Theyoujournal march 2015

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t he YO U journal

Bringing you people & business from

the North Shore & Beyond March 2015

Nostalgic Barbering

Issue V Please turn to page 8 for the full story

What’s Inside Know where to eat! Pages 9, 10, 11, & 12

Care for your Core Lily Horowitz page 15


zeros in on gangs, drugs pages 4, 5

Highland Park schools come to the aid of refugees! see page 3

“Serving the North Shore and Beyond”


Beach Park reaches milestone pages 6, 7



theYOUjournal Established 2014

Publisher Long Hwa-shu Editor Tina Johansson Contributing Writers Dr. Jeannie Aschkenasy. Alisa Bay Hope Forcier Odie Pahl -

A host of guest writers Please contact us at: 847.293.7028 theYOUjournal P.O. Box 540 Wadsworth IL 60083

March 2015

A message from the Editor Dear Readers: This month we celebrate our fifth issue. For those of you new to our publication, here is a little information that may help you understand. What is theYOUjournal ? This small, monthly publication which began in 2014 by two longtime, local journalists is like no other. It’s a cross between a magazine and a newspaper -- a “Maper©,” if you will. We are FREE and available where people shop, congregate and visit. The North Shore and other areas of Lake County including Gurnee, Libertyville, Zion and Waukegan are areas we serve. theYOUjournal is produced right in Wadsworth. We may be small, but we have some BIG ideas. We are BIG on people, focusing on interesting individuals in your community. And we are BIG on business. In the last issue, we featured 26 different local businesses, not including our sponsors. Please share with us any ideas you might have. After all, this publication is for YOU! Through both our online and print issues, we estimate up to 10,000 readers. Not bad for a brand new, little publication. Like they say, “Everyone’s got to start some place.”

Your suggestions, comments and story ideas are welcome. A Dragon-Tiger Enterprises Publication

Happy reading!

Tina Johansson, Editor

theYOUjournal March 2015


From Students with Love

Highland Park students, staff come to the rescue of Myanmar refugee family By Long Hwa-shu Two Highland Park schools in the North Suburban Special Education District have opened their arms to help a refugee family of four from Myanmar to resettle in Chicago. Students and staff from North Shore Academy and North Shore Academy Elementary School not only furnished their two-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s North Side, but also stocked it with groceries. They saw to it that a hot meal was waiting for the refugees when they arrived shortly after midnight Wednesday, Feb. 25; after a long flight that began in Bangkok with stopovers in Tokyo, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. “They arrived tired, cold and hungry,” said Chuck Sheftel, service learning coordinator for North Shore Academy, who went to O’Hare International Airport to meet the family with his wife Cary Rositas-Sheftel. Sheftel, a former Peace Corps. Volunteer, called it a heart-warming experience that bridged between Highland Park and half of the world away. “They don’t speak English, but their big smiles amply showed their appreciation as they began their American dream,” said Sheftel who then drove them to their apartment. “They never saw snow before except in movies. The man was wearing a T-shirt and his wife, flip-flops. They and their two young children were cold and exhausted,” he added, pointing out they had come from a warm climate. The newcomers are: Ar Doh, 35; his wife Thi Tar Aye, 24; and their two children, Khan, 4, a boy, and Ro Kar San, 1 ½ years old, a girl. The Burmese family, who belong to the ethnic Karen sect, had lived in a refugee camp in Thailand for nearly 15 years after fleeing from ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, known formerly as Burma. Their resettlement in America has been sponsored by Refugee One, a non-profit organization that assists refugees to start a new life in the Chicago area. One of its goals is to help them to become self-supporting and independent. The two Highland Park schools adopted the family jointly as a service project involving not only the staff and students, but also parents of the students. Together, they have opened their wallets and provided the needed labor and leg work such as bringing furniture and household items donated at the schools, to the apartment. “They have love to give,” said Sheftel of the students. There are 110 students at the academy and 48 at the elementary school. The two are therapeutic day-schools. “We furnished their apartment with everything they need for the living room, the bedrooms, the kitchen and the bathroom. They don’t have to buy anything. There’s food in the refrigerator and a television set in the living room,” he added. Sheftel said their eyes were wide open when they saw the well-furnished apartment – a farcry from the wooden shack they lived at the Mae La refugee camp in west Thailand bordering Myanmar. The family came with only two bags containing their meager belongings. “The children were so hungry when they got to the apartment that they devoured a box of cereal which they never had before,” he vividly recalled.

Nevertheless, a house-warming party was quickly held with a hot Burmese meal including curry chicken and stir-fried vegetables which had been prepared by DeMarcus Grady, a teacher’s assistant at North Academy. The only thing lacking was rice which “we forgot that’s their staple.” Judging by their smiles, that apparently was the happy beginning of their new life in America.

A family of four from Myanmar is welcomed to Chicago to begin their American Dream. Here they are greeted at O’Hare Airport by Chuck Sheftel, service learning coordinator at North Shore Academy, and his wife Cary (both in back). - photos courtesy of North Shore Academy

Student Council Representatives of North Shore Academy Elementary help put dressers together at the refugee apartment.

Boxes of groceries including cereal, chicken, milk, and eggs were generously donated by Linda Arof and the women’s ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Lake Forest.

NInth grade students Henry Spaan and Luis Quintanta carry a dresser to be set up in the refugee apartment.

Student Council Representatives of North Shore Academy Elementary and their teachers wash, dry and put dishes away at the apartment for the refugee family. Thi Tar Aye of Myanmar, arrived unprepared for the Chicago winter. Here she wears sandals and no socks at the airport.

theYOUjournal March



The County Beat

Sheriff Mark Curran: ‘Drugs and gangs top concerns’ By Long Hwa-shu Drug and gang activities are the Number One concerns of law enforcement in Lake County even though major crimes have declined, explained Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran Jr. “I believe Lake County is one of the safest counties in the Chicago area,” said Curran, adding, “I attribute the higher level of safety to the commitment by our office and many local agencies to emphasize community policing.” The Sheriff’s Office, with a budget of $65 million and a force of nearly 540 deputies, has police jurisdiction over unincorporated Lake County as well as municipalities that do not have their own police departments but are under contract for the sheriff’s office to provide them with patrolling and policing. “We cover 30 percent of the county,” said Curran, a Republican who was re-elected in November to a third therm. In a phone interview conducted in part while he was attending the meeting of the National Sheriff’s Association in Washington, Curran stressed that “gangs are a persistent problem” and that gangs, drugs and weapons are interwoven. “Gangs are selling drugs and in doing so they get into all kinds of criminal activities including theft, robbery and shooting,” said Curran, 51, tall and trim with the look of a lawman straight out from movies of the old, wild West. He recently grew a mustache, he said, “for fun” which seemed to enhance that image. To tackle the twin issue, he said his office uses a three-pronged approach. One is to develop intelligence to pin-point who is behind drug-selling and gang activities, followed by raids and arrests. The other is through education. “We send messages to schools and communities about the pernicious effects of gang activities and drug-selling,” said Curran, a former prosecutor for 13 years with the State’s Attorney Office and also the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. To put more deputies on the street to handle gangs and related issues, he said he has realigned his court security unit in what he described as “a cost-saving reorganization” by allocating full-time deputies to patrol duties and part-time officers to secure the courts. These full-time deputies, he said, are now assigned to the Special Response Team (SRT), a mobile unit. The special unit, teamed with Sheriff’s Highway Patrol, focuses on “address-

ing the rise in gang-related activity including drug dealing and the illegal sale of weapons.” Because of its success, Curran said the special unit which was first set up in 2013 has expanded its role by reaching out “to work collaboratively with more local, state and federal agencies.” “Our department may not get the bragging rights for the seized dope, money and weapons, because many other agencies are involved, but our goal is to keep the county safe, and we’re doing it,” he pointed out with pride. Nevertheless, in 2014 the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Investigation Unit seized $400,000 in drugs in street value, $87,347 in cash and 22 weapons. To point to the collaboration with other agencies, he said detectives from the special unit logged a total of 4,115 hours last year with 800 hours devoted to collaborative efforts which led to felony arrests by other agencies. More recently, the unit collaborated with other local agencies in an FBI-led task force against 21 alleged members and associates of the 4 Corner Hustlers street gang. In light of what happened in Ferguson, Mo., and in New York City where officers killed unarmed suspects, the sheriff was asked if his department had issued special instructions for handling similar situations. “We hold our deputies accountable for their conduct and behavior,” he said, adding, “We’ll protect citizens’ rights to demonstrate peacefully.” He warned that anyone displaying violent behavior and violating the law will be arrested. Curran said he is striving to build a diverse workforce to reflect the community it serves. Reiterating his promise in 2007 to hire more minorities and women after he was first elected, he said, “Over the last eight years the department has grown more diverse.” He pointed out the he promoted the first female to the chief of the Lake County Jail. Currently, there are one female lieutenant and six female sergeants. Despite his continuing efforts to make a difference, he acknowledged that white males continue to represent the largest number of applicants for deputy sheriff positions – 60 percent in 2012, 64 percent in 2011 and 61 percent in 2009. To encourage more minorities and women to apply for jobs, Curran said his office has “proactively engaged in advertising” to Illinois colleges offering criminal law studies, churches, the Hispanic American Police Command

Sheriff Mark Curran at the recent Lake County Leadership Summit in Gurnee sporting a new mustache. Curran said his office is encouraging minorities including women to apply for more jobs with his department. - photo by Tina Johansson Officers, the International Association of Women Police and the National Black Police Association. Curran said he strongly believes in working with community leaders. “Many of our law enforcement staff and I are members of community organizations including Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force, Standing Alone, the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism and Waukegan Community Action Project,” said the sheriff. Curran was born in Pittsburgh and grew up on Chicago’s South Side and later in Deerfield.

