CHICAGO - August 14, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today announced that Kati Phillips will serve as her new chief of staff effective August 15. Phillips has served as the deputy chief of staff for communications in Simon's office since January 2011 and will continue to fulfill that role. She replaces DK Hirner who plans to work in Missouri.

As chief of staff and communications director, Phillips will work as a senior policy advisor, manage office operations and execute the administration's internal and external communications. She replaces DK Hirner who resigned after successfully re-establishing the office that had been vacant since 2009.

"Kati Phillips shares my commitment to transparency and accountability, and she will serve taxpayers well in this expanded role," Simon said. "I thank DK Hirner for her leadership in starting the office from scratch, and look forward to working with Kati to move our office and state forward."

Phillips formerly served as deputy director of communications for State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Prior to entering public service, she was an education and news reporter at the Daily Southtown and Star Newspapers in the south suburbs of Chicago and Elmira Star-Gazette in upstate New York. Her watchdog coverage of school districts in Calumet Park and Sauk Village received local and national awards. Born and raised in Bloomington-Normal, Phillips graduated from the University of Iowa and resides in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

"I appreciate this opportunity to serve as chief of staff and maintain continuity in our leadership," Phillips said. "I have great respect for Lt. Governor Simon and am excited to pursue meaningful education and ethics reforms that will make a difference for Illinois students and taxpayers."

Among her accomplishments as chief of staff, Hirner lists the Lt. Governor's Complete College tour of the state's 48 community colleges and the resulting policy report, "Focus on the Finish." As a result of Simon's attention to education reform, Illinois was chosen by the Lumina Foundation to participate in its Postsecondary Productivity Strategy Labs, a network that is providing guidance on performance funding for community colleges and universities and higher education affordability and completion issues.

"Now that the office is fully operational and positioned to make a difference in the education of Illinois children, I feel my work in the Illinois Lt. Governor's office is complete," said Hirner, who previously served as the chief of staff and policy director for former Missouri Lt. Governor Mel Carnahan and deputy chief of staff for former Missouri Governor Bob Holden. "I plan to put my experience to good use in helping my friend of 33 years, Mary Still, in her run for the Missouri Senate. It has been a pleasure serving Illinois, and I wish Lt. Governor Simon and her staff all the best and continued success in the remainder of her term."

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This election season, media personality Glenn Beck brings his own political comedic debate to movie theaters nationwide with "Glenn Beck's Unelectable 2012 Live" on Thursday, September 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT (tape delayed) / 8:00 p.m. PT (tape delayed); followed by a second showing in select theaters on September 25 at 7:30 p.m. local time. Beck will unleash his no-holds-barred political commentary when he faces off against Brian Sack, host of The B.S. of A., and his "say anything to get elected" candidate character. NCM Fathom Events and Mercury Radio Arts present this live broadcast event from the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, TX.
Tickets for "Glenn Beck's Unelectable 2012 Live" are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.fathomevents.com.
Glenn Beck's Unelectable 2012 Live will be playing at the following theaters in your area on September 20 (click here for a full list of participating theaters):
RAVE Davenport 53 18 with IMAX 3601 E 53Rd St Davenport IA 52807 7:00 P

Davenport West High School grad Grace Allison launches "Wander," a comedic fantasy epic

SAVANNAH, GA (08/10/2012)(readMedia)-- Grace Allison, 2007 graduate of Davenport West High School and 2011 graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, has just released the first installment of her digital-only comic series, "Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom," a comedic fantasy that follows perpetual grad student Olive Hopkins as she finds herself transported to the Ninth Kingdom, a World of Warcraft-style fantasy land straight out of that section of the Barnes and Noble Olive has always avoided. Grace is the artist and colorist for the series.

Having graduated with a B.F.A. in Sequential Art from SCAD, Grace was accepted into the prestigious artist collective, Periscope Studio, in Portland, OR, where she currently lives and works.

Comic Book.com calls "Wander" a "terrifically entertaining book....Allison's art is stylized to the book in a way that's perfect."

"Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom" is available on Comixology, part of publisher Monkeybrain's new initiative to offer a digital comics line, available cross-platform, meaning one purchase will allow readers to enjoy the comic on computer, iPhones, iPads, etc.

The second installment in the epic series will be out in early September.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT is delighted to announce that Leigh Geramanis has been named the WQPT Volunteer of the Year 2012. The "Hawaiian themed" award ceremony was held at Western Illinois University QC Riverfront Campus on August 7, 2012.

Leigh, who was joined by her daughter Abbie, was given the award by Jerry Myers, WQPT Program Manager, who was an instructor at Black Hawk College and taught Leigh when she was a student and intern at WQPT.  Mr. Myers noted that Leigh was known as "Ginger" during her college career.

