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From the Director

By Bruce Crane StreetWise Executive Director What makes a “good day?” For each of us this will be different, as our motivators and situations vary widely. Looking at myself, I know my good days are ones where I feel I made a difference, to myself, to another, or when it is really a great day, to my community. Making a difference to myself is relatively easy, and therefore, less gratifying. Making a difference to another requires a sense of what would be needed or appreciated by the other person. An “other-centered” assessment is needed. Sometimes this is easy, such as supplying food for the hungry, or clothing for the needy. Sometimes the need is harder to assess, such as with tutoring or mentoring. These require a more in-depth evaluation of what skills the individual possesses and what skills they need to acquire next. This ability to assess and evaluate is one of the qualities that makes an exceptional teacher. As I look back on my favorite teachers, they all had this quality. Making a difference in another’s life is a wonderful gift to them, and can make for a very good day for both of you. Often, when we embark on making such a difference, we are overwhelmed by how many are in need and not

knowing where one could possibly start. I have been told a wonderful story a few times. I first heard if from the leader of a volunteer crew as we were preparing to build a home for a homeless family in Mexico. I later heard the same story when I was involved in a capital campaign for the business school at University of Illinois Chicago. I would like to pass the story on to you, as you have made a difference to a vendor in buying this magazine. One morning after a huge storm had washed millions of starfish onto the beach, a boy is very slowly walking across the sand throwing starfish back into the water. The boy knows, as the sun rises and gets hot, most of the star fish will not be able to get back to the water and they will die in baking sun. A man approaches the boy and, looking across the miles of beach and millions of starfish, he says: “I see you are trying to save the starfish, but you could spend all day and hardly throw any of them back to the water. What possible difference can you make?” Completely undaunted, the boy picked up another starfish. As he threw it into the water he said: “I made a difference to that one.” I believe the boy instinctively knew that it doesn’t matter where you start or whether you have even a chance to solve a larger problem, those were irrelevant. He would make a difference where he could. I have a belief I call the pie theory: How do you cut a pie? By definition, there is no beginning to a pie. The beginning is created by cutting the first piece. It’s like eating an apple. The act of biting into it creates the place to start. The apple truly doesn’t care!By picking up starfish, one at a time, the boy could make a difference to a surprising number of starfish, and therefore he made a difference to the “starfish community.” The small act of buying this magazine made a difference to a vendor. Buying it repeatedly makes a large difference to a community of people in need, who are working hard to help themselves. Thank you for assisting them in their work toward self sufficiency, and supporting StreetWise as, together, we assist many more people in having a good day.

StreetWise’s headquarters relies on the goodwill and hard work of volunteers to strengthen our mission and services to those in need. The following are current volunteer positions available at our office: •Donated Clothing Coordinator •Office and Office Filing Organizer •Kitchen and Supplies Organizer •Computer Guru •Tutoring/Mentoring •Fundraising Events Support •Advertising Researcher •Grant Writer or Researcher •Sell Subscriptions to Corporations/Businesses To find out more about how you can help, e-mail Pam Frye at


•Outreach/Recruitment of New Vendors •Distributor of StreetWise flyers to those in need •Heating/Cooling serviceperson •Writer for StreetWise magazine

Note For volunteers working at the StreetWise office, hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Occasionally on Wednesdays and Thursdays a staff member is present until about 7 p.m. Volunteers need to communicate the times they are planning on working at the office to make sure the appropriate people are available to assist and so that we can notify the fr ont office person that you are expected.

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Executive Director/Publisher Bruce Crane


Suzanne Hanney

Director of Distribution Greg Pritchett

Production & Marketing Manager Ben Cook

Director of Advertising & Corporate Development Grace Federighi

Advertising Sales Executive Michael Montes

Advertising Sales Executive Mary Faith Hilboldt


Robert Cass

Board of Directors Rob Federighi President

Pete Kadens Vice President SoCore Energy

Judd R. Horwitz Treasurer

Pam Frye Retired

John J. Leonard Morgan Stanley

Judd Lofchie

StreetWise Founder Lofchie & Associates, Inc.

Adam Meek

Judd R. Horwitz & Co. P.C.


Ray Gillette Secretary

Neal, Gerber, Eisenberg LLP

Downtown Partners Chicago

Lee Barrie

Kurman Communications, Inc.

Richard Boykin

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Danny K. Davis

U.S. Congressman, 7th District, Illinois

Timothy Ray

Jonathan Reinsdorf Stonegate Development Partners, LLC

Patricia Tillman

Vendor Representative

Kevin Ward

The Forward Group

Jeannie Weaver

AT&T Global Services

Ira William CEDA

Mission Statement: To help people help themselves to self-sufficiency through gainful employment. StreetWise is published weekly and is sold by the poor and homeless of Chicago. StreetWise is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is a member of the North American Street Newspaper Association.

1201 W. Lake, Chicago, Illinois 60607 Office: 312.829.2526 Fax: 312.829.2623 A P R I L 15-A P R I L 21, 2009

INSP Child Brides of Nigeria Ireland’s Issues surveys the rampant practice of elder men marrying barely pubescent teenagers in Nigeria, and what’s being done to stop the harm of this cultural norm.





From Golden Gloves finals to famil-friendly festivals to Lt. Dan striking up his band for Vietnam veterans, this week’s calendar has something for the whole family on the cheap.



Entrepreneur of the Week Helping Aids Orphans

Meet Percy Smith StreetWise spotlights Percy Smith, who in seven years has grown out of his own darkness to become a leader who heals those afflicted by addiction and depression.


Chicago non-profit Global Alliance for Africa helps communities care for their own.








INSP page 4 -5 This Week in Chicago page 6 Theatre page 7 Cover Story page 12-13

The Playground page 14 Vendor Profile page 15

Calendar page 8-9 Ginny & the Chef page 10 Health & Fitness page 11 DineWise page 11

full listings online at

A P R I L 15-A P R I L 21, 2009

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International Network of Street Papers (INSP)

Some Zimbabweans see only pain as prices fall By MacDonald Dzirutwe,



ood is returning to store shelves in Zimbabwe and prices are falling after years rocketing higher -- but the end of the black market leaves some Zimbabweans with little to cheer about. For people like Beatrice Kurwa, a 25-year-old primary school teacher in Highfield township, the signs of returning economic stability are welcome but without informal earnings, she now has only $100 a month. "I am happy to walk into a shop and buy what I want but now I have to live on my allowance and it has become even harder to survive because I have no other source of income," Kurwa said. Goods have flooded back after the government's decision to abandon the worthless local dollar -- destroyed by inflation that officially topped 230 million percent -- and to let Zimbabweans use foreign currency. The change has raised hopes that the new unity government of President Robert Mugabe and old enemy Morgan Tsvangirai can revive the ruined state. But it also means Kurwa can no longer generate extra cash by crossing the border to South Africa to buy maize meal, cooking oil and flour to sell on the black market.The long queues for basic goods are gone. In U.S. dollar terms, prices fell 3.1 percent in February and 2.3 percent in January -- the first time inflation had been negative since mid-2005 - according to official statistics. Prices of bread, maize meal, sugar and cooking oil have fallen by half since December and further falls are expected now that there is an incentive for industries to raise production. "Things had gone way out of control but now there is no longer room for speculation and every dollar really counts," John Robertson, a consultant economist, said. The enterprising are even finding some value in the Zimbabwe dollar, although it is impossible to spend in shops. Bills denominated for as much as Z$100 trillion can sell for up to $20 to the few foreign tourists.


