Nov. 7-20, 2003
Back Issues
Setting Monacan history straight
University increases minimum wage
Correction — “How Things Work” Honor Cases
Digest — U.Va. News Daily

Headlines @ U.Va.

Warren examines insanity pleas in criminal defense cases
Archaeology, architecture joined by theories of culture, ideas
Collaborating, responding to student depression
Human vision the model for video image analyst
Aunspaugh fellows reunion at Fayerweather Gallery
Nystrom and Tilghman to read from new works
Grad student directs her growth as artist

Headlines @ U.Va.

‘Purple pills’ for the purple dinosaur set?
Parents want what’s best for their children, and increasingly that means they want them to receive the latest, most potent drugs — even though many doctors have serious reservations about prescribing adult remedies for children. Dr. Stephen Borowitz, a U.Va. professor of pediatric gastroenterology, blames the marketing efforts of pharmaceutical companies. “I tell [parents] about nondrug tactics that often help the symptoms,” he said, “but they want their kids to have the pills they’ve seen on TV.”
Mother Jones, September/October

Gifted students losing ground in classrooms
Virginia is not alone in requiring its students to pass statewide standardized tests in order to move on in their scholastic careers, and holding schools accountable for their scores. The trend has led teachers to focus on pushing the lowest-achieving students to reach minimal standards, according to a study conducted in part by Curry School of Education assistant professor Tonya Moon. Gifted students are often neglected. “Those things that are not assessed on the test no longer have a place in the classroom,” she says; thus, programs to challenge the brightest students are losing ground.
Boston Globe, Oct. 19

Health System offers long-distance help
Virginia’s Southside region has been hit hard by plant closings that have left many people uninsured and out of work. The Community Health Center of Martinsville-Henry County is seeing a lot of uninsured patients, but has had difficulty in referring them to nearby specialists, who either refuse to take the patients or ask for large payments up front. Stepping into the breach is the U.Va. Health System, which pledged to open a telemedicine clinic in the center by Christmas. “This can be life-saving care for many patients, or timely care,” said Karen S. Rheuban, director of the Office of Telemedicine. “With these technologies, we are now available 24 hours a day to those that need us.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Oct. 21

Athletes pursue HGH, but effects unknown
Recombinant human growth hormone is a black market wonder drug, touted as a performance booster for athletes and an antidote to aging. Dr. Alan Rogol, a U.Va. pediatric endocrinologist, acknowledges the drug’s “tremendous theoretical potential” but adds, “I am not aware of any compelling data that show taking human growth hormone has made an enormous difference” in athletic performance. Still, the temptation is mighty, and HGH is virtually undetectable by current drug-testing technology. Plus, “A difference of just one-half of one percent in time can be the difference between getting a gold medal and not even making the finals,” Rogol said.
San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 22

Virginia voters unwilling to pay more
A wide-ranging state political poll finds that about two-thirds of Virginia voters are unhappy with the General Assembly for its handling of the budget crisis. But Virginians are also wary of paying higher taxes — a mood to which Gov. Mark Warner and legislators are well-attuned. “They’re not dummies,” said William H. Wood, director of U.Va.’s Thomas C. Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. “The public is not moving en masse to the Capitol, saying, ‘Please tax us more to fund these needs.’” The legislature will have to close an estimated $1 billion budget deficit when it convenes this winter.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Oct. 24


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