The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday June 24th


No apathy here: Enthusiasm for local politics a good sign in ’09

Tuesday night’s mayoral candidate debate, sponsored by the Young Democrats and College Republicans, proved that UNC students are eager to participate in local government. Municipal elections tend to focus less on the partisanship and core beliefs that are promoted during national campaigns.The Young Democrats and College Republicans put their convictions aside to bring the four candidates to campus to discuss issues facing Chapel Hill — most of which greatly impact the town’s student population.

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BOE should cut its bloat: N.C. BOE does good work but has become overstaffed

The N.C. Board of Elections employs 65 people to run its day-to-day operations. This is up exponentially from the 1990s, when there were only six. The number of employees increased by almost 1,100 percent in fewer than two decades. This is both unnecessary and excessive.Much of the increase in so-called “elections technicians” was probably due to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which requires states receiving federal funding for elections to maintain a set of nondiscrimination standards.However, that does not tell the whole story.

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Getting hyped for Skype: Admissions uses students, technology effectively

The admissions department continues to make strides in using technology to more effectively reach prospective students in tough economic times. A recruitment event was recently held at Fredericksburg Academy in Virginia — via Skype. This new strategy is an excellent use of new technology and a great way to save money on recruitment trips in the face of a roughly 10 percent cut in admissions funds. A tech-savvy admissions office gives us an added edge. And the evolution of recruitment hasn’t stopped there.

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Rams Club shouldn’t share burden in tough times

TO THE EDITOR:Regarding the article, “Stadium plans ignore reality,” (Oct. 7): The only priorities of the Rams Club that have been distorted are those presented in The Daily Tar Heel. It is one thing to question the spending and budget decisions of the University, since it is, first and foremost, responsible for the education of its students. However, chastising the Rams Club for using part of its $260 million to refurbish Kenan Stadium is an egregious overstepping of bounds.

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QuickHits for Oct. 8

Highest IQThumbs upThe Daily Beast, a reporting and opinion Web site, recently did a study of the intelligence of major U.S. metropolitan areas. Raleigh-Durham came out on top. Guess they didn’t take Duke into account … 

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Bonfires are not ‘innocent fun,’ should be banned

TO THE EDITOR: In response to the “Leaders not anti-bonfire” (Oct. 5) article: I believe someone needs to express how ridiculous the position of the Carolina Athletic Association and Carolina Fever on this issue really is. The idea that the bonfires are an act by consenting adults, who accept risk of harm, is mistaken.One, it ignores the chance, the likelihood really, that someone not involved in the bonfires can be harmed.

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Government the problem in the demise of Northside

TO THE EDITOR:Leave it to a Daily Tar Heel columnist to turn a clear-cut case of government injustice into a racial issue when none exists.Although Domenic Powell himself spells out the cause of the demise of the Northside community (“Turning a blind eye to inequality,” Oct. 6) he is too blinded by ideology to recognize it. Powell correctly points out that when tax assessors determine that a property has increased in market value the government then levies higher taxes on the owners.

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Inclusiveness is great thing about honors program

TO THE EDITOR: Hannah Thurman greatly misconstrued the purpose of the Honors Program at Carolina in “No great ‘honor’ in Carolina program” (Oct. 5). The program aims to promote a stimulating academic environment campus-wide, not just in a small elite population that hides out in special honors dorms and only socializes with honors students. The beauty of it is that anyone can participate.

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No more gifts

The ban on certain state employees accepting gifts enacted by Gov. Bev Perdue is a good step to ensure accountability and transparency within her administration.The executive order, which was signed last week, prohibits any state employee within Perdue’s cabinet from accepting gifts from private organizations.A law in passed in 2007 provided guidelines similar to this policy’s, but this new order expands the definition of a state employee.

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Making the best with cuts

University officials have shown particular finesse over the past months in dealing with budget cuts.Last academic year, students received e-mail update after e-mail update highlighting the different ways the University was going to cope with cuts from the state.And now, administrators’ prudence and foresight is paying off.The University is going to hire 60 new faculty members. Twenty-nine of those hires will be in the College of Arts and Sciences.It’s a great situation to be in, considering the economic climate of the rest of the nation.

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No more gifts: Gov. Perdue signs order restricting her cabinet from accepting private gifts, increasing transparency

The ban on certain state employees accepting gifts enacted by Gov. Bev Perdue is a good step to ensure accountability and transparency within her administration.The executive order, which was signed last week, prohibits any state employee within Perdue’s cabinet from accepting gifts from private organizations.A law in passed in 2007 provided guidelines similar to this policy’s, but this new order expands the definition of a state employee.

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Don’t pull a Kanye: Bring a ‘wingman’

Kanye West is a tremendous role model.By chugging Hennessy on the red carpet and stealing the microphone from Taylor Swift during the MTV Music Awards, he did something a goodie-two-shoes like Will Smith could never pull off — providing a vivid display of how alcohol can turn a talented, intelligent entertainer into a complete jackass (Sorry, I stole that from President Obama).

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Making the best with cuts: University o?cials have successfully coped with budget cuts, can even hire new faculty

University officials have shown particular finesse over the past months in dealing with budget cuts.Last academic year, students received e-mail update after e-mail update highlighting the different ways the University was going to cope with cuts from the state.And now, administrators’ prudence and foresight is paying off.The University is going to hire 60 new faculty members. Twenty-nine of those hires will be in the College of Arts and Sciences.It’s a great situation to be in, considering the economic climate of the rest of the nation.

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Television helps gays become accepted

In an article in The Daily Tar Heel last week, N.C. Pride spokesman Keith Hayes said, “Now the (N.C. Gay Pride) parade is really about celebrating what we have accomplished for gay civil rights — free from fear.” But even with gay marriage legal in four states and Gay-Straight Alliances at hundreds of schools, many people still adopt the quasi-tolerant stance of NIMBY: Not in My Backyard.But what about on your TV?

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Stadium plans ignore reality

Surf over to NewKenan.com, the site detailing the planned renovation to Kenan Stadium that’s estimated to cost more than $70 million.There are fancy videos about “premium suites” and information about luxury boxes with flat-screen TVs and wet bars. Talk about cognitive dissonance. Every day I read articles about how we’re in the Great Recession — the worst economic downturn in 70 years. (Maybe the cost of renovation is supposed to be a nod to the time that has elapsed since the Great Depression — at a million dollars a year).

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Bring on the debate

Since 1795, students of the University of North Carolina have aggressively used First Amendment rights and frequently petitioned our school for redress of grievances. And our unique public university perspective on state action and prior restraint has often encouraged debate on what exactly qualifies as the abridgement of speech on our campus.The ongoing Youth for Western Civilization debacle has shed more light on the subject. We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly as this issue has run its course.

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Coal protests miss point: Climate Action Plan will enhance UNC’s energy habits

Recent criticisms of the University’s use of coal and activists’ calls for faster action to end its use are unreasonable.The Climate Action Plan has already put long-term goals in place to reduce dependency on coal and convert the Cameron Avenue plant to use alternative fuel. Protesters feel that the University could be doing more and doing it faster. But the plan sets far more realistic and attainable goals and leaves the door open for longer-term innovation.

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McElveen is a sensible choice for School Board

TO THE EDITOR:One of our votes in the school board election will proudly go to our friend and former neighbor Greg McElveen. As one currently serving on the board, he has demonstrated the qualities required to make our great district even better. His active involvement in the Parent Teacher Student Association Board and the District Strategic Planning Committee are just a few of his efforts. Greg is committed to bringing about excellence for all students. We encourage voters to go to his Web site, www.mcelveenforschoolboard.org, and learn more about Greg.

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