Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hactivist Group Anonymous shuts down BART in San Francisco

Hactivist Group Anonymous shuts down BART in San Francisco

Hactivist Group Anonymous shuts down BART in San Francisco

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 09:29 AM PDT

The Hactivist group Anonymous has had it's first physical service of  denial attack on the BART transportation system in San Francisco.

On  Sunday August 14th as promised they hacked into BARTS website and  exposed users information. More information about that can be found at  this link

This  is all in response to BARTs' police randomly shooting it's passengers  and the fact that BART dissallowed cell phone service in their station's and tunnels during a commute.

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As A Member of Our Youth...

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 08:19 AM PDT

At this point, in the debate about our economic woes, solutions to the problem should be shifted from short-term answers to long-term ones. It's time we invest heavily in infrastructure and education, so why haven't you been a stronger proponent of that?

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How do you do it???

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 08:14 AM PDT

This must be one of the toughest jobs in the world.  It is a great honor to be the President of the United States.  But with much honor, there is also a lot of testing.  How do you do it?

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Question from iReporter Schneider (aka John Nicole)

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 08:05 AM PDT

Question for President Obama about when the political quibbling will end.

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2nd Amendment Crossfire

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 07:29 AM PDT

Chicago is the only major U.S. city where concealed carry of a firearm is prohibited--unless you are an alderman.


The city sits in the state of Illinois where Democratic Governor Pat Quinn believes is not the best place for such legislation.


With the rise of "flash mobs" and a growing fear that London riots could happen in the United States, the debate is becoming a major point of interest for the 2012 election.


I want to do a story about how city residents are reacting who include those in favor of conceal and carry and others who feel that it could make violent crimes spike again.


(The city's murder rate is half of what it was 20 years ago, but still very high)

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Animals, Birds, People

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 05:42 AM PDT

My husband and I are just back from a dream trip to several national parks in Kenya, featuring the Masai Mara. While there, I felt as though I'd been pulled into a vast dome of primeval creation. The hills, savannahs, river banks, vistas and skies did not disappoint. Aside from the "big five" (lion, cheetah, leopard, rhino, elephant), the lesser-known wildlife was equally memorable. Can you really beat seeing a parade of giraffes silhouetted in the sunset? Or the graceful gerinuk standing erect in the trees, or the stunning Lilac Breasted Roller?

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All Aboard the Polar Express.... with Jutka

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 03:06 AM PDT

Today I had a surprise gift from my fellow iReporter and good friend  Jutka Emoke Barabas, it was the Polar Express all the way from Honolulu,  Hawaii  as well as puppy toys for ole smokes.  These photos have not got uploaded though, as well as the Polar Express Video.


I came  to know Jutka early this year, and I am extremely grateful to have met  such kind hearted, and gentle person. In spite of her being unwell, she  took all the trouble to lug this huge box to the post office much to the  annoyance of a postal worker there, who said the box was too large to be  posted, so then she went and ranscaked a dumpster and found the appropriate box  to fit the train set in it.


I really do not know what I am to say,  to  this sweet soul who is always  caring and sharing with others around  her.  She has also sent me a Hawaii Five O Tshirt and a signed photo of  the most recent cast of the Hawaii Five O, she has done so much - and I  am appreciative and grateful for her thoughtfullness.


I  do hope that she gets well soon, and will be back home in no time.  I  am going to miss her very much once she starts her travels abroad.


Thanks a billion once again Jutka.

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Suspicious Midnight Fire in Carroll Plantation, Maine

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 01:38 AM PDT

As I returned from Bangor tonight, I saw some fire trucks and an ambulance leaving Lee, Maine, in the direction I was heading. I turned on my Dash Cam and followed them, but felt kind of ghoulish doing so, knowing that whatever they were responding to, it probably wasn't pleasant.

If you look at my some of my previous posts in CNN iReport, one of the reasons for me inventing my dash cam was because of a midnight trash fire at the Propane Dispensing Company across the street from where I live.

If you look at my CNN iReport video from last June, you'll hear the night watchman say it was a planned burn, but I had to wonder what all the explosions were, and why they were doing it at midnight, without any supervision (other than a homeless night watchman who had started the fire to get rid of excess materials), AT MIDNIGHT.

Anyway, after an argument with this night watchman, we both called 911, and a bulldozer worked for 45 minutes to keep the fire under control. THAT WAS ONE GOOD REASON TO RIG UP A DASH CAM ON MY VAN.

About six miles past Springfield, Maine, (where I normally turn off for the 25 mile drive to Danforth) on Route 6, adjacent to North Road, was a house fire. I approached a neighbor, who explained that the people who, "had the house," (whatever that means) had moved out six weeks ago, and someone unknown to him had been living there until today, when they moved out.

Just a few weeks ago, Seventh Day Adventist Christians I had met in Bangor had invited me to dinner in Milo, and tried to set me up with their neighbor, who they had met recently, after these Christians had moved to Maine last year. During dinner, their dinner guest explained that her ex-boyfriend had called from prison, and wanted her to live with him when he got out (which really meant he wanted to come live at her house).

Her ex-boyfriend was in prison for setting fire to a woman's mobile home, supposedly, this dinner guest said, at the woman's request, for insurance money? We all sat there stunned, listening to her story.

She told it as she was using my Flip video camera to video us, and one of us should have told her that it's better to be lonely than to hang out with people who set fires for insurance money. You can listen for yourself on the video entitled Four People Get High on Ice Cream and Blueberry Lemonade

Last week, a man was arrested in Prentiss Township, Maine, about 20 miles from this fire in Carroll Plantation tonight, as reported in the Bangor Daily News, and was charged with setting several fires at houses surrounding his own, and even setting a fire inspector's auto on fire.

