17
October , 2018
Wednesday

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Art lovers, artists, gallery owners, cultural journalist and more will convene in Chicago this September ...
New Orleans, LA (BlackNews.com) -- The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners is being ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States hears oral arguments in ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released a statement after meeting with families ...
        For Walter Lee Younger (Jerod Haynes), his wife Ruth (Toni Martin) and ...
The NAACP is calling for Louisiana to conduct a thorough investigation and vigorously pursue charges against the ...
Letters to Editors Action Alert! Verizon is tracking millions of customers as they browse the internet on ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- When it comes to making a positive difference in young lives, most ...
A 56-year-old man who was working as a substitute teacher at a west suburban elementary ...

Archive for March 1st, 2013

Battle escalates over suspension of Ga. school board members

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Battle Escalates Over Suspension of Ga. School Board Members

New America Media

By Stan Washington

 
ATLANTA — After reviewing a recommendation by the Georgia Board of Education and meeting with the state delegation from DeKalb County, Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday said he would sign an order suspending six of the nine members on the DeKalb School Board.

“This is a matter of concern to all of us, especially the parents and the students of the DeKalb County School System,” Deal said during a news conference at the state capitol. “The stakes are indeed high. The future of almost 100,000 students who are in the DeKalb County School System is indeed something we cannot take lightly.”

The governor’s decision will not go into effect, however, until after a state court hearing on Thursday and a federal court hearing Friday on the constitutionality of a 2010 law that grants the governor the power to remove board members from school districts facing a potential loss of accreditation.

DeKalb County School Disrtrict was put on notice in 2012 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a private accreditation agency, for financial mismanagement and ethical violations. Over 70 percent of students in the district are African American.

U.S. District Judge Richard Story issued an order on Sunday prohibiting any action on the matter. If the court rules in favor of the law, the affected members will have to wait 30 days before they can appeal for reinstatement.

The school board’s troubles escalated after the December review by the SACS, a reputation damaging 20-page report that put the board on probation and said unless corrective measures were taken, the school system could lose its accreditation.

The governor’s office also received 1,200 signatures from DeKalb residents urging the removal of the board.

Since that time, the district has released a superintendent and hired former state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond as the interim superintendent, while former board chairman Eugene Walker resigned but retained his seat on the board.

Walker told reporters last week that if Deal removed them he would appeal to be re-instated. “I was elected by the people, but I worked for God … I’m not going to surrender to a political lynching by a kangaroo court.”

In the meantime, Deal is appointing a nominating committee to recommend replacement board members for those ordered removed.

The governor has also appointed Brad Bryant as the liaison between his office, the board and the state Board of Education. Bryant currently serves as the executive director of the Georgia Foundation for Education for the Georgia Department of Education. He previously served as the department’s general counsel. In 2010 he was appointed by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue as state superintendent of schools to fill the unexpired term of the outgoing superintendent.

The now board-in-limbo held its final meeting Monday morning. Board member Nancy Jester, who said she alerted SACS to the problems of the board, told reporters after the meeting that she was willing to step aside but fears, “If one person does it but others don’t then you just leave your constituents without a voice.”

Jester is one of the six members that Deal is recommending be removed.

Members of a DeKalb state delegation who spoke with Deal prior to his decision admitted they were not happy the situation had devolved to the point of removing board members. They also questioned the legality of the governor’s actions.

State Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) said he is confident in his board representatives, Dr. Pam Speaks and Dr. Melvin Johnson, adding he is less concerned about the personalities than about the process.

“There are some legal issues that need to be worked out. If this [law] meets constitutional muster than maybe we should institute it for governors, legislators, county commissioners, city council people as well,” said Mitchell.

“In the SACS report never was there a question about the quality of instruction. We are talking about management issues,” he added.

The 2010 bill granting the governor power to remove board members was passed in 2010 and revised in 2011. It was introduced after the Clayton County School Board (just south of Atlanta) was put on probation. The district later lost its accreditation.