He went to Loyola Academy in Wilmette and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He and his wife, Irene, who is a Lake County assistant State’s Attorney, have three sons. They live in Libertyville where they are members of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

abuse and harassment complaints, log books, meeting minutes and staff training records. Camera monitoring footages were also examined. Curran said the findings show the jail exceeded all the required standards and called the

audit a great success. Last year the jail also garnered a successful audit by the Illinois Department of Corrections and received accreditation from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care for its health care services to inmates.

Jail passes audit with flying colors The Lake County Jail passed “with flying colors” an audit by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Prison Rape Elimination Act, according to Antonietta Simonian, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office. The audit was conducted in January which

included a tour of the facility by department officials, examination of documents and interviews with Sheriff Mark Curran Jr. and his staff as well as 10 random and three selected inmates to determine whether it complied with the act. Among documents reviewed were sexual

Recorder’s Office Adds More Tools to Assist Homeowners Lake County Recorder Mary Ellen Vanderventer announced today that the office has implemented an additional service for homeowners to use to fight against identity theft and mortgage fraud.

This new 24/7 service allows residents to sign up on the Recorder’s website to receive an email or text, alerting them when certain documents have been recorded against their name or property.

“According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white-collar crime. We are continually evaluating ways to improve the quality of our services. This is an easy, convenient and free tool for homeowners

to use to protect their biggest investment.” Residents are encouraged to sign up for property check alerts on the Recorder’s website at: For more information, contact the Recorder’s office at


K-9 unit to expand The K-9 Unit of Lake County Sheriff’s Office will soon be reinforced with three German shepherds, thanks to a grant from the D.A.S. Charitable Fund for the Preservation of Feline Animal Life in Libertyville. The fund has agreed to donate $37,800 to

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran is look ing forward to adding more police dogs to his department. - photo courtesy of Lake County Sheriff’s Office

cover the costs for the purchase and training of the dogs which are yet to be selected. Sheriff Mark Curran Jr. has expressed his heart-felt thankfulness for the generous donation which makes it possible for his office to reinforce the K-9 Unit which has dwindled to just one dog from five due to retirement. The dogs will be trained at the TOPS Kennel in Grayslake which has trained police dogs for various municipalities. Three deputies have been selected to be handlers. They are Craig Somerville, Dwight Arrowhead and John Forlenza.

March 2015


The County Beat The dogs will be named with winning names from a contest sponsored by the sheriff’s office. Students from Lake County’s middle schools have been encouraged to participate in the contest with deadline set for March 4. - Long Hwa-shu

Officials celebrate Veterans closet ribbon cutting Midwest Veterans Closet in North Chicago celebrated its ribbon cutting on Fat Tuesday, where officials and volunteers gathered to support of the new, not-for-profit, free store for veterans. It was also Random Act of Kindness Day, and many visitors made gestures of goodwill by donating items. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Winthrop Harbor VFW donated a brand new microwave oven to veterans at Building 66 at the VA Hospital. Others donated King cakes for the occasion which were shipped overnight from New Orleans. O’Brothers Bakery in Waukegan donated paczki’s while still others gave donations to fill the Veterans Closet.

Mayor Leon Rockingham of North Chicago cuts the yellow ribbon at the Midwest Veterans Closet in North Chicago. The closet is

North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban and crew arrived in style with this giant flag which flew over the ribbon cutting.

Volunteers Tina Gatz of Van Gogh Transportation, Grady Anderson from Kenosha, and Danielle Davis in thier Mardi Gras masks, decorated for the festivities.

Terri Jakimiak Allen, left, and Sara Soto Lopez, far right, flank Mary Carmody, executive director of the Midwest Veterans Closet. Allen and Lopez came to show their support during their lunch hour.


theYOUjournal March 2015

Beach Park passes 25-year mark One of the youngest incorporated villages offers simple living By Tina Johansson It’s fair to say that Beach Park got its start more than a quarter century ago in the farmhouse of Milton and Ina Jensen. Mr. Jensen, a retired United Airlines pilot and a former mayor of Zion, began toying with the idea of incorporating Beach Park along with several others. The seven square mile area is sandwiched between Waukegan and Zion. The idea of incorporation was to bring a sense of community and cohesiveness to residents. “They would all gather here, and I would just put another coffee pot on,” said Mrs. Jensen. Concerned citizens were prompted because of the shrinking of Beach Park, in which land was being annexed left and right. Learning there were plans to annex a large portion into Waukegan in the early 1980s, resi-

After two years of hard work and planning, and the passage of a referendum, Beach Park became an official incorporated village in 1989. Beach Park is one of the youngest incorporated villages in Lake County. Hainesville, by the way, is the oldest. To celebrate a quarter century of accomplishments, Beach Park hired a planner for a threeday event in Founders Park last August. Festivities began with an Elvis impersonator and ended two days later with a carnival, a craft show and cake.

Beach Park has adopted the slogan: “The Village of Rural Spirit”

Ina Jensen in the kitchen of her Beach Park farmhouse. Founders of the village met at the home when they were contemplating incorporation more than 25-years ago. - photo by Tina Johansson

Founders of Beach Park with a plaque which will be installed this year, during last years 25th anniversary celebration. From left is attorney Newton Finn, Ann and Paul Last, Mayor John Hucker, and Mrs. and Mr. Marshall Streib. - photo courtesy of Beach Park dents knew they had to act quickly. The annexation would have cut Beach Park in half, preventing any hopes to incorporate. “We didn’t want to be in Zion, and we didn’t want to be in Waukegan. We liked where we were, and were happy with the country atmosphere,” said Mrs. Jensen, whose late husband later became the No. 2 mayor of Beach Park. The Jensen’s, like many others, were satisfied with the absence of restrictions, and didn’t want that to change. They enjoyed their simple living. Each time they met, interest in developing the official municipal entity became more serious. “It turned out there wasn’t enough room at our house for everybody, so we had to have meetings at Kenneth Murphy (Elementary) School,” said Mrs. Jensen. The area known as Beach Park had long been called that, as well as other names in the past including Beach Depot and Beach Station – due to passenger train stops. But because of a lack of boundaries, residents trying to incorporate had to determine those borders. Waukegan attorney Newton Finn was hired to help with the incorporation and assisted in spelling out the boundaries. According to Mrs. Jensen, there was one last parcel on Wadsworth Road near North Avenue which if it hadn’t been available, the incorporation would not have taken place.

The Village of Beach Park in north east Lake County was incorporated in 1989. It has less than 15,000 residents today. - photo courtesy of Beach Park

The Jensen’s moved to a farm in Beach Park in 1980. At the time they owned more than five acres, had chickens and also boarded horses for a short time. - photo by Tina Johansson


March 2015


Beach Park mayor: ‘We live within our means’ By Tina Johansson John Hucker, the mayor of Beach Park which is in both Benton and Waukegan townships, is also one of the surviving founding fathers of the village incorporation which took place 25-years ago. He joins others who fought for the right to have a certified village, including Joe Buttera, Attorney Newton Finn, Howard Glander, Tim Hatten, Sue Hendricks, Milton and Ina Jensen, Paul Last, Jeff Miller, Norman and Mary Miller, Alex Mohr and Marshall and Mary Ann Streib. A plaque with their names will be installed at Founders Park this spring. While the late Dr. James Solomon, a physician, did not participate in the founding, he was the first mayor of Beach Park. Hucker, 55, remembers he was in his late 20s when he got involved with the incorporation. “I was the young one of the group,” he said. Born in Waukegan, Hucker grew up in Beach Park. But after marrying his wife Carrie, the two lived in Zion for a time. The couple moved back to Hucker’s hometown in 1987, just in time to be part of the incorporation talks which had been ongoing. “I was probably the last one to get involved in it,” he said. Nonetheless he found it fascinating and important, and was eager to work on the incorporation. “It was a huge opportunity for me. It changed my point of view on government and how things work,” said Hucker, president of his family’s Waukegan business, Hucker Electric. Although he said politics was never his ambition, after the village was incorporated in 1989, Hucker came to serve Beach Park quite well. He always obliged to be on committees and commissions, and was a trustee on the village board for nearly 15 years. Later he served as mayor pro tem when Mayor Milt Jensen became ill, and was appointed to fulfill Jensen’s term after he died three years ago this month. In 2013, Hucker ran for mayor and won. The quiet, bedroom community of less than 15,000 in northeast Lake County, includes hidden beauty and some not so hidden. Rolling ravines and streams are commonplace, and the shores of Lake Michigan are nearby. Because of the landscape, many of the streets are dead-ends, said the mayor. And while there is no place to call a “downtown,” there are several strip malls, restaurants, banks, doctors, a dry cleaners, gas stations, and a number of small mom and pop establishments, as well as a pretty nice village hall. Built several years after the incorporation, the village hall is conveniently located on Wadsworth Road. Before that, officials held village meetings in the lower level of a dental office next door. The hall underwent recent upgrades to the floors and foyer recently. Hucker said he would ideally like to see a grocery store, and one day a hotel. Beach Park surrounds part of the Waukegan National Airport, and a hotel and conference center here is something the late Mayor Jensen worked passionately for. Although there was some interest at the time, the poor economy immobilized the idea. Mayor Hucker is still hopeful. In the 1920’s Chicago developer, F.H. Bartlett and his company built a subdivision he hyped as “Country living for city residents.” A film buff, Bartlett named the streets after famous movie stars including (Charlie) Chaplin, (Lon) Chaney), (Douglas) Fairbanks, (Lillian) Gish, and (Mary) Pickford.

