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Archive for December 20th, 2011

Illinois Attorney General Madigan files 50th lawsuit against Mortgage "Rescue" Scheme, leads nation in crackdown on scams targeting distressed homeowners

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on Illinois Attorney General Madigan files 50th lawsuit against Mortgage "Rescue" Scheme, leads nation in crackdown on scams targeting distressed homeowners

Chicago, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan took action against three Chicago area companies, filing her 50th lawsuit against mortgage rescue schemes that con distraught homeowners by charging thousands of dollars in upfront fees with false promises of helping them avoid foreclosure.

Madigan’s crackdown has established Illinois as the most aggressive state in the nation to combat the dramatic rise of mortgage rescue schemes that have emerged in the wake of the national housing crisis. The 50 lawsuits filed by the Attorney General have so far resulted in 28 injunctions against scam operations and the courts’ ordering defendants to pay back $2 million to affected homeowners.

Additionally, Madigan has issued 622 cease and desist letters to mortgage operations ordering them to stop charging homeowners upfront payments for rescue services. In Illinois, it is illegal to accept upfront fees for assisting homeowners with loan modification services.

“These entities are nothing more than scam operations, illegally charging consumers huge sums in return for no help,” Attorney General Madigan said. “They’ve scammed families out of thousands of dollars while putting them at even higher risk for foreclosure.”

Commonly referred to as “mortgage ‘rescue’ consultants,” the schemes are run by con artists who promise phantom help. They claim that, for a hefty fee, they can save a distressed borrower’s home by negotiating deals with a homeowner’s lender, when in reality, these “consultants” do nothing they promised. As a result, homeowners typically get further behind on their mortgage payments and wind up on a faster track to foreclosure. 

In three lawsuits filed today, Madigan alleges companies took more than $44,000 upfront from consumers with promises to help them obtain a loan modification on their mortgage, when in fact, no work was performed on the consumers’ behalf.

The lawsuits were filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Acceptance Financial Corporation, in Northbrook, and Elite Outsourcing Services Inc., based in Midlothian. Madigan also filed suit in Kane County Circuit Court against International Embassy Realty Inc., in Elgin.

In Madigan’s lawsuit against Acceptance Financial and Anatoly Nirshberg, its president, consumers lost more than $14,800 in the scheme. Nirshberg allegedly targeted mostly Polish and Russian immigrant communities and frequently advertised on Polish radio and Russian news outlets that he could help secure loan modifications in only a few months—but for an upfront fee from $750 to $3,000.

Elite Outsourcing Services and owner and operator Kenneth Thompson, a Monee man who falsely represents himself as an attorney, accepted illegal upfront fees from at least 100 homeowners seeking loan modifications, according to Madigan’s lawsuit. Elite operators allegedly even referred files to the Attorney General’s office as a false means of providing loan modification services to justify upfront payments. Consumers reported losing more than $13,000 in the scheme

In Madigan’s third lawsuit, International Embassy Realty and its president Sandro Rodriguez, of St. Charles, took in more than $16,000 in upfront fees from homeowners. Rodriguez allegedly targeted Spanish speakers and instructed homeowners to stop paying their mortgage in order to speed up the loan modification process, which put many homeowners at higher risk for foreclosure. 

The Attorney General’s lawsuits ask the court to shut down the operators and obtain restitution for consumers. They also seek to bar the defendants from providing mortgage rescue services in Illinois and to order the defendants to pay civil penalties for violations of the Consumer Fraud or Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act.

Attorney General Madigan urged homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes to avoid these scam operations and instead contact her Homeowner Helpline, (866) 544-7151, for free, legitimate help on avoiding foreclosure, including assistance in connecting them with a HUD-certified housing counselor to work out a solution with their lenders.

Assistant Attorneys General Colleen Bisher, E. Paige Boggs and Michele A. Casey are handling the cases for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk endorses Mitt Romney for president

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on U.S. Senator Mark Kirk endorses Mitt Romney for president

Successor to Senator Obama endorses a Fiscal Conservative for President



Chicago, IL – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today announced his endorsement of Republican primary presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Senator Kirk will be a Special Adviser on Policy.

Announcing his support, Senator Kirk said, “President Romney will cut spending, repeal the health care law and restore private sector economic growth.  He is a foreign policy hawk who will stand up to Iran.  As a Massachusetts Governor, he knows how to work with Democrats and Independents.  As the head of the Salt Lake City Olympics, he worked with dozens of countries in organizing an international triumph for the United States.  America needs his managerial talent, team building spirit and hard-nosed sense of economic common sense.”

