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Archive for March 25th, 2014

Deadline for signing up for Affordable Care Act plan fast approaching; Uninsured Should Ignore misleading ad information About Obamacare

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Deadline is six days away

By Juanita Bratcher

Author, Editor & Publisher of CopyLine Magazine

For a while now I have watched some of the weirdest and creepiest television ads about the Affordable Care Act and why people should be suspect of what it has to offer.

The ads are a deliberate, direct attack by some Right Wingers whose sole purpose is to sabotage the true effects of affordable health care – through misinformation. Unfortunately, there are millions of uninsured Americans, many of which are still procrastinating as to whether they should sign up…for whatever reason. Millions have been spent on anti-obamacare ads, and the U.S. House, controlled by Republicans, has repealed the ACA 51 times.

Moreover, the Affordable Care Act passed without a single Republican vote which is now the law of the land. It was passed by the Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet, Washington Republicans have tried to repeal the law 51 times. Two of their previous actions were to withhold funding of the healthcare law, and of a short-term funding bill that would delay Obamacare for a year. Of course, they were aware at the time of their actions that it would never see the light of day inasmuch as this is Obama’s signature legislation and he won’t sign any bill to repeal it.

So for those who are still procrastinating over whether they should sign up or not, the bottom line is specific – it’s all about taking care of yourself and your health needs. If you’re uninsured, there are many positive and sound benefits in signing up for ACA.

March 31 is the last day to enroll for a taxpayer-subsidized health plan through the new online markets or exchanges. You can find the Affordable Care Act plan comparisons at www.healthplanratings.org, and more at https://www.healthcare.gov/

By all estimates, Obamacare is making traction. As to date, more than 5 million people have signed up for Obamacare through the marketplace.

Remember, your health is your number one priority. There’s peace of mind in having quality, affordable health care for you and your family. You could also be eligible for financial assistance.

No more procrastination, sign up for ACA before the deadline.

The United States and Ukraine reiterate their commitment to upholding their nuclear nonproliferation commitments

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Joint Statement by the United States and Ukraine

On the occasion of the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the United States and Ukraine today reaffirm their strategic partnership and emphasize the important role of nuclear nonproliferation in that relationship.  The United States values its 20-year partnership with Ukraine on these issues.  Our nonproliferation partnership dates from Ukraine’s 1994 decision to remove all nuclear weapons from its territory and to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon state.  In the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the United States, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland welcomed these Ukrainian actions, and they reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine.  The United States government reaffirms that commitment today to the new Ukrainian government and the people of Ukraine, including in Crimea.  The United States government condemns Russia’s failure to abide by its commitments under the Budapest Memorandum with its unilateral military actions in Ukraine.  Russia’s  actions  undermine  the foundation  of  the global  security  architecture and endanger  European  peace  and  security.  Ukraine and the United States emphasize  that  they  will  not  recognize Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Crimea.  Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine.  The United States will continue to help Ukraine affirm its sovereignty and territorial integrity.  As the people of Ukraine work to restore unity, peace, and security to their country, the United States will stand by their side.

The United States and Ukraine reiterate their commitment to upholding their nuclear nonproliferation commitments.  The United States recognizes the importance of the 2012 removal of all highly enriched uranium from Ukraine.  This removal again highlighted Ukraine’s leadership in nuclear security and nonproliferation, as we collectively work together to secure the world’s vulnerable nuclear material.  As part of its support for this effort, the United States committed in 2010 to work with Ukraine to construct a Neutron Source Facility at the Kharkiv Institute for Physics and Technology.  This month construction of the Neutron Source Facility was completed.  The facility, equipped with the most up-to-date technology to operate at the highest safety standards, provides Ukraine with new research capabilities and the ability to produce industrial and medical isotopes for the benefit of the Ukrainian people.

