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Archive for July 24th, 2014

Man, Wrongfully Imprisoned 20 Years, Gets His First Taste of Freedom

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on Man, Wrongfully Imprisoned 20 Years, Gets His First Taste of Freedom

Rodell Sanders, wrongfully imprisoned for 20 years due to alleged defense attorney and Chicago Heights, IL police misconduct, is getting his first taste of freedom today following a retrial that ended with a not guilty verdict at 10 PM last night.

Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 312 N. May Street, Ste 100, Chicago, held a press conference with Sanders yesterday, after 20 years in prison.

Sanders won his freedom after a 7-year effort by the Exoneration Project, a legal clinic at the University of Chicago, spearheaded by Project attorneys Gayle Horn and Russell Ainsworth, working alongside Steven Greenberg of Greenberg Ltd.

On January 14, 1994, Rodell Sanders was wrongfully incarcerated for the murder of Philip Atkins and attempted murder of a 19-year-old friend of Atkins. The case against him was built solely on the statements of a snitch who admittedly participated in the crimes in question, and an eyewitness whose initial description did not match Sanders’s description. The snitch recanted his statements prior to trial, admitting that he was the actual perpetrator, but Sanders’s trial attorney never presented evidence of this recantation to the jury.

There was no physical evidence linking Sanders to the crime. Rather, the only purported evidence against Mr. Sanders was the purchased testimony of a known snitch and a patently false witness identification. Evidence against Mr. Sanders was procured through manipulation and outright fabrication by members of the City of Chicago Heights’s infamously corrupt police department.

On January 14, 2011, the 17th anniversary of Mr. Sanders’s wrongful incarceration, that conviction was overturned and a retrial ordered.

After a five-day trial, at 10 P.M. last night, a Cook County jury found him not guilty of murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, and armed robbery. After 20 years in prison, at 5:30 this morning (7/23/14), Mr. Sanders arrived at his sister’s home and was surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

Madigan Files Lawsuits in Joint Federal-State Mortgage Rescue Fraud Crackdown

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on Madigan Files Lawsuits in Joint Federal-State Mortgage Rescue Fraud Crackdown

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed lawsuits against two Chicago area companies for operating fraudulent mortgage rescue or loan modification schemes that conned homeowners behind on their monthly loan payments into paying large upfront fees but did nothing to help them avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.

The lawsuits are part of a joint federal-state crackdown by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 15 states. Mortgage rescue scams prey on delinquent borrowers facing possible foreclosure, illegally charging upfront fees with a promise to save borrowers’ homes supposedly by negotiating lower mortgage payments. But after collecting large payments upfront, these scam operators fail to negotiate or perform any promised services on behalf of homeowners, placing their victims at even greater risk of foreclosure.

Madigan filed lawsuits today in Cook County Circuit Court against Nationwide Marketing Inc., based in Northlake, Ill., and LMA Processing LLC, of Chicago.

“These companies are nothing more than fronts for scammers, conning people out of thousands of dollars while putting them at higher risk for foreclosure,” Madigan said. “My office has been—and will continue to be—aggressive in shutting down operations that prey on homeowners who are desperate for a lifeline.”

Madigan’s lawsuit against Nationwide Marketing Inc. alleges the company and its owner Axel Alvarez took more than $89,000 from homeowners but did nothing to help modify their home loans or help them avoid foreclosure. Complaints to Madigan’s office revealed that Alvarez often required large upfront payments to Nationwide Marketing, and he subsequently instructed homeowners to make additional payments directly to him as he falsely claimed to be negotiating their loans. In fact, none of these homeowners received help negotiating new loan terms their lender or collected refunds for the money they paid Alvarez.

The lawsuit against LMA Processing LLC and its owner Alex Perea alleges similar conduct in which the company scammed borrowers into paying fees for loan modification services it did not complete. Complaints filed with Madigan’s office reported borrowers paid at least $10,000 to the company and received no help in obtaining mortgage relief.

Madigan’s lawsuits ask the court to ban the defendants from working in mortgage consultation in Illinois and provide restitution. The lawsuits also seek an array of penalties based on violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act.

Attorney General Madigan has established Illinois as the most aggressive state in the nation to combat the dramatic rise of mortgage rescue schemes that have emerged in the wake of the national housing crisis. She has filed over 50 lawsuits against loan modification scam operations and issued nearly 700 cease-and-desist letters. Her office runs the Homeowner Helpline at (866) 544-7151, which is staffed by experts in her office who can provide borrowers with guidance on avoiding foreclosure and how to seek help from a HUD-certified housing counselor.

Joining Madigan, the FTC and CFPB in filing action as part of today’s sweep were attorneys general from the following states: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin. The Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation and Washington Department of Financial Institutions also participated.

Assistant Attorneys General Oscar Pina, Vaishali Rao and Khara Coleman Washington are handling the cases for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Cook County Board of Commissioners Approves Two Referenda on the November Ballot

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on Cook County Board of Commissioners Approves Two Referenda on the November Ballot

The Cook County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution placing two non-binding advisory referenda on the ballots of Cook County voters in the November 4, 2014 general election.

Voters will be asked whether they support banning the sale of assault weapons and requiring universal background checks for firearm transfers; and whether they believe the State should provide more funding for mental health treatment

The first referendum will read:

“Shall the Illinois General Assembly enact the Illinois Public Safety Act (Senate Bill 3659) which would require universal background checks for firearm transfers and prohibit the sale and transfer of assault weapons, assault weapon attachments and high capacity ammunition magazines?”

