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Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Freeport 95¢ • January 22, 2014

Right in Our Region

RSO Explores ‘Tragic Desire’

By Chris Linden, managing editor love of nature, and the latest was about epic ove can bring much joy, and yet it also or legendary love affairs. If we look closer brings much sorrow. The Rockford Symat love stories, there’s a lot of music about phony Orchestra (RSO) will explore the tragic tragic love affairs.” side of desire in its Feb. 1 classical perforEach of this concert’s four selections, chomance at the Coronado Performing Arts Censen by Larsen, tells a story of love lost. Its leadter. ing piece, Brahms’ Tragic Overture, was cho“Every show this season has to do with sen not just for its title, but for its sullen tones. some element of love,” says Steven Larsen, That’s what we’re witnessing here.” RSO musical director. “The first celebrated


Continued on p. 20

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Flooring Options for Damp Rooms • Nutritious, Delicious Pumpkin Curry • Auto Care: Getting Out of a Snowy Ditch Your Health: How to Impact Three Lives • Person-to-person E-payments • Beware Home of Repair Offers


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Issue 1


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Sept. 4


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Oct. 30


In This Issue Right in Our Region: RSO and ‘Tragic Desire’ ......... Cover & p. 20 Your Home Flooring Options for Damp Rooms ............11 Inspiration & Worship ..............................12 Your Kitchen Nutritious, Delicious Pumpkin Curry ........15 . Auto Care Tips Getting Out of a Snowy Ditch ....................17 Your Health How to Impact Three Lives ........................25 Your Fun ................................................... 27 . On the Town ............................................. 29 Your Money Person-to-person E-payments ...................33 Tips Beware Home Repair Offers ..................p..31

Smart L iving Weekly ™

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Bill Hughes Executive Editor Janine Pumilia

Managing Editor/Web Editor Chris Linden Associate Editor/Special Projects Editor Karla Nagy Senior Staff Writer/Promotions Coordinator Paul Anthony Arco Graphics Director Blake Nunes Contributing Writer Jim Killam General Sales Manager Brent Hughes Sales Manager Brad Hughes Account Executives Steve Blachford, Brian Hughes Administration & Circulation Manager Lisa Hughes Website Published by Hughes Media Corp. 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107 (815) 316-2300, Fax: (815) 316-2301 Smart Living Weekly. Copyright 2014 by Hughes Media Corp., 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.



Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22

On Tragic Desire

Why do bittersweet love stories so captivate us? As I sit here making a list of famous romances gone bad, I realize just how endless it is ... Scarlett and Rhett, Rick and Ilsa, Romeo and Juliet, Hawkeye and Cora, Rose and Jack, Maria and Tony, Lara and Zhivago, Cleopatra and Marc Antony, Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde, Pocahontas and John Smith, Meggie and Father Ralph .... (not to mention, most recently on TV, Brody and Carrie (Homeland) and Matthew and Mary (Downton Abbey) ... Whether the spoiler is war, natural disaster, unnatural disaster, meddling families, illness/injury, gang warefare, a jealous spouse, homicide/suicide, the priesthood, a sinking cruiseliner or, in Brody’s case, being hung in an Iranian public square, writers, like life itself, have endless ways of tearing lovers apart, just when life is most rosy. A musical exploration of tragic desire is the theme of Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s next concert, detailed in our cover story. Not only writers, but many an artist and musician, have crafted great masterpieces while in the throes of heartbreak. Why? My son Blake and I were interested to see the famous, haunting painting “Ophelia,” by Sir John Everett Millais, used to promote this concert (see p. 21). Years ago, we saw the original work during a trip to the Louvre, and still recall how mesmerized each of us was by it, though we couldn’t say why. We didn’t want to like a painting of a drowned girl, but we couldn’t take our eyes off it and had to tear ourselves away to catch up with our group. It has stayed with us, in years since, and to this day its power remains a mystery to me. I can only guess that tragic love, and all forms of heartbreak, are common to human experience and cry out to be heard and shared. Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22


