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Experts: WHO needs harm reduction to escape unsuccessful tobacco strategy

Tobacco kills roughly 8 million people around the world every year, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization has long aimed for complete eradication of the substance, calling it “one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.”

Expert: Biden taps the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — But what does that mean?

President Joe Biden ordered a release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Nov. 23, 2021, as a part of a coordinated effort with five other countries to tamp down rising fuel prices. The U.S. plans to tap 50 million barrels of crude oil in the coming months, while the other nations  — the U.K., India, Japan, Korea and China  — are said to be releasing about 11 million barrels in total.

Merrill: Get ready for winter; the first Arizona highways close in November

It seems like just weeks ago that Arizona was sweltering under one of the hottest summers on record, with many Arizonans seeking refuge in pools or under tall trees in high country. But those days are in the rearview mirror.

Llywelyn: Prayer apps are flooding the market, but how well do they work?

Hallow, a Catholic prayer and meditation app that claims over a million downloads, has raised more than $52 million in investments. Prayer apps are not new. Silicon Valley startups popularized mindfulness and meditation apps as early as 2010, although many have criticized those apps for being spiritually shallow.
Nonpartisan Cartoons

Nonpartisan Cartoons

The Daily Independent at YourValley.net does not take political positions. We publish political cartoons because we know readers enjoy them, and we try to present a balanced variety of opinions. We …
Your Valley Voices
Kyle Thompson volunteers with the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance.

Adopt a Highway: ‘All the Way to the Border’ welcomes volunteers for 45-mile cleanup along SR 286

January 2022 will mark the seventh anniversary of Melissa Owens’ annual celebration of sun, fun and litter. Owens has been a part of Adopt a Highway for more than 22 years and began collaborating with neighbors and the community for more involvement seven years ago. January 2021 was similar to previous years.

Rigler: How to keep foodborne illness from spoiling holidays

The holiday season that begins on Thanksgiving and continues through New Year’s means many things to many people. One thing it means to most of us is food. Meals and appetizers with family and friends help make the holiday season special. But there can be a downside to all that delicious food.

Experts: Space law unchanged since 1967 — but now the UN aims to update laws and keep space peaceful

On Nov. 15, 2021, Russia destroyed one of its own old satellites using a missile launched from the surface of the Earth, creating a massive debris cloud that threatens many space assets, including astronauts on board the International Space Station.

Wealth versus worth: Remembering Tex Earnhardt

If you’ve ever traveled by motorcycle, you know stopping for gas can be time consuming. Dismount, take off your helmet and gloves, unzip your riding pants, dig your wallet out of your jeans, angle the pump perfectly to avoid squirting gas on the tank, etc. It can be cumbersome.

Reminiscing: Arizona chefs, restaurateurs share cherished Thanksgiving memories

Prominent chefs and restaurateurs from around the Valley share some of their favorite Thanksgiving memories with the Independent Newsmedia reader community, including favorite holiday dishes and some of the unique family traditions they’ve cherished over the years.

Remembering Thanksgiving at 400: America’s original holiday beer bash

A holiday question persists year after year, probably stretching all the way back to the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621: “What are we going to do with all the uneaten turkey?” The Pilgrims, on the other hand, could have asked a different question after that first celebration exactly 400 years ago: “What are we going to do with all the empty kegs?”

Thanksgiving safety: Why do frozen turkeys explode when deep-fried?

Deep-frying a turkey is a great way to get a delicious, moist meal for Thanksgiving; but this method of cooking can be a very dangerous undertaking. Every fall, millions of dollars of damage, trips to the emergency room and even deaths result from attempts to deep-fry turkeys.
Emily Alexander, 37, shows her COVID-19 vaccination card shortly after getting the vaccine in the parking lot of the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 11, 2021.

Experts: Here’s what you should know about COVID-19 and herd immunity

The term herd immunity means that enough of a population has gained immunity to stifle a pathogen’s spread. You can think of herd immunity as being similar to fire starting in a field: If the field is dry and filled with weeds, the fire will catch and spread quickly. However, if the field is well-maintained with watering and trimming, the fire will fizzle out.

