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Archive for September, 2013

Playing “hardball” politics at the risk of a government shutdown is not the answer

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on Playing “hardball” politics at the risk of a government shutdown is not the answer

“Ideologue” political tactics should not stand in the way of funding government; the economic impact would be devastating

By Juanita Bratcher

Author, Editor & Publisher of CopyLine Magazine

The more I listen to the negative voices coming out of Washington, the more I’m convinced that some of these politicians should never have been elected to office to represent America or the public’s trust. Hopefully, in their re-election bids, voters in their districts will see fit to end their tenure; then the country as a whole will not be subjected to their grandstanding and stupid rhetoric.

I am appalled as to how a handful of uncompromising extremist politicians can hold this country and the American people hostage at the risk of shutting down government because they are opposed to the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

The Affordable Care Act passed without a single Republican vote and is the law of the land. It was passed by the Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet, Washington Republicans have tried unsuccessfully to repeal the law 43 times. Even though the 43 repeals passed in the U.S. House, they were aware (if they are astute politicians) that their repeals of the law never had a chance of passing the U.S. Senate and would be staring in the face of a veto from President Barack Obama. So why do Washington Republicans keep wasting time on something they know will never happen as long as the Democrats have control of the Senate and Obama is still the president? Are they playing to their political base? Why don’t they spend that time working with the President on trying to get this economy back on track and putting people back to work? If there is a shutdown, 800,000 workers will be forced off the job without pay.

In House Republicans’ recent actions to halt Obamacare they suggested withholding funding of the healthcare law which kicks in on October 1st. Then they shifted to a short-term funding bill that would delay Obamacare for a year. Why not a clean stop-gap spending bill to keep government running and deal with Obamacare later? Reportedly, a government shutdown would cost about $2 billion – which at the moment seems more likely than not.

President Obama said it would be the “height of irresponsibility”on the part of conservatives to shutdown government, adding that it would cause economic chaos.

Whatever happened to compromising? There is a stark difference between demanding and compromising.

The clock is ticking away toward Midnight October 1st. Let’s hope that sanity prevails on the part of our leaders who are in positions to make that happen – to halt a government shutdown and keep government running; that the winds of caution, sanity, and responsibility will prevail in the best interest of this country and its people.

Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 37 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

When it Comes to Health, Place Matters

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on When it Comes to Health, Place Matters

By Dr. Brian Smedley
America’s Wire Writers Group

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) – The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is an achievement Americans can be proud of. Making sure that all our brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren, have proper health insurance makes us a stronger, more prosperous nation.

Amid this important change, however, we cannot ignore the work that remains to be done, especially in communities of color. Insurance cards are not enough.

To become a society with better health – not just better health coverage – we must also look at the role “place” plays in the lives of minority communities.

Where we live, work and play is surprisingly predictive of lifespan. Within the city of Boston, for instance, people in some census tracts live 33 years less than those in nearby tracts. In Bernalillo County, N.M., the difference is 22 years.

Researchers are releasing “Community Health Equity Reports” at the Place Matters 2013 National Health Equity Conference on Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C. Data from Baltimore, Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, New Orleans and other cities demonstrates that where you live is a powerful determinant for how long you’ll live.

“Health equity” may sound like a jargon term, but it’s really a simple and just concept: all people should have equal opportunities for good health.

Unfortunately, in conversations, people often reduce health issues to questions of access to health care or to behavior; in other words, if people only ate right, exercised, or saw a doctor regularly, health inequities could be eliminated.

Now, to be sure, access to high-quality health care is important, particularly for those who face health risks. And individuals should strive for active lifestyles and healthy diets.

But a large and growing body of research demonstrates that the spaces and places where people live, work, study and play powerfully shape the opportunities they have to achieve good health.

People of color – who are still subject to persistent social, if not legal, segregation – are disproportionately located in unhealthy spaces. This is a major factor that helps explain the poorer health of many minority groups.

Consider the numbers: One in four African Americans, one in six Hispanics, and one in eight American Indians in metropolitan America lives in a census tract in which 30 percent or more of the population is in poverty.

