By now, I'm sure many of you have been subjected to the ongoing marketing blitz about testosterone therapy for treating "low T". Touted as a way to make men feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional, millions of American men are using a prescription testosterone gel, patch, or injection to boost testosterone levels. Although testosterone therapy isn't approved for age-related conditions and the natural, age-related decline in testosterone levels, a FDA loophole permits aggressive direct-to-consumer marketing urging men to talk to their doctors if they have certain "possible signs" of testosterone deficiency, including common things like feeling tired. As a result, testosterone replacement has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry over the course of the last two decades. In fact, according to researchers at UCLA, testosterone replacement has been marketed so successfully in recent years that sales of Androgel, a testosterone therapy, eclipsed sales of Viagra in 2013. However, a growing body of evidence has raised alarming concerns that testosterone treatment could be deadly.
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Last evening I sat on my back porch admiring the peaceful skyline that formed above the trees as far as my eyes could see as the sunset on Pinewood Drive. The weather was finally comfortable again as summer began to set in. Everything was so calm. I tuned into the sounds of nature and the beauty of it all was so powerful. I thought about how lucky my family and I were. In that moment, I paused to remember that I must always be grateful for this beauty of nature while it's right before my eyes. This led me to think about how we don't really know where we're headed or when it's all going to end. There are so many subjects that may be uncomfortable to discuss, but, really should be addressed while you are able to now. Have intimate talks with your family so that they understand your wishes and you understand theirs in turn. The day may come when you least expect it that you have to make those decisions for each other.
Remember when we learned the VA was doing a horrible job taking care of our wounded veterans? People were angry , even on normally sedate media channels like NPR . For a few days, it was on the news all the time. But then the media suddenly forgot about it and decided that what we really needed to be angry about was the way Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was recovered from Afghanistan. What happened to the VA? Is it fixed? Or is this just another example of how the media seeks to keep Americans perpetually angry and afraid, without ever actually proposing any real solution? Well, I haven't completely forgotten last week even if cable news has, so here's a couple of ideas on the VA.
On Wednesday, May 28 th , I like many others, I was disheartened to hear of the death of Doctor Maya Angelou. I majored in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Wake Forest University where Angelou taught. I cannot speak for the English Departments at Duke, NC State, or any of the other fine schools in North Carolina, but at UNC we rallied around our local writers and boasted of their achievements as if their works were written by our own pen at hand! When I was in college, it was not unusual to see Doctor Angelou's name listed on the syllabus of every modern-day English class offered. As a matter of fact, it was pretty much a given. Her works such as A Song Flung Up to Heaven and, of course, the famous I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings are phenomenal-her poetry beyond brilliant. To me, learning about her life and the obstacles that she overcame makes her works even more exceptional. She had endured rape as a young child and became a mother in her teen years. She lacked a college education yet was inundated in honorary degrees. She not only overcame her trials and tribulations, but she embraced them and put them into words to share with the rest of the world.
With another Memorial Day weekend in the books, it is safe to say that the summer has officially begun! Summertime in the Ohio Valley is always jam-packed with so many events that there isn't any time to complain of boredom. As a native of the Ohio valley, I see all of these events as a tradition, as well as long-lost friends who always finds their way back to you. I am currently in college locally, and whenever I meet fellow classmates who are not from the valley, I find myself explaining my excitement for these events and oftentimes received puzzled looks in response. It is also important to remember that there are families that have moved here because of the oil and gas industry who may not know about these events. I think it is important to welcome the outsiders to our friendly valley and introduce them into these special events that occur each and every summer. My top three favorite events that I would like to introduce to the newcomers of the valley are Jamboree in the Hills, The Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival, and the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Charity Football Classic.
This week's packed episode of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review hits a number of topics, including the unfolding Donald Sterling situation, the scandalous treatment of our veterans at VA hospitals and Edward Snowden's explosive NBC interview. The scope and depth of treatment the issues receive on the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review is comprehensive and a cure for the sound-bite focused drive-by media. Check it out today!
Bordas & Bordas has launched a new blog, this one covering the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, at its kind in West Virginia, covers the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals from a professional perspective, but in a way that strives to be useful to the layperson as well. It is already chock-full of interesting articles about the cases decided so far this year. Chief Editor Jay Stoneking had this to say about the new site: Every year the West Virginia Supreme Court decides hundreds of cases that are as varied as our own life experiences-cases covering contracts, torts, criminal law, family law, abuse and neglect, civil rights and constitutional law, just to name a few. These cases can have a profound impact. Federal courts tend to grab the headlines, but the reality is that the decisions of state courts probably have the most direct, day-to-day impact on the lives of ordinary Americans. All of this begs the question: who is covering our Supreme Court? Certainly, there are news outlets that cover general legal stories. But is there anyone tracking cases as they make their way through the briefing and oral argument stages? Is there anyone previewing cases and identifying the ones that should be watched most carefully? Is there anyone systematically analyzing and providing commentary on the latest Supreme Court opinions? Unfortunately, the answer to each of these questions is no.
I attended my niece, Maria Murphy's, graduation from 8 th grade at St. Michael's Parish School on Wednesday, May 28th. There were 33 graduates. When St. Michael's graduates receive their diploma, they choose an alumni of St. Michael's, usually a family member or friend, pin them with an Alumni pin. Since her brother, Vincent Murphy, graduated last year from St. Michael's, he was the alumni performing the pinning for Maria. Seeing Vincent put the Alumni pin on his little sister was pretty special. As anyone who has the pleasure of having a brother or a sister or brothers and sisters knows, there are always the occasional arguments between siblings. Seeing them in this situation was quite unique and brought a tear to my eye. They both are growing up so fast and it seems like yesterday when they transferred to St. Michael's in first and second grade.
Last month, thanks to the courageous leadership of several state legislators, the West Virginia legislature passed a budget that included $200,000.00 in additional funding for the creation/operation of child advocacy centers (CACs) throughout West Virginia. For those who are unfamiliar, CACs provide support, therapy and protection for victims of child abuse in our state. Here in the Wheeling/Moundsville area, we are fortunate to have our own CAC, Harmony House, which serves children in various surrounding counties as well. The purpose of the proposed funding increase was, among other things, to provide for the creation of CACs in counties in which such centers do not currently exist, thus frequently leaving abused children with no source of assistance and treatment. When the budget proposal reached his desk, Gov. Tomblin was confronted with what was as close to an impossible decision as I can imagine. The proposed budget, including the CAC funding increase, required a dip into the WV "Rainy Day Fund" in order to achieve the constitutionally-mandated balance. Gov. Tomblin was concerned - and rightly so - that the amount to be taken from the Rainy Day Fund was too great. His only option to reduce the amount taken from the Fund was to make the difficult decision to veto some of the proposed budget allocations. Thus, several agencies suffered significant cuts to their projected budgets. Sadly, the $200,000.00 earmarked for CACs was cut.
Jamie Bordas and Chris Regan return after a brief hiatus with a brand-new episode of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. This week's edition covers the legal aspects of the NBA's promise to force Donald Sterling to sell the LA Clippers as well as another lawsuit filed against the NFL by its players. This latest suit involves the irresponsible and illegal providing of painkillers to players, as well as misrepresentation of side-effects, long-term effects and player injuries by "team doctors."