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Archive for March 3rd, 2015

Madigan Announces Annual Top 10 Consumer Complaints for 2014, Files Data Security Bill

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Identity Theft Complaints Among Illinoisans’ Top Concerns in 2014

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced her office’s annual top 10 consumer complaints for 2014. In the wake of numerous widespread data breaches last year, identity theft ranked as a top concern for Illinois residents. Recognizing the need for greater consumer protections amid increased threats of cyberattacks, Madigan also unveiled a legislative initiative today proposing to strengthen the state’s data breach notification law.

“Identity theft has long been a top concern for Illinois residents,” Attorney General Madigan said. “But in light of last year’s massive data breaches, it is clearer than ever that much more must be done to protect sensitive data while ensuring that people know when their information has been compromised and what they should do to minimize the damage.”

Madigan’s office received 21,791 complaints in 2014. For the seventh year in a row, consumer debt ranked as the top complaint filed with Madigan’s Consumer Protection Division, with 3,655 complaints involving issues such as mortgage lending, abusive debt collection practices and predatory payday loans. Number two on the list for the seventh year is identity theft, with Madigan’s office receiving 2,671 complaints.

While identity theft has long been a top complaint to the Attorney General’s office, Madigan attributed last year’s ranking to the numerous major data breaches reported in 2014, which many have termed “The Year of the Data Breach.” Madigan’s office is leading multi-state investigations into the data security practices of a number of entities that have suffered breaches, including Target and Neiman Marcus.

To help Illinois residents, Madigan’s office has an Identity Theft Unit and Hotline (1-866-999-5630), run by a team of experts who provide one-on-one assistance to victims of identity theft and data breaches. Since the creation of the hotline, the Attorney General’s office has helped remove more than $27 million worth of fraudulent charges on over 37,000 Illinois consumers’ accounts.

Madigan also has testified before the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in recent years to stress the urgent need for stronger laws to address the epidemic of data breaches nationwide, including her testimony last month on Capitol Hill about the importance of strong data notification laws both at the federal and state levels.

In Illinois, Madigan recently drafted legislation to strengthen the state’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). Originally passed in 2005 at Attorney General Madigan’s direction, PIPA made Illinois among the first states in the country to require entities that suffer a data breach to notify Illinois residents if the breached information included residents’ drivers’ license numbers, social security numbers, or financial account information. Since the law’s enactment, the extent of sensitive information collected about consumers has expanded and the threat of data breaches has increased significantly, necessitating the need to update and strengthen the state’s law.

Madigan’s bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss and Rep. Ann Williams, will expand the type of information that requires a company to notify consumers of a breach, including medical information outside of federal privacy laws, biometric data, geolocation information, sensitive consumer marketing data, contact information when combined with identifying information, and login credentials for online accounts. The bill also requires entities holding sensitive information to take “reasonable” steps to protect the information and requires entities to notify the Attorney General’s office when breaches occur. Madigan said her office would create a website that lists every data breach that affects Illinois to increase awareness among residents.

“The number, scale and scope of data breaches over the past year is alarming. The protections in place for consumers are insufficient and the response from companies collecting and storing our personal information has been unacceptable,” said Abe Scarr, Director of Illinois PIRG. “That is why we are endorsing this much needed legislation.”

Top 10 Breakdown
Madigan’s annual top 10 list of consumer complaints ranks every complaint her office receives on a range of topics, including complaints about mortgage lending, debt collection, credit cards and common consumer scams.

In total, Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau achieved about $7.7 million savings for Illinois consumers in 2014. In addition to consumer debt and identity theft complaints, Madigan noted other categories that topped her list of complaints involved telecommunications and home repair:

For more information, visit Madigan’s website or contact her office about issues ranging from home foreclosure to identity theft:

1. Consumer Debt (mortgage lending, debt collections, credit cards) 3,655
2. Identity Theft (fraudulent credit cards and utility accounts, bank fraud) 2,617
3. Telecommunications (wireless service, local phone service, cable/satellite) 2,162
4. Construction/Home Improvement (remodeling, roofs/gutters) 1,900
5. Motor Vehicles/Used Auto Sales (as-is sales, financing, warranties) 1,305
6. Promotions & Schemes (sweepstakes, pyramid, work-at home scams) 1,199
7. Mail Order (Internet purchases, catalog ordering, television/radio) 868
8. Fraud Against Business (consulting, directories/publications) 762
9. Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair (collision/body, engines) 608
10. Utilities (electric, natural gas/propane, water/sewer, waste removal) 566

Consumer Fraud Hotlines:
1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield) or 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)
Spanish Language Hotline: 1-866-310-8398
Identity Theft Hotline: 1-866-999-5630
Homeowner Helpline: 1-866-544-7151

State Rep. Ford: Child Care Assistance Program Must be Funded

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-8th) Chicago, held a press conference yesterday urging the governor and legislative leaders to work together immediately to find funding for the Child Care Assistance Program.

