I opened my newspaper one Saturday morning in early January to read an article about the new healthcare law and was startled to learn that one of its problems is the fact that people with chronic illnesses, the ones in the most need of medical care and testing, would be the ones falling through the "cracks" of the new healthcare law and would find it more expensive. Even Ron Pollack, founding Executive Director of Families USA, a national organization whose mission is to achieve high-quality, "affordable" health coverage for everyone in the U.S., was quoted as saying in a somewhat apathetic sounding way: "If the question is, will some people find that coverage and care remain unaffordable, the answer is yes. There will be some people who feel that way. The overwhelming majority will be far better off, even if what they have is not perfect."
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When I was told that I had cervical cancer twenty years ago, I had two small children and was scared to death. Not only did the doctors mention cervical cancer, but they expressed some fear that it had already turned into ovarian cancer. My first thought was what would happen to my family if I was not well enough to take care of them. Question after question went racing through my mind. My wonderful husband, our parents, other family and friends could only do so much. Children need their mothers! I started writing down things for my husband so just in case something happened to me, he could tell our boys about me and what type of mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend I was. I wanted my sons to know about our awesome God, how to treat others and how much I loved them. The list could have gone forever. Once the shock was over, the doctor told us what I needed to have done and it needed to be done quickly. So I had all the tests done and within weeks I had to have a hysterectomy. No more children for us. We always wanted a big family, but it wasn't in God's plan for us.
It's like something out of a movie. Secret drug exchanges. Code words. Cover-ups. Stolen documents. Famous people. There is probably already a script in Hollywood somewhere. Welcome to the life of Alex Rodriguez. I became a fan of the New York Yankees during my last year at West Point and I have followed them very closely since then. One of my favorite things to do on a warm summer night is to play Wiffle Ball in the back yard with my kids while the Yankees play in the background on the satellite radio. I never thought that my interest in baseball would lead me to one of the most interesting legal documents that I have ever come across. On Monday, Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez filed a federal lawsuit against Major League Baseball, the Commissioner of Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Players Association seeking to have a federal judge overturn the 162-game suspension handed down by the Major League Baseball Arbitration Panel two days earlier. Attached to that lawsuit was the decision of the Arbitration Panel. Both the Complaint and the Panel Decision are available generally on the Internet .
I know it's freezing out. School has been cancelled a lot. The roads are bad and it seems like winter will never end. Don't worry, though. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It won't be long before many of us are standing in the warm sunshine watching our kids play baseball or softball. It seems hard to believe with the weather the way it is, but for many organizations in the area, sign-ups for next season are as early as this weekend. There are many great opportunities to participate for boys and girls of all ages. If you are interested, I encourage you to ask around about sign-ups in your area. Although the leagues are not ordinarily run by the schools, schools will often coordinate with the leagues when it comes to sign-ups and they can be a valuable source of information. If not, ask your friends or neighbors.
More than a week after the fact, thousands of West Virginians are still reeling from the effects of the toxic spill into the Elk River. Water supplies were cut off. Some were actually exposed to the contaminated water, resulting in nausea, vomiting and other symptoms requiring emergency treatment. More than that, there are still questions for the future. MCHM is a known carcinogen. Are those who were exposed to the contaminated water likely to develop cancer in the future? And what effect could exposure have on pregnant women and their unborn babies? I lived in Charleston for over four years, and I still have friends who live in the Charleston area. This was more than a news story to me. My heart ached for all of those who were affected. Like others, I'm proud of the way the people living in Charleston and the surrounding areas stood tall during this crisis. Like others, I'm also proud of the way people throughout West Virginia rallied to help--sending drinking water, food and paper supplies, or volunteering their time. It makes me proud to be a West Virginian.