Suspect in car fire was subject of stakeout when Chevy Impala torched

Apparently, there's a lot of fire bugs in northern Maine, although perhaps no more than in any population, I would suppose. I guess some of them are looking for payouts from insurance companies, and some are just angry, or bored, and enjoy starting fires.

The lady from the ambulance company tells me (on the video) that there have been a lot of house fires lately. This area of Maine is economically depressed, with many abandoned houses, some of them in falling down shape.

Other than what I have just reported, the video is just another boring video of a sad, old, rural house, consumed with fire, burnt to the ground. I wonder who the person who, "moved out today," was, and if the fire was an accident?

The local Carroll Plantation man who told me that story had a Texas accent, and moved up from El Paso in 1986, and with 144 people living in the 45 square miles of Carroll Plantation, it can't be too hard for the fire marshal to get some more information if he needs it.

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Elvis Presley 34 Years Passed

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 12:11 AM PDT

It's been 34 years today that Elvis Presley passed away.  If Elvis was still alive today he would be 76 yrs. old.    Enjoy the pictures I took at Graceland.


1).  Grave site


2). American Eagle Cape worn at the Aloha From Hawaii concert.  Elvis had thrown this out to the audience.  Family members of the person who caught it donated it back to Graceland.


3). Trophy Room with a very high ceiling stacked with Gold and Platinum  albums.


4). Living room.


5). The famous Pink Cadillac.

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Storm approaching Copan Lake

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 09:16 PM PDT

A storm approaching Copan Lake, about twenty miles north of Bartlesville, OK.

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A Zulu Village (South Africa)

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 06:48 PM PDT

*Please click through the numbered tabs above and view in "full screen mode".


Assignment - South Africa:  Down on the cape


In August of 2010,  I visited this Zulu Village in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa (near Durban).


We were greeted with warm, welcoming smiles, treated to a tour of their village, sampled homemade Zulu beer and given demonstrations of their way of lilving. Then, we got to enjoy some lively traditional Zulu dancing and a wonderful authentic Zulu dinner.


It was a great day and one I will never forget.


*To view video of traditional Zulu dancing, please click on the following link:


Photos by Lulis Leal

KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

August, 2010

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Video portrait: Jamie Hawkins-Gaar

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 06:35 PM PDT

Thank you, Zack McTee, for art directing the shot. :)

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Pasilla Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 06:04 PM PDT

Bend, Oregon, has plenty of great Mexican restaurants, but our favorite place to eat the best shredded chicken taquitos is Amalia's Mexican Restaurant on Wall Street in downtown Bend. Sauteed with chipotle and pasilla pepper, topped with a fire-roasted tomatillo and Mexican cream sauce, and then served with black beans, rice and fresh salsa, this is a dish we go back for in a hurry. Then again, we love all the food at Amalia's, as it's always authentic, super fresh and best of all, reasonably priced!

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Zip-Lining in Costa Rica

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 05:43 PM PDT

This zipline was at Monteverde Cloud was the last in a series of about a dozen smaller ziplines that flew through and over the trees.  This particular zipline was a quarter of a mile long, and it was gorgeous!

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Storm approaching

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 01:58 PM PDT

A large rainstorm approaching over the bay at the jersey shore with clear skies behind it. 

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Santorini Coastline

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 01:13 PM PDT

A Shot of Santorini I took while visiting last month.

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Shrimp 'n Grits

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 12:42 PM PDT

Shrimp and grits has long been a staple in the South, but too often it's been overdone, but at Solas, where I'm the director of sales and marketing as well as a dedicated patron, Chef Hicks allows the true flavors of the dish to shine through by sticking to the basics. His recipe combines fresh shrimp, applewood smoked bacon, worcestershire sauce and three kinds of peppers over yellow stone-ground grits. What makes the food even more enjoyable is the excellent service and sophisticated (yet approachable) atmosphere of Solas. Top dinner off with a drink on their one-of-a-kind roof deck and you've got an amazing evening out!

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Posted: 15 Aug 2011 12:20 PM PDT

Machaca is stripped roast beef, mixed with eggs, roasted green peppers (usually long green chilis), onions, tomatoes, garlic, cheese sauce and a few others things like salt and black pepper spices. In El Paso it usually is a breakfast plate. It's typically eaten with fired flour tortillas, but some prefer corn. Rice and beans are the side dishes that are typical to most Mexican dishes. It's also widely considered a great anti hangover dish, but in truth it's just good.

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Lengua Con Salsa Verde

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 12:06 PM PDT

Whenever I'm in the mood for some delicious homemade Mexican food, I always go to El Comal, also located on 3rd avenue in Chula Vista. My favorite dish is beef tongue smothered in green salsa with rice and beans. Always very delicious and always very satisfying. I like to start off with the queso fundido, which is an appetizer with melted cheese, pork and chorizo. It's a great start to the meal.

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La Bella's Pizza: The Works

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 11:59 AM PDT

La Bella is very famous in the San Diego area. Located on 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista, it is a great place for the entire family. My favorite dish is the La Bella Pizza, The Works. It's loaded with cheese and meats, and the pepperoni is always buried underneath the cheese. I've tried many Italian places all over San Diego, but my number one spot has always been La Bella. Best tasting pizza I've ever had in the San Diego area.

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Get out of town

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 11:20 AM PDT

I unplug by getting as far away from cell service as possible. Places like Joshua Tree and Death Valley are perfect.

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Real Benjamin Button story

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 10:36 AM PDT

One of my favorite CNN shows is World's Untold Story and I think this case is interesting for CNN audience.


