April , 2019

By William E. Spriggs Why the Fed Isn't Close to Achieving Full Employment and Shouldn't ...
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  Chief Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cina was elected this week as vice ...
  Colleen Tressler Consumer Education Specialist, FTC If you need to borrow money to consolidate credit card debt, ...
CHICAGO, IL – Sixteen Chicago nonprofit agencies are among 23 law-related nonprofit ...
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The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will be holding a press conference today after Gov. Bruce ...
Political “Bits and Pieces”   By Juanita Bratcher   Whew! What an election campaign year this has been. Not ...
Bond was set for a Chicago man charged with possession and dissemination of child pornography ...
Work in the Doctor's Office Santa Monica, CA (BlackNews.com) – Beats ...

Archive for December 16th, 2014

Vivek Murthy Confirmed as Surgeon General

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Vivek Murthy Confirmed as Surgeon General

Murthy was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 51-43

President Barack Obama: “Vivek’s confirmation makes us better positioned to save lives…”

The President’s Full Statement on the Confirmation of Murthy as Surgeon General:

“I applaud the Senate for confirming Vivek Murthy to be our country’s next Surgeon General.  As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.  He’ll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong.  Vivek will also help us build on the progress we’ve made combatting Ebola, both in our country and at its source.  Combined with the crucial support for fighting Ebola included in the bill to fund our government next year, Vivek’s confirmation makes us better positioned to save lives around the world and protect the American people here at home.”

President Obama nominated Murthy for the post over a year ago.

Black Lives Matter – It’s More than Police Killings

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Black Lives Matter – It’s More than Police Killings

Black Lives Matter - It’s More than Police Killings

New America Media

By David Muhammad

I have struggled with the theme of “Black Lives Matter” in the protests against police killings of Black men in America. I totally agree with the sentiment, but I have just had trouble with the message that seems so basic and demands a low bar. Then after an argument with a friend who thought the theme was ridiculous, I found myself defending it and eventually fully embracing the notion that one of our biggest challenges is that so many people in this country devalue the life of Black youth. But it is much more than police killings.

I watched the March and rally organized by Reverend Al Sharpton in the nation’s capital recently. Toward the end of the event, he brought up numerous families of the countless Black men murdered by police in cities throughout America. It was a stage full of pain. The mothers of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Amadou Diallo and many more. It inspired great emotion and passion.

Somehow, the everyday injustice in America does not evoke the same response. Gross racial disparities in arrests, prosecutions, incarceration, violations of probation and parole, and sentencing destroy millions of Black lives. Though the magnitude is much greater, it does not inspire the level of anger that a video of a White officer murdering a Black man does.

America incarcerates a greater percentage of Black people than were jailed in Apartheid South Africa. There are more Black people in America’s prisons than were enslaved in 1850. And though many articles are written, great books are published, and talk shows discuss the subject, we have not seen the type of organizing, outrage, and protest that we have for police shootings.

Black Lives Matter is the appropriate cry for this injustice. America would never stand for a million White people incarcerated for drugs and other non-violent offenses. But when Black youth from poor neighborhoods are arrested, detained, given draconian sentences and locked away, we ignore it.

Even though research shows that White and Black people use drugs at approximately equal rates, Black people are 10 times more likely to be sent to prison for drug offenses. Black Americans represent 56 percent of those incarcerated for drug crimes, even though they comprise only 13 percent of the U.S. population.

A ground breaking report, “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children,” published earlier this year by UCLA researcher Phillip Atiba Goff, showed the overwhelming prejudice and unconscious dehumanization of Black people held by Whites. Researchers conducted several experiments with mostly White police officers and White undergraduate students. The alarming results were that the White police officers and even the students viewed Black children as much older, less innocent, and more animalistic.

“The evidence shows that perceptions of the essential nature of children can be affected by race, and for Black children, this can mean they lose the protection afforded by assumed childhood innocence well before they become adults,” one of the researchers involved with the study said.

This dehumanization of Black youth leads to the extreme disproportionality we see in the criminal justice system.

