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Archive for November, 2010

Kirk Sworn into Senate

Posted by Admin On November - 30 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 

Former north suburban congressman pledges to support anti-tax, fiscally conservative policies

 

“I am a fiscal conservative, social moderate, national security hawk,” Kirk said.

   

Washington, DC — During a special inauguration ceremony yesterday (November 29) on the floor of the U.S. Senate, former five-term congressman Mark Kirk of north suburban Highland Park was officially sworn into the Senate to fill the remaining month of President Barack Obama’s unexpired Senate term.

 

Kirk, 51, will take the oath of office a second time in January when he is sworn into a full six-year Senate term.  Kirk won a court-ordered special election on Nov. 2 to fill the remaining weeks of the vacancy created when Obama won the 2008 presidential election.  Kirk also won election on the same day to a regular six-year Senate term in the upcoming 112th Congress.

 

“I am a fiscal conservative, social moderate, national security hawk,” Kirk said after Vice President Joe Biden swore him into office as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, the last Illinois Republican to serve in the Senate, stood by his side.

 

Kirk, a Navy Reserve intelligence officer, took the oath on the 1827 Bible of David Farragut, the nation’s first Navy admiral who famously declared, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead,” as he led Union soldiers in the 1864 battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War.  The same Bible was used to swear in two iconic U.S. Navy Chiefs of Naval Operations—Admirals Thomas H. Moorer and Elmo Zumult.

 

During a reception in the Russell Senate office building following the swearing-in ceremony, guests honored the life and service of fallen Marine Lance Corporal James Stack of northwest suburban Arlington Heights, who was killed in action on Nov. 10 in Afghanistan, by joining in the pledge of allegiance led by Stack’s father, Robert; mother, Linda; widow, Katie; and daughter, Mikayla.

 

Pastor Marvin E. Wiley of Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood delivered the reception’s invocation.  Under Wiley’s direction, Rock of Ages grew substantially and recently completed construction of a 40,000-square-foot Spiritual Growth and Development Center in the western suburb.

 

Kirk, a Republican, succeeds Democrat Roland Burris, who had held the Senate seat since Jan. 15, 2009, following his interim appointment to the post by embattled former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  Burris elected not to run to retain the seat after a federal court ruled in June 2009 that the Constitution required Illinois officials to hold a special election for the vacant seat.

 

Kirk built a reputation as a fiscally conservative, socially moderate lawmaker during his nearly decade-long service in the House.  He officially resigned his 10th District congressional seat just prior to the Senate swearing-in ceremony.  The clerk of the House of Representatives will run his district office in north suburban Northbrook until Congressman-elect Robert Dold takes office on Jan. 5.

 

Kirk first won election to the 10th  District seat on Chicago’s North Shore in 2000, succeeding former 20-year Rep. John Porter.  Kirk, who formerly worked as Porter’s chief of staff, had Porter’s endorsement in the hotly contested race.

 

Kirk, who graduated cum laude from Cornell University and has a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Georgetown University, also previously worked for the World Bank, the State Department, the law firm of Baker & McKenzie and the U.S. House International Relations Committee.

 

In the House, Kirk served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and co-chaired the moderate GOP Tuesday Group and the bipartisan House US-China Working Group.  He also advanced a “Suburban Agenda” to promote issues important to suburbanites nationwide, including science-based education programs, Internet safety and national defense.

 

A commander in the Naval Reserve, Kirk became the first House member to serve in an imminent danger zone since 1942 when he deployed as a reservist to Afghanistan in December 2008.  He completed a second deployment last January.  An intelligence officer, Kirk also regularly serves monthly rotations in the Pentagon.

 

During his Senate campaign, Kirk, a 21-year military veteran, highlighted his efforts to help save the North Chicago VA Medical Center as one of his proudest accomplishments.  Under a unique operating agreement, the North Chicago facility recently merged operations with the nearby Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes to become the Captain James A. Lovell Health Center.

 

Kirk also cited his efforts to keep pollution out of Lake Michigan, clean up Waukegan Harbor, expand commuter rail and crack down on gangs as tangible results of his effective leadership on behalf of his 10th District constituents.

 

Born in Champaign and raised in Chatham in central Illinois, southwest suburban Downers Grove and north suburban Kenilworth, Kirk said his priority in the Senate will be to work for the benefit of all residents of Illinois by supporting policies to lower government spending and taxes.

