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Archive for May 17th, 2012

FTC & States announce $45 million Skechers settlement

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined the Federal Trade Commission, 44 other states and the District of Columbia to announce a settlement with Skechers USA Inc. for $45 million to resolve allegations that the shoe company deceived consumers into believing its rocker-bottom athletic shoe line would help them lose weight and get in shape.

In a complaint filed along with the settlement, the FTC and the states alleged Skechers made deceptive, unsubstantiated claims in marketing and advertising its line of rocker-bottom athletic shoes: Shape-ups, Tone-ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner. Skechers misled consumers to believe wearing the shoes would cause them to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite and strengthen muscles.

 “Companies that make health claims without scientific proof to support them are using deceptive tactics that may unfairly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions,” Madigan said.

Under the settlement, Skechers is barred from making health claims unless it has adequate evidence. Skechers will also pay $40 million back to consumers who bought the shoes and $5 million to the states for costs of investigation.

Consumers who purchased Shape-ups, Tone-ups or the Skechers Resistance Runner should visit the FTC website at www.ftc.gov or call (866) 325-4186 for information in obtaining a refund.

Joining Illinois in the settlement were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection, and Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.

Assistant Attorney General Colleen Bisher handled the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Peace Activists Demand End to NATO Violence at Chicago Obama Headquarters and Consulates at Noon today

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — On Thursday at noon, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, The World Can’t Wait, Veterans for Peace and other groups associated with the NATO protests will attempt to present letters expressing outrage about NATO operations and their demand to an end to military operations, particularly drone operations, to four NATO countries:  the United States, Canada, Germany and the UK. They will also bring visual representations of the civilians killed by NATO forces. “We are outraged by the numbers of innocents killed in NATO/US wars, and will we focus on their stories,” says Debra Sweet of The World Can’t Wait.

The protests will be held at Noon, Thursday, May 17, 2012 at Obama Campaign Headquarters, 130 E. Randolph, Prudential 1 Plaza, moving to the Canadian Consulate (Prudential Plaza 2 ), United Kingdom Consulate (400 N. Michigan Suite 1300), and German Consulate (676 N. Michigan, Suite 3200 )

“As NATO meets in Chicago, it is important to remind member states of NATO of the extraordinary violence of NATO and their responsibility for these civilian deaths,” says retired Colonel Ann Wright.  Of the 28 NATO countries, 18 have consulates in Chicago (Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom). The peace activists have chosen to visit the Consulates of Canada, the UK and Germany since all three nations still have troops in Afghanistan and have been key US allies in initiating and continuing the Afghan war.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and author of the new book Drones: Killing By Remote Control said “NATO represents an old militaristic agenda, but the world needs a new paradigm that promotes diplomacy and puts our collective resources into urgent needs like eliminating poverty and reversing global warming.”

In the past ten years, NATO and US military operations have caused tens of thousands of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Both the British and US militaries have caused numerous civilian deaths by drone attack, and under President Obama, the CIA has killed over 3000 persons in the undeclared war on Pakistan, 65 persons in the undeclared war on Yemen, including the targeted assassinations of four American citizens.   Additionally, a NATO helicopter attack on a Pakistani Army border unit killed Pakistani 24 soldiers in September, 2011.

Unprecedented Protester vs. NATO Debate is on for Thursday night

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — After some difficulties lining up pro-NATO participants, a widely-publicized debate about NATO that may be without precedent is on for 6 PM to 7 PM, Thursday, May 17 at the Pritzker Military Library, 104 S. Michigan Avenue.  The debate will be webcast and can be viewed at www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org, will also be available to the media via The Chicago Switch at PML.1 Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Last week after NATO leaked news about the impending debate and the debaters on its side, those debaters pulled their participation from the event.  Anti-NATO forces led by the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8), organizers of the big Sunday, May 20th march on the NATO summit, lobbied to have the debate in a much larger venue so that all who wished to witness it in person could do so, but pro-NATO forces refused to participate in such an event.  Therefore, there will only be a small, invitation-only audience evenly split between the two sides.

CANG8 insisted also that the event be open to the media, and were successful in reaching agreement on that principle.  Nonetheless, due to limited space at the Pritzker Library, media participants are asked to RSVP, bring photo identification, and a press pass or other documentation indicating which outlet(s) they are representing. 

Representing anti-NATO protesters will be Iraq Veterans Against the War Chicago Chapter President Iris Feliciano. Feliciano is served in the Marine Corps on Active Duty from 1996 to 2005 and on Reserve Duty from 2006 to 2010, and served in Operation Enduring Freedom.  Also representing the protesters will be Rick Rozoff, an internationally recognized researcher on NATO and author of the Stop NATO website.    

