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Archive for June 20th, 2012

Illinois AFL-CIO makes endorsements for General Election

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 1 COMMENT

Delegates from all unions and all areas of the state Illinois AFL-CIO met recently to endorse candidates for the General Election.

More than 100 delegates to the state federation’s Committee on Political Education met in Springfield to discuss the election and who the organization would be supporting. The Executive Board then approved the endorsements.

Congressional candidates in high profile races such as Tammy Duckworth (8th), Brad Schneider (10th), Bill Foster (11th), David Gill (13th) and Cheri Bustos (17th) were endorsed.

“Congress hasn’t been the most worker friendly place and we have a chance to  help elect some people who can change the mindset,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T. Carrigan. “With our endorsements comes our political program that will include member to member outreach at the worksite, at the doorstep and on the phone. Tens of thousands of union families live in these districts. We are hitting the ground running to get these candidates in office and working toward rebuilding the middle class in Illinois and across this country.”

Coordinators will be assigned to work with local labor leaders in the congressional districts to schedule precinct walks, phone banks and local union outreach.

The state federation also endorsed in races for the General Assembly and judicial races, See attached list for individual endorsements.

Other endorsements:

CONGRESS:

1st Bobby Rush (D)

2nd Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D)

3rd Dan Lipinski

4th Luis Guiterriez (D)

5th Mike Quigley (D)

6th Leslie Coolidge (D)

7th Danny Davis (D)

8th Tammy Duckworth (D)

9th Jan Schakowsky (D)

10th Brad Schneider (D)

11th Bill Foster (D)

13th David Gill (D)

14th Dennis Anderson (D)

17th Cheri Bustos (D)

18th Steve Waterworth (D)

ILLINOIS SENATE:

1st Tony Munoz (D)

2nd Willie Delgado *D)

3rd Mattie Hunter

4th Kimberly Lightford (D)

5th Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins (D)

6th John Cullerton (D)

7th Heather Steans (D)

8th Ira I. Silverstein (D)

10th John G. Mulroe (D)

11th Martin Sandoval (D)

12th Steven Landek (D)

13thKwame Raoul (D)

14th Emil Jones (D)

15th Napoleon Harris (D)

16th Jacqueline Collins (D)

17th Donne Trotter (D)

18th Bill Cunningham (D)

20th Iris Martinez (D)

22nd Michael Noland (D)

23rd Thomas E. Cullerton (D)

25th Corinne M. Pierog (D)

26th Amanda Howland (D) 

28th Dan Kotowski (D)

29th Julie Morrison (D)

30th Terry Link (D)

31st Melinda Bush (D)

34th Steven Stadelman (D)

36th Mike Jacobs (D)

39th Don Harmon (D)

40th Toi Hutchinson (D)

42nd Linda Holmes (D)

46th Dave Koehler (D)

47th John Sullivan (D)

48th Andy Manar (D)

49th Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D)

52nd Michael W. Frerichs (D)

54th Danny L. Stover (D)

56th William Haine (D)

57th James Clayborne, Jr. (D)

59th Gary Forby (D)

ILLINOIS HOUSE:

1st Dan Burke (D)

2nd Edward Acevedo (D)

3rd Luis Arroyo (D)

4th Cynthia Soto (D)

5th Ken Dunkin (D)

6th Esther Golar (D)

7th Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D)

8th LaShawn Ford (D)

9th Art Turner, Jr. (D)

11th Ann Williams (D)

12th Sara Feigenholtz (D)

13th Gregory Harris (D)

14th Kelly Cassidy (D)

15th John D’ Amato (D)

16th Lou Lang (D)

17th Laura Fine (D)

18th Robyn Gabel (D)

19th Rob Martwick (D)

20th Michael McAuliffe (D)

21st Silvana Tabares (D)

22nd Michael Madigan (D)

23rd Michael J. Zalewski (D)

24th Lisa Hernandez (D)

25th Barbara Flynn Currie (D)

26th Christian Mitchell (D)

27th Monique Davis (D)

28th Robert Rita (D)

29th Thaddeus Jones (D)

30th Will Davis (D)

31st Mary Flowers (D)

32nd Andre Thapedi (D)

34th Elgie Sims, Jr. (D)

35th Francis Ann Hurley (D)

38th Al Riley (D)

39th Toni Berrios (D)

42nd William R. Adams (D)

46th Deborah O’Keefe Conroy (D)

55th Martin J. Moylan (D)

57th Elaine Nekritz (D)

58th Scott Drury (D)

60th Rita Mayfield (D)

61st Ed Erwin (D)

62nd Sam Yingling *D)

67th Chuck Jefferson (D)

68thCarl Wasco (D)

71st Mike Smiddy (D)

72nd Pat Verschoore (D)

74th Donald Moffitt (R)

75th Jeremy Ly (D)

76th Frank Mautino (D)