But only an estimated one in 25 non-Hispanic whites live in one of these tracts.

Neighborhood conditions can overwhelm even the most persistent and determined efforts of individuals to take steps to improve their health. Neighborhoods with high rates of poverty are subject to significant health risks, from the presence of polluting industries to the absence of a grocery offering fresh fruits and vegetables.

These same communities typically have poorer quality housing and transportation options, and are hit hardest by the home-mortgage lending crisis, which crushed wealth opportunities and disproportionately affected communities of color.

Many of these neighborhoods also experience high rates of crime and violence, which affect even those who are not directly victimized, as a result of stress and an inability to exercise or play outside. Even healthcare providers, hospitals, and clinics are harder to find in these neighborhoods.

It’s no wonder life-spans vary so greatly among neighborhoods, even those close to each other.

Some policymakers are working to address these place-based disparities.

Federal programs that stimulate investment in the nation’s hardest-hit communities are working to attract businesses, create jobs, and reduce the concentration of health risks. The Healthy Food Financing Initiative creates financial incentives for grocery stores or farmers’ markets to open in “food deserts.” And the Obama Administration’s “Promise Zones” initiative will streamline a host of federal “place-based” projects and offer technical assistance to jurisdictions that seek to stimulate economic activity and build ladders of opportunity

Investments in vulnerable communities may be among the most cost-effective strategies to close the health gap and improve the overall health of the nation.

A study commissioned by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the direct medical costs associated with health inequities – in other words, additional costs of health care incurred because of the higher burden of disease and illness experienced by minorities – was nearly $230 billion between 2003 and 2006. Add the indirect costs, such as lost wages and productivity and lost tax revenue, and the total cost of health inequities for the nation was $1.24 trillion.

Our nation’s poorest need health insurance. But we cannot afford to stop there.

Only by recognizing and then erasing the deep divides that create communities with fewer health opportunities can we create a nation of individuals with the chance to reach their full potentials.

Dr. Brian D. Smedley is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC. America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com.

National Veterans Art museum to honor Veteran’s Day 2013 with new Exhibition

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on National Veterans Art museum to honor Veteran’s Day 2013 with new Exhibition

Esprit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience, opens November 11, 2013

Chicago, IL – On Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, 2013, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) will honor Veterans Day with the opening reception of Esprit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience. Admission to the NVAM will be free from 12 p.m. through 9 p.m. with light refreshments offered from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. A keynote address will commence at 6 p.m. by Dr. Jack M. Bulmash, Hospital Chief of Staff of the Hines VA Hospital. At 7:30 p.m., patrons are invited downstairs to the Filament Theatre Company for the premiere of Veterans’ Voices, a documentary performance by Erasing the Distance.

Esprit de Corps is taken from the French and means “spirit of the body”—in military contexts, it refers to group morale, “the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.” Featuring art by veterans of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, Esprit de Corps traces the process and roles of therapeutic art from the act of initial perception through expression of experience to an ultimate communal sharing and understanding of the real impact of war.

Featured artists in Esprit de Corps include Vietnam veterans Joe Fornelli and Ted Gostas and post-9/11 veterans Jerry Frech, Jon Hancock, Peter Sullivan, and Erica Slone. Iraq War veteran Jerry Frech has loaned a series of journals that he kept during his service in the U.S. Air Force in Security Forces in 2006. These journals record his thoughts and observations in writing and in sketches. Of his journals, Frech notes, “I found myself surrounded by negativity, sorrow and, yes, drama. Without a lot of options to get away from all of the negativity, I escaped the only way I knew how: art.”

Erica Slone, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force for six years who served multiple deployments in the Global War on Terror, will serve as an artist in residence with an open studio. Of her interactive and on-site work, Slone comments, “I have spent the past five years researching military veterans’ experiences and making art around bridging the disconnection between veterans and contemporary civilian society. Through giving physical form to my own experiences of war, and through social engagement art projects, my work aims to create space for and facilitate intergroup dialogue around current, divisive, socio-political issues.”