A commercial corridor in the village’s busiest traffic areas – Green Bay Road, Sheridan Road and Lewis Avenue – has been established for new business. There are still some agricultural-zoned properties which allow for horses and other farm animals, and make “The Village of Rural Spirit” live up to its slogan. The founder’s unique and original platform is still in play today. “We don’t have any plans or desires to impose property tax,” said Mayor Hucker. “That was one of the founding principles. We live off tax revenues from motor fuel, sales tax, Illinois income tax, and a share of utility tax.” “Financially, we’re doing very well running zero deficits every year. We’re very much a ‘live within our means’ community,” said Hucker. Borrowing money is frowned up for the most part. And because of the fiscally responsible thinking, Beach Park has consistently won awards for its balanced budget. At the start, the majority of residents had well water. Now, to ensure water quality, new residents are required to hook up to the municipal water supply which comes from Lake Michigan, through the city of Waukegan. As a result of it becoming available, many of the citizens have city sewer and water. And while the village has no police department of its own, it contracts with the Lake County Sheriff office whose deputies are always on duty here. “I am very happy with the sheriff’s department and the service they provide,” said Hucker. “They are able to do this efficiently without us having to start our own department. I have all the confidence in the world with them.” Until recently, garbage trucks ran up and down village streets, wearing down roads,

John Hucker, the third mayor of Beach Park is one of the founding fathers of the 25-yearold incorporated village. - photo by Tina Johansson

The Beach Park village hall on Wadsworth Road was built several years after the village incorporation in 1989. - photo courtesy of Beach Park

causing confusion, and an unsightly display of cans throughout the week. The village has since streamlined the process, making an agreement with a single waste hauler --- Advanced Disposal. The move has brought cost-savings to residents and help salvage roads. There is no post office and depending on where residents live, they can have any of three postal zip codes. The street department which not long ago, had a new facility constructed, has been lauded by many a resident for their quick and efficient work. “They are doing an excellent job,” said the mayor.

Beach Park is full of natural beauty with ravines and streams like the ravine at the end of this dead end street. - photo by Tina Johansson


theYOUjournal March 2015

Unique Barber brings old memories back to Highland Park by Long Hwa-shu There is no barber shop quite like this one in downtown Highland Park. It’s a cozy little place called simply “The Barbers “ with huge windows that invite the sun in on a bright day. A barber’s pole turns mesmerizingly. When you sit down in one of the chairs immediately you feel the difference. The chairs date back to the 20s - the bases and chasis made of cast iron and the surfaces chromed to a shine. The seats are leather. “They are all rusted when I got them,” said Stepan Mikula, the owner- barber who came from Ukraine where he learned the trade. He had searched for the chairs, he said, high and low for two months including trips to Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa “to bring back the traditional old school” look for his barber shop. “I finally found them on Craig’s List,” said Mikula, 32, who came to the country in 2002. With the help of his stepfather, he had the chairs reconditioned and reupholstered. Painted white, they sit regally in the 600-squarefoot shop at 1874 Sheridan Road and have since become conversation pieces. Behind the chairs are three huge round mirrors. A set of antlers adorn another wall which gives the place a masculine feel. Here and there are cases on display showing antique hand clippers, shaving knives and razors. Standing out is a 1913 gold-colored cash register showing the price of a haircut then was just 25 cents. “I found it at a pawnshop in Downers Grove,” said Mikula, sporting a beard which he said is back in style. On a recent cold, gloomy morning Doug Lubelcheck came in and sat in one of the chairs waiting to have a haircut. “I like the atmosphere here, very nice and peaceful,” said the Chicago attorney who lives in nearby Deerfield. He called Mikula “a great barber,” which was one reason he has become a repeat customer. Mikula who prefers to be called himself a barber instead of a stylist offers classic and modern cuts, shape-ups and razor shaves that come with a comforting hot towel – a luxury by itself in these days of fast-paced lifestyle. But at the Barbers having a haircut which costs $26 is an ultimate experience of nostalgia for those longing for the good, old traditional barber shop with a master barber in charge. Mikula said he went back to Ukraine to

learn to be a barber because of language barrier. He now speaks excellent English, having, he said, taken private lessons and gone to a community college in Chicago studying English. “I like it here. America is a land of opportunities. If you work hard, you can achieve something,” said Mikula who lives in Chicago with his Russia-born wife Nelly. Two years ago, he said they were looking for a place to locate his barbershop. They found “the perfect place” in Highland Park. It has become a downtown fixture since.

Old fashioned barber chairs circa 1920, are useful conversation pieces. They have been painstakingly refurbished. A decorative foot-rest shows a chair made in Chicago. Doug Lubelcheck of Deerfield has become a repeat customer at The Barbers. Here, he gets a haircut from owner Stepan Mikula.

The Barbers unique shop is located at 1874 Sheridan Road off Center Street next to an alley in downtown Highland Park. - photos by Tina Johansson

Among the antique items on display here is an elaborate brass cash register that notes a haircut and a shave in the old days cost a quarter.

Library Lane ZB Library Receives 2014 American Dream Grant The Zion-Benton Public Library was one of 22 libraries to receive a $7,000 grant to add or expand literacy services for adult English language learners. With this funding, the library will host ELL Parents University @ your library, a program to assist adult English language learners in improving their skills. ELL Parents University @ your library is held on Wednesdays from 6-8 PM through June, 2015. Participants may call 847.872.4680,

x4 or register at Grant recipients were selected by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Literacy and Outreach Services to receive funding through The American Dream Starts @ your library grant initiative, generously supported by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Zion-Benton Public Library Events:

Pushing Past the Brick Wall Many researchers get stuck, especially when navigating the many branches of family history.

Don Classey, from the Zion Genealogical Society will demonstrate strategies to help move your research forward. Sponsored by the Zion Genealogical Society. Wednesday, 3/4 | 7-8:30 PM | Adults | Registration is requested. Tech & Tacos ZB Teens can explore all of the technology that we have to offer at the library! We’ll show you how to create custom Buzzfeed quizzes and use Vine to share your life in six seconds.

Did we mention there will also be a taco bar? Learn how to use the vinyl cutter to make your own decals. Create and edit your own music or podcasts with the DJ turntables, auto tuner, and apps like Garageband. Make a custom 3” button with the button maker. Build anything you can imagine with Lego® MINDSTORMS™ and K’Nex® kits. Try out the 3D pens, drawing and photo editing apps, Shrinky Dinks®, and more. Saturday, 3/7 | 12-3 PM | Grades 5-12 | Registration is required.


After more than 27 years in the business, Fodrak’s in Libertyville is still going strong. In an age where eateries seem to go by the wayside after being open for only a few years, Fodrak’s at 327 S. Milwaukee Avenue, continues to serve up an amazing amount of ribs and gyros. “I probably served up to 10,000 gyro sandwiches and plates combined last year,” said owner Jim Lappas. This is quite an achievement, especially since Libertyville rivals other areas of Lake County with the number of restaurants here. Hard work and attention to quality and value are reasons for his success, he said. A jovial man with a ready smile, Lappas of Park Ridge remembers the first day of his new place like it were yesterday. “We opened on Pearl Harbor day Dec. 7, in 1987. It was nice, and in the 40s,” he said of the mild weather. A few years after buying the “nice little place in the country,” named after the former owner, albeit his last name spelled backwards, Lappas began to transform the eatery which focused mainly on hot dogs and Italian beefs. He added items, expanding the menu. “I wanted it be more than just a hot dog place,” he said. “I wanted fast, fabulous food, instead of just fast food.” An item he added to the menu were gyros. They soon won the hearts of customers, and they also won Fodrak’s a slew of media readership awards. “We were one of the first places in Lake County to serve authentic gyros on a spit,” said Lappas. Other restaurants had them, but they were pressed meat formed into a meatloaf and heated up on a flat top, he explained. Not only are the gyros tops at Fodrak’s, his customer-base also continues to come here for their love of his BBQ baby back ribs, Greek-baked chicken, and other favorites. A popular newcomer is the delicious souvlaki served with fries or rice. Fodrak’s is the perfect place to dine during Lent. There are a number of fresh salads, and several fish dishes including tilapia, cod and shrimp, as well as tuna salad on pita, and a pepper and egg sandwich.

