Beyond Borderlines: Pilsen’s Environmental Justice Reparations and Reforms

By Nina Lopez and Leslie Montoya

Environmental issues such as water contamination are the results of poor company human and environmental ethics, and the EPA in is joining an alliance with the City of Chicago to coordinate monitoring and establishing a better plan to clean up and keep Pilsen clean.

Blue Island Produce Inc. 2320 S Blue Island Ave – Photo by Leslie Montoya

Diego Sandoval, a student attending Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, located in Little Village, explains how his high school has made contributions in decreasing these environmental issues.

Sandoval spoke about how his school and science teacher recently planted a garden in the back of the school building “as a way to get us involved,” he states. The school’s faculty encouraged the students to make time during the school day to go outside and plant in the garden.

Xochiquetzal Peace Garden, Pilsen – Photo by Leslie Montoya

According to Sandoval, “before the garden was made, the area was just a muddy, dirty hill. So the school made it into a playground and garden. The science teacher also wants to give students the vegetables that grow from the garden.”

In a recent reporting, 57,338 citizens of Chicago, we exposed to contaminated water.

Continue reading “Beyond Borderlines: Pilsen’s Environmental Justice Reparations and Reforms”

World’s 20 Best Cities For Cyclists

The world’s 20 best cities for cyclists include in order of ranking 1-20: Hamburg, Paris, Budapest, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Nagoya, Montreal, Munich, Tokyo, Dublin, Berlin, Malmo, Eindhoven, Antwerp, Nantes, Bordeaux, Seville, Utrecht, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. Citizens of these cities use bicycles as their main source of transportation. Many cities such as Hamburg, Paris, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Antwerp, and Nantes participate and promote in bike-sharing systems that prove to be successful by increasing bicycling activities.

These 20 cities take biking seriously… 15% of the population in Nagoya, Japan ride bicycles for transport and the national government has a goal of 25%. Montreal, Canada’s cycling tracks date all the way back to the late 1980s. In Munich, Germany the city value and goal to increase cycling has gained impressive investments in marketing urban cycling giving the bicycle a higher status among their citizens.

Below is a static image of an interactive map with pinpoints of each of these cities around the world created via Google My Maps.

Click the image above for an interactive map created via Google My Maps

Greenland Ice Sheet in 1984 vs. 2016

According to Google Earth Pro, the Juxtapose graphic below shows the Greenland ice sheet over time beginning in 1984 to 2016. This graphic shows the melting ice sheet that many scientists determine could completely melt if temperatures continue to get warmer in the Arctic. Greenland’s ice sheet is vulnerable to climate change and Arctic’s climate has been rapidly warming resulting in the prediction that Greenland’s ice sheet may melt at a rate of about 239 cubic kilometers per year.

Click the image above for an interactive comparison.

Greenland’s ice sheet has greatly reduced in size. The melting ice sheet is likely to result in a rise of sea levels as well as changes in ocean circulation. If Greenland’s ice sheet were to completely melt, there would be seven meters of extra water in the ocean. According to an article from National Geographic, the temperature was so warm in the Arctic in 2012 that nearly the entire surface of Greenland’s ice sheet turned to slush. The melting increases as temperatures get warmer which is caused by numerous reasons including humans polluting the earth with unnatural gases.

6 Coffee Facts You Should Know

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages amongst the US population aged 18 years and older. Coffee has existed since the 18th century and is not going anywhere. Coffee is a trend that is here to stay as coffee drinkers become younger and drinking coffee becomes even more trendy. Traditional coffee has advanced to gourmet coffee. Coffee machines have advanced from a pot on the stove to a quick single-serve machine. The coffee community is evolving into quicker and more convenient ways that only increase coffee drinkers’ interests.

Below is a fun informational infographic that discusses 6 interesting facts about coffee and its drinkers I bet you didn’t know. All data is sourced from the National Coffee Association and International Coffee Organization. 

Google Trends: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and the Jonas Brothers’ Revival

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper at the Grammys and Oscars

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are the two main characters in the hit film A Star Is Born and have been the talk of the industry since the movies release date in late 2018. The motion picture soundtrack includes the popular song “Shallow” performed by Gaga and Cooper that has been talked about amongst celebrities on talk shows such as Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, and more. The movie, song, Lady Gaga, and Bradley Cooper have been such a trending topic due to the stars on-stage chemistry and incredible performance.

Gaga and Cooper performed the hit song at two of the most prestige award ceremonies this year, The Grammys and The Oscars. As seen in the graphic above, according to an analysis of Google search data on Google Trends, the interest in Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper spiked on February 11, 2019, the day after the 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony (which was held on February 10, 2019). Again, the interest in the two stars increased immensely on February 25, 2019, the day after the 91st Academy Awards ceremony (which was held on February 24, 2019). Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of the song “Shallow” displays intense affection and admiration that have ignited rumors amongst both the common public and celebrities, as mentioned above. The song and film itself have also contributed to Gaga’s and Cooper’s trending interest however the graphic clearly shows the interest in the two spikes after they perform their hit song live at popular award ceremonies.


