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Archive for October 9th, 2013

Kirk, Hirono Meet with China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Senators and Ambassador Discuss Bilateral Relations, Launch of Senate US-China Working Group
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) today met with China’s Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, to discuss opportunities and challenges across U.S.-China relations, including the planned launch of the Senate U.S.-China Working Group later this fall.
“As the world’s two largest economies and energy consumers, the United States and China face numerous opportunities for cooperation, but also numerous challenges to overcome,” said Senator Kirk, who co-founded the House U.S.-China Working Group in 2005 with U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.).  “The U.S. and China grow more interdependent every day and we need a nuanced policy that reflects this 21st century reality.  The Senate U.S.-China Working Group will create a space for Senators to hold open and frank dialogue with Chinese leaders on all issues of mutual concern.”
The senators’ discussion with Ambassador Cui touched on a wide range of issues, including the continued global economic recovery, bilateral trade issues, military cooperation and enhancing people-to-people ties.
According to the U.S. China Business Council, China is Illinois’ third largest export market. In 2012, Illinois exported $6 billion worth of goods to China – more than a 400 percent increase over the past decade.  Crops are the top Illinois export to China, accounting for $2.4 billion in 2012.  The Illinois Soybean Association estimates that 25% of U.S.’ soybeans are exported to China.

The Immigration Reform Movement is a Scam: How our Communities are Manipulated to promote Anti-Immigrant Legislation

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

Statement from Moratorium On Deportations Campaign in response to the current mobilizations in support of the so-called “immigration reform.”

On October 5, Mayor Rahm Emanuel paraded with major NGO’s like Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to promote Comprehensive Immigration Reform. On October 12, ICIRR and several other major NGO’s are mobilizing a March for Immigration Reform with Dignity and Respect. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But these two actions are part of a much broader campaign of manipulation, falsely promising that Immigration Reform legislation will “keep families together”, “legalize 11 Million people” “make our immigration system more just” and “stop deportations”. It is a scam.

Living in Chicago has taught us a few hard lessons about “Reform”. We have learned that “Housing Reform” means closing public housing, displacing thousands of poor people in the interests of greedy developers. “Education Reform” means closing the schools in poor, immigrant and Black communities in order to open up the market for privatized schools. “Health Care Reform” means closing mental health clinics serving poor people to make way for gentrification projects, funneling those left without care into the prison system. And “Immigrant Detention Reform” means opening up more detention centers and detaining more people including children, in newly built “family-friendly” prisons. “Reform” is what the domestic war looks like, a war waged against immigrants, the poor, the unemployed, women and others who can be made socially vulnerable and disposable. “Reform” is the nice-sounding way to package racism in a “post-racial” America. Rahm Emanuel is the perfect spokesperson for Reform.

The Immigration Reform movement is the newest example of oppression, violence and exploitation sold to us as a “step in the right direction”. The Immigration Reform Movement is built around Bill S744 which passed in the Senate — an anti-immigrant bill which is now almost identically copied by House Democrats in their recent proposal. This Bill’s major provisions are:

  • make all immigration policy dependent on border militarization: over $46 billion will be funneled to military contractors, creating the most militarized space in US history and reinforcing xenophobic hysteria around immigration as a “national security threat”
  • increase the criminalization of immigrants and push more and more people into detention, all to benefit private prison companies
  • create a new version of the Bracero program that keeps immigrant workers exploitable, all to the benefit of large corporations and agribusiness;
  • create a false “path to citizenship”, by inventing a new “probation” status for immigrants. This status will penalize people who fall below the poverty line, who cannot prove continuous employment, who are targetted by police, who become injured or disabled or otherwise unable to work — in other words, the vast majority of immigrants without status will be pushed into deportation
  • increase surveillance and enforcement so that it becomes MUCH easier to find and deport people, increasing the efficiency of the deportation machine and Obama’s historic record as Deporter in Chief
  • destroy “family unification” as a principle for visa programs (which will make it much harder for poor immigrants to petition on behalf of family members such as siblings) and replace it with a “merit system” benefiting only a select few wealthy, professional and highly educated immigrants;
  • extend the violence against indigenous communities living along the border, and further violate the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations by militarizing their lands