Even locally the disparities are stark. In Alameda County, Blacks constitute just 12 percent of the population, but Black youth make up half of all youth in the juvenile justice system here. In a report conducted last year by the Black Organizing Project, ACLU, and Public Counsel, it was revealed that Black youth are on average 73.5 percent of all juvenile arrests in Oakland each year, even though they only make up 29.3 percent of the city’s population.

So I urge the protestors in cities around the country who have brought national attention to the great need for increased police accountability to maintain their vigilance. But I also humbly suggest that they focus their attention on why Black lives must matter in the criminal justice system.

Focus some of that outrage and organizing on local policy makers. In addition to calling for greater police accountability, hold local District Attorneys accountable for unnecessarily charging youth as adults, hold probation and parole departments accountable for arbitrary revocations and other decisions that lead to incarceration, hold state legislators accountable for draconian sentencing laws, and hold courts accountable to offer more diversion programs. But especially, use that power of protest marches and civil disobedience to apply pressure to local elected officials to take the many millions of dollars spent on incarceration and reinvest those resources directly into impoverished communities of color. Show that Black lives really do matter!

David Muhammad is the National Director of Justice Programs at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. David is the former Chief Probation Officer of Alameda County and the former Deputy Commissioner of Probation in New York City.

Chicago Politics: Old Games in New Clothing

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Chicago Politics: Old Games in New Clothing

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge

CHICAGO, IL –  Born and reared in a politically astute home where most outstanding political figures would visit and sat their feet at my parents’ table, it was at those dinners where I sat silently… but I learned much!

I learned that a body of select black ward aldermen was resentful as to community matters that were mandated to them by the then sitting mayor. They (aldermen) knew in clear conscious if they refused to comply with a letter of mayor’s request, many of their office patronage positions would be taken away in a mere telephone call. Aldermen at that time were differently acquainted with the Fifth Floor agenda and the known history of its political wrath.

Strong black leaders were spiritually weakened by many outrageous requests from the Mayor’s Office and knew it to be a matter of political prostitution to lay heavy burdens on their city employee. They, without question, knew many of the downtown requests were grievous to bear – and not asked of many leaders in white wards.  However, those particular aldermen said for the sake of the people they would pass the political demands on to their ward workers. They knew, however, that in not doing so, it would later cost them favors that could be passed on by way of crumbs to the community. Though there was no great love by many black aldermen, they didn’t want to feel the heat of disrespecting the Mayor’s Office.

2013: With an estimated black population count of 2, 718, 782, it’s rather difficult to understand why there is difficulty in Blacks or Hispanics achieving any office, of course without the cheating or robbing of votes.  Fear crept into the minority camps by the enemy and had many to believe that ice water is different on certain sides of the city… and especially to believe that their votes are meaningless.

2014: It is important to remember that Chicago aldermen are voted into office by their constituents, however by-and-large… a large majority of aldermen feared the unwritten wrath of the governing mayor.  By reason of present conditions … the question remains, is that powerful hidden hand still there?

I also learned in precious times around that dinner table that blacks in charge were instructed by the Mayor’s Office to carry out (those orders) without a word of criticism. These orders often cost the black community jobs, educational opportunities, recreational facilities, school programs, and much more that was deemed off the record!  Most times the will of the then sitting mayor was not in favor of the black community in any fashion.  Black aldermen were obligated to deliver a designated amount of votes per ward and failure to produce a winning victory would simply indicate that their particular constituent (s) would not have a job the following day!  I’m speaking of humble hard workers with family responsibilities, having meager jobs with low-paying wages were obligated to produce through the alderman—or else! Blacks suffered the blunt of caring out the wishes of city government and were also instructed to pay a portion of their salary back to their ward office for the privilege of having a job.

I applauded those historic black aldermen: Ralph Metcalfe, Harold Washington, John Stroger, Sr., and others who had a fearless determination to break ranks with the masterful monsters that ruled. These great men and women with vigor began to educate the community as to far better ways of governing. However, breaking away cost some aldermen greatly in servicing the public! We note that it was their love for the people that only was derived from God.  Others, as of now, continue to serve as house persons—giving their allegiance to the mayor and others—but not to the voters they pledged to serve. Holding to past slave behavior appears to be what is happening in this 21st Century and directly from Chicago City Hall.