Keynote speaker Dr. Jack M. Bulmash is the Hospital Chief of Staff of the Hines VA hospital. He joined the VHA and Hines VA Hospital on July 7, 2007 as Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care after a thirty-year practice in Geriatrics within the private sector. Dr. Bulmash graduated from the University of Illinois with an MD degree and after his internship joined the United States Army serving in Vietnam as a Battalion Surgeon.

NVAM Executive Director Levi Moore celebrated Dr. Bulmash’s keynote address, noting, “We welcome Dr. Bulmash to speak directly to issues of art therapy and therapeutic art and their potential for helping servicemen and women grow and develop following their military experiences.”

Veterans Voices’ was created with students from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and focuses on the mental health issues facing servicemen and women, veterans, and their families. Of the Veterans Day collaboration, Susan Zielinski, Therapeutic Art Coordinator for the NVAM says, “We are so pleased to have an opportunity to work with Erasing the Distance to expand the ways in which people look at and think about veteran experiences, especially the creative resilience behind many of the visual and performing arts.”

Veterans’ Voices will be performed on November 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. The NVAM will be free and open to the public from 10 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. on November 12, 13, 19 and 20.

Esprit de Corps will be on display from November 11, 2013 to August 1, 2014.

About the National Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic perspective, making this collection truly unique. The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.

The National Veterans Art Museum is located at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The National Veterans Art Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group admission reservations, call the Museum at 312/326-0270 or visit www.nvam.org.

Patrons of the museum can access art from the permanent collection and biographical information on the artists through the NVAM Collection Online, a recently launched online and high-resolution archive of every piece of art in the museum’s permanent collection. The NVAM Collection Online can be found at www.nvam.org/collection-online.

Calling It As It Is

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on Calling It As It Is

By William Spriggs

Once again, we stand poised on the precipice of economic calamity because the Republican-led House is intent on creating crises to push their agenda.  Unfortunately, too many pundits add to Americans’ cynicism by trying to find a way to blame both sides.

The Washington Post recently tried by saying that Democrats hope Republicans will fight to shut down the federal government in hopes of gaining advantage when people figure out the Republicans are to blame.  Playing to cynics also plays well in portraying this as a school yard fight, which in the age of reality television and voyeurism, is a sales pitch. It however does no one well if the experts and thought leaders do not play honest umpires to call the balls and strikes as they see them.

So, here are the facts. This summer, at a fundraiser in Idaho, the speaker of the House, John Boehner, said he wanted to create a crisis out of the federal budget and funding the government. The president clearly stated he would not negotiate on keeping the government in operation, either through a fight on a continuing resolution or raising the debt limit. A continuing resolution is congressional legislation brought about when Congress has not passed budgets for the many government agencies, and so instead passes a resolution to allow the government to continue to operate by authorizing expenditures in one giant bill.

To be even clearer, this is Congress authorizing money so the federal agencies can carry out the mandates of the many laws Congress has already passed-laws to inspect meat for safety, laws to prevent illegal drugs entering the country, laws to imprison people who violate those drug laws, laws to create national park lands, laws to ensure people receive their Social Security benefits and on and on. Since the House under Speaker Boehner’s leadership failed to pass those budget laws, the House is now in a position to create a crisis as Oct. 1 approaches; the first day of the new year of the federal budget.

The debt is the cumulative effect of past congressional decisions. From 1998 to 2001, the federal government ran surpluses, so the outstanding level of debt fell from $3.77 trillion to $3.32 trillion. This led the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to project in January 2001 that federal debt would go to zero by 2012. From 2001 to 2008, the federal government ran deficits in part as a stimulus effort directed at the 2001 downturn and in part from funding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in part because the 2001 recovery was weak, so revenues were less than expected and expenditures (on things like unemployment insurance and food stamps were higher).

This ran the federal debt up to $5.8 trillion in 2008. Many of the tax cuts put in place during that period, and new programs like the prescription drug benefit for Medicare, were left in place by President Barack Obama. By 2011, the debt had jumped to $10.1 trillion. In all, CBO figures that $3.3 trillion less was collected in revenues because of the weak 2001 recovery and the Great Recession of 2008; and spending increased for those same reasons by $112 billion.

