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Archive for May 8th, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel should give apologies to Chicago taxpayers

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on Mayor Rahm Emanuel should give apologies to Chicago taxpayers

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge & the PCC Network

With all the misgivings and taxations Mayor Rahm Emanuel has heaped upon the citizens of Chicago, you would think that he would govern himself more respectfully in addressing the media and the public.

Mayor Emanuel, who should (by reason of being an elected official) be considered an outstanding example to Chicago citizens, was recently admonished in a news conference regarding his official police detail and their handling of traffic infractions.

The mayor’s detail was apparently caught on street camera breaking the traffic laws. Responding to reports that found his security car-details caught speeding and running red lights 20 times since the year 2012, Mayor Emanuel said that he was telling his drivers, “Follow the law. Nobody’s above the law. Slow down. Full stop.” However, this is commonly known as after-the-fact, and no one saw or heard that conversation take place. It is to be noted that without question cameras did show the speeding and the running of red lights.

The written law is documented for everyone and without exclusions. Law enforcement can be the exception in an emergency but with lights flashing. John/Mary Doe must obey the law and if found not complying… there are heavy consequences to pay, such as fines.

WLS-TV Channel 7 reporter Ben Bradley said the cars had picked up parking tickets, too, to the point where they were eligible for the boot. The big question becomes, who is going to pay for the breaking of the law – will it be the tax payer? Or, the regular guy who can’t pay will properly end up in jail, probation or community service. The only response the mayor offered was “They’ll look into it.”

The mayor has previously called red-light and speeding cameras a safety issue and says they act as a “deterrent.”

The seemingly bothered mayor regarding the issue, did not say if the tickets would be paid and dismissed other questions on the topic.

The mayor’s police chief also refused to address the issue.

One source asked, “What example does the mayor’s actions set for youth, when they are charged for lesser offenses, fined or arrested? What does a regular guy do, when he is not able to pay a fine for mistakenly running a light or turning on a red light in hast?”

Should hard working people not with city clout … and not able to pay fines for an honest mistake then become subjected to The Criminal Just Us System?

Rev. Harold E. Bailey, Editor and Publisher of The Challenge News Magazine – The PCC Network. He can be reached at 773.978.3706.

ILGOP Chairman’s Update: Momentum in 2014 — Marching Toward Victory

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on ILGOP Chairman’s Update: Momentum in 2014 — Marching Toward Victory

From Chairman Jack Dorgan

April was a big month for the Illinois Republican Party, with some major accomplishments in our battle to take back Illinois. With your help and continued support, our best days are still ahead of us — for our party, and for our state.

Major Trouble for Gov. Quinn

In April, we saw the beginnings of what very well could be Gov. Quinn’s ultimate unraveling.

As you may remember, Quinn was stung by a “blistering” audit of a program he launched on the eve of the 2010 election, where he distributed more than $50 million in taxpayer money to his political allies. Earlier this week, it came to light that the Cook County State’s Attorney filed a grand jury subpoena for records and communications related to the program – a major development in the race and a sign of major trouble ahead for Gov. Quinn.

Remember, Quinn is going to rely on every possible side issue and distraction to avoid talking about the disastrous economy he’s overseen in Illinois.

But even that strategy blew up in his face last month: his campaign was caught trying to delete a tweet that referred to an article comparing “black voters supporting Quinn’s Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner, to Jewish people collaborating with the Nazis during World War II against their own people.” His campaign drew major criticism from Jewish leaders and a national audience.

It’s starting to look like no matter where he tries to turn, proof of his incompetence as governor and inability to lead are as clear as day.

Illinois Republicans Elect Local, Statewide Leaders

Last month, many of you took the time to help choose our party leaders at the county and state level. On April 17, each of Illinois’s 102 counties held their local county conventions, to choose their party leaders, and elect the members of the Illinois Republican State Central Committee.

The State Central Committee is the governing body of the Illinois Republican Party, made up of one member from each of Illinois’s 18 Congressional Districts, elected to four-year terms. SCC members vote to elect the party Chairman, serve on committees aimed at advancing the party and electing Republicans throughout the state, and provide critical guidance and insight. The full list of committee members can be found on our website.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in the Republican Party, I would urge you to get in touch with (and get to know) your representative on the SCC. Their experience, and their leadership, are going to be key in moving our party forward in the days ahead.

Dismal Polls for Gov. Quinn, and for Illinois

Earlier in April, a poll by Gravis Marketing found that Bruce Rauner has taken an early lead over Gov. Pat Quinn, by a margin of 43 percent to 35 percent. A week later, a Rasmussen survey showed Rauner with a three-point lead, 43-40. Quinn consistently polls as one of the least popular governors in the country, with disapproval ratings above 50 percent.

But much more embarrassing numbers for Gov. Quinn were yet to come, showing the real state of Illinois voters’ dissatisfaction and anger.

According to a Gallup poll, Illinois is No. 1 in residents who say their state is the “worst possible state to live in.” A full 25% of Illinoisans believe our state is the worst in the country – higher than any other state.

And that’s not all: Gallup also showed that a full 50 percent of Illinois residents would leave our state if they had the chance. Again, more than every other state in the country.

If that’s not a sign of failed leadership, I don’t know what is.

