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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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State to Hold ‘Step Up’ Business Conference


WETHERSFIELD  – There is still time for employers to register for the free Step Up conference on June 3 in Bristol.

The conference, which  will be in the Oaks Ballroom at the Hilton on located at 42 Century Drive, Bristol, is scheduled to be from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. and a continental breakfast will be provided.

Conference topics include incentives such as a six-month wage subsidy and training grants under the Subsidized Training and Employment (Step Up) program, low-interest financing through the Small Business Express Program,  job expansion tax credits, guidelines for becoming a State of Connecticut vendor, and tax incentives for equipment purchases.

Free assistance for business planning, market analysis services and website design will also be featured.

In addition to informational presentations, program representatives will answer questions and determine how employers can optimize the various services offered to Connecticut businesses.

The Step Up conference is being hosted by area legislators, including State Sen. Jason C. Welch, State Rep. Christopher A. Wright, and State Rep. Frank N. Nicastro. Sponsors include Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Secretary of State Denise Merrill, the Connecticut Department of Labor, the state’s Workforce Investment Boards, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and a number of community partners and organizations.

To pre-register or for a list of additional Step Up conferences being offered in June, please visit the Labor Department’s Step Up website at www.StepCT.com.  For questions about the Bristol Step Up conference please contact Janice Albert at Janice.Albert@ct.gov or (860) 827-6207.

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Larson Joins Nation in Mourning Death of Maya Angelou


HARTFORD — The nation has lost one of its prized possession: Maya Angelou.

Congressman John B. Larson released the following statement Wednesday on the passing of author, poet, actress and teacher Maya Angelou:

“Today, the nation lost a literary giant whose impact reached the hearts of millions around the world. Dr. Maya Angelou overcame great adversity before going on to receive wide praise in the arts, becoming a voice for justice and an inspiration for the American people. What she meant to this country cannot be understated as we look back at her work and honor a lifetime of achievement.”

The White House also released a statement, saying that this brilliant writer and fierce friend was truly a phenomenal woman.

“Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things–an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller–an her greatest stories were true.”

Maya Angelou, author of the classic book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing” died Wednesday in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86.

Her book, Caged Bird, catapulted her to fame. It chronicled her childhood traumas in the Jim Crow South and was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership.

Hartford Mayor Pedro  Segarra also released the following statementregarding the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou:

“Maya Angelou will be remembered as one of the most prominent literary figures of the Twentieth Century, and through her craft, she bore lyrical witness to sweeping changes in how the United States approached issues of race and cultural identity. Through her activism, she furthered the causes she chronicled in her work. She will be missed, and we should honor her by continuing to pursue her goals of justice and unity.”

 

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Adams: Connecticut Should “Get Your House in Order”


Updated May 28, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

By Ann-Marie Adams, Ph.D.

There’s this saying when it comes to getting a job or resources for your business or home: It’s who you know.

Here’s why this saying is problematic, especially if you live in a segregated state such as Connecticut, where all-white suburban residents terrorize the few blacks who move into towns that don’t have local buses traveling from the urban core to the outer-ringed suburbs.

Dr_AnnMarie_AdamsIf you go to an almost all-white school, attend an all-white church, shop in a supermarket where blacks and other people of color are menial workers, you as a white person won’t know too many people of color—except those in menial positions.

So guess what? The all-time saying of “It’s who you know, not what you know”—doesn’t fit the bill here when it comes to doling out city, state and federal funds, especially services to small businesses, home owners and all other human beings.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionOn Wednesday morning at the Mark Twain House on Farmington Avenue, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy chaired a roundtable discussion about small businesses that are doing well under his small business express loan programs and other state incentives designed to help foster a good climate where small businesses can start and grow.

All the success stories came from white men.

In fact, the room did not have any black women business owners at press time. So I guess black women and other minority business people are out of the loop—because they don’t know anyone in that room.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy chairs roundtable of successful start-up companies under small business programs.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy chairs roundtable of successful start-up companies under small business programs.

Perhaps we should retire that saying when it comes to city, state and federal programs–as well as for services rendered by organizations that get federal funding–such as Hartford Hospital and its affiliates, the Hartford Medical Group, St. Francis Hospital, John Dempsey Hospital and its affiliates, Manchester Memorial Hospital and all its affiliates in the ECHN network.

That also goes for the Community Health Center in Hartford and New Britain. Agencies such as CT Transit, LogistiCare and all relevant subcontractors should also be audited for their blatant discriminatory tactics I’ve witnessed in the last six months and will report on in the coming months.

That’s because these programs have specific guidelines to prohibit the kind of blatant discrimination I’ve experienced while seeking service and scrutinizing these programs. The Connecticut Department of Social Services is unbelievable conduit for employees who are clueless about these federal guidelines. A quick glance of the various types of discrimination prohibited by the laws and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can be found here for their benefit.

The city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut should also have its employees take a refresher course in these guidelines. Otherwise, they should be prepared for a tsunami of lawsuits from educated consumers. And the buck stops with whomever is heading these agencies. And that includes Hartford’s mayor Pedro Segarra and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

So here’s a popular saying they should heed to as well: get your house in order.

