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These tumultuous political times have not only people on cable
news questioning each other’s political views, but also people in
daily life. Of course the pundits on television will debate each
other while acting as if they cannot even fathom the merits of
their opponent’s viewpoints — they have to put on an entertaining
show. But what surprises me is that people in daily life — fellow
students, coworkers and sometimes professors cannot seem to fathom
the merits of or entertain the thought of opposing political
New Jersey has been given a unique chance to re-evaluate its
approach to education free from the impositions of the national
education reform program No Child Left Behind Act. President Barack
Obama exempted New Jersey and nine other states from the act’s
requirements last week, citing the states’ struggles to address
proficiency gaps between students of low- and high-income
The recent death of the iconic pop singer Whitney Houston has
been met with solemn and commemorative sentiment from the public.
However, this sentiment has not been without controversy, and, in
certain instances, insensitivity — the most recent example being
the public’s reaction to Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to fly
flags at half-staff in honor of the Newark, N.J. native.
Gov. Chris Christie has proposed to give judges the power to
deny bail to repeat violent offenders. Keeping exceptionally
dangerous criminals off the street is always a welcomed effort, but
Christie’s new measure seems to do little to help achieve this goal
that the state’s present policy doesn’t already do.In order to grant judges this authority, the state’s constitution
would have to be amended, and Christie has proposed including
questions about the amendment on the next general election ballot.
Of course, the idea seems well-intentioned, as it does have the
welfare of N.J. citizens in mind.
Foreclosed homes in towns across the state could become
affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families under the
New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act, a recent
proposal outlined by state Senate and Assembly Democrats. And with
home foreclosures on the rise following the nation’s housing
crisis, the proposal seems to be a creative way to put these vacant
spaces to use — but the policy alone does not do enough to cater to
Because health issues in young children, like obesity, are
serious concerns in communities nation-wide, it seems physical
education would be more important than ever for public schools. But
for some school districts, like Redwood City School District in
California, budget cuts and losses in state funding have rendered
physical education programs an unaffordable luxury.
Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, and for couples on campus that means
lots of candy, lots of flowers — and, hopefully, lots of sex. Even
now, many of us may be taking the appropriate preventive measures,
which means scrambling at the last minute to find a supply of
contraceptives large enough to last us through the day. And just in
case the condom breaks, we’re making sure we know Plan B – or at
least the nearest pharmacy where we can get it.
Life’s not fair — or so the saying goes. The old adage is used
often as justification for the many injustices, inequalities and
hardships we may face throughout our lives. But there are certain
instances where its application falls a little short — like using
it to justify the income gap between families who can and cannot
afford to send their children to private schools. During an
interview on NJTV’s “New Jersey Capital Report,” Vincent Giordano,
executive director of the New Jersey Education Association, did
Railroad tracks can be a hazard for riders and pedestrians.
Commuter trains, running at extremely high speeds, can only afford
to show so much consideration for pedestrians who might find
themselves too close to the tracks. So, it is important that
transit companies do all they can to create a safer environment
around these rails. In an effort to build on already existing
safety measures and reduce on accidental deaths along N.J. railroad
tracks, N.J. Transit announced Wednesday that they will implement a
number of new precautions, including a pilot program to evaluate
the effectiveness of gate skirts and warning signs.
For public universities across the country, budget cuts and
losses in state funding have left school administrations scrambling
to fill the gaps. Shedding unneeded luxuries, less popular programs
and employees are among the default measures taken at many
universities in order to ensure that the price of tuition remains
constant, and their budgets are balanced.
As the same-sex marriage in debate New Jersey continues to
preoccupy the conversations of residents and politicians, state
legislators should look to other states also battling with the
issue’s legalization. Six states and Washington, D.C. currently
recognize, or are soon to recognize, same-sex unions while as many
as 30 states have added amendments banning same-sex marriage to
Former Gov. John S. Corzine signed the New Jersey Compassionate
Use Medical Marijuana Act in January 2010, effectively making the
state the 14th in the country to legalize marijuana for medical
purposes. Yet in the two years that followed, little progress was
made regarding efforts to open up dispensaries or growing
facilities within the state.Since the law’s signing, state-approved centers beginning
operations have faced a sluggish response from both the state’s
health department and a certain unwillingness to accommodate their
facilities from N.J. townships.
When the University unveiled its $7.5 million visitor center on
Busch campus in October 2009, the reaction from students and
community members was mixed with both wonder and confusion. Wonder,
at the sight of the state-of-the-art, two-story building whose
giant white “R” is visible from Route 18 — and confusion, at the
decision to spend $7.5 million on a brand new facility that seemed,
to many, unnecessary.
When news of a child sex abuse case broke last year involving
Penn State’s former assistant head coach Jerry Sandusky, many were
outraged. Among the incident’s ramifications were the firing of Joe
Paterno, the school’s former head coach, as well as the charging of
the school’s athletic director and a top official with perjury for
failing to report the suspected child abuse.
The recent preservation of one of the largest remaining
undeveloped properties in Raritan Township has been a serious
accomplishment, according to town officials. After years of effort,
a 108-acre portion of property consisting of farm fields, forests
and scenic waterfalls has been set aside for recreational use.
“There aren’t many chances to preserve a property in Raritan
Township where you can go for a walk through woods and fields,”
said Kate Buttolph, director of land acquisition and stewardship at
Hunterdon Land Trust.
At first glance, Hamilton Street, off of Easton Avenue, seems
like the last place one would want to establish roots for the
city’s first fashion district. Hamilton Street is largely
residential, aesthetically unpleasing and, with few spaces to house
a chic designer store, seems to hold little potential for serving
as the beginning of a fashion hub.
But the New Brunswick Zoning Board of Adjustment, who intends to
establish the first retail designer store there, seems to think
Tensions between administrators and students at Pomona College
in Claremont, California, emerged last week in response to the
firing of a number of campus employees. Late last year, after
internal reviews found a number of problems in the administration’s
files, letters requesting proof of legal residency were sent to
employees across the campus. A total of 17 employees — all but one
of which worked in the campus’ dining hall — failed to produce such
documentation and were let go shortly thereafter.
Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that provides
reproductive and maternal health services to women across the
country, recently lost one of its biggest financial backers. The
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a major financial supporter of
breast-cancer education, announced Tuesday that it would end its
funding to Planned Parenthood, outraging many who view these
services as essential to providing the public with affordable
access to healthcare.
Gov. Chris Christie’s recent nomination of the first openly gay
black man and first immigrant to the N.J. Supreme Court has lately
come under criticism. Some scrutinize Philip Kwon, a South
Korean-born immigrant, in response to a federal case involving
Kwon’s family, while others questioned possible conflicting
interests regarding nominee Bruce Harris, who in the past has
advocated for gay rights.
In an effort to cut down on what they see as “fraud and abuse
and waste of taxpayer dollars,” Republicans in the House of
Representatives have proposed a bill that would ban the use of
welfare debit cards at strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos,
according to a Huffington Post article. The bill’s sponsor, Rep.
Charles Boustany, R-La., argued that this measure represents House
Republicans’ commitment to preserving the integrity of government
programs like welfare and to helping struggling families.