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Marlen Garcia

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College sports programs hide their bad side

My teenage nephew has a great brain for math, a God-given gift that required a lot of time and effort to make something of it. He has been rewarded by a few universities with scholarship offers to study engineering on their campuses. One school’s stipulation …

Tragedy of kids who can’t swim

There are basic life skills kids should have by the time they are 7 or 8. Many of them are no-brainers you can find on parenting websites. Young children should know how to read, write and compute basic math. They should have strong social skills …

Positive steps on immigration not enough

President Barack Obama made a smart, politically motivated move when he issued an executive order in 2012 to stop the deportation of some immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It gave him a boost with Latinos who in overwhelming numbers helped him secure …

‘Superman, you are here!’ she said

Pessimism, crankiness, even anger set in when a cold spell grips the city for months. Neighbors jaw at each other over parking spots or blowing snow on a driveway. It’s as if the cold were running through our veins. That is until you come across …

DePaul professor an NCAA betting guru

As news spread in January that billionaire Warren Buffett would insure a $1 billion contest payout to anyone who fills out a perfect men’s NCAA tournament bracket this month, emails started piling up for a DePaul math professor. Jeff Bergen is the math guru news …

We must teach teenagers about money

The 1987 stock market crash made my high school consumer education teacher depressed. She talked about losing money, dollars she had counted on for retirement, like millions of Americans had on Black Monday. That’s about all I remember of the otherwise uneventful class. Meaningful lessons …

Rooting for Russia’s Games from Des Plaines

Nationalistic pride, like the intangible love of country sweeping through Russia during the Olympics, has a tendency to travel across land and water. Some of it seeps in while Russians cheer for their athletes. The rest comes in knowing their countrymen, not only the competitors …

A strong voice on deportations

MARLEN GARCIA: Sometime this spring, President Obama, by far the record-setter among U.S. presidents for deportations of undocumented immigrants, is expected to hit the 2 million mark. His track record not only has appalled immigration activists, it has galvanized them.

Essential math skills must be taught early

We hear a lot about test scores, how U.S. students have fallen far behind other countries when it comes to math and science. This is no longer surprising because it has been in the news for quite a while. Yet, it is no less alarming. …

Yes, air travel is safe — but it’s so unpleasant

To make it through subfreezing temperatures of this brutal Chicago winter, some lucky folks are looking forward to the splish splash of spring break trips in March. Those who will fly to sunny destinations in economy class need to be ready for an uncomfortable ride, …

Streamlined questions could improve Census

In sports, the offseason is considered a critical time for improvement. That’s when athletes work on perfecting new moves, like a crossover dribble, or fix their unreliable jump shots. You could say this is the offseason for the U.S. Census Bureau, best known for its …

Beating the cable company by finding other options

As consumers, we are used to having options. If a store charges too much for a TV, we can look elsewhere for a better price with confidence we’ll find it. That’s not true with cable bills, which double in cost about every 10 years, according …

We failed to save Sgt. Roldan, but fight goes on

Encarnacion Roldan earned the respect of his peers at the Cook County Sheriff’s Department with his professionalism. The sergeant demanded that the police officers he supervised be prompt and perform their duties to the letter of their oaths. Roldan won their admiration with his heart. …

Minimum wage hike wouldn’t fix real problem

On an emotional level, I have cheered for protesters demanding a minimum-wage increase. Anyone who has earned the minimum wage or was raised on low wages can empathize with the despair that exists for working adults struggling to provide food and shelter for their families …

Program helps women develop business skills

Alicia used to set up her tamale stand at 6 a.m. daily near the busy intersection of Montrose Avenue and Pulaski Road on the North Side. At 11 a.m. she would pack up her things and head home to finish preparing more batches of chicken, …

Angry priest fighting for immigration reform

There are hundreds of immigration reform activists across the country who also counsel those in despair over pending deportations. Their work is often driven by the nightmarish realities of undocumented immigrants. On Friday, I received an unusual call in that I heard from an angry …

Keeping immigration reform alive

The momentum for comprehensive immigration reform, gathered in the passing of the Senate bill five months ago, is long gone. Instead we have heard a lot about a health-care overhaul that already needs an overhaul and a Republican-controlled House of Representatives dragging the public’s confidence …