The resolution was sponsored by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and nine members of the Board of Commissioners.

“Gun violence in our communities, particularly in the City of Chicago, is at a crisis point,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Requiring universal background checks and banning semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are simple common-sense measures which should be enacted at the State level. This referendum will give the residents of Cook County the opportunity to make their voices heard.”

Each year, more than 1000 people are killed by firearms in the State of Illinois, and more illegal guns per capita are confiscated in the City of Chicago per capita than either New York or Los Angeles. Current state and national law only requires background checks when licensed dealers sell firearms, covering only about 60% of total sales. Studies have shown that universal background checks significantly reduce the number of guns entering the illegal market.

A review of mass shootings by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that the use of an assault weapon or high capacity magazine resulted in 135% more victims and 57% more deaths compared to other mass shootings.

The Illinois Public Safety Act (Senate Bill 3659) was introduced into the Illinois Senate in May 2014 and referred to the Assignments Committee.

Mental Health Funding

The Cook County Board of Commissioners also approved a second referendum questions which will appear on the November ballots of Cook County voters.

The second referendum question reads:

“Shall the General Assembly of the State of Illinois appropriate additional funds to provide necessary mental health services for the people of the State of Illinois.”

“Mental illness affects people of all ages, races, genders, and economic status. Mental health is critical to the well-being and vitality of our families, businesses and communities. It also plays an important role in public safety,” Preckwinkle said. “There’s no doubt that Springfield faces tough financial choices; however, we encourage the General Assembly to return to fully funding mental health services for the people of our state.”

“Mental health is an issue that touches across all spectrums of our community.  We should not lose sight of the significant impact state funding cuts have had on mental health services at the local level.  It’s time for Springfield to get its financial priorities in order but not at the expense of those people who are most in need, especially in the area of mental health care. We need to have an open and honest conversation on the issue of mental health services in Illinois and I believe this referendum will help us do just that,” said Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, the sponsor of the resolution.

The resolution was co-sponsored by President Preckwinkle and all seventeen members of the Board of Commissioners.

Hundreds of Indignant Homeowners Will Occupy a Foreclosed Home, Followed by a Demonstration at the Home of a Leading Financial Executive

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on Hundreds of Indignant Homeowners Will Occupy a Foreclosed Home, Followed by a Demonstration at the Home of a Leading Financial Executive

A Press conference will be held at the home of Sabrina Morey, a working class mother facing eviction by Freddie Mac.

Sabrina and her family have been living in this home for two years – a home  that would sit vacant and be subject to vandalism if not for Sabrina. Vacant homes attract violence and drugs, and decrease the value of homes around it.

The press conference will be held Saturday,  July 26, 2014 from 2 P.M. to 3 P.M. at 3014 N. Monitor Ave., in Chicago.

Sabrina Morey will be talking about her experience occupying this home and requesting Freddie Mac to donate the home to Casas del Pueblo Community Land Trust.

The Centro Autónomo de Albany Park/Casas del Pueblo Community Land Trust, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, Occupy Homes Minnesota, and Detroit Eviction Defense will demand that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the federal overseer for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, place a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and keep families in their homes.

Newly-appointed FHFA Director Mel Watt is currently in the midst of a national tour promoting the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), a loan modification program directed at wealthy and middle-class households who may be considering “strategic defaults.”  For the working poor, Director Watt has implemented the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI) in Detroit, but there is no set date to implement a similar program in Chicago or any other city.  The Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative promises to donate homes to community groups and arrange loan modifications for severely distressed properties.

Working class families all over the nation cannot wait any longer. Across the Chicagoland area, thousands of families need immediate relief from foreclosure and eviction. One-third of US families live in housing that costs more than 30% of family income or in substandard housing, a strong indication that the current housing paradigm is failing the working poor.  We are pressing Director Watt to implement well-researched, community-based measures that will keep families in their homes.  Such measures include principal reduction, buybacks for homeowners, and housing donations to nonprofit organizations and community land trusts.

When: July 26th, 2014 from 3 PM to 4 PM

Where: The details of this second location will be revealed the day of the action.

At 3 P.M. protesters will depart for a second location where they will stage a protest, taking their  message directly to those responsible for implementing policies that have pushed so many hard working families out of their homes. There will be buses to take everyone attending the press conference to the second location for a non-violent protest.  The second location will be the residence of a financial executive. They will go to the home of this executive because they are “tired of financial institutions sending sheriffs to our homes to evict us!,” saying they’ll  see how much he likes it when hundreds of demonstrators show up at his doorstep.  The buses will bring protesters back to the first location at 3014 N. Monitor Ave. before 5 P.M.

For more information contact Antonio Gutiérrez 773.803.0810 , Toussaint Losier 773.236.0559 and Gerardo Calvillo 979.575.6640.

NAACP Announces Partnership With Dunkin’ Brands

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on NAACP Announces Partnership With Dunkin’ Brands

Dunkin’ Brands and NAACP Launch Initiative to Increase the Number of African-American Owned Franchise Businesses in the U.S.


