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Archive for April 16th, 2011

More than 400 residents to participate in 2nd Ward cleanup

Posted by Admin On April - 16 - 2011 11 COMMENTS
 
Chicago, IL – Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) will begin his biannual clean and green event at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16, at Mary Bartelme Park, 925 W. Adams St., in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. More than 400 residents have signed up to help beautify the 2nd Ward and rid it of litter and graffiti.
 
And although the forecast calls for rain, the importance of the job is such that the event is planned to commence no matter what the weather brings.
 
“We need your help to pick up what others have carelessly left behind,” Fioretti said. “This is our chance to help keep our neighborhoods clean. Please begin your day tomorrow by pitching in. If you give two hours of your time, then you will see what a big difference we can make when we work together.”
 
Working hand-in-hand with Ald. Fioretti will be ward staff, area charities, neighborhood organizations, block clubs, scout troops and neighboring residents. Alderman Fioretti’s clean and green event coincides this year with the citywide clean and green promoted by Mayor Richard M. Daley.
 
The geography of the 2nd Ward is so large and includes so many neighborhoods, schools and parks that five (5) start and finish locations are established as headquarters for the event. The start and finish locations are:
 
1. Mary Bartelme Park
925 W. Adams St.
 
2. Grant Park
SW Corner of Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road
 
3. Second Ward Streets & Sans Ward Yard
2840 S. Calumet Ave.
 
4. Smyth School
1059 W. 13th St.
 
5. Marine and Phoenix Academies
145 S. Campbell Ave.
 
For your information, the partners, participants and sponsors of the 2nd Ward Clean & Green include:
 
 
–30–
 
Office of Ald. Bob Fioretti
Chicago’s 2nd Ward
1319 S. State St., Suite A
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 263-9273
  
Sign up for the ward newsletter today. It includes vital information about City services.
Please click on www.chicago2ndward.com and enter your e-mail address.
Girls Scouts of America
Gaia Movement
Walgreens
Grant Park Conservatory
True Rock Ministries
Alliance for Greener South Loop
South Loop Community Church
Bronzeville Community Development Partnership
Dunbar Park/GAP
South Loop School
Motor Row Lofts
Lawyers Lend a Hand
South Loop Church
Dunbar H.S.
Jones College Prep
Smyth School
ABLA Homes
Condo Association-Paramount Lofts
University Village Association
Chicago Tech Academy
St. Ignatius Parent Council
Mary Bartelme Park Council
Boys Scouts of America
West Loop
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls
Salvation Army
Chicago Bulls College Prep
Block Club- 2900 S. Wilcox
Block Club- 2900 West Adams
UIC College Prep
Chicago Bulls College Prep
Phoenix Military Academy
Greater Garfield Chamber
Boys Scouts of America
Boys & Girls Club- James Jordan
Boys & Girls Club- MLK
East Lake Management
Greater Bethlehem
Parks Community Church
Major Adams Community Committee
St. Stephens Apartments
Near-West Side Chamber
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois AFL-CIO President addresses Senate defeat of Destructive Workers’ Compensation Changes

Posted by Admin On April - 16 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T. Carrigan made the following statement:

 

“Today’s Senate vote to defeat SB1349, designed specifically to gut workers’ compensation protections for Illinois citizens, was a victory for working families.

“The Illinois AFL-CIO and the medical community have been working for weeks to help craft reforms to our workers’ compensation laws that would be fair to workers, doctors and business alike. SB1349 would have destroyed worker protections. We applaud the lawmakers who voted against this bill. By doing so they paved the way for meaningful, negotiated and fair change that will ease the burden on business while making sure injured workers get quality and speedy care for their injuries, can see a doctor of their choice and get back to work as quickly as possible.

“We look forward to moving forward with workers’ compensation negotiations in an agreed bill process.”

Senate unanimously passes Child Porn Bill to strengthen sentencing and speed arrests

Posted by Admin On April - 16 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 Springfield, IL – Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined state Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) in celebrating the passage of Senate Bill 1035, which enables law enforcement to more quickly apprehend child porn offenders and gives courts stronger sentencing options. 

The legislation, which Madigan’s office helped craft, authorizes prosecutors to issue administrative subpoenas for evidence in Internet-related child exploitation offenses – a move that will greatly accelerate the time it takes to identify and arrest offenders. The bill also extends prison time for offenders charged with multiple child porn offenses.  