77th Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R)

78th Camille Lilly (D)

79th Katherine Cloonen (D)

80th Anthony DeLuca (D)

83rd Linda Chapa LaVia (D)

84th Stephanie Kifowit (D)

91st Jennifer Groves Allison (D)

95th Brad Gillespie (D)

96th Sue Scherer (D)

98th Natalie Manley (D)

103rd Naomi Jakobsson (D)

111th Daniel Beiser (D)

112th Marleen Suarez (D)

113th Jay Hoffman (D)

114th Eddie Lee Jackson, Sr. (D)

116th Jerry Costello, II (D)

117th John Bradley (D)

118th Brandon Phelps (D)

JUDICIAL:

1st Supreme Mary Jane Theis (D)

1st Appellate Mathias William DeLort (D)

1st Appellate Nathaniel Howse, Jr. (D)

1st Appellate P. Scott Neville, Jr. (D)

1st Appellate Jesse Reyes (D)

1st Appellate Maureen Connors (D)

1st Appellate Terrence Lavin (D)

5th Appellate Judy Cates (D)

State’s Attorney Alvarez wins case before U.S. Supreme Court

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The United States Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Chicago rapist in a case that had potential negative implications for prosecutors across the country and was personally argued by the Cook County State’s Attorney, according to the Office of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

The court’s 5-4 decision is a victory for prosecutors and law enforcement across the nation because an unfavorable ruling could have adversely impacted a prosecutor’s ability to use expert testimony in criminal cases about scientific evidence such as DNA. 

Last December, State’s Attorney Alvarez traveled to Washington D.C. to personally argue the case that witness testimony in the sexual assault trial had met all of the legal requirements and did not violate the defendant’s constitutional rights. Forty other state and local prosecutors, as well as the United States Government, filed legal briefs supporting Alvarez’s arguments. 

“It was an honor and a privilege to be able to argue such an important case before the Supreme Court and we are extremely pleased with this ruling,” Alvarez said.  “The court’s decision is a legal victory, not just for prosecutors, but also for crime victims across the nation, who are seeking justice.”

In Williams v. Illinois, Sandy Williams was convicted of raping a young woman on Chicago’s South Side in 2006. Williams challenged his conviction claiming that his constitutional rights were violated when an expert witness testified about DNA evidence linking him to the crime.

In his appeals, Williams’ attorneys argued that the testimony violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser because her conclusions were based on the results of tests that she had not personally conducted even though she was an expert in forensic DNA analysis.

After both the Illinois Appeals Court and the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against Williams, he appealed to the High Court which agreed to decide the case. An unfavorable ruling could have severely undermined the ability of prosecutors nationwide to use expert testimony on scientific evidence such as DNA in criminal cases. 

The Supreme Court decided in favor of State’s Attorney Alvarez’s position and upheld Williams’ conviction as well as the use of expert testimony.

Illinois Comptroller Topinka: Developmentally disabled will be prioritized

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 Comptroller orders immediate payment for programs

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka announced that she has directed her staff to prioritize payments for day programs, child group homes, community living facilities, and other programs serving the developmentally disabled.

The direction from the state Fiscal Officer comes after the Department of Human Services notified service providers of payment delays caused by an insufficient appropriation in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The Department noted that payments would not be processed until after July 1, and then be subject to ongoing state payment delays.

Topinka said her office will immediately begin making payments when the new fiscal year begins July 1.

“Those serving the Developmentally Disabled should know that we will make their payments as soon as the information reaches our door,” said Topinka, noting her policy of prioritizing payment for the state’s most vulnerable residents. “People literally rely on these programs for survival, and they will take priority.”

Topinka noted that while services for the Developmentally Disabled will be prioritized, her office today has more than 164,000 unpaid bills totaling $4.4 billion to businesses, schools, hospitals and service agencies throughout the state. When additional bills at state agencies are added in, including $1.5 billion in past due Medicaid payments, the state bill backlog reaches an estimated $8.5 billion.

San Francisco Bay Area’s Bishop Ernestine C. Reems hosts Women’s Empowerment Conference, July 12-14

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

“Women Shaping the World” empowerment conference encourages women to move on/push forward to next level 

 

Internationally-acclaimed Bishop Ernestine C. Reems is in the Lead, Monte Carlo Resort, Las Vegas | July 12 – July 14, 2012

 

 

(From PR,et Cetera, Inc. (Toni Beckham)

 

When Bishop Reems calls upon friends to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, or to participate in her conferences, the folks who have shown up include: Mary, Mary, Vickie Winans, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the Hawkins Family (Tramaine, Edwin, and the late Bishop Walter Hawkins), Dr. Frederick Haynes III, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Smokie Norful, among numerous other internationally-known personalities.

