The oil and gas industry and the orphan well crisis in West Virginia
For too long, corporations have taken from West Virginia’s land, communities and people and left residents holding the bag. Sometimes, it’s a national employer who comes in, undercuts local businesses, then becomes the only grocery store or hardware store in town. Eventually, when their accountants at a faraway headquarters decide the store isn’t worth maintaining […]
Your 2023 West Virginia Watch Wrapped
Happy Spotify Wrapped Season to all who celebrate! The music app Spotify creates a list for each user in late November to show how many minutes they used the app listening to music and podcasts, and lists their top genres, artists, songs and podcasts. We just launched in July, but let’s look at what the […]
To tackle the HIV syndemic, we need to think bigger
For the past 35 years, Dec. 1 has been recognized as World AIDS Day and serves as a reminder of our collective action to end the stigma around HIV and honors the lives we’ve lost over decades of struggle. As World AIDS Day is recognized across the globe, I urge communities across Appalachia to recognize […]
West Virginia’s highly effective immunization laws protect our children and communities
I remember my mother — who just celebrated her 91st birthday earlier this month — recalling her three children all having the measles at the same time. As the youngest of three, I have no recollection, but even at the ripe old age of 91 my mother remembers the anguish and exhaustion of caring for […]
Getting into the holiday spirit by helping others
Charleston has been going hard on the holiday spirit this year with Holly Jolly Brawley and Light the Night at GoMart Ballpark. And don’t forget the Holly Jolly Brawley Trolley, which provides free rides between all of the festive locations. While some feel it’s the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can be […]
We can do better to protect students in special ed. Start with using the data.
Slapped. Pushed. Jerked by their hair. Pinched with clothespins. The cases of abuse in West Virginia’s special education classrooms are jaw-dropping — stunningly violent and cruel. It’s no wonder why a growing number of parents are afraid to send their children with disabilities to school. It makes you wonder what has to happen to make […]
West Virginia cities need to show more empathy for people without homes
There’s been multiple municipal attacks on homeless populations in West Virginia over the last few months. Wheeling City Council voted to ban camping on public property without permission earlier this month. The ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Monongalia County Commission passed an ordinance last month that prohibits panhandling at “busy intersections,” […]
Religion doesn’t belong in public schools
It’s a lesson that school officials can learn the easy way or the hard way: Schoolhouses are not churches. The actions of two West Virginia school systems in recent months illustrate this quite clearly. Both school systems erred by forcing religious views onto a captive audience of students, but one chose costly litigation while the […]
Manchin for president … of the United States or West Virginia University?
Last week in a pre-recorded video, Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s last remaining Democrat in Congress, announced that he will not seek reelection for his U.S. Senate seat that he’s held for the last 13 years. Sitting in front of a very presidential looking red background with a bald eagle statue on each side of […]
Justice finally facing some accountability for lack of action on jails and prisons
Back in August, as the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation was in the headlines yet again for the horrid conditions that both incarcerated people and correctional staff are exposed to on a daily basis — this time because of a new lawsuit — Gov. Jim Justice passed the ball at a press conference […]
If Justice expects transparency in his administration, then he needs to lead by example
A couple of weeks ago, the West Virginia Democratic Party sent out a news release calling out Del. Elliott Pritt in response to a paraphrased quote I included in a commentary. “Delegate Pritt needs to disclose unlawful partisan bias in state agencies,” the headline states. Pritt, R-Fayette, told Politico in an article from August, that […]
White patients are more likely than Black patients to be given opioid medication for pain in U.S.
White people who visit hospital emergency departments with pain are 26% more likely than Black people to be given opioid pain medications such as morphine. This was a key finding from our recent study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. We also found that Black patients were 25% more likely than white patients […]