“In order to revitalize our economy and repair our relationships abroad, I will need to work with leaders like Senator Kirk,” said Mitt Romney. “He has provided leadership in the Senate on the issues I am fighting for in my campaign. I am honored to have his support.”

In 2010, Senator Kirk was elected to serve the remainder of Senator Obama’s term, plus a six-year term of his own. Senator Kirk previously served five terms in the House and is still a drilling naval reserve intelligence officer, having just returned from Afghanistan in September from his third reserve assignment there.  Senator Kirk built his career as a fiscal conservative and foreign policy hawk, adept at winning elections in heavily Democratic communities.

Cynthia Horner named Editor-In-Chief of Hip Hop Weekly

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on Cynthia Horner named Editor-In-Chief of Hip Hop Weekly

 Horner to Receive Carma Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — Esteemed African-American journalist Cynthia Horner, who has been Hip Hop Weekly’s Editor-At-Large since the magazine was first created in 2006, has been appointed its first Editor-In-Chief. Horner was formerly the Editor-In-Chief and Editorial Director of Right On! magazine, the first nationally-published title for African-American celebrities and their teenage fans, and over the course of her career she has interviewed almost every African-American superstar entertainer, including Michael Jackson, Prince, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, and many more. Cynthia is a recipient of the “Journalist of the Year” Award from the International Association of African-American Music, and has received countless awards and citations for her contributions to the music industry.

“It is an honor to accept this title and position,” said Cynthia Horner. “I have been involved with Hip Hop Weekly since its inception, and I am looking forward to utilizing my vast knowledge in the areas of entertainment, fashion, beauty and news to enhance the Hip Hop Weekly brand. The brainchild of Raymond ‘Benzino’ Scott and Dave Mays has revolutionized a sluggish industry, and Hip Hop Weekly has rapidly become the people’s choice with exclusive stories and thought-provoking features. Hip Hop Weekly is a unique hybrid of music and entertainment with many fast-breaking news articles inside. There are many stories to tell and we will effectively continue to do so by putting our own spin on these stories.”

“Cynthia Horner has played a major role in building Hip Hop Weekly’s reputation as the premiere entertainment magazine for the Hip Hop Generation,” said David Mays and Raymond “Benzino” Scott, Hip Hop Weekly’s publishers. “We are very proud that she has accepted the Editor-in-Chief position, as we couldn’t have found a better person to represent the voice of the Hip Hop Weekly brand as we continue to build the magazine and expand into television, digital and event platforms in 2012.”

Mays is making the official announcement of the appointment this Saturday, December 17th at the annual Carma Foundation Jingle Bell Ball in New York, where Cynthia will be the recipient of Carma’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Melky Jean, singer and sister of Haitian performer Wyclef Jean, will be hosting the event, which raises money to help Haitian women and children.

Photo Caption: Cynthia Horner, Hip Hop Weekly Editor-in-Chief, with T.I. and Tiny, one of the featured couples in Hip Hop Weekly’s end-of-year Power Couples issue.

About Hip Hop Weekly
Hip Hop Weekly is a groundbreaking magazine, launched nationally in 2007, that brings its readers fresh, exciting and relevant content, including the latest news and information on film, TV, music, current events, fashion, sports and celebrity lifestyles. In an age where rumors and innuendo flood the Internet, Hip Hop Weekly has established itself as the go-to outlet for authentic news, interview and thoughtful reviews. Hip Hop Weekly is a trusted source for timely, accurate and entertaining reporting for the tens of millions of young Americans who identify with hip hop culture. In 2010, Hip Hop Weekly became the #1 selling urban entertainment magazine on newsstands in America, and is the only frequent-format celebrity magazine to target a multicultural audience. Hip Hop Weekly has been voted best Urban magazine for 3 years in a row: in 2009 at the Urban Music Awards, in 2010 at the YGEA Awards and in 2011 at the Duval Diamond Awards.

About the Carma Foundation
Founded by Wyclef Jean’s sister, performer and singer Melky Jean, the Carma Foundation supports efforts in Haiti to help victims of the 2011 earthquake disaster and runs projects to help the Haitian people, including the rebuilding of the CARMA HOUSE orphanage in Léogâne, the Carma House Scholarship Fund, and the Carma Care Initiative, aimed at helping young women and men entrepreneurs. This year’s Jingle Bell Ball will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 15W NY, NY. It will honor Editor-in-Chief of Hip Hop Weekly Magazine Cynthia Horner, Melissa Koester, Dr. Chris T. Pernell, and Actor Michael Kenneth Williams. For tickets, visit www.carmafoundation.org

Giving to the forgotten; Educational company presents a special gift for single parents suffering through the recession

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on Giving to the forgotten; Educational company presents a special gift for single parents suffering through the recession


Miami, FL (BlackNews.com) — Better Education Place, a company that features a reading and time tables program for children, is unveiling a new online training program for single parents for the holidays starting Dec 10 for free at www.bettereducationplace.com. Parents work hard all year round to be able to get holiday gifts for their children. They have to balance life and children during a recession often without a lot of support from family or the government.

