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Bravo to the youth outreach programs started by the ASU athletic department. Hoping to curb Arizona’s abysmal high school dropout rates, Sparky and company have been working to foster excitement among Valley elementary and middle school students about the prospects of higher education. Even better, its benefits reach beyond the programs’ goals by putting loud, excitable fans in the seats and creating a legion of proud lifelong Sun Devils. Also, we hope, all of the children are being asked to sign letters of intent to play for ASU someday. At least a handful of those lil’ recruits ought to pan out, right?

Boo to the word “cut” having to be used in reference to the University’s financial situation. This week’s news stories about ASU’s budget crunch contained the splicing utterance a depressing 40 times. Did we just fail on our synonym usage this week? Yes, perhaps we did … but that was totally just our little way of letting the administration know that they shouldn’t cut — or slash, or hack, or scratch, or sever, or slice, or chop or nick — thesaurus purchasing from the budget.

Bravo to relief from gas prices, finally. This week, the statewide average for gas per gallon dropped about 60 cents from the month before. Though we’re sure we’ll eventually rue the day we jinxed this declining trend, for now, it’s party time. Why? We can start irresponsibly guzzling gas again! If you don’t see scores of Hummers and SUVs running their engines nonstop around our Matthews Center office in the very near future, we will have failed ourselves.

Boo to the World Series. Boasting a matchup between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia that only a true baseball fan could love, the Fall Classic was a dud. The series, won by the Phillies in a rain-tormented five games, was the lowest rated World Series in history. According to overnight ratings from Nielsen TV Ratings, even Sen. Barack Obama’s infomercial outdrew the concluding game five by at least 10 million viewers. Though, to be fair, baseball fans were confused when they saw Obama was pitching change-ups across their screen.

Bravo to voters of Arizona for keeping things interesting. The Cronkite/Eight Poll released earlier this week confirmed a trend that shows Obama gaining ground on Sen. John McCain in his home state — a state, mind you, that has only voted for one Democratic president since 1952. While The State Press will not be endorsing any candidates for anything on next Tuesday’s ballot, we can endorse intrigue — and this race has provided just that.

Boo to the epic Internet failure that afflicted ASU students on and off all four campuses Wednesday night, leaving the University community without connectivity for at least four hours. Now we remember why were afraid of the Y2K scare; it’s truly frightening sometimes how reliant we are on something so inconsistent as the World Wide Web for all four important aspects of our lives — academic, professional, personal, gaming.

Bravo to boos. In this case, we speak not of the affectionate word we love to cast on our significant others, but instead, of the sound used to frighten. In honor of Halloween, we thought we would treat those who go retro with their costumes by throwing a ratty white sheet over their heads to a tribute. These poltergeist apologists risk limited visibility to haunt, spook and scare. They made a good choice; the only other costume that could conjure up a comparable level of dread would be dressing up as the ASU football team. Though it’s difficult to create an outfit that can embody the entire concept of failure.

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