Upcoming ILGOP Events: Will You Be There?

This upcoming Monday, May 5, the Illinois Republican Party is pleased to host two special fundraising events, and you’re invited to both!

  • A special VIP luncheon with Ambassador John Bolton, held in Chicago at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $250 for individuals, and $500 for sponsors. The invitation can be found here, along with contact info to RSVP.
  • A Cinco de Mayo fundraising dinner event, from 5pm to 8pm in Chicago. The cost is $50 for individuals, and $250 for supporters. Click here for the invitation, additional details, and to RSVP.

I can’t wait to see you there!

More Bad News for Quinn’s Economy – and Obama’s

Every month that goes by, we get another piece of bad news for the state of jobs and our economy under Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democrats.

According to federal labor statistics, Illinois now has the third-worst jobless rate of any state in the country, at 8.4 percent. That’s nearly two points higher than the national jobless rate of 6.7 percent, and higher than each of our neighbors – by far.

A regional report in the past week highlighted that comparative struggle for Illinois among Midwest states, lagging behind our neighboring states even though we have similar fundamentals and challenges. The basic fact remains true: our neighboring states have managed to outpace us in recovery and jobs – and they’ve managed to balance their budgets and hold the line on taxes.

And our dismal comparison to the national average is nothing to crow about either – Obama’s economy is continuing to struggle in its recovery. The growth of the U.S. economy slowed to a dismal 0.1 percent rate in the first quarter of 2014. That’s well below the standard for economic recovery.

Worse yet, signs are that by the end of this year, China will officially pass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. Sadly, that will be the true legacy of Obama’s presidency.

Are You Following Us?

How often do you check in with social media? Are you active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? If so, I hope you’re checking in with the ILGOP as well!

If you’re not following the Illinois Republican Party, you might be missing out on some important information, interesting updates, and great conversation with our robust online community. Click the following links to be a part of it today!

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Connect with us on LinkedIn

Capitol Update – Springfield

Here’s something we don’t hear much of from Democrat-controlled Springfield: good news for a change. This week, the clock ran out on the Democrats’ attempt to pass a progressive income tax hike on 90% of Illinois taxpayers – a small victory for the already overburdened taxpayers.

It was more a result of the timeline of the legislative calendar than of the Democrats’ lack of desire, of course. And like all bad ideas, I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this one.

But neither does that mean that the taxpayers can breathe a sigh of relief: Gov. Quinn and his Democrat allies are still set on making the largest tax hike in Illinois history permanent – the job-killing 67% income tax hike. That’s the equivalent of a full week of your salary, straight to the state government to spend as they please… each and every year from now on.

Dold, Davis Make “Key Races to Watch” List

As you know, the fight to keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives will be fought on Illinois soil.

CNN’s list of “Key Races to Watch in 2014” includes two “Up For Grabs” seats in Illinois: the 10th CD race between Rep. Brad Schneider (D) and Bob Dold (R), and the 13th CD race between Rep. Rodney Davis (R) and Ann Callis (D).

Last month, Stu Rothenberg’s widely watched political report moved the Dold race from “Leans Democrat” to “Tossup” – a major sign of GOP momentum.

GOP Momentum

Nationally, 2010 was a good year to be a Republican. And poll numbers are starting to shape up even better for Republicans in 2014. A recent poll showed the GOP up three points on the generic ballot, President Obama’s approval near his lowest levels, and Independent voters opposing ObamaCare by more than 2-to-1.

And even better, enthusiasm in young voters is tilting toward Republicans in a big way! A national survey of 18-29 year olds showed that 44 percent of young voters who supported Mitt Romney “definitely” plan to vote in 2014, compared to only 35 percent of voters who supported President Obama.

Let’s keep the momentum going all the way to November!

National Committeewoman Demetra DeMonte Leading the Way

In case you missed it, Republican National Committee Secretary Demetra DeMonte of Pekin has been firing up Republican voters throughout Illinois and throughout the country.

DeMonte highlighted the incredible potential in Illinois of winning two critical races: the governor’s race with Bruce Rauner, and the U.S. Senate race with Jim Oberweis.

At a recent address in Springfield, Demetra pointed to the keys to victory in each race: for Rauner, his business acumen and team-building skills, as well as his role as an outsider, and for Oberweis, working hard and getting his soldiers on the ground.

Click here to read the full story


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Congressional Black Caucus responds to kidnapping of Girls and Young Women in Nigeria

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on Congressional Black Caucus responds to kidnapping of Girls and Young Women in Nigeria

WASHINGTON, DC – The Congressional Black Caucus released the following statement on the kidnapping of girls and young women in Nigeria:

“The kidnapping of more than 300 young women last month and eight girls in Nigeriatoday is horrific and despicable. Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram who claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, has referred to these young women as ‘slaves’ and threatened to sell them in the market.  Shekau is the lowest and worst type of human being. His words and Boko Haram’s actions run afoul of Islam, international law, and basic humanity.

“We are particularly troubled that Boko Haram is targeting girls, as girls around the world are the most in need of protection to feel safe when theyattend school. Children’s rights are human rights, and every child has an absolute right to receive an education in a safe and protected environment.

