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Chicago, IL - Memorial Day is a holiday to remember those who ...
Washington insider Mark Kirk released a grossly misleading "fact check" this afternoon that distorts Senate ...
By Marc Morial President and CEO, National Urban League On Monday, I joined Secretary of Education ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A week after statewide demonstrations and a sit-in arrest at the offices ...
The deadline to apply is May 31, 2013 Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund ...
College access, paid sick leave, living wage will help Illinoisans get ahead SPRINGFIELD, IL ...
  Delegation travels to West Africa for education and health initiatives and to induct Honorary Member, ...
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil ...
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal judge ruled on Thursday a law that cuts early ...
State regulations bar formerly incarcerated workers from good jobs and a chance at stability   About 70 ...

Archive for July 18th, 2014

Aviation Attorney Robert A. Clifford Speaks Out on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 Shot Down by Missile – Says Unacceptable in Modern Times

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Malaysian Airline Flight MH-17 was shot down by missile yesterday, killing all 298 people aboard

Statement of Aviation Attorney Robert A. Clifford

“Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17, a Boeing 777 cruising at an altitude of approximately 33,000 feet and carrying 298 people including a report of 23 American passengers, was apparently shot down by at least one surface-to-air missile (SAM) in Ukranian airspace near the Russian border today (July 17, 2014). On Monday a cargo airplane was shot down in the same area and yesterday two Ukranian fighter jets were shot down in the same area by surface-to-air or air-to-air missiles (AAM). Reports indicate most believe that Russian ground forces and fighter jets are responsible for the downings, which Russia denies.

“On April 23, 2014, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) that U.S. pilots were not allowed to fly over Crimea, the Black Sea or the Sea of Azov. The warning was made “due to the unilateral and illegal action by Russia to assert control over Crimean airspace,” according to a statement released by the FAA. “This creates the potential for conflicting air traffic control instructions from Ukrainian and Russian authorities and for the related potential misidentification of civil aircraft in this airspace,” read the statement.

“The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency, issued a similar warning. However, that warning was for a different region of the country and advised “air operators of a potentially unsafe situation arising of presence arising from more than one air traffic services provider” in the Simferopol region of the Ukraine, according to the ICAO statement.  An ICAO spokesperson confirmed the warning was due to both Ukraine and Russia claiming the same airspace in the region. An ICAO spokesperson told ABC News today that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17,  appeared to be outside of the Simferopol region when it crashed.
ICAO and the FAA should issue notices prohibiting non-military flights over all portions of Ukraine and neighboring Russian areas. ICAO and FAA should also consider doing the same for any other international conflict/terrorism areas where SAMs and AAMs are a potential threat in the altitude ranges where commercial flights transit. The U.S. military and intelligence community should also use their assets to identify where the MH-17 SAM came from and then consider taking action with the United Nations to eliminate the SAM resources in those areas via military force. Shooting down civilian airplanes with military resources should not be tolerated or go without strong response.

Youth Depression Thrives on Silence – California Data Show Shocking Impact of Mental Disorders

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

 Youth Depression Thrives on Silence - California Data Show Shocking Impact of Mental Disorders

New America Media

By Anna Challet

When Amber Cavarlez was in high school and her mother died of colon cancer, she and her Filipino Catholic family went to church and lit candles every day. But, she says, “After she passed, nothing was said about it. No one talked about it.”

In her home, she says, sadness was an “invisible subject.” And when she cried at school and sought help, she received an anonymous message through Facebook that said, “Don’t cry at school because no one cares.”

She learned to keep her feelings to herself, but her family’s struggles weren’t over – her brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and attempted suicide several times in the following years. By then attending college in San Francisco, she often found herself emotionally unable to go to class, and was told by the administration that she’d have to improve academically or drop out.