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Oct. 30



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Jan. 22

Y H  G

New Flooring Ideas for Damp Rooms By Jim Killam


looring options for damp rooms like basements and bathrooms aren’t nearly as limited as they once were. In spaces where carpeting, hardwood or laminates weren’t practical, homeowners used to be confined to tile or linoleum-type products. Linoleum wasn’t always durable enough, and some consider tile to be too hard and/or too cold, not to mention labor-intensive to install. Many homeowners today are opting for luxury vinyl tile (LVT), says Kevin Rose, president of Carpetland USA, 326 N. Alpine Road, Rockford. Many LVTs are waterproof – so much so that they’re being used on ship decks. Installation is simple; often, they don’t even require adhesive. “We have one that is a complete loose-lay, where you can actually take the plank, and it’s thick enough and heavy enough that you just lay it on

your floor and you lay the next one next to it,” Rose says. “If it floods, you literally could take that product out, put it in your garage, dry everything out and put it back in.” Loose-lay products install exactly as indicated. There’s no adhesive, and not even a click system to hold tiles together as a unit, as found in laminate flooring. If heavy floor traffic is an issue, installers may opt for perimeter bonding – spraying adhesive under the edge tiles – and

everything else stays in place on its own. Some floor choices that used to work in damp spaces – stick-down vinyl tiles, for instance – aren’t as effective today because of changes in adhesives. “Adhesives nowadays are so ecofriendly that at the sight of moisture they start breaking down,” Rose says. “Green has really made it to our industry. Low VOCs (volatile organic compounds), low flammability. For adhesives, humidity and moisture really affects them now.” Some homeowners are even choosing loose-lay carpet tile for basements. “People like the flexibility,” Rose says. For instance, individual carpet tiles located near a sump pump can be removed and cleaned – or even replaced – if they get wet. ❚ Get SLW Home & Garden articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving. com and start your E-Edition today.

Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22


I  W

Compassion C

hristians recognize Jesus Christ as a man who lived among people for 33 years and taught them to be “imitators of God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2) What does that mean? In this series, we examine qualities of Jesus, one at a time. All four gospel writers tell us that Jesus not only felt compassion for people, but took action to help them. He did this even when he was physically and mentally weary from travel, rejection or temptation. Jesus met the needs of the weak, blind, sick, demon-possessed, griefstricken, hungry and sin-burdened. We learn something about his compassion by reading each “incident report.” For example, in Matthew 15, we learn that he was sensitive to peoples’ physical needs. “Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.’” (Matthew 15:31 NIV)

He then miraculously fed them. Jesus was sensitive to the human state of mind, too. “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-38, NIV)

Jesus responded by training up compassionate leaders to teach people God’s ways. He set the example for loving all kinds of people, regardless of gender, age, race, or station in life. Why does he expect us to treat all people with compassion, even when we don’t feel like we want to? Because we have been shown God’s compassion. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV ❚ -- Janine Pumilia

Get SLW Inspiration & Worship articles every week. Visit and start your E-Edition today. 12

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Jan. 22

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Jan. 22


Y K

Healthful Pumpkin Curry, Miso Grilled Vegetables


his week’s recipes comes to us from Dr. Emmet Blahnik, a national best-selling author and boardcertified clinical nutritional counselor, who operates Next Level Health Cooperative at 2835 McFarland Road, Ste. D, Rockford. Pumpkin Curry Pumpkins contain the valuable orange nutrients alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, Powerful anti-aging nutrients that protect against skin damage slowing the aging process. Fat-Soluble carotenoids contained in pumpkin are needed to protect fatty areas in the skin, heart, eyes, brain, and liver. Ingredients

1 pound pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 tsp. turmeric 1 tsp. smoked paprika 2 1/2 cups water 7 oz. freshly grated coconut 1 tsp. cumin seeds 1 Tb. sunflower oil 1 tsp. black mustard seeds 8-10 curry leaves 2 small red chiles, split in half Sea salt