The restaurant also has a healthy catering business which got its start early in its history, with the help of the auto dealers on Milwaukee Avenue. One of the most important things about Fodrak’s, is its relationship with the community. Considering every customer a friend, it’s not unusual to see Lappas sit and chat with diners. He has consistently supported community programs including sports teams, schools and fund-raisers. Fodrak’s runs frequent promotions for customers, and announces the winner of a complimentary meal – Fan of the Day – on its Facebook site. On recent weekday, longtime customer Muhammad Imran whom everyone knows as “Imran,” stopped by to have soup and visit with his friend Lappas. “I’ve been coming here 19-years,” said Imran, noting he used to work at a nearby muffler shop. Now employed at Executive Motors in Grayslake, he still makes a point to go to Fodrak’s as often as possible. “He’s like my big brother,” said Imran, patting Lappas on the shoulder. The two reminisced about the time they made a deal to eat nothing but fish and salad for lunch for an entire year. “I lost 70 pounds,” said Imran. Lappas shot back, “I only lost a few.” Sometimes the owner gets a little car-



Restaurant Row

Fast, fabulous food at Fodrak’s withstands test of time By Tina Johansson


Above, Alex Seretis cooks a lamb on a rotisserie out front of Fodrak’s after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup the season before last. Authentic gyros made Fodrak’s famous.

Longtime customer Muhammad Imran, visits with owner Jim Lappas. -photo by Tina Johansson

Fodrak’s has been located at 327 S. Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville for three decades. Jim Lappas has had it for 27-years, turning it into a favorite dining establishment. photo by Tina Johansson

ried away with happy ideas such as when he promised to roast a whole lamb if the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup the season before last. They did, and he did.

People come back to Fodrak’s again and again for its BBQ baby back ribs.

Call Fodrak’s at 847-816-8111 or visit

What’s This? These are lotus roots (and dried seeds) from which beautiful and fragrant lotus blossoms will emerge, if properly planted in a pond or on wetland, and if they survive. Native to China, lotus once flourished in the Fox Lake area, believe or not. The roots, characterized by unique tunnels that run length-wise, are crispy and mildly sweet. They look almost like a potato. They can be stir-fried or for making soup. Filled the tunnels with sweet rice and boiled with sugar or rock candy added, they make a delicious dessert. Lotus seeds are also edible and used for making desserts. The broad lotus leaves are often used to make steamed chicken with leaves as wrappers. Fresh roots are generally available at Chinese grocery stores where dried leaves and lotus seeds are also sold. - Long Hwa-shu


theYOUjournal March 2015

Restaurant Row

Breaking bread in Highwood for a decade

by Tina Johansson

They say bread is the staff of life. And at Curry Hut restaurant in Highwood the naan bread is essential to enjoying the curries and exotic sauces that make up the Nepali and Indian cuisine here. An age-old recipe, and a simple one, the bread maker at Curry Hut uses a mix of white flour, a spot of milk and some yogurt, to whip up the warm and welcome treat that comes in the form of triangles in a basket, brought fresh to every table. After being baked inside a traditional Tandoor – a coal-fired clay oven – the dough turns both crisp (inside), and fluffy (inside). If plain naan doesn’t get you, there are a dozen more varieties including Poori – whole wheat, deep fried bread; and Masala Naan with garlic, tomato and spicy chilies. Curry Hut’s co-owner Babu KC, a native of Nepal, who some time ago legally adopted dual initials in place of his lengthy surname, (instead of Krishna Khatri Chetry, KC is on his drivers license), has been entertaining diners at the place for the past ten years. “People really like our naan bread. It reminds them of pita bread which many are familiar with,” he said. “Most of them ask for more, and that’s good because we serve endless bread.” By opening the restaurant, KC and business partner Bala Ghinire, added a new dimension to the North Shore dining capital. At the same time, KC realized his “American Dream.” The 44-year-old came to this country from Katmandu, nearly two decades ago. While attending a community college with plans to study computer programming at the University of Florida, he realized he did not have the money to go. In order to save up, KC began working in restaurants. But university life never came. Dish washing turned into busing, and busing turned into waiting tables. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he was grooming himself to one day become a restaurateur. Finally his dream came true. He and his partner opened the Curry Hut in a blonde brick building on Sheridan Road right downtown Highwood. For those loving curries or those willing to explore, the daily lunch buffet here is the perfect format. “We carry up to 35 items (on the buffet),” said KC. Soups and desserts are included. Here diners can try Khasi Ko Maasu, goat meat cooked Nepalese style with herbs and spices in a rich gravy. They can also have Chicken Makhani – chicken roasted in a clay oven and folded into creamy tomato sauce – a favorite East Indian dish also known as Butter Chicken. If vegetarian is your desire, there is plenty. Take for instance Palak Paneer, -- fresh spinach cooked with homemade cottage cheese and spices; and a slow roasted eggplant dish called Baigan Bharta. Lentils, green beans, cabbage, potatoes, okra, and chick peas are among some of the foods adding a comforting flavor to dishes, and offering vegan fare. The dinner menu boasts an extensive list of meat dishes including seafood and lamb, as well as kebabs, and tikkas. Although a lot of spice goes into the cooking at the Curry Hut, the atmosphere here is

serene. Owner KC and his wife of 26-years, Samjhana, live in Skokie. The couple have three children including a seven-year-old boy, and a 24-year-old daughter who has a young son of her own.

Curry Hut Restaurant is at 410 Sheridan Road in Highwood. Call 847.432.2889 or visit The all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is $10.95 weekdays, and $11.95 on weekends. Closed Monday.

The famous naan bread at Curry Hut restaurant in Highwood. Every table gets some with endless amounts offered.

Waiter Min Darlami serves diners in the exotic and lovely dining room at Curry Hut. -photo by Tina Johansson

A cook places raw naan bread into the clay “tandoor” coal-fired oven.

Co-owner Babu Krishna KC in the dining room at Curry Hut.

Some of the delicious dishes offered at Curry Hut. From left clockwise is “butter chicken,” tandoori chicken, and curry.

Martin Purdnjte makes some Naan bread in the clay oven. - photo by Tina Johansson

Jim Eisenmann of Wilmette enjoys the buffet lunch at Curry Hut. Eisenmann said he comes to the place because, “They have good curry, and I like this type of food.”

A healthy, and delightful vegetarian plate.


March 2015


Restaurant Row

Bunnies, Brunches and More...

The North Shore Celebrates Easter in Style! by Alisa Bay

It’s not too soon to start thinking about your plans for Easter brunch. The holiday will be here before we know it, and many restaurants will not only be offering spectacular brunch buffets, but they will also be hosting speAllgauers on the Riverfront 2855 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Northbrook 847-664-7999

cial activities for the entire family including photos with the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts, coloring contests and more! Here are some of our readers’ favorite places for Easter brunch. Please be sure to call for further in-


formation about their Easter offerings and to make reservations. These restaurants are sure to fill up quickly.


915 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest 847-234-8013

Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe 847-835-5440

Bring the entire family to the Chicago Botanic Garden for brunch and an Easter egg hunt! Adults are $38, children ages 3-13 are $20, and children 2 and under are free. The price includes parking, taxes and gratuity.

Convito Cafe & Market 1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette 847-251-3654

1162 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette 847-278-2462

This recently opened “French/Russian” brasserie will be offering, in addition to their regular menu, a brunch buffet including chef specialties as Tiramisu-stuffed French toast(pictured here), Smoked salmon eggs Benedict, Mini griddle farmer cheese pan cakes and black cherry-stuffed crepes.

Lovell’s will be offering an expansive champagne brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. including a carving station, a seafood station, a salad station, an international cheese and fruit station, and much more. $60 for adults, $26 for kids 12 and under.

Grille #43


28800 N. Waukegan Road, Lake Bluff 847-234-7643

1150 Willow Road, Northbrook 847-480-2323


649 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe 847-835-8100 5300 West Touchy Avenue, Skokie 847-679-8900


401 Dundee Road, Wheeling

2901 W. Lake Avenue, Glenview 847-724-7272

Wilmette Chop House

Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore

In addition to their regular menu, the chef will be offering a variety of Easter brunch options including crepes with sautéed shrimp, shallots, asparagus and balsamic brown butter sauce and a quiche with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and arugula. Their brunch trio, pictured here, is one of their most popular dishes!

The Glen Club

In addition to its elaborate brunch buffets ($30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 6-12), Pinstripes will be offering an Easter egg hunt, and will also be selling Easter baskets with all proceeds being donated to the Taste of the Nation’s #NoKidHungry charity. Be sure to leave room for dessert. Everyone loves the chocolate fountain! This Holiday Inn’s Easter brunch features over 50 items including an omelet station, a waffle station, carving stations, a variety of salads, pasta, a bakery corner, kids’ favorites and more! The price is $25.95 per person.