And just in case you’re thinking I’m out of my place–meaning I’m acting like I’m a citizen with rights or any of those fancy things protected by the United States Constitution–you should explain to me why others have rights and I don’t.

Perhaps we could battle this out in court–if need be. But I’m thinking the state of Connecticut has a high percentage of educated and decent people who can argue this case very well.

After all, Connecticut is the home of the 19th-Century abolitionist movement. And their descendants–in spirit and in truth–are  already poised to make their presence known and felt again.

Photo Credit:http://www.elsolnews.com. Gov. Dannel Malloy announces the first round of small business grants in 2013.

 

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Labor Department Now Offers Online Help


WETHERSFIELD – The Connecticut Department of Labor’s online Unemployment Insurance Assistance Center is now available in Spanish, as well as English.

The online service center, which can be found at www.filectui.com, offers a number of unemployment insurance services, including the ability to request an address change, reset a locked account or PIN for benefit filing, make changes to income tax withholding status, and notify the agency upon a return to work.

The online service, first launched a year ago, currently receives up to 1,500 requests each month. The site also has a “UI Basics” section for first time filers, provides information on unemployment benefits that have been paid, instructs people about how to file an appeal, and contains information on how to report suspected fraud. 

According to officials, requently asked questions include whether a person is eligible to collect unemployment, and if an individual can file for benefits while working part-time or attending school or training classes. Answers to these types of questions can easily be found on the site, along with instructions outlining how to apply for benefits via the state’s direct deposit system.

 

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Dean Baquet Named 1st African-American Executive Editor at the New York Times


By Stephen A. Crockett, Jr., The Root

Dean Baquet will become the first African-American executive editor at the New York Times, replacing Jill Abramson, who leaves the top position unexpectedly. The news apparently stunned New York Times staffers, who did not see this move coming.

On Wednesday Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the New York Times and chairman of the New York Times Co., first told senior staff of the changng of the guard and then informed the full newsroom around 2:30 p.m., the New York Times reports.

While the reason for the change was not immediately made clear, Baquet—a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and a former editor of the Los Angeles Times—seems a fitting choice to lead the newspaper.

“It is an honor to be asked to lead the only newsroom in the country that is actually better than it was a generation ago, one that approaches the world with wonder and ambition every day,” said Baquet, who at the time of his appointment to helm the New York Times was the newspaper’s managing editor.

Baquet, 57, was born in New Orleans and has worked in the newspaper industry for more than 25 years, beginning in 1980 with his hometown paper, the States-Item, before it merged with the Times-Picayune, Businessweek.com reports.

In 1984 he joined the Chicago Tribune, where four years later he led a three-member team that would win a Pulitzer Prize for in-depth investigative reporting on corruption among the Chicago City Council.

According to Businessweek.com, Baquet left the Tribune in 1990 to join the New York Times, and over the next decade he served in several positions: first as a metropolitan reporter, then as special projects editor and as a deputy metropolitan editor. He would leave a national editor position at the paper in 2000 to join the Los Angeles Times. There, Baquet served as editor and executive vice president of Los Angeles Times Communications until November 2006, when he rejoined the New York Times as chief executive of the paper’s Washington bureau.

“There is no journalist in our newsroom or elsewhere better qualified to take on the responsibilities of executive editor at this time than Dean Baquet,” Sulzberger said in announcing Baquet’s appointment.

“He is an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization.”

Abramson, who was appointed to the position of executive editor in 2011, was the first woman to serve at the helm of the New York Times. The reason for her abrupt departure was not made clear, with Sulzberger attributing it only to “an issue with management in the newsroom.”

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CT Ends Contribution Cap After Court Decision


HARTFORD – The Center for Competitive Politics has urged Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to respond quickly to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, a ruling that ensures that Connecticut does not continue to violate its citizens’ First Amendment rights.

In McCutcheon, the Court ruled that citizens could not be limited in how much they spend overall on contributions to political candidates, parties and PACs in each election cycle. To ensure compliance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court ruling states that the state should repeal Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-611(c) as soon as possible.

In response, Connecticut’s Elections Enforcement Commission released an advisory opinion on Thursday, saying that it “will not enforce the aggregate contribution limits from individuals to various committees” in the state law because the law is unconstitutional under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. 

With the ruling, Connecticut becomes the fourth state to announce it will halt enforcement of such laws.

The Supreme Court’s April ruling in the case McCutcheon v. FEC. CCP’s letter is cited by the Commission’s opinion.

CCP reports that similar laws in as many as 17 states and the District of Columbia are constitutionally suspect.

“We’re pleased the Commission promptly confirmed that the law was unconstitutional and announced it would halt its enforcement,” said David Keating, CCP President. “To ensure full compliance with the First Amendment, Connecticut should also repeal this law as soon as possible. We hope the legislature and governor will act soon to complete the job started by the Commission.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the Court, “The Government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse.”

The Commission’s opinion notes that it “will continue to apply and enforce” the contribution limits “a donor can give to a single candidate or committee.”

