(Or as Tommy Roe put it:)
Round and round and round she goes where she stops does anyone know?
Tonight, in the Carousel Building on the grounds of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, a public hearing will take place on Governor Jodi Rell’s plan to place a juvenile detention center for girls on Virgina Avenue smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the Upper East Side. I’m calling it Jodi’s plan because she got out in front of this issue a few weeks ago calling a press conference to crow about this wonderful new $15 million (tax exempt) center to serve the entire state. Something happened on the way to the press conference, neighbors and pols freaked out. No one’s questioning the need. Plenty question the location.
The public hearing will be conducted by the state Department of Children of Families and Department of Public Works. A large crowd is expected including a bunch of city pols who want to make clear (translation: create cover) that the state-owned location is not the most efficient use. You know, of course, what I say: put it in Brookfield!
Can’t ya just hear the carousel organ music during the public hearing? Yeah baby, ride ’em cowboy! Maybe it’ll be a regular rodeo. OIB friend Tom Kelly is one of the greatest natural-born horserace announcers on the planet. Hey TK, how you calling this one … And … they’re off …
Statement from Mayor Bill Finch:
We’re very happy that the state has called a public hearing on this controversial site proposal on Virginia Avenue. I urge all neighborhood residents to attend the hearing at the Carousel building at the Beardsley Zoo and make their voices and their concerns heard.
Early on in the process, I suggested that the state do aggressive community outreach to gauge potential interest and community support. I am glad that they will be taking the opportunity to listen to our concerns as a city and state delegation about their plans for this facility.
As I’ve previously stated, while we’re supportive of the endeavor, we have said all along that this would not be the right site for this detention facility. I look forward to attending the meeting, and working together with our state delegation and DCF toward a better solution for the community and the state.
The mayor has also scheduled a meeting for Friday afternoon with representatives from the Board of Education, Fire Department, Housing Authority, American Red Cross and elected officials to discuss next steps to promote fire safety throughout the City, and specifically at the P.T. Barnum housing project.
New release from Congressional candidate Rob Russo:
Are New Mammogram Recommendations a Preview of What to Expect Under Government-Run Healthcare?
New Guidelines First Step Toward Rationing
Fairfield – Today Rob Russo, candidate for Congress in CT-4, called on Congress to protect women’s healthcare after a government report was released by the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
The report’s new guidelines recommend women not to receive mammograms before age 50 citing the cost of mammograms and the potential for unneeded biopsies. These new recommendations are opposed by the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Rob Russo’s family has been practicing medicine in Fairfield County for over 60 years. His father is a radiologist who daily performs mammograms. Dr. Robert D. Russo said, “Over a dozen of my patients under age 49 would be dead today if they followed these new guidelines. These new guidelines will cost lives.”
These new guidelines provide a stark preview of what to expect under a government-run healthcare system being proposed as part of the health reform bill currently being debated in Congress.
“Any reform must allow a woman to make her health care choices with the advice of her doctor, instead of having them dictated to her by a government bureaucrat.”
“A woman must be able to make her healthcare choices with the advice of her doctor, instead of having them dictated to her by a government bureaucrat,” said Rob Russo. “The government-run system will ration care because of cost, instead of focusing on proper care for women.”
News release from AARP
Survey Finds Connecticut AARP Members Back Critical Provisions of Health Care Reform Legislation
New Poll Indicates 2 to 1 Margin in Support of Health Reform
Hartford, CT—A new poll of Connecticut AARP members released today finds strong support across party and ideological lines for elements of health care reform included in the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which recently passed the House of Representatives. The bill, which strictly limits how much more insurance companies can charge based on age and closes the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole, was endorsed by AARP.
Among AARP members, strong majorities reported that many of the bill’s key provisions were convincing reasons to support the legislation. These include improving coverage for routine checkups and critical preventive services like cancer screenings (78%); preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions (77%) and lowering the cost of pharmaceutical drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices (74%) and closing the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap – known as the doughnut hole (68%).
“This survey demonstrates what we’ve been hearing from our members for a long time,” said AARP Connecticut State Director Brenda Kelley. “Despite an inflammatory debate on a very personal and important issue, our members—across party and ideological lines—support health care reform that protects Medicare, lowers the price of prescription drugs, increases their access to coverage and protects their choice of doctors.”
While a partisan divide was evident when respondents were asked about the current plan in Congress, Connecticut AARP members supported the legislation by a margin of roughly 2 to 1. Fifty-six percent of self-described independents indicated support for the plan.
Other reform elements with high levels of support among AARP members included ensuring Americans can see the doctor of their choice (77%), strictly limiting how much more insurance companies can charge someone because of their age (67%); and ensuring Americans can keep their current coverage (73%). Majorities of self-identified Republicans supported a number of the reform elements presented, including stopping discrimination because of pre-existing conditions (54%); allowing you to keep your current health coverage if you are happy with it (51%) and allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices (50%).