“The Congressional Black Caucus stands with and supports Secretary Kerry’s decision to send a security team to Nigeria that includes military and law enforcement personnel capable of sharing expertise in intelligence, investigations, hostage negotiating and victim assistance with the Nigerian government. It is troubling that the kidnapped girls might have been moved out of Nigeria to neighboring countries, and therefore we call on the international community, especially African nations and the African Union, to work together to find these girls and unite them with their families.

“Over the past several days countless people from around the globe have come together with one simple message: Bring back our girls. These girls could have been our daughters, our sisters, our nieces, or our friends. These kidnappings have touched people throughout the world, and people from every nation are protesting to raise awareness of this urgent human rights violation. They are saying prayers for the young women’s safety and are using their voices to bring this awful nightmare to an end. The Congressional Black Caucus fully supports these efforts, and we look forward to these girls safely returning to their families and to their homes.”

Kirk, Landrieu, Alexander, Bennet Introduce Bill to Expand High-Quality Public Charter Schools

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on Kirk, Landrieu, Alexander, Bennet Introduce Bill to Expand High-Quality Public Charter Schools

The Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act Would Update Federal Charter Schools Program, Improve Opportunities for Students

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)  introduced the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act, which makes smart updates to the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) that provides startup, replication and expansion funding for high-quality public charter schools. This bill aims to improve educational opportunities for all students by expanding the number of high-quality charter schools, helping charter schools access suitable facilities and supporting innovation and research in the charter sector. The legislation currently has 14 original co-sponsors in the Senate.

“As a longtime supporter of charter schools, I have seen these schools providing the education our children need to succeed in the 21st century,” Senator Kirk said. “Schools such as the LEARN and Noble networks throughout Chicagoland are proof of this. In Illinois, charter school students are 26 percent more likely to enroll in college – and it is critical that more of these educational opportunities are available for students in Illinois and across the nation.”

“A child’s zip code should not determine their educational opportunities, but it unfortunately does in many places in America. We’ve had proven success from well-designed and well-led charter schools that have transformed student outcomes. By making smart updates to the Charter School Program we can replicate the success across Louisiana and the country,” Senator Landrieu said. “I’ve seen, firsthand, the promise and opportunity charter schools bring to communities. I strongly support public charter schools because they are specifically designed to have the freedom and flexibility to create and implement new strategies for increasing student achievement while also being held accountable for overall success. With this bill, my hope is that we can expand charter schools success to rural communities and small towns. I’m excited to have support of both parties on this critical charter school legislation and look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to pass this bill so we can provide a quality education to the children of Louisiana and our country.”

“Charter schools enable teachers to use their firsthand knowledge, administrators to use their good judgment, and parents to choose better schools for their children,” Senator Alexander said. “This bill would help states open new charter schools and replicate or expand their best existing ones, giving more students access to a good education and an opportunity to succeed.”

“All children should have access to a high-quality education that prepares them to succeed in the 21st century global economy—no matter where they live,” Senator Bennet said. “In Colorado, many great charter schools have helped boost student achievement. This bill makes smart changes to the Charter School Program to support charter schools focused on student success, replicating proven high-quality schools, and promoting strong authorizer accountability. In doing so, this bill prioritizes support for schools that serve children from low-income families to ensure we are helping our kids most in need.”

What the Bill Does:

  • Updates and streamlines two existing programs into one Charter Schools Program, consisting of three grant competitions:

    • High-Quality Charter Schools: Grants to State entities to start new charter schools and to replicate or expand high-quality charter schools, including by developing facilities, hiring and preparing teachers, and providing transportation.
    • Facilities Financing Assistance: Grants to public or private nonprofit entities to demonstrate innovative methods of enhancing credit to finance the acquisition, construction, or renovation of facilities for charter schools.
    • Replication and Expansion: As part of national activities, grants to charter management organizations to replicate or expand high-quality charter schools.
  • Authorizes the Charter Schools Program at $300 million for fiscal year 2015 and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2016 – 2020.
  • Solidifies federal support for expanding and replicating high-quality charter schools with a demonstrated record of success, while giving States flexibility to invest in new school models and encouraging them to strengthen charter school authorizing practices.
  • Continues federal support for financing charter school facilities and encourages States to ensure their charter schools are able to access suitable facilities.
  • Offers more flexibility to charter school developers to fund startup costs associated with charter school facilities and providing transportation to students.
  • Encourages charter schools to focus on special populations, including at-risk students, students with disabilities, and English learners.

There are 67 public charter schools operating 145 individual locations in Illinois, and more than 20,000 Illinois students are on waiting lists to attend public charter schools. More than 54,000 public school students in Chicago attend charter schools, such as the LEARN and Noble charter school networks, accounting for 22 percent of the city’s high school students. In 2013, the 11 highest-performing non-selective public high schools in Chicago were charter schools. Students in Illinois charter schools are 18 percent more likely to graduate from high school and 26 percent more likely to enroll in college.

Nationwide, there are approximately 6,400 charter schools in 43 states and D.C. serving over 2.5 million students. There are more than one million student names on charter school waiting lists. Under this proposal, as many as 500 new charter schools could open with federal support every year.

The federal Charter Schools Program was authorized by Congress in 1994 and most recently reauthorized in 2001.