Restaurant Michael

64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka 847-441-3100

Passover options For those who celebrate Passover, our readers have two favorite restaurants, both of which will be serving traditional Passover meals on Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4. Max & Benny’s at 461 Waukegan Road in Northbrook (, 847-272-9490) and Max’s Deli at 191 Skokie Valley Road in Highland Park (, 847-831-0600). Their festive holiday dinners will include chopped liver, gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, brisket, baked chicken, noodle kugel, and a variety of other Passover favorites. For more information or to make reservation, please visit their websites or give them a call. Both restaurants also offer an extensive Passover carry-out menu, should you wish to enjoy a delicious Seder at home, without having to cook.


theYOUjournal March 2015

Restaurant Row

California-themed eatery to open in Waukegan by Tina Johansson

Downtown Waukegan is destined for a second eatery—Sous Vide—managed by entrepreneurial-minded LeQoinne Rice, who hopes to shine a spotlight this way. Rice, 33, was instrumental in the concept and design of the Terrace at Siver Place, a seasonal outdoor dining experience on Waukegan’s lakefront which opened last year to rave reviews. While Rice remains the driving force behind the venture, there are two other partners who will not be as active—Michael Strandberg of Mundelien, who owns a music venue in Chicago called Gallery Cabaret; and a woman, the main investor, who prefers to remain anonymous. The new eatery is located in the former, Picasso’s Mexican restaurant at 120 N. Genesee Street. Strandberg was a partner of Picasso’s which closed recently. Sous Vide, named after the French method of cooking in a hot water bath, is scheduled to open in early April. Construction has been ongoing, said Rice, a graduate of Waukegan High School who studied hospitality at Kendall College. “We totally gutted the place.” If history repeats itself with the way Rice, a managing partner at the Terrace, works – the new lunch and dinner place will offer delectable dining and energetic entertainment. Plans include space for around 130 with a stage for weekly bands. Movies will be shown on an exposed brick wall painted white. The rather “weird” layout is being replaced by an airy, bright “very California” feel with cedar wood decor and lots of seafood on the menu. “We will offer diverse and lighter dishes,” said Rice, who earned his hospitality chops at Trump International Tower in Chicago, and Lettuce Entertain You restaurants. The executive chef for the new place is Waukegan native Matthew Lampei, who is excited to be back home. His forte is seafood, and he

has spent the last several years working in Chicago and Highland Park. Most recently Lampei was a sous chef at Bow & Stern Oyster Bar in Chicago. Rice noted a picture window will become like a garage door, open during the summer months letting the outdoors inside. A patio with tables will be out front. While renovations continue, Rice’s new wife Naomi, who will handle personnel at the new place, is busy hiring help including bartenders and servers. Mr. Rice is not going to be satisfied with just opening Sous Vide. He said in May he plans to re-open the Terrace down at the harbor, and bring with it a weekend street festival featuring artists and strolling musicians. And if that weren’t enough, Rice and his partners have plans for a third business—a “nice, little coffee/pastry shop,” which will open somewhere on Genesee street. Though he may live in Gurnee, Rice is no doubt a Waukeganite at heart. His love of the city brings him back to work where he grew up.

This thick and tantalizingly delicious pork chop is one of the menu items at the new eatery. “I love Waukegan. I’m very excited about everything going on here. It’s all about bringing exposure to the downtown.” said Rice. “Good things are happening, and I can really see the sun beaming down on this city.”

Business at a Glance

A candied beet and goat cheese salad is one of the light and beautiful dishes to be featured. - photos courtesy LeQoinne Rice

The brains behind Sous Vide is 33-year-old LeQoinne Rice.

Matthew Lampei who hails from Waukegan is to be executive chef of Sous Vide. He has experience working in Highland Park and Chicago.


March 2015


Cleaning company co-owner is a chemist By Long Hwa-shu Mars Cleaning Service has an apparent edge over its competitors because one of its two owners has a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. “I make sure the cleaning chemicals we use are environmentally friendly,” said Gregg Stoxen, co-owner of the Antioch firm at 729 Main Street with a client base all over Lake County and beyond. Before joining Mars, Stoxen, a 1988 graduate of Marquette University, worked for 14 years at a specialty chemical manufacturing plant of the Pittsburgh Paint and Glass in Gurnee. When the plant was sold and his job was moved overseas, Stoxen, born in Silver Lake, Wis., decided to stay and started looking for work. For a year he taught at Lake Geneva High School but in his mind he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Luckily, he got a temporary job during the summer recess cleaning carpets at Mars through Joanie Newby, the office manager, whom he knew. He liked what he did – better than teaching and decided to make a career out of it. Mars was started in 1999 by Marlene Swoboda as a source of supplementary income for her job as a social worker in Kenosha County. It began as a part-time venture focusing on carpet cleaning. As business grew, Swoboda, who was born in Chicago and grew up in Rockland, Wis., worked at it full-time and branched

into all types of cleaning. By the way, Mars, the corporate name, is derived from the founder’s name. A logo with a telescope, inscribed with the slogan “Out of This World Service,” was added later. “We do cleaning at homes, offices, factories, schools and clinics,” said Stoxen who became a partner of the business five years ago. The firm has a staff of more than 25 people, most of them women. They are organized into crews and are dispatched where the work is. Most home-owners, according to him, are more comfortable with women doing the cleaning. “We’re flexible with our hours so that we can accommodate our customer’s schedule,” said Stoxen who is on the board of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, and he is the president of the Fox Lake Chamber of Commerce. “Our crews always give a personal touch to their work to make our customers happy. That’s why we have so many repeat customers,” he pointed out. Word of mouth, he took pride to mention, is “our best advertising.” Stoxen, 50, envisions taking over the business when the founder, who is the majority owner, retires. “I’ll jump right in,” he said. Pointing to the low profit margin, he added, “You can’t become a millionaire in this business, but I enjoy doing what I do.” Meanwhile, he is always on the lookout for new customers, attending home and trade shows touting Mars Cleaning Service.

Gregg Stoxen, co-owner of Mars Cleaning Services is also president of the Fox Lake Chamber of Commerce, and secretary of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.

Mars Cleaning Services uses environmentally-friendly chemicals. - photo courtesy of Gregg Stoxen

Local nutritionist, author, cooking instructor offers delicious change

Plant-based culinary classes in Lake Forest bring healthy eating to home cooks By Tina Johansson After her husband’s heart condition surfaced, Carol D’Anca of Highland Park sought to do something about it. The board certified nutritionist with a master’s degree from the Chicago Medical School (now Rosalind Franklin University of Science and Medicine) had always been passionate about what went into her family’s mouth. But after her husband’s heart attack and open heart surgery several years ago, she began to substantially change her household’s eating habits. “We immediately cut out fats, including butter,” said D’Anca, who hails from the Amalfi region of Italy. The family’s new diet consisted of lots of fruits and vegetables, and eliminated cheese and animal products. The fat they do get is healthy fat from nuts, seeds and certain vegetables. “We just don’t add fat to our food,” she said. Because of the dietary changes, her husband John, a professor of psychology at a local college, has lost weight, and has become much healthier. Within three months his cholesterol and triglyceride levels dropped. “He hasn’t had any cardiac events since,” said Mrs. D’Anca. While she holds dual citizenships – both here and in Italy, D’Anca is well aware that Amalfi residents live long lives. “Those living along the Amalfi coast are some of the longest living people on the globe because of their lifestyles,” she said. And while riding bicycles to work every day, and walking long steps to the front door is not always possible in the United States, the next best thing, is to focus on food. She soon started cooking classes for friends

and acquaintances to share with them the gifts of good eating. The classes began in her Highland Park home which has a full outdoor kitchen. But after several years the wildly popular classes became too much and she ran out of room. In January this year she began “Plant Based Nutrition,” a series of cooking classes at Elawa Farms in Lake Forest. The venue is the perfect spot with its organic farm and large kitchen area. She is hopeful her classes will gain momentum. There is space for 15 – 20 students. Because of the popularity of gluten-free eating, D’Anca has added a number of gluten-free recipes to the classes. She is also teaching students to eliminate cheese. “I think they are going to realize that food can be delicious and elegant without it. Cheese used to be a condiment. It’s now become more of a meal,” she said. And while she has eliminated most cheese from her home, now and then her husband consumes a bit of parmesan with certain dishes, a habit hard to break. From cheese alone, the average person, man, woman and child – consumes up to 10 pounds of fat. “A hundred years ago, the average consumption was two pounds of cheese. Now we are eating 30 pounds of it,” said D’Anca. In her classes, she also teaches students how to prepare foods without the use of sugar including making homemade fruit jam. In the meantime, D’Anca continues her public speaking for those who want to reverse the effects of a fat-filled diet, and no longer wish to rely on medication. She is also bringing attention to her 2013 book “Food, Not Meds”—the story of her husband’s heart disease and how she helped him

turn things around with a change in diet.