 

LAS VEGAS, NV – San Francisco Bay Area preacher, teacher, leader and servant Bishop Ernestine C. Reems is a dynamic woman of God who is internationally-known for her fire-baptized and provocative preaching style; the causes she champions; and the company she keeps. Having hosted successful women’s conferences for several years, the 83-years-young motivating force will bring her empowering messages to several hundred women during her 2012 “Women of the World” Empowerment Conference, July 12 to July 14, 2012, at the Monte Carlo Resort on the Las Vegas strip.

Bishop Ernestine and Pastor Maria Reems

 

Founder and senior pastor of the widely-held 1,200-member Center of Hope Community Church in Oakland, CA, Bishop Ernestine Reems will be joined by her daughter-in-law, church co-pastor, and conference co-host Reverend Maria Reems, along with a few friends to help guide women to the happiness, serenity and fulfillment they deserve as each attempts to balance their often multiple roles as mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmas, teachers, girlfriends, caregivers, wives, employees, students, entrepreneurs, and women of God.

 

CONF. PROMO VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXxBXYk12TU

CONF. REGISTRATION: $99 | www.womenshapingtheworld-eac2.eventbrite.com

ACCOMMODATIONS: Room Rate – $80/night (group code: XECR12) | 702.730.7777

 

The stimulating conference will address such vital topics as health education, leadership concepts, self-esteem, economic empowerment, and many more subjects that will inspire women to pursue fresh, new and different approaches to life. Bishop Reems said, “I am called to minister to both men and women, but I feel especially passionate about seeing women come into their own through Christ.”

 

As keynotes for the important event, Bishop Reems selected two very capable, experienced and credentialed powerhouses to take conference attendees on tremendously motivational journeys—Pastor Paula White, founder and senior pastor of Tampa, Florida’s Without Walls International Church, and Dr. Cynthia James, founder of Evangelistic Ministries in Oakland, CA.

 

PASTOR PAULA WHITE

Knowing of what she speaks in light of her own experiences, Pastor White’s father committed suicide when she was five-years-old. She grew up in poverty, living in a trailer home, and suffered childhood physical and sexual abuse. She married at far too early an age; experienced a painful divorce; and lost a child to cancer. Now pastoring two churches in Florida, Pastor White can relate to all women across the board through relationships, family, career and her relationship with God. A much-in-demand speaker and teacher of the gospel, she travels extensively to fulfil her mandated mission: to transform lives, heal hearts, and win souls. www.paulawhite.org

 

DR. CYNTHIA JAMES

A celebrated author and teacher, beloved mother and mentor, and popular TV personality, Dr. James is a Christian Psychologist who pastors two congregations in Oakland, CA and brings an intellectually sound, yet fervent approach to ministry. She oversees the credentialing, counseling, and pastoral care of approximately 140 pastors and ministers serving 60 Church of God congregations in Northern California, Northern Nevada, and islands of Hawaii. Dr. James travels the nation to deliver relevant messages to encourage, uplift and inspire all women. www.cynthiajames.org

 

REVEREND MARIA REEMS

Pastor Maria is wife of Bishop’s eldest son Pastor Brondon Reems, mother of three daughters, and co-pastor of the Center of Hope Community Church where she serves alongside her husband. She is an anointed dynamic speaker, preacher and teacher. In addition, Pastor Maria is a professional consultant and has the added responsibility of providing services including community relations training to non-profit and for-profit organizations.  www.cohccministries.org

 

BISHOP ERNESTINE C. REEMS

Trailblazer Dr. Ernestine Reems founded Center of Hope Evangelistic Church in November 1968. Dedicated to making the Word of God come alive in the community through service., Bishop Reems has most impacted her local community by providing for those in need. She has developed a food feeding ministry; established a charter school with grades K-8; developed a 150-unit affordable housing complex; and cultivated a 56-unit building for senior housing. The powerful evangelist and very dedicated and involved minister is also author of “In the Storm,” a book containing biblical principles about facing life’s storms. www.ernestinereemsministries.org

 

Lt. Gov. Simon: Federal grant expands Link access at farmers’ markets

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Illinois markets must apply by July 9 for free wireless Link, debit machines

 

CARBONDALE, IL – Up to 150 Illinois farmers’ markets could receive free wireless machines that accept debit, credit and Link cards thanks to a grant partnership announced today by Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, a local food advocate who chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council.

The Illinois Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Wireless Project aims to expand access to fresh produce for low-income residents and boost the sale of locally grown food across the state by enabling farmers markets to accept Illinois Link cards, which access federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, wirelessly at minimal cost for the first time.

The wireless EBT project, funded by a grant of $182,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will be administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Agriculture with support from the Lt. Governor’s office. The program will reimburse farmers’ markets up to $1,200 for the purchase of a wireless EBT machine and fees for activation and wireless service. Interested markets must apply prior to July 9 and recipients will be announced mid-July.

