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Harkin Statement on Senate Passage of Resolution to Honor Child Labor and Education Activists PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:00

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement on the passage of his U.S. Senate resolution to honor Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai. The resolution is Harkin’s final legislative effort of his career and was the last item passed by the U.S. Senate in the 113th Congress. Harkin is a longtime champion for ending the scourge of child labor around the world and ensuring the right of children to an education. Harkin first nominated Mr. Satyarthi for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work in India and internationally to eradicate the worst forms of child labor.

“I am pleased that the Senate has recognized these two amazing advocates for the rights of children,” said Harkin. “Their efforts have not only saved thousands of childhoods, but have also inspired countless others to take action in this critical fight. I hope that this leads to new emphasis from governments, civil society organizations, and all individuals on eliminating child labor and promoting education for children around the world.”

The text of the resolution is below.

Whereas, on October 10, 2014, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai; 

Whereas the International Labour Organization estimates that, worldwide, 168,000,000 children are exploited financially, with 85,000,000 children working in very hazardous environments and deprived of an education; 

Whereas the United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that 101,000,000 children  are not in school; 

Whereas Kailash Satyarthi and his organization, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, have rescued more than 82,000 children from the worst forms of child labor;

Whereas Malala Yousafzai has promoted education for girls in Pakistan since she was 11 years old and is an advocate for worldwide access to education; 

Whereas Kailash Satyarthi has endured threats on his life as a result of such rescue efforts; and 

Whereas the Taliban attempted to kill Malala Yousafzai on October 9, 2012, as a result of her efforts to encourage more girls to attend school: Now, therefore, be it resolved


That the Senate — 

(1) recognizes Nobel Laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai as symbols of peace and advocates for ending the financial exploitation of children and for the opportunity of all children to have access to education; 

(2) commends all individuals working around the world to end the scourge of child slavery and to advance education for all children; 

(3) recognizes the challenges that remain in ending the financial exploitation of children and providing access to an education for all children; 

(4) urges all governments, civil society organizations, businesses, and individuals to unite in the common purpose of protecting children from losing their childhoods as well as   their futures; and 


(5) recognizes the dedication and commitment to freedom, the rights of children, and the endurance of the human spirit, demonstrated by all individuals who make sacrifices to build a more peaceful world.



Dec. 31 deadline for Cedar Rapids and Iowa City-area youth and school groups to earn up to $1,000 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Anthony Triana   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 14:20

Money can be used for custom apparel, traveling, event expenses or whatever groups might need

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Youth groups, high school groups and K-12 school groups within a 50-mile radius of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City have until Wednesday, Dec. 31 to earn up to $1,000 in cash funding or custom apparel through the “Better Community Connections” sponsorship program from U.S. Cellular® and Pear. Groups, from youth or high school sports teams to academic clubs and music groups, can utilize their social networks to complete online tasks to earn sponsorship dollars for the items they need most. The best part is that it’s completely free.

In fact, 19 groups in the state have already earned $5,852 for band and orchestra groups, academic clubs and athletic teams, with those numbers continuing to grow.

“This is such an amazing opportunity for Cedar Rapids and Iowa City-area youth and school groups to utilize on traveling, paying for equipment or event expenses, custom apparel or whatever they might need,” said Jared Golden, Pear’s co-founder. “Pear is designed to bring two organizations together – those seeking funding and those seeking groups to sponsor. This ‘Better Community Connections’ sponsorship is a win-win for both parties and makes it easy for youth and school groups to earn funding.”

Visit to create a sponsorship page, and then invite friends, family and others to join. Once a sponsorship page is created, the group has 10 days to earn up to $1,000 toward a donation or custom apparel. The more people who support the page and interact with U.S. Cellular on the site, the more money the group earns. Groups can earn points by completing simple online tasks, like visiting U.S. Cellular’s website, subscribing to an email list, liking U.S. Cellular on Facebook or answering a survey. There is no purchase necessary to participate.

For every Pear referred into the program, Pear will add $50 to both the referrer and referee Pear. Adult groups will be allowed to participate as long as they are in support of a youth or school purpose, including Parent-Teacher Associations, booster clubs and similar groups.

For more information about Pear or the sponsorship, visit

About U.S. Cellular

At U.S. Cellular®, we focus on having the world's best customer service and delivering industry-leading innovations. Our strong line-up of cutting-edge devices are designed to simplify and organize your life. For more information, visit

About Pear

Pear makes sponsorship easy for groups and events of all shapes and sizes. Find a sponsor in less than 60 seconds and activate your community to raise up to $1,000 or more toward custom shirts, cash donations, products and services or food and catering from a national brand or local business near you. For more information, visit

Governor Quinn Statement Commemorating First Night of Hanukkah PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katie Hickey   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:53

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement commemorating the first night of Hanukkah, which begins today and ends Dec. 24:

“Hanukkah is a joyous time that brings family and friends together to commemorate the Jewish community who faced challenges and adversity with fierce determination.

