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Archive for November 22nd, 2010

Attorney General Madigan issues new product recall guide as Holiday Shopping Season begins

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2010 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan issues new product recall guide as Holiday Shopping Season begins

Madigan Urges Consumers to Sign Up for Automatic Alerts as Recalled Items List Totals 44 Million in 2010


 Chicago, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today released her newest recalled products guide as part of her ongoing effort to protect children by educating families on the dangers of having recalled toys, cribs and other potentially dangerous items in their homes. Madigan also urged consumers to sign up for automatic recall notification, a critical step to keep pace with the growing number of recalls every year.

 In the past year, hundreds of products were added to the recall list, totaling a staggering 44 million individual items in the marketplace.

 “As consumers’ mailboxes fill with holiday catalogs, my Play It Safe Guide is one catalog parents can’t afford to miss for their children’s sake,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Parents have enough to monitor without trying to keep track of the more than 600 products recalled this year. This guide provides an easy way for parents to be sure gifts and other products in your home are safe for your children.”

 The Attorney General’s Play It Safe Guide: Subscribe for Safety is now available in print and online and details the products recalled this year. For recalled products, the guide provides the product name and manufacturer and describes the unsafe features. It highlights recalled toys, such as dart guns, inflatable toys and tricycles, along with recalled essentials like cribs, high chairs and strollers. The guide also details how parents of newborns can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) that kills 2,100 annually.

 Consumers can view and download the Play It Safe Guide at Attorney General Madigan’s website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov, or request a free, printed copy in the mail by calling the Attorney General’s Recall Hotline at 1-888-414-7678.

 Attorney General Madigan also encouraged consumers to sign up for automatic recall notifications via email through the Children’s Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

 While retailers take action to remove recalled products from their shelves, it is crucial for consumers to be proactive and educate themselves on the products to avoid. Toys and other items may already be in children’s homes and places they visit, like the homes of grandparents or other relatives and daycare centers, posing a significant threat to their safety.

 The guide also is important for the many consumers who will shop in the second-hand market or search for online bargains during this economic downturn. Consumers need to be aware of the possibility that some second-hand sellers may not have kept up with the growing number of recalled items.

 The Play It Safe Guide is part of Attorney General Madigan’s continued efforts to protect children by increasing awareness of recalled products. Madigan’s office works with retailers around the state and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association to ensure these products are removed from store shelves. Madigan also has partnered with the Illinois Hospital Association, the state Medical Society and pediatricians to enlist their help in spreading information to parents about potentially dangerous products that they should remove from their homes.

 Last year, Madigan also worked to amend the Illinois Children’s Product Safety Act to expand the amount of time to 240 days that retailers are required to post recall notices for durable products, such as strollers, cribs, bassinets and play yards. Increasing that time period from 120 to 240 days ensures more shoppers will see the recall notices in stores. Also last year, a new amendment to the Illinois Lead Poisoning Act that Madigan helped implement took effect, requiring certain children’s products sold in the state to have a warning label if they contain even small amounts of lead.


Black Public Administrators’ National Forum to be held in Chicago

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2010 Comments Off on Black Public Administrators’ National Forum to be held in Chicago

2011 Annual Conference to be held April 16-20 at the Sherator Hotel & Towers

The Year 2011 Marks A Shining Moment For The Chicago Chapter And 16 Other Chapters Across The Country


Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) –  The Chicago Chapter of the National Forum For Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) will host the 2011 Annual Conference which takes place April 16 – 20. 2011 at The Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Chicago, IL. The NFBPA 2011 National Conference holds special significance for the Chapter as the year marks a shining moment: the 25th Anniversary for the Chicago Chapter and sixteen other Chapters across the country. The Chicago Chapter was founded in 1986 by the late Mayor Harold Washington, a representation of many of his outstanding legacies.

