Food for thought…
Cross post from My Left Nutmeg
Since it’s beeen a while I’ve pulled out the camcorder and conducted an interview, a few weeks ago when Chris Murphy paid a visit to a youth program in Danbury, I couldn’t pass an oppurtunity to chat with our new Senator.
I had a chance to talk to Senator Murphy about his new role in Congress as well as his thoughts on the push for gun control reform.
Yesterday, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal held a press conference call to discuss the failure to end a filibuster on the bi-partisan background check proposal.
Here’s the audio recording of the press call (sorry about the quality…and that crying in the background at the beginning of the audio is my cranky son).
Cross post from HatCityBLOG
The Pope John Paul II Care and Rehabilitation Center of Danbury was fined $1,090 after a resident developed a pressure ulcer on the thumb, as a result of the use of a hand splint. The resident, who also was identified as at risk for falls, sustained injuries from falling when he or she was not properly assisted or supervised.
Cross post from HatCityBLOG
Oh this is rich!
Throughtout the gun control leglisation process, when it came to the General Assembly drafting policy, Newtown’s State Rep. (and proud ALEC member) Dan Carter went out of his way to stress the need for “bi-partisanship.”
Given the fact that the Democrats at the Capitol hold a 2-1 majority over the Republicans, I guess the compromise Democrats and Republcians came up with in Hartford, which allows gun owners to keep their assault weapons and high capacity magazines, wasn’t enough for Newtown’s Republican State Represenative since Carter was the only state lawmaker from Newtown that voted against the gun control package (even radical and outspoken State Rep. DebraLee Hovey voted in favor of the package).
I guess State Rep. Carter can be proud of contining his tratdition of stressing the need for “bi-partisanship” on one hand while voting almost 70 percent lock in step with the NRA agenda. As someone who has interviewed State Rep. Carter on multiple occasions, I can’t wait to hear what the Man from ALEC has to say about his vote the next time he holds a town meeting in Newtown.
UPDATE: 1:55 PM: Newtown Selectwoman Pat Llodra had this to say regarding the NRA nonsense.
“You would think Newtown is the last place they would want to start their lobbying effort against changes to the current gun laws,” Llodra said. “It’s a bad time for us. We are still struggling to heal.”
While Llodra said the calls are inappropriate, she added that it’s a typical response from the gun lobbying group.
“It seems to be their typical response to this issue,” she said. “Insensitive and inappropriate.”
UPDATE 1:40 PM:Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal sent the following letter to NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
Mr. Wayne LaPierre
Executive Vice President
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
Dear Mr. LaPierre:
We write to you today on behalf of our constituents in Newtown, Connecticut who are outraged by your inappropriate automated phone calls pushing the National Rifle Association’s extreme agenda being received by members of the Newtown community. With these robocalls, the NRA has stooped to a new low in the debate over how to best protect our kids and our communities. We call on you to immediately stop calling the families and friends of the victims in Newtown.
Like all Americans, we were horrified by the shooting on December 14th at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We were with the parents that day and the days that followed and can confidently tell you that the parents of the victims, and the community as a whole, are still struggling to comprehend the horror of that day. Your robocalls pushing our constituents to contact their members of Congress to urge opposition to common sense gun safety legislation are incredibly insensitive.
In a community that’s still very much in crisis, to be making these calls opens a wound that these families are still trying hard to heal. Put yourself in the shoes of a victim’s family member who gets a call at dinnertime asking them to support more assault weapons in our schools and on our streets.
Unfortunately, this latest act is just another example in a long line of offensive steps your organization has taken in the wake of this tragic shooting. Your press conference one week after the tragedy articulated your surreal vision that the only way to solve the epidemic of gun violence in America is through the use of more guns. One month later you released “NRA: Practice Range,” an Apple app that allows individuals to shoot targets in a variety of settings and with a number of different weapons, including handguns, an AK-47 and an M-16. More recently, one of the NRA’s Wisconsin lobbyists remarked that your extreme agenda may be delayed by the so-called “Connecticut effect.”
Robocalling members of the Newtown community to promote your agenda less than 100 days after the horrific shooting is absolutely beyond the pale. Again, we call on you to show some basic decency and cease and desist these calls.
Christopher S. Murphy
Recently, the geniuses at the National Rifle Associaiton stooped to a new low by flooding the phone lines of Newtown residents with anti-gun control robocalls…listen.