"We are very fortunate to have someone like Leigh be a part of WQPT.  Her history with the station and her ability to serve in so many capacities is a real bonus for the station," said Interim General Manager and Chief Development Officer Jamie Lange.

During the past year Leigh not only served on various community committee's but also served as the host and moderator for an hour long television special dealing with the drop out crisis here in the Quad Cities.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

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Does our society hold too narrow a view of what defines strength?

The things many would point to as indicators - youth, wealth, a fully capable body - fall short, says Charles Gourgey, a veteran hospice music therapist and author of Judeochristianity: The Meaning and Discovery of Faith (www.judeochristianity.org), a book that explores the unifying faith elements of Judaism and Christianity.

"Youth is ephemeral, abundant wealth is for just a few, and we all experience some kind of disability, usually at several points in our lives," he says. "A car accident, the loss of a job or a home, grief over a loved one's dying: such things can happen to anyone and easily destroy our happiness."

Gourgey says some of the greatest strength he's ever seen was demonstrated by certain of his patients facing imminent death.

"Some people have complete love and grace when facing death - it's how they've lived their lives, and at the end of their lives, it's what supports them," he says. "Those who, at the end, are peaceful, grateful and confident share some common characteristics."
They are:

• Their love is non-self-interested. When we have awareness of and deepest respect and reverence for the individuality of others, we overcome the high walls of ego and experience a tremendous sense of freedom, says Gourgey. He says he continues to be inspired by patients who cared more for the well-being of others, including their fellow hospice patients, than themselves while facing their own mortality. Non-self-interested love - loving others for themselves without expecting or needing anything in return - is the greatest form of love, he says.

• They had an unwavering faith that transcended religious dogma. Faith is the knowledge that there is more to life than the apparent randomness of the material world; a sense that we are known to a greater reality and will return to that reality. No matter what their religion, the patients who were most at peace with their life's journey were those who had faith in something higher than themselves. The problem with many concepts of faith, Gourgey continues, is that people attach specific doctrines to it, which means some people will always be excluded. A unifying faith - that all people are connected and love is the force that binds us - allows for trust, compassion and caring.

• They were motivated by an innate sense of what is good. They didn't get mad at themselves; they didn't beat themselves up for mistakes they might have made in the past. That's because they were always guided by their sense of what is good, and they made their choices with that in mind. That did not prevent them from making some bad choices or mistakes over the course of their lives, Gourgey says. But when they erred, they addressed the problem with the same loving compassion they extended to others. "Their compassion overcame even any self-hate they may have experienced."

Many patients left lasting impressions on Gourgey, and taught him valuable life lessons. He remembers one in particular.

"She was in hospice, a retired nurse who had developed a rare, incurable disease," he recalls. "She would go around every day, checking to see what she could do for the other patients. She fetched blankets for a 104-year-old lady who always complained of cold feet. She sat with and listened to patients who needed company and someone to talk to. She had an attentive awareness about her, like she was fully in touch with her soul."

Gourgey was with the woman when she died.

"She was radiant, she just glowed. She kept repeating how grateful she was for her life," he says. "It was as if the life of love she'd lived was there to transport and support her at the end."

About Charles "Carlos" Gourgey

Charles "Carlos" Gourgey, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC, is a board-certified and New York state-licensed music therapist. He has more than 20 years of experience working in hospices and nursing homes, and for 10 years was music therapist for Cabrini Hospice in New York City. He has published articles on psychology and religion in various journals.

Digital media company calls sweet home Chicago

CHICAGO - July 30, 2012. Crediting The Onion for uniting all of its business and editorial operations in Chicago, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will declare it "The Onion Day" on Tuesday to celebrate the digital media company's consolidation of its headquarters in Illinois.

Formerly based in Madison, Wis., with its editorial staff headquartered in New York City, The Onion consolidated its media operations in Chicago this month, which will include a new studio for digital video production. The Onion, along with its sister publication The A.V. Club, will house approximately 100 employees in its new offices and studio in River North in October.

"No matter how you slice it, The Onion brings tears to my eyes," Simon said. "From its spot-on satire of our politics, to its use of our web video tax credit, The Onion shows that Illinois is a great place to do business and that Chicago is a great comedy town. We encourage other digital media companies to make us their first choice for their international headquarters."

Among other factors, The Onion management attributes its relocation to the Illinois tax credit for web video, TV and film production, the city's vibrant comedy scene and proximity to Hot Doug's Encased Meat Emporium and Hotdog Superstore.