A copy of CCP’s letter to Connecticut officials is available here.

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Greater Hartford Chabad to Host Sassy Reuven


HARTFORD – This May Chabad of Greater Hartford will be hosting Sassy Reuvena veteran of the Israel Defense Special Operation Forces.

During the terror-filled years of 1973-1976 Sassy served in the IDF’s elite “Red Beret” paratrooper unit. He participated in several covert operations in Israel’s mighty struggle against Arab terrorism.

In July of 1976, Sassy participated in the famed Entebbe counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission code named “Operation Thunderbolt”, flying thousands of miles over enemy territory to rescue Jewish hostages being held by terrorists in Uganda.

A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane was hijacked, by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells, and flown to Entebbe, the main airport of Uganda. More than 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers remained as hostages and were threatened with death.

Sassy will share his personal experience, step-by-step from the moment he was called to duty, including the preparation for the mission, landing in Uganda & completing the mission behind enemy lines.

His story is Israel’s story: of courage, endurance, defiance and a willingness to sacrifice it all for the right to live in your homeland in freedom.

The event will be on Wednesday, May 21, 7:00pm at the Chabad House, 2352 Albany Avenue in West Hartford. To register log on to www.ChabadHartford.com, call 860-232-1116 or email: info@ChabadHartford.com

 

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EMS Bike Ride to Honor Emergency Workers


HARTFORD – The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, which brings recognition to emergency workers killed and injured while on duty, will hold its opening ceremony in Boston, MA on May 17.

The ceremony kicks off the seven-day ride that ends on May 23 in Alexandria, Virginia and travels through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia.

The ride will begin in Southbridge, MA and travel through Hartford, Middletown and Meriden, CT. On the morning of May 19 a ceremony will be held in Waterbury. The riders will continue through Middlebury, Southbury, Newtown and Danbury, CT before heading into New York to conclude their day.

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long distance cycling events which memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties and those who have died in the line of duty.

The EMS Memorial Bike Ride has been in existence since 2000 starting with a handful of individuals from Boston EMS and has grown to well over 200 participating in the East Coast, Kentucky, Colorado and West Coast rides in 2013.

According to officials, the aim the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is to see recognition of EMS as a profession, a reduction in debilitating injuries and line of duty deaths in EMS and a national EMS accountability system.

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Early Quinnipiac Poll Shows Malloy and Foley in Tight 2014 Race for Governor


By Eugene Joh, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  A slight majority of voters approve of the way Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is currently handling his job, but do not think he deserves reelection, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. The study, conducted between May 1 and 6, surveyed 1,668 registered voters in the state.

tomfoley concedesThe poll shows that 48 percent of respondents said that they approve of Malloy’s performance, against 46 percent who said they disapproved. When asked about whether or not Malloy deserved a second term, however, only 44 percent were in favor of his reelection. And 48 percent were against putting him back in office.

The news comes at a troubling time for Malloy, who looks to gain ground against familiar foe Tom Foley (R) in the 2014 gubernatorial race in November. Last week’s poll numbers also indicated that Malloy and Foley are deadlocked at 43 percent each heading into the most intense months of the campaign trail.

Four years ago, Malloy narrowly defeated Foley in the gubernatorial race by a margin of less than 1 percent, edging the race with about 6,500 more votes than his opponent. Early indications are that this year may provide a similarly close contest.

“It’s déjà vu all over again,” Douglas Schwartz, the director of the poll, said in a statement. “…Malloy and Foley remain locked in a dead heat,” he said.

Opinions of Malloy as an individual were almost even among those surveyed, with 46 percent saying their opinion is favorable and 45 percent saying it is unfavorable. Foley holds a better ratio with 36 percent favorable to 23 percent unfavorable, but the largest majority, 39 percent, said they haven’t heard enough about him, something that will likely change in the coming months.

The poll indicates a 35-53 majority disapprove of Malloy’s handling of the state budget, to go along with a 32-61 mark for taxes and a 38-55 mark for jobs and the economy. 45 percent of respondents who disapproved of Malloy in the poll said their main reason for disapproval was the budget, taxes, or jobs/economy. Conversely, just 14 percent of respondents who approved of Malloy said the main reason for their approval had to do with those three issues.

“Economic issues are dragging Gov. Malloy down,” Schwartz said. “A bright spot for Malloy is that voters think he has strong leadership qualities and is honest and trustworthy.”

The only decisive section of the poll for Malloy was when respondents were asked about his character. A 59-36 majority in the poll said that Malloy has strong leadership skills, while a 57-33 majority said they believe he is honest and trustworthy.

The poll indicates that Foley is the clear frontrunner in the Republican Party, holding a 39-9 advantage over his next closest competitor Mark Boughton. Leading up to primaries, Foley and Malloy seem poised for a sequel to their dramatic 2010 race for governor, with public opinion looking to be as indecisive as ever.

Tom Foley conceding his defeat in the 2008 gubernatorial election. Quinnipiac Poll shows it’s déjà vu.

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