 

To achieve those goals, Kirk plans to seek bipartisan solutions, support an end to earmark spending and encourage lawmakers to enact a presidential line-item veto and approve the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon’s Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

 

Kirk also said he will introduce a “budget control bill” aimed at helping the federal government find ways to cut costs by developing expert recommendations on eliminating waste and creating strenuous oversight of spending.

 

Kirk said his “Spending Control Act of 2011” would re-establish the Grace Commission of the 1980s to investigate government waste and identify programs that could be eliminated with an up or down vote of the full House and Senate.

 

Statement from Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady on Mark Kirk being sworn in as the newest U.S. Senator from Illinois:

 

 

“This is a great day for Senator Mark Kirk, but also a great day for all of Illinois. As Mark begins his new service to the state in the distinguished role as a U.S. Senator, I know that he will represent the best interests of the People of Illinois. Mark believes in limited and effective government, and will be there to stand against the over-reach of the Obama White House or the Democratic majority in the Senate.”

Chicago third-grade teacher receives national recognition

Posted by Admin On November - 30 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Ryerson Elementary teacher selected for Milken National Educator Award                                                                                                                                           

 Chicago, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education and the Milken Family Foundation announced that Chicago Public Schools Teacher Dexter Chaney has been chosen as the Illinois recipient of the Milken National Educator Award. Chaney, a third-grade teacher at Martin A. Ryerson Elementary School will receive $25,000 as part of the award.

“Mr. Chaney’s wealth of knowledge on differentiated instruction and his expertise in using data to improve teaching and student learning has been invaluable to both students and his colleagues at Ryerson,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “The Milken Family Foundation’s ability to seek out and recognize teachers of Mr. Chaney’s high caliber is very much appreciated. This award is an excellent opportunity to showcase a talented teacher who is striving to make a difference in students’ lives.”

A native of Texas , Chaney uses the manners he was taught as a child to model respect and engage his colleagues, students’ families, and members of the community. Mr. Chaney firmly believes that parental and community involvement is directly linked to successful learning.

Chaney is known for his pursuit of professional development activities and opportunities that help good teachers become better teachers. His dedication to continuously seeking methods that will best help students succeed has earned him the reputation of an outstanding mentor who has earned high levels of respect from colleagues, administrators, students and families.

“He serves as a role model to not only the children in his classroom, but to every child in the school,” said Lorenzo Russell, principal. “Dexter is highly visible to every student because of his tireless efforts, his work in the community, and his participation in after-school and extracurricular activities. Our students know they can count on him.

A teacher for six years, Chaney is known for his dedication to helping students succeed. Although school doesn’t officially begin until 9 a.m., Chaney is always at Ryerson by 7:30 a.m. to let children in any grade come to his classroom. Chaney provides tutoring if needed but more often, he provides an ear and a safe environment for the students of Ryerson.

The Milken National Educator Award is given annually to teachers demonstrating exemplary skills and a personal commitment to education.  Each winner receives $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation which they can use however they wish. Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Vice President represented the Milken Family Foundation at Monday’s assembly.

This year marks the 24th anniversary of the Milken Educator Awards. Since 1987 more than 2,500 educators across the country have been awarded a total of more than $62 million in individual, unrestricted awards. Nationwide there are 55 educators being named Milken Educators this year.  Illinois joined the Milken Educator Awards program in 1988 and to date 108 educators across the state have been named National Educators.

Chicago’s Floating World Gallery helps you say 時候のご挨拶 (Season’s Greetings) with Japanese Woodblock Prints

Posted by Admin On November - 30 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS


 FWG 11th Annual Holiday Sale in-Gallery and Online Dec. 1-24
 

Chicago, IL — Everyone looking for a blend of the traditional and unique for  holiday gifts should check out Floating World Gallery (FWG) this holiday season. FWG is the perfect location for great gift ideas to fit every budget.  Their 11th Annual  Holiday sale runs from Dec. 1 through Dec. 24, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1-5 p.m.  Visit the gallery located at 1925 N. Halsted St. or visit the selection online (www.floatingworld.com).  

