Archive for May, 2013
Madigan Announces Memorial Day Release of 2013 Guide on Service Members’ & Veterans’ Legal Rights & Benefits
Â Attorney Generalâ€™s latest publication provides much-needed guidance for Veterans, Family
Exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune;
Veterans Retraining Assistance Program;
Issues of concern for veterans of the Persian Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom; and
Services for homeless veterans.
There will also be aÂ tribute to Thomas Young, who was the subject of the “Body of War” film and whose injuries from his deployment to Iraq haveÂ severelyÂ worsened over the years to the point that he decided toÂ stopÂ taking in nourishment to end his suffering.
Veterans will talk about the effects of US militarism on Iraqis, Afghanistanis, and US troops and call for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.Â Â demand for the “Right to Heal” in cooperation with Iraqi women’s and labor organizations. They will also talk about IVAW’sÂ cooperation with the Mental Health Movement which fought the closure of the city’s mental health clinics and has connected the PTSD of veterans returning from war to that of those affected by violenceÂ in Chicago amidst an overall bleak picture of continuing underfunding of mental health care.
Finally, veterans will talk about their continuing unmet mental health needs and IVAW’s
Speakers will include:
Jacob Crawford, Iraq and Afghanistan vet
Alejandro Villatoro, Iraq and Afthanistan veteran
Representatives ofÂ National Nurses United,Â Mental Health Movement,Â Civilian Soldier Alliance,Â IVAW/NNU campaign to improve VA health care
WHAT: Ceremony honoring the losses from wars, calling on end to those wars
WHEN: Today (Monday 5/27) 11am
WHERE: Wacker and Wabash, Vietname War Memorial (lower level by river)
WHO: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans Against the War and allies (National Nurses Union, Mental Health Movement)
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.
CHICAGO, IL – Memorial Day is a day we honor those who serve our country, have served our country and those who have died while serving; it is also a time of opportunity for scammers. Unfortunately, these operators have found Memorial Day to be an opportunity to take advantage of caring people, especially elderly veterans.
“Contributing to charities that assist the families of fallen soldiers, sailors and airmen is a wonderful way to honor them,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “However,Â there are scammers who dishonor our military by trying to take advantage of people’s desire to salute the military. As despicable asÂ that is,Â itÂ makes itÂ necessary for good people to be cautious about contributing to charities that may be more interested in enriching their own operations than paying honor to our military.”
A few examples of scams include:
Military loans – Loans that guarantee instant credit approval or no credit check are usually paired with extra fees and high interest rates.
Military charities – Phony charities generally provide limited information, often use urgency as a pitch point and ask for money to be wired.
Rental properties – Advertisements may promote military discounts and request money be wired. However, the property shown is not what is available, or the ad was fake and the money is lost. Either way, the consumer is ripped off.
Life insurance policies – Some solicitors offer unnecessary life insurance policies that often include misleading information.
Car sales – Fake discounts are typical scams that take advantage of military personnel. They may require a fee upfront and ask for a wire transfer, or the car they are selling will be found to be in poor condition after the purchase is made.
The BBB offers some tips for individuals at risk:
- Research first. Get as much information as you can before you pay. If you cannot find reviews of the business anywhere on the internet, be wary as it is likely to be a scam.
- Wire money with caution. Never wire transfer money to anyone you are not familiar with. Wire transfers are very hard to track which is why scammers use them frequently to get money.
- Use credit cards. Whenever possible, use credit cards. It is easier to track transactions, complain about charges and discuss charges with your bank.
- Be careful what you click on. Do not click on links in emails from unfamiliar addresses and do not enter information on unfamiliar websites.
- Can you find them on the internet? If you cannot find reviews of the business anywhere on the internet, be wary as it is likely to be a scam. Check the BBB Business Review to see if the business has a good rating.
Scammers don’t only target those who want to honor the memory of the fallen but target active duty service members as well.
William E. Braun Jr., Financial Educator and Counselor for the Navy, says,
“Frequently, when military members fall victim to financial and consumer scams, it is due to youthful inexperience or a lack of financial literacy. My advice to all military personnel is to get well acquainted with the military assistance resources available to them.”
The Better Business Bureau has a military arm called BBB Military Line. It provides free resources such as financial literacy information, services and scam alerts, along with complaint and dispute resolution to all military service members.
If you have experienced a scam, report it to your local BBB at www.bbb.org
Nearly 20,000 bicyclists pedaled their way into summer today for MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive, an annual fundraiser that benefits the Active Transportation Alliance’s work to improve biking, walking and transit.
