Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Reach out to those not in the pews ]]> Lead story image

Agreat many Catholics thought the naming of Pope Francis meant a new day in our church. Me? Well, much as I admire his devotion to helping the poor and his desire to be a force who brings people together, I know in reality he’s the guy in the far-away home office. Nice guy, good guy, but he’s quite removed from my Catholic reality. Anyone who’s ever worked in a satellite office for a big company knows what I’m talking about. Sure, there can be a set of rules sent down from the home office. But how — and if — … ]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 02:16:03 -0600 <![CDATA[ Vets deserve much more than kind words ]]> Lead story image

The tributes started more than a week ago. By Tuesday, Veterans Day, they will be flooding social media. As they should, one person after another has been thanking members of the military and veterans for their roles in keeping our country the home of the free. Good. Wonderful images of the military men and women from people’s families have been filling Facebook. More than a few of my nieces will post the photo of my late father, looking so young and serious in his Army uniform. And then there’s the one that’ll show up of my pal’s dad — in … ]]> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:54:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Grocer did right by W. Rogers Park ]]> Lead story image

Denny Mondl figured he’d be up this morning by 5:45, just as he has been weekdays and Saturdays for decades. But if he was up before dawn, it was only because the family dogs didn’t get the word yet that the schedule is changing. Mondl’s reason for the early getting up and out is over. Saturday was his last day running the family grocery store, Ed & Erv’s Centrella Food Mart, on Touhy Avenue in West Rogers Park. Sure, the store didn’t open for business until 9, but by 6:15 every morning Mondl, 65, would begin making his rounds for … ]]> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 02:20:16 -0600 <![CDATA[ Latinos who fail to vote hurt Latinos ]]> Lead story image

The first time I was eligible to vote in an election I was away at school, but I was not so far away that I couldn’t come home and vote in person. After classes, I rode two trains and a bus to get there. In true Chicago tradition, my polling place was in a nearby store. I cast my first vote not too far from the jar you could dip into to get individual rod pretzels. In those days the precinct workers all were from the neighborhood, so they knew me and that this was my first election. There were … ]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:38:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ In the emptiness, I find a visionary ]]> Lead story image

I knew something special had to be going on if my dear friend was calling before 8 on a Sunday morning to invite me. Still, that didn’t mean as I was agreeing that I wasn’t also thinking to myself, ‘‘So I am going to just show up at 57th and Perry without an exact address, only with the reassurance, ‘you’ll know the house when you see it.’ ’’ But as I drove through well-worn streets where so many homes and businesses are no more, I could see she was right: there was no doubt which house it was. On the … ]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:16:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘God doesn’t make illegal human beings’ ]]> Lead story image

All Amy and Carlos want to do is live as husband and wife while raising their two children. It sounds so simple, except when it’s not. Amy and Carlos Godoy-Guerra are at the center of a new documentary that demonstrates the human toll of our broken immigration system. It will be shown at 9 p.m. Thursday on WTTW-Channel 11. “Divided Families” shows how Amy and Carlos have worked for the better part of 11 years to right a wrong and follow the rules of our immigration system. Amy, of West Chicago, and Carlos have tried to “get in line,” as … ]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:36:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ What’s our excuse for watching ‘N.J. Housewives’? ]]> Lead story image

I guess I don’t know much about reality. I was sure that impending jail sentences for both the mother and father of four young daughters would send those parents scurrying home. Nah. After all, the children of “Real Housewives of New Jersey’s” Teresa and Joe Giudice must know something big and bad is about to happen in their lives. When the sentences were handed down Thursday I also thought this might force Bravo to eliminate the entire “Housewives” franchise. But like I said, I don’t know jack about reality. See, the Giudices were found guilty of paying for their fake … ]]> Mon, 06 Oct 2014 20:38:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Making sure new shows with Latinos stick around ]]> Lead story image

I wasn’t crazy about Sofia Vergara’s appearance at the Emmys last month. If you missed it (I don’t blame you; what a snooze fest), Vergara — the hilarious Colombian actress who stars on “Modern Family” — stepped onto a platform that proceeded to rotate and show all sides of her, particularly her much-discussed backside. This was supposed to, I guess, provide comic relief while Bruce Rosenblum, president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, did the required mind-numbing speech about the academy. Instead, it sparked outrage across the Internet, as many complained bitterly about the actress being objectified. Vergara … ]]> Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:10:40 -0600 <![CDATA[ When Robin Williams died, she thought of her brother ]]> Lead story image

When Sabrina Tengelsen Guthrie learned Robin Williams killed himself, she was devastated. The Bucktown resident had lived for years in California’s Marin County, where Williams was “a permanent fixture.” But for Guthrie, executive director of the Tengelsen Family Foundation, it was more than just the shock of losing a popular actor and one-time neighbor. Williams’ death brought back the painful reminder that sometimes talent, success and a loving family are not enough. The news may have been about Williams, but Tengelsen’s thoughts turned to her brother, Dana. Dana had long struggled with depression, something obvious to his family, but not … ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:27:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ How to boost Latino vote influence ]]> Lead story image

