No parent should know this pain

From the editor

Violence killed too many kids last school year, leaving families, friends and strangers filled with anger, fear, pain and sorrow for innocence lost.

“The fear that I have is that nobody cares,” one mother, Myrta Cruz, told me as I sat at her table one afternoon for nearly three hours watching the pain cloud her eyes. Her son’s murder 17 years ago was a fresh to her as if it happened yesterday.

As a society, urban and suburban, rich or poor, Caucasian or minority, the responsibility falls on all of us to help kids thrive, to keep them alive to one day have kids of their own.

Yet we have to wonder and worry how many more kids’ lives will be lost this school year. Something needs to be done to stop the violence. And it starts with all of us.

It’s beyond time to talk about the violence on our streets, where innocent kids are shot in front of their homes and on neighborhood playgrounds.

You don’t have to walk the mean streets confronting bad guys like Cruz does. Even the busiest parents can lobby lawmakers to better fund violence prevention groups like CeaseFire, which is showing some real impact in stopping the violence. You can make sure our U.S. representatives know you demand their attention—not just their interest in good photo ops—to this national tragedy.

Though most of us thankfully do not walk in the shoes of parents who have lost children to violence, we can at least make sure they know we care.

Recognition deserved

I’ve been lucky in my career to be surrounded by talented, passionate people, but none more talented than the staff and contributors at Chicago Parent. I’m pleased to recognize the hard work, talent and contributions of a few this month.

Liz DeCarlo has been promoted to senior editor, a position that acknowledges her enthusiasm and vision for this magazine. She started writing for Chicago Parent in June 2003, joined the staff as an associate editor in February 2006 and became calendar editor and the editor of our quarterly Going Places magazine a few months later. As a result of the shift in duties, you’ll see more of her award-winning writing and photography as well as exciting new features.

Rebecca Lomax, who joined Chicago Parent in May 2004, doesn’t get nearly the kudos she deserves, but much of the credit in the success of this magazine is due to her award-winning designs, her ideas and her leadership of her editorial designers. To better recognize her contributions and innovations, she has been promoted to art director, giving her more influence over the design and content of this magazine.

Associate Editor Jennifer Gilbert assumes more responsibility for our Web content, from updating the news for parents to creating more online features. She will work with new Calendar Editor Peggy Haley to make sure Chicago Parent’s calendar is the most comprehensive, family-friendly calendar in the Chicagoland.

Finally, a nod to two of our columnists.

Fred Koch celebrates 10 years this month of writing his award-winning music column. A music educator, recording artist and producer, Fred is unmatched in his ability to inspire parents and kids alike to appreciate all kinds of music. Please join me in thanking him for sharing his passion with us at

Christine M. Palumbo, who writes Good Sense Eating, has been named the outstanding nutritionist entrepreneur of the year by a division of the American Dietetic Association. The award recognizes her dedication to the field of dietetics.

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Little Known Secrets to Thriving Through the Holidays

Brought to you by Rogers Park Montessori School

Neighborhood Holiday Displays in Chicagoland

Take a drive around town to see these amazing, decorated homes in the city and suburbs.

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