Archive | June, 2014

Plan Parenthood to Host Men’s Health Program


MIDDLETOWN — June 9  to  June 15 will be Men’s Health Week. So Planned Parenthood of Southern New England is highlighting the need for regular checkups — and, if they are sexually active, regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV — as a critical part of staying healthy for men of all ages.

Men are less likely to visit the doctor until they are experiencing the symptoms of a serious ailment. Twenty-four percent of men do not have a usual source of health care, and twenty-one percent of men did not have a health care visit at all in 2012, according to research.

“PPSNE is proud to be a source of care for men in Connecticut and Rhode Island and to answer any questions they may have about their health,” said Dr. Timothy Spurrell, Medical Director of PPSNE. “A visit to a health care provider is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have — nothing is off-limits. We are here to give you accurate, nonjudgmental information and advice.”

Planned Parenthood provides basic health care for men, including testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing, and sexual health information and education. For more information, go to Planned Parenthood’s online tool The Check.

It offers guidance and tips about STDs and helps direct people to a local health center. To find the health center nearest you call 1 (800) 230-PLAN (7526) or visit ppsne.org.

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CT Healthcare Exchange Launches App


HARTFORD– After what it deemed a successful initial enrollment period, Access Health CT  has launched the nation’s first mobile application for a state health care exchange.

Officials said this mobile app is “another way for consumers to connect and enroll” in the affordable healthcare. It also aims to provide consumers with a new, easy way to compare health care coverage options access information and enroll in quality, affordable plans. The free application offers nearly all the functionality of the website, in an easy-to-use mobile format.

The app was designed for the most commonly used mobile platforms, including iPhone and Android devices. It is currently available for free from the Apple iTunes App Store for iPhone operating iOS 6 or later, and will be available for download beginning on June 6 from theGoogle Play Store for Android devices running Android 2.3 or later.

During the 2014 open enrollment period, 25 percent of consumers accessed our website from a mobile device, officials said. This app “will make it much easier for consumers to compare and shop on-the-go and will be another tool for our residents, brokers and outreach workers to assist people in their communities.”

Additionally, the app allows consumers to browse anonymously, determine potential eligibility for financial assistance, and view plan information, including all of the plan details and documents that are available on the website.

Until open enrollment begins for 2015, residents will only be able to shop for coverage through Access Health CT under special circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or loss of insurance coverage from an employer and Medicaid enrollment which is open all year.

For more information about special enrollment, please visit www.accesshealthct.com.

 

 

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77-Year Old Grandmother to Graduate High School


By David Medina, Contributor

HARTFORD — Betty Ayers spent most of her 77 years raising children. She raised two of her own, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

On June 5, she will get up on the stage at the Bulkeley High School Auditorium and receive the high school diploma she earned as one of 145 graduates of Hartford Public Schools’ Adult Education Center.

Inspired by her life’s story, the staff at the center at 110 Washington Street also selected Ayers to address her fellow graduates at the commencement ceremony.

Ayers said that, during her many years of raising children, she was constantly seeking out government programs that provided her with opportunities to study English, Math and typing. Under the city’s Senior Aid Program, she worked in customer service in the Office of the Mayor from 2003 to 2008, when her position was eliminated.

She enrolled in the Adult Education program last year, she says, because the only way to get ahead in life is to have a diploma.

“It has been a great pleasure to have Ms. Ayers in our program,” said Thomas A. Blake, the center’s social worker. “She has served as a role model for our students and shared her wisdom with both students and staff.”

The center will present diplomas from both the GED Preparation Program and the National External Diploma Program, which assesses the high school level skills of adults, like Ms. Ayers, based on their life and work experiences. Hartford State Representative Angel Arce will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

According to Dr. Tina Jeter, the director of the center, 95 percent of the graduating students there are employed and many have amazing stories to tell of perseverance and overcoming barriers to earn their diploma. We welcome your coverage of this event.

 

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Stop the Mass School Killings, Change How We Raise Our Children


By Glenn Mollette

I sold Grit newspapers when I nine years old. It was always a great day when I had sold my last Grit for the week. The profit was five cents per paper. Some weeks I made as much as two dollars!  I lived in a very rural area so bicycling up and down the road and knocking on doors took time and was a workout. However, it was always a good feeling of accomplishment to sell all my Grits. I had other responsibilities as a kid, such as mowing a huge yard with a push mower or cutting the hillside with a manual mowing side blade. The list is longer but enough of that.

