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Archive for May 16th, 2013

Election Drama Offers ‘Lessons in Diversity’ for One California City

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Election Drama Offers 'Lessons in Diversity' for One Calif. City

New America Media

By Stewart Kwoh

On March 5, 2013, in a historic election, Chin Ho Liao was elected to serve on the San Gabriel City Council, but the city council refused to let him take his seat. This was unheard of and something no city had ever done before. The council took this unprecedented action because of a single complaint filed by a city resident with close ties to one of the losing incumbents, who contested Liao’s eligibility to run.

But this is more than a story of local politics gone awry. There are lessons here that increasingly diversifying communities across the country should heed as we embark together on the important task of fortifying the rights of every American to take part in our proud democracy.

On May 7, after two intense months of legal battles and community outrage, Liao was finally permitted to take his

oath of office and join the council as its newest member. What happened during these two months tells a story of Liao’s courage, one that began a quarter-century ago. It also highlights how demographic shifts like one that has been taking place in San Gabriel can set off dynamics that present challenges – and opportunities – for communities with rapidly changing populations.

The city of San Gabriel, one of California’s oldest settlements, is nestled in the San Gabriel Valley, in the eastern part of Los Angeles County. San Gabriel has a population of less than 40,000, and is celebrating its centennial year. In recent decades, the city and the region as a whole have undergone massive demographic changes resulting in a diverse population of Asian Americans and other immigrants. In San Gabriel itself, over 60 percent of the population is Asian American, over three quarters of whom are immigrants.

Among those who now call the San Gabriel Valley their home is Chin Ho Liao, an immigrant from Taiwan who came to the U.S. to seek out higher education and who then settled in San Gabriel. Since his retirement, he has engaged in one of the most longstanding of American traditions – volunteerism. For the past 24 years, he’s served the community of San Gabriel through his involvement with nonprofit and civic organizations. Then he sought office so he could serve the community as a public servant.

Prior to the March 5 election, San Gabriel’s five-member city council had no Asian American members, and only two Asian Americans had previously served on the council. The five candidates in the city council race included three incumbents and two Asian American challengers, including Liao. In a result that surprised many, Liao and the other Asian American candidate were the top two vote-getters and won seats on the council. Only one of the three incumbents won re-election.

Three weeks after the election, when it came time to install the winners of the election, the city council told Liao that he could not take his seat. At that point the council still included the two incumbents who lost. Despite the conflict of interest, and despite the appearance of undermining a historic moment for Asian Americans, the council ignored the plain and clear requirements of state law to seat Liao.

The council justified its action by pointing to the complaint contesting Liao’s eligibility to serve. However, the proper procedure was to let Liao assume his seat first and then to consider the complaint.

Compounding its error, the council announced that it would conduct its own review of the complaint, rather than refer the matter to a neutral third party such as a court or an administrative hearing officer. The council that was to conduct the review included three of Liao’s political opponents: two incumbents who were not up for re-election in March but who supported the re-elected incumbent and the two losing incumbents, plus the re-elected incumbent who similarly supported the two losing incumbents. These circumstances cast doubt on the integrity of the council’s decision to conduct its own hearing.

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) took on Liao’s case because we are a civil rights organization and we believed this to be a civil rights case. It was clear that Liao’s fundamental right to hold office, a right recognized by the courts, had been violated. It was equally clear that the fundamental right to vote of the San Gabriel electorate had been infringed.

This is because the two rights are inextricably linked – the confidence that voters have in democracy depends on their belief that elections fairly won will not be unjustly taken away from the candidate they supported. And nowhere is this more critical than with newcomers to the American electoral process, including Asian Americans whose burgeoning but fragile political participation was threatened by the council’s ill-founded actions.

In the end, the council defied expectations and ruled in favor of Liao – an issue that was never in doubt in the hearts and minds of the San Gabriel community. Certainly the efforts of our legal team played a part in this outcome, but even more important was the inspiring courage demonstrated by Liao in fighting for his right to represent the people of San Gabriel. Also inspiring was the activism of San Gabriel community members, who formed a multi-racial coalition to voice concerns about the threat posed by the council’s actions to San Gabriel’s democracy.

