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The

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A Different Kind

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Arts & Culture

Events become a

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Toxic Tour of Little Village


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On the Cover

Toxic Tour of Little Village... 4

Peace Fest............................ 5 Free Arts & Culture Events Calendar............................... 7 A Different Kind of Threesome .......................... 7

Table of Contents Public Affairs Toxic Tour of Little Village by Lynda Lopez .............................. 4

Arts & Culture

Give peace a chance by John Campos ......................................5 Create Events­—A&C calendar....6

Chicago Grid Mission Statement

The Grid is a monthly Chicago newsmagazine, which sifts through local politics, news, art & entertainment from the millennial perspective in order to mobilize a conscious, DIY citizenry. The Grid redefines our priorities by investigating and spotlighting human rights issues, threats to liberty, digital memes and local culture.

Editorial Policy

Become a Skincare LUSH .... 8

Screenprinters skewer sports, staches, movies by Kristina Zaremba .................................... 5

The

Source: Creative Commons

Rainbow bike

This woman celebrates the 41st Pride Parade for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality with the traditional rainbow colors on June 27.

Features I love you, you’re perfect, now pray by Rebeca Bell........................................................... 7 Become an organic skincare LUSH by Kristina Zaremba ................................................... 8

The Chicago Grid reserves the right to publish any editorial content and advertisements provided they don’t discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, physical or mental disabilities, or sexual orientation. Views expressed on the Editorial page reflect the opinions of The Grid editorial board. The Grid encourages and prints Letters to the Editor. Letters should be sent by e-mail to editor@thechicagogrid.com and should not exceed 400 words. Letters may be edited for grammar, style, length and libel, but not for opinion. Authors may request their names be withheld from being published, but must sign their full names when submitting letters. All content and images © 2010 The Chicago Grid, used with permission or used under the Fair Use Act.

10 Things Every Chicagoan Should Know......................................................................... 10

Commentary Blood, sweat and the BP oil spill...again—From the Coliseum by Terence Byrsa............... 11 Letter to the Editor: Activism prepares youth to be leaders ......................................... 11

e-dentity Links to resolve your e-dentity crisis................................................................................ 12 #FollowJuneJuly People The Grid recommends you follow on Twitter ...............................12 Killer Apps: Chicago Gangland Tours, Multi Cam.............................................................. 12

Staff

Editor & Publisher Kristina Zaremba kristina@thechicagogrid.com Public Affairs Editor John Campos john@thechicagogrid.com Contributor Rebeca Bell Contributor Lynda Lopez Contributor Terence Byrsa Photographer Lynda Lopez Photographer Kyle LeNoir Layout & Design Kristina Zaremba Back page Design Adam Kois

DIY Need to Know directory Instructions for your indie life...................................................... 13 For instant Gridification, visit thechicagogrid.com.

The Chicago Grid June/July 2010

•3


Boys and Girls Club: Tour guide Armando Medina stopped the group at the club, a former LVEJO office. The club is near the border of rival street gang territories with the Latin Kings to the east and the 2-6 to the west, he said. This has created problems in the past, but the community has slowly been improving, he said.

Toxic Tour of Little Village Photos & Story by Lynda Lopez Contributor

O

Joseph Gary Elementary: Many kids suffer from asthma and have to deal with less green space, Medina said. Children also face educational problems, like when CPS built classrooms through half of the school’s soccer field because of overcrowding.

n June 11, 2010, reporter Lynda Lopez went to Little Village to take part in a “Toxic Tour.” The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) trains community members to conduct the tours around the neighborhood. The two-hour tours showcase the different places that are contributing to the pollution of Little Village and also outline the social impact they have had as well. Visit www.lvejo.org to take a “Toxic Tour” of the West Side.

Crawford Coal Power Plant: The tour’s final location. The plant does not provide electricity to the residents of Little Village or the state of Illinois. The electricity generated is filtered into Philadelphia.

MRC Polymers: Despite winning the 2009 Governor’s Sustainability Award for “environmentallyfriendly” recycling, many residents say MRC causes damage to the community. The plastics compounding and recycling company at was built in 2000 after community members had decided the location was a good place for a park. MRC employs only two community members, Medina said.

A 2001 study by the Harvard Medical School of Public Health found that the plant annually has caused 41 premature deaths, 550 emergency room visits and 2,800 asthma attacks within the community.


Arts & Culture

Give peace a chance By John Campos Public Affairs Editor

Photos courtesy Chitown Clothing

A shirt to championship coaches, shaped like the Chicago flag.

Screenprinters skewer sports, staches, movies By Kristina Zaremba Editor-in-Chief Chitown Clothing is a city-inspired screenprint T-shirt company started by local writer Sara Kmiecik and designer Kevin Kasarski. Chitown’s tagline is “Chicago sports, movies, mustaches and more,” and its site features designs of the Blackhawks hockey team, President Abraham Lincoln, legendary coaches and other Chicago icons. “We also pay tribute to [Revolutionary War hero] Casimir Pulaski and his 18th century stash,” co-owner Kmiecik said. “Customers can expect to see ‘Ferris Bueller’- and ‘Home Alone’-style shirts coming soon,” she said. Chitown launched three months ago with the help of co-owner Kasarski’s father’s screenprinting company in the suburbs. “We started Chitown Clothing to bring [what we think is] the best of what Chi-

Blackhawks’ Duncan Keith. cago has to offer through unique dynamic-looking designs… based on our Owners Sara knowledge Kmiecik and of Chicago Kevin Kasarski. culture and topical events,” Kmiecik said. “We feel we have a unique point of view that is almost an untapped market. Occasionally, you will see a cool Chicago flag