She sought the help of a therapist on campus and eventually graduated. Now 23, she is a mentor with the Peer Wellness Program at Edgewood Center for Children and Families in San Francisco. Though doing well herself, she wishes her brother had had someone to talk to when he was in school. Young people “need someone there to ask about [their feelings], to make it valid,” she says.

Cavarlez spoke with other young people at a media forum organized by New America Media in San Francisco last week on challenging stigmas around youth depression. Alongside the youth storytellers, a panel of experts in the mental health field weighed in on the views of depression across different cultures and a fractured system for delivering mental health services. They agreed that youth depression is more widespread than many people realize, and that it thrives on silence.

But both advocates and practitioners were above all optimistic about the future of mental health in children and youth, and expressed a growing excitement over treatment options – in the words of Patrick Gardner, founder of the Young Minds Advocacy Project, “We have a moment of opportunity to change some things.”

“The public is engaged in a way that I have never seen before around children’s mental health,” he said.

A fractured system, but new opportunities for treatment

Gardner says that access to mental health coverage has increased dramatically because of the Affordable Care Act, and that “we can expect these resources to continue to grow.” But, he says, “We aren’t especially effective at systems in delivering services to children.”

He points to long waiting lists for services – “Because we delay access to the system, [people] drop out,” he says – as well as the need to improve the quality of care.

And the need is high, especially in California. Gardner says that mental health problems account for 85 percent of the disease burden for people between the ages of 15 and 25.

Dr. Regan Foust, the data manager at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, agrees. In 2012, she said, mental diseases and disorders accounted for the largest share of hospital admissions among children under 18 in California – some 12 percent of all hospitalizations. Statistics from kidsdata.org (the program that Foust manages) show that mental health problems are the most common primary diagnosis for a hospital stay for kids under 18, more common than bronchitis or fevers.

Depression in the very young

Dr. Manpreet K. Singh, an assistant professor at Stanford School of Medicine who works in the university’s Pediatric Mood Disorders Program, stressed the importance of parents and educators being able to recognize early warning signs. “These signs can be evident even as early as infancy and early childhood, especially if the child has been exposed to family stress, chaos, conflict, or trauma,” she said.

Young children who are depressed, she says, might withdraw from activities that are normally fun for them, easily anger or become irritable, have difficulty with relationships, or be extremely sensitive to rejection or failure as compared to other kids. They also might decline academically, have headaches or stomachaches that don’t respond to treatment, or change their eating or sleeping patterns. She cautions that depression tends to run in families and can transmit from parent to child.

Like Gardner, Singh is optimistic about the future of treatment. “We now know for a fact that [depression] is treatable in children,” she said.

A 19-year-old woman who spoke on the panel was one such person who was depressed from a young age. Lena’s parents are immigrants from China. Her biological father had another family in China; he brought them to the United States when she was 6 years old and kicked Lena and her mother out of the house.

“No one would acknowledge me as family. That was very hard for me to deal with,” she said. “I really had nobody growing up … I asked, ‘Why didn’t I have a father? Why was everybody else so lucky?’ I realized I didn’t like doing things anymore. I had no interest in things.”

She went to a teacher when she was in 6th grade and asked to talk to a therapist. “I would cry through the entire session,” she said. She would often think about “What [she] was taught, how [she’s] not supposed to share anything.”

The stigma across cultures

Katherine Kam, a journalist who has reported on depression and suicide in Asian American adolescents, added that “Among parents, especially in traditional immigrant households, there’s not a lot of understanding about mental illness and about depression … Parents often rejected the diagnosis because they felt that it was a very embarrassing diagnosis. It brought shame to their families.”

Counselors who work with Asian American families told her that depression is often seen as a personal weakness or a moral failing in Asian cultures, and that if a person works hard enough he or she can overcome it.

Jeneé Darden, the host of Mental Health and Wellness Radio at P.E.E.R.S. in Oakland (Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services), spoke of a similar experience having depression in the African American community.

She would sometimes hear from family and friends, “Black women are supposed to be strong, or depression is a white thing, that going to a therapist is a white thing.”

