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Archive for September 7th, 2012

President Barack Obama’s remarks at the Democratic National Convention

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on President Barack Obama’s remarks at the Democratic National Convention

Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte, North Carolina


In introducing her husband, the president, First Lady Michelle Obama described him as the “love of my life.”


I am so thrilled and so honored and so proud to introduce the love of my life, the father of our two girls, and the President of the United States of America — Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

President Obama:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.

Audience was chanting:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

President Obama:  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.

Michelle, I love you so much.  A few nights ago, everybody was reminded just what a lucky man I am.  (Applause.)  Malia and Sasha, we are so proud of you.  And, yes, you do have to go to school in the morning.  (Laughter.)

And, Joe Biden, thank you for being the very best Vice President I could have ever hoped for, and being a strong and loyal friend.  (Applause.)
Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.  (Applause.)

Now, the first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man, a Senate candidate from Illinois, who spoke about hope — not blind optimism, not wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great, even when the road is long.
Eight years later, that hope has been tested by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic crises in history, and by political gridlock that’s left us wondering whether it’s still even possible to tackle the challenges of our time.
I know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes.  Trivial things become big distractions.  Serious issues become sound bites.  The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising.  If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I.  (Laughter and applause.)
But when all is said and done — when you pick up that ballot to vote — you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation.  Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children’s lives for decades to come. 
And on every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties.  It will be a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.

Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known  — (applause) — the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton’s Army, the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.

They knew they were part of something larger — a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression; a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world’s best products. And everyone shared in that pride and success, from the corner office to the factory floor.
My grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their own home, and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America’s story — the promise that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, that everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)
And I ran for President because I saw that basic bargain slipping away.  I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas.  And by 2008, we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn’the; folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition, put gas in the car or food on the table.  And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings — a tragedy from which we’re still fighting to recover.
Now, our friends down in Tampa at the Republican Convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America.  But they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right.  (Applause.)  They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan.  And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they’ve had for the last 30 years — Have a surplus?  Try a tax cut.  Deficit too high?  Try another.  Feel a cold coming on?  Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning.  (Applause.)
Now, I’ve cut taxes for those who need it — middle-class families, small businesses.  But I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores or pay down our deficit.  I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China.  (Applause.)

After all we’ve been through, I don’t believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand or the laid-off construction worker keep his home. 

We have been there.  We’ve tried that and we’re not going back.  We are moving forward, America.  (Applause.)
Now, I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have.  You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear.  You elected me to tell you the truth.  (Applause.)

And the truth is it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.  It will require common effort and shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.  (Applause.)  And, by the way, those of us who carry on his party’s legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.
But know this, America — our problems can be solved.  (Applause.)  Our challenges can be met.  The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.  And I’m asking you to choose that future.  (Applause.)
I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country — goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit — real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation.   That’s what we can do in the next four years — and that is why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)
AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs.  After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we’re getting back to basics, and doing what America has always done best:  We are making things again.  (Applause.) 

I’ve met workers in Detroit and Toledo — (applause) — who feared they’d never build another American car.  And today, they can’t build them fast enough, because we reinvented a dying auto industry that’s back on the top of the world.  (Applause.)   

I’ve worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to America — not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products.  Because we work harder and smarter than anyone else.  (Applause.) 

I’ve signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers — goods that are stamped with three proud words:  Made in America.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  U.S.A!  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!

THE PRESIDENT:  And after a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years. 

And now you have a choice:  We can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.  You can make that happen.  You can choose that future.

You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy.  After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)  We have doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.  In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by 1 million barrels a day — more than any administration in recent history.  And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades.  (Applause.)

So now you have a choice — between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it.  We’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we’ll open more.  But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers.  We’re offering a better path.  (Applause.)  
We’re offering a better path, where we — a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy; where we develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.  If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone.  (Applause.) 

And, yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet — because climate change is not a hoax.  More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke.  They are a threat to our children’s future.  And in this election, you can do something about it.  (Applause.)