She is Rochelle, a 14 years old kid who looks old. She has the extremely rare genetic abnormality called progeria. According to research only few of them exceed the age of 13. They usually die because of heart disease and stroke due to ageing musscles and tissues.


In this boothcamp, I want to learn and develop this story the World's Untold Story way. I know it's depressing and I myself is sad knowing her case and her condition but I know this will create an impact.



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Life of a Blue Collar Worker

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 10:31 AM PDT

I'm Jon - sophomore Communication student in a college in the Philippines. I want to be part of this year's boot camp because I want to enhance my skills in journalism and to prepare myself as a future media practitioner. I'll be using a photo essay and it is a challenge for me. I have a photojournalism class for the current semester and I have learned how vital it is for a photo to tell a story. Hopefully, this CNN Boot Camp would enhance my skills in photojournalism with the help from CNN experts.


My story is about the life of a blue collar worker. His name is Gie Paderna. Gie works as a store vendor. He is 25 and lives in the  Philippines. He finished high school and was not able to attend college  because of financial matters. He works hard not only for his own sake  but for his loving family as well.


I choose this topic because blue collar workers are such an inspiration to all of us. They have a lifetime stories to tell the world. Their dedication for their blue collar jobs is priceless.

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Cultural Obesity

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 10:25 AM PDT

Cultural Obesity


I'm an aspiring journalist and I have chosen to be a part of iReport Boot Camp to highlight a silent epidemic in my community primarily in children through photos.


Obesity is one of the biggest problems facing America today but cultural obesity shows a different perspective into two cultures united by tradition but unhealthy lifestyle choices. The Mexican-American community along the Texas border is a perfect example of a culture that prides itself in family unity at the expense of personal health.


Living along the Texas border, I have had the opportunity to witness and experience how our community socializes. I have come to the realization that everything Hispanics do involves food; whether that consists of cookouts, Bingo nights, football games, parties, or the presence of a new visitor in town. Food and non-stop food intake is everywhere. I understand that America has a problem but when we look at our unique culture, we can conclude that obesity is something that happens because we allow it to happen. It's not a priority to us as individuals nor to our parents. In our culture, people usually cookout about four to five times a week. Instead of getting together to play sports or exercise, we gather around a table and play Bingo while consuming more and more food. It's a problem that's occurring right in front of the Mexican-American community but no one seems to bring it up. Instead parents choose to ignore the problem often times pouring Coke into a bottle for a baby to drink vs. water or milk. That is the start to a life of obesity. The more the kids grow up, the more you see the changes in clothing sizes and figures. In most cases, there are many children in our culture that are about 150 lbs before they turn the age of 15. That is a serious problem because these are the boys and girls that will eventually grow up with many health issues. In our community, many people are diagnosed with diabetes and extremely high cholesterol at an early age. Parents see the dangers but they seem to accept it because in our culture, we still love no matter the size; pushing the advice and guidance aside that can help us become healthier individuals. In our culture, we also enjoy the fattest foods and at times make up our own inventions that involve thousands of calories. Those foods include menudo, tamales, gorditas, tacos, and flour tortillas to name a few. The process of making such foods contains pork lard and plenty of salt. It's a vicious eating cycle setting up children and parents to face long-term health issues that will ultimately affect their own lives and our country.

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Hope of a lost generation

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 08:42 AM PDT

Since the recession of 2008, young people across the United States have struggled to find work.  Despite having a master's degree, bachelor's degree, or no degree at all, many individuals have found themselves unemployed and left with a feeling of no direction. Still, despite these detrimental circumstances, few have given up on the pursuit of their dreams. It leaves many wondering, how does this generation of the unemployed hold on to hope?


As a CNN iReporter, I will document the plight of America's unemployed youth in the form of a short video and 500 word essay.  With unemployment rates skyrocketing in other nations, seen most recently in the London riots, it's clear that this crisis has quickly become a global pandemic. And the problem isn't going to be solved with the flip of a switch. So join me, as I search for the hope of a lost generation.


I am a young person inspired by documentary film, investigative journalism, and the world around me. As a budding journalist, iReport boot camp has presented me with the opportunity of a lifetime: creating stories of my own with feedback from CNN experts. Every day, I read a piece of news or watch a short video clip that inspires me. I only hope that I can have this effect on others, as well.


-Rachel Witte

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Two decades of freedom for Russians

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 08:04 AM PDT

20 years ago, in 1991 Russia, then USSR, has lifted iron curtain and officially allowed their citizen to travel freely around the world. To celebrate this date I want to prepare a multimedia report with a snapshot on Russian mentality. I am planning to record video interview with:

1. Russian emigrees who left USSR in 70s.

2. Modern Russian emigree, or rather citizen of the world.

My questions wold be why they have left the country.

I will try to show the spectrum of motives when person is deciding to leave his native country.

I am planning to use video, images and text.

On the picture: one of the heroes of my story.

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Puerto Rico Road Conditions (Safe or Unsafe)

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 07:49 AM PDT

My story is about the road conditions in the island of Puerto Rico.  The residents and visitors need to be aware of what kind of unsafe roads we have.  Hoping that my story hits the right people so the funds can be released and roads can be fixed.


We all have options and responsibilties to cover. It all starts here! Puerto Rico needs voices and they need to be heard!!

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The Idiot's Eye to the Economy

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 06:54 AM PDT

To the eyes of a kid, money means the golden ticket to chocolates, a glass of lemonade, and the state fair. Grow up several years more and now it's a teen's key to a car, clothes, and a cellphone. When you become an adult, every single dollar means a hundredfold more. Maintaining a roof over your head, a grain of rice for your stomach and gas for transport are some of the necessary things a grown up needs to provide for their family or even just for themselves. It may not always apply to that pattern, but the root here is whether young or old, simple or extravagant, money matters.