Better Education Place wants to reward the struggle of these parents by offering them a $100 video training course that covers the most challenging areas that single parents have to deal with in raising children that can escape the dangers of poverty and crime in a quickly changing world. Single parents need all the help they can get in these tough times and if they can get training from the professionals for free, all the better.

The course, “Super Cool Parenting”, is the brainchild of Melvin El, founder of Better Education Place, and single father himself. Mr. El used these approaches in raising his 16 yr old daughter who with the help of his “Super Cool Parenting” as he calls it, skipped three grades and is now a freshman in college at only 16. Most amazingly, Mr. El raised his daughter in Liberty City, Miami, the “hood” as most would call it. He knows through first hand experience that parents can raise extraordinary children that escape the statistics of young black youth if they get access to the right knowledge and skills.

Raising children who can escape prison and poverty is now even more complicated given the way the recession is ravaging many neighborhoods. Better Education Place firmly believes we should not expect the government to provide the assistance necessary, but the community has the responsibility to do so. Proper training is often a better investment in the future than just making a donation. It’s the old teach them how to fish adage. According to Mister El, the best gift we can give parents this holiday season is the ability to balance parenting to create successful children even in tough times.

To get the free course, interested ones should visit www.bettereducationplace.com

Photo Caption: Melvin El, founder of Better Education Place

Father Pfleger: ‘You’re a mountain mover…If you have the faith of a mustard seed, nothing is impossible’