Carol D’Anca, third from left, and students after a cooking class at her Highland Park home. - photos courtesy Carol D’Anca Sign up for Carol D’Anca’s Academy for Plant Based Cooking if you: *Want to learn how to prepare plant based foods *Are looking for a community of like-minded individuals who support each other *You are interested in learning the basic principles of nutrition *You know you should be eating better but don’t know where to start *You have begun to incorporate more plant based foods into your diet but need variety

Find out more about Carol D’Anca by visiing

Classes are $75 each. Contact Natalie Moore at to register or call Natalie at 773.758.3663. The next class: March 28, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. D’Anca’s book “Food, Not Meds” is available on, kindle and

Please turn to page 18 for information on D’Anca’s upcoming trip to Italy where you can join her and learn healthful, hands-on cooking in the beautiful Amalfi coast!


March 2015 theYOUjournal

Mind, Body and Soul

Essential Oils: Seven Must-Haves, and why I love them by Jennifer Zanotti Ori I absolutely love using essential oils these days! And while I’ve always loved the aromatic properties of oils, it wasn’t until I started retailing a line of essential oils line at my spa, Jen Z’s Beauty Services, that I started to use them daily. I came to understand how much pure, good quality oils can help with different ailments. This was obviously a good addition since it

Essential oils can help with an array of ailments.

fit right in with all of the wellness and holistic practices I enjoy so much. For those of you not familiar with what an essential oil is and what they do, here is what I can tell you: Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements. Here are my some of my favorites, not in any particular order. 1. Peppermint: Peppermint is popular in countless forms, from toothpaste to chewing gum. As an essential oil, it is useful to ease breathing and as a digestive aid. For aromatic, topical, or dietary use. It is also great for muscle aches, spasms, fatigue, alertness and memory! 2. Frankincense: Perhaps the most precious of the ancient oils, frankincense is highly sought after by modern consumers for its many uses, including relaxation, immune support, and mood enhancement. For aromatic, topical or dietary use. I love to use this when meditating too. It helps open your “third-eye” chakra! 3. Lavender: One of the most popular oils, lavender has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and its therapeutic properties for

thousands of years. Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities. For topical, aromatic, or dietary use. I love to diffuse lavender at home and at Jen Z’s to help people relax and calm their minds. 4. Lemon: Another favorite, this essential oil powerhouse is cold-pressed from lemon rinds to preserve its delicate nature and potent properties. Lemon is known as a powerful aromatic, topical, and internal cleanser that can be used to complement many other oils. Diffusing lemon in a room can cleanse the air and uplift mood. It can also be used on surfaces throughout the home as a non-toxic cleaning booster. For aromatic, topical or dietary use. 5. Deep Blue Soothing Blend: According to recent studies, more than half of us are sufferers of ongoing discomfort. Deep Blue® is a soothing solution to this challenge. Wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, blue chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus work together to ease achy joints and sore muscles. Its effects are deep and penetrating with sustained results. Once gently rubbed into the area of discomfort, Deep Blue’s cool therapeutic benefit will be felt almost immediately. For topical use only. I love this in oil form, but it is also available in a lotion! I use this all the time, especially after training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Definitely soothes the body aches. 6. Intune Focus Blend: InTune is a propri-

etary blend of amyris, patchouli, frankincense, lime, ylang ylang, sandalwood, Roman chamomile essential oils, carefully selected for their ability to enhance focus and support healthy thought processes. This blend helps those who have difficulty paying attention to stay on task and sustain focus. I love using Intune before I train BJJ and when I have a long day at work, or several things to get accomplished It definitely keeps me focused! 7. Melaleuca (Tea Tree): Recognized by its more common name “tea tree”, melaleuca has been revered for its cleansing and regenerative properties, especially for the skin. Composed of more than ninety different compounds, melaleuca has limitless therapeutic applications. For aromatic, dietary, or topical use. Melaleuca is a great skin healer. From acne to inflammation problems, it will help heal all. Now these are only a few of my favorites, but there are many more that I love. I definitely encourage you to experiment and use some different oils to help with any ailments naturally or even to just diffuse in your house for some great aromas. Have fun with them!

Jennifer Zanotti Ori is owner/operator of Jen Z’s Beauty Services, 2665 Waukegan Ave., lower level, Highland Park. Call 847.433.8401.

Stress, ‘Dis-Stress’ and how to De-Stress by Dr. Jeannie Aschkenasy When does stress, something most people experience everyday, become too much, or disstress. Many patients complain that their lives are “too stressful” and that they are “stressed out.” When they come to see a therapist, our job is to work together, and help figure out healthy ways to deal with the stress, as stress is a part of everyday life. Excessive stress, or dis-stress, can be caused by things such as: loss of control including miscarriage, attempts to get pregnant, being laid off or fired from a job. Other issues can include: worry about safety, for instance whether your child will be shot on the way to or from school or work; illness -- say you have a diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.; loss of a loved one; trying to find a job; worrying about where your next meal is com-

ing from, and a host of other worries. However, there can be a “healthy stress” too such as deadlines which can help us get things done; or an “exciting stress” such as meeting someone new (first date, new job, interview), or a “worrisome stress” such as not having enough money (causing thriftiness). The degree to which stress turns to disstress largely depends on the coping mechanisms which are used to manage it, as well as the amount of control we have, or perceive we have, over the source of the stress. The more we have control over the source of our stress, the more likely we are able to deal, or learn to deal, with the stress in a healthy fashion. For example, someone who is “stressed” about money, might create a budget, and try to save, while someone else might take to gambling.

Stress can cause, or contribute to sleeping problems (which is likely to further contribute to stress), it can interfere with your ability to focus or concentrate, it can contribute to stomach aches, headaches, anxiety, and depression. Most of us have experienced the “fight-orflight” adrenaline rush of danger, however, most of us are no longer worried about getting eaten by a lion, which is the common cartoon depicting the “fight or flight” reaction. Most of us have felt this physiological reaction and release of hormones (e.g. almost getting hit by a car), and can easily understand the potential damage that could be caused if your body were to stay in high alert for extended periods of time. A variety of methods can help cope with stress, and one of the goals of therapy is to

help you identify the methods that work best for you. For some, therapy itself helps reduce stress, for others it may be exercising, cooking, yoga, pilates, boxing, relaxation, taking a walk, reading a book, or spending time with family or friends. The link between our minds and our bodies has been well documented, and mindfulness training can definitely help the mind and the body to “de-stress.”

Jeannie Aschkenasy, Ph.D. (“Dr. Jeannie”) is a licensed clinical psychologist, with more than 25 years experience in private practice and at Rush University Medical Center working with children, adolescents, adults and families. She can be reached at 312.726.4464 or at docjeannie@

Dan the Money Man: ‘What NOT to do with tax refunds’ Dan Fisher, fondly known as “Dan the Money Man,” is a Chicago-based financial advisor and founder of Fisher Financial Group. Dan has been has been assisting people in how to invest their money for the last 30 years. We’ve all heard financial experts give us advice on what to do with that big tax refund check this year and how to get the most out of it. But, what about the other side of the coin, which is what NOT to do with your tax refund check. Dan says when you’re expecting a tax refund and treat it like “free or found money” it can make you do unexpected things. But before you let your tax refund burn a hole in your pocket, here are some things you should NOT do with it:

•Don’t count on it. First things first, the important thing you shouldn’t do with your refund is count on it. If

you are waiting for your refund to arrive to pay rent or your bills, you can end up in trouble. •Don’t think of it as free money. Getting a tax refund seems like a bonus or winning a tiny jackpot. But keep that it is money you worked for and earned. So this money isn’t necessarily fun, free money. •Don’t spend money on expensive activities. Tax season is stressful, and you can easily be tempted to go out and do something fun to blow off some steam with your tax refund. But just because you want to do something fun, does not mean you have to spend your refund. •Don’t book an overpriced vacation. With a combination of winter blues and stress from taxes, don’t use your entire refund check to go on a pricey vacation, remember there are

plenty of ways to save on a vacation. •Don’t splurge on an expensive dinner. You get your refund check, look at your spouse, and say, “hey, let’s treat ourselves to a nice steak.” It’s not that you both don’t deserve it, but it is probably not the best thing to do with that money. You can still go out to a nice dinner without it costing you a whole week or even month’s food budget. •Don’t Buy things you don’t need – Funny how a little cash in your pocket makes you realize you absolutely must have the latest (fill in the blank). If you didn’t need it before you received your refund, you probably don’t need it now. Remember your income tax refund is just that, a refund of your money which you overpaid to the IRS. It isn’t cash the IRS just had laying

around to give away. If you wouldn’t have paid for the much needed item out of your paycheck, don’t use your refund for it either. •Don’t Become a lender – Unless you are considering a legitimate peer-to-peer lending program, don’t get suckered into becoming a bank for someone else. Dan started his career as an accountant and moved into advising individuals on growing and preserving their assets conservatively while paying the least amount in income taxes. Daniel is a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) and a Registered Investment Advisor with his firm Fisher Financial Group, LLC. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Taxation from Roosevelt University. Feel free to check out his website at


