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Archive for December 15th, 2014

Giving Thanks for Our Troops: President Obama’s Weekly Address

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on Giving Thanks for Our Troops: President Obama’s Weekly Address

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, President Barack Obama thanked the men and women in uniform who serve and sacrifice to protect the freedom, prosperity, and security that we all enjoy as Americans. On Monday the President will visit troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and voice his appreciation in person for their incredible service. These troops, as well as the many who are still overseas, have met every mission they have been tasked with, from bringing a responsible end to our war in Afghanistan, to working to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, to saving lives by fighting to contain the spread of Ebola. During this holiday season, a time of blessings and gratitude, the President reminded everyone to find a way to thank and serve the members of the military who serve us every day.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, December 13, 2014.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
December 13, 2014

Hi, everybody. It’s the holidays—a season to give thanks for our many blessings. The love of family. The joy of good friends. The bonds of community. The freedom we cherish as Americans. The peace and justice we seek in the world.

As we go about our days, as we gather with loved ones and friends, it’s important to remember: our way of life—the freedom, prosperity and security that we enjoy as Americans—is not a gift that is simply handed to us. It has to be earned—by every generation. And no one sacrifices more to preserve our blessings than our extraordinary men and women in uniform.

That’s why, on Monday, I’ll be visiting our troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey—to salute them for their service and thank them for their sacrifices. Since our nation was attacked on 9/11, these men and women, like so many others in uniform, have met every mission we’ve asked of them. They deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. In more than a decade of war, this 9/11 Generation has worked with the Afghan people to help them reclaim their communities and prevent terrorist attacks against our own country.

Now, many of our troops are returning from Afghanistan, and on Monday, I’ll be proud to help welcome them home. That’s because, this month, our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over. Our war in Afghanistan is coming to a responsible end.

Of course, the end of our combat mission in Afghanistan doesn’t mean the end of challenges to our security.We’ll continue to work with Afghans to make sure their country is stable and secure and is never again used to launch attacks against America. The troops I’ll visit on Monday have been part of our mission to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL in Iraq and Syria. They’ve been supporting our efforts in West Africa to fight the Ebola epidemic and save lives. Because in times of crisis and challenge, the world turns to America for leadership. And when the world calls on America, we call on the brave men and women of our armed forces to do what no one else can.

So this holiday season, as we give thanks for the blessings in our own lives, let’s also give thanks to our men and women in uniform who make those blessings possible. Even as some are coming home for the holidays, many more will be far from their families, who sacrifice along with them.

There are so many ways we can express our gratitude to our troops, their families and our veterans—everyone can do something. To find out what you can do, just go to JoiningForces.gov. As a nation, as Americans, let’s always keep striving to serve them as well as they have always served us.

Thanks, have a great weekend, and God bless our troops and their families.

Racial Bias Diminishes Optimism of Latinos Over Time

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on Racial Bias Diminishes Optimism of Latinos Over Time
By Barbara Ferrer

Migration of Latino families to America is an inspiring story of men, women and children leaving their native countries, often searching for better opportunities and safety for their families. Yet, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s recent poll of Latino families also reveals that a different narrative develops – frustration from racism and discrimination is wearing down Latinos over time in the United States.

The newest Latino immigrants are brimming with hope, as they pursue opportunities to better educate their children, improve personal finances and find affordable housing. Meanwhile, those who have travelled a similar path – Latinos with generations of family roots in the U.S., as well as those with more education and higher incomes – are decidedly more sceptical and disappointed.
Clearly, a significant gap exists between the life experiences of Latinos and those of many other immigrants. Historically, immigrants arrive on American shores and the prospects for their life outcomes vastly improve. They may harbor initial fears and anxiety about finding jobs, housing and social services, but as they assimilate into American society, they enjoy the expected immigrant experience of having their quality of life improve for each generation.

But that narrative is reserved for mostly white immigrants.

For people of color, and as the survey demonstrated, especially for Latinos, there is a far, far different reality. The longer Latinos are in the U.S., they grow less and less hopeful about their opportunities in this country.

