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Archive for December 30th, 2014

Former Commissioner Shaw Drops Out of Mayor’s Race, Backs Dr. Willie Wilson

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Former Commissioner Shaw Drops Out of Mayor’s Race, Backs Dr. Willie Wilson
Shaw withdraws from mayor’s race, backs Dr. Willie Wilson

Calls for consensus candidate

By Chinta Strausberg

Flanked by dozens of supporters who chanted, “We want Willie,” former Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Robert Shaw Monday held a press conference at the South Loop Hotel where he withdrew from the mayoral race and backed Dr. Willie Wilson for mayor of Chicago.

His son, Terrell Wilson, who will coordinate the youth in his father’s campaign, also joined Wilson. “For 2015, I believe my dad has the experience, the relationships and I am here to support him 100 percent,” he said.

In bowing out of the crowded mayoral race and embracing Wilson, Shaw said the reason “is because I know Willie Wilson…for many, many years…a church man who believes in God.”

When looking over the nine mayoral candidates left in the field, Shaw asked himself, “Why divide this city. We don’t need a division in this city. We need one man, one voice, and I saw Willie Wilson as the person that can carry that voice…all over town and get the message out.”

“I intend to work every hour of the day that I can to bring about the election of a man that I think will lead this city and bring about fairness whether it is contracts, jobs…. Whatever it is, he will be fair to all the citizens of Chicago and that is what is needed.”

Shaw is hoping that Wilson will get rid of the controversial red light cameras. “That needs to be done.”He said when Wilson recently said, ’I think it’s strange that there are no red lights in the Loop,” he agreed.

“All of us need to come together, and I am going to urge all of my friends…to come together and get behind Willie Wilson as the next mayor of this city,” he told a cheering crowd.’

Shaw said a transformation is needed and one that will ensure that “South Michigan Avenue will look like North Michigan Avenue. That is what we have to change,” he said accusing the mayor of not respecting the black community.

“I know they think we’re out here playing, but we’re not playing,” Shaw said. “By the 15th of January, we’ll have it together and we’re going to move ahead and move this city forward and we’re going to do it under the leadership of Willie Wilson.”

In accepting his endorsement, Wilson said he could use Shaw’s experience. “I am not a politician…. I’m a businessperson….” He values his opinion along with that of the citizens.

Asked how would Shaw’s dropping out and embracing Wilson force a runoff come February 24, 2015, Shaw quipped, “My endorsement of Dr. Wilson will not only force a runoff. It will force a win. We got a lot of friends out there in Chicago.”

Making it clear, Shaw said, “We need one candidate. We don’t need a divisive situation here. We got Willie Wilson. He’s the candidate, and my ego doesn’t dictate to me that I got to be the candidate,” he said receiving a round of applause.

Mansour Tadros, publisher of the Arab publication, The Future News, said, “We have to make a promise for the New Year to make Chicago better and do the best we can for the people of Chicago, and we need a fresh start.”

Having just had two major surgeries, Ray Nonato, coordinator for Wilson’s campaign, said, “God wants me to support 100 percent for our next mayor, Willie Wilson.”

Ruby Morris, a health advocate, said she is supporting Wilson because “he is an independent person.We’re looking for Chicago to get a new change and for Chicago citizens not to be afraid to walk downtown… any where…, and I think Willie Wilson is going to make that change.”

F. Scott Winslow, a businessman and former CEO of the Michael Reese Hospital, said he has known Dr.Wilson for more than 15-years. “This is a serious and very dedicated man. When he puts his mind to something, he gets it done.

“He’s a coalition builder. He has not been appointed by an outgoing administration. He has not been anointed by anyone in Washington. He is a self-made man with a seriousness of purpose and he gets things done,” said Winslow.

“This is the man we need to lead Chicago and to make a coalition of our beautiful, wonderful diverse melting pot. This is the man who understands how that works,”said Winslow.

One minister, Rev. Dr. John Gray, president of the Chicago Baptist Institute International who came to support Wilson, said, “He is one of the greatest men that I’ve ever known. He can take this city to another level. If there is anyone who can do it, Dr.Willie Wilson is the man.”

Rev. James Cotton, pastor of the Holy David Baptist Church, 731 W. 19th Place, said, “All pastors need to come together as one voice. We need to put away all this hatred and come together because the people are following the pastor.”