The Immigration Reform Movement is a giant PR campaign, a way to make false promises to immigrants, while pushing legislation benefiting corporate interests that need cheap labor, disposable people and a steady supply of prisoners. These bills will do the opposite of what promoters would have us believe: they would increase deportations and detentions, push people into a permanent underclass making them more exploitable, and use immigrants as an excuse to increase domestic militarization and surveillance programs that will affect everyone.  But the Reform movement is not just pushed by politicians from both parties and by right-wing think tanks: major Immigrant Rights NGO’s like ICIRR stand to benefit financially and politically from Immigration Reform, and a key player in selling us anti-immigrant legislation as a good thing. Across the country immigrant rights NGO’s have been hard at work falsely advertising reform, deliberately misleading the public about the provisions of the bills. On October 12, ICIRR is once again calling people into the streets to support “Reform with Dignity and Justice”. This is incredibly cynical – there is no dignity in being exploited, no respect in being duped to cheer for your own oppression. The Immigration Reform Movement is anti-immigrant, anti-poor, anti-women and anti-family — all the while manipulating our communities in order to secure the immigrant vote.

More cynically, the Reform movement seeks to pacify us, to neutralize and crush grass-roots social movements. Politicians have learned that immigrant social movements are defiant and dangerous to the status quo, but the immigrant vote is a useful prize. Immigrant communities are being used as pawns in a political spectacle that seeks to convert the energy and power of social movements into political capital for politicians and the NGO’s who do their dirty work. “It is the best we can get” they say, “it is better than nothing”, and “a step forward”. Those of us who refer to the actual provisions of the legislation are accused of being divisive and unreasonable. Not once but twice, ICIRR have called the police on undocumented activists who tried to speak out against anti-immigrant policies. This has revealed to us the extent to which these organizations will collaborate with police, Homeland Security and politicians to control migrant justice activists and crush grassroots movements.

We denounce organizations like ICIRR that promote anti-immigrant legislation in order to promote their own financial and political ambitions. We remain committed to building grassroots social movements that can push back not only against the lunatic right wing, not only against the private prison contractors and corporations who profit from the lives and bodies of immigrants and the poor, but also — and more importantly — against the opportunist corporate NGO’s that are rising in power by selling us out. We can take some lessons from the social movements in Mexico: when faced with “reforms” it is not time to wave flags and cheer, it is time for resistance, time for barricades, occupations and strikes.

In Solidarity,
Moratorium On Deportations Campaign,
No Name Collective,



In Solidarity

What do Chinese bloggers say about the U.S. Government shutdown?

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

In Wake of U.S. Shutdown, China Stresses ‘Interests of All’

In Wake of U.S. Shutdown, China Stresses ‘Interests of All’

The mightiest democracy in the world has grounded to a screeching halt thanks to the tyranny of few. With the shutdown now in its second week, the U.S. federal government can no longer operate because leaders of the two political parties cannot find common ground and agree.

Befuddled observers around the world, meanwhile, watch in morbid fascination, taking lessons and in some cases offering up advice.

The people of Lebanon are saying, “Hey you Americans, come and learn from us — we have gotten along without a functioning government for decades.” For the Egyptians, the debacle in D.C. was something of an “aha moment,” namely how to get rid of a government without bloodshed.

The United States is worse off even than Italy, as it is without the presence of a Silvio Berlusconi to bail out lawmakers and avert a government shutdown. (Berlusconi “saved” Italy by not bolting from the ruling coalition.)

Other western democracies such as France, Germany and the U.K. are surely congratulating themselves for having a parliamentary form of democracy where the prime minister stays in power so long as a majority of the parliament supports him or her.

When the prime minister no longer has majority support and loses the confidence vote, the government falls. But, unlike in the United States, a minority cannot violate the basic tenet of democracy and shut the government down.

But it’s in China where the bloggers seem to be having the most fun in seizing the shutdown as an opportunity for a twofer.

On the one hand, many are praising America’s civil society to the sky for its ability to go about business as usual, in contrast to China, where a shutdown would assuredly lead to chaos and disorder.

