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Columns

  • What does drowning look like?

    By Pat Massa
    Chair
    SML Water Safety Council

        As a rookie lifeguard more than 50 years ago, I had all the requisite skills to save a drowning victim’s life but knew little about how to identify a drowning victim.
        During the ‘80s and ‘90s, two of my colleagues did extensive research—viewing videos and interviewing literally thousands of lifeguards—to determine what a person looks like when they are drowning and how a lifeguard or other rescuer can best use that information.

  • Bathrooms? You gotta be kidding me

        Many years ago, I read a book called “Second Serve,” written by a former doctor and tennis professional named Renee Richards.
        This wasn’t your standard autobiography of a self-obsessed athlete interested in telling her story to make even more money. By today’s standards, it was a ground-breaking introduction to what we now know as being “transgender.”

  • Becoming more lethal
  • Muslim elected mayor; sky didn’t fall

        Something happened recently in one of the world’s great cities, London, England, that, sadly, probably couldn’t happen yet in America.
        Sadiq Khan, a practicing Muslim, was sworn in as mayor of that city after his victory over a Trump-like candidate. His Conservative Party opponent – like Ben Carson here – had openly questioned whether Khan’s religion was appropriate. It looks like the voters answered that question.

  • Is he being honest?

        Although  we’re still hearing a lot of fussing and fuming from Republican Party leaders about Donald Trump, I think they are going to come to terms with the fact that, like it or not, he is going to be their party’s nominee for president.  They will grudgingly begin to support him as the only alternative will be Hillary Clinton getting elected. That would be dreadful.

  • Of our American rights and freedoms, which one would you choose to celebrate and why?

    By Megan Horsley
    Jefferson Forest HS Good Citizen Sponsored by Peaks of Otter NSDAR

        Most people would assert that the right to bear arms or the freedom of religion should be celebrated because this is what makes America unique.  However, these rights would not be possible if the right to free speech was not a part of the United States Constitution.  The freedom of speech allowed the founding fathers to create the democratic government that American citizens take for granted today.

  • Pope Francis again offers new hope

        We are living in a time when there’s a remarkable presence in the world, a person doing more than anyone else to speak up for peace, love, mercy, and reconciliation.
        The world is always a troubled place, and that’s because too many people pursue their dreams of greed and avarice. Good and evil are always in a battle on this planet, but which one is which is not as easy to discern as some people think.

  • A reversal

        I’m old enough to remember when there were organizations that smuggled Bibles into the Soviet Union.
        The Communist Party was officially atheist. As it was the only political party allowed, that meant the government was officially atheist. All but a tiny number of churches were closed and a number were dynamited. The Moscow Stretenskiy Monastery, for example, once had four churches. Now it has only one. Three of them were dynamited and the fourth was used as a barracks for the Soviet secret police.

  • Cooperation between local, state, and federal government better serves the people

    By Congressman Robert Hurt

  • The pains of tax season call for a new tax code

    There are very few certainties in life. One of those, however, is that Tax Day comes around each year. By the time the April 18th deadline passes to submit 2015 tax returns, millions of Americans will have experienced our broken tax code firsthand yet again. A very appropriate quote by an unknown author sums up the feelings of many during tax season: “People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.”