March 2015


Mind, Body and Soul The Benefits of Reiki Therapy

Restore energy and balance to your mind and body by Cynthia Ingram BS, RN, HN-BC, COHN-S Every 365 days we are given the opportunity to reset, renew and reenergize our mind, body and soul. Taking control of our health by lowering our stress and decreasing anxiety should rank high on our list of to-dos in 2015. Reiki, which is a Japanese energy-based therapy that promotes healing and overall wellness, may be an option to explore. Reiki, which is said to originated somewhere in Tibet and rediscovered by the Japanese in the early 1900’s, comes from the Japanese words rei (universal) and ki (vital energy or life force). Reiki addresses ones spiritual, physical, emotional and mental imbalances. As a certified occupational health nurse specialist, certified oncology holistic RN case manager, member of the mind-body team and certified Reike practitioner at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern), I focus my efforts on providing patients and their loved ones with comfort, relief and/or distraction from pain, discomfort and stress. Along with other integrative therapies such as massage, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and nutrition, just to name a few, the gentle and noninvasive touch of Reiki is offered to patients as a way to help them better manage before, during and after treatment. Energy is present in every living organism and can be thrown off balance as a result of injury or illness. A Reiki practitioner helps stimulate a positive flow of healing energy. A typical Reiki session can last between 30 to 90 minutes. It begins with the person receiving the therapy, who is fully clothed, either sitting or lying down. The certified Reiki practitioner places his or her hands in various positions lightly on or slightly above the body. Reiki energy is a smart energy that automatically flows

where the imbalances are in the body regardless of where the practitioner places his or her hands. People describe the session as relaxing, renewing, soothing, or vibrantly energizing. The experience is unique to everyone and can vary from session to session. Reiki facilitates awareness of the body mind spirit regardless of faith and beliefs.

Five Principals of Reiki Reike embodies five principles. Incorporating these principles into our day to day lives can help support the healing Reiki energy: 1. Just for today, I will not be angry 2. Just for today, I will not worry 3. Just for today, I will be grateful 4. Just for today, I will do my work honestly 5. Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing

It is important to know that available scientific evidence does not support claims that Reiki can help treat cancer or any other illness. Rather, Reiki therapy is intended to strengthen the flow of energy, which may decrease pain, ease muscle tension, speed healing, improve sleep, and generally enhance the body’s ability to heal itself.

Reiki Practitioner and Holistic certified nurse, Cynthia Ingram of Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion uses Reiki therapy to help patients battling cancer relax and reconnect. - photo courtesy of CTCA

Your Core is Your Floor by Lily Horowitz, founder of Core Method Pilates and Kidlates Strengthen your core. We hear this phrase all the time, but what does it really mean? When I say “core.” I am not referring to those of you lucky enough to have a “six pack.” Even though it looks great on the surface, there are no guarantees that a six pack equates to a strong core. When you hear the phrase, strengthen your core, it doesn’t refer to a six pack, it actually refers to a muscle that gets very little credit: the transverse abdominus (TA). TA is actually the most important “core” muscle you have! It is the only cylindrical muscle in your body, which means it wraps around you like a girdle or a tube sock. TA begins at the bottom of the ribs and ends at the top of the pubic bone. TA is very deep, very large and very difficult to access. It’s the very first layer of muscle tissue just beyond your organs and it’s designed to keep everything inside of it strong and in check, including and most importantly, your spine/vertebrae. Obviously there are other muscles that com-

prise “the core,” like the six pack, but when strengthening the core, TA should be the starting point, and strengthening the other muscles that comprise the core are secondary. Your core is your center. Your arms and legs require the engagement of your core for every move they make. When TA is strong, every day body movements are supported from TA. The problem with TA is this: because it’s so deep, large and thick, it’s a very difficult muscle to access and activate and the standard crunch won’t even touch it. TA requires love and care to reach and engage it properly. There are many ways to trick the TA into engaging, and one of the ways to do that is to engage the inner thighs. Pilates teaches us how to access and engage TA, and all the other layers of core muscle, as well as the entire body. If your arms and legs are moving, then your core should be strong and engaged. I tell my clients to think of their core as their floor, because much like standing on a stable floor, the stronger your core, the better balance, posture, strength, and tone you will achieve. After years of teaching Pilates and strengthening cores all over the North Shore, the results

I’ve seen are astounding! I’ve seen people go from not being able to stand up straight, to growing an inch at their next doctor’s appointment due to a change in posture. I’ve seen bodies transform, and I’ve seen clients riddled with back pain for years, become completely pain free. Pilates will change your core strength, your posture, your tone and your body, but most of all, your core will become your very strong floor! Core Method Pilates was founded in 1998 by Lily Horowitz, a leading and published certified Pilates instructor with over 30 years’ experience in the fitness industry. Lily was first exposed to Pilates 17 years ago as a student of the method. After personally realizing its many benefits, she was trained and certified in the method. Since then, Lily has developed a program based on the founding principles of Joseph H. Pilates and the integration of other core development techniques to create a total body experience for her clients. She is also the founder of Kidlates, a unique Pilates program just for kids. To learn more, please visit or call 847-682-7661.

Lily Horowitz, founder of Core Method Pilates and Kidlates


March 2015


Chinese New Year celebrated in ‘Sheep shape’ This is the year of the Sheep. According to the Chinese lunar calendar. And because of this, the owners of Asian Gourmet Restaurant in Gurnee threw a party on the eve of the Chinese New Year for employees and friends after the restaurant closed for the evening. Husband and wife owners Kevin Lin and Vickie Yang, and her brother George Yang who is also a co-owner, cooked for the event. Kevin and Vickie are both born in the Year of the Sheep, which is unusual. A buffet feast featuring nearly two dozen dishes, prepared by the owners included lamb soup with Chinese turnips, lobster, several types of crab, clams, fish, hard boiled eggs fried in batter, two kinds of rice cake dishes - one sweet and one savory; greens, squid, and several decorated cakes. Children were given red envelopes containing “lucky” money --- a Chinese tradition. Greetings were exchanged, conversation flowed, and later dancing took place.

Plenty of soup, crab legs and lobster was served at the Chinese New Years party.

Photos by Tina Johansson & Demetrius Lin

Above, co-owner Vicki Yang enjoys food, while her husband (in back of her) takes pictures.

Akemi Yang, 8, Demetrius Lin, 8, and Danny Lin, 11 hold up their red envelopes, New Years gifts they received from a guest, which contain “lucky” money. Employees Jorge Cortez and Jeny Jiang dine on seafood. Dinner guest Al Odette of Gurnee is far right.

Demetrius Lin struggles to crack the crab claws.

Eight year old cousins Akemi and Demetrius with their “lucky” money gifts.

Left, Ilija Petrovski, and his girlfriend Elena Petkovska, a hostess at the place, take it easy before more guests arrive. Both live in Gurnee.

Co-owner George Yang has a good time relaxing with friends.

Diners dig into the delicious food prepared for the Chinese New Years party at Asian Gourmet in Gurnee.

A colored disco ball spins from the ceiling for after-dinner dancing.


March 2015


Someone You Should Know

Divorce expert, novelist opens up Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of the popular website, Divorced Girl Smiling (www. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph is also a regular Huffington Post divorce blogger. Additionally, Pilossoph writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially” in Chicago Tribune Suburban publications, and is also a features reporter for the media group. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. She lives in Chicago with her family. Oh, and she’s divorced.

to do it all over again, I think I would have either gone to medical school or majored in history and become a history teacher. In high school, history was boring to me. Now I can’t get enough!

What was your favorite childhood television program, and why?

Can I have a week instead of a day? If so, I would grab my kids and take them to an island. We’d stay at a nice resort and not check our phones or computers even once.

I loved The Brady Bunch! I thought their family was really funny and that the parents were really nice. Also, my grandmother lived with us and I used to watch it with her in her room. Good memories.

What motivates you to work hard?

Every morning is like Christmas for me. I wake up and run to my computer to see how my site is doing, and there are always e-mails or comments from readers thanking me for helping them through such a rough time. It is so rewarding to feel like I’m giving something back to the world every single day. A week ago, a divorced guy sent me an email that read, “While reading your blog, I had tears in my eyes because I felt so relieved that someone really understood what I was feeling.”

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My 88 year old father is a very accomplished business person, who retired at age 60. He is my biggest supporter, and just hearing him say, “You have something special here, and it’s going to be huge someday,” is the biggest compliment. Coming from him, who was so successful himself means everything.

If you couldn’t be a divorce expert/ blogger/author, what would you be?

Well, since I’ve had about 10 careers before this, this is a tough question to answer. If I had

What is your favorite childhood memory?

What’s your favorite book or movie, and why?

Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m just kidding! I really enjoy Holocaust fiction and have read several books in that genre that kept me up all night.

I was the third out of four kids, so I was always thrown in the pack. One time, when I was around 6 years old, I said to my mom, “I wish I could go out for dinner with just you and daddy and no one else.” Lo and behold, my parents took me out for a really nice dinner and it was just the three of us. It made me feel very much NOT like a middle child.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

What one thing would you change if you had to do it over?