The sale features a wide selection of modestly priced prints by well known and well respected artists. Priced at $300 or less, these prints make ideal gifts for collectors and novices alike. The Exhibition includes works from nearly 100 different artists, including Gekko, Inagaki, Mori, Sekino, Shoson, Watanabe, Toshi Yoshida and Yoshitoshi. To further assist you with your holiday shopping, FWG has created a special search feature www.floatingworld.com  to help locate snow and winter themed prints on our site. To use this feature, go to the “search by subject” box at the top right section of our website. Once there, use the pull-down menu to click on either the “winter” or “winter Hasui” link. This search feature also displays items alphabetically (which is why we gave the 22 Hasui snow scenes their own category) and will only be available through the end of the year.
 
Japanese woodblock prints can add a special sparkle to any holiday tree with original woodblock prints mounted in a seasonal ornamental frame.  These charming works of art create elegant and tasteful business or hostess gifts ranging in price from $35 to $55.  FWG is also a great place to find a piece for that serious art collector on your list.  

For the Sekino collectors and bibliophiles  consider our new catalog,  “Behind Paper Walls: Early Works and Portaits by Jun’ichiro Sekino.”  Regularly priced at $50, FWG is offering the catalogue at the introductory price of $50 through Christmas. For other books about Japanese prints, print artists and other Japanese art, visit FWG’s Amazon Web Link

FWG, located at 1925 N. Halsted St. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, takes its name from the English translation of “ukiyo-e,” referring to images of an evanescent, impermanent world of fleeting beauty. The gallery has been one of the world’s leading dealers in Japanese art for more than 20 years, offering private collectors and institutions the highest quality works of art.  FWG opened its new 8,200 square-foot gallery space in October 2009 and is now actively engaged in helping to educate the public and increase awareness of the rich world of modern Japanese art.
 
For more information call 312-587-7800, fax 312-575-3565 or email artwork@floatingworld.com.

Church of God in Christ deposits $35 million into St. Louis economy

Posted by Admin On November - 26 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS


Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

 

Memphis, TN (BlackNews.com) — The Church of God in Christ 103rd Holy Convocation was a huge success for the city of St. Louis and the organization, bringing a whopping $35 million dollars to the region’s economy!

“St. Louis welcomed an estimated 35,000 attendees for the Church of God in Christ’s 103rd Holy Convocation in November and our community was thrilled to have a chance to host such a prestigious group,” says Brian Hall, St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission Chief Marketing Officer. “The gathering resulted in direct spending of around $35 million and St. Louis is looking forward to welcoming COGIC back to St. Louis in 2011 and 2012.”

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake says, “The St. Louis convocation experience met every one of our expectations. By the grace of God, we believe an impact was made on the greater metropolitan area, if not the entire Midwest region. By all accounts, the economic, social, and spiritual dimensions of our presence seemed to permeate deep into the neighborhoods and reverberate through the corridors of downtown. We look forward to returning next year with an even greater impact. God willing the same! Thank you St. Louis for a wholesome reception to your community. ”

Courtesy car driver Jennifer Turner says she “loved driving the saints around and hearing how great a time they were having while in St. Louis.”

The Convocation sponsored various events, including Christmas in November, which helped more than 1500 families with food, toys and clothing. Eastern Missouri and Western Illinois prelate Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten says the event “touched the needs of people naturally and spiritually as we witnessed people shedding tears of joy as we fed them, gave them boxes of groceries, toys for the children and prayed with them. During Christmas in November, more than 300 people accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.”

The largest convention to come to St. Louis this year was also the site of one of the largest health fairs. The health fair, sponsored by COGIC Global Health and Wellness and the St. Louis County Health Department, gave participants the opportunity to have their blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and blood glucose checked. Delores Gunn, M.D., director of the St. Louis County Department of Health says, “This is the seventh one we’ve done this year, and the largest one we’ve done, and we are honored the Church of God in Christ asked us to sponsor a health fair.”

Registration for the 2011 Holy Convocation in St. Louis October 31 – November 9 has begun and to date, there are five downtown hotels that are completely filled.

The Church of God in Christ is the fourth-largest Protestant religious denomination in the United States, with churches in 60 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million members.

Jesse White Targets Holiday Shoppers Abusing Accessible Parking Laws

Posted by Admin On November - 26 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Secretary of State Jesse White has directed the Secretary of State Police to conduct a statewide enforcement effort to crack down on people who illegally park in accessible parking spaces at local malls.  The Secretary of State Police will kick off their enforcement operation on Friday, November 26th, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and the busiest shopping day of the year.