“I would hear, ‘You’re not praying hard enough,’” she added. “Our first step to getting help is the pastor, is the church … [I would hear] ‘Don’t take your problems to the therapist, take them to Jesus.’”

Different ways of finding help

A 20-year-old Indian American woman going by “Leela” (she didn’t want her parents to know that she had spoken publicly about her experiences) recalled having been depressed for most of her life. Her depression worsened, though, after she was sexually assaulted in college.

“My tendency is to become immobile, and I barricaded myself inside my dorm room for the rest of the year,” she said. “I did not leave. I told my parents that I was going to school but I was not.”

“When I tell my parents, I sort of feel like I have to justify the way I’m feeling,” she said. “[I say] ‘I’m not doing well in school because I’m scared.’ ‘I’m not doing well in school because some days I cannot leave the house.’”

She says that what helped her was finding other people who feel the way she does.

Robert Cervantez, 19, said that talking about his depression doesn’t help. For him, it’s being a musician that helps him cope – it gives him “an outlet to express [his] depression and [his] anger.”

Sonya Mann, also 19, called herself “genetically unlucky” coming from a family with a strong history of mental illness. She feels lucky to have had professional medical support while she was growing up, but she continues to feel shame over her depression: “Even though I’ve been told so many times that it’s not my fault, that’s it’s not a personal weakness … I don’t believe that it’s not my fault.”

She’s had to come to terms with the fact that she will likely have to manage her depression all her life. She agrees that it’s treatable, she says, but “I don’t think it’s curable. It’s something you have that you learn how to deal with.”

New ways of thinking, and looking to the future

Rob Gitin, the co-founder and executive director of At The Crossroads, which reaches out to homeless youth, said that current trends around the way services are delivered need to change.

“Services are becoming more conditional, more outcome-focused, shorter-termed and more disciplined,” he said.

When kids act out in ways that are consistent with symptoms of youth depression, such as skipping school and getting into fights, “These are things that will get you kicked out programs,” he said. “You’re not doing what you’re told to, you’re being violent, you’re not engaging with services.” In their search for evidence-based results, programs end up shutting out the kids who need help the most, because those kids don’t live up to strict expectations.

And, he says, the outlook of many service providers needs to change.

“I think that a lot of the time the people doing the work make a mistake. They think that it is your job to make people feel better. It’s not your job to make people feel better, it’s your job to make people feel okay about however they’re feeling,” he says. “If you try to do that all you’re going to do is force them to deny their feelings and suppress whatever they’re going through.”

“There is no model on how you help people,” he adds. “How you help people is you listen to them, you get to know them as an individual. You learn what’s great about them and what’s awful about them, and you help them accept whoever they are and help them figure out who they want to be.”

Ziomara Ochoa, LMFT, is the supervisor of the South County Youth Team at Behavioral Health and Recovery Services in San Mateo. She primarily provides services to a Latino population, many of whom are immigrants or undocumented. Her work, she says, is moving from a focus on treatment into the realm of prevention, with programs like Mental Health First Aid, a public education program that educates participants about risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and teaches them how to help a person in crisis.

The hope is that by educating the community through platforms like forums and group discussions, depression and mental illness in young people can be prevented through community awareness.

It’s part a movement, she says, to “integrate community-based practices that really work with our community and really validate [them] just as much as evidence-based practices.”

Kordnie Lee, a Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor with Lincoln Child Center in Alameda County, added “It’s really about giving a common language … if a young person is doing something that you don’t understand or exhibiting symptoms that you don’t understand, that you [don’t] just send them to someone else and that person’s going to figure it out. It is a community, it is a holistic responsibility that all of us have.”

Visit newamericamedia.org/feelbetter to hear stories from other young people. Journalists can use kidsdata.org to access population health and demographic data on California children, youth, and families, including data on emotional and mental health.