Donors vital But long term recovery requires major foreign investment. The government is seeking $5 billion. Winning that, however, depends on Western donors being satisfied that a democratic government is in place and that economic reforms are being implemented to reverse a decade-long collapse that Mugabe's critics blame on his policies. Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, has always said Western sanctions ruined Zimbabwe. The International Monetary Fund made clear March 25 that it would only provide financial help once Zimbabwe clears nearly $90 million in arrears and implements sound policies. "Until the Western governments, who are the main IMF shareholders, change their attitude, there is no money coming our way any time soon," said Tony Hawkins, a professor of business studies at the University of Zimbabwe. "They want to see who is really in control and an issue that comes to mind is that the government says it will not tolerate land invasions—yet they are still continuing."

The seizure of white-owned farms to give to poor black Zimbabweans has been a cornerstone of Mugabe's policies, but his opponents say they have destroyed the agriculture sector that was once the backbone of the economy. Unemployment is over 90 percent and some three million Zimbabweans have fled abroad in search of work. Security guard Allen Mangena, 34, is happy that basic services such as water and garbage collection are slowly being restored as authorities collect rates in foreign currency. But the pressure on him has eased little with his monthly salary of $50 divided between paying for rent, food, bills and supporting his aged parents in the countryside. "There are times when I have gone to bed without a meal. You can not borrow from anyone in this economic environment, money has really become scarce," he said. Courtesy of Reuters © Street News Service:

Contributing Writers John Godoy is a Chicago-based wellness consultant and personal trainer with a leading prevention-based, integrative health and wellness provider. Ruth L. Ratny is celebrating her 30th year as chronicler of Chicago's visual media industry. Also a screenwriter, she is working on a movie about gospel great Mahalia Jackson, the Oprah of her day, whose dream of equality 60 years ago was fulfilled by Barack Obama’s election to the White House.


Ginny & the Chef: Originally a professional chef, Chef J now writes a syndicated weekly newspaper column on food and fitness in Chicago. J is the president of the Chicago Research Chefs LLC and president emeritus of the Chicago Nutrition Association. Ginny has written nutrition and fitness articles for several local and national publications, such as the Chicago Tribune and OnHealth magazine. Ginny has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science and dietetics and a master’s degree in nutrition communications and marketing.

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Julie Cameron has over 16 years’ experience in the fashion and retail industry. She is also president of Urban Shop Guide, a Web site that has been featured in publications such as Daily Candy, Elle UK, and American Airlines’ in-flight magazine. Urban Shop Guide explores Chicago’s best neighborhood shopping secrets with tours for both residents and visitors. Cameron is a member of The Fashion Group International and the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, and she participates in local neighborhood merchant associations.

A P R I L 15-A P R I L 21, 2009

International Network of Street Papers (INSP)

Child Brides of Nigeria By Jennifer May Ireland’s Issues “The first time I had sex with my husband I felt serious pains and was bleeding. I had to tell my auntie and she gave me some medicine. Then I told her that I will never allow him to do that to me again. My auntie told me that if I stop after the first time the wound will never heal. At that time my husband was a stubborn man, and anytime he came to have sex with me I just started crying. He would tell me that Allah is blessing and rewarding me, so I should not be crying.” This is a statement from a 14-year-old girl who was married off at the age of 13 to a man old enough to be her grandfather. She told her story to the Population Council in Nigeria, which is conducting an in-depth study of child marriages from 2005 to 2009. Within northern Nigerian tribes, child brides are the norm, with 45 percent of girls married by 15; some are as young as 11. By age 18, 73 percent are married. Denied a normal childhood, an education, or even the opportunity to allow their bodies to develop properly before they become sexually active, the consequences of these forced marriages are devastating. More women die in childbirth in Nigeria than any other country in Africa. There is also the highest rate of fistula, with more than 800,000 women in the country suffering from the condition. Fistula happens when the pressure of childbirth causes a tear between the bladder and the vagina or rectum; it can leave a woman incontinent for life. Many of the northern states are Muslim, and they believe that child marriage is not only acceptable but that to try and outlaw it is an affront to Islam, as it is permitted within the Koran. Hard-line Muslim clerics see any attempt to stop child marriage as a direct insult to their religion and have vowed to fight any intervention by the Nigerian government. In 2003 the government passed the Child Rights Act in an attempt to wipe out childhood marriages —half of the nation’s 36 states passed the Act, but only one Islamic state (of 12) adopted it into law.The government’s hands were tied: under Nigerian law, each state has the right to amend legislation to comply with its own traditions and religious beliefs.

passed, it has yet to be properly enacted, and no prosecutions have ever been brought, although the illegal marriages of children have carried on unabated. Residents of Jigawa, the one Islamic state that passed the legislation, told IRIN News that they had never heard of the law being enforced. “Even if the government decides to enforce the law, people will defy it because to us it is better to marry off your daughter and go to jail than have a grandchild outside marriage,” Hamisu Umar, a resident of a village in the region, said. Poverty is also a factor—northern Nigeria has the lowest income per capita in the country. Marrying a daughter off early means one less mouth to feed, but this does not address the long- term problems of a generation of children without education. “It is a disaster to have 12 million girls of school-going age denied education,” said Mohammad Aliyu Mashi, head of General Improvement in Person’s Initiative, a Nigerian NGO that researched the socioeconomic impact of child marriage in the north of the country. “Instead they are married off to satiate some inconsiderate person’s lust.” The girls who do escape by running away from their husbands face another set of difficulties. Many of them end up in prostitution, as there are no other options available to them. “I was married when I was 15 years old—I was

Denied a normal childhood, an education, or even the opportunity to allow their bodies to develop properly before they become sexually active, the consequences of these forced marriages are devastating

