NOTICE TO SUBSTANCE READERS: Censorship thwarted... CPS was trying to limit viewership at SubstanceNews

This is a "Thank You" from the editors and staff of Substance. The attempt by Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman and his staff to block Substance has been thwarted, although we expect a few minor problems to continue. Thanks to the alertness of the readers of SubstanceNews at, we were able to stop and attack on the site by the Chicago Public Schools. The attack included blocking access to our site from all computers utilizing the CPS network. These included non-CPS computers and other devices that CPS people tried to operate through the CPS network. Additionally, Substance is working to identify the source of other spam-type "warnings" that some of our readers have been getting during the past week.

Beginning in January, when we witnessed an unprecedented increase in traffic to, we also began preparing for disruption of the site by those who are miffed by our unprecedented and critical coverage of national and local news about public education. Between January 1, 2010, and March 31, 2010 (our first quarter), we received more than 1.6 million hits to this site. By the end of March, we began noticing two interrelated problems, although at first they were symptoms we didn't see as related to the same cause. Some people (especially those trying to access SubstanceNews from CPS computers) noticed that opening the site was delayed for a long time.

We will continue to monitor the website. At the same time, we have now reviewed and finalized our model for the relationship of website and print publication. The May 2010 edition of Substance (print) will be mailed to our print subscribers by May 10, 2010, and will include materials we will not have published to the website prior to print publication.

Please contact the editor (email if you are facing any unusual problems getting to the Substance websites (both and the "old" site for back issues to 2002,

You can also help us expand by giving a gift (print) subscription or two to friends either by mailing those directly to Substance, 5132 W. Berteau, Chicago, IL 60641 ($16 for each sub; check payable to Substance) or making a donation to Substance utilizing the DONATE button on the right side here (scroll down).

We also hope that regular Substance readers will show interest in and support for our advertisers, who have made the effort. Thanks.

George N. Schmidt, Editor, Substance, April 22, 2010


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