The forum was supported by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. It is part of a larger initiative by New America Media and our statewide network of youth-produced community media hubs to use storytellers and our ethnic media partners to break the stigma about depression and promote greater awareness of treatment options, including Medi-Cal enrollment. This work is supported by The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and The van Loben Sels/RembeRock Foundation.

Photo: Valerie Klinker (center), a NAM videographer, presents a short film as part of a panel on youth depression.On the left is Sonya Mann, and on the right are Amber Cavarlez and Robert Cervantez. (photo credit: Zoe Kaiser)

Kirk’s TRIA Legislation Passes Full Senate

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Schumer/Kirk Bill Protects Taxpayers from Financial Risk in Event of a Terrorist Attack


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) applauded the Senate’s passage of the TRIA Reauthorization bill, S. 2244. Along with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), S. 2244 was introduced in May and passed the Senate today, 93 to 4.

“Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper, and for too long our nation has lagged behind in the construction of the tallest buildings in the world due to the unpredictable threat of terrorism,” Senator Kirk said. “TRIA protects taxpayers and Chicago infrastructure from incurring massive financial risk in the event of a terrorist attack.”

Senator Kirk spoke on the Senate floor prior to the vote to urge swift passage and full support of this legislation.

President Obama’s Remarks on Foreign Policy

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

President Barack Obama: Good afternoon, everybody.  I want to briefly discuss the important actions we’re taking today in support of Ukraine.  Before I do, I want to take a few minutes to update the American people on some pressing foreign policy challenges that I reviewed with Secretary Kerry this afternoon.

First of all, I thanked Secretary Kerry and our outstanding civilian and military leaders in Afghanistan for their success in helping to break the impasse over the presidential election there.  Thanks to their efforts and, of course, thanks to the Afghans and the courage of the two candidates, both of whom I spoke to last week, the candidates have agreed to abide by the results of a comprehensive and internationally supervised audit that will review all the ballots, and to form a unity government.  If they keep their commitments, Afghanistan will witness the first democratic transfer of power in the history of that nation.

This progress will honor both candidates who have put the interests of a united Afghanistan first, the millions of Afghans who defied threats in order to vote, and the service of our troops and civilians who have sacrificed so much.  This progress reminds us that even as our combat mission in Afghanistan ends this year, America’s commitment to a sovereign, united, and democratic Afghanistan will endure –- along with our determination that Americans are never again threatened by terrorists inside of Afghanistan.

Second, John updated me on the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.  Over the last six months, Iran has met its commitments under the interim deal we reached last year — halting the progress of its nuclear program, allowing more inspections and rolling back its more dangerous stockpile of nuclear material.  Meanwhile, we are working with our P5-plus-1 partners and Iran to reach a comprehensive agreement that assures us that Iran’s program will, in fact, be peaceful and that they won’t obtain a nuclear weapon.

Based on consultations with Secretary Kerry and my national security team, it’s clear to me that we have made real progress in several areas and that we have a credible way forward.  But as we approach a deadline of July 20th under the interim deal, there are still some significant gaps between the international community and Iran, and we have more work to do.  So over the next few days, we’ll continue consulting with Congress — and our team will continue discussions with Iran and our partners –- as we determine whether additional time is necessary to extend our negotiations.

Third, we continue to support diplomatic efforts to end the violence between Israel and Hamas.  As I’ve said repeatedly, Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks that terrorize the Israeli people.  There is no country on Earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets.  And I’m proud that the Iron Dome system that Americans helped Israel develop and fund has saved many Israeli lives.

But over the past two weeks, we’ve all been heartbroken by the violence, especially the death and injury of so many innocent civilians in Gaza —- men, women and children who were caught in the crossfire.  That’s why we have been working with our partners in the region to pursue a cease-fire — to protect civilians on both sides.  Yesterday, Israel did agree to a cease-fire.  Unfortunately, Hamas continued to fire rockets at civilians, thereby prolonging the conflict.

