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North End Golf Course Receives Award


HARTFORD — Hartford’s Keney Park Golf Course was recently awarded “Renovation of the Year 2016” by Golf Inc. magazine.

The award brings national attention to this historic and newly restored 18-hole course that is already proving to be a destination of choice for golfers throughout Hartford and the Greater Hartford Region, city officials said.

The 18-hole, par 70 golf course occupies 6,014 yards of Hartford’s historic 700-acre Keney Park, located in the city’s North End.

In 2013, the City closed the course after a contractor that had been operating it since 2009 allowed the course to deteriorate, failing to make required capital improvements. The contractor also cut down hundreds of trees without proper permission.

On May 1, 2016, Keney Park Golf Course officially re-opened to the public for the first time in three years. Currently, the course is open from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm, seven days a week.

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Letter: Gov. Malloy and Hartford’s Stadium


 

letterstohartfordguardianDear Governor Malloy:
We are writing to urge you not to use state taxpayer dollars to bail out Hartford’s Dunkin Donuts Stadium.
As a result of construction of the stadium exceeding the agreed upon deadline, we understand that costs are now likely to increase for the project. We are also aware of comments from the Hartford Stadium Authority indicating that they will not go back to the city to seek the needed added capital. That needed capital should not come from the state and our already overburdened taxpayers.
We want to remind you of multiple statements from you and your administration that promised the state would not get involved in this project which taxpayers and the lawmakers who represent them at the Capitol never had a say in authorizing. That commitment will be broken if you sign the state budget passed by Democrats that allows taxpayer dollars through the admissions tax to go towards stadium construction debt service. That commitment will also be broken a second time if any additional aid is given to Hartford for this project’s new costs due to missing its deadline.
We fully understand the predicament Hartford is in and truly empathize with the people of Hartford who have serious concerns about the Yard Goats’ stadium project and the burden it places on the city. But the state is in no position to hand out any additional funds. Democrats just passed a budget that slashes from core social services, cuts state education funds, and hurts some of the most vulnerable populations in this state. Yet at the same time their budget gives up $400,000 annually in taxpayer dollars to go towards the Hartford stadium. It is not right that at a time when support for the poor, sick and elderly is being cut, a project that had zero taxpayer support is profiting.
No state taxpayer dollars should go towards the delayed stadium.
                                                                             Senate Republican Caucus Chair Len Fasano, et al
From:

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Yale Voted Best College in Connecticut


NEW HAVEN — Yale is number one in Connecticut.

That’s according to SmartAsset’s second annual Best Value College study.

The college leads after the result of their performance in categories including scholarships provided, starting slary, tuiton, living costs and retention rate.

Yale received an overall education value index of 80.64, according ti SmartAsset, which gave 25 percent weighting to starting  SmartAsset, which weigh things such as starting salary, tuition, and living costs; and 12.5 percent to scholarships and grants and student retention rate.

UConn had a score of 64.67. The remaining top five schools in Connecticut and their scores were: Trinity College, 54.21; Fairfield University, 51:28; Wesleyan University.

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Bronin’s Fast and Furious Approach to Hartford Welcomed


There will be more layoffs of city employees, according to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

It’s welcomed news. Here’s why.

The city is bloated with employees who forgot that they are employed to serve the public. They have duplicated services, established departments for family and cronies, and they have caused anger from people who work, play and live in the city. The money saved by firing these deadbeats in city hall and its quasi-public agencies can be used to support necessary social services to Hartford residents.

editorialbannerthumbThe money could also be used to improve quality of life and better services for its residents and workers.

Bronin sat down with The Hartford Guardian to briefly discuss those and other plans to tackle the $48 million deficit, aggreived citizens and other stakeholders, who are expectant of the Rhodes Scholar and lawyer–a possible antidote for the anti-intellectualism in Hartford.