Male elders also strongly support the marriage of young girls. They claim that it is crucial to preserve the purity of their women and ensure that they do not disgrace themselves and their families by becoming pregnant before they are married. Pregnancy outside wedlock remains one of the greatest taboos in rural society. In the states where the Child Rights Act was act

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forced into it,” Hadiza told Times Online’s Ramita Havai, who traveled to northern Nigeria to the red light district of Kano to interview runaway brides. Whenever her husband would try to consummate the marriage, the terrified Hadiza would flee to her family’s home, but they would bring her back to him. Eventually he raped her, in an assault that was so vicious she ended up in the hospital. W W W. S T R E E T W I S E . O R G

Hamiza’s story is a common one in the brothels of Nigeria. Many of these young women are illiterate, and about 70 percent of them are HIV positive. Local NGOs have realized that trying to outlaw child marriages is not feasible and that the way to approach the problem is by encouraging education for girls. Save the Children is working on getting 12,400 children back into the classroom and is a key partner in a six-year program to strengthen the government’s ability to provide inclusive and quality primary education in five states: Kano, Daduna, Jigawa, Kwara, and Lagos. It hopes to strengthen the relationship between schools and local communities by establishing school-based management committees and ensuring that children themselves are included in the process. “By emphasizing and showing rural parents the benefits of girls’ education, we are indirectly telling them not to marry their daughters early,” Save the Children’s Suleiman said. “We have to be tactful in our approach, otherwise parents will stay away from us.” Change through education offers a modicum of hope that the civil and social rights of Nigeria’s young women may finally be recognized. Reprinted from Ireland’s Issues © Street News Service:


This Week in Chicago

League of Black Women redefines sexual assault Project Head Start and director of the women’s division of the Chicago Civil Rights March led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966. According to the League of Black Women’s Web site, higher education was its focus in the ’70s. Career development was key in the ’80s, networking in the ’90s, and “leadership and joyful living” have been its focus since the year 2000. LBW was established to give strategic and sustainable leadership experience to black women through educational research to communicate their collective voices on societal issues, through promotion of “joyful living as an entitled lifestyle” in their homes and workplaces, and through engagement to build the next generation of leaders.

By Suzanne Hanney & Sylvester Quast StreetWise editor-in-chief & vendor volunteer #6908 35 years ago this week Changes in attitudes toward rape, both on the part of law enforcement and the general public, prompted a public hearing by the Illinois House of Representatives on the findings of a rape study committee by the Illinois House of Representatives, according to the April 22, 1974 Chica go Defender. During the hearing, sponsored by Chicago’s League of Black Women (LBW), Lt. Howard Vanick of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department said a sexual assault occurred every 11 minutes in the United States. The number of reported cases had risen 11 percent in 1973 and was expected to go up another 11 percent in 1974, Vanick said. “Yet only one of every 20 rapes are reported, largely because of shame on the part of the victim and a feeling that she will be treated more as an offender than the offended,” the Defender noted in the story, which ran without a


byline. “It was brought out that rape is not a provable crime, since 99 percent of the time, there are no witnesses other than the victim.” Panel members praised Vanick for his forthright presentation, in which he said that the judicial process needed to be sped up so that “victims would not have to go through the ordeal of endless appearances in court.” He also suggested stiffer sentencing for rape than the four-year prison term then in effect, no bond for accused rapists, and more policewomen trained to work with rape victims. The League, in turn, sought its own changes: the term “sexual assault” instead of “rape,” and more women of African-American and Spanish origin on the police force. Members of the League’s urban affairs committee, who were pictured before the hearing, included Mary Garden Williams, chair, and Dr. Arnita Young Boswell, executive director. Boswell, professor of social work at the University of Chicago from 1961 to 1980, founded the organization in the ’70s. She had also been the first national director for W W W. S T R E E T W I S E . O R G

25 years ago this week Activists praised a Tenant’s Rights Bill that they said would give renters the same protections as landlords. Alderman David D. Orr (49th Ward), chief sponsor of the ordinance, said in the April 23, 1984, Chica go Defender that it was designed to protect not only individual tenants, but the city’s housing stock. Orr blamed the rental crisis on deterioration and abandonment. “By writing into law the responsibilities of landlords, and by providing tenants the ability to insure landlords’ compliance with building codes and other health and safety measures, we can protect and improve the quality and stability of neighborhoods that are the ‘heart of Chicago,’” Orr said. His ordinance would provide tenants the right to deduct from their rent the cost of repairs that threatened their health or safety. It gave tenants the right to terminate their lease if landlords failed to maintain the property and the right to know the name, address and phone number of the property owner or manager. Ultimately passed in 1986, the City of Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance covered all buildings with over six units, but not dorms or hotels. Tenants are responsible for normal upkeep of their apartments, and landlords must provide two days’ notice of intent to enter the apartment for repairs. Interest must also be paid on tenants’ security deposits.

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StreetWise Theatre


Urinetown premieres at DePaul’s Reskin Pictured: Joseph Bette (as Officer Lockstock) and Falashay Pearson (as Little Sally)

A private company forces the public to use pay toilets during a drought or be banished to a town from which no one ever returns in the play Urinetown. The Theatre School at DePaul University’s Showcase Series of Contemporary Plays and Classics presents the Tony Award-winning musical Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 26, at the historic Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo. Urinetown may be a play for today, as DePaul Theatre School officials call it “a romp through the alleys of power, greed and rebellion during desperate times. Laced with biting satire, terrific songs and scruffy dance numbers, Urinetown is a fable of absurd government regulation meeting rampant social irresponsibility—all in the spirit of affectionate sooth-saying for a troubled society.” Although it started out on the fringe of theatre, Urinetown moved to the mainstream “with a marvelously self-conscious satire of the musical theater’s social conscience,” especially “grandiose musicals that take advantage of easy sentiment,” namely Les Miserables, New York Times critic Bruce Weber said in 2001. Simultaneously, the musical has a love story in the best tradition of its genre. When Bobby Strong, owner of Public Amenity #9, falls in love with Hope, the daughter of the private toilet company owner, he takes action against a proposed rate hike that would make it impossible for the poor to pee. The cast features Joseph Bette, Teddy Boone, Marielle DeRocca Serra, Benjamin Huth, Simone Olsen-Varela, Samantha Perry, Zachary Shornick, Kelly Wilson, Jeremy Kahn, Mal Darcey, Falashay Pearson, Martha White, Joshua Torres, Jason T. Love, Kyle Pepperell and Luke Couzens. Urinetown is directed by Dexter Bullard, head of graduate acting at DePaul and the Showcase Series’ artistic director, is the director. Bullard has taught acting, improvisation and physical theatre at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the School of the Art Institute, and the Second City Training Center. In 2004 he was awarded the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Direction Off-Broadway for Tracy Lett’s Bug at the Barrow Street Theater as well as a Drama Desk nomination for outstanding director. Camden Peterson is lighting designer. Amy Gilman is in charge of scenic design and Matt Ducey is the dramaturg. Emily Maynard designed costumes and Victoria DeIorio did sound; and Anna Ashley is stage manager. An opening-night party will follow the April 17 show. April 22 will be “DePaul Night,” with tickets at $3 for all students and $6 for DePaul alumni/employees with ID. The April 19 show will be followed by a discussion with production staff and cast. The April 26 performance will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 at 312.922.1999,, or Discount parking is available with box office coupons.

Ghostwritten at Goodman Theatre Joyce Award recipient Naomi Iizuka brings her tale of family ties, a lingering debt, mystical stories—and magical food—to the Goodman stage in her newest work, Ghostwritten, which runs through May 3. Lisa Portes, who has shepherded this play from its first appearance at the 2007 New Stages Series, directs its world-premiere production with a cast of Chicago favorites led by Lisa Tejero (Mirror of the Invisible World and Metamorphoses) and Kim Martin-Cotten (King Lear). Tickets to Ghostwritten are $10-$39. Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” Ghostwritten shows the lengths families will go in order to protect their loved ones. This journey begins in Southeast Asia when a traveling American woman, Susan, strikes a bargain with a mysterious stranger. Twenty years later, Susan has become an acclaimed chef specializing in Asian cuisine and the mother of an adopted Vietnamese-born daughter. She is successful beyond her wildest dreams—until the stranger from her past reappears to collect on the debt. “Like all fairy tales there is a much deeper human meaning rooted in these characters and their stories,” says Iizuka, who plays on her own multicultural background to explore the many different paths her characters take. “Being able to tell the stories of real immigrants who have moved their lives to the cultural collision that is America honors their struggle for identity while sharing their tales of survival. The play is based on a fairy tale, but characters are rooted in the human reality of acceptance, family and self-appreciation.” Naomi Iizuka has been counted “among the playwrights who will help define theater as we move ahead” (Star-Tribune, Minneapolis) and an “important and arresting talent” (Seattle Times) whose work has been described as “intellectually engaging” (The New York Times) with a “lush, evocative style” (The Stranger). Born in Tokyo and raised in Japan, Indonesia, Holland, and Washington, D.C., Iizuka’s work includes 36 Views; Anon(ymous); Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls; After a Hundred Years; At the Vanishing Point; Polaroid Stories; Language of Angels; Tattoo Girl; and Skin. Her latest play, Strike-Slip, premiered at the 2007 Humana Festival of New Plays. For this production’s magical journey through place and time, Iizuka and Portes teamed up with set designer Linda Buchanan, who uses a “runway” configuration, to transform the flexible 400-seat Owen Theatre into a mystical river, a secluded forest, and a bustling market. Tickets may be purchased online at, at the Goodman Theatre box office, 170 N. Dearborn St., or by phone at 312.443.3800. This week’s showtimes are Sat. 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Tues-Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri.8 p.m.

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April 15-21 calendar Thursday Jay McInerney celebrates his 25-year literary trajectory chronicling the manic social flux of contemporary society, starting with the seminal Bright Lights, Big City in 1984. Now there’s How It Ended, a collection of 22 stories, old and new, that trace McInerney’s career while capturing a mélange of adult situations. Writers on the Record With Victoria Lautman is a partnership between the Chicago Public Library and 98.7 WFMT Radio. The interview will be broadcast on Sunday, April 19, at noon. Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State St., at 6 p.m. Free. Officially Unofficial—Inspired Art for Obama, an exhibition of prints, posters, photographs, and videos that emerged in 2008 as icons of the art movement in support of Barack Obama for president, continues through May 31 at the Chicago Tourism Center, 72 E. Randolph St., across from the Chicago Cultural Center. The exhibition, which is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, will include official campaign materials as well as independent work by more than 100 artists and designers, including Ray Noland’s GoTellMama! poster series, Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster, and Sol Sender’s Obama ’08 logo and branding. A gallery talk will take place at 12:15 p.m. on April 16 with Ray Noland. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Friday Chicago Golden Gloves Finals Amateur boxing matches for men and women at novice and open division levels. Open division winners represent Chicago at the national tournament. April 17-18, 8 p.m. St. Andrews Gym, 1658 W. Addison St. Tickets $15-$50. Info at Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band at Joe's Bar, 940 W. Weed St. 8:30 p.m. $20. 312.337.3486. Ticketmaster: 312.559.1212. Benefit proceeds go to the United States Vietnam Arts Program. Dig It! Is Indiana Jones a typical archaeologist? Come and find out! You'll meet Oriental Institute archaeologists and learn the secrets of some of our most famous discoveries, including the 17foot-tall statue of King Tut! Then go behind the scenes to take part in an archaeological dig in the new Kipper Family Archaeology Discovery Center. Use the latest techniques to date ancient artifacts and determine the materials ancient engineers, craftspeople, and artists used. End the day with a special archaeology experiment you can take with you to do at home. For children ages eight and up, accompanied by an adult. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. This program is presented in conjunction with Science Chicago: Life's a Lab. About Science Chicago: The world's largest science celebration will awaken the inner scientist in each of us


through thousands of dynamic and interactive science activities. 10 a.m. -12 p.m. or 1:30 -3:30 p.m. $7 per person. Pre-registration required. Call 773.947.3150 or visit 13th Annual Chicago Día del Niño Family Festival The largest free children’s festival in Chicago!

This year’s festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine. As in previous years, the day's festivities will kick off with the Día del Niño Family Health Walk from the National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W. 19th St.) to the UIC Pavilion. The Health Walk begins at 10 a.m.; however, early arrival is recommended. Those who participate in the Health Walk will receive a free gift! This festival is a major event for the museum and demonstrates its continued commitment to the community and, more importantly, to the education, appreciation, and health of Chicago’s children. Partnering with the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), Chicago Public Schools, and many other government and community groups, the festival highlights themes such as preventing childhood obesity, improving nutrition, and other community health issues.