Secretary of State Police will be out enforcing the provisions of the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities at Woodfield, Oak Brook, and Orland Park malls on Friday, November 26th as well as at malls in Bloomington, Carbondale, Fairview Heights, Rockford, and Springfield.  Other enforcements will take place during the holiday season in cities that include Champaign, Effingham, and Peoria.

Part of the month of November has been declared as Accessible Parking Awareness Month in Illinois.

“We’re here today to remind drivers that parking in a disability parking space for those who are not disabled — is not an option,” White said.  “It will cost you a ticket in addition to the money you’re spending during the holiday season.  In keeping with the holiday spirit, let’s be considerate while parking.”

The fine for illegally using a placard or disability license plates without the authorized holder of the placard or disability license plates present is a maximum of $500.  In addition, violators can be subject to a 30-day administrative driver’s license suspension from the Secretary of State for the first offense.

The fine for parking in an accessible parking space without a parking placard or disability license plates can be as much $350.

Secretary White urged people to report abuse of accessible parking spaces by calling 217-785-0309.  Callers should be prepared to report placard and license plate numbers as well as locations of vehicles.  People can also report abuse via the Secretary of State’s website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com and complete the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities Abuse Complaint Form.

In addition, Public Act 096-1125, takes effect January 1, 2011.  This new law strengthens penalties to property owners who fail to keep their accessible parking spaces and access aisles clear after being notified by local police or code officials about an obstruction in their accessible parking spaces.  This legislation was an initiative of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and was supported by the Secretary of State.

There are over 443,000 placards and approximately 84,000 disability license plates in Illinois.

Legendary King of the Blues “B.B. King” comes to the Paramount Theatre January 15th

Posted by Admin On November - 26 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Aurora, IL – Riley B.B. King, a 15-time Grammy Award winner and decorated jazz legend returns to the Paramount stage for one show only, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 15th. In his last Paramount appearance, the legendary “King of the Blues” captivated a sold out, standing room only house, for two solid hours with virtuoso guitar playing, commanding vocals, intimate storytelling and beguiling showmanship. He reigned across the decades as the genre’s most recognizable and influential artist.

Throughout the 1990’s as well as the 1980’s 1970’s, 1960’s and 1950’s, there has been only one King of the Blues – Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King. Since B.B. started recording in the late 1940’s, he has released over 50 albums many of them considered blues classics, like 1965’s definitive live blues album “Live at the Regal”, and 1976’s collaboration with Bobby “Blue” Bland, “Together for the First Time”.

Over the years, B.B. has had two number one R & B hits; 1951’s “Three O’clock Blues” and 1952’s “You Don’t Know Me” and four number two R & B hits; 1953’s “Please Love Me”, 1954’s “You Upset me Baby”, 1960’s “Sweet Sixteen, Part 1” and 1966’s “Don’t Answer The Door, Part 1”. B.B.’s most popular crossover hit, 1970’s “The Thrill Is Gone” went to #15 pop.

In addition, B.B. has been honored by his peers with eight Grammy Awards. Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance by Male in 1970 for “The Thrill Is Gone”, Best Ethnic or Traditional recording in 1981 for “There Must Be A Better World Somewhere”, Best Traditional Blues Recording in 1983 for “Blues ‘N Jazz” and in 1985 for “My Guitar Sings The Blues” from “Six Silver Strings”. In 1970, King’s “Indianola Mississippi Seeds” won for Best Album Cover, an art director’s award. In 1989 King received two more nominations: Best Contemporary Blues Recording “King Of The Blues 1989”, and Best Rock Performance by a duo or group with vocal for “When Love Comes To Town” with U2 fromU2’s “Rattle And Him”. In 1990 King received another Grammy for the album “Live at San Quentin” as Best Traditional Blues Recording. In 1991, King was bestowed Best Traditional Blues Recording for “Live at the Apollo” and in 1993 the same award for “Blues Summit”. And in 1996, along with Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughn, Robert Gray, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Dr. John and Art Neville, King received the Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “SRV Shuffle” from A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

B.B. King comes to the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 15th. Tickets are $59.50, $69.50, $79.50 and $89.50 and can be purchased at the Paramount Theatre Box Office, by phone at (630) 896-6666 or at any TicketMaster ticket outlet. B.B. King is sponsored by NMLP, The Baker’s Basket and The Barry Family. The 2010-2011 Season is sponsored by the Paramount Arts Centre Endowment, American Airlines and The Beacon News/Sun Publications.

