Solange Knowles is kicking off 2018 with a commitment to self-care. The songstress took to Instagram this morning to announce that she has canceled her New Year’s Eve performance at Afropunk Johannesburg due to struggles with her health.

“The past five months I have been quietly treating, and working through an Autonomic Disorder,” she wrote in an extended caption on the social platform. “It’s been a journey that hasn’t been easy on me…sometimes I feel cool, and other times not so cool at all.” She did not specify what type of nervous system disorder she has, though many have trouble regulating heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature and experience feelings of fatigue, faintness, weakness and cognitive impairment. She did thank those that have known about her health issues and kept things confidential, including Afropunk. “I can’t thank Afro Punk enough for their support, and to all of the other festivals this past summer/fall who have known about my health… and gone out of their way to make me feel supported while doing these shows.”

Learn more about  autonomic disorders – CLICK HERE

Knowles’s personal share comes off the heels of Selena Gomez‘s glimpse into the often shrouded arena of illness, which was afforded some light through a detailed account of her Lupus-induced kidney transplant—a divulgence which, too, began on Instagram. This year also saw brave celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen and Julia Louise-Dreyfus take to social media to share their battles with postpartum depression and breast cancer, respectively.

8 (More) New Calif. Laws You Need To Know For 2018

Here in California, the DUI law is changing for some, new fees are being added for registering your vehicle and minimum wage is going up.

Every year, the California legislature authors hundreds of new bills. That means every January, we have a slew of new laws to look forward to. Some of them were passed just recently, others are finally coming into effect after several years.

Among the new laws you can look forward to mean more money in your pocket if you make minimum wage — but less money in your wallet after paying your vehicle’s registration fees.

Previously, we broke down laws that give new parents more time off work, ban employers from asking about your salary history, require bus passengers to buckle up, crack down on ammunition sales and ‘ban the box.’

Here’s a breakdown of eight more laws you won’t want to miss:

Minimum Wage Increase

Starting Jan. 1, the California minimum wage will officially be $11 per hour for companies with 26 or more employees. That’s an increase of $1 an hour. For businesses with 25 or less employees, workers must be paid $10.50 an hour.

Marijuana And Driving

It’s no secret that marijuana will be legal to buy and use in California. That’s not what this particular law we’re discussing is about, though. SB 65 aims at making sure neither drivers nor passengers in vehicles do not smoke or consume marijuana in any form.

New ‘Transportation Improvement Fee’

We already saw a new 20 cent gas tax take effect in November as a part of the controversial SB 1. Also part of SB 1 is a “transportation improvement fee” that starts in 2018. This will be an added fee in the vehicle registration process, tacking on between $25 to $175 based on the vehicle’s current market value.


Additional Harassment Training

This law is going into effect at the height of the “me too” movement, but it was actually first introduced in February 2017 — eight months before the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. Under SB 396, employers with 50 or more employees (who are already legally required to conduct two hours of sexual harassment training every two years) must “include, as a component of that prescribed training and education for supervisors, training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”

‘Joint Liability’ For Construction Projects

AB 1701, sponsored by the California Conference of Carpenters, is aimed at protecting those in the construction industry from losing out on wages if a subcontractor doesn’t pay them. For private contracts starting in January or later (public projects are excluded), general contractors can be held liable for any wages that a sub skips out on paying workers.

“This measure incentivizes the use of responsible subcontractors, helps to ensure the economic vitality of the construction industry, and supports in the creation of good paying jobs,” the bill’s author, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, said.

DUI / Passenger For Hire

This law doesn’t actually go into effect until July 1, but it’s an important one to have on your radar as the use of companies like Uber and Lyft continues to rise. AB 2687 makes it much easier for your Uber driver to get a DUI, as the bill “makes it unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle at the time of the offense,” according to the DMV.

Low Income Motorists Can Create Payment Plans For Parking Tickets

According to the California DMV, AB 503 “…makes changes to a requirement under which vehicle registration renewal and driver license issuance or renewal is not granted for having unpaid parking penalties and fees. The law creates a process for low-income Californians with outstanding parking violations to repay their fines and penalties prior to the parking violation being reported to the DMV. The law also allows the registered owner of a vehicle to file for Planned Non-Operation status when unpaid parking penalties are on the vehicle’s record. It also allows for someone with outstanding parking penalties and fees, to obtain or renew a driver license.”

Disabled Person Parking Placards Crackdown

This law cracks down on those applying for a disabled placard or license plate in California. According to the DMV, applicants must provide proof of their full name and birthdate as well as limits the number of replacement placards someone can request without medical certification. There’s also a new renewal process.

