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Archive for April 29th, 2013

State of Equality and Justice in America: It’s Time to Step it Up, We Have Not Arrived!

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on State of Equality and Justice in America: It’s Time to Step it Up, We Have Not Arrived!

The fourteenth of a 20-part series, “State of Equality and Justice in America”

By Melanie L. Campbmcampbellell
Reflecting upon the past 50 years since the 1963 March on Washington we must pay homage to our civil rights leaders for their hard work, strength and endurance in the fight for equality and justice in America. Their unwavering commitment to The Movement made it possible for a Black man named Barack Hussein Obama to become President of the United States of America.
As I look at the state of equality and justice today, we are at a very critical moment in time. Our elders have taken us this far. Some have transitioned on, others are continuing on the battle field for justice. Also, with all the progress over the past 50 years, some of us are under the misguided impression that we have arrived. I feel compelled to appeal to my generation and today’s young leaders to make sure they understand: There is no more time, we must take the torch or the fire will die. It’s time to step it up and get busy.
The task before Black leaders today begins with making sure that those coming behind us understand that even though the Civil Rights Movement forced laws to change, it did not change the hearts and minds of all Americans. Some of those who want to retain their power and money are threatened by inclusion.
Our young people must understand that a small group of people are continuously plotting to create new ways to exclude entire communities. In 2013, new school activists must make sure our young people understand that racism and inequality may not always manifest itself in a white sheet or barking dog but the dogs are still biting. Inequality comes in many packages.
Back in the day people in power relied on slick tactics like Jim Crow Laws and Poll Taxes to hold us back. Today, it’s voter IDs and the “War on Drugs.” For example, a person with a non-violent drug conviction on their record is restricted in their ability to secure housing, financial aid for education, public assistance, jobs, and the right to vote.
What does the fight for equality and justice look like in 2013 and beyond?
In 2013 and beyond our fight is not just for access to education. We must make sure our schools are teaching critical thinking, promoting innovation, and preparing our youth for jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey reports that STEM workers earn more than other workers. Non-Hispanic Whites hold 72 percent of STEM jobs while only 6 percent of STEM jobs are held by Non-Hispanic Blacks.
In 1963 March organizers called for “Dignified Jobs.” In 2013 “Dignified Jobs” must provide good jobs with a livable wage. We must also unite to support our unions and workers’ rights.
Modern-day equality struggles include closing the digital divide. Access to high-speed broadband Internet will increase job and educational opportunities as well as democratic participation. Broadband access will also help to lower health care costs and make quality medical care more accessible to the Black community.
Diversity strengthens our democracy. We must make sure employers don’t just talk about “diversity” and “women’s equality”, but also back up the talk through their hiring practices. From the federal government to Wall Street to the corner store, we want to see Black women represented in top positions.
The elimination of racial disparities in our criminal justice system is paramount. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Pew Charitable Trusts reports that the incarceration rate for Blacks is more than six times as high as the national average and over 60 percent of those incarcerated are racial and ethnic minorities.
In 2013 and beyond we will continue to lead the fight to eliminate barriers to civic participation fighting against restrictive voter ID laws, felon disenfranchisement and any other tactics created to block Black people from voting.
Finally, I must address our responsibility as a people to work harder to prepare our youth in this ongoing fight for justice and equality. We must encourage them to pursue STEM careers, teach them to be environmentally conscious, and help them understand the dire need to stop the violence in our neighborhoods. We must take the time to instill good moral values so they turn to each other and not on each other and our journey will not be in vain.
As we celebrate 50 years of progress, let’s thank our elders for their great fight by stepping it up because we have not arrived.
Melanie Campbell is president/CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. This article – the fourteenth of a 20-part series – is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today.
For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

Anti-War Activists, Stockholders to Protest Boeing’s Killer Drone

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Anti-War Activists, Stockholders to Protest Boeing’s Killer Drone

The Anti-War Committee (AWC) of Chicago opposes Boeing CEO James McNerny’s plan to make the next combat drone for the US military.  Members of the committee, including several who have purchased Boeing stock, will protest at the annual stockholders meeting at the Field Museum, South Entrance,  on Monday, April 29th, at 9:30 AM.

