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The Lakeville Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

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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Know what your government is doing

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Sunshine Week, which is March 13 to 19, may seem like a contrived and perhaps meaningless non-event to many who believe their lives are not directly affected by the fight to make and keep government and its many agencies transparent. It even sounds a little bit benign, doesn’t it? A week of sunshine certainly would be welcome after a very cloudy winter.

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Turning Back The Pages 3-10

Turning Back the Pages

75 years ago — March 1936
Reflections of the Season (editorial): When Al Smith said that many would “take a walk,” could it be possible that he foresaw the elevator strike in New York City?
SALISBURY — Mrs. George Miner and Mrs. Maurice Firuski motored to Poughkeepsie on Tuesday.

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UConn and Burton make up

If You Ask Me

I’m sure you’ve heard the University of Connecticut and the Burton family of Greenwich are friends once more. The UConn football operation will keep the family’s $3 million donation and the Burton Family Football Center will keep its name.
You’ll recall Robert Burton, the family patriarch, had angrily sought a refund because he was unhappy with the selection of the new UConn football coach, a choice made without the proper input, as he saw it, from the generous Robert Burton.

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Butternut syrup

Nature's Notebook

There is a sad, shabby butternut in my backyard. Like virtually all of its kind since a devastating fungus took hold across its range, it festers with weeping cankers, and a number of its branches are bare and broken. The diseased wood beneath the bark is probably dark and spongy, which is a real shame for a lovely furniture wood, and it makes me sad for the tree.
Still, it has been this way for nearly a decade and it struggles on from year to year.

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PCBs in the Housatonic

The Body Scientific

It has been a while since I took organic chemistry, but I remember enough to know that the polychlorinated biphenyl molecules (PCBs) that contaminate our river are ugly, unnatural looking things.

They remind me of eyeglasses — two circles of carbon (the biphenyls) joined by a molecular nosepiece. Chlorine atoms project from the carbons like rhinestone bling (the polychlorinated part).