He said when ministers are divided over this mayoral race, “the people are confused. They don’t know who to follow.

“If we all come together,then the people will come together. That is what will take to win this thing…everybody come together and stop trying to be a leader. Everybody can’t be a leader. Even though we’re pastors, we still have to have a leader like Moses time…. God picked one man and that is what God has done. He’s picked Dr. Wilson,” said Dr. Cotton.

In accepting Shaw’s endorsement, Wilson, who thanked the ministers, his son, Terrell who will head up the youth movement in the campaign, and Shaw for their support, said he is “grateful” for his support.

Promising to include the citizens of Chicago in his decisions, Wilson said all sections of the city should look “just like downtown.”

“What this mayor is doing is dividing the city,” he said. Referring to a Chicago Tribune report which showed African Americans are getting pulled over (65 %) by police more than any other ethnic group, Wilson said, “We should not be a divided city…polarize the city.We are not at war…. We don’t have enough jobs and economic.”

Still ticked off at the mayor for claiming that 80 percent of his petitions were bad, Wilson demanded that Mayor Emanuel apologize to him.

But Wilson is even more upset with the mayor for closing 50 schools. He said the trickle down effect of that resulted in some students dropped out of school and devastated families because teachers, janitors and others were fired.

“I am not running to benefit myself…. I am running to give my life to the citizens of Chicago to help make this a better city,” Wilson said.

Referring to the policeman who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. and unarmed Eric Garner who screamed out ‘I can’t breathe 11 times but was chokehold to death by a cop in NYC, Wilson said, “We can’t have this Ferguson situation in this city. We can’t have this ‘I can’t breathe’ situation….”

Wilson repeated his plans to fire the top cop replacing him with four superintendents each representing different sides of Chicago. He said this is needed so that they can “become closer to the people.”

Wilson announced under his administration he would have an independent police force “that will respond on the spot to make sure we don’t have happen like ‘I can’t breathe’—choking somebody to death or a Ferguson situation….” He said his special unit would investigate these situations.

“But, Wilson made it clear that he would “make those decisions with the citizens of Chicago.’

He also plans to take the police out of their cars and put them on buses, the subways and on the street.“If you are paying my salary, you shouldn’t be in a heated car and I’m walking the streets.”

He vowed to pass legislation mandating that those wanting to do business in Chicago would have to “proportionately represent all neighborhoods of the city of Chicago.” His citizen’s council would examine all contracts to ensure that equity prevails.

Referring to the segregation and racism that has raised its ugly head nationally and in Chicago like the anti-Semitic graffiti written on garages in Jewish neighborhoods and other anti-black incidents like the white policeman fired for saying slavery never should have been abolished, Wilson said, “I am the one who has the scars in my heart.”

Saying he is two generations from slavery, Wilson said even through bad racial experiences in the south he still has white, Latino and Asian friends. “I refuse to let hate dwell in my heart.”
Flanked by dozens of supporters who chanted, “We want Willie,” former Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Robert Shaw Monday held a press conference at the South Loop Hotel where he withdrew from the mayoral race and backed Dr. Willie Wilson for mayor of Chicago.(All photos by Chinta Strausberg)Flanked by dozens of supporters who chanted, “We want Willie,” former Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Robert Shaw Monday held a press conference at the South Loop Hotel where he withdrew from the mayoral race and backed Dr. Willie Wilson for mayor of Chicago. (Photo by Chinta Strausberg).

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

State Senator Raoul: No More Pensions for Felons

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on State Senator Raoul: No More Pensions for Felons

Raoul: “It’s unconscionable that Jon Burge is receiving a pension”

New law helps block those who commit felonies connected to public employment from collecting pensions

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) announced that a measure he sponsored to make it harder for felons to receive public pensions became law today. Outraged by a pension board’s decision to allow convicted former Chicago police commander Jon Burge — who oversaw the torture of more than 100 suspects — to continue receiving a pension, Raoul worked with Attorney General Lisa Madigan to clarify that courts can intervene to stop such payouts.

“How can we prevent future abuses by law enforcement and public officials when those who use their positions to commit heinous crimes can avoid the consequences as long as others are willing to protect them?” Raoul said. “It is unconscionable that Jon Burge is receiving a pension, and this law gives taxpayers a way to fight back.”