Conference Highlights “Building on the Legacy…Preparing for the Future”, includes a 25th Anniversary Opening Reception, 25th Anniversary Host Chapter Event, Executive Leadership Institute and National Mentor Program Graduation Ceremony, Plenary Sessions and Luncheons, Public Policy Forums and exciting Tracks of Workshops and the Marks of Excellence Awards Gala.

Confirmed keynote speakers to date are Thomas N. Todd, Esq., a prominent leader of the civil rights movement and activist and Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. the retired Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ

A partial list of sponsors include The Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, Harris Bank, Colemen Development, Infrastructure Engineering, Comcast, Siebert Brandford Shank, American Airlines, Illinois Sports Facility Authority and Clear Channel Radio.

The mission of the NFBPA is embodied in the organization’s commitment to strengthen the position of Blacks within the field of public administration; to increase the number of Blacks appointed to executive positions in public service organizations; and, to groom and prepare younger, aspiring administrators for senior public management posts in the years ahead. NFBPA’s members represent more than 350 jurisdictions in 37 states.

For more information on NFBPA and the 2011 Conference, log on to www.nfbpa.org.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tips for safe shopping

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2010 Comments Off on Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tips for safe shopping
 (A Message from the Better Business Bureau)

Chicago, IL – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, have become the most popular holiday shopping days of the year. Whether shopping at a brick and mortar store or online to avoid the crowds, buyers should be alert for scammers and hackers.

Before leaving home to snag great holiday deals on Black Friday, the Better Business Bureau recommends shoppers look both online and in the newspaper for the best sale prices. It’s vital for consumers to not only research what stores have the best deals but also to find out if these retailers are reputable. Go to www.bbb.org to obtain free Business Reviews on any store you are planning to shop at this holiday season. The BBB also recommends shoppers bring the ads to the store on Black Friday and to also become familiar with the store’s return policies.

“Finding exceptional bargains and deals drives many consumers to stores and online retailers after the Thanksgiving holiday-however, both have their own set of risks,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Taking steps to avoid the fraud in both situations will result in a much happier holiday experience for everyone-except, of course, for scammers and hackers.”

Following are the top 10 online shopping tips for holiday shoppers to help fight deceitful online retailers, scammers and hackers on Cyber Monday and the rest of the season:

1. Protect your computer – A computer should always have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.

2. Shop on trustworthy websites – Shoppers should start with the BBB to check on the seller’s reputation and record for customer satisfaction at www.bbb.org  Always look for the BBB seal and other widely-recognized “trustmarks” on retailer websites and click on the seals to confirm that they are valid.

3. Protect your personal information – The BBB recommends taking the time to read the site’s privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn’t one posted, it should be taken as a red flag that personal information may be sold to others without permission.


4. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true – Offers on websites and in unsolicited e-mailcan often sound too good to be true, especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end, and look up the company at www.bbb.org

5. Beware of phishing – Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the “buyer” into revealing financial information. If a consumer receives such an e-mail, the BBB recommends picking up the phone and calling the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm that there really is a problem with the transaction.

6. Confirm your online purchase is secure – Shoppers should always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, the BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.

7. Pay with a credit card – It’s best to use a credit card, because under federal law, the shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it. Never wire money and shop locally.

8. Keep documentation of your order – After completing the online order process, there may be a final confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by e-mail. The BBB recommends saving a copy of the Web page and any e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
9. Check your credit card statements often – Don’t wait for paper statements; the BBB recommends consumers check their credit card statements for suspicious activity by either calling credit card companies or by checking statements online regularly.

10. Know your rights – Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or was misrepresented. Otherwise, it’s the company’s policies that determine if the shopper can cancel the purchase and receive a refund or credit.