Meanwhile, "Chicago" loosely translates from the Native American Potowatami language to "wild onion" or "native garlic," which was surely a selling point, Simon said.

"The Onion is very happy to return to its Midwestern roots," said Steve Hannah, President and CEO of Onion, Inc. "and especially happy to land in Chicago. Our brand of journalism has a peculiarly Midwestern sensibility and, combined with the state's generous tax credit for video production, we feel that we have landed in the right place."

The declaration will come during a fundraiser for the Better Government Association emceed by WGN TV's Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten. Simon will dedicate a country music parody to The Onion and the BGA for their work in exposing political corruption and promoting government transparency.

"Corruption isn't funny, but sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying," said BGA president Andy Shaw, "so we'll laugh at The Onion's unique brand of journalism and the lieutenant governor's unique way of welcoming them to Illinois, and then we'll go back to our unique anti-corruption watchdog mission of shining a light on government and holding public officials accountable."

The Onion is the self-proclaimed "biggest, most powerful, most terrifying and most influential media company in the civilized world." Figures provided by company say it has an audience of approximately 3 billion people worldwide across its various media platforms, including The Onion newspaper syndicate, The Onion News Network in web video and on television, The Onion Radio Network, the pop-culture A.V. Club, Zweibel Worldwide Productions and Onion Digital Studios.

Chicago politicians, media outlets and sports teams frequently have been targets of The Onion's writers. Past headlines in The Onion include : "City of Chicago to Modernize Outdated Graft Programs"; "Chicago Cubs Sell Naming Rights to Chewing Gum Company"; and "Struggling 'Chicago Tribune' Cuts Asia Bureau, Expands Sudoku Staff". It was the only news outlet to report on the deadly 2003 "meatwave" in Chicago.

Supposedly founded by two University of Wisconsin-Madison students in 1988, The Onion is published and/or broadcast in 87 different languages in 159 countries. At any given moment approximately 80 percent of the world's population is being watched by one of The Onion News Network's cameras, its sources say.

Among other awards, The Onion has won the Thurber Prize for American Humor, numerous Webbys for the best journalism in multiple creative categories on the Internet, and the prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. In recent months, The Onion produced four original shows for its premium YouTube channel and, along with its staff, hired numerous members of Chicago's television community to assist in production.

Lt. Governor Simon's declaration in honor of The Onion can be found here.

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By: Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries

It sure looks like it. Most of the recent marketing successes are visual successes, not verbal ones. Here are 10 examples from my recent book, Visual Hammer (www.visualhammer.com).

1. The lime.

Until 2009, there had never been a Mexican brand on Interbrand's list of 100 most valuable global brands. There is now: Corona, the beer with the lime on top of the bottle.

Today, Corona is the 86th most valuable global brand, worth $3.9 billion. In the United States, Corona outsells Heineken, the No. 2 imported beer, by more than 50 percent.

2. The chalice.

A second imported beer is moving up the ladder in America and for exactly the same reason Corona was so successful. It's Stella Artois from Belgium.

Stella Artois is the Budweiser of Belgium, so ordinary fast-food restaurants sell it in plastic cups.

No plastic cups for Stella Artois in the U.S. market. The importer provided bars and restaurants with its unique, gold-tipped chalice glasses.

Today, Stella Artois is one of the top 10 imported beer brands in America.

3. The silver bullet.

The only mainstream beer that has increased its market share in the past few years is Coors Light, the silver bullet.

Coors Light has already passed Miller Lite, the first light-beer brand, and recently Coors Light also steamed past Budweiser to become the second largest-selling beer brand in America.

4.  The duck.

Then there's the remarkable transformation of Aflac, the company that brought us the duck. In the year 2000, the company had name recognition of just 12 percent.

Today it's 94 percent. And sales have gone up just as dramatically.

The first year after the duck arrived, Aflac sales increased 29 percent. And 28 percent the second year. And 18 percent the third year.

5.  The pink ribbon.

In 1982, Nancy Brinker started a foundation to fight breast cancer in memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who had died from the disease. Since then, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised nearly $2 billion.

Today, it's the world's-largest non-profit source of money to combat breast cancer. A recent Harris poll of non-profit charitable brands rated Komen for the Cure as the charity that consumers were "Most likely to donate to."

6.  The red soles.

Look at the success of Christian Louboutin, a French designer who regularly tops The Luxury Institute's index of "most prestigious women's shoes."

In 1992, he applied red nail polish to the sole of a shoe because he felt the shoes lacked energy.

"This was such a success," he reported, "that it became a permanent fixture." And ultimately built the phenomenally successful Louboutin brand.