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on Father Pfleger: ‘You’re a mountain mover…If you have the faith of a mustard seed, nothing is impossible’
By Chinta Strausberg
In preparation for challenge for 2012, Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday told Saint Sabina they are ” mountain movers” and that by having the faith of a mustard seed, which he likened to having oxygen, they can overcome any obstacle that crosses their path. The power, he said, depends on how strong your faith is.
He then asked the church to turn to:
Matthew 17:14-20
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
 14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
   17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“The most important thing any person can profess is faith,” said Pfleger. “Faith is absolutely essential to the Christian journey, and if we’re going to walk into while God is standing out there saying ‘come into’ in 2012, if you’re going to experience the greatness that God is calling you to individually and collectively as this faith community, how many believe something great is getting ready to happen in your life…in this faith community…,” then you must have faith.
How many of you believe we haven’t even scratched the surface yet?
“Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Faith is what allows us to survive insurmountable situations in our lives,” Pfleger said. “Faith is what carries you when you could not walk. Faith is what brought you through stuff when you believed you could not get there.”
Quoting Hebrews 11:1, Pfleger said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“Faith is what I stand on. It’s a substance. Sometimes that’s all I got to stand on,” he said. “Our faith must be, has to be and is rooted in the word of God. It is the word, which is the seed that produces. Your faith in the seed is what causes production, what causes success, what causes manifestations. The word can produce the breakthrough you’re looking for,” said Pfleger.
“The word can produce the deliverance you’re looking for. The word can bring into reality the miracle you’re looking for.” Pfleger said, “Faith must have a corresponding action. Faith must produce something. If I believe, there is something about me that acts, talks, walks differently because of my faith. Faith is what makes me something that I wasn’t before. Faith is what causes me to speak differently….
“Faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted,” he said. Referring to the disciples who were told by a father that his son was possessed with demons. They tried to drive the demons out but were unsuccessful. When they asked Jesus why couldn’t they drive out the demons as he has done, Jesus simply said they were not believers.
“If you had the faith the size of a mustard seed, forget the demons, you can speak to a mountain and move it from here to there. Jesus said because of your unbelief, you were unsuccessful. Jesus is talking about the power of God’s word in relationship to mountains that we experience in our lives all the time,” said Pfleger.
“Mountains are nothing more than challenges,” he explained. “When challenges come at you, they can care less about what church you go to. They can care less about how long you’ve been in church. They can care less about your title, your position, your status, your class, your race. Challenges don’t care anything about your background because it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do what they’re trying to stop you from becoming.
“A mountain is a problem that comes with one specific purpose to try and hinder you, detour you, block you in your progress towards kingdom manifestations,” said Pfleger.
“We are called to declare and to manifest the Kingdom of God…. Our job is not to sit up in church and look cute,” he said. “Our job is to walk out of church and bring the kingdom of God in the manifestation, in my workplace, in my home, on my block…. My job is to make it real, real talk.
“Mountains come to block you, hinder you, stop you from doing that for which you were called to do,” said Pfleger. ‘I ain’t afraid of you devil. Go back to hell where you came from,” he said.
“We have challenges that come to hinder us and those challenges come in various ways,” he warned.  “The challenges can come in our relationships…our finances…in our health…in depression. Challenges can come from unresolved issues that still lie inside of us and every now and then raise their heads up and let you know I’m still here.
“No matter how we shout, act or look churchy, everybody here has challenges,” he told the church challenging anyone who doesn’t have challenges to “come up and take my chair.”
Mountains, he said, often look impossible, but Pfleger reminded them “what’s impossible to man is possible to God. “The trouble is when challenges and mountains rise up in our lives, too often we tend to go to God and want to talk to him about the mountain. We want to give Him the description of the mountain.
“We want to tell Him about the size, its dimension, how ugly it is, what it feels like and we want to tell God why we can’t do what we want to do and have been called to do because we say ‘we got some mountains.’”
Pastor Pfleger said too many people use mountains as excuses. “Some of us use an excuse why you are so mean.” Mocking some of those who do this and say ‘well, you don’t know what I’ve been through’” “Why you gotta be so mean”? ‘Well, you just don’t know what’s happened in my life.” Pastor responded to his rhetorical question by bellowing: “Shut up”!
He told of one parishioners who said he was listening to the Saint Sabina worship services on the Internet for four-weeks and was disappointed that Pfleger he never called him. “What was wrong? Did you call me”? asked Pfleger. “Did you ask for prayer or to be on the prayer list? What was wrong”? The man responded, “I’ve just been going through something.”
Pfleger wasn’t too happy with his response saying: “Well, you’ve been going through something and decided to cut yourself off from the place where you get the strength to go through it.  You ain’t got a problem. You’re stupid,” Pfleger said. “We use excuses…, but I am here to tell you…God will not do for you what he has enabled you to do for yourself.
“Don’t waste time praying to God about what Jesus has already given you the authority to take care of and what’s already available. You don’t need to ask Him for the power you already got. If it’s the lights are on, you don’t need to ask him for light. You got to understand, God is not going to give you what He’s already given you again. Use it”
Pfleger said they have to understand they have within them the ability to “talk and speak to our mountains. God wants us to understand do you know who you are. We have to realize we have the power to speak to things that get in our way and move it.”