Bridges, bike lanes, electric car chargers and more: 5 essential reads on the $1.2T infrastructure bill

After months of debate and negotiation, Congress has passed a sweeping measure to upgrade many parts of the nation’s infrastructure. The bill provides $1.2 trillion in funding, including $550 billion in new federal spending; the rest renews and updates existing transportation programs, such as highway construction.

Pharmacist: Here’s how to lessen the stress of GI distress during holidays

Heartburn, reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation — 61% of Americans report having one or more GI symptoms in the past week! Ouch! Gastrointestinal diseases and distress can come in many forms affecting the throat, stomach and GI tract. The good news is that most diseases and symptoms can be treated or prevented.

Chavez: It’s time to invest in our Arizona communities and the environment

When I was 10 years old, I witnessed my grandfather, Cesar Chavez, fasting to demand a ban for pesticide use on table grapes. The pesticides poisoned the soil and posed serious health impacts to the …

Sen. Kelly: Valley benefits from new roads, transit investments

In the last 11 months I have spent in the Senate, I have traveled thousands of miles around Arizona and talked with local leaders from big cities, small towns, rural regions and tribal nations. Their messages to me have been consistent: our communities need a federal investment to upgrade our infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and put more money in the pockets of working families.
In this Sept. 28, 2020 file photo, members of the Key Club at Valley Vista High School spend the day volunteering at St. Mary’s Food Bank, 13050 W Elm St., Surprise. The volunteers included Austin Williams, Heidi Bishop, Riley Williams, Vernique Lopez, Angelique Chavez, Andrea Vega, Christine Lunn, Allie Lindon Lake, Alexa Fuentes Solis, Nathena Rodriguez, Rachel Barrett-Smith, Nevaeh Carter, Cristal Jasso, Lilly Bishop, Hailey Padilla, Angel Mejia, Ramon Jaramillo, Alyssa Trujillo, Nikka Agustin, Samantha Reyes Diaz, Ariadna Arroyo Hernandez, Brian Lunn, Angel Cabrera, Ryne Barrett-Smith, Amy Contreras Camacho, Christian Balke, Alejandra Lua Montes, Blanca Delgado, Rosa Longoria, Rayne Barrett-Smith, Aimee Johnson and Annalise Barahona.

Brown: Help St. Mary's Food Bank help Arizona's hungry this holiday season

There has long been a connection between the holiday season and the time to give back to your community, to help your neighbor or someone in need — But with a year unlike any in recent memory thankfully in America’s rearview mirror, we at St. Mary’s Food Bank know first-hand Arizonans will step up when called to give back at any time of year.

Johnston: Operation Christmas Child drop-off locations opening soon

In my life, like most of you, I’ve had many roles. I’ve been a mom, a wife, and an employee for most of my life. I could never seem to keep a plant alive but managed to raise three boys to manhood. Now, I have another role, as an area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child for the West Valley.

National Warrior Call Day: Shining a light on veteran suicide in the U.S.

Veterans answered their nation’s call, and now a group of Americans are joining together to answer a cry for help from far too many of those who’ve served. Military veterans make up …
On Thanksgiving, Amber Kovarik (with her daughters and dad) donated and helped deliver about 100 meals to Hospice of the Valley patients and families impacted by cancer — in memory of her sister Shannon, who was cared for at HOV’s Dobson Home. Shannon’s Giving has become an annual tradition.

Shumway: Community philanthropy truly changes lives in Arizona

We are humbled by the outpouring of community generosity that helps expand our nonprofit mission. Since 1977, we have remained focused on bringing comfort, dignity and compassionate care to our community, and we could not do it without the people, businesses and volunteer groups who give their time, talent and donations.

Veterans Day: Honoring my friend, Bruce, and others who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam

All wars have stories and if truth be told, the United States has been a warrior nation for its entire history. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History had a superb exhibit about America at War.

Hague: Profit is not the sole purpose of American business

Did you hear the news about Zillow? It finally admitted what I’ve been saying for years - its home flip business is a flop. 

Nintzel: Our tribute to Arizona bridges for Historic Bridges Month in November

Many of us who drive on the state highway system likely don’t pay much attention when we cross over the majority of the more than 4,800 bridges that the Arizona Department of Transportation …

Anthony: American voters should engage in critical thinking, reading

Dear citizen, voter, responsible adult American: Critical reading is a required course in colleges today. What is important to understand about this course is that the future voters of America are …
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