Climate change requires action
Your editorial concludes, "The coal industry and many West Virginia politicians will brush off all new evidence -- as they've done with previous findings -- but millions of Americans are watching wild weather extremes and deciding it's time to get serious about global warming."
These serious Americans should call their representatives and senators and ask them to support legislation affixing a gradually rising fee on carbon, returning all collected revenues to the public. This legislation will spur the expansion of clean energy, create more jobs than any pipeline or coal mine, and keep carbon emissions down. These serious Americans should also demand that both President Obama and Mitt Romney lay out in detail their plans to combat climate change and stand with science.
Make sure young receive vaccinations
As students are starting a new school year, the West Virginia Association of School Nurses has an important message: Make sure your preteens and teens are up-to-date on their meningococcal vaccinations.
Many are not. Public health officials just released a report showing that although West Virginia's meningococcal vaccination rates have improved, 45 percent of our adolescents have not been vaccinated against meningitis, a rare but serious disease that can kill a child in just one day.
Vaccination is the best way to help prevent the disease. Parents need to make sure their children are vaccinated beginning at age 11 or 12, and health officials also recommend that teens receive a booster dose by age 18 to help protect them during the years they're at greatest risk.
With their children back in school, parents shouldn't delay getting them vaccinated. For adolescents, many activities that go hand-in-hand with school, such as sharing water bottles or eating utensils and kissing, can actually increase their risk of contracting meningitis.