Our poll discloses that as Latinos face discrimination at individual and institutional levels, their fears and anxieties increase over time.

For instance, while Latinos respect police and cite a need for law enforcement, they are deeply concerned about police brutality – 18 percent said they know a Latino friend or relative abused by police. Moreover, an astonishing 68 percent fear that police will use excessive force against Latinos, and 37 percent said law enforcement officers treat Hispanics unfairly. But racial bias is not limited to law enforcement. Latinos also fear they may face discrimination in the workplace and virtually anyplace they may go in public, such as stores and restaurants.

For America to progress, this must change. How can a nation be perceived as just and fair, when it’s fastest growing demographic lives in such fear?

As a nation, our first step should be to abandon talk of the mythical “colorblind society” and instead focus on understanding the diversity rooted in our communities and the strength that can be drawn from these different cultures. Immigrants should feel respected in this country and invited to fully participate and engage in our society, and in making it a better society.

Here is a stunning example of how racism, or just the perception of bias, plays out: asked how they would proceed if facing difficult financial problems, 47 percent of Latinos earning between $40,000 and $75,000 a year said they could not depend on a loan from a bank or credit union, while 38 percent earning more than $75,000 also had no confidence they could turn to this traditional means of financial help.

Energized by the hope and promise of this nation, Latinos are coming to the U.S. wanting to be vibrant members of their new communities.

Furthermore, Latinos clearly care about their children’s future. The vast majority of Latino parents are attending parent-teacher conferences and school functions, as well as volunteering at the schools and working with administrators and teachers. For Latino parents of pre-K through second grade students, 89 percent attended teacher conferences, 77 percent contacted teachers about academic performance, 74 percent had meetings with a counselor or principle, 71 percent attended events and 63 percent volunteered for class projects.

Still, their participation would increase and be broader if the schools did more to welcome parents. Survey respondents noted that more translators should be available, especially for school board meetings, PTA meetings and other policy-setting sessions. All parents must feel welcomed in the schools their children attend.

Our poll has identified the role discrimination plays in diminishing optimism and opportunities for many Latinos. In reality, when one group is held back, it hurts all of us; we need everyone’s best effort to build a secure future. As we learn from each other, we recognize that our strength is our diversity. Addressing discriminatory practices and policies is paving the way for a better United States of America.

Barbara Ferrer is chief strategy officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Solar Policies Come at the Expense of Communities Least Able to Afford Them

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on Solar Policies Come at the Expense of Communities Least Able to Afford Them
By Arley Johnson

In the drive to develop certain sectors in our nation’s economy, we have all too often seen policies born of good intentions produce damaging consequences, particularly for people on the economic margins.

Yet policymakers continue to make this mistake again and again — most recently in a relatively obscure area: the solar industry. With the laudable intention of promoting more solar panels on consumer rooftops, many states have created subsidies and other incentives. But this approach has, in many cases, delivered concentrated benefits to solar panel owners (who are usually high income earners) at the expense of working class families and individuals on fixed incomes.

Here’s how: Under an approach known as net metering, homeowners who can afford to install solar panels are given the right to sell back any excess electricity they generate to utility companies at the full ‘retail rate’. While this full rate is good for solar panel users, utility companies that are forced to buy back the excess energy either absorb the costs or, worse, pass them on to traditional consumers, including working families on tight budgets and the poor. In effect, traditional consumers are forced to underwrite expensive home improvements – in this case, solar panel systems — that affluent homeowners decide to undertake on their own.

Consider this: A recent analysis found that a majority of people taking advantage of solar rebate programs in Austin, Texas, lived in some of the city’s wealthiest zip codes. The local newspaper in Austin summed up the situation best, saying: “Residents of wealthier neighborhoods are more likely to be able to afford the upfront capital costs associated with adding solar panels to their roofs – a cost the city helps defray through one of its major rebate programs.”