For more information about this show or the Paramount Theatre schedule, visit the Paramount Theatre online at http://www.paramountaurora.com.

Leadership of nine largest historically Black Denominations announce launch of Conference of National Black Churches

Posted by Admin On November - 26 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

“For the Healing of Our People” Conference in Washington, D.C.  focuses on health, education, social justice and economic empowerment

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) – Leadership of the nine largest historically Black denominations today announced the launch of The Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC). The organization, representing a combined membership of more than 30 million people and 50,000 congregations throughout the United States and the African Diaspora, will fill the void for a unified voice of faith advocating on behalf of African Americans and other underserved populations on health, education, social justice and economic empowerment issues. CNBC will hold its first annual consultation titled, “For the Healing of Our People,” from December 7 – 10, 2010 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The gathering of faith and community leaders will address targeted social and economic issues, provide clergy and lay leaders training in public policy and honor African American leaders from both the private and public sectors.

“This holiday season’s heightened focus will be on the hardships and economic challenges facing many in our churches and across the country,” said Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of CNBC’s Board of Directors. “For that reason we chose this time and season to officially launch the Conference of National Black Churches. We are focused on channeling our unique voice of faith into advocacy to produce sustainable solutions to pressing issues. The upcoming conference is the beginning of our long-term efforts of working together using the power of the faith community, the private sector and legislators to resolve the challenges we face.”

During the 3-day gathering where more than 300 are expected, guest participants include: Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., President of Healing of the Nations Foundations; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund; Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO of the UNCF; The Right Reverend Sarah Francis Davis, Presiding Bishop from the 16th Episcopal District of the AME Church, which includes Haiti; Reverend Dr. Dwight D. Jones, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia; and Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. On December 8 at 7:30 p.m., an ecumenical service with preaching by Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), will be open to the public and held at Israel Baptist Church, 1251 Saratoga Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. A gala dinner will be held on December 9 at 7:30 p.m. honoring The Honorable Andrew Young; Pernessa C. Seele, founder and CEO of Balm in Gilead; and Black Enterprise magazine founder and publisher Earl G. Graves, Sr.
About the Conference of National Black Churches
The Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) is comprised of the national leadership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME); African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ); Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME), Church of God In Christ (COGIC); Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCFI); National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., International (NBCA); National Missionary Baptist Convention of America (NMBCA); National Baptist Convention U.S.A., Inc.(NBC USA); and Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc (PNBC).

CNBC uses the influence and power of the leadership of the historically Black denominations to serve as a critical organizational base, voice and influence to advocate for African Americans. Through CNBC, the member denominations work collectively to become a permanent point of inter-denominational coordination for addressing systemic social change that will ultimately result in improving the quality of life for African Americans and other underserved populations as they seek to reach their full potential in American society.

For more information about the Conference of National Black Churches and annual consultation schedule of activities, visit www.thecnbc.org.
-END-

 

This information has been distributed through BlackPR.com and BlackNews.com

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Illinois state school chief selected to lead national organization of state superintendents

Posted by Admin On November - 26 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 Superintendent Koch named president of

the Council of Chief State School Officers

 

Springfield, IL – State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch has been named president of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The Council, made up of public K-12 education officials from around the country, works with federal and state agencies as well as Congress on national education policy development and decisions. Koch was elected CCSSO president last week in Kentucky during the national organization’s annual fall meeting. 

“It is important that Illinois has a seat at the table during this crucial time as we review critical education policy for students across the country,’’ said Jesse H. Ruiz, Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education. “The overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is one of the most important decisions facing our state and country.’’

Koch, Illinois State Superintendent of Education since 2006, replaces Steven L. Paine, state superintendent of schools for West Virginia. Koch was selected to serve on the Presidential transition team in 2008, to co-chair the Elementary and Secondary Reauthorization Committee and to serve on the Council’s Board of Directors.

