heat. They recoil following  insults from shouting chefs. And when their bodies suffer—whether a knife wound on the job, an injury outside of work, or an illness—they are often asked to work through it.

Most of these warriors wielding whisks and wooden spoons in D.C. are originally from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, according to Bar Pilar executive chef Jesse Miller. “Mine are 100 percent El Salvadorian,” he says. “You’ll find some younger African-Americans and Caucasians back there, but not so much in this city.” Capturing Latinos’ stories can be a challenge, according to Miller. “They don’t want [their] name attached to anything,” he says. “All of our guys have documents, but they still get freaked out about it. It’s hard not to with Trump sitting in office.”MushroomsDarrow Montgomery

City Paper sat down with six D.C. line cooks who were willing to speak anonymously or go on the record with their names. What are their lives like? Why do they stick with it? What builds them up and what brings them down? 

The line cook job description is fairly consistent from restaurant to restaurant. Those working dinner typically arrive in the early afternoon to tackle a prep list until the restaurant opens for service. Sometimes they pause to have “family meal” that cooks often prepare on top of their regular duties. Then it’s an all out blitz until the last orders leave the kitchen. Finally, it’s time to clean up for the next day. The clock can strike midnight before the workday ends.

If a restaurant follows the French brigade system, line cooks will work the same “station” every night whether that’s garde manger (salads and other cold food), saucier (sauces), poissonnier (fish), and so on. As they build skills, line cooks can graduate to more advanced stations, ideally working their way up to becoming a sous chef. 

A line cook we’ll call Cory, who spoke to City Paper under the condition of anonymity, works at Kinship and Métier—the double-decker, Michelin-starred restaurants in Shaw that share a kitchen. Chef and co-owner Eric Ziebold runs both.

Cory works five days a week doing everything from cooking ravioli and cutting vegetables for soup to making dressing for the salads. Cory also builds a roasted banana bavarois (custard) with California sea urchin and Australian black truffles at Métier. 

For a long time, Cory wasn’t invited to sample the dish. “A month ago we didn’t taste our composed dishes at all. That’s hard for us as cooks because we don’t know the level of salt, the balance of ingredients.” Ziebold only recently changed this policy, according to Cory, who then learned that the sea urchin needed more salt, and the truffle broth needed more truffle. 

Cory likely wouldn’t be able to afford to try it as a customer. The tasting menu at Métier costs $200 per person, the same amount of money Cory has to pay for health insurance each month since Ziebold’s restaurants cover only half. “When we opened we covered 100 percent,” Ziebold says. “That changed because some people were more interested in having a higher wage rate and not insurance.” 

When the restaurant opened, Cory says line cooks started at $11 per hour. Six months in they were bumped to $12. Now most make $13 or $13.50. Cory estimates the going wage for line cooks in D.C. is $16 because that’s what various area apprenticeships offered. 

Miller says he pays his cooks between $12.50 and $16. “To be competitive, $16 is the highest I pay anyone,” he says. “With minimum wage increasing to $15 next year, that’s going to be the going rate, but a few years back $16 would be your number one guy.” 

Cory and the other line cooks in the kitchen are young. “Kinship all happens to be under 30, but that’s the way he runs his kitchen,” explains Cory. “We get paid less than the normal rate for the city because it’s a French concept where you work for free so you can learn from the best.”

Their paid vacation policy, under Ziebold, also comes with an asterisk. “Once you’ve stayed for a year, you have one week paid vacation, only to be paid out if you give 90 days termination notice,” Cory says. “Which is literally impossible because this industry has such high turnover.”

D.C. is currently experiencing a line cook staffing crisis. According to 2016 National Restaurant Association data, 63,400 people work in the District’s restaurant industry. That’s not enough. Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington CEO Kathy Hollinger says the worker shortage has been the trade association’s biggest issue for the past five years, and that it has really come to a head this year. Chefs say cooks will take a new job for as little as fifty more cents per hour. 

Ziebold asks his line cooks to commit to two years when they sign on. “The way he wants you to leave is also through him,” Cory says “That’s why he’s like, ‘Give me 90 days and tell me what you’re looking for. I have all of these connections.’” Cory predicts only one person will hit the two-year mark. “That shows no one is willing to stay.”