Speaking to victims he says don’t like to hear this, Pfleger said, “You have no right to go through life defeated; so get out of the little pity party victim mentality because you ain’t got no right to go through life defeated just because you have some mountains and some challenges.
“You must learn when mountains rise up in our lives, we turn and walk away in defeat, but that is the time to stand up in the boardroom in our life and say do you understand I ain’t no pushover. Do you understand I ain’t no punk…no wimp. Do you understand that I ain’t about to bow down to you? I am a mountain,” bellowed Pfleger.
“I am not about to whine or be depressed over this mountain,” he said telling the church he is trying to raise up some spiritual Navy Seals because he no longer wants a boot camp church who understand that they “will not whine or get depressed about this because I am a mountain mover.”
He asks church members to turn to each other and say, “You need to send an e-mail, a text or a Twitter to my mountain and tell him by the end of this service, it’s going to have to relocate. Before this service is over, that mountain has got to relocate, and the reason I can say that is that I believe that God has given me the power to move mountains, not mole hills…, mountains.” He church responded: “I have the power to move mountains.”
Pfleger reminded them “The word of God is where the power is.” He added, “Let me tell you something, you Teflon, shallow church folk. You cannot live with out the word of God. You cannot make it without the word of God, and you certainly cannot reach your destiny without the word of God. You cannot reach your plan, your purpose, and your greatness without the word of God.
“It boggles my mind for some people who think they can make it through life without God’s word,” said Pfleger. “Can you imagine having dealt with the stuff you’ve come through without God’s word and God’s power and God’s anointing? Can you imagine? God’s word gave you light when it was dark. It gave you truth when lies were rising up. It gave you hope when you felt hopeless…. It was His word that gave you direction when you didn’t know where to go or where to turn. It was the Word…. Thank you for the word.”
“Because Jesus is the word, Jesus is truth…. That’s why it is easier to go and talk to people than God because people will tell you what you want to hear,” he said.
“The word will tell you the truth…. You ever come to church and the word of God slaps you upside your head. Everybody crying in church isn’t because they are so happy because conviction is taking place. The word will slap you because the word wants to break you and remake you.
“The word wants to transform you in the likeness of God and some of us sitting up here right now are in denial about some of the stuff in our lives, but I dare you just ask the word. I dare you to ask the word why you were up all night crying. Ask the word why you keep getting in jacked up relationships. Ask the word why you keep going left. Ask the word why you keep going into stuff you thought you got of…. I dare you to ask the word.”
Referring to Hebrews 17:14-20, Pfleger told of the disciples who were confused as to why they couldn’t drive out the demons that had possessed a man’s son. “Jesus said, because of your unbelief. You look like you got it all together, but you got a belief issue…. You be surprised how many sit up in churches all over the world every Sunday and go through all the rituals and all the religion; in fact, they know how to say ‘and with your Spirit and not just an also with you.’
“They know how to say, ‘up under my roof.’ I thought they were singing the old song in the 1960’s. ‘Up On the Roof,’ but it’s up under my roof. You would be surprised how many people go to church every week, and they know all the right things to say and do. They got all the church look…actions but they got a belief issue. They read it and sing it, but they have a belief issue.”
Pfleger said he has found in churches and Christian people is that “because society, life, experiences, racism and sexism have beaten us down so much that sometimes we can believe the word for the person next to us but we just don’t believe it for yourselves…. Well, you can’t love your neighbor unless you love yourself. You have to believe it for you before you can believe it for somebody else.”
Pfleger said every now and then God will put in a situation just so you can see your belief issue. “You’re in a really dark spot and God is saying, ‘Do you still believe me’? Or are you beginning to question God. Are you crying out, ‘Where are you, oh God, or are you crying out, ‘I believe in the Lord and I trust in the Lords with all of my strength.’ He will put you in stuff that will cause you to say what do you really believe, what do you stand by.
“It is the word of God that brings about truth…about manifestation…breakthrough, delivery and the miraculous. It’s the word. Everything started with the word…. You began with a word. Your daddy saw your mama saw how fine your mama looked, said a word, and oops there it is,” he mused. “That’s why we have to be so careful about the words that we use,” Pfleger cautioned. “Words are seeds and what you plant will grow. What you plant will produce a harvest….
“Be careful what you say, you can’t call our children dumb, can’t tell somebody they can’t make it, can’t tell somebody they are stupid…hopeless. You gotta watch what you say because what you speak will come true. You gotta be careful what comes out of your mouth.”
“You’ve said some terrible things in anger…. Some of us have scarred marks on the inside of our hearts because of words that were spoken to us,” said Pfleger.
Referring to some who question why he gets angry when people say the “N” word or the “B” words, Pfleger said because those words “have hurt and people have died and have been lynched for and somebody was on a tree being called that  couldn’t do nothing and…you have a right to say what is positive, not negative. You got to use your mouth to speak light” and not darkness.
Pfleger told the story of how his father never whipped him. He got used to that, but said his mother was “abusive.” “She picked up what ever she could, irons, pans, plates, glasses, vases brooms. That was my mother. She should be in jail now, but God took her home rather than to take her to prison but my father never hit me.”
Pfleger said when he was a teen and began to think he was “all that,” his mother was criticizing him for something and he blurted out, “I hate you.” His father over heard him. “He became Chucky right there in my house, and my father started coming to me. I saw the look on his face, and I ran to the front door and the screen door was locked,” he recalled.