Representing the pro-NATO side will be Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel and John Allen Williams, Ph.D. Bindenagel is a former U.S. Ambassador and career diplomat who served in Germany during the end of the Cold War, and was involved in debates on NATO security policy and membership.  Williams is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. He is a retired Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served with the NATO Inter-Allied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR).

The moderator will be Richard E. Friedman, President of the National Strategy Forum.  Friedman also serves as Counselor to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.  Mr. Friedman was an Air Force Officer during the Korean War, and served on the Army Science Board.

The CANG8 wishes to thank Mr. Friedman and the National Strategy Forum for approaching us to propose the debate, and then lining up others on the pro-NATO side to engage in it.  The National Strategy Forum also kindly opened the pages of its journal, National Strategy Forum Review, to allow CANG8 organizer Andy Thayer publish an article about why he opposes NATO.

Funeral arrangements for Paul Davis, Journalist & Public Relations Professional, set for Saturday

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 1 COMMENT

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Funeral services for Paul Davis, 55, a former reporter and public relations professional who passed May 12, 2012, will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2012 with the wake scheduled for 10 a.m. followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service at the Stony Island Church of Christ, 1600 E. 84th St.

Mr. Davis once worked for William Garth, CEO of the Citizens Newspaper, after he graduated from college. “I trained him as a managing editor. He was good,” said Garth. Mr. Davis worked for Garth until Mayor Harold Washington hired him. Davis then launched his own public relations firm until his death.

Davis, who was born on March 1, 1957, died of prostate cancer. His father, John W. Davis, who once headed up the Cook County’s Real Estate Division, initially had prostate cancer that later went into remission. However, he died a few years ago after the cancer resurfaced throughout his bones.

The body of Mr. Paul Davis will be lying in state Friday, May 18, 2012, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Rayner Funeral Home, 318 E. 71 St.

Mr. Davis leaves to mourn a mother, Shirley, two brothers, Michael and Glenn, a sister Lynn Davis, and a host of friends and relatives.

 

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.

Cook County State’s Attorney awards young artists

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Annual Anti-Drug Poster Contest Draws More Than 700 Entries

 

CHICAGO, IL – Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez presented awards to local students for their award winning artwork that will be featured in the State’s Attorney’s 2013 calendar.

The annual contest, which is open to all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in Cook County, asked students to depict positive alternatives to drug use.  The thirteen winners were chosen from more than 700 entries and received their awards at a ceremony, yesterday, Wednesday, May 16 at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago.

Winners were from the following schools:

  • Calvary Academy, South Holland (2 winners)
  • George Washington Middle School, Lyons (2 winners)
  • Keller Regional Gifted Center, Chicago
  • Liberty Jr. High School, Burbank (2 winners)
  • Northwest Elementary School, Evergreen Park
  • Paderewski Learning Academy, Chicago
  • St. Athanasius School, Evanston (3 winners)
  • St. Edward School, Chicago

State Senator Collins Works to Protect Children, Public from Radon

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Two pieces of legislation target radon in homes, daycares

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) sponsored two pieces of legislation aimed at protecting the public from exposure to radon in homes and daycare facilities. House Bill 4665 was approved by overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate and awaits the governor’s signature; HB 4606 has passed the House and will soon be called for a vote in the Senate. 

“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and keeping radon levels low in homes and facilities must be a statewide priority,” Sen. Collins said. “The measures approved today move Illinois in the direction of safer homes and safer environments for our youngest children.”

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) estimates that radon levels in 36 percent of houses – more than one-third – are unacceptably high. Over 1,000 Illinois residents each year are at risk for lung cancer caused by radon because of prolonged exposure to the gas. Testing is the only way to determine if radon levels in a building are harmful.

“Making new homes radon-resistant and testing existing buildings for radon are relatively inexpensive measures, but taking steps to prevent and address radon build-up is priceless to those at risk,” said Sen. Collins, chief sponsor of the measure requiring radon-resistant construction. “Parents shouldn’t have to worry when they drop their children off at daycare that the building itself is dangerous to their health. It is high time to eliminate this common and preventable risk factor.”

HB 4665 requires a task force to recommend standards for radon-resistant construction by January 1, 2013. All new residential construction in Illinois must include passive radon-resistant construction techniques. In most cases, this would involve a pipe running from the foundation to the outdoors to vent radon from the structure. Preventing radon from building up inside a new home is cheaper, safer, and less unsightly than mitigation done after a high radon level has been found inside an existing building.