Filled with live music and small stands, the 30th annual Peacefest festival in Lincoln Park was comprised of a wide array of vendors and presenters; from Illinois Green Party to local hemp weavers. The festival was also filled with regional artists, bands and public speakers who spoke on city, state and federal level issues June 18-20. The event drew a youthful generation who shared herbal remedies and a kind smile. The dynamic of the festival was most influenced by the speakers. Speakers drew correlations between the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the shortfalls in our city’s budget. “Money is spent on sustaining wars at the federal level and local governments have budget shortfalls because federal funds are not rerouted back to the states and cities,” one speaker said. “Priorities are heavily tilted to the Military-Industrial Complex and not in the Public Academic-Social Complex, where the fiber of our society is formed— education.” A surprising addition this year was that audience members were able to rise and speak to the crowd about their views, experiences and advice for the

interpretation or a unique “Blues Brothers” design but rarely in the same place. Also, Kevin and I think it’s hard to find many original, unique sports designs that don’t have a crude or juvenile message.” Visit chitownclothing.com for more or email info@chitownclothing.com for specials.

Source: Facebook

Screenprinting at Peacefest. consistent struggle for inner, domestic and global peace. People’s attentiveness to the speakers and commentators was eerily obvious. At the same time, though, the crowd’s aura was that of a collective wellbeing demonstrated through personal interactions and a general willingness to be inviting and receiving of all peoples. Each night, after the last band finished its set, the crowd formed a large drum circle where hundreds of people chanted, drummed and danced in celebration of life and embraced each other’s presence. The 2010 Peacefest was a pleasant reminder that despite our war-torn reality, there are many people who long for world peace and strive to achieve it. More than just a gathering of hippies, Peacefest marks the robust spirit American youth naturally carry and their inherent willingness to share fairness, peace and love to all.

Cubs’ outfielder Marlon Byrd. The Chicago Grid June/July 2010

•5


Create events Tues., July 6

Mon., July 12

ECN: “Bronzeville” by Mell Monroe 12:15-12:45 p.m.

Weds., July 7 GPMFO: “Memory of Fire” 6:30 p.m.

CSD: Tambora, Banda Manzanera 6-9:30 p.m. MWB: Dobet Gnahore with Victor Deme 6:30 p.m.

Fri., July 9 World’s Largest Block Party: Barenaked Ladies Old St. Pat’s Church (enter Madison & Des Plaines) 5:30-10:30 p.m., $40 (five drinks)

Events Key

DS: Caribou with The Budo Band 6:30 p.m.

live music at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan), except July 14, Navy Pier Beer Garden (600 E. Grand)

CSD—Chicago Summer Dance, lessons &

ECN: “Lakeview” by Robin Hammond 12:15-12:45 p.m.

Weds., July 14 CSD: Steppin’, Majestic Gents & The Nu Blu Band 6-10 p.m., Navy Pier Beer Garden GPMFO: “Petrushka” 6:30 p.m.

Red Stick Ramblers

Thurs., July 15

GPMFO: “Sibelius Symphony No. 2” 6:30 p.m. Great Performers of Illinois 6:30-10 p.m., throughout Millennium Park

Sat., July 10 Great Performers of Illinois 7 a.m.-11 p.m., throughout Millennium Park Folk & Roots Festival Welles Park (Lincoln & Montrose) Noon-10 p.m., $10 donation ($5 seniors & kids) World’s Largest Block Party: Spoon Old St. Pat’s Church (enter Madison & Des Plaines) 5:30-10:30 p.m., $40 (five drinks)

MWB: Orchestre Poaly-Rythmo de Cotonou with La 33 6:30 p.m.

7 p.m. at Folk & Roots.

Sun., July 11 Great Performers of Illinois 11 a.m.-10 p.m., throughout Millennium Park CSD: Mambo, John Burnett Orchestra 4-7 p.m. Folk & Roots Festival Welles Park (Lincoln & Montrose) Noon-10 p.m., $10 donation ($5 seniors & kids)

Pritzker*

EAP—Edible Audible Picnic, DJs & live bands at Pritzker*

MWB—Music Without Borders, world music at Pritzker*

ECN—Explore Chicago’s Neighborhoods,

* Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph)

ECN: “Hyde Park” by Laurel Stradford 12:15-12:45pm GPMFO: “Planet Earth Live” 8:15 p.m. Indian bhangra dance.

Fri., July 16 CSD: Swing, The Flat Cats 6-9:30 p.m. GPMFO: “The Magic Toy Shop” 6:30 p.m. Sarruga: giant insect street theater from Italy 9 p.m., Millennium Park (by the Bean)

Sat., July 17

MWB: Renato Borghetti with Boris Malkovsky 6:30 p.m.

Thurs., July 22 CSD: Steppin’, The Etcetera Band 6-9:30 p.m. GPMFO: “A Child of Our Time” 6:30 p.m.

CSD: Salsa, Grupo Rebolu 6-9:30 p.m.

Sun., July 18

Chicago Summer Dance

Fri., July 23 EAP: All Headz on Deck (of Chicago Hip-Hop) Noon CSD: Salsa, Angel Melendez & 911 Mambo Orchestra Tribute to El Cantante 6-9:30 p.m.

Sarruga theater 3 p.m., Millennium Park (by the Bean) CSD: Fox trot, Steve Cooper Orchestra 4-7 p.m.

Weds., July 21 CSD: Diaspora, Chicago Afrobeat Project 6-9:30 p.m.

Sarruga: giant insect street theater from Italy 10 p.m., Millennium Park (by the Bean) Shemekia Copelans to play

DS—Downtown Sound, new music at

Tues., July 20

GPMFO: “The Magic Toy Shop” 7:30 p.m.

CSD: Zydeco, Jeffery Broussard & Creole Cowboys 6-9:30 p.m.