“People of all faiths can learn from their perseverance and resilience, while being inspired by the strong message of hope that Hanukkah brings.

“I wish all who are celebrating in Illinois a very happy Hanukkah and a wonderful, safe holiday season.”


PV & Bettendorf Schools Texting Whlie Driving Awareness Program PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Thomas Gibbs   
Monday, 15 December 2014 10:56

The Bettendorf Bulldogs and the Pleasant Valley Spartans have united to heighten awareness regarding the dangers of using electronic devices while driving. Thanks to Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington and Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher several hundred T-shirts warning of the dangers of Texting While Driving will be given to the students and worn at the Bettendorf/PV basketball games on Friday, December 12, 2014.

During the past week, School Resource Officers Bruce Schwartz and Deputy Jayne Ruckoldt have been announcing statistics and displaying videos regarding the dangers.

On Friday, December 12, 2014, teachers will be asked to view with their students a 10 minute public service announcement regarding the dangers of texting and driving. The PSA was put out by AT&T and is presented from the perspective of people, especially teens, who have been impacted by the death or serious injury of someone who was texting and driving. Teachers are encouraged to discuss the video with students.

The three main types of driver distraction are: visual, manual and cognitive. Texting is the most alarming driver distraction because it involves all three types of distraction. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation texting makes drivers 23 times more likely to crash. This is not just a teen problem.

Drive Safe - It can Wait!

How to Do What You Really Want for a Living PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Saturday, 13 December 2014 10:52

(Fast-track to Your Retirement)
Math-Minded Financial Advisor Lays Blueprint for Rethinking Your Earning & Distribution Years

What does it take to be comfortable during retirement? Conventional wisdom calls it the 4 percent rule – withdrawing about that amount from your nest egg each year to live comfortably. And, for that, millions of Americans believe they need to stick to a job they don’t like during their earning years.

“Unfortunately, the kind of money retirees want to spend each year for a comfortable lifestyle tends to be about $60,000, which means someone’s nest egg would have to be $1.5 million for that rate of withdrawal to sustain for 25 years,” says financial advisor Dave Lopez, a mathematics and computer science major who applies his analytical mind to solving retirement challenges.

“Of course, there are additional sources of income during retirement, such as social security, but the program may not survive the coming decades. And, there are additional costs of retirement, including legacy interests and the likelihood of needing long-term medical care.”

The fact is that millions of retirees simply do not have or will not have the kind of income they’d like to have during retirement. Lopez, founder of ILG Financial, LLC (, discusses an alternative approach to the golden, or distribution years.

•  Remember, Social Security is a welfare program. Before President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, seniors worked. America was an agrarian culture, and many who were in their 60s and 70s usually continued duties on the family farm, albeit handling lighter tasks. Social Security is essentially a Socialist idea. A response to the Great Depression, its purpose was to move out older workers in favor of employing younger Americans, but times have changed.

•  You don’t have to remain stuck in your “earning” job. “The U.S. government is the biggest employer in the world, and I work with many of its employees,” he says. “They usually have high-stress jobs and usually want to retire as early as possible and, while leaning on their pension, start working on their own terms as government contractors.”

•  Consider retiring early and working the job you’ve always wanted. The model frequently followed by retired government workers can be replicated by millions of other retirees. You don’t need a $1.5 million nest egg when you combine Social Security with a smaller withdrawal amount and a fun job earning $20,000 a year. Retirees can be creative in how they earn this “fun money.”

“Let’s say your passion is water skiing – why not parlay this hobby into a career?” Lopez says. “You’ll likely have decades of experience and plenty of contacts. You might work for a ski shop or create a small business giving lessons. Doing something you love is a great way to stay active as an older person.”

•  No pension? – Create your own. The days of working 30 years for a single company and collecting a sizeable pension are mostly over. This means retirees need to get creative and rely on other sources of income, including IRAs and strategies for annuities – effectively creating their own “pension.” Annuities are contracts with insurance companies. The contracts, which can be funded with either a lump sum or through regular payments, are designed as financial vehicles for retirement purposes. The money used to fund the contract grows tax-deferred. Unlike other tax advantaged retirement programs, there are no contribution limits on annuities.

“Annuities provide plenty of opportunity,” he says. “Of course, creative options also yield the risk of complexity. You’ll want to be sure to know what you’re doing, or at least consult with an accredited professional.”

•  Consider lifestyle changes. Through the distribution years, you should consider moving to a place where the cost of living is cheaper than major metropolitan areas. Simply put, you’ll want your money to go further. Take a play from younger folks who are cutting their cable in favor of only Wi-Fi access. Learn how to cook delicious meals on a budget. For many, learning how to make one’s money work better for them, rather than working for their money, is a preferable lifestyle.

About Dave Lopez

Dave Lopez is the founder of ILG Financial, LLC and has been working with individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area since 1986. He specializes in strategies that enable his clients to potentially build a retirement nest egg that they can rely on and can never outlive. Lopez has his Bachelors of Science degree from James Madison University with a major in mathematics and computer science. He is an investment advisor representative of AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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