What I saw as a child, I resented it to the point of declaring to bring about a difference via truth… and in the path that God said would and should be.  And in doing so, I’ve been treated rather unfairly, but I believe that truth will prevail… I slept well at night!

In 2014, I am discovering that old games are being played in new clothing…. In other words… the game is still the same… only the players have changed.

Warning: Those who presently seek a mayor or alderman political seat for the love of money and power know that the love of the two will only last for but a season!  It would be a remarkable gesture to elect officials who were fully committed to the public with an unadulterated love filled with the righteousness of God.

God’s people in elected positions should know that God anoints people for His purpose. Be assured that it is not about the money that some candidates have in their coffers… it is not about popularity, it is and should be about serving the needs of God’s people.

How people in the biblical days selected leaders: Leaders were chosen from amongst the people, but they had to be known as men who were wise and full of the Holy Spirit. Important work, as it should be today, was turned over to the chosen righteous believers. You may ask if we are living in a different time, well yes, but the precepts of God never change—we do!

Unequally, nothing passes the eye of God! And, knowing that God looks out after His word to make sure that it will not return back unto Him void! Electing a person who can acknowledge and obey the precepts of God’s righteousness… then the public can rest in knowing that God being faithful to His word… will provide through his assigned person. Thusly, all of our needs will be in accord with the will of the almighty God.

It becomes wise to seek and elect a God fearing person who trembles at the word of God and hungers for righteousness—for not only the candidate, but the voters will be fed!

The voter, man or woman, ought to listen to that spiritually soft voice that dictates our daily path … for that voice will not allow an error in the path of righteousness. Why? Because true baptized believers steps are ordered only by the Lord. Allow God to lead and direct our steps all the way to the Chicago polls! In adopting the ways of God in our lives, crime, drugs and violence can and will be deterred, for Satan then has not power!

Without a shadow of doubt, it is not harmful to look beyond the human-flesh for they all have human flaws. And, these weaknesses may never reach the eye. However, with a spiritual view of candidates, you just may be permitted to enter into the spiritual ream for discernment!

A very large majority of taxpayers believe that crime is orchestrated and permitted for the sake of revenue to enhance courts, jails, prisons but not education, which would alleviate the entire problem! It’s important that we hear beyond the ‘colorful political deceptions’ that have flowed over the lips of numerous candidates—and think out of the box they have created for us! Think and pray through this crucial selection of a candidate matter, then while in route to the polls to vote—take the Lord along with you!

Contact: Rev. Harold E. Bailey, president of Probation Challenge at 773.978.3706.

WWW.ProbationChallenge.org—The PCC Truth Network

Simon Releases Annual Survey of State Board of Education, Regional Offices of Education

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Simon Releases Annual Survey of State Board of Education, Regional Offices of Education

Findings: Schools concerned about pension funding

CARBONDALE, IL — Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced the findings of an annual survey of school board members today. The Service Evaluation Survey asked school board members to rate the services provided by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Regional Offices of Education (ROEs).

“I would like to thank all the districts that participated, giving us valuable feedback,” Simon said. “I would also like to thank the Illinois Association of School Boards for their assistance in notifying districts about the survey and encouraging their participation.”

The survey asks school board members about topics ranging from interpersonal communication and responsiveness, to whether requests of ISBE or their ROEs were resolved satisfactorily. It also asked about school board members to rate their satisfaction with the state institutions’ handling of things like state and federal mandates, pension funding and assessment.

While school districts gave ISBE and ROEs high marks in areas like leadership, communication, and responsiveness to requests for assistance, they also expressed a desire for financial support to enable ROEs to continue to improve services, especially for smaller districts. School districts also indicated that ISBE and the ROEs need to direct effort toward Common Core implementation, testing technology and professional development, and need to advocate for basic issues like funding.