As San Gabriel looks ahead to its next 100 years, those who serve the community would do well to embrace the future and welcome the participation of all Americans, including the newcomers who have come to pursue their aspirations. In our rapidly diversifying society we must all be prepared, like the residents of San Gabriel were, to demand that all Americans are afforded their right to take part in the political process.


Stewart Kwoh is the founding President and Executive Director of Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC). Kwoh is a nationally recognized leader and expert in race relations, Asian American studies, nonprofit organizations and philanthropies, civil rights, and legal services. He was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1998, becoming the first Asian American attorney and human rights activist to receive this highly prestigious recognition, often referred to as the “genius grant.”

African American Civil War Museum to Feature Author of Book on Michelle Obama Ancestry

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Founders Day at the African American Civil War Memorial Museum will feature award winning Author Rachel Swarns in a Presentation from American Tapestry on the Civil War Relatives of First Lady Michelle Obama.

On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 The African American Civil War Memorial and museum will mark the Sesquicentennial of the establishment of the Bureau of US Colored Troops with a wreath laying ceremony at 11 am followed by a presentation by Rachel Swarns. In her book on First Lady Michelle Obama’s family, Swarns tells the story of the enlistment of Caesar Cohen in the 128th Reg. USCT. Caesar was the great-great-grandfather of Michelle Obama and was about twenty five years old at his time of enlistment.

His name is listed on the Wall of Honor of the African American Civil War Memorial on U Street in Washington DC on Wall D, Plaque 134. Caesar Cohen is from the Robinson side of the Michelle Obama’s family. Audrea Barnes, second cousin to Michele Obama on the Robinson side of the family will also speak on her research on the family tree focusing on the two soldiers in question.

Additionally, running away from a plantation in Alabama was a man named Jerry Sutton/Suter who joined the 55th Regiment USCT. Jerry Sutton/Suter was an adventurous step-father of Michelle Obama’s great grandmother whose name is listed on the Wall of Honor on Wall C Plaque 67. The Michelle Obama relatives are but two of the 209,145 names listed on the Wall of Honor of the Memorial.

The wreath laying ceremony will take place at the monument at 11 AM with the presentation to follow at noon at the African American Civil War Museum. Ms. Swarns will be available to sign copies of her book American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama.

Biography of Rachel L. Swarns

Rachel L. Swarns has been a correspondent for the New York Times since 1995. She has written about domestic policy and national politics, reporting on immigration, the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008 and First Lady Michelle Obama and her role in the Obama White House.

She has also worked overseas for The New York Times, reporting from Russia, Cuba and Southern Africa where she served as the Johannesburg bureau chief. She currently writes about demographics, social trends and the modern American family. Prior to joining The New York Times, Ms. Swarns worked for The Miami Herald, where she reported from Haiti and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, covered the L.A. riots and the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.

She started her journalism career at The St. Petersburg Times. Born in New York City, she received her B.A. in Spanish from Howard University. She received her M.A. in International Relations from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children. http://rachelswarns.com/

Reviews of American Tapestry

“Extraordinary… No political [book] has ever looked or sounded like this one.”

New York Times Book Review

“Riveting… American Tapestry is not only the remarkable story of the first lady’s family, providing insight into some of the wonderful traits that have been passed down to her, but also a microcosm of this country’s story as well.”

USA Today

“Swarns paints a vivid, intriguing portrait of people whose struggles, losses, and triumphs speak volumes about the pull of family and the power of American endurance.”

Los Angeles Times

“Richly detailed. . . . A lushly layered portrait of the nation itself. . . .Swarns weaves a narrative in which massive social changes (slavery, Reconstruction, the Great Migration) and the microscopic details of DNA play equally important roles.”

Boston Globe

“[A] meticulously researched and eloquently written real-life detective story.”

Essence Magazine

“An engrossing book. . . . Swarns outlines the fascinating journeys taken by various ancestors of First Lady Michelle Obama ‘the people who, across the generations, helped make her who she is today.”

Library Journal

“Completely fascinating. . . . Swarns presents the complicated story of race in the U.S. through the prism of one family¹s history.”

