End-of-life care is made harder by pandemic

I just lost a dear elderly friend to cancer. Home hospice workers kept him comfortable. He spent his final weeks watching spring unfold in the outdoor Eden he had nurtured for decades. He died peacefully at night with me present. My friend’s death had little to do with COVID-19. One can say that he was spared the trauma of getting […]

Political Cartoon

Black lung rules must be changed

Hundreds of bills may be filed every legislative session, but only dozens go on to become law. This year was no exception, especially with the General Assembly’s calendar shortened because of the coronavirus. Still, every legislator has a list of bills he or she thinks should have been enacted, and I have several on mine. One that I believe should […]

Why people will leave, and stay, in the big cities

The coronavirus has rearranged American life. Mask wearing and social distancing is still required in the stores, gyms and restaurants now open, or set to be, across the nation. But what about the big, crowded cities? New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and, of course, New York have become the virus hotspots mainly because they put people in close quarters with […]

Political Cartoon

An America worse off than today, but not totally different

The Brooklyn Hospital Center, now treating a flood of COVID-19 patients, has performed in national crises for over 150 years. During the Civil War, poet Walt Whitman spent time there, tending to rows of wounded and dying Union soldiers. Whitman left Brooklyn for Washington, where he nursed “the shattered, traumatized, and suffering men dragged back from the battlefields,” writes Edward […]

Teachers, coal counties lose big

Meeting late into the evening for its two final days, the General Assembly wrapped up this year’s legislative session last week by voting on more than 30 different bills. It was a symbolic way to end a session that should have adjourned last month because of the coronavirus or, at least, focused just on budgetary and emergency measures. We cannot […]


Almost a wrap!

This week, the General Assembly returns to the Capitol for two days to put the finishing touches on a legislative session that’s ending far differently than expected. In January, when the session began, other legislators and I were looking forward to working with a new governor and passing a budget that promised no widespread cuts for the first time in […]

In the time of the virus, grooming takes a hit

A friend closed in his northern Italian apartment for almost six weeks emailed me saying that his wife says he looks like a “clochard.” That’s French for street bum. This from a man who once was a walking advertisement for fine Italian tailoring. Grooming has taken a hit as the coronavirus shuts down public life. That’s understandable, though others in […]

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