Open wide: Dental Professionals of Chicago focuses on more than the mouth

By Elizabeth Czapski, Staff Writer

October 2, 2018

The best dental care means more than a good cleaning at Dental Professionals of Chicago. At 111 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 23, Dental Professionals offers general dental services, comfort, entertainment and cosmetic procedures with a collaborative approach.


Most treatment plans—beyond cleaning—are set by a team of doctors who consider how oral health and a patient’s overall health are related.


Dr. Bryan Jacobs, a specialist in prosthodontics at Dental Professionals, said its “collaborative care model” makes the practice unique, and goes back about 80 years.


According to Dr. Paul Katz, who has been in practice for more than 30 years, Dental Professionals was started in 1983 and moved to its current location in downtown Chicago in 1987—with complete renovation and expansion in 2016.  Today, the four doctors are partners who work together to address the whole patient.


With this method, the team at Dental Professionals is able to tackle things like gum disease, which can be a factor in nearly every major disease, and for some patients, like pregnant women, can be even more dangerous than drinking alcohol, Jacobs said.


“From a dental perspective, just finding that individual solution that meets that person’s time criteria, their cosmetic criteria, their financial limitations, anything we can to personalize that care, because it’s not one-size-fits-all,” Jacobs said, “Our goal is really focusing on what the person needs.”

Dental Professionals also utilizes electronic health records, digital imaging, bacterial DNA testing for periodontal disease and the Planmeca Treatment Center, which the practice’s website describes as “a dental treatment chair on steroids.” The chair, the first in the Midwest, is self-cleaning and has built-in tools, cameras and scanners. “Plus, it’s like, the most comfortable chair,” Jacobs added.

During treatment, patients can listen to music or choose from cable, Netflix and scenic videos, highlighting the practice’s patient-focused, individualized care, Jacobs said.


For patients with a sweet tooth, fresh-baked cookies are available every day in the waiting room.

Most patients live or work in the area, and the practice can be accessed via the Pedway, perfect during the cold winter weather, Jacobs said. Because Dental Professionals offers same-day emergency care for patients and non-patients, they see patients from the nearby Hyatt Hotel at least once a week, he said.

For both Jacobs and Katz, the best part of his job is getting to know patients.


“I love the energy, the people. It’s fast-paced,” said Katz. “There’s such a mix of really professional people, people in advertising, lawyers, judges, it really is fascinating, I love talking to my patients.”

“Their stories make the day interesting,” agreed Jacobs.


The deadliest catch: Can you eat Chicago river fish?

By Elizabeth Czapski | Staff Writer

With summer comes fishing and in the Chicago River, the fish are biting. But should people be eating them? Well, it depends on the type of fish.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, fish in Illinois waterways can be contaminated with several chemicals, but in the Chicago River, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the most common contaminant. This group of man-made chemicals was used in manufacturing until it was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1979.

A local fisherman holds up a carp caught in February of 2017. Photo courtesy Marcin & Henryk Carp Fishing Tournament Team

PBCs are known as legacy contaminants that stay in the environment for a long time, according to Dr. Timothy Hoellein, Associate Professor of Biology at Loyola University Chicago. Once an organism consumes these contaminants, the PCBs remain in the tissue of living organisms and can be passed up the food chain to humans.

The Department of Public Health’s fish advisory states that there is “no immediate health threat from eating contaminated fish.” The key word there is immediate because long-term low-level exposure may be harmful and could cause developmental problems in children.

The Department of Public Health recommends limiting consumption of certain species. Channel catfish that are 18 inches or longer should be limited to once per month. For largemouth bass and sunfish of all sizes, the recommendation is one meal per week. Common carp smaller than 12 inches should be limited to six meals per year, and carp longer than 12 inches should not be eaten at all. All of these species are contaminated with PCBs.

According to Melaney Arnold, public information officer at the Illinois Department of Public Health, the larger the fish, the longer it has been consuming contaminants, which leads to a higher build-up of chemicals in the fish.

The bottom line is, just because you’re hooked on fishing, don’t get hooked on eating everything you catch.

Published August 2, 2018

Running the river with Urban Kayaks

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

Get up, get out and get active with Urban Kayaks, a water sports rental company that has something for everyone.

With two locations, the company offers rentals that allow patrons to cruise the river on their own or join a guided tour. In addition to the Riverwalk location, last month Urban Kayaks added a lakeside location at 111 N. Lake Shore Drive.

The company is open daily, 9 a.m. through 7 p.m., and Urban Kayaks has many tour options, including sunset cruises, the Navy Pier fireworks display and the historical Chicago sights and architecture.

Urban Kayak tours offer great views of downtown architecture | Photo by Taylor Hartz

Novices can start with the Riverwalk Introductory Paddle Tour, a one-hour experience for $45 per person.

