News Round-Up: August 12, 2019

L-R Andrew Grose, me, Jeff Williams, Jeff Collins, Bill Ullman (circa 1985)

Some news items you might have missed:

Monday Memory: A friend from my days at Syracuse University recently sent me this backstage photo (above) of me with my fellow ‘Men of Syracuse’ before a performance. Dang, I hung out with some good-looking dudes.

Billboard: Out rapper Lil Nas X continues his reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 as his “Old Town Road” notches its 19th week as number one.

OUT: In 2015, there were 1,400 reported cases of Hepatitis A in the U.S. Over the past three years, the number has spiked to 23,000. Since type A can be transmitted via anal sex, the CDC recommends gay and bisexual men get vaccinated against the disease. Click here to find the nearest pharmacy or clinic that offers Hepatitis A vaccinations. If you’ve had it, you have built-in immunity now.

Business Insider: A new study shows that as New York City raised the minimum wage to $15 this year from $7.25, its restaurant industry outperformed the rest of the US in job growth and expansion. Researchers found no negative employment effects due to the city increasing its minimum wage.

Axios: The federal budget deficit is up 27% from the same period last fiscal year, which begins in October. Spending has continued to outpace revenue, with a 3% rise of revenue overshadowed by an 8% jump in spending. Remember how the Trump tax cuts were going to pay for themselves?

HBO: In this parody of FX’s POSE ball sequences, Bob the Drag Queen channels his version of Billy Porter’s ‘Pray Tell’ as host of “The Basic Ball.”

Instead of the kids showing off fabulousness, the categories here are “clinical depression,” “barbecue daddies,” and “running errands,” with competitors giving you neutral colors and family reunion t-shirts.

No ‘extra’ here, folks. It’s all down to ‘basic.’ Watch below or on YouTube here.


Jon Secada sings about his father – “a huge source of spirituality”

Jon Secada’s new track, “Your Voice Inside,” is inspired by a different kind of love: the love Secada has for his Cuban-born father, Jose, who died in 2011 due to complications attached to liver cirrhosis stemming from chronic Hepatitis C.

With the lyrics, “You’re the difference/You’re the one/There’s no compromise,” Secada is sending a different kind of message.

“The song is an extension of my feelings and my thoughts, especially because of my relationship with my Dad,” Secada said during a recent visit to “I learned so much,” Secada said about the virus infection that affects nearly 3.2 million Americans — 1 million of whom are Hispanic-Americans.

He’s using what he learned by becoming part of the national health campaign, Tune In To Hep C, which also features Natalie Cole and blues-rocker Gregg Allman as spokespeople. They both have suffered from chronic Hepatitis C.

“It’s a campaign that’s really dear to my heart,” Secada, 49, said.

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of people newly infected with the disease don’t have symptoms.

“The whole idea is for people to know and learn,” Secada said. “I wish I had the opportunity to pass that on to my father.”

The Cuban-born, Miami-based singer says his dad was a “huge source of spirituality” for him.

“My father had so much spirit,” he said. “He was a hard-worker, a provider.”

“The Voice Inside” will appear on Secada’s upcoming album, due out later this year. It marks two decades since the release of his self-titled debut and the subsequent singles “Just Another Day,” “Angel” and “Do You Believe in Us.”