“It’s not like you work two years and you’re booted out of the door,” Ziebold says. “I have someone who worked for me for two years right now.” He’s already made good on one promise to plant a cook in a job at a highly lauded kitchen, according to several employees. 

There’s a fair share of needling and bullying in Ziebold’s kitchen. Cory calls it emotionally draining. “No one has been fired but people have been forced out based on Eric’s treatment of them. He will demean you, belittle you in front of the whole kitchen during service, and just scream at you all day.” Cory says Ziebold forced out two co-workers, calling one of them pathetic.

Sometimes, Ziebold says, he has to instill a sense of urgency in his cooks, but insists it isn’t personal. “There’s a difference between saying someone is pathetic and something is pathetic.” 

He doesn’t deny raising his voice but says there’s a time and place for it. “We try not to revert to yelling as a knee-jerk reaction to every situation,” he says. “There’s a time for coaching, for having a conversation, and there’s a time for, ‘Do what I said.’” 

This volatile environment is not unique to Ziebold’s kitchen. “There’s a lot of machismo and stuff back there,” Miller says, speaking about restaurant kitchens in a broad sense. “There’s a lot of attitude. You have to find ways to work together instead of going against each other.” That’s why he says, “If you don’t love it, you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Another line cook at Kinship and Métier looks at the fiery kitchen environment in a different way. We’ll call this cook Jordan because they also spoke to City Paper on the condition of anonymity. “We get so excited and passionate about what we’re doing,” says Jordan. “If you’re not drinking the Kool-Aid, it’s hard to keep up.” Jordan describes working in a part of the kitchen that’s especially hot and high-paced. “You run in circles like a mosquito preparing sauces and garnishes.”

Jordan dislikes plenty about the way the restaurant industry functions, but pushes through the tension. “That’s how I’ve survived so long in the kitchen. I think, ‘I deserved to get yelled at,’ instead of, ‘My boss is an asshole.’ That’s the difference between people that stay and people that don’t,” says Jordan.

“I think, ‘How can today make tomorrow better?’” 

After corroborating the wages Cory shared, Jordan says the benefits of working at Ziebold’s restaurants outweigh temporary financial strain. “A lot of people chase money too soon,” says Jordan. “It looks amazing on my resume and my boss is breaking all of my bad habits one by one. So we accept the terrible wages in exchange for future success.”

Jordan doesn’t see the point in asking for better pay. “If you ask for more money and storm out, you just lost your job to someone else who is willing to work for that shitty money in exchange for a good future,” says Jordan. “I tell myself, ‘You have to win the game to fix the game.’ I want to play the game and do the best I can and be successful one day so I can make changes for the next generation. I think that’s what my boss is doing.”

Both Jordan and Cory have college degrees, as does Liesbeth Workman. She’s been a line cook at RIS, Birch & Barley, Tail Up Goat, and The Salt Line. She wants people to know that “not all line cooks are ex-cons and do drugs.” She says, “A lot of us are just normal human beings.” 

Her first gig after college and culinary school was at RIS in West End. She describes a nurturing environment at the eight-year-old restaurant. “Ris Lacoste is a matriarch in terms of how she runs her kitchen,” she says. But there were challenges, including a tight financial situation. 

“When you’re working hourly and it’s slow, to save on labor costs they’ll cut people,” she explains. “To survive, I needed that eight hours of overtime. Just that small bump in pay was enough to make sure I could pay all of the bills.” She continues, “For most people it’s just $50, but for me, it’s food.” 

At the time Workman was employed at RIS, she says she wasn’t offered health insurance. “That’s important,” she says. “I know two people who put off taking care of themselves because they couldn’t afford it.” 

Like athletes, line cooks need to be in good health to stand for 10-12 hours at a time performing physically demanding tasks under pressure. And chefs sometimes ask cooks to work through injuries, even serious ones.  

For example, a line cook at a local fine dining restaurant injured their leg and required surgery. The executive chef asked this cook, who wants to remain anonymous, to postpone surgery and work for a month until a replacement could be found, putting the cook at risk for secondary injuries that could stymie their career. “I did that for him and he waited for me,” the line cook says. “I guess that was the exchange there.” 

Workman finds the physicality of the job the most challenging, especially the heat. “Salt Line is a very hot line,” she says. “Getting used to that in the summer was nuts. I’d say it was peaking at 110 degrees.” Drinking enough water is critical. “Even though I worked for chefs who want me to push myself, they also emphasize taking care of yourself.” 

