Bill Clinton hosts jobs and economic forum in Chicago

Xinhua English
June 29, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Seeking to help the U.S. domestic economy recover from the recession and cut down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate, former U.S. president Bill Clinton kicked-off a two day forum here on Wednesday, while touting Chicago as a model of innovation and economic resurgence.

Clinton, whose eight-year stint at the White House saw the U.S. economy prosper, urged American banks to unlock an estimated $2 trillion in cash for loans.

He also encouraged companies to invest within America another existing $2 trillion dollars in their reservoir, and called on more jobs training to fill as much as three million jobs currently available but remain vacant because of mismatch in qualification.

By filling the three million available jobs, unemployment rate will already be significantly reduced and create a more optimistic economic atmosphere, Clinton said.

On the first day of the event, Clinton has already secured the financial commitment of four organizations, including a 10 billion dollars in capital from the labor group AFL-CIO to be spent for public infrastructure repairs for the next five years.

To read the full story, please visit Xinhua English

Jewish Republicans see Obama as one-termer

Huffington Post and
June 27, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia


SKOKIE, Ill. – Between analyzing the electoral prospects of Republican presidential candidates and ridiculing the “level of mental illness among liberal Jews,” members of the Republican Jewish Coalition(RJC) gathered in Skokie last week to discuss how they could help defeat President Obama in 2012.

The standing-room only crowd came from throughout Illinois to fill a conference room at Holiday Inn, where they listened to political analysts and Republican scholars offer political red meat against Obama, whom one speaker accused of being “more pro-Palestinian than the Palestinians.”

Michael Menis, president of RJC’s Chicago chapter, told Skokie Patch that his group was alarmed at Obama’s policies toward Israel.

“There’s concern in the Jewish community as far as President Obama’s allegiance to the United States’ long-time ally Israel,” he said. “Through his rhetoric and his actions, he seems to have departed from the policy that we’ve seen coming from other presidential administrations since the creation of Israel in 1949.”

Menis said the meeting’s heavy turnout on June 23 was a good indication that RJC members could be invaluable in helping efforts to elect a GOP president in 2012.

To read the full story, please visit Skokie

Same-sex civil unions now in effect in Illinois
June 01, 2011

By Ted Regencia

(Photo Credit: Carla Shaw)

SKOKIE, Ill — Carla Shaw and Karen Behen have been together for 19 years. The couple have known each other since childhood. But it was not until years later that they decided to become partners.

In between, Shaw got married and had two children. She later divorced her now-deceased husband, who she said was supportive of her relationship with another woman. Her two grown sons have also welcomed Behen, she noted.

On June 2, Shaw and Behen of Decatur will make it official at a mass ceremony planned at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.

To read the full story, please visit in Skokie

Ex-Warner Bros. employee is 3rd Pinoy fatality in Missouri

The Filipino Channel-Balitang America
May 30, 2011

By Ted Regencia

(Joplin story also featured as a banner headline of The Philippine News)

CHICAGO — It’s been a week since the deadly tornado hit Joplin, Missouri and authorities are reporting that the death toll has climbed up to 139, including a Filipino who once worked for Warner Brothers in New York.

Relatives from Cebu confirmed to ABS-CBN the death of 76-year-old Thomas Sarino. A naturalized American citizen, he is the third person of Filipino origin to have died from last Sunday’s disaster.

According to his niece Grace Sarino, she was contacted by a certain Taylor Jayne Thompson who then relayed to her the coroner’s confirmation of the elderly Sarino’s death.(Photo courtesy of Grace Sarino)

To read the full story, please visit

Pinoys share their story of survival in Joplin

The Filipino Channel-Balitang America
May 26, 2011

Text and video by Ted Regencia

To see the entire report, please visit See the Filipino version here

JOPLIN, Mo. – Even as the tight-knit Filipino community in Joplin continues to mourn the death of two kababayans, stories of survival are also being told by many.

Today occupational therapist Frank Herrera turns 35. His family is now homeless. His pregnant wife and their daughter are all alive.  He said that is his best birthday gift.