Burge was convicted in 2010 of lying about the physical and psychological torture of more than 100 black men in police custody on Chicago’s South Side during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison and was released in October to a halfway house in Florida, where he also owns a vacation home. A police pension board deadlocked, 4-4, in 2011 on whether Burge should be prohibited from drawing his $54,000 per year pension; the even split meant he kept receiving it. When Madigan challenged the board’s decision, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that no court had jurisdiction to reconsider and overturn such votes by pension boards. Senate Bill 2809, which the governor signed into law today, specifies that the attorney general may bring a civil suit asking the court to rule on whether the pension board’s decision was correct and to stop pension payments to a convicted felon if the court believes the board erred.

“While Burge’s victims and their families continue to suffer the pain and humiliation of torture and in some cases false imprisonment, the man responsible for his officers’ conduct is retiring to sunny Florida on the taxpayers’ dime,” Raoul said. “I want to make sure this never happens again.”

Second Vigil Against Street Violence and Police Violence

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Second Vigil Against Street Violence and Police Violence

Another Look at For Our Fallen: Honoring Victims of Violence in Chicago & Standing Against Police Brutality

The For Our Fallen – Memorial and Protest will be held Tuesday, December 30th, 6:30 p.m., at  7000 North Glenwood Avenue, in Chicago.

CHICAGO, IL – On December 17th, hundreds of people attended The Chicago Light Brigade’s annual memorial for victims of violence in Chicago. The gathering was not only a vigil for Chicagoans who were killed this year, but also a protest of the role police play in maintaining the culture of violence that has taken so many lives in our city.

Community members, including friends and relatives of those we’ve lost to violence this year, expressed their grief in speech, song, and poetry. The response to this event was so overwhelming that Chicago Light Brigade organizers have decided to bring the imagery they created back to the neighborhood where their group began. “We held the previous two events in Rogers Park, because a lot of us live here, but this year, we thought the event should be more central,” says organizer Kelly Hayes. “That allowed a lot more people to attend, which was beautiful, but when it was all said and done, we knew need to bring this imagery home.”

“We know connecting with this project means something to people,” says Hayes, “and we want to honor that. We had people as far away as Washington state folding origami lilies and sending them to us. When word of what we were working on got out on social media, the idea of holding up a lighted flower for each person lost really resonated with people, and a lot of folks got involved.”

It took over a week for community members, including children and elderly residents, and their out of state helpers, to fold more than 400 origami lilies for the event, and about half a day for Chicago Light Brigade members to connect all of the paper flowers to LED lights.”The end result was more than worth it,” said teacher Jerica Jurado, whose students both helped fold the flowers, and attended the event.

Connecting this year’s event to the current Black Lives Matter protest movement was an easy decision for organizers. “We collaborate with these young people every day. They’re our friends and we admire what they’re doing in the streets,” says organizer Babur Balos. “We stand with them, and we don’t think we can have honest conversations about making communities safer without addressing the fact that police are allowed to kill our young people without cause or consequence. How can you ask them to work against street violence if you won’t address state violence? It’s hypocrisy.”

Attendees will gather outside the Heartland Cafe Tuesday night for one last look at the vigil’s imagery, and speak out about local efforts to increase community safety without involving police. “If people knew what kind of chain reaction they were setting off by calling the police when they don’t have to, I think a lot of them would make a different choice. That’s why we have to have these conversations. There have been enough Tamir Rices and Dominique Franklins. We need to do better in 2015,” says Jurado.

For more information, contact: Kelly Hayes, 773-499-0172, kellyhayes81@gmail.com

Fioretti Reminds Candidates of Mayoral Debates in Letter

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Fioretti Reminds Candidates of Mayoral Debates in Letter
CHICAGO, IL – Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti sent the below letter to candidates for Chicago mayor to remind them of the proposal for five debates.  As of today, no one has publicly accepted the idea of multiple debates, nor have they put out their own proposal.

The following letter was sent to candidates for Chicago mayor:

December 29, 2014

Dear Mayoral Candidates:

On December 5, 2014, my campaign for Chicago mayor put out a specific request for five debates to occur before the start of early voting in the February 2015 municipal election.  As of this date, we have received no public or private response – positive or negative. I am formally requesting a response to my campaign’s proposal, as follows:

·       At least five debates between mayoral candidates that are receiving at least 5% of the vote in public polling

·       At least three debates broadcast on television

·       At least one debate to take place in the South Side of Chicago and one on the West Side

·       One debate dedicated to education

·       One debate dedicated to crime

·       One debate to be a town hall format with questions coming from the audience and the public

As you can see, these five debates are intended to provide a large section of Chicago an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates. It is vital to the future of this city that we have a robust discussion on the issues, and with that in mind, I propose these debates.