But the Israeli people and the Palestinian people don’t want to live like this.  They deserve to live in peace and security, free from fear.  And that’s why we are going to continue to encourage diplomatic efforts to restore the cease-fire, and we support Egypt’s continued efforts to bring this about.  Over the next 24 hours we’ll continue to stay in close contact with our friends and parties in the region, and we will use all of our diplomatic resources and relationships to support efforts of closing a deal on a cease-fire.  In the meantime, we’re going to continue to stress the need to protect civilians — in Gaza and in Israel –- and to avoid further escalation.

Finally, given its continued provocations in Ukraine, today I have approved a new set of sanctions on some of Russia’s largest companies and financial institutions. Along with our allies, with whom I’ve been coordinating closely the last several days and weeks, I’ve repeatedly made it clear that Russia must halt the flow of weapons and fighters across the border into Ukraine; that Russia must urge separatists to release their hostages and support a cease-fire; that Russia needs to pursue internationally-mediated talks and agree to meaningful monitors on the border.  I’ve made this clear directly to Mr. Putin.  Many of our European partners have made this clear directly to Mr. Putin.  We have emphasized our preference to resolve this issue diplomatically but that we have to see concrete actions and not just words that Russia, in fact, is committed to trying to end this conflict along the Russia-Ukraine border.  So far, Russia has failed to take any of the steps that I mentioned.  In fact, Russia’s support for the separatists and violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty has continued.

On top of the sanctions we have already imposed, we are therefore designating selected sectors of the Russian economy as eligible for sanctions.  We are freezing the assets of several Russian defense companies.  And we are blocking new financing of some of Russia’s most important banks and energy companies.  These sanctions are significant, but they are also targeted — designed to have the maximum impact on Russia while limiting any spillover effects on American companies or those of our allies.

Now, we are taking these actions in close consultation with our European allies, who are meeting in Brussels to agree on their next steps.  And what we are expecting is that the Russian leadership will see, once again, that its actions in Ukraine have consequences, including a weakening Russian economy and increasing diplomatic isolation.

Meanwhile, we’re going to continue to stand with the Ukrainian people as they seek to determine their own future.  Even in the midst of this crisis, they have made remarkable progress these past few months.  They held democratic elections, they elected a new president, they’re pursuing important reforms, and they signed a new association agreement with the European Union.  And the United States will continue to offer our strong support to Ukraine to help stabilize its economy and defend its territorial integrity because — like any people — Ukrainians deserve the right to forge their own destiny.

So in closing, I’ll point out the obvious.  We live in a complex world and at a challenging time.  And none of these challenges lend themselves to quick or easy solutions, but all of them require American leadership.  And as Commander-in-Chief, I’m confident that if we stay patient and determined, that we will, in fact, meet these challenges.

Thanks very much.

June Unemployment Rate in Illinois Falls to 7.1 Percent as State Adds 6,000 Jobs

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Lowest Rate Since October 2008

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois unemployment rate fell in June for the fourth consecutive month to reach 7.1 percent while employers created 6,000 jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The data is seasonally adjusted.

The combined April-June reduction of 1.3 points in the unemployment rate is the largest three-month drop since this data series began in 1976. The last time the rate was lower was October 2008 when it was 7.0 percent.

“Today’s numbers remind us that as our economy improves, more still needs to be done.” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “We need to continue to create job-training opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed so they can share in our growing economy.”

The significant drop in the unemployment rate so far this year reflects Illinois’ historical role of following the nation into and out of economic cycles. This pattern generally is expected to continue until global demand lifts Illinois’ manufacturing sector, which in turn would help housing and the construction industry.

The unemployment rate also is in line with other economic indicators. First time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in June were 6 percent lower than one year ago. First time claims in June also were at the lowest monthly level since 2007. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Survey show Illinois employers in June advertised for more than 212,800 jobs (203,500 seasonally adjusted) and 86 percent sought full-time work.