The concept of ‘homeowners’ in its own right fails to account for those living in or near poverty who do not own their own homes and are more likely to rent. For these individuals, solar subsidies have little to no benefit, and may in fact become detrimental. Budgets aren’t growing, and funding ordinarily used to assist low-income individuals – for things like direct financial assistance, rate relief, or housing vouchers – end up competing with solar subsidies for the well off.

This is not to say that solar energy is a bad thing. While promoting greater use of renewable energies is laudable, solar subsidies should be implemented in a way that creates benefits for society as a whole. But as these subsidies are currently structured, a narrow portion of society gains at the expense of others, including those least able to pick up the tab.

In an effort to ensure that such benefits are more equally distributed, consumer advocates across the country strongly recommend programs designed for a broader demographic, such as large scale solar projects or overall conservation goals for a community.

As our states continue to set goals in energy affordability and conservation, we must keep in our hearts and minds those of modest means in our communities. We cannot further burden individuals living paycheck to paycheck with inequitable policies that accelerate upward distribution of income. We know that it is often “expensive to be poor.” A car repair can contribute to crippling debt and lost time at work.

It is heartening to see that this issue is drawing growing attention from advocates for the poor, most notably the National Policy Alliance, an organization that is devoted to highlighting public policies that pose adverse consequences to individuals who struggle the most in our economy.

And so the messag and solution is becoming increasingly clear: we must rethink our unbalanced solar policies and take the right steps to providing affordable energy options for all in our communities.

Arley Johnson, a former West Virginia state legislator, is the former executive director of Advocates for the Other America, a Washington-based lobbying and advocacy group.

Photo: Arley Johnson

Judge George W. Timberlake, Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, Honored as Champion for Change

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on Judge George W. Timberlake, Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, Honored as Champion for Change

Recognized at National Conference of MacArthur-supported Models for Change Juvenile Justice Reform Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – Judge George W. Timberlake, a retired state judge and Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC), on Monday was named the 2014 recipient of the Champion for Change in State Leadership award.

The award was announced at the annual national conference of Models for Change, a juvenile justice reform initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Timberlake was recognized for his work in reviving the IJJC, the federally mandated state advisory group to the governor and the Illinois General Assembly.  Before Timberlake was appointed Chair in 2010, the IJJC struggled to operate effectively.  Timberlake and a slate of new Commissioners – many drawn from the ranks of Illinois Models for Change leadership – transformed the volunteer panel into a leader of reform.

Under Timberlake’s stewardship, the IJJC changed the strategy for federal juvenile justice grant spending in Illinois, and the funds now support a range of state and local initiatives designed to produce data, foster local collaboration and support statewide system improvement.

The reinvigorated IJJC also has issued a series of research reports providing unprecedented and comprehensive analysis to policymakers, advocates and the public and prompting much-needed changes in state law and policy.

  • The IJJC’s 2011 report on juvenile parole prompted the executive and legislative branches to support a statewide aftercare program for youth.
  • In 2013, a report on raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction played a key role in the enactment of legislation removing 17-year-olds from adult court jurisdiction.
  • In 2014, the IJJC published “Improving Illinois’ Response to Sexual Offenses Committed by Youth,” a report detailing the state’s draconian and ineffective responses to youth who have committed sex offenses.  Based on extensive research, data collection, file reviews and interviews with professionals, the report has provided legislators, policymakers and concerned citizens with a fact-based analysis of Illinois laws and has opened a debate about the state’s counter-productive sex offender registry.

Timberlake also has volunteered countless hours to Illinois Models for Change since it began in 2004 with five demonstration sites.

“Judge Timberlake’s contributions to the work of Models for Change has been invaluable,” said Diane Geraghty, Director of the Loyola Civitas ChildLaw Center, lead entity for Models for Change in Illinois. “His boundless energy, his credibility based on years of hands-on experience, and his deep commitment to Illinois’s children and families have catapulted him to national prominence as a spokesperson for fair and effective juvenile justice laws, policies and practices.”