Our campaign has been approached by several organizations planning to host debates and we look forward to scheduling at least these five requested in the lead up to the election.

Please do not hesitate to call my campaign office with your response.


Bob Fioretti

As NNPA Prepares for 75th Anniversary: President Envisions Black Press as ‘Main Stream’

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on As NNPA Prepares for 75th Anniversary: President Envisions Black Press as ‘Main Stream’

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis, now president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, says he envisions Black newspapers as becoming the “new mainstream” rather than an alternative press as it is often called.

“The Black Press, I believe has an opportunity where it can make even more traction than it has in the past,” Chavis said in a recent interview with the Trice Edney News Wire. “In other words, I don’t see the Black press as a side press from the mainstream press. I want the Black press to become the new mainstream because the demographics are changing.”

Chavis was among the speakers at a gala celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the Washington Informer Newspaper, published by NNPA member Denise Rolark Barnes. Black-owned newspapers are often called specialty, alternative or minority press by government agencies and corporate America.

But, according to an analysis of U. S. Census Bureau population stats, people of color, including African-Americans, will gradually increase to become a clear majority of America’s population over the next four decades.

“All in all, minorities, now 37 percent of the U.S. population, are projected to comprise 57 percent of the population in 2060,” according to a U. S. Census report. “The total minority population would more than double, from 116.2 million to 241.3 million over the period.”

During that period, “the black population is expected to increase from 41.2 million to 61.8 million” as the White population will peak in 2024 – 10 years from now – and then gradually decrease by 20.6 million by 2060, the Census reports.

Chavis sees this increase as a prospective boon for NNPA’s more than 200 Black-owned newspapers as it anticipates its 75th anniversary in 2015 – but only if certain strategies are put in place.

First, he said, the Black press must focus on a stronger economic foundation by generating more revenue. African-Americans spend $1.2 trillion dollars a year, he said, noting that Black newspapers must partner with the Black Church, Black banks, Black colleges and Black organizations to network and support the Black press.

This strategy would require much unity, Chavis says. “This is beyond connecting the dots. The dots have to converge…There’s too much disunity in our community. And I’m not just talking about organizational disunity. I’m talking about disunity even among the so-called personalities…In my long career in civil rights I’ve seen what happens when leadership goes in divergent paths…To me, it’s a disservice to our community to allow personality conflicts to get in the way.”

Secondly, White-owned businesses must be made to understand the value of supporting Black newspapers as businesses and as a sustainable institution, the same as the broadcast media, Chavis says.

“To reach people in our community. They can’t just look at something on TV or hear it on the radio and act. They’ve got to look at it and read it more than once. That’s the value of the Black print press,” he said. “The pen has to have an economic undergirding so that what is written gets distributed; so that what is written gets circulated. Sometimes we overlook the necessity to the strong economic foundation in our quest for freedom, justice and equality.”

Finally, Chavis said, Black newspapers must take full advantage of the digital universe.

“Technology, particularly digital technology can be a great equalizer. Some people think the digital will supplant the print. I don’t. To me, the digital will make more valuable the print press because every day it’s about the content. We have the content, but we have not aggregated the content,” he said.

Denise Rolark Barnes, who has been publisher of the Informer for 20 years, succeeded her now late father, Dr. Calvin Rolark, a prominent D.C. businessman and Black leader. Barnes recalls how the Black press has led America’s media when it comes to many of the issues that have now emerged as headline news for White-owned media, such as police brutality, economic justice and voting rights.

“The more you do it, the more stories you realize need to be told; the more you realize that our community, our Black history every day is being thrown away,” says Barnes, in an exhibit hall showing historic front pages and photos from the Informer. “I’ve learned that history does repeat itself and is repeating itself.”

Hundreds of people packed into the Carnegie Library in Downtown Washington, DC to salute the Informer and its legacy during the event in late fall.

Iconic radio talk show host Joe Madison recalled how the Black press has been so audience-specific that readers know that those who advertise in Black newspapers specifically want to reach Black people. “It means it’s for us,” Madison said.

