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National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial  issued the following statement in response ...
  (From the Campaign for Better Health Care)     Chicago, IL — On May 26, 2011, Vermont became ...
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Archive for August, 2013

A Dream of MLK Today – Aging Against the Machine

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

A Dream of MLK Today - Aging Against the Machine

New America Media
By Paul Kleyman

SAN FRANCISCO — Fifty. This week’s anniversary celebration of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom resounds with a worthwhile mix of critical reassessment and historical pride for the progress made since then and yet to be accomplished. But for my Boomer generation, the tumultuous events bookended by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and his tragic assassination five year later also arc across a half-century of our lives.

Fifty. Fifty years? How unsettling for aging Boomers, who once pictured nostalgia on an old-timey gazebo—echoing with the Beatles’ refrain, “It was 20 years ago today, Sargent Pepper taught the band to play.” Twenty years? Ha! Just a couple of generational blinks.

More than a cause for personal reflection, though, it’s hard not to wonder about King himself. Had he survived James Earl Ray’s gun sight, he would be 84 today. And I’d like to think he’d be as up on political hip-hop, like Goodie Mob’s new “Age Against the Machine” album released Thursday (after 14 years their poke at Rage Against the Machine), as, say, Curtis Mayfield or Odetta.

Younger Than Mandela

Still relatively youthful, King today would be 11 years younger than Nelson Mandela, who was still lifting his voice for justice until his recent illness, and five years younger than fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter. Both are members of The Elders, the global council of senior leaders currently chaired by Kofi Annan, age 75, who actively continues to negotiate for peace and freedom.

Had King lived on, of course, he would not be the indelible worldwide icon. Yet, I think it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that his graying countenance would join those of the other activists on The Elders’ website and living rounds. The Longevity Revolution is not only televised and on the Internet, it represents a new level of later-life vigor empowering more and more people to build on their active legacies long in defiance of stereotypical aging.

Of course, the Longevity Revolution can swing both ways. One of the more unsettling factoids I’ve heard lately about our aging world is that the average age of the Rolling Stones exceeds that of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts, 58, likely has years left to revamp the Constitution in his conservative image.

Still, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 80, made it clear in last Sunday’s (Aug. 25) New York Times that regardless of two bouts with cancer–she works out twice a week now—she has no intention of stepping down. Could she become the first centenarian justice, never to give up? Ginsberg is set on countering Roberts’ majority on issues, such as voting rights and job discrimination, subjects of her recent dissents—and major themes of King’s efforts a half century ago.

Were King alive and an activist ager today, it’s easy to imagine him expanding on his primary dreams, as have those among The Elders. (He could claim seniority in the group over such members as Ela Bhatt, founder of Self-Employed Women’s Association of India, who turns 80 on Sept. 7, and Bishop Desmond Tutu, who will be 82 on Oct. 7.)

A Life-Span View of Poverty

Although I’d fully expect King to have elevated his resonant voice on the travesties of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant, I don’t think it’s a stretch of imagination to believe he’d have embraced a life-span view of the economic security issues for lower-income Americans throughout their working and retirement years.

After all, since King was killed while championing the rights of striking sanitation workers is Memphis, labor negotiations and strikes have focused not only on traditional pay and working conditions, but increasingly on pensions and health care, including retirement health protections.

As King would have aged, he would surely have seen elders’ security underlying his principle concerns. Even travesties of the criminal justice system—intensified by three-strikes laws and “stop, question and frisk” policing–have yielded a growing population of elderly prisoners. (See “The Other Death Sentence: Aging and Dying in America’s Prisons” by investigative journalist James Ridgeway, and “Graying Prisoners” by Jamie Fellner of Human Rights Watch.)

It’s always risky to project viewpoints on an historic figure who has passed. But I feel confident that a living Martin Luther King, whose very legacy is based in unsung and often unpopular causes, would have grown especially cognizant of how challenges to economic and health security jeopardize the very health and longevity of lower-income minorities, women and other vulnerable groups as they age.

Last fall, for example, the MacArthur Foundation Network on Aging in Society released a report showing that both African American men and white women who have low educational levels live 10 years shorter than whites with advanced academic degrees. Education is not only an issue for youth.