Employers added +250,900 private sector jobs since job creation returned to Illinois. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+107,900, +13.8 percent); Education and Health Services (+59,100, +7.2 percent); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+44,700, +4.0 percent); and Leisure and Hospitality (+34,600, +6.8 percent). Government continues to lead job loss (-22,100, -2.6 percent.)

In June, the number of unemployed individuals fell -30,600 (-6.2 percent) to 461,700. Total unemployed has fallen -291,800 (-38.7 percent) since the rate peaked at 11.4 percent.

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.

Notes:

  • 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

Viewing and Discussion of Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Screening of documentary that chronicles Anita Hill’s groundbreaking sexual harassment testimony, followed by a speak out, August 5, 2014 at Loyola University

Twenty-three years ago, one woman’s raw, courageous testimony about being sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas shook the world. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock tells the story of that testimony in her new documentary Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, which chronicles how Anita Hill’s case emboldened millions of women to tell the truth and ushered in major changes in sexual harassment policy and female representation in politics. Women Employed will host a viewing of this documentary followed by a speak out during which audience members can share their reactions about this important issue—which is still all too timely today.

The event will take place Tuesday, August 5th, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., at Loyola University, 25 E. Pearson St., Chicago, IL. The event includes a networking reception, film screening, and discussion.  Tickets are $20 for the event, which include drink and appetizers. Reserve tickets online here.

For more information: http://womenemployed.org/anita or call 312-782-3902, ext. 256, or kginger@womenemployed.org

*Women Employed is not affiliated with Loyola. Loyola is not a sponsor or co-sponsor of this event.

Educate Yourself about Student Loan Programs to Avoid Scams, Says BBB

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL -  The excitement and promise of attending college and getting a degree too often turn into heartache and regret for students, parents or others involved in the application and payment process when they are not careful to avoid financial aid traps and outright scams.

“The key to not being caught up in a financial aid scam is to check up on any offers and the companies offering them before signing any documents,” explains Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

“We applaud the work of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan,” stated Bernas, “in filing lawsuits against debt settlement firms that allegedly engaged in deceptive marketing practices and illegally charged consumers hundreds of dollars in upfront fees to reduce or eliminate their student loan debt burden. All this for services that Attorney General Madigan rightly said student loan borrowers can obtain themselves through government programs at no cost.”

The Chicago BBB has received multiple complaints for a credit-debt consolidation company that is based in Carrolton, Texas. The company name is Broadsword Student Advantage, LLC. It has a BBB rating of an F and has 52 complaints in the last 12 months.

In addition to this company, Madigan also filed a lawsuit against the Chicago-based credit-debt consolidation company, First American Tax Defense LLC.

Chicago resident, Evangeline Allen, was one of the victims of Broadsword Student Advantage, LLC. She says, “They promised that they could help me. I could tell right away that they were not going to get me anywhere with this and I asked for a refund. I was supposed to keep paying them monthly for the duration of the loan. They kept promising a refund and it kept taking longer and longer. They gave me dates and never stuck to them. They even started to get rude and nasty. They finally refunded my money after I contacted the Better Business Bureau.”

Bernas noted that whenever people are interested in applying for any type of loan they need to do some homework first. He stressed the importance for people to avoid problems and scams up front, rather than getting trapped, then regretting and filing a complaint later.

“It is always a good idea to look up the rating and read of the Business Review on the BBB website about any company you’re looking to do business with,” said Bernas. “This is especially true when dealing with loan firms, which have specific laws governing their operation. Information and links to this information are available on the BBB.org website.”

In general, the BBB recommends the following tips to avoid financial aid and loan scams:

Do Not Pay Advance Fees. In Illinois it is illegal for debt relief companies to charge upfront fees before providing services.

There Are No “Special” Deals. Debt relief companies do not have the ability to negotiate with your creditors in order to obtain a “special deal” under these federal student loan programs.