“Summer in Chicago has begun! The weather was great as families and friends cruised up and down a car-free Lake Shore Drive having the time of their lives,” said Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Ron Burke. â€œTwenty thousand people on bicycles transformed this highway into sheer biking bliss.â€
Lake Shore Drive opened to bicyclists at 5:30 a.m.Â From downtown Chicago, participants took over eight lanes and 15 miles of this iconic roadway to bike to their heartsâ€™ content north to Bryn Mawr Avenue and south to the Museum of Science and Industry.
After the event, riders gathered in Grant Park to lounge, eat pancakes from Goose Island, listen to music, check out sponsor booths and win give-aways. The band Trash Martini entertained festival-goers with lively tunes.
The event is sponsored by MB Financial Bank, NBC5, SRAM, Schwinn, Fairmont Chicago and WXRT FM.
The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North Americaâ€™s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.
MB Financial Bank is a locally-operated financial institution that has been delivering competitive personalized service for over 100 years to businesses and individuals who live and work in the Chicago metropolitan area. MB has nearly 90 locations throughout the Chicagoland area. MB Financial has approximately $10 billion in assets. MB Financial Bank is a subsidiary of MB Financial, Inc., a financial services holding company which is traded on the NASDAQ as “MBFI.” Information about MB Financial Bank can be found atÂ http://www.mbfinancial.com.
HB3227 ensures that the marketplace is governed by a diverse board that represents women, small businesses, communities of color, labor, public health, people with disabilities, and consumers, and provides for accountability of the insurance industry selling plans on the new marketplace.
HB3227 Fact Sheet
New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — The Network for Women in Business announced that it will host the 2nd Annual Small Business Boot Camp for Women on July 13, 2013 at the East Side Courtyard Marriott, 410 E. 92nd Street, New York, NY. The announcement of this event follows the culmination of a successful year of helping smart and savvy women business owners transform their businesses via training and networking events.
During the past year, the Network for Women in Business has helped countless women increase their bottom line. Many of these women had been struggling for years even after having seemingly done all the right things, they were still having trouble attracting the right customers and getting clients to buy their products and services from their website. But after attending the trainings offered by the organizations expert trainers and coaches, hundreds of these business owners have seen a marked improvement in their small business growth.
The 2nd Annual Small Business Boot Camp comes after the success of last year’s event which was focused on Social Media Mastery. While this year’s event will also have a large portion dedicated to social media, it will also focus on both online and offline marketing and business techniques. The event will also combine the best of the new school and old school business growth strategies to provide attendees with the latest take on what’s working now.
Topics will include:
* Becoming a leading authority in your industry.
* The importance of having a good CRM tool and how to effectively use it to follow-up.
* The best methods to deliver and protect your content and the tools that you should use to do that.
* How to effectively use Mobile Marketing to turn leads into customers.
* The best cost-effective online and offline strategies to build and grow your business.
* How to master the hottest new trends in social media and how to use them to grow your client base.
* How to financially prepare for small business success.
Also included as a part of the festivities will be a book signing for the international best selling book, Success In High Heels, which features a chapter written by Toni Coleman Brown, founder of the Network for Women in Business entitled 30 Days to Facebook Mastery. This book represents a collaboration of 30 successful women from across the globe. Each woman has taken the time to share their personal success secrets in order to help others grow and prosper.
Guest speakers include Laurie Marshall of Trade Marks the Spot, who will share with attendees how to protect their business, as well as their intellectual property via the use of trademarks. Having served as the in-house counsel for the Major Baseball League, Laurie has over 15 years of trademark experience. Also speaking at the event is Alexandra Chou of owner of Infin8 Enterprises LLC, who will teach entrepreneurs about being financially prepared for business. Alexandra has taught several hi-tech entrepreneurs how to get financially prepared to attract investors to their business. She has also helped countless small business owners to get in the best fiscal shape possible in order to avoid potential problems with the IRS.
Event partners and sponsors, such as Go Apps Biz and Superior Business Management Solutions will give away mobile apps and free websites to select event attendees, while Soul Purpose Lifestyle Company will supply each attendee with a product sampling of their high quality pampering products.
Staff, volunteers and friends of the Network for Women in Business are looking forward to the 2nd Annual Small Business Boot Camp for Women and believe that all entrepreneurs who attend will definitely see bigger and better results in 2013 and beyond.
To register and find out more about this event, visit the website.
