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Archive for June 20th, 2014

Up to 300 American Military Advisors to Iraq to Assess How Can Best Train, Advise, and Support Iraqi Security Forces Going Forward

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

President Obama’s Remarks on the Situation in Iraq

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

Good afternoon, everybody.  I just met with my national security team to discuss the situation in Iraq.  We’ve been meeting regularly to review the situation since ISIL, a terrorist organization that operates in Iraq and Syria, made advances inside of Iraq.  As I said last week, ISIL poses a threat to the Iraqi people, to the region, and to U.S. interests.  So today I wanted to provide you an update on how we’re responding to the situation.

First, we are working to secure our embassy and personnel operating inside of Iraq.  As President, I have no greater priority than the safety of our men and women serving overseas.  So I’ve taken some steps to relocate some of our embassy personnel, and we’ve sent reinforcements to better secure our facilities.

Second, at my direction, we have significantly increased our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets so that we’ve got a better picture of what’s taking place inside of Iraq.  And this will give us a greater understanding of what ISIL is doing, where it’s located, and how we might support efforts to counter this threat.

Third, the United States will continue to increase our support to Iraqi security forces.  We’re prepared to create joint operation centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat of ISIL.  Through our new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, we’re prepared to work with Congress to provide additional equipment.  We have had advisors in Iraq through our embassy, and we’re prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisors — up to 300 — to assess how we can best train, advise, and support Iraqi security forces going forward.

American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region, and American interests as well.

Fourth, in recent days, we’ve positioned additional U.S. military assets in the region.  Because of our increased intelligence resources, we’re developing more information about potential targets associated with ISIL.  And going forward, we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action, if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it.  If we do, I will consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region.

I want to emphasize, though, that the best and most effective response to a threat like ISIL will ultimately involve partnerships where local forces, like Iraqis, take the lead.

Finally, the United States will lead a diplomatic effort to work with Iraqi leaders and the countries in the region to support stability in Iraq.  At my direction, Secretary Kerry will depart this weekend for meetings in the Middle East and Europe, where he’ll be able to consult with our allies and partners.  And just as all Iraq’s neighbors must respect Iraq’s territorial integrity, all of Iraq’s neighbors have a vital interest in ensuring that Iraq does not descend into civil war or become a safe haven for terrorists.

Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq’s future.  Shia, Sunni, Kurds — all Iraqis — must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence.  National unity meetings have to go forward to build consensus across Iraq’s different communities.  Now that the results of Iraq’s recent election has been certified, a new parliament should convene as soon as possible.  The formation of a new government will be an opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue and forge a government that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis.

Now, it’s not the place for the United States to choose Iraq’s leaders.  It is clear, though, that only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people together and help them through this crisis.  Meanwhile, the United States will not pursue military options that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another.  There’s no military solution inside of Iraq, certainly not one that is led by the United States.  But there is an urgent need for an inclusive political process, a more capable Iraqi security force, and counterterrorism efforts that deny groups like ISIL a safe haven.

In closing, recent days have reminded us of the deep scars left by America’s war in Iraq.  Alongside the loss of nearly 4,500 American patriots, many veterans carry the wounds of that war, and will for the rest of their lives.  Here at home, Iraq sparked vigorous debates and intense emotions in the past, and we’ve seen some of those debates resurface.

But what’s clear from the last decade is the need for the United States to ask hard questions before we take action abroad, particularly military action.  The most important question we should all be asking, the issue that we have to keep front and center — the issue that I keep front and center — is what is in the national security interests of the United States of America.  As Commander-in-Chief, that’s what I stay focused on.  As Americans, that’s what all of us should be focused on.

And going forward, we will continue to consult closely with Congress.  We will keep the American people informed.  We will remain vigilant.  And we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the security of the United States and the safety of the American people.

So with that, I’m going to take a couple of questions.  I’ll start with Colleen McCain Nelson of the Wall Street Journal.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Do you have any confidence in Prime Minister Maliki at this point?  And can Maliki bring political stability to Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT:  As I said, it’s not our job to choose Iraq’s leaders.  Part of what our patriots fought for during many years in Iraq was the right and the opportunity for Iraqis to determine their own destiny and choose their own leaders.  But I don’t think there’s any secret that right now at least there is deep divisions between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish leaders.  And as long as those deep divisions continue or worsen, it’s going to be very hard for an Iraqi central government to direct an Iraqi military to deal with these threats.

And so we’ve consulted with Prime Minister Maliki, and we’ve said that to him privately.  We’ve said it publicly that whether he is prime minister, or any other leader aspires to lead the country, that it has to be an agenda in which Sunni, Shia and Kurd all feel that they have the opportunity to advance their interests through the political process.  And we’ve seen over the last two years, actually dating back to 2008, 2009 — but I think worse over the last two years — the sense among Sunnis that their interests were not being served, that legislation that had been promised around, for example, De-Ba’athification had been stalled.

I think that you hear similar complaints that the government in Baghdad has not sufficiently reached out to some of the tribes and been able to bring them in to a process that gives them a sense of being part of a unity government or a single nation-state.  And that has to be worked through.

Part of the reason why we saw better-equipped Iraqi security forces with larger numbers not be able to hold contested territory against ISIL probably reflects that lack of a sense of commitment on the part of Sunni communities to work with Baghdad.  And that has to be fixed if we’re going to get through this crisis.

Jim Acosta.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Americans may look at this decision that you’re making today as a sneak preview of coming attractions; that the number of advisors that you’re planning to send in may just be the beginning of a boots-on-the-ground scenario down the road.  Why is Iraq’s civil war in the national security interests of the United States?  And are you concerned about the potential for mission creep?

THE PRESIDENT: I think we always have to guard against mission creep, so let me repeat what I’ve said in the past:  American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.

We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops and committing the kinds of blood and treasure that has already been expended in Iraq.  Ultimately, this is something that is going to have to be solved by the Iraqis.

