March 20th, 2015

Coast Guard Sponsors Boating Course

by Christopher O'Brien

The Calendar says its spring.

That means that the ice will melt… at some point. When it does, we’ll all be able to wear shorts, bathing suits and pilot our boats on the water. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary based in Milford will offer a course About Boating Safety on Saturday, April 11th at 8 AM.

For advanced registration prior to the class date, go to http://a0142403.uscgaux.info/. The USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 24-3 Training Center is located at 1 Helwig Street, Milford, CT, which is located one block north of Milford Boat Works. Walk-ins are welcome on day of the Class.

Instruction will cover all the basic topics involved in the safe operation of recreational boating and seamanship. It will also cover safe personal watercraft operation. Successful completion of this 8 hour ABS course satisfies the Connecticut licensing requirements for both boats and Personal Watercraft (PWC). Family participation is encouraged. Cost: $60.

For additional information about Coast Guard Auxiliary courses, please call 860-663-5505, email: skperrone@hotmail.com or visit http://a0142403.uscgaux.info/

*Please Note: All students will need to get a State of CT Conservation ID Number before taking the ABS/PWC class. Go to https://ct.outdoorcentral.net/InternetSales/Sales  for a FREE ID number.

March 20th, 2015

Sex Offender Bill Could Cause ‘Chaos’, Critics Say

by Christopher O'Brien

By Jordan Fenster | CT NewsJunkie

A bill intended to keep convicted sex offenders away from kids would throw the Connecticut’s sex offender registry into “chaos,” according to the state’s Department of Correction.

Included in Senate Bill 1087 is a provision that would prohibit registered sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of a school or a child day care center, but according to Eric Ellison, deputy director for parole and community services at the Correction Department, that’s not a feasible, or even desirable, goal.

“In reality, future sex offenders would no longer be allowed to live in major urban areas,” he told members of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee during a public hearing Monday.

Continue Reading…

March 20th, 2015

Time to Shine Light on UConn Foundation

by Christopher O'Brien
Sen. Joe Markley

Sen. Joe Markley

By State Senator Joe Markley

             UConn is a Connecticut institution in every sense of the word. It is a top public university, and parents in the state save their entire lives to send their children there. Unfortunately, as tuition continues to rise, the school nears a tipping point. If the price goes up any more, most of the academically qualified students in Connecticut will be priced right out of a UConn education. For this reason, the voting public should be able to scrutinize all aspects of the school’s finances so waste can be detected, spending controlled, and costs lowered.

As it stands, the school reports all of its budget records to the state. This is proper since UConn receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year from taxpayers to help keep the lights on. These funds are fully and openly accounted for. The problem is, many of the school’s financial operations are funneled through the UConn Foundation—a private fundraising apparatus. These monies aren’t easy to access. The people of Connecticut have a right to know exactly how much money is coming into the Foundation, where it comes from, and how it is spent.

March 19th, 2015

Sampson Demands End to Early Release Program

by Christopher O'Brien
Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

State Representative Rob Sampson (R-80) says it is long overdue for the state to rollback its policy of early release credits for violent offenders. Sampson calls the policy “catastrophic”. The policy, put in place by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and legislative Democrats, was enacted in 2011. Since then, numerous violent crimes, including murder, have been committed by individuals released early under its provisions. Sampson has introduced legislation that would eliminate the program, known as Risk Reduction Credits.

There is an irony in naming this program ‘Risk Reduction Credits’ as their implementation has only increased the risk to public safety,” said Sampson. “Governor Malloy has issued in an era of unprecedented softness on crime in this state, particularly concerning the matter of violent offenders. Despite clear evidence that this program is a failure, the governor and his administration has doubled down on it, insisting it be maintained. It betrays the public trust, and it betrays the victims of the crimes committed by these criminals.”

March 19th, 2015

Hundreds Debate Assisted Suicide Bill

by Christopher O'Brien

Cathy Ludlum testifies from her wheelchair against assisted suicide. | Photo: Ed Stannard

By New Haven Register Staff

The bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives with a doctor’s prescription brought more than 200 people to testify before the Judiciary Committee Wednesday, with spectators spilling into two overflow rooms at the Legislative Office Building.