Booklist (starred review)

“The First Family becomes ever more fascinating-and ever more representative of the nation as a whole-in Rachel Swarns’s terrific investigation into the roots of Michelle Obama.”

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University professor and host and

executive producer of PBS’s Finding Your Roots

“Rachel Swarns has not only excavated, with painstaking care, the family tree that is Michelle Obama¹s, but, with great insight and beautiful prose, has revealed the complex, eye-opening, and disconcerting experiences that are America. This is a work of impressive historical imagination and deep cultural significance.”

Steven Hahn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Nation under Our Feet

1925 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20001 202/667-2667 202/667-6771 (fax) www.afroamcivilwar.org
Photo Caption: African American Civil War Memorial Museum

Former convict weaves personal experience into new urban fiction novel

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Reico Cranshaw’s “Black September” delivers a graphic portrait of Zionist terrorists, drugs and the corrupt practices of religious administration in the White House


CHICAGO, IL (BlackNews.com) — Before the al-Qaida terrorist network became a blip on watchdogs’ radar screens, high-ranking leaders of the infamous El Rukn street gang reached out to buy rocket launchers as part of a plot to commit terrorist acts in the United States for Libya in exchange for cash. As a result, many members were convicted and sent to prison. However, one of those El Rukns, author Reico Cranshaw, has written one of the most fascinating gang stories with global reach.

In his book entitled Black September, Cranshaw gives the large picture of gang life in America. The El Rukns’ allies, the Vice lords, and the Zionist are part of the drug trafficking in America. The connection comes to light from the story of Vice Lord drug dealer Chauncey Carr. Chauncey is reaping millions as an unknowing pawn of right-wing lobbyist and Christian Zionist operatives, who supplies him with unlimited amounts of cocaine. His suppliers are using the profits to pay for Israeli-spawned terrorist attacks. But it doesn’t take long for FBI agent John O’Neill to catch Chauncey trafficking drugs, which results in Chauncey being sentenced to federal prison.

While in prison, Chauncey meets a convicted terrorist, and despite his dislike for him, he uses the relationship to get his sentenced reduced by passing information on to O’Neill. Upon his release, Chauncey travels to see his son after hearing he has joined Chauncey’s old gang. On the bus he meets feminist poet, Tina, who shares similar dreams of publishing someday, and they begin planning a better future together. Their plans are suddenly threatened, however, when Chauncey becomes the hunted after his former cronies learns he is sharing information with federal agents and vows to stop at nothing to silence him forever.

Cranshaw infuses his real life experiences with the fictional story of Chauncey Carr to show readers the truth behind the world of gangs and terrorists, and hopes his story illustrates the reality of gang life and what it’s like behind bars.

Black September is available for sale in bookstores, online at www.Amazon.com and other channels.


About the Author:
Reico Cranshaw spent decades in prison before learning that the written word held the power to heal. He spent years in solitary confinement and looked to books to keep him from going crazy. When the prison guards were unable to fulfill his requests because he had read through every book in the prison library, Cranshaw began to write. He then penned Black September (ISBN 1477527516), after being released from prison.

Photo Caption: Bookcover

Is There a Windows 8 Hackathon in Your Future this Weekend?

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Soap Box Rants

A Weekly Column to CopyLine Magazine

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

In case you haven’t heard, Windows 8 weekend is taking place at DeVry University on May 18. Microsoft will be providing development experts to get you started with building games and apps. They will also show you how to submit your app to the Windows 8 store where you could possibly make some money with your finished project.

The event kicks off at 8:30 AM at DeVry University in Addison, Illinois. That’s about 30-40 minutes away by car from downtown Chicago.

There will be an introduction to a simple game development tool that does not require any programming knowledge, so the playing field is leveled for the less experienced in game development. Microsoft has partnered with Construct 2 to help make game development for Windows 8 quicker and easier for novices as well as experienced developers.

This all takes place on Saturday, May 18, 2013. Also, keep in mind that Microsoft has a promotion going on whereas you can earn $100 for every app you upload to the Windows 8 store. You can earn up to $2000. It’s simple to sign up. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions, folks. By 5 PM, you have a good chance of having an app completed for the store. Bring a team if you need to. Just make sure everyone signs up.