This state of the art facility is representative of the modern, European state the Government of Ukraine is committed to building.  To build on this important cooperation, the United States will continue to provide technical support for the Neutron Source Facility as Ukraine completes the necessary final equipment installation, testing, and start-up to make the facility fully operational as soon as practical.

This successful effort reflects broad U.S.-Ukrainian cooperation on nuclear security and nonproliferation.  Our countries recently extended the U.S.-Ukraine Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Umbrella Agreement and the U.S.-Ukraine Agreement Concerning Operational Safety Enhancements, Risk Reduction Measures, and Nuclear Safety Regulation for Civilian Nuclear Facilities in Ukraine.

The United States and Ukraine intend to continue to partner to prevent nuclear proliferation by improving Ukraine’s ability to detect nuclear materials on its borders, to provide physical protection at sites with nuclear or radioactive materials, and to maintain an adequate export control system in order to help realize the goals of the Nuclear Security Summits.

Can Obama Initiatives Elevate Black Achievement in Age of Higher Education Standards?

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Can Obama Initiatives Elevate Black Achievement in Age of Higher Education Standards?

New America Media

By George White

If President Obama’s new initiatives for boys and young men of color are to succeed, educators must find ways to help underperforming students thrive under Common Core, the new and more rigorous academic standards that schools in 45 states are beginning to implement.

That’s the assessment of Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and chair of a new commission working on behalf of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The commission and the initiative’s managers will launch their efforts at an education summit in Atlanta on March 28-29.

“Common Core has the potential to have a very a positive impact on learning but we have to think about implementation,” Hrabowski says. “We need to give teachers the professional development they need to implement these new standards. Some schools may need to provide additional time and instruction to help [underperforming] students adjust – more after-school and summer programs.”

Hrabowski is widely credited for making UMBC a top national source of African-American posstgraduate degrees in science and engineering. He supports the more challenging Common Core standards but says educators must also address the lingering achievement gap.

Data from the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress, dubbed the nation’s report card, found that nationwide, just 18 percent of African American students were proficient in 4th grade reading compared to 46 percent for whites. Similar gaps exist for math.

Obama in January appointed the members who will join Hrabowski on the African-American education commission. The commission includes Dr. Robert Ross, president of the California Endowment and leaders in the fields of education and law.

Originally announced in 2012, the initiative is being launched as President Obama also seeks to rally support for his “My Brother’s Keeper” campaign. The two campaigns are part of a dual push to improve the education and life prospects of young Latinos and African Americans.

A recently announced summit is slated for March 28 in Atlanta, the first stop of a multi-city listening tour to identify projects that are elevating black academic achievement. A number of prominent scholars, meanwhile, are urging the commission to consider new proposals on ways to help black students who are performing below grade level in reading and math, subjects that are being overhauled under Common Core.

Hrabowski says the new standards can make it easier to learn math-related subjects because Common Core requires students to engage in more project-based learning, as opposed to simply mastering abstract concepts. As an example, he points to the success of Civil Rights activist and educator Robert Moses, who created the Algebra Project. The program has provided curriculum and teacher training that has helped schools improve the math performance of students in many low-income communities.

“The Algebra Project has been advocating for more real-world [math] applications for years,” says Hrabowski, who led a 2011 National Academy of Sciences study on increasing minority participation in science and technology. “There are many ways to help students connect to the real world. We can get companies involved by asking them to provide math-related projects to schools.”

While some education initiatives at public and charter schools have boosted the math performance of students of color, school districts have not found a model for elevating the reading and writing skills of underperforming African American males, says Alfred Tatum, interim dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and director of a UIC reading research clinic that examines factors in black achievement.

For example, he says efforts to improve black male reading by providing culturally relevant texts have been used to boost self-esteem. “However, this has not translated to improvements in reading and writing … A lot of teachers can select texts but they can’t teach reading and writing well.”

Tatum, who authored a chapter on Common Core and the White House African American education initiative in the anthology Quality Reading Instruction in the Age of Common Core Standards, says universities should require education students to take more courses on reading and writing instruction. He also says the White House should also examine new proposals for addressing black achievement issues. For example, he calls on the Obama administration to consider creating a national research center on reading for black male students.