In response to this nonsense, Senior Richard Blumenthal wrote the following guest post write-up for Think Progress.
NRA leadership demonstrated yet again last week just how low they are willing to go in their unconscionable effort to block any and all common sense, life saving gun violence legislation. Their most recent repugnant tactic—repeated robo calls to Newtown families—mocks and betrays the courage and compassion demonstrated by the Newtown community just barely three months after one of the world’s most horrific acts of gun violence seized 26 beautiful and heroic young lives.
Less than two months ago at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, I asked NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre if he would join the tens of thousands of people around the world in taking the Sandy Hook Promise. The Promise is a very simple message. It asks its followers to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School by promising to do everything possible to encourage and support common sense solutions to make our communities and country safer from similar acts of violence. “I promise this time there will be change,” the Promise concludes. Wayne LaPierre agreed to the Promise that day, yet every minute of everyday since then, he and his organization have poured countless amounts of time, money and effort into making that simple promise harder and harder to achieve.
In its relentless effort to defeat the Sandy Hook Promise and block common sense, life saving gun violence legislation, NRA leadership has shown no boundary it will not cross—including injecting its fear-based messages into the homes, the sanctuaries, of a grieving community.
What NRA leadership simply refuses to acknowledge is that, despite their hopes and efforts, the Connecticut effect is not going to fade. In fact, it is growing, and it will not go away until we get the weapons of war off our streets, provide law enforcement the tools they need to enforce the laws on the books, improve the safety of our schools (and I don’t mean vigilante dads and teachers with guns), and strengthen our mental health system. With or without the NRA, we will act.
My message to NRA leadership: Stop these invasive, unconscionable calls. Join the vast majority of Americans and Newtown residents in supporting common sense measures to stem and stop gun violence.
If you agree, join me in urging NRA leadership to cease and desist these inhumane calls by calling them at 1-800-672-3888.
Since it’s been long alleged that Fox-CT enjoys exploiting women on Fridays, I thought it would be refreshing to bring attention on-going criticism the station is rightfully receiving regarding their disgusting b-roll video during their report on Women’s Day at the State Capitol.
First to take a jab at the station is this press release from the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women:
In a perfect irony, on Wednesday more than 250 people listened to high school senior Kristen Hinz read her award-winning essay about the importance of fighting sexist imagery even as one of the state’s most prominent media outlets used offensive film footage in reporting the event.
Women’s Day at the Capitol, held each year by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women to mark both advances and challenges in overcoming gender discrimination, was attended by a diverse crowd from throughout the state, as well as numerous legislators, Constitutional Officers, and representatives of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation. The keynote speaker, Marcia Gillespie, is a nationally renowned journalist and social justice advocate. Two high school seniors received accolades for their essays. They were joined by women-owned business proprietors, academics, students from New Haven’s Metropolitan Business Academy, proud grandparents, and individual citizens who gathered to hear Gillespie, former editor-in-chief of Ms. and Essence magazines, speak on the importance of staying vigilant in the face of the national attack on women’s rights.
Meanwhile, Fox CT News, twice during its morning newscast, ran close-up footage of anonymous women’s breasts. Although the station later apologized for the incident, many people in Connecticut and throughout the nation expressed outrage.
In her essay, Hinz said, “…while I live in the body of the society-defined ‘weaker sex’ – I can have power…I can be the voice of change, of revolution. I can use my words – both verbal and written – to halt those who mock the destruction of a woman’s body…”
“While we are grateful for the support PCSW has received from many in the Legislature, advocacy groups, and women and men from throughout the state and country, we hope this incident will shine a light on the ongoing, pervasive, and unacceptable discrimination against women that continues to erode our health and safety, and even our economic security,” said PCSW Executive Director Teresa Younger. “Women’s Day commemorates women’s history, raises awareness of public policy issues, is a forum for women’s voices, and encourages civic engagement. So we urge everyone who was appalled by the sexist film footage to learn about the work we do as one of the nation’s longest-standing and most effective non-partisan women’s commissions. And we encourage everyone to raise their voices – as Kristen has done – to stop such examples of sexual harassment.”
Next up to the plate, The Slate’s Josh Voorhees nails it with a common sense question…a question that has gone unanswered by Fox-CT.
My question, or at least one of my questions, is: Why does the network even have the footage on file? It’s hard to imagine a segment topic that would need to be illustrated by looped shots of breasts.