“My father took my head and put it through the screen door, pulled it back then slapped me to the floor. Inside of myself I said this new part of you is not becoming. My father simply said, ‘Never disrespect your mother again.” And, my teenage smell of myself reduced a little bit of baby and I said,
Yes daddy.’
“Understand the power of words. Jesus said you remember me. You’ve not understood the power of who you are and the word is inside of you.” He said if you just had faith the size of a mustard seed, you can take the mountain and move it from here to there.”
“We are either going to look at the mountains in out lives and be afraid or we’re going to look at the authority which we have and speak to them…. A mountain mover is different than just a Christian,” he said.
“A mountain mover looks at the mountain and says, “You will not get the victory in my life. I don’t care if it’s cancer. I don’t care if it’s jobless…. A mountain mover looks at the situation and says ‘you will not get the victory in my life because I declare I’ve got faith.’”
The core issue, he said, is that people must learn how to focus beyond the facts of the mountain they see to the promise of the word, which he says has been spoken over them.  “Sometimes the stuff of what we see is scary. Sometimes our mountains look scary…like they are massive and overwhelming and that they are giants will take us all over.
“Sometimes mountains can be so powerful, so big and so scary that they can make us bend down on our knees, but you have to understand that when stuff look scary you have to declare ‘I don’t care how you look’ you still won’t get the victory…. I’m not a punk. I’m a giant myself. A giant has big footprints because they are standing on the word.”
Explaining, Pfleger said, “When you’re looking for a criminal, you go by their fingerprints, but when you’re looking for a giant, you go by their footprints…. Faith is the substance.
“How the enemy really gets us is when he brings something to us we haven’t dealt with before,” Pfleger said. “What do you do when something comes at you that you have not seen before”?
He quoted Jesus saying “You of so little faith. If you have faith a small as a mustard seed….”
Pfleger said all throughout the New Testament Jesus condemns people for having little faith.  “So why would Jesus teach us that a little faith would move mountains when in other places he has condemned people for having little faith”?
Pfleger explained: “The real issue is really not how small your faith is, but the issue is understanding a mustard seed…. If you plant a tomato next to a Jalapeno, when they grow their characteristics will intertwine. They will begin to take on the characteristics of each other.”
Quoting Minister Louis Farrakahan who told him “they only plant beans in this field because if you plant stuff near other stuff, it will begin to lose its identity and take on the characteristics of what’s around it, but a mustard seed is unaffected by its surroundings…. It retains its identity…. Stop letting your environment affect you.
“If you become a mustard seed, you can stand in a storm and not let the storm be in you. You can speak peace. You can have joy…,” said Pfleger. He urged them to understand the power they have. “Nothing will be impossible if you become a mountaineer mover. Nothing is impossible when I understand who I am in Christ who I am….
“We must stop trying to conference call with the mountain. Stop trying to negotiate that kind of a workshop and a conversation with the challenge in your life; rather when a mountain rises up in front of you, begin to rise up with the power of conviction and speak the word of God to the mountain,” bellowed Pfleger. “That is why the enemy wants to keep you still.”
Pfleger told of how when he grew up in church “where we were always quiet. We never spoke. We never talked…worship. We never got the bible to read. That’s why I’m not in that church. I’m in a born again, saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost-filled not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ church.
“You got to learn how to speak the word. It is time out for timid Christians,” he told the church. “It’s time out for scary little baby Christians. It’s time out for a spiritual code of silence where we’re afraid to get up to declare in our homes, on our streets, in our neighborhoods, to our brothers and sisters, in the church. I’m tired of folks who come to a church and say ‘well, I don’t like to praise.’  “Then this is not your church,” said Pfleger. “Go find you a quiet little siddity church. We better be able to rise up and confess with power.”
Pfleger said if a policeman comes to your house and somebody is a burglar in your house “they don’t go up to the door and say, ‘will you please put that stuff back….” “The police officer comes to your house and sees the burglar he says, “Halt. Put your hands up or I’ll shoot and the burglar puts their hands up. Why, because the burglar understands that the police officer has the backup behind him to make what happened when he confesses…. You have to understand that the Holy Ghost lives in me. I got the power in me to back up what I say…. I got the power.
“When you understand that you have the power to declare to the mountain to move, once you declare it, it is not if It will move. It’s when will it move. Either it will move voluntarily or involuntarily, but it will move. You gotta learn how to stand up on the word and speak the word to every mountain that tries to get up in your face. Don’t talk to it…move….”
He told of a son who was in another part of the country and his mother was having her 70th birthday but he couldn’t be there due to his business. He looked to find something special for his mother. He walks down the street and sees a store that sold exotic animals. He said an exotic parrot that costs $5,000.
The man asked why was it so expensive. The store clerk this bird speaks five languages. He told the clerk to wrap it up and send it to his mother. A couple days later he called his mother and asked if her if she received his gift.
“She said, ‘yes, son. That was the best tasting chicken I ever had. It was delicious. It was so tasty. It was so good.” “He said mama, that was an exotic bird. It spoke five languages.” Pfleger said the son’s mother replied, “Well, the damn bird should have spoke up and said something.”
“Before the devil cooks you, you better raise up and say something,” bellowed Pfleger. He told the church for those with mountains in their lives to rise to their feet and “to speak to your mountain and command it to be relocated in the name of Jesus. Move that mountain right now…. The finances of this church shall be fruitful…shall multiply. This church shall rise up and be a mighty church, a glorified church. Speak to it. Move it, move it,” Pfleger told the congregation.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

