Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Undocumented youth need support ]]> Lead story image

MARLEN GARCIA: A tall woman with blond hair and blue eyes nervously grabbed a microphone to tell her story about growing up in despair because she is undocumented. “Does my lack of a social security number make me less of an American?” the woman, Egle Malinauskaite, asked rhetorically. ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:27:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Maryville turned U. of I. student’s life around ]]> Lead story image

A McCaskey scholarship recipient, Ehrich recalled Maryville as a safe place where he established a measure of trust with peers and staff. He found a sense of security, crucial for a child’s upbringing, but missed being part of a family, ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:32:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Counselor representing immigrants targeted with foreclosures is plenty busy ]]> Lead story image

Baltazar Enriquez sits on his crumpled coat outside Room 802 at the Richard J. Daley Center to wait for his clients. He will be here for an hour or three. There is a good chance he will return the next weekday, the one after that and so on. His clients are immigrants and Latinos who cannot afford the $206 Cook County appearance fee required to respond to lawsuits by mortgage lenders foreclosing on their homes. Failing to respond is like giving away the home to the lender. “This step is so crucial,” Enriquez, 34, says. “If you don’t file your … ]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 02:30:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ College sports programs hide their bad side ]]> Lead story image

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 is that he maintain a C+ grade-point average to renew the scholarship annually. There is nothing in the fine print that states he must give away the rights to his image and likeness to the university or a governing body, an agreement college athletes make to receive scholarships. He will not have to accept “friend” … ]]> Sun, 30 Mar 2014 02:30:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Tragedy of kids who can’t swim ]]> Lead story image

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 to interact with others. It wouldn’t hurt if they could make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There is, however, a basic skill often overlooked until tragedy strikes: knowing how to swim. Forty percent of Caucasians, 60 percent of Latinos and 70 percent of African Americans do not know how to swim, according to … ]]> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 02:31:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Positive steps on immigration not enough ]]> Lead story image

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 a second term. Obama has now made another strategic move by ordering a review of deportation practices to determine how enforcement can be handled in “more humane ways” for undocumented immigrants, according to a White House statement. “It’s what we’ve been telling him he can do,” said Tania Unzueta, a national immigration strategist from Chicago … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:34:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Superman, you are here!’ she said ]]> Lead story image

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 a story that warms your soul. Recently I read an article in Bleacher Report about a little girl from St. Johns, Mich., who is battling neuroblastoma, a cancer that strikes infants and children. Lacey Holsworth, 8, has family and friends willing her through surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but one man stands out: Adreian Payne, … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:41:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ DePaul professor an NCAA betting guru ]]> Lead story image

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 media outlets seek for dizzying odds. “As an educator, I wish I could get the point across that it’s not hard to compute these things,” says Bergen, director for the master’s in math education program at DePaul. A high school math student can come up with the numbers, he says. “Here’s some simple calculations,” he … ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 06:50:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ We must teach teenagers about money ]]> Lead story image

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 on credit cards, credit ratings and loan amortizations came from family, college courses and financial missteps. Any credit card looked good at 18, even if it came with an astronomical interest rate. Consumer ed hasn’t changed much over the years. Teachers tell me many of the brightest students do not understand basic principles of finance. … ]]> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 06:37:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rooting for Russia’s Games from Des Plaines ]]> Lead story image

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 but locals in Sochi who work tirelessly and humbly behind the scenes, are putting on a pretty good show, springlike temperatures and all. “I’m glad it’s finally being viewed in a positive light,” the Very Rev. Andre Papkov of Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church in Des Plaines, said of his country. Russia … ]]> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:34:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ A strong voice on deportations ]]> Lead story image

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. ]]> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 06:38:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Essential math skills must be taught early ]]> Lead story image

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. In previous eras in this country, campaigns to improve literacy hit us hard. “Could you read and write?” said Allen Sanderson, an economics professor at the University of Chicago. Those who could not found themselves crippled financially, socially and emotionally. “The counterpart to that today is how good is your mathematical literacy and quantitative reasoning,” … ]]> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:43:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Yes, air travel is safe — but it’s so unpleasant ]]> Lead story image

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, probably more irksome than the last. Airline travel is thankfully safer than ever; yet, it continues to grow increasingly unpleasant for most. Passengers are crammed like cattle in narrow rows in economy class, where it is rare to get a complimentary snack to graze. Seats are made of lighter weight and thinner materials these days, … ]]> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 06:43:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Streamlined questions could improve Census ]]> Lead story image

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 official count of the country’s population every decade. The bureau is busy preparing the 2020 census, tweaking it to avoid non-responses and improve accuracy. In four years, census questions for 2020 must be delivered to Congress. By then we could see a significant change in how the bureau asks about ethnicity and race, tricky topics. … ]]> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:46:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ Beating the cable company by finding other options ]]> Lead story image

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 to technology industry analyst Jeff Kagan. But you probably already knew that if you have kept track of your ever-expanding cable charges. When Arizona Sen. John McCain announced last year he was sponsoring a bill that would allow consumers to buy channels individually, also known as a la carte service, I was briefly encouraged. There … ]]> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 06:45:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ We failed to save Sgt. Roldan, but fight goes on ]]> Lead story image

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. He was popular for reaching out to officers who lost loved ones or battled illnesses. He was the one who brought cards in for coworkers to sign and slip money in when costs were steep. For years he organized toy drives for needy children and volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club. I learned some … ]]> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 06:40:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Minimum wage hike wouldn’t fix real problem ]]> Lead story image

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 on $8.25 an hour in Illinois. It used to be mostly teens who rang up orders at McDonalds. Now it seems to be moms or dads who piece together part-time jobs to pay bills. Wage protests early this month brought to mind a conversation I had with a flight attendant a few months ago. I … ]]> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:33:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Program helps women develop business skills ]]> Lead story image

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, pork, cheese or corn tamales. She had to go back for the late afternoon rush hour. Many nights she slept two or three hours. Tamales take awhile to cook, and she had to put them on the stove by 3 a.m. to be at her crudely constructed stand three hours later. The sleep-deprived single mother … ]]> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 06:44:58 -0500