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Short takes

CONCERN over concussions in football has

been on the front burner, but a legislative hearing on high school injuries yielded jaw-dropping testimony from Ray Londeree of the Secondary School Activities Commission.

"Football has the most concussions," Londeree said. "We all know that.

"Girls soccer has the second highest number of concussions. When you take the number of participants, there's about a four times greater chance of a girl playing soccer getting a concussion than a football player."

The SSAC does requite student athletes to watch a DVD about the risk of head injuries, and it requires middle school and high school coaches to complete an online course about the risk. The protocol for all sports after a head injury is "When in doubt, sit them out."

But dishearteningly few athletic officials are prepared to deal with the problem. The state has 300 certified trainers, not enough to cover all contests.

Nor are physician volunteers a realistic option. Dr. Greg Elkins, medical director of the Lincoln Primary Care Center, told lawmakers reform is needed to protect physicians from civil suit if anything goes wrong.

Legislators, why is that?

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REPUBLICAN presidential candidate Mitt

Romney told donors in May that 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income

taxes are "dependent upon government" and are probably going to vote for the president.   

Romney is correct.

A New York Times/CBS News poll showed Obama has a 21-point lead among those who make $50,000 a year or less — roughly half of Americans. That half pays less than 4 percent of all income taxes.

Likewise, the half that pays more than 96 percent of the taxes overwhelmingly supports Romney.

The real problem is that the number of adults

who work 30 hours a week or more has fallen to

45 percent, according to the latest Gallup Poll.

That 55 percent who are not working full time

includes stay-at-home moms, retirees and disabled

people. They are not freeloaders.

But the nation can't afford to support more than half the country.

Instead of twisting Romney's words into some sort of 1930s caricature of a successful businessman, reasonable people should offer solutions to this problem of too many people depending on too few workers.

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THE answer to the question "can you hear me now?" will soon be yes along more parts of the signal-stymieing West Virginia Turnpike.

The Register-Herald in Beckley reported that final approval is pending to have Verizon build several cellphone towers, including locations at the Morton

travel center and at the Chelyan toll plaza.

Other companies could also use the towers.

Mobile phones are a must for travelers in case of emergencies. The problem is that the places where

a cellphone are most needed are the places where signals are most likely to be cut off.

Good coverage is simply a necessity. It's good to hear the improvement is coming.

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FATHER-daughter dances were a tradition in Cranston, R.I. Officials expanded the events to include mother-son couples.

But Cranston School Superintendent Judith Lundsten banned the events after the American Civil

Liberties Union complained that they play to gender stereotypes and discriminated against a girl who is being raised without her father.

"I acknowledge that many of these events have long traditions and for many parents, these types of gender-based events are not an issue," Lundsten wrote.

"However, this is a public school system and under no circumstances should we be isolating any child from full participation in school activities and events based on gender. Please be all-inclusive when planning your events."

Fair enough. The way to battle discrimination is to include.

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President Obama could not have been thirsty at a New York City fund-raiser hosted by singer Beyonce and rapper Jay-Z.

The event at Jay-Z's 40/40 club featured an 8-foot tower of 350 bottles of Armand de Brignac champagne, which costs $800 a bottle.

Along with a stop at the Waldorf for other rich donors, Obama expected to receive more than $8 million for his campaign, the New York Post reported.

Democrats portray Republicans as the party of the rich. But Obama has held more fund-raisers for elite donors than any president in history.


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