Paddlers of every age and level are welcome. “Urban Kayaks has infant life vests available that can allow the littlest members of your family to join you safely on the water,” said manager Eric Schwartz. Schwartz said he takes his eight month old out with him regularly.

If you have older parents or grandparents who would like to check out Chicago from the water but fear they aren’t fit enough to keep up – tandem kayaks are a great option. Older kayakers can take the front seat while all the paddling is done from the back.

At the new location, the company offers paddle boards and sit-on-top kayaks.

“The sit-on-kayaks are a bit easier to get back on if you fall off,” Schwartz said.
Paddlers can sit or stand on paddle boards and Schwartz said they’re not difficult to master.

Those new to paddle-boarding can try out the Intro to Paddle Board Tour—a one-hour class. Meanwhile, for the masters, there is a paddle board yoga class starting in July.

A kayaker enjoys a paddle on the Chicago River with Urban Kayaks. Photo by Taylor Hartz

No matter the tour, arrive a bit early for a safety lesson. In their pre-launch safety video, Urban Kayaks explains that “The Chicago River works exactly like a city street” and makes sure kayakers are prepared to hit the road – or, river.

On the water, kayakers are encouraged to think of large tour boats like CTA buses, smaller, private boats as cars, and themselves as bikers with their own safe lane.

The company is offering a season pass. The pass includes unlimited kayak and paddle board rentals seven days a week and 25 percent off for guests during the week. If members rent a tandem kayak, they can bring a guest for free every time.

“The memberships are good for people who live around here and want to use it a lot,” Schwartz said. The next season pass is for the fall months, called “Fall You Can Kay-
ak,” for $100.

Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K returns to Maggie Daley Park

By Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer

On May 20, Maggie Daley Park will once again host the Chicago Spring Half Marathon 10K and Junior Dash. The race has a new title sponsor, Byline Bank, but participants can look forward to the same exceptional race experience provided in the past.

Lifetime Regional Brand Manager Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher said New Eastside residents might remember the half marathon starting and ending in Lakeshore East Park—and for seven years, that was the case.

“It was originally created by Magellan Development Group to find a way to bring
a special event to Lakeshore East Park,” Hutmacher said. “The first packet pickup
was held in the Aqua [building].”

Today, due in part to the Wanda Vista construction, the race starts and finishes
on Columbus Dr. at Maggie Daley Park. The course incorporates both streets and
the Lakefront Path, winding through Museum Campus and offering sweeping
skyline views.

New Eastside resident Joan Garcia is looking forward to participating in the
race. “The upcoming 10K has allowed me to have a taste of training for longer distances,” Garcia said. “It also brings a sense of pride knowing that I will be running in such a beautiful city that I call home.”

At the conclusion of the race, participants can look forward to the Spring Market Finish Festival which will provide a hot gourmet breakfast buffet, refreshing drinks
and a complimentary Lagunitas beer to those 21 and older. Visit the flower station
to plant a flower in a pot to take home as a reminder of the spring season, and enjoy
live music in Maggie Daley Park.

Youngsters can compete in the Junior Dash, which uses the Skating Ribbon as a
course. Distances vary by age, but every little runner receives a t-shirt and finisher prize.

For more information and to register, visit

Published on May 3

Indoor triathlon combines miles and mimosas

By Elaine Hyde

Published February 13, 2018


If you’re planning to compete in a triathlon this year, don’t let the cold prevent you from training. Get a head start by participating in an indoor triathlon. This month Lakeshore Sport & Fitness located at 211 N. Stetson Ave. will host “Miles and Mimosas”, an indoor triathlon and brunch event on February 24th at 8 a.m.

Participants will complete the three triathlon disciplines within specified time increments: swim (10 minutes), bike (20 minutes), run (20 minutes). The recorded distances are then calculated and combined to give a final total distance. Awards will be given to the top three athletes in each of the categories.

Competitors will enjoy a post-race brunch with a complimentary mimosa courtesy of Press Kitchen and receive an LSF drawstring bag filled with goodies.

In addition to being a great workout, participants will appreciate the social aspect of the event. “The indoor triathlon and brunch will be an opportunity to meet other like-minded people,” said Luis Davila, social programming director at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness.

“People can come in and get a guest pass and spectate, and just participate in the brunch if they don’t want to do the triathlon,” said Davila.

The cost to register for the event is $40 for LSF members and $50 per guest with brunch included in the price. $15 Spectator Brunch and $10 for on-site child care. Get $5 off with code NEWEASTSIDE.


For details and to register, visit,

or email

Honky Tonk Singles Mixer at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

By Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

Published February 12, 2018


Join us February 15th at 6pm-9pm for our Honky Tonk Singles Mixer

Wear your favorite flannel shirt and straw hat, or come as you are to this fun-filled singles mixer. Enjoy complimentary scrumptious fixings created by our down-home cooks at Press Kitchen, signature southern cocktails, country music, and some good ol’ heartland games as you mingle with other singles. Bring friends, meet new people and share a few laughs in this fun themed and open environment held in our 211 Lounge.