Baltimore, MD – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced its partnership with Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, to create a Diversity Franchising Initiative to increase the number of African-American owned franchise businesses in the United States.  Through the partnership, Dunkin’ Brands and the NAACP will collaborate to offer people of color in-depth franchising education and training as well as assistance in overcoming the financial challenges related to becoming a franchise owner. The partnership was announced at the NAACP’s 105th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

“Franchising can be a powerful economic tool that further enables the African-American community and others to realize the American dream of business ownership,” said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP. “We are excited to announce this unique partnership with Dunkin’ Brands and to improve opportunities for people of color in the franchising sector because of the substantial impact these agreements have on empowering and employing people of color.”

“The Dunkin’ Brands Diversity in Franchising Initiative will provide education, networking opportunities and information on critical topics including access to capital,” said Dedrick Muhammad, senior director of the NAACP Economic Department.  “Ultimately, we hope this program helps to increase the number of African-American franchise business owners in the U.S in both the short and long term.”

This initiative is a part of Dunkin’ Brands’ ongoing efforts to provide resources to help qualified franchisee candidates overcome barriers associated with financing, including providing guidance on business plan development, facilitating access to capital, and forging relationships with local community lenders.

“We are proud to launch this partnership with the NAACP. Working together, our goal is to increase African American participation in the franchise industry, not just with Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, but across a wide spectrum of franchising concepts available in the marketplace,” said Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of global franchising and business development, Dunkin’ Brands. “Additionally, we believe this partnership will enable Dunkin’ Brands to build a larger, more diverse pool of franchise candidates, accelerate our expansion in new and existing markets, and continue to build customer loyalty for our two brands across the country.”

About the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Economic Department

The NAACP Economic Department was relaunched in 2011 and currently has four program areas: Fair Lending, Economic Education, Opportunity and Diversity, and Community Economic Development.  The NAACP Economic Department is dedicated to ensuring that “every person will have equal opportunity to achieve economic success, sustainability, and financial security”. Learn more about the NAACP Economic work here.

About National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

About Dunkin’ Brands
With more than 18,000 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world’s leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of fiscal 2013, Dunkin’ Brands’ nearly 100 percent franchised business model included nearly 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and 7,300 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins and Co-sponsoring Commissioners Endorse Crisis Intervention Centers

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins and Co-sponsoring Commissioners Endorse Crisis Intervention Centers

Commissioner Earlean Collins and a group of co-sponsoring Cook County Commissioners endorsed the creation of Crisis Intervention and Behavioral Health Centers in the Criminal Justice Committee of the Board of Commissioners on July 22, 2014.

These Centers represent a novel approach to reducing crime in the metro area as well as overpopulation at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center through therapeutic, trauma informed treatment that addresses the root causes of violence.  The text of the approved resolution is attached.  Commissioner Collins is available to discuss the anticipated impact of the new Crisis Intervention Centers to crime reduction in the Chicago area.

PROPOSED SECOND SUBSTITUTE TO RESOLUTION #14-3727

(formerly Item 323682)

PROPOSED SUBSTITUTE RESOLUTION

CRISIS INTERVENTION AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTERS Submitting a Resolution sponsored by Earlean Collins.

WHEREAS, the County of Cook is a home rule unit of government as defined in Article VII, Section 6(a) of the 1970 Constitution of the State of Illinois, and as such may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs; and

WHEREAS, there is a growing body of evidence that underscores the urgent need for bold action to find effective solutions to reduce violence, suicide and other antisocial behavior problems among youth and break the cycle of gun violence in our communities which begins at earlier ages and impacts larger masses of innocent people each year; and

WHEREAS, it has been proven that the most effective ways to break the cycle of violence is to begin at earlier ages with proper diagnosis and intervention strategies that will determine the root causes and proper treatments prior to more serious acts of violence; and

WHEREAS, the trauma informed model program has been accepted as one of the most best case practices for diagnosing trauma related behavior; and research has shown that there is a direct correlation between traumatic experience, antisocial behavior, teen suicide rate, youth violence, academic failure and low self-esteem; and

WHEREAS, a recent Northwestern University study concluded that 2/3 of males and ¾ of females detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) have some form of mental illness; and

WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Chicago’s teen suicide rate has been the highest in the nation since June of 2012.  The U.S. suicide statistics indicate that mental illness, trauma, and substance abuse has a direct correlation with the juvenile suicide rate.  On average, a young person (age 15-24) dies by suicide every two hours.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people (15-24), and the fifth leading cause of death for young people aged 5-14.  Most of the recent mass shootings on our school grounds have usually ended with the perpetrator committing suicide; and

WHEREAS, substance abusers have easy access to the flow of drugs in economically depressed communities which have few job prospects and in which the residents have exhausted all legal mean to meet their basic needs thus making it easy for the sale of drugs to become the primary economic engine for survival; and

WHEREAS, it has been nationally accepted and proven that early identification and intervention programs have better results for behavior modification problems than to wait until children get into more serious problems at a later age; and

WHEREAS, according to a Project NIA report, Chicago Public School (CPS) students are the human lifeline that feeds the JTDC.  In 2012, 84% of CPS student arrests were for minor crimes.  Minor offenders are often given disciplinary suspensions.  Students who are suspended are three times more likely to drop out of high school by the 10th grade and males who dropped out of school are five times more likely to be incarcerated than their peers with diplomas.  While blacks represent only about 42% of CPS students, they accounted for a staggering 75% of school-based arrests in 2012; and

WHEREAS, the school system affords the greatest opportunity for early identification of children who are experiencing academic and/or social difficulties; and children of working parents or guardians who are expelled from school for extended periods of time without supervision are prime targets for gang recruitment and other criminal activities; and