7.  The green jacket.

In the world of professional golf, there are four major championships: (1) The U.S. Open, (2) The British Open, (3) The PGA Championship and (4) The Masters. The first three are hosted by major golf organizations, but the Masters is hosted by a private club, the Augusta National Golf Club.

Every, year the Masters gets more attention than any of the other three  events.

8. The colonel.

Consider KFC, now the leading fast-food restaurant chain in China with more than 3,800 units in 800 cities.

To most Chinese people, the letters "K F C" mean nothing, but Col. Sanders is known as a famous American and the leading fried-chicken brand.

9.  The Coke bottle.

What Coca-Cola calls its "contour" bottle is 96 years old. Few are currently sold but recently, the company gave its iconic bottle a major role to play in its advertising programs.

The results have been impressive. Recently Diet Coke passed regular Pepsi-Cola to become the second best-selling cola drink.

10.  The cowboy.

And look what the cowboy has done for Marlboro cigarettes. The year Marlboro was introduced, there were four strong cigarette brands in America: Lucky Strike, Camel, Winston and Chesterfield.

Yet today, Marlboro is by far the leading brand, outselling the next 13 brands combined.

It's also the world's best-selling cigarette brand.

About Laura Ries

Laura Ries is president of Ries & Ries (www.ries.com), a marketing consulting firm in Atlanta. Laura and her partner/father, Positioning pioneer Al Ries - have co-written six books on branding that challenge conventional wisdom. Al's revolutionary book "Positioning: The battle for your mind" taught us words are important in marketing and now Laura's book "Visual Hammer" (www.VisualHammer.com) tells us why visuals are more powerful.

CHICAGO - Lt. Governor Simon will declare it "The Onion Day" in Illinois on Tuesday, July 31 in honor of the satirical newspaper making Chicago its international headquarters. The declaration will come during a fund raiser for the Better Government Association emceed by WGN TV's Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten that features special performances by a banjo-toting Simon and The Onion Players.

The Onion claims to be the "biggest, most expansive, most powerful, most terrifying and most influential media company in the civilized world." Leaving behind New York City, The Onion consolidated its media operations in Chicago this month, and recently broke ground on a new studio in River North for digital video production. The Onion will move 100 employees to the new offices and studio in October.

The Onion leaders attribute the relocation to the Illinois tax credit for web video, TV and film production, as well as the city's comedy scene and proximity to Hot Doug's Encased Meat Emporium and Hotdog Superstore. Simon will dedicate a new song to The Onion and the BGA for their work in exposing political corruption and promoting government transparency.

EVENT: Corruption Is Not Funny LIVE!, the BGA Summer 2012 Event

TIME: 6-9 p.m.

DATE: Tuesday, July 31

PLACE: Paris Club, 59 W. Hubbard St., Chicago

Click here for more information, or visit www.bettergov.org

 

 

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By: Joe Thomas of Left Brain Digital

I can't even fathom the number of conversations I've had with new clients suffering from a severe case of "I Just Don't Get It!" disease. The stories of why they wrote their books or developed their products are all different, but the endings are the same: They're not selling diddly. Squat. Nada.

Before we get too far into the whys and why nots, let me warn you, I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. There's no magic form for you to fill out to get instant access to my "Special Report," nor is there a download of secret "For Your Eyes Only" information designed to get you on my mailing list. (My next rant is going to be about buying into the web marketing trap.)

Instead, I'll go straight to the "why," which is as complicated as it is simple: People can't buy what they can't find.

Most web marketing gurus will tell you that Search Engine Optimization can help direct potential customers to your book or product, and why you should hire them to get you listed front and center. I am not that guy. Oh, I believe in the power of Google, but there are major caveats:

1. Search engines are great if you know what you're searching for. Type in your name and/or book title into Google and look at the results. You may be at the top of page 1 and even have 22 different listings on the first and second pages. You may get the same results on Bing and other search portals. You might even show up first on Amazon.com, where your book is right there, for sale to the masses. But you're still not selling many books are you? Here's the tricky part: YOU know your name and your book title, don't you? But, people can't search out your name and book title if they don't know them.

2. People can search for my incredibly, fantastical keywords, can't they? Well sure they can - and they do. Let's assume for a second you have a book and it's about Politics, Money, Religion, Employment or any number of topics. Now go to Amazon and type in your keywords - you know, Politics, Money, Religion, Employment ... You just discovered there are 672,481 books using your Incredibly Fantastical Keywords, right? Now type in those same keywords along with your name and/or book title. Eureka! There you are. I now direct your attention to No. 1 above.

