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The Lakeville Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

Is open government at risk in Connecticut?

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Some Connecticut residents might take their Freedom of Information Commission for granted. It’s been in Hartford for 36 years, long enough so that many adults don’t remember how things went in matters of government accountability before the commission was created. But some do remember having no real recourse when government chose not to be transparent, no place to go to complain about lack of governmental openness and abuse of power. They’ll tell you it’s better now.

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The ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 and the ‘Chinese Spring’ of 1911

The Long View

“Well Doctor, what have we got — a monarchy or a republic?” Ben Franklin was asked by a female onlooker on the last day of the American constitutional convention in 1787.
“A republic, if you can keep it,” Franklin responded.
Maintaining a republic, of course, is the true problem; and it was on display, recently, as in Warsaw President Obama pledged along with some European nations a substantial sum of money to support the emergence of democratic institutions in the countries that have awakened in the Arab Spring.

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Do you remember your first vote?

If You Ask Me

The first person I ever voted for, former Congressman Peter Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, died May 23 at the age of 95.
I don’t remember why I voted for him or who ran against him, but by all accounts, Frelinghuysen was a good choice. He was running for his first term then and he’d be re-elected for the next 20 years. His son occupies the seat now.
But then as now, being a Frelinghuysen in New Jersey was quite an advantage. He was a member of a political dynasty that produced, since the 1790s, four United States senators as well as the two House members.

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William Welch, and what a Norfolk cemetery tells us

The Body Scientific

I like cemeteries. It may seem morbid, but I do. Norfolk’s cemetery is a fine and private place. But to a student of infectious disease, it is a stone-marked history of wrenching loss and medical helplessness.

I found the graves of young women of the 19th century. One was dead at 23. Childbirth probably took her or puerperal fever in its aftermath. Tuberculosis, too, could carry off a young adult.

Letters to Editor - June 9

Letters to Editor - The Lakeville Journal

Economic dangers ahead for the state of Connecticut

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No, it’s not a lost kite

Nature's Notebook

They aren’t Chinese lanterns. They aren’t abandoned kites caught in the gnarled fingers of the uppermost branches. Those purple things hanging in trees across Connecticut are actually bug traps.
The emerald ash borer (EAB), a beetle native to eastern Asia, has invaded the eastern part of the United States.
The bugs kill ash trees. Adults deposit their larvae one by one into the tree. The larvae feed on the inner bark. When they are fully formed adults and ready to emerge, they burrow out head first, creating a D-shaped exit hole.

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Letters to the Editor June 2

Letter To The Editor - The Lakeville Journal

Letter was an eye-opener

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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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One thing: This money really could have been better spent

If You Ask Me

Do you remember Gov. Rell’s “One Thing” campaign that asked every Connecticut resident to do one thing every day to conserve energy? I don’t either.
I only bring it up because it’s one of many costly projects developed for state agencies by outside public relations and advertising firms that the agencies could have done on their own. Or better yet, not done at all.
Once Gov. Malloy and his people settle the $3 billion deficit matter, they might want to look into this contribution to that deficit.

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Only the poor need Connecticut’s cities

The Chris Powell Column

Celebrating the obvious in a 28-page study aimed at political candidates, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities proclaimed late last year that Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury are poor and have special needs and thus a special claim on state government’s resources.
No one would dispute the poverty. But the report’s argument for pouring still more money into those cities was weak.

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