Hartford, founded in 1637, is the state’s capitol and the seat of government. Yet Bronin is already facing mild resentment from long-time gadflies for his “to heavy and too fast” approach to the 2016-2017 budget. He has been having at least one town hall meeting per month to hear his constituents. His aim is to present himself as a “true and honest” leader ready to implement necessary changes to help the city rise.

Yet, at a recent public hearing some residents were already calling for him to go. This is quite odd.

Whatever the grievance, Bronin has to be given at least a year and six months to show what he can do to get rid of the malaise left by previous administrations.

Until all the facts are in from the peanut gallery, we will reserve judgment.

 

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State Senate Endorsements Tonight At Testo’s


By Lennie Grimaldi
BRIDGEPORT —  More than 100 combined Democratic delegates will gather at Testo’s Restaurant tonight to endorse candidates in two State Senate districts.

 

Sources said City Council President Tom McCarthy is poised for the endorsement against freshman incumbent Marilyn Moore who needs 15 percent of delegate support to qualify for an Aug. 9 primary. If she fails to secure 15 percent she can petition onto the ballot. Connecticut’s 22nd District includes the north and western portions of Bridgeport, all of Trumbull and a piece of Monroe.

The closer endorsement battle is the contest between incumbent Ed Gomes and school board chair Dennis Bradley in the 23rd Senate District that covers two thirds of Bridgeport and a slice of western Stratford.

After tonight the candidates will focus on cementing $15,000 in small donations to receive a larger pot of money under Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. Moore, Gomes and Bradley have a head start in that area. McCarthy has his first big fundraiser Tuesday night at Vazzy’s 19th Hole at the Fairchild Wheeler municipal golf course.

Contribution by Only in Bridgeport

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CT Lawmakers, Advocates Open to New Puerto Rico bill


WASHINGTON —  A rare compromise between the White House and House Republicans on how to help Puerto Rico has received cautious acceptance from Connecticut lawmakers and advocates who had rejected previous congressional efforts to help an island mired in a severe financial crisis.

“This is not a perfect bill, and I have reservations about the inclusion of extraneous provisions like delaying overtime protections for Puerto Rico’s workers,” said Rep. John Larson, D-1st District. “At the same time, we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. This is a tough but necessary compromise at a time when Puerto Rico truly needs our help.”

The Puerto Rico bill, however, caused a new clash between the Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she has “serious concerns” about parts of the plan, but she believes Congress should pass it quickly.

“Otherwise, without any means of addressing this crisis, too many Puerto Ricans will continue to suffer,” she said,

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, came out Friday in strong opposition to the proposal, saying it would give the U.S. government too much authority over Puerto Rico’s affairs.

“We must stop treating Puerto Rico like a colony and start treating the American citizens of Puerto Rico with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” Sanders said.

The compromise bill would allow the island to write down its debt in a process similar to a bankruptcy, while forcing Puerto Rico’s government to submit financial statements and budget blueprints to a federal oversight board.

That oversight board had been a flashpoint in earlier House GOP attempts to draft Puerto Rico legislation.

Under the new bill, the board would have seven members, appointed by the president from recommendations by members of the U.S. House and Senate. The panel would have the authority to enforce balanced budgets and reforms if Puerto Rico’s government fails to do so. At least one of the seven members would be a resident of Puerto Rico.

In previous drafts of the bill, the majority of those on the oversight board would have been Republican nominees, but changing that and other tweaks to the bill opened the door to Democratic backing – and support on the island.

Some Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn,, are hoping to make further changes to the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Act as the legislation makes its way through Congress.

“I am encouraged that this legislation puts us one step closer to providing Puerto Rico with a fair and workable path out of its current situation — an ongoing catastrophe that Congress cannot tolerate in any part of the United States,” Blumenthal said. “I am especially heartened that it walks back some of the poison-pill proposals that have been discussed in the past.”

The bill would not cost the U.S. govenrment any money, but it may face opposition in the House from conservatives Republicans, and its fate in the Senate is unknown.