Prizes will be rewarded to the best dressed “Country Boy” and “Southern Belle” as well as a selection of raffle prizes. Open to members and guests. For more information contact

To register:

One registration ticket per person. To book a large group, please send names and email addresses to

Dental office to open in Village Market

By Nicole VandeBoom | Staff Writer

Lakeshore East residents can smile confidently this year. In late November, Chicago Dental Boutique, run by dentist and Lakeshore East resident Dr. Rohi Atassi and his wife Samia Akhras, will open in The Village Market, 333 E. Benton Pl.

The practice will provide a full selection of comprehensive dental care, including routine dental care, oral surgery, Invisalign, full mouth reconstruction, implants, laser dentistry and pediatric dentistry.

Dr. Rohi Atassi in front of The Chicago Dental Boutique located on the 3rd floor of The Village Market, 333 E. Benton Pl. Photo courtesy of Samia Akhras.

North Harbor Tower resident Nadine Ferranti is looking forward to the addition. “The fact that they are going to have a pediatric dentist is a plus. Lakeshore East is lacking things for kids here,” Ferranti said.

Akhras, Chicago Dental Boutique’s patient coordinator, notes the convenience for residents. “It is walking distance,” she said. “You can get a dental exam then pick up groceries at Mariano’s, and then be home in five to ten minutes.”

Atassi received his D.D.S. in 2011 and his certificate in Advanced Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry in 2015. He then became a member of the UCLA Center for Esthetic Dentistry faculty, teaching a course on clinical skills and working closely on expanding a new clear aligners orthodontic system. Upon moving to Chicago in 2016, Atassi began working in private practices in the Chicagoland area.

The office will have state-of-the-art dental technology and equipment, and six modern patient care rooms that promote a spa-like experience, decked out with noise-canceling headphones, massage chairs, and two flat-screen TV’s in each patient care room.

“I believe that opening Chicago Dental Boutique in Lakeshore East will make dental healthcare more accessible to our community,” Atassi said.

Chicago Dental Boutique

333. E Benton Pl.

(312) 868-0301

Men’s F3 workout group launches Chicago chapter

By Miriam Finder Annenberg | Staff Writer


This September, a new type of weekly morning workout will come to The
Chicago Bean in Millennium Park. F3 will offer New Eastside men a weekly
opportunity to get in shape, cultivate new friendships and realize their full potential through their three Fs mission—fitness, fellowship and faith.

Cofounder Tim Whitmire says fitness and fellowship are self-explanatory,
but the group uses a definition of faith different from religion. “It’s a belief
in something outside yourself,” he says. “Once a guy gets in shape and he
develops a network of friends, all [of a] sudden, there’s this desire to impact the

Beginning as a small group in Charlotte, North Carolina, F3 has expanded to nearly 700 groups throughout the U.S., proving the staying power of its
mission, as well as its effectiveness at getting participants into shape.

Cofounders Tim Whitmire and David Redding started the organization when
their previous workout group grew too large and shut down. “We looked at each other and said, ‘that’s crazy,’” Whitmire says. “We wanted to get
more guys out here.” Recognizing the group was more than just an opportunity to get in shape—it also provided much-needed camaraderie—they invited a group of guys to a workout in a middle school parking lot.

It was New Year’s Day 2011 and Whitmire recalls many were still feeling the effects of the night before, but the group survived and F3 was born.
Through its expansion, F3 creates a network of like-minded men in cities
throughout the country. For each new launch, a team of F3 veterans flies to
the new location, leading three initial workouts before handing over the reins
to local leaders.

The first F3 workout will take place Saturday, September 29, at 7 a.m., The
Chicago Bean in Millennium Park. In addition to the workouts in Millennium Park, F3 is launching workouts near Evanston and in Naperville. For more information, visit

Comparing fitness programs in Lake Shore East Park

If getting into shape is a goal this summer, then success could be right at your doorstep. Lake Shore East Park is home to two major exercise programs: Magellan Outdoor Summer Fitness Se- ries, powered by Unicus, and Five Star Fitness’ Signature Boot Camps.

Magellan Outdoor Summer Fit- ness Series, powered by Unicus ($85 for an 8-week session; $15 for à-la-carte classes)

Now in its second year, Unicus’s Sum- mer Fitness Series offers the chance to burn calories on a budget. For $85, neighbors can access five classes per week, for eight weeks until September 2. Class sizes average between 10 and 20 people.

“It’s not Simon Says . . . and it’s not a competition like CrossFit or boot camp,” says Unicus Fitness owner Frank Nunez. “It’s more inclusive. We don’t want to make it for an elite few or crazy few or anyone like that.”

