Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ask Dr. Cheryl / How to Huddle / Inside Racism / Ald. David MooreRespond to CPS Cuts

Building Generational Leaders POLITICS AS USUAL Rauner Administration Refuses to Attend Hearings For the second consecutive week, officials from Go
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Gov. Bruce Rauner
POLITICS AS USUALRauner Administration Refuses to Attend Hearings
For the second consecutive week, officials from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration refused to appear at a hearing to address misleading information provided by the governor’s office, despite evidence showing the administration is paying high salaries to more than 30 appointees from funds intended for core state services.
“While we have repeatedly urged the governor to provide taxpayers with a full and accurate account of how he is using their money, it would appear to be the stance of this administration that the people of Illinois have no right to know,” said state Rep. John Bradley, chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, which called the hearing. “The governor took office on lofty promises of openness and a new way of doing business, but he continues to show his commitment is to business as usual.”
Administration officials again refused to appear before a House committee examining why the administration’s claims differ from data from the comptroller’s office, which shows 35 of the governor’s appointees receiving a total of $3.7 million from agencies other than the governor’s office. That amount is about $730,000 more than what the administration previously reported to legislators. The administration also excluded the salaries of three of the governor’s highest-paid appointees, whose salaries total $658,000.
Last month, top administration officials defended Rauner’s decision to pay his education czar a $250,000 salary with funds from the Department of Human Services intended for programs serving the elderly and severely ill rather than with funds from the governor’s office budget, a practice known as offshoring. That hearing led to a request from lawmakers to receive more information on salaries in the governor’s office.
While administration officials said Rauner is engaged in less offshoring than his predecessor, payroll records from the comptroller’s office show the Rauner administration’s claims are false.
A letter from Bradley delivered to the governor’s Capitol office last week and subsequent calls asking the governor or his designee to attend Tuesday’s hearing into Rauner’s offshoring practices went unanswered until just before Tuesday’s hearing began, and neither the governor nor any member of his administration attended the hearing to answer legislators’ questions.
“Taxpayers deserve to know why this governor is using funds intended to serve the elderly, the disabled and children to pay his appointees’ salaries. They also deserve to know why the governor refuses to provide them with answers,” Bradley said. “These questions do not go away simply because the governor does not feel like answering. We will continue to demand honest and accurate accounting of this administration’s use of taxpayer dollars.”
State employees offshored by Rauner are receiving salaries from a number of agencies facing severe cuts under the governor’s proposed budget, including the Department of Human Services, the Department of Public Health and the Department on Aging, Bradley told committee members. For more information, contact State Rep. Bradley at 618-997-9697.
TBTNEWS ALERTAld. David Moore (17th) Responds to Proposed CPS Cuts
"The looming layoffs of 1,400 Chicago Public Schools’ workers are the result of historic poor stewardship of taxpayer funds for our public school system. Today’s action is the continuation of a lack of transparency and accountability in how funds are spent, and the broader lack of a revenue plan for our city. Instead of pointing the finger of blame, we need to work together to develop a plan that puts our children FIRST, regardless of the drama playing out among elected officials. We should be working hard to make sure our first priority is that CPS students have the resources they need to succeed." For more details on Alderman Moore's position, contact Delmarie Cobb at 773-373-3860.
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Lanette Warbington and 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett at his recent fundraiser
Eve Bridgeforth and the Hennessey women pose for picture during Summer Breeze
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Hennessey's Durell James enjoys a night at Summer Breeze Jazz Concert Series
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Dr. Cheryl Whitaker
ASK DR. CHERYLHappy 4th of July
This time of year is very exciting mostly because of the plethora of very delicious foods and drinks that we will enjoy with family and friends. Like everyone else, I’m thinking about how I can come out of this wonderful three-day weekend without weight gain or bloating! It can be very difficult to overcome the temptation of indulging during the 4th of July, but we can do it. I want you to eat the foods that you like, so I have a few tips on how to indulge less and enjoy more.
Question: Dr. Cheryl, there are many food options at BBQs over the 4th of July weekend. How can we make it through the cookout without feeling stuffed?
Dr. Cheryl: Eat fruits and vegetables first – Fill up your plate with fruits and veggies initially. This will fill up your stomach and leave less room for more fatty meats and processed foods.
Drink an extra glass of water – Staying hydrated because of the heat is very important, but drinking more water will help you feel full and eat less in the long run. Before piling on a second plate of food, try drinking an 8 oz. glass of water first. I guarantee you will rethink your second helping!
Use a smaller plate - This little bit of “hocus-pocus” is magical. Having a smaller plate makes you pay attention when you think about going for your second helping. Are you actually hungry for another plate? The size of your plate will help you pay attention as you make your way down the food aisle.
Talk more, eat less - Focus on chatting with old friends and making new ones. This strategy will help you focus less on eating that hamburger, polish, and ribs that are all on your plate J.
Say a prayer - Yes, I’m serious. Ask for some good old-fashioned willpower to keep your calorie count in check for the day. You’ll be thankful on Monday after the holiday is done!
Question: I like to enjoy a couple alcoholic cocktails during the holiday. I always over do it. What are some tips to manage my holiday cocktails?