On Wednesday, Herrera returned to his heavily-damaged house to retrieve their belongings, including a Sto. Nino relic and the bottles of vitamins for his daughter. He showed the bathtub where they were huddled at the height of the tornado. Continue reading “Pinoys share their story of survival in Joplin”

Two Filipinas killed in Midwest tornado

The Filipino Channel-Balitang America
May 25, 2011

Text and video by Ted Regencia

Please see the Filipino version here

JOPLIN, Mo. – Two Filipinas have been confirmed dead following the  weekend tornado that has killed at least 123 people and left hundreds injured in Joplin, Missouri.

Grace Aquino was found inside a collapsed church last Sunday, May 22.  Aquino’s two daughters said their mother died while protecting their 12-year-old brother, who survived with minor injuries.

On Tuesday, May 24,  the body of another Filipina, Esterlita Moore,  was recovered from the second floor of a building next to her house. The 64-year-old hairdresser was apparently thrown by the raging wind. A breast cancer survivor, she died clutching bottles of medicine.

Both victims were from Pampanga, Philippines.

Culture fest still a diverse draw for Skokie
May 24, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — Garbed in bright red, gold and black Ottoman costume, Robin Coffman gingerly walked alongside her daughter Julie La Susa and granddaugther Scarlett Gibbs, following a performance at the 21st annual Skokie Festival of Cultures last Saturday.

The three were in matching traditional costumes from Turkey, one of the more than three dozen countries featured at the annual springtime festival celebrating Skokie’s long tradition of diversity.

Curiously, they have no Turkish ancestry. And they are not residents of Skokie either.

“I’m all-Irish but I’m doing Turkish dancing,” Coffman said, explaining her culture-bending sensibility. Her group traveled from Milwaukee to showcase its Turkish dance skill.

To read the full story, please visit

World to End on May 21? Skeptics Not Buying It
May 20, 2011

By Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — If faithful listeners of the Christian broadcasting network Family Radio are to be believed, then the organizers of the Skokie Festival of Cultures picked the wrong date to kickstart the festivities on Saturday.

On that day, May 21, 2011, the world will come to an end, according to the Christian group Project Caravan, which has been crisscrossing the U.S., including the Chicago area, to spread its message. It is a claim widely received with skepticism if not outright dismissal from other religious and scientific communities.

“The end of the world is almost here,” Project Caravan proclaims on its radio station, its billboards, its leaflets and its website. “The bible guarantees it.”

Five months of natural disaster will commence on May 21, and earthquakes will cause widespread death among nonbelievers, while the believers will be saved from damnation and punishment.

To read the full story, please visit

Emanuel sworn as new Chicago mayor

Xinhua English
May 16, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Declaring that Chicago “is ready for change” and vowing to address major problems such as school reform, street violence and a large budget deficit in city government, Rahm Emanuel took his oath as Chicago mayor on Monday before a large crowd that includes U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

“Today, more than any other time in our history, more than any other place in our country, the city of Chicago is ready for change,” said Emanuel amid cheers from thousands and supporters and hundreds of flag-waving schoolchildren.

Emanuel succeeds Richard M. Daley, the longest-serving mayor of the city for 22 years, and will inherit from him a modern metropolis, dubbed as one of the greenest cities in the world, but which also faces lingering racial segregation, high unemployment and a $654 million budget shortage. He served as President Obama’s chief of staff before returning to city to run for mayor.

Continue reading “Emanuel sworn as new Chicago mayor”

Chicken coop idea may not fly in Skokie
May 15, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — It was a question that even Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen conceded he could not quite find the right words to answer.

At a forum sponsored by the community organization Skokie Voice last February, Dennis Clarke asked if the village would allow him to raise chickens in his backyard.

As Clarke stood waiting for the mayor’s answer, audible laughter was heard among the crowd of about 200 people gathered at the Oakton Community Center.

Mayor Van Dusen was visibly surprised at the question, acknowledging to Clarke that it was first time he had been confronted with such a query. He said the village currently prohibits residents from raising livestock including chickens.

To read the full story, please visit