Thursday, March 30, 2006


The online auction of the Academy Awards® Gift Bag received

by George Clooney at this year’s Oscar Awards ceremony has closed.,

The Oscar-winning
actor/producer/director and member of United Way of America’s Board

Trustees generously donated the bag to United Way to support hurricane

and recovery efforts.

The online auction of the transferable contents of Mr.

Clooney’s gift bag was
scheduled to close Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 11:59 pm ET. The high
volume of bids in the closing minutes triggered a special feature

called “bid
extension” that allowed bidding to continue in five minute

increments until no
more bids were received, resulting in the $45,100 winning amount.
The auction took place at and was powered by
By auctioning the gift bag, United Way and Mr. Clooney hope to continue to focus attention on the long-term needs of the Gulf Coast areas devastated by the 2005
hurricane season as well as raise funds for ongoing rebuilding and recovery
As a member of the Board of Trustees of United Way of America,

Mr.Clooney has been a generous supporter of United Way’s efforts to

rebuild lives and communities devastated by the 2005 hurricanes.


Black tenors fight prejudice ...

I ran across this item on the NABJ Forum. It's worth reading.
Written by Tim Smith, Sun Music Critic.

Family of Notorious B I G wins settlement

B I G's family was awarded a $1.1 million settlement from city of Los Angeles, winning a police negligence suit brought against the department during the slain rapper's civil trial.
click on title link for story...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Film: Inside Man

I have yet to go see Spike's new film, "Inside Man" but I hear it's rather good. Go read the reviews. Mum's here--gotta go.
(Sssppppt: Hey Spike, lemme send you my screenplay, Eighteen Months. Holla back)

Reviews on "Inside Man"

Ebert/Sun Times/Chicago

Stein/San Fran Chronicle/CA

Entertainment Weekly/Schwarsbaum

Medicare Rx Bus

GARY--Amid complaints that the Medicare part-D plan was hard to understand, the
Medicare Rx bus with all of it's bells and whistles, made a stop Tuesday in Gary
at the Genesis Convention Center.
Many senior citizens seemed relieved at the answers they were given.
Mary F. Hayes, 74, of Gary got a shock when she picked up her pricey name brand

hypertension medication last week. She had to pay a co-pay but thought her
secondary insurance would prevent that. She said she never had to make a
co-payment when

she was on the state's Medicare subscription program.
"Saturday I had to pay $30 co-pay for each but the (counselor) said that
was not accurate," Hayes said. The counselor helped her find a better prescription drug plan.

Eddie Gray, 80, a SHIIP volunteer, said although it doesn't sound like much
money, Hayes' insurance coverage has a "gap" in coverage. The money she saves now
will help cover the gap later.
"When they pick up again, it will be with a lower co-payment. It's best to
go ahead and enroll now," Gray said.

According to data released by the Health and Human Services Department in
February, more than 51 percent of Medicare-eligible seniors already have signed up for the program.
"Some who retire find their health insurance plans aren't what they thought
it would be," Fran Wersells, Region V program specialist for Administration on Aging, said.

Medicare Part A, pays for hospitalization, Part B, doctor and
outpatient visits and Part D, prescription coverage. Enrollment for Part D, ends
May 15. Enrollment won't open again until November 2007.
Senior Health Insurance Information Program volunteers (SHIIP) are located at
Methodist Hospital Northlake. Information may be obtained from the desk near the
emergency room entrance. The hours of service are the first and third Tuesday of
the month 10 a.m. to noon. Information about SHIIP, a free counseling service
from the Indiana State Department of Insurance, may be obtained by calling

Some seniors, like Princie Kindred, had no coverage. Sometimes seniors believed
they must pay for medicines out of their monthly social security checks.
Wilma Wilson brought her mother, Barbara Palmer, on the suggestion of a
neighbor, Wilson said. Her mother wasn't signed up for a program.
The counselors and Senior Health Insurance Information Program volunteers,
helped seniors either find an appropriate prescription drug program or explained how they could help save money on their out-of-pocket expenses for medications.
Brenda Delgoto, of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, warned that
enrollment for Medicare Part D, closes May 15. She said sometimes unfortunate circumstances happen to otherwise healthy seniors, like accidents. Then they may need additional medicines, so it would be good to enroll.

