State

A Deal With The Devil

coreIt seems like  parents can’t even look out and do what they think is in the best interest of their own children without the threat of blackmail looming over their heads. If they allow enough of them to opt out of the Common Core testing, then Washington (The Devil) could revoke the waiver to the punitive requirements of the No Child Left Behind law. It’s pretty sad when students and parents are put in a position where their option is to either capitulate, or feel the effects of the Federal Government’s blackmail. Our children’s educational agenda should not be based on threats of losing funds. 

 

From Ct. Mirror:

 

Malloy: CT could lose money if many students opt out of standardized tests
By: Jacqueline Rabe Thomas |

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday that federal law restricts students from opting out of taking standardized tests, and if the state were to give students that option, it would put the state at risk of losing millions of federal dollars.

“From a guy that grew up with dyslexia and had real physical as well as perceptual difficulties, I understand people’s anxiety about testing. I certainly had my own,” the Democratic governor said Monday on “Where We Live,” a public affairs radio show on WNPR.

“I’ve given my read of what the law is, and we must be compliant with the mandates of No Child Left Behind as it is currently implemented, and that requires all of the states to be engaged in some form of testing,” he said.

Malloy said he is concerned that if too few students take the Common Core-aligned standardized test, the U.S. Department of Education may rescind the state’s waiver to the punitive requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.

As we start to implement Common Core Standards, instead of playing the blame game, we should concentrate on moving those districts that are behind in implementation forward.

When students start taking Common Core exams, the results will “expose that we have a middle-class crisis in this country,” said the CEO of a charter school network at Monday’s annual Yale School of Management Education Leadership Conference.

While 42 states have received waivers, Malloy pointed to Washington state, which became the first state to lose its waiver last week as proof that the federal government will not hesitate to revoke waivers and limit what federal funding can be spent on.

“I read over the weekend that at least one state is about to be defunded to the extent of about $40 million for their lack of compliance… I certainly don’t want to see our state fall into that situation,” he said.

Connecticut districts received $107.7 million this school year in Title 1 grants from the federal government that could be targeted if the state loses its waiver, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Education said last month.

The State Department of Education reported in December that a “greater number of parents [are] desiring to remove their children from participation in the statewide testing program.”

In previous years only a handful of parents statewide sought an exemption from the state and federal requirements that every student be tested in math, reading and writing in Grades 3 through 8 and 10th grade. Science tests are administered in selected grades as well.

As the new standardized tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards come on line this year, some parents and anti-testing advocates have been urging parents to pull their children out of taking the test.

But Malloy said he has no choice but to require students to be tested.

“I didn’t adopt Common Core. My predecessor did. Like handling the deficit, I was also handed the problem of seeing this implemented. Some districts are far ahead of other districts. Some districts folded their arms and said we’ll wait and see,” he said.

While former Gov. M. Jodi Rell entered the state into an agreement with other states to implement Common Core, the Malloy administration signed an agreement in 2012 with the federal government to implement the new standards and tests in order to receive a federal waiver to the No Child Left Behind law.

Local

Common Core Revolt?

commThere’s a good opportunity to send a message nationally that could impede the agenda to shove the controversial Common Core tests down students throats. In Greenwich, a controversy is brewing as to whether students can “opt” out of taking the test. By some officials own admission, there are no sanctions if students refuse to take the test.

From Greenwich Time.com

Can students opt out of new standardized tests?
Paul Schott
Updated 11:08 pm, Saturday, April 26, 2014

What can Greenwich students do when the district gives the new Common Core exams?

Administrators say there is only one answer: Students must take the tests.

But others assert the question is multiple choice: Students can take the tests — or they can decide to sit them out.

With the arrival of the new assessments in town Monday, local debate is heating up.

Anonymous fliers calling on students to skip the exams have been circulating in the district, notably at Greenwich High School. One of them includes a form for parents to sign to authorize their children to opt out.

District officials have responded by dismissing the opt-out forms as fake and reiterating their intent for all students in the tested grades to sit for the exams.

“Let me be crystal clear: Per federal and state regulations, students do not have an `opt out’ option with the Smarter Balanced field test,” Superintendent of Schools William McKersie said in a letter Thursday to district families.

But that statement was contradicted recently by a top educational authority in the state — the chairman of the state Board of Education, who, ironically, is a major supporter of the new tests.

