HB6107 is no Threat to CT’s Historic Architectural Heritage

As the owner and resident of a historic property in Guilford that was built in 1769, I feel a unique responsibility to preserve what makes my hometown so special. That entails a duty to speak out in favor of legislation that would actively enhance the quality of my town. With this responsibility in mind, I would like to applaud Governor Ned Lamont for signing HB 6107 into law. HB 6107, the so-called Desegregate CT bill, will increase the architectural beauty and inclusivity of my town, as well as our state as a whole. What makes this bill unique is its

More

‘Teachers Don’t Need More Regulation. They Need Less.’

Former teacher Laura Rondazzo went viral on April 8, with her “Why I Quit Teaching” YouTube video. She received over 2,500 comments in support of her complaints from teachers experiencing similar heartbreak, and their testimony provides a window into understanding the decades-long and well-documented Connecticut teacher shortage.   Education in United States is a Saharan story of desertification. We daily read more stories of underachievement and disenchanted, demoralized teachers. The pandemic only highlighted the failures of the bloated educational bureaucracy. More spending and more regulation are demonstrably not the solution. The United States spends more per public school student — figures

More

Save the Sound’s Legislative Session Wrap-Up

One of the most unusual sessions in memory has also proven one of the most momentous for Connecticut’s environment, with substantial victories for public health, clean water, and resiliency, as well as missed opportunities on climate action. Many of these important bills originated in the Environment Committee, and we thank co-chairs Senator Christine Cohen and Representative Joe Gresko for their tireless efforts, along with every legislator, advocate, and Connecticut resident who have dedicated their time and energy over the last five months ensuring a healthier and more just environment. SAVE THE SOUND PRIORITY BILLS This year the legislature approved multiple

More

Connecticut Employment Has Plummeted… Will It Recover?

The pandemic is largely over. Now, the challenge is to revive the economy. In practical terms, that means transitioning from policies supporting people who are out of work to policies encouraging people to get back to work. There is a fierce national debate about how fast to transition. Connecticut is on the wrong side of the debate – and cannot afford to be. The number of workers in the state’s workforce has plummeted during the pandemic by 188,000 since February 2020, according to federal statistics. This is a drastic 9.7 percent decline, by far the biggest drop in the nation. 

More

You Don’t Cure Prejudice With Prejudice

Dear Governor Lamont, I am writing to you to voice my objections to SB1, and though I am willing to ascribe only the noblest motivations to the legislators who sponsored the Bill, the final draft currently awaiting your signature contains some language that is highly offensive and some that is nothing short of dangerous. While SB1’s stated objective is to simply equalize the healthcare outcomes for all CT residents, it sets out to do so exclusively through the prism of race and blames racism alone for the unequal outcomes we see today. Setting aside the question of scientific merit of

More

Greg Howard Sketches Out Year One in the Legislature

As a freshman legislator, sworn into office in January, I didn’t quite know what to expect due to Covid. The State Capitol has been closed to the public since March 2020. I spent most of the session in front of a laptop attending committees and listening to public hearing testimony, serving on three big committees, the Judiciary, Public Safety and the budget-writing Appropriations committee. It is my belief that the public not being able to enter their State Capitol and engage with state lawmakers was a disservice to democracy. Citizens should be able to advocate for their issues and normally

More

Haines Sounds Off on ‘Long’ Legislative Session

This legislative session has truly been like no other. Our committee process was conducted entirely over Zoom, which was convenient at times but certainly limited our ability to work as closely as we might have in the past. Lately we have been meeting daily in a nearly empty building, with Republicans and Democrats more separated than ever. In reflection, we have tried to make the best of this strange situation and have accomplished a lot of good things despite these limitations. But unfortunately, we have yet to come together on some issues we need to tackle.  First and foremost, I

More

On Wuhan and COVID-19

Because Donald Trump repeatedly used China to deflect criticisms of his own pandemic errors, conspiracy theorists abound. To them, a biosecurity-level 4 facility in Wuhan, where COVID first emerged, is too coincidental, even though the mission of the laboratory is to prevent zoonotic transmissions of potentially deadly diseases from other animals to us. As a bsl-4 lab, Wuhan’s Institute of Virology has high security clearance to genetically map and identify airborne pathogens for which vaccines have yet to be developed. If only to exorcize political demons here and abroad, Wuhan and the WIV should be epicenters of investigations into the