Not to be outdone, a reader with 27 years in the TV news business at Jim Romenesko’s blog had this to say.
“Fox station in Connecticut shows video of women’s breasts – and only breasts – in story about a Women’s History Month celebration. Appalling. Remember, this doesn’t happen by accident. I worked in TV News for 27 years. An editor and/or a producer had to select the video to cut, queue up and play for that story.”
BINGO! Remember, this footage was aired not once but TWICE.
As someone who has also done his fair share of TV work, I find it hard that the same “mistake” could be aired TWICE in one news broadcast…and the fact that the station didn’t “apologize” for footage they aired in the morning until groups and other media outlets expressed outrage by the afternoon speaks volumes.
Apparently Fox-CT is still in damage control mode as news director Coleen they sent out the following email to Romenesko.
As we said yesterday, we sincerely apologize for this unfortunate mistake. An employee, using an automated system, made an error in attaching the file footage from a computer-based system. It was extremely unfortunate but it was the result of human error. We have taken disciplinary action and are implementing training to avoid any errors like this in the future.
FOX CT is extremely sensitive to women’s issues. We are meeting with the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women early next week and will work together to promote the organization’s worthy and valuable mission.
You know some members of the PCSW will have a thing or two to say whenever that meeting with Fox_CT actually transpires.
Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, said she was “appalled” by the footage, which she didn’t get a chance to view until late Wednesday following the event.
“I’m pissed,” Younger said.
She said if the female anchor had stopped the broadcast once she saw the footage, the commission would have supported her for stepping up. She said it was a completely inappropriate depiction of women.
“We invite the executives at Fox to ask about our Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention trainings, which would help them and their staff learn a little more about what goes on above a woman’s shoulders,” Younger said.
Hey Teresa and the crew at PSCW, here’s some required reading material before you meeting with the clowns at Fox-CT.
A state investigator found “reasonable cause” in former Fox 61 reporter Shelly Sindland’s age and gender discrimination complaint against Tribune Co. last month.
The finding by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities gives Sindland an opportunity to pursue a public hearing where all the evidence and testimony gathered in the case will be presented again to an administrative law judge.
“I think it’s significant,” Sindland’s attorney Gregg Adler said Tuesday. “They don’t find cause that often.”
Anita Zakrzewski, a Connecticut CHRO investigator, concluded last month in a 23-page report that “the information gathered through the investigative process reveals that workplace conduct occurred that was unwelcome and offensive.”
Topping the list of unwelcome and offensive for Sindland and former anchors Rebecca Stewart and Susan Christensen was the “Naked News” and “Big Boob Fridays” discussion.
Stewart, who has since left her job at the station, testified during the investigation that she attended a meeting on Jan. 30,2009, in which Fox 61 News Director Robert Rockstroh commented that the Friday newscast looked like “Big Boob Friday.“ According Stewart’s testimony, Rockstroh said the station’s ratings on that day did well because at least one female reporter wore tighter shirts on Fridays. “Hey, whatever works,“ Publisher Richard Graziano commented, according to Stewart.
Stewart also testified that she became an unwilling participant in conversations about the idea of promoting a “Naked News” on April Fools Day during which Stewart, a weekday anchor, would appear to be naked by wearing a flesh-colored top.
Stewart was removed as weekday anchor shortly after the incident. She testified that she was devastated and angry because she had poured her heart and soul into creating the show. Stewart was replaced by Sarah French, who was 23 at the time.
Stewart testified she believed age was a factor in the station’s decision to transfer her to weekend anchor, a position she considered a demotion. She also believes her objection to the “Naked News” proposal was a factor in her removal.
Trust me, I could go on and on but I think you get the point…
Mayor Boughton and Board of Education violated the city charter (and the local media could care less)
Cross post from HatCityBLOG
Current Board of Education Chairwoman Sandy Steichen has some serious explaining to do…
It appears that Mayor Boughton and Board of Education chairwoman Sandy Steichen have no problem violating the city charter when it suits their needs.
This week, the Republican controlled Board of Education presented and approved a budget proposal that includes a request for 5.98 percent (aproox. 6 million dollar) increase in spending.