The DeKalb School Board met with the state board for 14 hours last week to address the issues raised in the SACS report. Following the meeting the state board recommended to the governor that six of the members be removed. The other three members were only elected last month.

There are two bills circulating in the state House that would grant two predominately white northern DeKalb cities the authority to form their own school districts. The DeKalb School System is the state’s third largest system. The northern part of the county is predominately white while the southern part is predominately black.

State Senator Raoul champions health care access with Medicaid vote

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-13th) issued the following statement on the Senate passage of legislation he co-sponsored to expand access to health care through Medicaid:

As the son of a community physician who never turned anyone away because of inability to pay, I’ve been honored to champion health care access throughout my public service career. Today’s vote — the first step toward expanding Illinois’ Medicaid program with full federal reimbursement under the Affordable Care Act — is a game-changer. Accepting these federal dollars (more than $12 billion over the next seven years) will extend coordinated and preventive care to vulnerable individuals, provide relief to hospitals and clinics overwhelmed with the costs of caring for the low-income uninsured, create nearly 20,000 jobs and even cut $105 million per year from the state budget in the form of health care costs the federal government will assume.

Taking advantage of this unprecedented opportunity will allow our medical assistance program to move forward, embracing preventive care in the most appropriate settings. And it will make comprehensive mental health care available to individuals now suffering from mental illness in our emergency departments and prisons. I’m proud to have cast this vote, and I’ll continue to work for cost-effective and compassionate health care in Illinois.

Key components of Senate Bill 26:

·         All adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit ($15,415 for an individual) will be able to enroll in Medicaid starting January 1, 2014. Currently, adults are eligible for Medicaid only if they have disabilities or care for dependent children.

·         The federal government will reimburse Illinois for 100 percent of the costs of covering these newly eligible enrollees through 2017.

·         The reimbursement rate will decrease gradually after 2017 but stay at 90 percent after 2020.

·         If the federal government fails to reimburse the state at 90 percent or above, the newly eligible clients will become ineligible; Illinois will not be stuck with the bill.

Kirk, Casey introduce legislation to prevent bullying in schools

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
 
Bipartisan Proposal Would Help Prevent Bullying, Require School Districts to Report Incidents
 
 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent bullying and harassment in schools. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would require schools and districts that receive federal funding to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, encouraging them to implement effective prevention programs to respond to incidents of bullying and harassment.
 
“Bullying affects an estimated one out of every three students in America ages 12-18 years, and can have a significant impact on school engagement and academic achievement,” said Senator Kirk. “I am proud to join with Senator Casey to reintroduce the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help schools prevent bullying before it starts and to provide guidance supporting proper behavior. I hope we can help solve the issue of bullying because every child deserves a safe environment, free of harassment, in which they can learn.”
 
“Bullying and harassment affect millions of students every year,” said Senator Casey. “I am re-introducing the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help ensure that every child receives a quality education that builds self-confidence.  This bill is a crucial step towards ensuring that no child is afraid to go to school for fear of bullying.”
 
“Systematically surveying students, parents, and teachers for perceptions of their school’s environment and the prevalence of bullying is a first step in making schools safer,” said Dr. Roger Weissberg, President of Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). “Then it is critical to teach children social and emotional skills to prevent bullying and to address bullying when it occurs.”  CASEL is the nation’s leading organization advancing the teaching of academic, social and emotional skills. 
 
The Illinois Education Association (IEA) released the following statement: “This is an issue that is so important to our members, being that they are in classrooms, school buildings and on buses each day and see the toll that bullying takes. The IEA strongly believes that students have a right to a safe and orderly environment that is free from emotional harassment and bodily harm. The IEA supports initiatives that work toward ending bullying, intimidation, violence and gang activity in schools and on all school property. We are so pleased that a Senator from our state would share those concerns and work to keep our children safe.”
 
The Safe Schools Improvement Act requires school districts receiving federal funds adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. The bill also requires states to collect information reported by school districts on incidents of bullying and harassment and report this information to the Department of Education.  This data must also be readily available to the public so that parents and the local community may know what is happening in their schools. 
 