“There’s certainly no state law that says they can’t (opt out),” Chairman Allan Taylor, an attorney, said during a March 12 hearing of the state Legislature. “Therefore, residually, presumably they have that right. What the local district chooses to do about that is a local district decision … The state Department of Education will not be reaching down and sanctioning parents.”

This week, students throughout the district will start taking online “field tests” or pilot versions of the new exams, which were developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards, the exams are replacing Connecticut Mastery Tests in grades three through eight and most of the Connecticut Academic Performance Tests in grade 10. High school students will take the new tests in 11th grade.

This year’s exams will not be used for school-accountability purposes or factored into teacher evaluations. The “operational” roll out of the Smarter Balanced tests will be in 2015.

But state education officials are adamant read more

National

SUCKER Dept.: Union Bashes ACA, Sees Loss Of Worker’s Wages

Unite Here, a union representing hospitality workers has some strong criticism for Obamacare.

 

 

From Washington Examiner:

 

acaA national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very “income equality” President Obama says he is campaigning to fix.

Unite Here warned that due to Obamacare’s much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. “If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage,” said the union in a new report.

“Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality,” said the report from Unite Here. “Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,” said the report, titled, “The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse.”
Based on government and private reports, polling and statements from administration officials, the report, to be sent to pro-union members in Congress, charges that low-wage workers are taking the hit under Obamacare, while wealthy insurance companies fatten up on government subsidies.

Union head Donald “D.” Taylor, in a note also being sent to Congress, demands changes and admits to being reluctant to bash a president his union supported.

“Believe me; I enter this entire debate about the consequences of the ACA with a deep reluctance,” he wrote. “Unite Here was the first union to endorse then-Senator Obama. We support the addition of health care to millions of Americans. Yet facts are facts, and Obamacare will cost our members the equivalent of a significant pay cut to keep their hard-won benefits.”

Taylor and other union leaders have criticized Obamacare before. His union’s report was uploaded by Ralston Reports.

Unite Here’s document charges that the administration is putting union health care into a “death spiral.” It endorsed criticism that employers will move workers to part-time status to avoid the requirement that those working 30 hours or more a week be provided health insurance — or else the company pays a penalty. And it says the Affordable Care Act will shift workers from union insurance to the more expensive Obamacare health exchanges, costing them up to half of their pay to cover premiums.

“The information addresses the very unfortunate irony of Obamacare,” Taylor said in his letter about the report. “Namely, that it will inevitably lead to the destruction of the health care plans we were promised we could keep. And, as a result, it will lead to greater income inequality for the very segment of the population Obamacare should want to help most.”

Taylor also suggested that Democrats in Washington are telling unions to stop griping about the impact of Obamacare on their members. He quoted a Senate aide saying, “Labor needs to regress to the mean.” Said Taylor: “In other words, roll back what you have and take one for the team. Ironic, given that Congress and the president carved out an exemption for staffers on the ACA. We cannot sit idly by as the politicians carve up our health plans while they carve out exceptions for themselves and every special interest feeding at the trough in Washington.”
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

And it says the Affordable Care Act will shift workers from union insurance to the more expensive Obamacare health exchanges, costing them up to half of their pay to cover premiums.

Which means the unions will lose their lucrative insurance business.

National

Should a Catholic pharmacist be forced by law to dispense birth control pills and condoms also?

From the Daily Mail

Christian bakeshop MUST serve same-sex customers after owner refused to make wedding cake for gay couple, rules judge

jackJack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, Colorado refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple
Charlie Craig and David Mullins got married in Massachusetts but wanted a cake to celebrate their union in Colorado
When Phillips found out that the cake was for a same-sex ceremony, he turned the couple away
The ACLU filed a suit against the bakeshop on behalf of the couple
While the judge ordered that Phillips can’t discriminate against customers in the future, no fines were imposed on his business

By Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 23:49 EST, 6 December 2013 | UPDATED: 00:56 EST, 7 December 2013

A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday.

The order from administrative law judge Robert N Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple ‘because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage’.

The order says the cake-maker must ‘cease and desist from discriminating’ against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy cakes.

