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  • Arlington Heights author digs up ‘Wizard of Oz’ history Jul 21, 2014 7:02 PM
    Longtime Arlington Heights resident David J. Hogan has written “The Wizard of Oz FAQ,” a highly detailed and exhaustively researched look at the classic, 75-year-old movie that has spawned inferior movie sequels and prequels, zillions of “Oz” conventions and a watershed industry of memorabilia. “There is a reason why, 75 years later, people still respond to it,” Hogan said.

  • The disconnect between unemployed and businesses Jul 21, 2014 8:50 AM
    Logic says the still large pool of unemployed workers should be a good source of employees for small businesses, but talks with two deeply involved employment experts indicate that’s not the case: Except among younger individuals, who apparently see more of the potential and less of the risk, small businesses are deemed too risky by many jobseekers. Fear seems to rule. “Go into a small business as an employee? Start their own business?” repeats Mayer Smith. “The white collar, middle income professional who has been at Lucent or Navistar the past 10 or 15 years, has never looked for a job before but has been laid off — well, they don’t want to work for a small business. They assume that business doesn’t have the money to pay them what they need. “And they don’t have the capital to start a business. They’re scared to do it. “We haven’t seen too much transitioning to small businesses,” Smith says. Smith is a volunteer PATH Group facilitator at Naperville’s Compass Church. PATH assists people with career changes, most not of their own choice. During the day, Smith is an employment specialist at the Association for Individual Development, Aurora, which seeks employment for the developmentally disabled. “Entrepreneurs know there is good talent out there, and I know several who have tried to lure unemployed workers (into the small business sector),” Smith says. “They’ve had some success, but they’re in the minority.” There is interest in small business opportunities, however. In the northwest suburbs, for example, Bob Podgorski sees “a continuous flow of people interested in startups and employment in small businesses.” Who’s attracted is somewhat surprising. The most interested demographic is “Younger — and almost anxious to avoid larger enterprises,” says Podgorski, principal of RPP Enterprises, a career programming consultancy in Hoffman Estates; longtime mover behind the Saint Hubert Job and Networking Ministry; and developer of an embryonic employment support center for Schaumburg Township. “We’re seeing young people out of college, living at home, don’t have a lot of expenses and see just as much risk of being laid off at a large company as working for a smaller one,” Podgorski says. “There’s risk in small business, but there’s also excitement and potential,” especially in a market where, according to Podgorski, 40 percent of the jobs are contract or part-time. Nonetheless, the aversion to risk among the unemployed is understandable, especially if you’ve walked in their footsteps. “Corporate guys can’t think entrepreneurially,” Smith says. “They have families, mortgages, tuitions, bills. They tell me, ‘I’m gonna go flip burgers or go back to school and get retrained in a new field.’” Smith does have an option for potential employers, however — if your business has the right type of project: The developmentally disabled who work at AID facilities in Aurora and Elgin. “Small assembly jobs are ideal for us,” Smith says. “Our people are very happy with repetitive work.” • Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter, and at Kendall Communications on Facebook. Write him at © 2014 Kendall Communications Inc.

  • How Santa keeps his cool at Banana Split’s Christmas in July Jul 21, 2014 4:44 PM
    Nothing cools you off on a hot day like sitting outside the elf house on Santa's lap near a Christmas tree as you wait for your Frozen Hot Chocolate and Gingerbread Flurrie. The Banana Split in Aurora uses its Christmas in July to have fun and raises funds for the Salavation Army.

  • Barrington mortgage pro helps Hispanic families Jul 21, 2014 4:50 AM
    Kukec's People features Eduardo Paras of Barrington, who helps Hispanic families obtain mortgages to buy homes.

  • Aim to keep frost at bay when insulating basement walls Jul 20, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I have a concrete block foundation that ranges from fully exposed to totally below grade. The basement area is dry, and I intend to finish the space. What method of insulation would you recommend for the walls, and would you recommend a vapor barrier?

  • Winning the rat race not all it’s cracked up to be Jul 20, 2014 1:01 AM
    Our Ken Potts says winning the rat race isn't all it's cracked up to be. Before you count your possessions, he says, you might want to take a minute to check out all the love around you.

