Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![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 … ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:16:26 -0500 <![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 -0500 <![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 … ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:15:17 -0500 <![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 -0500 <![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. ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:17:02 -0500 <![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 -0500 <![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 -0500 <![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 -0500 <![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 -0500 <![CDATA[ Running teaches teens life lessons ]]> Lead story image

You think running’s all about the physical? No way, says 16-year-old Icabel Rodriguez. “It’s all mental,” she told me during a recent phone interview. “If you tell yourself you can do, you can do it.” That’s just the lesson the CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) Road Scholar Program wants Rodriguez and the other 150-plus program participants to take away from their 14 weeks of training. Started in 2008 and modeled after a similar initiative in Los Angeles, the Road Scholar program attempts to teach teens 14 to 18 life skills through running, according to Wendy Jaehn, CARA’s executive director. The … ]]> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 06:14:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wedding photos lower the lens ]]> Lead story image

I’d like to think of today’s column as a public service for those of you attending a wedding for the first time in a while. After all, it is the wedding season and there are new attractions, if you will, when it comes to the photos. Sometime after the special day and its continuous chocolate fountain, you’ll be given the website name, password and a variety of other codes to get to the wedding pictures. And when you look, don’t be surprised if cheek-to-cheek with photos of the grandparents is a photo or two — or three or four, because … ]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:52:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rogers Park doubles down on artsy ]]> Lead story image

With fairly affordable housing, good public transportation and proximity to the lake, Rogers Park always has attracted artists. There’s an effort going on now to make sure that tradition continues and maybe brings a boost to one of the area’s commercial districts in the process. The Rogers Park Business Alliance recently hosted a community meeting to introduce Artspace, which is considered a leader in developing living/work space for creative types. Artspace is checking out vacant buildings in the Far North Side neighborhood, talking to area artists to see what the needs are, asking neighbors what they’d like to see art-wise. … ]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 21:02:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ We thought we knew about eating right ]]> Lead story image

Everything we think we know about how to eat right is wrong. The advice that one must eat a low-fat diet — one that avoids meat, butter, eggs, cheese — to be healthy has been drilled into us for decades by doctors, dietitians, government, the media and TV weight-loss shows. This conclusion must be the result of thorough scientific research. But after reading Nina Teicholz’s “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet” (Simon & Schuster, $28), one realizes that’s not true at all. Rather, Teicholz shows that in their haste to stem the … ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 17:40:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Beware high school Summer Melt ]]> Lead story image

The last thing Nia Abdullah wants this summer is melting. Melting? Isn’t that something that happens as winter turns to spring? The Summer Melt is a term educators are all too familiar with, and Abdullah, the principal at Bowen High School, is working hard not to have it happen at her Southeast Side school. Summer Melt refers to what happens often in high schools, especially those with low-income students. Graduating seniors who have been accepted to colleges and look forward to going find that they are unable to attend, for this reason or that, when the time comes around. It … ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:13:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Yikes! Another mattress store ]]> Lead story image

I thought my head would explode the day I realized another mattress store was opening just blocks from the one already in my neighborhood. The only thing that bugged me more was seeing not one, but two branch banks being built near me. How can such benign things spark my ire? Let me tell you. In my neighborhood, like so many in the city, the commercial choices are limited. But it wasn’t always that way. When I moved here, nearby there was a cute card/gift shop, a good carryout/bakery, a flower shop where the guy would tell you neighborhood gossip … ]]> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 17:38:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jessica Alba admits it’s all a sexy act ]]> Lead story image

Actress Jessica Alba may have founded the Honest Company, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t told a fib or two. While promoting her latest movie — “Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” — the 33-year-old has been in confessional mode. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Alba admitted that when she was starting out she didn’t quite understand why everyone thought she was so sexual, but she didn’t dissuade them from that notion, either. In fact, she told EW, she’d pretend that she was more sexual than she actually was. “Sometimes I would lie and say something … ]]> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:02:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dumb TV ad taps my inner Elvis ]]> Lead story image

Among the many wild stories about celebrities, a favorite is the one about Elvis Presley shooting out the TV screen while watching it. Whenever I used to hear that I’d think, that’s crazy; who would do that? Not me. Now I am not so sure. The reason for my ire? A TV commercial. In it, there’s a babe in her undies while snippets of music play in the background. It’s not her lack of attire that frosts me; it’s the music that makes me glad I do not own a gun. The song is the Shangri-Las’ “Give Him a Great … ]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 00:46:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jobs key to staying out of trouble ]]> Lead story image

Driving along the new extension of South Lake Shore Drive, I finally figured out what bothers me about Chicago’s “Put the Guns Down” campaign. Certainly it isn’t that I disagree with that sentiment. All we hear about are relentless shootings in the city. It doesn’t matter what time — the quiet of morning, the busy crunch of rush hour, after sundown — gunshots are ringing out. Sure, there’s value in the city asking radio stations to help spread its anti-violence message. We started using our seatbelts more after the “Buckle Up” campaign. There’s an entire generation that took the message … ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13:46:14 -0500