Don’t forget to bring your own machine/laptop to work on. To conserve on development time, it is suggested that you have Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 installed on your computer before arriving. If you don’t have Windows 8 or Visual Studio, no problem, you can install the fully-functioning evaluation copy of Windows 8 and the free version of Visual Studio 2012 Express or take advantage of a free one-day cloud setup with assistance from the Windows 8 on-site team.

Simon’s college scorecard resolution passes committee

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Lt. Governor urges House to pass transparency measure

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Following its unanimous passage from the House Higher Education Committee, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is encouraging the full House to pass House Joint Resolution 33. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Urbana), urges all colleges and universities in the state to prominently feature a link to federal College Scorecard information on the school’s website.

“A college credential is a prerequisite for in-demand jobs in our economy, but college affordability is a barrier for many students,” said Simon, the state’s point person on education reform. “Making it easier for college-seeking students to access the federal College Scorecard means vital information – like average cost and completion rates – is readily available to help students find a college or university that fits their needs and their budget.”

In her first two years in office, Simon visited each of the state’s 48 community colleges and 12 public universities. Students at each campus identified affordability as a major barrier to their college success. The College Scorecards clearly identify average costs, graduation rates, loan default rates, and areas where students can better estimate costs based on their personal goals.

HJR 33 not only encourages degree and certificate-granting institutions in Illinois to link to the federal College Scorecard, but also to work together across institutions to design and publish an Illinois College Scorecard with data that supplements the federal data. Simon intends to create a working group this summer to design the Illinois version.

“By making this information accessible and easy-to-understand, we demystify the costs of a higher education and move closer to enrolling and graduating more students,” said Simon. “I thank Rep. Jakobsson for sponsoring this resolution and for her leadership on education issues.”

The federal college scorecard can be found here

Madigan: Former head of Maywood Housing Authority guilty in corruption case

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Official stole Oover $400,000 in Low-Income Housing Vouchers

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the former head of the Maywood Housing Authority (MHA) pled guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison for stealing more than $400,000 in public funds intended to help low-income residents pay their rent.

Gwendolyn Robinson, 51, of Elmhurst, pled guilty earlier today before Judge Rosemary Grant Higgins in Cook County Circuit Court to theft of over $100,000, a Class 1 felony, and official misconduct, a Class 3 felony. Robinson was sentenced to six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on the theft count and 4 years on the official misconduct count. The sentences are set to be served concurrently.

“Officials who steal public funds betray the trust that is granted to them,” Madigan said. “Ms. Robinson’s scheme to enrich herself not only cheated the families who rely on these public resources to secure safe, affordable housing but also the taxpayers who fund these critical programs.”

Robinson was indicted in July 2011 following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that found Robinson stole more than $400,000 from the MHA while serving as the housing authority’s executive director from May 2006 to November 2009. The investigation revealed Robinson funneled money from housing vouchers intended to benefit low-income renters into a hidden account to make her mortgage payments on her Elmhurst home.

Assistant Attorneys General Paul Bervid, Anshuman Vaidya and Gregg Gansmann handled this case for Madigan’s Criminal Enforcement Division.

Urban Gateways new Arts Forum hosts Rock For Arts

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Benefit to Raise Funds and Awareness for Arts Education

On Saturday, May 18th, Urban Gateways Jr. Board, New Arts Forum, will host its first ever Rock for Arts benefit concert. Six bands will be performing from 7:00 PM until 11:00 PM at Reggie’s Rock Club to benefit Urban Gateways arts and education programming. The bands include Lonesome Still, Sam Vicari, Newburys, American Muskox, Metropolly, and Ovadya. New Arts Forum Board Chair, Jess Kaswiner said, ‘We are thrilled to partner with Reggie’s Rock Club for “Rock for Arts”. In typical NAF fashion, we’ll be presenting a mash-up of artistic entertainment, while bringing together like-minded arts advocates in support of Urban Gateways. At the heart of our board is the mantra “pARTy for a cause”, putting a ‘new-school’ twist on your old school fundraiser!’ The event will include a free buffet, a happy hour, and access to the roof top bar.