“We need to put reading and writing at the center of all reform efforts because students will fall short of their potential if they don’t have reading and writing skills,” says Tatum.

Researchers and educators with ideas on how to reduce or eliminate achievement gaps will be sought, says David Johns, executive director of the White House initiative on African American education. Johns plans to work closely with Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, who will direct a task force that will spearhead the “Brother’s Keeper” campaign.

“We need as many conversations as possible that focus on how to improve education,” says Johns, citing the upcoming March 28 White House summit in Atlanta. “We want to let people know that this isn’t just a Washington conversation.”

Leaders from Government, Academia and Corporations to Speak at Black Education Summit
White House officials, university presidents, corporate leaders, local elected officials and scholars are expected to attend the first White House Summit on Educational Excellence for African Americans at Morehouse College March 28-29.

The participants at the summit, to be co-hosted by Ebony magazine, will discuss ways to improve the academic performance and life prospects of black students.

David Johns, executive director of President Obama’s African-American educational excellence initiative, and Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will be among those representing the federal government.

Morehouse College President John Wilson and Beverly Tatum, president of Spellman College, will be among the higher education leaders scheduled to speak at the event.

Speaker panels will also include John Eaves, chair of the Fulton County Commission, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta Board of Education Chair Courtney English and executives from Coca Cola, Deloitte Consulting and Netflix.

Working and Poor in America

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By William Spriggs

The furor has not died down over Rep.Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) comments about inner city men and poverty in America.  Ryan has agreed to talk with the Congressional Black Caucus about the racial overtones of the comments.  Still, a troubling theme in America is the concept of the “deserving” poor.  The problem with Ryan’s statement and the current unwillingness to raise the minimum wage is a new sense among conservatives that there are no “deserving” poor.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., told us in 1967: “In the simplistic thinking of [the early part of the 20th Century] the absence of worldly goods indicated a want of industrious habits and moral fiber.We have come a long way in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty.”

Unfortunately we are back to Dr. King’s square one discussing poverty.  Being poor again means you are not industrious.  The government that Ryan promotes is for the industrious company that ships American jobs overseas, gives tax breaks to the oil industry and farm subsidies to huge industrial agricultural firms.  Ryan’s government is not supposed to extend unemployment insurance benefits to support American families struggling to find work or help low-income children eat.

On these counts, too many are like Ryan.  But, the reality is closer to Dr. King’s assessment of the problem at hand.  Let’s lay out the facts.  The majority of poor non-senior households in America have someone who works (62 percent) and yes, Ryan, this is also true for African Americans.  Further, roughly one in five poor households has a full-time, year round worker; and yes, Ryan, this is also true for African Americans.  Eighty percent of families with children receiving means-tested assistance for food, housing or health insurance have a worker in the family.

The new view is that the working poor are not “deserving” because times have changed, less educated workers are “too lazy” to have read the message and did not put in the effort in school they should have-they “deserve” low wages.  But, since Dr. King’s speech, the educational attainment of Americans has increased dramatically.  So the poor cannot be simply those who dropped out of high school.  Again, among families with children receiving means tested assistance, 40 percent have some college coursework, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree or more.

Now, of course, a direct way to address this anomaly would be to at least return the minimum wage to the level when Dr. King shared these words.  President Obama’s proposal of $10.10 an hour would be a huge down payment toward doing that and would mean full-time, year round workers could lift a family of three out of poverty.

But in the midst of the continued fallout of the Great Recession on family incomes and employment, we must come to see that poverty is about more than work, or individual effort.  It is about policy choices we make.  Choices like Ryan makes to promote fiscal austerity instead of closing the huge $750 billion gap America suffers from having more than 10 million people unable to find work.