More

Session Drinking ‘Shows Disrespect for the Integrity of their Offices’

This week we learned that several members of the Connecticut General Assembly have been drinking alcoholic beverages while in session, delivering testimony while intoxicated on the floor of the House, and, if reports are to be believed, driving home under the influence. House Speaker Matt Ritter has “reprimanded” the offenders, according to news reports. Really? Reprimanded? Our legislators just made Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue. Connecticut is a national laughing stock.  This behavior at its base is imbecilic. Worse, it shows a total disrespect for the integrity of their offices and for those of us who voted them into those offices. Any

More

COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on Women Remains a Barrier to Economic Recovery

The arrival of the most optimistic of seasons – spring – and the accelerating rate of vaccinations across the adult population are offering hope that economic recovery may also be within sight.  Recent data suggest, however, that if we fail to adequately address the impact over this past year on women in the workforce, economic recovery may remain elusive. In Connecticut, the nonprofit Permanent Commission on the Status of Women reported last month that 26% of women in the state were furloughed or lost their jobs since the onset of the pandemic and 68% reported that their educational progress had

More

A linear, Disposable Economy Designed to Generate Waste

The fundamental equation in thermodynamics for predicting spontaneous reactions and equilibrium in biological and chemical processes is G = H – TS. That is, energy available to do work or “Gibbs free energy” (G) equals “enthalpy” or the heat of the reaction (H) minus temperature (T) times (S) the degree of systemic disorder or “entropy.” The relationship of Gibbs free energy to enthalpy, entropy and temperature measures the inefficiency of energy transfers and transformations in the universe. When energy changes from one form to another, entropy (i.e. disorder or chaos) inevitably increases in closed systems. Energy lost by natural systems

More

Can UConn Really Economize? And Social Promotion Wins

Congratulations may be in order for the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees for discovering, upon the abrupt resignation of Thomas C. Katsouleas after less than two years on the job, that the university doesn’t really need its own president. For last week the board announced that Andrew Agwunobi, chief executive of the UConn Health Center in Farmington, will serve simultaneously as president of the whole university for the time being, continuing to receive his $709,000 annual salary at the health center while the board negotiates his pay for doing both jobs. Agwunobi’s appointment suggests two things. First, that Agwunobi

More

CTDOT Fare Hearings

Our state government certainly moves in mysterious ways. The Connecticut legislature seems unable to even discuss the crucial replenishing of the Special Transportation Fund to keep mass transit rolling… but they found hours to debate the merits of declaring pizza the “official state food”.  Really? Kudos to the nine lawmakers who voted “no”, not because they don’t like pizza but because they saw this issue as a waste of time. Also in the “waste of time” category were the recent series of virtual public hearings (May 18, 19, 20 & 25) by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  The topic… service

More

A More Collaborative Approach to Affordable Housing

No one disputes that affordable housing is an important issue. Job growth, our changing demographics, and economic diversity all depend on a variety of housing. The zoning reform conversation we are having is worth having and long overdue. I agree, at least in concept, with many of the Desegregate CT proposals such as Accessory Dwelling Units, Transit Orientated Development, Main Streets, and Form Based zoning codes. They are mainstream planning concepts that have been around for years. In fact, many towns have already implemented local variations of the proposals. While the state does have a legitimate interest in promoting affordable

More

Advocacy Group offers Breakdown of Pending Housing Law

There is no question that the zoning bill (HB 6107) passed by the Democrats in Connecticut’s House on May 20 represents a foot in the door towards loss of local oversight of planning and zoning.  Desegregate CT, an organization advocating for State control over zoning, praised it as “a step forward.” House Majority Leader Jason Rojas made similar comments on the floor of the House, stating that it is “not where he would want it to be” and there is ‘more work to be done’.  House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora stated a top-down approach does not work, is a mistake

More

Teaching Critical Race Theory Will only Drive our Children Apart.