1 Tb. mellow white miso Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 2 Tb. fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. Bragg’s Amino Acids or tamari 1 tsp. agave nectar or honey 2 Tb. flaxseed oil or chili sesame/peanut oil/olive oil 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/4 tsp. Sriracha sauce (optional)

Miso Grilled Vegetables Never cooked with miso? This tangy dressing not only tastes good, but is good for you. Add some crumbled feta cheese for additional richness and protein. Ingredients 1 eggplant – 1 pound asparagus – 1/2 pound 3 zucchini/yellow squash 1 large red onion 2 large portobello mushroom caps 2 red/yellow bell peppers, quartered 2 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions: Cut eggplant crosswise into rounds less than 1/2-inch thick. Cut zucchini lengthwise into three strips. Cut onion into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Brush all vegetables lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables on high heat about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove tender pieces and keep warm in a covered bowl while remaining pieces grill. Cut into thin, bite-size strips. Whisk together miso, lemon zest, lemon juice, amino acids, agave nectar; flaxseed oil, garlic, and Sriracha sauce until emulsified. Add sliced vegetables and serve. ❚

Method Put the pumpkin or butternut squash in a saucepan with the turmeric, smoked paprika, and the water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Grind half of the coconut in a spice mill or a mortar and pestle with the cumin seeds. Stir this into the pumpkin mixture and stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. In a small, nonstick frying pan, heat the oil until hot and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and red chiles. Stir and cook over high heat for 1-2 minutes, then pour this mixture over the pumpkin curry. Season and serve. We tried this recipe with dried, grated, unsweetened coconut (available in health food stores), and it was delicious. Don't use sweetened shredded or flaked coconut. Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22


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Jan. 22

Y A C

Winter Driving: Alternatives to Rocking Out By Jim Killam


ost Midwestern drivers face it eventually in a ditch, a driveway or even in the middle of a roadway: your car’s stuck in the snow. Here are some tips on getting free without costing yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars. If your car is stuck and the tires are spinning, conventional wisdom says to rock it and eventually work your way out. That’s a really bad idea, says Rod Ely, Service and Parts Director at Fairway Ford, 555 West Meadows Dr., Freeport. “The worst thing when spinning the tires is what you’re doing to the transmission,” he says. Rocking the car back from forward to reverse – which is what most people learned to do to get unstuck – can build up heat, cause toorapid shifting and destroy an automatic transmission. “You might not even make it home,” Ely says. Even if you don’t wreck your transmission, spinning your tires makes them extremely hot. That weakens the sidewalls and makes them more susceptible to a blowout later – especially when cornering. Ely recommends a better way. If your car gets stuck, let 10 to 15 pounds of air out of the tires (front tires for front-wheel drive, back tires for rear-wheel drive). This increases their surface area and traction, and you’ll have a better chance of getting

out without gunning the engine or rocking the car. Once you’re back on the road, refill the tires as soon as possible. Low tire pressure may increase traction, but the tires also wear unevenly and quickly, and they’re not as safe when cornering. Your gas mileage will drop, too. Finally, keep a small shovel and a bag of cat litter in your trunk. When stuck, use the shovel to clear snow and ice away from the wheel areas and around the tailpipe. And spread the cat litter under the spinning tires for better traction. ❚

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Jan 22


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Tragic Desire Continued from cover

“For me, the tragic part is that he’s one of the most famous composers, and yet we know very little about him,” says Larsen. “As far as we know, Brahms was never able to be close enough to someone who could love him.” Brahms’ work is followed by three selections from Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, a work inspired by the classic legend of a man who sells his soul to the devil for worldly knowledge. The main character, Faust, falls in love with and seduces the beautiful Marguerite, but she is executed for poisoning her mother, and Faust is carted off to Hell. The story is tragic, yet RSO director Larsen has selected three light-hearted pieces from the Berlioz composition, including the rousing Rakoczi march. “These three pieces from Faust seem to have fallen out of symphony lineups over the past few decades,” Larsen says. “Those lineups are getting more serious, and these selections are light.


Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22

They’re actually quite entertaining.” Schumann’s Manfred overture spins another tale of the Faust legend, this time based on a poem written by Lord Byron. Manfred’s tragedy is far more personal for the composer, who died in his 40s. “He wrote this while he was coming to insanity, at the end of his life, and he was suffering hallucinations,” explains Larsen. “It’s partly the tragedy of his life.” The show closes with the dramatic and rousing Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovich, a piece inspired by its author’s personal and professional tragedies and redemption. “The tragic love I’m referring to here is the tragic love Shostakovich had for his mother country, the Soviet Union, and how wrong it went when he got on Sta-

lin’s bad side,” says Larsen. Shostakovich fell out of favor with the Soviet dictator in the 1930s, after Stalin banned his Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The composer knew what it meant to displease Stalin; a knock on the door in the middle of the night, and that person could disappear, sent to a Soviet labor camp or summarily executed. His best-known symphony is presumed to

be a nose-thumbing to the communist regime. “Shostakovich wrote it, and prefaced it by saying it’s a Soviet artist’s response to justly deserved criticism,” says Larsen. “But to people who knew him, and there were many in the audience, they knew and could hear that this was not music of capitulation, but rather, it was music of anguish.” The anguish turns to defiance, says Larsen, and it’s perhaps the best known work by Shostakovich. In its first performance, Shostakovich received a half-hour standing ovation, much to the dismay of Soviet officials, who were appalled by its statement against their culture. “It not only saved Shostakovich’s life to write the piece, but in a meaningful way, it put a roadblock in Stalin’s move toward becoming a total dictator,” says Larsen. “Stalin knew he couldn’t do anything about it, because the public reaction was so strong.” Larsen expects a strong reaction to this concert, too, which features some 80 musicians on stage – more than the usual

number in a typical RSO performance. While there are no soloists in this concert, the musicians share in a unique challenge, performing numerous woodwind solos and extended trumpet movements. Too, there’s Schumann’s unconventional orchestration. “It’s not like other period pieces,” says The painting “Ophelia,” by Sir John Everett Millais, captures the mood of RSO’s ‘Tragic Desire’ theme. The original masterpiece Larsen. “He doesn’t hangs in the Louvre in Paris and is inspired by Shakespeare’s do what’s conve“Hamlet.” nient for the muRSO’s “Tragic Desire” starts at 7:30 sician to play. He does p.m. on Feb. 1, at Coronado Performing what he wants the instrument to play.” Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford. For audience members less-versed Ticket prices range from $20 to $58, and in musical history, Larsen tries to make are available online at rockfordsymphoeach performance accessible and and ❚ able. “I didn’t grow up in a musically litSmart Living e-Subscribers: erate household, and at some point, it Find more information, or buy your was an experience for me,” he says. “I tickets now, by clicking on this box. hope someone who’s here for the first [links to: http://www.coronadopac. time will enjoy it so much that they want org/events/allevents/?event_id=35] to come back.”

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Jan. 22


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Jan. 22

Y H

How to Impact, or Even Save, Three Lives By Jim Killam


W e ’ r e h e r e , f o r yo u.

nly about 5 percent of Americans donate blood, yet one in three will need a transfusion during their lifetime. That’s one of many stats Jennifer Bowman rattles off as she talks about the constant, critical need for donors. Bowman is public relations and marketing manager for the Rock River Valley Blood Center, headquartered at 419 N. 6th St., Rockford. “The needle scares people a lot, but I think the bigger thing is that they haven’t seen the need, real-life, in their face,” she says. “I don’t think people know how often blood is used, and for what.” Trauma patients may be the best-understood recipients, but an event as common as childbirth may require a blood transfusion, she says. In an organ transplant situation, both parties need blood.

“The organs must be transfused with blood in order to sustain them,” Bowman says. “And the person who is waiting for those organs will also probably get a significant amount of blood products as well, to keep them alive.” One of the largest needs for blood, especially for one of its components – platelets – is with cancer patients. Nationwide, 35 percent of all platelets go to them.