Simon is the state’s point person on education reform. Under state statute, the Lt. Governor’s Office is required to conduct the Service Evaluation Survey annually. You can read the survey here.

Attorney General Madigan’s Statement on Illinois Comptroller Vacancy

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan’s Statement on Illinois Comptroller Vacancy

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan provided the following statement on the impact of the unfortunate passing of Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois Comptroller and Comptroller-elect:

The State now faces two issues relating to the Office of the Comptroller. First, the Office of the Comptroller is vacant due to the passing of the sitting officeholder. Second, because Comptroller Topinka was also the Comptroller-elect, her passing leaves the State without a Comptroller-elect who can begin serving as Comptroller when the new term begins January 12, 2015.

The legal analysis of these issues is based on a review of the Illinois Constitution and statutes, as well as the official documents related to the adoption of the Constitution. These documents include the official information distributed to the voters, the explanation provided by the committees that drafted the provisions, and the comments of the Constitutional Convention’s delegates.

The language of the Constitution and the official documents related to its adoption address both of the issues.

Article V, section 7 states:

If the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller or Treasurer fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, the Governor shall fill the office by appointment. The appointee shall hold office until the elected officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified as may be provided by law and shall not be subject to removal by the Governor.

As this language makes clear, the Constitution details two distinct scenarios in which the Governor is authorized to fill the Office of Comptroller with an appointee – when the Comptroller-elect “fails to qualify” and when the Comptroller’s “office becomes vacant.” An officer-elect, such as the Comptroller-elect, “fails to qualify” to begin serving in office when, for example, he or she is unable to take the oath of office.

In addition to the language of section 7 of the Constitution, it is clear from the report of the committee drafting this section and the debates of the delegates that they considered a failure to qualify for an office to be separate and apart from a vacancy in office. The committee report and debates establish that the drafters specifically anticipated and directly addressed the unfortunate situation the state faces with the passing of the incumbent Comptroller who is also the Comptroller-elect by adding the phrase “fails to qualify” to section 7 and, as a result, authorizing the Governor to make an appointment.

Based on the language in the Constitution and the discussion during the drafting, it is my conclusion that a vacancy takes place when an officer is serving in the office and can no longer continue to do so, such as here, where the Comptroller has passed away while in office. A failure to qualify, on the other hand, will not occur until an officer-elect cannot be sworn in and thus qualify to begin serving.

Thus, the death of Comptroller Topinka creates a vacancy that the Constitution authorizes Governor Quinn to fill.

Because Judy Baar Topinka was also the Comptroller-elect, she will not be able to take the oath of office on January 12, 2015. As a result, on that date she will fail to qualify to serve as Comptroller. At that time, the sitting Governor – current Governor-elect Rauner – will be authorized by the Constitution to appoint a successor to hold the office.

Although the current vacancy in the Comptroller’s office and the anticipated failure of the Comptroller-elect to qualify to begin serving in office on January 12, 2015, are both the result of the passing of Judy Baar Topinka, the Constitution treats them as separate events – one occurring immediately in the passing of the current Comptroller and the other occurring when the Comptroller-elect will be unable to be sworn into office and qualify to begin serving the term that starts on January 12, 2015. In each case, the sitting Governor has the authority to make an appointment to fill the Office of Comptroller. In this situation, Governor Quinn has the authority to fill the current vacancy and Governor-elect Rauner, once he is sworn into office, will have the authority to make an appointment to fill the Comptroller’s office due to the failure of the Comptroller-elect to qualify.

Further, while the current law allows an unelected Comptroller to serve in office for four years without the approval of Illinois voters, it is a fundamental principle in a democracy that the people should elect the officers who represent them. Although the drafters of the 1970 Constitution provided that the Governor should fill the office of Comptroller with an appointee in certain circumstances, they also recognized and ensured that the General Assembly could choose to provide by law for a special election when an appreciable time remains in an uncompleted term.

The State is now facing the undemocratic circumstance in which an appointee could serve the Comptroller’s full four-year term, notwithstanding that there is a statewide election in 2016 that could provide the voters with the opportunity to elect a successor to serve half of the term.