Until we as a society start referring to each other as human beings and stop constantly promoting race this stigma will never go away.  As long as the left and the liberal news media continue to promote racism the problem will exist.  Shaping partisan policy around election cycles is destructive and harmful to society.  This latest fiasco is allowing politics into our educations system.  Teaching Critical Race Theory will only drive our children apart.  How could lawmakers seek to have educators change curriculum to teach children they are unknowing social activists because of privilege based upon gender, race, and gender

More

The Triad of Radical Ideas Behind the Anti-Racism Crusade

Reverend Steven R. Jungkeit, a white minister in the small all-White (99.8% non-Black) Connecticut town of Lyme-Old Lyme (pop 10,000) claims to be collaborating with the local school system “to teach the history of racism and enslavement in the area” as one part of a social justice project launched by his church last summer. Another part involves police accountability. Surely the nation has been seized with the issues of racism, social justice and policing, if such a project has been launched in this unlikeliest of places, one with a population of only about 25 Black people.  Ian Neviaser, the school

More

Military Spending Goes Unchallenged, as Fiscal Conservatives Grouse About Lesser Costs

Values and prevailing attitudes of America’s big three service branches are reflected in their military academies’ chapels. West Point’s grey stone gothic exudes permanence, immovably connected to the land, anchored atop the same basalt bluffs forming nearby Hudson River Palisades. The Navy’s chapel in Annapolis is much more ornate, its dome inspired by Beaux-Arts architecture with lots of interior marble and brass. The Air Force Academy’s cadet chapel, tellingly, is intimidating. Seventeen leak-prone spires of shiny aluminum, glass and steel project skyward. Their jagged rows resemble Nike-Hercules and Ajax missiles emergent from silos ready to launch, a high-tech, razor-sharp shredding

More

Can Equity and the Nuclear Family Coexist?

Our Declaration of Independence expresses the belief that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Were they high? This is obviously wrong — people are not created equal – some people can run fast, others are slow, some are smarter than others, men and women are different. What on earth were they talking about? Jefferson, et al. were talking about the moral equality of all people. This is the basis for the concept of equal protection under the law and

More

You Can’t Have a One to One Mapping of American History

As some of you may know, my academic training is not in journalism, but Russian and Modern European history. I also have an academic interest in cultural theory and method, and have taught Adorno, Benjamin, and Habermas – theorists directly and indirectly attached to the Frankfurt School – at the college level. I’ve actually translated Benjamin from the German.  I know, as the columnist David Collins once wrote, some time before our launch, it’s a funny sort of pointy-headed profession for someone to start a newspaper. But I suppose every so often it comes in handy when the public debate

More

Metro-North Riders Return to a ‘Cleaner, Better, and Safer system’

A recent editorial by Jim Cameron (“Do You Feel Safe Riding Metro-North?” May 15, 2021) wrongly and unfairly suggests that it is unsafe to ride Metro-North. I want to be clear: it is absolutely safe to ride our railroad. In his piece, Mr. Cameron claims that “riders are not coming back to Metro-North,” while at the same time claiming that conditions are so crowded as to be unsafe.  Both of these statements cannot be true.  Moreover, he disingenuously takes a single anecdote and turns it into a commentary on Metro-North at large. The chief complaints were that his friend’s train was crowded,

More

CT Examiner Turns Two

How to sum up the past two years?..  Well over 1,800 stories, 1,500,000 words, the rough equivalent of 15 novels. Our coverage has expanded significantly to include Hartford, and our readership to include a loyal following in Washington, D.C. and New York City. In just the last week, writing in CT Examiner has been featured in Real Clear Policy, blogged in Fishery Nation and by the United Farm Workers, linked or referenced in USA Today, Connecticut Public broadcasting, and Stamford Advocate. We’ve had one threat of legal action (ignored), fielded an email from Koch Industries and personal calls for help

More

Investing in Upgrades to Our Power Grid to Improve Resiliency and Reliability Is a Smart Move

The past year has challenged both our state and country in ways we never thought possible. Our economy, health care systems, and social norms were all tested as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unprecedented events also create opportunities for us to thrive or fail. We chose to thrive and work together to come back stronger than ever. President Biden has offered a vision through his Build Back Better proposal and Governor Lamont has also shared his vision for a Connecticut comeback investing in an infrastructure overhaul that promotes economic growth and job creation across the state.   Improvements