“Chemo is a nasty thing,” Bowman says. “It destroys cancer. It also destroys all of your other cells. Something as widespread as cancer – those people are big users of red blood cells and platelets.” There’s no getting rid of the fact that a needle in the arm hurts for a moment. So, blood centers focus on the immediate impact a donor makes. “Every unit of whole blood gets separated into the three components – the red cell, the plasma and the platelet – so you have the ability to impact three lives,” Bowman says. “For a lot of us, writing checks is cost-prohibitive, but an hour of our time can impact three lives in your community.” ❚ Visit and start your E-Edition today.

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Jan. 22



Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22

Y F

Through the Ages: 100 Years of RAM Through Jan. 26. If you haven’t yet seen this impressive display of Rockford Art Museum’s finest permanent pieces, zip on over before it’s too late. This rare showing of RAM’s own best works is part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, Baldknobbers Jamboree Jan. 25 Jan. 25, 7 p.m. Enjoy one of Branson, Missouri’s premier acts with all proceeds to benefit the Newell Rubbermaid Relay for Life team in the fight against cancer. Jeannette Lloyd Theater, 701 W. Empire, Freeport. (815-233-8649) Bald Eagle Days Jan. 25-26, 8 a.m.-noon; 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. View eagles with powerful scopes along the Mississippi River outdoors in the morning; attend educational programs all day at Cassville High School. Riverside Park Observatory, 100 W. Amelia St., Cassville, Wis. (608) 725-5855, Sizzling Sunday at Discovery Center Museum Jan. 26, 1-4 p.m. Wear your loudest shirt and sunglasses to come play in the sand and celebrate a fiesta. Explore the culture, food and fun of Mexico. Latin Flamenco musicians Vince Chiarelli and Frank Calvanga will perform. No registration needed. 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-6769. U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition Jan. 29-Feb. 2, daily. In its 19th year, this snow sculpting competition brings together the nation’s best snow artists. Also music, magic, refreshments. Riviera Park, Lake Geneva, Wis., (262) 248-4416, BIFF Year Round Jan. 29, Feb. 5, 6 p.m. Gear up for the 2014 Beloit International Film Festival (opening Feb. 14) by catching some films shown at Bushel & Peck’s in Beloit. Vote for your favorites. Jan. 22: Jimmy in Plenk; Jan. 29: Human War; Feb. 5: Colegas (Buddies). 328 State St., Beloit. Monster Jam Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Friday 7:30 p.m., Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam stars the biggest performers on four wheels. These larger-than-life beasts capture the hearts of both young and old. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 9685222,

See the best snow sculptors in the nation compete at Lake Geneva Jan. 29-Feb. 2.

First Saturday Creatives Feb. 1. Nurture your creative side by painting, drawing, sculpting, more. All ages welcome. Ages 5 to 9 must be accompanied. Freeport Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave. (815) 2359755, Largest Shark that Ever Lived Feb. 1-April 29. Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived will make its Midwestern debut at Burpee Museum of Natural History. This traveling exhibit highlights the evolution, biology and misconceptions of Megalodon, an enormous prehistoric shark that swam Earth’s oceans for 15 million years before it vanished 2 million years ago. Yukimi Chakai at Anderson Japanese Gardens Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 & 2 p.m. Enjoy a hot cup of genmaicha, roasted rice flavored tea, then go to the Guest House, where the yukimi chakai, a Japanese snow viewing ceremony, will be led by Kimiko Gunji, Professor Emeritus of Japanese Traditional Arts and Culture. $45, call (815) 316-3306 to register. Lindo: “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” Feb. 5, 1 and 7 p.m. Starring Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Robert Mitchum and Spencer Tracy as Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, this 1944 film is based on the true story of the Doolittle Raid, America’s first retaliatory air strile against Japan. This is part of a WW 2 film series. Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport. Per Movie: $5; Entire Series plus musical: $20. (815) 233-0025 or (815) 232-8419. ❚ Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22