“This bill gives law enforcement the ability to quickly identify and apprehend offenders, and it empowers judges and prosecutors to put them behind bars for as long as possible,” Attorney General Madigan said. “As technology advances and criminals find new ways to exploit children online, the law enforcement community must adapt and improve how they pursue child porn traffickers.”

“Trafficking and possessing child porn creates real victims – innocent infants and children are subjected to the most disturbing acts of violence,” said Sen. Hutchinson.  “As a mother, as well as a legislator, I am committed to doing all I can to see that those who commit crimes against children are quickly identified and pay a high price.”

Approved in the Senate by a vote of 58-0, the measure now moves to the House where Rep. Emily McAsey (D- Romeoville) will sponsor the legislation.

“I look forward to working on this important piece of legislation in the House,” said Rep. McAsey. “We cannot pass up this opportunity to assist law enforcement in getting these predators off the Internet and away from our children.” 

In August 2010, Attorney General Madigan’s office determined that there were approximately 8,000 Internet protocol (IP) addresses downloading or trading child pornography in Illinois. Recognizing that the Internet has allowed child pornography to reach virtually epidemic levels, she launched Operation Glass House at that time to find and arrest the worst child pornographers in Illinois. To date, the office has worked with local law enforcement to track down and arrest 20 of the top traders of child pornography in the state – several of whom were in the process of victimizing children.

Attorney General Madigan’s investigators are able to track the trading of child pornography over the Internet by using the IP address, which is a unique identifier that each computer is assigned when it accesses the Internet. Presented with a subpoena and an IP address by law enforcement, Internet service providers are required to turn over the names and addresses of account holders matched to the IP addresses. But under current law, obtaining a subpoena through a grand jury can take an inordinate amount of time due to an often infrequent grand jury meeting schedule. In most Illinois counties, it can take as many as 60 days for investigators to learn the name and address of child pornographers and predators.

The bill also subjects child porn traffickers to more time behind bars when convicted of trafficking or possessing multiple pornographic images of children. Under current Illinois law, an offender can possess thousands of images and videos of child pornography and be sentenced equally to an individual who possesses one image.Madigan said she crafted SB 1035 together with Sen. Hutchinson to address this issue, giving judges authority to impose consecutive instead of concurrent sentencing for multiple traffickers.

There is a direct correlation between individuals who possess, download and trade graphic images of child pornography and those who molest children. Forty percent of arrested child porn possessors were “dual offenders,” who sexually victimized children and possessed child pornography, with both crimes discovered in the same investigation.

 

Father who lost 3 children in fire warns: ‘Buy fire extinguisher, have escape plan’

Posted by Admin On April - 16 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
Funeral donations still needed
 
 
After losing three children to a blazing fire and while preparing to bury them  Saturday, April 16, 2011, Stacey L. Austin, Sr.,31, urged all parents to buy a fire
extinguisher he says might give them more time to rescue their family.
 
In an effort to help prevent other parents from experiencing the pain and agony
he and his wife, Samantha Sims, are going through, the distraught father’s message was clear: “Buy a fire extinguisher which may give you the time you need to save your
family.”
 
Austin and his wife, Samantha Sims, 31,lived in their Englewood home at 6758 S.
Emerald along with their ten children. Shortly after 2 a.m., Thursday, April 7, 2011, their nightmare began. Firefighters say their 4-year-old boy was playing with a
cigarette lighter on the bottom bunk bed when his sheets caught fire.
 
Fire officials said Mrs. Sims tried desperately to put out the fire with water,
but the flames were too fast and consuming. She and her husband managed to get
seven of their children to safety.
However, they were unable to save two sons, Stacey Austin, Jr., 9, Joseph Austin, 4, and
Dashiyah Austin, 2, all of whom died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide
poisoning.
 
“If you can afford a fire extinguisher, buy one,” Mr. Austin said. “That’s always great to have in your home because a fire extinguisher will give you some
extra time. That water just will not do,” he warned the public.
 
“Also, everyone should have a safety plan,” he stated. However, in the wake of his tragedy, his main prayer has
been granted. “I asked God to make sure I can bury my kids with some respect and some decency.
 
“I have put my faith in God. I believe,I know God will anchor you through what
ever storm you are in,” Austin said. “God is the only one who is holding us up.”
 
There will be a public viewing of the children on Friday, April 15, 2011, until 7 p.m. tonight, Friday, April 15, 2011, at the Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL.
 