It’s easy enough to report on this or that new study, but as with research on issues of race, gender and class, the stream of scholarly findings on aging floods into a stagnant pool reflecting darkly on 21st century life in the United States unless things change.

Connecting the Dots From Age to Justice

Here are only some of the kind of factual dots I believe King could not have avoided connecting now:

• One-third of Americans 65-plus are “economically insecure—lacking the resources needed to meet basic food, housing, and medical needs,” according to a 2012 United States of Aging survey by the National Council on Aging, UnitedHealthcare and USA Today.

• More than half of Americans worry that their savings and income will not be sufficient to last them for the rest of their lives, according to a 2013 follow-up of the same poll released last month.

• Almost six in 10 African Americans and nearly half of Latinos are concerned they won’t be able to pay for a nursing home or other long-term care, compared to 41 percent of whites, found a new national poll by the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and SCAN Foundation.

• Despite calls to cut Social Security, about half of older Latinos, African Americans and Asians relied on Social Security for almost all of their income in 2008, compared to one in three whites, according to UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research.

• Jobs for older workers? In spite of the Roberts court having made it tougher to prove age discrimination in 2009, federal age bias claims have climbed to 25,000 a year, with many more filed at the state level.

Alive and Tweeting?

Were King alive and kicking today, I’d like to think he’d not only be among the fast-growing ranks of elders going online and social networking, but he’d be taking on the Digital Divide as a serious economic divide—and health–issue for impoverished seniors.

For instance, in July AARP’s Public Policy Institute released an issue paper showing that U.S. Internet providers are resisting efforts for them to bring high-speed connections to lower-income and rural areas. But so-called broadband connections could enable more seniors to live independently, staying more healthy, safe and out of nursing homes. That’s because new technology makes it possible for elders to reduce their isolation from family, and even to see their doctors by video and get medical tests at home.

In spite of these potentially life- and budget-saving technologies, though, the AARP report says major commercial Internet providers “have convinced 19 state legislatures to prevent or discourage cities or towns from owning or operating high-speed Internet networks” that might help seniors and their families, but cut into their market share.

Martin Luther King at 84? You wouldn’t want to miss his Twitter feeds to be found-where else?—@StillDreaming.

This article was made possible through a grant from The Atlantic Philanthroies for coverage of elders’ security issues.

Madigan sues company for long distance phone scam

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Says Delaware Company Targeted Spanish Speakers, Added Costly
Long-Distance Service Without Authorization

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit against a telecommunications company alleging it scammed Illinois residents by billing them for costly long-distance service they never authorized.

Madigan filed the lawsuit earlier today in Sangamon County against Optic Internet Protocol, a Delaware corporation, and its president Gregory Allpow, of Georgia.

In her lawsuit, Madigan alleges that the company billed Illinois residents by falsifying their authorization for the long-distance service. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that Optic Internet Protocol targeted Spanish speakers or consumers with names that appeared to be of Hispanic descent. Seventeen consumers throughout Illinois filed complaints with Madigan’s office after learning of the scam. Most consumers reported that the first they learned of the unauthorized charges was upon receiving their latest monthly phone bill with a new – and in some cases more expensive – long-distance carrier.

Both state and federal law requires a company to obtain authorization from a consumer before making a switch in service and to verify their authorization of the switch. To further the scam, Madigan alleges the company made fraudulent audio recordings that appear to record a consumer’s consent over the phone for the service switch. In some cases, Madigan alleged, the voice on the recording was not the consumer’s or the name on the recording did not match the consumer’s name.

“Scammers are betting that phone customers won’t read their bills,” Madigan said. “That’s why it’s critical that you carefully review your monthly phone bill to avoid falling victim to slamming schemes.”

The Attorney General’s lawsuit asks the court to pay restitution to consumers targeted by the scam and to ban the defendants from operating in the telecommunications industry in Illinois. The lawsuit also seeks to impose civil penalties on the defendants based on violations of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Businesses Practices Act, including violations that occurred against seniors 65 or older.

