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The Lakeville Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

A scandal much bigger than higher education

The Chris Powell Column

Gov. Malloy says consolidating the state university system and community college administrations will save “tens of millions of dollars over time.” How much time? It might take tens of millions of years.
Certainly the higher education bureaucracy could use pruning. The chancellor of the state university system, whose retirement Malloy seems to have hastened, is being paid nearly $400,000 per year, and university presidents are earning nearly $300,000.

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The corruption of the education system

Guest Commentary

This is the first of a two-part series. Conclusion next week.
I get a D-plus on a test. I’m initially very disappointed with the grade I have received. However, when I look around to see how my classmates have done, I find they each have performed poorly on this particular test as well. Suddenly that D-plus is OK.

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A cluttered field

If You Ask Me

The field of Republican candidates for president is “cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.”

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Consolidation would weaken agencies

Guest Commentary

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed a merger of five independent government “watchdog” agencies into a single super-sized agency to be called the Office of Government Accountability.
Every governor since William A. O’Neill has suggested similar, superficially appealing legislation. But when those bills were examined in public, they were defeated because they would create a more expensive bureaucracy, result in less rather than more transparency and accountability and effectively gut some of the best and most well-regarded government agencies.

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Japan

Editorial Cartoon

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Political Cartoon - 3-10-11

Editorial Cartoon

Cartoon by Bill Lee of Sharon and New York City

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Accountability and openness the way to go

The Chris Powell Column

Among the agency consolidations proposed in Gov. Malloy’s budget is the merger of the state Freedom of Information Commission, the Elections Enforcement Commission, the Office of State Ethics, the Judicial Review Council and the Contracting Standards Board into something to be called the Office of Government Accountability. The projected savings would be small and might not materialize for a few years, since consolidation would impose its own costs, like installing new computer systems.

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Can a Republican win?

If You Ask Me

Connecticut hasn’t elected a Republican senator for 30 years, or maybe 60 years, if you don’t want to count Lowell Weicker, and there are surely Republicans who don’t.
Weicker was elected as a bona fide Republican senator three times from 1970 to 1982 but wasn’t exactly a party favorite during much of his Senate career, which ended in 1988 when Republican defectors helped elect Joe Lieberman. Weicker then left the party and was elected governor as an independent in 1990.

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Helicopter Mom?

Consider This
tarak@lakevillejournal.com

A few weeks ago, my teenage son, during the worst of our New England winter, insisted on sleeping outside. It was going to be -1 degree at the coldest point of the night, but he maintained this would not be a problem.
He was prepared; he had a tent, a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag rated to zero degrees for warmth. Also, he’d done it before, having completed a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) course two summers ago that had him hiking and camping off-trail in the Big Horn Mountains.

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The environment: Not so fast, facts are not simple

A View From The Edge

On Feb. 23, a NASA satellite was launched, called Glory, to study the subtle ways solar radiance influences the planet’s climate. Why?
“We are trying to achieve better measurements of both aerosols and total solar irradiance in order to calculate the energy budget — the amount of energy entering and exiting earth’s atmosphere — as accurately as possible,” said Michael Mishchenko of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

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