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President Barack Obama releases statement regarding the Mars Rover Curiosity Landing

Compiled by Evan F. Moore

President Barack Obama released a statement in response to the historic Mars landing yesterday.

“Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft,” President Obama said. “That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge.”

President Obama also thanked the staff of NASA who made the exploration possible.“I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality – and I eagerly await what curiosity has yet to discover.”

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Olympic champion Gabby Douglas will be featured on boxes of Corn Flakes this fall

Kellogg’s has announced that Olympic champion Gabby Douglas will be featured on boxes of Corn Flakes this fall. Gabby “The Flying Squirrel” Douglas is the first African-American woman in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics.

Here is a copy of cover:

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.


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Four Black Olympians you should know other than the Men’s Basketball team

Here is a list of four African-American Olympians you should know:

Men’s Swimming – Cullen Jones

Gymnastics – Gabby Douglas aka “the Flying Squirrel”

Wrestling -Ellis Coleman

Women’s Swimming Lia Neal



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Lupe Fiasco gets emotional about the violence in his old neighborhood

Lupe Fiasco Breaks Down Live on MTV With Sway

We live in strange times when it comes to music. This change is more evident in the musical genres of Hip-Hop and R&B.We have singers who think they are rappers (i.e. Chris Brown), a singer on the cusp of stardom tells the world that he was in love with another man four years ago (i.e. Frank Ocean), and one rap artist whose credibility is constantly challenged by his peers because he once starred on a Canadian television show (i.e. Drake).

Well I guess this weird to me since I grew up during the 80’s and 90’s. The men in both genres acted a certain way to keep up with the content in their music.

Two days ago, I watched the video  clip with Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco when he got emotional about a video clip from when he first broke on the scene. As Lupe started to breakdown, he mentioned that some of the people in the clip had either spent time in jail or have since passed away.

This is clearly something that most rappers don’t do-cry on national television.

“Some of them dudes is dead,” Lupe said as he was fighting back the tears. “Chicago’s the murder capital. The dudes in that video are in prison, a couple of fed cases, and then there’s ghosts. You see people that, that ain’t there.”

My reaction to seeing this young man get emotional about his environment got me thinking about some of my childhood friends.  One was murdered over five dollars, one is currently in a mental institution, and two are presently incarcerated. One of was an upcoming rapper who was on the same record label as Lupe Fiasco.

I won’t spend too much time talking about the murder rate in this city. Most of us know someone who has been affected by the random in the city. Just the other day, I opened the Chicago Tribune app on my phone and I noticed that the first six stories were about someone getting shot. That’s alarming.

When I watched Lupe Fiasco fight back the tears when trying to make sense of what is going on in his old neighborhood, I got a little emotional too. I thought about the violence that took away some of my own friends. I rarely talk about it because I have tried to suppress those memories.  Watching that clip brought it all back out.

What can be done to stop the violence in the streets??  Everyone has answers but not much has been put into practice. Hopefully something will come along soon to change the culture of violence.


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Why is this house in South Shore still up for sale?

So there is a house in South Shore near the corner of 71st/Paxton that has been on the market for at least a year.

It’s a nice looking house.

I drive by it when go by my mom/dad’s house. I ask myself why is this house still on the market?

I have come up with two reasons:

  • The owners/real estate company want to much for it.
  • The house is across the street from an open-air drug market

I posted my observation on my Facebook page. A good debate ensued about location,real estate,education, and how children are going to raised.

Here at some of the comments:

“Both.Plus no one with an actual child that they have to educate would buy it.Where would they go to school?”

“It kills me to see that beautiful neighborhood torn apart. How ’bout it’s time to take back south shore?”

“I believe there is a real concentrated effort to chase folks out of that area to lower property values so that bigger capital and outside interests can swoop in and buy it to piggyback the new development at the US Steel sight.My advice would be buy and hold.It sounds cruel…but when there is blood on the streets,buy property.”

“a lot of schools that in the hood are out performing the suburbs and definitely outperforming charter schools in the same kind of areas. all that glitters aint gold. some neighborhood schools aren’t where id send my children just because id like to have a little more control over the content of conversation. kids tell all they family business. I would encourage anybody looking for schooling to check the school’s report card. If one isn’t available, their hiding something…IMO!”

“As one who has spent the overwhelming majority of my life in South Shore, with no plans on moving anytime soon. There are multiple issues here.

