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Archive for August 10th, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg joins fight against “Black Mancession”

Posted by Admin On August - 10 - 2011 Comments Off on Mayor Bloomberg joins fight against “Black Mancession”

By Marc H. Morial, President and CEO
National Urban League

 
“When we look at poverty rates, graduation rates, crime rates, and employment rates, one thing stands out: Blacks and Latinos are not fully sharing in the promise of American freedom and far too many are trapped in circumstances that are difficult to escape.”  New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg

 
The great recession was officially declared over in 2009, but the events of the last few weeks make it clear that while Wall Street and big business may be coming back, the economic recovery has remained out of reach for millions of Americans.  Last week, in the wake of the dysfunctional debt ceiling debate and an agreement that fell far short of just about everyone’s expectations, the nation’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history from AAA to AA+.  This could mean higher interest rates for mortgages, car loans, and credit cards.  In addition, the July jobs report shows that while overall unemployment has ticked down to 9.1 percent, 14 million Americans remain out of work.  Hispanic unemployment is stuck at 11.3 percent.  African American unemployment continues to lead the nation at 15.9 percent.  And with Black male unemployment at 17 percent, and as high as 34 percent in cities like Milwaukee, some have dubbed this the “Black Mancession.”

The National Urban League (NUL), the Congressional Black Caucus and other progressive leaders have long understood that America’s future is inextricably linked to the fate of the millions of Black men in our cities who have historically languished at the bottom of the economic ladder in both good times and bad.  In addition to being last in line for jobs, 50 percent of Black males don’t finish high school and Black men are six times more likely than white men to be incarcerated.  Empowering Black males to reach their full potential is one of the most serious economic and civil rights challenges of our times.

In 2004 the National Urban League launched its Black Male Initiative to address the obstacles impeding the success of black men and boys – especially the poor and young who’ve fallen off the nation’s radar screen.  From our Black Executive Exchange Program which exposes HBCU students to African American role models to our Urban Youth Empowerment Program which provides education, job training and mentoring assistance to prepare out-of-school and/or adjudicated young people for the world of work, the NUL has fought an often lonely battle to save the next generation.

Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined that effort in a big way – announcing one of the boldest and most comprehensive programs in the nation to address the huge economic disparities impeding the advancement of more than 300,000 of that city’s Black and Latino young men.  The Young Men’s Initiative, a three-year, $127 million public-private partnership, which includes $30  million from the Mayor’s own charitable foundation, will make significant reforms to education, health, employment and justice system services to better prepare young African American and Latino men for jobs and keep them out of prison.

We applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment and action.  His Young Men’s Initiative, like the National Urban League’s 12-point Jobs Rebuild American plan and the Urban Jobs Bill championed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Edolphus Towns, recognizes that without a targeted, comprehensive effort to help those hardest hit by the economic downturn, the nation’s recovery will never be fully complete.

120 Wall Street â–ª New York, NY 10005 â–ª (212) 558-5300 â–ª WWW.NUL.ORG

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

State education and health agencies remind parents to get children vaccinated before starting school

Posted by Admin On August - 10 - 2011 Comments Off on State education and health agencies remind parents to get children vaccinated before starting school

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

 

Springfield, IL ― The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are reminding parents to be sure their children’s immunizations are up-to-date as more than 2 million Illinois students head back to school. Health providers have named August National Immunization Awareness Month to remind parents to address this important health issue before students return to classes.

“Vaccines help ensure students are returning to the classrooms healthy and ready to learn, ’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “It’s important that all students as well as school administrators, teachers and other staff be immunized to stay healthy and active this school year.”

National Immunization Awareness Month is celebrated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations in August and annually highlights one of the most important ways parents can protect their children against serious diseases. The goal is to increase awareness about immunizations for infants, school children, college-bound students, adults and the elderly.

Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century, according to the CDC. Vaccine-preventable diseases such as varicella (chickenpox), measles, mumps, whooping cough and diphtheria carry with them certain costs, such as sick children missing school and causing parents to miss work. These diseases also result in doctor visits, hospitalizations and even premature deaths.

“Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease in the United States, parents are often unaware their children are still at risk for many serious and life-threatening diseases,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold. “There are some children who cannot be vaccinated for either medical reasons or they are still too young, so it is important parents continue to have their children vaccinated. I encourage

parents to check with their physician or local health department about what vaccines are needed and what immunizations their child has already received.” 

According to the CDC, most immunizations are administered before a child is 2-years old; however, between ages 4 and 6, prior to entering kindergarten, children are due for several booster shots. Children between 12 and 15 years of age might be due for booster shots, too. Childhood vaccines prevent diseases and protect children who come into contact with unvaccinated people.

In Illinois, proof of up-to-date immunizations is required for children entering any grade. Required immunizations include diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, rubella, mumps, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib), hepatitis B and varicella.

In addition to immunizations, all students enrolling in kindergarten in a public or private school and any student enrolling for the first time in Illinois (with the exception of preschoolers) must have an eye examination. The eye exam must be performed by a licensed optometrist or medical doctor who performs eye exams and is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. All eye exams must be completed within one year prior to Oct. 15.

Also, all children must complete a physical examination  prior to entering Illinois schools for the first time, prior to the date of entering kindergarten or first grade, prior to entering sixth grade, and prior to entering ninth grade. The physical exam includes gender and date of birth; an evaluation of height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth/dental; cardiovascular (including blood pressure), respiratory, gastrointestinal, genito-urinary, neurological, and musculoskeletal evaluations; spinal examination; evaluation of nutritional status; lead screening; and other evaluations deemed necessary by the health-care provider.