GPMFO—Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, classical music at Pritzker*

lectures by prominent Chicagoans at the Cultural Center (78 E. Washington)

CSD: Bhangra, Red Baraat 6-9:30 p.m.

CSD: Cajun two-step & waltz, Red Stick Ramblers 6-9:30 p.m.

All events free unless noted

EAP: El Guincho Noon

Tues., July 13

Thurs., July 8

GPMFO: “Sibelius Symphony No. 2” 7:30 p.m.

Arts & Culture calendar

Sat., July 24 GPMFO: “A Child of Our Time” 7:30 p.m. Surraga’s “Spider.”

Mon., July 19 EAP: High Places Noon DS: Kid Sister with Konono No. 1 6:30 p.m.

Sun., July 25 CSD: Waltz, The Weiss Brothers 4-7 p.m. E-mail event listings to John Campos by the 20th of each month. john@thechicagogrid.com


A Different Kind of Threesome: What’s say you, me & God go back to my place?

I love you,

You’re perfect,

Now pray. g Christian romance novels comfort women in prison & in daily life. By Rebeca Bell Contributor

W

omen in prison read addiction and recovery books, law books, lesbian fiction and Christian romance novels.

They read a lot of other things, too, but when a volunteer with the non-profit organization Chicago Books to Women in Prison was ticking off the list, I stopped listening at Christian romance novels. Can there truly be such an oxymoronic thing as a Christian romance novel? Christian romances, also known as inspirational romances, are a unique subgenre within the $1.37-billion romance novel industry. Christian romance novels follow the same genre rules as traditional romances, which, according to the Romance Writers of America, are that the main plot must focus on two people falling in love and that there must be a happy ending. In Christian romance novels, however, God is the third element. As the Hero and Heroine fall in love and build a relationship, they also build a relationship with Jesus. He is with them as they meet, fall in love, kiss, overcome obstacles and, if there were any bedroom scenes, He would be in those, too. But, there are no bedroom scenes! No bodice-ripping, roaming hands or morningafter conversations. In Christian romance novels, the Couple will get butterflies in their stomachs, sweep the hair out of each other’s eyes and kiss. But that is as far as it goes. Christian romance novels are chaste. So, why would incarcerated women locked away

File Photo by: Krsitina Zaremba

for 10-12 years with needs, read a romance novel without the smut? For that matter, why would anyone read a romance novel that stops at first base?

I only read Christian books

The coordinators at Chicago Books to Women in Prison have some guesses at why the organization gets so many requests for inspirational romances. CBWP was founded in 2002 by activist students at the University of Chicago. The organization receives letters from women in prison requesting books and does their best to fill the requests from their stash of gently-used paperbacks. Addiction, recovery, self-help, GED study guides and mainstream romance novels join Christian romance novels as some of the most requested genres. The requests are often very specific; one recent request said, “I am a Christian. I only read Christian books.” Megan Bernard, a Ph.D student at Northwestern University, has worked with the prison book project since she moved to Chicago in 2005. Bernard does not read romance novels, nor is she Christian. She, too, has wondered why women in prison request Christian romance novels. And she has several theories, pooled from her experience working with the project and her graduate studies in rhetoric and culture. “Classically, one of the ways people find comfort and peace when incarcerated is through church,” Bernard said. And without access to humans to talk to about religion and faith, women in prison turn to books.

Source: UC Books to Prisoners

Volunteers load donated books into a second Champaign County jail library. Christian romances combine familiar reading material—the basic romance novel plot—with the faith-affirming language and ideals of Christianity, she said. But Bernard also thinks there is more to their popularity in prison than just the church stuff. An increasing number of incarcerated women have been and continue to be arrested for drug violations. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics of 2007, between 2003 and 2007, the number of women arrested for drug offences increased 29 percent. Women in the drug trade often work as drug runners for boyfriends and lovers. “Toxic and damaging relationships” got many women into prison, so the “wholesome, healthy relationships” in Christian See “Christian romance,” p. 9 The Chicago Grid June/July 2010

•7


Become an organic skincare LUSH By Kristina Zaremba Editor-in-Chief LUSH is a handmade, fair-trade, organic skin and hair care company that puts raw ingredients in a moisture- and nutrient-rich base. While organic soaps are becoming more and more commonplace on drug and grocery store shelves, at the LUSH store, hand and body soaps, cleansers and other products are cut and weighed to custom order. Customers can also take home mini samples of most things to try before committing and swap scrubber’s remorse products for more suitable ones. All LUSH soaps are made with a vegetable-base and only have 20 to 40 percent soap content causing them to produce less foamy lather than most bar soaps do. All traditional soaps have a palm oil base, but LUSH uses a unique palm-free base that includes rapeseed and coconut oils. “LUSH worked for three years to develop a new soap base after learning about the harmful effects that the palm oil industry has on the rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the indigenous people and native animals,” said spokesperson Brandi Halls. Added to the base of the soap are the likes of shea and cocoa butters, aloe or mint, beeswax or honeycomb, vanilla and cocoa bean extracts, patchouli or lemon oil, apple or orange juice, bamboo shoots and fig leaves, oatmeal or sand depending on the recipe. The staff seem confident that they can find personal care products for any skin type, regardless of age or gender, with the stunning array of products and ingrdients. Facial cleansers are mostly clay-based rolls that users work into a paste and smear on wet skin to apply. In addition to clay, they may also feature charcoal, ground

LUSH recommendations Angels on Bare Skin facial cleanser Breath of Fresh Air toner Paradise Regained moisturizer Ayesha fresh face mask Rehab shampoo with olive oil Veganese conditioner with lemon oil —PR Manager Brandi Halls Ocean Salt body scrub with sea salt —Armitage manager Kelly McNulty