I urge Governor Quinn, Governor-Elect Rauner, the legislative leaders and the members of the General Assembly to support and move forward with a new law allowing the people of Illinois to vote, at the next regularly scheduled statewide election in 2016, to determine who will serve as Comptroller until the 2018 election.

Just Because the Engine is Running Doesn’t Mean It Has Gas

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Just Because the Engine is Running Doesn’t Mean It Has Gas
By William Spriggs

Last week, in good news for everyone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a monthly net payroll gain of 321,000 in November and revised the gains for September and October by an additional 44,000. This means over the last three months, job gains averaged a little more than 278,000. That is a number big enough to finally bring down the unemployment figures in a meaningful way. And, it means this is the strongest year of job growth since 1998.

This is a call for elation on Main Street, because it means the recovery now is showing the kind of acceleration needed to get America back to work. It comes after a record string of 57 months with positive private-sector job growth. The initial response was exuberance on Wall Street, because the reality is that a healthy Main Street means a healthy Wall Street.

But, the exuberance on Wall Street was short-lived. Like the Grinch, the ever-present inflation “Chicken Littles” are scurrying about warning that inflation is just around the corner. These same naysayers are pushing hard to have the Federal Reserve quickly declare the economy is healthy and urging it to raise interest rates, or the sky will fall. This week Wall Street is in a slump.

This is a call for elation on Main Street, because it means the recovery now is showing the kind of acceleration needed to get America back to work. It comes after a record string of 57 months with positive private-sector job growth. The initial response was exuberance on Wall Street, because the reality is that a healthy Main Street means a healthy Wall Street.

But, the exuberance on Wall Street was short-lived. Like the Grinch, the ever-present inflation “Chicken Littles” are scurrying about warning that inflation is just around the corner. These same naysayers are pushing hard to have the Federal Reserve quickly declare the economy is healthy and urging it to raise interest rates, or the sky will fall. This week Wall Street is in a slump.

But, before giving in to the pessimists, let’s look at the evidence at hand. The third quarter report from the BLS showed that productivity was up 2.3 percent. But, labor cost fell by 1.0%, because wages did not keep up with that productivity gain. Second quarter labor costs fell 3.7 percent, a huge revision downward from an initial report of 0.5 percent. So, despite the healthy gains in employment, productivity is outstripping the feeble movement of wages. This means there is no evidence this labor market is pushing wages above productivity gains, which would in turn force firms to raise prices to keep their profits up.

The continued health of productivity gains is also a sign that employers are finding workers who enhance their productivity; if employers were hiring workers with limited skills, there would be a dramatic slowing in productivity growth. That is, if firms were hiring workers who lacked experience, or lacked skills, it would cause firms to spend large amounts of time and expense on training, so hiring would be up but output per hour per worker would fall. This reinforces the sense of many that there are still lots of unemployed workers who are without jobs because employers have lacked the demand for products to force hiring workers to increase output, as opposed to the sense that unemployed workers are “structurally” unemployed because they lack the skills that employers need.

So, the pessimistic view that inflation is just around the corner is a far greater stretch of the available data than a view that we still have a ways to go to get back to full employment. And, full employment is to the benefit of everyone. It means we are running an economy that generates rising incomes for everyone. And, as the continued rise in productivity shows, it means we are doing a better job of allocating people to the right job.

But, if the pessimist view prevails, interest rates will begin to rise in anticipation of Federal Reserve policy. The problem here is that the pessimist want to have it both ways-arguing that the Fed’s policy tool of the Federal Funds Rate (the cost of overnight borrowing by banks to meet reserve requirements) being kept at zero has been ineffective; and on the other hand that the huge increase in the money supply generated by Federal Reserve open market actions of buying bonds to keep bank reserves high threatens accelerating inflation. Well, the long period of zero interest has generated no meaningful inflation, and finally the labor market is showing signs of strength.

