Opinion
 

Flood of digital data gives 'God's eye view,' needs regulation




As digital breadcrumbs accumulate into vast data libraries, they have lots of stories to tell. Search histories, purchases and GPS locations are just a few data sources now mined by researchers to understand and predict human behavior. Mobile devices have fulfilled what must have been many scientists’ wildest dreams just a few years ago— hooking up sensors to millions of human beings.

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Studies show marijuana lowers
users' motivation

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Researchers at Imperial College London and Kings College London have found that the striatum, the part of the brain involved in motivation, shows lower dopamine levels  in cannabis users.
           

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Amid finger-pointing, all are hurting
from IT breach




Here’s a sad fact: the Arizona Republic reports that the Maricopa County Community College District will likely spend $17 million resolving the fallout from the 2013 data security incident that has now been widely reported. Some money is being spent on technical projects to close gaps in security, but even more funds are going to things like notification letters and legal fees. Could this gushing outflow of cash have come at a worse time?

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Facts on alcohol biz will make
you question legalized marijuana

Scott Shumaker


One mantra of advocates for marijuana legalization is that the drug is no more harmful than alcohol. The comparison is meant to suggest marijuana’s benign nature, but to me it invokes a strong argument against making marijuana mainstream—the clearly negative side effects of legalized alcohol on society. Disturbingly, widespread alcohol abuse, broken lives, and a powerful industry that lobbies contrary to public health should be a cautionary lesson against full legalization of cannabis.

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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Recently, I had the chance to meet with President Dale to discuss priorities, needs and successes of Paradise Valley Community College and also to discuss my candidacy for one of the two at-large seats for the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board. While on your beautiful campus, I observed different interactions occurring in the library and the learning center. It reminded me of my experiences as a college student and all the great memories that came from that time in my life. It was truly amazing to see the growth and strength of the PVCC community. I would like to say thank you to the PVCC administration, professors and staff, and the student body for making me feel welcomed and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,
Mario E. Diaz,

PVCC Prof. praises community colleges
as most democratic
of institutions, offering first, second and third chances


Photo courtesy of Lois Roma-Deeley
Dr. Roma-Deeley is one of four honorees chosen from hundreds nominated nationwide to become 2012 Professor of the Year.

2012 Outstanding Community Colleges Professor of the Year
Lois Roma-Deeley
Professor of Creative Writing
Paradise Valley Community College

My thanks to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, CASE and to all who have made this day possible. I am deeply honored to receive this award.

Some say we live in a cynical age where the idea of "noble lives," of striving, failing and then trying again, are antiquated notions—relics from another age.

But I know better. My students have taught me well.

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School Choice

School Choice: Right high school as important as right college

When talking about school choice, you usually hear only the adult perspective. It’s always a parent, or a legislator, or an educator or an advocate of some sort who wants share his or her opinion. Very rarely do you hear a student’s point-of-view, when we are the ones who this whole issue directly affects.
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Low wage workers snubbed again

Scott Shumaker
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The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, which passed the House of Representatives 407-0 on Oct. 5, will retroactively pay federal workers kept at home during the government shutdown. When I read about this remarkable bipartisan vote by the paralyzed Congress, I agreed with it and thought it was the decent and fair thing to do for the workers unexpectedly sent home for over a week.
           
But I also thought , woe is the low-wage hourly worker.
           
That’s because this type of unpaid work reduction happens to hourly workers all the time who are usually paid a pittance to begin with, and no one is too concerned about their lost income.

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Letter to the Editor:
ACA raises host of questions


Dear Editor,

           
I am writing this article not as a Democrat, Republican or Independent, but as an American—an American who has many unanswered questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Will the ACA provide both health insurance and affordable, quality health care? 

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MCCCD should revisit budgets, seek new revenue sources

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If seemingly endless increases in tuition and property taxes are undesirable and counterproductive, we should admit the current system of funding Maricopa Community Colleges is not working.


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1 million Syrian refugees escape to Lebanon creating crisis


syrian refugees

In every visit to my country, I expect some change: new hope and less deception. But “winds do not covet ships," as they say back home.

I came to Phoenix in 2007   as a Lebanese journalist. Since 2009, I have attended Paradise Valley Community College as a journalism student , working to acquire my Certificate of Completion in Journalism.

During this time, civil war in Syria broke out between the regime and its opposition, the free army. When I heard the news about the outbreak in 2011, I had the feeling, “If this crisis continues, it will affect Lebanon soon.” This happened. Within days of the beginning of the war, refugees began streaming across the Lebanese border.


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Overdue reforms in Affordable Care Act deserve shot, not potshots


A few days after I was born, a nurse doing a routine blood draw noticed my skin turning blue and my body going limp in her arms. Within hours, I was being cut open, and having a narrow artery in my heart widened. My mom says it was the only time she ever saw my Dad cry, and it inspired my oldest brother to become a doctor after college.

Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, that one procedure, which I have no memory of, has made me look and feel like a normal, healthy person my entire life. Although the condition has only required regular check-ups at a cardiologist, it has given me insight into the experience of having a preexisting condition— just one of the issues finally being addressed by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

All throughout my childhood, before healthcare reform, my mother and father would speak to me in the gravest tones about maintaining “continuous coverage.” When I had to leave my parents’ plan in my early 20’s, my mother and father treated it like they were handing over the keys to the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Things like mailing in forms, sending in payments were grave concerns, and I was pestered about them until they were done. They acted like routine business dealings with the insurance company were matters of life and death.

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Shut down this plant



Navajo Generating Station
Photo by Wolfgang Moroder

The Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, has a serious problem. The EPAhas ordered that the plant cut SO2 emissions that contribute a small amount of visible haze to the Grand Canyon. The cost of adding scrubbers to meet this goal is estimated to be between $500 million and $1 billion.

At the same time that all this cash is needed to upgrade the plant, Nevada and Los Angeles, who together own about a third share in the plant, have announced plans to divest their shares in favor of cleaner energy sources. This will put the burden of cleaning up the plant squarely on Arizona.

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Multitasking, technology rewire brains


Brain

Over the past few years, I have noticed that my thoughts are becoming more and more scattered. I find concentrating on one particular subject or thought a challenge. My mind constantly wants to wander off into multiple directions, especially when I attempt to read.

This pattern of thought is often mirrored by my computer’s constant multitasking.

Author Nicholas Carr concludes in his book, “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” that the Internet is the cause of this shallow-mindedness.

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He said...She said
Should couples share passwords
as a way of building trust




Relationships are a game of give and take. There are many issues that can make or break a relationship. A key issue in a strong relationship is trust. But is it too much asking your significant other to hand over his or her social media passwords?

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