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Jan. 22

O  T

2nd Cousins Bar & Grill, 6246 E. Riverside, Loves Park, (815) 637-2660: Fridays 9 p.m., Country Nights; Saturdays 9 p.m., DJ Jes One. Big Al’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rkfd., (815) 398-6411: Live bands every Fri. and Sat. night. Butterfly Club, 5246 E. County Road X, Beloit, (608) 362-8577: Monthly 1st-2nd Fri.-Sat. Mike Williamson; 4th Fri.-Sat. Phil Ramsey; all 7 p.m. Cannova’s, 1101 W. Empire, Freeport, (815) 233-0032: Live Pianist Fri.-Sat. 6-9 pm. District Bar & Grill, 205 W. State, Rkfd., (815) 977-4524. 1/18 Cylinder; 1/25 Dueling Pianos, 8 p.m. Franchesco’s, 7128 Spring Creek, Rkfd., (815) 229-0800. 1/25 Clutch Cargo.

(815) 399-6100: Wed., Fri., Sat. music. Poison Ivy, 5765 Elevator Road, Roscoe, (815) 623-1480: Live DJ Fri.-Sat. 9 p.m. Rascal’s Bar & Grill, 5223 Torque Road, Loves Park, (815) 636-9207. 1/25: Men of Our Times. Restoration Café, 625 W. State, Rkfd., (815) 977-4361: Free live music every first Friday. Shooters (inside Don Carter Lanes), 4007 E. State, (815) 399-0314. Live Band Sat., 9 p.m.

Hope and Anchor, 5040 N. 2nd, Loves Park, (815) 977-8585.

Shooters East (inside Cherry Bowl), 7171 Cherryvale Blvd., (815) 3325229. Check website.

JustGoods Listening Room, 201 7th St., Rkfd., (815) 965-8903: 1/24: Jodi Beach & Jim McDowell; 1/31: JustGoods Showcase Concert; 2/7: Ry Petermann; 2/14: Poetry & Music with Trinadora and Swanberg; 2/21: Mark Dvorak.

Shooters North 7742 Forest Hills Road, Loves Park, (815) 654-3900. Live Band Sat.

Jax Pub, 4160 N. Perryville, Loves Park, (815) 877-0600: Wed., Fri., Sat., music. Katie’s Cup, 502 7th St., Rkfd., (815) 986-0628. Open Mic Night every Thursday night. Doors open at 6 p.m. Kryptonite, 308 W. State, Rkfd., (815) 9650931. 1/24: Bloodlines 1neOFmani.

Splitters, 5318 N. 2nd, Loves Park, (815) 877-6051. W h i s ke y ’s Roadhouse Bar & Grill, 3207 N. Main St., Rockford. Check website.❚

Mary’s Place, 602 N. Madison, Rkfd., (815) 962-7944. 1/24: Eric Lambert & Friends; 1/25: Neo Soul Night; 1/31: Hilly Jones. Karaoke on Wednesdays. Murphy’s Pub & Grill, 501 S. Perryville, Rkfd., (815) 986-0950. Weekly Wed. DJ Sandy Monster; Thurs. DJ Aaron Hodge; Fri. DJ JES-ONE; all 9 p.m. On State Bar & Restaurant, 4002 E. State St., Rkfd., (815) 708-6306. Onyx Bar & Grill, 1001 W. Lane Road, Machesney Park, (815) 904-6842. 1/25: X51; 2/7: Stevee Nix. Oscar’s Pub & Grill, 5980 E. State St., Rkfd., Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22



Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22

T  I

Watch Out for Those Home Repair Offers By Jim Killam


hey’re called storm chasers, but they’re not the ones you see on The Weather Channel. Out-of-town contractors show up after a major storm, going door-to-door soliciting contracts to replace wind- or hail-damaged roofs or siding. They’re not necessarily scammers … but homeowners should be wary, says Dan Starry, president of S & R Custom Homes and Remodeling, Inc., of Rockford, and also president of Associated Construction Group Northern Illinois. Someone came to the door of one of Starry’s customers and said, “You have hail damage on your siding. I think you need to get it replaced.” “She said, ‘You know, I walked around and looked at it after that hailstorm. But I didn’t see any,’” Starry recalls. “He says, ‘No, no. We’ve got this camera we can put alongside the wall, and it can show hail damage on there even if you can’t see it.’ “So, if you can’t see it, why does it matter?” But sometimes homeowners will bite, and get their siding replaced. That not only raises insurance rates for everyone, it also hurts reputable contractors by placing them all under suspicion. The Illinois Attorney General’s office issues guidelines to avoid home repair fraud. In fact, Starry gives the brochure to his customers. Be wary of, among other things: • Door-to-door salespeople with no local connections. • Companies that list only a phone number or a post office box rather than a local street address. • Anyone who offers to inspect your home for free (always ask for identification, and then check with the employer before letting anyone inside). The Attorney General’s brochure, Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights, is online at: ❚



Daily News Sites & Stations

Information Resources

n today’s fast-paced world, you can get breaking local and national news within minutes of when it occurs, from many different organizations. The following are reliable sources bringing you news and weather updates 24/7.

t Hughes Meda Corp., we’ve developed several sources of information you can utilize to enhance every aspect of your life. We’re interested in your thoughts about how we can make them even more valuable to you.

Northwest Quarterly Magazine, featuring Arts & Entertainment, Recreation & Destination and Mind & Spirit calendars as well as the Northwest Regional Dining Guide.

• 13 WREX, • 23 WIFR, • 17 WTV0, • WNTA 100.5 FM Radio, • WNIJ Public Radio, 89.5 FM, • WROK Radio, 1440 AM, • Rockford Register Star, • Rock River Times,

WeBuyLocal Guide to Locally Owned Businesses, including a comprehensive medical guide to local physicians, clinics and hospitals. Smart Living Weekly magazine, featuring weekly calendars for Family Fun and On the Town (nightlife) events. ❚

Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22


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Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22

Ra A+ tin g

Y M

Person-to-Person E-Payments Coming Soon By Jim Killam


et’s say you’re buying a car from a private seller, and you’d like a way to pay that seller electronically. More and more banks are providing cashless ways to do that – for one person to pay another. Sara Porter, Assistant Vice President for Application Support/eBanking at Alpine Bank, 6838 E. State St., Rockford, says the bank will launch a person-toperson payment system in the first quarter of 2014. The system will work on computers or mobile devices via an app. So, imagine you’re an Alpine Bank customer who’s buying that car. You would request the seller’s email address, and then share a one-time passcode for the transaction. Then, through the bank’s website or app, you’d type in the person’s email address and the amount you want to pay them, and send it. The seller then receives an email

from Alpine bank, recounting the transaction and asking for his account and routing number, along with the passcode. He provides that, and the money gets transferred to his bank. It’s available to him in 24-48 hours at his bank or an ATM. Porter acknowledges that’s still not as fast as many customers want it. Technology certainly exists to make cash transfers almost instantaneous, but there’s reason to hesitate. “The problem you have with sending money quickly is that it increases the risk to all parties involved,” she says, “because you don’t have time to run it through proper checks and channels. So you have to balance the security of everything with everybody wanting their money and transactions done right away.” The payer also will incur a small

transaction fee. That means this may not catch on for someone buying a $5 lamp at a garage sale, but it’s aimed more for high-dollar transactions, such as rent, Porter says. ❚ Get SLW Money articles every week. Visit and start your E-Edition today.

Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22


e-Subscribe to Smart Living Weekly at You Will Be Automatically Entered into Weekly Giveaways Save Smarter • Live Better • Every Week!


To Enter this week’s Giveaway, you must first become an e-Subscriber to Smart Living Weekly Magazine. Visit now while you are thinking about it!

This Week’s Giveaway Winner To Be Announced Jan. 29 on the 13 WREX Morning Show

$50 Gift Card From Ciao Bella For contest rules go to


Smart Living Weekly

Jan. 22


Smart Living Weekly

Issue 1


Smart Living Weekly - January 22, 2014  

Featured this week: Rockford (IL) Symphony Orchestra Explores 'Tragic Desire.' You and your family will live smarter and better lives, every...

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