Recently, America has suffered several economic blows, most popular of which were this month's debt ceiling and credit downgrade issues. In the eyes of an idiot (Read: Me), the situation is appalling yet it is not in the top of priorities.

Moving on, I believe there are more idiots like me out there - clueless yet willing to learn, to be involved in America's economic quandaries. This issue will definitely remain newsworthy in the following weeks, even months.

This essay may not have much substance, but that's exactly why I want to join this year's boot camp and in the years to follow. I want to learn, to hone my skills so that in the end, every word I write will be worth the penny.






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Hundreds of Seoul students celebrate Independence day by dancing

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 04:17 AM PDT

15th of August is the Independence day of South Korea. We had 66th anniversary of Independence from Japan regime.

To celebrate the day, Hundreds of students organized 'Flash Mob' performance by the twitter or facebook. So they start the event at the Myeongdong District. which is known for shopping tour site of Seoul, South Korea!

They had South Korea's world cup performance! As you can see, hundreds of citizens are gathered to see the performance.


-Jaehwan Cho from Seoul

-twitter and Facebook : @hohocho

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On Banning The Use Of Plastic Bags And Styrofoam In Muntinlupa City, Philippines

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 12:42 AM PDT

Last January of this year, the city council of Muntinlupa has finally approved the enforcement of a citywide ban against the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam. City Ordinance 10-109 entitled "An Ordinance Prohibiting the Use of Plastic Bags on Dry Goods, Regulating its Utilization on Wet Goods and Prohibiting the Use of Styrofoam/Styropor in the City of Muntinlupa" took effect on January 18, 2011 after a year-long moratorium since it was approved last year to give stakeholders ample time to adjust and conform.


The said ordinance is being enforced in all shopping malls, public markets and groceries throughout Muntinlupa City. Many environmentalist groups from both within and outside the city have rejoiced when the ordinance was officially enforced. However, there are also some groups of residents from Muntinlupa City which have expressed opposition to the ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam. The enforcement of the ordinance is quite revolutionary in the Philippines since Muntinlupa was the first prime city in the country that imposed a ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam.


Other cities and towns in  the Philippines started imitating Muntinlupa in coming up with  ordinances that will prohibit the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam. The  municipal government of Biñan City in Laguna, Philippines came up with a  stricter version of an ordinance banning the use of plastic bags and  Styrofoam. A consumer who would defy the ban against the use of plastic  bags in Biñan City will be penalized by paying a minimum fine of 500  pesos (roughly 11 dollars). While many Filipinos are in favor of the  ordinance in Muntinlupa banning the use of plastic bags, there are also  some people in the country who want to repeal it and would rather  challenge its legality or constitutionality.


I  want to make a story about the said ordinance since it's some kind of a radical  decree in a highly-urbanized area where people have already been accustomed to the  use of plastic bags and Styrofoam every time they purchase foods, clothes and other items. I want to show to CNN viewers how the said ordinance is being enforced right now and how it is  being challenged by some groups within the city. I  would love to tell this story to the televiewrs of CNN because I'm a resident of Muntinlupa City myself. I'm planning to interview the city  councilors who were responsible in enacting the ordinance as well as the leaders of  the groups that lobbied for its passage and enforcement. I will also interview the  community leaders who have opposed the passage of such an ordinance.  I  will give both the "pro-ordinance" and the "anti-ban" individuals the chance to  express their sentiments regarding the issue.



I  think the topic is newsworthy because people nowadays are searching for creative  means that will curtail the abuses against the natural environment.  Politicians and activists are really experimenting with new ideas and procedures that can prevent  the degradations against the environment. People should really formulate  effective measures that would truly-secure the ecological balance in our planet.



Many city and municipal governments from within and outside the Philippines are eager to know if the City of Muntinlupa has indeed achieved a lessened littering of plastics since the enforcement of the said ordinance. The story that I'm going to tell will also tackle certain statistics that may prove or disprove the effectiveness of the said ordinance in lessening the plastic discards being damped upon waterways. Plastic discards do contribute to the clogging of waterways in the area. Muntinlupa City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro had earlier said that "plastic bags and Styrofoam materials are major contributors to the clogging of waterways in Metro Manila, which in turn cause flooding." Citing information from the city's engineering department, San Pedro said that "90 percent of materials found obstructing storm drains and waterways are plastic discards, costing the city government P2.3 million for de-clogging operations in 2009."



I  joined this year's i-Report boot camp because I would like to improve my skills as a free-lance writer. I've been a blogger for 8 years now and an i-Reporter for more than 2 years, so I do want to communicate effectively my articles and news to the readers of my blogs and viewers of my i-Reports. The i-Report boot camp is a big opportunity for me to learn about the proper techniques and means of writing, editing and reporting news.


I've  already  drafted some plans on how will I contact the people that I'm going to interview and how will I present the story objectively to  televiewers. I think the story should be told to CNN viewers because of  the fact that non-biodegradable materials do contribute to the clogging  of waterways all over the globe.

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Kite flying on Independence Day celebrations

Posted: 14 Aug 2011 09:37 PM PDT

Kite flying is part of the Independence Day celebrations in India.

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Pick Your Story--Disney College Program

Posted: 14 Aug 2011 07:52 PM PDT


A lot of people may not know about the Disney College Program.  The Disney College Program is a paid internship, in which you work in the parks or resorts.  You can apply to either Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

It is open to those who are 18 or older and enrolled into a college or university.  You can also participate during the semester after you graduated from college, just as long as you are enrolled in school at the time you apply. 

Your job or work location may not be that great, but that's not all what it is about.  The program provides an opportunity for you to explore, make new friends, and learn more about yourself.  You learn what you want to do in life.  It's an opportunity for you to become the person you want to be.