  • Corrupting citizens for fun and profit Jul 20, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Michael Gerson: Two of the larger social trends of our time — the growth of payday gambling and the legalization of marijuana — have two things in common: They are justified as the expansion of personal liberty and they serve the interests of an expanding government.

  • Work Advice: When to speak up if you see problems down the line Jul 20, 2014 7:33 AM
    I am reluctant to begin my relationship with the new director by complaining about my immediate superior. However, the associate director has created an unbearable work environment. How do I handle this without coming across as a snitch or malcontent?

  • Former Woodstock streets employee gets diversion program for rock salt theft Jul 20, 2014 3:34 PM
    A former Woodstock streets employee enters a pretrial diversion program for a rock salt theft; an Elgin wrongful cremation lawsuit drags on; applications are being accepted for the Aurora Police Department's fall Citizen Police Academy, now in its 20th year.

  • Heroic cabbie, oil change guys and COD Jul 21, 2014 3:38 PM
    DuPage/Fox Valley News Director Jim Davis gets on his Soapbox about heroes who drive cabs and work at Jiffy Lube -- and the war of words at College of DuPage.

  • Composed Maine South song, wrote book, and BTW, dated Hillary Jul 20, 2014 8:08 AM
    Gary Koca of Pingree Grove wrote the Maine South High School fight song, broadcast games with radio partner Steve Goodman years before "Go, Cubs, Go," and would rather talk about his book, "Forgotten Movie Stars of the 30's, 40's and 50's." But it's hard to look past that he went on a date with classmate Hillary Rodham.

  • Career Coach: Bringing religion spirit to work Jul 20, 2014 7:32 AM
    Talking about God at work is no longer taboo. In recent years, leaders seem to feel more and more comfortable mentioning spirituality in the workplace. By spirituality, we refer to the force that gives meaning to our lives (our private activities) contrasted with religion, which is often seen as the organized, institutional membership. So what does that mean for leaders?

  • Salary cap problems? Blackhawks could have worse problems Jul 20, 2014 7:41 AM
    The fight to stay under the NHL salary cap is unrelenting, especially when you’re the Blackhawks and you have a core of extraordinary players taking up so much of the payroll. It’s a much better situation than having a dearth of great players and paying mediocrity to reach the cap floor and miss the playoffs, like in 2010.

  • Some help for questions that need answers Jul 20, 2014 10:26 PM
    Here are a couple of questions White Sox fans wish they had the answers for right now. Instead, the uncertainty is causing acid reflux because of the anxiety. Chris Rongey will try to help.

  • Some uniform advice for Brewers, Padres from Len Kasper Jul 20, 2014 11:12 PM
    Len Kasper freely admits he is a sports uniform and logo nut. And he says he has thoroughly enjoyed this season’s decade-to-decade journey of the Cubs’ outfits as part of Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday celebration, particularly the Gabby Hartnett-era uniform. He shares some of his sartorial opinions regarding other teams, including the Brewers, Royals, Blue Jays and Padres.

  • Golf’s next big thing might already be here Jul 20, 2014 8:19 PM
    Golf enthusiasts can quit worrying about the future of competitive golf. The next big thing will come along to replace Tiger Woods. Maybe he already has in Rory McIlroy.

  • Real estate pricing websites can’t be perfectly accurate Jul 19, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. How reliable are websites such as Zillow and others that list an estimated value of my home? I purchased my home in 2013, which was new construction for $185,000. On websites, they say my home is worth about $160,000.

  • Maintain safeguards with association accounts Jul 19, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. The treasurer of our self-managed association pays all association bills and performs the reconciliation of the association’s checking account. Is this a good idea?

  • A new challenge to the HECM reverse mortgage program Jul 19, 2014 12:00 AM
    The United States today faces a retirement funds crisis: a rapidly growing number of persons who are retiring without the financial capacity to support themselves during ever-increasing life spans. The HECM reverse mortgage program, which allows older homeowners to convert some or all of the equity in their homes into cash, ought to be a major policy tool for dealing with the crisis.

  • Still much of interest in baseball Jul 20, 2014 7:33 AM
    Since man cannot live on anticipation and Bourbonnais training camp stories alone, baseball columnist Matt Spiegel offers up some worthy objects for your local baseball attention in the season’s second half.

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