HB 4606, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans and co-sponsored by Sen. Collins, will require daycare facilities to test for radon at least once every three years, then post the results for parents to see. In-home daycare providers can purchase a home radon test for under $25; commercial facilities are required to hire a licensed professional when they test for radon, but IEMA officials say they are looking into including daycare providers in an online training program that currently teaches school district facility directors to conduct initial radon tests in schools.

TimeLine Theatre Company presents 3 free special events in connection with John Conroy’s ‘My Kind of Town’

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

TimeLine Theatre Company will offer three special events connected to its world premiere production of My Kind of Town by John Conroy, directed by Nick Bowling. My Kind of Town has been highly recommended by both the Chicago Tribune (“A long-in-the-works drama that gripped its audience on Saturday night … wholly compelling”) and Chicago Sun-Times (“A vitally important piece of political theater … provocative [and] entirely riveting”). My Kind of Town is now playing through July 29, 2012 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.

All special events listed are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated. For more details, please visit timelinetheatre.com/my_kind_of_town/events.htm.

MY KIND OF TOWN: A DISCUSSION OF POLICE TORTURE IN CHICAGO
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 from 6 – 7:30 pm
(reception to follow)
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 East 60th Street, Chicago, on the University of Chicago campus

This event will feature diverse perspectives on and experience with the Chicago police torture scandal that has plagued the city over the past three decades. Confirmed panelists include former Chicago police superintendent Richard Brzeczek; journalist and playwright John Conroy; Craig Futterman, founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the University of Chicago; and People’s Law Office founding partner G. Flint Taylor. The discussion will be moderated by WBEZ’s Kelly Kleiman. The evening will include a brief excerpt from the play My Kind of Town performed by the cast as a spark for discussion, as well as an opportunity for audience questions, and will be followed by a reception.

Co-sponsored by the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, TimeLine Theatre Company and the University of Chicago Master of Arts Program in the Humanities.

Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or email boxoffice@timelinetheatre.com.

SUNDAY SCHOLARS SERIES
Sunday, June 10, 2012 from 4 – 5:30 pm
Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ Sanctuary, next door to TimeLine Theatre 615 W. Wellington Avenue, Chicago

Each TimeLine Theatre production features this free post-show panel discussion with experts on the themes and issues of the play. For My Kind of Town, the Sunday Scholars Series panel will feature Rob Warden of Northwestern University’s Center for Wrongful Convictions, accompanied by some of the men who have been wrongfully convicted due to torture.

Tickets for the 2 p.m. performance of My Kind of Town that day are $42 and are subject to availability. Sunday Scholars Series attendees need not attend the performance to attend the discussion. Admission to the discussion is free but reservations are recommended. For tickets to the show/discussion or reservations for the discussion only, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or email boxoffice@timelinetheatre.com.

A CONVERSATION WITH PLAYWRIGHT JOHN CONROY AND RICK KOGAN
Monday, June 25, 2012 from 6 – 7:30 pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theatre
78 E. Washington Street, Chicago

Veteran investigative journalist John Conroy has covered the Chicago police torture scandal for more than 20 years, challenging public indifference to become one of the leading voices drawing attention to the charges. Rick Kogan of WGN 720AM Radio and the Chicago Tribune will join Conroy for a wide-ranging conversation about the development of Conroy’s first play, My Kind of Town.

Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or email boxoffice@timelinetheatre.com.

TimeLine would also like to call the public’s attention to an event scheduled at the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ related to the themes of My Kind of Town:

7TH ANNUAL ELIZABETH I. BENSON AWARD
Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 6 pm

Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ
615 W. Wellington Avenue, Chicago

This benefit event will honor Citizens Alert and Mary Powers for their 45 years of dedication to police accountability. The evening includes a reception and silent auction at 6 pm, with a program and awards ceremony with master of ceremonies Lydia Talbot at 7:30 pm. The program will include highlights from Peace Production’s new film To Turn a Blind Eye, music by Voices and the Wellington Choir, and appearances by some of those who have worked with Citizens Alert in their quest for police accountability. Tickets for this benefit event are $50; students/limited income tickets are $35. For tickets visit waucc.org or call 773.935.0642. All proceeds benefit Citizens Alert and the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ.

About My Kind of Town

TimeLine Theatre Company, named one of the nation’s top 10 emerging professional theatres by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®, presents the world premiere of My Kind of Town by John Conroy, directed by Nick Bowling, now through July 29, 2012 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.

My Kind of Town is a passionate, groundbreaking new drama revolving around one imprisoned man’s fight for justice, inspired by the stories of numerous victims, police officers, prosecutors and families whose lives have been poisoned by allegations of police torture over the past three decades. With interlocking storylines that humanize the play’s issues of corruption and responsibility, My Kind of Town sets the stage for a new conversation about today’s culture of law and order.