The Illinois Department of Human Services’ program provides low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care allowing them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of children. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size, income and the number of children in care. The CCAP budget for the current fiscal year, which runs until June 30, 2015, is underfunded by almost $300 million. In Illinois, there are more than 3,000 licensed day care centers, 8000 licensed day care homes and 700 group day care homes with a combined capacity to serve more than 255,000 children.

“Every day that CCAP goes without state funding, it becomes a bigger problem for the families and children who rely on this essential program,” Ford said. “Given that grassroots advocates have received over 10,000 signatures in support of funding this critical program, the time to act for our children is now.”

For more information, visit www.lashawnford.com or contact one of Ford’s constituent service offices: 816 S. Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park at 708-445-3673; 4800 W. Chicago Avenue in Chicago at 773-378-5902; or in the Stratton Office Building in Springfield at 217-782-5962.

Major Black Organization Supports Nomination of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Links, Incorporated applauds Senate Judiciary Committee vote; supports nomination of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) Glenda Newell-Harris, M.D., national president of The Links, Incorporated issued a statement applauding the decision of the Senate Judiciary Committee to favorably send forward to the full Senate its recommendation of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general.

“We thank the members of the Judiciary Committee for their thorough review and consideration of U.S. Attorney Lynchs extraordinary credentials and relevant experience that has resulted in this decision,” stated Newell-Harris. “We now urge the members of the U.S. Senate to follow the committees lead and move swiftly toward confirmation of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general of the United States.”

Newell-Harris further stated, “The Links, Incorporateds membership appreciates and supports the extraordinary work of public servants such as attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch and count many within our ranks. We recognize the great contribution public servants make to improve the society in which we live. We know if confirmed by the Senate, attorney general nominee Lynch will be one who will uphold the U.S. Constitution and serve the nation well. She has dedicated her distinguished career to service and the advancement of justice and equality. She will do no less as attorney general of the United States.”

About the Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated has celebrated more than 67 years as a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. A premier international service organization with nearly 14,000 members in 280 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, its legacy of friends providing service that changes lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946, is alive and well.

The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and who have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership.

With more than 2 million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.

The Women’s Business Development Center Offers March Programs That Support and Accelerate Women’s Business Ownership

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Women Business Development Center  provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance.

CHICAGO, IL – Workshops offered in March by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) include:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

“Boosting Your Bottom Line – The Credit Issue”

Description: In this interactive workshop, an industry expert will guide participants through an evaluation of their current financial health, and offer tips for making smart financial decisions to maintain a good personal credit score.

Cost: Free

Location: WBDC, 8 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

Registration: http://goo.gl/Ywim7n

Friday, March 20, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

“Working on Your Business with Growth Wheel Planning Tools”

Description: In this interactive, hands-on workshop, you’ll receive individual and group support and gain the tools and techniques you need to faster business growth and success. Prerequisite webinar: Finding Your Way When You are Stuck.

Cost: Free

Location: WBDC, 8 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

Registration: http://goo.gl/E8Z9N9

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.

“New and Important Federal Laws that Affect Small Businesses”

Description: At this WBDC workshop, Michelle Kantor, an attorney who leads the Federal Government Contracting practice group in the Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins, LLC, will discuss new laws that impact how the federal government does business with small business owners.

Cost: Free

Location: McDonald Hopkins, LLC, 300 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60654

Registration: http://goo.gl/2nHtxM

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

“Writing a Dynamic Capability Statement”

Description: Do you know how to briefly and effectively pitch your business at a moment’s notice, leaving a memorable impression? In this webinar, Adrianne Callahan, Region 5 U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Specialist and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Manager, will explore topics that include: what small business specialists, contracting officers and procurement staff look for in a capability statement; what to say (and what not to say) in your capability statement; how to be relevant and brief but still effective, and how to use a capability statement as a relationship building tool.

Cost: Free

Location: Online

Registration: http://goo.gl/1FxDjQ

For further information about these or other WBDC workshops, visit http://www.WBDC.org or call (312) 853-3477. Now in its 29th year, the WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance in Spanish and English. More information is available at www.WBDC.org.