Madison also underscored Black newspapers as a chronicler of Black history. “Most of us would not have known about Emmett Till had it not been for the Black Press. Most of us wouldn’t have known, quite honestly about Martin Luther King Jr. if it wasn’t for the Black Press because White media certainly wasn’t publicizing it…The Black Press is, as Frederick Douglass would probably say, our North Star.”

Ben Chavis is one who has benefited tremendously from the Black press. He is one of the historic Wilmington 10, who was pardoned by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue two years ago in a 1971 firebombing amidst the civil rights struggle. The pardon finally came after the Wilmington Journal of North Carolina, published by Mary Alice Thatch, escalated the campaign for justice.

Concludes Chavis, “It is in the business of not only reporting the news, but defending the news when it comes to the interest of Black people. That’s what gives the Black press its unique value, not only to Black America, but to the rest of America.”
Photo Caption: NNPA President Benjamin Chavis

PHOTO: Roy Lewis/Trice Edney News Wire

2015 Bill Gates Scholarship Program to Give $20k Scholarships to Minority Students

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on 2015 Bill Gates Scholarship Program to Give $20k Scholarships to Minority Students

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2015

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (also known as the Bill Gates Scholarship) awards scholarships each year to African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American students. The program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.

The scholarship is renewable and may be used in the freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate years. Students must have financial need and meet Pell Grant eligibility requirements. They must also maintain a grade point average of 3.3 and have a strong interest in leadership and community service. Students may attend any college or university they choose.

Established in 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program aims to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential. The program reduces financial barriers for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise who have significant financial need.

The program also increases the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences, where these groups are severely underrepresented; and develops a diversified cadre of future leaders for America by facilitating successful completion of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is January 15, 2015.

For more details and/or to apply, visit:

To find hundreds of other 2015 scholarships, visit:

Internationally-Renowned Weight Loss Expert Launches 30-Day Challenge to Help Women get Their Sexy Back!

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Internationally-Renowned Weight Loss Expert Launches 30-Day Challenge to Help Women get Their Sexy Back!

JJ Smith

Nationwide — #1 NY Times Best-selling author of the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, JJ Smith, wants others to join her on January 5th for JJ’s 30-Day Challenge. The 30-day challenge provides a unique opportunity to join a community of folks looking to jump-start weight loss, improve their health, and get their sexy back in 2015!

JJ’s 30-Day Challenge is an online program for those who need to lose weight, get back on track, and even get their finances in order in the New Year. It’s not a book. It’s an online lifestyle program where everyone will be challenged to live better in the New Year!

JJ says, “Through the Facebook group and fan pages, thousands have found a simple solution to detox, lessen cravings for unhealthy foods and lose weight. In less than one year, we’ve lost over 1 million pounds on the green smoothie movement.”

JJ’s 30-Day Challenge continues the green smoothie movement, but this time, you get to detox while still eating hot meals and desserts; it’s way more than just green smoothies. It also includes Rich Diva: 10 Secrets of Six Figure Women and a Style Guide: How to Dress Thinner and Sexier so you can get your finances and style in order in 2015. It’s all about health and wealth in 2015!

To sign up and get a 30% off discount, you must use COUPON CODE: FINALSALE and visit: http://ow.ly/3vBcTC

JJ is not the typical, skinny weight loss “Guru” promoting a rigid diet and body image that is seemingly out of reach for many. She creates super healthy and fast weight loss programs that work. JJ says, “Who can argue that green smoothies and clean eating isn’t a healthy eating choice?”

Studies show that people have more success on a weight loss program when they are part of a weight loss community. To that end, JJ’s 30-Day Challenge comes with online support, group discussions and online chats with JJ and her team each day so you will be supported and encouraged so that you can succeed.