You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have.  Education was the gateway to opportunity for me.  It was the gateway for Michelle.  It was the gateway for most of you.  And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life. 

For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning.  Some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading.  Millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders.  (Applause.)

And now you have a choice — we can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school.  (Applause.)  No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.  No company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here at home.  That’s not our future.  That is not our future.  (Applause.)   

And government has a role in this.  But teachers must inspire; principals must lead; parents must instill a thirst for learning.  And, students, you’ve got to do the work.  (Applause.) And together, I promise you, we can out-educate and out-compete any nation on Earth.  (Applause.)   

So help me.  Help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers within 10 years and improve early-childhood education.  Help give 2 million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job.  (Applause.) Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next 10 years.  We can meet that goal together.  You can choose that future for America.  (Applause.)  That’s our future.

In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven.  Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq.  We did.  (Applause.)  I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.  And we have.  (Applause.)  We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over.  (Applause.) 

A new tower rises above the New York skyline; al Qaeda is on the path to defeat; and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!

THE PRESIDENT:  Tonight, we pay tribute to the Americans who still serve in harm’s way.  We are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected.  We will never forget you.  And so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us — because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their heads, or the care that they need when they come home.  (Applause.)

Around the world, we’ve strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.  We’ve reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers.  From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings — men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews.  (Applause.)

But for all the progress that we’ve made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted.  Europe’s crisis must be contained.  Our commitment to Israel’s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace.  (Applause.)  The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions.  The historic change sweeping across the Arab world must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate here today.  (Applause.)

So now we have a choice.  My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy — (laughter and applause) — but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.
After all, you don’t call Russia our number-one enemy — not al Qaeda — Russia — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.  (Applause.)  You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.  (Applause.) 

My opponent said that it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq.  And he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. Well, I have — and I will.  (Applause.)

And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I will use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and runways.  Because after two wars that have cost us thousands of live and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home.  (Applause.)

You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class.  Independent experts say that my plan would cut our deficit by $4 trillion.  And last summer I worked with Republicans in Congress to cut a billion [trillion] dollars in spending — because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it so that it’s leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the American people.  (Applause.)

I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 — the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President; the same rate when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history and a whole lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission.  No party has a monopoly on wisdom.  No democracy works without compromise.  I want to get this done, and we can get it done.  But when Governor Romney and his friends in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, well, what did Bill Clinton call it — you do the arithmetic.  (Applause.)  You do the math.  (Applause.)

I refuse to go along with that and as long as I’m President, I never will.  (Applause.)  I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)
I refuse to ask students to pay more for college, or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor and elderly or disabled — all so those with the most can pay less.  I’m not going along with that.  (Applause.)

And I will never — I will never — turn Medicare into a voucher.  (Applause.)  No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.  They should retire with the care and the dignity that they have earned.  Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care — not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.  (Applause.)

And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to Wall Street.  (Applause.)

This is the choice we now face.  This is what the election comes down to.  Over and over, we’ve been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way — that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing.  If you can’t afford health insurance, hope that you don’t get sick.  If a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that’s the price of progress.  If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent’s advice and borrow money from your parents.  (Laughter and applause.)

You know what, that’s not who we are.  That’s not what this country’s about.  As Americans, we believe we are endowed by our Creator with certain, inalienable rights — rights that no man or government can take away.  We insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative.  We’re not entitled to success — we have to earn it.  We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers, the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity that the world’s ever known.

But we also believe in something called citizenship.  (Applause.)  Citizenship:  a word at the very heart of our founding; a word at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. 

We believe that when a CEO pays his autoworkers enough to buy the cars that they build, the whole company does better.  (Applause.)  We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes and so is the entire economy.  (Applause.)  We believe the little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the next Steve Jobs or the scientist who cures cancer or the President of the United States, and it is in our power to give her that chance.  (Applause.)