New Complete Streets Ordinance means safer streets in Cook County

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on New Complete Streets Ordinance means safer streets in Cook County


The Active Transportation Alliance applauds the move by the Cook County Board of Commissioners


Demonstrating its commitment to streets and sidewalks that are safe and inviting for everyone, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed a Complete Streets ordinance.

Complete Streets ordinances require that new street projects are designed to accommodate everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus or train user.

Cook County has now joined the ranks of more than 300 other jurisdictions around the nation that have enacted Complete Streets policies.

“We’re thrilled with the new ordinance,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “The policy demonstrates a commitment to the safety and comfort of everyone who uses our streets, regardless of age, ability or mode of transportation.”

According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, Cook County’s ordinance represents one of the strongest county policies in the country. The Active Transportation Alliance provided assistance with drafting the ordinance. 

The Active Transportation Alliance thanks Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and Cook County departments of highways and public health for their strong support of the policy. The new ordinance replaces the Complete Streets executive order issued by former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger in 2009.

In related news, also on Wednesday the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed a federal transportation authorization bill that includes a measure for the safe accommodation of all users in federally-funded street projects.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff.

For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

New Philharmonic presents “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve with an InternationalTwist” at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn, Dec. 31

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on New Philharmonic presents “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve with an InternationalTwist” at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn, Dec. 31

Glen  Ellyn, IL  – Champagne corks will pop on Saturday, Dec. 31, when New Philharmonic and Music Director and Conductor Kirk Muspratt provide a special way to ring in the new with two performances of “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve with an International Twist” at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL.

The program will include a selection of beloved works by Johann Strauss, Jr. including the “Blue Danube Waltz,” “Thunder and Lightning Polka,” “The Egyptian March” and the “Overture to Die Fledermaus.” Additional selections will include Robert Stolz’s “Fruhjahrsparade Marsch,” Sigmund Romberg’s “Stout-Hearted Men,” Franz List’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” Percy Grainger’s “Shallow Brown,” and, of course, “Auld Lang Syne.”

The concerts will feature guest baritone Mischa Bouvier, winner of the 2010 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, who has been hailed by the New York Times for his “rich timbre” and “fine sense of line.”

The 4 p.m. performance includes a celebratory glass of champagne, and the 9 p.m. show features pre-show delectables catered by True Cuisine Catering and concludes with celebratory champagne and New Year’s countdown.

Tickets are as follows: Saturday, Dec. 31, 4 p.m.: $55 adult/ $53 senior/ $45 youth;Saturday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m.$65 adult/ $63 senior/ $55 youth.To order tickets or for more information, call (630) 942-4000 or visit www.AtTheMAC.org.

New Philharmonic is a fully-professional, 80-member orchestra that has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for three decades. Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Kirk Muspratt, named a 2006 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, the group gives innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works and strives to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts. New Philharmonic is the resident orchestra of the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and performs a complete season annually.

The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355, houses three performance spaces, an art gallery and classrooms for the college’s academic programming. This unique facility has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and last year welcomed more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances. The mission of the McAninch Arts Center is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information visit www.AtTheMAC.org

TimeLine Theatre Company continues its 15th Anniversary Season

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on TimeLine Theatre Company continues its 15th Anniversary Season

Theatre celebrates with the Chicago Premiere of Lucy Prebble’s Enron, directed by Rachel Rockwell, January 17 – April 15, 2012


TimeLine Theatre Company, recently named one of the nation’s top 10 emerging professional theatres by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®, presents the Chicago premiere of Enron by Lucy Prebble, directed by Rachel Rockwell, January 27 – April 15, 2012 (previews January 17 – 26) at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.

One of the most infamous scandals in financial history becomes Chicago’s newest theatrical event. Crafted as sprawling tragedy mixed with savage comedy, Enron follows a group of ambitious men and women through the breathtaking rush of greed and fraud that led to a legendary financial collapse. Along the way we gain disturbing insight into the backroom secrets of big business and confront a world where appearance has little relation to reality. A sold-out sensation in London, The Telegraph raved that Enron is full of “superb clarity as well as high drama … it brings the mysterious world of high finance to vivid, comprehensible life.”

Enron marks the TimeLine debut of director Rachel Rockwell, who received the 2010 Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Director (Musical) for her triumphant production of Ragtime at Drury Lane Oakbrook and was named Best Director of 2010 by Chicago Magazine.