Activities include: live performances, art activities, health & fitness activities, games, prizes, and more! Join the festival’s emcees Dione Rangel and David Miranda from Univision Radio as they present exciting performances by: A Flor de Piel, Mariachi Juvenil de Milwaukee, Latin Street Dancing, Inc. and other special guests! Art and hands-on activities provided by Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Children’s Museum, the Field Museum, and other Chicago museums. Wellness testing: blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and asthma screenings, dental exams, and more! Soccer exercises sponsored by the McDonald's Hispanic Owner-Operators Association, plus Bulls/ Sox Academy batting activity and many more fun physical activities! For more information, please call 312.738.1503 or visit

Monday Terry Savage: Financial Planning for Everyone Terry Savage, popular author and award-winning financial journalist, discusses what everyone


By Julie Cameron

Urban Shop Guide, StreetWise Contributor

New parents, rejoice! Giggle—not a baby store, a new parent store—has come to Lincoln Park. I recently called a friend who had just found out she was getting her adopted baby, and first child in 24 hours. I happened to catch her as she and her husband were taking their first steps into Babies “R” Us. Any parenting obstacle will be a breeze for them in the future compared to the overwhelming feeling of fear walking into a Babies “R” Us and trying to figure out what to buy. I immediately got her on the phone with another friend who had just brought home premature twins, and who had recently survived the Babies “R” Us experience, as I was absolutely no help. I didn’t know at the time that Giggle existed. Giggle’s point of differentiation from any traditional baby shop, superstore, or boutique is that they edit the selection and help you match products to your lifestyle with your new baby. An interpreter, if you will, of the 23 swings, 75 bottles, and 43 receiving- blanket varieties available for new parents, who have enough on their minds without being Consumer Reports research experts on the best available of these 2,000 necessities on the market. W W W. S T R E E T W I S E . O R G

Giggle’s products and services must have the following criteria: necessity for baby, good value, healthy, multi-stage, innovative, easy, portable, space saving, responsible, and tested. How simple, but how they must put new parents at ease. Products range from toys and gear to furniture, clothing, and books. They also offer special events in the store such as storytelling, prenatal yoga, and children’s concerts. A respite in the chaotic process of becoming a new parent, the relationship Giggle develops with its customers will be a long-lasting one. Giggle is located at 2116 N. Halsted.

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April 15-21 calendar should know about financial and retirement planning. Planners from FPA-IL (Financial Planning Association of Illinois) will provide one-on-one planning sessions after her presentation. Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State St. Noon. Free.

Tuesday Wet With Blood lecture As part of the ongoing Lincoln bicentennial celebration, the Chicago History Museum will feature a lecture about the cloak allegedly worn by Mary Todd Lincoln on the night of her husband’s assassination. Russell Lewis, the museum’s chief historian, will take an investigative look at the evidence, myths, and facts behind this fascinating object. 6:30 p.m. $5 (free with museum admission). Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St. Chef J Art Gallery StreetWise’s own Chef J has his work on display at the Third Coast Cafe, 1260 N. Dearborn Parkway. Proceeds from the show will be donated to StreetWise. For more information visit or 312.649.0730. Third Coast Cafe is open every day from 7 a.m. to midnight. Runs through June 5. Free.


An example of Chef J’s artwork entitled South Beach Buffet

Reel Thing

Big Thinking wants your Chicago film By Ruth Ratny Reel Chicago, StreetWise Contributor

Big Thinking leads to daily Olympic video posting; Boutique seeks subjects “about anything Chicago” While the 2016 Chicago Olympic Committee has been capturing dazzling vistas to showcase the city, two agency veterans want to show the world the diversity, soul, and spirit of the city. Big Thinking by the Hour partners Jim Courtright and Mary Beth Wilke are collecting short videos from everyday people to help support Chicago’s Olympic bid and displaying them at Their plan is to post a video a day, starting April 2, when the U.S. Olympic Evaluation Committee begins its weeklong visit to Chicago as part of its city selection process. Big Thinking will post one video a day for the next six months, “until the U.S. Olympic Committee makes its final decision in early October,” says Courtright. But first their Chicago Stirring Project needs people to submit their videos about anything Chica go. “We are inviting our colleagues, friends, family, film producers, artists, and musicians to participate by sending us your videos,” says Wilke. When they were seeking sponsorship, Big Thinking went to the Olympic Committee. “They loved the concept, but couldn’t fund it,” Courtright says. “They wanted us to do it pro bono; they said that everyone was donating their resources.

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Maybe big agencies like Leo Burnett can do things like that, but we’re just too small to absorb the costs.” They are hoping sponsorship will defray the cost of editing, along with Web site building, music, titles, and graphics expenses. To participate in the Chicago Stirring Project, shooters are asked to send their under-threeminute videos to an e-mail address on the Chicago Stirring Project site. Alternatively, videos can be submitted, edited or unedited, on mini-DV. The submissions will be edited into bite-sized movies, back-to-back, with titles and text added to the start and end of each video to help give them a consistent look and feel. Courtright and Wilke are former agency executives Courtright and Wilke are the continuation of one of Chicago’s brightest midsized agencies, the legendary, prize winning Eisaman, Johns & Law, which flourished from the early ’80s until the end of the ’90s. It was best known (and envied) for having put Michael Jordan behind the wheel of a Chicagoland Chevy Dealers’ Blazer for 10 year’s worth of commercials. Courtright, an account supervisor, started Big Thinking by the Hour on April Fool’s Day in 2004, joined by a couple other EJL creatives. Big Thinking shares space at the ClubHouse on Clark with creative director Mike Waterkotte and John Komenich, who switched from editing to directing commercials when Waterkotte,

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who was an EJL creative head at the time, tapped him for the Michael Jordan commercials. Along the way, EJL’s Jordan-Chevy spots swept up just about every advertising competition prize and many others for clients Canadian Club Whisky, Motorola (for the introduction of the world’s first pocket phone), Corona beer, 97.9 The Loop and WGN. Some of Big Thinking’s current clients include Federal Signal, Swedish Covenant Hospital and the U of C Medical Center. To submit videos, send them to The ClubHouse, 536 N. Clark, Chicago 60610. Questions? Call Courtright or Hughes at 312.644.5551.