Registration closes this Friday 1/2/14 at midnight, so be sure to sign up for JJ’s 30-Day Challenge and get 30% off by using Coupon Code: FINALSALE at http://ow.ly/3vBcTC

About JJ Smith:
JJ Smith is a #1 NY Times Bestselling Author, Nutritionist and Certified weight-loss expert who has been featured on The Steve Harvey Morning Show, The View, The Montel Williams Show and The Jamie Foxx Show and on the NBC, FOX, CBS, and CW Network television stations, as well as in the pages of Woman’s World, Glamour, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal. Since reclaiming her health, losing weight, and discovering a “second youth” in her forties, bestselling author JJ Smith has become the voice of inspiration to those who want to lose weight, be healthy, and get their sexy back! JJ may be contacted on the web at www.JJSmithOnline.com and by email at info@jjsmithonline.com and on Twitter: jjsmithonline and Facebook Page: http://ow.ly/uoKt8 or at 202-558-5543

Photo Caption: JJ Smith, weight loss expert and best-selling author

Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Celebrates NEA Jazz Master Gunther Schuller and Third Stream Music Feb. 6 Featuring a World Premiere Commission by Daniel Schnyder

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Celebrates NEA Jazz Master Gunther Schuller and Third Stream Music Feb. 6 Featuring a World Premiere Commission by Daniel Schnyder

The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP), under the direction of Artistic Director Orbert Davis, presents “The Godfather of Third Stream: Gunther Schuller” February 6, 2015 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

This project is an homage to composer, educator and NEA Jazz Master Gunther Schuller, who coined the term “Third Stream” in 1957 to describe music that combines jazz and classical techniques.

“As part of our year-long 10th year anniversary celebration, this project supports the season’s overall artistic goal of highlighting the depth and breadth of the orchestra’s repertoire and also promoting Third Stream, a signature component of the CJP aesthetic,” commented CJP Executive Director Birdie Soti.

Repertoire for “The Godfather of Third Stream: Gunther Schuller” traces the music of Third Stream from 1957 to present day, including works by the late William Russo, artistic director of Columbia College Chicago’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble and a close mentor of Orbert Davis. The program highlight is the CJP’s first-ever commission: a new work by Daniel Schnyder, a Grammy-nominated composer/performer with a dynamic reputation in both jazz and classical genres.

“Daniel is an incredibly talented classical composer and great jazz musician, making him the obvious choice for the CJP’s first commission,” said Davis. “He and I share a common approach to orchestral writing, so we personify the continuum of this genre that began with Schuller.”

Due to the CJP’s unusual orchestral structure, Schnyder’s jazz symphony will produce an aesthetic different from his previous orchestral work, which has primarily been performed using a classical symphony structure.

“I am excited to work with Orbert Davis and the CJP on this project,” Schnyder said. “The CJP musicians are unique in that they easily inhabit both the jazz and classical worlds. This provides me with a wonderful opportunity to create a ‘concerto for orchestra’ that will take music to a new level.”

For CJP, the jazz rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) serves as the core of the orchestra, anchoring the full tonal colors of a symphony orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp). Schuller recognizes CJP as being one of two orchestras in the world presenting Third Stream on such a large scale (the other being the Metropole Orkest in Holland).

Related programming includes a pre-concert public appearance by Davis, Schuller and Schnyder in a lively discussion on the topic “The Rebirth of Third Stream,” which will educate audiences on the intricacies of the Third Stream genre.

“The Godfather of Third Stream: Gunther Schuller” takes place Friday, February 6, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Tickets are available at the Symphony Center box office, by phone at 312-294-3000 or online at cso.org

Orbert Davis and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
Emmy-Award winning trumpeter, composer and educator Orbert Davis is co-founder, conductor and artistic director of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP), a 55+-piece symphonic jazz orchestra dedicated to bringing together audiences of diverse backgrounds through multi-genre projects. Davis has had many composer commissions and was jazz consultant to Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes for the feature film Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. Recent projects include “Home and Away,” a Boeing-commissioned project to honor U.S. men and women in uniform, and his Emmy Award-winning original score for the PBS documentary DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis, produced by WTTW, which also won an Emmy Award. Davis’ latest CD release, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Sketches of Spain [Revisited], is an orchestral transformation of the 1960 iconic original by Miles Davis and Gil Evans and is currently receiving rave reviews internationally. In 1998, Davis founded Jazz Alive (formerly MusicAlive), the CJP’s arts education outreach arm focusing on using music and the arts to teach life and academic skills. Currently running in 14 Chicago Public Schools, the program also seeks to create and develop jazz bands at the elementary school level. A summer Jazz Academy provides a two-week immersive music education and performance experience for students aged 10–17. Davis has a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from DePaul University and a master’s degree in jazz pedagogy from Northwestern University. He is a former associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and artist-in-residence at Columbia College Chicago.