The PROMESA Act aims to reduce a debt burden that currently eats up about a third of Puerto Rico’s revenues and to avoid courtroom battles among creditors and the island’s government that could hurt future investment in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has defaulted on a $422 million debt payment this month. It faces payments totaling $2 billion on July 1 that island officials say can’t be paid.

Blumenthal sponsored a bill that would allow Puerto Rico to declare federal bankruptcy, a protection current law doesn’t allow.

Puerto Rico is also disadvantaged in that it can’t seek aid from international lenders because it it not an independent country.

Blumenthal said he has made clear “from the beginning of this process that a solution must provide Puerto Rico with a mechanism for debt restructuring.”

“I have also been clear that any solution must respect the Puerto Rican government’s accountability to its people. In the coming days I will be speaking with experts on and off Puerto Rico to ensure that this legislation fits those criteria,” he said.

The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino advocacy group, said it is “cautiously encouraged by developments in the House of Representatives to provide relief to Puerto Rico’s financial and humanitarian crisis.”

“Having been in San Juan…and seeing what is needed, and possible, it would have been unconscionable for our elected leaders to continue to stand by while 3.5 million American families and children suffer the consequences of a debt crisis that was not of their own making,” said NCLR President Janet Murguía.

Puerto Rico’s financial crisis has resulted in an outmigration of island residents to the U.S. mainland. Florida has been the most popular destination, but many have also relocated to Connecticut, where more than 7 percent of the population is of Puerto Rican descent, the highest concentration of islanders per capita in the nation.

The Hispanic Federation, an advocacy groups with offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, called the bill “far from perfect.” But the federation said some of the “most egregious” provisions in earlier drafts of the bill had been changed, including the one concerning the oversight board.

The federation said the legislation allows Puerto Rico to restructure its debt and includes a moratorium on litigation by bond holders against the island, which it called “an important reform that will empower the commonwealth during negotiations.”

Still, the federation said it is concerned the bill would have the power to block laws, regulation and contracts approved by Puerto Rico’s legislature. It also said it is “troubled” by provisions that would allow the lowering of the minimum wage for some Puerto Rican workers and overtime pay reductions.

The PROMESA Act gives Puerto Rico’s governor the authority to designate a time period in which employers could pay newly employed workers below the federal minimum wage – currently $7.25 an hour – if those workers are under 25 years old.

“But the fact remains that this version of PROMESA is the best chance we have now to get federal relief for the people of Puerto Rico,” the federation said.

Courtesy of CTMirror

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Hartford Neighborhood Receives Funds


By Maria Fernandez | Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The State Bond Commission is expected to approve the funding for streetscape improvements along Farmington Avenue at its meeting Friday.

The news comes after many Asylum Hill residents have been working for several years on the  $15 million streetscape project that will allow the end point of the project to be extended from the corner of Farmington Avenue and Sherman Street to the corner of Farmington Avenue and Prospect Avenue at the Hartford-West Hartford border.

“This is a great investment in the City of Hartford, and I know it’s something that’s important to the people in my district especially. Extending this project through the rest of Farmington Avenue up to the Hartford-West Hartford border has been a priority of mine since its inception,” Rep. Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said. “Farmington Avenue is both a community hub and an engine for economic development in Hartford, and these improvements will highlight all that it has to offer.”

“I want to thank Representative Ritter for his hard work in securing these funds for Farmington Avenue,” Mayor Luke Bronin said. “Investing in our commercial corridors is an important way to support our small businesses, promote economic development and improve quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

City Officials said the streetscape project aims to make Farmington Avenue more pedestrian friendly, provide better street lighting, and create more on-street parking in order to better serve both residents of the neighborhood and those who work in or visit attractions in the area.

Farmington Avenue is known for large businesses such as Aetna, museums such as the Mark Twain House, historic churches, a theater company, and numerous restaurants.

The extended project will include a stretch of Farmington Avenue that is home to many popular locally-owned restaurants and businesses.