Geraghty said Timberlake assisted each of the five demonstration sites through all phases of their work, providing expert technical assistance, encouragement and—when needed—holding local leaders accountable for the progress they had promised. His tireless support of local sites has yielded models of collaboration, diversion, data collection and use, case management and evidence based practice now being replicated in other communities across Illinois.

Timberlake, who also is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, was a trial court judge for 23 years prior to his 2006 retirement as Chief Judge of Illinois’ Second Circuit, which is comprised of 12 counties in southeastern Illinois. In addition to his volunteer service as a member of the Illinois Models for Change Coordinating Council, he is a member of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council, the Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board, and the board of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, a statewide advocacy coalition.

A resident of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, Timberlake earned a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.

For more information about Models for Change, visit www.ModelsForChange.net.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Calls for Restoring Judicial Discretion and Ending the Illinois Law Automatically Transferring Young People from Juvenile to Adult Court

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Calls for Restoring Judicial Discretion and Ending the Illinois Law Automatically Transferring Young People from Juvenile to Adult Court
Friday’s event marks the beginning of Cook County’s participation in the White House-led “My Brother’s Keeper” Initiative to address opportunity gaps for young men of color

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called for restoring judicial discretion and ending the Illinois law that automatically transfers children charged with certain felony offenses from juvenile court into adult criminal court. Preckwinkle was joined by Robert L. Listenbee, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Illinois State Representative Elaine Nekritz, sponsor of HB 4538, which would eliminate all forms of transfer other than discretionary, and Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul.

“The automatic transfer law is a deeply unfair practice that disproportionately impacts youth of color and drives a significant percentage of the population of Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Automatic transfers are devastating to our young people and our communities,” Preckwinkle said. “We have a responsibility to ensure a juvenile justice system that is fair and responsive to our young people. The lack of due process robs young people of the fair hearing to determine whether or not they are suitable for the juvenile system’s rehabilitative opportunities.”

Preckwinkle reiterated her commitment to working with Representative Elaine Nekritz to see HB 4538 passed in the house and called it her top criminal justice priority in Springfield for the coming session. The bill would end all forms of transfer other than discretionary.

“Automatic transfers represent a serious encroachment on judicial discretion. I look forward to working with President Preckwinkle and my colleagues in the General Assembly to enact these overdue reforms in the next session,” Nekritz said.

The speech also marked the beginning of Cook County’s participation in the White House-led “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which aims to address the persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

About the Automatic Transfer Law

The automatic transfer law was enacted by the Illinois General Assembly in 1982. Under the law, children, predominantly aged 15-17, but as young as 13 in some instances, must be prosecuted as adults if they are charged with certain crimes, including first degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and armed robbery committed with a firearm.

Illinois is one of only 14 states which do not require an initial hearing in juvenile court prior to a youth being transferred to criminal court. There is also no option in Illinois for judges to reverse the transfer based on circumstances, background, applicability of the charge, etc.

A three-year study of the Cook County court system conducted by the Juvenile Justice Initiative found that 50% more children were transferred to adult courts after the passage of the automatic transfer law, and for less serious offenses. Prior to the 1982 law, 48% of all young people transferred to adult court were charged with murder. Since that time, only 13% of those transferred are charged with murder. Ultimately, 54% of all young people who are automatically transferred are convicted of or plead guilty to lesser charges that would have remained in juvenile court if those were the original charges brought.

Youth who are automatically transferred make up a sizeable and growing percentage of the young people held in Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC). The average daily population of automatic transferred young people in the JTDC increased from 72 in December of 2013 to 130 in October of 2014 and now comprises more than a third of the population.

“Automatic transfers eliminate judicial discretion and have a disproportionate impact on children of color,” Preckwinkle said. On October 31, 2014, 86% of the automatic transfer youth in the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center were African-American, and 14% were Hispanic.

Recidivism rates for young people who are prosecuted as adults are 34% higher than those with similar records who were prosecuted as juveniles.

