Pulitzer Prize Winners: Heroin in Cincinnati

“Seven Days of Heroin: This is what an epidemic looks like” peaked my interest because of the large scale reporting of 60 journalists and the documentary that came out of the project.

A special report: In the next seven days of the heroin epidemic, at least 180 people in Greater Cincinnati will overdose and 18 will die. Babies will be born to addicted mothers. Parents will go to jail. Children will end up in foster care. This is normal now.

They released a day to day report of heroin-related scenes in Cincinnati. They also released a story about why they took on this project and what it means to the people of Cincinnati.

The deeper I get into the stories of these people, the more distant I feel from that world. It’s so hard to imagine being so trapped in life-ruining addiction that affects everyone around you, and for expecting mothers, their unborn children.

The amount of reporting that went into this project is extraordinary. The stories, photos, and videos are hard to read, but make you interested in how people find themselves in those situations.

We set out to do this project to not to affirm or deny differing views on the cost of battling addiction and its impact. Rather, we set out to understand how it unfolds day in and day out. I believe you will find what we found to be staggering. In the weeks ahead, The Enquirer will build on this effort, devoting more attention to actions our communities can take to make a difference against heroin’s horrible impact.

 

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Media criticism: Sexism in broadcasting

I can’t tell you how many times after hearing that my major is multimedia and journalism, someone has replied with “Oh, you’d like nice as a news anchor/weather person.”

What?

It’s crazy, but the TV broadcasting industry has proved itself to be extremely sexist, and that’s how people expect it to be.

Longtime Channel 5 anchor Heather Unruh abruptly resigned from her position and stated that she was encouraged to dress more provocatively than she felt comfortable doing.

“All women in the industry are being subject to it. Is it sexist? Yes, it’s sexist,” she said. “Men come to work and are allowed to wear what feels appropriate to them. It might be a business suit or blazer that doesn’t hug them in certain places. I would have been very happy to wear a blazer every day of my career.”

-Heather Unruh

Diane Dimond of FOX news said the network was a “good ol’ boys thing” and “You’ve got to wear your skirts short and your heels high, and you’ve got to put lots of makeup on if you’re a woman.” Dimond was also asked to dye her hair blonde.

Gretchen Carlson of FOX news filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit against CEO Roger Ailes after he repeatedly commented on her looks, asked her see her backside, and then fired her after she declined having sex with him.

Dimond commented on Carlson’s firing that she “probably hammered the nail on her career. I don’t know that anyone will hire her again after this.” Dimond said she’s seen high-profile women in the TV business file a sexual discrimination lawsuit and end up never working in the field again.

While some women find it hard to face the harsh commentary of viewers about their appearances, Katy Tur of NBC News says she has started to go more natural, and she thinks it will be a trend in news.

For so long there was an expectation of how you’re supposed to look when you walk into any broadcast makeup room, where makeup artists would Fox-ify—as in Fox News—any woman by adding fake lashes, bright lipstick, and lots of eyeshadow, and perfectly coiffing her hair. But that’s just not who I am… The makeup artists probably want to strangle me because I’m like, “Less, less, less!” I’ve had a few days when I’m like, “Oh God, we put too much on,” and I’ll wipe it off during a commercial break or when somebody else is onscreen. Thankfully, NBC has always allowed me to be me.

Hopefully the industry follows in Tur’s footsteps and allows women to be themselves, not a made up version of the “perfect” woman behind the desk.

 

Plagued by migraines

I’m seeing spots. Lots of lots of spots.

My head is pounding beyond belief and my face is so hot it feels feverish.

I’m sitting in the middle of the annual Honors Program banquet and I’m getting a migraine. Flippin fantastic.

In the last year I’ve been plagued with migraines, something I’ve never experienced before in my entire life. I only started getting mild headaches around that time as well.

Twice I’ve had migraines last over a week (literally waking up and going to bed everyday and it never goes away) and had to get steroid and pain killing injections to make it stop.

Once during a sand volleyball game I got a migraine so bad that I can only describe it as the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life. And I’ve broken a toe before. The next day I had what I would consider a migraine hangover.

Since the migraines are so random, doctors won’t do a lot for me yet until we figure out what triggers them.

So for now, I take four ibuprofen, attempt a nap, and push through it if I can.

I welcome any advice you may have for me.

Media criticism: News media handling fake news

NBC News has a great article going over the rapid fire spreading of “fake news” and everything that term encompasses.

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They added a lot of facts and research into the article, including why fake news spreads faster than the real stuff. I enjoyed this article because it went so in depth into the matter.

This issue is of high importance to NBC and all news distributors, which is why it’s nice to see them writing articles about the problem itself, whether to defend themselves or to inform the public of the dangers of not researching news and believing everything your hear or see on Facebook.

The end of an era

I’ve been playing competitive sports for 10 years. My adolescence and early adulthood have been completely sports-centric.