Grid recommendations Grease Lightning spot treatment Aromarant bar deodorant —Editor-in-Chief Kristina Zaremba

8 • The Chicago Grid

June/July 2010

Clockwise from top left: Herbalism facial cleanser with chlorophyll; Honey I Washed the Kids hand & body soap with honey water; Godiva shampoo bar in tin with cocoa butter; and Whoosh shower jellie with rosemary oil. Photos courtesy LUSH almonds, chamomile oil, marigold flowers, seaweed, rice bran or chlorophyll. There is a line of liquid shower gels, shampoos and conditioners, but then there are also environmentally-friendly solid versions of almost all the same products. LUSH is anti-plastic bottle in general and uses 100 percent recycled ones when they do. The company has invented sensible and fun alternatives to liquid products that don’t come in plastic, such as its solid shampoo bars. Each travel-friendly bar is equal to about three 250 ml bottles of shampoo or 50 to 80 washes on average and can be stored in a paper bag or metal tin (see Godiva pictured above). “They are extremely environmental, effective, economical and amazing for travel,” Halls said. “In 2009 alone, approximately three million plastic bottles were not manufactured, transported and disposed of because customers chose to buy solid shampoo bars instead of a bottled product.” Likewise, LUSH estimates that the switch to a palm-free soap base has spared 36.3 acres of primary rainforest, she said. The company is so committed to conservation and recycling that it offers free face masks to customers who return five empty black product pots. Shower jellies like the citrusy Whoosh (pictured above) are another alternative to bottled liquid products. Jellies are made with seaweed instead of gelatine, but you’d never know it. These squishy solid gels can be chilled in the fridge or freezer and then rubbed directly on the skin, or pinched off

LUSH, 859 W. Armitage

and lathered in a shower puff. Many of the products are vegan, and because they are preservative free, many of them may melt in heat and sunlight. Fresh face masks are overnighted to Chicago from Vancouver, Canada where compounders (whose faces appear on their products) prepare perishable fruits, vegetables and plant oils and extracts, or even free-range eggs. Each face mask must be refrigerated to preserve its three-week shelf life, while most other products have a 14-month shelf life. Some facial cleanser users experience a purging session where as employees describe it, the clay is pushing all the toxins in the facial pores out. However unscientific it may sound, having had problem skin my whole life and as a recent LUSH convert, I do feel there’s something to the purging and pushing metaphors. This may last 2-4 weeks, LUSH staff advise. Visit LUSH in Lincoln Park, 859 W. Armitage or in Macy’s, 111 N. State, for a consultation. Or, shop online at lush.com.


“Christian romance” from p. 7

romance novels are “comforting and inspiring because they show an alternative to their pasts,” Bernard said. “Prison is lonely. That kind of isolation is so profound that a story with a loving God and a loving man has to be really comLiz Curtis Higgs, author of Christian pelling,” she said.

It’s a heart thing

romance novels like “Bookends” & non-fiction Christian books like the “Bad Women of the Bible” series.

Seven Christian women and I sit around a table with a purple tablecloth in a gymnasium eating chicken and chocolate cake. We are all attendees of the Christian Women’s Conference in Springfield, Ill., presented by Westside Christian Church. The day-long conference includes singing, prayer and presentations by Christian nonfiction and fiction author Liz Curtis Higgs. Higgs has written several Christian romance novels. She receives many personal requests from women in prison for her books and happily donates slightly damaged copies to the Prison Book Project, a nonprofit organization out of Florida, she said. Around 650 women are at the conference and, from the balcony, it looks like a pretty homogenous crowd of mostly white, middle to upper-middle class, pantsuit-wearing, well-coiffed women. But, they aren’t clones. Each woman that I talk to has a unique and personal story that led her to her faith, this conference and, for some women, Christian romance novels. Karen Prather is one of those women. As we sip Crystal Light, Prather explains that she reads Christian romance novels—and not traditional romances—because they God loves your wirinkles, demonstrate the kind of real thins hairs, stretch marks love that she shares with her and love handles. husband. God created you to look “The connections in a like this, so stop comChristian romance novel are deeper,” Prather said. “They plaining. are more than just physical —Liz Curtis Higgs, attraction. It’s a heart thing,” Christian fiction & non-fiction author she said tapping her own heart. “Inspirational romances meet the heart’s need.” The women at our lunch table agree. To these readers, Christian romance novels show what it is like to be truly loved by God and good men, no strings attached and without the smut. “I have better things to do than read about heaving breasts and all that,” Sue Petter said from her seat next to Prather. “Traditional romances are basically soft porn.” But Christian romances could never be confused for pornography. The most risqué physical description in Bookends, one of Higgs’ novels describes the heroine’s “exceptional pair of shapely legs.” By comparison, the steamiest scenes in traditional romance novels are too steamy for me even to describe without blushing. Physical attraction in Christian romance novels is veiled and subverted, but God is always front and center, as this line, also from Bookends, shows: “He didn’t have time for a woman who didn’t have time for God.” As one segmentof the Christian fiction market, Christian romance novels evangelize as they tell stories. Petter explains that these books are “a wonderful way to share

People want redemption

Higgs writes Christian romance novels as part of her ministry to her sisters in Christ. She is a bubbly, gregarious woman and a wonderful public speaker. Throughout the conference, Higgs has proper church women rolling in the aisles, laughing at her vanity as it reminds them of their own. She uses humor to teach her message: God loves you. God loves your wrinkles and chin hairs and stretch marks and love handles. God created you to look like this, so stop complaining about it. This is also the main message in her fiction. As we sit in the empty church the night before the conference, Higgs tells me, “The Lord lavished women—isn’t that a wonderful word? He loves women. We are the crown of His creation. He made women last, not as an afterthought, but as a unique thought—just for us.” She writes Christian romance novels “because there are people who only read See “Christian Romance,” p. 15

the good news of Jesus with [women in prison] and to demonstrate how He can change lives.”

