Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

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The Valdosta Daily Times on childhood cancer awareness:

Cancer is the number one cause of disease-related death in children.

Each year, more than 13,000 children are diagnosed with a form of cancer, and approximately one quarter will not survive the disease.

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

As childhood cancer represents only 1% of all cancer diagnoses, the American Cancer Society devotes a similar percentage to research, even though childhood cancer has one of the highest non-survival rates among cancers.

Research into the causes and treatment is far behind that of other cancers, leaving parents with fewer options.

Even when a child survives cancer, they are often faced with lifelong health complications from the disease, ranging from heart and lung damage to alterations in their growth and development.

The disease is often eclipsed by other causes and families are often left to their own resources.

The kindness and generosity of school friends, other parents and organizations have helped many South Georgia families cope with childhood cancer, but the public is generally unaware of the toll that cancer takes on local families.

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation reports several things regarding childhood cancers.

– Childhood cancers kill more children than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

– Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into 12 major categories.

– Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet many cancers are almost exclusively found in children.

– Childhood cancers are cancers that primarily affect children, teens and young adults. When cancer strikes children and young adults, it affects them differently than it would an adult.

– Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, have largely failed.

– Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. About 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis.

– Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class or geographic region.

– The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented. Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation and other exposure to cancer-causing agents.

On the average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer.

The average high school has two students who are a current or former cancer patient. In the U.S., about 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every weekday.

While the cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group, 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer.

Childhood leukemia (making up the largest group of childhood cancers) was once a certain death sentence, but now can be cured almost 80% of the time.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is elusive.

Several childhood cancers continue to have a poor prognosis, including: brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas, relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Awareness can help children with cancer through research for a cure and through support for them and their families.

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The Brunswick News on commissioners in a Georgia county suing to stop a referendum on abolishing the county's police department:

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Turn this statement around, reshuffle the words and sprinkle in a few more for this little ditty: two rights don’t make a wrong but could prove costly to taxpayers.

As odd as it might sound, Glynn County is a perfect illustration of this. Earlier this year, concerned about the state of the county police department, Sen. William Ligon and Rep. Don Hogan introduced and got passed legislation that will enable registered voters to decide whether to ditch local police and return responsibility for all law enforcement to the sheriff’s office. This question will be included on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Glynn County commissioners, most if not all, believe Ligon, Hogan and the state in general overstepped their bounds, their lawful authority. On Friday, the commission filed a lawsuit saying as much. The goal is to remove the question or neutralize any outcome disagreeable to the seven-member council.

Here’s where the “two rights” come in: Ligon and Hogan had every right to be concerned about the police department given all that had occurred and was occurring and acted accordingly; the county commission has every right to defend its authority. Neither Glynn nor should Georgia’s other 158 counties have to worry about any of the 236 voting members of the state General Assembly taking a disliking to something outside the circle of their jurisdiction and enacting legislation to change it. The same state legislators who moan about Congress and the federal government encroaching on their powers are usually among the first to step on the powers of city and county governments.

County taxpayers would have been better off had the good senator and representative sat down with the county commission and discussed the pros and cons of whatever actions the two legislators were pondering. Now, the community, the same county served by both sides, is facing the cost of a lawsuit and during a time when it can least afford it.

Each has the public’s best interest at heart. That much is apparent.

But somewhere along the road from then to now the men and women elected to office lost the ability to communicate with one another.

Please get that ability back.

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Rome News-Tribune on virtual classes and face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic:

Elementary school students boot up their computers and log in to class from their living rooms.

On screen, a teacher greets all the students and they talk about their morning for a few minutes. Once all the students arrive the teacher begins their lesson for the morning.

At the same time each morning, teachers physically greet students in circumstances different from what we’ve seen in living memory. Those same educators shifted their traditional roles and spent the last part of the school year and this summer helping get food to families in need.

A sign on the store’s entrance thanks customers for wearing a face covering while shopping there. One man gets out of his car and dons a mask as he walks toward a grocery store. Yet, another man inside, face uncovered, defies the wishes of the business and walks through the store without his mask on.

Why? Well it comes down to what people want to believe.

On the topic of face coverings the extremes are often represented. There are those absolutely refusing to wear a mask despite evidence that it helps curtail the spread of COVID-19 and those who angrily confront others for not wearing a mask.

Then there’s the rest of us who may not enjoy the extra face gear in the heat of summer but do it anyway.

Between the extremes of nearly any topic is the sweet spot of understanding.

There’s a reasonable expectation that anyone wear the appropriate attire in any given situation. Remember signs at McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants proclaiming “no shirt, no shoes, no service?” Well how is this different?

Despite those who consistently claim their constitutional rights are being violated by mask ordinances, courts and constitutional scholars have so far disagreed.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, some residents even challenged a local ordinance in court. Snopes.com reported that residents of that county sought an injunction to block a local mask ordinance. Their contention was that the ordinance violated their freedom of speech, right to privacy, due process and the “constitutionally protected right to enjoy and defend life and liberty.”

The court declined that request to issue an injunction against the mask mandate. Citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the court stated that “no constitutional right is infringed by the Mask Ordinance’s mandate … and that the requirement to wear such a covering has a clear rational basis based on the protection of public health.”

More to the point, the Court continued, “constitutional rights and the ideals of limited government do not … allow (citizens) to wholly shirk their social obligation to their fellow Americans or to society as a whole … After all, we do not have a constitutional right to infect others.”

We as a nation are so conflicted right now that even the simplest of things, like wearing face coverings in the midst of a pandemic, have fallen under the specter of politicization.

It’s really time to stop, remember to step away from the TV or social media and look around.

GROWTH DESPITE DIFFICULTY

There’s growth here, where there was not for several years. The Great Recession nearly stopped all construction in this area. At that point there were more businesses closing than opening and the idea of expansion and growth could easily be filed under the “not likely” category.

We came back from that and we’ll come back from this.

Despite the hit we’ve taken economically from the pandemic, a lot of those plans are going forward. We can see growth on Turner McCall and on Redmond Road. We can see growth in the progress made on the Mount Berry Trail.

That trail — paid for with our SPLOST contributions — will eventually circle back and come around the Rome Braves stadium, making a loop with the existing trails. Growth.

It’s a nice little scenic walk, run or bike and can get you away from all the division for a short time. As we round the bend into September, it’s just one more positive thing to look forward to.