The day after the NFC championship I woke up to a world of highly opinionated sports enthusiasts giving their take on the public interview between Erin Andrews and Richard Sherman. I was browsing through my Facebook feed and realized that I had missed quite a controversial moment in sports history. Upon reading my Facebook friends' posts, I realized that there was a huge divide in the way people took the Andrews/Sherman interview. Some of my friends had statuses calling Sherman a "thug", some called him "classless", and most of the statuses seemed to feel that his breathless rant was highly inappropriate. I did have some friends that were defending his actions and saying that he is not a thug but in fact a Stanford-educated man. Some said he was an emotional athlete who was just minutes removed from the adrenaline high of having made the biggest play in his career.
It's hard to imagine a more compelling NFL Championship weekend. In the AFC, old rivals Tom Brady and Peyton Manning square off yet again when the Broncos host the Patriots. In the NFC, the new rivalry between the Seahawks and the 49ers takes center stage. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell couldn't have asked for a much better line-up. Not all is well in the world of the NFL, though. Earlier this week, Judge Anita Brody, the federal judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by more than 4,000 former players against the NFL, rejected a settlement proposed by the parties. As Judge Brody found, the settlement may not be enough to compensate the players for the injuries they suffered in the sport. The Judge ordered the parties to provide her with more information regarding the adequacy and fairness of the proposal.
From shows like Buckwild to offensive tweets about incest, West Virginia often takes a beating in the media. Bordas & Bordas is proud to have deep roots in the state, and knows that many of our readers are too. As native West Virginian Carrie Scanlon details below, there are many reasons we're happy to declare that we're from somewhere more specific than just "fifty miles south of Pittsburgh." What are your points of West Virginia pride? I'm proud to be from West Virginia. That wasn't always the case. For a span of about a decade and a half that started when I entered college and went well through most of graduate school, when people would ask where I was from I simply would answer "fifty miles south of Pittsburgh." It was simple enough, not a lie and yet not entirely the truth. Identifying myself with the city that I had grown to love was a lot easier than being attached to a state that had an image that was, well, less than flattering. Images of ignorance, stereotypical redneck behavior and social awkwardness were something that seemed to be widespread on the mainstream media when it came to the portrayal of my state and frankly I wanted nothing to do with it. I was a Steeler fan anyway, shopped in the South Hills, and had a membership to the Carnegie Museum so I figured the facts really didn't matter. People seemed to paint all West Virginians with quite a broad brush so I took the opportunity to skirt the issue entirely.
We all have memories, and we all undoubtedly have things that make them flare up from time to time. For some, it is the smell of fresh cut grass on a hot summer afternoon, for others it is the sound of crisp leaves crunching beneath cold feet on a brisk October evening. For me, snow- an early forecast, the beginning snowflakes of the season's first snowfall, the footprints left behind in the freshly fallen powder- holds some of my most cherished memories and just the sight of a small flake or two sends them flooding back in. I remember being young (younger) and watching the weather portion of the 11 o'clock news before bed. The weatherman's call for snow made it nearly impossible to fall asleep for the excitement surrounding a potential snow day was almost too much to handle. I would wake up the next morning, rush to the front window in my bedroom and look out at a snow-covered Watson Street, sending my praises to Mother Nature for coming through for me.
West Virginians are going to remember WVCHS8's iconic photo of Gary Southern swigging ice-cold bottled water as he walked away from reporters in Charleston, citing a "very long day" that he had after depriving hundreds of thousands of West Virginians of usable water. The "Freedom Industries" CEO is not all that different from British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward, who famously " wanted his life back " after questions from reporters put him out, just because BP had dumped over a 100,000,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. These men don't understand our lack of sympathy for their plights, when they are "unfortunately" caught red-handed doing the things they do every day. These lamentations from the multi-millionaire or even billionaire class are becoming more and more common. West Virginia's own Don Blankenship famously complained of the " indignity " he felt subjected to as his mines violated state and federal laws and safety standards, ultimately resulting in numerous unnecessary deaths of coal miners . Former Bloomberg CEO and billionaire mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg recently took time out from his busy schedule to tell us that homeless people are homeless because " that's how God works ."