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Short takes

DR. Alex De Souza of Spencer just spent three weeks visiting the beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu, Calif.; the Gulf of Mexico; Miami and the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, St. Barts and Brazil.

The plastic surgeon and former medical director at Roane General Hospital did not go there to soak up the sun — but rather to warn others about the

dangers of soaking up too much sun.

His trip was to raise awareness about skin cancer and to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

reported more than 9,000 Americans died from skin cancer in 2009. But if the cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate can be as high as 97 percent.

"For the first time, more people are living with cancer than dying from it," De Souza said.

Avoiding the sun reduces the odds of getting skin cancer. De Souza said people should avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wear sunscreen and don wide-brimmed hats.

Ordinarily one would say hats off to Dr. De Souza, but in this case, hats on. He offers good advice.

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IN a reversal of its previous promises not to try international terrorists in U.S. criminal courts, the Obama administration filed charges in a U.S.

District Court in New York against Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden on March, following his arrest in Jordan on Feb. 28.  

This is outrageous. Security reasons alone should dictate that a trial not be held so close to the Ground Zero of Sept. 11, 2001.

Then there is the opportunity for Ghaith to use a civilian court, in which he acquires all the rights of U.S. citizenship, as a platform for propaganda and fund-raising, his specialties in the al-Qaida organization.

Such a trial also may expose military secrets.

But the most compelling argument for using a

military court to try this enemy combatant is that our soldiers face military justice when they are accused of crimes. Our military courts are just as fair as our civilian ones.

The president should ship bin Laden's son-in-law off to Guantanamo Bay and let the military try him.

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WHEN Boy Scouts drive to Fayette County for their first Jamboree in West Virginia, they will be greeted with bouquets of flowers.

Two workers for the Turnpike are seeding wildflowers along the exits in Beckley. The flowers should bloom just in time for the Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

adjacent to the New River Gorge National River.

That's a fine plan. West Virginians should go out of their way to give the Boy Scouts a great adventure and a memory that will last forever.

Today's Boy Scouts will be tomorrow's leaders. A good impression this year will pay off decades later.

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WEST Virginia University announced creation of a "Family Fun Zone" at Milan Puskar Stadium. It will be alcohol free and, it is hoped, obscenity free as well.

This is a good development, but a sad one as well.

Some WVU fans have damaged the state's reputation with cheers that include F-bombs. In 2011,

Athletic Director Oliver Luck had to ask fans to stop wearing T-shirts that said "WEST ([blanking)

VIRGINIA" to games.

Here is hoping the family zone isn't a surrender to obscene behavior.

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes observed, the First Amendment's protection of free speech does not cover "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater."

Nor should it cover loutish behavior at games.


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