Ad Campaign Blasts Seoul for ‘Media Censorship’ in Wake of Ferry Tragedy

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on Ad Campaign Blasts Seoul for ‘Media Censorship’ in Wake of Ferry Tragedy

Ad Campaign Blasts Seoul for ‘Media Censorship’ in Wake of Ferry Tragedy

New America Media

By Aruna Lee

A group of Korean immigrants in the U.S. are planning to run a full-page ad in the New York Times condemning South Korean President Park Geun-hye and members of her government for their handling of a ferry tragedy that made global headlines in April, reports the Korean-language news website, Newsis.com. The sinking of the passenger ship claimed the lives of some 300 mostly high school youth.

Under the headline, “Sewol Ferry Has Sunk, So Has the Park Administration,” the advertisement slated for the New York Times depicts a drawing of the doomed ferry, slipping underwater off South Korea’s coast. Overlaid on the image are numbers relating to the death toll, the average age of those who perished, and the number of days that lapsed before rescue efforts were undertaken.

Efforts to raise money for the ad began in April when the user of a popular online forum for immigrant Korean women in the United States, called Missy USA, posted the following: “Let’s place an ad in the New York Times to press charges against the South Korean government for its incompetence and media control.”

A campaign was launched soon after on the popular crowd-funding site Indiegogo.com. Visitors to the campaign page are greeted with the message: “Bungled rescue efforts. Fabricated mainstream news coverage. Loss of 300 innocent lives. SK Government MUST take full responsibility of their man-made disaster!”

Within days, some 400 people had come forward with offers to donate. That number has since grown to nearly 3,000, with donations totaling $135,000 as of this writing. The campaign runs through May 29, with the ad expected to run soon thereafter.

The organizers say their aim is to increase scrutiny of the South Korean government over its alleged mishandling of the rescue effort, and for limiting news media’s ability to report about the tragedy and its aftermath.

The campaign’s home page states: “While this event has raised specific concerns about the Park Administration’s disaster control efforts, it has also ignited outrage over a larger issue in South Korea; government censorship and the suppression of free speech.”

As an example, the campaign website notes that mainstream South Korean media reported the government had “launched a massive rescue operation, including around 600 divers, 70 rescue vessels, and 29 airplanes” shortly after the sinking. Family members of the victims challenged those figures, however, saying they saw no such operation until days after it had been reported.

The campaign also alleges many of the surviving family members were told by South Korean officials that their social media postings would be monitored for any comments critical of the government. These allegations have not been verified, though another incident involving a Korean reporter in Germany shows South Korean officials there demanding she retract statements in a German publication painting the Park administration in a bad light.

“These people (the South Korean government) are most afraid of international media, not their own citizens,” wrote one member of the L.A. group on the campaign site.

The Sewol sank hours after departing from the western port city of Incheon carrying 476 passengers, 324 of them students from Danwon High School in the city of Ansan, just south of the capital, Seoul. The students were on an annual holiday to the resort island of Jeju.

Recovered footage from the cell phones of those on board show students cowering in place as the ship lists badly after a sharp turn in notoriously treacherous waters. The ship’s speakers can be heard blaring directions from crew for students not to flee.

Rescue efforts were called off Tuesday, with the death toll standing at 263 with 39 still missing. One rescue diver perished after losing consciousness while searching the sunken vessel. According to reports four officials with the ferry’s operator were arrested Tuesday for overloading the ship.

“As the President, who must protect the lives of the people, I am sorry and heavy-hearted,” Park told media while visiting a temple in central Seoul, as the country celebrates Buddha’s birthday. “I am at a loss what to say to console the families who lost young students.”

Park singled out collusive ties between shipping agencies, inspectors and government ministries. Harking back to earlier disasters, including a collapsed mall in 1995 that killed over 500, Park vowed to root out these “deep rooted evils of the past.”

For campaign organizers, those evils also include “oppression of free speech and abuse of government authority.” With the funds they’ve raised, they plan to take that message to a global audience.

Motown The Musical Now Playing in Chicago

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on Motown The Musical Now Playing in Chicago

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Featuring more than 50 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” MOTOWN THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat.


Tickets are now on sale at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com. Tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.


FACT SHEET: What Climate Change Means for Regions across America and Major Sectors of the Economy

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on FACT SHEET: What Climate Change Means for Regions across America and Major Sectors of the Economy

“…Science, accumulated and reviewed over decades, tells us that our planet is changing in ways that will have profound impacts on all of humankind…those who are already feeling the effects of climate change don’t have time to deny it—they’re busy dealing with it.”

— President Barack Obama, Remarks at Georgetown University, June 25, 2013.

Delivering on a major commitment in the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Obama Administration is unveiling the third U.S. National Climate Assessment—the most comprehensive scientific assessment ever generated of climate change and its impacts across every region of America and major sectors of the U.S. economy.

The findings in this National Climate Assessment underscore the need for urgent action to combat the threats from climate change, protect American citizens and communities today, and build a sustainable future for our kids and grandkids.

Developed over four years by hundreds of the Nation’s top climate scientists and technical experts—and informed by thousands of inputs from the public and outside organizations gathered through town hall meetings, public-comment opportunities, and technical workshops across the country, the third National Climate Assessment represents the most authoritative and comprehensive knowledge base about how climate change is affecting America now, and what’s likely to come over the next century.