Those in favor of House Bill 7015 wore green “My Life. My Death. My Choice” stickers, while those against wore blue ones, saying “Got Second Thoughts?” There were numerous people in the audience bearing each sticker as a sign of their view on aid in dying or, as opponents call it, assisted suicide.

The bill would allow terminally ill patients, with less than six months to live, to ask their attending physicians twice, at least 15 days apart, for medication that would end their lives.

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February 19th, 2015

What’s a Catholic to do for Lent?! Pope Francis’s Tips

by Christopher O'Brien

By Kevin Cotter
Every year Catholics try to answer the age old question: What should I do for Lent? Well, who better to pick for as your Lenten spiritual director than Pope Francis? He has some great ideas for you!

Here we selected 10 of his best tips:

1.  Get rid of the lazy addiction to evil

“[Lent] is a ‘powerful’ season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addiction to the evil that deceives and ensnares us.” – General Audience, March 5, 2014

 

2.  Do something that hurts

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.” – Lenten Message, 2014

 

3.  Don’t remain indifferent

“Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience. God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation.” –Lenten Message, 2015

 

Continue reading the ten tips Here….

February 18th, 2015

by Christopher O'Brien

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, right, and Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy. Photo: Hugh McQuaid

By Hugh McQuaid | CTNewsJunkie

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission wrapped up more than two years of work Friday by accepting its report on the 2012 Newtown murders and making a plea to policymakers to adopt its recommendations.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy created the panel of education, mental health, law enforcement, and safety experts to report on the Dec. 14, 2012, murders of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The group made final changes to the report Friday and will meet next month to send the finalized version to the governor.

The more than 250-page document contains recommendations to further tighten Connecticut’s firearm regulations, harden the security of schools, and improve insurance coverage and access to behavioral health programs.

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February 18th, 2015

Malls Offer Exercise Alternatives to Snowbanks

by Christopher O'Brien

With wind chills hovering well below zero and snow and ice piled high just about everywhere, it is a tough season for joggers and walkers.

The dangers of trudging along snow snarled streets is plainly evident, and every so often tragedy reminds us of the degree of danger. mallwalkers

Just over two decades ago, at age 33, a local television reporter at the pinnacle of her career, a popular, talented reporter for New Haven’s WTNH, was killed after being struck by a car while jogging in mid-March.  Ellen Abrams was “facing traffic while jogging west on the side of snow-banked Frog Hollow Road in Ellington,” according to published reports at the time.

Tragically, it would not be the last fatality involving someone looking to get some exercise on local roads before the snow banks had receded.  Last month, police in Torringtonreported that a jogger was fatally struck by a snowplow.

Continue Reading…

February 17th, 2015

Malloy Looks to Cut Sales Tax; Eliminate Exemptions

by Christopher O'Brien
Hugh McQuaid, photo

Hugh McQuaid, photo

By Hugh McQuaid | CTNews Junkie

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called for lowering the state sales tax and scrapping certain exemptions during a Sunday morning television appearance. According to a spokesman, the change will boost revenues by $68 million next year.

During an interview on WFSB’s “Face the State,” Malloy said the budget proposal he unveils next week will include a two-step cut in the state sales tax. If approved by the legislature, the tax will drop from 6.35 percent to 6.2 percent in November. The rate would decrease to 5.95 the following year.

The sales tax “will be the lowest it’s been since 1971,” Malloy told Dennis House, the show’s host. “I think it’s a way to give some relief to the middle class, as the economy is improving. I’m proud to present this as a proposal to the legislature. My budget will assume this is happening.”

Continue Reading at CTNewsJunkie…

January 27th, 2015

WestConn Drives Local Meteorology Studies

by Christopher O'Brien

Can you use “bombogenesis” properly  in a sentence?
Can you describe what a dew point is?

Western Connecticut State University has the state’s only meteorology program and if you’re curious about the background of some of the meteorologists predicting this week’s blizzard, check out our friends at CTByTheNumbers ‘ profile on two local TV meteorologists forecasting the weather on WTIC and WTNH.  Read it HERE.