About the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. The My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge is an effort to encourage communities (including cities, counties, suburbs, rural municipalities, and tribal nations) to implement a coherent cradle-to-college and career strategy aimed at improving life outcomes for all young people to ensure that all youth can achieve their full potential, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born. The Challenge is a call to action for leaders of communities across the Nation to build and execute comprehensive strategies that ensure:

  • All children enter school cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally prepared;
  • All children read at grade level by third grade;
  • All young people graduate from high school;
  • All young people complete post-secondary education or training;
  • All youth out of school are employed; and

All young people are safe from violent crime.

“At the heart of the President’s message is the need to keep young black and brown boys and men in school and on track to complete high school and postsecondary education and training,” Preckwinkle said. “We have answered the President’s call to action. We are determined to end unfair laws that prevent young boys and men of color from reaching their educational and professional potential. We want to start by ending the automatic transfer of juveniles to adult court.”

New Book of Poetry Says, “You’ll Never Miss Your Water Until Your Well Runs Dry!”

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on New Book of Poetry Says, “You’ll Never Miss Your Water Until Your Well Runs Dry!”
Bookcover and author, Craig A. Garner

Irvington, NJ (BlackNews.com) — Craig A. Garner, Poet Laureate of Irvington, N.J./author has released his eighth book of poetry via his publisher Word Association Publishers entitled You’ll Never Miss Your Water Until Your Well Runs Dry. It is primarily a poetic tribute to those great artists, activists and friends who have recently passed away.

Garner comments, “In the past few years, we have lost some tremendous individuals who I respected for their commitment to their craft and purpose. Just last year, we lost the Honorable Nelson Mandela.”

He continues, “Prior to that, we lost the talented blues poet/musician Gil Scott Heron, and this year we lost the great Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, and Ruby Dee. I also lost one of my best friends and neighbors of over thirty years Mrs. Marion Scott, and a wonderful aunt in Ms. Elaine Brown. And, although we are all destined to meet our maker one day, we should never forget those who gave so much of themselves while they were here.”

Garner’s new book, You’ll Never Miss Your Water Until Your Well Runs Dry, acknowledges those folks who touched so many other people with their words and actions. Garner says he is forever indebted to them for their courage, skills, and willingness to share with us their inner most thoughts and visions through their art or personality.

He adds, “But it is also a clarion call to our people to get our acts together in view of all the negative things happening in this world today. Too many young brothers are being incarcerated or killed over the least little thing and nothing is being done about it.”
You’ll Never Miss Your Water Until Your Well Runs Dry
By Chris Garner
ISBN: 978-1-63385-027-9
Available for purchase for the Kindle at Amazon.com or directly from the publisher at www.WordAssociation.com

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, Craig A. Garner

Holiday Action to Pass Reparations for Chicago Police Torture Survivors

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on Holiday Action to Pass Reparations for Chicago Police Torture Survivors

March and public memorial honoring survivors of CPD torture and communities of color enduring ongoing police abuse, violence and murder in Chicago.

CHICAGO, IL -  On Tuesday, December 16th, Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM), We Charge Genocide, Project NIA and Amnesty International will hold a five-mile march, then deliver a petition, reveal a list of nice & naughty alderpeople and hold and a memorial at City Hall to demand passage of the Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors.

On October 16, 2013, a Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors was introduced in Chicago’s City Council. It has already garnered the support of 26 alderpeople, with only one additional vote needed to pass the ordinance. Passage of the ordinance is also supported by the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

For the full text of the Reparations Ordinance see: http://chicagotorture.org/#reparations

Organizers are asking Chicagoans represented by alderpeople not in support of the ordinance to take action: http://pastebin.com/248AcnE2


12 PM / Police Headquarters: Chicagoans will march about five miles from Chicago Police Headquarters, at 3510 S. Michigan Ave, to City Hall, at 121 N. LaSalle.

2 PM / City Hall, 5th Floor: Marchers will deliver a petition with over 45,000 signatures in support of the Reparations for Chicago Police Torture Survivors ordinance. They will create a public memorial outside the Mayor’s office and call for Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council to pass the ordinance before the municipal elections this February.