Womenleadforward.com Launches Multi-Platform Program and Plans First Silicon Valley “Women and Girls of Color” Conference

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Raising Visibility and Diversity Inclusion in San Francisco and Silicon Valley

Responding to Intel Corporation Chief Executive Officer Brian Kranich’s call to make Silicon Valley “less white and less male,” Dr. Raye Mitchell, an award-winning Harvard University philanthropist, founded the new organization Women Lead Forward to provide a forum to help advance Women and Girls of Color and drive diversity, inclusion and growth.

San Francisco Bay Area, CA (BlackNews.com)WomenLeadForward.com (WLF) launches as a premiere online resource for women and girls of color that delivers effortless access to innovation, technology and entrepreneurial event listings; leadership programs; individual and business profiles; news; market research; career forums; success stories; and organization and media resources. Planning is underway for the inaugural Silicon Valley Women and Girls of Color Conference in Spring 2016. The forum, themed “Women Lead Forward in Living Color” will integrate a full spectrum of information bringing women and girls to center stage.

The just concluded Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women that featured Hilary Clintonformer U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States demonstrated the growing demand to create a unique place for women in Silicon Valley. Now is the appropriate time to launch WomenLeadForward.com and announce the inaugural Silicon Valley Women and Girls of Color Conference 2016 to directly engage women and girls of color as unique contributing leaders themselves. Women and girls of color offer a valued stand-alone perspective in the battle for equality and inclusion in leadership, said Mitchell.

Recent headlines document that diversity inclusion for women and girls of color is visibly missing from the leadership ranks in technology, innovation companies and other segments. WLF provides a solution to that problem as a comprehensive Northern California, national and eventually global online resource for women and girls of color. The project addresses the unmet needs of thousands of women and millennial women and girls of color who seek a visible platform to tell their own stories, said Dr. Raye Mitchell, program founder and Chief Innovation Officer. This program is distinguished from general market womens leadership projects because one size does not fit all, and what works for general market women and girls advancement cannot be a substitute for the unique experiences and contributions of women and girls of color.

WomenLeadForward.com rolls out first with its online site that delivers a full customer forum, an information portal and as a connector. The site presents an enhanced customer experience for African Americans and all women of color as a comprehensive, go-to resource and aggregator on events, arts, professional programs, and career development forums. Employers and corporate leaders seeking women of color talent or to promote and advance their diversity inclusion initiatives will find that WLF connects them to a focused and responsive audience.

Future expansion plans for Women Lead Forward in Living Color include a separate television show entirely focused on women and girls of color in global leadership. WLF is also planning to develop an innovation lab, and provide other forums including developing a mobile app to deliver access to rapid response telementoring, vital information, and interventions on demand to empower women and girls to lead forward. Discussions are underway to establish online and on-site professional development programs with the American University School of Professional & Extended Studies as well.
About Women Lead Forward | Dr. Raye Mitchell:
The Women Lead Forward.com (WLF) mission is to increase the visibility and engagement of women and girls of color to grow diversity inclusion opportunities. Drawing from communities with a diversity of backgrounds; experiences; economic conditions; and racial, cultural, and sexual orientations, Women Lead Forward leads change and celebrates the diversity of vision and dreams that create the rich fabric of our community of women and girls of color.

WLF is a membership-based organization that offers premium membership and subscription programs for free. Women and girls service groups are encouraged to subscribe on the organization’s website, on Facebook.com/Women Lead Forward and follow @weleadforward on Twitter, with hashtags #BlackWomenMatter, #WomenofColorMatter and #BlackGirlsMatter.

Launching first in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and soon expanding into Atlanta, GA, Women Lead Forwards is focusing on all aspects of business, non-profits, innovation, technology, entertainment, media and communications, education, healthcare, law, government, and society, WLF is positioned to be the go-to authority to accelerate diversity inclusion for women and girls of color in technology and the innovation economy.