3. Your website is totally gorgeous but it's not getting you sales. The first part of this quandary is, LOOK AT No. 1, above. Are people actually visiting your site? Have you checked out your server logs to see what your traffic data looks like? You're probably thinking your webmaster takes care of all that, right? Unless your webmaster is getting a piece of the profits from every item you sell, odds are he/she doesn't really care. Let's be honest here, you're paying your webmaster whether you sell or not. Now, if your traffic data is showing that you're getting a boatload of traffic but no sales, maybe you need to be more realistic about how gorgeous your site really is. Looking good and converting visitors into buyers are two different things. But before you start blowing up your site, go back and LOOK AT No. 1, ABOVE.

Here's a bit of free advice: If your marketing plan to reach 100,000 book or product sales is based on people finding you without a clue who you are, keep your day job and forget about buying the fancy car with your profits. You need exposure. You need to get your name and the name of your book, product or business in the news - in newspapers (they all put their content online nowadays), magazines and e-zines and blogs. Get yourself interviewed on talk radio and TV, if you can. Get your social network sites up and active and build a following.

Plenty of people do it themselves. If you find that too difficult or time-consuming, hire professionals to do it for you. There are 5 hundred million thousand books and products for sale online. If you want folks to know what to search for, they have to know that you exist and what you have to offer.

And the happy ending will come.

About Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas is the founder and owner of Left Brain Digital (www.leftbraindigital.com), a web development company. He's an award-winning web designer/developer with more than 18 years of experience in print and web design and development. Thomas' work became a major influence in graphic and web design in the "Y2K" era of the Internet's dot-com explosion.

Books are Brain Food for Adults

Join us this week for our LAST Recipe Club and Swap event for adults!

 

chocolate bars Monday, July 23 at 6:00 pm in the Main Library Community Room. Chef Rachel Doumia will demonstrate a dessert and offer chocolate cake samples. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite dessert recipe to share in the recipe swap portion of the event. (Admit it: We had you at chocolate.)

 

Are you reading to win? Entry forms and boxes at all Rock Island locations for the Adult summer reading club. Top prize is a new Sony® eReader. Entries due by July 27. Winners will be notified by phone Friday, August 3.

Reading is So Delicious for Kids

Egyptian fruit bat photoWednesday, July 25 is BAT time! Join us for the Incredible Bats Show, 10:00 am, Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street.


Licensed USDA Class C exhibitors Sharon and Daniel Peterson have presented multimedia shows on bat education for the past 15 years. The show offers facts about the diet, living habits and many benefits of an often misunderstood and feared creature. Attendees will also meet the couple's live Egyptian Fruit Bats. The bats were born in captivity, and are one of a sub-order of Old World fruit bats, Rousettus Aegyptiacus. (Native species of bats cannot be captured, sold or traded. Most are protected by state and federal laws.)  Details here.

One week left to read! The Reading is So Delicious summer reading logs are due back July 27, so keep reading!

 

All programs are free. No library card required. Questions, call the Children's Room at 309-732-7360,

 

Teens: Feed your Mind - READ!

Teens have two program choices this week (and two more next week.) Sweet!

 

illustration of a round pizza The Great Pizza Taste Test, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, July 24. Blind taste tests of area pizzas. You pick your favorite! Rock Island Main Library, ages 12 to 18.

 

Teen Movie/Food Event, 5:30 pm, Thursday, July 26. Come see Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Johnny Depp, and make a food craft you can eat. (Nothing too gross, we promise!) Sweeney Todd is a musical about a murderous barber, so the content may not be suitable forSweeney Todd movie poster younger or more sensitive teens. (Better for ages 16 and up generally, but use your own judgment.)

 

And here's a heads up for next week:

 

Final Teen Iron Chef contest, 4:00 pm, July 30, Main Library.

 

Mark your calendars for the Teen Summer Wrap-up Party, Tuesday, July 31! It starts at 5:30 pm in the Main Library Community Room. Teens can pick up their prizes, play Wii and other games, eat snacks, and just generally bask in their summer reading success.

 

 

Keep reading! Teen summer reading prizes include books, DVDs, gift cards, or the grand prize, an Amazon Kindle® eReader!

Like Audiobooks? Try OneClickdigital!

One Clickdigital advertisement

Rock Island Library has added OneClickdigital, a new service that allows you to download thousands of audiobooks for enjoyment on a portable listening device. All books are iPod compatible. To learn how to use it, sign up for a free online webinar to be offered on July 24, or click the link on our website to create a user name and get started. Details:

 

OneClickdigital subscription made possible by funding from the Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District.

Week 8 of Summer Reading

Our thanks to:

Summer Reading events and prizes sponsored by Friends of the Rock Island Public Library, Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District (Southwest Branch events) and the Rock Island Public Library Foundation (summer art and drama.)

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