I started my program in August 2010 working at Epcot.  Then in January 2011, I extended my program and was relocated to Magic Kingdom.  My program ended in May 2011.  Throughout my program, I went through many ups and downs and learned a lot of things.  I also made a lot of friends, and even met my boyfriend down there.

There are some great benefits of doing the program.  You can get into the parks for free and get discounts on food, merchandise, and hotels.  On my days off, I always went to the parks with my friends, rode a bunch of rides, and had a total blast. 

I think the CNN iReport audience will find this story interesting because not that many people know about opportunities like these and take advantage of them.  Right now, we are going through a recession, which means there are fewer jobs available.

Participating in the program was the best thing I have ever done.

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Will their DREAMS come true?

Posted: 14 Aug 2011 05:39 PM PDT

Will their DREAMs come true?

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can DREAM it, you can become it."

-William Arthur Ward



While thousands of recent high school graduates are getting ready to start their first year in college, others will not be able to achieve the goal of receiving a higher education. This population of youngsters, who are behind the scenes trying to pursue the American dream, is left behind because others made the decision for them about their future in this country.


Many Hispanic parents have come to the United States to give their children the opportunity of a life better than the one they left behind. This includes not only a good home and a better opportunity to meet the family's needs, but also the pursuing of a good education that would allow their children to live a comfortable life. However, it is hard for this dream to come true due to the students' status that does not allow them to attend college by paying tuition as a local resident or, by obtaining federal financial aid.


There have been several attempts to help these children have access to higher education. Some states, like California, have enacted bills that allow them to pay in-state college tuition. However, the bill that is currently in discussion would provide a path to permanent residency to certain undocumented students.


In order to qualify under this bill, a student must have demonstrated a good moral character and must be a graduate of an American high school. Also, he must have arrived in the United States as a minor and lived here for at least five years before the passing of the bill. If he completes two years in the military or in a four-year institution of higher education, he would be able to get temporary residency for a period of six years. During this time, he must obtain a degree from any college or university in the United States or serve in the army for at least two years in order to apply for a legal permanent resident status. The age limit to qualify would be up to 35 years-old.

The supporters of this bill praise the benefits for the American economy by allowing these students to become part of the labor market. They also contend that these children were brought as minors to this country by their parents without their consent, so they are not liable for their immigration status.


One of these supporters is the Vice-president's wife, Jill Biden, who has said that, "for our nation, the DREAM Act means success. It means enabling a new generation of immigrants who have grown up as Americans to improve themselves and help build our country through hard work, determination and patriotism."


Of course, as with any cause, this bill also has its detractors who argue that it would be like welcoming anyone to come illegally to this country and live as they please. They also allege that it would hurt the economy of the country since it would allow them to take the jobs that already belong to the American citizens.


Jack Martin, from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), has said that "the basic problem with the DREAM Act is that because it is a form of amnesty, it sends the message abroad that we really don't care if people enter the United States illegally."


The fight for the DREAM Act continues, with both factions trying to attract supporters for their side. Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of undocumented students long for the day they are able to become legal citizens of the United States and contribute to the economic development of the country where they have grown up and studied.   

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Posted: 14 Aug 2011 04:52 PM PDT


My story will be interesting to the CNN audience due to the fact that the problem of child labour could affect the economy of any nation in the world because, potential human resource who are the supposed future leaders are being deprived of basic education due to several factors. The story will interest the CNN Audience also because the story is being told by a Native, without bias or prejudice.

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Wildfire Has Now Crossed the Virginia Border Into North Carolina, and Threatens Firefighters

Posted: 14 Aug 2011 02:21 PM PDT

The photo above was taken 3 months before the largest wildfire in it's history gripped the Great Dismal Swamp August 4, 2011 and is refusing to let go.  Normally, this historic canal is bustling with recreational boaters and those traveling this important portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

This week however, the canal was closed to the public and now allows only emergency vehicles fighting the fire that started as a lightening strike.

The large Swamp spans Virginia and North Carolina at their eastern-most, southern and northern borders respectively, and houses a wildlife refuge.

Employees at the swamp's Welcome Center in Virginia normally look out on the lush preserved canal and come to work greeted by the sounds of the 200 species of birds that make their home here.  Black Bears, Gray Fox, Minks, reptiles, other smaller animals and a rare species of butterfly share this centuries old habitat.  This week firefighters doused those trees and the view was only of heavy limbs dripping with water and thick smoke.

The songs of the birds that normally greet employees and fill the air have been replaced with the smell of heavy smoke as the fire has now spread into the peat which extends six feet down into the swamp.

Experts said the fire could spread and burn through the peat for "a very, very long time" if rain and man can't get the ever growing fire extinguished.

On Saturday, August 13 at 3:00 PM, it was reported that the fire in the peat is posing the biggest threat to the 326 fire fighters that have traveled here from all over the southeast. Peat is the support for the swamp's vegetation and now unsupported trees are falling around them and blocking important roadways and exits.

As of Friday, only the Washington and Jericho ditches, the access to hiking and biking trails, were open but on Saturday, officials contemplated closing the Washington Ditch to the public.

The smoke has been blowing north into Hampton Roads and the  full moon and almost full moon curiously turned an unusual orange color as it rose late Friday and Saturday nights.  By the wee hours of the morning, thick smoke clouds had completely obscured the birght full moon.

Air and driving advisories have been issued throughout the week in Hampton Roads as far away as Hampton and Newport News, as the wind shifted south then north.

Digging the canal began in 1793, and boaters have been using it for fun and commerce since 1805.

As of Saturday, a total of 5 crews were battling the 5,868 acre fire in the two states, with only 10% of it reported as contained.