Assistant Attorney General Philip Heimlich is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Act to Avoid Growing Facebook Phishing Scams, Warns Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Facebook, with over one billion users, not only is one of the most popular social media platforms, but also offers scammers plenty of opportunities to take advantage of its users. Since the number of Facebook users are increasing, the number of scams are as well. Through Facebook phishing, scammers are acquiring consumers’ usernames, passwords, credit card details and other personal information. These phishing scams occur when users receive phishing links via private inbox, chat messages or Timeline posts. Once the Facebook user clicks on the link, private information is taken by the scammer.

Facebook phishing scams can happen in a variety of different ways, so it can be difficult to recognize them. However, there are several common ones:


  • In one scenario, a Facebook user receives a link in a private message from a friend. The link leads the user to a page where the user’s name and password are needed.
  • In another type of scam, the Facebook user gets a private inbox message from someone on the Facebook security team, stating that the user has to quickly confirm their account.
  • Phishing scams can also found in the Timeline through ads that include links.

“Websites with over one billion users give scammers plenty of opportunities to not only steal users’ information but also to target other users” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Even though Facebook phishing scams can be difficult to recognize, consumers need to be careful with their personal information.”

The BBB offers the following tips to people to recognize and avoid Facebook phishing scams:


  • Read messages entirely. If you receive a message asking for your account information, fully read the message that was sent to you. Most people don’t read entire messages that were sent to them, so scammers use this to their advantage.
  • Look at the message’s content. When looking at the message you received, be sure to check for a few key things. Check for spelling or grammatical errors. If there are errors, the message was probably written by someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you. Also, check to see if the message urges you to “respond quickly” or “click a link right away.” If this is written, it is probably a scam.
  • Check the message sender. Check whether this message comes from a friend, a stranger or from someone saying to be from the website security team. Remember that Facebook security members rarely make contact with users unless the user makes initial contact first.
  • Use a safe browser. Activate your browser’s “Safe Browsing” feature. When this feature is used, it will catch most phishing scams for you.
  • Never give out personal information. No matter what the message says, never give out any usernames or passwords, no matter how promising the message or link seems.

For more tips and information about Facebook phishing scams, visit www.bbb.org

GOP: “Congratulations to new House GOP Leader Jim Durkin”

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Statement from Illinois GOP Chairman Jack Dorgan on election of Jim Durkin as State House GOP Leader

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Republican Party Chairman Jack Dorgan issued the following statement regarding election of State Rep. Jim Durkin as Illinois House Republican Leader:

“Congratulations to new House GOP Leader Jim Durkin. The Illinois House Republican Caucus and the people of Illinois will be well served. Jim has the knowledge and political skills to help elect more Republicans across the state and to end the longtime Democratic stranglehold and veto proof majority that they hold in the House. Having worked with Jim for many years, I am confident he knows how to win.”

Alright TV announces new series from ISSA Rae

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

From the Creator of “The Mis-adventures of Awkward Black Girl”, “The Choir” is a Faith-friendly Comedy That is Sure to Delight


Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — Tracey E. Edmonds, President and CEO of Alright TV, announced the debut of the new digital series The Choir from YouTube sensation Issa Rae, creator and star of the hit web-series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. The Choir is a faith-friendly dramedy that follows the United Church of Holy Christ in Fellowship’s choir as they attempt to rebuild a declining congregation.

“Issa Rae is a groundbreaking writer and producer. We are thrilled to showcase her new series, The Choir, on Alright TV,” said Edmonds. “Issa is a rising star in the industry and her work is not only thoughtful and clever, it is hilariously funny and a delight to watch. I am certain Alright TV viewers will find her latest production interesting and relatable,” she concluded.

“I’m excited to join the Alright TV family and to share my new show, The Choir,” said Issa Rae. “Tracey is such an inspiration as a producer and executive and she and her team have been very supportive as we worked to develop the series. It has been a joy to work with her, and I’m so excited to bring my vision and voice to the Alright TV audience.”

As the creator of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae is at the forefront of the digital web revolution and has become a pioneer in the fight against the narrow, mainstream portrayal of people of color in the media. Join her latest adventure in The Choir as members look for new, innovative, and at times outlandish ways to make the church thrive as it once did!

