Up Coming Events at Westminster Presbyterian Church

Sept.10 4:00 pm – Opening Gretchen Iben Concert Two-piano Jazz with John Campbell and Derel Monteith, along with a jazz ensemble Dave Hoffman and Friends.

TWO PIANO JAZZ …

The 2017 – 2018 season of the Gretchen R. Iben Arts Series at Westminster Church will kick off with a concert of great Jazz for Two Pianos.  Derel Monteith of the Derel Monteith Trio will preside at one piano, and John Campbell, now resident in Bloomington, but the world famous as a professional jazz pianist will preside at the other piano.  The exciting sound of two pianos is always a treat, and jazz in this form is most particularly attractive.  Derel and John will be joined by well-known Central Illinois artists including Jason Bannon on drums, Andy Crawford on bass, as well as Larry Harms on reeds and the nationally known trumpeter, David Hoffman rounding out the group.  But the focus will definitely be on the two pianists and their keyboard wizardry, bringing us traditional jazz tunes, popular music and a few standards all to delight the listener.

This concert is a prelude to Westminster’s Jazz Vesper Services which start up again for this season on Sunday afternoon,September 17 at four.  Each week David Hoffman and his friends from the Central Illinois Jazz Community bring first-class jazz as a worthy offering of music before God.  Some congregational songs are included as well as prayers, scripture and a short homily by Pastor Denise Clark-Jones.  The roots of jazz are deeply embedded in the church, and in this service, we return this great American art form to the place where it started.  Come and join us … both for the concert on September 10 and also for the Jazz Vespers which will run throughout the academic year.

Sept.17 4:00 pm – Weekly Jazz Vespers services start again.

Sept.30 10 am – 1:30pm Gathering at the Well: Our Stewardship of the World’s Water Seminar. Guest speakers, Q & A, lunch provided.

Gathering at the Well: Our Stewardship of the World’s Water

Westminster will host a seminar on issues surrounding this most critical natural resource in the Fellowship Hall of the Parish House (across from the church building on Malvern Lane). Two speakers will address water issues at both the local and global level. Scott Reed, chief engineer for the city of Peoria, will address local concerns. Dr. Yunus Salami, an engineering professor at Bradley University and head of the local chapter of “Engineers Without Borders” will address global water issues. After each presentation, there will be question and answer period. There will be a 45-minute lunch break between the two speakers for lunch catered by Avanti’s. The seminar is free, but donations will be accepted to help with the cost of the lunch. To register, call the church office (309-673-8501) or sign up online at westminsterpeoria.org.

FRIENDS OF RIVERFRONT PARK FUNDRAISER SEPT. 16

Friends of Riverfront Park is sponsoring a Save the Park Fundraiser & Update on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 2 – 4 pm in Riverfront Park, at the foot of Morton Street, Peoria.

The event will include jazz by Dave Hoffman and Friends; folk music by Chris Stevens, a supporter of open space; Native American drum, dance and storytelling by the Eagle Ridge Players and Friends; nature and trail tours by Mike Rucker and Doug Franks; photos and games for children and adults, and more. Food will be available for purchase from Haddad’s and Dawn’s Taco.

An update on the fight to save Riverfront Park from destruction if upscale apartments are built there also will take place. The city of Peoria’s application is pending with the National Park Service, which must approve or deny it.

The event is free but donations will be accepted. Friends of Riverfront Park has an all-volunteer staff. Donations are not tax deductible. All funds raised will be used to preserve Riverfront Park for public use.

In-kind donors to the event include C. T. Gabbert, Remodeling and Construction; Westminister Presbyterian Church, Kendall Davis (Master Designs Boomerang) and others.

In case of rain, the event will take place at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1420 W. Moss Ave., Peoria.

