Cottage Grove Health Center Slashed from Cook Co. Budget

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What Does 17% Mean to Park Forest? 

Ford Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)–  eNews Park Forest has learned that Cottage Grove Health Clinic in Ford Heights, is slated to be closed as a result of the budget cuts proposed by Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.  The clinic, located at 1645 Cottage Grove Avenue, is a primary care clinic that provides non-emergency medical care for all Cook County adults and children.  The Cook County Department of Public Health website says primary care services are provided through a collaboration of the Ambulatory and Community Health Network of Cook County and the Cook County Department of Public Health.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council  31, is opposing the 17% across the board cuts.  According to a flyer being distributed at the clinic by AFSCME Council 31, "Cuts of that magnitude won't make county government more efficient, they'll just cripple vital public services."  The AFSCME website adds, "That would translate into massive cuts of critical services and layoffs of county employees. To stop this, AFSCME has launched a campaign to get the Cook County Board to stand up for quality county services and the employees who provide them."  AFSCME Council 31 is urging members to call Cook County Commissioners, and provides a link with commissioners' phone numbers.

Park Forest resident Phyllis Camplin opposes the proposed closing of the clinic, "I was upset to hear that Cottage Grove Health Clinic is scheduled to be closed as part of Todd Stroger's announced budget cuts. The clinic was a lifesaver for me when I found myself without insurance and in financial difficulty. It provided needed healthcare at a price I could afford," she said in an email to ENEWSPF.  "The staff of the clinic is professional, helpful, caring, and never condescending. They handle the various health services to the community with minimal personnel. Without the clinic, many less fortunate citizens, from infants to seniors will be left without preventative and ongoing care."

Camplin urges residents to call Cook County Commissioners.  Park Forest is served by Commissioners Deborah Sims (312-603-6381) and Joan P. Murphy (312-603-4216).

Sources:  AFSCME Council 31, Cook County Department of Public Health

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Police Report – January 22, 2007

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Photo: Morguefile.com

Editor’s Note: This is the third article featuring news from police reports.  Besides covering the many stories from around Park Forest that otherwise might go unnoticed, we want to bring more complete coverage of police reports than is reported by other local media.  We will always include some introductory comments before the first item.  While everything that follows is a matter of public record, we do not believe it is necessary to have names on page one.  In this stack of reports that we perused, we were distressed to see an account of an armed home invasion where the perpetrators allegedly entered the residence shouting, “Get down!  Get down!  Police!  Police!”

Police were called to the 200 block of Arcadia on December 31, 2006, to investigate a report of theft.  There were no arrests.

Police were called to the 200 block of Arcadia on January 2 to investigate a residential burglary.  A washer and dryer, 4 light bulbs, and two unknown brand white air conditioning window units were reported missing.

Bradley Stewart, 41, 414 W. Lincoln Hwy., Chicago Heights, was arrested and charged with criminal damage property on January 4.  Police were called to the 200 block of S. Orchard to investigate a report of a shattered vehicle windshield.

Police were called to assist the Park Forest Fire Department with a structure fire in the 200 block of Arcadia on January 4.  The house was vacant.

Police were called to the 300 block of Sauk Trail on January 8 to investigate a report of criminal damage to property.  The driver door window of an automobile was reported shattered by juveniles.  There were no arrests.

Police were called on January 8 to a residence in the 200 block of Arcadia in reference to a reported home invasion where the offenders were armed.  Two alleged suspects had fled the residence by the time police arrived.  The suspects had entered the residence after yelling, “Get down, get down, police, police.”  A wallet containing $850 was reported taken by the suspects.  There were no arrests.  Police suspect that this was a random home invasion.

Police were called to the 400 block of Miami on January 8 to investigate a report of criminal damage to property.  The front driver door window of an automobile was reported shattered, as well as a taillight.

A juvenile was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on January 9 in the 300 block of Oakwood St.

Marchaz Glass, 18, 129 Shabbona, Park Forest, was arrested and charged with an attempt residential burglary on January 9 in the 100 block of Shabbona.

Brandy S. Bramlet, 27, 10912 S. Sangamon St., Chicago, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol on January 10 on Western Ave. near Monee Rd.

Police were called to the 200 block of Gentry on January 11 to investigate a burglary to motor vehicle complaint.  $10 to $15 in loose change was reported missing.

Officers were called to the 100 block of Hemlock to investigate a possible residential burglary because of a broken basement window.  There were no arrests.