FoodWise with Ginny & Chef J

By Ginny & Chef J StreetWise Contributors,

Milk and Cookies

Chef J loves milk. He goes through as much as a gallon a week. He cooks with it, and drinks it with meals. Milk and cheese are his favorite “treats.” He even prefers milk chocolate over dark chocolate! Yet Chef is in good health. How can that be? Most people do not consume as much dairy as Chef does. As a child, my older sister never cared for milk. (Except when it was paired with a couple of her favorite cookies.) With our cereal on the morning menu, she would normally skip breakfast. Sister claimed that dairy gave her an upset stomach. This was long before all the new milk “alternatives” had arrived on store shelves. At lunch she would frequently grab a Coke for her beverage. After school it was juice or water. However, after dinner, and later in the evening when us little ones had gone to bed, she would head for the “cookies and milk.” Occasionally I would catch her in the act with a large glass, a milk mustache, and a cookie or two. Now we know how important milk is in our diet, so I am glad she found some way to get it in her tummy every day. The latest research shows that milk (low fat and


nonfat) truly is a functional food. Functional foods are foods that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. These benefits are due to fortification and other nutritional enhancements. Today, most milk is fortified with vitamins A and D. Milk naturally contains calcium and protein; these major nutrients are necessary for the human body to grow and function. According to the dietary guidelines set for people two and older, at least three servings of milk (or dairy food) are recommended per day. It really isn’t all that much considering how many junkfood drinks some people feed themselves each day.What does three servings really amount to? Try and add one cup (8 ounces) of low-fat or nonfat milk, 1 1/2 ounces of cheese, one cup of yogurt or 1 1/2 cups of low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt. Let’s not forget, we can get our calcium from fortified orange juice and calcium supplements. We can see there really is no excuse not to fit in at least two servings of dairy per day. Remember, it is easy to keep our bones strong, muscles working properly, nervous system in check, and weight in control. We can do it just by adding some dairy into our daily diet. And milk can also help us perform better at sports. It can be a “sports drink”! A new study was released that showed a glass of milk is just as good, if not better, than consuming a glucose drink (Gatorade) after exercise. It helps with muscle recovery and post-exercise recovery. Mother Nature’s original sports drink turns out to be best for us after all. Looks like granny was right —again! Now is the time to take a look at your milk and dairy intake. And if your tummy is sensitive to dairy, try one of the lactose-free cheeses, such as aged cheddar, or some Lactaid drops you can put in your milk as a supplemental enzyme to help break down the milk so you can digest it more easily. Fad diets may come and go. Celebrity doctors may try to sell us diet books with all kinds of crazy ideas. But common-sense eating will always be in style. Ginny and the Chef know that we humans are all mammals. We were all born to drink milk. (

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Chef J’s Secret Recipe Strawberry Whip serves 1

Shopping List: • 1 cup low fat or nonfat milk • ¼ cup apple juice • ¼ cup strawberries, diced

Ginny’s Cooking Instructions: • Place all chilled ingredients into a blender and blend well. • Pour into chilled glass, garnish with strawberry, and enjoy!

Nutritional Info

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Lessons from the 4-minute mile By John Godoy StreetWise Contributor ay 6 – 1954 - Englishman Roger Bannister breaks the long standing four minute mile in a time of 3 min 59.4 secs—a feat that was thought to be physiologically and scientifically unattainable. Just as impressive was the successive toppling of the same barrier by several more athletes in relatively quick succession during the subsequent weeks.There are two extremely important ideas here. First is the power of belief – Roger Bannister was able to accomplish what was thought to be impossible. Second, immediately after witnessing Banister break the record – the long standing four minute mile was broken several more times in quick fashion.


Power of Belief and Example The power of belief and the power of example are what push us forward. For our society to reach its full potential, each one of us must push forward and break down personal barriers, overcome apparently insurmountable obstacles, and manifest our own magnificent destinies. In doing so through our example - as was the case with the four minute mile—we will inspire others to follow suit, and embolden them to overcome challenges of their own.When we all do this our community, our society, our country becomes greater and stronger as all we are is merely a sum of our parts. What will raise this country out of the depth of its current despair is nothing more than the sum of the bold, courageous, inspired actions of each and every one of its citizens. Too often our society is caught travelling at the speed of the lowest common denominator with a few hard charging people pulling the rest along.

Roger Bannister,(#2) leads the pack PHOTO COURTESY OF WWW.BE.WEDNET.EDU

This comes as a result of each of us not carrying our own weight and taking responsibility for the advancement of our community. Too many are content with simply following rather than stepping out of the comfort zone and leading in their own right and in their own unique way. Look at what the people who have money do and look what they spend their money on. Are they buying lottery tickets, booze, cigarettes, and junk food? (The best ones are not.). Look at what the most successful people in business are doing: reading, connecting, actively advancing. What they are not doing is watching TV five hours a day (national average), or complaining and griping about their lot in life (you can’t control the hand you’re dealt, but you decide how to play it). The Catch 22 is that we cannot always look to others for inspiration and guidance, because in doing so we end up failing to see that not only are we our own greatest source of advice and guidance, but also that we ourselves must be leaders in our own way.

We may not all be captains of industry, or celebrities, or military heroes,, but all of our decisions reverberates throughout our social networks, communities, and families – which is testament to the idea that we must all choose to be leaders in our own right, in our own lives. Each of us must erase the attitude of complacency and apathy, and assert our rightful position to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in our society, who day after day overcome barriers and move society forward. In our community there are those who are healthy and unhealthy, in poor physical condition and in great physical condition; those who are well-read and those who for lack of effort are not. Each and every one of our lives should be dedicated to the betterment of ourselves, and in so doing the betterment of our community. It is not beyond any of our capabilities to make a difference in our community, our family, our networks – it only takes a will.

DineWise: Hai Yen By Lee Barrie & Cindy Kurman Barrie StreetWise Contributors West Argyle Street is known as Chicago’s place for authentic Vietnamese cuisine. On a recent Friday night, two restaurants were busy. We chose one of them: Hai Yen. Delicious and inexpensive, it was a great choice. We were greeted by friendly staff helping guests navigate the robust menu of Vietnamese and Chinese delights. The menu is nicely divided into categories, so it’s relatively easy to pick out an assortment of dishes, all of which are large enough to share: appetizers, salads, soups, noodle soups, rice dishes, fried noodle dishes, vermicelli rice noodle dishes, traditional favorites, and an assortment of chicken, beef, pork, seafood, and vegetarian entrées. There are so many choices that it would take several trips to fully explore the menu. For the uninitiated, the servers are happy to point out the most popular dishes, so it won’t be a total guessing game. On this particular day, we enjoyed the Banh Xeo, a Saigonstyle crepe made from rice flour and filled with shrimp and pork, accompanied by lettuce and fresh herbs—mint, basil, and others. We piled the herbs on the crepe and made a wrap, very fresh and aromatic. We al so enjoyed Goi Cuon, large spring rolls.

