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Archive for April 14th, 2011

Protess calls for Independent and Public Review of the Medill Innocence Project

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 1 COMMENT

david_protess

 

EXCLUSIVE

 

David Protess, Professor of Journalism at Northwestern University and President of the fledgling Chicago Innocence Project, called today for an independent review of the Medill Innocence Project and his actions as its director, saying the results of the review should be made public.

Since last October, three former federal prosecutors have been investigating the innocence project at the behest of Northwestern officials. Their report has remained secret, though Provost Daniel Linzer and Dean John Lavine revealed portions of it at a private meeting of the Medill faculty — from which Protess was
excluded. According to sources at the meeting, the provost and dean showed a dozen or so redacted email messages from the more than a thousand exchanged during an investigation of a wrongful conviction case involving Anthony McKinney.

No students, alumni or senior faculty were interviewed by the former prosecutors, who now are partners at Jenner & Block, a firm hired by Northwestern to respond to a subpoena issued by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“The former prosecutors’ review was completely lacking in transparency,” Protess said. “I will participate fully in any independent review that makes its findings available to the public.” Protess added that if the university is unwilling to cooperate, he will publicly release all 26,600 “hits” from the imaged hard drives of his work and home computers to help the review team decide whether any improprieties occurred during the reporting of the McKinney case.

Protess said the independent review team should be chosen by Northwestern’s Faculty Senate and ideally include representation from students, alums and professors, as well as at least one director of a journalism innocence project and a Professional organization of journalists, such as Investigative Reporters & Editors.

Among the questions the review team might address:

1. Did Protess knowingly mislead the university during the litigation surrounding the McKinney case or others? Was his conduct inconsistent with widely accepted
standards for investigative reporting or administering an innocence project in a
university setting?
2. Did Dean Lavine suspend Protess from teaching and replace him as director of
the Medill Innocence Project in retaliation for Protess’sacknowledged role in exposing the dean’s alleged fabrication of quotes in a magazine article? Did the suspension
violate university rules and American Association of University Professors
(AAUP) guidelines?

3. Did Provost Linzer have a conflict-of-interest in deciding a matter in which
his spouse is the Associate Director of the Law School’s Center on Wrongful
Convictions, whose handling of documents from Protess was a hotly contested issue in the McKinney case? Was former U. S. Attorney Anton R. Valukas, the head of the Jenner &
Block investigative team, biased because of his many affiliations with the Law
School?

Was Northwestern’s General Counsel, Thomas Cline, a law school alumnus and donor, similarly biased?

Protess is on leave from Northwestern to establish the Chicago Innocence Project, a nonprofit investigative reporting group whose mission is to expose and remedy the problem of wrongful convictions.

For further information, contact David Protess, President, the Chicago Innocence Project. 7324 Madison St., Forest Park, Il. 60130.<davidprotess@gmail.com.

Shocking revelation: The state of minority health & death of African American women nationwide

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 3 COMMENTS

linda_burke-gallowayIn Observation of National Minority Health Month, Author/OB-GYN Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway Sheds Light on a Pressing Issue Facing African American Women during Childbirth

 
 

Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway, author of “The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy

  

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — According to a March 2010 Amnesty International report, more than two women die in the U.S. daily because of childbirth complications and the number for African American pregnant women rises to eight. More than half of these deaths are preventable as is 1 out 3 errors that occur from medical mistakes in hospitals.

Through her website at www.smartmothersguide.com, Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway publishes a weekly blog that shares pertinent minority health issues to her subscribers. Recently, she wrote a response and provided a solution based on her 23 years of high-risk clinical experience that can be found on her blog (http://bit.ly/hYSfC3) in an attempt to reduce, if not eliminate this travesty.

When asked at a recent event “What needs to be done regarding these staggering numbers?”, Dr Linda proclaimed that “much more needs to be done, community efforts, changes in healthcare practices that African American women receive during pregnancy and most importantly prevention strategies to combat the numbers.”