While I have plenty to say about the BOE’s laughable budget proposal, a proposal that not only has ZERO chances in becoming reality but should anger every parent who is concerned about the quality of education in the city, for purposes of this post, I want to focus on the decision-making of the newly elected and controversial BOE chairwoman, a mayor who has LONG proud tradition of violating the city charter, and an education beat writer who has a LONG track record of overlooking problems within the BOE.
Here’s what News-Times “reporter” Elieen FitzGerald wrote about the BOE budget approval…not the section in bold.
The Board of Education sent the mayor a $122.7 million budget for 2013-14 to run the 18 city schools that serve about 10,400 student
The proposed budget represents a $6 million, or 5.98 percent, increase over the current budget.
The city charter requires the board to submit a plan to the mayor by Feb. 15, but Boughton gave them an extension.
While this all seems fair at first glance, there’s one slight problem…per city charter, when it comes to budget proposals, the mayor does not have the right to extend any deadline for any department.
Here’s the section of the city charter that pertains to the budget…the portion that involves the responsibility of the BOE is highlighted in bold.
Section 7-2 DEPARTMENT ESTIMATES.
The Mayor shall compile preliminary estimates for the annual budget. The head of each department, office or agency of the City as described in Section 7-1 of this Chapter, including the Board of Education, shall, not later than February 15th or the next business day thereafter if February 15th shall not be a business day, file with the Mayor on forms prescribed and provided by him, a detailed estimate of the expenditures to be made by the department, office or agency and the revenue other than tax revenues, to be collected thereby in the ensuing fiscal year and such other information as may be required by the Mayor or the City Council.
Section 7-3 DUTIES OF THE MAYOR ON THE BUDGET
Not later than April 7th or the next business day thereafter if April 7th shall not be a business day, the Mayor shall present to the City Council a budget consisting of:
a. A budget message outlining the financial policy of the City government and describing in connection therewith the important features of the budget plan indicating any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues together with the reasons for such changes, and containing a clear general summary of its contents.
b. Estimates of revenue, presenting in parallel columns the itemized revenue collected in the last completed fiscal year, the receipts collected during the current fiscal year prior to the time of preparing the estimates, total revenue estimated to be collected during the current fiscal year, estimates of revenue, other than from the property tax, to be collected in the ensuing fiscal year, and a statement of an estimate of available surplus.
c. Itemized estimates of expenditures, presenting in parallel columns the actual expenditures for each department, office, agency or activity for the last completed fiscal year and for the current fiscal year prior to the time of preparing the estimates, total expenditures and estimated for the current fiscal year, and the Mayor’s recommendations of the amounts to be appropriated for the ensuing fiscal year for all items, and such other information as may be required by the City Council. The Mayor shall present reasons for his recommendations.
d. The Board of Education shall have the same duties and follow the same form and procedure with respect to the budget of the Board of Education as required of the Mayor in Section 7-2 of this Chapter for other departmental estimates.
e. As part of the budget, the Mayor shall present a program to the City Council for adoption, additions or deletions no later than February 15th that has been previously considered and acted upon by the City Planning Commission in accordance with Section 8-24 of the General Statutes, as amended, concerning municipal improvements, of proposed capital projects for the ensuing fiscal year and for the five fiscal years thereafter.
Estimates of the costs of such projects shall be submitted by each department, office or agency annually in the form and manner prescribed by the Mayor. The Mayor shall recommend to the City Council those projects to be undertaken during the ensuing fiscal year and the method of financing the same.
f. As part of the budget, the Mayor shall present to the Council the data required to be presented to the Mayor by Section 7-1.
No where in the charter does it state that the mayor has the ability to grant an extension to any department when it comes to budget deadlines…including the Board of Education whose proposal represents over 50 precent of the city’s overall budget.
It’s impossible for anyone who follows local politics to believe that Boughton and BOE chairwoman Steichen didn’t know that they violated the city’s charter. Adding to the lack of accountability is a reporter, whose responsibility is to overlook the decision-making of the BOE, refusing to call into question why charter was violated and why it took so long for the BOE to present and approve a budget proposal in the first place.
Given the outlandish barrage of criticisms Steichen directed towards for the previous BOE chairwoman’s leadership last year, her inability to provide a budget proposal on time AND in violation of the charter reeks of hypocrisy…but most people have no clue of this nonsense because the reporter assigned to covering the BOE routinely overlooks these matters.
The public has a right to know what is REALLY happening within the BOE…and it appears that the education beat reporter for the News-Times doesn’t share in that viewpoint.
…to be continued.