In this doctor’s lane, patients live in fear of gun violence

Recently, the American College of Physicians released a position paper urging extensive reform to gun legislation.   In response, the NRA issued the following Tweet:  “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves.”  

Dear NRA,

I am writing to invite you to join me in my lane.  …

A fresh start: Rethinking the future of Connecticut’s community colleges

Now that the election is over and we have new leadership in the state, this is an ideal time to think in fresh ways about community colleges in Connecticut.

As we know, the Board of Regents is currently in the process of dismantling the community college system, replacing campus leadership with temporary “CEOs” and regional presidents, and contending against all evidence — and decades of experience across the nation — that community colleges don’t need presidents.

Prioritize children and families; defend the Office of Early Childhood

Faced with a projected two-year budget deficit of over $4.6 billion, you and your administration will soon be confronted with many difficult choices. Amidst these challenging decisions, and with an eye toward the future of Connecticut, we offer you one easy answer. To ensure that young children and their families can thrive while contributing to the shared prosperity of our state, preserve the independence, momentum, and power of the Office of Early Childhood.

Our differences are killing us — in spirit

How ironic that we vilify black men and Muslims for their violent tendencies, when between 54 and 63 percent of the mass shootings in the U.S. since 1982 have been committed by white men.  White men make up the majority of males in our country.  Some might say statistically that makes sense.  Some might say white men are the enemy. I say let’s stop exclaiming that all people who share the same ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs are the same.  They are not, any more than all white men are the same.

How would you vote if there had been no polls?

When I ask my Democratic friends who they believe is the best candidate for governor, all save one, respond Oz Griebel.  When I ask them who they plan to vote for, they all respond “Ned Lamont.”  I ask why.  The answer is universal, Oz Griebel can’t win and they fear Bob Stefanowski .

When I ask my Republican friends who they believe is the best candidate for governor, all save none, respond Oz Griebel.  When I ask them who they plan to vote for, they respond “Bob Stefanowski.” I ask why. The answer is universal, Oz Griebel can’t win and they fear Ned Lamont.

What country was Cesar Sayoc, Jr. fighting with pipe bombs to take back?

October came and went without much fuss in Connecticut if you looked through the peephole of Filipino-American History Month observed by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) in Seattle since 1991 and officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in a resolution in 2009. Who knew?  And actually, who cares and who needs to know about Filipino-American history here in Connecticut? But wait, last month a ginormous news story, by the seat of your pants captivating, all-consuming, gotta watch 24-hour cable news channels, sent many in the Filipino-American (Fil-Am) community around the country running for cover.

America’s Health Care 2018: Your call does not matter

I’m in line with my friend Liz to get a flu shot at the CVS pharmacy counter. The man in front of us is told that the prescription cream he needs is not covered by his insurer.

“Can I pay for it myself?”

“It’s very expensive.”

“How much?”

“$750.”

“For a tube of cream?”

“Yes.”

Candidates have a responsibility to dispel anti-vax myths

Vaccinations, and especially mandatory vaccination policies, are critical to the health of our society. In the past 20 years, some have questioned the efficacy of vaccinations, skeptical of the plethora of science indicating they are safe, effective and cost-effective. While we all can agree that our state’s mandatory vaccination policies must be based on solid evidence, parents must trust our governmental public health agencies to ensure this is the case. As some rare diseases, such as Mumps or Whooping Cough are making a resurgence in Connecticut, now more than ever, public figures have the responsibility to educate questioning parents about the underlying science and dispel any myths that they may hold.

The new governor should make evidence-based decisions on improving our schools

A recent NY Times article calls attention to a $773 million failed experiment within New York City Public Schools — an effort intended to address the city’s 94 lowest-performing schools. New York City’s “Renewal” effort proved to be another flash-in-the-pan attempt at addressing the district’s most struggling schools. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his city’s adoption of the Renewal program in late 2014; this initiative came on the heels of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sweeping school closures and charter replacements.

Pension debt proposals that exacerbate the problem

Two candidates compete against each other for office in one of Connecticut’s electoral districts.  Each candidate seeks to distinguish himself by offering a purportedly creative solution to the problem of Connecticut’s massive and growing debt for public employee pensions. Each deserves credit for an attempt to move beyond a naked demand that taxpayers pay more and receive less, but taxpayers should be informed about the potential pitfalls of each proposal, and should be aware that neither candidate is willing to address the fundamental problems creating and increasing the debt arising from Connecticut’s public employee pensions. 

No words – until now

It is April 11, 1914. Fannie Saphirstein, 28, signs the Department of Labor’s Naturalization Form #2203 in which she describes herself as white of fair complexion, height 5 feet and weight 118 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. She was born in Bialistock, Russia, on the 25th day of March in 1886. She immigrated to America from Antwerp on the vessel Zeeland. She attests that her last foreign residence was Bialistock, Russia. Her occupation? A cigar maker.

Voters need to test candidates on how their policies will support seniors

In the coming weeks, our state’s elected leaders – from governor to senators and representatives – must face the voters and win their support in the November elections. There are many important issues confronting our state, including negative economic growth, huge debt in our state employees’ and teachers’ pension funds, aging infrastructure, high taxes at both state and local levels, and diminishing state financial support of our towns. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that to make Connecticut’s recovery a reality, we also need to keep our seniors from moving away.