Kavanaugh’s confirmation — A seismic shift in political power

The ugly battle is over. By a slim margin and largely along party lines, Brett Kavanaugh has replaced the moderate Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, theoretically solidifying a 5-4 conservative majority. Here are the salient points from this landmark battle.

Parents: Vaccinate your sons and daughters against cancer!

Most of the vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and required to enter public school in Connecticut are administered in early childhood and completed by age 4, and then begin again at age 11 (excepting the yearly influenza vaccine). But there is an additional and essential vaccine that was explicitly developed to prevent cancer: the vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV).

The one thing all candidates can agree on

There is not much consensus among our gubernatorial candidates this election cycle, but one topic that appears to have generated genuine agreement is that Connecticut needs to do more to ensure our state has the talent it needs for the economy to thrive.  It seems every day we read about manufacturers that have thousands of unfilled jobs due to the lack of skilled workers.   We have a burgeoning start-up community that is straining to keep growing companies here because they cannot find enough software engineers at their fingertips.  State leaders warn all sectors are at risk without a more skilled and robust cyber security workforce in place.  The Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth finds the largest disparity in workforce supply and demand is among healthcare practitioners.

Death with dignity — Why doesn’t Connecticut have it?

Most U.S. doctors favor allowing patients suffering from an incurable illness to seek a dignified death, according to a survey of more than 21,000 medical professionals. Medscape, an online resource for medical professionals, surveyed doctors across the country last year and found that 54 percent of respondents favored death with dignity — the first time that a majority of doctors has indicated support for physician-aid in dying.

Nagging questions about the future of Hartford’s South Meadows

Which is better for the residents of Hartford: a trash- to- energy plant or a 250 megawatt gas- fired power plant? City officials have voiced strong opposition to the current proposal to modernize the waste processing facility in Hartford’s South Meadows, arguing there are better uses for the site, and that the facility imposes significant health impacts on residents. The City Council impaneled a Solid Waste Task Force to consider alternatives for managing the city’s waste. While some council members have spoken of marinas or upscale riverfront condominiums, the area is suitable only for commercial/ industrial development.

The Kavanaugh battle is not about sexual harrassment

Many people on both sides of the aisle are amazed by the virulent passions being stirred by the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. They shouldn’t be. In fact, given the stakes, it is surprisingly civil. This battle is not about sexual harassment, binge drinking, judicial qualifications or the #MeToo movement. It is about raw power. It is about who makes policy: elected representatives or power-hungry judges and bureaucrats.

Candidates for governor: Support elimination of the Board of Regents

It is now apparent to anyone paying attention that the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) is a bloated failure that has not addressed, let alone solved, the very real challenges facing Connecticut’s community colleges and state universities. After seven years and $250 million taxpayer dollars it has achieved nothing unless you count a succession of failed and worse presidents, forfeited opportunities and blatantly political staff selections, right up to the current life boating of OPM appointee Ben Barnes.

Civics 101: Public trust requires Supreme Court justices who speak truth under oath

The White House announced that only four people, none of them former classmates who have contradicted Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony, have been interviewed by the FBI. In addition to the four people whom the White House named, the following individuals must also be interviewed in order to ascertain if Brett Kavanaugh perjured himself when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27:…

To the new governor: Dismantle, rebuild the Board of Regents

To the 2018 CT Gubernatorial Candidates

Throughout the gubernatorial primaries and campaigns, while facing Connecticut’s enormous financial challenges, you have all made clear your interest in helping the state’s businesses and industries. We are a group of community college advocates who would like to encourage innovative thinking and the potential for changes in public higher education that would benefit the state’s businesses and industries, as well as its students.

Creating systems in which all children can be happy, healthy, and successful

Last week, both CT Voices for Children and the Connecticut Health and Development Institute (CHDI) issued publications focusing on the young child. CT Voices addressed access to high-quality early care and education; CHDI promoted a system through which early childhood professionals become more skilled in detecting mental health problems early. Both publications hit the nail on the head; early childhood professionals are in the ideal position to detect developmental delays and early childhood mental health concerns. The importance of revealing developmental delays at an early stage has been addressed since the 1960s; more recently the early identification of mental health concerns gained traction too. Addressing mental health concerns at a young age can increase the likelihood that children will grow up happy, healthy, and successful.