“Improving access to local food can improve the health of our citizens, our underserved neighborhoods and the state economy,” Simon said. “As a state we spend more than 95 percent of our food dollars on products grown outside of Illinois. This project will ensure we keep more of those dollars in our local communities at no new cost to state taxpayers.”

To be eligible for the wireless EBT grant, a farmers’ market must obtain certification to accept SNAP benefits through the USDA Food and Nutrition Service before seeking reimbursement. Markets that are already certified and own a wireless EBT machine can seek reimbursement as long as their certification and EBT purchase happened after November 18, 2011. The USDA defines farmers’ market as a multi-stall market where farmers sell agriculture products directly to consumers from a central or fixed location.

“This partnership is exciting because it is using technology to enable growers to expand their markets and it helps families get access to affordable, healthy, locally grown produce,” said DHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler.

Markets will be provided community kits developed by the Lt. Governor’s office and the Department of Agriculture that will include training and promotional materials. A training webinar will also be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 27 that will be recorded and available online.

“I thank the USDA for recognizing the importance of expanding access to nutritious, locally-grown foods and providing this funding,” said Acting Agriculture Director Bob Flider. “Lt. Governor Simon recognizes that this important USDA program will help consumers make food choices that improve not only their health, but also the health of the local farm economy. The program is a win-win all the way around.”

Illinois’ wireless EBT project is part of a $4 million nationwide effort by the USDA to increase SNAP use at farmers’ markets. SNAP sales at Illinois farmers’ markets totaled nearly $70,000 in 2011, an increase of over 522 percent since 2009. The number of farmers’ markets and direct-marketing farmers certified to accept SNAP benefits has increased from 35 in 2009 to 49 in 2011.

“This funding will help Illinois SNAP customers increase their opportunities to access healthy, local foods,” said USDA Food and Nutrition Service Midwest Regional Administrator Ollice Holden. “And evidence suggests they will take advantage of that access. When we couple this approach with strategies like the education, cooking demonstrations, and community support often found at farmers markets, consumption of healthy foods should rise even more.”

 Southern Illinois University Carbondale will use monthly sales data and market surveys to study and measure the impact wireless EBT machines and SNAP accessibility have on overall sales at farmers’ markets and will release findings at the end of 2013 or early 2014. Grant recipients who see a benefit can keep the wireless EBT machines, but must absorb the wireless service costs after the project is complete in September 2013 or when their $1,200 grant is expended. Minimal customer service and transaction fees will not be reimbursed by the grant.

To apply for the Illinois EBT Wireless Project or sign up for the webinar training, please click here, visit www.agr.state.il.us or call 217-524-9129.

Attorney Generals Madigan, Zoeller convene Inter-State Summit on Meth, Synthetic Drug Abuse

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

EVANSVILLE, IND – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller convened an inter-state summit to tackle the region’s growing threat of small-batch methamphetamine production and increasing use of synthetic drugs. Madigan and Zoeller said methamphetamine and synthetic drugs are a significant threat to public safety, and coordinated, inter-state strategies are needed to better protect communities in Illinois and Indiana.

The attorneys general spoke in Evansville, Ind., about the continued threats posed by methamphetamine and synthetic drugs after a summit involving law enforcement authorities and public health experts from Illinois and Indiana. Madigan and Zoeller said the popularity of chemically laced synthetic drugs among young people has exploded over the past year, and meth production levels are on the rise in both Illinois and Indiana. The attorneys general said today’s summit was focused on strengthening vital inter-state partnerships to combat these drugs that continue to plague communities in both states. 

“This inter-state summit underscores our shared concern for the growing use and manufacturing of methamphetamine and synthetic drugs,” Zoeller said. “While our law enforcement community and state Legislature have employed some measures to crackdown on these crimes, very real problems still exist. Our hope is to explore targeted solutions and use the resources available to suppress this criminal activity.”

“The fight against meth and synthetic drugs is a challenge shared across state borders,” Madigan said. “These dangerous drugs present unique difficulties that require collaborative approaches. It’s critical that we forge partnerships to enable law enforcement to adapt its response and better protect our communities’ health and safety.”

Rise of New Meth Production Methods

For more than a decade, meth production has threatened communities in Illinois and Indiana. Authorities have enacted a range of measures to crack down on the sale of the key ingredient in meth, pseudoephedrine, and strengthen penalties for those convicted of meth-related offenses. While those measures have resulted in significant decreases in meth production, drug users are adapting and seeking to circumvent the restrictive purchasing measures by making smaller batches of meth through a method commonly called the “shake ‘n bake” or “one-pot.” This small-batch technique allows meth cooks to use legal amounts of pseudoephedrine to mix smaller amounts of the drug in two-liter plastic bottles. This method is both more dangerous and more difficult to detect because the production can be mobile as opposed to being made in an established lab.