“The system in the U.S is indeed superior. Their government can be shut down without causing any chaos in society,” read one comment posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

“The U.S. federal government shuts down. It’s the price of democracy’s checks and balances,” read another. “It will bring inconvenience to a lot of people, but I believe, between an inefficient government and a government without checks and balances, most Americans will choose the former.”

Some commenters slyly suggested that a shutdown of the Chinese government wouldn’t be such a bad thing. “I wish China’s government would shut down and let corrupt officials have a taste of it,” wrote one.

Chinese tourists visiting the United States, however, didn’t find much to laugh about. Last week marked China’s “Golden Week” during which millions venture abroad on travel vacations. Many from China left for the United States around Oct. 1, China’s national holiday.

For those who scrimped for the trip of their lifetime, they will be going home without the customary photos taken from Yosemite or the Statue of Liberty — both closed due to the government shutdown — and other popular icons from the land of the free.

But the bad taste of disappointed tourists is hardly the only damage to international relations for the United States.

Because of the shutdown, Obama had to cancel his trip to Asia just to “pivot” back to Washington — further shaking the confidence of the region in America’s leadership ability.

In contrast, China’s President Xi Jinping went to Indonesia and became the first foreign leader to address Indonesia’s parliament where he spoke for nearly an hour before heading to Malaysia.

The Taiwan-based Apple Daily made a fuss over a phrase Xi used in his speech, in which he told the audience in comments seemingly intended for leaders in Taipei, “The interests to be considered should be the interests of all.”

That same exact phrase once formed half the operating motto of Chiang Ch’ing Guo after he succeeded his father, Chiang Kai Shek, and became the second president of the Republic of China in Taiwan.

Indonesia would seem to be an unlikely venue to send a coded message to Taiwan. More likely, Xi was looking to emphasize the principle that one should consider the greater good over the narrow interest of a select few.

This, of course, is the very message that political leaders in the United States are ignoring, namely, total focus on their individual agenda and no focus on the national interest.

As the gridlock continues, the United States is expected to hurtle over the fiscal cliff around Oct. 17. Without a Congress to work with the White House and raise the debt ceiling, the United States will have to default.

When the world sees the full faith of the U.S. federal government as worthless, all jokes aside, financial Armageddon will ensue. Perhaps the crazies in Congress relish the idea of an Armageddon, but no one else will.

Dr. George Koo is an international business consultant and a contributor to New America Media.

National Bankers Association awards JPMorgan Chase for “Outstanding Community Service”

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

At its 86th Annual Convention, the National Bankers Association (NBA), a trade group of minority banks, has given its community service award to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for the company’s leadership in investing for social impact in low and moderate income communities in the United States and around the world.

“JPMorgan Chase has used its resources and global reach to help provide financial assistance and economic stimulus in communities across America,” says NBA President Michael Grant. Grant particularly lauded JPMorgan Chase’s partnerships with community development financial institutions or CDFIs. Since 2009, the company provided more than $1 billion in loans, grants and investments to CDFI’s and their affiliates.

The award was given during the NBA’s annual conference in Atlanta last week. The award was accepted by David Balos, president of the Georgia Market, JPMorgan Chase. The theme of the four-day gathering was “A Legacy of Community Service and Social Responsibility.”

Last year alone, JPMorgan Chase provided some $6 billion to low and moderate income individuals and communities through its community development work. Also, recognizing the need to educate a workforce for the future, the company, in 2012, donated more than $60 million to education organizations in the U.S. and around the world.

To help capitalize the leading engines for creating jobs – small businesses – JPMorgan Chase provided $20 billion in new credit to U.S. Small businesses, up 18 percent over 2011 and ranked number one Small Business Administration lender by units for the third year in a row.

The National Bankers Association founded in 1927, is a trade group of minority-owned banks.  Membership is comprised of African-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American, Asian-American and women-owned banks.  The Association is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Photo Caption: National Bankers Association President/CEO Michael Grant and NBA Chairman Doyle Mitchell gives Community Service Award to JPMorgan Chase. Receiving the award is David Balos, president of the Georgia Market, JPMorgan Chase.