Her executive chef at The Salt Line—Kyle Bailey—is the same executive chef she had at Birch & Barley. She says Birch & Barley was a lot different from RIS because the restaurant was slammed. “It was hellish at times,” Workman says. “I was averaging 13-hour days. But it was the first time I’ve ever been accountable for my work and given the opportunity to improve.” The kitchen needed her overtime hours, and she put them in. 

Workman highlights yet another stressor of being a line cook—the discord between kitchen workers (back of house) and dining room and bar workers (front of house) that goes beyond pay disparity. Employees who interact with guests make significantly more money because of tips.

“It’s more of a misunderstanding of what makes their jobs hard, what makes our jobs hard,” Workman theorizes. Misfiring an order, for example, has consequences. “If you have a line cook training on a new station and you throw a curveball, you can derail their whole night if they’re not capable of recovering. That can be frustrating if the empathy from the front of house isn’t there.” 

To address the difference in pay, some restaurants are doing away with tips altogether, but that too comes with a helping of consequences, including driving off customers due to perceived higher prices. Sally’s Middle Name tried it on H Street NE, but quickly reverted back to using the tip system.

Ziebold explains why he hasn’t made a leap to level the playing field. While he states that the line cook job is physically more demanding than what servers go through, he feels servers have the more challenging job.

“A server probably has the hardest job in the restaurant because they’re the ones that have to deal most closely with the largest variable—the guests,” he explains. “Being able to understand and guide somebody is an amazing skillset.” He continues, “There are fewer great servers than there are line cooks and the law of supply and demand is going to dictate that a great server is going to get paid a higher salary than a great cook.” 

Plus, it’s not like the restaurant industry has high profit margins. Most restaurants are operating on a shoestring. “Every day guys are asking for more money,” Miller says, while also noting that minimum wage will soon jump from $12.50 to $15. “It’s getting tougher and tougher.” 

Tail Up Goat is experimenting with a new model that closes the gap between both sides of the house and prevents burnout. Workman was a fan when she worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant in Adams Morgan. Laura PPhoto of Laura Pohanka by Darrow Montgomery

Every line cook at Tail Up Goat works in the dining room once a week as a food runner or back server. They complete easy tasks like folding napkins and filling waters. It’s a much shorter shift, and the line cook gets a share of the pooled tips from the evening. Laura Pohanka, who has been a line cook at Tail Up Goat since July 2016, says the boost brings line cooks’ pay closer to a living wage. 

Pohanka moved to D.C. in 2014 to cook at Marcel’s after working restaurant and catering jobs in California. At Marcel’s, Chef Robert Wiedmaier employs the French brigade system just like Kinship and Métier. She learned to work all of the stations, eventually becoming the tournant—the cook that can pinch-hit at any station. But then she sought out Tail Up Goat to explore new cuisines. 

“I knew from the minute I started doing things, that’s where I wanted to be,” she says of Tail Up Goat. “Something cool and different is happening here.” 

Pohanka has taken vacation with ease, including a two-week trip to Japan. Though a small business, Tail Up Goat offers some insurance coverage, as Ziebold does. “All employees part-time or full-time are eligible for health care through the restaurant [within] the first month after they are hired,” says Tail Up Goat co-owner Jill Tyler. “We cover 50 percent of the bronze level plan through BlueCross BlueChoice.” 

Line cooks there are also able to taste composed dishes on a daily basis to gauge improvement, and Pohanka shares in the restaurants’ victories. Workman agrees. “When we made the Bon Appetit list and Jon [Sybert] got ‘Best Pasta of the Year,’ that was like, ‘Yes, we did this together!’ I felt like I helped this man achieve his vision, and that’s how I’ve looked at a line cook’s job.” 

By contrast, Cory says that when Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema elevated Métier’s rating from 3.5 to 4 stars this fall and Ziebold poured cooks a glass of Champagne before service, Cory felt far removed from the accolades. 

Tail Up Goat proved itself a good employer when Workman had a family emergency, too. While working the line, she found out her father died. “They paid me for the time I missed,” she says. “I was blessed that I was at that restaurant.” 