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Who wouldn’t say pizza?

Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?

My brother, because he’s so smart, I know he would find a way for us to get back here.

How would your friends describe you? Loveable but exhausting with all my drama.

What is the best gift you have been given?

Two gifts. My kids. I seriously can’t believe how lucky I am that they are mine!!

Aside from food, water, and shelter, what one thing could you not go a day without? COFFEE!!!

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job?

People might be rolling their eyes, but I honestly think I have the perfect job, which feels like winning the lottery.

Grand opening with red carpet style

Guests at Ami Ami boutique, Highland Park were given the red carpet treatment at its recent grand opening. Left Katie Breen, Wendy Gimbel and Ashely Gimbel enjoy the event. Top, customers pose with a cutout of Kate Hudson.. - photos courtesy Ripple public


really pretty AND really smart.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I am a super ambitious person. So, in 10 years, I will have sold my company and will be working as editor-in-chief. I will have two homes, one in Chicago and one in Florida and I will travel back and forth. Oh, I will also be a novelist.

I would have taken lots more trips when I was young and single, especially overseas.

What are 10 things that I’d see when I walked in your front door?

Photos of my kids in picture frames are everywhere. A friend of mine once came over and said, “Wow, if I didn’t know you, I’d walk in here and say, ‘This woman really loves her kids.’”

What was the best birthday you ever had?

Hmmm…I sort of have bad luck on birthdays. Once I got fired on my birthday, and another year, I had been waiting to find out if I got a job that I’d been interviewing for for six months. I found out I didn’t get it on my birthday! Thankfully, every other birthday has been good.

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Sarah Jessica Parker, or Amanda Peet.

What’s your favorite family tradition?

Thanksgiving weekend is the one weekend a year that my family is all together in one place. There is a lot of arguing and laughing and it’s really loud!

Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Lefler. I still think about her. I was in awe of her because she was

Jackie Pilossoph is the author of several books, an advice columnist, and a loving mom.


theYOUjournal March 2015

Green Thumb Lady - Hope Forcier

Pruning is a task to get you working outside to enjoy the cool sunshine. Early spring/late winter is the time to prune some of your trees, shrubs, roses and ornamental grasses while they are dormant, according to the University of Illinois Extension service. Good pruning increases air circulation, which cuts down on fungal diseases. Pruning can promote both growth and flowering, increase plant vigor, remove dead or diseased areas, stop branches from rubbing, plus just make the plant look nice. In some cases, pruning is necessary to protect both people and property. Pruning equipment should be clean and sharp to avoid tearing instead of cutting. To avoid inadvertently spreading diseases or fungal problems, it is absolutely essential to clean and sterilize your pruning equipment between plants. Dipping your tools in a 10% bleach solution and dry-

ing them is one way to sterilize them. Timing is important; most spring flowering shrubs like lilacs and forsythias should be pruned right after they flower. If you wait too long, you cut off next year’s flowers. Summer blooming shrubs, such as spirea and butterfly bush, bloom on this year’s growth. They need pruning in late fall or early spring. Most trees benefit from pruning in the early spring or late fall, especially oaks. Some of the exceptions are maples, walnuts, butternut, birch, and ironwood, which should be pruned late spring to early summer. All trees need to have their water sprouts and suckers removed. Suckers grow from the base of the tree; water sprouts are fast growing stems growing at right angles to the branch. Remove dead, damaged, diseased or rubbing branches. Prune back to a branch or bud; be sure the bud

is facing outward ensuring the new growth will grow to the outside. The majority of roses benefit from spring pruning. All dead or damaged or thin, weak canes should be removed using a 45 degree angled cut above an outward-facing bud. Hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas and miniature roses all produce flowers on new canes and require the most pruning. Remove half to two-thirds of the plant’s height and reduce the number of canes. Modern shrub roses bear flowers on mature canes, which are not old and woody. Heavy pruning would decrease their flower production. Some “old garden roses” are pruned the same as the modern shrub rose. The once-blooming old garden roses such as Gallica, Centifolia, Alba, and Damask roses bloom on old canes produced the season before, and should be pruned right after they bloom.

Ornamental grasses should be cut way back to 4-6 inches in early spring. To make clean up easier, tie the stems of the clump together with string, masking tape or bungee cords before you cut. Then you remove the whole bundle in one go. If you have any questions about the timing or amount of pruning of a specific plant, shrub or tree, contact the University of Illinois Master Gardeners at the Lake County office, (847) 2238627.

Hope Forcier is a Master Gardener through the University of Illinois Extension Service, Lake County. Originally from England, she now lives in Wadsworth.

Out on the Town College of Lake County

Free concert by the U.S. Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors - March 7

The Jazz Ambassadors, the official touring big band of the United States Army, will give a free concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 in the Mainstage Theatre of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County in Grayslake. Formed in 1969, this 19-member ensemble has received great acclaim at home and abroad performing America’s greatest original art form, jazz. The band’s diverse repertoire includes big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals and patriotic selections, many of which are written or arranged by members of the Jazz Ambassadors. The band has appeared in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, and throughout Europe. As part of its outreach and education program, the band will offer free music clinics for band students at Libertyville High School, Palombi Middle School in Lake Villa and Viking Middle School in Gurnee on March 6. In addition, several local middle and high school musicians will join the band for one song. Although this is a free event, a ticket is required for entry into the theatre; and a limited number of tickets remain. There is a limit of four tickets per person for the general public. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and audience members should be in their assigned seats by 6:45 p.m. At 6:50, any unclaimed seats will be released to walk-ins. Contact the Box Office at 847-543-2300,

Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for complete details.

Broadway’s Next H!T musical comes to CLC - March 13

A madcap mix of improvisation, comedy and Broadway show tunes is in store for audiences of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical. This one-ofa-kind show features a hilarious team of master improvisers from New York who gather madeup, hit song suggestions from the audience and then turn them into an unscripted theatrical awards show and full-blown improvised musical.

win the Tony Award for Best Musical three times! Directed by David H. Bell.

Anything Goes – April 8 – June 7

Continued from page 13

Experience cooking in Italy

One of the greatest musicals in theatre history, Cole Porter’s unforgettable Anything Goes will be directed and choreographed by Marc Robin. Call The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or Visit www.MarriotTheatre. com.

Three Brothers Theatre

Before...I Do - March 13 - March 28

Three Brothers Theatre in downtown Waukegan features a brand new comedy production about the marriage of Dick and Jane. That is... if the wedding actually takes place! The caters have yet to arrive, the bridesmaids are on a rampage, and the best man is smitten with the sister of the bride. Meanwhile, the groom is missing and the bride is about to call of the entire event! Join us fr a wacky wedding whodunit. This is Three Brothers Theatre second show of 2015! Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. $20 for adults/$15 for seniors and students. tickets are available at Three Brothers Theatre is at 115 N. Genesee Street, Waukegan.

For those who want to add to their healthy cooking experience and immerse themselves into a culture of people who live a long, purposeful life, nutritionist Carol D’Anca hosts a lifestyle and culture experience on the Amalfi Coast of Italy where here family of origin resides. Resulting from her background and dual citizenship, this trip is a “real” Italian experience where travelers get the opportunity to live the “Mediterranean way of Life” while staying at superb accommodations. The 2015 trip departs April 8. For information visit or For further information and to sign up contact

Marriott Theatre

La Cage Aux Folles - Runs through

March 29 Family comes first in the first show to ever

LCHD offers reduced rates for well water testing In observance of National Groundwater Awareness Week, the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is sponsoring an informational Open House and is also offering a reduced rate to private well owners for the testing of water samples. The Open House will be held on Wednesday, March 4, from 4 - 7 p.m. at the Lake County Central Permit Facility, 500 W. Winchester Road in Libertyville. Experts will be on hand to answer questions about wells, why well water may have a funny taste or smell, where well water comes from and where it goes and what tests are necessary

to ensure that it is safe to drink. Those who attend can pick up water testing kits, and can also participate in raffles to win a free test of their well water. Other health professionals will also be present to provide information on food safety, septic systems, solid waste disposal, lakes and laboratory services. In addition, between March 2 and 12, 2015, the Department is offering a reduced rate for well water testing for private well owners. During this time, the normal $16 analysis fee for testing for bacteria and nitrates will be reduced to $10. Sterile test bottles and sampling instructions

are available at the Lake County Central Permit Facility, the main Health Department office at 3010 Grand Avenue in Waukegan, or at 16 separate township or municipal offices located throughout Lake County. For a list of locations, call 847- 377- 8020. “About 90,000 Lake County residents rely on groundwater from aquifers to supply their private wells,” said Tony Beltran, the Health Department’s Executive Director. “The Health Department encourages all users of private wells to take this time to have their drinking water tested, and to test it at least annually to see if it meets the

minimum drinking water standards.” National Groundwater Awareness Week is an annual observance sponsored by the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) to raise awareness of the importance of groundwater as a valuable resource, and the need for yearly water testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illness. For further information on water testing, contact the Health Department at: 847-377-8020, or send an email to: HealthEHS@

theYOUjournal March 2015



March 2015


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