Okjakian shares his revised Students First consolidation plan

This week the Board of Regents will convene to discuss, among other things, our proposed revisions to the Students First consolidation plan. In keeping with the promise to keep you informed, I am sharing our recommendation to the Board in advance of the meeting. I encourage all of you to review the Staff Report that will be discussed in detail during the Board meeting on Thursday.

Can Connecticut’s economy be fixed ?

Connecticut’s economy has been stagnant now for two decades. Employment remains at 2000 levels and a major exodus of jobs, firms and residents is underway. How can this have occurred for the nation’s wealthiest state sandwiched between the two modern high-tech industrial powerhouses of Boston and New York City?

A Connecticut psychiatrist reflects on suicide

I’m no stranger to suicide. There are days I ask a dozen or more people:

“Do you have thoughts of killing yourself?”  
“Are these more than thoughts?”
“Do you have a plan?”

It’s a “suicide ladder,” a series of questions that lets someone discuss their thoughts, plans, and history of self-annihilation and how close they are to irrevocable action.

Free college that is actually FREE!

Many complain about the high cost of college. I often read about free college. Bernie Sanders comes to mind. I like some of the principles that Bernie advocates, but exactly how many trillions of dollars will Bernie’s free college actually cost? And who will pay?
PROPOSITION: Allow adjuncts at community colleges to teach as volunteers.

Our energy supplies and sources should be designed with security in mind

As a user and advocate for renewable energy for more than 40 years, I have no problem with large scale wind power so long as it does not become the overarching source. The first responsibility of government is, or should be, the health, safety and security of its citizens. Unfortunately, our Department of Energy and Environmental Protection makes little to no attempt to look at energy security implications in any of its plans or assessments. DEEP appears to be under the impression that discussion of security is breach of security. Experts agree nothing could be further from the truth and if done correctly it can act as a deterrent.

Summit with Kim is boosting Trump’s confidence – that might not be a good thing

Moments after President Donald Trump shook North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s hand for the first time, Trump pronounced: “We will have a terrific relationship.” Trump’s snap judgment fulfilled his prediction before the June 12 summit that he would be able to evaluate Kim’s intentions “within the first minute” of meeting him. High-level politicians often think that they are experts at reading and influencing other leaders. They quickly come to believe that they are the world’s leading authority on any counterpart they meet in person. For example, President George W. Bush was so enamored with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that senior advisers launched a concerted campaign to curb his enthusiasm.

Pistone: ‘I’m too conservative for the Connecticut Republican Party’

After careful deliberation, I have decided to pursue a run for the United States Congress in the 5th Congressional District of Connecticut as an independent conservative candidate. My decision came as a result of my conservative views that are not aligned with the Connecticut Republican party, who believe I am “too conservative” besides being an outsider who is willing to challenge the status quo.

The need to act regionally has never been more important

If the opportunity for shared or regional services is to be realized, there needs to be a comprehensive realignment of which level of government — state, local or regional — should be responsible for what. Possibilities are open for strengthening and maximizing the opportunities provided by Connecticut’s regional Councils of Government (COGs) for the efficient, effective and economic delivery of needed services. However, reforms must be enacted.

XL Center area development needs discussion — not eminent domain threat

It seems that Sen. Len Fasano and his Republican caucus prevented the Capitol Region Development Authority from pulling a fast one last month. Word surfaced on Tuesday the 22nd that the CRDA planned to initiate action at its meeting later that week to seize by eminent domain the section of the XL Center owned by Northland Investment Corp.  A letter from Fasano and other Senate Republicans led the CRDA to remove the proposal from its agenda.

Connecticut: Love it or, okay, leave it

The recent debate over tolling our highways should remind us of just how divided our state has become.  Not red vs. blue and not even just upstate vs. downstate.  The real divide is between those who commute by car vs. those who take mass transit. I’ve written for years about the fact that riders on Metro-North pay the highest commuter rail fares in the U.S., and those fares will only keep going up.  Most rail riders have little choice, especially if headed to New York City.  What are they going to do… drive?