It is in our national security interests not to see an all-out civil war inside of Iraq, not just for humanitarian reasons, but because that ultimately can be destabilizing throughout the region.  And in addition to having strong allies there that we are committed to protecting, obviously issues like energy and global energy markets continues to be important.

We also have an interest in making sure that we don’t have a safe haven that continues to grow for ISIL and other extremist jihadist groups who could use that as a base of operations for planning and targeting ourselves, our personnel overseas, and eventually the homeland.  And if they accumulate more money, they accumulate more ammunition, more military capability, larger numbers, that poses great dangers not just to allies of ours like Jordan, which is very close by, but it also poses a great danger potentially to Europe and ultimately the United States.

We have already seen inside of Syria that — or groups like ISIL that right now are fighting with other extremist groups, or an Assad regime that was non-responsive to a Sunni majority there, that that has attracted more and more jihadists or would-be jihadists, some of them from Europe.  They then start traveling back to Europe, and that, over time, can create a cadre of terrorists that could harm us.

So we have humanitarian interests in preventing bloodshed.  We have strategic interests in stability in the region.  We have counterterrorism interests.  All those have to be addressed.

The initial effort for us to get situational awareness through the reconnaissance and surveillance that we’ve already done, coupled with some of our best people on the ground doing assessments of exactly what the situation is — starting, by the way, with the perimeter around Baghdad and making sure that that’s not overrun — that’s a good investment for us to make.  But that does not foreshadow a larger commitment of troops to actually fight in Iraq.  That would not be effective in meeting the core interests that we have.

Q    Just very quickly, do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq?  Any regrets about that decision in 2011?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me; that was a decision made by the Iraqi government.  We offered a modest residual force to help continue to train and advise Iraqi security forces.  We had a core requirement which we require in any situation where we have U.S. troops overseas, and that is, is that they’re provided immunity since they’re being invited by the sovereign government there, so that if, for example, they end up acting in self-defense if they are attacked and find themselves in a tough situation, that they’re not somehow hauled before a foreign court.  That’s a core requirement that we have for U.S. troop presence anywhere.

The Iraqi government and Prime Minister Maliki declined to provide us that immunity.  And so I think it is important though to recognize that, despite that decision, that we have continued to provide them with very intensive advice and support and have continued throughout this process over the last five years to not only offer them our assistance militarily, but we’ve also continued to urge the kinds of political compromises that we think are ultimately necessary in order for them to have a functioning, multi-sectarian democracy inside the country.

Juliet Eilperin.

Q    Mr. President, you just mentioned Syria a moment ago.  The United States has been slow to provide significant weapons and training directly to the Syrian opposition.  Has the expansion of the Syria war into Iraq changed your mind about the type of weapons and training we’re now willing to give the opposition there?  Is that what prompted Secretary Kerry to say of Syria, “We are augmenting our assistance in significant ways”?  And can you elaborate on what you are you doing now that you weren’t doing before?

THE PRESIDENT: That assessment about the dangers of what was happening in Syria have existed since the very beginning of the Syrian civil war.  The question has never been whether we thought this was a serious problem.  The question has always been, is there the capacity of moderate opposition on the ground to absorb and counteract extremists that might have been pouring in, as well as an Assad regime supported by Iran and Russia that outmanned them and was ruthless.

And so we have consistently provided that opposition with support.  Oftentimes, the challenge is if you have former farmers or teachers or pharmacists who now are taking up opposition against a battle-hardened regime, with support from external actors that have a lot at stake, how quickly can you get them trained; how effective are you able to mobilize them.  And that continues to be a challenge.  And even before the situation that we saw with ISIL going into Iraq, we had already tried to maximize what we could do to support a moderate opposition that not only can counteract the brutality of Assad, but also can make sure that in the minds of Sunnis they don’t think that their only alternative is either Mr. Assad or extremist groups like ISIL or al Nusra.

Q    And can you speak to what you might be doing differently, as the Secretary of State alluded to?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that the key to both Syria and Iraq is going to be a combination of what happens inside the country working with the moderate Syrian opposition, working with an Iraqi government that is inclusive, and us laying down a more effective counterterrorism platform that gets all the countries in the region pulling in the same direction.  And I alluded to this in the West Point speech.  I talked about it today with respect to the Counterterrorism Partnership Fund.

There is going to be a long-term problem in this region in which we have to build and partner with countries that are committed to our interests, our values.  And at the same time, we have immediate problems with terrorist organizations that may be advancing.  And rather than try to play Whac-a-Mole wherever these terrorist organizations may pop up, what we have to do is to be able to build effective partnerships, make sure that they have capacity.  Some of the assets that have been devoted solely to Afghanistan over the last decade we’ve got to shift to make sure that we have coverage in the Middle East and North Africa.

You look at a country like Yemen — a very impoverished country and one that has its own sectarian or ethnic divisions — there, we do have a committed partner in President Hadi and his government.  And we have been able to help to develop their capacities without putting large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground at the same time as we’ve got enough CT, or counterterrorism capabilities that we’re able to go after folks that might try to hit our embassy or might be trying to export terrorism into Europe or the United States.

And looking at how we can create more of those models is going to be part of the solution in dealing with both Syria and Iraq.  But in order for us to do that, we still need to have actual governments on the ground that we can partner with and that we’ve got some confidence are going to pursue the political policies of inclusiveness.  In Yemen, for example, a wide-ranging national dialogue that took a long time, but helped to give people a sense that there is a legitimate political outlet for grievances that they may have.

Peter Maer.

Q    Thank you, sir.  Going back to where you see Prime Minister al-Maliki playing a role at this point, you said that it’s a time to rise above differences, that there’s a need for more inclusive government.  Is he a unifier?  And how much clout does the United States ultimately have with any of the leadership in Iraq at this point really?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we still provide them significant assistance.  I think they recognize that, unlike some other players in the region, we don’t have territorial ambitions in their country.  We’re not looking to control their assets or their energy.  We want to make sure that we’re vindicating the enormous effort and sacrifice that was made by our troops in giving them an opportunity to build a stable, inclusive society that can prosper and deliver for the basic needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people.