She also mentioned that more mass media needs to become involved in the growing crisis, and she quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by saying: “Of all the forms in inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhuman.” Dr. Linda encourages everyone to become involved; from medical practitioners to media outlets nationwide and help support her efforts to reduce the numbers and educate women by sending an email to askthedoc@smartmothersguide.com

 A Board Certified OB-GYN and the author of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy: How to Minimize Risks, Avoid Complications, and Have a Healthy Baby, Dr. Linda has over 20 years experience in the medical profession and is an expert in high risk pregnancy. She has also been seen on CNN’s American Morning with Elizabeth Cohen and is a Top Physician on www.lifescript.com

For more information on Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway and The Smart Mother’s Guide or to schedule an interview, call Zanade L. Mann at 347-968-8067 or e-mail Zanade at zanademann@yahoo.com

Attorney General Madigan sues California man for deed fraud

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL –Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against a California  man for deceptive tactics in selling Illinois consumers deeds to their homes.                                                                                          

 

The Attorney General’s suit, filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court, alleges Neil Camenker, of Camarillo, Calif., violated Illinois law when he solicited consumers in direct mailings to purchase the deeds to their homes for $87.

Camenker’s solicitations through his business, State Record Retrieval Board, based in Los Angeles, contained inaccurate information about the homeowner’s property and failed to inform consumers that their deeds are available for a small fee from their county recorder’s office, as required by the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

“Illinois consumers should know they can obtain a copy of their property deed for a nominal cost from their local county recorder’s office,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Consumers should disregard solicitations seeking large sums of money for copies of their deeds and instead report the incident to local authorities and my office.”

Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Camenker from selling record services in Illinois, void pending contracts with Illinois residents and obtain restitution for affected consumers. The lawsuit also seeks to impose on Camenker a civil penalty of $50,000, additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to be committed with the intent to defraud, as well as $10,000 per violation found to be committed against a person 65 years or older.

Assistant Attorney General Philip Heimlich is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Lt. Gov. Simon urges passage of SB630

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 21 COMMENTS

 Says consensus bill is “meaningful reform” 

                           

 Springfield, IL – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will testify today before the Senate Education Committee in support of SB 630, a sweeping education reform bill that promotes excellent teaching, weights teacher performance in retention, provides more transparency in contract negotiations and introduces new steps prior to a strike.

 As the Governor’s point person on education reform, Simon commended Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Education Reform Workgroup for bringing education and business stakeholders to the table to reach this consensus bill, which has the potential to improve education for all Illinois students.

 Simon said: “The next wave of education reform required all of us — teachers, administrators, community members and policymakers — to rethink business as usual. The result is a meaningful reform bill that will help us weed out bad teachers and seed new ones. It puts students first, while also preserving the collective bargaining rights of their greatest advocates. The process behind and the passage of this bill will make Illinois a model for the rest of the nation.”

Research supports academic and social gains through Illinois preschool programs for at-risk children

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 2009-10 study shows preschool students made significant improvements in school readiness skills, particularly low-income children

 

Springfield, IL — An Illinois State Board of Education study found kindergarteners who had been in state-funded preschool showed significant improvements in school readiness and social skills. Improvements were seen across all income groups with children from low-income families and those at risk showing the most gains in attention span and ability to complete tasks.

“This important evaluation confirms other research and our long-standing belief that giving children a high quality preschool experience helps prepare them for future success both inside and outside the classroom,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We commend all those involved in early childhood education because today’s efforts and commitment means better prepared students tomorrow.’’

Researchers at the Chicago-based Erikson Institute assessed children in programs at the beginning of their preschool year in fall 2009 at age 4 and again in fall 2010 as they entered kindergarten. By kindergarten, the participating children showed increased language skills, improved social skills, reduced problem behavior, increased attention and ability to complete tasks.

“The findings from this study clearly demonstrate that, when we invest in quality early childhood programs, our children benefit socially as well as academically,’’ said Samuel J. Meisels, president of Erikson Institute. “Early education has the potential to create a foundation for a better future for our children, our communities, and our nation as a whole.”

The Prekindergarten Program for Children at Risk of Academic Failure began with a $12 million grant in 1985 and several thousand children. Two more programs were added in 1988; an Early Childhood Model Parental Training Program and the Prevention Initiative, programs that provide early, continuous and comprehensive services for at-risk families and their children. In 2006, the Early Childhood grant was expanded to increase preschool access to more children in Illinois. All programs combined currently serve more than 100,000 children with about $340 million in state funds.

The state has offered high quality preschool education services to more than 800,000 at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds throughout Illinois since the program’s inception in 1985. The recent evaluation showed low-income and at-risk children were particularly likely to demonstrate improvements in attention and task persistence skills.