Look Out For HighPressure Tactics. Beware of companies that pressure you into a plan or make any guarantees without looking into your specific needs.

Always Check It Out First. Research the company and the services it offers. It is better if it offers a wide range of options and education on how to handle debt.

Government Repayment Plans. There are government-approved repayment plans, including Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plans. Payment levels under IBR and other federal income-driven repayment plans are set by federal law.

For more information, visit bbb.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Teamwork Englewood Announces New Executive Director

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Teamwork Englewood (TWE), lead agency for LISC Chicago’s New Communities Program and a catalyst for positive change in the Englewood community, has selected Perry L. Gunn as its new Executive Director. Gunn previously served as the Executive Director for the North River Commission, a community development organization serving the northwest side of Chicago.

“We are pleased to announce this appointment”, reported Elder Willard Payton, TWE Board Chair. “Perry brings proven leadership to our organization. He has served in key roles in the nonprofit sector for many years, and has a wealth of experience working with community groups.”

Gunn’s resume includes over 25 years of leadership in the nonprofit sector. He previously served as Vice President of Operations at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Chief Operating Officer of Urban Gateways, Executive Director of Leap learning systems, and Regional Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Centers. Perry Gunn holds a Master’s degree in Inner City Studies from Northeastern Illinois University and a Bachelor’s degree from George Williams College. He is also a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago.

“I look forward to the opportunity to join the TWE staff,” remarks Gunn. “I am committed to working with our community partners and stakeholders to make a positive impact in Englewood.”

Teamwork Englewood is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that works with residents and community organizations to build a stronger community. The agency operates four core programs focused on education and technology training for youth, safety, targeted services for special needs populations and the promotion of healthy lifestyles for all residents.

CONTACT: Elder Willard Payton Chair, Board of Directors Teamwork Englewood
773-488-6600
wpayton@teamworkenglewood.org

Traveling Back in Time: 1994 Crime Confab Attracts Leaders Seeking Community “Solution”

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg & Rev. Harold E. Bailey


Let’s travel back in time. Can God do it again?

In July 1994, assembled at the Probation Challenge headquarters, which was then located on the Olive-Harvey College campus, courageous men and women gathered together, and on one accord.

Bitterness, frustration, and venom were vented with approval from the Rev. Harold E. Bailey, who called the meeting, saying, “It’s good to give vent to poison in the system. Now, we can never use those measures again”.

At that time, problems ranging from stopping the killings to the need for serious education were at the top of the agenda.

Many of Chicago’s prominent African-American leaders gathered for a working lunch with the Rev. Harold E. Bailey, founder and president of the Probation Challenge organization. The topic of discussion was a “moratorium on crime’ in the African American community.

Participants included Frances Williams Gutter, Black-On-Black-Love; Prince Arsiel, African Hebrew Israel Community; Dr. Margaret Burroughs, Founder/DuSable Museum; Reggie Webster, Cliff Kelly, WVON Radio; Dwayne Harris, 21st Century VOTE; Marion Stamps, Tranquility Marksman; Cornelius Young, Probation Challenge; Deborah Jackson Galloway, Up By Your Bootstraps; James Evans, 16th Ward; Ald. Dorothy Tillman, 3rd Ward; Vicki Taylor, Evanston; James Hill, Alderman Madeline Haithcock, 2nd Ward; Rev. Henry Hardy, Cosmopolitan Community Church; Margaret Eubanks. Kublai Toure, Amer-I-Can program; Lillian Bailey, Charles Edwards, Chicago African American Students Union; Karen Nolan, Chicago Defender News, Berlin Kelly, Howard Saffold, P.A.C.T.; Rev. James Meeks, Salem Church; Fahmeeda Newman, “MA Huston Prison Outpost; Herman O’Neal, New Age; Diana Arnold; Paul Davis; Walter Perkins; Tommie Brewer; Stacy; Derrick McClain; Terri McNeal; Charles Kellogg; Chas Austin; and many others.