Thanks to the Calahan Funeral Home and DCR Management, LLC, the Austin’s, who lost everything they owned, will be able to funeralize their children Saturday, April 16, 2011, at the Faith Temple
Church of God In Christ, 7158 South Peoria Street, Chicago, IL.
 
Visitation at the Faith Temple Church of God In Christ, will be held at 9 a.m.
followed by a 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. funeral service.
 
Interment will be held at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Western and 119th Streets.
 
The repast will be held at the Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, 6656 S.
Normal Blvd., where the Austin’s son, Joseph, attended. Mr. Austin said the
community is welcome to attend this event.
 
While some of the funeral costs have been paid for, there are related expenses
still pending. The Austin’s have also received some clothing donations for the
children, but the couple also lost their own clothes and are in need of clothing
as well.
 
Checks can be sent to the: Austin Family Fund, U.S. Bank, 815 W. 63rd St.,
Chicago, IL 60621 or to the Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL
60621. The Calahan’s have vowed to help the Austin couple.
 
The children are survived by their parents: father, Stacey L. Austin, mother,
Semantha Sims, brothers: Devion Sims, 12, Jaylan Austin, 5, and Lamar Austin,
6-months, and sisters: Simone Austin, 10, Jamiya Austin, 7, Dayjah Austin, 6, and
Samaria Austin, 1.
 
For those wishing to donate clothes to the surviving children and the parents,
here are their sizes:
Boys: Devion Sims, 12, clothes size12-14, shoe size, 6. Jaylan Austin, 5,
clothes size 5T, shoe size, 13 Toddler. Lamar Austin, 6-months old, clothes size
18 months-24-months, shoe size 4 baby.
Girls: Simone Austin, 10, clothes size10-12, shoe size 4, Jamiya Austin, 7,
clothes size 10-12, shoe size 3. Dayjah,6, clothes size 6, shoe size, 2. Samaria
Austin, 1, clothes size 2T-3T and shoe size 5 Toddler.
 
The parents’ sizes are as follows:
 
Mr. Austin: pants: 38 waist, length 34
Shirt: 17 1/2 or Extra Double X
Shoes: 13
Jacket: Double X
 
His wife’s sizes are:
Pants: 14
Blouse: Extra Large
Shoes: 9
Jacket: Double X
 
Update to Article
 
According to Mrs. Shirley A. Calahan, Vice President of the Calahan Funeral Home, Mr. Suhail Fakhouri from DCR Management, did pay for the greater portion of the funeral. The Calahan’s donated all of their services; however, there is still a balance for funeral-related (cemetery) expenses like the head stone the Austin family wants to purchase. That cost is $1700.
 
 

Others who donated included the Chicago Public Schools, the Red Cross and citizens who brought their donations to the Calahan Funeral Home located at 7030 S. Halsted St.

The Calahan’s do not know how much has been deposited into the U.S. Bank, 815 W. 63rd St., Chicago, IL 60621.

Black wealth expert shares financial strategies and insight in new book

Posted by Admin On April - 16 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

“Hope: The New Financial System Emerging After The American Economic Crisis” by Brenda J. Isom shows readers how to recover from the economic crisis and regain their wealth.

Brenda Isom – speaker, author and financial strategist
 
 
San Jose, CA (BlackNews.com) — How do well educated, white-collar, high income, consistent savers and investors go from wealthy to struggling financially? Major financial institutions and corporations received financial bail outs, but with a severe economic downturn, a slow economic recovery, proposed deep budget cuts, higher taxes and inflation looming how does Main Street America recover from devastating loss of their retirement savings and the devaluation of their homes?In her new book entitled Hope: The New Financial System Emerging After The American Economic Crisis, financial strategist and author, Brenda Jackson-Isom, not only answers these questions but also provides solutions to help Main Street America recover financially and regain their wealth. Brenda has been speaking and educating her community about the fall of the dollar and the severe consequences to main street Americans, especially the African American community.
Brenda Jackson-Isom, who has dedicated her life as a solution-strategist, author, professional speaker and financial specialist in an economical market she calls the “second great depression“. Her former position as Senior Manager in charge of Consumer Collections and the Real Estate Default Department at one of the largest credit unions in Silicon Valley, California has made her no stranger to helping people through tough economic times.
Brenda is hard at work sharing strategies to save the wealth of main street Americans, with her online interviews and blog: www.brendaisomspeaks.com, www.brendaisom.com and speaking engagements.
ISBN: 978-0-557-68905-7

Interested ones can order and/or preview the book at www.brendaisombooksstore.com

To arrange a book signing or interview, contact Brenda Jackson-Isom at (408) 799-9384 or brenda.isom@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

Speculators drive pain at the gas pump

Posted by Admin On April - 16 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 
(From New America Media)

 

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

In February, the news headlines blared, “Gasoline pump prices hit a 28-month high.” The February high has been exceeded in the past two months. Congress and the Obama administration worry that the surge will drive down consumer spending, dampen business investment and hiring, further weaken housing sales, plunge the dollar, and pummel stocks that have been roaring for the past few months.