Charles Lampkin is the last Black man on earth

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Huffington Post Union of Bloggers Offers Must See Videos for Black History Studies

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — In the centennial of his birth, the Charles Lampkin Foundation and the Huffington Post Union of Bloggers offer a fantastic series of new videos featuring the work of Charles Lampkin, professor of music and theatre arts at Santa Clara University, San Jose, from 1969 to 1981.

The Charles Lampkin Foundation presents: Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, the Harlem Renaissance and The Last 5ive People on Earth… the first Hollywood movie about nuclear war. The videos are written and narrated by Daniel Bruno.

A full biography is available at www.CharlesLampkin.org

The Charles Lampkin videos, based on recordings from 1957, are a superb introduction to the American scene and Black intellectual life in the early 20th century.

Watch Charles Lampkin Presents: Paul Laurence Dunbar on YouTube at:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs-s2DcVBEk

The historic 1951 movie 5ive, written and directed by Jewish playwright Arch Oboler, is the first movie about nuclear holocaust and one of the first commercial movies to feature a Black actor in a dramatic role that did not require buffoonery, singing or dancing.

Watch Charles Lampkin Presents: The Last 5ive People on Earth on YouTube at:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KMyzS4ZifA

The Huffington Post Union of Bloggers seeks new African-American bloggers for publication at www.hpub.org

Photo Caption: Charles Lampkin, professor of music and theatre arts at Santa Clara University

 

New America Media announces winners of NAM’s 2013 Ethnic Media Awards

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
 

New America Media (NAM), the nation’s largest association of ethnic media outlets, announced the winners of its  2013 NAM Ethnic Media Awards for Southern California, honoring exceptional journalism by members of the ethnic media in the region.

 

We are honored to have received more than a hundred and fifty individual entries from across the ethnic media sector in Southern California,” said NAM Awards Chair Odette Keeley. “These media outlets serve Latino, African-American, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Armenian, Native-American, and Asian-American communities including Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, South Asian and Japanese audiences,” she explains.

 

NAM also drew entries from youth-led community media outlets in areas long underserved by both mainstream and ethnic media.   

 
NAM will recognize first place winners in 13 categories including Governance and Electoral Politics, Civil Liberties, International Affairs, Health, Education, Environment, Economy, Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Sports and Community Advocacy.  

 

The Los Angeles Multicultural Leadership Network [LAMLN], with a grant provided by the California Community Foundation, will present six awards recognizing coverage of inter-ethnic relations, and four awards for emerging youth media reporters.     

 

KPCC Radio host Patt Morrison will emcee, while  Bill Davis, founding president of Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) will be delivering the welcome at the Awards Gala next Thursday, March 7th, starting at 6:00 PM at KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum at SCPR’s Mohn Broadcast Center.     

 

“From Koreatown activists pushing for fairer representation in redistricting, to reports on El Salvador’s new disappeared, to a 10-part Chinese media series on migrant farm workers, to victims of human trafficking within the Filipino community – this is only a sampling of the powerful stories reviewed in the selection process,” said Keeley.  

  

“In a fractured media landscape, it’s more important than ever that we cover each other’s communities, not just our own,” said Sandy Close, NAM’s executive director. “We are honored to have the LAMLN join NAM’s awards this year, to recognize diversity reporting by the ethnic media sector,” adds Close.    