 

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Gonzalez Praises Law to Protect the Abused


Dear Editor:

The House of Representatives last week passed a bill that would protect victims of domestic violence by prohibiting the possession of firearms for anyone who becomes subject to temporary restraining order.

Studies show that the days following the issuance of a temporary restraining order are the most dangerous for a victim of domestic violence.

In fact, women in abusive relations are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm. This legislation aims to protect women during this time period. At least twenty other stats I have passed similar legislation and it’s time for Connecticut to do the same. As legislators, we have a duty to do everything we can to keep people safe.

I am proud to have supported this important, common sense legislation that will protect those in abusive relationships.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate for a vote. Please feel free to contact me at the Capitol at 1-800-842-8267.

Si necesita esta communicacion en espanol, por favor envieme el pedido por correor electronico. Gracias.

Sincerely,

Minnie Gonzalez,

House Representative, District Third District

 

 

 

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The Leads Grow as Trump wins Big, Clinton Narrowly in Connecticut


Connecticut propelled Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton closer to their parties’ presidential nominations Tuesday, with Trump winning a landslide and Clinton holding off a tenacious Bernie Sanders.

Trump won all five primaries Tuesday along I-95: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Clinton lost only Rhode Island. Connecticut was the last state placed in her column, a win declared around 10:30 p.m. by the Associated Press and most networks.

“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” Trump said in televised remarks from New York City.

Rep. Tony D’Amelio, R-Waterbury, one of the few elected officials here to endorse Trump, said it was time for other Republican officials to shake off their reservations about the brash billionaire, who has belittled foes, demonized Muslims and undocumented immigrants, and accused GOP leaders of trying to rig what may yet be a contested convention in Cleveland.

“I think it’s time for the Republican Party to come together,” D’Amelio said. “He just swept the entire Northeast, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the rest of it. There is a strong movement in this country for Donald Trump. I think his message is resonating throughout the nation.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a top Clinton supporter who now will begin work as co-chair of the Democratic platform committee, said the state’s voters made the right choice.

“Secretary Clinton is the right candidate to move our country forward and grow our economy from the middle out,” Malloy said. “As she has proved throughout her career, Hillary Clinton gets results, and I am proud to have endorsed her candidacy.”

Clinton tweeted a thank you to the state.

Sanders says he will continue to campaign.

“If you heard the boss on TV tonight, Senator Sanders made it clear – we’re going forward,” Paul Feeney, the director of his Connecticut campaign, told about three dozen supporters at a hotel in Meriden. “We knew in Connecticut that it was going to be a tough crowd for us. Closed primaries have been tough for this campaign.”

A spokesman for the Connecticut Democratic Party had no estimate Tuesday night of how the state’s 71 delegates would be apportioned. Clinton already had commitments from 15 of 16 superdelegates. The remaining 55 would be awarded based on the results statewide and in each of the five congressional districts.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invites Rep. Tony D'Amelio, R-Waterbury, onto the stage with him at Crosby High School in Waterbury on Saturday.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invites Rep. Tony  D’Amelio, R-Waterbury, onto the stage with him at Crosby High School in Waterbury on Saturday.

The only question for Trump seemed to be whether he had shut out Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the second-place finisher, in the 4th Congressional District of Fairfield County. Connecticut is sending 28 delegates to the Republican convention in Cleveland, including three superdelegates.

“We’re going to go over the numbers in the morning, but it looks as though Trump won everything,” said J.R. Romano, the Republican state chairman.

Kasich’s state chairman congratulated Trump, but said the campaign would not concede the nomination.

“If Trump gets to 1,237, he has earned the nomination, but until that happens, I know that everyone is going to work their darndest to create an environment in which there is an open convention,” said state Sen. Tony Hwang of Fairfield, the state chairman of the Kasich campaign.

For a first-ballot victory, Trump needs 1,237 votes in Cleveland.

Clinton appears to need about 250 more delegates to reach the 2,383 necessary to win the nomination in Philadelphia.

Trump closed his campaign with boisterous rallies Saturday in Waterbury and Bridgeport, part of a four-day blitz that drew every candidate to Connecticut except Ted Cruz, the Texas senator.