ISBE funded the Erikson Institute to conduct an independent statewide evaluation of all its programs for young children outside the city of Chicago. The City of Chicago Public Schools District 299 conducts its own evaluation of its prekindergarten.

Erikson worked in conjunction with SRI International, a research and development institute, to assess a representative sample of 684 children from preschool programs across the state. Researchers used standardized measures of cognition, behavior, attention and language development, observed prekindergarten classrooms and conducted surveys of teachers, administrators and parents.

For more information about early childhood education and this study, please visit these online sites:

The Erikson Institute: http://www.erikson.edu/

The National institute for Early Education Research: www.NIEER.org

The National Association for the Education of Young Children at http://www.naeyc.org/

The Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children at: http://illinoisaeyc.org/

The Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children: http://www.chicagometroaeyc.org/

The Illinois State Board of Education: http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/default.htm

 

 

 

Latino Family Joins forces in Alzheimer’s Care to make memories

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From New America Media)

 

By  Paul Kleyman

 

Mountain View, Calif. — When brothers Marco and Oscar Garcia made the unusual decision several years ago to merge their two households and move in with their elderly parents, they had no idea how challenging it would be.

Their father’s Alzheimer’s disease had progressed to a worrisome level and their mother’s decline from diabetes and heart disease made it difficult for her to care for them both. “Believe me, it has not been easy, nor has it been fun,” said Marco Garcia.

“I don’t want to live a life of regret,” said older brother Oscar, “for not having been there for my parents to provide for them and give our kids the chance to be around Grandma and Grandpa to create those memories.”

For the adult children and grandchildren of Felipe Garcia, 79, those memories may be shaped by his Aztec-inspired art or the aroma of his specially grilled goat.

As the family sat at the dinner table recently, members described their caregiving challenges since Felipe was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Like many Latino families confronting Alzheimer’s in a loved one, they’ve experienced shame and fear and kept Felipe’s condition secret. They’ve also felt the disapproval of relatives and neighbors, who are clueless about the grinding daily realities of living with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is incurable and the number of diagnosed cases will double in the United States by 2030, according to a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association and the California Department of Health and Human Services. Among Latinos and Asians, cases of Alzheimer’s and related dementias will triple.

The new report, “California’s State Plan For Alzheimer’s Disease: An Action Plan for 2011-2021”, says the state is ill-prepared to handle the demands of Alzheimer’s on families, community health systems, businesses suffering lost productivity from employee care-giving duties, and a state budget destined to be overwhelmed, unless California responds on multiple fronts. (See the first articles in this series).

Because the brain-strangling effects of Alzheimer’s remain unseen, sufferers of the disease often don’t get the compassion or care they need, according to the report. “This is compounded by discrimination against older adults, bias against people with cognitive impairments and lack of awareness, which has fueled continued stigmatization of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families,” it states.

The Day Everything Changed

The Garcias admit that they reacted to Felipe’s diagnosis eight years ago with fear and misunderstanding. Marco, 36, recalled the day everything changed. That change would bring him and Oscar, six years older, very close together for the first time, they said.

After neighbors reported that Felipe had wandered lost and confused into their driveway, Marco, a Mountain View police officer, took his dad to the doctor, acting as a Spanish-English translator. That day, Felipe was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“I was pretty upset,” said Marco. “I didn’t know if we were going to have to lock Dad up in his room because he might get lost.” His first thought was of how Ronald Reagan seemed to disappear from public view soon after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Oscar, now president and CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, had already seen his father survive a heart attack and bypass operation. But this was different. Alzheimer’s, which typically lasts from three to 20 years after diagnosis, has been called “the slow goodbye,” said Oscar, who is now on the board of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Northern California chapter.

Initially, Marco’s wife, Elena, volunteered to help manage daily medications for Felipe and his wife, Manuela, who had increasing trouble cooking and keeping house. The growing demands of Felipe’s Alzheimer’s care and Manuela’s own health problems emerged just as the parents’ rental house came up for sale. That precipitated the sons’ decision to purchase the property and rebuild the house with six bedrooms and a basement, large enough for all three generations.

“I think it’s hard for others to understand,” Elena said. “It’s a decision we all made together in order to share that responsibility and be able to support each other.”

The Garcias briefly considered placing their parents in assisted living but decided against it. “Knowing how many friends and relatives Mom and Dad had over the years,” Marco said,” to put them away would be like a jail sentence.”