Urban Gateways educates and inspires young people by delivering high-quality, accessible arts experiences that advance their personal and academic growth. Professional artists engage Chicago’s youth in arts activities that build essential skills like creativity, collaboration and innovation, and improve their self-esteem and confidence necessary to succeed in life. Founded in 1961 with a mission to ensure that all young people have full access to the city’s cultural wealth, Urban Gateways works with artists, teachers, principals, community leaders, social service agencies and other partners to expand arts programs across the Chicago Metropolitan area, often in communities where such opportunities are in short supply. Urban Gateways strives to create alternative and positive experiences as a means to a brighter future for children and their communities.

This winter Urban Gateways analyzed our student survey data and found that their outcomes related to active classroom engagement, such as volunteering, sharing new ideas, etc. seemed to be low. What was found was that our students in performing arts residencies (music, dance, theatre) reported greater increases in these areas. To illustrate, 79% stated they volunteer more in class versus 46% of students in non-performing arts programs. 82% state they introduce new ideas more in class versus 46% of students in non-performing arts programs and 82% state they are better listeners after having been in a performing arts program as opposed to 65% in other programs. It seems performing in a band could lead to better classroom engagement.

For more information on this event or Urban Gateways, please contact Brian Foster, Director of Marketing and Sales, at (312) 445-2749 or at bfoster@urbangateways.org. You may also visit www.urbangateways.org/events.

Blue Man Group announces a call for artists to submit original art work for eye-popping large scale Outdoor Art Gallery at the Briar Street Theatre

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Juried Art Competition Open to Professional and Emerging Artists Nationwide With a Cash Prize of $5,000 Awarded to Each of the Six Winners

Grand Unveiling Event Set for September 2013 during EXPO ART WEEK
CHICAGO – Blue Man Group, the critically hailed theatrical phenomenon, announces a one-of-a-kind Art Competition open to professional and emerging artists. Six winners will be chosen and 10’ by 10’ reproductions of their artwork will be created for a semi-permanent Outdoor Art Gallery on the South exterior wall of the Briar Street Theatre in Lakeview at 3133 North Halsted Street, with the original pieces on display inside the lobby.

The gallery will open in September 2013 at a grand unveiling event as a part of EXPO ART WEEK, a citywide showcase of Chicago’s art and cultural community designed to complement EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary|Modern Art taking place September 19-22 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall.
“The celebration of creativity and connectedness has always been a priority for Blue Man Group as well as making art and artists accessible to all,” said Resident General Manager Mary Grisolano. “This gallery is a way to continue that mission while offering a big ‘Thank You’ to Chicago and the neighborhood that has been our home for 15 years.”Interested artists can visit entrythingy.com/www.blueman.com for more details, full rules and regulations and entry requirements.
Artists planning to submit an entry in the Blue Man Group Art Competition should enter work that is inspired by the exuberant and joyful essence of Blue Man Group without featuring a Blue Man. The competition is open to both professional and emerging artists working in acrylic, digital art, drawing/pastel, mixed media, oil, painting, photography and printmaking. No three dimensional pieces will be accepted. A cash prize of $5,000 will be awarded to up to six winning artists.
Entries will be judged by members of the Blue Man Group’s Chicago cast and creative team as well as civic and cultural leaders from the local community to be announced later. Winners will have their original art work displayed in the lobby of the Briar Street Theatre and 10’ by 10’ reproductions of that artwork displayed in the Outdoor Art Gallery. Entries must be submitted digitally and will be accepted through August 1, 2013.
Blue Man Group at the Briar Theatre
Blue Man Group’s production provides its audience with a unique and thrilling multi-sensory experience that blends innovative theatrical spectacle and dynamic original music with hilarious comedy, art, technology and science to create a performance experience unlike any other. Tickets are available from $49-$99. Tickets may be purchased at the Briar Street Theatre by calling the box office at (773) 348-4000; by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787; at all Ticketmaster ticket centers or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit www.blueman.com/tickets/chicago/.
CHICAGO – Blue Man Group, the critically hailed theatrical phenomenon, announces a one-of-a-kind Art Competition open to professional and emerging artists. Six winners will be chosen and 10’ by 10’ reproductions of their artwork will be created for a semi-permanent Outdoor Art Gallery on the South exterior wall of the Briar Street Theatre in Lakeview at 3133 North Halsted Street, with the original pieces on display inside the lobby.