1. Sometimes you got to pay to play, and that’s a sad truth. I agree with Tanyelle and our children are our most prized investments. With that no way in hell would I send my kids to Parkside, O’Keffe, Bryn Mawr or whatever they call it now. Why because you can always tell a lot about a school by the level of parental involvement. The aforementioned schools are severely lacking in that regard, and it shouldn’t be surprising. Bottom-line is if you have high expectations for your children, you better be willing to put in the work, funds, time, etc! So while it may seem as if we are being taxed twice who cares, that means I might have to allocate more towards my kids – cool with that its called sacrifice. My parents did it and so will I. I grew up 3 blocks from O’Keefe and it was never an option or consideration. And sadly back then there were more viable options in South Shore.”

“I drive down 71st street and damn near start crying, cause it’s pitiful to see so many lives lost. And it’s heartbreaking to see cats you’ve known since birth damn near, on the corner imagining themselves hustler’s, when the reality is they are panhandlers. While we didn’t start at the same exact place, we were close enough that I could’ve been them and they could’ve been me. Truly, “there but for the grace of God” bears truth!”

Click on this link to see the house 7121 South Paxton Avenue .


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Nittany Liars:The pride before the fall

“Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks.”

“We are in the business of trying to help kids grow up.”

“The minute you think you’ve got it made, disaster is just around the corner.”

Those were the words of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Those were eerily prophetic.

Former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky when he wasn’t sexually abusing young boys wrote a book called Touched. Read excerpts from the book here.

When the story originally broke last year, many supporters were lining up to defend them both. The word that mostly used to describe Sandusky and Paterno was integrity.

Define the word integrity.

I say that in reference to what most alumni, students and local supporters of Penn State University would say when speaking about former football coach Joe Paterno.

Let’s define the word Integrity:

  • An adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
  • The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
  • A sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

I looked up several definitions on what integrity meant. I believe I have picked to best one. You read what it said. This version of the definition best explains what has been going on at Penn State.

We read the Grand Jury testimony (click here to refresh your memory).

Then we read the Freeh Report (click here to further refresh your memory).

After all that the NCAA decided that enough was enough.

The NCAA hit Penn State with a $60 million fine, a four-year football postseason ban ,vacation of all wins dating to 1998,and a reduction of 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period.

Some say that these sanctions weren’t enough. I say to those people don’t forget about the civil lawsuits. By the time that all of this is figured out, there might not be much left.

As a writer and an avid sports fan this stuff just sickens me. It sickens me that an iconic football coach cared more about winning football games than that lives that one of his underlings ruined.

Me and my friends would joke around for years that Joe Paterno was not “aware” enough to coach. We though he would go into homes to recruit kids and forget their names and forget where he was.  It turns out that Paterno was plotting an exit strategy when the sexual abuse allegations came to light.

At this point, I am not sure who is worst. The people who covered for Sandusky or the people who still do not fathom what took place at Penn State. I get that it is very difficult to find out that someone they put on a pedestal turned out to be not to be whom they thought. I hope one day that the Paterno apologists will stop wondering around the darkness and step into the light.

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Stop saying “This isn’t supposed to happen here”

By Evan F. Moore

When a tragedy happens like a mass shooting why is the first person  the media interviews always says “This isn’t supposed to happen here!”

A follow up question to that person should have been “If not here then where is it supposed to happen?”

It really bothers me when people use that phrase. After the events of last week, can stop using that term?? It is very clear that random violence can happen anywhere and anytime.

I understand when people hear about random violence in the news it usually happens in a place where economics, education, and the police response is not where it should be.

Are people who live in affluent places somewhat better at curbing random violence?

I guess not since the Denver area is once again the scene of random, vigilante violence.

When people make statements like “it shouldn’t happen here” is it borderline racist?

Maybe but I saw on Ch. 5 news a Blackman from Aurora, CO say the same thing so knows.

Is it safe for people to make these assumptions?

If I live in an area where the schools are top-notch and there isn’t much violence, can I say that I live in a place where random violence is not likely to happen?

That premise can lull someone into a false sense of security.

In this day and age, people should start to pay attention to the world outside their social circles

Maybe the coward that committed this senseless tragedy had a method to his madness.  Maybe he picked that theater because he knew that if he went to a lesser-known place the outrage would be muted.

I am going out on a limb and say that there is no such place where random violence is alright to take place.  I don’t care if the location is Aurora, Colorado or, East L.A. or a place like Englewood here in Chicago. Random violence is wrong!


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The curious case of Dorothy Tillman and an intern with an opinion

Wait your turn young fella!

How old are you??

You young people just don’t get it.

At some point in our lives someone a person in a position of authority told us one of the aforementioned phrases.

How did it make you feel?

Did you feel like that person was undermining your efforts?

I bet you probably said “When are they going to step out of the way and pass me the torch?”

