cepeda

Esther J. Cepeda biography

Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Esther J. Cepeda started writing before her scribbles adequately conveyed her musings. She attended Lane Technical …Read More

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New book shows Obamas holding on to true selves

Much has been made about Jodi Kantor’s new book, The Obamas, but above all the breathless headlines it has inspired, the book is a fascinating study on the isolating, constantly scrutinized nature of living in the White House in the age of 24 distinct one-hour …

It will be a pain, but I’m going ga-ga over the G-8

When riding the L or waiting in line for your morning cup of coffee, maybe you’ve heard some of our fine city’s residents moaning about the prospect of hosting the NATO and G-8 summits this spring. “We don’t even have money to keep the libraries …

2012: Another year of politics wiping us out

The only question on everyone’s lips these days is “will the economy — employment levels, home values, wage increases — fully recover soon?” According to the yearly gathering of brilliant economic minds at the Executives’ Club of Chicago Annual Economic Outlook luncheon, the answer is …

My dogs went wild in fight, but don’t ban them

Two summers ago I was involved in a violent, terrifying dog fight. During a quiet evening stroll around my neighborhood, my husband, our two dogs and I spotted a family of four up the street. A mom pushing a baby in a stroller, a young …

George’s Klan analogy wrong on all counts

Hitler and the Klan: two evils whose names should not be invoked unless specifically referring to Adolf or the white nationalist hate group. Countless are the numbers of celebrities, legislators, and talking heads who have gotten themselves in trouble for comparing someone to Hitler — …

Must-read book of 2012: Public hospital’s sad tale

Make it the last book you read in 2011 or your first of 2012, but whatever you do, don’t miss out on County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital. Written by Dr. David Ansell, now vice president for clinical affairs and chief medical …

Latino progress in jobs hits blue-collar ceiling

You’ve heard of the glass ceiling (women) and the bamboo ceiling (Asian Americans). It turns out there’s a blue-collar ceiling for Chicago Latinos. So says a new study from DePaul University’s New Journalism on Latino Children project and the Latino Policy Forum. They analyzed Hispanic …

Help women’s soccer make a well-deserved comeback

Ladies, it’s time to stand in solidarity with your soccer-playing sisters. If you spent even a moment cheering last summer when the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team competed in the World Cup finals against Japan, you need to know that those internationally renowned sportswomen may not …

Being a charter doesn’t make school good or bad

Surprise, surprise: Chicago’s charter schools aren’t doing much better than those in the Chicago Public School system. I don’t say that as one of those foaming-at-the-mouth charter school haters who believe that these publicly funded out-of-district schools do nothing more than cherry pick the decent …

My five holiday wishes (and, OK, world peace)

Do you remember that 1991 episode of “Saturday Night Live” when the perpetually silver-haired Steve Martin shared his holiday wish list? He started off, “If I had one wish that I could wish this holiday season, it would be that all the children of the …

Public schools are failing the most gifted students

I have a master’s degree in special education, but when I rack my brain, I can recall only one or two class sessions, tops, during my teacher training that were devoted to gifted students. And through hundreds of hours of classroom observations, I never once …

The poor are with us, however you count them

If you’re confused about poverty rates, no one can blame you. It seems like for the last year, there have been constant updates on just how badly Americans are doing in the shadow of The Great Recession That Never Ends, followed by reports suggesting that …

Tax on pop could fund nutrition education

Should Illinois use a pop tax to fill its coffers and maybe lighten the load of being the 23rd fattest state in the nation? Last week, the Cook County Department of Public Health released a report titled, “Estimating the Potential Impact of Sugar-Sweetened and Other …

If Illinois doesn’t get act together, people will flee

Last summer, I was sitting in the waiting room of a state outreach center and witnessed the angry tirade of a woman waiting to appeal an unemployment insurance issue. The people in her vicinity, and the person on the other end of her cell phone, …

Reality TV shows have poisonous effect on kids

Though I despise reality TV shows such as “Jersey Shore,” “Real Housewives” and “Ghost Hunters” — all of which seem to captivate audiences with the stunningly bad behavior of their subjects — it didn’t bother me to see a picture in Bill Zwecker’s Oct. 20 …

We’re a nation of people polarized by preferences

You might love former President Bill Clinton, or you might hate him. But on this, at least, you’d be hard pressed to disagree with him: Our country is profoundly polarized. “America has overcome all these prejudices we had. We’re not nearly as gender-biased as we …

Young Latino boxers fighting for their future

ESTHER CEPEDA: Based in Little Village, the Chicago Youth Boxing Club provides quality coaching in boxing and mixed martial arts, along with mentoring, health/nutrition education and work-readiness training for at-risk young people.