We know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone.  We don’t want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we certainly don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules.  (Applause.)  We don’t think that government can solve all of our problems, but we don’t think that government is the source of all of our problems — any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles.  (Applause.)

Because, America, we understand that this democracy is ours. We, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only “what’s in it for me,” a freedom without commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense.  (Applause.)

As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

So, you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me.  It was about you.  (Applause.)  My fellow citizens, you were the change.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason there’s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who will get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage.  You did that.  (Applause.) 

You’re the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he’d be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance.  You made that possible.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home
— (applause) — why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: “Welcome home.”  “Welcome home.”  You did that.  You did that.  You did that.  (Applause.) 

If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen.  If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void — the lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves.  (Applause.)

Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen.  Only you have the power to move us forward.  (Applause.)   

I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention.  The times have changed, and so have I.  I’m no longer just a candidate.  I’m the President.  (Applause.) 

And that means I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return.  I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs. 

If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them.  (Laughter.)  And while I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”  (Applause.)

But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America.  Not because I think I have all the answers.  Not because I’m naïve about the magnitude of our challenges.  I’m hopeful because of you. 

The young woman I met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter — she gives me hope.  (Applause.)

The autoworker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed, but kept coming to work every day, and bought flags for his whole town, and one of the cars that he built to surprise his wife — he gives me hope.  (Applause.)

The family business in Warroad, Minnesota, that didn’t lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees when the recession hit, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owner gave up some perks and some pay because they understood that their biggest asset was the community and the workers who had helped build that business — they give me hope. (Applause.)  

I think about the young sailor I met at Walter Reed hospital, still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee.  Six months ago, we would watch him walk into a White House dinner honoring those who served in Iraq, tall and 20 pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform, with a big grin on his face, sturdy on his new leg.  And I remember how a few months after that I would watch him on a bicycle, racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had traveled — he gives me hope.  He gives me hope.  (Applause.)  

I don’t know what party these men and women belong to.  I don’t know if they’ll vote for me.  But I know that their spirit defines us.  They remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a “future filled with hope.” 

And if you share that faith with me — if you share that hope with me — I ask you tonight for your vote.  (Applause.)  If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.  If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.  (Applause.)  

If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape, that new energy can power our future, that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers; if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules — then I need you to vote this November.  (Applause.)  

America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now.  Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place.  Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together.  We don’t turn back.  We leave no one behind.  We pull each other up.  We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.  

Thank you.  God bless you.  (Applause.)  And God bless these United States.  (Applause.)

Acceptance Speech was delivered at the:

 Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte, North Carolina

September 6, 2012

10:24 P.M. EDT

U.S. Senators Kirk, Levin applaud signing of Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on U.S. Senators Kirk, Levin applaud signing of Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), co-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, welcomed today the signing of the revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. 
Representatives of the U.S. and Canadian governments signed the document, which revises an agreement reached in 1987, today at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.
“As co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, I am fully committed to preventing toxic chemicals from poisoning our food supply and invasive species from damaging our ecosystem,” said Senator Kirk. “The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement will help maintain the integrity of the entire Great Lakes Basin and addresses the unique challenges that come with protecting these waters. I applaud the U.S. and Canadian partners involved for recognizing that the clean up of lakes, rivers and greater boundary waters cannot be done independently. The signing of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement allows for the necessary cooperation to achieve these shared goals and preserve our environmental treasures.”
“I’m pleased that after 25 years, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is being updated to better reflect our scientific understanding and focus resources on the most pressing threats to this natural treasure,” Levin said. “With its emphasis on prevention of environmental damage, the agreement reflects a more cost-effective use of resources, as preventing damage is generally less costly than cleaning up ruined ecosystems. I am also pleased the agreement focuses on invasive species which are a continuing threat. I am hopeful that our two countries can work together to implement this agreement and truly restore the Great Lakes.”
Background Information:
The Great Lakes Water Quality agreement is a formal agreement between the U.S. and Canadian governments establishing shared goals for protecting and improving water quality of the Great Lakes, which provides drinking water to more than 40 million people. The agreement was first signed in 1972, and last revised in 1987.
Sens. Levin and Kirk hosted a briefing for their colleagues on the effort to revise the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement earlier this year. In an April 19 letter to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, they urged that negotiators share draft text with interested stakeholders to solicit feedback and strengthen public support for the revised agreement. 
The Senate Great Lakes Task Force is a bipartisan group of Great Lakes State senators who advocate for actions to strengthen the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes.