AARP Connecticut State President Don Ciosek said, “The bill recently passed by the House incorporates the reforms that our members care most about. We’ll continue the fight for these critical elements as the Senate takes up its own legislation in the coming weeks. Our members, and all older Americans, are counting on lawmakers to reform the health care system this year.”
Starting on Tuesday, November 17th, AARP will launch a new national television ad on a mix of news, lifestyle, cable and sports channels. The ad, entitled “HELP,” demonstrates that people from all walks of life are feeling stranded by the current health care system. It calls attention to the need for the kind of health care reform AARP has been fighting for: reform that will put patients first, protect Medicare, bring down drug costs and ensure that no one can be denied affordable health care because of their age or health history.
AARP Connecticut surveyed its members on key health care reform provisions supported by AARP, as well as other contentious issues being discussed in the debate between November 7 and November 12, 2009. This survey of 453 members is representative of AARP members in the state of Connecticut and has a margin of sampling error of ±4.6%.
Free zoo admission Sunday. Yes, It’s Free Admission Day
Come See What’s New at the Zoo
On Sunday, November 22 bring the family and enjoy the sights and sounds at Connecticut’s only Zoo.
Come see Tigers, Bears, Otters and Owls, take a walk through our tropical rainforest, Wolf Cabin and Aviary and get face to face with a prairie dog, ocelot and monkey.
The fun is right around the corner!
Easy to get to!
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is located at 1875 Noble Avenue off exit 5 off the 8/25 connector. Just follow the signs.
Take the bus
From Bridgeport Bus Terminal take bus #9 to East Main Street & Noble Ave. Follow Noble Ave to the Park and Zoo entrance.
Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 4 pm
The New World Tropics Building is open from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm daily
The Carousel Building is open seasonally from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day
Barnum Gift Drop
The Barnum Museum participates as a drop off location for the 20th Annual St. Luke’s LifeWorks Holiday Gift Collection
Gifts are collected and distributed to more than1,700 children in need.
(Bridgeport, CT – November 17, 2009)—Drop your holiday toys and gifts at The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street in Bridgeport from now until December 3 for the 20th Annual St. Lukes LifeWorks Holiday Gift Collection. St. Luke’s volunteers will wrap and distribute the donated gifts to more than 1,700 children affected by poverty, homeless and Aids. These gifts are often the only presents these children will receive during the holidays. Visit www.learnaliving.org for other drop off locations, a complete list of the types of toys and gifts accepted for this drive, and other ways you may be able to contribute. Giving from the heart ties us all together in this worthwhile cause. For more information contact Takeia McAlister at 203-388-0103 or TMcAlister@StLukesLifeworks.org.
Holiday Gift Collection Sponsors are Ed McGettigan, the News 96.7 The Coast radio, UBS, Two Men and a Truck, Friends and Children, Downtown Special Services District (DSSD), and Purdue Pharma
Fairfield University’s pre-engineering academy for high school students fueling a love of science
Fairfield, Conn., November 17, 2009 – The High School Engineering Academy (HSEA), an innovative Saturday morning program at Fairfield University’s School of Engineering, is working to create a pipeline of young science and engineering talent. It’s an important mission considering that fewer American college students are choosing to study math, science, technology and engineering in comparison with the needs of the nation. For the United States to continue to be competitive within the global economy, according to E. Vagos Hadjimichael, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering, it is vital that young people pursue careers in the sciences and engineering.
The HSEA program recently began its second year. It had gained overwhelming popularity among area high school students and their parents during the first year of its operation, in 2008-2009. This year, approximately 40 students from the five Catholic high schools of the Diocese of Bridgeport participate in HSEA. Members of the School of Engineering faculty teach in the Academy.
The curriculum is from the nationally recognized Project Lead the Way, a science/technology/engineering/mathematics (STEM) curriculum. It aims to prepare high school students for higher education science and engineering studies. Organizers hope the pre-engineering curriculum will spark a love of these subjects among the participating students, especially among females and minority students, two segments of the population that are underrepresented in engineering.
Dr. Hadjimichael said, “The students, as well as their parents, very much wanted to continue with this program. Our mission is to inspire this talented group of young people to pursue careers in engineering and science. In HSEA, the students are immersed in the culture of innovation, creativity and problem solving. It is hoped that they will remain in this path later on in their life, as college students and as professionals.”
The current HSEA students attend Notre Dame High School in Fairfield, St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Kolbe-Cathedral in Bridgeport, Immaculate High School in Danbury, and Trinity Catholic in Stamford.
On Saturdays, they begin classes at 10:00 a.m. They break at noon for lunch, and continue their activities until 2:30 p.m. They utilize facilities in Fairfield’s manufacturing, electrical and computer engineering laboratories. The School of Engineering and the five high schools are contributing assets and money to fund HSEA this year, covering costs such as student transportation and meals
STEM is an example of the School of Engineering’s continued efforts to do outreach in K-12 schools, and in community colleges, to help inspire the next generation of much needed engineers and scientists.