A Family Secret

The Garcia’s made another decision they now regret: to keep Felipe’s Alzheimer’s a secret.

“I believe that within the Latino community there are still a lot of unknowns or misperceptions about what Alzheimer’s is,” Oscar said. “Our feelings at first were of being shocked and scared.”

Because Latino families often react fearfully, Oscar added, “We let the person with Alzheimer’s go much longer without being diagnosed.”

“You fear what you don’t know,” said Marco. “We weren’t speaking out or asking cousins or anyone for guidance or help.” He recalled angry exchanges with family members who criticized them for such things as raising their voices to Felipe — not in anger but because of his hearing loss and confused state.

The Garcias divide caregiving duties, such as medication management, medical appointments and childcare according to their varying schedules.

On weekdays, Felipe and Manuela attend the Avenidas senior center’s adult day health center until 2:30 p.m. A trusted neighbor is paid through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program to take care of them until 5 p.m. Both of these programs, however, have been cut due to the state’s budget crisis.

The Garcia household includes Marco and Elena’s year-old son, Esai, daughter Marina, 2, and Marco’s daughter from a previous marriage, Yvette, 17, who lives there part-time. Oscar is going through a divorce that he says stems from the family’s complicated situation. He sees his two teenage children on visits.

Although daughter Marina often makes physical demands on her grandparents that they aren’t always up to, Marco said his parents enjoy having their grandkids around. “When the kids are here, my Mom is up out of bed playing with them in the living room,” he said. “Dad is sitting at the table watching. It keeps them active.”

Felipe’s Art

In 2009, two things happened to educate the Garcias about Alzheimer’s and prompt them to be more open about Felipe’s condition.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Northern California chapter reached out to the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce to improve its connections to the business community. About the same time, Avenidas chose a drawing from Felipe’s art class for an auction at the chapter’s annual Memories in the Making fundraiser. It was a colorful abstract design with an Aztec motif.

Felipe, who, according to his sons, had “never lifted a pencil” to draw, was immensely proud of this recognition. Both he and Oscar spoke at the event. Marco believes his father’s hidden artistic talents were related to his earlier work as a butcher in Mexico, where he was born. Although Felipe worked in California as a dishwasher, he never forgot his craft.

“Dad was always very specific about making a steak a certain way, cutting that quarter of beef a certain way and taking out that certain cut correctly,” Marco said. “It’s like art.”

Felipe’s culinary art recently took on new meaning. As his birthday approached in February, he spoke to Marco about his days as a butcher. When Marco told Elena he was “talking silly,” she astutely suggested, “That must mean he’s trying to tell you something.”

On Felipe’s birthday, Marco and Oscar drove Felipe to a slaughterhouse in Gilroy to pick out a goat and help him slaughter it.

“I’ll never forget the look on his face when he got out of the truck and saw where we were,” said Marco. “To others it might seem strange, but for him, he was so happy on his birthday. And it will be a great memory of him for us.”

(Editor’s note: This is the second article in a two part story. Part one is here.)


Language Interpretation a Growing Need

Language interpretation will be increasingly important in providing health and social services to the growing number of seniors — many of them immigrants. Federal law, especially Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and statutes and regulations in many states, including California, require agencies and many health care providers to have adequate translation services.

Among the challenges the Garcias of Mountain View, Calif., have encountered in caring for their father Felipe, 79, who has Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife Manuela, 65, who has diabetes and heart disease, is the need for adequate language interpretation, particularly for medical appointments.

California’s new state Alzheimer’s plan, developed with the Alzheimer’s association, includes guidelines calling for providers to “identify the patient’s and family’s culture, values, primary language, literacy level and decision-making process.”

Marco Garcia said he attends medical appointments with his parents to translate language as well as cultural differences.

“It’s just as important to have the cultural comprehension,” said Marco, “because if you learn a foreign language but don’t understand the nuances inherent in that culture, you’ll miss a big part. It’s important to translate, but also you need to understand how Alzheimer’s is viewed in the Latino culture.”

Marco’s wife Elena said that Latinos often find American doctors “very cold, very harsh, the way they just say this is what’s wrong with you.”

Even when a doctor does speak more sensitively, she said, she has heard bad interpreters miss important nuances because “a lot of times emotions are lost in translation.”