Scroll down for video
Ordered to accept: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Bakeshop was told by a Colorado judge today that he can’t discriminate against same-sex customers, unless he wants to pay a fine

Ordered to accept: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Bakeshop was told by a Colorado judge today that he can’t discriminate against same-sex customers, unless he wants to pay a fine
Refusing service: Phillips found himself the center of a lawsuit when he refused to make a wedding cake for same-sex couple Charlie Craig (left) and Dave Mullins (right) in June 2012

Refusing service: Phillips found himself the center of a lawsuit when he refused to make a wedding cake for same-sex couple Charlie Craig (left) and Dave Mullins (right) in June 2012

gayThe American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against shop owner Jack Phillips with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission last year on behalf of Charlie Craig, 33, and David Mullins, 29. The couple was married in Massachusetts and wanted a wedding cake to celebrate in Colorado.

Mullins and Craig wanted to buy a cake in July 2012, but when Phillips found out the cake was to celebrate a gay wedding, he turned the couple of away, according to the complaint.

Nicolle Martin, an attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop, said the judge’s order puts Phillips in an impossible position of going against his Christian faith.
His religion: Phillips said he wouldn’t make the cake because of his Christian religious beliefs

Not fined: In the judgement handed down Friday, Phillips was told he can’t discriminate against same-sex customers but no fines were levied against his business

Not fined: In the judgement handed down Friday, Phillips was told he can’t discriminate against same-sex customers but no fines were levied against his busines

‘He can’t violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck,’ she said. ‘If Jack can’t make wedding cakes, he can’t continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice. It is antithetical to everything America stands for.’

The Civil Rights Commission is expected to certify the judge’s order next week. Phillips can appeal the judge’s order, and Martin said they’re considering their next steps.

 

State

Veterans Face Another War When They Come Home

claimsAnd it’s not one that they should have to. Veterans who apply for disability claims have to wait in the average seven months, some even longer, to have those claims processed. An excellent article from the ctwatchdog

Gene Trotman, 59, of Waterbury, has been fighting for so long to get disability benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration, he now wonders if “maybe they’re waiting for me to die.”

Trotman, an Air Force veteran who served in the early 1970s, initially sought benefits in 1991 for a psychiatric condition. After several denials, he was finally approved for disability compensation last July. But, he still hasn’t received any money. He is waiting for the VBA Hartford Regional Office to complete the process which determines how much he will get.

Connecticut veterans typically wait more than seven months, an average of 213 days, to have claims processed, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs figures compiled by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

As of Jan. 28, a total of 1,364 state veterans’ cases were backlogged out of 2,750 who have filed claims, the numbers show. Waits longer than 125 days are considered backlogged. For appeals of VBA decisions, the average wait is more than three years – 1,181 days.

Nationally, there are 821,966 claims pending, and 71 percent (585,234) are backlogged with an average wait time of nine months, figures show.

The VA has vowed to improve. ”We recognize that too many veterans are waiting too long to get the benefits they have earned, and this is unacceptable,” VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey said in a recent press release.

The VA’s goal is that no veteran will wait more than 125 days for a disability claim to be processed by July 2015. However, much skepticism has been expressed about whether that can happen.

The Congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO), which issued a December report on the delays, and State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda S. Schwartz are among those raising questions about whether the goal can be reached.

“At least, they have a goal,” Schwartz said, but she pointed out the VA’s plan to take an “archaic” paper system to a computerized one is an enormous task. “While the rest of the world has moved on to higher technology, the VA has a very large curve. They’re really behind the 8-ball,” she said.

As of mid-January, 18 VBA regional offices, including Hartford, have begun the switch to a new computerized system, while the other 38 are expected to do so by the end of this year, according to a recent VA press release.

The GAO warned that backlogs could continue because Read More

State

Amazon Set To Collect Sales Tax In Ct.

amazon

kachingAmazon’s standoff with the State of Connecticut is coming to an end with the announcement that Amazon will spend $50 million building a facility in the state, and creating hundreds of jobs.

 

Amazon has long argued that it wasn’t required to collect sales tax in Connecticut because they did not have a physical presence (nexus) in the state. The state argued that sales reps constituted that presence and Amazon then ended its relationship with the affiliates in the state. A move that cost the state tax dollars from the income those affiliates would have reported as income. It’s a step in the right direction attracting new business and revenue. But a lot more needs to be done in attracting good, well paying long term jobs. Link

State

Common Sense Dept: Higher Fines & Confiscation

saveWho hasn’t been annoyed at drivers who are yakking on their cell phones or texting while driving? Well state lawmakers are considering raising the fines for violating the ban on cell phone use while driving but I don’t think it goes far enough. Make the first violation $500 and the second violation $1,000 and confiscation of the device. Harsh? Well yes it is, but that’s the point. When the risk of getting caught and having to pay that price, it may well serve as an effective deterrent.