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For a salad course we ordered the fresh and crunchy Goi Ngo Sen (Lotus Root Salad) featuring shredded lotus roots, chopped cucumber, and onions in a light, tangy dressing. Our rice dish was the flavorful Chinese specialty Com Tom Thit Ram Man, shrimp and pork braised in a traditional brown garlic and lime sauce. With these four dishes we were quite satisfied, but we had to at least try one of the very p opular frozen fruit drinks, basically a smoothie made with fresh fruit and tapioca. There were some exotic-sounding flavors—Durian, Sapoche, and Guanabana—but we were politely advised that these Southeast Asian fruits are an acquired taste, so we chose the popular Banana/Strawberry. It was excellent; the large tapioca balls added a distinctive texture. Food adventurers, start your engines and visit Hai Yen. You’ll thoroughly enjoy the quality and variety of this delicious but not too spicy cuisine amid the friendly, fun-loving crowd. Cindy Kurman Barrie and Lee Barrie are the principals of Kurman Communications, Inc., a Chicago-based marketing and public relations agency. Please visit their blog at

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Hai Yen 1055 W. Argyle St. Chicago, IL 60640 773-561-4077 Most dishes under $10 Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs.: 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri.: 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Sat.: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Sun.: 9:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.


StreetWise Feature Global Alliance provides loans of $50 - $5,000 for businesses such as hair salons, butchery stores, restaurants, agricultural cooperatives, pigrearing cooperatives, candle making, school uniform manufacturing, green groceries, linen manufacturing. Technical training encompasses how to establish a business, market identification, how to create and use a balance sheet, understanding profits and savings, opening a bank account.

Global Alliance for Africa works in partnership with local communities to organize women’s cooperatives and community-based organizations around safe water wells, and other sources to build their capacities for sustainable care of orphans and vulnerable children.

Helping AIDS Orphans Chicago non-profit Global Alliance for Africa helps communities care for their own. By Suzanne Hanney Editor in Chief nn Gallagher is on a four-month, 7,300mile bicycle trek across Africa to raise money for nursing scholarships and other microenterprises that help orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV/AIDS. Gallagher’s goal is $73,000 in pledges from the trip she started January 10 in Cairo and expects to finish May 9 in Cape Town. The beneficiary of Gallagher’s long trip is Chicago-based Global Alliance for Africa, which will assist 10,000 OVC this year in Liberia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. GAA stabilizes the orphans first with shelter, education, food security, access to health care, and psychological support.Then, GAA provides microloans and market linkages to their extended families—aunts, uncles, grandparents, widows, single mothers, or elderly heads of households—to help these relatives pay for their care. Across Africa, more than 13 million children under age 19 have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS, according to the United Nations AIDS Web site. There are roughly one million AIDS orphans each in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Although its five-person headquarters is located in subsidized office space at Old St. Patrick’s Church, GAA has 24 employees in Africa, including Arusha, Tanzania; Nairobi, Kenya; and Monrovia, Liberia.The Chicago not-for-profit also partners with 21 non-governmental organiza-



tions, many of them faith-based. Thus, its method of financing development differs from large organizations that loan millions of dollars for complex business plans to people they will never see. “Our model is to have a kind of processing or consultation model of development,” GAA founder and executive director Thomas Derdak said in a telephone interview.“We have people on the ground making contact, so they take the lead, contact us with the identification of a need, and how they want to address it.” Furthermore, since local partnerships are at the heart of GAA’s efforts, it is in the economic self-interest of the communities to make them work, according to GAA’s annual report for 2006. “Microenterprise seems to really work,” Derdak said. As an example, he described a poultry business started with a $100 grant and eight people two years ago. Last summer GAA gave it another $350, and now the business earns $1,000 monthly from the 200 kilos a week sold to Nairobi supermarkets. That’s enough money to provide 175 orphans with food as well as money for school fees. The next step in the poultry supplier’s business plan is to build its own slaughterhouse. This time GAA will offer a $2,500 loan at five percent interest, to be repaid in 18 months. Sara was a Nairobi seamstress who received a microloan to buy sewing machines and employ more people. As a result, she now makes $4 a day —four times the local average—so that she can provide a balanced diet and healthy environment for her 11 dependents, only four of whom are her own children. Sara’s household is among 65 GAA partners in W W W. S T R E E T W I S E . O R G

the Jikaze Women’s Group in Kibera, one of Nairobi’s worst slums. The Jikaze partnership began five years ago with 18 families, 80 percent of whom lived in 10-foot by 10-foot homes built of mud or sheet metal. Only three households had electricity and only five had water storage of more than 50 liters. Now seven have electricity and 13 have adequate water capacity. Most important, all 18 households have three meals a day, whereas 12 of them ate only one meal a day five years ago. School attendance for children under 16 has also risen from 65 percent to 98 percent over the past five years. In the past, lack of money for school supplies and the need to work to support their families often kept orphans out of school. Derdak started Global Alliance for Africa in 1996 after a group of East Africans asked him to do a health needs assessment for urban slums and remote rural areas. He had previously worked with hybrid seeds for arid land development in Egypt. A Chicagoan since 1976, he holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago, has worked in publishing, and wanted to do something different, he said. By 2000, Derdak’s African supporters urged him to shift the organization’s focus to supporting AIDS orphans. GAA’s milestones since have included cholera prevention for 25,600 Liberian children in 2001 and construction of the Tumaini Vocational Training Center in Arusha in 2003. Two years later, it added a bike repair/maintenance facility to the Tumaini Center. Recycling the bikes brings low-cost transportation to communities, along with a source of funding for the students. In the planning stages for Tumaini, renamed Vijana, is a hospitality training center—hotel and

