Month: April 2010

AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania

When I think of fundraising, I don’t think about books, or book reviews, or the difference between e-books and print books. I think about helping groups or organizations that are committed to important causes. I have a few causes that are close to my own heart, and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is one of them.

Without the help of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS wouldn’t get the necessary legal counsel they need. And it’s not just an LGBT issue anymore. This affects everyone across the board. So I wanted to post some general info about them, to help promote the cause and to inform any readers in PA who might be in need of legal counsel and can’t afford to hire an attorney on their own. I’ll be posting more in the future on this topic, but here’s a general description of what they are all about.

Below is some basic info from their home page, and here’s their link: http://www.aidslawpa.org/alpp_history.htm

The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is a public-interest law firm founded in 1988 by Temple Law School graduate David W. Webber to focus on AIDS-related discrimination cases. At that time, before the Americans with Disabilities Act, no laws protected people with HIV/AIDS from discrimination, so Webber relied upon laws that prevent a worker from being terminated except in cases of incompetence or other non-AIDS-related causes. Webber led the organization before handing the reins to Nan Feyler, now chief of staff in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Current executive director Ronda B. Goldfein took over in 2000.

Now with a staff of 14 and a team of Drexel Law student-interns, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is still the nation’s only independent public-interest law firm dedicated to AIDS and HIV. The organization serves all of Pennsylvania from its home base in Philadelphia. It has risen to the defense of more than 30,000 people free of charge, and has educated more than 32,000 others on AIDS-related legal issues.

In every corner of the commonwealth, information has been shared with doctors, dentists and other health-care providers; outreach workers; peer counselors; medical students; law students; college students; lawyers; people living in homeless shelters; the newly diagnosed, as well as long-term survivor support groups.

Each year, the nonprofit AIDS Law Project receives about 2,000 calls for assistance at its home office in Philadelphia. The agency also educates the public about AIDS-related legal issues, and works at local, state and national levels to achieve fair laws and policies. In 2009, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania represented 1,343 people in 1,713 legal matters.

Insurance Appeal, a Friend with HIV/AIDS, and a Happy Ending

Those who have been following me since last November, know that I’ve been working as legal power of attorney for a good friend who is HIV positive. He’s disabled and can’t work. For the past two years, he’s been receiving disability from an insurance company. In November, the insurance company canceled his long term disability and said he was ready to go back to work.

So he asked me to help him appeal the case, which I did. And then I hired an attorney to help because I didn’t want to take any chances. This is someone who is truly disabled, and I thought it was important to make sure everything was done correctly.

And this week, after six months of dealing with a grueling appeal, my friend was notified that his disability has been reinstated. Though we went through tons of paperwork while filing the appeal, I took my friend to an IME (insurance medical exam) that was set up by the insurance company a few weeks ago. This doctor works for the insurance company, and all she had to do was go over his past history and give him a basic exam and she could see he was in no condition to work.

It’s a happy ending, yes. My friend is finally able to relax for the first time in months. But it would have been so much easier all the way around if the insurance company had just set up the IME six months ago.

Wishing Brett Michaels a Fast Recovery

It’s no secret that I’m a pop culture junky. I can’t get enough of it. I follow all the entertainment blogs, the art blogs, and even publishing blogs that I think are remotely related to anything pop cultural.

Many of my books revolve around pop culture themes, dealing with entertainment, from the television industry to the modeling industry.

And Brett Michaels is probably one of my all time favorite stars. I’ve been a fan of his for years, and in recent weeks I’ve been enjoying him on Celebrity Apprentice. So when I heard about his emergency appendectomy, I was shocked. And then when this latest problem happened with a brain hemorrhage, well, it was hard to believe. You never think people like Brett will get sick.

He’s doing better now, but he still has a way to go.
So Brett, your fans are pulling for you. And there’s an invisible candle burning here on this blog until you’re well again. We know you’re going to beat this and we know you’ll be back to your old self soon.

Nice Review: THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE

MRS. MUIR, REDUX, March 9, 2010
By
M. H. SMITH “mykelsf” (SACRAMENTO, CA USA) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Ghost and Mr. Moore (Kindle Edition) A re-telling of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” with a gay lead. This was a fun read with an almost identical story to the original Mrs. Muir movie. A lonely parent of one child, a housekeeper, a dog, a New England sea cottage and a damn fine looking, however dead, sea captain haunting the home. Updated to modern times and told with a lively cast of extra characters, it still stuck true to the formula. Mr. Moore ‘ghost-writes’ a book narrated by the Captain in order to save his home and never gives up on the love between them. The ending, although known to anyone who saw the movie, was sweet and tender nonetheless. An old story, to be sure, but re-told with wit and a deft hand with the narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

STARbooks Press is Having a Spring Sale This Week

I’m in a few of the STARbooks Press anothologies. Two of my favorites are UNMASKED: EROTIC STORIES OF GAY SUPERHEROS, and UNMASKED II: MORE EROTIC STORIES OF GAY SUPERHEROS. These are two books where I have two short stories (one in each book), and these stories won’t ever be released anywhere else. So if anyone is intersted in reading them, you can find them at STARbooks Press.

And STARbooks is having a sale right now. Here’s the basic info, and below that is a link to the web site.

ANNUAL SPRING SALE IS UNDERWAY!
FOR OUR WEBSITE MEMBERS ONLY:
TAKE 20% OFF EVERYTHING! ALL SHIPPING DEALS STILL APPLY!

#1 Fictionwise Bestseller Sub-Genre List: From STARbooks Press to E-book Stand Alone

This stand alone keeps surprising me. When I found out that it was #1 on the fictionwise bestseller list for fetish erotica, I was a little stunned. I’d never thought of it as a fetish book. I always thought of it more as a quirky erotic love story, where two people meet by chance and begin a new relationship. But I guess it could be considered a fetish story, and I’m thrilled people have received it so well. http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=sub_browsebook&catid=39