And at the same time, they are a sovereign country.  They have their own politics.  And what we have tried to do is to give them our best advice about how they can solve their political problems.  Now that they are in crisis, we are indicating to them that there is not going to be a simple military solution to this issue.  If you start seeing the various groups inside of Iraq simply go to their respective corners, then it is almost certain that Baghdad and the central government will not be able to control huge chunks of their own country.  The only way they can do that is if there are credible Sunni leaders, both at the national level and at the local level, who have confidence that a Shia majority, that the Kurds, that all those folks are committed to a fair and just governance of the country.

Right now, that doesn’t exist.  There’s too much suspicion, there’s too much mistrust.  And the good news is that an election took place in which despite all this mistrust, despite all this frustration, despite all this anger, you still had millions of Iraqis turn out — in some cases, in very dangerous circumstances.  You now have a court that has certified those elections, and you have a constitutional process to advance government formation.

So far, at least, the one bit of encouraging news that we’ve seen inside of Iraq is that all the parties have said they continue to be committed to choosing a leadership and a government through the existing constitutional order.

So what you’re seeing I think is, as the prospects of civil war heighten, many Iraq leaders stepping back and saying, let’s not plunge back into the abyss; let’s see if we can resolve this politically.  But they don’t have a lot of time.  And you have a group like ISIL that is doing everything that it can to descend the country back into chaos.

And so one of the messages that we had for Prime Minister Maliki but also for the Speaker of the House and the other leadership inside of Iraq is, get going on this government formation.  It’ll make it a lot easier for them to shape a military strategy.  It’ll also make it possible for us to partner much more effectively than we can currently.

Q    Given the Prime Minister’s track record, is he a unifier?  Can he play that role after what we’ve seen play out over the last couple of weeks is brought into play?

THE PRESIDENT: I think the test is before him and other Iraqi leaders as we speak.  Right now, they can make a series of decisions.  Regardless of what’s happened in the past, right now is a moment where the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance, and the test for all of them is going to be whether they can overcome the mistrust, the deep sectarian divisions, in some cases just political opportunism, and say this is bigger than any one of us and we’ve got to make sure that we do what’s right for the Iraqi people.  And that’s a challenge.

That’s not something that the United States can do for them.  That’s not something, by the way, that the United States Armed Forces can do for them.  We can provide them the space, we can provide them the tools.  But ultimately, they’re going to have to make those decisions.

In the meantime, my job is to make sure that American personnel there are safe; that we are consulting with the Iraqi security forces; that we’re getting a better assessment of what’s on the ground; and that we’re recognizing the dangers of ISIL over the long term, and developing the kinds of comprehensive counterterrorism strategies that we’re going to need to deal with this issue.  And that’s going to involve some short-term responses to make sure that ISIL is not obtaining capacity to endanger us directly or our allies and partners.  But it also is going to require some long-term strategies, as well.

Because part of what we’ve with respect to ISIL is a broader trend that I talked about at West Point — rather than a single network, a discreet network of terrorists, this fluid combination of hardened terrorists, disaffected local leadership.  And where there’s vacuums, they’re filling it and creating the potential for serious danger for all concerned.

Thank you very much.

Q    On Iran, Mr. President, any words on what you’re willing to do, and are you also willing to work with them?

THE PRESIDENT: Our view is that Iran can play a constructive role if it is helping to send the same message to the Iraqi government that we’re sending, which is that Iraq only holds together if it’s inclusive and that if the interests of Sunni, Shia and Kurd are all respected.  If Iran is coming in solely as an armed force on behalf of the Shia, and if it is framed in that fashion, then that probably worsens the situation and the prospect for government formation that would actually be constructive over the long term.

Q    What’s your sense of that right now?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that just as Iraq’s leaders have to make decisions, I think Iran has heard from us.  We’ve indicated to them that it is important for them to avoid steps that might encourage the kind of sectarian splits that might lead to civil war.

And the one thing that I think has to be emphasized — we have deep differences with Iran across the board on a whole host of issues.  Obviously, what’s happened in Syria in part is the result of Iran coming in hot and heavy on one side.  And Iran obviously should consider the fact that if its view of the region is solely through sectarian frames, they could find themselves fighting in a whole lot of places.  And that’s probably not good for the Iranian economy or the Iranian people over the long term either.  I suspect there are folks in Iran who recognize that.  A Iraq in chaos on their borders is probably not in their interests.  But old habits die hard, and we’ll have to see whether they can take what I think would be a more promising path over the next several days.

Thank you very much, everybody.

Source: Whitehouse.gov

Chicago has a Cancerous Headache, and When the Head is Sick the Body Ails! Radical Surgery is Recommended

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

Founder & President, Probation Challenge and The PCC Broadcast Network

CHICAGO, IL -  The very thought of giving our children over to the diabolicalness of Satan, is saying to the Creator-of- life, that He made a crucial error in His gift-of-life unto us! Many seek to alter the Lord’s decision on our lives and thusly seek to rectify it!

Because of mistakes in the life of a child, which often causes public embarrassment, we tend to release him or her over into the hands of Satan…who is the tormentor, and in doing so we also release them into the hands of the jail and prison systems. Have you not heard… our jail and prison systems are spiritually known as The Waiting Rooms to Hell? In releasing our children to Satan, we must reflect back that God didn’t throw-up His hands on us? Remember: Leaching in the wings for youth, are demons who will take over and process the lives of our youth! Spiritually, we cannot allow this concerted take over to happen in our lives, nor to that of our children.

Those demonic forces who are going through the earth seeking to devour our youth only to make merchandise of them, and of course for filthy money… believe it or not are persons who the public has trusted and have voted for! These are they that are sitting in high places of authority, caring not as to the wellness of our community, but are master planners who are placed into positions of power only to rob, steal, kill and will destroy.

I have earnestly laid before the Lord regarding our youth, and especially those blinded youth who are ignorantly in gangs, and following the stupid dictates of yet another blinded gang-banger who is considered to be the chief. The scripture considers this ignorant behavior to be… as the blind leading the blind, where they both fall into the ditch. Many of those ditches are our Jails and Prisons.