The programs that Obama inherited account for 44 percent of the increase in mandatory spending that CBO had not anticipated in 2001, and 49 percent of the increase in discretionary spending that CBO had not foreseen in 2001 was already added to the federal debt when he took office. Further, 62 percent of the $2.8 trillion drop in revenue from tax cuts put in place between 2001 and 2008 that CBO could not have accounted for in January 2001 were from policies that preceded President Obama. This means that it would be disingenuous at best, for Republicans to now argue about raising the debt ceiling to insure that the United States pays on the debt incurred for policies made since 2001-debts for policies that included those of President George W. Bush, Senate Leaders Trent Lott and Bill Frist, and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

These crises manufactured by House Republicans are designed to bend economic policy in their direction. But, given that so far it is President Obama who has bent, the reality is that the fiscal policy pursued since 2010 and the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been declining fiscal stimulus. In the 11 quarters since the last quarter of 2010, the federal government has been a drag on the recovery in all but two because it continues to grow smaller-paying fewer workers and buying fewer goods and services from American companies desperate to grow sales. In part this reflects the president’s gambit with the sequestration that Republicans took, shrinking GDP growth by over a point in the fourth quarter of 2012 when government procurement got rolled back in anticipation of fewer contracting dollars. Clearly, these actions take away job opportunities.

Republicans have not put forward a new vision for America. Instead, the only problem they see in the country right now is the size of the federal government.  The persistent high levels of unemployment, the drop in median family income, even the increase in child poverty are not issues they are producing solutions for-except a view that smaller government will solve them. So unlike all past economic downturns, like under Presidents Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush, they are testing a new economic theory that a shrinking government will lower unemployment, raise family incomes and reduce child poverty. Except, following their policy of a shrinking government, the opposite is occurring. And last week, the Republican House voted in the face of rising child poverty to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-food stamps).

In fairness to Republicans, the president proposed a recovery act that was too small and designed to end too soon. But, he has offered various plans since to increase American investment in our roads and bridges that would get many construction workers back to work while saving our children the burden of replacing bridges we could be repairing. And, he has offered plans to return teachers to the classroom, sending federal dollars to help our local schools replace the hundreds of thousands of local public education workers lost when the Great Recession sucked money out of their school district budgets. The president’s offer would reverse the first serious decrease in per-pupil expenditures American children have experienced in the post-World War II era. Republicans have rejected both ideas, since they would make “the government bigger.”

Republicans have argued that government debt is a moral issue. But, this confuses saving and investing. It does save money now when you don’t fix our roads or pay for teachers in our children’s classrooms. But that doesn’t save money in the long run. Cutting those expenditures cuts on our investment. It leaves a long and expensive “to-do” list for our children when they must confront a broken transportation system that cannot draw investors to America for fear they can’t move their goods efficiently. It also hurts our children’s education, leaves them less educated and skilled for a world that grows more technical and sophisticated every day.

Several Senate Republican leaders see this current grandstanding by House Republicans as harmful to the Republican party. Voters will not be fooled, even if the Sunday talking elite try to make this into a food fight. Shutting down the government, moving America backward and standing for nothing is not a formula to draw votes. With median family incomes still down from 2007, America’s working families do not believe, as some House Republicans, that a private sector led by JPMorgan-and its acknowledgement of multiple counts of law violations, and perhaps $20 billion in fines for corrupting the financial system and causing the collapse of the world’s economy-is the solution.

The stock market is booming. The “job creators,” including those like JPMorgan, that face legal charges, have soaring incomes. They are not riding in on white horses with job offers to save Middle America. Wall Street is dancing to music that only the House Republicans can hear, because on Main Street, there is still the silence of looking for work. If the pundits call it honest, this is a big strike for Republicans for playing with the economy again and failing to offer a vision of jobs and rising pay and investing in America’s children. After voting to take food away from the tables of America’s children, this will be strike two.

Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs.

Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142.

Lt. Governor Simon to host EMS summit

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon to host EMS summit

Focus on improving emergency medical responses in rural Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will meet with stakeholders and discuss the ongoing challenges faced by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel in rural communities as host of the upcoming 2013 Illinois EMS Summit in Springfield on Oct. 8. She is encouraging EMS experts and health care providers to register now through next week.

“Bringing together EMS experts and health care professionals from across the state is a terrific way to help ensure first-rate care for the rural residents of Illinois,” said Simon. “By creating this important dialogue we can assist rural communities, make our emergency services even better and save lives.”

The 2013 Illinois EMS Summit organizers tout the event as an opportunity for EMS providers and other rural stakeholders to come together to examine the conditions of rural EMS in Illinois. Participants will be able to discuss potential solutions for ongoing rural EMS challenges such as recruitment and retention of personnel, continuing education requirements and the misalignment of licensure with national standards.

Lt. Governor Simon is the chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council (GRAC). As GRAC chair, Simon is leading efforts to combat a shortage of emergency responders in many parts of the state, encourage additional EMS training, and improve various classifications and standards. GRAC also established an EMS subcommittee to enhance existing emergency response units, reduce ambulance response times in rural Illinois and make recommendations for improvements and enhanced access.

The summit will be held in Room 1105/1106 of Lincoln Land Community College’s Trutter Center at 5250 Shepherd Rd., in Springfield. Those interested in participating can register online at www.siumed.edu/cme/tracker.html. The registration rate is $15 per person. The fee includes refreshments, lunch, and summit materials.

State’s Attorney’s Unity Conference Offers Networking Opportunity for Community Leaders

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on State’s Attorney’s Unity Conference Offers Networking Opportunity for Community Leaders

In the office’s continuing efforts to enhance community involvement and awareness, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, along with members of the office’s Advisory Councils, presented a one day seminar aimed at informing and empowering community organizations.

“Violence Prevention and You: Law Enforcement and Community Responses to Crime,” was the theme for the 5th Annual Unity Conference, held in commemoration of Unity Month. The conference gave participants the opportunity to learn about some of the State’s Attorney’s innovative and creative approaches to reduce violence in our communities.

During the conference, State’s Attorney Alvarez presented the Community Empowerment Award to Colleen Daley, Executive Director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence for the organization’s work to reduce death and injury caused by firearms.

The Unity Conference was held September 11th at the UIC Forum in Chicago.

Photo Caption: Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez (right) presented the 2013 Community Empowerment Award to Colleen Daley, Executive Director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence for the organization’s work to reduce death and injury caused by firearms.

Chicago Musician hits the right note with Quick Pick

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on Chicago Musician hits the right note with Quick Pick

Wins $450,000 Illinois Lottery Jackpot Prize

CHICAGO, IL — Aaron Nicholas couldn’t believe he won a lottery jackpot by re-playing the numbers printed on a Quick Pick ticket he bought for a previous drawing. “My Quick Pick ticket didn’t win that night, but I had a good feeling about the numbers on it so I decided to play them for a week.”  The lucky Chicago resident was shocked to win $450,000 when those five numbers – 7 – 12 – 13 – 27 – 32 – came up in the  August 20 Lucky Day Lotto evening drawing.

Nicholas was on his way to the movies with a friend when he stopped to get gas and buy a Lucky Day Lotto ticket.  After the movie, he used his cell phone to check the winning numbers on illinoislottery.com.  “When I saw the winning numbers, my hands began to shake and my eyes filled with tears.  My first thought was that my music can now reach thousands.”

As a young boy Nicholas looked forward to attending church with his mother to listen to the choir. He grew up memorizing the tunes and playing them on his keyboard with ease. His natural talent earned him a spot in the church band where he still plays today.

Nicholas plans to use his winnings to buy music equipment, pay bills, and donate to his church. “I am grateful that my church gave me a chance to pursue my passion. Now I can buy myself a top of the line digital piano and enchant more people with my music.”  In his spare time Nicholas also plays in the jazz group, Two Cold, with whom he has produced his first instrumental music CD.