Illinois’ health exam requirements are aligned with recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on adolescent vaccinations, including Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), meningococcal and HPV (human papillomavirus).

For additional information about immunizations in Illinois, visit:

“Shield” yourself from a cell phone radiation scam

Posted by Admin On August - 10 - 2011 Comments Off on “Shield” yourself from a cell phone radiation scam

(A message from the Better Business Bureau)

 

Chicago, IL – With consumers concerned about harmful exposure to cell phone emissions, many scammers looking to make a quick buck are promoting “shields”. These shields claim to protect cell phone users from the cancer causing waves emitting from their phones. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) is warning consumers to be on the lookout for these shields and advising them to turn to free options when looking to limit exposure to cell phone electromagnetic emissions.

Like many other too good to be true products, there is no scientific proof that these shields are actually effective. While it is always good to protect yourself from potentially harmful emissions, there are other ways to do it besides investing in a shield for your cell phone. The Federal Trade Commission also notes that these shields may interfere with your cell phone’s reception.

Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois said, “It’s important for consumers to do their research before investing in any new technological product. More times than not, victims will end up with a faulty goods.”

The BBB advises consumers to consider these free options for limiting cell phone electromagnetic emissions:

Go hands free. When chatting on the phone for long periods of time consider using a hands-free device, like an earpiece or the speakerphone. For short conversations, texting the message allows for a quick response and keeps the phone away from your head.

Wait for a good signal. When you have a weak signal, your phone works harder, emitting more radiation. Phones also give off more radiation when transmitting than when receiving, so tilt the phone away from your head when you’re talking, and bring it back to your ear when you’re listening.

Shop around. When looking for a new cell phone, consider investing in one that has a low specific absorption rate (SAR) before you buy. Measured in watts per kilogram of tissue, the SAR reveals how much radiation the body absorbs while using the mobile device. The Federal Communications Commission has record of this information for phones that were made in the last two years. You can find the FCC ID number on the inside of your cell phone’s case. Legally, in the US, a phone can’t emit more than 1.6 watts per kilogram.

“As we become increasingly dependant on cell phone use, it’s critical that people take the appropriate precautions in order to better protect their wallet and health,” added Bernas.

For more information on cell phone emissions, visit www.bbb.org

Amidst bad economy, more U.S. families are turning to low income housing

Posted by Admin On August - 10 - 2011 Comments Off on Amidst bad economy, more U.S. families are turning to low income housing

The National Low Income Housing Authority reports that thousands of families are using their online resource to find housing and apartments

 

Nationwide — Late last year, the National Low Income Housing Authority launched their web site (www.LowIncome.org) as a free online tool to help people better understand and locate low income housing. With over 50,000 properties listed across the country, the organization is reporting that their web site traffic has drastically increased with tens of thousands of people logging on each month to look for a home.

They believe that such numbers reflect how much local city and county governments are helping their residents. Dante Lee, founder of the organization, comments, “I think that people simply don’t know what to do when they have to resort to low income housing, so they are searching online for answers. Local governments are not really educating people about their options, but our extensive directory shows people all the low income housing units in their area.”

The web site is an easy-to-use FREE online tool that offers valuable information, resources, and tips on how to find and apply for low income housing programs, affordable housing programs, and other similar government assistance programs.

Those who are going through a financial crisis can use the site to find an affordable place to live, to be informed about what their options are, and to be encouraged that there is help available. In addition, the site can be used as a resource on how to best deal with evictions, foreclosures, and bad credit. Visitors will also learn how to receive child support payments from a non-custodial parent, how to qualify for college funding and scholarships, and how to obtain affordable health insurance coverage.

For more details, interested ones should visit www.LowIncome.org

Property owners looking to list their available unit(s) should visit:
www.lowincome.rentlinx.com/AddYourProperties.aspx

About the National Low Income Housing Authority
Launched in 2010, this virtual organization was created to educate and empower people who have encountered financial difficulties. The mission is to offer as much helpful information and resources as possible.

Archaia Entertainment returns to the Whimsical Adventures of the Students at Gunnerkrigg Court

Posted by Admin On August - 10 - 2011 Comments Off on Archaia Entertainment returns to the Whimsical Adventures of the Students at Gunnerkrigg Court

 

Hollywood, California  – Archaia Entertainment’s highly-acclaimed ‘All Ages’ graphic novel series, Gunnerkrigg Court, continues with the release of volume 3 on August 15.  Gunnerkrigg Court Volume 3: Reason will be available in bookstores across the country. 

Thomas Siddell’s award-winning Gunnerkrigg Court series follows the adventures of a group of students at Gunnerkrigg Court, a puzzling boarding school with mysteries behind every corner.  Volume 3 continues the stories of students Annie and Kat as they uncover terrible secrets surrounding the school. As their relationship grows, the boundaries of reality begin toblur as they become more engrossed in the mysterious, magical events. In the meantime, Coyote begins to show that things in the forest are not quite what they seem, leading to a dramatic end to Annie’s second year at the Court.

With its Disney-esque visual style and magical Potter-esque coming-of-age elements, Gunnerkrigg Court appeals to a wide range of readers young and old alike.

For more information on Gunnerkrigg Court Volume 3: Reason or other Archaia titles, please visit http://www.archaia.com

About Archaia Entertainment

Archaia is a multi-award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy, and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.

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