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People working hard for a better life

Posted: 14 Aug 2011 01:41 AM PDT

--August 14, 2011--


The migration process of the citizens of Moldova has become really painful. In almost every family there is at least one member who works abroad for a better life. There is almost everything in Moldova and if one has money, they can live a great life here. The issue is that many people are jobless due to a weak economy. As a result of the migration process to the Western countries and Russia, many children remain in Moldova in their grandparents' care.


There are incredible life stories I would like to share with the CNN IReport community. As you can understand by yourself, the story will be newsworthy in weeks and even months from now, unfortunately. The problem exists for many years already, but during the past two years it became more acute. Through my report I would like to open the eyes to the world and show how difficult is to a parent to leave his/her children behind and go to the unknown world in order to assure a better life for his/her kids. It's painful, but having no other choice than leaving, many people will work hard to build a better future to their children.


I will share some photos with the harsh conditions some people live in villages, where there are no jobs at all and the only activity is agriculture. I will try to videotape some life stories and then translate them into English. I will explain what are the roots of some people's state of poverty and how are the Moldovans migrating to other countries despite the difficulties met while trying to apply for a working visa.


I believe that my story will interest many members of the Ireport community, because most of them don't really know anything about this small country with hard-working people, which are in Europe, not too far from the engines of the European economy, but still facing harsh social and economic issues.


I want to be a part of this year's boot camp in order to show the international community that despite the fact that all the people are equal, there are still many differences between us and how hard-working are the people of Moldova in achieving their goals and living a better life. Their struggle can be a lesson to many people who are saying they're not successful in life, but still have more than other people and aren't thankful for what they posses.

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Coastal Clean up

Posted: 13 Aug 2011 10:29 PM PDT

Volunteer work of Manila iReporters.

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Memorial For Kelly Thomas Beaten To Death By Fullerton Police

Posted: 13 Aug 2011 02:14 PM PDT

Boot Camp Story Pitch

My Story is about a homeless Fullerton man that was beaten to death by six Fullerton Police officers. This story is very similar to the Rodney King beating years ago.  This story has garnered international attention.  I will present my story in a way that is fresh with new information whenever I receive it.   I live in Fullerton and have for over 22 yrs.  I will be attending all the protests, vigils and city council meetings regarding this story.  I want to be a part of this years boot camp because I learned so much at last years, I know I can learn so much more.



On July 5th, 2011 Kelly Thomas, a homeless unarmed 37 yr. old 135 lb man was beaten to death by six Fullerton Police officers.  He was tasered as many as five times, beaten with police flashlights and his face slammed into the curb.  He had at least two different brain injures and his face was so damaged his family couldn't recognize him.  His father, after five days in the hospital, had his life support turned off and he passed away.


During the savage attack by these officers, witnesses heard him crying out "dad dad dad".  There is also a witness video where you can hear him calling for his dad.


This very slight man was no threat to even one officer let alone six.  The pictures above (see all) are of the exact spot Kelly was murdered by these officers.  People have brought balloons, candles, placards, water, can goods, clothes, blankets, stuffed animals and much more to this memorial at the Fullerton Transportation Center.  ANyone in need of any of these items are welcome to them.  What a fitting memorial to this man.


Rest in Peace Kelly Thomas, you will not be forgotten.


To see my original report on this story click here




Pictures by KCRep

Aug. 13th, 2011

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Two houses, different uses (4th try)

Posted: 13 Aug 2011 10:48 AM PDT

I was taking Margot Leitman's Storytelling and Solo Work 101 class at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles when I received an invitation to the 200th Ewbank-Smith Family Reunion. Though neither of my cousins were attending, this would be an opportunity to meet kin I'd never laid eyes on before. I mailed our registration.

Several weeks later, I loaded suitcases and my 87-year-old mother into my Honda CRV and drove 600 miles from my home in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Guilford, Indiana. On the way, we stopped at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, where Carrie McGavock, a relative on my mother's side, cared for Confederate soldiers injured at the Battle of Franklin in her home and later donated land on her property for a cemetery for those who failed to survive.

In memory of my deceased father who had more than a passing interest in bourbon whiskey, we toured the Jim Beam distillery located just off I-65 in Clermont, Kentucky. We proceeded on to Louisville to tour Churchill Downs where I purchased a 12-ounce Kentucky Derby 137 julep glass.

We were gathered with nearly 200 relatives at the home of our ancestor John and Ann Chapman Ewbank on August 6, 2011, when we heard that John was a strong abolitionist who participated in the Underground Railroad and an even stronger teetotaler! You can imagine the surprise this created falling on Southern ears that, while not as appreciative of whiskey as Daddy, do admit to enjoying a glass of wine on occasion. These drastic differences discovered during the Civil War sesquicentennial raise an important family thought, "Two houses separated by only 300 miles, drastically different uses.""

Sharing life story is nothing new. Travel to anywhere in the world and you are likely to hear true stories told conversationally at home over casual dinners, at work around water coolers, and at local bars lubricated by a wide assortment of beverages. What may be new is that storytelling is booming in venues across America. The Moth, a non-profit, has been hosting sold out events in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit, since its inception in 1997. Live and online storytelling has served as test marketing/audience building that resulted in lucrative payoffs for the successful including Moth storytellers Katherine Russell Rich (Dreaming in Hindi) and Elna Baker (The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance), Sh*t My Dad Says tweeter Justin Halpern (, and bloggers Rees Drummond ( and Heather Armstrong ( True life storytelling has become so popular that even stand-up comedians like Mike Birbiglia have left joke behind to embrace it.

I want to share my personal life story of "family surprises" gained on this trip through photos and live recorded text on my mother and I as a chance to practice my conversational humorous storytelling skills. Pick me! Pick me!