When asked if he had any advice for other lottery players Nicholas responded, “Keep playing and don’t give up. Anything’s possible.” The winning ticket was purchased at S&J Mobil Oil, 7601 South State Street, in Chicago.  The retailer received a $4,500 bonus, equal to 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket.

Jackpots for Lucky Day Lotto start at $100,000. Drawings are now twice a day, seven days a week with an average of over 40,000 winners every day. That’s over 250,000 winners in Illinois every week! The Lucky Day Lotto drawing takes place every day at 12:40 p.m. and 9:22 p.m. For more information, please visit www.illinoislottery.com.

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed $18 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund. Players must be at least 18 years old.

Celebrity Designer Robert Rodriguez to present Holiday and 2014 Resort Collection October 1-5, 2013 – Block Thirty Seven Mall, Chicago

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on Celebrity Designer Robert Rodriguez to present Holiday and 2014 Resort Collection October 1-5, 2013 – Block Thirty Seven Mall, Chicago

CHICAGO, IL – Celebrity designer Robert Rodriguez will make his debut at Latino Fashion Week featuring his 2013 holiday collection and anticipated 2014 Resort wear collection. Since launching his contemporary label in 2003, Robert Rodriguez has honed his talent for sophisticated, feminine, and tailored pieces for a global audience. Each collection incorporates high-quality fabrics and luxurious details that embody Robert’s refined aesthetic.

Exposed to the world of fashion at an early age, Robert’s love for design began with Brigid Keenan’s book on Christian Dior, Dior in Vogue, which proved to be a huge influence on his technique. While studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Robert gained recognition among his peers, winning the prestigious Critics Award for Best Designer of the Year. Soon after, he accepted a design position at Christian Dior under the guidance of Marc Bohen and Geri Gerald. In 2010, Robert was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 2012, he was chosen as one of the twenty-four CFDA designers to participate in the unprecedented Target + Neiman Marcus collaboration.

Celebrity clients include Eva Longoria, Angelina Jolie, and Heidi Klum. The Robert Rodriguez Collection is available at luxury department stores and specialty boutiques in the United States and internationally.

About Latino Fashion Week

Latino Fashion Week is the only fashion week and tour in the United States created to support the talent of local national and international designer and it the premier resource institution for those in Latino Fashion Industry.

Latino Fashion Week, now in its 7th year celebrating The Journey is a timeless celebration of the milestones and accomplishments of our organization since its inception. LFW is a showcase of all that is fashion during the 2013 tour in the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Dallas. The Chicago five-day event includes runway show, celebrity appearances, VIP receptions, Fashion Lounges & Market and much much more. Visit our website at www.LatinoFashionWk.com.

HolidayFamily Panto The Snow Queen begins On November 8 at Piccolo Theatre

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on HolidayFamily Panto The Snow Queen begins On November 8 at Piccolo Theatre

EVANSTON, IL – Piccolo Theatre Ensemble’s 13th Annual Holiday Panto for kids and family previews November 8, and this year Piccolo dazzles the senses and sheds new light on an old tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Friendship reflects love and trust, but rejection threatens when the mirror breaks… Christmas is trapped in ice when best friends Kai and Gerda are separated by the enchanted broken mirror of the beautiful but fierce Snow Queen. With the help of her colorful comrades Erick, Derick, and the Dame, the shy Gerda must find the hero within as she quests across wintry Lapland to save the imprisoned Kai, facing trolls, conniving snowflakes, and other magical obstacles along the way. Featuring exciting new music, dancing, and memorable characters, this holiday world premiere will warm your heart, thaw your toes, and make you laugh!

The Snow Queen, or When Christmas Freezes Over! is written by Jessica Puller**, with music and lyrics by Rich Maisel, directed by Nicole Keating, and choreographed by Joshua D. Allard** and Vanessa Hughes**.  Cast includes Joshua D. Allard**, Vanessa Hughes**, Kurt Proepper**, and Nathan Thompson**; with Josh Ballard, Andy Huttel, Claire Hart, Jillian Weingart, Shane Hill, Caitlin Aase, Sarah Mayhan, Shari Mocheit, and Steve Yandell.