 
Below is a complete list of the winners for the 2013 NAM Ethnic Media Awards for Southern California:  
 
 
    A. Print: Gloria Angelina Castillo – Eastern Group Publications
        Runner-up: Thandisizwe Chimurenga – Los Angeles Sentinel
        Honorable Mention: Geoff Chin – America Commercial News 
    B. Broadcast: Winners: Mai-Phuong Nguyen, Vanessa Hong Van Nguyen,
        Thanh-Huong Nguyen – Viet Nam California Radio (VNCR) 

 

IV. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON EDUCATION

    Winner: Charles Ding – Sing Tao Daily

 

V. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON INTER-ETHNIC, INTER-RACIAL & INTER-RELIGIOUS
     RELATIONS
     (Special Selection by the Los Angeles Multicultural Leadership Network [LAMLN])

     A. Winner: Yeal Jang – Korea Daily

     B. Winner: Eugene Yi – KoreAm Journal

     C. Winner: Ky Phong Tran – Nguoi Viet Daily News

     D. Winner: Antonio Valverde – KMEX – Univision 34

     E. Winner: Jonah Lowenfeld – The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

     F. Winner: Larry Aubry – Los Angeles Sentinel 

 

VI. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON THE ENVIRONMENT

      Winner: Catherine Yang – World Journal, L.A.

  

VII. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON CALIFORNIA’S GROWING ECONOMIC DIVIDE
      Winner: Araceli Martinez Ortega – La Opinion
 
VIII. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

       Winner: Yurina Melara Valiulis – La Opinion

       Runner-up: Jun Wang – China Daily 
       Honorable Mention: Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan – India Currents

 

IX. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON ARTS, CULTURE, FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT
        Winner: Y. Peter Kang – KoreAm Journal
      Runner-up: Hassina Leelarathna – Civic L.A. 
      Honorable Mention: Sarita Sarvate – India Currents

 

X. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON SPORTS

     A. Winner: Ky Phong Tran – Nguoi Viet Daily News

     B. Runner-up: Rose Davis – Indian Voices 

 

XI. EMERGING YOUTH VOICES AWARD
     (Special Selection by the Los Angeles Multicultural Leadership Network [LAMLN])

     A. Winner: Jesus E. Valenzuela Felix – Coachella Unincorporated

     B. Winner: Ryan Macasero – The FilAm

     C. Winner: Mitzi Ballesteros – Boyle Heights Beat

     D. Winner: Ivan Delgado – Coachella Unincorporated

 
XII. COMMUNITY ADVOCATE AWARD
      Alhambra Source 

 

XIII. OUTSTANDING PHOTOJOURNALISM

       Winner: Charles Ding – Sing Tao Daily

       Runner-up: Jenna Pope – Illume Media

 

XIV. OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY REPORTING [TELEVISION]

       Winner: Jannelle So – “Kababayan LA.” – L.A.18

       Runner-up: Joseph Pimentel – “Balitang America” - ABS-CBN International –
       The Filipino Channel (
Reporter – Asian Journal)
  

 2013 NAM Ethnic Media Awards for Southern California

 

Complete List of Winners:
 

I. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON GOVERNANCE & COVERAGE OF THE 2012  ELECTIONS

   Winner: Eugene Yi – KoreAm Journal  
   Winner: Jonah Lowenfeld – The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles 
   Honorable Mention: Brenda Rincon – Coachella Unincorporated
 
 

 

    A. Print: Winner: Charlene Muhammad – The Final Call

II. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON CIVIL LIBERTIES ISSUES IN ETHNIC COMMUNITIES

 

     B. Broadcast: Winners: Lourdes S. Tancinco, Esq., Jericho Saria,
          Leonardo De Asis, Jr. – “Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika” – GMA Pinoy TV
  

 III. OUTSTANDING REPORTING ON HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE

 

Winners, nominees and judges will receive more information about their tickets to the Awards Gala. 

 

SCPR is a member-supported public media network that operates 89.3 KPCC-FM in Los Angeles and Orange County, 89.1 KUOR-FM in the Inland Empire and 90.3 KVLA in the Coachella Valley.
The Los Angeles Multicultural Leadership Network (LAMLN) is composed of leaders from business, media, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations. LAMLN meets to discuss significant challenges and solutions for the residents of the greater Los Angeles area. One of LAMLN’s goals is to foster better communications and understanding amongst the many racial and ethnic groups in greater Los Angeles. The Inter-Ethnic Relations Awards is part of this effort.