PHOTO: Rodney Minor

Topinka kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Comptroller ‘making strides’ with American Cancer Society

CHICAGO, IL­ – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka joined the American Cancer Society, survivors and volunteers Tuesday at the James R. Thompson Center to kickoff Breast Cancer Awareness Month and promote the Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks.

Topinka encouraged Illinois residents to sign-up for one of 16 walks around the state, and thanked the American Cancer Society for uniting communities by honoring breast cancer survivors, increasing awareness and raising money to find a cure.

“In just one morning, participants can make a difference that will affect thousands of people for a lifetime,” Topinka said. “These walks help fund American Cancer Society programs that treat cancer patients and assist their families in every part of the state.”

Making Strides is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation. The American Cancer Society hosts fundraising events in nearly 300 communities nationwide, including on October 26 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Comptroller’s Office will participate in that walk for the third consecutive year.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight Illinois women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer unites us to walk together as the most powerful force to end breast cancer,” said Nancy Yaw, Executive Vice President and Lakeshore Division Operating Officer, American Cancer Society. “When you join Making Strides, you are supporting the world’s leader in the fight to end breast cancer. The money you raise helps the Cancer Society do the most for people with breast cancer today to end the disease tomorrow.”

For more information about the Annual Making Stride Breast Cancer walks or to register, visit makingstrideswalk.org/chicagoil or call 312-279-7376.

Walk and Roll to School Day October 9th: Tips for walking or biking to school with your child

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

For Walk and Roll to School Day on Oct. 9, millions of kids around the world will be traveling to school on two feet or two wheels. Throughout Chicagoland, schools are holding rallies, assemblies, contests, and any number of other events to show students, parents and teachers the simple joy that comes with walking and biking to school.

“Just like eating a hearty breakfast, walking or biking to school is a healthy way for a child to start their day,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance (www.activetrans.org). “Incorporating active transportation into their daily lives makes for both a healthy body and a healthy mind.”

The light physical activity helps students focus their attention during the day, and studies show that it leads to a decrease in behavioral problems and improves grades. It also happens to be fun and good for the environment!

Some of the schools participating in Healthy CPS (Chicago Public Schools), an initiative that supports healthier school environments, led by the Chicago Public Schools Office of Student Health and Wellness and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will also host rallies and encourage kids to walk and bike to school this Wednesday. In conjunction with Active Trans, these schools will also create comprehensive Safe Routes Action Plans that contain solutions and strategies to encourage, promote and sustain walking and biking to their specific school.

Despite all the benefits, many parents find it challenging to incorporate walking or biking into their morning routine. Here are some tips for getting your students walking and biking to school this fall:

  • Reduce the distance if it’s too far to walk between home and school. Find a location one-quarter to one-half a mile from school that will allow you to park your car while you walk with your child.
  • Count the miles you walk or bike. Many schools ask students to track the number of miles they walk each day. The winning student/classroom can compete to win a prize.
  • Teach your kids traffic safety while walking and bicycling with them. Once students get older, they will be able to use that information and be safer when traveling.
  • Work with other parents in your neighborhood to take turns leading the kids and organizing a “walking school bus” or a “bike train.”
  • Use the time spent walking and biking to school to bond with your children.
  • Make it fun. Organize a Walk and Roll to School Day on International Walk to School Day, or expand your efforts by starting “walking/biking wednesdays.”
  • Organize your efforts. If parents in surrounding neighborhoods are leading walking school buses or bike trains, map your routes and provide set meeting times for students to join.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

ISBE honors top educators and school personnel at annual Those Who Excel banquet in Normal

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Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named Oct. 19

NORMAL, IL – State education officials will honor more than 180 of Illinois’ outstanding educators later this month at the 39th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Among the educators will be the 11 Teacher of the Year finalists, one of whom will be named that evening as the top Illinois educator for 2014.

“Every day in schools across the state, dedicated educators are diligently working to help students become successful learners. They might be helping a student overcome an obstacle, understand a new concept or apply for college but they’re all putting their students first,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “I am honored to have the opportunity to publicly recognize these unsung heroes and thank them for their efforts on behalf of Illinois’ students.”

