Two round of debates.
The first, was watched by 37.41 million, and then about 25 million watched post-debate analysis. On top of that, the presidential debate between President Barack Obama and GOP contender Mitt Romney made social networking history. It generated 10.3 million tweets, and at its peak, there were 160,000 tweets per minute. So there’s no doubt the reach the debate had an impact, whether the TV was tuned in or not.
And there’s very little doubt that Obama let Romney get a pretty big lead and never fully recovered. Oh sure, there were zingers here and there. But Romney’s biggest gaffe was his “attack” against Big Bird. ... Or rather his discussion about how tough decisions have to be made to deal with the federal deficit and budget, and if that means cutting federal funding to PBS, then so be it.
Round two ... Vice President Joe Biden and GOP VP pick Paul Ryan last week.
So who won that one?
Most say both did.
“Biden offered the passion and the argumentation that Democrats so missed from their president last week,” Washington Post associate editor Robert Kaiser reflected. “Ryan, by appearing plausible as a future president and apparently knowledgeable on a wide range of issues, reassured Republicans that Gov. Romney had made a good choice for veep.”
Two more presidential debates are on the horizon. Who’s to say how either will go? But that isn’t the question. The question is whether the debates actually have an effect on others, who head to the polls in three weeks to decide the next president of the United States.
Last week, we asked out faithful readers to lend their opinion on the issue. On our online poll question, which can be found each week at www.timeswv.com, we asked: How much of an impact do you think the presidential and vice presidential televised debates have on voters?
And here are our responses.
Not much, but I believe it energizes and encourages hem to get to the polls and vote — 27.68 percent.
None. Voters have made up their minds and are aligned with candidates long before the debates — 30.36 percent.
A lot. For undecided voters, the debates give candidates the chance to earn their votes — 41.96 percent.
Again, as we’ve always said, it doesn’t matter who you vote for or who wins your support as long as you’re exercising our very powerful right to vote. This week, let’s come back home to our backyard and talk about the shameful behavior in Sunnyside after West Virginia University’s win over Texas. Do you think it will get any better?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Two round of debates.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
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