It’s important to say, that I have seriously agonized over the daily orchestrated murders who many sources believe to be permitted. Even decent law-abiding politicians have said in privacy, that it appears that some crime is allowed as long as it mainly touches the lives of Blacks followed by Hispanics. These heartless killings without any announcements, have broken into the daily lives of hundreds of families, leaving them only to ponder and wonder the what and whys. Flowers, cards, and the best words of comfort will only help to a minus degree. All said and done won’t alleviate the pain that can’t be diminished… only but by God!

As a matter of fact, and without doubt, blatant murders, drugs and all manners of violence, are by large perpetrated primarily in African-American and Hispanic communities. We hasten to say that little outcry has been noted from some of  Chicago Black aldermen, who apparently echo Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s sentiments. Their silence speaks volume, and by being mute, speaks as to the lack of diligent work for ‘workable’ solutions. The question comes to mind; How long will Chicago continue to dismiss acts of violence as a happenstance rather than a good dose of reality!

Devious actions and fiery darts are executed daily while persons are  trusting, praying and sitting on comfortable seats on Sunday mornings, shouting and declaring that they are on their way to heaven. The spiritual fact is, we can’t get to heaven just any-way nor anyhow! We are charged with a spiritual duty. When we have that truth coupled with biblical knowledge, and thusly allowing our youth permission to Go to hell – what are we then saying? We have to admit we are in a fight, yes a spiritual warfare with Satan for our lives and the lives of our children and their children. God promised that when obeying His directions and spiritual orders in battle… we would have victory!

God, the lover of our souls, commanded that we obey His loving principles! Christ has gift us with a wonderful living manual called the Bible, with instructions as to how we should live and rear our children. If we wish to have life and have it more abundantly, we must allow God to lead and direct us in each quarter of our life. God gave us precious promises that we wouldn’t fail, especially when we obeyed His handbook, respectfully called: The Holy Bible!

Loving hearts, are we waiting for a bullet to invade the life of a family member to become sensitive to the treat of immediate danger? Our lives should be weighed in the balance with the question … will the next bullet have my name on it? These questions should be considered before they actually happen. Maybe then we will get off the seat of doing nothing – to fight a good fight against the enemy who desires to destroy! Go and get back the children that which was stolen from us… This was not a request of God, but the Lord command that we do so, and do so in faith believing that it can be done.

Solution: I was taught as a youth: When the head of the body is sick, the entire body ails. The city of Chicago is sin-sick and rampant with crime, drugs and violence! This being an actuality, wouldn’t it be prudent to remove the Chicago Cancerous Headache with radical Surgery. There is a solution, we should call upon the Chief Master Surgeon: The Lord Strong and Mighty.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey, founder and president of Probation Challenge and The PCC Broadcast Network: WWW.ProbationChallenge.org – The Truth Network.

IRS Phone Scam Remains Strong Threat, Says the Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Tax season may be over but that has not stopped scammers from continuing to pose as IRS officials and making calls threatening jail, deportation and loss of property. Thousands of calls have been made to individuals across the country including the Chicago and Northern Illinois area with total losses around one million dollars.

Callers to the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois say they have been left voicemail messages stating they need to contact the IRS immediately or they would face legal consequences. Other messages threatened arrest by U.S. Marshals for failure to pay the correct amount of taxes.

Hoffman Estates resident, Bert Adams says, “I had a phone message from Kelly Gray who said she worked for the IRS and that I was to call the IRS right away.” This call was less threatening and demanding than other calls as Adams noted her sign-off was “Good bye and take care.”

John Strandin, of Rockford, IL says that he and his wife received two calls from a man who claimed his wife had not correctly filed her returns for the last six years. Standin says, “we knew it was a scam because my wife has not filed an individual tax return in more than 10 years.”

All calls to Adams and Strandin came from the 202 area code which services the Washington D.C. area.

“It is a safe bet that the phone numbers that showed on their caller I.D. were “spoofed numbers,”” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is a common practice of scammers to hide their real phone number from their intended victim.” He added “in some cases they have even “spoofed” the IRS’s legitimate “800” customer service number.”

In addition to claiming to be from the IRS, other individuals say they have been called by people stating they were with the U.S. Treasury; although it is a different government agency, the scam remains the same.

Scott Smuck of Rockford says “I was told I did not file my 2010 taxes correctly and that I owed $1,000 and needed to pay it immediately or they would seize my property and bank account and I would be arrested by the U.S. Marshal.” Smuck was instructed not to hang up until he paid the money. “I was even told what store to go to and get a GreenDot card.” The call lasted one hour and 49 minutes.

According to the IRS, the agency never contacts taxpayers by phone asking for money. They also never contact taxpayers by email. If there is an issue with the IRS that requires your response, the contact would be made by U.S. mail.

If you receive one of these scam phone calls the BBB recommends:

  • Hang up – Don’t provide any information over the phone. Call the IRS directly using the phone number found on their website or in the phone book.
  • Protect personal information – In response to an incoming call, never give out any personal or financial information such as your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name or any passwords and other identifying information.
  • Contact the FCC – Let the Federal Communications Commission know about ID spoofers by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or file a complaint at www.fcc.gov/complaints
  • Contact the FTC – File a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. From the complaint homepage, select “Other” and then “Imposter Scams”. In the notes, include “IRS Telephone Scam”.

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

IDOT Reminds Motorists of Upcoming Ontario Street Bridge Demolition, Impact to Traffic This Weekend

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 1 COMMENT

Public Again Urged to Seek Alternate Routes, Use Public Transportation

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation reminded motorists of plans to close portions of I-90/94 (Kennedy Expressway) for the demolition of the last segment of the Ontario Street Bridge over I-90/94 and anticipated backups and traffic delays this weekend.

In coordination with the City of Chicago, the large-scale demolition work requires full closures of a portion of westbound I-90/94, with a two-lane diversion of traffic around the demolition site. The traffic configuration is significantly more involved this weekend, requiring all WB traffic to exit at EB Ohio Street to Orleans Street and loop back to WB I-90/94.