“We must block scofflaws and fraudsters from gaming the DMV’s placard and license plate program for drivers with disabilities and ensure that the motorists who need this important program have access to its benefits,” said Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, who authored the bill. “These changes to state law, along with changes recently made by the DMV, will go a long way toward reducing fraud and abuse.”


Reside Like a Hip-Hop Mogul in the Glamorous Estate Featured on the TV Series Empire

Fans of Fox’s television series Empire can own Lucious Lyon’s palatial lakefront homestead outside of Chicago.

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Empire, the Emmy-nominated television series and TV Program of the Year winner at the AFI Awards, is a musically driven show about the continuing rise and fall of a hip-hop mogul and his family. Featuring a heavy dose of power struggles and R&B anthems, the show stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson as the formidable leaders of the Lyon clan, who spend time in a luxe country estate.

Although the show is mostly set in New York City, the Lyons’ homestead is at 45 Lake View Lane in Barrington Hills, Illinois. A fitting home for the fictional family, it provides them with an escape from their lucrative record-label headquarters and makes many appearances throughout the show. In fact, the dramatic first episode of season four takes place almost entirely at the property, with a notable dinner scene showcasing the massive pool and romantically lit garden landscape.

How To Call Your Elected Officials, According To A Former Congressional Staffer

Dialing your senator or representative can be intimidating—but also effective. Emily Ellsworth, a former congressional staffer and author of the e-book Call the Halls, has four pieces of advice for phoning a could-be friend.

1. If you have moderate views, please call. 

Few folks ever get in touch, so the ones who do have a disproportionate influence. We got a lot of calls from people on the far right and far left with fringe ideas, but I rarely heard from folks in the middle. Some of these people think they aren’t educated enough about an issue to talk about it. The truth is, that doesn’t matter. The person on the other end of the line is there to listen, not drill down on your credentials.

2. You’re most likely going to speak to a staffer, not your congressperson—and that’s fine. 

When my bosses were in town, they had no time to answer the phone. Staffers do, and they also do the bulk of policy work—meaning, if they receive hundreds of calls about an issue, they take notice. That’s why it’s important to connect with staffers: They have the representative’s ear every day. And if you want to have an impact when you call, be kind. You should be firm—but yelling and swearing just shuts us down.

3. Contacting someone you can’t vote for is a waste of time. 

If Elizabeth Warren or Mitch McConnell isn’t on your ballot come November, then calling them isn’t worth it, even if they’re on a powerful committee. Their staff might not admit it, but it’s true.

4. We want to have honest communication. 

The power of a phone call is its authenticity. If you’d prefer to just say your name and opinion, or leave a voice mail after office hours, that’s fine. But the more personal you’re willing to be, the better. Sharing your story will always resonate more than reading from a script. And encourage your friends to do the same. Hundreds of thousands of informed, passionate calls can really start to move a conversation.

If You’d Rather Not Dial In…

There’s another way to make your voice heard. Resistbot is a handy new assistant that makes it easy to reach your lawmakers by fax. Text RESIST to 50409, and you’ll get a reply asking for your first name and zip code so it can find your congresspeople. Then share what’s on your mind: Whether you have a lot or a little to say (as with phone calls, from-the-heart messages are more attention grabbing than scripts), the free service turns your note into a fax that’s sent to your D.C. delegates. (It also gives you a receipt, so you know your missive has been logged.) Since launching in March, the still-developing Resistbot has added new functions that help you contact your governor’s office, submit letters to the editor, and learn about special elections in just a few taps. And…send.






Jordan Peele Talks About His Worst Fear in Making ‘Get Out’ – Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast

Ep. 46: Peele breaks down how he structured and tonally balanced an engaging film that is not meant to be comfortable.

Because “Get Out” has been so commercially and critically successful it may seem, in retrospect, obvious how a black man visiting his white girlfriend’s family in the suburbs would be the perfect premise for a horror film. That though doesn’t give nearly enough credit to the incredible balancing act writer/director Jordan Peele executed in avoiding the tremendous risks involved with making the film.

Right from the start Peele knew he didn’t want to make a film about race that was comfortable. He wanted to make a film that captured what people of color experience daily, but doesn’t get seen in the movies. “I wasn’t seeing my experience of being in a room full of white people and having them [try] to relate to me in terms of my blackness before anything else,” said Peele. “It’s my truth, it’s a lot of people’s truth, and it’s one that was missing from the conversation.”

To pull this off Peele knew right from the start of the film he would need to ground his audience not only in the subjectivity of his protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), but also the black experience.