 

To be fair, law enforcement has been cracking down on cell phone use. Nabbing the texting violator is harder as law enforcement officials have a harder time determining the position of use by the driver. Raising the fines is only going to work if the fine is large enough to make the driver think twice before engaging in such activity.

 

From The Litchfield County Times:

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State lawmakers are holding a public hearing on increasing the fines for violating Connecticut’s ban on using hand-held cell phones while driving.

The Transportation Committee has set the hearing for 10 a.m. Monday in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The proposed bill would double the fines for talking on cell phones without hands-free devices, texting and other cell phone use while driving.

The current fines are $100 for a first violation, $150 for a second violation and $200 for subsequent violations. Some lawmakers want to increase the penalties to $200 for a first violation, $300 for a second violation and $500 for subsequent violations.

 

State

McKinney Hints At 2014 Run For Governor

mckinneyFairfield State Senator John McKinney got on Governor Dannel Malloy’s case during an appearance on Face the State with Dennis House, set to air Sunday on WFSB-TV, Hartford.

From The Hartfordite:

During the taping McKinney said he wants to run for governor to reverse Malloy’s policies. “Governor Malloy has brought us nothing more than higher taxes and more spending…..the state is going in the wrong direction,” McKinney said. The Fairfield native, who also represents Newtown, defended Malloy’s predecessor, Jodi Rell, and blames the state’s financial crisis on Democrats, who have controlled the General Assembly for nearly two decades. McKinney blamed Malloy for raising “sales, income, and property taxes.” Read Full Story

National

Hizzoner Mayor Koch Dead At 88

kochOne of New York City’s most colorful mayors Edward Koch is dead at age 88. A three term mayor (1978-1989), Koch was noted and respected for his outspoken opinions. Still sought out for endorsements after his term in office, Koch went on to become a vocal voice through his newspaper columns and radio show. Below are some examples of his sharp tongue and wit. He’ll be missed.

 

‘If they want a parade, let them parade in front of the oil drums in Moonachie.’

(After denying the 1987 Giants a Super Bowl parade in Manhattan’s Canyon of Heroes)

 

‘I’m not the type to get ulcers, I give them.’

 

‘If you don’t like the President, it costs you 90 bucks to fly to Washington to picket. If you don’t like the governor, it costs you 60 bucks to fly to Albany to picket. If you don’t like me — 90 cents.’

 

‘The knife of corruption endangered the life New York City. The scalpel of the law is making us well again.’

 

‘If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, you should vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, you should see a psychiatrist.’

 

‘The people have spoken … and they must be punished.’

(Responding to a supporter who asked if he’d run again after his defeat in 1989)

 

‘Have you ever lived in the suburbs? … It’s sterile. It’s nothing. It’s wasting your life, and people do not wish to waste their lives once they’ve seen New York! … This rural American thing — I’m telling you, it’s a joke.’

Local

New Fairfield Website Caters To Concerned Taxpayers

fairFairfield Taxpayer is a “nonpartisan grassroots group of taxpayers who are passionate about preserving Fairfield as a desirable and affordable community for all its residents,” according to the Fairfield Taxpayer Facebook page.
We are pleased to announce the unveiling of Fairfield Taxpayer. Formed last spring during the budget discussions and debates, we hail from virtually all corners of town, yet find firm and common ground in what we want Fairfield to be: a desirable and affordable community for all its residents.

Fairfield Taxpayer was formed to facilitate an informed discussion – not an argument – over what we, the town’s taxpayers, wanted Fairfield to be in the coming decade, well beyond the heat of the present budget cycle. Our aim is for our collective voice to resonate with you and others – especially with our elected officials, the folks that we have empowered to make Fairfield the best it can be.

Come visit our website: http://www.fairfieldtaxpayer.com., join us on Twitter (@FairfieldTaxpay) and on Facebook (Fairfield Taxpayer)a. These tools help us all keep the dialog going. Join with us and we’ll Follow and Friend you back….improving our communication both ways.

 

To become part of Fairfield Taxpayer, either sign up through the website or email FairfieldTaxpayer@gmail.com.

