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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail: Sept. 21

    Pass

    No fun in the forest for fire starters

    Cousins Caleb and David Malboeuf have been barred from access to national forest lands after being accused of starting the blaze that led to the Wallow Fire. The two are suspected of having created the campfire that escaped its fire ring and caused the destruction of 835 square miles in Arizona, as well as 23 square miles in New Mexico. Additionally, the fire took out 32 homes, four rental cabins and cost more than $79 million in firefighter response. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Aspey outlined that the Malboeuf cousins are only allowed to go into the forestlands with their attorney in hopes of developing their legal defense. No other activity is permitted. While it’s tough to hang the blame entirely on two cousins who started a campfire, it’s best to not run the risk of letting them back into the forestlands without full knowledge of the events. For playing it safe, Aspey gets a pass.

    Pass

    Prop 8 trial video to be released

    The court hearing on the legality of the now infamous California Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the state, will be released on video. The trial was initially going to be televised, but the U.S. Supreme Court quickly shut that down. However, Judge Vaughn R. Walker insisted the proceedings be recorded on video for the court record. Now that Walker is retired, Judge James Ware insisted that the release of the court records (including the video recordings) is “foremost among the aspects of the federal judicial system that foster public confidence in the fairness and integrity of the process.” Proponents of Prop 8 are diligently fighting this release, and Ware himself is awaiting appeals. Ultimately, the public interest in this matter is so great that it justifies the release of the video recorded proceedings. A hot button topic like same-sex marriage is so polarizing that it’s important to understand exactly where the opposition is coming from and what their arguments are, specifically their legal arguments. For recognizing the need for freedom of information, Ware earns a passing grade.

    Fail

    Still free, still pointless

    One year after its creation, the Bike Valet service remains open and is still operating as a free service. Bill Davidson, marketing specialist for Parking and Transportation Services, said in its first year, the service was used 6,500 times. The University of Arizona Police Department estimates between 11,000 and 12,000 bicyclists descend on the campus daily, and the Bike Valet seeks to mitigate some of the stress of biking in such a crowd. Davidson attempted to paint the project as successful and two employees even told the Daily Wildcat that many of their patrons are frequent customers. Ultimately though, this program is a total failure. Sure, many people use it. Many people enjoy free things, that goes without saying. That doesn’t mean you burn through $15,000 a year providing a meaningless service to students. Parking a bicycle is not so hard that you need a service for it. It doesn’t appear that the Bike Valet service will return to charging any time soon either. The simple fact is that the number of clients will fall off sharply if bike valet returns to being a charging service. Parking and Transportation Services is simply too prideful to let a bad idea die. For continuing to toil away with a meaningless and pricey service, PTS fails.

    —Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Bui, Storm Byrd, Nicole Dimtsios and Steven Kwan. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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