WHEREAS, the critical need for establishing the Crisis Intervention and Behavioral Health Centers is to afford an opportunity for children to receive professional assistance for behavior modification, crime reduction, academic achievement and improvement of self-esteem to overcome anger, hurt, and to learn how to cope with past traumatic experiences.  The centers will provide a safe haven and services for those in need as an alternative to incarceration for those who commit minor crimes.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the President and the Cook County Board of Commissioners support the development of Crisis Intervention and Behavioral Health Centers and efforts to seek State Capital Funds and Federal matching funds to develop the Centers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Crisis Intervention and Behavioral Health Centers serve as an alternative to taking those who commit minor crimes to jail; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the JTDC Advisory Board shall work to identify suitable places for the Crisis Intervention and Behavioral Health Centers to be developed and to submit a report on site selection to the Board of Commissioners by October 31, 2014; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the JTDC Advisory Board shall seek input from community stakeholders and participants in the consortium of wraparound service providers including hospitals, universities, professional behavioral health specialists and social workers. The Board will explore the development of the treatment model and enhancing essential service capacity in areas of greatest need.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that JTDC Advisory Board can make recommendations on policy for early identification and treatment of trauma related illnesses of children.

Double Standard – and Special Treatment – for Chicago’s Supporters of Israeli Violence

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on Double Standard – and Special Treatment – for Chicago’s Supporters of Israeli Violence

(Letters to Editors)

Coalition for Justice in Palestine

Police arrest Zionist protester for bringing handgun to pro-Israel protest. “If this had been a supporter of Palestine, his arrest would have been headline news,” say Palestinian supporters.

CHICAGO, IL – Israel’s Chicago supporters must have mistaken West Madison Avenue for the West Bank, say activists opposed to Israel’s assault on Gaza – because they harassed and assaulted counter-protesters with impunity at a pro-bombing rally on Wednesday. One pro-Israel supporter was arrested for bringing a handgun to Stand With Israel’s Wednesday rally in support of Israel’s merciless assault on the people of Gaza.

Hundreds of opponents of Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza counter-protested the Wednesday pro-Israel rally, which featured an extreme racist view of the loss of Palestinian life in Gaza over the last two weeks. Palestinian supporters expressed frustration at the treatment they received at the hands of Chicago police.

The Chicago Tribune reported that police searched those attending the pro-Israel rally – but they missed at least one pro-Israel individual packing a handgun, who was later arrested. Andrew Glatz, who was ultimately the lone arrest at Wednesday’s rally, sells real estate – including in Trump Towers — and is an ardent supporter of Israel’s violent assault on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. His Facebook page is peppered with photos of Glatz with other right-wing Israeli supporters, as well as shots of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel from an August 2012 fundraiser Glatz attended at the Pegasus restaurant. Glatz also included a photo of himself with Illinois governor Pat Quinn. Journalist Kevin Gosztola has detailed Glatz’ extremist views in a report that dropped on Thursday.

“The Zionists at Wednesday’s rally believe that the lives of invading Israeli soldiers in Gaza are of more value than the lives of over 600 Palestinian civilians who’ve been killed in Israel’s latest onslaught, including over 130 children,” says Hatem Abudayyeh of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine (CJP) and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. “At the same time, our counter-protest was corralled and policed like a criminal enterprise, when it was the pro-Israel protesters who harassed and assaulted us.  Chicago police commanders need to learn from our community’s experience, and stop giving a privileged place to the other side, which is advocating an agenda of dispossession and murder.”

That bias – and the impunity that pro-Israel protesters were afforded at Wednesday’s action – mirrors the treatment of Israeli settlers and security forces across Palestine, say activists. A number of pro-Israel protesters crossed the street to the Palestinian protest to taunt and threaten protesters, who included American Jews opposed to Israel’s war on Gaza and hundreds of Palestinian American youth. Yet the Chicago police sent their mounted police and others to face off not with the approaching mob from the Israeli side but against the Palestinians and their allies.

CJP leader Senan Shaqdeh says the reverse would have been unthinkable. “If our side had done that — gone across the street to disrupt the Israeli demonstration — the police would’ve been all over us,” he says.

Glatz, wrapped in an Israeli flag, acted so aggressively that the police detained him — and when they searched him, discovered he was carrying a concealed weapon. He’s been charged with a misdemeanor.

Kristin Szremski of the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), says the double standard on Chicago’s streets reflects the daily reality on the ground for Palestinians at home. “We’re not surprised by the violence of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and the Israeli settlers and racists they support,” she says. “Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s torture and killing is just one example of this kind of atrocity that Palestinians routinely experience.”

Palestinian teenager Abu Khdeir was tortured and burned alive by right-wing Israeli settlers.

“Glatz brought a handgun to a protest!” adds Szremski. “In Chicago, we expect that the violent offender who threatened the young people in our community will be dealt with the full force of the law, unlike the impunity with which Israel deals with the settlers on Palestinian land.”

One Turkish American was among the pro-Palestine supporters who was harassed by racists at the protest – but does not want to be named for fear of retaliation from Zionist extremists. Pro-Israel protesters called him a “terrorist” and used other racial slurs, then put their hands on him and tried to grab him. The pro-Palestine supporter chose not to press battery charges. “There was definitely something extreme going on,” he said, of pro-Israel protesters.