I played three sports in junior high and high school: volleyball, basketball, and track. I finally grew into my body and was pretty good by junior and senior year of high school. But let’s (finally) close the yearbook and move on…

Well, after all those sports, I couldn’t stop playing in college. Luckily I lived in Men’s Hall for two years, which allowed me to make a lot of friends who also liked to play sports.

I’ve played every intramural sport I could for four years, and collected so many free t-shirts I can’t even remember how many there are. I also won a pretty hefty scholarship junior year because out of all the females on campus, I had won the most intramural games and championships.

This is the last week I will be playing intramurals. It’s been a pretty big part of my college experience. One that I’ll always remember, and one that I’ll miss. It’s also quite possibly the end of competitive sports playing for me, but only time will tell.

(These aren’t even all the photos…)

Political Commentary: Physician Assisted Suicide should continue to be legalized

Hawaii is joining six other US states and Washington DC that have already made assisted suicide legal. Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia all give the decision to the individual person, while Montana brings the decision to the courts.

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Information from 2016

The highly controversial idea of assisted suicide is contested around the world. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, and India, human euthanasia is legal, while assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, and Japan, along with the  places in the United States.

Assisted suicide is defined as a physician providing the means for death in a prescription form and human euthanasia is defined as a physician giving a lethal injection directly to the patient, according to the World Federation of Right To Die Societies.

In the United States, a person sometimes has to have a terminal diagnosis of only six months to live in order to get the prescription for assisted suicide.

Such was the case for a elderly couple who chose to pass away at the same time after both only having six months to live. There is a 45 minute documentary about them entitled Living and Dying: A Love Story.

On Debate.org, 74% of people said that assisted suicide should be legalized. The comments from the 26% were often citing religion reasons, like, “Stopping the human heart is God’s business and this is a common belief of nearly all religions.”

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Reasons from the 74% were that people will commit suicide if they want to, whether assisted suicide is legal or not, but often said that it should be reserved for the ill and dying as a comfortable way to pass away.

If that’s not official enough for you, the a Gallup survey taken in 2015 says 68% of Americans say doctors should be legally allowed to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide.

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Even where it is legal, it isn’t being used as much as you might think, says The Gospel Coalition. In 2015, 132 people died by physician assisted suicide.

The fact is, assisted suicide is not an easy way out for people who have not given enough thought to ending their lives or continuing it, it’s a way for sick people to end their pain when and where they choose to end it.

When it comes to the argument that doctors swear to do everything they can to heal or save someone, there comes a time when the patient is in control, even when signing a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). After a certain amount of pain and suffering, a person decides how much more they want to endure.

Doctors often give opiate prescriptions, morphine, anesthesia, and even terminal sedation to patients nearing death to ease the pain. These do not stop a person’s heart, but rather take away all feeling and sometimes consciousness until it does stop. That process is arguably as close to assisted suicide as it’s gets without actually crossing that line.

Is physician assisted suicide really that unreasonable when you look at the facts? It’s not a go-to fix for everything, but rather a last ditch effort at ending years of pain and discomfort that have absolutely no way of being cured. It’s about being able to say your goodbyes and make peace with your life, and then leaving it comfortably.

Swimming, sailing, soaring: my beginnings on the water

My father grabs the back my life jacket and hurls me off the sailboat. That’s how I learned how to swim.

We spent weekends and warm summer nights on the lake on our22 foot cruiser sailboat. Unlike those who get sea sickness, I easily slept on the bow or in the cabin, rocked to sleep by the rhythm of the waves.

My skin tanned so easily that one month into each summer, the sun had beaten my skin dark. Complete with life jacket tan lines.

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Perhaps it was an unusual childhood for someone so harshly land locked. Rather than being dragged in an inner tube behind a motor boat, we begged Dad to throw the anchor and let us jump off the back (he insisted we hold on to an attached rope so we wouldn’t float away). The coolest part was using the ladder to climb back on, on our other sailboat we had to pull ourselves back up on the side.

Other sailboat? More than one?

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Oh yes.

One sirius (22 foot), one buccaneer (18 foot), four lasers (14 foot), two Hobie 16’s (16 foot). A few are sold now, but that’s our family’s fleet.

Thus my childhood was spent half on the farm and half on the murky waters of Harlan County Reservoir.

Perhaps unusual. Perhaps unperfectly perfect.

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What I’m Listening to

Every month or so I make a new playlist on Spotify. Usually it happens when I’m tired of most of the songs on the list, so I start a one with new material.

I don’t really listen to the radio or anything, but occasionally a main stream artist pops up on my playlists.

I started this playlist as I was heading to New York, thus it’s title NYC TUNES. I few favorites from this list are “No Roots”, “Cages”, “You Must Love Me”,

The next is a recent playlist I made called lady jams. Literally just a collection of badass songs by amazing women (maybe a man or two) from various decades because I wanted these all in one place.