 

National

“What Difference Does It Make?” Add It To The List Of Dumb Hillaryisms

hillaryLet me state right off the bat I do not like Hillary Clinton. Never have. If there was one redeeming thing in the 2008 election it was that Obama and his Chicago thugs bitch slapped Hillary out of contention. I always felt she thought she was entitled to the Presidency and was hers for the asking. At the Senate hearings on Benghazi yesterday she displayed the typical Clinton diversionary tactic when Sen. Ron Johnson called into question her department’s accounting of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya.

 

Clinton went on the defensive, raising her voice and condescendingly tried to berate the senator by stating “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” Clinton responded, raising her voice at Johnson, who continued to interrupt her. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk last night who decided to kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

 

Well Hillary if you don’t know why it makes a difference, then I suppose it’s a good thing you are leaving the State Dept. Reacting to and preventing future scenarios like Benghazi makes a big difference between guys out for a walk and a premeditated attack. A very stupid remark that I’m willing to bet will come back and bite you in the ass. Add that remark to a list of your other words of wisdom.

 

“I have to confess that it’s crossed my mind that you could not be a Republican and a Christian.”

 

“God bless the America we are trying to create.”

 

“We have a lot of kids who don’t know what works means. They think work is a four-letter word.”

 

“He ran a gas station down in St. Louis… No, Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader of the 20th century.” –introducing a quote by Mahatma Gandhi

 

“Who is going to find out? These women are trash. Nobody’s going to believe them.” –on Bill Clinton’s bimbo eruptions

 

“If I didn’t kick his ass every day, he wouldn’t be worth anything.” –on Bill Clinton

 

“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.”

 

“We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

 

“I have said that I’m not running and I’m having a great time being pres — being a first-term senator.” —on her presidential ambitions

 

“I’m not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.”

 

“I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” –on visiting Bosnia in 1996, contradicting other accounts that said there was no threat of gunfire. Clinton later said she “misspoke”

Local

Letter To The Editor

The following letter was sent to the editor of AllFairfield.

tax

Fairfield: No longer a Homespun, Multi-Generational Community

I was three months pregnant when I moved to Fairfield in 1984. Jacky Durrell was the First Selectman. Other than the arrival of my family, some of the big events that year included: the opening of the Route 8 Expressway, the first major north-south artery in the state; the creation of 84 two-acre home sites in a development called “The Ridge” and continued heated debate about going to one high school due to a shrinking student population.. The Fairfield Store was in its 63rd year, and Mercurio’s was still across the street. According to a NY Times article in December 1985, property taxes on a $500,000 home, based then on 45% of its value and a mill rate of 25.20, were $5,670.

Fairfield was a “homespun” town back then, in the sense that were as many as three generations of local families still thriving here. Most of our teachers, librarians, police and fire chiefs all lived in the community, along with my heating oil delivery man and many local businesses owners. Now, 28 years later, the exact opposite is the case. Most of the town’s employees, from the First Selectman to the secretaries at the Board of Education, do not own property in town, and do not have to pay a tax bill that increases each year without fail. The taxes this year on that $500,000 home which is now worth around $ 1.2 million are almost $ 20,000 (based on the housing price index for CT published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and which is now assessed on 70% of its value and taxed at a 23.37 mill rate). Our taxes have gone up at an annual growth rate of almost 5%. Inflation over the same period has been less than 3% annually.

The fact that so many of our public employees do not pay taxes in Fairfield makes it much more difficult to explain to them why we can no longer afford all of the services that the town is providing. The increase in property taxes that residents have absorbed over the last 10 years has changed the fabric of our community. Seniors feel as though they have to move out, our elected officials are renting apartments, local business owners have closed their shops and younger generations no longer feel that they can afford a home in Fairfield.

Kate Daniello

Fairfield for Good Government

Politics

Commentary: Political Correctness Run Amok

jail

I use to think zero tolerance might be a good thing, but in the wake of Sandy Hook and even before, where the dialog of gun control has swept the nation, knee jerk reactions have dominated over common sense. Recent incidents involving children and some adults using toy guns have resulted in actions taken against them that defy common sense.

 

In Talbot County Md, there’s controversy at a Talbot County school after two 6-year-old boys were suspended while playing cops and robbers during recess and using their fingers to make an imaginary gun. Link

 

A simple stick drawing has landed a New Jersey second-grader in trouble.

The picture got the child suspended from his Cape May County school.

The sketch showed two stick figures. One, with what the student said is a water gun, pointed at the other. Link

 

A 5-year-old girl was suspended from school earlier this week after she made what the school called a “terrorist threat.”