I'm having trouble uploading more than one file at a time. So, I put four photos in one image file:-)

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Sunset over the Tasman Sea

Posted: 13 Aug 2011 05:59 AM PDT

These stunning photos were taken facing the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia.  It was a nice experienced to see the sunset while walking around.


These shots were taken on 13 August 2011.

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New Zealand : Taranaki Lantern Parade

Posted: 13 Aug 2011 04:17 AM PDT

The Lantern Parade is one of the highlights of the month-long celebration of Taranaki International Arts Festival from August 04 to 21, 2011 in the heart of New Plymouth City in New Zealand.


The parade was full of lights and sounds that made the celebration alive and colorful.


These photos were taken on 13 August 2011.

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Wisdom From A Palestinian Women Inside The Israeli Occupation

Posted: 13 Aug 2011 03:49 AM PDT

Bil'in, Palestine- July 25th, 2011


I dare you to look into the eyes of a mother I met in Bil'in and not feel something shift deep inside your core. Her name is Suhaer Khateib, a Palestinian woman whose indescribable raw wisdom, honesty, and intensity were beyond all languages, beyond all words.  Although we did not speak the same language, it was the pain and courage in her eyes that rocked every moral fiber in my being as she told me her story.

Suhaer grew up in the village of Bil'in, a Palestinian farming village that is on the front lines of resisting the occupation through non-violent resistance. Bil'in sits amongst the mountains and the olive trees that have supported the families there for hundreds of years. The occupation is visible in every corner of the village. The remains of burnt olive trees cover the surrounding hills while the wall, the same wall that snakes through Israel and Palestine, separating farmers from their land, children from their schools, Palestinians from their roads…and Muslims from Jews, slices through the village's land.

As Suhaer answered my questions and told me her story it was impossible to not absorb the demoralizing starkness of my surroundings. An old door supported by two slabs of concrete served as a bench, the stench of waste and urine stung my nose with every inhale, and the precious water that was graciously served sat nearby, stored in old plastic soda bottles. All around me signs of palpable destruction lie in juxtaposition to the sweet, innocent music of children's laughter. The children giggled with delight with the few small toys we brought as gifts. At one point I found myself horrified by the sight of these beautiful children using empty tear gas canisters as toys, playing a game on the ground amidst broken shards of glass and bullet shells.

I was sitting amongst mothers, amongst fellow women, amongst friends. Suhaer sat across from me, wearing a long sleeved blouse and jeans, her hair covered with the traditional hijab. Her three-year old son colored in the coloring books we had brought by her side. Suhaer's intense gaze never left mine as she described attending Bizet University earning her degree in Arabic. She met her husband at University and slightly grinned as she teased "he was the one that fell in love with me." They married and returned to Bil'in only to face poverty, unemployment, and homelessness due to the occupation.

I asked Suhaer how she felt towards the people, who have stolen her family's land, traumatized and kidnapped her children in nightly interrogation raids, and have occupied every aspect of her life. She looked at me, her eyes screaming with resilience as a single tear rolled down her cheek and said without an ounce of anger in her voice, "I used to be a different person. You used to be able to hear my laughter from the streets. But now, the reality is the wall is here. We live here and so do they. We must learn to respect each other."



By: Kathleen Huerter- Omaha Student, Mother, Recently Returned from a Unique Interfaith Delegation to Israel and Palestine.  Palestinian and Israeli youth shared perspectives on the Arab Spring and prospects for a peaceful future during the two-week journey through the conflict zone.


For more information please visit:


Or email:

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IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) in Hebron, Palestine

Posted: 13 Aug 2011 02:02 AM PDT

Hebron, Palestine-


United States Interfaith Peace Delegation is reporting on the settlements and the occupation in Hebron, Palestine.  While walking through an area of the city near the settlement, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) attempted to arrest our legitimate guide mulitple times.


The US Delegation was not allowed to enter various areas and were told by the IDF that, "the settlers had placed a bomb on the road."  Although the delegation witnessed the IDF allowing Jewish settlers to enter the areas where the "claimed bomb" was located.


The IDF kicked the local Palestinian children if they came within physical range.


Photos taken by Interfaith Peace Builder's Delegate Kathleen Huerter, an Omaha Student and Mother, recently returned from an unique Interfaith Peace Delegation to Israel and Palestine. 



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Omaha Student, Mother, Returns from Unique Interfaith Delegation to Israel and Palestine

Posted: 12 Aug 2011 09:02 PM PDT

Omaha Student, Mother, Returns from Interfaith Delegation to Israel and Palestine

Palestinian and Israeli youth share perspectives on the Arab Spring and prospects for a peaceful future


Washington, DC — Kathleen Huerter, a student of Non-Profit Administration and Philosophy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, who has just returned from a unique delegation to Israel and Palestine. Ms. Huerter, along with twenty-three other participants from the United States, landed in Tel Aviv on July 18 for the two-week journey through the conflict zone.

Participants on the delegation explored issues relevant to young people in Palestine/Israel, including efforts to educate and empower future generations working toward a just resolution to the conflict.  Two thirds of the Palestinian population and one third of the Israeli population are under the age of 25.  More than just numbers, youth in Israel/Palestine play important roles in community development, lead nonviolent struggles for justice, and work together across national lines towards reconciliation.  They are also among the conflict's most tragic victims.

The delegates met with approximately 30 Israeli and Palestinian groups representing a wide swath of both societies in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. A special focus was on the work of nonviolent activists and other peace-builders working to create a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.