“We keep [people] moving forward. No matter what, no matter how small, it’s still success,” says Nunez. A University of Michigan kinesiology graduate, Nunez discovered an early knack for movement. “It was like a fish to water,” Nunez says.

Evening circuit classes include Monday night’s “Beach Body Emergency Ex- press” and Wednesday’s “Butts and Guts” class. “The name says it all,” says Nunez.

About 100 people signed up for the program last summer, Nunez says, although participation dwindled as “summer happened.”

Program runs until Sept. 5. To register visit, tion/lakeshore-east-fitness.

Five Star Fitness Signature Boot Camps ($249 per six-week ses- sion; $25 per à-la-carte class) Founded in 2004, Five Star Fitness Boot Camps bills its six-week programs

as a “boutique boot camp.” Owner Scott McLain justifies the program’s higher cost with the personalized at- tention participants receive.

“We base our program on results,” says McLain, easily recognizable on the eastern edge of Lake Shore East Park as he zigzags among students in his gray T-shirt and sweats. A personal trainer and graduate of Ohio State’s Sport Management program, McLain brought his boot camps to Lake Shore East Park 10 years ago.

Boot camps kick off with challenge days, where McLain records his students’ time in drills like laps around the park and push-ups. As the program progresses, McLain checks his students’ numbers.

The pressure to perform seemed to be a positive motivator for Columbus Plaza resident Ana Lucia, a boot camp first-timer. She says although the work- out was “tough,” she “really liked it.”

“I don’t do anything by myself—I prefer to be in a team,” says Lucia, adding that she much prefers exercising outside.

McLain, who knows each student by name, emphasizes the team aspect with two Team Challenge drills each class, including relay runs and push-up mar- athons. Classes also include “Strength and Core” and “Power Alley” modules, where McLain runs drills with names like “Ab Grinder” and “Hell’s Gate.” Classes conclude with a team one- hand-in, “1-2-3, boot camp!” cheer.

“Absolutely, people get to know each other,” says McLain, who has taught more than 1,000 New Eastsiders since 2007. According to McLain, the higher price helps keep class sizes small.

6-week session begins August 7; prorated rates available for session beginning June 26.; 15% off with promo code NEWEASTSIDE

— Tricia Parker, Staff Writer

When loved ones disagree on politics

A guide to productive debate

We all have that special some- one in our lives who thinks very differently from us about politics. We may love grandma or our 20-year-old nephew, but when it comes to politics, we just don’t see eye to eye. Usually this can be handled with sprightly conver- sations mixed with humor and love. However, the most recent election, with its dramatic and polarizing differences, seemed to intensify worries and fears on both sides. Daily media reports bring a new twist and turn every day, and it is impossible for many of us to let sleeping dogs lie and talk about baseball and Chicago summer events.

It can be emotionally treacherous to challenge the political views of a loved one. Many people, to some extent, feel personally defined by their political identification. So for your nephew or grandma, there may be more at stake than pulling them to the political right or left. That dear relative may actually take your political assertions as personal rejection or criticism. Such questions may arise as, “Do I have to be wrong whenever I talk with my dad? Can’t he listen to me?” Or “Why is my brother always so condescending to me?”

So remember that when you push your political view there may be a subtle, un- spoken lower-level conversation going on: “Am I loved by this person?”; “Does he or she even have the capacity to love me?”; “How come I’m always wrong?”

You may, with your superior reasoning, win the argument, but you may have ruptured your relationship with someone you love. Is it worth it? And what if the request to debate comes from that loved one? Then what do you do?

There is an old saying, updated here: “A man or woman convinced against his or her will is of the same opinion still!” So here is an important precept and a few suggestions that may help you at that next family dinner or outing.

• Goal: I want to be closer to this per- son rather than more distant when we finish our conversation today.

• If you want to talk politics, first ask your loved one if she or he would like to talk about or exchange some ideas on the current U.S. political situa- tion. Your loved one may actually not feel up to talking about anything except her arthritis or a loss at work. Take this as a hint to back off.

• If your loved one is willing to listen and talk, try to express yourself with consideration and empathy for how she or he may experience what you are about to say. This may help you temper the passion you no doubt feel, so that a view, gently expressed, may be better received.

• Keep in mind that you will probably not make any major world change in this one conversation. Consider continuing the dialogue, for example, over 10 to 30 conversations. Open, loving, accepting conversations often lead, with time, to many positive changes.

• If the conversation should deterio- rate into anger or personal hurt, you risk losing the opportunity for future conversations down the road.

• Know and remind yourself that you are not responsible for other people’s political views. It is a democracy and we all have a right to our own position.

Walter D. Miller, LCSW, is a New Eastside resident and clinical social worker. Contact him at 312-856-0230.

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