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Guest Commentary

‘Audacity of Hope’ voyage ends in disappointement

Guest Commentary

In the July 1Winsted Journal, I wrote about the Audacity of Hope, the ship with U.S. citizens and others attempting to sail to the shores of Gaza to provide humanitarian aid and much-needed publicity to the Palestinian tragedy. Since its launch, the passengers and crew have experienced a tremendous effort on the part of the Greek and Israeli governments to stop the ship.

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Save The Savior Of Kids

Guest Commentary

Jeanne Milstein is the state’s child advocate: She has done the job for 11 years. She is something of a saint, albeit a hard-boiled one with a sense of humor.

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Redistricting for the 64th District should be done with Kent in mind

Guest Commentary

A t a recent meeting of concerned residents of Kent, including myself, the upcoming state assembly redistricting hearings were seen as an opportunity to align Kent with its logical neighbors.

Too much time with technology?

Guest Commentary

Would it seem plausible that having your children watch Sesame Street rewires their brains? Or that raising children to be dependent on television and other technology for entertainment makes their teachers’ jobs more difficult?
Letting kids use media technology such as cell phones, watching TV and listening to MP3s exposes them to even more sensory input — stimuli — than the average classroom teacher can provide. Consequently, lessons given by the teacher can become boring and repetitive when a 5-year-old is learning numbers and the alphabet via flashing symbols and animation.

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There should be no free ride at Region One

Guest Commentary

The following is edited from the statement read and submitted to the Region One Board of Education at a special meeting March 24, 2011:
I voted no to pay raises and contract extensions for the Region One superintendent and assistant superintendent because these top administrators — whose combined salaries and benefits of almost $300,000 represent close to 2 percent of the regional budget — should be held accountable for their share of responsibility for the recent major eruptions and resulting disharmony at our high school.

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Statewide volunteerism

Guest Commentary

Former state Rep. Deborah Heinrich is the new nonprofit liaison to the governor, a position created this year to advocate for nonprofit agencies. Gov. Dannel Malloy, in creating the new position, noted that he would look for sacrifice from everyone but would not cut the safety net of services provided by the nonprofit community.
On Monday, March 14, the CPO Council of the Connecticut United Way went to Hartford to meet with Ms. Heinrich to talk about how she sees her new role and how the United Way can help be a part of the solution.

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It’s a good time to set some real goals for statewide volunteerism

Guest Commentary

Former state Rep. Deborah Heinrich is the new nonprofit liaison to the governor, a position created this year to advocate for nonprofit agencies. Gov. Dannel Malloy, in creating the new position, noted that he would look for sacrifice from everyone but would not cut the safety net of services provided by the nonprofit community.
On Monday, March 14, the CPO Council of the Connecticut United Way went to Hartford to meet with Ms. Heinrich to talk about how she sees her new role and how the United Way can help be a part of the solution.

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Jack’s journal: on the Appalachian Trail

Guest Commentary

Editor’s note: In Tara Kelly’s “Consider This” column published March 10, titled “Helicopter Mom,” she described her anxiety in seeing her teenage son, Jack, go off with his buddy for a hike on the southern arm of the Appalachian Trail. She promised us that Jack would share his journal with us upon his return, in hopes that her worry would have been for naught. It apparently was, as evidenced below. Here is Jack’s condensed hiking journal, and it is just the tonic to prepare us all for some bracing spring walks, long or short, on the trail.
Day One, March 7, 2011

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The corruption of the education system

Guest Commentary

This is the second of a two-part series. See the first part at tcextra.com or in last week’s paper.
The stress coming from all directions harms students in many ways. On top of school and all that applies to it, teenagers often are encouraged or forced to work a regular job. When students are not returning home until late in the evening or night, they run short on time to study or do homework. As a result, students must stay up late into the night, creating a common lack of proper sleep.

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When did the private sector become subservient to the public worker state?

Guest Commentary

In response to Thomas Piels’ recent letter, “How about a level playing field,” it’s time to de-unionize Connecticut state government.

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