About the Network for Women in Business:
The Network for Women in Business was founded in January 2012 by long time business coach, author and motivational speaker, Toni Coleman Brown. Since its inception, the organization has grown to over 2,000 members and over 14,000 Facebook Fans and social media followers. The mission of the Network for Women in Business is to provide innovation, cutting-edge and affordable training solutions to women business owners. The soul purpose of the organization is to train, connect and advance women business owners world-wide.
New America Media
By Damaso Reyes
NEW YORK — It was one word that struck me. More than any other word spoken over the past 10 weeks of court testimony in Floyd v. City of New York, the civil trial questioning the New York Police Departmentâ€™s policy of â€œStop, Question and Frisk.”
In over 8,000 pages of official court transcripts from the trial that ended on Monday, it is spoken time and time again by sergeants, precinct commanders and current and former high ranking officers within the police department. The question being replied to was a variation on this: â€œDoes it bother you that in the vast majority, nine out of 10 stops, no enforcement action was taken? No summons, no arrest, no weapons found?â€
This is perhaps the heart of the case that the Center for Constitutional Rights brought to Judge Shira Scheindlinâ€™s courtroom on the 15th floor of the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan. Authorities see no wrongdoing, despite the fact that over the past decade, NYPD officers have conducted nearly 4.5 million stops in a city of 8 million. Eighty-five percent of those stopped were black or Latino, meaning that many people have been stopped more than once.
During the bench trial, members of the press were seated in the jury box, a metaphor not lost on me. As a New Yorker of color, and one who has been stopped by the police, I had an intense personal interest in the trial. Perhaps itâ€™s also because I have spent much of the past 10 years outside the country as a foreign correspondent, watching from afar as my city and country changed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to prize security above nearly all else. Back in New York for a few months, I decided to spend some time observing the trial.
When I was stopped, on a train platform after visiting my motherâ€™s house in central Brooklyn, two white officers came up to me and asked if they could look in my bag. There had been a robbery, they explained, and were looking for a suspect. I knew my rights. I could have refused to consent to a search of my bag. I also wanted to get home and my train was coming. If I refused, would they hold me anyway? Would they ask me for my ID and run a background check? Maybe, maybe not. At that moment I didnâ€™t want to deal with the hassle, so I agreed. They didnâ€™t find anything, politely thanked me for my time and moved on. No form was filled out.
Apparently, I fit a description.
Both in the press and in the courtroom, the cityâ€™s lawyers as well as NYPD officials defended Stop-and-Frisk as an important law enforcement tool that gets guns off the streets and stops crime.
However, less than one percent of all stops results in the discovery of a weapon and only 0.14 percent of all stops results in finding a gun. This, despite the fact that â€œsuspicious bulgeâ€ or â€œfurtive movementâ€ is the box ticked off on the form that officers are required to fill out in a large percentage of stops.
As a journalist Iâ€™ve had my fair share of encounters with NYPD officers. A few of those instances werenâ€™t what I would have wanted them to be. But in reporting multiple series on the 28th precinct in Harlem and after spending many days riding in radio cars, standing on rooftops and walking the streets with a variety of policemen and women, I can say I have a broader perspective on the department than most. Most officers and commanders care deeply about the communities they serve. Thatâ€™s why they became cops.
But as we learned in the trial, the NYPD is, among other things, a bureaucracy. The plaintiffs claim that this bureaucracy is obsessed with numbers and passed that obsession down to the rank and file through â€œperformance goals,â€ which they claim is just another way to say quota.
When the recording that Officer Pedro Serrano made of his superior Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack telling the officer that he needed to stop â€œthe right peopleâ€ was played, eyebrows were raised. When pressed by the officer to tell him who these people were, McCormackâ€™s response was â€œmale blacks 14 to 20, 21.â€
The department denies this was a blatant call for racial profiling but instead a commander telling his staff to address a specific problem. They have repeatedly told us that while a high number of blacks and Latinos are being stopped, the vast majority of perpetrators, as well as victims of crime, are black and Latino — so it makes sense that these people would also be stopped and questioned.
Missing from that logic is the fact that in order for a stop to be legal, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has just happened, is in progress, or will in the near future be committed. Putting aside the frightening idea of â€œfuture crimeâ€ for a moment, this suspicion must also be specific to the person being stopped. Simply being a black male in an area where black males commit crime is not enough.
We’ll soon discover whether or not Judge Scheindlin agrees.
Pictured above: Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit officers from the 28th Precinct conduct a Stop and Frisk in Harlem in 2006. Photograph by Damaso Reyes.