If it took what the pessimist view as extraordinary increases in the money supply and a prolonged period of the Fed Funds Rate being at zero to reach this point six years later, then what would it take for the Fed to rev up the economy again if it slows down? Let’s put some gas in the tank and let the engine run before we risk finding out. That could be accomplished by the Fed now clearly announcing it will not be raising the Fed Funds Rate until wages are outstripping productivity and productivity gains stall.

Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs. Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142.

We Need to Use Our Black Economic Power

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on We Need to Use Our Black Economic Power

By Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

How can a group have over 3 million people with college degrees be so under-developed economically? How can a people have over 10,000 elected officials have so little economic power? Why do African Americans only spend 3% of their income with each other? Could that explain why only 9 out of every one thousand African Americans start a business, while other groups are above 100? Or could it be that Black parents socialize their children to get a good education, or to get a good job, while other groups encourage their children to become entrepreneurs? There are 1.9 million Black businesses, but less than 10% that have employees.

How can Black America, with earnings greater than Canada or Australia – at one trillion dollars, have such high rates of unemployment? The Urban League of Chicago reported that 92 % of Black teens were unemployed. The adult Black male unemployment hovers near 20% & in some cites is at 50%. Do you think White America would allow 20-50% of its men to be unemployed? Can you imagine an average single Black female with a net worth of $5? The median wealth for African American households is $5,000, in contrast to Whites, which is $110,000.

As you ponder the above statistics can the president, governor or mayor Black or White change this? Should we look and expect it of them? How can a people constitute 50% or more of a city & receive less than 5% of the contracts? The SBA has $24 billion in loans annually, but African American businesses receive less than 3%.

In 1920, 90% of Black children had their fathers in the home. In 1960, it was 80%. Do you know the figure today? Brace yourself! It’s only 28 percent. What happened? Did Black men become lazy after 1960? Does America no longer need Black men to work on farms and factories? Is the only need for Black men is to sell drugs and become fodder for prisons? Are prisons the new plantations? Who is going to employ Black men? Black women? Black teenagers? Prisons?

Does the Black community have the will, fortitude, and consciousness to address the above? Is there any national discussion taking place to address the above challenges? Ferguson, Missouri is an illustration of our economic impotence. What would Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, or Malcolm X have recommended?

Would it be too much to ask each of us to spend 10% with Black businesses? For every percent we spend with Black businesses, over 50,000 jobs are created. Just think of it! Black America has the ability to put its people back to work. Garvey had to compete against Black self hatred, but not the “Wal-Martization” of America. Some vendors will do anything to keep their prices low, including establishing sweat shops overseas and paying minimum wage in America. These large businesses make it difficult for many Black businesses to offer lower prices. We are the only group that places price over race.

I am reminded of the classic statement, “I would support my brother if he had lower prices.” I want to know where is the support? If the brother’s prices are lower, you are supporting yourself. Black businesses needed your support when their prices were higher because they bought 10 widgets and the Wal -Mart’s of the world bought 10 million. Do we have to return to Jim Crow and segregation to make Blacks support Black businesses?

We can learn from other groups. In most large cities there is a China town filled with all types of businesses. Can you imagine a Black business in China town? Do you think the Chinese would support the Black business? Can you imagine a Chinese business in the Black community? Stop! There is no need to imagine; they are there and well supported.

In closing, if you look at every group, they build the economic base first and then move into politics. Why don’t other groups have massive crime problems? I believe it’s because they addressed the root issue first- Economic Empowerment. When most men cannot be providers, they become predators. We must use all of our resources and assets better. This must be our national agenda. We must quit reacting to racist incidents and become proactive with a national black economic agenda of Ujamaa (cooperative economics) before the next Ferguson.

Photo: Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

By Popular Demand, New Philharmonic Presents Three New Year’s Eve Pops Performances Dec. 31

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on By Popular Demand, New Philharmonic Presents Three New Year’s Eve Pops Performances Dec. 31

Guest Tenor John Irvin of Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center Featured

GLEN ELLYN, IL – By popular demand, New Philharmonic (NP) expands its New Year’s Eve performances this year at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., to now include three performances Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 1, 5 and  9 p.m.  The program will feature works by Josef Strauss, J. Strauss Jr., Franz von Suppé and others, plus a celebratory champagne toast and special surprises. Continuing their tradition of featuring soloists from the Lyric Opera Ryan Center for Young Artists, tenor John Irvin will join New Philharmonic and Maestro Kirk Muspratt to ring out the old and ring in the new 98.7 FM-WFMT will provide a live broadcast of the 5 p.m. performance.

