Making It Harder for Students to Get a License

by Sharda Smith , Youth Reporter

The Drivers Ed program is making a change in the year 2008 for teens to get their licenses. Rumor has it that the age will move up to 20 to obtain a driver’s license.

It’s said that the law will be boosting the age up from 18 due to young people’s high rate of driving fatalities from ages 16-17.

These changes will also make it harder for students to get their licenses.

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Who is Principal Martinez?

by Carmen Alvarez , Youth Reporter

Rito Martinez is principal of the Social Justice High School (Sojo).

Here we learn a little more about him.

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What people think about Little Village Lawndale High School?

by Javier Garcia , Youth Reporter

Some people from the community, at Pitrowski Park, and students, that we interviewed had some comments about the high school.

Before we got their comments we asked them, “How was the community like before Little Village North Lawndale High School was here?” These were their responses.

“When I was a kid the streets were filled with gangs, drugs, and violence,” said one resident.

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Why is the Question I Ask

by Ramia Davis , Youth Reporter

On June 5, 2007 I found out my little baby brother Jeremiah was beaten to death. I was in the car with my father when I got a call telling me.

Why did this have to happen to a 15-month-old baby – my little brother? What did he do to deserve such cruelty?

Even though I didn’t get the chance to know him well, it still hurts when I think about it.

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The Birth of Death

by John Mayida , Youth Reporter

Some people may still think we are doing OK right now.

That can be true from your perspective, but not from that of the Earth’s wildlife. Species are now diminishing. You see it every time you turn on the TV or turn on your lamp and start reading “I Am America (And So Can You)” by Stephen Colbert.

The reality is animals that you may or may not know of won’t be around any longer. Endangered species deep within the earth’s exotic regions are now at risk.

Endangered species aren’t the only list of organisms at risk.

There are also the threatened species, which are defined as likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Endangered species are likely to go in all or a significant portion of their range within the near future.

Madagascar, Southeast Asia and Alaska are three major diversity regions where hazardous emissions, crime and destruction of habitats are causing harm not only to us but to the wildlife that roam in these regions.
Foremost, Madagascar is well known for its biodiversity of organisms. It’s also known for being the world’s 34th biodiversity hot spot.

The island has nearly 550 threatened species, one of which is the well known Golden Bamboo Lemur in Madagascar.

The Golden Bamboo Lemur is small like a house cat, with golden brown coloration on its face and underbelly.

The Golden Bamboo Lemur is one of the world’s rarest mammals. This unfortunate creature is found in mid-altitude rainforest associated with bamboo.

The Golden Bamboo Lemur is threatened by the continued loss of its forest habitat due to slash-and-burn of agricultural land. This is the process of cutting down rainforest and the burning it.

These stricken creatures have been endangered since 1996; the Golden Bamboo Lemur is one of three other lemurs who are also facing extinction. Madagascar’s scientist and government say there is a possibility to restore Madagascar.
Although Madagascar may have its environment endangered, Southeast Asia is the center of the black market. The black market in Southeast Asia is known for its illegal animal trade.

The black market in Bangkok, Thailand has a multibillion dollar business.

Some animals are sold alive; some are killed and their parts sold.

Tourists and locals can purchase exotic birds and other animals openly in markets. One highly known animal that is sold are baby elephants. They are credulous to people and a very social animal; hunters and poachers take advantage of their naive character to capture them.

Police have failed to stop this. It has become an illegal law to raid in a closed store.

In Vietnam, police found two tigers in an apartment along with two soup kettles filled with animal bones.

The 40-year-old woman confessed that she had hired three experts to cook tiger bones to make traditional medicine, $500 per 100 grams. Skins are sold as rugs and cloaks on the black market, where a single skin can fetch as much as $12,000.

Tiger meat is marketed as “strength” and bones are grounded into powder or vast wine.

This creates “tiger bone wine” tonics for the traditional Chinese medicine market. China and Vietnam are currently taking steps to stop the illegal hunting of endangered species. Three of the world’s 9 tiger’s sub-species fell extinct last century.

Many scientists believe a fourth species of tiger in south China is already extinct. On the bright side, there is a sanctuary in Cambodia where workers help rescued animals. They rescue animals and rehabilitate them. In the end, they try to set them free into a region where no poachers can trespass.
Lastly, everyone is familiar with global warming. In Alaska, USA, and across the Arctic, the sea ice is melting away, making floods occur. Alaska is twice the size of Texas and its temperature has increased by 3 degrees in the past 50 years.
“Scientists say what happens in the one-third of the planet which lies within the Arctic Circle is a harbinger of what might occur in the contiguous U.S.,” according to

These floods do harm humans but also the indigenous polar bears. Polar bears do their hunting and living on the sea ice. Scientists had proposed to enlist polar bears in the endangered species list. This was first published in January 4, 2007.

This primary threat is the decrease of sea ice. Any significant change in the distribution or existence of sea ice will change the behavior of animals and their prey.

The Center for Biological Diversity listed this form of petition dated back on February 16, 2005. This service published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2007. There is a notice extending the public’s comment period until October 22, 2007. On September 20, 2007 a 15-day extended notice from Federal Register stated the previous, indicating this is a real issue we have to be aware about. Fourteen individuals from fields of polar bear/ marine mammal biology, climatology, sea ice behavior and traditional ecological knowledge reviewed the situation facing polar bears. In conclusion, many species are endangered.

The ecosystem is diminishing by the hour. What will be said of us in the near future? Stirring up wars won’t help in the recreation of the world.

What we are doing is not helping us.

We need to find a leader who will fight for a cause and not for a war that will ruin us. Overall, we need to be untied so we can struggle together as brothers and sisters or perish as fools.

Through this we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

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Truancy Fees

by Christian Cummings , Youth Reporter

Chicago City Council has proposed to enforce new truancy regulations for Chicago school students.

One key problem in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the large percentage of students ditching school.

The city council states that these new regulations could result in fees ranging from $50-$75 or possible jail time for a parent due to their child’s truancy.

In a first and second offense, parents would be fined but with a third offense, parents could receive jail time.

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The Times We Hurt Most

by Patrick Rogers , Youth Reporter

Imagine coming home, watching some television and then going to lie down for a nice sleep.

And without warning: Bang!

Outside my window at night all I hear are gunshots! And I’m not talking about celebratory gunshots like you hear on the 4th of July.

These are gunshots that are killing people – killing people for not much of anything.

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Teens Working In and Out of School

by Mendell Hodrick , Youth Reporter

Krystyna Long is a 17-year-old senior who attends Orr High School located on the west side of Chicago.

Long also has a job at an ice cream parlor located downtown.

When asked what positive and negative effects come with working both in and out of school, she replied, “I may be a bit tired in the morning as I struggle to make it to school on time, but I still am able to help my grandmother with the bills and treat myself every once in a while.”

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Are You Warm for the Holidays?

by Jerlinda Gray , Youth Reporter

The beginning of November marked the start of cold weather before and during the New Year.

This would have been the perfect time to snuggle up with your loved ones and enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate or to cook a delicious feast for Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately many people were not lucky enough to have a warm place to go and food to eat. Why? Because they are homeless.

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My Thoughts About Fatherhood

by Anthony Carr , Youth Reporter

In the year 2008, there has been a lot of news on television, on radio, in newspapers, and in magazines about fatherhood. One topic on television about fatherhood has been about the father’s role and support of the child.

I asked Jerry Green, the father of a three year old girl, to answer a few questions.

The first question I asked was, how do you feel about being a father? He commented that he really doesn’t know how to feel about being a father because his own father has been gone since birth. Another question I asked was, how does single parenting affect your child’s life?

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