Newland Smith, stockholder and anti-war activist, cited Senator Lindsey Graham of the Armed Services Committee, on the number of casualties from killer drones.  Graham recently stated, “We’ve killed 4,700.”  According to Smith, “This is the estimated number of casualties in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, but including drone strikes in Afghanistan and Iraq would result in a much higher number.”

Smith and Sarah Simmons, also a stockholder, said that the Anti-War Committee will be at the Boeing meeting to expose the loss of life resulting from drones.  “What the Obama administration says isn’t true:  most of the drone strikes aren’t against proven, high level Al Qaeda leaders,” explained Simmons.  “In Pakistan, as many as 881 were civilians, including 176 children.  Almost all the rest are “alleged combatants.””

Boeing is competing with the other top arms manufacturers for the growing budget for unmanned aircraft for the military.   This year, the Navy is asking for designs for a new combat drone.   Boeing is expected to propose its “Phantom Ray.”

AWC has taken a number of measures to oppose the drone wars, including submitting a statement to a hearing being held by Senator Richard Durbin on the topic taking place on April 23rd.

In addition to the deaths caused by their products, Boeing received over $60 million in tax breaks to move to Chicago.  Simmons, the mother of Chicago Public School children, spoke from her experience.  “Our schools are crumbling, and we’re giving tax breaks to a company with $25 billion in defense contracts.”  Smith added, “With their record profits last year, McNerny was given a 20% raise to $27.5 million.  Clearly war is profitable for Boeing.” 

In addition to the casualties in the countries targeted by the Obama administration, AWC points out that U.S. drone pilots are also victims of drone warfare.  They experience a rate of PTSD and suicide higher than combat veterans.

Smith put it plainly. “It’s time to end the drone wars, not prepare to build another generation of more deadly weapons.”

CTA Launches Online Trip Planner for Red Line South Project

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on CTA Launches Online Trip Planner for Red Line South Project

Tool allows customers to explore travel alternatives; Red Line Ambassadors will answer questions at stations


To help customers prepare for the upcoming Red Line South project, which will completely rebuild the tracks and improve stations on the 10-mile stretch of the Red Line South from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street, the Chicago Transit Authority today launched an online trip planner allowing customers to explore travel options now—before the May 19 project start date.
Visitors can access the online trip planner at www.redlinesouth.com to explore the CTA service options available during the Red Line South project.  Using their desktop or any internet-connected device, users will enter a starting point and destination, choose weekday or weekend travel, and indicate a time of travel.  The trip planner uses Google Maps to provide information on multiple transit-route options, including travel-time estimates.
The CTA is also distributing project-information fliers with travel tips and information on alternative bus and rail service—with specific suggestions for defined geographic areas to help customers get around during the five-month project.  The CTA created 12 versions of the fliers, each targeted to various communities in the project area, with travel options for riders who would normally use the Red Line.
“These informational materials are part of our continuing efforts to make sure CTA customers are well-prepared for the start of the Red Line South reconstruction project next month,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson.  “We want to make sure CTA passengers have the tools they need for a smooth commute.”
Also starting next week, CTA will deploy “Red Line South Ambassadors” to south Red Line stations to answer customer questions and provide project and travel information.
The Red Line South Ambassadors, wearing bright red shirts, will be stationed at the nine affected Red Line stations during the afternoon rush hours, on a rotating basis.  They will provide information and answer questions from customers.
In early May, CTA will begin distributing informational door hangers to homes and businesses near the Red Line.  Like the fliers, the door hangers will provide alternative transit service suggestions for neighborhoods throughout the project footprint.
The project will completely rebuild the tracks and improve stations on the 10-mile stretch of the Red Line South from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street.  The project will provide faster commutes—up to 20 minutes off the round-trip commute from 95th Street to downtown—as well as smoother rides and better reliability. 
To complete the work in the fastest, most cost-effective manner, the line will close from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street through October 2013, affecting nine stations. Red Line service will be rerouted south of Roosevelt onto the elevated Green Line tracks to Ashland/63rd.
Since announcing the $425 million project in June 2012, the CTA has worked closely with residents, community leaders, business organizations, elected officials and other groups who will be impacted by the project.  CTA has attended dozens of meetings in communities throughout the South Side to discuss construction plans and the extensive alternative bus and rail service the CTA will offer, as well as additional service being offered by Metra and Pace during the project.
“Recognizing that this project will affect thousands of customers each day, CTA has worked to provide multiple, convenient options for people to get around during the construction,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.  “We want our customers to be well-informed about the myriad travel options we’re offering, so that they can get where they need to go.”
Last year the CTA announced the multiple alternative travel options and discounts the agency will provide, including:
·         FREE shuttle buses from Red Line stations south of 63rd Street to connect customers with the Garfield Green Line rail station
·         FREE entry at Garfield Green Line station for bus shuttle passengers
·         Red Line train service running on Green Line tracks from Roosevelt to Ashland/63rd
·         Expanded bus service on numerous nearby bus routes
·         50-cent discount on bus rides south of 63rd Street
Built in 1969, the South Red Line tracks are well beyond their expected lifespan.  Despite ongoing repairs and maintenance, between 30-40 percent of the branch includes slow zones in which trains must travel well below the designed speed limit.  In some cases, trains that would normally travel up to 55 mph are instead running at 15 mph. 
The reconstruction, one of the biggest construction projects in CTA history, will shave up to 20 minutes off the round-trip between 95th Street and Roosevelt, while providing a smoother ride and fewer service interruptions through better reliability and on-time performance.
The project is part of Mayor Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago infrastructure renewal program.  Funding for the work is part of more than $1 billion in federal, state and local funding announced in late 2011 by Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Emanuel for the Red and Purple lines.  The Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program is providing more than $700 million of the total investment.