Police were called to the 400 block of Talala on January 12 to investigate a possible battery incident.  There were no arrests.

Police were called to the 100 block of Shabbona on January 12 to investigate a report of criminal damage to property.  A window of a residence was reported broken.

Quincy A. Harris, 24, 3140 London Drive, Olympia Fields, was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis on January 12 after the vehicle he was driving was pulled over when it was observed by an officer driving “…at a high rate of speed northbound on Western Ave., causing the vehicle’s tires to squeal for about 100 feet,” according to the police report.

Police responded to a burglary report at a business in the 400 block of Sauk Trail on January 13.  $300 in quarters and a box in scratch and win lottery tickets were reported missing.

Police were called to the 200 block of Arcadia on January 13 regarding a residential burglary report.  Nothing appeared to be missing.

Walter L. Proffitt, 54, 9 Bender Rd., Park Forest, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct on January 12.

Charles E. Young, 50, 47 Indianwood, Park Forest, was arrested and charged with assault in the first block of Indianwood on January 13.

A juvenile was arrested and charged with illegal possession of alcohol on January 13 when police were called to the 100 block of S. Orchard to investigate a theft complaint.

Police were called to the 200 block of Juniper on January 13 to investigate a reported battery.  There were no arrests.

Gregory D. Barksdale, 37, 850 Sandra Dr., #2c, University Park, was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis on January 13 when his vehicle was pulled over for allegedly exceeding the posted speed limit on Western Ave. south of Sycamore Dr.

Michael A. McNeal, 48, 42 Apache, Park Forest, was arrested and charged with domestic battery on January 14 in the first block of Apache.

Christopher G. Santiago, 18, 110 Warwick Dr., Park Forest, was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis on January 14 in the first block of Birch St. when police were called to investigate a report of a suspicious auto.

A police officer took a complaint of domestic battery at the Park Forest Police Station on January 14 for an incident that allegedly occurred earlier that afternoon.

Lisa A. Griffin, 17, 1236 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights, was arrested and charged with obstructing justice on January 14 during an investigation of a possible burglary in progress in the 300 block of Niagara.

Police were called to the 300 block of Sauganash St. to investigate a fraud complaint on January 14.  A resident reported receiving a collection notice for over $800 for an account the resident never opened.

Police were called to the 200 block of Forest on January 14 to investigate a report of burglary from a motor vehicle.  Two CD storage notebooks containing approximately 150 CDs and a radar detector were reported missing.

A juvenile was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in the 200 block of Allegheny when police were called to that area to investigate a fight in progress.

Police were called to the 300 block of Oakwood to investigate a complaint of criminal defacement on January 15.  Gang graffiti was painted on the side of a house.

Police were called to the 100 block of Warwick to investigate a report of criminal damage to property on January 15.  A tail light on an automobile was reported shattered.

Johnnye M. Rebb, 11431 S. King Dr., Chicago, was arrested in the 400 block of Shabbona and charged with criminal trespass to real property (property that is not inhabited) on January 17 when police were investigating numerous residential burglaries in the area of Nauvoo and Tomahawk.

Jose D. Oliver, Sr., 41, 9 Apple Ln., Park Forest, was arrested and charged with domestic battery on January 17 in the first block of Apple Lane.

Police responded to a fraud report in the first block of Krotiak on January 17.  A resident received a bill of $462.89 for an account the resident did not open.

Jessie J. Deloach, 34, 200 Indianwood, Park Forest, was arrested and charged with retail theft for allegedly taking hats from a business in the first block of S. Orchard on January 18.

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Dr. Frank Thomas Highlights King Celebration at Governors State

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Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas addresses a full auditorium at Governors State University at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas was the guest speaker at the 8th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on Monday, January 15 at Governors State University.  Dr. Thomas, an ordained minister, currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Church in Memphis, Tennessee.  He spoke to a packed auditorium.

The following are excerpts from his talk.

“The Martin Luther King that we get is the corporate, the acceptable.  We don’t get the challenging King.  We don’t get the King that raised questions about capitalism; about the connection between racism, militarism, and materialism.  We don’t get much about that King.  We get the, ‘I have a dream,’ King.

“But when he died, he wasn’t a very popular King.  They called him “Martin Loser King.”  And they were saying he wasn’t relevant.

Dr. Thomas shared a verse from the Gospel of Mark in the Bible, , “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God.  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God,”and used that as the basis for his critical remarks of what he called America’s “consumerist culture.”