And, for the first time, to ensure that American citizens, communities, businesses, and decision makers have easy access to scientific information about climate change impacts that are most relevant to them, the U.S. National Climate Assessment is being released in an interactive, mobile-device-friendly, digital format on www.globalchange.gov.

Today’s announcement is a key deliverable of the Climate Action Plan launched by President Obama last June—which lays out concrete steps to cut carbon pollution, prepare America’s communities for climate-change impacts, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge. The Plan acknowledges that even as we act to reduce the greenhouse-gas pollution that is driving climate change, we must also empower the Nation’s communities, businesses, and individual citizens with the information they need to cope with the changes in climate that are already underway.

Climate-Change Impacts in Regions across America:

• Northeast – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and District of Columbia: “Sixty-four million people are concentrated in the Northeast. The high-density urban coastal corridor from Washington, DC, north to Boston is one of the most developed environments in the world, containing a massive, complex, and long-standing network of supporting infrastructure. The Northeast also has a vital rural component.” Communities in the Northeast “are affected by heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, and coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge.” (NCA Highlights: Northeast; NCA Highlights: Overview)

• Southeast and Caribbean –Virginia, W. Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, S. Carolina, N. Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, and the Caribbean Islands: The Southeast and Caribbean region “is home to more than 80 million people and some of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas… The Gulf and Atlantic coasts are major producers of seafood and home to seven major ports that are also vulnerable. The Southeast is a major energy producer of coal, crude oil, and natural gas.” “Decreased water availability, exacerbated by population growth and land-use change, causes increased competition for water in this region. There are also increased risks associated with extreme events such as hurricanes.” (NCA Highlights: Southeast & Caribbean; NCA Highlights: Overview)

• Midwest – Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin: “The Midwest’s agricultural lands, forests, Great Lakes, industrial activities, and cities are all vulnerable to climate variability and climate change.” “Longer growing seasons and rising carbon dioxide levels increase yields of some crops, although these benefits have already been offset in some instances by occurrence of extreme events such as heat waves, droughts, and floods.” (NCA Highlights: Midwest; NCA Highlights: Overview

• Great Plains – Wyoming, N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas: The Great Plains region “experiences multiple climate and weather hazards, including floods, droughts, severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms. In much of the Great Plains, too little precipitation falls to replace that needed by humans, plants, and animals. These variable conditions already stress communities and cause billions of dollars in damage. Climate change will add to both stress and costs.” “Rising temperatures lead to increased demand for water and energy and impacts on agricultural practices.” (NCA Highlights: Great Plains; NCA Highlights: Overview)

• Southwest – California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado: “The Southwest is the hottest and driest region in the United States. Climate changes pose challenges for an already parched region that is expected to get hotter and, in its southern half, significantly drier. Increased heat and changes to rain and snowpack will send ripple effects throughout the region… and its critical agriculture sector.” “Drought and increased warming foster wildfires and increased competition for scarce water resources for people and ecosystems.” (NCA Highlights: Southwest; NCA Highlights: Overview)

• Northwest – Idaho, Oregon, and Washington: “The Northwest’s economy, infrastructure, natural systems, public health, and agriculture sectors all face important climate change related risks. Impacts on infrastructure, natural systems, human health, and economic sectors, combined with issues of social and ecological vulnerability, will unfold quite differently in largely natural areas, like the Cascade Range, than in urban areas like Seattle and Portland or among the region’s many Native American Tribes.” “Changes in the timing of streamflow related to earlier snowmelt reduce the supply of water in summer, causing far-reaching ecological and socioeconomic consequences.” (NCA Highlights: Northwest; NCA Highlights: Overview)

• Alaska: “Over the past 60 years, Alaska has warmed more than twice as rapidly as the rest of the United States…The state’s largest industries, energy production, mining, and fishing—are all affected by climate change.” “Rapidly receding summer sea ice, shrinking glaciers, and thawing permafrost cause damage to infrastructure and major changes to ecosystems. Impacts on Alaska Native communities increase.” (NCA Highlights: Alaska; NCA Highlights: Overview)

• Hawaii and Pacific Islands: The U.S. Pacific Islands region “includes more than 2,000 islands spanning millions of square miles of ocean. Rising air and ocean temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, changing frequencies and intensities of storms and drought, decreasing streamflows, rising sea levels, and changing ocean chemistry will threaten the sustainability of globally important and diverse ecosystems…as well as local communities, livelihoods, and cultures.” “Increasingly constrained freshwater supplies, coupled with increased temperatures, stress both people and ecosystems and decrease food and water security.” (NCA Highlights: Hawaii and the Pacific Islands; NCA Highlights: Overview)

• Coasts: “More than 50% of Americans – 164 million people – live in coastal counties, with 1.2 million added each year… Humans have heavily altered the coastal environment through development, changes in land use, and overexploitation of resources. Now, the changing climate is imposing additional stresses…” “Coastal lifelines, such as water supply infrastructure and evacuation routes are increasingly vulnerable to higher sea levels and storm surges, inland flooding, and other climate-related changes.” (NCA Highlights: Coasts; NCA Highlights: Overview)