Crawl organizers Kristina Zaremba & John Campos. Photos by: Kyle LeNoir

Moonwalk through Wicker More than 35 people memorialized the oneyear anniversary of Michael Jackson’s untimely passing & celebrated his inspirational life at The Grid’s ten-bar pub crawl through the Wicker Park neighborhood on June 26. The Chicago Grid June/July 2010

•9


10 Things Every Chicagoan Should Know additional fees (for stairs or weight limit). Visit moving.org and www.protectyourmove.gov for more tips and visit chicago.bbb.org to check the BBB’s rating of more than 800 movers in northern Illinois.

10. Hull House offers free business skills workshops. Call (312) 906-8600 to RSVP and confirm locations. • Starting a business in Illinois July 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Uptown Center, 4520 N. Beacon • Corporate Identity and Branding for Start Ups July 22, 6-8 p.m. Northern Trust, 7801 S. State • Start a food business July 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Uptown Center, 4520 N. Beacon

5. Illinois Tenants Union Provides advice and assistance to renters in enforcing their rights including resolving maintenance issues, breaking a lease and subletting. Visit tenant.org for more.

9. Free wigs, breast prostheses for low-income women The Hispanocare, Inc. program at Illinois Masonic in partnership with Network of Strength (formerly Y-Me) offers wigs, breast prostheses and mastectomy bras to women of limited resources free of charge. Call 1-800-323-8622 and mention code 9W32, or call (773) 296-7157 by Sept. 3 to attend the Sept. 16 event. Be prepared with bra cup size and/or desired length and color of wig. 8. Recycle CDs & other discs Recycle all types of CD, DVD, Blu Ray and HD-DVD discs and disassembled jewel/shell cases. Separate and labels CDs from DVDs. No floppy discs, zip discs, video tapes or cassettes. Send sorted materials, packaged however is convenient (envelope or box) to 68H Stiles Road, Salem, NH 03079. Individuals pay their own shipping fees. Visit cdrecyclingcenter.com to make donations (suggest $2) and get more information. 7. City bikers ride for blood cancer Sign up for the Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation’s North Shore Century bike ride on Sun., Sept. 12 in Evanston to raise money for lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma research. This non-competitive ride includes 25-mile to 100-mile routes, but riders may bike as little as 1 mile. Fee waived for the first 50 people who register at chicagobloodcancer.org. 6. How to choose a moving company “Virtually anyone with a truck and a Web site can claim to be a mover. They can’t all be trusted to adhere to standards for honesty and ethical conduct,” said Linda Bauer Darr, president of the American Moving & Storage Association. Better Business Bureau and AMSA checklist for finding movers: • Check their licenses—Verify their state-mandated vehicles Virtually anyone licenses at www.icc.illinois.gov or with a truck and a www.protectyourmove.gov. Web site can claim • Get at least three in-home to be a mover. They estimates—No legitimate movers can’t be trusted... offer firm estimates without seeing —President American a client’s home, BBB says. Getting Moving & Sotrage Assoc. three allows suspiciously high or low quotes to be flags to the customer. • Get agreements in writing—Know all hourly or flat rates,

10 • The Chicago Grid

June/July 2010

4. Earn up to $150 a day as a movie extra Area film shoots need background extras for upcoming dates. Call 1-800-498-1797 for more information. 3. Movies in the Park The Chicago Park District projects blockbuster movies rated G to PG-13 in parks throughout the city nearly every night through Sept. 10. Upcoming titles include new releases “The Blind Side,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Transformers 2,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Twilight: New Moon,” “Up,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself”; comedies “Ghostbusters,” “Some Like it Hot,” “Clue,” “Hancock,” “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” and “City Slickers”; and family friendly flicks “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Neverending Story,” “School of Rock,” “The Goonies,” “Matilda,” “Antz,” “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Astro Boy.” <CLICK> to download the complete schedule. 2. Mobile Neighborhood Tours Explore Chicago’s neighborhoods with Mobile Neighborhood Tours produced by LISC/Chicago. Download walking tours of the following neighborhoods: Albany Park, Auburn Gresham, Bronzeville, Pilsen and South Chicago. These free tours are available for your iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm or Windows Phone. Visit tours.lisc-chicago.org/promo for more. 1. What the word Chicago means The word Chicago has a complex origin among various Native American tribes who independently used it to mean “striped skunk,” “playful waters,” “destitute” and “thunder.” The word carried a general meaning of “bad smell” and/or “strength.” Allium tricoccum, Chicago plant. It was used as the name of a garlicand onion-like leek, the river it grew beside and eventually the colonialist settlement that formed around the river. But before that it was also rumored to be the name of a Native American chief who was rumored to have drowned in the river of his namesake. Source: ChicagoHistoryJournal.com

<CLICK> the links in this story for instant Gridification.