Local school district leaders and members of school communities nominate candidates. The nomination includes a brief nominee biography, professional development, community involvement and a description of his or her philosophy on education and views on the state’s most pressing educational needs. Letters of recommendation are also required.

A committee of peers, organized through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), chooses the award winners. The committee represents statewide education organizations and includes former award winners.

The categories for recognition are:

  • Classroom teacher
  • School administrator
  • Student support personnel
  • Educational service personnel
  • School board member and/or community volunteer
  • Teams, which recognizes groups of teachers and/or administrators; citizen committees; civic organizations; parent organizations; school boards; booster clubs; and others that have a significant impact on teaching and learning in a school or district.
  • Early Career Educator

A total of 183 awards will be distributed at the Saturday, Oct. 19 banquet with the following breakdown of winners:

  • 46 recipients of the highest award level, Excellence.
  • 55 recipients of the Award of Merit.
  • 80 recipients of the Award of Recognition.
  • 1 Outstanding Early Career Educator.
  • 1 Teacher of the Year

All teachers receiving an Award of Excellence are also among the 11 finalists for the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year. The educator named Teacher of the Year is not told prior to the award ceremony but learns of the honor during the banquet. For a list of the finalists, please visit http://www.isbe.net/news/2013/sept9.htm.

The Teacher of the Year serves as Illinois’ ambassador for the teaching profession during the 2013-14 school year and represents Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target. The national award is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Program.

Brian Curtin, a high school English teacher at Schaumburg High School in Township High School District 211, was named the 2013 Illinois Teacher of the Year at last year’s banquet.

Curtin and this year’s nominees will convene for this year’s banquet at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway St., Normal. Due to overwhelming demand for the annual event, tickets are sold out.

A complete list of local recipients by county can be accessed at http://www.isbe.net/news/pdf/those-who-excel-list13-14.pdf.

U.S. Diversity VISA Lottery is open

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Allen Orr, Orr Immigration Law Firm

Washington, D.C. (BlackNews.com) – The 2015 Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV-2015) program is a United States congressionally mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”). The entry submission period for DV-2015 is from 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 1, 2013, to 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on November 2, 2013. The entry form will be available for submission during this period and this period only.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available up to 55,000 diversity visas annually, drawn by random selection from among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Most countries in Africa are eligible, with the notable exception of Nigeria. Natives of India, mainland China, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru also comprise a partial list of individuals not eligible for the 2015 diversity program this year. A full list of eligible countries can be found on the diversity visa web site.

Laws and regulations require that every DV entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years’ training or experience.

Any non-United States resident seeking to gain Green Card who is from an eligible country and meets the requirement should apply, whether currently in the United States or abroad. This includes foreign workers that are waiting to obtain a green card through the labor certification program. Apply at www.dvlottery.state.gov. There is no fee for applying online; however, if selected there are visa processing fees.

Allen Orr is the founder of Orr Immigration Law Firm PC, a minority-owned firm based in Washington, DC, and focusing on US corporate compliance as well as global representation and assistance on immigration issues. Mr. Orr previously helped to build one of the leading immigration practices at a global law firm, where he developed a network of immigration practitioners, government officials and business leaders. Mr. Orr received a BA in Philosophy from Morehouse College and a JD from Howard University’s School of Law. He is an active member of the DC, Virginia, American and National Bar Associations. For more details, visit www.orrimmigration.com

Check Out the Charity Before ‘Going Pink’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Says Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, ILScam charities often use emotional appeals to target their victims, warns the Better Business Bureau. This caution is especially relevant because many businesses are marketing pink ribbon products and services supporting breast cancer research and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) in October.

“The goal is for as much of the money to go to the curing cancer, not in running an organization to make money for the operators,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Consumers can ensure this by asking charities proper questions before donating and by doing a careful assessment of the charity.”

Consumers can check out charities online with the BBB at www.bbb.org/charity . The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) organization also has a website at www.nbcam.org. This group is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

The BBB encourages consumers to look for companies that disclose a charity name, the amount of a sale going to the charity, the duration of marketing campaigns and, if applicable, the maximum or minimum contribution amount.