Climate-Change Impacts on Key Sectors of Society and the U.S. Economy

• Health: “Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways, including through impacts from increased extreme weather events, wildfire, decreased air quality, threats to mental health, and illnesses transmitted by food, water, and disease carriers such as mosquitoes and ticks. Some of these health impacts are already underway in the United States. Climate change will, absent other changes, amplify some of the existing health threats the Nation now faces. Certain people and communities are especially vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. Public health actions, especially preparedness and prevention, can do much to protect people from some of the impacts of climate change. Early action provides the largest health benefits.” (NCA Highlights: Human Health)

• Transportation: “The impacts from sea level rise and storm surge, extreme weather events, higher temperatures and heat waves, precipitation changes, Arctic warming, and other climatic conditions are affecting the reliability and capacity of the U.S. transportation system in many ways. Sea level rise, coupled with storm surge, will continue to increase the risk of major coastal impacts on transportation infrastructure, including both temporary and permanent flooding of airports, ports and harbors, roads, rail lines, tunnels, and bridges. Extreme weather events currently disrupt transportation networks in all areas of the country; projections indicate that such disruptions will increase. Climate change impacts will increase the total costs to the Nation’s transportation systems and their users, but these impacts can be reduced through rerouting, mode change, and a wide range of adaptive actions.” (NCA Highlights: Transportation)

• Energy: “Extreme weather events are affecting energy production and delivery facilities, causing supply disruptions of varying lengths and magnitudes and affecting other infrastructure that depends on energy supply. The frequency and intensity of certain types of extreme weather events are expected to change. Higher summer temperatures will increase electricity use, causing higher summer peak loads, while warmer winters will decrease energy demands for heating. Net electricity use is projected to increase. Changes in water availability, both episodic and long-lasting, will constrain different forms of energy production. In the longer term, sea level rise, extreme storm surge events, and high tides will affect coastal facilities and infrastructure on which many energy systems, markets, and consumers depend. As new investments in energy technologies occur, future energy systems will differ from today’s in uncertain ways. Depending on the character of changes in the energy mix, climate change will introduce new risks as well as new opportunities.” (NCA Highlights: Energy Supply and Use)

• Water: “Climate change affects water demand and the ways water is used within and across regions and economic sectors. The Southwest, Great Plains, and Southeast are particularly vulnerable to changes in water supply and demand. Changes in precipitation and runoff, combined with changes in consumption and withdrawal, have reduced surface and groundwater supplies in many areas. These trends are expected to continue, increasing the likelihood of water shortages for many uses. Increasing flooding risk affects human safety and health, property, infrastructure, economies, and ecology in many basins across the United States… Increasing resilience and enhancing adaptive capacity provide opportunities to strengthen water resources management and plan for climate-change impacts.” (NCA Highlights: Water)

• Agriculture: “Climate disruptions to agriculture have been increasing and are projected to become more severe over this century. Some areas are already experiencing climate-related disruptions, particularly due to extreme weather events. While some U.S. regions and some types of agricultural production will be relatively resilient to climate change over the next 25 years or so, others will increasingly suffer from stresses due to extreme heat, drought, disease, and heavy downpours. From mid-century on, climate change is projected to have more negative impacts on crops and livestock across the country – a trend that could diminish the security of our food supply… Climate change effects on agriculture will have consequences for food security, both in the U.S. and globally, through changes in crop yields and food prices and effects on food processing, storage, transportation, and retailing. Adaptation measures can help delay and reduce some of these impacts.” (NCA Highlights: Agriculture)

• Ecosystems: “Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being affected by climate change. The capacity of ecosystems to buffer the impacts of extreme events like fires, floods, and severe storms is being overwhelmed. Climate change impacts on biodiversity are already being observed in alteration of the timing of critical biological events such as spring bud burst, and substantial range shifts of many species. In the longer term, there is an increased risk of species extinction. Events such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and pest outbreaks associated with climate change (for example, bark beetles in the West) are already disrupting ecosystems. These changes limit the capacity of ecosystems, such as forests, barrier beaches, and wetlands, to continue to play important roles in reducing the impacts of extreme events on infrastructure, human communities, and other valued resources… Whole-system management is often more effective than focusing on one species at a time, and can help reduce the harm to wildlife, natural assets, and human well-being that climate disruption might cause.” (NCA Highlights: Ecosystems)

• Oceans: “Ocean waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, broadly affecting ocean circulation, chemistry, ecosystems, and marine life. More acidic waters inhibit the formation of shells, skeletons, and coral reefs. Warmer waters harm coral reefs and alter the distribution, abundance, and productivity of many marine species. The rising temperature and changing chemistry of ocean water combine with other stresses, such as overfishing and coastal and marine pollution, to alter marine-based food production and harm fishing communities… In response to observed and projected climate impacts, some existing ocean policies, practices, and management efforts are incorporating climate change impacts. These initiatives can serve as models for other efforts and ultimately enable people and communities to adapt to changing ocean conditions.” (NCA Highlights: Oceans)