Remote Action: Organizers are encouraging those who can’t attend the action to participate via social media by using the #RahmRepNow hashtag to demand that Mayor Emanuel support the reparations ordinance, and by calling the Mayor’s office at 312-744-3300 to advocate for the ordinance.

Visuals: Participants are asked to bring a photo, manifesto, memento, candle, sign, poem, or flower to City Hall.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/340660236117395/

“We give thanks to all who have stood up against the travesty of Chicago Police torture. We are making our grief, anger and determination seen and felt by coming together to demonstrate that we will not ignore the ongoing reality of police violence,” says Martha Biondi, a member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorial. “We demand Mayor Emanuel offer his full support to the Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors and are delivering petitions with over 45,000 signatures in support of it.”

About the Reparations for Chicago Police Torture Survivors ordinance:

Among other demands, the ordinance would require the city to administer financial reparations to all Burge torture survivors who are unable to sue for monetary damages because the statute of limitations for their claims has expired. The proposed ordinance would also provide all torture survivors and their families with tuition-free education at City Colleges; create a center on the South Side of Chicago that would provide psychological counseling, health care services and vocational training to those affected by law enforcement torture and abuse; and require Chicago Public Schools to teach about these cases and sponsor the construction of public torture memorials. It also asks the city’s leaders to issue a formal apology to those who were tortured and their communities.

Specifics of March:

Pass Reparations for CPD Torture Survivors!

Tuesday, December 16th

12 PM – March from 3510 S. Michigan

2 PM – Petition Delivery & Memorial at City Hall, 5th Flr

Event organized by:

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials | chicagotorture.org

Project NIA | project-nia.org

We Charge Genocide | wechargegenocide.org

TimeLine Theatre Presents a Theatrical Event: The Chicago Premiere of Two of Richard Nelson’s Acclaimed Apple Plays: That Hopey Changey Thing and Sorry, Presented on an Alternating Schedule January 13 – April 19, 2015

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on TimeLine Theatre Presents a Theatrical Event: The Chicago Premiere of Two of Richard Nelson’s Acclaimed Apple Plays: That Hopey Changey Thing and Sorry, Presented on an Alternating Schedule January 13 – April 19, 2015

CHICAGO, IL — TimeLine Theatre Company continues its 2014-15 season with a special production featuring two of Tony Award winner Richard Nelson’s acclaimed Apple Family Plays: THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING and SORRY, directed by TimeLine Associate Artist Louis Contey, presented on an alternating schedule January 24 – April 19, 2015 (previews January 13 – 23), at TimeLine Theatre,
615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. Press opening is a “marathon” double feature of both plays on Sunday, January 25 at 2 p.m. (THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING) and 6 p.m. (SORRY).

The Apple Family Plays will feature the TimeLine debut of Chicago acting legend Mike Nussbaum and more TimeLine Company Members on stage than at any time in the theater’s history: Janet Ulrich Brooks, Juliet Hart, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes and Artistic Director PJ Powers.

Richard Nelson’s celebrated series of four Apple Family Plays explores politics, change, and family dynamics. Set on dates of historic significance between 2010 and 2013, Nelson’s plays have been heralded by The New York Times as “a rare and radiant mirror on the way we live … no previous works of theater have been topical in the resonant and specific ways of The Apple Family Plays.”

Now TimeLine is presenting the Chicago debut of two of these remarkable works (the first and third in the series) on an alternating schedule. THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING and SORRY are separate plays that may be fully enjoyed individually, or together, and may be viewed in any order. Each play requires the purchase of a separate ticket to attend. Each play runs approximately 1 hour 45 minutes; both are performed without an intermission.

Set in the American town of Rhinebeck, New York, THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING takes place as the polls close on the 2010 mid-term elections, and SORRY is set on the morning of the presidential election in 2012. Both explore how a family sorts through personal and political feelings of loss and confusion in the shadow of history as it is being made.