"I want to ask you this question this morning, can rich people be saved?

"Who then can be saved?  Can rich folks be saved?  I know that you’re probably thinking about whether Oprah, or whether Donald Trump, or whether Bill Gates can be saved.  The average American does not characterize themselves as rich.  But under close inspection, we find another reality.  We discover that we live in consumerist culture. 

"What I mean by consumerist culture is that consumerism is the term that is used to describe the effect of equating personal happiness with the purchasing of material possessions and consumption.  Consumerist culture is an environment or atmosphere where happiness is equated with the purchase of material goods.

"In Economics, consumerism can also refer to economic policies that place an emphasis on consumption, and in an abstract sense, that the free choice of consumers should dictate the economic structure of society. 

"So, after 9-11-01, our president stands up to us and tells us to go shopping.  Because in a free market economy, it is the interest of consumers that move.  And we equate personal happiness with the purchase and consumption of things.

"Consumerism is the glorification of individual choice.  In consumerist culture you define your identity according to which choices you make, and what you ally your self with in the culture.

"For most people, this takes the ritual of purchasing.  By buying things, you ritually surround yourself with tangible objects which symbolize the cultural corporate ideology that you adhere to.

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The New Faith Baptist Church Mens' Choir, directed by Kevon Carter, performs. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

"In other words, we buy stuff with labels like Fubu, and Tommy Hilfinger, and Versace.  And we buy purses with Coach and labels and labels and labels.  And I keep wondering why do we label ourselves, because what has Tommy Hilfinger done for us lately?

"I stood up in front of the congregation after [Hurricane] Katrina and asked, where was Versace?  Where was American Express?  I kept wondering, why do we buy these things?

"So what consumerist culture gets you to do is focus on Bill Gates and Oprah and Donald Trump and others.  Through obsessive glorification consumerist culture forces you to look at the top monetary owners and compare yourselves to them.

"As long as you compare yourself to the ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,’ you will always see yourselves see yourselves as poor.

"Americans love rags to riches stories.  It is one of the stories that gives our culture meaning.  We love to propagate the myth that in America, anyone can go from nothing to something.  We call it, ‘The American Dream.’

"The American Dream can also be used to cover racism and economic injustice.  From this perspective, consumerist culture says, ‘If Oprah can take her self from the back woods of Mississippi with poverty and abuse, and raise herself up to be one of the most powerful women in the world, stop whining about racism, and make yourself into another Oprah.  Stop whining about economic injustice and raise yourself up by your own boot straps.’

"And you can go from rags to riches in this country, but it is over-glorified, over exalted, and it is the salvation narrative of our culture.  Christians get saved by following Jesus.  You get saved in this consumerist culture by spending money, or by owning things that make it appear like you got money.

"What we have is debt.

"We like to compare ourselves ‘up.’ If we compare ourselves ‘down’, we find out that we’re rich.  Can rich folks be saved?

"Listen, Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population, but consume 24% of the world’s energy.  And we’re amazed that we have to be fighting over the sands in Iraq.  We’re amazed that we intervene in Kuwait.  Somebody once said, if, in 1991 the chief export of Kuwait would’ve been pigs, we wouldn’t even have bothered with them.

"Which means that Americans are addicted to oil.  It’s our addiction that gets us into the sands in Iraq.  It’s addiction to oil that’s getting our soldiers killed. 

"One American consumes as much energy as two Japanese, six Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians, and 370 Ethiopians.

"Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day.  That’s roughly 200 billion more than needed.  Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food each day.  People are starving and we throw out. 

“I got in the shower and took an American shower.  The kind where the mirror fogs up.  The host knocked on the door and said, ‘We don’t use water like that in Africa!  Water is more precious!’

"The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by the age 75."

After quoting some figures regarding how much the United States government spends in various areas, he continued, "We got Lance Armstrong on TV begging for more money for cancer, while all the money’s going to bombs and bullets.

"This is what Martin Luther King meant when he said that the great axis of evil was racism, militarism, and excessive materialism.  He said that capitalism as a system was fundamentally and structurally flawed and it would never take care of the poor.  He said, and they don’t play this on television, he said that because we have an interest around the world, we have to send our military to protect our economic interests.  And then we justify that with the kind of racism where the rest of the world is second class.  We even call it the second world, the third world.

"Like it or not, when we compare ourselves with the rest of the world, most Americans are rich.  And how are we going to be saved?