Women Lead Forwards parent company, The New Reality B-Corp, a California benefit corporation, works closely with The New Reality Foundation, Inc., a California non-profit 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization to benefit the community. The New Reality Foundation developed such award winning and highly recognized programs as the G.U.R.L.S.[1] Rock Program for girls aged 8-12; the G.U.R.L.S. Lead Global Leadership Program for girls aged 12+; Girls Lead Forward with co-founder 16-year-old Helen Kassa (www.girlsleadforward.org) and the M.B.A. Series[2]Leadership Forums for millennials of color, started in partnership with Hill Harperactor, New York Times best-selling author and founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation.
About Dr. Raye Mitchell:
A Harvard Law School attorney turned social entrepreneur, Dr. Raye Mitchell is an award-winning philanthropist, author, speaker innovation/creative consultant and entertainment producer that provides support for women and girls as present and future global leaders. Dr. Mitchell is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer at the New Reality B-corp. Learn more at www.DrRayeMitchell.com.
[1] G.U.R.L.S. stands for growth, unity, respect, leadership and success.
[2] M.B.A. stands for motivated, brilliant achievers.

Transit Riders Eager to Experience Faster, More Reliable Service Downtown

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Chicagoans are hopeful Loop Link will improve mobility across the Loop

CHICAGO, IL – The challenge of moving east or west across the Loop is familiar to anyone who has ever battled the daily congestion downtown, particularly during the morning and evening rush.

“Whether you’re riding transit, walking or riding your bike, getting across the Loop can be frustratingly slow,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “The Loop Link will make those trips faster, safer and more convenient for the thousands of Chicagoans who move through the Loop every day, and it’s a great step forward in continuing to improve and expand our rapid transit system.”

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) unveiled the branding for the Loop Link today, and released a construction schedule for the new rapid transit corridor scheduled to be completed in 2015. Features include dedicated bus lanes on Washington and Madison, and connections to Ogilvie and Union Stations in the West Loop.

Construction is scheduled to begin March 16th and prep work is already underway. Active Trans will continue to advocate for CDOT and CTA to efficiently proceed with construction so the corridor is operational as soon possible, and work to ensure the final project delivers the results promised to people riding transit, walking and riding bikes across the Loop.

People walking and riding bikes will also benefit from the new corridor, with new protected bike lanes going in on Randolph and Washington, and more sidewalk space as a result of relocating bus shelters to the corridor.

The data shows the vast majority of people are riding transit, walking or biking to get around the Loop. Buses carry nearly half of all travelers in vehicles on Washington and Madison, yet travel as slow as 3mph during rush hour, or walking speed.

Active Trans spoke with transit riders from neighborhoods throughout Chicago who are excited about the potential benefits of the new corridor. To speak with any of the riders whose stories are highlighted below, please contact Communications Director Ted Villaire or Campaign Director Kyle Whitehead at kyle@activetrans.org or 312-216-0473.

Courtney Cobbs, 24-year-old social worker from Edgewater
“I ride the 20-Madison bus often and always add at least 20 to 30 minutes to the estimated travel time due to the congestion. The city needs to continue to invest more in transit to attract millennials, save money and improve access to jobs.”

Ian Adams, 29-year-old Ukrainian Village resident who works in the Loop
“Getting to the Loop is pretty straightforward but transit within the loop is really lacking. I’ll likely ride the bus more often with the new corridor and ride my bike in the new protected bike lanes when the weather is good. I’m in business school in Streeterville and need to get across the Loop in the evenings when the streets are totally jammed.”

John Aquilina, 64-year-old architecture and construction project manager
“I often need to make east-west trips across the Loop on a tight schedule and will likely ride the bus more often with the new corridor. Sometimes I avoid the Loop during rush hour because the congestion is so bad.”

Curtis Kuhn, 36-year-old consultant from Edgewater
“I never take the bus across the Loop because I can walk faster. If the bus was faster and more consistent, I’d be much more likely to consider it.”

Matt Carley, 27-year old Lakeview resident
“I frequently travel to Ogilvie and Union Stations to ride Metra to the suburbs to visit family and friends and the dedicated bus lanes will save me time. I don’t have a car and rely on public transit and my bicycle to get around and truly experience the city.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is supported by more than 7,000 members and 1,000 volunteers. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

The Tom Joyner Foundation & Hands Up World Partner to “Change the News”

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The two organizations have launched new lapel pins with the messages: “I Can’t Breathe”, “Don’t Shoot”, and “Black Lives Matter”

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – The Tom Joyner Foundation announced  an exciting new partnership with Hands Up World, an organization aimed at bringing awareness to the social and political issues that are affecting African American communities focusing on the freedom of expression.

Through the Hands Up Worlds initiative, they are aiming to make a difference in the community and “change the news” with encouragement and positive actions. This movement is about the respect level and low regard for minorities, especially for African-American men.