“IDOT is asking the public for its continued patience and to still plan accordingly if traveling in and out of Chicago this weekend to avoid any backups and delays,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “The city of Chicago is open for business and we’re asking the public to plan ahead and use public transportation if possible, as this weekend’s traffic configuration has the potential to cause many more traffic impacts than last weekend.”

The demolition of the Ontario Street Bridge will conclude before the Monday morning rush and will not require the need for a third weekend of work as originally scheduled.  The revised schedule was made possible by the swift pace in which the demolition work occurred last weekend and means fewer disruptions for motorists and the City of Chicago.

The demolition schedule is as follows:

JUNE 20, 21, 22

10 p.m. Friday – 5 a.m. Monday – Closure of WB I-90/94 and reversible lanes.

Removal of second portion (unit 1 over WB I-90/94): WB Kennedy will be closed from Grand Avenue to Ogden Avenue. Beginning at Congress Parkway, WB I-90/94 will be reduced to two lanes. Diverted traffic will exit at EB Ohio Street to Orleans Street and loop back to WB I-90/94. The intersection at Orleans Street will be reconfigured and restriped to allow for free-flow movements.

  • Passenger cars using the Dan Ryan Expressway may exit at 35th Street, head west over to Ashland Avenue then north to I-90/94 as an alternate route.
  • The Ontario Street feeder ramp will be closed.
  • Outbound entrance ramps from Jackson Boulevard to Randolph Street will be closed.
  • Lake Shore Drive remains open in both directions.
  • I-55 and I-290 can be utilized by motorists traveling from the South and West sides of the city

This project is a $16.5 million improvement to the Ontario Street entrance onto the KennedyExpressway as part of the Ohio Street interchange project. This structure will be replaced with a three-span, steel-girder structure over I-90/94 and a single-span, steel-girder structure over EB I-90/94 to the EB Ohio Street exit ramp.  It also involves the extension and deck beam replacement of the westbound Ontario Street to westbound I-90/94 ramp tunnel structure. Other minor work includes the construction of a retaining wall along westbound Ontario Street to the eastbound I-90/94 ramp, drainage improvements and new roadway lighting under the tunnel structure.

Motorists can expect significant delays and backups and should seek alternate routes.

Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers, watch for signing in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, and be on the alert for workers and equipment. Mass transit is strongly encouraged. Large trucks and 18-wheel trucks should stay on the expressway system, in the right lane and will not be allowed to take the local traffic alternates on arterial streets of the city.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications will strategically deploy traffic control aides at key points and during major events to assist with traffic flow. Additionally, the city has issued a moratorium on construction projects on arterial streets that may be utilized by motorists as alternate routes.

The Chicago Transit Authority will have increased rail service and has suspended its Your New Blue construction project over the next three weekends to accommodate increased ridership. The CTA is adding extra rail service and longer trains to its busiest rail routes to allow more customers a quick, convenient and affordable commute to and from downtown.

The CTA will also add bus service on some routes to accommodate more passengers, and will reroute two buses to help avoid congested areas.

CTA is also encouraging the use of its Park and Ride lots along each of its eight rail lines, including three lots along the inbound Kennedy at Rosemont, Cumberland and Harlem, serving the Blue Line to and from downtown.

Metra will have increased cars and crews available to meet increased demand as well. Metra offers discounted ticketing on weekends with its $7 Weekend Pass, which covers unlimited rides on both Saturday and Sunday. Additional buses will run from Ogilvie and Union stations to downtown Chicago.

Bicyclists are also urged to be aware that there will be additional traffic on arterial streets, and like motorists, are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Detour routes, alternate routes and information about this project can be found at http://www.dot.il.gov/KennedyatOhio/detour.html

To view a snapshot of the bridge demolition, updated every five minutes, visit www.travelmidwest.com/lmiga/camera?type=snapshot&id=IL-IDOT-KE01A.

For the latest updates on the impact to traffic, visit www.travelmidwest.com.

Both the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra have increased service and capacity to accommodate additional passengers this weekend. Please visit www.transitchicago.com and www.metrarail.com for information on public transportation.

Jesse: “There should be no boots on the ground in Iraq”

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

‘If so, bring back the draft’

By Chinta Strausberg

On a teleconference call where he spoke on a myriad of topics including the 43rd annual Rainbow PUSH Coalition convention theme, “A Quest for Equality and Peace,” scheduled to kick off Saturday,” Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Thursday recommended there be no “boots on the ground” even though Sunni militants are gaining control of major cities.

Jackson made his comments two days before his convention kicks off 10 a.m., Saturday, June 28, 2014, at the Rainbow PUSH Headquarters, 930 E. 50th St.. It will through Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Jackson will conduct plenary sessions, workshops and special events that are scheduled for that Monday.

His comments came just hours before President Barack Obama announce that he is sending 300 advisers to war-torn Iraq to help that government’s troops and to also set up joint operation centers needed to ward off Sunni extremists.

Obama made it clear that he did not need congressional approval to send the advisers, and he promised to keep them apprised of his actions.  “American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq” but that they “will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists.”

When asked by this reporter if we should have boots on the ground in Iraq, Jackson said, “I would not recommend that we have boots hit the ground. We should move to the draft…it shouldn’t be just poor people on the ground…. I hope there are no boots on the ground. It must be equally shared.”

Jackson said, “The impact of Mr. Bush planning invading Iraq to get heads up on the oil prior to 9/11 was a devastating plan. Colin Powell objected to it…. We broke international law…with a preemptive strike and tore the country up….”

“The architects of the illegal invasion and occupation of the war are now the architects of reactions to their failed strategy,” said Jackson. “Barack could not stop that war. I think he was right by trying to de-escalate it by pulling out the troops….”

When this reporter asked if he would talk about the violence in Chicago and other urban communities across the nation, Jackson said, “In Chicago, we have three Chicago’s.” Jackson said unemployment is high in the black communities but “on the North Side of town where unemployment is less than four percent.” “Obviously those who have the most economic security have the most balanced communities. There must be some real focus on job infusion,” he said.