Her weapon of choice? A small, Hello Kitty automatic bubble blower. Link

 

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The family of a Pennsylvania kindergartner suspended from school for talking about a soap bubble toy gun is protesting her punishment and wants her record cleared, an attorney for the family said on Monday.

The unidentified 5-year-old child from Mount Carmel in eastern Pennsylvania was suspended after she talked on January 10 about a Hello Kitty Bubble Gun while waiting for a bus after school, said attorney Robin Ficker. Link

 

BRIDGEPORT — The daughter of an influential city Democrat is on paid leave after officials learned she pretended to shoot people with a toy gun while on duty as a security guard at the city’s Health Department.Sources say April Robles found a colorful toy gun while on duty at the city’s Health Department on East Main Street and began waving it around in the cafeteria. She also pointed the toy at several people, pretended to shoot and said, “Bang bang.” Link

 

Ok that last one was a stupid lack of judgement by an adult, but the bottom line is, it was a toy gun and saying “Bang, Bang” didn’t kill anyone. But for those instances where 5 and 6 year olds were concerned, what on earth possessed those in charge to make such ridiculous decisions in handling the situation.

 

My God these are supposedly career educators, and to make such a dumb ass decision to suspend these kids makes me question their capabilities of performing their jobs. How about a little discretion like contacting their parents and suggesting they sit down and talk with their children that in this day and age loose talk like that is not a good thing. Let’s all remember, a childs actions at that age are innocent in nature and adults shouldn’t react as if they were on par with an adults mindset. The campaign to stem violence in this country would be better served if we disposed of this knee jerk cover your ass reactions to these kinds of things.

 

 

 

 

 

Local

FGG Meeting

This public service announcement was submitted to the editor of AllFairfield by Laura Incerto.
meetingFGG MEETING
Fairfield For Good Government

Thursday, January 10, 2013, 7:00pm

Featured speaker: Dr. David Title, Fairfield Public Schools superintendent

Topic: 2013-2014 Fairfield Public Schools Budget

Location: Scandinavian Club, 1351 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield

Hosted by: Fairfielders for Good Government (FGG)

This will be a unique opportunity to speak with Dr. Title and ask questions
before the school budget is made public later that week.

David Title became Superintendent of Schools in Fairfield, CT on July 1,
2010. Before coming to Fairfield, Dr. Title served as Superintendent of
Schools in Bloomfield, CT from 2002 to 2010 and as Assistant Superintendent
of Schools in Waterford, CT from 1990 to 2002. Prior to Waterford, he served
as the assistant principal at Somers, CT High School and as a history
teacher at East Granby, CT High School and Longmeadow, MA High School.

Dr. Title earned his Doctorate in educational administration from Harvard
University and a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts. He
received a Bachelor’s Degree from Dartmouth College, where he majored in
History.

Local

This Town Is Doing It’s Best To Run Me Out Of It.

An estimated $15 million price tag for an addition and renovations at Riverfield School appeared to take the Board of Selectmen by surprise Wednesday. Fairfield Citizen

That’s the number the Riverfield Building Committee came up with at Wednesday’s presentation, a figure that is $4 million higher than the initial estimate. First Selectman Michael Tetreau said he would like to know the details of those changes that were made from $11 million to $15million.

 

Some of those changes are:

 

Sixteen new classrooms up from six.

 

Several existing classrooms would be renovated into resource rooms and a health suite, and those classrooms need to be replaced.  Excuse me a health suite? Just what is that? Also what are  the contents of these new resource rooms?

 

A music suite? Again is that a priority or even a necessity?

 


It seems like these school renovations and additions are forever going on. One project is completed and another begins. I understand the codes have to be maintained and upgrades are necessary , but it seems to me that these expenditures go beyond that and frills are always added to mix.

 

Education is a priority for our childrens future and for our tax dollars to be spent, but on the heels of a bungled train station project that cost the taxpayers millions of dollars, I would like to see a little more prudence in these building budgets

 

State

Switched At Birth?

                                             

 

 

 


 

Dannel Malloy                                                  Stephen Colbert

Local

RTM Discusses Changes To Senior Tax Relief

The RTM, in a meeting Monday night, discussed changes in the towns senior tax relief program that included raising the income limits and doing away with the tiered system for assigning credits. The tax credits are  available to Fairfield residents over 65 years of age with an annual income of less than $60,900 and assets totaling less than $500,000. Those limits would be raised  to $70,000 for income and $650,000 for personal assets.