In 2011, Zoeller supported a new law requiring retailers to submit ephedrine sales information to the National Precursor Log Exchange, which is made available to law enforcement. The law also prohibits the sale of ephedrine to an individual exceeding 7.2 grams in a 30-day period – down from 9 grams. In 2010, legislation was passed to prohibit a retailer from selling or the purchaser from buying more than 3.6 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in one day.

In Illinois, Attorney General Madigan has worked to combat the scourge of meth use and production as it has spread through downstate Illinois, drafting tough laws cracking down on the sale of pseudoephedrine and strengthening penalties for those convicted of meth-related offenses. In 2012, a Madigan-drafted bill went into effect that requires repeat meth offenders to have a prescription to purchase or possess products containing pseudoephedrine. The law targets the rise of “small-batch” cooks who obtain small, legal amounts of ingredients to make meth for their own use or for a quick sale.

Madigan also advocated for the implementation of the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, which restricts consumers from buying more than two packages of pseudoephedrine products at a time or products with more than 7,500 milligrams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period. Customers also must show photo identification and sign a purchasing log maintained by pharmacies. The restrictions contributed to a significant drop in the number of meth labs reported in the wake of the initiative’s implementation. 

Combating Synthetic Drug Use

The attorneys general also addressed growing numbers of teens and young adults using synthetic drugs, which are chemically laced substances akin to marijuana, cocaine and meth. Synthetic drugs are divided into two categories based on their chemical make-up:

  • Cannabinoids, popularly known as K2 or Spice, which consist of lab-manufactured THC that acts as a chemically formulated version of synthetic marijuana; and
  • Cathinones, known as “bath salts,” which contain chemical compounds designed to mimic the effects of cocaine or meth.

The attorneys general said the drugs’ packaging often states the products are not intended for human consumption, but their design, labeling and marketing clearly allude to the product being smoked and inhaled. The drugs are extremely dangerous because buyers do not know what chemicals they are ingesting – individual products can contain a vast range of different chemical formulations and potencies, some of which can be two to 500 times stronger than THC.

Many states initially responded to the rise of synthetic drug use by passing laws that banned specific formulas of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. But manufacturers have circumvented such regulations by replacing the banned synthetic cannabinoid or cathinone with a newer version that is not yet on the market and not yet known to authorities. These chemical modifications pose further risk to users, who are unaware of the strength of the new chemical combinations or the reactions they may cause.

Attorney General Madigan has been working on many fronts to increase awareness of the dangers of synthetic drugs in Illinois. In 2011, Madigan launched her “Operation Smoked Out” initiative, with investigators from her office working with local law enforcement agencies to get Illinois retailers in 24 counties to relinquish synthetic drugs on their shelves. In conjunction with this operation, Madigan proposed legislation to crack down on the retail sale of synthetic drugs. House Bill 5233 defines a “synthetic drug product” as one that contains a controlled substance not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and would make it a Class 2 felony to distribute a synthetic drug product. The bill, which is awaiting gubernatorial approval, also addresses the fact that these drugs are sold in packages with misleading labels claiming the products are legal. The bill would make it a Class 2 felony to distribute a product with false or misleading labeling.

In Indiana, Zoeller also supported legislation this year which added bath salts and more than 60 other substances to the list of banned synthetic drugs. Retail merchants caught selling the drugs now face penalties including loss of their retail merchant certificate of business. To combat criminals from using other substances not on the list, the Board of Pharmacy now has rulemaking authority to add any that have been listed by other states or the federal government. In 2011, a law was passed in Indiana to add synthetic cannabinoids and salvia to the list of controlled substances.

Attending today’s summit from Illinois were Mike Wahl, medical director for the Illinois Poison Control Center, Gallatin County Sheriff Shannon Bradley, Jackson County Sheriff Robert Burns, Union County Sheriff David Livesay, Williamson County Sheriff Bennie Vick and representatives of the Illinois State Police Meth Control Unit. Attending from Indiana were representatives from the Indiana State Police, Indiana Pharmacy Board, Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office, Evansville Police Department, Gibson County Sherriff’s Office, Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office, Vigo County Sherriff’s Office, Terre Haute Police Department, Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. Indiana legislators also participated, including: State Reps. Rob Bacon, Wendy McNamara, Gail Riecken, Milo Smith, State Sens. Vaneta Becker and Jim Tomes. Representatives from Congressman Larry Buschon’s office also attended the meeting.

Cancer seminar in LA targets African-American community

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CORI hosts health seminar on Cancer & the Family

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — Statistics show a healthy family is a happy family.

Ways to obtain and maintain good health and well-being within the family is the subject of A Family Health Day: Focus Cancer, a workshop hosted by the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI) in partnership with the Global Wellness Project (GWP), set to take place at 9 a.m.-12 noon, Sat., June 23, in Fellowship Hall at First Church of God Center of Hope, 9550 Crenshaw Blvd. in Los Angeles.