“Guns in, drugs in, jobs out,” Jackson said citing a huge number of jobs there were lost in Cook County. “That’s a formula for disaster.” Noting the number of shootings that are going on in Chicago, Jackson said there is a need for a trauma center on the South Side. Reflecting on the number of closed hospitals, closed trauma centers and closed 50 schools, closed grocery stores, closed drug stores, Jackson said that is “stacking a lot of pain in those zones.”

Reminded about his past call for a Marshall Plan, Jackson said there needs to be one for youth. Pointing to the 10,000 detainees at the Cook County jail including 5,000 he said are “mentally challenged. Most of them are non-violent first-time offenders. It is costing $55,000 to keep them there….”

Jackson said there should be an investment in “liberating them” while focusing on teaching them trades. “There is no present plan for urban/rural construction.”

Asked about the minister’s luncheon, Jackson said he, former Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., and his wife, Edwina Moss, and Rev. Al Sharpton will have a round table discussion about the legacy of the civil rights movement achieved 50-years ago “and where we are 50-years later.”

Jackson said they will be discussing how “today’s challenges threatened to undermine” those achievements including the explosion of the prison industrial complex he says has reduced the number of voters.

When asked about Republican schemes to suppress the vote like the recent case in Ohio where a federal judge ordered that state’s elections chief to restore the final three days of in-person voting, Rev. Jackson said, rural people do not have the ID the Republicans are imposing as “voter schemes.”

Asked what is he doing to help get the vote out, Jackson said, “We have a Department of Justice now who has the resources to track these schemes of voter suppression…, he said noting that Eric Holder is both capable and a “sensitive” person to monitor these attempts to suppress the vote in certain communities.

“But, Democrats must have a plan that will inspire people to vote,” warned Jackson. “When we bail out the banks without bailing out the homeowners…,” many people lose hope and don’t come out to vote. Jackson said leaders must give people a reason to cast their vote.

On Saturday, June 28th, Jackson will be holding a reunion with those participating in his 1984 presidential campaign and man social issues of the day. In 1984. Jackson said alternates from the campaign would be present focusing on “what we achieved then and the unfinished business.”

Jackson racked up 3.5 million votes and registered more than 1 million new voters and in 1988 he won 7 million votes and boasts of registering 2 million voters.

On July 2nd, the last day of the convention, which Jackson said is the actual date 50-years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he will pay homage to the achievements made. Back then; PUSH’s goal was “to raise the political consciousness, much more registration, build coalitions, bring in more officials somewhat culminating in the White House in 2008,” he told reporters.

But Jackson also spoke about the unfinished business leaders are faced with addressing like the Voter Rights Act he says is “under severe attack…. We are fighting for an amendment to the Constitution to make voting a fundamental right, not just a states right because if it remains a state right, and the states are in charge of it, you will have 50 separate and unequal elections controlled by each state….” Jackson said that determined the 2000 presidential election “when they stopped the count and determined the outcome in 2004 when they froze the machines.”

“While the Confederates states were all solid right wing Republican Houses and Senates, they have put forth again the Confederate agenda the same agenda we fought in 1954…. The difference is that at that time they were called southern segregationists Democrats but after the 1965 Voting Rights Act, they changed parties. They ceased to be southern segregationists Democrats and became Republican conservatives,” charged Jackson. “They changed names, but they didn’t change the basic agenda.”

And, that agenda, Jackson said, included “making voting more difficult” pointing to several states engaged in voter suppression tactics. He talked about “all kinds of manipulations now taking place triggered by a suit filed out of Shelton County Alabama….

“We have a tremendous number of attacks on the voting rights act in an attempt not so much to eliminate it but to dilute the vote by using gerrymandering, stacking, annexation…schemes,” he said.

“They are systematically anti-poor sending resource money back, rejecting government federal money like in South Carolina” headed by Republican Nikki Haley where Jackson said she’s given back $12 million of Medicaid money and $1 billion in education money.” He said Georgia too has rejected $ billion and $100 million Medicaid and education funds also earmarked for the poor.

“But, they are not against money (from the government) for new airports …not against more money to subsidize businesses,” he said. “They have more military bases…the same basic Confederate agenda we fought 50-years ago….”

“If the governor’s if they can’t block school doors, they should not be able to block medical doors today” including locking doors to access to education. “In spite of the $2 million shortfall, the state rejected $1 billion in federal money. If the governor’s can’t block school doors, they should not be able to block medical door or medical doors to access to education. That’s a challenge to the administration,” he said.

On Sunday, June 29th, Jackson will focus on immigration reform. Having just left Dallas, Texas where he met with a number of youth who had been driven across the border. Jackson said there were about 47,000 of them and they had been driven across the border in south Texas by “gangsters who abducted them and drove them across the border.

“Whether we are dealing with the children driven across the border in Texas or the abducted children in Nigeria or those who have been sent back from Haiti,” these are the issues we will be discussing on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, June 30th, Jackson will be holding the women’s luncheon focusing on gender equity for women. Jackson has 169 students PUSH is supporting in college and will be handing out more scholarships that night.

On Tuesday morning, Jackson will be meeting with organized labor and discussing collective bargaining. He will also discuss a growing number of church and home foreclosures. “They will be meeting with bankers and churches on that day.”

Jackson will also be meeting on “life beyond the playing field” with NAACP officials including Oscar Robertson, “The Big O,” and former professional basketball player Spencer Haywood.”

Jackson will also talk about gender equality saying if they are not equally paid they cannot take care of their homes, which he said is “fundamentally wrong.”

Wednesday, July 3rd, is business day. See link for list of speakers. http://rainbowpush.org/page/-/images/43rd_AnnualConvention/RPC%20Convention%20Program%206.16.14.pdf

May Unemployment Falls to 7.5 Percent and is Lowest Since November 2008

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois unemployment rate fell for the third consecutive month to reach 7.5 percent in May and is at the lowest level since November 2008, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The data is seasonally adjusted.