As State Superintendent, Koch has led efforts to bring coherence between state standards, curriculum, assessments and college entry requirements in Illinois through state membership in the American Diploma Project and 21st Century Skills initiative. He has long advocated for using data to inform policy and is leading the agency as it establishes a P-20 longitudinal data system that will link pre-K-12 student achievement data to postsecondary education and careers. He was among the school chiefs leading the development of the internationally benchmarked Common Core Standards and pending assessments for more accurate comparisons about student performance among states and countries, and to help ensure all students can compete and collaborate in a global economy.

“This is one of the most exciting and challenging times in education as we implement unprecedented reform and grapple with tight fiscal times across the country,” Koch said. “I am honored to lead our state school chiefs as we work on the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, implement the more rigorous Common Core Standards and a new generation of assessments to better prepare students for college and careers.”

Superintendent Koch is an Illinois native, graduating from Brown County High School in Mt. Sterling and from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees in Educational Policy and Leadership from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

As a special education teacher, Superintendent Koch taught in four states in various settings, including an Outward Bound program, a college preparatory school, a youth detention center, and a psychiatric hospital. He served at the federal level, administering programs in correctional and School-to-Work transition programs at the U.S. Office of Vocational and Adult Education. He joined the ISBE in 1994 and has served in a variety of administrative capacities, including Director of Special Education and the state’s Chief Education Officer.

“Chris Koch’s skill of generating consensus among state school chiefs will be vital as we move forward with the education reform agenda of the states,” said CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit. “Now, more than ever, strong leadership from states is critical to continuing efforts to dramatically improve American public education for our children.  I am pleased to have Chris at the helm of the CCSSO Board of Directors.”

As president of CCSSO, Koch will continue the Council’s focus on building an enhanced state and federal partnership between state education agencies and the U.S. Department of Education and the Obama administration. Koch will spend his one year term with CCSSO, working on efforts to reauthorize the ESEA, formerly known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and assuring the smooth implementation of Common Core standards and aligned assessments. Koch will also concentrate on ensuring chief state school officers are focused on the key leverage points of education reform, through the Council’s strategic initiatives: Education Workforce; Information Systems and Research; Next Generation Learners; and Standards, Assessment, and Accountability.

The Washington, D.C.-based CCSSO is made up of K-12 school chiefs from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues.

New Documentary reveals the remarkable life of “Black Like Me” Author John Howard Griffin

Posted by Admin On November - 26 - 2010 1 COMMENT

uncommon_vision_documentaryJohn Howard Griffin was one of the most remarkable people I have ever encountered…He was just one of those guys that comes along once or twice in a century and lifts the hearts of the rest of us.”Studs Terkel

DVD cover

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — John Howard Griffin is best known today as the author of Black Like Me, which tells of his 1959 journey through the American South disguised as a black man. But there is much more to Griffin than that extraordinary experiment in race relations.

As a new documentary shows, John Howard Griffin possessed an uncommon vision of our shared humanity, and spent his life in a fearless search for truth. In Uncommon Vision: The Life and Times of John Howard Griffin, award-winning filmmaker Morgan Atkinson tells the story of Griffin the journalist, music scholar, photographer, Texas farmer, civil rights activist, and Catholic convert, a son of the American South who became a citizen of the world and stirred the conscience of a nation.

In print for almost fifty years, Black Like Me is an important document of the Civil Rights era. It tells how Griffin, using medication that darkened his skin, disguised himself as a black man and traveled through the deep South, experiencing firsthand the injustice and indignities that were part of everyday life for African Americans. After the book was published, Griffin received death threats and was hanged in effigy on the main street of his Texas home town.

But he also gained international respect and a platform as a human rights activist. He traveled the lecture circuit with activist Dick Gregory, who is interviewed in the documentary. Uncommon Vision focuses on Griffin’s social activism, from his childhood in a segregated Texas town, to fighting with the French Underground during World War II, using an ambulance to carry Jewish children to safety, serving with the U.S. Army in the South Pacific and becoming a confirmed pacifist after the war, and his work as a civil rights activist and journalist. Griffin’s life and work testify to his deep understanding of humanity.

