A compromise that should not be made

Being a public official, I believe it is my responsibility to advocate for the best policies for the people of California. As the vice chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I know firsthand that there are always tough choices when it comes to making budget decisions during state budget negotiations,
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Enough with getting tough on CA prisons

Locking up bad guys comforts us in a very primal way. But after almost 30 years of “get tough” policies favoring stronger inmate penalties, we need to recast the debate away from emotion and look at the evidence. We must be smart on crime to see what correctional practices actually
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Realigning the criminal justice system in California

On Oct. 1, 2011 the California criminal justice system began a massive reform involving transferring responsibility for managing convicted offenders from state to local agencies. Known as “realignment”, this change was proposed by Gov. Brown and endorsed by a majority of the Democrats in the Legislature. Almost all the Republicans
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Finding fault

BAY AREA AFFAIRS: Given the slew of recent earthquakes in Berkeley, the level of safety and awareness in the community is worrisome.

In the last few weeks, the ground has trembled beneath the feet of Berkeley community members about 20 times, shaking up not only our nerves but also our assurance that we would be safe should the “Big One” hit. It is our perception that if a catastrophic earthquake were to
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Social networking

NATIONAL ISSUES: A survey reveals that law schools are more likely to scan the Internet during admissions — applicants beware.

In applying to law school, the next person to peruse your Facebook profile may not be the attractive economics major in your public policy class. This social media inspector could very well be a law school admissions officer. Law schools are more likely to search for an applicant online than
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Halloween is never a drag

Halloween Special

Thumbing through the Target costume section, my Dad and I land on the frilly pink Barbie costume at the exact same moment. I stare with horrified intrigue at the pink velour, the frizzy tulle streaked with white and the gold B signature stylishly crafted on the right hip. “Ohh,” my
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When you see doubles on Halloween

The witch, the ghost, the Nixon mask — Halloween costumes can be classic but a bit stereotypical. For instance, look at what people searched this year on the Internet: some of the top Googled Halloween costumes were Nicki Minaj, Charlie Sheen and Angry Birds. These fan favorites are aligned to
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Educate yourself about the cuts

This is just a quick quiz to tell if the budget cuts affect you. Have you ever or do you currently: attend a public school? Use public transportation? Enjoy public libraries, swimming pools, parks or infrastructure? Hope that future generations will have access to these things as well? If you
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What I saw at Occupy Oakland

An Open Letter to Mayor Jean Quan

Mayor Quan, Over the past two weeks, my friends and I have camped at, donated food to and joined in the nightly general assemblies of the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza (also popularly known as Oscar Grant Plaza) off and on. I am a graduate student in city
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