Too many of today’s kids are missing that feeling of accomplishing something from work.  Too much is handed to them. Many come in from school, lock themselves up in their rooms and station themselves in front of their hi-speed internet computers while texting, posting on Facebook or doing it all on their expensive cell phones. They come and go from the house in cars provided by mom and dad stopping to converse with them only when they need gas or spending money. Some of these same kids never show their report cards, often lie about their whereabouts and are verbally abusive with their parents when they are questioned about anything.

glen mollettWhen asked to do dishes, make their beds, pick up trash or help mow the yard the moaning begins. Whose fault is all of this? It’s our fault. We can only blame ourselves.

Parents have tried too hard to give their kids what they did not have. We have tried to make life easier the-hartford-guardian-Opinionfor our kids than it was for us. We have tried to save our children from pain and comfort them with extra cash, gadgets and little to no responsibility. The result has been a generational disaster.  Today we have kids who have enough time on their hands to sit and hate their classmates while plotting out how they might destroy them. All of this because their classmates didn’t treat them like King Tut, or how mom and Dad treat them at home.

The recent twenty-two year old California kid is a sad example. He was driving around in a BMW with a car full of expensive guns, cash and time to create hate movies and write insane diatribes about killing people. The tragedy is that he followed through. People were killed and a community is now devastated for the ages.

The kid from California needed his butt kicked by his parents, his cash, BMW, and all the gadgets stripped away. We can’t lavish the abundance of life on people who are acting like monsters.  As parents we make them monsters by continuing to underwrite their smart-mouthed, rebellious and even evil behavior.

I understand he had severe mental issues. We live in a society of mental illness and it’s growing. Why is it growing? That’s another column. However, we don’t like the stigma of mental illness but families must reach out for help. Importantly, we must be very active about implementing strong measures before disaster strikes. Dealing with such an illness requires more than a fifty minute counseling session once a week.

There are a lot of great hard working kids in America. In most cases the kids in America who grow up a little hungry end up on top. Not always, but in most cases. These are the Kids who have responsibility at home. They have to work some in the family unit. They are expected to earn some of their cash. They are expected to do well in school and know that someday they must leave the house and be on their own without the financial backing of mom and dad.

We don’t want another Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech or Santa Barbara massacre and one of the ways to stop it is to change how we are raising our children.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com.   Like his facebook page atwww.facebook.com/glennmollette.

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Rep. David Baram Garners Public Funds


BLOOMFIELD/WINDSOR — State Rep. David Baram, who serves Bloomfield and Windsor, is one of the first eight politicians to receive grant payments for the August primaries and the November election.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission announced on Friday that it will make its first public grant payments under the Citizens’ Election Program for the Aug. 12 primaries and the Nov. 4 general election.

The CEP program  is a voluntary program that gives money to those seeking public office in the General Assembly and other statewide offices.

To qualify for public campaign financing,candidates must demonstrate they have adequate support from the public. Candidates running for state representative must also raise $5,000 from at least 150 individuals living in their district.

Candidates for state senate accomplish this by raising $15,000 from at least 300 individuals residing in municipalities in their district. Participating candidates may only accept small dollar contributions from certain individuals—the maximum contribution is $100—and no contributions from state contractors or PACs.

Grant amounts vary.

Officials said that the grant program was designed, in part, to reduce the influence of special interests in state politics. In its fourth full cycle of providing public funding to General Assembly candidates, the CEP continues to provide a seawall against the rising tide of special interest money in today’s elections.

The Commission determined that state representative candidates Tim Ackert (R – 8th District), David Baram (D – 15th District), Gail Lavielle (R – 143rd District), Joseph Polletta (D – 68th District), Robert Sampson (R – 80th District), Mary Stone (D – 23rd District), Emily Wilson (R – 142nd District) and Melissa Ziobron (R – 34th District) were eligible to receive Program grants. The Commission also determined that state senate candidate Bob Duff (D – 25th District) was eligible to receive a Program grant. Baram (D – 15th District) began serving in March 2009 and is one the Judiciary and Banking committees.

The Commission will be accepting applications from candidates in primaries until July 18 and, for candidates in the general election, until Oct. 10.

The Citizens’ Election Program is a voluntary program which allows qualifying candidates for General Assembly and statewide offices to receive full public financing.

To qualify for public campaign financing,candidates must demonstrate they have adequate support from the public. Typically, primary grant amounts are $11,140 for state representative candidates and $38,990 for state senate candidates, but amounts are higher if the candidates run in districts where one major party has a large advantage in the number of electors registered with that party.

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