The organization says, “Those who want to participate, but dont know how, this is the answer. Wearing one of these lapel pins will make you an active participant in the movement. You are financially supporting the cause and keeping the message alive.”

A portion of the proceeds from your pin purchase will benefit students attending HBCUs, with much needed scholarships.

Let these pins be your voice!
For more information about the lapel pins and the initiative, visit www.Handsupworld.org/promotions (Use coupon code “TJF” and receive $2 off.)

For more details about the Tom Joyner Foundation, visit www.TomJoynerFoundation.org

Photo Caption: Lapel pins

Atlanta to Honor Best Black Fashion Designers

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) – Preparations are underway for the 1st Inaugural Salute to Fellow Designer Competition and Awards, this signature event will feature some of the best African American designers from Atlanta, New York, Illinois, North Carolina and Texas to name a few and is scheduled for April 22 – 25, 2015.

The show will include individual fashion store-sponsor segments from prestigious Atlanta retailers in between the competition and Award segments. The competition segment will consisted of emerging designers that will compete for the titles of:

* Children Designer of the Year ( 4/22/2015)
* Urban Designer of the Year (4/23/2015)
* Couture Designer of the Year (4/24/2015)
* High Fashion Designer that has been previously nominated. (4/25/2015)

The event will be hosted at the Ramada Inn, 450 Capitol Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30312. Fashion from both retailer and designer will be shown in a fast pace, live runway show. Guest will be treated to four days of fashion through philanthropy as they view a fabulous display of elegant and high fashion in an array of categories.

Tickets can be purchased at the following link:

For more details about the event, visit:

Photo Caption: Some of the nominated fashion designers

Randolph County State’s Attorney, Illinois Attorney General Detail Preliminary Hearing in People V. Drew Peterson

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Chester, IL − Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy R. Walker and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that defendant Drew Peterson waived his right to a preliminary hearing and entered a plea of not guilty in the state’s case charging him with one count of solicitation of murder for hire and one count of solicitation of murder.

Peterson, 61, an inmate at the Menard Correctional Center, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and entered the plea before Randolph County Circuit Judge Richard A. Brown.

The charges, both Class X felonies, allege that between September 2013 and December 2014, the defendant solicited an individual to carry out a murder-for-hire plot against Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow. The case is being jointly prosecuted by the Randolph County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Also today, the state filed a required notice disclosing the case involved the use of a court-ordered eavesdropping device on two occasions – from Oct. 24 to Nov. 23, 2014 and from Nov. 23 to Dec. 22, 2014.

The state also filed a motion for a discovery protective order pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 415(d) precluding the defendant, defense counsel or defense personnel, as well as the prosecution, from publicly disclosing any information provided in discovery for the duration of this case to protect the identity and safety of Individual A. Judge Brown granted the state’s motion following an in-camera hearing.

The case was set for a case management conference at 10 a.m. on April 14.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

A New Trip Down an Old Road — Get Your Kicks on Bicycle Route 66

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Adventure Cycling’s 2,493-mile bicycle route will revitalize the “Main Street of America” — this time with traveling cyclists

MISSOULA, MONTANA — Adventure Cycling Association today announced the release of Bicycle Route 66, the latest route from America’s bicycle travel experts. Embracing the spirit of “The Mother Road,” the new route follows the famous corridor from Chicago to Los Angeles on roads appropriate for cyclists, including sections of the historic highway. The route is covered in a specially designed six-map set, allowing cyclists to tour the whole thing or ride a few preferred sections to maximize their Americana intake.

“The vision for Bicycle Route 66 is the same as the original vision for Route 66, which was to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities,” said Ginny Sullivan, Adventure Cycling’s director of travel initiatives. “Bicycle Route 66 will be a perfect choice for traveling cyclists looking to explore the American heartland’s natural beauty, history, and funky out-of-the-way places.”

The new Bicycle Route 66 maps span eight states (IL, MO, KS, OK, TX, NM, AZ, and CA) and cover 2,493 miles. “Fueled by nostalgia and fired by preservation-minded folks, Route 66 is a magical cross section of the nation; from the massive skyscrapers of Chicago, over the green hills of the Ozarks, the grassy plains, the awesome deserts and mountains, then down into the fascinating mosaic of the Los Angeles basin,” wrote Jerry McClanahan, author of EZ 66 Guide for Travelers. “There’s something for everyone here—the embodiment of freedom, the legendary emblem of 20th century roadside America.”