The income of our nation has more than doubled since Dr. King spoke on poverty, increasing by almost $28,000 (adjusting for inflation) for every baby, toddler, teenager, adult and senior citizen in this country-enough to have eradicated poverty.  Ryan and conservatives want us to believe the rich are entitled to all that growth, and that the 1 percent are entitled to a free society for free.

Let us hope we share Dr. King’s conclusion: “We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking. The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.”

Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs. Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142

Cook County Tentative Multiplier Announced

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A tentative 2013 property tax equalization factor of 2.6039 for Cook County was announced by the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The Department is required by law to calculate the factor, often called the multiplier, to achieve uniform property assessment throughout the state.

The 2013 tentative equalization factor decreased from the 2012 final factor of 2.8056.

The Department determines the equalization factor for each county by comparing over a three-year period the actual selling price of individual properties to the assessed value placed on those properties by the county assessor. If the median level of assessment for all property in the county varies from the 33 1/3 percent level required by law, an equalization factor is assigned to bring assessments to the legally mandated level.

The three-year average level of assessments (weighted by class) for Cook County property was 12.80 percent. The Department calculated the multiplier to bring the average level of assessments to the required 33 1/3 percent level by dividing Cook County’s three-year average of 12.80 into 33.33.

After taking into account 2013 reassessments, the levels of assessment are as follows:


Class 2010 2011 2012 Average

1 (Vacant lots) 13.50 7.59 6.98 9.36

2 (Residential) 9.80 9.97 10.84 10.20

3 (Apartments) 11.68 13.28 10.67 11.88

5a (Commercial) 28.69 23.96 26.41 26.35

5b (Industrial) 25.61 24.15 23.41 24.39


(weighted average) 12.56 12.45 13.38 12.80

The equalization factor does not cause individual tax bills to go up. Tax bills are determined by local taxing bodies when they request the dollars needed to provide services to citizens. The assessment process simply determines how the bill will be divided among taxpayers.

A Cook County ordinance requires that residential property (homes, condominiums, apartment buildings of six units or less) be assessed at 10 percent of market value; all other residential property (apartments with more than six units), 10 percent; vacant lots, 10 percent; property owned by not-for-profit corporations, 25 percent; commercial property, 25 percent; industrial property, 25 percent; and commercial or industrial property being developed in economically deprived areas, usually 10 percent.

White House Report: Race to the Top Setting the Pace for Gains across the Education System

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

More support for educators and increases in student achievement are among signs of progress as anniversary of President Obama’s signature education reform approaches

WASHINGTON, DC – In the four years since the Obama Administration announced its first Race to the Top grants, the President’s signature education initiative has helped spark a wave of reform across the country, according to the attached report released today by the White House and Department of Education.

As the four-year anniversary of those grants approaches this week, “Setting the Pace” finds that the President’s education reform agenda has helped raise standards for students, better support teachers and school leaders, and turn around low-performing schools. Ultimately, these efforts have led to signs of encouraging progress among the nation’s students.

Among the report’s key findings are:

  • States that received Race to the Top funds to reform their K-12 education systems serve 22 million students and 1.5 million teachers in more than 40,000 schools.
  • These states represent 45 percent of all students and a similar percentage of all low-income students. Some of the most encouraging signs of progress have come in states that have done the most to embrace the types of reforms called for in Race to the Top, including Tennessee, Hawaii and the District of Columbia.
  • All Race to the Top grantees have taken key steps toward focusing on college- and career-readiness for all students and supporting hard-working teachers and principals, including developing a number of new tools and resources, providing coaching for educators, and expanding options for students.

“Race to the Top set out to advance a simple idea: that the most powerful ideas for improving education come not from Washington, but from educators and leaders in states throughout the country. Now, nearly four years in, change is touching nearly half the nation’s students – for an investment that represents less than 1 percent of education spending,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “We know this work is never easy, but what is most encouraging is that despite some debate in state legislatures and here in Congress, state and district leaders have had the courage to put their plan into action.