The workshop is the fourth in a series of CORI programs designed and developed by Dr. Ronald Hurst, co-founder and director of clinical research of CORI, to address the various cancers that disproportionately affect African Americans and Latinos (including colon, breast, prostate and general oncology). It will include on-site mammogram screenings at no cost to participants. It is free and open to the public.

“June is Men’s Health Month and we’ve asked women to bring a man they love to the workshop,” said Angela de Joseph, GWP executive director. “The workshop will not only address cancers that disproportionately affect the African American community, we will also have a special presentation for Black men on prostate and colon cancer. One out of every five African Americans is uninsured which is one of the primary factors leading to late cancer diagnosis.”

Workshop speakers include Dr. Hurst and CORI co-founder Dr. Anton Bilchik, who will both lead the panel discussion; as well as Dr. Jenny Ru and Dr. Dana Scott.

Dr. Scott, a urologist who has been doing community outreach for years, applauds the work of Dr. Hurst and Dr. Bilchik, who have developed several health-based community workshops.

“These kinds of workshops are needed for our community,” said Scott, who graduated from Drew UCLA Medical School in 2005. “I chose urology because cancer was disproportionately affecting my community.”

Scott agrees that once a person is diagnosed, the support system that is in place is also affected.

“It’s interesting,” said Scott. “A cancer diagnosis affects everyone in the family not just the person being diagnosed. If it’s a man, it affects the woman taking care of him, his children, his friends and his extended family.”

Scott said there are three things a family should know about cancer prevention.

“Diet, exercise and regular screenings are the three things everyone needs to think about on a regular basis,” said Scott. “Black men should monitor their diets, watch their cholesterol and exercise. They should be getting their annual physicals and following up. They should also talk to their families about whatever illnesses they have so the younger generation can know what to look out for.”

In terms of diet, Scott advises everyone to pay attention to the areas they shop in at the super markets.

“My suggestion is to shop the perimeter of the store,” said Scott. “If you remember that and practice that, you’ll be sure to get the nutrients you need from fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy and eggs. Stay away from the middle of the store where there is processed food.”

Scott, whose practice focuses on prostate cancer, said getting the right information out to the community is critical.

She disagrees with a recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) study that dismisses the need for men to have prostate exams once they turn 40.

The study intimates that screenings for prostate cancer has more risks than benefits.

“I think it’s important for Black men to have a prostate exam at 40 despite what the U.S. Task Force recently put out,” said Scott. “We don’t know enough to say we should stop checking at age 40. Unfortunately, when it comes to Blacks and cancer – we are considered to be a high risk factor. Just being Black you’re at risk. So, how can we go from being at risk to not needing to be screened at all?”

Dr. Hurst wants to point out that knowledge is power.

“We need to get ahead of cancer,” said Dr. Hurst. “We need to openly talk about ways to live with a diagnosis of cancer. My goal is to reach out to the community the best way I can, which is why I helped to develop this program.”

Dr. Hurst, F.A.C.S., who is also partnered with the United States Military Cancer Institute, emphasized that getting the word out about cancer and how if affects African Americans and Latinos is crucial.

“The African American community should know not to be afraid,” said Hurst. “Everyone should know not to be afraid. Fear becomes our greatest obstacle. Men don’t talk about it or get checked because we think we’re invincible. As doctors, in our best state we provide reactionary medicine. We need to get ahead of cancer. We’ve got to get to the people before they get cancer.”

Dr. Bilchik agrees.

“One of the reasons I started CORI is because I realized that we were presenting our cancer research around the world hoping to improve standards for cancer care, however this information was not getting to the people that needed it the most – underserved people particularly in the inner city,” said Bilchik, co-founder and medical director for CORI.”

Dr. Bilchik, who has been honored by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons, added that there are disparities with nearly every cancer.

“The outcomes in African Americans is worse for breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic and stomach cancer to name but a few,” said Bilchik, who was recently listed as one of “Americas Top Surgeons” for 10 years in a row. “This is likely due to socioeconomic differences and lack of access to health care.”

Statistics show that minorities experience higher rates of illness and death from not only various cancers, but also health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, asthma, hepatitis B and obesity.

“Educating people about prevention is so important,” said Dr. Jenny Ru, an internist, hematologist and oncologist. “Prevention is the most important thing you can do. We have to make the public aware of that. When it’s detected early, it is treatable. You can survive. It’s about saving lives. Healthy lifestyles need to be emphasized.”

Dr. Bilchik, a Professor of Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said CORI is committed to ending the health disparities in the minority population.

“Some of the ways we’re going to accomplish this is by engaging the community and teaching prevention and early detection,” said Bilchik, Ph.D., F.A.C.S. Chief of Medicine at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center. “It’s also about providing psychosocial support to patients and families dealing with cancer and providing educational material that can be easy to understand.”