"I want to call you to sacrifice.  We don’t hear that word around America much.  Our president can’t even call us to sacrifice for the war.  This is the first war in the history of our nation where we’re fighting, and we’re not asked to sacrifice.  We’re told to go shopping, while troops and their families bear the brunt.  While I’m not asked to do anything, to give up anything.

"Can you live on 80% of what you make?  I'm talking to you about breaking out of the cycle of consumerist culture.  I'm telling you this:  You cannot get more until you're better stewards of what you have now.  You will not be free until you manage your debt and your lifestyle in a very different way.

"Keep 10 [percent] for yourself, invest, pay cash, build your net worth.  Give 10% to God, and live off 80% of what you make."

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Congress to Send Critics to Jail, Says GrassrootsFreedom.com

Commentary 

MANASSAS, Va.–(ENEWSPF)– The following is a statement by Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of GrassrootsFreedom.com, regarding legislation currently being considered by Congress to regulate grassroots communications:

"In what sounds like a comedy sketch from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, but isn’t, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on grassroots causes and citizens who criticize Congress.

"Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.

 "The bill would require reporting of ‘paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying,’ but defines ‘paid’ merely as communications to 500 or
more members of the public, with no other qualifiers.

 "On January 9, the Senate passed Amendment 7 to S. 1, to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone ‘knowingly
and willingly fails to file or report.’

 "That amendment was introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Senator Vitter, however, is now a co-sponsor of Amendment 20 by Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) to remove Section 220 from the bill. Unless Amendment 20 succeeds, the Senate will have criminalized the exercise of First Amendment rights. We’d be living under totalitarianism, not democracy.

"I started GrassrootsFreedom.com to fight efforts to silence the grassroots. The website provides updates in the legislation and has a
petition to sign opposing Section 220.

"Thousands of nonprofit leaders, bloggers, and other citizens have hammered the Senate with calls in opposition to Section 220, which seeks to silence the grassroots. The criminal provisions will scare citizens into silence.

"The legislation regulates small, legitimate nonprofits, bloggers, and individuals, but creates loopholes for corporations, unions, and large membership organizations that would be able to spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars, yet not report.

 "Congress is trying to blame the grassroots, which are American citizens engaging in their First Amendment rights, for Washington’s
internal corruption problems."

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Obama Makes It Official – Forms Exploratory Committee

Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– U.S. Senator Barack Obama announced to his supporters today that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee, and plans to make an announcement February 10 on his ultimate plans regarding a presidential run in 2008.

The following is the email Obama sent this morning:

As you may know, over the last few months I have been thinking hard about my plans for 2008. Running for the presidency is a profound decision – a decision no one should make on the basis of media hype or personal ambition alone – and so before I committed myself and my family to this race, I wanted to be sure that this was right for us and, more importantly, right for the country.

I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago. But as I've spoken to many of you in my travels across the states these past months; as I've read your emails and read your letters; I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics.

So I've spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need.

The decisions that have been made in Washington these past six years, and the problems that have been ignored, have put our country in a precarious place. Our economy is changing rapidly, and that means profound changes for working people. Many of you have shared with me your stories about skyrocketing health care bills, the pensions you've lost and your struggles to pay for college for your kids. Our continued dependence on oil has put our security and our very planet at risk. And we're still mired in a tragic and costly war that should have never been waged.

But challenging as they are, it's not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It's the smallness of our politics. America's faced big problems before. But today, our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions.

And that's what we have to change first.

We have to change our politics, and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans.

This won't happen by itself. A change in our politics can only come from you; from people across our country who believe there's a better way and are willing to work for it.

Years ago, as a community organizer in Chicago, I learned that meaningful change always begins at the grassroots, and that engaged citizens working together can accomplish extraordinary things.

So even in the midst of the enormous challenges we face today, I have great faith and hope about the future – because I believe in you.

And that's why I wanted to tell you first that I'll be filing papers today to create a presidential exploratory committee. For the next several weeks, I am going to talk with people from around the country, listening and learning more about the challenges we face as a nation, the opportunities that lie before us, and the role that a presidential campaign might play in bringing our country together. And on February 10th, at the end of these decisions and in my home state of Illinois, I'll share my plans with my friends, neighbors and fellow Americans.

In the meantime, I want to thank all of you for your time, your suggestions, your encouragement and your prayers. And I look forward to continuing our conversation in the weeks and months to come.

Sincerely,
U.S. Senator Barack Obama

U.S. Senator Barack Obama

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