Blaming the unions is a convenient distraction. Don’t fall for it.

I am a proud union member from a union family, and a lifetime member of the United Auto Workers union.  In the mid- to late 80s I remember walking picket lines with my father and the union workers at Colt Firearms as they endured one of the longest strikes in Connecticut history. Today we are still reaping the benefits of the sacrifices that were made by so many union members willing to stand together united for a just cause.

Kids in the juvenile justice system have fallen through budget cracks

In the last minutes of the 2018 legislative session, we got a state budget. Legislators showed commitment and determination in reaching a bi-partisan agreement. The dust hasn’t cleared yet — there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding what got funded and what didn’t. It is all too evident, however, that even dust-settling won’t clear away a fundamental reality. Children have fallen through system cracks due to a failure to plan and budget appropriately to meet the behavioral health needs of children in and at risk for being in the juvenile justice system.

Let’s make Connecticut’s attorney general part of the solution

Connecticut’s Office of Attorney General should model integrity, fairness, and inspire respect for the law. Our courts, the judicial process, and law enforcement officials are vital. They need a strong advocate. Incredibly, a Republican has not won the Office of Attorney General in Connecticut since 1954!  But this year, change is critical to restore our state’s economic competitiveness. And that requires a new brand of leadership from the attorney general.

The calculus of dumbing down community college math

I challenge the validity of the transfer of credits for the course Calculus III from Connecticut community colleges to the University of Connecticut. Generally speaking, the standards associated with the teaching of the Calculus III (multivariable) course at Connecticut community colleges are very low. The community college classes do not teach the “essential” Fundamental Theorems of Multivariable Calculus – Gradient, Green’s, Stokes and Divergence. They are called fundamental for a reason! These four theorems set the foundation for Maxwell’s Equations.

The state must stop embezzling unclaimed money

Should the state seize money belonging to Girl Scouts, without their knowledge, and give it to politicians to fund their campaigns? What about money from animal shelters, volunteer fire departments, the Red Cross, or other charities? How about all of those plus countless businesses and individuals — and maybe you? That’s happening and it’s disgraceful.

An attorney for the people, or an attorney for the state?

As we head toward primary season in the attorney general race in both parties, candidates are saying they’ll use the office to fight – or support – Donald Trump. One Democrat says he would be “first in line” to challenge the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act” if it passes Congress. Another promises to sue payday lenders under Dodd-Frank if Trump fails to act. Meanwhile, in the Republican primary, one candidate says the race is “critical to #MAGA,” tagging the President’s Twitter account. But setting Trump aside for a moment, there are many roles of an attorney general that are not so sexy and not clear cut.

On Memorial Day, a story of false pride

On this Memorial Day, imagine this.  It’s late in the year 2007.  A company of Connecticut Army National Guard troops are stationed somewhere in Iraq, let’s say a small village called Daskara Nahr.  This village, once a hotbed of Islamic extremist activity, has been pacified and is now considered a model converted territory run by a trusted village chieftain allegedly known to be cooperative and friendly with the coalition troops assigned to stand guard duty and supervise the “Democratization program.”

Liberals, be grateful for conservative court’s ruling on sports betting

Liberals are not in the habit of expressing gratitude for the five conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, especially since one of them, Justice Neil Gorsuch, presides where some liberals believe President Obama’s nominee should rightly be. But liberals should be grateful, at least this week, in the wake of a ruling that struck down a federal anti-gambling law because the decision strengthens blue-state resistance to President Donald Trump. Moreover, it might deepen appreciation for something liberals historically dislike: federalism and the doctrine of state’s rights.

Children of color are drowning — in pools … and in schools

Our children are drowning. The rate of drowning, in a literal sense, for children of color is three times that of white children in this country per Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America. The rate of academic drowning is much the same.  Now New Haven has lost three more of its schools due to racial isolation standards. However, I can’t help but ask if districts that are predominantly white would also be forced to close due to their lack of minority student enrollment.

Dysfunctional schools are crippling our children — and it’s our fault

I’ve taught English at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford for six years. We currently have five math teachers for grades 6-12, and during my tenure, I’ve seen eight other math teachers come and go. Some left for other opportunities. Some left because they were unprepared for the demands of this job; at least one left teaching all together. Three left mid-year, forcing us to use a long-term sub while we looked for a suitable replacement.