The performance schedule is Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except no performance on 6/24). Tickets are $32 (Wednesday – Friday) or $42 (Saturday & Sunday). Student and group rates are available.

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

State Senator Munoz passes measure to ban the sale of shark fins in Illinois

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

“The shark fin ban is modeled on the same premise used when the United States banned the import of Ivory in 1989. The shark fin trade is facilitating the killing of between 26 million and 73 million sharks every year,” said Senator Munoz. 

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) has passed legislation out of the Senate which will ban the sale of shark fins in Illinois. 

“The shark fin ban is modeled on the same premise used when the United States banned the import of Ivory in 1989,” said Senator Munoz, a member of the Senate Executive Committee.  “The shark fin trade is facilitating the killing of between 26 million and 73 million sharks every year.”

House Bill 4119 will make Illinois the fifth state to ban the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fins in the United States.  Currently, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have banned the sale and possession of shark fins.  

According to the National Resources Defense Council, not only is the practice of “finning”– the removal of a shark’s fins, typically while still alive– inhumane, but overfishing of sharks for their fins has become so prevalent that tens of millions of sharks are being killed each year solely for the purpose of their fins.

Senate Snapshot:

What: HB 4119

The Vote: 41-13-0

Lead Senate Sponsor: Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago)

Next: Goes to the Governor for his consideration

Congressman Bobby L. Rush co-sponsors Password Protection Act

Posted by Admin On May - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Bill bars employer access to social media passwords and personal email

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Because it is difficult enough to get a job today, Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-1st) has co-sponsored the Password Protection Act of 2012 to halt a growing interest by some employers in accessing employee and job applicant personal information through employees’ confidential user names and passwords for social media web sites and personal email.

Reached in Washington, D.C., Tim Robinson, senior policy counsel and legislative director for Rep. Rush, said, “The Congressman believes that job applicants and employees should not have to forfeit their privacy in order to get or to hold down a job,” said Tim Robinson, senior policy counsel and legislative director for Rep. Rush.

“Our elected representatives ought to be very concerned that over 70 percent of recruiters, Human Resource professionals and hiring managers freely admit to having rejected job applicants based on their online reputations; yet this same 70 percent also raised valid concerns about the authenticity of some of this information.

“These uses are not congruent with the privacy expectations of US Internet users; only 7 percent of users believe that information about them actually affected their job searches,” said Robinson.

Robinson said that Rush has been very active on privacy and data security matters for many years. “Not only has Mr. Rush been a thought leader on privacy and data security policy in this country and across the globe, but he has also authored comprehensive consumer privacy legislation, known as the Best Practices Act, which was originally introduced in the 111th Congress and re-introduced in the 112th Congress,” explained Robinson.

The Password Protection Act covers employer-employee relationships, unlike the Best Practices Act, which would cover the commercial use, sharing and disclosure of people’s private information.

The Password Protection Act of 2012 would strengthen current law to ban employers from requiring or forcing employees to provide access to their private accounts. It would ban an employer from forcing prospective or current employees to provide access to their private accounts as a precondition to being hired. It would also ban employers from discriminating or using retaliation against either a prospective or current employee if that employee refuses to provide access to a password-protected account.

The Password Protection Act would prohibit only adverse employment related actions as a consequence of an employee’s failure to provide access to their own private accounts. But the proposed legislation would preserve the rights of employers to permit social networking within the office on a voluntary basis.

The draft bill would also set policies for employer-operated computer systems, and it holds employees accountable for stealing data from their employers. Employers who violate the Password Protection Act could be subject to financial penalties.

The Password Protection Act, H.R. 5684, was immediately referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). Others representatives supporting this legislation include Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-1), who authored the bill, as well as eleven other original co-sponsors (including Rep. Rush) who represent an assortment of states and regions across the United States.

But, Rush and other Congressmen are not the only elected lawmakers who are zeroing in on restricting employers from demanding applicant and  employee social media user names and passwords.

Similar bills have been introduced in the Delaware State House and in Illinois by Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) and State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) who told reporters: “Technology has moved faster than our laws have. There is so much private information that we do through social media. If you protect any of that information behind the passwords, then it is absolutely appropriate that no one should be able to have it,” said Hutchinson.

 For additional information, call:

Timothy Robinson

Senior Policy Counsel & Legislative Director

Office of Congressman Bobby L. Rush

United States House of Representatives

2268 Rayburn Office House Building

Washington, DC 20515

(202) 225-4372 (main)

timothy.robinson@mail.house.gov

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.

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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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