While many pink ribbon marketing campaigns are trustworthy, consumers can eliminate breast cancer awareness charity scams by doing the following:

  • Research the charity with the BBB. If the product or service is in support of an unfamiliar charity, learn more about the organization by reviewing the BBB’s charity report online at www.bbb.org/charity
  • Identify the charity receiving the donation. If the product or service is linked to a donation percentage, contact the business or manufacturer to determine exactly where the money is going and what percentage is donated.
  • Confirm the charity’s corporate partners.  Many national breast cancer charities list the names of corporate partners and sponsors on their websites.
  • If you contribute, do not give cash. Use a credit card or check or money order made out to the name of the charitable organization, not to the individual collecting the donation.
  • Keep records of your donations. This includes receipts, canceled checks, and bank statement. Keeping these documents will allow you to document your charitable giving at tax time. Although the value of your time as a volunteer is not deductible, out-of-pocket expenses (including transportation costs) directly related to your volunteer service to a charity are deductible.
  • Be wary of charities that are reluctant to answer reasonable questions about their operations, finances and programs.
    Also be careful of appeals that are long on emotion, but short on describing what the charity actually does.

For more information on how to ensure that your donation gets into the right hands, visit www.bbb.org

The World Premiere Co-Production of Smokefall by Noah Haidle begins October 5, directed by Obie Award-Winner Anne Kauffman

Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Hear Haidle discuss the play with Kauffman at the October 13 Artist Encounter Event

CHICAGO, IL – Set in Grand Rapids, Michigan, acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Noah Haidle explores the passage of time and the fleeting pleasures of life through three generations of one family in Smokefall, his newest work. The Michigan native playwright, who describes Smokefall as “an incredibly personal play that has been with me for a long time,” most recently wrote the 2012 film Stand Up Guys (starring Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken and Al Pacino) and previously authored Mr. Marmalade, Vigils (at the Goodman in 2006) and Persephone for the stage.  Directed by Obie Award-winner Anne Kauffman in her Goodman debut, Smokefall is a world-premiere co-production with South Coast Repertory, running October 5 – November 3 in the Owen Theatre (opening night is Monday, October 14). Tickets ($10-$40; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/Smokefall, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Bank of America is the 2013/2014 Owen Season Sponsor. Time Warner Foundation and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation are the Major Supporters of New Play Development; and The Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Supporters of New Work Development. The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.

Meet-the-artists events include the monthly Chicago-based talk show “The Interview Show,” on Friday, October 4 at 6:30pm at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia, $8, doors open at 6pm); and the “Artist Encounter” on Sunday, October 13 at 5pm at the Goodman featuring Haidle and Kauffman in conversation with Tanya Palmer, the Goodman’s Director of New Play Development—and to whom Haidle dedicated Smokefall. Tickets are free for Goodman Subscribers, $5 general public.

Smokefall has been in gestation for five years, inspired in equal parts by Thornton Wilder’s simple evocative humanity, Samuel Beckett’s bleak poetry and Haidle’s own “formidably talented, with a sort of freewheeling intuitive daring” (The New Yorker) theatrical imagination. Act One and part of Act Two were originally included in a larger Haidle-authored project called Local Time: 12 two-hour, real-time plays that spanned 24 hours in a Midwestern town, each play named for the time in which it took place, such as 11am to 1pm and 5 to 7pm, etc. Smokefall was first developed as part of the Goodman’s New Stages new play reading series, and was subsequently featured in the prestigious Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California (where it was produced this past spring, directed by Kauffman).

Change is in the air as Violet (Katherine Keberlein) prepares to bring twin boys into the world (Eric Slater and Guy Massey as Fetus One and Fetus Two, respectively). Inside her womb, her unborn sons contemplate life after birth, the fragility of love and the meaning of home, while outside her body her world is in transformation: her husband, Daniel (Slater) is making plans of his own, her father The Colonel (Mike Nussbaum) is slipping into senility and her daughter, Beauty (Catherine Combs) has taken a vow of silence. In the third act, one of the twins—now an old man—reflects on his life and family when an unexpected visitor arrives.

The design team includes Kevin Depinet (set), Lindsay Jones (sound), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes) and David Weiner (lighting). Kim Osgood is the production stage manager.

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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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