More

What about Regulating Connecticut’s Internet Broadband

It was inevitable, given the lessons of the last year, the innovations of online learning and medicine, that state Democrats would add access to the internet to a small number of regulated public utilities – along with water and electricity – basically guaranteeing every person in Connecticut the right to a speedy connection. Already many Republicans, and some Democrats, would toss in the regulation of private companies – Twitter and Facebook — that provide social media. But given near universal dissatisfaction with the cost and service of Eversource and United Illuminating, it’s probably worth seriously considering what good will come

More

UConn Prez’s Resignation is a Spectacular Embarrassment

Long having been shameless because the governor and General Assembly never call it to account, the University of Connecticut probably won’t show any embarrassment over last week’s abrupt resignation of its president, Thomas C. Katsouleas, who was not even two years into the job. But Connecticut might be mortified. Of course no official explanation has been given, but news reports say Katsouleas quickly alienated the university’s Board of Trustees by announcing major initiatives without the board’s approval. Having eagerly danced to every politically correct tune that was played for him on campus, Katsouleas shouldn’t be missed — and indeed as

More

Progressive Taxation Can Help, but Taxing Wealth is the Ultimate Solution

Needs for infrastructure modernization and hardenings against “ransomware” are stark. Last week’s cyber attack by Russian gang DarkSide shut down Colonial Pipeline’s conduits from Texas to New Jersey, interrupting 2.5 million barrels daily flow of gasoline and other fuels. That’s 45 percent of East Coast supplies, more an annoyance than an obstacle but for predictable panic buying. Instigated by social media disinformation, people waited in gas lines to fill guzzler SUVs and pickups the way they hoarded toilet paper last year. DarkSide’s stated purpose is capitalistic, not ideological, interested only in extorting money, not “creating unrest.” Evidence Putin or other

More

Do You Feel Safe Riding Metro-North?

Is it safe to get back on the train to New York?  Casey (not her real name) thought so when, a couple of weekends back, she wanted to see some millennial friends in Manhattan for brunch.  But boarding the Saturday morning train she immediately started to worry and texted me. The train was jammed, she said.  Very few empty seats.  No way to “socially distance” and many people were not wearing face masks. Looking around, she saw large groups of NY Yankees and NY Rangers fans.  Sure enough, both teams had home games that afternoon. The fans were tailgating their

More

Should Government Take Over the Nursing Home Business?

Nursing home workers in Connecticut long have been essentially state government employees because most patients are technically indigent and their care is financed by state government’s Medicaid program — for nearly $1.2 billion per year, half reimbursed by the federal government. The euphemism for this is “estate planning.” When people who have assets reach a certain age they are advised to squirrel their assets away where government can’t get at them — reliable family members, trusts, and such — so if someone needs round-the-clock care, he can go on welfare. It’s a demeaning system and no longer saves much money

More

Silence from Shoreline Press on Undersea Electric Problems

ALL THE EXCITING PRESS about the installation of windfarms focuses on the seemingly blithe turbine blades swirling innocently in the free breeze offering efficient, economical and carbon imprint free electricity to the east coast of the United States. That is the mantra offered by Baker, Raimondo, Lamonte and Cuomo. And to make sure no one sings off key the public is reminded of the tens of thousands of jobs and commercial contracts that attend to this wonderful new age.  Cementing that certainty is the new president Biden naming Raimondo to Commerce so that NOAA doesn’t get up on its high

More

After Pandemic, More Homeschooling?

A year ago when the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year was in doubt, I realized that I had to step into the breach. So did many parents. I started my own version of homeschooling for my soon-to-be-kindergartner. We did “numbers” over breakfast, “letters” before dinner, and I read to him at bedtime. It was nothing sophisticated; it took only about an hour in total, before and after my workday; but it worked.  By summer’s end, my youngster was already proficient in numbers beyond the level expected at the end of kindergarten, and he knew the alphabet, more

More
1 2 3 4 5 6 17