Problems ranging from stopping the killings to the need for serious education were at the top of the agenda. Many in attendance now have gone into eternity, others remain in the struggle for more than civil-rights, while many remain because they have been spiritually commissioned by God to keep the faith and to fight a good fight.

Though problems were of major discussion, emphasis was heavily placed on solutions. The general consensus was that all knew of the problems, but out of frustration much still surfaced.

Bailey went on to say, “now we are about the matters of spiritual healing, something outside influences never wanted us to do! Divide and conquer is the name of some folks’ game. We have always been a loving and forgiving people. Even now, we are closer than some would have us to be. Closer to waking up, and afterwards, getting up! The sleeping giant is going to eventually arise from the induces slumber of drugs. This is the worry! It’s going to happen with our concerted efforts”.

It is reported that from 1991 to 2004, there were 3,422 gang-involved murders that occurred in the city of Chicago during this time period. Excluding instances when the Detective Division could not determined a motive, gang-activity was the most common murder motive … from 1991 to 2004.

Sources say, “People in charge of the city and police department didn’t know then where to place the crime blame and, presently, they’re doing the same thing!

From that 1994 meeting came positive measures! There in the city of Chicago was a season of peace that many didn’t quite understand; but it was the gathering on that Island which took persons behind closed doors. All participants of the one-of-a-kind program were required to leave their egos at the door!
The closed door ‘Anti-Crime Summit’ sessions on the beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaican Island, forced those in attendance to ‘lock-out’ self, and ‘lock into’ those working solutions that have over a portion of time kept the community from falling apart. Today, some of the positive organizations and persons still remain faithful to their pledge taken on that Island in Jamaica, to remain faithful and true to the survival of the community!

Given that there was a consolidated plight to maintain peace and love in the community, and that is was considered by the majority to be awesome, can it be done again?
Question: Why haven’t the Mayor of Chicago and Chicago Aldermen not called upon those persons who have proven working solutions, and with track-records? Something really stinks and it is not the decent taxpayers, but those who continue to sit on the seats of doing nothing!

“After the anti-crime summit in Jamaica, the fact remains that God allowed a season of peace following that journey. That journey gave to us a peace that surpassed the understanding of man. This was all regarding crime, drugs and violence! Take note: God is the same today, yesterday and forever more. God can do it again if we let him!” said Rev. Harold E. Bailey.

By Chinta Strausberg and Rev. Harold E. Bailey Chinta Strausberg is editor-in-chief of the 3:16 Magazine and talk-show host of ‘The Strausberg Report’ which airs on the PCC Network. Rev. Harold E. Bailey is founder and president, Probation Challenge and The PCC Network WWW.ProbationChallenge.org

Neilsen Expands Communications Leadership Team With Key Media Relations Hire

Posted by Admin On July - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — Nielsen announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson. In this role, McCaskill will have global responsibility for Nielsens corporate media relations efforts. He will be based in New York City.

Drew brings a breadth and depth of experience that will be invaluable for Nielsen as we advance our communications efforts, said Nelson. Were pleased to welcome him to the team.

McCaskill brings more than 15 years of experience to Nielsen, most recently serving as a senior vice president in the New York office of public relations firm Weber Shandwick, where he led global communications strategy for numerous Fortune 500 companies and consumer brands. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, he spent 13 years with William Mills Agency, managing operational and financial performance for a portfolio of insurance, banking and mortgage clients such as LexisNexis, Xerox Mortgage, TransUnion and Vanilla VISA Gift Cards. He developed and executed comprehensive communications strategies and media relations campaigns for more than 100 technology companies and financial institutions. Earlier in his career, he held roles with Turner Broadcasting and The Coca-Cola Company.

Nielsen has remarkable stories to tell, and I look forward to helping the company achieve its media relations and positioning objectives, said McCaskill.

A graduate of Morehouse College, McCaskill received an MBA from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Photo: Andrew McCaskill, Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications

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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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