Trump won 58 percent of the vote. Kasich, the choice of many Republican officials, finished second with about 28 percent, and Cruz of Texas was a distant third.

Clinton won about 52 percent of the Democratic vote.

Clinton had a 9 percentage point lead over Sanders in a Quinnipiac University poll a week ago and was backed by nearly every prominent Democrat, led by Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and the entire congressional delegation. A survey by Public Policy Polling showed Sanders, who drew an audience of 14,000 to the New Haven Green on Sunday, within two percentage points over the weekend.

Sanders looked to Connecticut and Rhode Island for wins that would bolster what began as a Quixotic campaign by a 74-year-old self-described Democratic socialist and became a surprisingly strong challenge to a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a picture with a supporter after her rally at the University of Bridgeport on Sunday.

kyle constable / ctmirror.org

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a picture with a supporter after her rally at the University of Bridgeport on Sunday.

He was declared the winner in Rhode Island after 9 p.m., his first and last bit of good news.

The cities, where Sanders generally has lagged in previous primaries, were slow to report, but New Haven’s Democratic chair, Vinnie Mauro, said he believed Clinton would comfortably  win his city, despite a huge college population at Yale, Southern Connecticut State University and the University of New Haven. Clinton won the African American neighborhoods and ran slightly ahead in some Yale precincts, he said.

“Secretary Clinton really had a good turnout,” he said.

Clinton won 57 percent of the vote in New Haven, 70 percent in Hartford, 65 percent in Bridgeport and 64 percent in Stamford. Her margins were close in Waterbury, New Britain and Meriden. Sanders carried eastern Connecticut, including the college towns of Mansfield, Middletown and New London

CNN exit polling showed Clinton winning 69 percent of the black vote and 57 percent of the woman’s vote.

With an unlikely path to the nomination for Sanders, Clinton supporters here have been waiting for his surge to play out, letting the party begin to work to corral the new voters drawn by the Vermont senator’s call for Democrats to attack social, racial and economic injustice.

Bernie Sanders had the biggest rally in Connecticut, but still lost.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Bernie Sanders had the biggest rally in Connecticut, but still lost.

“It’s never easy, but I think it will be a lot easier in the Democratic Party than it will be in the Republican Party this year,” Malloy said after voting earlier Tuesday. “I think that’s very clear. You can almost see the Sanders folks and the Clinton folks take a bit of a turn to get ready.”

EMILY’s List, the influential group that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights, immediately sent an email directed at Connecticut voters, calling Clinton’s victory in the state “a victory for women across the nation.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy reached out to Sanders.

“Bernie is a good friend and he ran a strong race, and I know he’ll do what it takes to ensure Democrats keep the White House,” he said.

Speaking in Philadelphia, Clinton took care to compliment Sanders and his supporters.

“I applaud Sen. Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality,” she said. “And I know together we will get that done. Whether you support Sen. Sanders or you support me, there is much more that unites us than divides us.”

The Working Families Party, the labor offshoot that endorsed Sanders, was not ready to let go of Sanders’ issues, even if his candidacy dimmed considerably.

“This isn’t over. Every vote and every delegate for Bernie Sanders is a declaration of support for big progressive ideas, and a peaceful political revolution that will change this country in the coming years,” said Dan Kantor, the national director. “We need a fair economy and a real democracy, and the fact that so many people across the country, especially young people, share this view is cause for great optimism.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks at Glastonbury High School Friday with his traveling national debt clock running behind him.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks at Glastonbury High School Friday with his traveling national debt clock running behind him.

Clinton was declared the early winner Tuesday in Maryland and Delaware, the first of what Malloy hoped would be a number of wins placing her on the verge of becoming the first woman to win a presidential nomination in the U.S.

“After today, she will be well over 2,000 delegates and really within a hair’s breath of the actual nomination, which will come in the not-too distant future,” Malloy said.