The Jonas Brothers’ Reunited After 10 Years

The Jonas Brothers are an American pop rock band who gained popularity due to their performances and acting on Disney Channel which began in 2005. The group consists of brothers, Kevin Jonas (31), Joe Jonas (29), and Nick Jonas (26). In 2005 the band debuted their first album and their last (fourth) album in 2009. The Jonas Brothers have sold over 17 million albums worldwide. The band officially broke-up in 2012 and the brothers began their solo careers individually.

According to an analysis of Google search data on Google Trends, the graphic above shows extremely low interest trends on the Jonas Brothers between February 5, 2019 to February 27, 2019. An increase begins February 28, 2019 and reaches its highest peak on March 1, 2019 when the Jonas Brothers released their new single “Sucker” after 10 years of being solo artists. The brothers stood silent throughout the making of the single (and possible album due to speculations) which created an emotional stir and gained an immense amount of attention amongst many millennials who grew up listening and watching the three brothers. The Jonas Brothers appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden promoting their release of the new song. The music video showcased the brothers with each of their significant others which also contributed to the attention the band gained by admiring long-time fans.

Mike Trout: Second Highest Paid MLB Player

Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout is currently the highest paid MLB player. Drafted to the L.A. Angels team in 2009 and debuted in 2011, Trout signed a contract with the team through 2020. Trout has since been a seven-time MLB All-Star. He received the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year Award a year after his debut. He has received the American League Most Valuable player award in both 2014 and 2016 (nominated four times before and after as well), and is a six-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award.

According to Baseball Reference, Trout has led the American League in runs 2012 to 2014 and 2016 which is shown in the graph above. The graph is intended to show a relationship between between Trout’s runs, hits, and runs-batted-in (RBI) count. The graph demonstrates the progressive increase in Mike Trout’s salaries beginning in 2012 until 2018. Trout’s salary increased $10,000,000 in 2015 to 2016 and dramatically increased $14,000,000 in 2017 to 2018. Due to Trout’s impressive performances on the field, he held the second highest salary in Major League Baseball in 2018 at $34.08 million US dollars just underneath Clayton Kershaw who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers, earning $35.57 million US dollars. For 2019, Trout will fall down to being the fourth highest paid MLB player, earning $34.1 million.

Chicago Cubs Attendance (2007-2016)

By Nina Lopez

This graph shows the attendance count at the Chicago Cubs games from 2007 to 2016. 2008 shows the highest peak in Cubs game attendees (3,300,200) due to the team making a post-season appearance in 2007 and their last appearance in 2008 until eight years later.

There is an obvious and steady decline in attendance after the 2008 post-season appearance to 2013. The team did not make another post-season appearance until 2015 where they lost the Championship Series 4-0.

Game attendance begins to rise again in 2014 to 2016 when the team welcomes manager Joe Maddon and starts making changes and winning more games taking them to the post-season in 2015 and 2016. The second highest peak in attendance count (3,232,420) is seen in 2016 where the Cubs make it to the World Series and win 4-3.

Practice Story

Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon)


By Bob Smith


Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.


“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”


MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”

Quinn was joined by several Illinois college students, including DePaul Student Government Association Vice President Casey Clemmons.

“Every year over 5,000 DePaul students receive MAP grants, and just like the students who have already spoken here today, all of these DePaul students rely on this funding in order to continue their college careers,” Clemmons said.

“Because the number of Illinois students eligible to receive MAP is currently increasing, existing funding does not allow the state to assist all the eligible students. As a result, without action by the Illinois state leadership, more DePaul students than ever will see their MAP funding disappear this year and more

DePaul students than ever will be forced to give up their education due to finances.”

More than 150,000 students nationally receive MAP grants each year.


Clemmons told the audience that on Tuesday, DePaul’s SGA unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Illinois general assembly and the governor to ensure the longevity of the MAP program.  He read the resolution aloud and presented a copy to Quinn.

Ken Thomas, a University of Illinois Board of Trustees student member, MAP recipient and University of Illinois Chicago student, told how he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the MAP grant.

“My mom, when I was in high school, had to work two jobs just to keep food on the table,” Thomas said, “and if we didn’t have [the] MAP program like we do today, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today; graduating with a degree, hoping to be a productive member of society.” 

Having a productive and functioning society and economy is what Quinn says it’s all about.

“Jobs follow brainpower,” he said. “We want to make sure we have smart people in Illinois. Well skilled, well-educated students coming out of college with graduate degrees and diplomas so they can create jobs, create new businesses,” he said. “Our goal in Illinois is to have at least 60 percent of the adults in our state with a college degree or college associate degree or career certificate by the year 2025. In order to achieve we have to make sure we have a good scholarship program.”

Clemmons said that in order for that to happen, state legislatures need to reflect upon the question, “What must be done?” and do what’s required.