“We agree that a healthy family is a happy family,” said de Joseph. “That is why the Global Wellness Project (GWP) is pleased to partner with CORI to bring life saving cancer education to our community. “We are committed to bringing the highest quality of health education and free screenings into the African American and Latino communities.”

GWP has partnered with CORI to produce a series of dynamic cancer awareness workshops to faith-based organizations throughout the Southern California region. Information is available on the website, www.globalwellnessproject.org.

CORI, a non-profit, is committed to curing cancer through innovative research, early detection, novel treatments, and education through community outreach efforts.

For information, contact CORI at cori.event@gmail.com or 310-883-0096.

Small Business Health Care Consortium Polls Small Business on the Affordable Care Act; releases results of Illinois health Care Polls of small businesses, and calls on Gov. Quinn to act no matter what the Supreme Court decides

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 1 COMMENT

ILLINOIS – The newly formed Small Business Health Care Consortium (SBHCC) announced the results of recent Illinois polls regarding the small business provision of the Affordable Care Act  and their call for Governor Pat Quinn to establish an Illinois Insurance Exchange with key principle provisions by issuing an executive order.

The polls, conducted in conjunction with the Small Business Majority, found that:

  • 63% of Illinois small business owners want to see the Affordable Care Act upheld, with minor or no changes. After learning more about the specifics of the law, support for keeping it as is or with minor changes rose to 68%.
  • A 73% majority of small business owners say they would use or consider using the state exchange, and seven out of 10 Illinois small business owners support the state in applying for federal aid under the Affordable Care Act to set one up.
  • A majority of business owners say they’d be likely to purchase health care for their employees through a state exchange because it is the only place they can receive a tax credit beginning in 2014. 64% of those polled said qualifying for the tax credit would make them more likely to provide or continue offering coverage to employees.

(Links: IL ACA Poll Mini Report and ACA Wrapup poll)

Small businesses are the backbone of Illinois’s economy. In 2010, 203,600 businesses in Illinois had 25 or fewer workers, according to the Small Business Majority. The SBHCC, formed earlier this year, represents the voice of small business leaders throughout Illinois on health care reform.

Present SBHCC Steering Committee members include the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Women Business Owners – Chicago Chapter, McCormick Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center, and small businesses including Old Mexico Restaurant (Rock Island), Gregg Florist (Peoria), Wirehead Technology (Chicago), Second Act Cancer Recovery Boutique (Chicago), MCCE Investments (Springfield), Linda Forman CPA PC (Evanston), and H.A King & Associates (Chicago.)

“Forming the Small Business Health Care Consortium to represent the diversity of small businesses throughout the state is overdue. I am working with the Small Business Health Care Consortium to ensure that all small businesses can afford health insurance,” said Howard Lee of Wire Technology in Chicago, a SBHCC steering committee member.

Another provision of the ACA is the development of a competitive healthcare marketplace, or insurance exchange, in each state. Small businesses want to support our employees and their families by being able to provide them with the quality, affordable healthcare they deserve, but the high costs make it difficult or impossible for many of us to do that. We need a strong marketplace to give us more control, quality choices, and better consumer protections when buying insurance – just like the big guys get.

Pattie Sheehan, Certified Mastectomy Fitter and sole proprietor of Second Act Mastectomy Boutique in Chicago, serves cancer patients and survivors. “Every day I see and hear from women who did not catch their cancer early because they did not have access to healthcare. Women who battle cancer also work at small businesses and that means that they are less likely to have health insurance coverage, just because their employer is small. It is time for the inequality of insurance access to be erased and for the needs of small businesses to be met so that our employees can afford good insurance. That is why I have joined the Steering Committee of the Small Business Health Care Consortium.”

Since 2010 under the ACA, companies with fewer than 25 employees and average employee wages of less than $50,000 can get tax credits for the health insurance they provide their employees. These tax breaks have already lightened the load on small businesses so we can get back to what we do best…creating jobs that will stay here in our communities.

“I am the owner of MCCE Investments and I also own several Subway stores in the Springfield area. The main reason I am spending time on this project, the Small Business Health Care Consortium, is to be sure small business has a voice in the process from the beginning. We have to be sure health care for all Americans is not done on the backs of small business but must be shared by all,” said Mark Burris.

“Contrary to political spin and popular belief, small business owners in Illinois do not want the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the Affordable Care Act. Illinois small businesses see this law as helping everyone have coverage and bringing down healthcare costs—something that has been one of their top concerns for years.  We hope Supreme Court justices understand how important this law is to small businesses who need relief from high healthcare costs,” said Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care. 

Duffett continued, “Since the General Assembly has abdicated its responsibilities, Governor Quinn needs to step up to the plate and enact an Executive Order to begin the process for an Illinois Marketplace (exchange). Small businesses are committed in taking personal responsibility; it is time for our political leaders to do the same.”

