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Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Warn children about dangers of drinking
“Talk. They Hear You,” a new national public service announcement campaign that empowers parents to talk to children as young as 9 years old about the dangers of underage drinking, recently was launched by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Parents need to be aware of the dangers and health risks involved in underage drinking. The American Medical Association reports that alcohol can seriously damage the long- and short-term growth process of the brain. Youth who drink can have a significant reduction in learning and memory.
Exposing the brain to alcohol during this period may interrupt key processes of brain development, possibly impairing judgment and clear thinking. Youth who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become dependent on alcohol than those who wait until age 21.
Studies also show that the greatest prevention of underage drinking is parental involvement. Take time to talk to your child about his or her daily activities and ideas. Discuss your expectations, and create opportunities that reinforce healthy and safe decision-making. Tell them about the dangers of underage drinking. They will listen.
KATHY GRAHAM SULLIVAN
Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition
Over-the-top charge led to acquittal
There has been much ado about the verdict in the George Zimmerman case. The real shame of this episode lies with the Rev. Al Sharpton and the NAACP. They demanded murder charges, and the authorites gave them exactly what they demanded. However, the prosecution was unable to meet the requirements of the murder charges.
Had these leaders permitted the system to work through the issue without bringing public pressure to bear at the onset, perhaps Zimmerman would have been charged with manslaughter.
Manslaughter charges would have been easier to prove, since Zimmerman had created the atmosphere that caused a death by not listening to the 911 operator who told him to stay in the car and not intervene. Had manslaughter charges been filed, perhaps Zimmerman would be in jail today.
Instead, we have the death of a young life, grieving parents and family members, and a society that continues to tear itself apart. Instead, we need to come together and understand the malfeasance of public personalities such as Sharpton and NAACP leaders, and understand the role they played in this travesty.
These leaders need to be placed upon the scrap heap of social irrelevancy.
BRADFORD C. ARCHER
On coal, McAuliffe takes both sides
According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 50 percent of voters say they still haven’t heard enough about gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe to form an impression (“Quinnipiac poll: McAuliffe holds lead in governor’s race,” July 19 news story).
Unfortunately, it probably won’t get any easier when they do hear more, because they’ll soon find out he’s on every side of many issues, especially coal. He’s currently expressing his concern about coal jobs in Southwestern Virginia and attacking Ken Cuccinelli on the issue. But four years ago, he was saying he didn’t want another coal-fired plant built in the state. Notice the huge flip-flop?
It’s very important for Southwestern Virginians to know exactly where McAuliffe really stands. I don’t work in a coal mine, but I’m sick and tired of good family providers and hard workers being treated by out-of-touch politicians like McAuliffe as though they’re some sort of eco-criminals.
Coal isn’t just a source of energy; it’s the financial foundation for many communities in Southwestern Virginia.
For McAuliffe to brush that fact aside so he can court votes from the Daily Kos crowd is shameful, no matter where he claims to stand on the issue today.
CHARLES S. WERTALIK
Obama’s programs are now the target
Did anyone other than me receive an annoying letter from an organization called AMAC?
The Association of Mature Americans tries to portray itself as an alternative to AARP. In reality, it is another organization designed to bash President Obama.
Its first objective was to make sure President Obama was a one-term president. Having failed, the objective now is to make certain none of his programs comes to fruition.
The answer is simple: Quit electing those to Congress who profess to be mainstream, yet consistently align themselves with ultra-right-wingers. Then we will see true progress.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us