The Apple Family Plays were first commissioned and performed at The Public Theater in New York City. Nelson wrote each play to open on the day it is set. The other two plays (the second and fourth in the series), SWEET AND SAD and REGULAR SINGING, are set on the 10th Anniversary of September 11 and the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, respectively. In 2013, all four plays were performed at The Public and were filmed for WNET public television in New York, where they have aired earlier this fall. SWEET AND SAD is the only Apple Family play previously seen in Chicago, at Profiles Theatre in 2012.

Production staff includes Brian Sidney Bembridge (Scenic and Lighting Design), Alex Wren Meadows (Costume Design), Andrew Hansen (Sound Design), Amanda Herrmann (Properties Design), Maren Robinson (Dramaturgy), Dina Spoerl (Lobby Display Graphic Design), Nora Mally (Stage Manager) and Elise Hausken (Production Assistant).

For more information and to purchase tickets, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.


PREVIEWS: Tuesday, January 13 at 8 p.m. (HOPEY); Wednesday, January 14 at 8 p.m. (SORRY); Friday, January 16 at 8 p.m. (SORRY); Saturday, January 17 at 8 p.m. (HOPEY); Sunday, January 18 at 2 p.m. (HOPEY) and 7 p.m. (SORRY); Thursday, January 22 at 8 pm. (HOPEY) and Friday, January 23 at 8 p.m. (SORRY).

OPENING NIGHT: Saturday, January 24 at 4 p.m. (HOPEY) and 8 p.m. (SORRY).

PRESS OPENING: Sunday, January 25 at 2 p.m. (HOPEY) and 6 p.m. (SORRY).

REGULAR RUN: THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING and SORRY will be presented on an alternating schedule on these days and times each week: Tuesdays (4/14 only), Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m (except 8:30 p.m. on 2/18 and 4/2); Fridays at 8 p.m. (except no performance on 3/13); Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. (also 6 p.m. on 1/25, 3/15, 3/29 and 4/12) through April 19, 2015. For specific dates of each play, visit timelinetheatre.com/apple_family_plays.

“MARATHON” DATES: Every Saturday during the regular run and Sundays 1/25, 3/15, 3/29 and 4/12 are “marathon” days with THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING matinee and SORRY evening performance, with time between performances for a dinner break.


Post-Show Discussions: A brief, informal post-show discussion hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday, January 28; Thursday, February 5; Sunday, February 8; Wednesday, February 11; Wednesday, February 25; and Thursday, March 26.

Pre-Show Discussions: Starting one hour before these performances, a 30-minute introductory conversation hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg with members of the production team on Thursday, February 19 and Sunday, March 8.

Sunday Scholars Panel Discussion: A one-hour post-show discussion featuring experts on the themes and issues of the play on Sunday, February 22.

Company Member Discussion: A post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission on Sunday, March 1

All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions, visit timelinetheatre.com/apple_family_plays/events.htm.


Ticket prices (inclusive of all fees) are $39 (Wednesday through Friday), $49 (Saturday) and $52 (Sunday). Preview tickets are $25. Student discount is $10 off the regular ticket price with valid ID. Special rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Advance purchase is strongly recommended as performances may sell out. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.


THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING and SORRY will take place at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine Theatre is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. The location is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. TimeLine offers discounted parking at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center ($8 with validation; 2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall ($9 with validation; 2836 N. Clark). There is also limited free and metered street parking.


TimeLine Theatre is now accessible to people with disabilities with the addition in November 2013 of two wheelchair lifts that provide access from street level to the theatre space and to lower-level restrooms. Audience members using wheelchairs or others with special seating needs should contact the TimeLine Theatre Box Office in advance to confirm arrangements.