Better Business Bureau cautions: Play it safe buying Blackhawks playoff tickets

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
 (From the Better Business Bureau)
 
 Chicago, IL – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Chicago and Northern Illinois alerts fans purchasing tickets to the upcoming Blackhawks playoff series to be cautious when buying tickets online.

According to StubHub.com the secondary-ticket market is a $10 billion dollar a year industry which includes professional brokers, speculators and season ticket holders. Because many of these sellers are not licensed or bonded, and are often found on unregulated online auctions, online classifieds, and bulletin boards using person to person sales, sports fans need to be more skeptical and on the alert.

 

Chicago Blackhawks fans need to do their research before spending large sums of money on NHL playoff tickets,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Sports fans are often blinded by their devotion to their team and run the risk of putting their trust in a seller that doesn’t deserve it.”

 

In the past twelve months alone, there have been 154 complaints filed and more than 20,000 inquiries to the BBB about companies in the “Ticket Sales – Events” category.

 

If you are considering buying tickets on the secondary market, the Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to help ensure a successful transaction:

 

·         Check to make sure the broker is licensed as required in the state of Illinois.

·         In case the tickets may be counterfeit, avoid paying cash for tickets in person from a stranger.

·         Never wire funds for payment.

·         Deal only with brokers that provide clear details concerning the terms of the transaction.  For instance, make sure you know up-front the amount of the surcharge for each purchase; whether the tickets are guaranteed; how they will be sent to you and the timeframe for delivery; and the broker’s refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies. 

·         Check if the ticket broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) and review their rating with the BBB at www.bbb.org

·         Visit several Web sites to compare prices and ticket availability for the event you’re interested in attending. 

·         Do not buy tickets from Internet sites that are not secure or lack a privacy policy; fail to disclose their refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies; does not provide a telephone number and address; or insists on cash payment.

·         Verify the location of the seats on a seating chart provided by the venue to avoid purchasing non-existent seats or seats with obstructed views.

·         Pay with a credit card or another secure form of payment so you can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer or bank.

 

“The most common way sports fans are getting scammed online is by either paying for counterfeit tickets or tickets that never arrive,” added Bernas. “Even if the tickets do surface, they are sometimes not for the seats the seller advertised – which can mean being stuck with seats that aren’t next to each other, up in the nosebleed section, or with an obstructed view.” 

 

For more information on finding ticket brokers you can trust, visit www.bbb.org

 

Attorney General praises house passage of Bill to crack down on repeat METH offenders

Posted by Admin On April - 14 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Proposal to Ban Those Convicted of Meth Crimes from Purchasing or Possessing Pseudoephedrine Moves to Senate 

 

Springfield, IL─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan praised House members for their unanimous passage yesterday of House Bill 1908, which prohibits offenders who re-enter society after a methamphetamine-related conviction from purchasing or possessing any product containing pseudoephedrine.

“This legislation is another tool to help law enforcement protect our communities from the devastating effects of meth,” said Madigan. “Our goal is to make it more difficult for offenders to backslide into using or manufacturing meth.”

Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) sponsored the legislation and has worked tirelessly with the Attorney General on meth issues.

“I was honored to stand with Attorney General Madigan last October in Herrin when she announced this latest initiative to fight meth in southern Illinois and throughout the state,” Rep. Bradley said. “I have said many times that every battle needs a general, and Attorney General Madigan is our general in the battle against meth.”

Approved in the House by a vote of 115-0, the measure now moves to the Senate, where Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) will sponsor the legislation.

“I too stood with Attorney General Madigan last fall in Herrin when we discussed our intent for this bill, which is to ensure Illinoisans that repeat offenders of our methamphetamine laws are dealt with harshly,” said Sen. Haine.

The legislation focuses on individuals convicted of meth-related offenses who often continue to use and cook meth. In addition to banning the purchase or possession of any product containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of meth, offenders would also be prohibited from purchasing or possessing any product containing ammonium nitrate, another key ingredient in meth production. The bill also mandates the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) issue a parole violation if an offender is again charged with a violation of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act or the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act. The bill would also require IDOC to provide written notice to the Illinois State Police, local state’s attorneys and sheriffs of the pending release or discharge of any person convicted on meth charges.

Since assuming office in 2003, Attorney General Madigan has taken the lead in working with members of the General Assembly to enact laws that require stricter purchasing regulations of products containing pseudoephedrine and created meth-specific offenses that law enforcement agencies statewide have used to arrest and prosecute offenders.

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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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