Cook County State’s Attorney brings charges in 13 year-old North Suburban murder case

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Cook County State’s Attorney brings charges in 13 year-old North Suburban murder case

A Wisconsin man and retired Engineer has been charged with murdering his wife by forcibly drowning her in the bathtub of the couple’s South Barrington home in a case that has remained unsolved since 2000, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced.

Frank Buschauer, 64, of Pell Lake, Wisconsin, has been charged with First Degree Murder in connection with the murder of his wife Cynthia Hrisco, who was 47 at the time of her death on Feb. 28, 2000.  Hrisco’s lifeless body was found lying on the floor in the master bathroom of the couple’s home, which was located on Overbrook Drive in South Barrington.

Buschauer was arrested near his home on Wednesday and extradited to Cook County from Walworth County, Wisconsin.  He appeared in bond court today at the Cook County Courts Building in Rolling Meadows where Judge Jill Cerone-Marisi issued a no bail order. 

The charge against Buschauer follows an extensive, long-term investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the South Barrington Police Department.  In recent years, investigators developed additional information in the case that was thoroughly re-examined by prosecutors, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office and other independent forensic experts.

“A case may go unsolved for a long period of time, but we never forget our victims and I am pleased that we now have the evidence that is required to bring charges in this case and deliver some measure of justice for Cynthia Hrisco and her family,” said State’s Attorney Alvarez. 

“This charge comes as the result of a meticulous re-investigation of a cold case homicide and I want to thank our prosecutors and South Barrington police investigators for their dedicated determination.”

When the murder occurred in 2000, Buschauer and Hrisco had been married for approximately three years and were living in the South Barrington home with their 13-month-old infant.  Buschauer had called 911 in the early morning hours and reported that his wife had drowned in their bathtub.  South Barrington police responded to the home and found the victim lying face down on the floor next to the whirlpool tub. The victim had no pulse, was warm to the touch but in full rigor mortis. 

Buschauer was interviewed by police on several occasions following his wife’s death and indicated that it was possible that he killed his wife but that he could not remember.  The autopsy conducted at the time of Hrisco’s death identified a hemorrhage to the victim’s neck and abrasions and contusions to her nose, chin and other parts of her body as well as hemorrhages on the scalp and left eye. 

The Medical Examiner concluded that the cause of death was drowning, but the manner of death was labeled as undetermined.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office began a cold case review of the murder in 2010 and initiated a series of forensic and medical re-examinations of the evidence, including crime scene reconstruction and a forensic re-enactment in the bathtub in which the victim died.  As a result, the Cook County Medical Examiner changed the manner of death to a homicide attributed to the victim being forcibly submerged in the bathtub. 