The gallery will open in September 2013 at a grand unveiling event as a part of EXPO ART WEEK, a citywide showcase of Chicago’s art and cultural community designed to complement EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary|Modern Art taking place September 19-22 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall.
“The celebration of creativity and connectedness has always been a priority for Blue Man Group as well as making art and artists accessible to all,” said Resident General Manager Mary Grisolano. “This gallery is a way to continue that mission while offering a big ‘Thank You’ to Chicago and the neighborhood that has been our home for 15 years.”Interested artists can visit entrythingy.com/www.blueman.com for more details, full rules and regulations and entry requirements.
Artists planning to submit an entry in the Blue Man Group Art Competition should enter work that is inspired by the exuberant and joyful essence of Blue Man Group without featuring a Blue Man. The competition is open to both professional and emerging artists working in acrylic, digital art, drawing/pastel, mixed media, oil, painting, photography and printmaking. No three dimensional pieces will be accepted. A cash prize of $5,000 will be awarded to up to six winning artists.
Entries will be judged by members of the Blue Man Group’s Chicago cast and creative team as well as civic and cultural leaders from the local community to be announced later. Winners will have their original art work displayed in the lobby of the Briar Street Theatre and 10’ by 10’ reproductions of that artwork displayed in the Outdoor Art Gallery. Entries must be submitted digitally and will be accepted through August 1, 2013.
Blue Man Group at the Briar Theatre
Blue Man Group’s production provides its audience with a unique and thrilling multi-sensory experience that blends innovative theatrical spectacle and dynamic original music with hilarious comedy, art, technology and science to create a performance experience unlike any other. Tickets are available from $49-$99. Tickets may be purchased at the Briar Street Theatre by calling the box office at (773) 348-4000; by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787; at all Ticketmaster ticket centers or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit www.blueman.com/tickets/chicago/.

Consumers need to carefully check for hidden fees when making vacation plans

Posted by Newsroom On May - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

(A Message from the Better Business Bureau)

CHICAGO, IL – Apparent bargain-priced vacations may be presenting only a portion of the customer-cost story. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois advises consumers to carefully investigate and compare vacation plans, as well as ask questions about extra fees that could significantly impact your vacation budget.

Some airlines are adding fees for many services from luggage to online ticket ordering. Some resorts may be more discreet about added fees that you could end up paying when your stay is complete. These fees may be included in your bill for a variety of amenities including internet access, gym usage and access to the safe. These increased costs often surprise consumers if they haven’t read the terms and conditions of a vacation package.

“Reading the fine print and asking questions is vital when making travel arrangements.” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Hidden fees could significantly impact your final bill when checking out and be real budget busters.”

Bernas explained one way to help avoid these surprises is to look at the vacation package brochure and ask if there are added fees for amenities or activities that are pictured or listed.

Fees for various amenities can range from $10 to $30 per day and are not always included in the checkout price on online booking sites. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) describes resort fees as being a part of “drip pricing”, a business model in which firms advertise only part of a price and reveal other charges later in the billing process. Drip pricing is a common business model used in different types of firms including financial institutions and rental car companies.

The FTC has sent a warning letter to 22 hotel operators, informing them that they may be involving themselves in deceptive advertising by not informing consumers of additional fees when they are quoting a price.

The BBB offers some advice for consumers to avoid undisclosed fees:

  • Carefully read the fine print. Review the terms and conditions of a hotel before your stay and before providing a credit card number, in order to discover additional fees that may be added to your stay.
  • Ask questions. If you are unsure of something you read in the fine print, make sure you contact the hotel with questions and concerns beforehand.
  • Discuss the questions and concerns you had at check-in. Verify the total cost again at check-in. It is much easier to discuss potential charges before it goes on your credit card.

If you run into problems with your resort, you may file a complaint at www.bbb.org

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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