For more advice on staying safe online this holiday season visit www.bbb.org

Two Black educators take matters into their own hands

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2010 Comments Off on Two Black educators take matters into their own hands

chike_akua_l_kobie_wilkersonEducators & Authors Chike Akua and L. Kobie Wilkerson

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — For Chike Akua and L. Kobie Wilkerson, the Black male graduation rate in America is absolutely unacceptable. Several months ago The Schott Foundation released its report finding that the national graduation rate for Black males was a lowly 47%, nationally. “It’s unacceptable, given what we know about what it takes for our children to achieve and succeed,” says Akua, an author and former Teacher of the Year who trains teachers on how to increase student achievement, especially African Americans.
Akua taught for 14 years in Virginia and Georgia public schools. He began developing training seminars for educators to deal with cultural issues he felt were not being addressed in traditional professional development workshops. Additionally, he began developing African-centered curriculum materials that are now being used in public, private, and charter schools around the country. He is now one of the most sought after keynote speakers and trainers at K-12 schools and educational conferences.
Nationally-known educator and author, L. Kobie Wilkerson agrees that schools could achieve at much higher levels if all staff received training on how to cultivate authentic relationships in addition to training on how teachers can empower their students through their instruction. Wilkerson trains teachers and administrators on changing the school culture.
“We have schools that have succumbed to a culture of underachievement,” says Wilkerson who is known for his powerful model teaching seminars in which he actually goes into the classroom and teaches a model lesson, then coaches teachers on how to prepare and deliver the lessons using state standards. “Nobody likes to just be told what to do – I believe teachers would rather hear it and see it done in the classroom with their students so they can see the impact and results with their own eyes. That’s what I do and the teachers love it.”
Wilkerson travels the country training teachers and his trainings are so in-demand that he has not been at home for more than three consecutive days since January.
Akua and Wilkerson have partnered to make the Teacher Transformation Institute the premiere professional development conference for teachers who want to reach African American students. The Teacher Transformation Institute is a standards-based, research-driven, best practices conference that gives teachers practical, specific strategies they can use to increase student achievement.
“It’s clear that culture is the key – the critical mediating factor in increasing student achievement,” says Akua. “So we train teachers on how to use culture as a bridge rather than a barrier,” says Akua who launched the Teacher Transformation Institute in the fall of 2009. The response has been phenomenal. “Teachers have come from all over the country to attend the Teacher Transformation Institute and have told me things like , ‘this is exactly what we need!’ ‘we’ve never had professional development like this before!'”
The next Teacher Transformation Institute will be in Atlanta on December 6, 2010. Educators can register online at www.MyTeacherTransformation.com. Akua and Wilkerson expect a capacity crowd, just like the last two Institutes. “Many teachers and administrators know that what they’re doing now isn’t working. They’re looking for answers. We don’t have all the answers, but we’ve got quite few that get results.”

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago offers children free admission to Family Dance Matinees

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2010 Comments Off on The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago offers children free admission to Family Dance Matinees


Chicago, IL —Now in its 12th season of introducing families to the world of contemporary dance, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago presents its FamilyDance Matinee Series, featuring a variety of dance traditions and styles. And for the first time, children’s admission is free.


For spring 2011, FamilyDance Matinees will be presented by Joe Goode Performance Group (February 5), Robert Moses‘ Kin (February 26) and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre (March 12). The Dance Center also will present regular evening performances by both companies during the same weeks as their FamilyDance Matinees.Each FamilyDance Matinee features a special 45-minute family-oriented performance preceded by a free workshop that encourages parents and children to move with the artists.



“Since its inception, FamilyDance has become a very popular event, introducing new people to The Dance Center and new artists to our loyal FamilyDance audience members,” said Dance Center Executive Director Phil Reynolds, “It’s an opportunity to show kids and parents that dance is fun by letting them get up and move with the artists. Once they’ve tried it themselves, they’ll enjoy watching it even more. We hope we’re nurturing the development of the next generation of dancers and audience members as well.”


The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, named “Chicago’s best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine and “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader, is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. Programs of The Dance Center are supported, in part, by Alphawood Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, New England Foundation for the Arts, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Boeing Company, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, The Irving Harris Foundation and Arts Midwest. Additional funding is providied by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Special thanks to Friends of The Dance Center. All programming is subject to change.


