The Winsted Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

The trials of climate denial

Part 1


The newly appointed head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, does not accept the evidence for carbon-based climate change. Many members of Congress are climate skeptics, as is President-elect Trump, who called it a hoax. 

Against the podium pounders of climate denial, it may be a lonely quest, but let me ask: what is the evidence that the “hoax” is instead a real threat?

E.Coli’s message to President Trump

The current troubling news reports from China are describing a major Avian Flu epidemic among huge flocks of chickens. Such epidemics have been worrisome to public health specialists because they could be the precursor of transmission to humans and a possible global pandemic. Since President Trump is developing his policy against “terrorism,” I’m reproducing below a fictional letter from E.coli 0104:H4 to his predecessor that highlights the big leagues of terrorism against innocents by deadly bacteria and viruses. I re-submit this letter to President Trump:

Open and transparent government is important

Toward the end of the Board of Education’s budget workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 15, Winchester School District Receiver Freeman Burr asked board members to email him recommendations and suggestions for the district’s proposed fiscal 2017-2018 budget.

While the board does not have any authority to vote on or determine a proposed budget because of the state’s receivership of the school district, Burr said that he would take budget recommendations from board members into consideration.

Bourbon Latte

We’re running out of sins to tax in Conn.

Over the years, sin has been very profitable for the State of Connecticut, especially the varieties that attract large numbers of sinners. But we may be running low on sins suitable for taxation.

The wages of sin that come to the state’s coffers range from the traditional sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol to the more modern sources of sinful revenue provided by the legalization of lotteries, casinos, off-track betting parlors, charitable games and even the more exotic and less successful forays into jai alai frontons and a greyhound racing track.

Trump and the Constitution

President Trump’s recent executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries has provoked outrage and protests on the left, and approval, mostly, from the right. Trump supporters see the executive order as fulfilling a hallmark campaign promise and protecting the United States from the threat of terrorism.

Malloy’s budget proposal gets education funding all wrong

It continues to be troubling to see how, when faced with deficits and budgetary problems, the state either makes or proposes to make cutbacks in educational funding to towns.
Back in late December, the state announced cutbacks in state aid to municipalities through its Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) program.
On Feb. 8, in his proposed biennial budget for the state, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) included various cuts in ECS funding for towns in the Northwest Corner.

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Medicare: Why you need more than Parts A and B

Medicare costs jumped 3.4 percent last year. Drug prices gained a whopping 11 percent. Medicare parts A and B do not cover prescriptions, and the gap between what it does cover and your out-of-pocket expenses could break you.

Last week, while walking Titus, our chocolate Lab, I bumped into a fellow dog walker. I’ll call him Abe. Abe is retired and on a tight budget. In an effort to save money, he elected not to acquire the prescription-drug insurance called Medicare Part D.

Because I Said So...

State’s public education really isn’t public at all

Democratic legislators are always most conscientious when they are playing stooges for the teacher unions, the biggest component of the party’s base. Hence the all-nighter Democratic U.S. senators pulled on the Senate floor to posture against President Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary.