opinions » oped


Pro/Con: Eliminating senior year

By Ava Wallace Rose Wynn | March 31, 2010, 8:34 p.m. | In Op/Ed »

To cut costs in the Cottonwood Heights education system, Senator Chris Buttars (R - Utah) suggested statewide elimination of senior year in public high school. He dubbed 12th grade a year of "nothing but playing around" and advised lawmakers not to waste their bucks on slacking seniors. While some juniors feel they have completed high school and are ready to engage in bigger and better things come senior year, others feel 12th grade provides essential opportunities and time for mental, social and intellectual development.


Out of the dark

By Rose Wynn | March 4, 2010, 10:59 p.m. | In Op/Ed »

For 16 years, they've served in silence. They've risked their lives for those who didn't believe in them, for states that denied their right to love and for a country that forced them to conceal their true identity.


Mission possible

By Sophia Deng | Jan. 16, 2010, 9:13 p.m. | In Op/Ed »

What do Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and first-semester seniors have in common? The college craze.


Pro/Con: Calorie crackdown

By Blake Morgan-Gamber Mandy Xu | Dec. 25, 2009, 2:26 p.m. | In Op/Ed »

Montgomery County Council members passed a measure on Nov. 17 requiring some restaurants to post calorie counts on menus and menu boards. The law, which was passed by an 8-1 vote, requires restaurants in the Maryland county with 20 or more outlets nationwide to post calorie counts alongside food items and provide additional nutritional information to customers upon request.


A step in the right direction

By Katie Sint | Dec. 2, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

"We're about to embark on an exciting journey here in the city," D.C. Council member David A. Catania said. Addressing city council members in a packed room, Catania gave a voice to the hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian Americans living in the District. And now, with one piece of legislation, Catania is giving them all hope.


Managing medical marijuana

By Anya Gosine | Nov. 23, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The federal government's past policies on medical marijuana produced the following side effects: distorted perception, issues with logic and problem-solving and delusion. The amount of illegal drug users and dealers in the country shows the government's War on Drugs has been in vain. But at last, a new policy from the Obama administration will provide sanity in the long-drawn conflict.


A Rhee-evaluation

By Blake Morgan-Gamber | Nov. 8, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The D.C. public school system (DCPS) faces a long list of obstacles standing in the way of improvement, chief among them $40 million in budget cuts. This financial deficit has led to the mass firing of more than 200 schoolteachers, according to the Washington Post.


An Ig-Nobel choice

By Sophia Deng | Oct. 21, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

"Wow." That was White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's email message upon learning that President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama's right-hand man wasn't the only one in shock - the president himself admitted to being "very surprised" and "deeply humbled."


The tweet life

By Rose Wynn | Oct. 20, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

On June 23 at 8:35 p.m., the tweeting world was abuzz. Bruce Manley, the official "King of H.O.R.S.E. Trick Shots," had just been offered $1,000 to defend his title. But it wasn't just any audacious ballplayer who offered Manley a large allowance for a little friendly competition.


A taste of zing

By Anya Gosine | Aug. 26, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The opponents: the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the White House family. The source: the Healthy School Campaign's posters advocating a healthier lifestyle for the youth of America. It's not your typical food fight.


From blue and gold to black

By Anya Gosine | July 30, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In any sport, the job of the referee is to call out fouls and resolve disputes. But every so often the referee makes a bad call, and every so often it is not unintentional. Such is the situation in the case of People v. Eric Frimpong.


Climate change on center stage

By Ava Wallace | July 23, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

A rare comfort in a time of economic chaos and tumultuous health care reform is that world leaders have not pushed global warming to the bottom of their laundry list of goals. At the G-8 Summit two weeks ago the environment was one of the key issues on the agenda.


Stripped of her rights

By Jeremy Gradwohl | May 27, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

After a fellow student accused then-13-year-old Savana Redding of possessing drugs, school officials in Safford, Ariz. acted quickly. Not content with a mere pat-down, they demanded a full strip-search to ensure that Redding in fact had no drugs on her person.


Barack Obama: the next FDR?

By Sophia Deng | April 28, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

By passing 12 pieces of New Deal legislation during his first 100 days in office, 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set a monumental standard for subsequent presidents to follow. Although a president's first 100 days were an insignificant matter before FDR's presidency, this period became a benchmark of political effectiveness after Roosevelt set his golden standard. In fact, 70 years later, the first 100 days are still used as a predictor for the future success of a president's term.


Time to legalize

By Charles Kong | April 12, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Last month, California legislator Tom Ammiano introduced the nation's first bill that would legalize, regulate and tax the commercial use of marijuana in California. Not only will the revenue generated help California's crumbling economy, the regulation of marijuana may also lead the nation one step closer to ending the war on drugs by eliminating the underground industry.