According to prosecutors, the home in which the couple lived at the time of the murder had been built by Buschauer’s cousin in 1997 and Hrisco was extremely upset with the poor workmanship of the house and alleged construction cost overruns, which she believed to be around $200,000. 

According to investigators, Hrisco complained to the defendant and to friends about problems with the house and the couple constantly quarreled over the issue.  Investigators believe the victim wanted to sue the defendant’s cousin but Buschauer refused to do so, believing it would send his cousin into bankruptcy.  During the weeks prior to her death, the victim and the defendant often argued about the house. 

Six days prior to her death, the victim told a friend that her relationship with the defendant was worse than ever, and it was because of the construction issues with the house. Shortly before her death, the victim told this same friend that she was afraid of the defendant and that they no longer lived together as husband and wife. 

Following his arrest this past Wednesday, Buschauer confirmed that he and his wife had quarreled about the home construction issues and that he had put his hands on her throat and threatened to kill her.  When confronted with the evidence he stated he believed his wife’s death was possibly the result of suicide, an accident, or “I killed her.” 

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked the investigators and prosecutors who worked on the case as well as Assistant State’s Attorney and Supervisor Maria McCarthy who led the re-investigation.  She also thanked the South Barrington Police Department and the Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) for their work.

The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Job Fair, April 30th, to connect employers & job seekers

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Job Fair, April 30th, to connect employers & job seekers

Real employers, Real jobs

Major companies hiring in Healthcare and related fields


ARLINGTON HTS., IL – The Illinois workNet Center will host a Job Fair with companies including Advocate Healthcare, American Academy of Pediatrics, Armour, Clearbrook, For Papa’s Sake, Freedom Home Care, Haemonetics Blood Management, Home Instead Senior Care, Manor Healthcare, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Presence Health (formerly Resurrection & Provena), Omega Healthcare, Right at Home, and  St. Colleta’s,  that have immediate needs and are hiring right now.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is co-sponsoring this Job Fair. All job-seekers are invited to this program. Illinois workNet continues to connect local employers to job seekers and put Illinois residents back to work.

“Come prepared by researching companies and bringing targeted resumes for advertised jobs,” said Mohammed Faheem, Director Business Employer Solutions and Corporate Outreach, Business and Career Services, Inc. Faheem added, “Quality major businesses will be represented at this job fair. Many employers are hiring for multiple positions. If you don’t think there are jobs out there –think again.” To view participating employers, job seekers should visit http://www.worknetncc.com/.

The Job Fair will be held Tuesday, April 30th, at the IllinoisworkNet Center Business and Career Services, Inc., 723 W. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights, IL, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Chicago business, health and transportation advocates praise Chicago’s bike-sharing plan

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Chicago business, health and transportation advocates praise Chicago’s bike-sharing plan

Newly named “Divvy” bike-sharing program to feature 4,000 “Chicago blue” bikes by 2014


CHICAGO, IL — Health, business and transportation advocates today praised the city of Chicago’s planned bike-sharing program as a “nation leader” and “a huge deal for our city” that will provide a much-needed affordable and health-promoting public transportation option for Chicagoans.

The city today announced that the name of the program — “Divvy,” and the color of the 4,000 bicycles — “Chicago blue.” The bikes will eventually dot the city at 400 neighborhood bike sharing stations. By the end of this summer, 3,000 bikes will be in operation and Chicagoans are expected to take tens of thousands of bike trips per day using the new system, which is optimized for short trips. The program will constitute the nation’s second largest bike-sharing program when fully installed.

“Divvy is a huge deal for our city — it’s essentially two-wheeled transit and the first major new public transit infrastructure in Chicago for many years,” said Ron Burke, executive director of Active Transportation Alliance. “It will be perfect for trips under a few miles that are too short to wait for a bus, and too far to walk, and it will be much cheaper than a taxi. Chicagoans will be able to use it daily for errands, to get to their next meeting, and to grab lunch. Divvy will also be an “on-ramp” to bicycling, giving people who have never biked before an easy way to give biking a shot.”

“Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and cycling is an effective way to stay active,” said Adam Becker, executive director of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children. “But not all Chicagoans have access to bicycles. Establishing a bike share program that gives greater access to more people can help Chicagoans integrate more physical activity into their lives. We’re excited to see the city taking his important step in making physical activity and health easier for Chicagoans.”