“The Obama Administration is focused on expanding opportunity for America’s students to ensure not only that they have a shot at achieving the American dream, but that the next generation of American workers can continue to compete in the global economy,” said Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. “The Race to the Top program has helped spur the change and improvement needed in our education system, demonstrating that by working together across the federal government, with governors and school boards, principals and teachers, businesses and non-profits, parents and students – we can provide the education that our young people need and deserve, to prepare for college and a successful career.”

At 80 percent, the nation’s high school graduation rate is the highest in American history, thanks to comprehensive, state-led efforts inspired in part by Race to the Top. In addition, student test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress are the highest since the test was first given 20 years ago.

With an initial budget of just more than $4 billion – less than 1 percent of total education spending in America – Race to the Top unleashed a flurry of pent-up education reform activity at the state and local level. Importantly, these efforts have created partnerships among parents, educators, and state and community leaders to continue this progress in the months and years ahead.

Today’s report highlights examples of the most innovative and effective reforms that are taking place in states across the country to prepare students for college and careers, support educators, and spur innovative educational strategies. From Massachusetts’ work to increase access to Advanced Placement (AP) classes by training more than 1,100 middle and high school teachers, to Tennessee’s efforts to support its educators by coaching 30,000 on new state standards and equipping 700 teacher-leader coaches, to Florida’s investment in programs to get the best and brightest educators to the highest-needs areas, to Maryland’s development of STEM curriculum models for use in language programs statewide, states are leading the way with plans tailored to meet the unique needs of their educators and students. This federal support, paired with state and local investment and leadership, is getting results for students and educators.

Looking at these examples and the progress made across our education system, the report finds that while much work remains, Race to the Top has empowered and reinforced the best ideas at the state and local level. By staying on course, America can continue to make progress toward ensuring that every child has an opportunity to get a world-class education and the skills he or she will need to succeed in today’s economy — and tomorrow’s.

“Encouraged and supported by Race to the Top, states are taking major steps forward for our nation’s students,” the report concludes. “There will never be a moment to declare victory in this race – the work will continue for many years to come. But America’s educators remain committed to support all our children on their path to a prosperous future. State and local leaders share that commitment. Staying on course is critical while this hard work is underway.”

Minority Health and Health Care Reform Eliminating Disparities

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

2014 Minority Health Conference goes mobile

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Building on the momentum of national health care reform, the 2014 Illinois Minority Health Conference, hosted by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Center for Minority Health Services and the Illinois Public Health Association, offers sessions focused on the Affordable Care Act and health workforce development.

This year’s theme, “Access + Treatment = Healthy Communities; Health Equity is the Key” embodies the impetus of the Affordable Care Act.

“Improving access to health care for all communities, whether due to newly acquired health insurance or because of an increase in the number of health professionals, is the key to eliminating health disparities,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “This year’s Minority Health Conference delves into the implementation of Affordable Care Act and what it will mean for minority and underserved communities, and how we can use health care reform to bring health equity to all communities.”

Federal, state and local public health professionals, health care organizations, medical professionals, community-based organizations and others are gathering March 25-27, 2014 at the Westin Chicago Northwest to identify ways to remove barriers, strengthen communities, promote diversity and eliminate health disparities.

New this year is the Minority Health Conference ’14 app, which will allow attendees to plan their day with a personalized schedule, browse exhibitors, view maps and find general conference information. Just go to http://guidebook.com/app/MinorityHealth/ on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android device to download the Minority Health Conference ’14 app. Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry users can use the mobile site m.guidebook.com.

The conference will also feature live webcasts of select plenary sessions. Presentations will be streamed, enabling you to view them live, via your desktop computer. To view the webcasts go to http://multimedia.illinois.gov/dph/dph-live.html.