“Our New Year’s Eve concerts have sold out year after year, so this year we’re proud to offer three concerts, guaranteed to give even more Chicagoland music lovers the opportunity to toast “good bye” to the old year, and hail the arrival of the new,” says Muspratt.

The program will start with Josef Strauss’ rousing “Schabernack Polka,” then continue with J. Strauss Jr.’s “Emperor Waltz.”  Guest tenor John Irvin will join Muspratt and NP for Rudolf Sieczyński’s “Vienna, City of My Dreams” and will also be featured in Erich Wolfgang Korngold “O Freund, Ich Werde Sie Nicht Wiedersehen,” in these celebratory concerts replete with surprise encores, a New Year’s Eve champagne toast, the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” and more. A complete listing of the program is at the end of this release.

Originally a pianist, John Irvin discovered his passion for singing in 2008 and he went on to earn his Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from Georgia State University (2010) and Professional Certificate from Boston University’s Opera Institute (2012). A member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Irvin recently appeared as Alfred for two performances of “Die Fledermaus” and appeared as Count Almaviva in Lyric’s family matinee of “The Family Barber.” Other highlights this past year include debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (“Beyond the Score” with Stéphane Denève), the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Don Curzio, Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” with Gustavo Dudamel) and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven Symphony no. 9 with Sir Andrew Davis). For Lyric Opera’s 2014-15 season, Irvin will perform and cover roles in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Strauss’ “Capriccio,” Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” and Weinberg’s “The Passenger.”

New Philharmonic (NP), under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, presents three New Year’s Eve concerts at the McAninch Arts Center, located on the campus of College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Ill., Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $55 (1 p.m.); and $65 (5 & 9 p.m.) A limited number of $10 student tickets will also be available, with valid student ID. To order tickets, call 630.942.4000, or visit AtTheMAC.org.

New Philharmonic is a professional orchestra in residence of the MAC that has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for three decades. Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Kirk Muspratt, named a 2006 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, the group 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 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 and the New Philharmonic Fund, visit.cod.edu/foundation or call 630-942-2462.

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.

About the MAC
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 StudioTheatre). It also encompasses 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.For more information about the MAC, visit AtTheMAC.org, facebook.com/AtTheMAC or 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.

  • “Schabernack Polka,”   Josef Strauss (1827-1870)
  • “Emperor Waltz,”   J. Strauss Jr. (1825- 1899)
  • “Vienna, City of My Dreams,”  Rudolf SieczyÅ„ski (1879-1952);  featuring Guest Tenor, John Irvin
  • Overature to “Pique Dame,” Franz von Suppé (1819-1895)
  • “O Freund, Ich Werde Sie Nicht Wiedersehen,“ Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957); featuring Guest Tenor, John Irvin
  • Tara’s Theme from “Gone With the Wind,”  Max Steiner (1888-1971);  arr. Campbell-Watson (b. 1941-)
  • “Band of Brothers,” Michael Arnold Kamen (1948-2003); arr. Roy Phillippe
  • Theme from “Cocoon,” James Horner (b. 1953- )
  • The Hippopotamus Song, Michael Flanders (1922-1975) & Donald Swann (1923-1994);  featuring Guest Tenor, John Irvin
  • Traditional: “Auld Lang Syne,” Audience sing-along; featuring Guest Tenor, John Irvin
  • “Raiders of the Lost Ark” March, John Williams (b. 1932- )
  • “Magnificent Seven” Suite, Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)

National Black Caucus of State Legislators Ratifies Resolution Calling on Google, Facebook, Others to Increase Diversity in Employment

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on National Black Caucus of State Legislators Ratifies Resolution Calling on Google, Facebook, Others to Increase Diversity in Employment
DALLAS, TX – On December 12, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) ratified a resolution titled “Supporting the Diversification of Tech Industry’s Empowerment” which calls on tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and others to diversify their workforces through more robust outreach to minority communities. The resolution was sponsored by Reps. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (SC), John King (SC), Carl Anderson (SC), Joe Armstrong (TN), Alan Williams (FL), Geraldine Thompson (FL), Laura V. Hall (AL), and Floyd McKissick (NC).

