To the Editor:
Cancer has touched nearly all of our lives. Most of us have been impacted directly by this terrible disease. Cancer places an extraordinary burden in our state, affecting one of three Oklahomans during our lifetime. However, we can reduce our risk by some doing some pretty simple things:
• Eating right — Obesity is a preventable contributor to cancer incidence and deaths. Oklahoma has one of the highest obesity rates in the country. Eating a healthy diet certainly helps all people, not only the obese.
• Exercise — MedicineNet recommends 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, just three or four times a week. With moderate exertion, we can gain significant health benefits.
• Eliminate all tobacco — The use of tobacco is the most significant cancer risk factor that we can reduce. It is responsible for lung and many other types of cancer. It’s never too late to quit, as your body reaps the benefits of being tobacco-free.
• Be proactive about our own health — Applying sun screen, limiting alcohol intake, and getting annual physicals will help reduce the chances of cancer. The old saying, “an ounce of prevention goes a long way,” really holds true.
• Early diagnosis — The colonoscopy and mammogram are examples in diagnosing cancer early. It is important to have these tests performed regularly to assist in identifying cancer before it spreads.
On the positive side for cancer treatment options, the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center is in our backyard. Oklahomans no longer have to travel far to get great care.
Its mission is to improve and extend the lives of cancer patients through:
• Providing patient-centered, comprehensive care;
• Conducting innovative basic, translational and clinical research;
• Raising the level of cancer awareness and prevention;
• Educating the next generation of cancer health care professionals; and
• Serving as a statewide resource for patients, researchers, health professionals and communities.
In conclusion, we should be proactive about our individual health. If we become diagnosed with cancer, we should know that a “world class” treatment center is near.
JAY STERN is a cancer awareness advocate.
To the Editor:
Don’t leave Oklahoma!
May is graduation season. As I have done every year as lieutenant governor, I have given multiple commencement speeches. Advice flows freely during this time and it usually runs the gamut. What to do, what not to do, how to do ‘x’, be sure not to do ‘y.’ Too often commencement speakers speak in big generalities. So general, the message is frequently lost or forgotten.
Last-minute funding proposals not in state’s best interest
All indications point to this being the last week of this year’s legislative session. The Legislature will go home a week early. This is good news for Oklahomans as not only will there be cost savings but all Oklahomans should breathe a sigh of relief when the Legislature stops making new laws a week ahead of schedule.
As usual, the Legislature will take a number of important votes during the last week. Some will be forced due to attempts to introduce and pass far-reaching, new policies that should have been introduced much earlier in the year.
BY THE NUMBERS: Oklahoma still needs to invest in its economy
After six months of stagnation, the Oklahoma economy finally appears to be expanding again albeit still weakly. Unfortunately, our leaders aren’t making the investments we need to give our economic prospects a boost.
Last week the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported that in April state General Revenue fund collections were 5.2 percent above the estimate and 14.7 percent higher than last year’s collections. Under normal circumstances, such a report would indicate that the Oklahoma economy was very strong. But this isn’t a normal circumstance, and April isn’t a normal month.
Americans deserve the truth on Benghazi
Lately, the media has been consumed by the controversies surrounding the White House. Among these controversies is the horrific terrorist attack on the United States’ diplomatic compound in Benghazi that took place Sept. 11, 2012. As more people come forward with additional information regarding the attack on the consulate, many Americans, including myself, are still asking for the truth.
The Obama Administration and the State Department have been less than forthcoming with key information on Benghazi and recent information points toward a major cover-up.
Seizure of AP phone records insult to independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
HEY HINK: Some people just are not cut out for command
Recent headlines cause me to remember an incident that occurred on an army base some years ago. Warning here: I’m taking some liberties with names and details, but the basic outline of events is accurate.
A certain company commander, let’s call him Captain Duntz, had command of a motor pool on a large army base in the continental U.S.
We’ve become our own worst enemies
The past couple months have been marked by a seeming unprecedented number of man-made tragedies, as distinct from those caused by violent outbursts of the natural world, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis.
You don’t want to dwell too long on the negative, but we do have to take notice of horrific human events and we owe it to ourselves to respond to them in some way. We don’t always agree on those responses, however, and that usually exacerbates the problem.
Let’s reimburse higher ed for remediation costs
The good news: Oklahoma schools are teaching phonics. The bad news: It’s in college.
Students at Tulsa Community College, for example, can take a college English course called “Spelling and Phonics,” which “helps students master basic spelling literacy, principles of phonics and decoding skills.”
This sort of higher education brings to mind former Boston University president John Silber’s quip: “Higher than what?”
AGAINST THE GRAIN: Department of Commerce highlights Main Street successes
The 24th annual Oklahoma Main Street Awards Banquet was at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum last week. Oklahoma Department of Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez addressed the gathering, and spoke of how the Commerce Department works with Main Street organizations throughout the state that are working to improve their downtown areas. Lopez pointed out that the partnership between his department and those local organizations has brought new life to those communities and that the attendees would see some of that revitalization in a video presentation. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin also addressed the gathering, and said the Main Street program has resulted in more than $1 billion in investments in the state and more than 1 million volunteer hours in its 24 years of operation.
OUR VIEW: Be Edmond needs your help
BMX star and local legend Mat Hoffman knows what’s it like to fall from great heights and find yourself at one of the worst low points in life. He also knows how to climb back up and tackle life’s problems head on.
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