**Piccolo Theatre Ensemble Member

The Snow Queen, or When Christmas Freezes Over! previews November 8 – November 10 Friday & Saturday at 7:30PM, and Sunday at 3PM. Opening is Friday, November 15 at 7:30PM with a free reception to follow. Performances run November 15 – December 21; all performances are Friday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 3PM & 7:30PM,and Sunday at 3PM. Ticket prices include $15 (previews only), $65 (family of 4), $25 (adults), $22 (seniors), $15 (students), $10 (Children 10 and younger). Group discounts are available for all performances. For tickets and more information, call the Box Office at (847) 424-0089 Monday-Friday from 10AM-5PM, or visit www.piccolotheatre.com.

“Magic in the Word”: Revolutionary Book of Acrostic Poetry brings new meaning & depth to life’s ‘everyday’ words.

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2013 Comments Off on “Magic in the Word”: Revolutionary Book of Acrostic Poetry brings new meaning & depth to life’s ‘everyday’ words.

Written by Victor French and believed to be the only book of acrostic poetry currently on the market, ‘Magic in the Word’ brings a whole new meaning to words we speak every day. While the book’s format is revolutionary in itself, the author’s unique presentation of words is expected to help readers use them in proper context and express their thoughts with gusto.

Toronto, Ontario – While hundreds of thousands of poetry books exist to encompass every conceivable topic, Canadian author Victor French has opened a new literary door by releasing what is believed to be the first published book of acrostic poetry. However, it isn’t just an art form; French’s unique presentation of everyday words is a bold attempt to help readers better understand them and express their thoughts with true meaning.

‘Magic in the Word’ says it all in its title. Exploratory, entertaining and wholly-unique, the ground-breaking book is poised to resonate with readers everywhere.


Some have said that this book should be a COFFEE TABLE “must” because of the quick, easy read of each and every page. The author has captured the inner sense and feeling of everyday words to the point that we may now use these words and know that they are in proper context to express our thoughts. Selected readers, previewing the manuscript, gave the opinion that overall it is a clever, thought provoking and smooth flowing description of a word artfully using each letter that spell the word. You will find some of the work within the pages are the author’s philosophical thoughts, others are enough to tickle the thought processes of the reader, while some are simply amusing.

This book is definitely for the young and old – and all those in between – as it reminds us that the words we use each day have a real feeling other than something uttered as we chatter our way through each day with others.

The author, in essence, has ventured into a new realm with words and letters that will challenge the readers to let their minds open in a new direction with the simplest of words in daily use.

As the author explains, composing his book was quite a challenge.

“I set out to use every letter of the alphabet, and I achieved it! It was important for me to use everyday words in order to give readers a deeper understanding and appreciation of them. Examples include GOD – HEAVEN – CHOICE – BRAVE -HUMANS – BEAUTY – MOTION – QUEST,” says French.

Continuing, “To date I have had some comments from those that have seen some of the pages including a couple of book editors  – so I give a few here  — Ingenious – clever – thought provoking – philosophical. Comments also included ‘a book for teachers and preachers’ and ‘a book for every office reception area’ because it’s a short enjoyable read while waiting. Although a few Name Poems are included – there is also some of what friends call my ‘Brain Dribble’ – where I play with various words in a humorous way – to have some fun and hopefully raise a chuckle from the reader.”

With a second book in the works, French is currently hosting a unique competition. Through his increasingly-popular blog, French is inviting all members of the public to submit words for possible inclusion.

“I’ll tackle anything so, go on – challenge me! Who knows, your word could end up being featured in my next book!” he adds.

‘Magic in the Word’, published by FriesenPress, is available now: http://amzn.to/1dIRVWt. The book will soon be available through over 25,000 global retailers.

For more information, visit the author’s official website: http://authorvfrench.weebly.com.

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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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