May marks nine consecutive months that the number of people working has increased and the combined April-May reduction of 0.9 point in the unemployment rate is the largest two-month drop since this data series began 38 years ago in 1976.

“May brings us another month of encouraging data. More people are working and the unemployment rate is falling,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “May also reminds us that even as we continue to improve and move forward, more needs to be done to bring this progress to every doorstep.”

The unemployment rate is in line with other economic indicators. First time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in May were 25.5 percent lower than one year ago. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Survey show Illinois employers in May advertised for more than 203,000 jobs (192,500 seasonally adjusted) and 85 percent sought full-time work.

Employers added +242,700 private sector jobs since job creation returned to Illinois. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+105,000, +13.4 percent); Education and Health Services (+59,000, +7.2 percent); and Leisure and Hospitality (+38,300, +7.5 percent). Government continues to lead job loss (-23,100, -2.7 percent.)

In May, the number of unemployed individuals fell -23,600 (-4.6 percent) to 492,400. Total unemployed has fallen -261,100 (-34.7 percent) since when the rate peaked at 11.4 percent. The rate fell even though preliminary estimates indicated 2,600 fewer jobs in May but 19,200 more jobs than one year ago. The unemployment rate and job creation numbers can move independently of each other because they come from different surveys.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000. This includes periods of economic expansion and contraction.

  • Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2009-2013 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated sum-of-states controls, Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.
  • Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.  For not seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail, go to http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/CurrentEmploymentStatistics/I_SA_CES_Illinois_Jobs_2000_to_Current.xls “Other Services” includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available at: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/Pages/Illinois_Chicago_Metropolitan_Area_Unemployment_Rates.aspx

The Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Announces Dates for the 2014 Theatre Awards Show & Festival Weekend

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Hollywood, CA (BlackNews.com) — The Board of Directors of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP and Byron K. Reed, Co-Chairman of the NAACP Theatre Awards Show & Festival in partnership with Councilman Bernard Parks/City of Los Angeles, Wells Fargo and Rent-A-Center are pleased to announce the dates for the 2014 NAACP Theatre Awards Show and Festival Weekend.

Slated for September 12th thru 14th 2014, at the world-class 500 seat AT&T Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles, the NAACP Theatre Festival’s Opening Night VIP Reception (Friday 9-12-2014) will feature the return of first-time playwright Kinnik Sky’s Award Winning Play “Sunday Mourning”. “Sunday Mourning” garnered seven nominations and three NAACP Theatre Award wins in 2012.

Renown Theatre, Television and Film Actor, Carl Gilliard will host the 2014 NAACP Production of 10-Minute Plays (Saturday 9-13-2014 and Sunday 9-14-2014). Enjoy two-days of short-quick entertainment plays that will cover a variety of genres including comedy, drama, action, and other focuses.
Last Call for Play Submissions – Submit before July 10, 2014 for Consideration

* Your entry must have a cover letter complete with email address and a direct contact number
* Character Breakdown Page (1-6 characters)
* Brief Synopsis Page
* The Play: Number each page, no more than 10 pages, standard business font 12’
* Minimal Props and costumes (PLAYS ARE BLACK BOX)
* Limited violence, if any and no use of the “N” word
* EMAIL PLAYS TO: naacpbhhwd@sbcglobal.net
* MAIL TO: Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP-Attn: Kim Jackson, 1680 N Vine Street, Suite 506, Hollywood, CA 90028
* Staple or paperclip the play, no folders or binders (Plays cannot be returned)
* Submit a high resolution photo of Playwright (300+ DPI only)
* Photos are for use in Program Books. Low res photos will not be utilized
* If you need actors for your piece, we offer our Actors Pool Service (often includes celebrity actor participants)
* $20 ENTRY FEE (you may submit multiple plays, each accompanied by $20 entry fee)
Only 20 plays will be selected to participate in the 2014 NAACP Theatre Festival. The plays will be selected by the NAACP Theatre Festival Committee and Carl Gilliard. Selected playwrights will be contacted via email/phone and the selected plays will be posted on their website at www.naacptheatreawards.com
About the NAACP Theatre Festival
The mission of the NAACP Theatre Festival is to create a platform for a diversity of new works and theatre artists to highlight their talents as well as inspire creativity and encourage learning skills while being entertained. Some of the top professionals in the entertainment industry will be on hand to educate and share their knowledge while others will come simply to entertain.

Over the past five years, the NAACP Theatre Festival has proven to be a significant contributor in building the Los Angeles Arts communities and crossing bridges in the relatively tight-knit but expansive world of Theatre. For artists of color, this Festival provides a cultural landscape for them to highlight their creative expression as well as theatrical performances while producing workshops involving collaborations with Theatre Groups from home and abroad, building essential skills and sharing experiences. The Festival is a great networking tool.

The star-studded NACCP Theatre Awards Show culminates the weekend of festivities on Monday, September 15, 2014. Hosts and Honorees to be announced.

For updates, visit www.naacptheatreawards.com

Speaker Boehner “Standing in the Way of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act”

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

John Boehner should be ashamed of this:

Right now, he’s the one standing in the way of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill the Senate passed in a bipartisan vote last year.

Because Speaker Boehner refuses to let the House vote on it, in dozens of states there are no state laws protecting LGBT Americans from being fired because of who they are or whom they love.

President Obama just took a big step forward, by proposing an executive order prohibiting all federal government contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This one action will cover nearly a quarter of our nation’s workforce, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

But Speaker Boehner and leaders in the House are standing in the way of extending those protections to every American.

That’s why OFA is calling out John Boehner for being on the wrong side of history — add your name to fight discrimination today.

Across the country, some interest groups are actually trying to expand legal discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Arizona, the legislature passed a bill to make it OK for businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples. In Oregon, a group tried to pass a ballot initiative to do the same thing.

In 2014, it’s sad that some groups are still holding on to the past — but thanks to the efforts of grassroots organizers, these initiatives failed.

