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The Winsted Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

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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Voice your frustrations next Thursday at Gilbert

The Winsted Journal Editorial

Winchester residents should mark their calendars for an important special town meeting next Thursday, April 7, at The Gilbert School. Voters are invited to speak about the Winchester Board of Selectmen’s recent decision to reject approximately $400,000 in free money for the town, courtesy of a deal organized by the Winchester Land Trust.

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Nuclear energy is not cheap, clean or safe

The Civic Beat

The president is promoting federal loan guarantees to build two new nuclear power plants at a cost of $8.3 billion. Over the last decade, the nuclear industry has spent more than $600 million lobbying the federal government and another $63 million in federal campaign contributions. To advance its cause, the nuclear industry is taking a new tack: the need for jobs and concerns about global warming.

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Japan reminds us a nuclear nightmare may be looming

In The Public Interest

The unfolding multiple nuclear reactor catastrophe in Japan is prompting overdue attention to the 104 nuclear plants in the United States — many of them aging, many of them near earthquake faults, some on the West Coast exposed to potential tsunamis.
Nuclear power plants boil water to produce steam to turn turbines that generate electricity. Nuclear power’s overly complex fuel cycle begins with uranium mines and ends with deadly radioactive wastes for which there still are no permanent storage facilities to contain them for tens of thousands of years.

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Proposed FOI consolidation raises a red flag

The Winsted Journal Editorial

While newly elected Gov. Dannel Malloy has shown no desire to be secretive in his work running the state’s business, a troublesome component of his economic plan is raising red flags in local newsrooms, as it proposes merging the state’s Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC) with four other agencies to form a new Office of Government Accountability (OGA).

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PBS and NPR are leaning right

In The Public Interest

The tumultuous managerial shake-up at National Public Radio headquarters for trivial verbal miscues once again has highlighted the ludicrous corporatist right-wing charge that public radio and public TV are replete with left-leaning or leftist programming.
Ludicrous, that is, unless this criticism’s yardstick is the propaganda regularly exuded by the extreme right-wing Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. These “capitalists” use the public’s airwaves free of charge to make big money.

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Guantanamo becomes Obama’s disgrace

The Sheldon Richman Column

The words could have been spoken by a government official in Orwell’s 1984: “Today, I am announcing several steps that broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice, provide oversight for our actions, and ensure the humane treatment of detainees,” President Barack Obama said.

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Opposition to defunding Planned Parenthood is an encouraging sign

The Winsted Journal Editorial

As Republicans in Congress attempt to defund the national Planned Parenthood organization by cutting Title X funding, the chorus of voices opposing the move has thankfully grown louder, with both conservative and liberal groups criticizing GOP leaders for their short-sighted actions.
The controversy began when a Republican provision to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last month, but did not become law, as the Senate rejected a spending bill that included the language.

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New York is selling out injured baby rights

In The Public Interest

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be judged harshly by history if he doesn’t reverse his position supporting limiting the legal rights of brain damaged babies. Imagine a lifetime $250,000 cap on pain and suffering and families having to endure a burdensome and humiliating struggle to get medical bills paid as they arise from an insurance-funded entity.
Gov. Cuomo is hiding behind the recommendations of his Medicaid Redesign Team, which has more than a sprinkling of hospital and industry lobbyists, and which was the stalking horse for this heartless proposal.

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Importance of the Erie Canal

Historic Bytes

As we all know, the original pioneers for inland and western United States came from the Colonies spread along the Atlantic seaboard. Transportation networks then were all but nonexistent, being restricted to the immediate coast and the rivers and streams large enough to handle shallow draft vessels. From 1620 until 1825, this situation did not greatly improve.

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