Commentary Blood, sweat & the Letter to the Editor prepares BP oil spill...again Activism youth to be leaders A few years ago British Petroleum, in typical modern world CorpoSpeak , underwent a name change with all that is entailed in a public relations campaign: no longer would it be referred to with a name that evoked empire building and dirty pollutants but, embracing its environmentallyfriendly, brotherhood-of-allinhabitants-of-the-planet feelgoodisms “Beyond Petroleum” appeared, and now simply “BP” has taken over signage. With the rupture of yet another vein of the earth’s inner system, oil sharks and politicians take bites out of each other in another episode of The Blame Game…two months after the explosion, two months after the dead have been buried (11 rig workers), two months into a limping clean-up effort and unknown damage to the natural order. Lame commercials feigning sincerity air from BP’s chief Tony Hayward; while strong but empty words and promises sidling up next to a fabricated time-table air from the USA’s commander-in-chief. Once again we’re living with the toxic consequences of the insatiable pollutant-riden lifestyle we expect to maintain. Petroleum-based products are a part of almost everything in our modern pre-packaged life. It doesn’t bring me much comfort to slam the president of BP or the president of the United States for this mess while

Source: Creative Commons

An oil-covered bird waits for rescue in the Gulf of Mexico. I’m typing this article from my non-biodegradable lap top. I don’t have answers to the energy questions of renewability, safe disposal of poisonous byproducts, cheaper and more efficient sources. But awareness helps, I think; as does my cooperation with a less-is-better mentality when buying things that are packaged. Living in a city like Chicago where recycling efforts seem to move at sloth speed is challenging. Honesty is essential; I have to admit that I can do more in regards to my own efforts. I have to make myself remember that I am a citizen of the most hyperconsumerist country in the world and I share the responsibility of being a better steward. When we look at our common home of the globe, we have to look at consumption: what are we using, what are we wasting,

From the Coliseum By Terence Byrsa

change—Obama’s platform for America. This election proved to be historic because there was a black man, who had touched The future of this world lies thousands, broke barriers and in the hands the next generainspired those of all ages. tion. Sadly, the years ahead may “Young African Americans prove to be an uphill battle of posted the highest turnout rate morals, democracy and peace. ever observed for any racial or Generation Next Youth chose ethnic group of young Amerinot to educate themselves cans since 1972,” CIRCLE about issues or politics in their reports. communities. As a result of During the Obama’s election, Youth participate in Obama campaign there are more negative activities for presidency, college students to feel empowered. citizens ranging and young adults There’s a mentality from ages 18 to taking notice and that when you get 35 were engaged actively engaging mad, you shoot, in dialogue conpolitics. fight or smoke. cerning commuIt starts with —Resident Sydney Corryn nity problems and being aware of the democratic their surroundprocess. ings and taking a stand based However, as a nation we on one’s own personal rights need to keep the momentum and beliefs. going strong. Although, there Despite improvement, the are a lot of youth political system still has cracks. The chapters, few are active and hugest barrier is lack of knowlproductive. edge about organizations and In 2008, 52 percent of opportunities. young citizens cast a balParticipation in programs lot according to CIRCLE such as Young Democrats of (Center For Information and America and United NeighResearch on Civic Learning borhood Organization (UNO), and Engagement). The increase can act a springboard to breed is attributed to their desire for See “Active youth,” p. 15

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See “Oil Spill,” p. 15 The Chicago Grid June/July 2010

• 11


e-dentity g Links to help resolve your e-dentity crisis

Local Area Connection: Chicago links SecretDoorBlog.com Secretdoor bloggers post all things indie/underground music, video, pictures, news, and live events related to the latest electronic and indie music. FlyingMyKite.com A two-man film, music and entertainment firm that post original music videos and clips of the insane loft/house/club parties they throw including one themed with animal masks. AChicagoSojourn.blogspot.com Remarkable architecture from the city and suburbs. Tied for Best Blog in the Chicago Reader’s annual poll. trusslant.com/MeganCottrell News and commentary on public housing and poverty. Tied for Best Blog in the Chicago Reader’s annual poll. Aldertrack.net Register for e-mails on the upcoming aldermanic elections.

Social Networking links Popular URL shorteners to shrink long Web addresses bit.ly • is.gd • tiny.cc • ow.ly • kxk.me Scribd.com Online reader allows users to browse and share documents. Ning.com and PBWorks.com Make a wiki (easy-to-edit online portal of linked pages) to easily share & organize information for school, work and personal use.

Downtime links XKCD.com A Web comic of romance, sarcasm, lanhuage and math with metadata (hover your mouse over scenes). Issuu.com Browse hundreds of free online magazines or upload one. Submit links to editor@thechicagogrid.com

#FollowJuneJuly

Killer Apps

@BrokeHipster Food, drink & culture on the cheap

Chicago Gangland Tour (iPhone, iTouch or iPod) $2.99 iTunes App Store Take a self-guided tour of the haunts of the city’s infamous gangsters with narration by “Get Capone” author Jonathan Eig.

Twitter.com feeds The Chicago Grid recommends following.

@848 Local public radio’s arts & culture program @CityofChicago Helpful & interesting tourists’ tweets @GayChicago LGBT news & entertainment entries @ChicagoReporter Investigative race & poverty news @ChicagoNow Network of city bloggers @AdentroDePilsen News on the Pilsen neighborhood @HaroldsChicken Like being there, minus the smells @SUEtheTrex Sassy quips from the famed Field exhibit @ChiArtMachine Updates by Chicago Art Magazine Honorable Mention— @GovernorRod Sporadic tweets by Lightning Rod. Even weirder, Rod’s Web site. #CheckIt 12 • The Chicago Grid

June/July 2010

Multi Cam (iPhone, iTouch or iPod with WiFi) $0.99 iTunes App Store View still pictures of traffic from any of 122 Ill. Dept. of Transportation high way cameras before hitting the road.