The incident during the Perri Small show yesterday in the studio at WVON was disheartening on so many levels.

On Wednesday night Minister Louis Farrakhan and members of the Nation of Islam  walked through the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood hoping to stop the random shootings .

The next day on the show, a question was raised: Is the Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam still relevant in the community?

Media Intern and occasional on-air contributor Aven Deese believes that the Nation of Islam no longer resonates with the community.

Former 3rd ward Alderman Dorothy Tillman got wind of Aven’s statements regarding the relevance of the NOI.

Tillman came into the studio to tell Aven that she disagreed with his statements.

From all reports, a verbal disagreement ensued.

Former Alderman Tillman hosts a weekend show at WVON called Coffee, Tea & Conversation with Dorothy Tillman.  

Tillman’s accolades are well known (Being instrumental in getting the city’s first black mayor Harold Washington elected).

Also, her missteps are well-documented (click here to see).

In 2007, more than half of the 3rd ward residents thought that Tillman should no longer be their Alderman. Many felt that she was out of touch with reality.

As I have gotten older, I have realized that the people who have been in leadership positions for decades have a hard time letting go. They are also reluctant to let younger generation to take the helm.

Remember when most of the long-time civil rights leaders (I don’t need to name names since we know who they were) initially backed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama?

The long-time leaders in our communities need to realize that the new generation of leaders will not wait to be told that they can lead. They will take these leadership positions however they see fit.

Like Tillman and the other people from a previous era in our community, my generation has their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

My generation should not be dismissed because of our youth.

Our generation is smart, educated, and tech savvy.

I honestly thought about writing a blog chiding the former Alderman for what she did.

I thought better of that idea because I did not want to play into the hands of the people from the previous generation who would have no problem reading me the “Young people are so disrespectful” riot act.

Aven isn’t one of the Fast Eddie’s (Burke and Vrdolyak). He is a person with an opinion.

I am not sure why former Alderman Tillman treated him as such.

He only said something that most in our peer group already believe.

Contrary to popular belief, my generation has no problem taking advice from our predecessors.

We welcome it. We’re going to need it at some point.

We draw the line when we feel that we are being undermined.

Dorothy Tillman has a weekend show on WVON. Let’s see if she invites Aven over for tea and coffee.


Former 3rd Ward Alderman Dorothy Tillman

Media Intern/On-Air Contributor Aven Deese



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Illinois schools to receive $4.9 million to increase fruit and vegetable offerings

Compiled  by Evan F. Moore

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced on Monday, July 16th that 267 schools in Illinois will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) during the 2012-13 school year. The schools, both public and private that already participate in the National School Lunch Program, will share equally in more than $4.9 million, up from last year’s grant amount of $4.7 million that served 215 schools.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program requires participating schools to allocate between $50 to $75 per enrolled student, with the majority of those funds being spent on fresh produce.

The goal is to expose students to lifelong healthy eating habits. For example, schools can incorporate nutrition education into numerous daily classroom activities such as math, health, geography and science, by developing lesson plans involving fruits and vegetables. Some schools have initiated a “Vegetable of the Day” to entice students to try produce they might otherwise not have access to and increase nutrition education efforts.

The USDA first piloted the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2002 and it was expanded to include all states for the 2008-09 school year. More than 400 schools statewide applied for the 2012-13 grant.

“This is a valuable federal program that improves access to great fruits and vegetables,” said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “This program helps children from low-income families feed their minds and bodies with good nutrition and promotes healthy habits for life.”

Program funding runs through June 30, 2013.



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U.S. Dept. of Education creates program to help students manage student loan debt

Compiled by Evan F. Moore

On Wednesday, July 11th, The U.S. Department of Education released a new interactive loan counseling tool to provide students with financial management basics, like information about their current loan debt and estimates for student loan debt levels after graduation. Students can access the new resource, known as the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool, on

“Managing student loan debt can be a difficult and confusing process for many borrowers. That’s why the Obama Administration has been working to unravel the mystery of college financing and arm students and parents with the information they need to make smart educational choices,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Students need to know up front how much college will actually cost them instead of waiting to find out when the first student loan bill arrives. This new tool will help bring new transparency to the process of debt management on the front end and empower students to keep their school loan payments on track and on time after graduation.”

The Financial Awareness Counseling Tool provides students with five interactive tutorials covering topics ranging from managing a budget to avoiding default. Students are able to access their individual loan history and receive personalized feedback that can help them better understand their financial obligations. In addition, college financial aid professionals can monitor a student’s progress in using the tool and provide assistance if necessary to help ensure they can utilize the information the site provides.

The Financial Awareness Counseling Tool can be accessed through at


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