For further information on the efforts to save Riverfront Park in Peoria from the apartments, see the FORP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/riverfrontparkfriends

More information: Joyce Blumenshine joblumen@yahoo.com 309-676-1011

Joyce Harant jahchoices@gmail.com 309-648-3035

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER FORUM ON HATE SPEECH

7 p.m. Aug. 29, 2017

7 p.m. Aug. 29

Bob Michel Student Center

Bradley University, Peoria, IL

 

Co-sponsored by Community Word & Bradley University Department of Sociology & Social Work; African American Studies Committee; and Intellectual & Cultural Activities Committee

 

Contact:

Clare Howard, Community Word, 309-645-7544; clarehoward@comcast.net

Sarah Whetstone, Bradley University, 309-677-2390; swhetstone@fsmail.bradley.edu

The Southern Poverty Law Center documented more than 1,000 hate incidents and hate crimes during 10 days in early November following the presidential election. The hate continues and, in fact, seems to be escalating worldwide.

 

To examine and promote understanding of this climate, Community Word and Bradley University’s Department of Sociology & Social Work, African American Studies Committee and Intellectual & Cultural Activities Committee are co-sponsoring a free public forum with Lecia Brooks, outreach director at Southern Poverty Law Center, to discuss the rise in hate groups and hate crime. Lecia Brooks will discuss what people can do to combat hate.

 

The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the Bob Michel Student Center at Bradley University, Peoria, IL.

 

A panel of four members of the Peoria community will be part of this public forum. Panel members include:

 

Rev. Marvin Hightower, Peoria Chapter NAACP

Imam Kamil Mufti, Islamic Foundation of Peoria

Rebecca Carlson, Jewish Federation of Peoria

Sonny Garcia, Illinois People’s Action

Moderator is Garry Moore

 

“The swastika has reappeared in ways we have not seen before,” Brooks said, noting that teachers in kindergarten through grade 12 have reported they have never seen such a sharp rise in expressions and acts of hate. Children are repeating rhetoric from the campaign and using it as racial slurs. Southern Poverty Law Center has tallied hate crimes and found most were committed against immigrants, followed by Black, Muslim and LGBT groups. The swastika was the next leading hate category and is used as an expression of anti-Semitism and as a symbol of white supremacy.

 

Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 917 hate groups in the United States. There are groups in Bloomington, Canton, Springfield, Rockford and outside of Peoria.

 

The event is free and open to the public. News media coverage is encouraged.

 

 

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER is a nonprofit founded in 1971 to fulfill the promises of the civil rights movement and apply America’s founding democratic principles to all people. Priorities include: combating hate, teaching tolerance, protecting the rights of children; seeking justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights and criminal justice reform.

 

Lecia Brooks leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s outreach efforts on key initiatives and social justice issues. As outreach director, she frequently gives presentations around the country to promote tolerance and diversity. She also serves as director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Ala., an interpretive center designed to provide visitors to the Civil Rights Memorial with a deeper understanding of the civil rights movement. She joined the SPLC staff in 2004 as director of Mix It Up at Lunch Day, a Teaching Tolerance program designed to help break down racial, cultural and social barriers in schools. Previously, she worked for 12 years in a number of capacities for the National Conference for Community and Justice in its Los Angeles office. She is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University.

 

Organic control of Japanese Beetles

Teresa Brockman fought Japanese beetles on her fruit and herb farm in Eureka several years ago. She was told the invasion would be cyclical.

However, this year Japanese beetles have returned with a vengeance, worse than ever, consuming many plants to the point they may not survive the winter.

Brockman believes climate change is altering a natural cycle, and these pests may become an annual plague. She is evaluating her balance of 25 different kinds of fruits and 30 culinary and tea herbs, considering elimination of those most attractive to Japanese beetles.

In the meantime, she fights the onslaught.

Brockman’s Sunny Lane Farm: Teresa’s Fruit and Herbs follows the rules of the National Organic Standards Board. She uses no chemicals. She fights the beetle invasion with a bucket of soapy water. About 6:30 a.m. and again toward sunset, she holds the bucket of soapy water under beetles as they consume leaves and she knocks the bugs into the water. A few drops of soap in the water breaks the surface tension and the beetles quickly drown.

