Stage & Theatre
Loebsack Announces Davenport Office Location PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 15:44

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that his new office will be located in downtown Davenport.  The office will be open beginning January 3rd and occupy the same location where previous Members of Congress have had their offices.

“Hearing firsthand from Iowans is my number one priority. This location for my office in Davenport will allow folks to easily drop by to voice their opinion or seek assistance from my office.  I’m excited the office is now open and to be making a new home in Davenport for the people of the Second District,” said Loebsack.

The address of the office:   209 W. 4th St., #104, Davenport, IA 52801


Artists Demand A Plan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Mayors Against Illegal Guns   
Thursday, 27 December 2012 09:45
Some of the best known names in entertainment are stepping forward to Demand A Plan to end gun violence.

Please take a minute to watch the powerful message they recorded and share it with your family and friends.

Thank you for spreading the word,

Christmas trees and holiday lighting present post-holiday fire hazards PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Lorraine Carli   
Friday, 21 December 2012 09:08

NFPA reminds the public to properly store and dispose of seasonal decorations

December 20, 2012 – While the winter months are the leading time of year for home fires, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says the post-holiday season presents its own set of fire hazards. Dried out Christmas trees and holiday lighting are among the leading culprits.

“As time goes by, Christmas trees continue to dry out and become increasingly flammable,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “For trees decorated with holiday lights, the risk increases because they’re in direct contact with an electrical source.”

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance of being deadly. On average, one of every 66 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total home structure fires.

A video demonstration created by NFPA and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) underscores just how quickly a dried-out Christmas tree fire can grow and spread.

According to Carli, you can tell when the tree is drying out by the number of needles that drop each day. “Once you start to see more fall, the tree is no longer fresh, and it’s time to get rid of it.”

Dried trees should not be kept in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

In 2006 to 2010, holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an annual average of 160 home fires, 9 civilian deaths, 13 related injuries, and $9 million in direct property damage. To reduce the risk of holiday light fires and keep equipment in good condition for next year, follow these storage suggestions:

  • To unplug electric decorations, use the gripping area provided on the plugs. Never pull the cord to unplug a device from electrical outlets. Doing so can harm the cord’s wire and insulation and even lead to an electrical shock or fire.
  • As you’re putting away electrical light strings, take time to inspect each for damage. Throw out light sets if they have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Do not place a damaged set of lights back into the storage box for next year’s use.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap the lights around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place where they cannot be damaged by water or dampness. Also, keep them away from children and pets.

NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) have teamed up again to remind everyone about ways to keep warm and safe throughout the winter months. Their joint safety campaign, “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” includes a wealth of heating, cooking and holiday fire safety tips.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at

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Governor Quinn Launches New Video Showing How Children Lose in Pension Squeeze PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 20 December 2012 13:06

“Kids Don’t Have Lobbyists: Part 2” is Latest Installment of Thanks in Advance Campaign

CHICAGO - December 20, 2012. One reason children stand to lose the most from the pension squeeze is their lack of a voice in Springfield, according to a new video released today by Governor Pat Quinn.

“Kids Don’t Have Lobbyists: Part 2” picks up where the children left off in “Kids Don’t Have Lobbyists: Part I.” That video was posted last week as part of Governor Quinn’s “Thanks in Advance” Internet campaign to educate Illinoisans about the urgent need for pension reform.

“Kids: Part 1” – which has been viewed more than 5,600 times – went behind-the-scenes at a children’s focus group about cereal which turned into a discussion of pension reform. As the gravity of the pension problem became clear and the kids realized their voices were not being heard, they decided to hire a lobbyist. In the sequel, the kids hold “Lobbyist Tryouts” and interview “Mr.Tim the Lobbyist.” They realize “Mr. Tim is expensive.”

View both of the “Kids Don’t Have Lobbyists” videos at or the “Thanks in Advance” Facebook page.

“Today’s adults must sacrifice a little of their present so the children of our state can have a bright future,” Governor Quinn said. “In the past decade, the pension squeeze has forced deep cuts in early childhood education, after-school programs and grants for college-bound students. Nobody has more at stake in pension reform than the children of Illinois and we should all keep that in mind heading into January.”

State spending on public pensions will exceed education spending by 2016 if comprehensive pension reform is not enacted. The state's pension payments - which made up just six percent of the state’s budget in 2008 - have soared to 16 percent of the budget in 2013. That increase has “squeezed” the education portion of the budget from 30 percent down to 26 percent. The “squeeze” by pension payments on essential state services is the focus of “Thanks in Advance,” which has attracted 41,000 unique visitors and nearly 50,000 YouTube views.

The “Kids Don’t Have Lobbyists: Part 2” video joins four videos on the “Thanks in Advance” website, including videos by legendary “explainer” Salman Khan. Khan was named by Time Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People for his commitment to offering a “world class education for everyone everywhere.”