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StreetWise Feature restaurant management, cooking, housekeeping, and safari guiding—to take advantage of an anticipated 42 percent increase in tourism in Tanzania in the next five years. Started in 2006, the Nurses for Africa program is a near-perfect fit for the money from Gallagher’s bike ride, Derdak said. Its first four-year class of 30 young women will graduate next year, and total cost of their tuition, room and board, books, and uniforms was $2,400 apiece. Nurses for Africa educates young women ages 17 to 23 who are most at risk for poverty, the sex trade, or labor exploitation. Simultaneously, the program fills the 70 percent vacancy rate for nurses in Tanzania. Graduates will commit to two years of services in local communities according to needs identified by the African-based organizations. A recent Time magazine story said that one of 10 ideas changing the world right now is that “Africa is a business destination. War is down, democracy is up. Inflation and interest rates are in single digits.” The continent’s average annual growth was 6 percent between 2004 and 2008, Time noted. There is recession in the rest of the world, but Africa’s growth rate this year will be 3.3 percent: “the world’s highest rate of return on investment.” Derdak’s personal experience correlates with Time’s big-picture perspective. “If you do programmatic development the right way it can be very successful,” Derdak said.“I have a great deal of optimism because there’s a lot of talented people there. They need some training and small amounts of funding to move forward. “Not everyone can develop a business. Some women don’t have the talent, ambition, or organizational skills. But some do have the talent, organizational skills, or ambition. When you combine a little training with a little funding, these people can help themselves. And that’s what our organization is all about.” More information is available at www. Ann Gallagher’s Cycle Therapy The Tour d’Afrique is a bike ride on Miller Beach, Indiana real estate developer Ann Gallagher’s lifetime “to-do list.” It’s a “radical sabbatical for Africa’s orphans” as a fundraiser for the Chicago non-profit Global Alliance for Africa, Gallagher says on her blog,,. An experienced Africa traveler, on this trip she has battled a fever, meltdown exhaustion, and rocky terrain – often sandy or muddy – as well as aggressive crowds of beggars. But there was also a side trip to Lalibela, Ethiopia with its 12 ancient churches; sunset over the Blue Nile gorge; riding through herds of cattle or baboons; crossing the Equator (seen on the cover) and visiting GAA’s Vijana Center in Arusha, Tanzania, which trains young Africans to repair, rebuild and sell bicycles locally. She has passed Malawi’s rice paddies (top left) and at press time was resting at Lake Malawi, the world’s seventh largest body of fresh water.

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The Playground

Ask Eugene


Each week StreetWise’s own Eugene answers life’s toughest questions. If you can’t handle the answer, don’t ask the question. Dear Eugene: My cousin is getting married in a couple months, and all of her bridesmaids have been tanning in advance so they look great in their bridesmaid dresses. As the lead bridesmaid, I feel a particular pressure to look the best. I’ve never been tanning. Is it time to start? —Snow White Dear Snow: It might not be up to you. Ask your cousin. She has chosen you as her favoriteof-the-day for a reason. You must find out if she likes you as you are, or if she trusted you had the constitution to diet-Shakeand-(fake)Bake with more intensity than the others. In my opinion, skip it. If you haven’t tanned yet it’s because you’re too smart. 30 years from now when you look at the pictures of your cousin’s big day you will look back at this moment and laugh, while your

competing bridesmaids will have skin that resembles a hybrid of vintage saddle leather and pie crust. Dear Eugene: I think I’m addicted to online shopping. My wife is quite angry, and frankly, when the item I’ve purchased shows up, I get angry at myself, completely forgetting that I bought it. I open it and always wonder what all the urgency was. What gives? —Compulsive Clicker Dear Compulsive: You. You give. And now I’m mad at you. I’m scrawlin g this with a Sharpie on your brain: Everything is on sale, usually always. The more you look, the more you want. Go cold turkey. Eat cold turkey. I don’t care. It’s warming up outside. Go there. Do things. I expect results. The Eugene has spoken.

You can send Eugene your questions at 1201 W. Lake, Chicago, IL, 60607 or e-mail him at

sudoku medium difficulty

last week’s answers


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A P R I L 15-A P R I L 21, 2009

Entrepreneur of the Week

From personal pain to role model By Ben Cook StreetWise Staff “People see me out at my spot and I’m smiling and they ask me why. Even though it’s cold, believe me, I’m having fun. I’m very proud to be a part of the StreetWise organization. StreetWise is bringing the fight against homelessness. We’re not stepping back, we’re coming to you trying to win. Whatever we need to do to try and erase homelessness from the Chicagoland area, we will do. I’ve been a part of it for seven years and I’ve seen a change in not only my attitude, but in the people around me. It’s been a wonderful time and I’m glad that it’s still going on. People look at me with respect now, which is something that I strive for. I want to be recognized as a productive human being.” When Percy first came to StreetWise he couldn’t afford car fare, clothing, and books to go to school, but he eventually afforded all of those things through StreetWise. “I’d go to school during the day and sell the papers in the evenings—it was no big deal. Or, I’d come to the office and have a nice, quiet place to study. Sometimes I’d have a couple papers that needed to be typed, so StreetWise would provide a person to help type it out for me, because my dexterity’s poor. StreetWise is truly people helping people. I believe that people are the greatest thing that God ever invented, and it really shows up in that moment when people help other people.” Percy loves to give back the blessings that his hard work and determination have sown.“If I get to the top of the mountain and there’s no one else there, then I’m going to want to go back to the bottom. Anything that’s good is worth sharing.” Although Percy lived under a dark cloud after his first wife passed away, he has used StreetWise and his

continued education to benefit others. “The best offense is a good defense. I understand what it’s like to come from under addiction, and one of the ways that I fight addiction is with my active leadership in group meetings. I’m also here at the office chairing a meeting every Thursday at 1 p.m. “I’m also involved in chairing a substance abuse support meeting that meets at a church Tuesday and Thursday nights. Using drugs isn’t a positive thing in anybody’s life. With all of the scary things going on right now, some people have come to believe that they need something more than what they already have, and turn to drugs rather than themselves. A lot of places that were doing some good work closed down when Blagojevich cut funding last year.” In addition to his customer base outside the Barnes & Noble at 1441 W. Webster, Percy is happy about a whirlwind romance that is marked by his one-year wedding anniversary April 11. He smiles,“She was an aspiring minister and I was an aspiring substance abuse counselor. It’s a wonderful thing that our paths crossed.” Percy wants his customers to know that they are loved and appreciated, but he also wants them to know that he’s not the only vendor benefiting from the opportunities that StreetWise offers.“A true contribution is one where the customer takes a magazine so that I have to buy another magazine. Sure, when you just give me $2 it helps me out greatly, and I’m grateful, but when you take the magazine it goes to help me and someone else. It’s a win-win situation. I appreciate my customers and the way of life I’m able to lead as a result of my StreetWise job. I’m shining because through StreetWise I’ve grown. Hopefully I will continue to grow.”

Tune in to StreetWise on the radio Broadcasting from Navy Pier on, 89.5 FM radio host Thomas Herman will be featuring live traffic and weather call-ins from StreetWise vendors every Wednesday morning between 7:30 and 8 a.m. A P R I L 15-A P R I L 21, 2009

Meet: Percy Smith

Has an associate’s degree in psychology.

Is involved with the Chicago Disability Pride movement.

Look for the Badge! Please purchase your copy of StreetWise from badged vendors only. For questions or comments regarding our vendor force, please contact Greg Pritchett at (312) 8292526 or at

Where the money goes... Vendors buy StreetWise for 75 cents and the remaining $1.25 goes directly to the licensed vendor.

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April 15-21, 2009  
April 15-21, 2009  

Buy StreetWise only from a badged vendor F R O M T H E Y O ' R C I T Y S T R E E T S