Considering she farms on more than 3 acres, this is a time-consuming battle but Brockman will never consider toxic chemicals.

“Our days are consumed with fighting beetles and picking fruit. We have no time even for weeding,” she said as she walked through her orchard, kiwi arbor and row crops, all of which seemed orderly and well-weeded.

“I would never consider using bad chemicals. I have an obligation to my customers and to myself. Using chemicals does not give a better result than the bucket method. So why not go for the safest method?”

 

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER FORUM ON HATE SPEECH

Lecia Brooks, outreach director at Southern Poverty Law Center, will speak in Peoria 7 p.m. Aug. 29, Bob Michel Student Center, Bradley University.

Co-sponsored by Community Word & Bradley University Department of Sociology & Social Work; African American Studies Committee; and Intellectual & Cultural Activities Committee

Contact:

Clare Howard, Community Word, 309-645-7544

Sarah Whetstone, Bradley University, 309-677-2390

 

Southern Poverty Law Center documented more than 1,000 hate incidents and hate crimes during 10 days in early November following the presidential election. The hate continues and, in fact, seems to be escalating worldwide.

To examine and promote understanding of this climate, Community Word and Bradley University’s Department of Sociology & Social Work, African American Studies Committee and Intellectual & Cultural Activities Committee are co-sponsoring a free public forum with Lecia Brooks, outreach director at Southern Poverty Law Center, to discuss the rise in hate groups and hate crime. Lecia Brooks will discuss what people can do to combat hate.

A panel of four members of the Peoria community will be part of this public forum. Panel members include:

Rev. Marvin Hightower, Peoria Chapter NAACP

Imam Kamil Mufti, Islamic Foundation of Peoria

Rebecca Carlson, Jewish Federation of Peoria

Sonny Garcia, Illinois People’s Action

Moderator is Garry Moore

“The swastika has reappeared in ways we have not seen before,” Brooks said, noting that teachers in kindergarten through grade 12 have reported they have never seen such a sharp rise in expressions and acts of hate. Children are repeating rhetoric from the campaign and using it as racial slurs.

Southern Poverty Law Center has tallied hate crimes and found most were committed against immigrants, followed by Black, Muslim and LGBT groups. The swastika was the next leading hate category and is used as an expression of anti-Semitism and as a symbol of white supremacy.

Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 917 hate groups in the United States. There are groups in Bloomington, Canton, Springfield, Rockford and outside of Peoria.

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER is a nonprofit founded in 1971 to fulfill the promises of the civil rights movement and apply America’s founding democratic principles to all people. Priorities include: combating hate, teaching tolerance, protecting the rights of children; seeking justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights and criminal justice reform.

Benefit for Western Avenue Greenway Project

A wine and cheese benefit for the Western Avenue Greenway Project is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. June 23 at 1306 W. Moss Ave. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door and at various neighborhood businesses.

The Greenway Project started in 1985 to enhance both sides of Western Avenue with landscaping. The area runs from Main Street along Western Avenue to Calendar Avenue. It is privately owned and maintained by a group of citizens.

The Greenway Project was devised to enhance the neighborhood by buying abandoned houses, demolishing them and landscaping the properties.

Recently a group of more than 30 Caterpillar volunteers from global purchasing helped with an intense workday on the Greenway Project. Cat volunteers perform various tasks each summer.

Volunteers are welcomed for a workday starting at 9 a.m. the fourth Thursday of each month on the property.

Peoria League of Women Voters June 21, 2017 event: Single Payer Healthcare

 

The Greater Peoria League of Women Voters will discuss Single Payer Healthcare at its Drinks and Dialogue event, 5:30 – 6:30 pm on Wednesday, June 21, at the Lariat Steakhouse, 2322 W. Glen Ave., Peoria.

