2007’s top five opinions

A look at what SN&R cared about in 2007

1. Doolittle must go

Despite being the target in a major federal corruption investigation, Congressman John T. Doolittle still hasn’t called it quits. “There is no way I’m stepping down,” he said. Here’s the top reason why he should reconsider: Everybody knows that nearly $300,000 in campaign contributions made their way from special interests into his wife’s pocket. Now he’s using the fact that he’s still in office as a cynical ploy to raise money for his legal-defense fund. The people of the 4th Congressional District should oust Doolittle with utmost haste.

2. California vs. Bush on global warming

The Bush administration has done everything it its power these past years to block California’s ability to fight global warming by implementing tailpipe emissions standards. Why? Because they recognize a simple truth: As California goes, so goes the country. Already at least 16 other states want to follow California’s lead on emissions once we are granted the federal waiver. We don’t need Al Gore to remind us that passenger vehicles are the second-largest source of global-warming pollution.

3. U.S. out of Iraq

Almost 4,000 U.S. soldiers and 80,000 Iraqi civilians are dead for no reason but an expensive lie. The United States should end its occupation of Iraq and bring the troops home as soon as possible.

4. Bye bye, Bee?

The company’s stock is plummeting, revenues are down and staff reductions are chipping away at employee morale at The Sacramento Bee. Former editor Rick Rodriguez’s abrupt resignation, along with that of many other top editorial and management staff in 2007, does not bode well for the region’s daily, nor for its parent McClatchy Co. which owns the Bee and 30 other papers. Since the super corporation decided to spend $4.5 billion to buy the Knight Ridder chain, its stock prices have been in a free fall, dropping from $66.29 per share two years ago to $16.32 in early December. We worry that the Bee could go the way of Tower Records. As much as we like to poke fun at the Bee, we’d hate them to go missing.

5. UC, CSU leaders don’t get it

The Regents of the University of California and the California State University Board of Trustees have utterly lost touch with regular middle-class and working-class folk and the fact was well evidenced in 2007. During a fall meeting at the UC Davis campus, the regents voted to approve significant tuition increases at its campuses while, only a month later, trying to give 10 UC chancellors giant salary boosts, from 13 to 17 percent, without public input. Around the same time, CSU trustees voted to give 28 of its top execs hefty pay raises (including scandal-ridden Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez) while the system was still awash in a tuition hike scandal. It doesn’t take a genius to see that student fee increases slam the door on many Californians who make the grades but simply don’t have the money to attend UC and CSU campuses. What could our so-called leaders in higher education be thinking?