“When Google and Facebook released their dismal diversity statistics of their workforce earlier this year, it became clear that the lack of diversity in the technology firms was not just a trend, it is a reality,” Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter of South Carolina stated. “This resolution is an opportunity to identify both the problem and potential solutions to this pressing issue.”

Technology jobs are among the highest paying and fastest growing in the country. They also offer the opportunity to be on the forefront of major innovations. If minorities cannot contribute to this phenomenon, they will never be able to reap its full benefits.

“Through partnerships with black, Hispanic, and women’s organizations, tech companies like Google and Facebook can make inroads into a community they have too long neglected,” Rep. Cobb-Hunter continued. “Minorities are avid users of technology, but for too long have been omitted from the creative process.”

NBCSL hopes to be at the forefront of bringing minority workers and technology companies together into a mutually beneficial partnership. Tackling this problem is one of many daunting challenges facing Silicon Valley and through resolutions like these, the NBCSL hopes to raise awareness and take concrete steps in increasing minorityrepresentation in the tech industry. For more information: media@theminorityeye.com

About The MinorityEye’s “Campaign for Equality in Technology”:

The campaign for Equality in Technology seeks to raise awareness of the startling minority employment gap in the US technology sector. Equality in Technology is asking that industry leaders in technology enact reasonable accommodations to remove employment barriers faced by members of the three designated minority groups, women, African Americans and Hispanics. Employers are also asked to institute positive policies for the hiring, training, retention, and promotion of members of these marginalized groups.


Sign Up to Be Told When 1099G Tax Form is Available

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on Sign Up to Be Told When 1099G Tax Form is Available

Saved Taxpayers $200,000 Last Year

CHICAGO, IL– Individuals who collected unemployment insurance in 2014 can take control of their tax preparation and sign up to be notified when the 1099G tax form is available, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said today.

Unemployment insurance benefits are subject to federal and state income taxes. Signing up today to receive an email notice in January when the 1099G form is available electronically saves money, speeds tax preparation and follows business best practices. Last year, the email program saved IDES and taxpayers $200,000 in postage and paper.

To sign up for the email notice, go to the IDES website and type 1099G into the search function at the top/middle of the homepage. Individuals who have not created a username and password to manage their account will be prompted to do so. Once registered, a notice will be emailed in January with instructions on how to print the document from IDES’ website.

The 1099G is needed to complete state and federal tax returns. The form is available for the last seven years. If the 1099G tax form is misplaced, another can be printed from IDES’ website.

IDES increasingly uses email to communicate information to workers, employers and other stakeholders. IDES’ monthly email newsletter includes more than 1 million email addresses provided to the Department. Emails have not replaced official correspondence between IDES, employers and workers.

IDES will not use email or other electronic communication to seek personal or banking information. IDES emails include content and links that are clearly labeled as IDES information. If an individual receives an email claiming to be from IDES that seeks sensitive information and encourages a reply, it should be viewed suspiciously.

IDES is charged with putting people to work. There are more than 160,000 job openings at IllinoisJobLink.com, the state’s help wanted internet job board managed by IDES. IllinoisJobLink.com features Resume Builder and Resunate. Resume Builder provides step-by-step instructions to create an effective resume which is immediately matched to help‑wanted ads. Resunate improves the resume before applying for the job. Resunate is freely available to anyone when accessed from an IllinoisJobLink.com account regardless of employment status or eligibility for unemployment insurance.

Employers should call (877) 342-7533, option 2, for more information on IDES’ no-cost H.R. recruitment services.

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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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