 Luan Railsback, a Peoria-area activist who has been advocating for single payer healthcare for over a decade, will review the pros, cons, and misconceptions of Single Payer Healthcare, and discuss insurance costs for individuals and business owners.

Not a day goes by without hearing about healthcare in the news. Affordable Healthcare, American Healthcare, Medicare, Universal Healthcare: which is truly the most affordable, provides the most medical coverage, while also limiting overwhelming costs for business owners and individuals?

The event is free and the public is invited. Refreshments are available for purchase.

Drinks and Dialogue is offered on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, starting at 5:30 pm and ending promptly at 6:30 pm, always at a local restaurant, to discuss local, state and national topics relating to approved LWV positions, aimed at ‘Making Democracy Work.’

The League is a non-partisan, issues oriented, volunteer, member-directed organization committed to open, responsive and effective government brought about by informed, involved citizens with membership open to both men and women in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties. For more information, go to www.lwvgp.org.

PEORIA CHARITY TO COMPLETE 15 WHEELCHAIR RAMPS FOR NEEDY IN ONE DAY

 

 

 

Peoria – You think YOUR Saturday, June 24th will be busy? You might just want to take a look at Jeff

Heft’s calendar. That’s the day Heft’s charity, His Helping Hands, will be completing 15 wheelchair

ramps on the houses of the same number of low-income homeowners with disabilities.

Now in the 5th year of the Ready to Roll initiative, this time around marks a 50% increase. “Last year,

we did 10 ramps in one day and this year, we are working with volunteers to complete 15,” said Jeff

Heft, CEO of His Helping Hands. Low-income homeowners with disabilities apply for the program

through His Helping Hands or any one of many referral agencies.

Wheelchair ramps are not all that His Helping Hands does. In 2017, the Peoria charity expects to

complete more than 50 projects to help veterans, seniors, single moms and persons with disabilities.

Accessibility upgrades, weatherization jobs, needed repairs and ramps make up the core of what they

do. Homeowners pay nothing.

His Helping Hands completes projects in the Peoria-area, year-round. It is an all-volunteer

organization. Its CEO, Jeff Heft does not take a salary. For more information, visit their website at

hishelpinghandsinc.org.

Ready to Roll is a partnership between His Helping Hands, Advocates for Access, the Peoria Area

Association of Realtors, and hundreds of area volunteers.

 

More delays in Heidelberg case

Bill Elward, right, attorney with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, argued Thursday that his office is ethically bound not to comment on the Cleve Heidelberg case. Also in court for a status hearing on the attorney general’s review of the case are, from left,  Cleve Heidelberg, Andy Hale and Don Jackson.

BY CLARE HOWARD

Cleve Heidelberg was in court Thursday for a status hearing that was supposed to be about an independent review of his case by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Instead, attorney Bill Elward from the attorney general’s office, told Judge Albert Purham that his office cannot ethically comment on the case because of an appeal still pending with the Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa.

Elward said if the appellate court overturns Purham’s recent ruling vacating Heidelberg’s conviction, Heidelberg’s attorneys would likely appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. If the appellate court upholds Purham’s decision, a new trial could be possible, he said.

“We are ethically bound and we can’t comment on this case one way or the other,” Elward said.

His position took both Purham and Heidelberg’s attorneys by surprise.

Andy Hale, one of Heidelberg’s attorneys, said he is disappointed and had hoped for a full, fair and independent review.

Hale said a special prosecutor from the attorney general’s office was appointed almost one year ago and he should “finish the mission.”

Elward repeated his conviction that his office is ethically bound not to issue a report and said continued involvement in the case “invites mischief.”

Purham gave Heidelberg’s attorneys 14 days to respond, Elward 14 days to assess their response and then set a hearing on the matter for 1 p.m. July 21.

Meanwhile, Heidelberg remains free on bond.

After the hearing he said he was not particularly disappointed and views this as part of the process.

He said freedom is indescribable after 47 years in prison, and “it feels like I’ve been in the wilderness, and I’m back in civilization.”