Need to Know:

Instructions for Your Indie Life

Make Money Meet Business Consultants The Dept. of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection offers assistance with business start-up and licensing information, business violations and citations, permits and other resources. Call (312) 744-5506 to make an appointment. Experienced Business Mentors The Service Corps of Retired Executives (500 W. Madison St.) connects wouldbe and current business owners with more than 11,500 volunteer business counselors. Call (312) 353-7724, or visit scorechicago.org for more. Women’s Business Development Center Assists in development and marketing of emerging and existing woman-owned businesses. Services (in Spanish or English) include business assessments, loan assistance, workshops, and individualized counseling. Call (312) 853-3477 or visit wbdc.org for more. Veterans Business Outreach The VBO Program provides business plan preparations, comprehensive feasibility analysis, entrepreneurial training and counseling, mentorship, and referrals to eligible veterans who own or want to start a small business. Call (810) 767-8387 or visit vetbizcentral.com for more. Small Business Alliance Loans SBA makes loans up $15,000 for startups, $25,000 for existing businesses. Visit accionchicago.org for more. $1,000 Business Grant Get a $1,000-grant & shared workspace to jumpstart your business idea. This is a grant, not a loan—no repayment. Visit scalewell.com to submit your idea. Grow Your Business The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity offers businesses expansion incentives, technological support, access to capital, global marketing expertise

and job training for workers. Visit www. commerce.state.il.us/dceo for more. Employ Illinois Business Loans The State Treasurer’s Office invests millions annually in low-interest loans to large and small-business owners and child-care providers. Visit treasurer.il.gov for more.

Employment agencies Visit thecityofchicago.com/employment/ for a directory of more than 40 employment agencies.

Save Money Cut Your Wireless Bill Citizen Utility Board’s Cell Phone Saver (citizensutilityboard.org/cellphonesaver) analyzes digital copies of any major provider’s cell bill to determine and recommend the most economic plan for you according to average voice, text and data usage. Free Directory Assistance Instead of paying up to $2 to call 411, try 1-800-FREE411 for residential and business listings, or 1-800-goog411 and 1-800-555TELL for business numbers. Books Cheaper Before you shell out more paper for textbooks and bestsellers browse the 30,000 free e-books (many in Kindle format) from Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org) or the more than 25,000 free ones at ManyBooks.net. Then search I-Share (alliance of 76 Illinois libraries), visit a local book exchange (swancc.org/directory/books.html), rent books from Chegg.com, buy and sell used media through Amazon Marketplace, or download a paperless version to digital readers like Kindle ($249, amazon.com). Discounted Theater Tix & Gift Certificates Goldstar.com and ChicagoHalfOff.com offer tickets and gift certificates to local restaurants and merchants for 50 percent

off or more. Check out the Featured and Clearance pages, respectively. HotTix.org has half-price tickets to more than 200 Chicago theatres, or visit their walk-up locations at 72 E. Randolph St. and 163 E. Pearson St. (in Water Works Visitor’s Center). Twelve Museums for Free Get free admission for up to four people at twelve of the city’s best museums at any Chicago Public Library location by / checking out free Kraft Foods Great Kids Museum Passports. Shop with Friends and Save Save big on groceries, clothes and household goods when you start a Costco (2746 N. Clybourn) club to shop bulk with friends. Buy one membership for $50 and shop as a group. Member must be present and pay for order in full, so arrange to break down receipt and split up shared purchases. Vehicle strongly recommended.

Green living Ever Wish You Had a Car? Zipcars are shared sedans, station wagons, SUVs, pick-ups or minivans parked throughout the city. Members can reserve cars (from $7/hr or $68 /weekday, gas and insurance included) at Zipcar.com and drive for a free 180 miles or more per day. Must be 21. Text cta2009 to 30364 to earn $75 toward driving. For greener chauffeured trips, check out Going Green Limos’ (goinggreenlimousine.com) hybrid transport options. Be Rewarded for Saving Water Single-family and two-flat homeowners can lower their water bills by voluntarily installing a water meter. The city’s Meter Save program charges participants only for actual water used and guarantees that metered home will pay no more than yearly assessed rates for seven years. Visit metersave.org or call 311 for more.

<CLICK> the links in this section for instant Gridification. The Chicago Grid June/July 2010

• 13


Dispose of Hazardous Waste The Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility (1150 N. North Branch on Goose Island) accepts household chemical waste on Tuesdays 7 a.m.-noon, Thursdays 2-7 p.m., and the first Saturday of each month 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit swancc.org/hcw/hcwcollection.html for a list of accepted items. Conserve Power, Enter CUB Raffles Individuals are eligible to win a month of free electricity or compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs). You’ll also be eligible to earn up to 10,000 CFLs. Visit cubenergysaver. com/contest to register.

Human Services —FOOD Nutrition Assistance (Link Card) The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance “Oil Spill” from p. 11

what are we casting into the trash without a second thought? The myth of overpopulation is masking the reality of overconsumption and waste: the problem doesn’t lie with the “third world” as many comfortable “first world” intelligentsia say. The developing nations are not throwing food away by the megaton in school cafeterias and restaurants; they are not tooling around in SUVs or compacts to buy the newest gadget that will end up in a landfill within five years. I am responsible for me. I bear a responsibility for the care of this place along with everyone else. BP executives and politicians bear responsibility for their actions and inaction, but they are not alone: they are a corporation populated with people, as are governments and other institutions. People make changes.

Program, formerly Food Stamps, helps low-income people and families buy healthy food. Visit the state’s Dept. of Human Services’ site (www.dhs.state.il.us/) and click “Food” to apply. Nutrition for Women, Infants & Children WIC helps pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of five eat well by providing coupons to buy nutritious foods like milk, juice, eggs, cheese, cereal, dry beans, pees and peanut butter. Also educates families about nutrition, fitness, breastfeeding and health care. Visit the state’s Dept. of Human Services’ site (www.dhs.state.il.us/) and click on “Pregnancy & Parenting” to apply. Common Pantry Provides emergency food monthly to individuals and families within the boundaries of Diversey (south), Kedzie (west), Ravenswood (east), and Lawrence (north), who are below the poverty line.