Dr. Cheryl: I’m glad that you are thinking about alcohol as calories! A 4 oz. glass of wine is 200 calories (think 2000 calorie maintenance diet—that 10% of your calories for a day). Also, alcohol is a depressant, which can impair our central nervous system, slow down our motor skills and affect our ability to react quickly and think intelligently. However, if someone were to consume several drinks, our livers can’t metabolize the alcohol, and thus absorbs it into the blood system. As a result, our bodies become severely dehydrated, and we feel tired, fatigued, and irritable.
To manage the effects of drinking, properly hydrate yourself. Consume 8oz. of water before, and 8 oz. after your glass of wine (or drink of choice). Since hangovers are mostly due to dehydration caused by the diuretic effects of alcohol, staying hydrated helps to minimize that risk. Oh, and please…..don’t drink and drive!
Have more questions about your health? Ask Dr. Cheryl, CEO of NextLevel Health at NextLevel is here to help you take the steps to better health.
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Eric Horn
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTHuddles Aren’t Just for Football
Contributing Correspondent: Eric Horn
If you are a team leader, supervisor, or manager, one of the best ways to spend time with your team every morning is to have a “huddle” before tackling the various tasks of the day. Like in football, the purpose of a huddle is to bring everyone together for a short period of time to discuss any issues or challenges the team is currently facing. Huddles are also designed to support the team by providing feedback and answering any questions that may come up. I’ve seen huddles used in numerous departments in one organization.
Furthermore, huddles should be used for more than just running through your to-do list. You must use this time to address department-wide challenges and to test the waters with new initiatives that will come up in your area. To dig deeper into huddles, I will discuss the three main factors that will help you have an effective team huddle.
1). Limit huddles to 15 minutes – Huddles are designed to be quick and not something that will drag throughout the morning. To prevent this from happening, limit each person on your team to 3 to 5 minutes so they will be forced to come prepared and not waste any of your teammates’ time.
2). Stand during the huddle – Meetings are more effective when there are no chairs in the room. Huddles should also use this methodology to stay on track and keep the huddles to a minimum amount of time.
3). Take turns leading the meeting – One teammate should always lead the huddle. Having each team member take turns leading the huddle gives them an opportunity to practice their facilitating skills and gives them a chance to shine in their department.
(Mr. Horn, authored How Professional Is Your Development? Founder of Eric B. Horn, Inc. ( a professional development firm that provides career coaching, consulting, and training for professionals)
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Special Correspondent: Chris Arnade
A week after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, I walked into my old hometown bar in central Florida to hear, "Well if a nigger can be president, then I can have another drink. Give me a whiskey straight up." Only one day in the town and I thought, "Damn the south."
I had returned home to bury my father, who had spent much of the 1950s and '60s fighting for civil rights in the south. Consequently, my childhood was defined by race. It was why our car was shot at, why threats were made to burn our house down, why some neighbors forbid me to play on their lawn, why I was taunted at school as a "nigger lover".
It was nothing compared to what the blacks in town had to endure. I was just residing in the seam of something much uglier. It is also why I left as soon as I could, exercising an option few others had. I eventually moved to New York City to work on Wall Street.
In the next 15 years I thought less about race. It is possible to live in the northeast as a white liberal and think little about it, to convince yourself that most of the crude past is behind. Outward signs suggest things are different now: I live in an integrated neighborhood, my kids have friends of all colors, and my old office is diverse compared to what I grew up with. As many point out, America even has a black man (technically bi-racial) as president.
Soon after my father passed away, I started to venture beyond my Wall Street life, to explore parts of New York that I had only previously passed through on the way to airports. I did this with my camera, initially as a hobby. I ended up spending three years documenting addiction in the New York's Bronx neighborhood of Hunts Point. There I was slapped in the face by the past.
It took me a few months of slow recognition, fighting a thought I did not want to believe: we are still a deeply racist country. The laws on the books claim otherwise, but in Hunts Point (and similar neighborhoods across the country), those laws seem like far away idyllic words that clash with the daily reality: everything is stacked against those who are born black or brown.
We as a nation applaud ourselves for having moved beyond race. We find one or two self-made blacks or Hispanics who succeeded against terrible odds, and we elevate their stories to a higher position, and then we tell them over and over, so we can say, "See, we really are a color blind nation."
We tell their stories so we can forget about the others, the ones who couldn't overcome the long odds, the ones born into neighborhoods locked down by the absurd war on drugs, the ones born with almost even odds that their fathers will at some point be in jail, the ones born into neighborhoods that few want to teach in, neighborhoods scarce of resources.
We tell the stories of success and say: see anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, further denigrating those who can't escape poverty. It plays into the false and pernicious narrative that poverty is somehow a fault of desire, a fault of intelligence, a fault of skills. No, poverty is not a failing of the residents of Hunts Point who are just as decent and talented as anyone else. Rather it is a failing our broader society.
It took me seeing one black teen thrown against a bodega wall by cops, for no reason, to erase much of the image of seeing Obama elected. It took the unsolved murder of a 15-year-old Hunts Point girl, a girl my middle daughter's age, to make me viscerally understand how lucky my children are. It took watching as one smart child grew from dreaming of college to dealing drugs to viscerally understand how lucky everyone in my old office is.
The barriers between Hunts Point and the rest of New York are not as high as they were between the white and black section of my hometown in the 1960s. People can freely pass over them. Practically, however, they are almost insurmountable.
Gone is the overt, violent, and legal racism of my childhood. It has been replaced by a subtler version. It's a racism that is easier to ignore, easier to deny, and consequently, almost as dangerous.

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