Climate Trends in America

• Temperature: “U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since record keeping began in 1895; most of this increase has occurred since about 1970. The most recent decade was the Nation’s warmest on record. Temperatures in the United States are expected to continue to rise. Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, the temperature rise has not been, and will not be, uniform or smooth across the country or over time.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Extreme Weather: “There have been changes in some types of extreme weather events over the last several decades. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, especially in the West. Cold waves have become less frequent and intense across the Nation. There have been regional trends in floods and droughts. Droughts in the Southwest and heat waves everywhere are projected to become more intense, and cold waves less intense everywhere.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Hurricanes: “The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. The relative contributions of human and natural causes to these increases are still uncertain. Hurricane-associated storm intensity and rainfall rates are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Severe Storms: “Winter storms have increased in frequency and intensity since the 1950s, and their tracks have shifted northward over the United States. Other trends in severe storms, including the intensity and frequency of tornadoes, hail, and damaging thunderstorm winds, are uncertain and are being studied intensively.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Precipitation: “Average U.S. precipitation has increased since 1900, but some areas have had increases greater than the national average, and some areas have had decreases. More winter and spring precipitation is projected for the northern United States, and less for the Southwest, over this century.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Heavy Downpours: “Heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five decades. Largest increases are in the Midwest and Northeast. Increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events are projected for all U.S. regions.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Frost-free Season: “The length of the frost-free season (and the corresponding growing season) has been increasing nationally since the 1980s, with the largest increases occurring in the western United States, affecting ecosystems and agriculture. Across the United States, the growing season is projected to continue to lengthen.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Ice Melt: “Rising temperatures are reducing ice volume and surface extent on land, lakes, and sea. This loss of ice is expected to continue. The Arctic Ocean is expected to become essentially ice free in summer before mid-century.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Sea Level: “Global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise another 1 to 4 feet by 2100.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

• Ocean Acidification: “The oceans are currently absorbing about a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere annually and are becoming more acidic as a result, leading to concerns about intensifying impacts on marine ecosystems.” (NCA Highlights: Climate Trends)

Tommy James Leads Duke Ellington Orchestra for Mother’s Day Performance

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on Tommy James Leads Duke Ellington Orchestra for Mother’s Day Performance

Of course, you have to be a great musician to play with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.  That’s a given; but you also have to be invited.  Duke’s son, Mercer Ellington, invited conductor Tommy James to join the orchestra in 1987 as a pianist.

Chicagoland jazz lovers will get to hear James and the 16-piece Duke Ellington Orchestra perform on Mother’s Day—Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 4 p.m– at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Dr.  The orchestra is performing for Jazz Unites’ 40th Anniversary Duke Ellington Tribute.

A native of Mt. Pleasant, N.Y., James is not from a musical family.  He learned to play the piano by ear at a neighbor’s house.  He became so good, that after high school, James was accepted at the Manhattan School of Music where he majored in music composition.

James has performed or recorded with such jazz notables as Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Roy Ayers and Lionel Hampton, as well as singers Patti LaBelle, Roberta Flack and Teddy Pendergrast.  He also served as musical director for vocalists Marlena Shaw, Maureen McGovern and Nell Carter.  For the Duke Ellington Orchestra, James recorded “Third Generation” and “Only God Can Make A Tree,” with Mercer Ellington.

Mercer’s youngest son, Paul Mercer Ellington, passed on the conductor’s baton to James in 2010.  Paul took over as orchestra leader following his father’s death in 1998.  Paul and James co-wrote the “Many Sides of Ellington,” which is a part of the orchestra’s vast repertoire.

For three generations the Duke Ellington Orchestra has not missed a beat.  James says it is gratifying to see a new generation of music lovers discovering Ellington.

“Ellington said there are two kinds of music — the good kind and the other kind,” shares James.

For ticket information, visit harristheaterchicago.org or call the box office Monday – Friday from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at 312-334-7777.

Searching For The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift? Shop Smart States The Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on Searching For The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift? Shop Smart States The Better Business Bureau

Chicago, IL – If you plan to purchase a Mother’s Day gift, be sure to read the “fine print” to prevent misunderstandings. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reminds consumers to be smart shoppers during this holiday.

“Mother’s Day is second only to Valentine’s Day for the purchase of flowers and other gifts and it’s important to be careful when making your gift choices,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “You always need to be sure all questions are answered about the product or service you’re purchasing before you make a decision.”

The BBB offers the following shopping tips for Mother’s Day gifts:

Gift Cards and Certificates: Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate prior to purchase to ensure that the expiration date and conditions won’t be problematic. If you are giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, be sure the gift card is redeemable for internet shopping and not just for in-store use. Make certain on a gift card that the security number hasn’t been revealed prior to purchase.

Electronics: Whether you plan to buy Mom a smartphone, laptop or other electronic device, be sure that you don’t remove it from the box before wrapping it. Many electronics stores require the original packaging in order to process returns or exchanges.

Clothing or Handbags: If you are planning to purchase clothing or a handbag for Mom, make sure you get a gift receipt in case she needs to return the item.

Cosmetics: If you are interested in purchasing cosmetics or fragrance, speak to the store about their return policy and keep the receipt. If she tries the product and is not satisfied, know the store’s policy on the return of open items.