Also my ongoing collection of oldies:

Let me know if there are any I’ve missed and please hit me up with some music suggestions! I’ll give just about anything a try.

Healthyish Eating on a College Budget

So I hesitate to even say it, but I have been learning to cook throughout my college career. No, not for that someday when I have a husband to cook for. Gag.

I like eating good food, and since I have a stomach that seems to have issues with a lot of food, I could only suffer through the consequences of microwave mac and cheese for so long.

I pick a few days a week to cook good meals, and the rest of the week I eat the leftovers. I work it out so that the days I have time in the evenings, I make meals, and when I have class or other things to do, I warm up the leftovers and I’m out the door.

I have a few simple staples that I can always count on when I don’t have time for new recipes.

When I have 10 minutes:

  • I put frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot on low all day. When I get home, I make either chicken wraps or a salad.
  • I boil some noodles and throw in some pasta sauce, or just butter and parmesan cheese.
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Whatever I’m still in college.

When I have 30 minutes:

  • I cut up some cheap steak (sometimes I can get two steaks for like $2.00) and some potatoes, season with whatever oil and seasonings you like, wrap them in aluminum foil and put on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at like 425. It’s amazing and makes me feel like I can really cook.
  • Tacos.
  • Homemade pizza. Refrigerated pizza crust, some sauce, maybe some hamburger and cheese. Dipped in ranch of course.

So it’s definitely not all super healthy, but I eat copious amounts of carrots and grapes and cuties for snacks, so it’s all about balance and proportions. Eating smaller proportions is easy when you remember that half of that can be lunch tomorrow!!!

Also I only eat out once a week (and that’s with my mom, God bless her).

Going grocery shopping is one of my least favorite things to do because I hate meal planning beforehand, but planning out a week or two of meals (including leftovers for meals) means you don’t waste food and money! Not eating leftovers or all of your fruit before it goes bad is an easy way to waste your money, plus you’re missing out on good food that will give your more energy than what you might be eating instead.

Political Column: Support for legalization of assisted suicide on the rise

Hawaii is joining six other US states and Washington DC that have already made assisted suicide legal. Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia all give the decision to the individual person, while Montana brings the decision to the courts.

The highly controversial idea of assisted suicide is contested around the world. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, and India, human euthanasia is legal, while assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, and Japan, along with the few places in the United States.

Assisted suicide and human euthanasia are different, according to the World Federation of Right To Die Societies:

Physician-assisted suicide refers to the physician providing the means for death, most often with a prescription. The patient, not the physician, will ultimately administer the lethal medication. Euthanasia generally means that the physician would act directly, for instance by giving a lethal injection…

In the United States, a person sometimes has to have a terminal diagnosis of only six months to live in order to get the prescription for assisted suicide.

Such was the case for a elderly couple who chose to pass away at the same time after both only having six months to live. There is a 45 minute documentary about them entitled Living and Dying: A Love Story.

On Debate.org, 74% of people said that assisted suicide should be legalized. The comments from the 26% were often citing religion reasons, like, “Stopping the human heart is God’s business and this is a common belief of nearly all religions.”

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.29.49 PM

Reasons from the 74% were that people will commit suicide if they want to, whether assisted suicide is legal or not, but often said that it should be reserved for the ill and dying as a comfortable way to pass away.

If that’s not official enough for you, the a Gallup survey taken in 2015 says 68% of Americans say doctors should be legally allowed to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.48.38 PM.png

Even where it is legal, it isn’t being used as much as you might think, says The Gospel Coalition.

 Even in states where it is legal, there is not much demand for PAS (Physician Assisted Suicide). In 2015, 132 people died by PAS. Similarly, in Washington in 2015 there were 166 deaths due to PAS. Only 24 PAS-related deaths were recorded by Vermont from 2013 to 2016. (If PAS was legal in all 50 states and accounted for 0.25 percent of deaths in 2014 (2,596,993), there would have been 6,492 physician assisted suicides.)

The fact is, assisted suicide is not an easy way out for people who have not given enough thought to ending their lives or continuing it, it’s a way for sick people to end their pain when and where they choose to end it.

When it comes to the argument that doctors swear to do everything they can to heal or save someone, there comes a time when the patient is in control, even when signing a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). After a certain amount of pain and suffering, a person decides how much more they want to endure.

Doctors often give opiate prescriptions, morphine, anesthesia, and even terminal sedation to patients nearing death to ease the pain. These do not stop a person’s heart, but rather take away all feeling and sometimes consciousness until it does stop. Assisted suicide stops everything.

It’s not a go-to fix for everything, but rather a last ditch effort at ending years of pain and discomfort that have absolutely no way of being cured. Being able to say your goodbyes and make peace with the human world before leaving it.