Grammy Award-Winning Vocalist Mavis Staples lights up the stage at the ECC Arts Center Saturday, November 17

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on Grammy Award-Winning Vocalist Mavis Staples lights up the stage at the ECC Arts Center Saturday, November 17


ELGIN, IL. – Legendary Grammy Award-winning singer Mavis Staples brings her signature song style to the Elgin Community College Arts Center at 1700 Spartan Drive on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Staples, backed by a jazz combo, will be joined on stage by her sister, Yvonne Staples.


Mavis Staples began singing with her family’s gospel-folk group The Staple Singers (“Uncloudy Day,” the first million-selling gospel recording, “Respect Yourself”) in 1954. In the nearly 60 years since, Mavis has blazed a soulful rhythm and blues trail while never relinquishing her gospel roots.


In addition to her family’s Number One hits “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again,” she has been nominated as a solo artist for multiple Grammy awards in five different genres and won the 2011 Grammy for Best Americana Album for her album “You Are Not Alone,” a collaboration with producer Jeff Tweedy of the alternative rock band Wilco.


A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (as is her sister, Yvonne), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner (as is Yvonne), and listed by Rolling Stone as one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time,” this legendary artist is currently in the midst of a stunning creative resurgence as evidenced by her jam-packed international tour schedule including fall 2012 engagements in Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden.


Tickets are $38 / $35 and can be purchased online at http://tickets.elgin.edu or at the ECC box office located in the Arts Center. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call 847-622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.


There will be a three-course meal before the concert, starting at 5:30 PM. The meal will be served at Spartan Terrace Restaurant, conveniently located at the west end of ECC Arts Center’s lobby. The menu is Blues BBQ themed and will include a Corn Chowder appetizer, followed by a BBQ Brisket with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Smoky Collard Greens, and topped off with Red Velvet Cake. Dinner reservations may be made through the box office. Price is $35 per person (includes wine). Deadline for dinner reservations is Monday, Nov. 12.

For more information about the ECC Arts Center, visit elgin.edu/arts. Video clips of upcoming artists and events can be found at youtube.com/ECCArtsCenter. Connect and talk to the arts center on Standing Room Only, a blog at eccartscenter.com. The arts center also can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/ECCArtsCenter. Become a fan of the arts center on facebook at facebook.com/ECCArtsCenter.

Better Business Bureau Web Survey reveals consumers focus on wrong issues in their concern about ID Theft

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau Web Survey reveals consumers focus on wrong issues in their concern about ID Theft

Chicago, ILFear of lost or stolen credit cards ranks as the highest identity theft concern among consumers. However, more serious and costly threats are considered less worrisome, according to a poll by the Better Business Bureau in August 2012.


Thirty percent of the respondents ranked credit card loss or theft as their greatest ID protection concern. Another 23 percent worried hackers would steal credit card and personal data from a business database. Rated least concerning, by 14 percent of those responding, was the disposal of personal papers in the garbage. Also low on the anxiety list was use of credit card information online (18 percent) or on the telephone (15 percent).


“Losing or having a credit card stolen is certainly a worry,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “However, credit card companies have elaborate security programs to quickly stop credit access and limit consumer financial exposure to fraudulent use. On a rating scale, credit card loss is towards the less distressful end, though it should always be guarded against.”


Bernas explained that consumers should be most worried about the material they have the most control over, their personal papers in the trash. Yet, he said, this was the area where the fewest expressed concern.


“Papers with personal data and credit card numbers on them can be a treasure trove of information for fraudsters, and a serious risk to consumers,” said Bernas. “Shredding these types of documents is essential for any type of personal identity protection plan.