In April, Governor Quinn proposed a plan that would rescue the pension systems, ensure employees have access to benefits and prevent skyrocketing pension costs from eating up core services like education and healthcare. The governor's plan would fully fund the pension system by 2042. "Thanks in Advance" aims to build public awareness about the need for legislative action on pension reform in Springfield and empower citizens to make their voices heard. The legislature is scheduled to work January 3-8.


Why the Future Looks Bleak for the World’s Powerful Men PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 15:16
Gen. Petraeus Affair is Only the Most Recent
in History’s Watershed Seductions

Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters named Gen. David Petraeus her Most Fascinating Person of the Year, but battle-of-the-sexes author Charles D. Martin says the title more rightfully belongs to socialite Jill Kelley.

“Petraeus’ actions were utterly predictable,” says Martin, author of “Provocateur,” (, a novel about the often scandalous nature of sexual relationships between high-positioned men and ambitious, beautiful women. “Powerful men have been rendered intellectual mutes by beautiful women since the beginning of time. What’s more fascinating is how Jill Kelley, a homemaker and doctor’s wife, managed to wrap the nation’s top military brass around her ‘come hither’ finger.”

The influence women hold over men has been prominently cited since the beginning of recorded history, Martin says, from the ancient world to today’s top world leaders. Ancient Greece alone, he says, is rife with tales of a woman’s power: Kirke, the sex goddess in Homer’s Odyssey lured sailing men onto the rocks of her island; Lysistrada brought together the women of Athens and Sparta to deny their men sex until they stopped the Peloponnesian war.

“While I’m sure many men decide not to roll the dice on their career, marriage and legacy, I’m also confident that men who are otherwise smart, savvy and guarded will continue to forget their heads and think with their biology. My advice to powerful men? Beware of audacious women!”

Martin reviews some of the watershed moments in history that all came down to a beautiful woman and a man’s primal, physiological vulnerability:

• Adam & Eve (and Lilith?): Perhaps the most influential narrative of man and woman can be found in the Bible’s Genesis 2, where Yahweh fashions Adam from dust, and later creates Eve from his rib. Eve tempts Adam to eat an apple, and both get kicked out of Eden. Even more scandalous is the character Lilith, a figure from Jewish folklore circa the 8th century. According to Hebrew legend, Lilith was created the same dust as Adam, at the same time. Lilith was an independent woman who refused to submit to Adam’s domineering ways. She fled Adam and Eden before Eve’s creation, and refused to ever return. Ever since, Lilith flies around the world, howling her hatred of mankind through the night, and vowing vengeance because of the shabby way Adam treated her.

• Napoleon & Josephine: Long before Napoleon became France’s first emperor, he was a lowly second lieutenant who still had one foot in the fervent nationalism of his native Corsica. Contemptuous of the French aristocracy, he nevertheless fell in love with the widowed Josephine de Beauharnais. She was older, cultured and always just out of his reach, although she finally succumbed to his ceaseless attempts – and his power. The fate of Napoleon’s military campaigns, and that of Europe, was often at the mercy of Josephine’s whims. Although he married another for power and breeding purposes, Josephine’s name was the one uttered with Napoleon’s last breaths.

• Tiger’s face-plant: To say that he was the Michael Jordan of golf probably doesn’t do Tiger Woods credit. He was the most dominant golfer in the history of the sport, and there probably will never be another like him. An apparent addiction to sex – to young, beautiful and ambitious women – felled his career and family life. Nowadays, Woods is a mediocre-at-best PGA player, which has changed the lives of golfers like Rory McIlroy, who now finally get a chance to win the big tournaments.

• John & Yoko: Widely reviled by Beatles fans for breaking up the best rock band ever, Yoko really wasn’t to blame, says former Beatle Paul McCartney in her defense. But what more might the Beatles have done together? Did the band have one more album in them, or would they have toured once more? We’ll never know because when John met the exotic, artsy Yoko, she would be the only thing he really cared about.

• Bill & Hillary: Despite being impeached for lying about an affair with a White House intern while under oath, the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, bounced back – a hopeful note for men everywhere. Most people remember him fondly for the good old days of economic prosperity over which he reigned. His wife, Hillary, decided to “stand by her man,” perhaps because of her own political ambitions. She is wrapping up her position as Secretary of State, and many pundits have her running for a 2016 presidential bid. She and the world appear to have forgiven Bill Clinton his extramarital indiscretions. Perhaps because, in the end, it really came as no surprise.

About Charles D. Martin

Charles Martin runs a hedge fund, Mont Pelerin Capital, LLC, and serves on the investment committees of prominent universities. An established business writer, his first novel focuses on the intrigue that often exists between alpha females that take on – and conquer – dominant males. Martin lives with his wife in a coastal town south of Los Angeles.

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