The Unfair $23 Billion Tobacco Verdict: Time For Smokers to Stop Playing Dumb

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on The Unfair $23 Billion Tobacco Verdict: Time For Smokers to Stop Playing Dumb

The Unfair $23 Billion Tobacco Verdict: Time For Smokers to Stop Playing Dumb

First Post

By Sandip Roy

I do not smoke, never have, but one of the first accessories I bought when I moved into my apartment in Kolkata were ashtrays.

In India I am used to being in a group where I am the only person not smoking. Without ash trays in the house a social life seemed impossible. I have hung out with friends in a bar where everyone is lighting up under a No Smoking sign. No one gives me a hard time for being “uncool” and not smoking but I have emerged with my eyes stinging and my clothes reeking of second-hand smoke.

It’s not pleasurable. I am not a fan of smoking by any means. I used to piously refuse to bring back the duty free allowance of cigarette cartons for smoking friends and relatives whenever I went abroad.

But cribbing about second-hand smoke feels like some kind of first world affectation here, though even the Indian Supreme Court has taken note of it.

However even I had to balk when I read that a jury in Florida has awarded $23 billion to the family of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996. Cynthia Robinson sued RJ Reynolds, the company that brings us Winston, Camel and Pall Mall, arguing that the company concealed the dangers of smoking that led to the death of her husband, Michael Johnson. He smoked between one and three packs a day for more than 20 years and died of lung cancer.

“He couldn’t quit. He was smoking the day he died,” her lawyer told Reuters.

It’s a tragic story. But the catch is Johnson died at the age of 36. So for much of his life he must have known full well the dangers of smoking. From 1966, packets in the US warned smoking may be hazardous to health. From 1970 it became a more definitive “The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health”. That Johnson could not quit his addiction is a different matter. But the verdict is clearly less about Johnson’s tragedy as it is about teaching cigarette companies a lesson for peddling a vice. Last August another jury in Florida awarded damages of $37.5 million to the family of another smoker who died of lung cancer at the age of 38.

We do not have to shed tears of sympathy for tobacco companies who have fought long and hard against health advisories linking tobacco smoking to diseases like lung cancer. They have played plenty of dirty games to keep the consumer as deluded as possible for a long time.

In 1953, the CEOs of the major tobacco companies met secretly in New York City and paid to publish a “Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers” in 448 newspapers on January 4, 1954 claiming that an “interest in people’s health” was “paramount to every other consideration in our business.” It was pure baloney meant to literally blow smoke in the eyes of the public. In the 1970s an internal memo at R J Reynolds showed the company banked on the fact that eighteen-year-olds feel immortal and might even see defying a warning label as an act of daring.

But the duplicity and charades of tobacco giants does not mean the rest of us are just unwitting lambs who have been led to the slaughter.

In this day and age it is impossible to say that someone who is smoking is unaware of the damage they are doing to their lungs.

The no smoking zone has been ever increasing shepherding smokers into little ghettos. We can roll our eyes at the heavy-handed nanny state measures countries like India take to hammer home the anti-smoking message. From the gory graphic illustrations of diseased organs on cigarette packs to the annoying anti-smoking advisories that pop up on film screens every time someone lights up – we are bombarded by anti-smoking messages all the time. It reaches farcical levels when a Woody Allen refuses to allow Blue Jasmine to screen in India with the No Smoking messages stuck on screen like Band Aids.

We can argue about whether this preachy finger-wagging messaging is effective at all. But we cannot pretend we have not seen it. There is really no two ways to interpret a message as bald as Smoking Kills especially when it’s splayed across 40 percent of the front of the packet.

Our government, however, has a love-hate relationship with tobacco. That’s one tax the government never has any qualms about raising. It’s that rare creature – a legal vice and therefore it’s not politically correct to complain about taxing it.

On the day he assumed office at Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan demanded higher taxes on tobacco products. Arun Jaitley said they did not want to burden the common man in his budget. So duties on day-to-day items remained largely the same. Some things such as smaller LED/LCD TVs, RO based water purifiers, soaps and laptops actually became cheaper. But the excise duty on cigarettes went up. He did exempt bidis against Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s wishes.

The Daily Mail says bidis account for 85 percent of tobacco smoked in India. While it’s mostly the poor who smoke bidis, it does not mean they have less health damage. The economic burden of tobacco related illnesses is about one lakh crore rupees or 1.04 percent of the GDP.

While one arm of the government tells us not to smoke, another arm considers tobacco as the goose that lays its golden eggs. When the West Bengal government was grappling with the fallout of the Saradha chit fund scam, Mamata Banerjee decided to increase the tax on cigarettes by 10 percent to help compensate some of the desperate investors.

In inimitable Mamata style she told the state’s smokers to do their bit to help their brothers and sisters. “It wouldn’t harm if you smoke some more. Do that and we will be able to collect the required amount quickly.”

Sometimes it feels like the government is more interested in taxing tobacco rather than eliminating tobacco use.

Tobacco companies have done their utmost to glamourize smoking. There is a sexiness that is associated with that dangling cigarette or that perfect ring of smoke. That appeal still remains. The number of cigarette smokers in India have risen from 74.5 million in 1980 to 110.2 million in 2012. India is now home to the second highest number of women smokers even as smoking prevalence among men has gone down. The quit rate in India is low at less than 20 percent.

This is a problem, no ifs and butts about it.

But to stub out that cigarette we cannot just raise the excise duty on it or sue for tobacco companies for millions. Somewhere along the line we also need to look in the mirror. Personal choice must count for something.


Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of CopyLine Magazine.

President Obama to Award 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on President Obama to Award 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal

WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday afternoon, July 28, 2014,  President Obama will award the 2013 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room. The First Lady will also attend.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were established by the Congress in 1965 as independent agencies of the Federal Government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with State arts agencies, local leaders, other Federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. The National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the Nation. The Endowment brings high-quality historical and cultural experiences to large and diverse audiences in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five territories.

At next week’s event, the President will deliver remarks and present the awards to the following individuals and organizations:

2013 National Medal of Arts

  • Julia Alvarez, Novelist, Poet, and Essayist, Weybridge, VT
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music, Presenter, Brooklyn, NY
  • Joan Harris, Arts Patron, Chicago, IL
  • Bill T. Jones, Dancer and Choreographer, Valley Cottage, NY
  • John Kander, Musical Theater Composer, New York, NY
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, Director and CEO of DreamWorks, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, Writer, Oakland, CA
  • Albert Maysles, Documentary Filmmaker, New York, NY
  • Linda Ronstadt, Musician, San Francisco, CA
  • Billie Tsien and Tod Williams (receiving individual medals), Architects, New York, NY
  • James Turrell, Visual Artist, Flagstaff, AZ

2013 National Humanities Medal

  • M.H. Abrams, Literary Critic, Ithaca, NY
  • David Brion Davis, Historian, Orange, CT
  • Darlene Clark Hine, Historian, Chicago, IL
  • Anne Firor Scott, Historian, Chapel Hill, NC
  • William Theodore De Bary, East Asian studies scholar, Tappan, NY
  • Johnpaul Jones, Architect, Bainbridge, WA
  • Stanley Nelson, Filmmaker, New York, NY
  • Diane Rehm, Radio Host, Washington, D.C.
  • Krista Tippett, Radio Host, St. Paul, MN
  • American Antiquarian Society, Historical Organization, Worcester, MA

Below are the 2013 National Medal of Arts Citations which will be read at the ceremony:

Julia Alvarez for her extraordinary storytelling. In poetry and in prose, Ms. Alvarez explores themes of identity, family, and cultural divides. She illustrates the complexity of navigating two worlds and reveals the human capacity for strength in the face of oppression.

Brooklyn Academy of Music for innovative contributions to the performing and visual arts. For over 150 years, BAM has showcased the works of both established visionaries and emerging artists who take risks and push boundaries.

Joan Harris for supporting creative expression in Chicago and across our country. Her decades of leadership and generosity have enriched our cultural life and helped countless artists, dancers, singers, and musicians bring their talents to center stage.

Bill T. Jones for his contributions as a dancer and choreographer. Renowned for provocative performances that blend an eclectic mix of modern and traditional dance, Mr. Jones creates works that challenge us to confront tough subjects and inspire us to greater heights.

John Kander for his contributions as a composer. For more than half a century, Mr. Kander has enlivened Broadway, television, and film through songs that evoke romanticism and wonder and capture moral dilemmas that persist across generations.

Jeffrey Katzenberg for lighting up our screens and opening our hearts through animation and cinema. Mr. Katzenberg has embraced new technology to develop the art of storytelling and transform the way we experience film.

Maxine Hong Kingston for her contributions as a writer. Her novels and non-fiction have examined how the past influences our present, and her voice has strengthened our understanding of Asian American identity, helping shape our national conversation about culture, gender, and race.

Albert Maysles for rethinking and remaking documentary film in America. One of the pioneers of direct cinema, he has offered authentic depictions of people and communities across the globe for nearly 60 years. By capturing raw emotions and representations, his work reflects the unfiltered truths of our shared humanity.

Linda Ronstadt for her one-of-a-kind voice and her decades of remarkable music. Drawing from a broad range of influences, Ms. Ronstadt defied expectations to conquer American radio waves and help pave the way for generations of women artists.

Billie Tsien and Tod Williams for their contributions to architecture and arts education. Whether public or private, their deliberate and inspired designs have a profound effect on the lives of those who interact with them, and their teaching and spirit of service have inspired young people to pursue their passions.

James Turrell for his groundbreaking visual art. Capturing the powers of light and space, Mr. Turrell builds experiences that force us to question reality, challenging our perceptions not only of art, but also of the world around us.

Below are the 2013 National Humanities Medal Citations which will be read at the ceremony:

M. H. Abrams, literary critic, for expanding our perceptions of the Romantic tradition and broadening the study of literature. As a professor, writer, and critic, Dr. Abrams has traced the modern concept of artistic self-expression in Western culture, and his work has influenced generations of students.

David Brion Davis, historian, for reshaping our understanding of history. A World War II veteran, Dr. Davis has shed light on the contradiction of a free Nation built by forced labor, and his examinations of slavery and abolitionism drive us to keep making moral progress in our time.

Darlene Clark Hine, historian, for enriching our understanding of the African American experience. Through prolific scholarship and leadership, Dr. Hine has examined race, class, and gender and shown how the struggles and successes of African American women shaped the Nation we share today.

Anne Firor Scott, historian, for pioneering the study of southern women. Through groundbreaking research spanning ideology, race, and class, Dr. Scott’s uncharted exploration into the lives of southern women has established women’s history as vital to our understanding of the American South.

William Theodore De Bary, East Asian Studies scholar, for broadening our understanding of the world. Dr. de Bary’s efforts to foster a global conversation have underscored how the common values and experiences shared by Eastern and Western cultures can be used to bridge our differences and build trust.