The Choir, debuts exclusively on Alright TV on August 29th, 2013! Watch the series online at www.youtube.com/alrighttv.


About The RLJ Companies:
The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust; private equity; financial services; asset management; insurance services; automobile dealerships; sports and entertainment; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, with affiliate operations in Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET). For more information, visit: www.rljcompanies.com.


About Our Stories Films, LLC:
Our Stories Films is the first African American owned film production studio that produces theatrical motion pictures that showcase the talents of African Americans on both sides of the camera and in the creative process. Founded in 2006, Our Stories Films is headquartered in Hollywood, CA, and targets underserved, urban audiences within the family and urban comedy genre with a production budget of $5M–$7M per film. In May 2011, Our Stories Films in collaboration with TriStar, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, produced and released Jumping the Broom, which debuted as the number one comedy during the opening box office weekend. For additional information please visit: www.ourstoriesfilms.com.


About Alright TV:
Alright TV is a groundbreaking digital channel that will revolutionize faith friendly content viewing. Featuring premiere talent along with rising stars, Alright TV offers the best in feel-good, value based entertainment which will inspire and motivate. Alright TV brings buzz-worthy comedies, talk, reality, music, and the online streaming of national Sunday church services. Developed by Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies and Tracey E. Edmonds, President and COO of Our Stories Films, Alright TV is a digital collaboration with YouTube that includes an array of online productions and entertainment.

For more about Alright TV please visit: www.youtube.com/alrighttv or www.alrighttv.com.

Photo Caption: Issa Rae, photo courtesy of Exhale TV

HUD FY 2014 grantmaking could start as early as September

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

(From the Federal and Foundation Association Monitor)

While HUD is being more tight-lipped than usual about its grantmaking plans, the agency is likely to start its FY 2014 funding season in September with the release of its General Section, sources tell Federal and Foundation Assistance Monitor, a grant news service focusing on funding for a wide range of community programs, such as housing, community development, education, healthcare, and social services.

In previous years, staff at the agency’s Office of Departmental Grants Management & Oversight have been open about their work on the section, providing updates on revisions and internal reviews. ODGMO oversees HUD grantmaking and is responsible for releasing the General Section, which provides the basic application information for all HUD grants and lays out the overall strategic plan for fiscal year grantmaking.

ODGMO’s Rita Yorkshire tells the Monitor she has no idea when the section will be released, however, previous practices provide a sense of where the agency is in the process. The document likely is undergoing final internal review, with plans to release it by the end of September. HUD likes to get an early start on its grantmaking, usually way before funding totals are set.

Analysis: The House and Senate appropriations committees have both passed their respective HUD funding bills (HR 2610; S 1243). As expected, the bills are miles apart, except for a few areas. Both bills, for instance, would provide $75 million for 10,000 new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers for homeless veterans.

The Republican-controlled House doesn’t support White House priorities like its community-wide funding efforts. It would defund these programs, including Choice Neighborhoods. House GOP leaders are even attacking the bipartisan-approved Community Development Block Grant – threatening to cut funding in half. Not surprisingly, the Democratic-controlled Senate is a fan of White House priorities, including a new $10.8 million rental assistance demonstration project.

Those seeking HUD funding shouldn’t worry. The budget situation has been this dire in the past several years, and HUD still started its grantmaking early. Funding for White House priorities will still be funded in FY 2014. The House calls for an end to Choice Neighborhoods every year, for example, but it always survives yearly budget discussions. As for CDBG, the proposed cut won’t even enter into the final discussions. Full funding around $3.1 billion is the best bet.


The Monitor will continue to provide ongoing updates on HUD’s 2014 funding and the status of its grant solicitations, with details on upcoming solicitations typically in advance of Grants.gov and official notices.

To download a sample issue filled with a variety of public and private funding opportunities for community-based programs, please visit http://www.cdpublications.com/index.php?mod=pdfsamp1 or call us at 1-800-666-6380.