Medicare prescription drug coverage provides protection for people who have very
high drug costs but everyone with Medicare is eligible for coverage, regardless
of income and resources.

Seniors can join a Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan
or other Medicare Health Plans that offer drug coverage.
There is a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible (no
more than $250 in 2006). Depending on income, seniors may have to pay a part of
the cost of prescriptions, including a co payment or coinsurance. Costs vary.
Some plans may offer more coverage and additional drugs for a higher monthly

Seniors on a limited income and have few resources may qualify for extra help,
where they may not have to pay a premium or deductible.
Almost 1 in 3 people with Medicare will qualify for extra help and Medicare will
pay for almost all of their prescription drug costs, according to information
from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Friday, March 24, 2006

OOOOH burn.

"The crowd was noisy but sparse -- about 200 people in all. I asked a woman in the lobby about the Sun-Times boycott. She said, "The Sun-Times'll be all right until the Defender decides to become a real paper."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Our Mayor has quit his job!

Citing "competition with family love", Gary Mayor Scott King submitted his resignation Wednesday, during an hour-long press conference aired on the Comcast Government Access Channel.

King's resignation ends a 10-year reign.

King, the city's first white mayor in 28 years, said his resignation will become effective noon Friday.

"I have to do family first," he said.

He said he wanted to quit earlier, after struggling with the decision to enter his third term, when the property tax issue arose, he said.

King, the father of two daughters and a son, said the rigors of balancing family and work were too much, so he felt it best to resign. During reporters questions, he talked about how low mayoral salaries are.

"Right now I'm making more than the governor so it would be hard to get an increase there," he said.
He inferred his "three stair step kids... who don't want to go to local college" put a strain on his household budget. He makes $107,000 a year--$87,000 from city and the balance from the Gary Sanitary District where he serves as special administrator mandated in a federal consent decree. King must serve in that position until another special administrator is named, he said.

However, King just sounded as he was tired of public scrutiny. He jokingly asked reporters to lose his home number and couldn't wait to say, "that's my personal business," in response to a reporter's question.

"The job is never done. It is a living organism. (However) the most rewarding experience is the sincerity the people of this community has accepted and respected and followed me as their mayor. Little kids know my name." King said.

He also answered questions on the airport and extending the runway and the changing face of Northwest Indiana, away from heavy industry.
"Development of the lakefront will get done," he said

He emphasized that a push from the private business sector is in line to cue up the city's economy.
However political pundits take a different view of the issues surrounding King's resignation.

King jokingly mentioned in a response to a reporter's question, that if the state raises the pay of Governor of Indiana, "who knows" he might take a "run at it."

His wife, Irene King, said before the broadcast was abruptly ended while she was still answering questions, told a reporter that, "everything must change."

Newly appointed deputy mayor, Dozier T. Allen will assume the duties of mayor. King's term ends December 2007. Allen's official title is acting mayor, King said.

The position of deputy mayor won't be filled until the Democratic Caucus.

Allen, the former long-standing Calumet Township Trustee, told the audience that he has an understanding of how government works. He also said he has the wisdom of a 75-year-old man and the stamina of a 50-year-old man. He asked the city to pray for him.

"More important is a humble spirit and a kind heart," Allen said.
Economic development and employment will be his major issue projects, Allen said.

"One large employer could solve that problem overnight. I'm interested in looking at every model that could serve this city,"Allen said. He also said he is impressed with the General Assembly's work, thus far.

"I have no fear of the Republican or Democratic party," he said, adding a person's personal philosophy is what it is.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Changes to my home.

I have been creating artwork and hanging existing artwork. It is an arduous labor of love. I majored in Graphic Design long ago at Indiana State University but was discouraged by my advisor at one point due to my lack of talent and inability to successfully complete an art perspectives class.
However, at my own cost, I can fill my home with as much bad art all I want!

Chicago has star power!

Guess what I found out...
Friends television sitcom star, Jennifer Aniston is reportedly moving to Chicago to get away from all of the Hollywood noise.
(And if you are wondering how I can shift gears from the Black People's Convention to showbiz dish--well go figure--I watch "Friend's" reruns too).
One of Aniston's co-stars from "Friend's" is from the Chicago area and once met with Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley. Guess which co-star! (hee hee heee)