Johnpaul Jones, architect, for honoring the natural world and indigenous traditions in architecture. A force behind diverse and cherished institutions, Mr. Jones has fostered awareness through design and created spaces worthy of the cultures they reflect, the communities they serve, and the environments they inhabit.

Stanley Nelson, producer and director, for documenting the story of African Americans through film. By turning a camera on both the well-known and unknown narratives of African Americans, Mr. Nelson has exposed injustice and triumph while revealing new depths of our Nation’s history.

Diane Rehm, radio host, for illuminating the people and stories behind the headlines. In probing interviews with pundits, poets, and Presidents, Ms. Rehm’s incisive, confident, and curious voice has deepened our understanding of our communities and our culture.

Krista Tippett, radio host and author, for thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of all faiths, no faith, and every background to join the conversation.

American Antiquarian Society, historical organization, for safeguarding the American story. Through more than two centuries, the Society has amassed an unparalleled collection of historic American documents, served as a research center to scholars and students alike, and connected generations of Americans to their cultural heritage.

New Philharmonic Opens its 2014-2015 Season With Concert Staging of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the McAninch Arts Center Sept. 20-21

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on New Philharmonic Opens its 2014-2015 Season With Concert Staging of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the McAninch Arts Center Sept. 20-21
World Class Guest Artists, Pre-show MAC Chats, an Oktoberfest German Buffet, Three New Year’s Eve Pop Concerts and More Featured in NP’s First Full Season Back at the MACNew Philharmonic Teams Up with Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet for “The Nutcracker” Dec. 20-21

Glen Ellyn, IL New Philharmonic (NP), under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, opens their 2014-2015 season with two concert staging performances of Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” at the McAninch Arts Center (the MAC, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn) Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. This season marks NP’s first full season back at the MAC since the venue’s reopening earlier this year. Tickets for all 2014-2015 season concerts are currently on sale by subscription only; single tickets go on sale in Aug. 16. A list of concerts follows this release. For tickets or more information, call 630.942-4000 or visit AtTheMAC.org.

“Puccini’s ‘Tosca’ has the perfect fire and spirit to begin such an exciting season,” said Maestro Muspratt. “It is a tale full of love, jealousy and intrigue and we have a chance to tell the story in such a unique, vibrant way through these concert performances.”

New Philharmonic opens its 2014-2015 five concert season with two exciting concert performances of Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. Karen Slack (soprano),cited by San Francisco Classical Voice for “the kind of voice that can sing anything beautifully engaging the heart brilliantly” stars in the feature role. This production also features gifted soloists Dominic Armstrong, hailed by the New York Times as a “clarion-voiced tenor,” as Cavaradossi, and Corey Crider, lauded by lauded by Opera News for his, “rich, dark baritone,” as Scarpia. Adding to the rich vocals of these guest artists will be the 100+ voices of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus, directed by Dr. Nancy Menk. “Tosca” will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Performance tickets are $55. There will be a free MAC Chat preceding the Sunday matinee performance. Concertgoers attending the Saturday Sept. 20 concert can add to their enjoyment of the evening by adding a pre-show Italian wine, cheese and appetizer tasting for an additional $22.

Oktoberfest with a New Philharmonic Twist follows with a concert featuring works of renowned German composers Saturday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct.12 at 3 p.m. Works will include Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G major (Mvmt. 1) featuring guest cellist Dorothy Deen; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony 34, Finale (Mvmt. 3); Josef Strauss’ “Pizzicato Polka;” Johann Strauss, Sr.’s “Radetzky March;” Johann. Strauss, Jr.’s “Napoleon March” and much more.
Performance tickets are $46. Concertgoers can expand their celebration of German culture and fun by adding a pre-show German buffet dinner for $30, featuring beer, schnitzel, bratwursts, and an oom-pah band.
This holiday season New Philharmonic teams up with Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet for a special holiday presentation of “The Nutcracker” ballet featuring Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s beloved score to the MAC Saturday Dec. 20 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 1 and 5 p.m. This classic holiday fairy tale ballet with everyone’s favorite characters—Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, Dancing Snowflakes, the Cavalier and the Sugar Plum Fairy—features live orchestral music, guest artists and a cast of more than 50 dancers, plus dazzling costumes and scenery.
Performance tickets are $42 adults/$32 youth (age 16 and under). There will be a free MAC Chat preceding the evening performances.

“Nutcracker” fans can enhance their holiday experience by adding a ticket to the Nutcracker Tea Parties. Tea Parties will take place prior to the Saturday, Dec. 20, 2 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 21, 1 p.m. matinee performances. Fare will include sandwiches, scones, sweets and tea. Lemonade, cheese and PBJ sandwiches will be available for younger guests. Tea Parties are a separately ticketed event. Tickets are $25.

NP rings out 2014 with three New Year’s Eve With New Philharmonic concerts on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Lyric Opera Ryan Center for Young Artists’ John Irvin’s soaring tenor will infuse works by Johann Strauss, R. Stoltz, Von Suppe, and Mozart. The New Year’s Eve performances will also feature the customary NP campagne toasts, confetti and some wonderful must-see surprises. Performance tickets are $55 for the Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. performance and $65 for the Wednesday, Dec. 31, 5 & 9 p.m. performances.