Lt. Governor Simon applauds Congressional renewal of Violence Against Women Act

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. House’s renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.

“The organizations that serve victims of domestic violence do much more than provide a safe haven for women. They offer victims a chance to build a new life free from abuse,” said Simon, a lawyer who prosecuted domestic battery cases. “I thank Congress for renewing the Violence Against Women Act, extending federal support for these crisis organizations and expanding protections for vulnerable communities. I welcome this opportunity to continue working to help rape victims, reduce violence on college campuses and end domestic abuse.”

Simon’s Firearms Working Group, which is examining gun issues in Illinois, met yesterday in Springfield with advocates to learn about the impact guns have in domestic violence.

The Violence Against Women Act was originally passed in 1994 and among other services, it helps support organizations that provide services to victims of domestic violence. The act also strengthened federal law by toughening sentences for individuals convicted of stalking. The act has already passed the U.S. Senate and now heads to President Obama.

Nationally, one in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.

State Senator Collins hails Senate approval of expanded Medicaid access

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage today of legislation she co-sponsored to extend Medicaid benefits to low-income adults not currently eligible for medical assistance:

Last year, low-income seniors and other vulnerable people were asked to bear the brunt of devastating Medicaid cuts. The 2012 Medicaid reform package ended the Illinois Cares Rx program, eliminated all routine adult dental care and undermined previous agreements about nursing home staffing. The law limits the number of prescriptions clients can have filled each month, and the process for obtaining an exemption from the limit is still unclear. Even now, we do not know the full impact the weakening of the health care safety net will have on our state, particularly the very poor and communities of color.

But today I was proud to cast my vote for quality, coordinated medical care with full federal reimbursement for people who previously had no options other than the emergency room. Accepting the federal funds will save the state more than $100 million each year, and we can and should invest the savings back into existing state medical assistance programs. Medicaid expansion will also create much-needed jobs in the health care sector, support hospitals that currently go uncompensated for many of the services they provide and boost the economy. Finally, we’re taking a giant step in the right direction on Medicaid.

Senate Bill 26 passed the Senate by a vote of 40-19 and will next be considered by the House.

The Links, Incorporated expands global presence in Africa with support from the Coca-Cola Company

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

 

Delegation travels to West Africa for education and health initiatives and to induct Honorary Member, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

 

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated are pleased to announce that a delegation of more than 50 members, representing 17 states and the District of Columbia, will visit West Africa February 27 – March 9, to officially establish the organization’s programmatic presence in Liberia, West Africa. Co-sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, the organization’s service mission will expand its more than 50 year history of strengthening and empowering African communities. While in West Africa, the delegation will also visit sites in Ghana.

The delegation will tour three of the four Liberian schools newly adopted by The Links – the School for the Blind, Ann Sandell School and AME University. They will host a two-day Train-the-Trainer workshop for 25 Liberian teachers; dedicate The Links Maternal Waiting Home, built in partnership with Africare, as well as donate $42,000 to Africare for the construction of a second home; and explore sites that represent the extraordinary history and rich culture of West Africa. The significance of the journey will be heightened by the formal induction of Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as an Honorary Member of The Links, Incorporated.

“Because we are committed to the educational, health and cultural needs of those in the African community who reside in the motherland, The Links’ strategic efforts are being directed in a purposeful way to enrich the lives of women, children and families in Liberia,” said Margot James Copeland, national president of The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated. “As one of the most successful democracies on the continent and the first liberated country south of the Sahara, the heritage of Liberia and Ghana, respectively, is vital to the history of progress of all people of African descent.

“The primary goal of this trip is to build meaningful and sustained relationships that will allow The Links to address critical issues facing the Liberian education and healthcare systems. Our desire to contribute to the formation of a positive, productive and culturally diverse global society, using our programmatic presence, knows no geographic bounds.

We are thankful for the support of The Coca-Cola Company which enhances our ability to bring about transformative change for the betterment of our global community.”