“We are excited about the launch of Chicago’s bike share program and its potential for the Loop community,” said Michael Edwards, executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance. “In making biking more convenient for Chicagoans, it is our hope that more people will gain access to the world-class amenities that make downtown a competitive destination.”

“The wide distribution of bike-sharing stations and the second highest number of bikes in the country will make Divvy a nation leader,” said Burke. At the same time, Burke noted that the city should strive to expand the system over time to include even more stations and neighborhoods than are planned for years one and two, and to provide residents who don’t have credit cards or checking accounts with a convenient way to pay for bike sharing.

“Combined with new amenities like the protected bike lanes the city is building every month, the 645-mile bike network in the city’s Streets for Cycling Plan, and a cityscape that is just perfect for cycling with flat, wide roads, Divvy puts Chicago well on track to becoming the most bike-friendly city in the nation.”

By the end of 2014, Divvy will serve an area roughly from 63rd Street north to Devon Avenue, and from Lake Michigan west to California Avenue. Using Divvy will cost $75 per year or $7 per day with unlimited trips up to 30 minutes each. More information is available on the program’s website (chicagobikes.org/bikeshare) on Twitter (@divvybikes) and Facebook at (facebook.com/divvybikes). Via the website, Chicagoans can also suggest locations for bike stations.

State Senator Collins receives award from IVI-IPO

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on State Senator Collins receives award from IVI-IPO

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) was honored by the Independent Voters of Illinois – Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO). The nonpartisan good government group honored her and other lawmakers for their progressive voting records during the previous General Assembly.

“I’m pleased to accept this recognition from a group that understands the true purpose of politics to be the furtherance of the public good,” Collins said. “From protecting homeowners to supporting public education to improving health care for vulnerable families and individuals, I’ve fought for commonsense, progressive policies that lift up the ‘least of these’ in my district and throughout the state.”

Other award recipients included Senators Kwame Raoul (D-13th), Michael Noland (D-Elgin), Heather Steans (D-7th) and Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign) and Representatives Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25th), Kelly Cassidy (D-14th), Sara Feigenholtz (D-12th) and Al Riley (D-Hazel Crest).


Simon: Apply to College Illinois! to budget for college now

Posted by Newsroom On April - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Simon: Apply to College Illinois! to budget for college now

Illinois families have until April 30 to apply for prepaid tuition


CARBONDALE – To combat the rising costs of higher education, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon encouraged Illinois families to apply for the College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program before next week’s April 30 deadline for the current enrollment period.

“Planning for college entails more than academic preparation,” said Simon, the state’s point person on education reform. “Families should also have a long-term strategic plan for how to pay for tuition and fees in the future.”

In her first year in office, Simon toured all of the state’s 48 community colleges to push for reforms that will help students earn college degrees or certificates that translate to good-paying jobs. During her second year as Lt. Governor, Simon convened College Affordability Summits at each of the state’s 12 public universities and called for cost transparency, targeted state assistance and federal tax breaks to control college costs. In a white paper released earlier this year, Simon cited college affordability as a “significant barrier to students seeking degree at public universities.”

Illinois supports students and families through a variety of non-loan assistance, including the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant for low-income residents and the College Illinois! Prepaid tuition program for all residents. College Illinois! allows families to lock in a lower price today to cover the expense of future tuition and fees. Program officials project that tuition and fees for a child born today could be as much as $180,000 to attend an Illinois four-year public university.

“With ever rising costs of higher education, College Illinois! offers parents a great opportunity to plan ahead and make college more affordable for their kids,” said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which administers the program. “We’re urging parents to seize the day and sign up for College Illinois!, or talk to one of our advisers now, before the enrollment period closes.”

Simon noted that Illinois residents have access to several state tax-advantaged programs that make it easy to start saving today. The College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program has assisted nearly 22,000 families and has paid over $400 million in tuition and fees to nearly 950 state and out-of-state postsecondary institutions, including community colleges, public universities and private schools. Since the program’s start in 1997, over 70,000 prepaid tuition contracts have been purchased by Illinois residents.

College Illinois! offers various plans which let purchasers choose a pricing option that best fits their financial needs. For additional information about the College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program, please visit www.prepayandsave.org, www.529prepaidtuition.org, or call 877-877-3724.

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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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