NP’s first concert of 2015 includes the works of Maurice Ravel and Sergei Rachmaninoff as showcased in an incredible blend of two concerti in one program, featuring critically acclaimed guest pianist Winston Choi, Saturday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. Choi, Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France’s 2002 Concours International de Piano, lends his award-winning musicianship to pieces such as Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” and Ravel’s “Concerto for the Left Hand.” The program will also feature Rodion Shchedrin’s “Carmen Suite for Percussion and Strings” and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol.” Performance tickets are $46. There will be a free MAC Chat prior to each performance.

NP completes its 2014-2015 season with Bach to Bock, Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 19 at 3 p.m. These performances will feature a range of enchanting pieces including Johan Sabastian Bach’s “Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin” and Jerry Bock and John William’s Cadenzas from “Fiddler on the Roof” featuring guest violinist David Taylor, Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The program will also include Ralph Vaughn-Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 and “Wedding March from “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Performance tickets are $46. There will be a free MAC Chat prior to each performance.

In keeping with NP tradition, NP 2014-2015 concert audiences will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with Maestro Muspratt, members of New Philharmonic and guest artists during the “Cookies with Kirk” receptions in the lobby, sponsored in part by Brookdale, following each performance.

New for NP’s 2014-2015 Season: in an effort to showcase the talents of local youth, NP will feature seven young musicians in dedicated Youth Performance Spotlight segments in three of NP’s 2014-2015 concerts. The musicians were selected through an audition competition this past May and are as follows: for the Oct. 11 & 12 Oktoberfest concerts—Wheaton’s Ben Graves (cellist); for the Saturday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.  Ravel and Rachmaninoff concert—violin trio and Wheaton’s own Ben Fefferman, Kevin Li and Luke Mondia; for the Sunday, Feb. 8, 3 p.m. Ravel and Rachmaninoff concert—Naperville vocalist Madison Perry; and for the April 18 & 19 Bach to Bock concerts—violin duo Sophia Lekas (Willowbrook) and Hugo Zoells (Hinsdale). This initiative is funded in part by a grant by The DuPage Community Foundation’s JCS Fund for Arts and Education.

New Philharmonic is a fully-professional, 80-member orchestra that has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for three decades.  Under the direction of Music Director and Conductor Kirk Muspratt, named a 2006 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, New Philharmonic gives innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works and strives to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts. New Philharmonic is a professional ensemble in residence at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and performs a complete season annually.

New Philharmonic’s 2014-2015 performances are funded in part by a grant by The DuPage Community Foundation’s JCS Fund for Arts and Education and the Illinois Arts Council.

New Philharmonic is supported in part by the College of DuPage Foundation through its New Philharmonic Fund. Established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the surrounding community. For more information about the College of DuPage Foundation, visit.cod.edu/foundation or call 630.942.2462.

McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355,  and houses three performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 186-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), plus the Cleve Carney Art Gallery, classrooms for the college’s academic programming and the Lakeside Pavilion. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.

The MAC began major renovations in fall 2012 to update its three performance spaces, construct a new art gallery and outdoor pavilion, and make improvements to the infrastructure, teaching and learning spaces and patron service areas. The MAC renovation was funded as part of the $168 million referendum that voters of District 502 passed in November 2010. The MAC completed its 14-month, $35 million renovation in December 2013 and officially opened its doors to the public with the MAC Madness Celebration on March 8. The MAC’s 2014-2015 Season is its first full season following the landmark renovations.

The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information about the MAC, visit AtTheMAC.org. You can also learn more about the MAC on Facebook at facebook.com/AtTheMAC or on twitter at twitter.com/AtTheMAC.

McAninch Arts Center (MAC) is supported in part by the College of DuPage Foundation. Established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the surrounding community. For more information about the College of DuPage Foundation, visit cod.edu/foundation or call 630.942.2462.

Programs at the MAC are partially supported through funding from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
New Philharmonic’s 2014-2015 Season
All concerts take place on the Belushi Performance Hall at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC), located at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Ill. 60137. Tickets for New Philharmonic’s 2014-2015 season events are currently on sale by subscription only; single tickets go on sale August 16. To order tickets, call 630.942.4000 or visit AtTheMAC.org.

New Philharmonic: Puccini’s “Tosca”
Concert production performed in Italian with English supertitles
There will be a free MAC Chat prior to the Sept. 21 matinee performance
Saturday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 21, 3 p.m.
Performance Tickets: $55;
Sept. 20 pre-show Italian wine, cheese and appetizer tasting $22.

Oktoberfest with a New Philharmonic Twist
Saturday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 12, 3 p.m.
Performance Tickets: $46; German dinner buffet $30

New Year’s Eve with New Philharmonic
With Special Guest Tenor, John Irvin
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m.
Tickets: $55
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 5 & 9 p.m.
Tickets: $65

New Philharmonic: Ravel and Rachmaninoff
With Guest Pianist Winston Choi
There will be a MAC Chat prior to each performance
Saturday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 8, 3 p.m.
Tickets: $46

New Philharmonic: Bach to Bock
With Guest Violinist David Taylor
There will be a MAC Chat prior to each performance
Saturday, April 18, 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 19, 3 p.m.
Tickets: $46

Special Holiday Engagement:
Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet and the New Philharmonic present “The Nutcracker”
There will be a MAC Chat prior to both evening performances
Saturday, Dec. 20, 2 & 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 21, 1 & 5 p.m.
Tickets: $43 Adults/$32 Youth; Pre-Matinee performance Tea Party $25

(Events/dates/artists/prices subject to change)

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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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