The Republican primary was no contest. Trump led in every public poll in Connecticut, and exit polling indicated he would end the evening with about 60 percent of the vote.

After the polls closed, his campaign was unsure only of results in the 4th Congressional District of Fairfield County, where Kasich won three of the district’s 17 communities, Darien, New Canaan and Westport and .

“We clearly won the other four districts. The likelihood is if he maintains his percentage statewide, it would be hard to lose the 4th District,” said Ben Proto, who is working for Trump in Connecticut.

Proto echoed D’Amelio and suggested it was time for the GOP’s elected officials to join the campaign – or risk being out of sync with their constituents.

“They are going to have to take a real hard look at this and take a look at their towns,” Proto said.

Aside from Trump’s strong showing, Proto said the campaign fielded reports all day of other voters who turned up at the polls to vote for him, only to be told they were ineligible in Connecticut’s closed primary as unaffiliated or Democratic voters.

Over the weekend in Connecticut, Trump mocked the idea of toning down his rhetoric and trying to act more presidential. On Tuesday night, he was respectful to Cruz, but his final message before exiting was to denigrate Clinton as a candidate whose only asset was gender.

“I think the only card she has is the women’s card. She’s got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote,” Trump said. “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card, and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her, OK?”

Some Connecticut Republican legislators still were cool to their front runner after his victory and clung to the shrinking hope of an open convention.

“Neutral and silent” is how Rep. Livvy Floren of Greenwich, where Trump beat Kasich, 48 percent to 41 percent, described most of her fellow Republicans in the General Assembly. “Neutral and silent is how we’ll remain until the end.”

Kyle Constable contributed to this report.

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Huntington to Hold Annual “Hope Walk”


KILLINGWORTH — The Connecticut Affiliate of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America is holding their 10th annual Team Hope Walk at Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth.

The Team Hope Walk program is HDSA’s largest grassroots event set for May 15, and will be held on over 100 cities across the country.

All proceeds support HDSA’s fight to improve the lives of people affected by HD and their families. We thank National sponsors Lundbeck and Teva Pharmaceuticals and local sponsors, Oak & Velvet, Backus Hospital, Suzio York-Hill, Tatas Family Restaurant, HDHat, The Mark, Devine Brothers, Kindred Healthcare at Laurel Lakes, The Lloyd Family and the Nixon Family. We also thank Kohl’s Cares Associates in Action for volunteering to help the day of the walk.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 10 a.m.

The Connecticut Affiliate is asking for support of the community to become a sponsor, form a team, walk as an individual, donate products or volunteer to help with the event activities. This 1 1/2 mile scenic walk is a fun, family-friendly event that includes food, music, raffle/auction items and children’s activities, including face painting, balloon animals and magic. Dogs are welcome and children can ride their bikes. There is also trout fishing if you have your license.

The walk is handicap accessible. Sonar, the Hartford Wolfpack mascot will be there. You only need $25 sponsorship per person to participate.

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a devastating, hereditary, degenerative brain disorder that results in a loss of cognitive, behavioral and physical control, and for which, presently, there is no cure and only one FDA-approved treatment for one of the symptoms. HD slowly diminishes the affected individual’s ability to walk, think, talk and reason. Symptoms usually appear in an individual between 30 and 50 years of age and progress over a 10 to 25 year period.  Cases of Juvenile HD have been diagnosed in children as young as two years of age. More than 30,000 people in the United States are currently diagnosed.  Each of their siblings and children has a 50 percent risk of developing the disease, therefore 250,000 are at risk.  There are thousands of people in CT affected by this fatal disease.

Although medications can relieve some symptoms in certain individuals, research has yet to find a means of conquering or even slowing the deadly progression. However, recent research has found a way to silence the defective gene. There is hope for the future but we need our support.

To volunteer or support the Team Hope Walk, please contact Susan McGann at 860-558-8847 or cthdsa@gmail.com or go to www.hdsa.org/thwct to register and for more information.


 
					

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