Law enforcement cracking down on drunk drivers through Labor Day weekend

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Strong DUI enforcement, increased safety belt use brings significant declines in Illinois late-night, drunk driving fatalities

CHICAGO, IL – As the Illinois State Police (ISP) and police agencies across the state step up efforts to arrest drunk drivers during the final push of the 2013 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Labor Day Campaign, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) released data showing significant reductions in late-night, drunk driving fatalities in recent years in Illinois.

At an event at Buckingham Fountain in Chicago’s Grant Park, IDOT, ISP, the Chicago Police Department and dozens of suburban police officers today told motorists they can expect to see numerous stepped-up traffic enforcement details over the holiday weekend, including roadside safety checks and late-night safety belt enforcement zones. Beginning, August 16, over 400 Illinois law enforcement agencies joined the state police reminding motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.” Motorists are being warned that impaired driving or failure to buckle up, especially during late-night hours, will get you arrested or ticketed.

The number of law enforcement agencies participating in this year’s campaign is the highest ever and IDOT officials praised them for their life-saving efforts. Illinois’ repetitive, high-visibility holiday enforcement campaigns send a strong message to would-be drunk drivers and seat belt law violators, and law enforcement is the heart and soul of these campaigns. Research shows that high-visibility enforcement like roadside safety checks can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.

“Stepped up traffic enforcement is not about making arrests,” said Illinois Transportation Ann L. Schneider. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’” is about deterrence. It’s about prevention. It’s about saving lives.”

“Every motorist should think twice and consider the consequences before drinking and driving this Labor Day weekend,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “Law enforcement across Illinois and beyond will be saturating the roadways and interstates pushing for zero fatalities and urge drivers to take responsibility before getting behind the wheel,” added Grau.

Illinois has seen significant reductions in drunk driving crashes in recent years in Illinois and some of the largest declines have been during dangerous late night hours.

Data from IDOT shows the number of motor vehicle fatalities involving a drunk driver declined steadily from 2007 through 2011. In 2007, 374 people died in drunk driving crashes in Illinois, compared to 233 in 2011 – a 38 percent reduction in the five-year period. In the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, 316, 271 and 244 people respectively lost their lives in crashes involving a drunk driver.

Of particular note, is the significant reduction in late-night drunk driving fatalities that occurred during the same five-year timeframe. The largest of these reductions occurred during the midnight to 3 a.m. timeframe when drunk driving fatalities dropped from 121 in 2007 to 71 in 2011, a 41 percent reduction. The chart below indicates reductions occurring in various parts of the day.

During recent years, Illinois’ drunk driving crackdowns have focused largely on late night times when the most people die in drunk driving crashes and when belt use is lowest. The stepped-up focus on late-night enforcement appears to be having some positive effect on fatalities, and IDOT and law enforcement remain committed to the fight to take drunk drivers off of Illinois roads.

“We’re gratified with recent, life-saving trends, but make no mistake, drunk driving remains a deadly menace to motorists in Illinois,” Secretary Schneider said. “Combined with the educational messages of ‘Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over’ and ‘Click It or Ticket’ and stepped up law enforcement, fewer people are dying during the riskiest driving times on our roads.”

Illinois Drunk Driving Deaths* by Time of Day (2007-2011)

Time of Day

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

12:00am-2:59am

121

96

92

83

71

3:00am-5:59am

67

48

56

43

45

6:00am-8:59am

10

15

15

13

7

9:00am-11:59am

5

11

6

6

6

12:00pm-2:59pm

18

3

8

10

5

3:00pm-5:59pm

24

22

18

22

14

6:00pm-8:59pm

48

45

23

30

43

9:00pm-11:59pm

81

76

53

37

42

Totals

374

316

271

244

233

* Motor vehicle fatalities involving at least one passenger vehicle driver or motorcycle rider (operator) with a BAC of 0.08 or greater.

The 2013 Illinois Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Crackdown is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Bruce Dern Comes Home to Chicago for the Centerpiece Presentation of Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska”

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
The 49th Chicago International Film Festival honors the Kenilworth Native with Its Career Achievement Award

CHICAGO, IL – The 49th Chicago International Film Festival (October 10 – 24, 2013) announces the selection of “Nebraska,” directed by Academy Award®-winner Alexander Payne, written by Bob Nelson and starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte and Stacy Keach, as the Festival’s Centerpiece Film. “Nebraska” will screen on October 16 at 7 p.m. at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.). The Festival will present Bruce Dern, winner of the Award for Best Actor at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a Career Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding and diverse work during this gala presentation.