“The beginning of this film is meant so everybody [experiences] the fears that a black person has to deal with on a day to day basis, whether it’s walking down suburban streets at night and knowing you could be profiled as a villain, or if it’s simply to meet your potential in-laws for the first time and they don’t know you’re black,” said Peele. “So in the first couple scenes of the movie we teach the audience that there is something sinister and insidious going on racially and what happens is when we get to the house it is all these seemingly harmless microaggressions and goofy interactions that go down and that have so much more meaning to someone who’s trained to looked for them, and that is the black experience.”
While on the podcast, Peele broke down – from the script’s structure, to film’s unique hybrid tone, to playing with the audience’s expectations – how he pulled off the hirewire act of delivering uncomfortable truths and an engaging film with genre thrills. Peele also talked about how his biggest passion has always been to become a movie director, but how his unexpected detour into a successful comedy career ended up making him a better filmmaker.



Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg dies

Dick Enberg, a Hall of Fame broadcaster known as much for his excited calls of “Oh my!” as the big events he covered during a 60-year career, died Thursday. He was 82.

Enberg’s daughter, Nicole Enberg Vaz, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. She said the family became concerned when her father didn’t arrive Thursday on his flight to Boston, and he was found dead at his home in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood, with his bags packed.

His daughter said the family believes Enberg died of a heart attack but was awaiting official word.

“It’s very, very, very shocking,” said Vaz, who lives in Boston. “He’d been busy with two podcasts and was full of energy.”

Enberg’s wife, Barbara, was already in Boston and was expecting his arrival.

The family “is grateful for the kind thoughts and prayers of all of Dick’s countless fans and dear friends,” according to a statement released by Enberg’s attorney, Dennis Coleman. “At this time we are all still processing the significant loss, and we ask for prayers and respectful privacy in the immediate aftermath of such untimely news.”

Enberg got his big break with UCLA basketball and went on to call Super Bowls, Olympics, Final Fours and Angels and Padres baseball games as well as Rams football games.

He retired from his TV job with the Padres in October 2016, capping a six-decade career punctuated with countless calls of “Oh my!” in describing big plays. He also was well-known for his baseball catchphrase of “Touch ’em all!” for home runs. #SPMGMedia


Preserve ​the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a successful, bipartisan program focused on health care coverage for low-income kids


The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a successful, bipartisan program focused on health care coverage for low-income kids who aren’t eligible for Medicaid. Take a moment to call or email your Congressional Representative to tell them to #ExtendCHIP#CHIPWorks #SPMGMedia


The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to eligible children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.

Learn more at…


Sarah Sanders presents April Ryan with her own pecan pie

Press Secretary Sanders brought an end to the #piegate scandal by bringing her homemade chocolate pecan pie to the White House press corps potluck for reporter Ryan to sample.

Reporters dug into chocolate-pecan pie with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders Thursday – ending the months-long “piegate” controversy.

“Piegate is over!” declared April Ryan, the Washington, DC, bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, who blasted Sanders in November for allegedly baking a fake pie.

“It’s a nice pie, I believe you made this pie,” Ryan said, admiring the spokesperson’s baking prowess.

Ryan launched the “piegate” saga around Thanksgiving when she questioned a photo of Sanders’ holiday pie, joking it was “fake pie.”

Sanders promised she’d whip up a pie to prove she could hold her own in the kitchen.

“Okay I want to watch you bake it and put it on the table. But forgive I won’t eat it. Remember you guys don’t like the press,” Ryan replied at the time.

On Wednesday, Sanders posted a play by play of her process, with photos of ingredients — including pecans supplied by Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers from his family farm in Georgia – eggs and sugar being mixed and the pies in the oven.

She delivered the goods at today’s White House press potluck.

“I believe that this is our reset, not just for me but for all of us,” said Ryan, who has often tussled with Sanders in the briefing room. “It doesn’t mean that I need to eat the pie.”

“April if it makes you feel better I’ll take a bite first,” the spokeswoman said, but Ryan wouldn’t bite.

“I am not eating the pie,” she retorted.

Other reporters who dared a taste said it was delicious and chocolaty.

Sanders added a little kick too – in the form of bourbon – but assured reporters the alcohol had cooked off in the process.

“I’m not 100 percent sure which ones have bourbon and which ones don’t,” she said to laughs.

Ryan told The Post her initial tweet questioning Sanders’ pies was a “joke.” She apologized the joke spiraled into “piegate” and she’d never want to offend someone’s culinary skills.

“She’s very serious about her pie making apparently and I never want to offend a woman and her culinary skills,” she said.

But the Twitter-sphere had a few reminders…



Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry on 19 May 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry on May 19, 2018, Kensington Palace announced Friday.

As previously announced, the couple will tie the knot at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Clarence House announced on Nov. 27 that Harry had proposed to Meghan earlier in the month, after receiving her parents’ blessing.

“It was a cozy night. We were just roasting chicken,” the former Suits actress said in an interview with the BBC. “It was just an amazing surprise and it was so sweet, and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee.”


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