“People should be able to mourn their family members—a restaurant isn’t that important,” says Rachael Harris, a line cook who says she was replaced at a closed Capitol Hill restaurant when she needed time to grieve her grandfather’s passing. She’s also cooked at Jaleo, The Reef (now closed), food truck Cirque Cuisine, DC Reynolds, and Ripple. Now she’s a part of a pop-up, Vic’s Homegrown, which sets up shop at 3 Stars Brewing Company. 

Harris’ cooking career started in the Navy. She was a culinary specialist at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton where she cooked for a unit of about 300 people. “It’s more of a family in the Navy,” she says. “In D.C. everything is impersonal. I feel like everyone is so transient, it’s hard to find a family environment, and maybe that’s why I’ve struggled.” She’s found that whenever she gels with a boss, the boss inevitably leaves for another job. 

The lack of work-life balance is the hardest part of being a line cook for Harris. She says you don’t get to see your family or friends, even during holidays. “So you blow off steam, you drink, you smoke cigarettes,” she says. “At The Reef we’d drink all day. Everybody would stay after last call at 2 a.m. and sit at the bar until 8 a.m.” 

Addiction continues to be the restaurant industry’s Achilles’ heel. Pair the ease of access to alcohol with late nights and the fact that many line cooks can’t take time off, and you have a deadly combination. Harris describes line cooks as a vulnerable population. “Similar to veterans, we’re fragile,” she says. “Generally we can come with baggage.” 

Some line cooks work not one but two jobs, like José Nava. Find him at Cafe Berlin from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., then Montmarte from 5 to 10 p.m. His line cook résumé includes stops at Duke’s Grocery, Alfie’s, Et Voila, and Belga Cafe. The Mexico native who came to the U.S. when he was 18 has learned to cook Belgian, German, French, and Thai and retains a somewhat rosy outlook on his profession.

“Being on the line working hard with all that pressure means that after the shift is over you feel relaxed and happy that you accomplished it,” Nava says. He most enjoys the creativity the job can offer. “You can invent and create something out of nothing. I love that—especially if your boss supports you. I have worked with good bosses and bad bosses.” 

He counts Alex McCoy of Alfie’s and the forthcoming Lucky Buns as a good boss because he empowers line cooks to create and “be themselves” in the kitchen. The same goes for Rico Glage at Cafe Berlin. “He’s teaching me how to profit, how much we can charge for a certain dish, how much he can pay employees.”

Nava says pay at the German restaurant is OK, but the positive atmosphere counts. “If I go to other places that pay me higher and I’m mad all of the time, it’s not worth it … I can’t stand when people are yelling at somebody for no reason.” Line cooks often report being reprimanded if they don’t execute a special order from a customer in the dining room. 

“Sometimes we make mistakes on the line because we already know how the plate is on the menu,” he explains. “We won’t look at the ticket and will set it up as is. The server goes away and they bring back the plate and say, ‘Remake it’. And we get in trouble with the chef.” HandsDarrow Montgomery

Asked what they would do differently if they ran a kitchen as an executive chef, line cooks had a variety of suggestions. “A lot of Michelin places are closed one day of the week,” Cory says. “With the restaurant being closed Sunday or Monday, everyone is guaranteed a day off.” 

Cory and Harris would both introduce group activities. “Us all going to dinner together. Masseria has had a dinner at Métier with all of their cooks. Why don’t we do that?” Cory asks. Workman says she’d aim for health coverage for all of her employees. Others are curious about models that split the service charge between front of house and back of house employees.

But advancing to the next level can take time. Pohanka says you have to have patience. “Since it is so demanding, a lot of people don’t want to do it for the long haul,” she says. “They want to be the next Food Network star, but it doesn’t really work like that—you have to get your butt kicked to get anywhere.”

Some face additional challenges to becoming a sous chef or chef de cuisine. “In order to move up in this industry, you have to be able to speak some English,” Miller says. “You have to communicate with the whole staff.” 

Workman was recently promoted to sous chef at The Salt Line, meaning she now leads a team of line cooks at the new Navy Yard restaurant. “I feel like the struggle has made me a better person and a better cook,” she says. “It’s supposed to be hard.”

She’s already found herself asking her line cooks to work through emotional pain. “Everything else in your life doesn’t matter because you have to get this food out,” she says. “Telling someone, ‘Don’t worry about your [sick] kid, I need you to cook hamburgers right now,’ is jarring. But it has to get done.” 

Eatery tips? Food pursuits? Send suggestions to lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com.