“I’ve been a fan of Bruce Dern’s work since I first saw him in Sydney Pollack’s ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ ” said Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival Michael Kutza. “In fact, you could say I grew up on his films! He has worked with some of the world’s finest filmmakers: Hal Ashby, Walter Hill, John Frankenheimer, Francis Ford Coppola, Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock and now Alexander Payne. Dern delivers, without a doubt, a knockout performance in Payne’s heartwarming and charming new film. We are proud to honor this fellow Chicagoan with one of the Festival’s top awards.”

After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, “Nebraska” tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America.

Bruce Dern’s tremendous career is made up of playing both modern day heroes and legendary villains. Through decades of critically acclaimed performances, Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation. A celebrated stage actor, he was trained by famed director Elia Kazan at The Actor’s Studio and made his film debut in Kazan’s “Wild River” (1960). In the 1960s, Dern also found success as a distinguished television actor. He appeared regularly in contemporary Western TV-series as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s television series, “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.” Hitchcock was such a fan of Dern, he cast him in both “Marnie” and, “Family Plot” (Hitchcock’s final film). During the 1960s, Dern went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade defining films including “Wild Angels.” He received critical success for films such as “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” and “Drive, He Said” and went down in history for his role as Long Hair in The Cowboys in which he became the first man ever to kill John Wayne.

Bruce went on to star in such classic films like “The King Of Marvin Gardens” with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn as well as playing Tom Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby” (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination). It was his brilliant and powerful performance in Hal Ashby’s “Coming Home” that earned him both an Academy Award® and Golden Globe nomination. Bruce co-starred with Charlize Theron in “Monster,” one of the most critically acclaimed independent films of all time, and he can also be seen on the HBO series “Big Love.” Most recently Bruce has worked with iconic directors Francis Ford Coppola in “Twixt,” Quentin Tarantino in “Django Unchained.”

Other credits include: “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte” with Bette Davis, Douglas Trumbull’s “Silent Running,” Michael Ritchie’s “Smile, Middle Age Crazy” with Anne Margret, Jason Miller’s “That Championship Season,” “Tattoo” with Maude Adams, “The ‘Burbs” with Tom Hanks, “The Haunting” with Catherine Zeta Jones, Billy Bob Thornton’s “All the Pretty Horses,” Bob Dylan’s “Masked and Anonymous,” “Down in the Valley” with Edward Norton, “Astronaut Farmer” with Billy Bob Thornton, “The Cake Eaters” with Kristin Stewart. His other outstanding films include the much heralded “After Dark My Sweet,” “Harry Tracy,” “On the Edge,” “Laughing Policeman,” “Posse,” the great John Frankenheimer’s “Black Sunday,” and Walter Hill’s “The Driver.”

The grandson of Greek immigrants, Alexander Payne grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was educated by Jesuits. He later studied History and Spanish Literature at Stanford University before earning an MFA in Film Directing at UCLA. His first two feature films were the comedies “Citizen Ruth” (1996) and “Election” (1999). “About Schmidt” premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. Both “Sideways” (2004) and “The Descendants” (2011) won Oscars® for Best Adapted Screenplay and were nominated for four others, including Best Picture and Best Director. Four of his six feature films were filmed in Nebraska.

Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Soap Box Rants

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


I was at an event the other day and one of the speakers was a well-known politician. When he came out to speak everybody clapped and cheered with the exception of the person sitting next to me. That person went on to whisper to me “that this person is full of it.” When I queried as to why  such a statement was made, I was told that the person had made promises to their organization but never followed through on promises. To me, it was like de je vu being that I’ve heard these stories a lot – how someone’s colleague invited them out to invest in their business or offer them employment, but never followed through on what was promised. Either people didn’t take their calls when they tried to reach out to them, or even worst, they didn’t return their phone calls.