The standard reasons for the relentless oil price leap is war in Libya, unrest in Bahrain and potentially Saudi Arabia, political instability in Nigeria and Venezuela, and the perennial jitter that global oil supplies are fast running out.

They’re all wrong.

Oil and gas prices jumped during most of the 30-month period when there was no turmoil in Egypt, war in Libya, or political instability in other oil-producing countries, while proven world oil reserves grew, and demand for oil and gas products remained weak.

The real reason is that speculators drove the prices up, reaped phenomenal profits, gamed the public on the real reason for the price rise, and stymied efforts to toughen regulations to rein in their activities.

Speculators buy and sell oil future contracts, better known as derivatives. The value of the oil futures derivative is based on nothing more than the value of the barrel of oil bought. The buyer essentially bets that the oil will hit the purchase price at a future point in time. By pouring billions into such futures, speculators are in a powerful position to manipulate the upward price of oil.

The bulk of oil futures are bought and sold on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in the United States and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in Europe. The exchange was set up in 2000 by a consortium of oil companies and financial institutions solely to trade European oil futures. The Commodities Futures Trading Corporation, which regulates commodities trades, gave a major gift to U.S. oil futures traders when it allowed them to buy futures derivatives on the exchange. The commission has no regulatory jurisdiction over exchange oil future trades. NYMEX and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) are the virtually unchallenged price-setting mechanisms for oil. OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) references NYMEX when it sets its price targets.

The impact of oil speculation is hardly a secret in the political and investment world. Goldman Sachs, which has pushed the oil futures envelope the hardest during the past decade, issues regular reports that tell how lucrative oil future derivatives have been and continue to be in their estimates and projections of trades. Goldman flatly stated in a research note in March 2011 that every million barrels of oil held by speculators contributed an 8- to 10-cent rise in the oil price.

As unrest spread in North Africa and the Middle East, Goldman further noted that investors increased their purchases and positions in oil futures to the tune of almost 100 million barrels of oil between mid-February and late March 2011. This is in addition to their already hefty oil futures holdings.

Goldman’s estimates and data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) put the financial bottom line for the total speculative premium in U.S. crude oil at over $25 dollars a barrel, or about one-fifth of the overall price of oil. But even this estimate may be too low. Global Research, an international energy and environmental organization, puts the cost of oil speculation at nearly 60 percent of the price of oil. In other words, a barrel of oil that sells for $100 should sell for only $40. The difference in the actual production price and sell price is due purely to speculative profit.

In June 2008, then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama slammed oil speculation and pledged to close the loopholes that allow oil futures to be traded in unregulated markets. About one-third of all U.S. oil futures trading is unregulated. Obama also called for legislation to give CFTC, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice full power to investigate price manipulation in the oil market, and to boost the regulatory power of the CFTC over oil futures trading.

That hasn’t happened.

The Dodd-Frank Bill passed in July 2010 does give the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CTFC more power to regulate hedge funds, municipal advisers and over-the-counter derivatives trading. But other than proposing and debating a handful of proposals on information gathering, and setting a uniform set of rules on energy commodities trading, the commission has done little to rein in speculation. Commission officials say they’re hampered by staff and budget freezes, as well as outmoded technology.

But even if the CTFC launched a full-blown investigation into the futures contract price rigging and had total power to end it, it would not happen. Oil speculators would simply increase trades on the Intercontinental Exchange, which the commission has no authority to regulate. Meanwhile, the profits from oil speculation continue to soar and the prospect is that motorists will pay the price for oil speculation riches with more pain at the pump.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a national Capitol Hill broadcast radio talk show on KTYM Radio Los Angeles and WFAX Radio Washington, D.C., streamed on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on blogtalkradio.com and wfax.com and Internet TV broadcast on thehutchinsonreportnews.com.

Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

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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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