Family Dance Matinees begin at 3 p.m.; the free movement workshops begin at 2:15 p.m., all at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave. Single tickets are free for children 12 and younger, $15 for adults. The theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Call 312-369-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.

Whatever happened to Iyanla Vanzant?

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2010 Comments Off on Whatever happened to Iyanla Vanzant?

iyanla_vanzant_peace_from_broken_piecesNew York Times best-selling author’s triumphant rise from the ashes

Bookcover and author Iyanla Vanzant

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — In the 90s, Iyanla Vanzant (pronounced Ä“-YÄN-lä) emerged as one of the nation’s most beloved personal growth gurus. As a popular guest on Oprah, millions read her books and thousands gathered to attend her standing-room-only inspirational talks. Internationally renowned, Vanzant was fulfilling her mission to support others on their journey to personal empowerment.

Outwardly, Iyanla was the epitome of self-confidence, however, deep inside, her soul grieved as her carefully crafted world began to crumble and fall to pieces. Vanzant recounts the last decade of her life in PEACE FROM BROKEN PIECES: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through (www.SmileyBooks.com, Hardcover, November 15, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-4019-2822-3, $ 24.95). Peace lays bare the painful truths and private tragedies that defined her journey – from the price she paid for success during her meteoric rise as a TV celebrity on Oprah and Iyanla, to the dissolution of her 37-year relationship with the first man she had ever loved, and her daughter’s death from cancer on Christmas Day. Part metaphorical teaching story, part wrenching personal chronicle, this phoenix rising-from-the-ashes tale is about men and money, love and work, mothers and daughters, life and death, and the patterns and pathologies that families pass down through the generations – until someone gets clear enough to break free. “No matter how famous you are, how much money you make, or how ‘big’ you become in the eyes of the world, none of us is immune to the challenges of life and being human,” writes Vanzant. Iyanla’s story is everyone’s story.

As she investigates her family history and how she navigated the treacherous and often unconscious, self-destructive patterns, she discovers that she not only lived these inheritances, she passed them on to her own children. In the face of Vanzant’s uncompromising examples, readers are prompted to hold up a mirror and examine their own lives in the context of the family they were raised in. “If we dare to recognize our harmful family patterns and legacies, we may be able to help succeeding generations avoid or circumvent them,” says Vanzant. Vanzant explores:

* How her personal lie threatened to rob her of everything, including her spot on Oprah
* The roots of her dysfunctional family tree and its pathological patterns
* How her longing for her absent father left her in perpetual pursuit of the wrong man
* The uphill battle she faced on Iyanla, the show produced by Barbara Walters, and why it may have been destined to fail from the start
* The toll the illness and death of her beloved daughter Gemmia took on her and the amazing spiritual lessons it demanded that she learn
* Why she could not save her fairy-tale marriage
* When faced with bankruptcy and foreclosure, how she turned loss into gain
* The steps she took to heal generations of family trauma
Courageous, poignant, and straight from the heart, the unforgettable story of Iyanla’s determination to find peace amidst the fragmented pieces of her life will inspire anyone who refuses to be defeated in the face of adversity.

Iyanla Vanzant is the founder and executive director of Inner Visions International and the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. The author of 13 titles – including five New York Times bestsellers and the Inner Visions CD Series – she is the former host of the television series Iyanla, and former co-host of the NBC daytime reality show Starting Over. She is a 2010 Black Girls Rock! honoree recently celebrated on BET’s national awards show. The proud grandmother of eight currently resides in Maryland. View a personal invitation at: http://youtu.be/kPpsekeS1t8 To arrange an interview with Iyanla Vanzant, please contact Kira Citron at 646-484-4963 or kcitron@hayhouse.com.

About the Book
PEACE FROM BROKEN PIECES: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through
by Iyanla Vanzant
ISBN: 978-1-4019-2822-3 / SmileyBooks Hardcover, $24.95

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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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