Guides, Tours and Classes: Yoga, wine tasting and cooking lessons are a fun way to celebrate and spend time with Mom. However, it’s important to get details about these classes and adventures in writing and in advance of the trip. Be sure to clarify all of the factors listed below:

· Are reservations required and if so, by when?

·  What are the total costs and features?

·  What services and equipment are included?

·  Are taxes or any other charges added?

·   Are there any restrictions or special time requirements?

·  Are there any cancellation or refund penalties or policies?

For more tips, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

National Veterans Art Museum to Observe Memorial Day 2014 with New Exhibition

Posted by Admin On May - 8 - 2014 Comments Off on National Veterans Art Museum to Observe Memorial Day 2014 with New Exhibition

Surrealism and War, an Exhibition of Veterans’ Artwork that Explores the Relationship Between Surrealism and the Experience of War, Opens Memorial Day 2014

CHICAGO, IL – On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2014, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) will honor Memorial Day with the opening reception of Surrealism and War, an exhibition of veterans’ artwork that explores the relationship between surrealism and the experience of war.

Surrealism and War includes the seminal work “The Earth Lies Screaming” by Jim Leedy, a Korean War veteran who was one of only two Americans invited to participate in the largest Surrealist exhibition ever assembled at the Retretti Art Center, Finland, an exhibition that began with Miro, Dali, and DuChamp, and culminated with several works by Mr. Leedy.

Surrealism is an attempt to revolt against the inherent contradictions of a society ruled by rational thought while dominated by war and oppression. Surrealism seeks expression of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason and free of aesthetic and moral preoccupation. It is this same absence of control exercised by reason that many combat veterans seek to explore and express after their experiences in war. Surrealism and War features the artwork of nine veteran artists that intentionally and unintentionally use and explore Surrealist processes and concepts.

Of his piece, “The Meeting of Dark Scout and Winged Boy,” David Keefe an Iraq veteran notes, “For the past few years, I have been exploring how multiple histories collide in timeless fashions. This concept has become a catalyst for my painting compositions that explore and expose the boundaries between reality and memory, between chronologically lived experiences and simultaneity.”

Curator Aaron Hughes, an Iraq veteran, states, “This show is transformational for veterans who often feel isolated in their experiences. It is not only bringing an intergenerational group of veterans together but also showing the connection to one of the most powerful modern art movements: Surrealism. It is so important for veteran artist to see themselves and their work in relationship to the history of art and artist. My generation of veterans is not the first to come home from war and express the realities and traumas of war through art. This exhibition brings that history to light and demonstrates the connection between what Iraq veterans are doing with what Vietnam, Korean, and World War One veterans have done.”

NVAM Executive Director Levi Moore celebrated the show, noting, “With this exhibition, which marks our second Memorial Day at our home in the Six Corners neighborhood, we hope to welcome new and expanding audiences and to reconnect with past supporters.”

Ehren Toole, a Gulf War veteran whose “Cup Series” is featured in the show, states “After my experience in the Marine Corps, I am wary of the gap between the stated goal and the outcome. I am comfortable with the statement ‘I just make cups.’ I trust that my work will speak for itself, now and over the next five hundred thousand to one million years. When I returned from the 1991 Gulf War I was surprised to see a G.I. Joe version of myself, my gas mask and my war, in stores, ‘for ages 6 and up.’ I am compelled to make work that talks about the strange places where military and civilian cultures collude and collide.”

Featured artists include Korean War veteran Jim Leedy, Vietnam War veterans William Dugan, Stan Gillett, Michael Helbing, and Richard Yohnka, Gulf War veteran Ehren Tool, Kosovo veteran Giuseppe Pellicano, and Iraq War veterans David Keefe and Robynn Murray.

The NVAM is pleased to welcome veterans, military family members, artists, and the general public to join the artists for the Memorial Day Opening, Monday May 26, 2014.

Admission to the NVAM will be free from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. A Color Guard will take place at 11 a.m. and artist talks will commence at 2 p.m. Surrealism and War will be on display from May 26, 2014 to November 1, 2014.

About the Artists

  • William Dugan served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and currently lives and works in Missouri.
  • Stan Gillett served in the Army in Vietnam and currently lives and works in Georgia.
  • Michael Helbing served in the Army in Vietnam and currently lives and works in Illinois.
  • David Keefe served in the Marine Corps in Iraq and currently lives and works in New Jersey.
  • Jim Leedy served in Korean War and currently lives and works in Missouri
  • Robynn Murray served in the Army in Iraq and currently lives and works in New York.
  • Giuseppe Pellicano served in the Army in Kosovo and currently lives and works in Oregon.
  • Ehren Tool served in the Marine Corps in the Gulf War and currently lives and works in California.
  • Richard Yohnka served in the Army in Vietnam and is from Illinois. He passed away in 1997.

The exhibition will also feature work from the NVAM permanent collection and an Exquisite Corpse project with submissions by many veteran and non-veteran artists.

About the National Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum, located at 4041 N Milwaukee Avenue, inspires greater understanding of the real impact of war with a focus on Vietnam. The museum collects, preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by veterans. The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. It is home to more than 2,500 works of art by more than 270 artists. Personal narratives and artistic representations of war (including paintings, photographs, sculptures, poetry and music) provide transformative learning opportunities in art, history and civics.

The National Veterans Art Museum is 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.

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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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