Category: Opinion

Art by Ken Zhang/Falcon Artist

Hurricane Sandy recovery must involve long-term solutions

Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the United States on Oct. 29 near Atlantic City, N.J. and would become the most deadly storm to hit the Northeast since Hurricane Diane in 1955, according to Weather Underground. Before she was done,  Sandy caused $36.9 billion of damage in New Jersey alone destroying more than 72,000 homes and businesses, according to Gov. Chris Christie. She also affected another 23 states along the Eastern Seaboard in some way, making her the most costly hurricane in U.S. history behind only Hurricane Katrina, according to CBS News. The emergency response by civilian and government responders likely saved ...
Art by Michelle Oberman/Falconer

Staff Ed: The Virginia Board of Education proposed staggered acceptable passing rates with the highest acceptable rate for Asians at 82 percent, and lower rates for others.

They are Asian. If 82 percent of them meet education benchmarks in math, it has been a successful school year. They are Latino. If 52 percent of them meet education benchmarks in math, it has been an equally successful school year. Such is the stance that the Virginia State Board of Education has taken in its new set of education goals. While all students are expected to correctly answer the same number of questions to pass state standardized tests regardless of race, the percentages of students who are expected to pass the tests for the school to have been successful vary by race: In math, for example, these rates are 33 percen...
falcon

Criticism of Susan Rice is unfair and arbitrary

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to leave her post in January, speculation has abounded concerning her successor. One of President Barack Obama’s possible nominees for the position, who must be confirmed by the Senate, is Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Congressional Republicans have challenged Rice’s capabilities in light of her comments following the recent Benghazi embassy attack, but the criticisms leveled against her are unfair, counterproductive attempts by conservatives to undermine the Obama administration. After the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans...
yoga

Encinitas parents should embrace yoga

The Encinitas Union School District has started offering Ashtanga yoga classes as a form of physical education in elementary schools, much to the dismay of some parents. A group of parents believes that the district is spreading Buddhist and Hindu influence through the classes, and has threatened to take legal action if the "religious indoctrination" is not stopped. In their premature opposition to the classes, parents have failed to observe the district officials’ positive intentions to incorporate innovation and relaxation in the curriculum. Yoga is rapidly gaining popularity around the globe. While the practice was developed as ...
lance-armstrong

Armstrong deserves titles despite doping allegations

On Oct. 10, the United States Anti-Doping Agency released hundreds of documents, including eyewitness testimonies, emails, financial records and lab reports, providing substantial evidence that famed Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and methods on numerous occasions during his racing career. As punishment, the USADA has prohibited Armstrong from cycling professionally and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles, a decision recently approved by the International Cycling Union. Armstrong’s career has been essentially erased from the record books. Although the USADA’s reports indicting Arm...
GMO

Genetically modified foods should be labeled

California voters will decide on Nov. 6 how much they get to know about the food they eat. Proposition 37 proposes the mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms throughout the state. It is vital that the proposition passes, because as GMOs have never existed as a fundamental part of the human diet, their long-term effects are still not known. Each consumer deserves to have enough information to decide whether or not to purchase modified food products. Labeling products containing GMOs would help consumers make informed decisions and avoid the potentially dangerous effects of genetically altered foods. Passing this legisl...
falcon

Proposition AA needs significant re-focusing

On Nov. 6, voters in the SDUHSD will vote on Proposition AA, a proposed $449 million general obligation bond that would support the renovation of classrooms and other facilities, upgrades to district technology, labs and libraries, and the construction of a new middle school and general use facility in the northern part of the district. A tax hike would cover the costs of the bond, which would be issued in four installments over six years.  Property taxes on residents would increase by $25 per $100,000 of assessed property valuation. Although some infusion of funding is necessary to alleviate the district’s financial problems, c...
gayconversion curtout

Brown rightly prohibits gay teen conversion therapy

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Sept. 30 banning the use of conversion therapy, which aims to reverse homosexuality in minors, making California the first state in the nation to do so. Conversion therapy, also referred to as reparative therapy, has "no medical basis," according to Reuters. The signing of the bill is not only a success for gay rights advocates but a step in the right direction for the state of California and the entire nation. When looked back upon decades from now, California will be on the right side of history. The creation and use of this "therapy" operates on the principle that homosexuality is a choice and ...
ShainainEthiopia

Personal Perspective

Natalie Tesfai has lied to me before. So when she told me that it would rain every day during our first week in Ethiopa, I only brought shorts. In my mind, Africa was all desert, regardless of what I was told. So when I stepped outside after the 13-hour flight to see lush green under an endless, gray sky, I knew this trip was going to be different than I had imagined. Natalie Tesfai is a first generation Ethiopian-American, and she invited me and our friend Natalie Dunn to go on a trip with her family to her parents’ native country. We gathered around an enourmous circular table at a restaurant in Addis Ababa, the city where her mo...
falcon

Airline should be punished for blatant discrimination

A California family was barred from boarding an American Airlines plane because their 16-year-old son has Down syndrome and was considered a risk to flight safety. The airline claims that Bede Vanderhorst acted agitated in the waiting area, but video of the incident recorded by his mother, Joan, clearly shows Bede calmly playing, with no indication of potential risk. Robert Vanderhorst said that his son had flown more than 30 times in the past without incident. Joan also said this flight was the first time the family had flown first class and believed this might have been one reason they were denied their seats. Denying a passenger ...