It’s a reminder that we can’t stop fighting for equality. All that work is paying off: In the past year alone, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, and 10 more states have embraced marriage equality. That’s amazing progress, and it’s picking up speed all the time.

More than two-thirds of Americans support passing ENDA — now is the time to remind everyone exactly who’s standing in the way.

Add your name to call out Speaker Boehner and fight discrimination today:




Lindsay Siler
National Director of Issue Campaigns
Organizing for Action

Nation’s Only Black Touring Rodeo Celebrates 30th Anniversary – Making its Way Across the Country

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

2014 Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Schedule — From Denver, CO to Washington, DC

Bill Pickett Rodeo 30th Anniversary

Oakland, CA (BlackNews.com) — The nationally renowned Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) is excited to announce that its 2014 touring season marks its 30th anniversary on the road – taking thrilling professional rodeo competitions to delighted audiences and rodeo fans across the United States. Having already competed this year in Denver, CO and Memphis, TN., some of the nation’s most skilled and entertaining Black cowboys and cowgirls will soon ride into a town near you – from the San Francisco Bay Area July 12-13th to the season’s championship grand finals competition in Washington DC‘s Prince George’s Showplace Arena September 19-20th, and locales in between.

In each toured city Riders choke dust as fans and novice spectators throughout the country cheer for hard riding competitors as they battle to be named the best after a season of competition. At every stop, dust will fly as spectators cheer for their favorite competitors during thrilling Calf Ropin’, exhilarating Bareback Ridin’, Bull Doggin, Ladies Barrel Racin’, Junior Barrel Racin’, Ladies Steer Undecoratin’, and gripping Bull Ridin.’

The remainder of the BPIR 30th Anniversary touring competition is as follows:

Saturday, July 12, 2014 | 2:30 pm
Sunday, July 13, 2014 | 2:30 pm
Rowell Ranch Rodeo Grounds
9711 Dublin Canyon Road, Hayward, CA

Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, July 19, 2014 | 7:00 pm
Sunday, July 20, 2014 | 3:30 pm
Industry Hills Expo Center
16200 Temple Ave., City of Industry, CA

Atlanta, GA
Saturday Aug. 2, 2014 | 7:30pm
Sunday Aug. 3, 2014 | 3:30pm
Georgia International Horse Park
1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy, Conyers, GA

Washington, DC
Bill Picket Championship Rodeo
Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 | 10:00 am
(Rodeo for Kidz Sake)
Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 | 1:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Show Place Arena/Prince George’s Equestrian Ctr.
14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro, MD
Long ago, this rodeo’s president and producer, Lu Vason, challenged the false perception of the absence of Blacks in the development of the West, while molding his touring rodeo into an unquestionable success. A former entertainment producer, media impresario and marketing consultant, Vason founded the BPIR in 1984.

Having validated there had indeed been Black cowboys and cowgirls in the Old West, Vason was inspired to look for and assemble modern day Black wrangles. He did and the Bill Pickett Invitational rodeo was established. The Black rodeo has been a powerful tool in reaching his goals of educating people on the Black West, as well as building a profitable business.

The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo has built a following over 30 years that has generation-after-generation coming back year-after-year. “I am both pleased and proud that the Bill Pickett Rodeo continues to be an annual must-attend event for thousands of fans throughout the country,” said Vason.

For more details, visit www.billpickettrodeo.com
Known as the “Dusky Demon,” Bill Pickett (1870-1932) was the best-known African American rodeo performer of all time. He invented the rodeo sport of bulldogging—now known as steer wrestling—and entertained millions of people around the world, showcasing his bronco-and bull-riding and roping skills in Wild West shows, circuses, and world’s fairs. The professional cowboy and rodeo champion was small in stature but he was a larger-than-life Western legend in his own time. His rodeo career spanned more than 40 years. In 1989, he was inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and in 1996, Bill Pickett was the first rodeo athlete inducted into the Black Cowboy Walk of Fame in Denver, Colorado.

Retired since 1916, Pickett died in April 1932 following a roping accident. His funeral was one of the largest ever held in Oklahoma. He was buried high on a hill at White Eagle Monument, where the Cherokee Strip Cowboy Association set up a limestone marker in his memory. According to Frank Billings, Colonel Zack Miller of the 101 Ranch called him “the greatest sweat-and-dirt cowhand that ever lived.” For more detailed information about Mr. Pickett, please view his biography on the BPIR website.

Chicago International Film Festival on WTTW11: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Posted by Admin On June - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Celebrating their 50th Anniversary this October 9-23, the Chicago International Film Festival is proud to partner with WTTW11 to present a different film each month from their  exciting and diverse history. For the past five decades the Festival has introduced Chicago audiences to new directors, new voices and new visions from around the world. From award winners and audience favorites, to first films by acclaimed directors, this series showcases the outstanding programming that has defined the Festival since 1965.

Chicago International Film Festival 50th Anniversary presents:
Dir. Arvin Chen, Taiwan, 2013
Thursday, June 26 at 10:40pm
Film synopsis:

Introvert Weichung’s measured life as a family man is shaken up when a chance encounter with a charming flight attendant revives feelings from his long suppressed gay past. Instantly falling head-over-heels, Weichung funds himself having to choose between the promise of true love and the security of a conventional domestic life. Meanwhile, his sister, engaged to the nicest of, if slightly over-enthusiastic, men, begins to question her own desire to enter into married life. Fantastical flourishes color this bittersweet romantic comedy that is at once wise and funny in its exploration of formal notions of family, sexuality, and friendship. The musical score, crowned by the titular Shirelles’ 1961 hit performed by Taiwanese pop star Mavis Fan (who plays Weichung’s wife), offers a bright if satirical overlay of pastiches from old Hollywood romance. 104 minutes. Mandarin with English subtitles.

Shown at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival in 2013, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? won the Gold Q Hugo Film Award in the LGBTQ film competition.
To view the film’s trailer, click here.
For upcoming 50th anniversary films on WTTW11, please click here.
For additional information about the Chicago International Film Festival, click here.

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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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