“Personal documents that are not shredded can be used without any safeguards or the consumer’s knowledge until the person’s credit score suffers or a bill appears from use of a credit card that the consumer never applied for.”


Hackers getting access to business databases is a growing concerning and one that will likely continue, Bernas noted. However, businesses continue to take action and improve their security.


“Consumers need to take control over what they have their hands on,” urged Bernas. “Guard credit cards and shred any documents with personal information. These are two actions every person can take to lessen the risk of their identity being stolen.”


For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org


Coca-Cola gives teen artists a chance to shine on one of television’s hottest stages

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on Coca-Cola gives teen artists a chance to shine on one of television’s hottest stages

Jacksonville Group Performs Live with Rapper B.o.B on BET’s “106 & Park”

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Jacksonville’s own Da Pretty Boyz won the exclusive opportunity to perform live with rapper B.o.B recently on Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) “106 & Park Wild Out Wednesdays (W.O.W.).” As part of the Coca-Cola “Perfect Harmony” program, R&B group Da Pretty Boyz, battled teen artists from across the country over the past 12 weeks before taking home the W.O.W. All-Star MVP Trophy and a $5,000 cash prize.

Through its “Perfect Harmony” music platform, Coca-Cola gives teens once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to shine in the spotlight. For the past four years, America’s favorite beverage company has been a proud sponsor of BET’s “Wild Out Wednesdays” where amateur teen artists battle their way to stardom. The live performance with Rebel Rock/Atlantic recording artist and producer, B.o.B, marks the first time that a “Wild Out Wednesday” winner has received such an honor.

Photo credit: John Ricard / BET

Act of heroism by MWRD staff prevents potential drowning in Chicago River

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on Act of heroism by MWRD staff prevents potential drowning in Chicago River

During a routine patrol aboard a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) pontoon boat along the Chicago River on August 15, MWRD staff members Karl Von Heimburg, an engineering technician, and Rudy Payne, a maintenance laborer, came upon a person in the water struggling to climb up a seawall.

A Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer was already on the scene and positioned on top of the seawall. The officer shouted to Von Heimburg and Payne for assistance in rescuing the gentleman, and without hesitation, the pair lifted the man out of the water and brought him safely onto their boat.

A CPD patrol boat arrived soon thereafter and transported the man to the hospital for observation. He was later released.

For their heroism, the MWRD Board of Commissioners honored Von Heimburg and Payne with resolutions during today’s Board of Commissioners meeting. “Rudy and Karl are a credit to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District,” said Commissioner Frank Avila. “Their dedication to their profession and to their fellow citizens is exemplary. We are all proud to have such committed individuals on staff and appreciate their bravery and heroism.”

“I think we did what anyone in our situation would have done,” said Von Heimburg. “I was just doing my job trying to help somebody out,” said Payne.

Prior to the rescue, Von Heimburg and Payne were aboard one of two MWRD pontoons which routinely search for debris that could impede waterway traffic. The pontoons travel along the Chicago Area Waterways (CAWS) protecting the waterways from floatable debris such as garbage, leaves, branches, or other items of varying sizes.

Chicago’s All-Latina Theater Company kicks off Season 12 with ferocious new leadership team & new company members

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on Chicago’s All-Latina Theater Company kicks off Season 12 with ferocious new leadership team & new company members