The clock is ticking toward the March 31 deadline for signing up for affordable, comprehensive health coverage without a penalty under the Affordable Care Act. For uninsured residents or those looking to make a change in their health coverage, visit www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov or call the help desk toll-free at 866-311-1119 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Spanish-language assistance is available on the phone.

Hosting the 2014 Minority Health Conference is just one way IDPH is working to eliminate health disparities. Increasing health equity and reducing disparities for the people of Illinois through targeted leadership and outreach via strategic partnerships is a priority of the IDPH Five Year Strategy 2014-2018. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf

Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards Celebrates 50 Years of Honoring Pioneering Commercials and Influential Television

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Production Company STORY to Receive Commitment to Excellence Award for Television Commercials

CHICAGO, IL – Celebrating 50 years of honoring the best in television, The Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards once again presents top honors on April 10, 2014 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel (221 N. Columbus Dr.). Continuing its mission to award the most innovative commercial creators and television visionaries, STORY will receive this year’s Commitment to Excellence Award for Television Commercials. All of this year’s competition winners will be announced at the awards night ceremony in addition to the Commitment to Excellence Award for Television celebrating “CSI” Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn and the WTTW11 Audience Choice Award.

In 1964, at the same time Founder and Director Michael Kutza was establishing the Chicago International Film Festival, advertising agency heads Leo Burnett, Fairfax Cone and Dick Needham suggested that, with budgets and craftsmanship equal to the feature films being screened, the Festival should also showcase the art of the television commercial. The first Chicago International Television Awards were born and thus began a long history of celebrating the innovation and creativity behind the small screen. That year, the Awards top honor, the Gold Hugo went to Young & Rubicam’s “Birds” commercial for Eastern Airlines.

The Television Awards continued to honor the best in television while also paying tribute to various visionaries throughout the years. Legendary commercial director Joe Sedelmaier was honored in a special program paying tribute to his innovative work including the iconic “Where’s the Beef” spot for Wendy’s.  Before noted film director, producer and screenwriter Alan Parker (“Evita,” “Mississippi Burning” and “Fame”) went on to his illustrious career in feature filmmaking, the festival honored him with a special presentation highlighting his groundbreaking early commercial work. In addition to Parker, many of the greatest film directors working today got their start in television advertising and commercial spots including Ridley Scott and Federico Fellini, who both won awards in the television competition.

Various award-winning commercials have also made an appearance during the Chicago International Film Festival as well.  Receiving top honors at the Television Awards in 1970, The Heinz commercial, “The Big Production,” featuring a sequin-clad, tap-dancing Ann Miller (directed by Stan Freberg) was later presented in the Film Festival’s tribute to the legendary actress in 1977.

This year, the tradition continues as Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival award the innovative production company STORY with the Commitment to Excellence Television Award. Founded in 1989, and with offices in Chicago and Santa Monica, STORY’s long-standing relationships with both clients and directors extends to Leo Burnett, Doner, Ogilvy, Cramer-Krasselt and more for over 25 years. Lead by Mark Androw and Cliff Gant, STORY prides itself on a superb roster of directors—many of whom have been with the company for more than 10 years, an eclectic mix of seasoned veterans and exciting young talent. Having won numerous awards for creative excellence including Clios, Emmys, Cannes Lions and more, STORY was also named the Production Company of the Year three times by “Screen Magazine.”

Another staple of recognizing great commercials throughout the history of the Television Awards has been the WTTW Channel 11 Audience Choice Award. For the past 50 years, WTTW Channel 11 has presented a half-hour program of commercials from around the world allowing Chicago viewers to vote for their favorite. Viewers can vote by visiting the WTTW website starting Thursday, March 20.

All winners of this year’s competition will be announced during the awards ceremony on April 10. In addition, “CSI” Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn will be honored with the Commitment to Excellence Award for her achievements in television and various other honorees will be announced at a later date.

Tickets ($100) to the 50th Annual Chicago International Television Awards are available at chicagofilmfestival.com.