“There is no other. The other is me,” Griffin wrote. He died in 1980 at the age of 60. At the time, he had only fifty dollars in his bank account. But as Uncommon Vision shows, he left an incredibly rich legacy of moral clarity, spiritual wisdom, and artistic achievement. The film includes interviews with experts including Robert Bonnazzi, Griffin’s biographer and literary executor, and Jonathan Yardley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post book critic. Yardley says Black Like Me is comparable in influence to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Grapes of Wrath: “At a time when attitudes about race were changing, when opportunities were beginning at last to open up for African Americans, this book was there. And so it was one of the things that nudged the process along.” Uncommon Vision has been produced with funding by the Catholic Communications Campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It will be shown on Kentucky PBS affiliates in the fall, with other television showings and public screenings to be announced.

About the Filmmaker
In a 25-year career as an independent producer, Morgan Atkinson has written and produced twelve documentaries that have been broadcast on public television, in addition to producing many other commissioned works. His primary focus is on programming that examines issues of community, culture, and the contemplative life.
Over the past five years he has presented programs and led retreats based on his award-winning documentary Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton, which aired nationally on PBS. He has presented programs nationwide at universities, retreat centers, churches and community groups. He co-edited a companion book to the film, also entitled Soul Searching. A lifelong resident of Louisville, Kentucky, Atkinson’s other award-winning films include A Way of Life, a reflection on Kentucky’s passion for basketball, Falls City, a wry look at Louisville’s ill-fated Falls Fountain, and A Change in Order, an account of the societal changes that face the Ursuline Sisters in Louisville.

Four steps to create and keep a holiday budget

Posted by Admin On November - 26 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 

(A Message from the Better Business Bureau)              

 

 Chicago, IL – Unless you’re among a select group of people, sitting down and creating a budget does not sound like very much holiday fun. Nevertheless, in tough economic times, the Better Business Bureau recommends mapping out your spending in November to help ease the strain of a financial holiday hangover in January.

 

 According to a survey by Consumer Reports, shoppers planned on spending about $699 over the holidays last year, but, in a follow-up survey, admitted to actually spending closer to an average of $811, 16 percent more than planned. Creating a budget, and being disciplined enough to follow it, is one of the best ways to avoid overspending during the holidays. 

 

“While sitting yourself down and crunching numbers isn’t the most festive way to spend an evening, because of the current economic climate many can’t afford to spend with abandon,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “Building a budget and sticking to it over the holidays will stave off a painful financial burden.”

 

The following are four steps recommended by the BBB to consider when creating a budget this holiday season:

 

Step One: Consider your Income.

 

The first step is to measure how much money is coming in.  Add up your monthly salary along with your spouse’s and any child support payments, dividends or interest payments and other sources of income.

 

Step Two: Add Up Regular Monthly Expenses.

Adding up expenses is usually harder than determining your income because there are so many more factors to consider. Start with your rent or mortgage, utilities and credit card payments. Also factor in other expenses for gas and car maintenance, healthcare and groceries. A full list of monthly expenses to consider is available at www.bbb.org  

 

 

Step Three: Estimate Extra Holiday Expenses.

A lot of little purchases have a way of adding up over the holidays and it’s important to consider all of the expenses of the season including:

 

  • Gifts – Make an itemized list of everyone you want to buy presents for and estimate how much you’re willing to spend for each. This includes presents for family, friends and coworkers. Also consider the cost for holiday cards and postage.

 

  • Entertaining – Entertaining is big over the holidays. Think about who you’ll be having over and also budget for any food or beverages you might need to bring to someone else’s party. Also consider the costs for eating out and going to the movies-both popular expenses over the holidays.

 

  • Decorations – Take stock of what you already own and then consider any additional spending you might need to make for a tree, lights, ornaments, wrapping paper, etc.

 

  • Travel – If you’re heading out of town for the holidays, consider the cost of travel including any car maintenance or pet boarding if applicable.

 

  • Charitable Donations – Remember the holidays are a time of giving, so budget in how much you plan on donating to a worthy cause. You can learn more about being a savvy donor from the BBB Wise Giving Alliance at www.bbb.org/charity

 

 

Step Four: Revisit, Evaluate and Revise Your Budget Along the Way.

Once you’ve added up your income and your expenses, it’s time to compare. If more is going out than coming in, it’s time to go back over your budget and pare down expenses. Consider giving fewer gifts or less expensive ways of entertaining. Last year’s decorations are also probably just fine.

 

Once you’ve balanced your budget, revisit it frequently over the holidays to make sure you’re sticking to it. You might find that you overestimated in some categories and underestimated in others.

 

For more advice on saving money over the holidays, visit www.bbb.org

 

 

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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