CHICAGO, IL – “The only job of the artist is to keep changing, ”Luis Alfaro, playwright of Victory Gardens’ recent success Oedipus El Rey, told a room full of theater practitioners at a recent workshop in Chicago. His words especially resonated with Executive Director and newly minted Ensemble member Alexandra Meda of Teatro Luna, a company whose leadership transitions in recent years have evolved into a new organizational structure infused with lots of new blood. A company which has built its niche in autobiographical and ethnographic ensemble-devised work, Teatro Luna is no stranger to change and responding to challenges on its feet. In that spirit, Chicago’s all-Latina theatre company bursts into its 12th season with the induction of a slew of new Latina talent.Teatro Luna’s new leadership structure eschews traditional models and embraces its ensemble-driven philosophy across the boundaries of arts and administration. Kristiana Rae Colón, former Artistic Associate and Crossed cast member, will become a new Ensemble member and the Director of Artistic Programs. Gabriela Ortiz Flores, former Artistic Associate and Crossed writing contributor, will also become a new Ensemble member and is the Lead Developer for TL’s next devised work about Supermujeres, women who serve and protect. They join Liza Ann Acosta, playwright of the forthcoming Putas, and Executive Director Alexandra Meda to form Teatro Luna’s Ensemble. Suzette Mayobre has moved on to become Ensemble Emeritus along with Lauren Villegas.Teatro Luna’s team of Artistic Associates will also be exploding with new energy in Season 12: Crossed cast member Paula Ramirez will step up as TL’s new Artistic Programs Coordinator, along with Crossed cast member Abigail Vega, who is the new Managing Director. Outgoing Interim Lunadas Reading Series Director Alyssa Vera Ramos, Director of Operations & Facilities Patricia Radford, Crossed cast member Sydney Charles, and Living Large cast member Amanda DeLaGuardia also join Petrucia Finkler, Desiree Castro, Melissa Duprey, Karla Estela Rivera, Christine Pascual, and Mac Vaughey as the league of Artistic Associates.Making room for all of the talent streaming through the doors of Teatro Luna’s new artistic home, Luna Central, a new membership option has been created – Artistic Affiliate. Its inaugural members include Elizabeth Nungaray, Teatro Luna Intern and Columbia College student,Emilio Williams, Director of New Business Development, and Melissa Huerta, new Literary Manager.In true Luna fashion, the new blood will celebrate their induction in September at one of the upcoming Noches Calientes events that will occur every Wednesday at Luna Central through December. As summer cools down, Season 12 will just be heating up as the fresh faces of Teatro Luna flip the script. Stay tuned for our forthcoming Season Announcement that includes big moves in education, touring, one-night events, and our new media department, and of course our Mainstage performances that feature new stories that will change everything you thought you knew about how Teatro Luna dialogues about our role as Women in our families and communities.

MWRD Commissioner Patricia Horton presents proclamation to Women’s Business Development Center

Posted by Admin On September - 7 - 2012 Comments Off on MWRD Commissioner Patricia Horton presents proclamation to Women’s Business Development Center
Honors 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference and Women’s Business and Buyer Mart  
During the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) board meeting, Commissioner Patricia Horton issued a proclamation to Georgia Marsh on behalf of Hedy Ratner, co-founder of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC). The proclamation honors the WBDC’s achievements and is helping to highlight the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference and Women’s Business and Buyers Mart on September 20 at McCormick Place-West.
The WBDC was created in 1986 and is a nationally recognized non-profit women’s business assistance organization devoted to supporting women’s business ownership and strengthening the impact of women on the economy. This year’s conference offers women business owners solutions to current problems they are facing and the opportunity to increase the profitability of their businesses.
“The MWRD was an early advocate of a policy which supports the legitimate aspirations of women’s businesses within its jurisdiction,” said MWRD Commissioner Patricia Horton, Vice Chairman of the Affirmative Action Committee. “We are proud to have been a pioneer in recognizing the economic contribution and attributes of business women in Cook County.”
Since 2008, the MWRD has awarded 265 projects to women-owned businesses.  These contracts have included heavy construction and related projects, professional services projects and job order contracts. The value of these subcontracts is $104,939,151.
More than 50,000 women business owners have received one-on-one counseling, participated in workshops and entrepreneurial training, and taken advantage of other programs offered through the WBDC. The WBDC implemented creative and innovative approaches to empowering women and their families while striving to influence the larger political and economic environment in a way that encourages and supports women’s economic empowerment.
More information about the WBDC can be found at http://www.wbdc.org/. More information about the MWRD can be found at http://www.mwrd.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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