The Bells of Balangiga are going home!** The announcement by Secretary of Defense Mattis about the bells last Friday, on the eve of the last weekend before the most exciting statewide primary elections in some time, was overshadowed by last minute local campaign media blitz and political punditry.
All across Connecticut, chances are you never heard or read about this news, and if you saw it, you probably could have cared even less about it.
Is it hot enough for ya? Even if you don’t believe it’s caused by humans, there is no doubt our planet is heating up. And as global warming increases, so will our travel problems. Meteorologists agree that thunderstorms, tornados and hurricanes are all getting stronger and causing greater damage. Hardly a summer passes without extensive flight delays caused by storm-fronts, let alone hurricanes like Harvey and Maria.
Tuesday’s five-way race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination resulted in a nominee, investment banker and former GE executive, Bob Stefanowski who earned less than 30 percent of the vote. Stefanowski soundly bested Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and the rest of the GOP field. But he earned just over 42,000 total votes. There are more than 480,000 registered Republicans in the state. Stefanowski moves onto the general election despite being the first choice of fewer than one in 10. Stefanowski’s total number of votes, as well as his overall percentage, are the lowest for any nominee in modern times. It doesn’t have to be this way — and these results ought to encourage a fresh look at electoral reforms that produce winners with true majority support. First among them would be ranked choice voting.
Planning is what we are taught in our society. We plan for our retirement, we plan for our children’s education, we plan for our next vacations. What we do not plan for is the illness of a loved one. My family was faced with the sudden illness of my dad last spring. After a very critical time spent in the hospital, he was sent home with a new, very complex medication list to manage. This was something our family never thought to plan for.
A recent CTViewpoints opinion — Connecticut’s four year public state university graduation rates fall short — correctly observed that Connecticut’s state universities “have a responsibility to help students graduate.” Their success would “provide the state with more educated individuals equipped to enter the workforce and ultimately, enable them to become more productive citizens.” The good news is that the CSCU universities are in fact successful in achieving that objective. But that was not the conclusion of the author of the op-ed, who argued that six-year graduation rates of the CSCU universities were unacceptably low.
Short-term healthcare plans aren’t fundamentally effective for Connecticut families, and medical insurance now has become a burden to society. I have grave concerns about the Trump administration’s new rules regarding healthcare insurance, which allow the sale of cheaper health care plans on the market. These plans are originally intended only for short-term use.
Does glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weedkiller Roundup, cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma? This question is at issue now in a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court. Hundreds more claims have been cleared to proceed in a federal multi-district lawsuit. Much of this litigation is based on a 2015 determination by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. This report has come under heavy criticism, which is not surprising because there’s a lot of money at stake.
I used to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and politicians. I actually thought the first two brought me gifts and the latter cared about me and my community. Well, those days are gone. We are now neck deep in the primary round of campaigning for our state’s top officials and I hope you’ve been paying attention. The promises and the BS are piling up pretty fast, especially when it comes to the issue of transportation.
If there’s one state that knows all too well the pain, the grief and the shock that gun violence can bring, it’s the state of Connecticut. That’s why we passed the nation’s strongest common-sense gun safety laws – banning the sale of high-capacity gun magazines and requiring background checks for private gun sales – in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Just this week, Republicans ducked answering where they stand on the next battle against criminals who want to do harm – the 3D printing of guns. When asked “Should Connecticut ban 3D-printable, untraceable guns?” each of the Republican gubernatorial candidates refused to support common-sense regulations on 3D-printed guns.
What exactly does a comptroller do? It’s probably the question I’m asked most often on the campaign trail, but the truth is that the office of State Comptroller has the potential to be one of the most important, influential public offices in state government. Why? Because the economic crisis that Connecticut faces today has its roots in a political problem, not just an economic one.