“The Coca-Cola Company shares The Links’ commitment to improving the quality of life in Africa and expanding opportunities for those who live there,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair of The Coca-Cola Company Foundation. “Our priority is to help build sustainable communities and to help local communities find innovative ways to meet their challenges. This initiative supports our global platforms related to education and fitness and nutrition.”

The Links organization has a history of service to African nations. “Our first international effort began in 1962 when the Republic of Niger was awarded the organization’s first international gift, to help offset the cost of transporting prescription medicines that were being donated by American pharmaceutical companies,” said Sharon U. Richardson, director of International Trends and Services for The Links, Incorporated. “Since then we have contributed funding for water wells in Mozambique and Zimbabwe; built, refurbished and donated educational materials for more than 60 schools in South Africa; and donated more than $100,000 for clean birthing kits in Uganda. Our ‘helping-hands’ approach provides for more personalized methods of assisting and improving the lives of women, children and men through long-term programs to empower – as well as through public policy leadership as we advocate for social justice.”

ABOUT THE LINKS FOUNDATION, INCORPORATED
The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, has made more than $25 million in charitable contributions since its founding in 1979. Working closely with its sponsors and supporters, The Links, Incorporated is focused on creating transformational programming and impacting lives in communities of color through Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services, to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

ABOUT THE LINKS, INCORPORATED
The Links, Incorporated celebrates more than 65 years as a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. A premier international service organization with more than 12,000 members in 276 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, its legacy of friends providing services that change lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946, is alive and well.

The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision-makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and who have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership.

With more than 2 million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.

 

Tired of that old furniture at home? Learn to make your own; the possibilities are endless

Posted by Newsroom On March - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Soap Box Rants

A WEEKLY COLUMN to CopyLine Magazine

 

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

 

Getting tired of that old furniture at home but can’t afford to buy a whole bunch of new stuff? Then how about making your own? There are so many ways to freshen your hearth. All it takes are some creative ideas and some serious searching on the web. If you put in a bit of time searching the web you can find whatever you need in the way of ideas. And if you don’t have the patience to make it from scratch, you can always shop at a resale shop, or you can check Craigslist or Ebay for items that require little or any upholstering. People tend to throw things out because they get tired of the same old look and want to see something different when they come home or friends come by to visit.

Sites like Ana White Homemaker provides free plans to make beautiful furniture that are works of art. Who knows? After you pick up the materials you need and get started, you may find that you want to start recycling furniture into beautiful pieces that you can sell or give as gifts. With some sanding, staining, new fabrics, etc., you’d be surprised at what you could come up with.

First, you could start with a photo of a room you love, a bedroom, living room, playroom, den, home office, etc. Take a good look at the walls, the size and color of the items and furniture in the room. Color is very important. You should use complementary colors throughout the room, and always consider how the colors make you and the rest of your family feel. If the room is for relaxation, you should use calm, soothing colors. If it is in the kid’s playroom, you’ll want to use bright, cheerful and lively colors.

Some things to ponder:  If the room in the photo is spacious with dark colors, and the room you want to decorate is small, you may want to go with a lighter hue so the dark color doesn’t give the room a feeling of being closed in. Also, look at the couch. Is it contemporary, French provincial, country or just plain unusual?

Further, check the resale shops, Craigs List, Ebay, etc., for furniture that is similar in design. Don’t mind the fabric if you don’t like it. You can look for fabric at the thrift shops or at your local fabric store. If you don’t want to upholster, pay someone else to do it. When you are done you will have what you want at a fraction of what it would cost if you had purchased it new, same with the chairs.

As for tables, that should be pretty simple. Note the wood and stain colors. Maybe you prefer a marble or granite top. If so, purchase a piece from the store to bond on top of an old table. You can get the store to cut it down to your exact specification to fit the table you are covering. Window and floor coverings should flatter the room by being contrasting in colors or harmonizing. The possibilities are endless, but in the end, it is how you feel that will make you and your family feel cozy and comfortable with your new creations.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

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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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