They were there when Latina author Carmen Boullosa spoke at the National Museum of Mexican Art. And again when the new students arrived for orientation at National Louis University. When the dancers in their traditional costumes traveled down 18th and 26th streets, they were there, too, but not so much to watch the parades. Instead, the workers from a number of Latino organizations are going where the people are to sign up new voters. Operating under the umbrella of the Latino Policy Forum, the Voto X Voto (Vote By Vote) campaign has brought together members of the Illinois Latino Agenda … ]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:14:02 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fighting back against bullying ]]> Lead story image

The first time I saw a photo of Camille Paddock, I thought, what a nice smile. It wasn’t until closer examination that I realized she had only one eyebrow. Now something like that can be noticed by an adult and it might trigger curiosity, but that’s about it. Not so with children. They see something different, and too often unless adults step in, they zero in on it and can be just merciless. That’s what happened to the 15-year-old Paddock, who lives in the northwest suburbs. Hers is a story of remarkable resilience that other kids need to hear. Paddock … ]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:09:54 -0600 <![CDATA[ Parents, ease up on that leash ]]> Lead story image

Here’s the story I heard on Facebook a couple of weeks back. Apparently, this mother had been phoned by her child’s away camp to urge her to write. (Mail from home actually was on its way.) Seems all the other kids were getting multiple letters and faxes daily. Faxes? At away camp? Just as the absurdity of the situation was sinking in, I learned something else: It was a one-week camp! So these kids were getting numerous faxes every day, all while at a place designed to teach them independence. How are they supposed to get the lesson when their … ]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:09:51 -0600 <![CDATA[ Scooby-Doo lets girls down ]]> Lead story image

Scooby-Doo, what the heck’s the matter with you? For crying out loud, there should be no problem with kids watching a video of a mystery-solving dog and his crew. Oh, the Scooby-Doo jokes can be corny, but the long-running feature has been tame otherwise. After all, Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. had its start in the late 1960s, when parent groups demanded the violent cartoons of the day be replaced by safer fare. So, all along, from its incarnation as a cartoon through full-length movies with actors and now direct-to video animated films, Scooby-Doo’s been pretty innocuous. Until now. In Scooby-Doo’s … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:26:40 -0600 <![CDATA[ Film tells aftermath of mill closing ]]> Lead story image

I was holding my breath that the Kickstarter campaign for Exit Zero would be successful. And it was! It was only in the last days of the campaign to raise $15,000, which ended Aug. 13, that I stumbled upon it. Exit Zero examines deindustrialization in our country through the story of Christine Walley and her family when Wisconsin Steel shut down in 1980. ]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 06:13:07 -0600 <![CDATA[ Farmers market sells fruit, veggies and ethnic pride ]]> Lead story image

Like others, the farmers market at Seaway Bank and Trust Company has booths full of fresh fruits, vegetables and prepared foods. But what’s also on display is a strong sense of community, family and ethnic pride. This is the 10th season the Chatham market has been operating, according to Claudette Harris, bank vice president and marketing officer. When Seaway — the largest African-American bank in Chicago — hit its 40th anniversary, the bank decided a farmers market would be a nice way to give back to the community. But to have a viable farmers market, well, you need farmers. Getting … ]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:44:10 -0600 <![CDATA[ Teens take on serious summer games ]]> Lead story image

Evan, Armani and their new friends have spent most of their summer playing games. And that’s a good thing. Oh, they’re not your stereotypical teens of summer, lost in solitary play while hunched over a laptop. While these 70 Chicago teens — predominantly male, primarily from the South and West Sides — may be at play, in reality they are learning so much about digital storytelling, social issues and life skills. They’re involved with Project S.E.E.D. (Story Engineering and Enabling Device), sponsored by Game Changer Chicago Design Lab at the University of Chicago. During the five-week program that wraps up … ]]> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:12:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Teen girls need a little Zumba ]]> Lead story image

After I had a chance a couple summers back to do Zumba with its creator, Beto Perez, I felt like, well, I can die and go to heaven now; that’s how high that had been on my bucket list. I know, a little crazy, right? I have a couple places where I take Zumba — a high-energy Latin dance/cardio routine — regularly, but mostly I hop around to different classes across the city. During the summer, I often notice moms bring their teenage daughters along. It must be to keep them out of mischief, because the teens rarely join in … ]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 06:09:51 -0600 <![CDATA[ Shootings dim Chicago summer’s allure ]]> Lead story image

Summer always has felt like one sun-soaked gift to me. I savor it, like a coveted chocolate treat. As I walk in the quiet of morning or sit outdoors at night, I think, this is what I longed for as I waited on snow-slicked L platforms or rushed through errands on the rainy days of spring. This winter in particular, and the awful spring that followed, what got me through it all was thinking, ah, summer is on its way. I’m not alone in this sentiment. What always has helped Chicagoans tolerate our lousy weather is knowing summer will return. … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:29:48 -0600