“The intent was this will be a long-term solution to try to address concerns where taxpayers felt they had to leave the town of Fairfield because they couldn’t afford the tax,” said Tom McCarthy, chair of the Representative Town Meeting’s Senior and Disabled Tax Relief Subcommittee.

For full article read The Fairfield Daily Voice

State

Anyone Can Enact A Tax, But What Good Is It If You Can’t Collect It?

The Amazon tax passed last year in Connecticut is a bust. As stated in a column here (Opinion: Amazon Tax Backfiring In Connecticut May, 25, 2011), the move to implement the tax only succeeded in having those online retailers pull out of Connecticut. In addition, all those companies that had affiliates in the state pulled out in protest. Thereby putting all those affiliates out of work which reduced the amount of taxes the state would have otherwise collected. A lose, lose situation.

 

Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan said the tax has brought no appreciable revenue to the state’s coffers. From Ct News Junkie

 

State Unable To Collect Amazon Tax

by Hugh McQuaid | Nov 16, 2012 5:30am
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Posted to: Business, State Budget, Taxes

 

Christine Stuart photoChristine Stuart photoRevenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan

It’s been more than a year since the state’s so-called Amazon tax went into effect, requiring all online retailers to remit sales taxes to the state. But so far the state’s been unable to collect revenue from it.

Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan said the tax has brought no appreciable revenue to the state’s coffers. Sullivan made the comments Thursday before the governor’s monthly commissioners meeting where his budget secretary gave a presentation on the state’s current $365 million budgetary shortfall. The gap was caused in large part by declining revenue.

So far, the Amazon tax has been about as effective as Sullivan predicted it would be in April 2011, when he wrote to budget Secretary Ben Barnes. At the time, the Office of Fiscal Analysis was projecting a $9.4 million revenue bump as a result of the tax. Sullivan told Barnes not to expect the added cash because the tax was uncollectible.

Although people are required to pay a use tax for goods purchased online from companies in other states, the tax is ignored by most.

But following the passage of the Amazon tax bill, major online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com pulled their business from affiliated companies in Connecticut.

 

Hugh McQuaid photoHugh McQuaid photoTim Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association

So has the tax been a total loss? Not if you ask Tim Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association. Phelan said that if nothing else, the tax has sent a symbolic message to brick and mortar stores who are at a disadvantage having to compete with online stores not charging sales tax.

“States like Connecticut have said ‘We don’t know what kind of impact this is going to have but goddamnit we’re going to do it because it’s not fair,’” he said. “. . . At least it’s sent a signal to Connecticut retailers that the state of Connecticut cares about them.”

But Sen. Andrew Roraback, the ranking Republican on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, said that while the tax sent a message, he wasn’t sure passing the bill was a fruitful exercise.

“I’m very sympathetic to my local bookstore. I want to help it succeed but I think we should help them by doing something constructive. If we’re sending messages that are ineffective, I’m not sure how constructive that is,” Roraback said.

Roraback said he thought the state had essentially thrown its hands in the air and given up on the tax and hoped Congress would pass a solution. Sullivan said both the state and federal government are pursuing avenues to resolve the situation.

The state is hoping to get major retailers to agree to collect and remit the tax. Sen. Eileen Daily, co-chairwoman of the Finance Committee, predicted last May the state would soon have some sort of agreement with Sears. So far that hasn’t happened. But Sullivan suggested the state was in talks with a major retailer.

“Nothing will happen until we can get one of the major retailers to bite,” he said. “That’s as much as I can say right now.”

The other prospect would be an act of Congress. Sullivan said there have been a few pieces of legislation aimed at getting online stores to pay sales taxes to states. Though they have yet to pass, he said the lawmakers who were pushing the bills have been re-elected.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he expects Congress to act during next year’s legislative session, in part because of pressure created by laws like the Amazon tax.

“I believe and predict that there will be a resolution of that issue in this Congress as a result of what we and other states have done,” Malloy said. “When we have a global answer to this . . . I think it will be very good for brick and mortar retailers.”

Malloy said that if Congress acts quickly in its first few months, online sales tax may even be able help raise revenue during the next fiscal year when the state is projecting a $1.18 billion shortfall.

“If we can build it into our July 1 assumptions, there’s a plus side for us,” he said.

National

Benghazi: Obamas Watergate?

