The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday January 24th


Facilitating waste

As you read this, the town of Chapel Hill slowly plods along with its debate over whether to change the name of Airport Road to honor Martin Luther King Jr. The 17-person committee has two full-day meetings coming up in two short weeks, but the recently released meeting schedule already has left some committee members reconsidering their participation.

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Free expression should be respected for everyone in the University community

TO THE EDITOR: Our founding fathers had a vision when founding this nation. It included rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At the University, we often say the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to free expression, but we refuse to guarantee this right equally to all our community's members. During my first semester here, fall 2002, my family visited from Charlotte.

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Vote early and vote Democratic for this year's local and national election races

TO THE EDITOR: Any voter registered in Orange County can cast an early vote from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Morehead Building during the next two weeks. I encourage all students to take advantage of this option - it's much easier than getting to the correct polling place on Nov. 2. There are a few intricacies of the ballot that people should be aware of before voting. First, voting a straight ticket does not cast a ballot for that party's presidential candidate. Voters must select a candidate for president separately.

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Protecting privacy

The release of a UNC athlete's name in conjunction with information about his drug test results is an invasion of the student's privacy and should be an embarrassment to officials. Athletics officials should work with the Office of University Counsel to devise a system to ensure that lapses of this sort do not happen again in the future.

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Improper business

Patrick Ballantine, R-New Hanover, spent 10 years in the N.C. Senate, and for two of them, he was on the payroll of Image Products Inc. of Wilmington and charged with finding new customers. For that two years of work, he was paid about $11,000. During that time, Ballantine peddled his wares to a number of trade associations and lobby groups with business before the Senate. Representatives from these groups said that Ballantine was responsible for securing at least three contracts for his employer.

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Equitable funding

It's an unfortunate but widely known fact in the scientific community that researchers also have to be businessmen in order to secure funds. But getting a grant from the National Science Foundation became a little easier last week, allowing researchers to focus more of their efforts on science. The foundation's governing board voted last Thursday to end the requirement for projects on which the NSF requests applications. Unsolicited proposals will still have to pay for 1 percent of the research-grant money that they are allotted.

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A necessary pause

There's a serious problem with North Carolina's legal system when we find that the star witness in a death-penalty case "had to make up a story," to satisfy the police. As outrageous as it might sound, prosecutors had these words on tape in the case of Alan Gell, who was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1998 for a murder he didn't commit.

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More than money

For the most part, students who decide to attend UNC trust that they've chosen a university that will serve their needs, value their contributions and give equal treatment to each of them. But, as is evident from a recently released report, most of UNC's faculty members aren't nearly as confident - and the administration needs to do a better job of mitigating the confusion.

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Providing the rationale for a complex newsroom decision

My words shouldn't be filling this space. Those of you who are regular readers of Robin Sinhababu's Tuesday column likely have noted that already. But I recently made the decision to terminate Sinhababu's tenure as a columnist for The Daily Tar Heel, and I owe our readers an explanation. The paper's Conflict of Interest Policy has been a guiding document for all DTH staff members, from the newest hire to the most seasoned member of the paper's management team, since time immemorial.

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Revelry dampened

The UNC football team has taken the field against N.C. State many times since the teams first played in 1894, but the last-minute 30-24 win for the Tar Heels last Saturday was one that fans of both teams will remember for years to come.

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Security officials should have allowed students to storm Kenan after State win

TO THE EDITOR: I'm writing to express my disapproval of how the post-game celebrations were handled by the security personnel at Saturday's game. The person in charge of security at the game must have recognized that we were going to storm the field regardless of their efforts. Why then, did they not cut their losses and open the gates, allowing students to storm the field safely? As far as I could tell, the only damage to the field came from the wasted efforts to keep us off of it.

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Columnist failed to respect choices by Iraqi women, disregards traditions

TO THE EDITOR: Upon reading Emily Batchelder's last two commentaries I have to admit, as a guy, that she did a great job expressing the plight of women and dutifully acknowledging what needs to done. I don't want to appear to be misogynistic fella', but I refuse to accept "contraception is a basic standard of health care and should be viewed as such by the President." There is nothing wrong with pursuing your own agendas. The country has more problems to deal with than your perception of what the president ought to do.

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A missed discourse

As Americans, as North Carolinians and as college students, we all must agree that terrorism is an important issue. Iraq is an important issue. Jobs and the economy are important issues - and all of these topics deserve the weight given them. But presidential and gubernatorial candidates shouldn't lose university education in the mix. Governor Easley and state Sen. Ballantine should devote more of their campaign time to talking about how Americans can pay for college - as should President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

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Taking it too far

An individual has the right to burn his own U.S. flag - but freedom becomes a felony when he destroys someone else's personal property. P olitics on campus got out of hand Wednesday. The flag-burning episode in the Pit pitted two different ideologies against each other - and protester Kevin Sellers crossed the line between being civil and being disrespectful. Trying to destroy another person's property is not a productive way to demonstrate a point of view, not to mention that it's illegal.

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11th-hour success

Carolina Athletic Association ocials should be commended for their success in booking singer John Legend for the Homecoming concert. W ith the clock ticking away, though the Carolina Athletic Association is still smarting from bungled negotiations with Sister Hazel, the organization has turned UNC's Homecoming concert from a ho-hum show into an event to anticipate. Goodbye, one-hit wonder rock band Sister Hazel. Hello, in-demand session player and up-and-coming neo-soul crooner John Legend.

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Richer or poorer

State governments should work hard to narrow a gap in the amount of money that high-poverty and low-poverty school districts receive. A lthough the years of the economic bubble showed promise for equality, the disparity between high-poverty and low-poverty school districts has started to grow again in recent years.

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A wet alternative

Cleaners everywhere should move to replace the dangerous chemical perchloroethylene with a "wet" method that's environmentally sound. S ome dry cleaners in the Triangle area have begun to use materials that create less pollution than before. One business has even gone so far as to adopt an entirely "wet" cleaning method that doesn't use the toxic chemicals associated with traditional dry cleaning.

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Unprofessional act

A UNC chemistry professor's decision to host a Playboy photo shoot was unfortunate and could damage his relationship with students. C hemistry professor Malcolm Forbes chose to host Playboy's photo shoot for its "Girls of the ACC" issue at his home. His decision to accommodate the magazine is disappointing, to say the least. Although he might not have broken any specific University rules, he did fall well short of upholding the ethical standards necessary for a professor to maintain a proper relationship with his or her students.

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Don't stop blowing

A total ban on leaf blowers would be too extreme, so town officials should consider a less restrictive measure to reduce some of the noise. T he Chapel Hill Town Council heard Monday residents' comments about a proposal to rid the area of leaf blowers, which have been called noisy and which cause pollution. Council member Cam Hill has led the effort to end local use of the machines. Some of the town's residents have chimed in, expressing concerns that their sidewalk experiences have been disrupted by the noise created by blowers.

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Allow me to give my very own State of the University address

Today, Chancellor Moeser will give his remarks concerning the state of the University. To mark the occasion, in place of my regular column, I would like to present a few observations of my own on the turnover of a new academic year: -Pepsi now controls the vast share of soft drink sales on our campus, but Student Stores still sells glass bottles of Coke - and for some reason, they still taste better than any other cola product.

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