“Active youth” from p. 11

our future leaders. UNO has been changing lives and creating bright futures since 1984. The Latinobased organization has made a difference in the lives of over 65,000 U.S. citizens. Many community-based coalitions are always eager to work with new volunteers, especially young adults and high school students. They constantly try to find new ways to spread the word about the good they do in the neighborhood. This strategy has had its share of successes. When teens become involved and recognize the value of their contributions, it esteems them as individuals. Those who participate are changed for a lifetime. But there is still much more work to do. As a resident who lives in the south suburbs of Chicago, I have noticed many youth participate in negative activities because it makes them feel empowered.

Contribute to The Grid • Write articles • Take pictures • Sell ads

Distribution is 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Wednesdays at 3744 N. Damen. Visit commonpantry.org or call (773) 3270553. —UTILITIES Apply for Free Emergency Cell Phone Low-income residents may qualify for a free cell phone with 60 pre-paid monthly minutes. Apply at safelinkwireless.com. —HEALTH Rape Crisis Hotline Survivors of sexual assault and their significant others can call 1-888-293-2080, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive free confidential assistance from volunteers staff trained in sexual assault crisis intervention.

Know Something Others Should Too? Submit Need to Know information to editor@thechicagogrid.com. They fail to realize how much of an impact they have on their communities. There is this mentality that when you get mad, you shoot, fight or smoke. Instead, teens need to learn how to use their anger and turn it onto a positive force. I truly believe if youth volunteered in their communities, work with political campaigns, or just learn about the American political system, there would be much more of an impact the youth of the U.S. A. would have on the world. Politics is not about control but passing intelligence, wisdom and humility for generations to come. As youth, it is crucial that we leave legacies and pave the way for future leaders to lead this earth into its destiny.

­— Sydney Corryn, Resident

Thinking Gridically­

What do you think of the Supreme Court overruling the city’s handgun ban? Send comments to editor@thechicagogrid.com or tweet us @ChicagoGrid

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Gridicise daily for best results.

Contact kristina@thechicagogrid.com

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“Christian romance” from p. 9

fiction. I can’t reach them unless I write a novel. If I want to speak to their hearts, then I gotta write a novel.” And Higgs would like nothing more than to also speak to the hearts of her sisters in prison. “For inmates with too much time and not enough friends, Christian fiction provides a healthy source of escape,” she said. As Higgs sees it, women—whether they are in prison or not—often need to break free from reading someone else’s happy ending is one way to do that. “In a world of uncertainty and depression and discouragement, it is perfectly OK to seek the comfort and encouragement and sheer joy of a story that you know is going to end well. “The best of Christian fiction offers what female inmates need most: encouragement, redemption, hope, and a glimpse of what the forgiven life looks like.” Higgs believes that people seek out the redemption in romance novels as part of our natural need for hope. “In every religion, even in people who have no religion, I think people want redemption. We’re wired that way as human beings. And I think we are wired that way by God. I think that He put that need for redemption in us so that we look for it in stories, movies, songs, real-life stories. We respond to that. We’re meant to and it’s a good thing.”

You can go anywhere in a book

Seventy percent of the women in prison or under correctional supervision are mothers, the Department of Justice says. “No matter what these women have done [to end up in prison], they are still moms,” said Valerie Everett, director of

To donate books visit: Chicago Books to Women in Prison chicagobwp.org/get-involved/ Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners books2prisoners.org/contact.php Connections, a Lutheran Social Services of Illinois program for incarcerated parents and their families. Everett has a Master’s degree in social work and is working on her Master’s in divinity. Connections works with incarcerated mothers, an enormous segment of the women’s prison population. Many of these moms and their kids rely on programs like Connections for support as the families try to heal and move forward, a process that is often incredibly difficult and full of societal and institutional setbacks, which is why Everett isn’t surprised that women in prison and those recently released read Christian romance novels. “You can go anywhere in a book,” she said. “For one moment in time, you can experience a break from your everyday troubles. You can experience love and commitment—with a relationship with God at the center of it. Most women want to find that kind of love.” As she has discovered in her work with incarcerated women and their families, being in prison doesn’t stop mothers from being moms and it doesn’t stop women from being girly either. “Girls grow up planning their wedding from five years old on. Just because you made a mistake, doesn’t mean that impulse isn’t still imbedded in your psyche.” Reading Christian romance novels revives and indulges that impulse.

Christian art can be embarrassing

While most of the volunteers, academics,

conference-goers, ministers and Bible studiers that I talked to do not, have never and probably will never read a single Christian romance novel, almost every woman who called herself Christian completely and inherently understood why women in prison read these books. They’re comforting, enforce values, offer pure love and exalt their glorious God. Only one Christian woman, who had never heard of the genre, was shocked that they even existed. “Christian art can be so embarrassing!” she said. If you don’t read Christian fiction, the idea of it can be embarrassing. They can seem patriarchical, prudish, boring, silly, oxymoronic and incredibly cheesy. But for the women in prison, and throughout Illinois, who read them, these books connect people to God, love and each other as worn paperbacks are passed from reader to reader. As Bernard said as she bundled stacks of books to send to women in prison, some people find what they need in Christian romance novels and who are we to judge? In other words, if Christian romance novels help women within and outside of prison find comfort, strength, encouragement or motivation to serve and love others, then good for them. Christian romance novels have value, even if their characters never get past first base. ­—Rebeca Bell is an environmental justice advocate & publicist. This is her first story for The Grid.

Reach Millennials Advertise with The Chicago Grid Print, Web and Video spots from $20. Design services available.

E-mail info@thechicagogrid.com for rate card Isn’t it time your business started thinking Gridically? The Chicago Grid June/July 2010

• 15


80 s Wrigleyville Pub crawl sat. aug. 14

7pm - midnight bars tba presented by The Chicago Grid www.thechicagogrid.com

June/July 2010  

In this issue: * Toxic Tour of Little Village--Photo story of pollution on the West side * A Different Kind of Threesome--Christian...

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