Throw them out

By Sophia Deng | April 2, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Pain and stress are etched on students' faces as they lug heavy stacks of books, ranging from English literature to chemistry to art history, around school. It's nearly May, and although April showers will bring May flowers, they also carry something more ominous to high school students around the nation - AP tests.


Social network or social experiment?

By David Tao | March 22, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

On Feb. 4, Facebook, the world's largest social networking site, made a subtle change to its Terms of Service. Previously, Facebook users granted the corporation a license to use content they posted "on or in connection with" the network. The new terms, however, eliminated language stating that the license would automatically expire once a user deleted their account. Anything a user has ever uploaded onto the site could be archived and reused even if a user quits Facebook.


Taxation without representation

By Lauren Kestner | March 18, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In 1998, Congress appended a series of partisan and seemingly arbitrary "riders," additional provisions that had little connection to the subject matter of a bill, to the Fiscal Year 1999 budget designed by the D.C. Council. Some of the more outlandish restrictions included provisions preventing unmarried couples from adopting children and banning the use of D.C. funds for needle exchange programs. But the most egregious "riders" were those provisions that prohibited the D.C. local government's campaign for more equitable representation in Congress.


The benevolent bag tax

By Charles Kong | March 1, 2009, 11:50 p.m. | In Op/Ed »

Last Tuesday, D.C. Council member Tommy Wells introduced a proposal that, if passed, would charge shoppers five cents for each plastic and paper bag they use from grocery stores, convenience stores and other businesses in D.C. The bill, called the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009, aims to raise money to clean and restore the Anacostia River and dissuade the use of new bags.


Pro/Con: Dropping the GT label

By Sophia Deng Julia Wynn | Feb. 17, 2009, 10:50 p.m. | In Op/Ed »

In the 1970s, amid parachute pants and anti-war demonstrations, "Gifted and Talented" (GT) labeling had just been introduced to elementary schools in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) as a tentative and undeveloped idea. Three decades later, 40 percent of MCPS second graders are labeled GT and receive accelerated instruction, according to the Washington Post.


A flawed system

By Lauren Kestner | Jan. 11, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In March of 1985, Kirk Bloodsworth was sentenced to death in Baltimore County for the brutal rape and murder of nine-year-old Dawn Hamilton. He was granted a new trial through the Maryland Court of Appeals due to exculpatory evidence withheld by the prosecution, but his sentence was only reduced to two life terms without parole. Eight years later, with the advent of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) DNA testing, Bloodsworth was acquitted and released from prison on June 28, 2003. Bloodsworth's eight-year incarceration and near-execution for a crime that he did not commit exemplifies a flawed capital punishment system in Maryland.


Rising costs, limited access

By Charles Kong | Jan. 5, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

For most upperclassmen, winter break is about scheduling fun around college applications. But even once those acceptance letters start rolling in, the stress of payment is only beginning. In a time when the economy has officially entered into a recession, when state and local budgets are in serious deficit, when jobs are being lost by the thousands, when families are losing their homes to foreclosure and when a federal bailout plan has yet to demonstrate its success, the rising costs for college have never been more overwhelming.


A step towards security

By Deepa Chellappa | Dec. 27, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Last June, a waiter at the Red Robin restaurant in Lakeforest Mall was stabbed to death by an 18-year-old man who, six weeks earlier, had been caught by police with marijuana at an elementary school. The following August, a Silver Spring man died after allegedly being attacked with a metal bat by his roommate. In October, an elderly Bethesda woman was burned alive in her house. And just last month, a 14-year-old Blazer, Tai Lam, was shot and killed on a county bus.


Legal but unethical

By Charles Kong | Dec. 3, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Imagine that a college student is given the chance to gossip about anything he or she wants, uncensored with the guarantee of anonymity. Now imagine that everyone from 500 different colleges is given the same chance, and the result is JuicyCampus.com. Free to use, JuicyCampus is an anonymous online forum that encourages people to gossip about campus-related or other topics of their own choosing. Popular tags this week include "girls," "hot," "sex," "gay" and "frat." Blog entries revolve around topics that are derogatory, profane, obscene and racist. Threads on campus hook-ups, freshman sluts and overweight students are all the rage.


SmartBikes: a smart choice

By Jeremy Gradwohl | Nov. 29, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In Barcelona, they call it "Bicing." In Paris, it's "Velib." The wave of public bicycle sharing programs that has swept through Europe has finally arrived in the U.S., with a successful system implemented in Washington, D.C. as of August. Now, Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin is proposing a similar pilot program for Montgomery County. The program is vital to the citizens in their efforts to conserve the environment, save money and reduce traffic.

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