The White House’s stonewalling of the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack in which four Americans were killed including Ambassador Chris Stevens is beginning to show all the classic maneuvers of the Watergate scandal that brought down the Presidency of Richard Nixon. The phrase that was made famous in the Watergate Hearings was “What did the President know, and when did he know it?”

 

That pretty much describes the scenario that President Obama is facing right now. As more facts have come out, they blatantly contradict what what the White House stance is. The President said it was a spontaneous attack in protest of an anti muslim video.

 

Here is the Benghazi timeline of events as they occurred from FactCheck:

The question won’t go away: Did President Obama and administration officials mislead the public when they initially claimed that the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began “spontaneously” in response to an anti-Muslim video?

The question surfaced again on Oct. 25 — more than six weeks after the incident — when government emails showed the White House and the State Department were told even as the attack was going on that Ansar al-Sharia, a little-known militant group, had claimed credit for it.

We cannot say whether the administration was intentionally misleading the public. We cannot prove intent. There is also more information to come — both from the FBI, which is conducting an investigation, and Congress, which has been holding hearings.

But, at this point, we do know that Obama and others in the administration were quick to cite the anti-Muslim video as the underlying cause for the attack in Benghazi that killed four U.S. diplomats, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. And they were slow to acknowledge it was a premeditated terrorist attack, and they downplayed reports that it might have been.

What follows is a timeline of events that we hope will help put the incident into perspective. We call attention in particular to these key facts:

  • There were no protesters at the Benghazi consulate prior to the attack, even though Obama and others repeatedly said the attackers joined an angry mob that had formed in opposition to the anti-Muslim film that had triggered protests in Egypt and elsewhere. The State Department disclosed this fact Oct. 9 — nearly a month after the attack.
  • Libya President Mohamed Magariaf insisted on Sept. 16 — five days after the attack — that it was a planned terrorist attack, but administration officials continued for days later to say there was no evidence of a planned attack.
  • Magariaf also said the idea that the attack was a “spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous.” This, too, was on Sept. 16. Yet, Obama and others continued to describe the incident in exactly those terms — including during the president’s Sept. 18 appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman.”
  • Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, was the first administration official to call it “a terrorist attack” during a Sept. 19 congressional hearing. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did the same on Sept. 20. Even so, Obama declined opportunities to call it a terrorist attack when asked at a town hall meeting on Sept. 20 and during a taping of “The View” on Sept. 24.

Here is our timeline:

 

Here is the CIA Timeline

The CIA timeline was described Thursday by a senior intelligence official. The narrative of events is dramatic and disturbing. Rather than try to parse each detail, here’s a summary of the highlights. The time sequence is Benghazi local time on the night of Sept. 11 and the morning of Sept. 12:

•9:40 p.m.: A senior State Department security officer at the consulate in Benghazi called the CIA base, at an annex about a mile away, and requested assistance. “The compound is under attack. People are moving through the gates.” CIA officers at the base can hear the alarm, and a team immediately begins gathering weapons and preparing to leave read more

State

Some Post Election Thoughts

 

 

For a year President Obama said that Gov. Mitt Romney wants to take us back to the old policies and ideas that got us into this economic mess…. yet the very first thing he said after being reelected was his desire to sit down face to face with Romney to explore ways to get the economy going. Huh?…..Huh?

 

 

Linda McMahon spent $50 million in her quest for Joe Liebermans Senate seat, which she lost to Chris Murphy. This is on top of the $50 million she spent in her run against Richard Blumenthal in 2010. In both campaigns McMahon ran on the issue of jobs and how she was a job creator who knows how to get things done. Now I voted for McMahon both times but I also feel that if she was such a jobs creator (which she was), then I would have thought she could be more productive by taking that $100 million along with access to just as much if not more in credit lines,  and either buy, start or transplant a company to Ct and create more jobs. Because quite frankly Linda that $100 million is now just pissed away.

 

 

The Monday morning quarterbacks were out in full force Wednesday spouting off on why Romney lost the Presidential election. Oh Romney ran a bad campaign, obama ran a good one, voters still blame Bush for the bad economy, the hurricane knocked the wind out of Romneys sails, that lovefest between Gov Chris Christie and President Obama was somehow interpreted to mean Christie was endorsing Obama, blah, blah, blah. The reason Obama won was because more people voted for him. It’s that simple.

 

 

The worst thing about the election? As of yesterday the race for 2016 is now in play.

 

 


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