The 50th Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards is presented by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival. Major Partners include American Airlines, Optimus, Sound Investment AV with support from Evening Partners Stella Artois, Effen Vodka and Action Booth.


The Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards is an annual international television competition culminating in an Awards Ceremony that honors the best TV commercials and television productions from around the world. Among last year’s top winners, Gold and Silver Hugos were awarded to Icon Films, Yap Films, WDR, THIRTEEN, Leo Burnett, mcgarrybowen, Yessian Music, Burrell, and Cutters. The event has honored Kelsey Grammer, Bill Kurtis, Carol Marin, FRONTLINE, Leo Burnett, ESPN Films, and Optimus, among others.


Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Television Awards is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Chicago International Film Festival, CineYouth Festival, Intercom Competition, International Screenings Program, and Educational Outreach.

Madigan: Phusion Agrees to Ban Alcoholic Energy Drinks

Posted by Admin On March - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced an agreement with Phusion Projects LLC to ban the production and sale of its caffeinated alcoholic beverages nationwide, including the popular “Four Loko” alcoholic energy drink.

The agreement resolves allegations that the Chicago-based company marketed and sold flavored malt beverages, including Four Loko, in violation of consumer protection and trade practice statutes by promoting the drink to underage youth, promoting dangerous and excessive consumption of Four Loko and failing to disclose to consumers the effects and consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine.

“Phusion used marketing and sales tactics that glorified alcohol use and promoted binge drinking,” Madigan said. “This agreement is a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to reduce access to dangerous caffeinated alcoholic beverages, especially to underage drinkers.”

Under the agreement, which 19 other attorneys general and the city of San Francisco joined, Phusion will not manufacture caffeinated alcoholic beverages and will also reform how it markets and promotes its non-caffeinated flavored malt beverages, including Four Loko. Additionally, Phusion must not:

  • Promote binge drinking, drinking while driving, consuming an alcoholic beverage by means of a rapid ingestion technique or device, or underage drinking;
  • Promote to consumers, wholesalers, distributors, or marketers mixing its flavored malt beverages with products containing caffeine;
  • Sell, offer for sale, distribute or promote alcoholic products to underage persons;
  • Hire underage persons, or actors under the age of 25, to promote alcohol products;
  • Hire models or actors for its promotional materials who are under the age of 25 or who appear to be under the age of 21;
  • Promote flavored malt beverages on school or college property, except at retail establishments licensed to sell alcoholic products;
  • Use names, initials, logos, or mascots of any school, college, university, student organization, sorority or fraternity in Phusion’s promotional materials for its alcohol products; or
  • Distribute, sell, provide or promote merchandise bearing the brand name or logo of flavored malt beverages to underage persons.

Phusion will also police its websites and social media accounts for posts that depict or describe consumption of its caffeinated alcohol beverages, mixing of its flavored malt beverages with products containing caffeine or alcohol abuse. It will also inform its distributors and retailers that its flavored malt beverages contain alcohol and advise retailers to display its flavored malt beverages separate and apart from non-alcoholic products.

Today’s announcement is Madigan’s latest effort to protect young people from harmful products. In 2008, Madigan and the attorneys general of 12 other states and the San Francisco city attorney initiated investigations of the two leading manufacturers of alcoholic energy drinks at that time, MillerCoors Brewing and Anheuser-Busch Inc, which resulted in halting their production of these types of beverages.

In 2007, Madigan urged the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to increase its efforts to prevent dangerous, misleading claims by alcoholic energy drink manufacturers. Similarly, Madigan joined other attorneys general that same year urging Anheuser-Busch to change its advertising of another alcoholic energy drink, Spykes, and the company pulled the drink from store shelves.

The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance and Voluntary Discontinuance was entered with Madigan, the states and the city of San Francisco with Phusion Projects LLC and its officers Jaisen Freeman, Christopher Hunter and Jeffrey Wright. Joining Madigan in the agreement with Phusion were attorneys general from the following states: Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington.

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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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