The maps feature turn-by-turn directions, detailed navigational instructions, elevation profiles, and services cyclists will need along the route. Now cyclists can explore at their own pace the surviving pieces of architecture, abandoned bridges, landmarks, businesses, and historically important communities from the golden era of U.S. Route 66. “This route can be done as a camping tour in roadside campgrounds, however there are many unique motels along the route which make this a good credit-card touring route. Eating in the old cafes and diners is part of the charm,” said Lon Haldeman, an experienced Route 66 bicycle-tour leader.

The new Bicycle Route 66 maps span eight states (IL, MO, KS, OK, TX, NM, AZ, and CA) and cover 2,493 miles. “Fueled by nostalgia and fired by preservation-minded folks, Route 66 is a magical cross section of the nation; from the massive skyscrapers of Chicago, over the green hills of the Ozarks, the grassy plains, the awesome deserts and mountains, then down into the fascinating mosaic of the Los Angeles basin,” wrote Jerry McClanahan, author of EZ 66 Guide for Travelers.“There’s something for everyone here—the embodiment of freedom, the legendary emblem of 20th century roadside America.”

The maps feature turn-by-turn directions, detailed navigational instructions, elevation profiles, and services cyclists will need along the route. Now cyclists can explore at their own pace the surviving pieces of architecture, abandoned bridges, landmarks, businesses, and historically important communities from the golden era of U.S. Route 66. “This route can be done as a camping tour in roadside campgrounds, however there are many unique motels along the route which make this a good credit-card touring route. Eating in the old cafes and diners is part of the charm,” said Lon Haldeman, an experienced Route 66 bicycle-tour leader.

Cyclists will encounter along Bicycle Route 66 numerous natural and man-made wonders, including: Gemini Giant in Wilmington, Il, Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO, Historic Brandbury Bishop Deli in Webb City, MO, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX, Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK, Catoosa Whale in Catoosa, OK, Petrified Forest in Arizona, and the Ozarks in Missouri. “People come from all over the U.S and around the world to travel Route 66,” said Bill Kelly, Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway. “Bicycle Route 66 will enhance the non-motorized experience for cyclists touring the route.”

Adventure Cycling announced the route at the end of 2010 and spent the next four years researching and laying out the route. “Route 66 was the overwhelming favorite among our members for a new long-distance route,” said Carla Majernik, Adventure Cycling’s routes and mapping director. “It’s a legendary corridor, and for our route network, a critical link through states where there were no established Adventure Cycling routes, such as Oklahoma.” The addition of Bicycle Route 66 brings the total Adventure Cycling Route Network to 44,673 miles. The network passes through 47 states and parts of Canada and is the largest mapped national cycling network in the world.

The design of Bicycle Route 66 involved collaboration between Adventure Cycling, cycling organizations, government agencies, and tourism bureaus already working to bring cycling to Route 66. These partnerships helped ensure the route incorporates the right mix of historic elements and cycling-friendly roads and trails. Ed Barsotti, executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists, commented: “Illinois has an early lead in bicycling Route 66, with a user’s guide of an interim route available. Adventure Cycling’s work will leverage Illinois’ momentum into a national vision.” The National Park Service also played an integral role in the development of Bicycle Route 66, providing valuable leadership through the national Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and technical assistance through the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program.

Similar to the flow of motor vehicle travelers along the original “Main Street of America,” the influx of cyclists will provide an economic boost to small communities along the route. There is growing evidence that touring cyclists spend more money and time than the average tourist. For example, a recent survey done in Montana by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research found that multi-day cyclists spend $75-103 per day and stay an average of eight or more nights while traveling through the state. Conversely, motorized travelers only spend between $54-68 per day and spend an average of three days in the state. Oregon found that the state benefits by $400 million annually from bicycle tourism alone and Washington State just released a study on outdoor recreation, which recognizes that bicycling contributes $3.1 billion to the state’s economy annually.

The most famous road in America has been called many things from the grand — the “Mother Road” and the “Main Street of America” — to the simple — U.S. 66. It now has one more moniker to add to its storied history: Bicycle Route 66.

For more information about Bicycle Route 66 and to purchase maps, visit http://www.adventurecycling.org/bicycleroute66.

Adventure Cycling Association inspires and empowers people to travel by bicycle. It is the largest cycling membership organization in North America with more than 47,000 members. Adventure Cycling produces cycling routes and maps for North America, organizes more than 100 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle-travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine. With 44,673 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike-travel adventures. Phone: 800-755-BIKE (2453). Web: www.adventurecycling.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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