This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Valerie Salmons, Village Administrator for the Village of Bartlett, Elected Chair of State Board

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on Valerie Salmons, Village Administrator for the Village of Bartlett, Elected Chair of State Board

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Valerie Salmons, Village Administrator for the Village of Bartlett, has been elected as Chairman of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

Chairman Salmons has served on the Board since 1989 and was elected to her first term as the Chairman of the Board in September of 1995.  She is the longest continuously serving member of the Board and has been appointed as a Board member by five Governors.  During her service, Ms. Salmons has been instrumental in shaping and implementing law enforcement training and policy throughout the State of Illinois.

Kevin T. McClain, Executive Director of the Board, states “Chairman Salmons has devoted herself to addressing the needs of law enforcement and public safety. We look forward to her role as our Chairman.”

She has served as Village Administrator of Bartlett since 1982 and Assistant Manager of Decatur and Administrative Assistant in Deerfield prior to that.  Village Administrator Salmons has also served as the Midwest Regional Vice President for International City/County Management Association (ICMA), President of the Illinois City/County Management Association (ILCMA), and President of the Assistant City Managers Association for Illinois.  She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, referred to as the Board, is the state agency mandated to promote and maintain a high level of professional standards for nearly 40,000 law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and court security officers. Its purpose is to promote and protect citizen health, safety and welfare by encouraging municipalities, counties, park districts, State-controlled universities, colleges, public community colleges, and other local governmental agencies of this state and participating State agencies in their efforts to upgrade and maintain a high level of training and standards for their law enforcement, corrections, and court security personnel.

The Board oversees 10 recruit Basic Law Enforcement and Corrections academies, 15 Mobile Training Units, and funds a number of professional executive training programs including the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

Board membership includes statutory members as well as other state and local officials representing sheriffs, chiefs of police, police associations, mayors, and city managers appointed by the Governor.

The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal Promotes Fire Safety During the Holiday Season

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2014 Comments Off on The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal Promotes Fire Safety During the Holiday Season

Christmas Trees and Decorations Could Pose Risks of Fires

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the holidays fast approach, the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds the public about the dangers of home fire incidents involving Christmas trees and decorations during the months of December and January.  Christmas trees, holiday decorations, overloaded extension cords, and the use of candles are linked to seasonal homes fires during the holiday season.

“As people engage in a variety of tasks and activities, often times basic fire safety takes a second place in the list of priorities,” said Larry Matkaitis, State Fire Marshal. “Residents should be proactive in discarding old decorations, extension cords, and remember to water natural Christmas trees frequently”.

Last year in Illinois 91 home fires reported were caused by Christmas trees and other decorations. Those fires resulted in more than $1.7 million in property losses.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2007 and 2011, fire departments in U.S. estimated that two out of five fires were linked to Christmas trees, holiday lights and other decorations, between December and January.  On average the origin of 230 home fires were Christmas trees. Those fires resulted in the death of 9 civilians, 22 injuries, and close to $18.3 million in direct property damages.

The OSFM offers the following tips to residents:

Christmas trees

  • When using an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as UL listed. Make sure artificial trees are tested and labeled as fire resistant.
  • When using a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched.  This could mean that the tree is brittle and dry, therefore making it hazardous.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily. Put your tree in a sturdy water stand.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or space heaters.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • After Christmas, get rid of the tree.  Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

Holiday lights

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.  Only use “indoor” lights indoors, and “outdoor” lights only outdoors.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
  • Use no more than three light sets on any extension cord.  Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards.  Avoid running cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.  Do not overload extension cords, outlets or power tips.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands that are safe to connect.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close by.


December is the peak month for home candle fires, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day representing two of the top five days for associated fires. More than half of all candle fires start when they are placed too close to combustible household items (i.e. curtains, lamp shades, other fabrics, and plastic) and holiday decorations (i.e., trees, garland, stockings, wrapping paper, and wrapped/boxed gifts).

  • Consider fusing flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. If you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed in uncluttered surfaces.
  • Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where two of five U.S. candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
  • Always put candles out before leaving the room.
  • Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains or drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, please visit http://www.sfm.illinois.gov or www.nfpa.org.

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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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