Gunther Schuller
The son of German immigrants, Gunther Schuller was born in New York on November 22, 1925. He began his professional music career as a horn player, performing with the American Ballet Theater.  Schuller also launched his jazz career as a French horn player on Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool recording (1949–50). From 1967 to 1977, he served as president of the New England Conservatory, establishing the first degree-granting jazz program at a major classical conservatory in 1969. Shortly thereafter, he instituted the Third Stream Department (subsequently named the Contemporary Improvisation Department) to explore the regions where the two musical “streams” of classical and jazz meet and mingle (Schuller had coined the term “Third Stream” during a lecture he gave at Brandeis University in 1957). He insisted that contemporary music have equal billing next to the acknowledged classical masterpieces and students be equally adept at performing both. Schuller has composed more than 180 works spanning all musical genres, many epitomizing the Third Stream style.

Daniel Schnyder
Daniel Schnyder, born in 1961 in Zurich, is a composer/performer with a dynamic reputation in both the jazz and classical fields. His orchestral works and his chamber music compositions have been performed and recorded all over the world. As an arranger/composer he produced albums for jazz artists Abdullah Ibrahim (African Suite), Lee Konitz (Tribute to Billie Holiday) and Paquito D’Rivera (Habañera). In 1999 and 2000, Schnyder was the composer in residence with the Milwaukee Symphony. He is currently writing a Pipa Concerto commissioned by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and his opera, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, will have its premiere with Opera Philadelphia in June 2015. His orchestra work DRAkool will have its debut American performance with the American Composers Orchestra in February 2015 at Carnegie Hall.

Illinois to Experience Sixth Straight Year with Fewer than 1,000 Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois to Experience Sixth Straight Year with Fewer than 1,000 Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Motorists Should Expect Increased Enforcement; Police to Crack Down on Drunk and Unbuckled Drivers for New Year’s Holiday

CHICAGO, IL – As 2014 comes to an end, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies across the state are counting down to 2015 by working overtime during the New Year’s holiday and into the new year. The increased traffic enforcement is an all-out effort to help ensure Illinois has zero motor vehicle fatalities during New Year’s, keep Illinois motor vehicle fatalities on the decline in 2014 and get 2015 off to a good, safe start.

In 2009 in Illinois, 911 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. This was the first year since 1921 that Illinois motor vehicle fatalities were below 1,000, and the second-lowest fatalities since 1922 when the total was 1,003. Since 2009, Illinois has seen five straight years under 1,000 with 2014 in line to be the sixth. In fact, there is a chance 2014 fatalities could rival 2009 fatalities, the modern day low. Preliminary numbers through December 30, 2014 show 907 people have died in crashes thus far in 2014.

To help prevent additional fatalities, hundreds of additional law enforcement hours funded with federal funds through IDOT will provide roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and other patrols reminding motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.” This statewide effort began before Thanksgiving and will ramp up on New Year’s Eve and continue strong through January 1, 2015 to help counteract what can tragically be one of the most dangerous times on Illinois roads.

IDOT crash data shows in the last five years (2009-2013) during the New Year’s holiday (depending on day of week on which December 31 falls, New Year’s timeframe ranges from 1.25 days to 4.25 days), 35 people died in motor vehicle crashes on Illinois public roadways. Fifteen, or 43 percent, of those 35 individuals died in crashes involving at least one driver who had been drinking. During the same five-year timeframe on New Year’s, 2,477 people were injured.

During the 2013 New Year’s holiday, seven people lost their lives and 263 were injured in motor vehicle crashes on Illinois public roadways. Three of the seven fatalities resulted from crashes involving at least one drinking driver.

IDOT and law enforcement recommend designating a sober driver and not letting friends and family members drive drunk. These are just two of several simple steps to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for drunk driving. Other important tips include:

  • Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
  • If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Use your community’s designated driver program.
  • Promptly report to law enforcement drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  • Wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers are safely buckled up. It is your best defense against a drunk driver.

See the latest episode of IDOT’s “Driving Dead Series” at www.TheDrivingDeadSeries.com, and check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news and behind-the-scenes footage of the series.

To view a preliminary daily snapshot of Illinois crash data for 2014, visit http://apps.dot.illinois.gov/FatalCrash/Home/CrashData.

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

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 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.

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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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