Running on empty

CITY AFFAIRS: The city of Berkeley must find a solution to its pension problem more quickly if it wants to avoid bankruptcy.

At a Berkeley City Council meeting on Feb. 9, 2010, Councilmember Laurie Capitelli said that the consequences of not dealing with a pensions system that costs the city millions of dollars each year “could be really bad” and that “we don’t want to just kick the can further down the
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Playing the field

NATIONAL ISSUES: President Barack Obama and his Republican rivals on the campaign trail should do more to earn the youth vote.

Too often, Democratic politicians take young voters for granted, thinking their votes can be easily captured. Though students surely applaud the attention President Barack Obama has paid to education — as senior Obama strategist David Axelrod showed in a conference call with student journalists on Monday — they already know
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All shout for California

Year after year, semester after semester, UC Berkeley students join together with their fellow Californians to challenge budget cuts and tuition increases and all of the factors they see as an erosion of public higher education in the state. On Thursday, they are again expected to converge on campus. But
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A tragic preoccupation

CITY AFFAIRS: Blaming Occupy Oakland for North Berkeley resident Peter Cukor’s death is a baseless and misguided opinion.

Nobody can predict when events will take a turn for the worse. At a moment’s notice, a frightening situation can become a violent emergency, as it did Saturday evening when North Berkeley resident Peter Cukor was allegedly bludgeoned to death. This incident was tragic, no doubt, but speculation that the
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Giving up the ghost

NATIONAL ISSUES: Conservative politicans need to stop using Obama’s birth control mandate to score quick points this election season.

Political arguments often blur perceptions between right and wrong. In allowing religiously-affiliated institutions to shift the cost of birth control to the health insurance companies they contract, President Barack Obama fulfilled a moral obligation to provide uniform healthcare to all Americans and a political obligation to compromise with respectful dissenters.
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Road rage

CITY AFFAIRS:vThe city of Berkeley’s new ordinance to protect bicyclists is welcome but does little to fortify the effect of existing laws.

For drivers and bicyclists, sharing the road can be a frustrating experience that tests the patience and safety of both parties. An ordinance passed by Berkeley City Council in January, which went into effect Thursday, aims to promote safer roadways for cyclists but fails to do any more than existing
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Engineering equity

CAMPUS ISSUES: The UC Berkeley College of Engineering displays great initiative in its efforts to increase diveristy among students.

While receiving negative press is a destabilizing experience, what follows doesn’t have to be. After the UC Berkeley College of Engineering was spotlighted in an October 2011 California Watch article that uncovered sexism in its male-dominated student culture, the school has made a heartening start toward a more diverse student
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Overcooked occupation

CAMPUS ISSUES: Occupy Cal is back with tents in front of Sproul Hall, but celebrating three months since Nov. 9, 2011, isn’t enough.

Although members of the Occupy movement acknowledge the lack of a uniform message, they nevertheless proved their ability to stand as one. Last semester, Occupy Cal reached its peak when public policy professor Robert Reich spoke to thousands on the evening of Nov. 15. In the time since that moment
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Haste makes waste

CAMPUS ISSUES: While the ASUC Senate can and should make ideological stands, it should not spend student money so recklessly.

Students at UC Berkeley share a passion and desire for advancing justice and making wrongs right. Issues like budget cuts often draw attention from the campus community, and the student government plays an important role in expanding support. But the ASUC Senate’s Feb. 7 bill — which reiterated support for
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The noble struggle

STATE ISSUES: By ruling California’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set a just precedent.

For too long, the rights of same-sex couples have remained suspended in California, inexplicably restricted by a law that is both rationally and morally reprehensible. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Tuesday ruling that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban — passed by ballot initiative Proposition 8 in
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