“In a year when TimeLine is experiencing unprecedented growth and financial stability — subscriptions up 30%, 107 more performances and 10,000 more tickets available this year over last, and an annual budget surpassing $1 million for the first time — it’s fascinating to dive into this story of one corporation that sent itself wildly out of control,” said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “This play — TimeLine’s milestone 50th production — asks us all to ponder who is complicit in whatever greed and fraud thrives in our society in the name of corporate profits and economic growth.”

The cast of Enron features Sean Fortunato as Andrew Fastow, Bret Tuomi as Jeff Skilling, TimeLine Associate Artist Terry Hamilton as Ken Lay and Amy Matheny as Claudia Rowe, with Christopher Allen, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Elizabeth Dowling, Sean Patrick Fawcett, Mark D. Hines, Matt Holzfeind, Barbara Roeder Harris, Benjamin Sprunger and Demetria Thomas playing multiple ensemble roles.

WHEN: January 27 – April 15, 2012 (previews 1/17 – 1/26)  PREVIEWS: Tuesday 1/17 at 8 p.m., Wednesday 1/18 at 8 p.m., Friday 1/20 at 8 p.m., Saturday 1/21 at 8 p.m., Sunday 1/22 at 2 p.m and 7 p.m., Wednesday 1/25 at 8 p.m. and Thursday 1/26 at 8 p.m. PRESS OPENINGS: Thursday 1/26 at 8 p.m. and Friday 1/27 at 7:30 p.m. REGULAR RUN: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. (except 8:30 p.m. on Thursday 4/5), Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
WHERE: TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago
Located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood.
CTA El stops at Wellington (Brown/Purple lines) and Belmont (Red/Brown/Purple lines) are nearby. CTA busses #36-Broadway, #76-Diversey, #77-Belmont, #22-Clark and #8-Halsted stop nearby. The LAZ Parking Lot at 3012 N. Broadway is the closest parking and costs $6.25 for 3-5 hours. TimeLine also offers parking for $8 for up to 6 hours with validation at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center (2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall (2836 N. Clark). There is also limited free and metered street parking and other paid parking lots nearby. Visit timelinetheatre.com for complete directions and parking information. There are two flights of stairs (18 steps) between the street and the theater space, with no elevator.
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $32 (Wednesday – Friday) or $42 (Saturday & Sunday). Preview tickets are $22. Student discount is $10 off the regular ticket price with valid ID. Group rates for groups of 10 or more are available. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.  
WHO: See cast list above. The production staff for Enron includes Kevin Depinet (Scenic Design), Nick Sieben (Co-Scenic Designer), Elizabeth Flauto (Costume Design), Jesse Klug (Lighting Design), Kevin O’Donnell (Sound Design), Mike Tutaj (Projections Design), Julia Eberhardt (Properties Design), Dina Spoerl (Lobby Design), Maren Robinson (Dramaturg), Eva Brenaman (Dialect Coach), Cheney Tardio (Stage Manager) and Zachary Roberts (Production Assistant).
EVENTS: POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS: Free post-show discussions led by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Sunday 1/29, Wednesday 2/1, Sunday 2/5, Thursday 2/9, Sunday 2/12, Wednesday 2/22, Thursday 3/1, Wednesday 3/7, Sunday 3/11 and Thursday 3/15. SUNDAY SCHOLARS SERIES: A free hour-long post-show panel discussion with experts on the themes and issues of the play on Sunday 3/4. COMPANY MEMBER DISCUSSION: Free post-show discussion with TimeLine Company Members on Sunday 3/18.

Andrea Brookins Brown recipient of 2011 Legacy Award

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 Comments Off on Andrea Brookins Brown recipient of 2011 Legacy Award
Company Logo

2011 Legacy Award


Andrea Brookins Brown, a phenomenal entrepreneur, mother, wife and community servant is the recipient of the Legacy award.

The Legacy Award is given to an individual who embodies the principles of community service and legacy building.

Although Andrea spends most of her day running her family business, Brookins Funeral Home (www.brookinsfuneralhome.com), her nights are spent feeding the homeless, collecting items for clothing drives, running her girl scout troop and serving on several not-for-profit boards, including Hope College & Legacy Revolution. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta, LINKS, Black Women’s Funeral Service, the York Foundation and Adopt-a-Student.

Andrea Brookins Brown works tirelessly to improve the lives of others. Andrea is very much deserving of the 2011 Legacy Award. Thank you Andrea for all that you do!

In lieu of a trophy, Andrea will receive a complimentary foundational legacy plan from Protecting Legacies LLC.

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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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