"It does not take an expert to realize what is happening here," explains Kathleen Huerter.  "You do not need to be here for weeks or months to grasp the severity of the situation.  You only need to listen to those who have been robbed of their humanity and see the walls that separate a farmer from his land, children from their schools, neighbors from neighbors… and Arabs from Jews.   One cannot witness this reality on the ground and not feel a profound, unfathomable sense of anguish.  The crimes being committed here are not crimes against enemies, they are crimes against humanity."

Kathleen Huerter is a student of Non-Profit Administration and Philosophy, with an emphasis in conflict resolution, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Ms. Huerter is also a mother of a four year-old son.  She is a graduate of Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and attended St. Albert's grade school in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Ms. Huerter is a volunteer with Project Interfaith in Omaha, and actively supports local arts, culture enrichment programs, and human rights campaigns. "Advocating for human rights, equality, and peace is not a simply a hobby of mine," explains Ms. Huerter. "It is my passion in life

The delegation arrived as the Arab Spring gave way to the summer heat, and tensions in the region have continued to rise accordingly. Delegates touched down only days after Israeli lawmakers passed a highly contentious new law criminalizing individuals who call for boycott, divestment, or sanctions against Israel. The bill has been condemned by Israeli and Palestinian civil society groups and free speech advocates in the US and the Middle East.1


Participants spoke with Palestinians and Israelis about these developments and learned from peace activists, civil society leaders, human rights workers, and others in Palestinian and Israeli areas.

Co-sponsored by Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), this delegation was the 38th such experience organized by IFPB since 2001, successfully educating approximately 600 North American citizens about the Middle East and deepening their understanding of its conflicts through eye-witness experiences.



Kathleen Huerter looks forward to discussing her trip directly.  She can be reached at 402-312-1188 or

Please visit her website for more infomation at:




Jacob Pace


Kathleen Huerter





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Assignment 1 - The Claude Project

Posted: 12 Aug 2011 09:04 AM PDT


(So Far)


Claude Burley, a shuttle bus driver for Shands Hospital for Children, moved his family to Ocala after serving 18 years as a police officer in New York City and is the only voice behind 419 African slave remains buried at 290 Broadway New York, New York.


Claude Burley has a love for people, his community, and his culture. He was given the task, along with his wife, Dorris Burley, Dr. Dolores Blakely, and Queen Mother Moore to research and come up with names for all of the ancestors buried at the African Burial Ground and present them as a part of the Redetermined Ceremony.


This ceremony took place October 3rd 2003 at the African Burial Ground Monument and brought people together from around the world. The problem is that the coverage only lasted for one day, and Burley is trying to preserve and educate for a lifetime.


The African Burial Ground was found in 1991 during an excavation for a new federal building and is the largest colonial cemetery found within the past 200 years. Scientists and researchers have documented the culture of these enslaved Africans and how they contributed to what is now New York City. In 2003, the US General Service Administration unveiled the African Burial Ground National Monument to preserve the cemetery and its importance.


Unfortunately, the 419 names that Burley and his team came up with were never put in the Monument; Claude Burley is one of the few with the record of all of them.


He continues his efforts by holding the position as President of the African American Multicultural Association Inc. in Ocala, Florida and creates events to talk to his community about the African American culture and his experiences.


He is holding several events in the near future including: "Friends of Marion Oaks Independence Day Dance" on August 27th, "Bus trip to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida" on October 22nd, and the "Kwanzaa Celebration" on December 31st, all of which are held within the Ocala community and everyone is welcome to join and learn about the African American culture.





I met Claude Burley two weeks ago during my first semester in college because, by chance, I needed a ride to Shands Hospital for Children. By talking to him and hearing his story, my perception of the world has changed forever. He is so inspirational to everyone around him, and I feel that whether his story reaches millions on CNN or only a few hundred in the Gainesville or Ocala community, understanding culture from a different standpoint is critical to the preservation of humanity.





I would love to be a part of this years' boot camp because I want to learn how to creatively inform and educate the public about events and issues that affect them. I am a self-starter and a vibrant reporter, photographer, and writer, and I feel that help from professionals, such as CNN reporters, would be an opportunity of a lifetime.

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Mass vs Fleury

Posted: 12 Aug 2011 08:27 AM PDT

Am commenting on the trial w/ specific regard to whether or not the father should be held accountable.

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Posted: 12 Aug 2011 06:14 AM PDT

The pizza businesses is bombing one slice at a time…one chuckle at a time.

The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg plays a pizza delivery guy who ends up with a bomb-rigged vest wired to go off unless he robs a bank, in the dark comedy "30 minutes of less".



Eisenberg, along with 'Parks and Recreation's' star Aziz Ansari team up to rob a bank because of th Danny McBride's character.

He needs 1-hundred-thousand dollars to pay hit man (Michael Peña) to kill his father, Fred Ward, to get at his inheritance.

Nick Swardson plays McBride's sidekick in a film that is fast-paced and strangely funny.

From the folks who brought you "Zombieland" this film is based on the similar premise. By placing incompetent characters in outrageous situations and facing near death experiences you can find…humor.


Its important to note that "30 minutes or less" was clearly inspired by the case involving Brian Wells back in 2003. Wells, a pizza delivery man, attempted to rob a bank while wearing a collar bomb. The end result for him was not that funny, ending in tragedy….but now that the "stranger than fiction" story is the premise behind this film…we can all just sit back and chuckle for about an hour and a half.

The flick-o-meter gives "30 minutes or less" 3 out of five.

The young actors and comedians have moments of brilliance in this film that is part comedy and part action movie. There is no redeeming social value to this film other than the fact that it is entertaining and you don't feel like you have waisted too much of your time.

Speaking of time, its up here on the show. Click on the QR or quick response code in the video with your iphone or smartphone and send me an email. You will be glad you did.

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