Why is it that people want to give the air of caring, being concerned and helpful, but when they leave the stage or event, they don’t want to be bothered anymore? I suggest to them to “just keep your big mouth shut!” You don’t have to commit to anything. You don’t owe anybody anything, unless you are a public servant (that includes politicians). Anyone else, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting anyway. The thing is, you don’t make it better by laughing it up and giving people some feel good moments only to smash their dreams or expectations after making a commitment or promise that was made on a whim and you had no intentions of doing so in the first place.

They should (politicians) quit telling people there are so many untapped dollars in the community, especially about the ones being returned because no one used them. Why not be proactive and apprise the community of the dollars when they are made available, and create programs and workshops that guide them through the process of completing those applications? Guess what? It is your community too! Following that, you should keep up a series of workshops to educate them on how to best manage the programs; teach them good customer service and the importance of transparency and ethics.

Nothing puzzles me more than when you ask a not-for-profit organization questions about their organization and they become defensive or evasive. Transparency people! The 501C belongs to the community. It is not your personal business or cookie jar. And to business owners, when you get TIF dollars, fix the place up, and maintain it. Don’t act silly because you renovated your place or fixed it up. Treat your customers with dignity and maintain a  good look appearance.

A person keeping their word is considered an honest person. Anyone who promises to help and evades is not. If you take away anything from a person not following through on what they promised – maybe that person is of questionable character. Moreover, it is probably best that you found out when you did so you don’t have to waste time with them on important stuff.

On the other side of the coin, there are a lot of people out there that will make promises and will keep their word. So don’t be quick to dismiss their offer because sometimes people have intentions of doing the right thing, but other things come up and get in the way, or someone got to them sooner than you did. Always make it a point to stay in touch and reach out to busy people in multiple ways

· Show up at events, drop by the office, call, email and snail mail

· Get to know others in the office that may have access to them to remind them of their conversation with you, maybe they are just plain forgetful. That happens when you have a lot of people approaching and asking for help on various things

· Don’t give up or wait for them to call you. Give them a nudge every now and then, but don’t be rude and don’t let that be your only source for achieving your goal. Remember, there are plenty of people and opportunities out there.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. She is also a weekly columnist for CopyLine Magazine

American Legion chooses IDES’ Ottawa Office as Nation’s Best Employment Services for Veterans

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Employment Security’s Ottawa office will be honored by the American Legion as the nation’s best provider of employment services to Veterans.

“It is an amazing honor to be recognized by our military heroes across our country and incredibly rewarding to assist Veterans to return to work and transition back to civilian life,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “The award recognizes IDES’ emphasis on employment services as well as the dedication shown by our associates to help those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

IDES is charged with delivering re-employment services to Veterans. In 2012, IDES helped 17,000 Veterans return to work. The Veteran unemployment rate in Illinois was lower than the national rate in 2011 and 2012. The state rate in 2011 was 8.1 percent, the national rate 8.3 percent. The state rate in 2012 was 6.8 percent, the national rate 7.0 percent

The Employment Service award will be presented Aug. 28 during the American Legion’s 95th national convention in Houston, Texas. More than 9,000 Veterans are expected to attend. It is the first time Illinois has won a national award from the American Legion. Only one national winner is chosen each year.

“We are excited to see the American Legion’s recognition of Illinois’ efforts on behalf of Veterans,” said Erica Borggren, Director, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “Thanks to Governor Quinn’s leadership and the work of IDES, our Veterans are receiving much-needed assistance in finding meaningful employment, which is a linchpin to a successful transition to civilian life. We congratulate Ms. Curran and the team of the Ottawa office.”

Nancy Curran is the Ottawa office manager. She will accept the award on behalf of all IDES associates during a ceremony at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The American Legion is paying expenses.

Curran said that Illinois has a good story to tell helping Veterans return to work. She said this honor shows there is reason for Veterans, their spouses and their loved ones to be optimistic. Curran also said it is rewarding to work with Veterans and the local partners at Ottawa’s One Stop comprehensive center.

With 2.4 million members, the American Legion is the nation’s largest organization of wartime Veterans. It began in 1919 with an emphasis on a strong national security, Veteran affairs, Americanism and youth programs. There are more than 14,000 Posts nationwide. The Illinois headquarters is in Bloomington.

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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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