Right now, Illinois could access over $200 million in federal funds to implement the new marketplace. It won’t cost the state a penny if we use these federal funds. This past legislative session, the General Assembly took no action on implementing a marketplace in Illinois. This means the federal government will implement one for us, unless Governor Quinn takes immediate action.

David Whitaker, Chair of the Health Committee for the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, said “Small businesses are diverse throughout Illinois and yet we all have the same problem when it comes to buying health insurance—it is very difficult and we spend more for it than larger businesses. The Illinois General Assembly failed this past session to enact legislation to establish an Illinois marketplace, or insurance exchange. It is time for action and leadership.”

“The SBHCC is calling on Governor Quinn to sign an executive order to set the standard for this
marketplace and it must include the following principles:

1) No insurance industry representataives on the Governing Board.
2) The right to negotiate rates with insurers – there must be real cost containment measures.
3) The Insurance industry must pay for the Marketplace, not small businesses and consumers.”

Joyce Harant, SBHCC Project Director said, “Small business owners are so busy keeping their businesses operating that they have very little time to navigate what is happening about health care reform.  Most of them wish they could afford health insurance for their employees and yet when the rubber meets the road, for many of them the obstacles are too great.  My hope is that we can learn the needs of small business owners and, in a collective way, make sure their needs and opinions are heard and become part of the legislation passed in Illinois.”

Full statements by small business owners on today’s telebriefing are available via Kathleen Duffy.  The audio of today’s telebriefing is available on the Campaign for Better Health Care’s Audio Archive. 

About the Small Business Health Care Consortium

The Small Business Health Care Consortium (SBHCC), a project of the Campaign for Better Health Care, represents the voice of small business leaders throughout Illinois on health care reform.  For more information, please contact Joyce Harant, SBHCC Project Director.

About the Campaign for Better Health Care

We believe that accessible, affordable, quality health care is a basic human right for ALL people.  The Campaign for Better Health Care is the state’s largest coalition representing over 300 diverse organizations, organizing to help create and advocate for an accessible, quality health care system for all.  For more information, visit www.cbhconline.org. 

Better Business Bureau Free ‘Shred It & Forget It’ Event June 23

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, in conjunction with various government agencies, invites consumers and businesses to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal, financial or confidential documents for FREE at the annual “Shred It and Forget It” Shredder Day at the United Center Parking Lot E, on Wood St. between Madison and Warren Blvd, in Chicago from 9AM-2PM on Saturday, June 23.  Free electronics recycling will also be available.      

 

Crime statistics show that last year alone, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, costing them roughly $5 billion.

 

Hosts of the annual event include the Better Business Bureau along with the City of Chicago, Chicago Police Department, FBI, FTC, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and United States Postal Inspection Service. Shredding and recycling services will be provided by Acme Document Destruction, Beaver Shredding Inc., Chicago Shred Authority, Cintas Document Management, Shred-It, Inc., ShredStation Express, and Vintage Tech Recyclers.

 

As of January 1, 2012 the Electronic Products Recycling & Reuse Act requires people to recycle their electronic devices including televisions, monitors, printers and computers, rather than allow them to be disposed of in a landfill.


TVs, monitors, laptops, PCs, servers, data storage devices, printers, fax/copy machines, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras and game consoles are among the types of electronic equipment that will be collected for recycling at the event. To learn more about the electronics you can recycle at this event, visit www.chicagoshreds.com      

 

Participants are asked to limit the material they want shred to 10 boxes of documents per vehicle. There will also be free home shredders given away during the event every 30 minutes. You can register online to win a free shredder at www.chicagoshreds.com

 

Representatives from the participating organizations will be available at “Shred It and Forget It” on June 23rd to offer guidelines for shredding documents and to answer questions about how to keep your personal information safe.     

 

Here are some suggestions for deciding how long to keep personal financial information:  

  • A good rule of thumb is to keep all tax returns and supporting documentation for seven years. The IRS has three years from your tax-filing date to audit, and has six years to challenge a claim.
  • Keep credit card statements for seven years if tax related expenses are documented.
  • Keep paycheck stubs for one year. Be sure to cross reference the paycheck stub to the W-2 form.
  • Be sure to keep bank statements and canceled checks for at least one year.
  • Bills should be kept for one year or until the canceled check has been returned. Receipts for large ticket items should be kept for insurance purposes.
  • Home improvement receipts should be kept for six years or permanently.
  • Items such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, titles or wills should be kept permanently in a safety deposit box.
  • If you are going to dispose of documents with sensitive information, be sure to SHRED!

More information about the “Shred It and Forget It” Shredder Day event can be found at www.chicagoshreds.com 

 

For more information on how to protect your identity, visit www.bbb.org

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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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