Metcalf on Music
10:10 am
Thu October 2, 2014

JACK Quartet: If It's New, They'll Play it

JACK Quartet.
Justin Bernhaut

With apologies to Roger Moore's backgammon ploy in “Octopussy,” let’s call this “blogger’s privilege”: I am herewith calling attention to the new season of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series at The Hartt School.

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Massachusetts
10:06 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Poll Finds Majority Oppose Casino Repeal

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:16 pm

A new poll finds a majority of likely voters in Massachusetts say they’ll vote against repealing the state’s casino gambling law.

The latest survey by the Western New England University Polling Institute found 52  percent of likely voters said they will vote no on Question 3, the casino law repeal initiative on next month’s Massachusetts election ballot.

Polling institute director Tim Vercellotti said the survey of 416 likely voters found 41 percent said they would vote to ban casinos with just 6 percent undecided and 1 percent declining to answer.

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Science
10:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Soil Doctors Hit Pay Dirt In Manhattan's Central Park

The Bronx may be up and the Battery down, but Central Park is where an amazing wealth of different sorts of microbes play.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 9:14 am

Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich.

But a team of scientists got a big surprise when they recently started digging there.

They were 10 soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers and sunblock," she recalls.

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Open Studios
9:22 am
Thu October 2, 2014

New Haven Gears Up for Four Weekends of Art Events in October

The 200,000 square foot Goffe Street Armory will become a giant exhibit space for Connecticut artists on October 11th & 12th
Micah Luce instagram@micahJL

For the next four weekends, New Haven will celebrate its thriving arts scene with a series of events and exhibits. 

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The Pollinators
8:10 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Should Neonicotinoids Be Banned to Protect Honeybees?

Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide, thought to be linked to decling bee numbers, have been temporarily banned in Europe.
d o w n s t r e a m Flickr Creative Commons

Members of Congress, including three from Connecticut, have signed a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to better regulate a controversial class of pesticide called neonicotinoids.

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National League
7:54 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Giants Send Pirates Packing In Elimination Playoff Game

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford, center, is greeted by teammates Brandon Belt, left, and Hunter Pence after hitting a grand slam against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning of Wednesday night's game.
Don Wright AP

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:04 am

The San Francisco Giants decisively beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the National League wild-card game Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

The record crowd on hand at PNC Park, mostly dressed in black, was no match for the Giants' bats and their pitcher's arm.

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Business of Defense
7:48 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Sen. Murphy: Pentagon Spends Billions Overseas, Costs Jobs

Big contractors like Pratt & Whitney should be required to source more of their parts in the US, according to Senator Chris Murphy
Pratt & Whitney

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said that in the past seven years, the Pentagon has spent more than $160 billion of taxpayer money on foreign-made goods. He’s accusing the defense department of abusing legislation that requires it to buy American.

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Affordable Care Act
6:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Obamacare's First Year: How'd It Go?

In New Jersey in March, Dianna Lopez of the Center for Family Services (right) speaks with Betsy Cruz, of Camden, N.J., about health insurance coverage during an Affordable Care Act information session.
Lori M. Nichols South Jersey Times/Landov

Exactly one year ago, the Obamacare insurance exchanges stumbled into existence. Consumers struggled to sign up for its online marketplace — and the Obama administration was pummeled. Eventually, HealthCare.gov's problems were mostly fixed, and two weeks ago, the administration announced 7.3 million people have bought insurance through it so far this year.

So, was the health exchanges' first year a success — or something less?

Ask President Obama, and he says you measure the Affordable Care Act's success this way:

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Secret Service
4:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It Be?

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:46 am

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

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Election 2014
1:34 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Connecticut Governors Race Among Nation's Least Positive

Screenshots of negative ads from both Tom Foley and Dan Malloy's campaigns.

Negative campaigning is nothing new, but a new study finds that Connecticut’s race for governor is one of the least positive in the country.

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Psychedelic Folk Rock
12:57 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Technology and a 40-Year-Old Album Spark a Revived Musical Career in Connecticut

Marc Osborne and Nick Zoullas recording their new album
Credit Trevor Snapp

Once in a while, your past catches up to you. That might not be a good thing if long ago, you were up to no good. But if, as a teenager, you had been part of a talented folk-rock band called Hand, and today you found out that a recording you made back then had become a collector’s item, and that your music was on iTunes, and that music lovers and record-producers were looking for you -- it just might make your day.

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Military History
10:35 am
Wed October 1, 2014

U.S.S. Nautilus Turns 60

The USS Nautilus is now a museum of submarine history
Credit Stephanie Fish / National Park Service

Connecticut’s submarine community gathered Tuesday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the commissioning of the nation’s first nuclear powered submarine. The U.S.S. Nautilus is now a historic state ship and a museum on the waterfront in Groton. 

Hundreds of sailors and shipbuilders gathered at the ceremony, which remembered the beginning of 25 years of service for Nautilus. 

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Historic Sites
9:41 am
Wed October 1, 2014

State Establishes Shoreline Park in Southeast Connecticut

Seaside in Waterford closed in the 1960s, according to state library records.
Artondra Hall Creative Commons

Connecticut is establishing its first shoreline state park in 50 years.

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Election 2014
9:31 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Malloy and Foley Dispute Jobs, State Spending

The two major party candidates debated in West Hartford last night.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Jobs, taxes, and the economy were the big issues in Tuesday night's gubernatorial debate between candidates Democrat Dannel Malloy and Republican Tom Foley. 

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Insurance Reimbursement
9:22 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Five Connecticut Hospitals Leave Anthem Network in Pay Dispute

Hartford Hospital is one of the five that is now out-of-network for Anthem customers
Credit Elipongo / Creative Commons

Five Connecticut hospitals have left the network of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, after they failed to reach an agreement with the insurer. 

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Social Media
7:46 am
Wed October 1, 2014

'Ello' Aims For A Return To Ad-Free Social Networking

Ello is a new, invitation-only social network that aims to thrive and survive on a business model that does not include selling user data or advertising.
Ello.co

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 12:17 pm

Vermont is known for its green pastures, farmsteads and roads free of billboards. The founders of the new social network Ello live in the state, and they want to bring Vermont-like serenity to the Internet.

"We set out to prove that a social network will survive and thrive that doesn't have a business model of selling ads to its users," says CEO and co-founder Paul Budnitz.

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Jazz Corridor
6:22 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Guitarist Michael Musillami Returns to New Haven to Celebrate Imaginative Release

Michael Musillami.
Jonathan Doster

As an intrepid explorer of the human psyche and inventor of wildly imaginative, convention-defying works, guitarist/composer Michael Musillami on his new release, Pride, reveals himself to be a kindred spirit with the late, great Maurice Sendak, the renowned, wizard storyteller and illustrator of children’s books and long-time resident of Ridgefield.

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Financial Regulation
5:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

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Political History
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Secret Talks And Back Channels Pervaded U.S. Relationship With Cuba

Cuban Premier Fidel Castro addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September 1960 in New York. A new book details secret negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba dating back to President Kennedy's administration.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:34 am

For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.

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Disease
6:11 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

First U.S. Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Dallas

A patient at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has a confirmed case of Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. He is being treated and kept in strict isolation.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 3:10 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.

A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.

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Clean Water Act
2:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Clearing Up Murkiness in the Clean Water Act

Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA in New England, right, accepts a box full of comments on the proposed update to the Clean Water Act.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

A proposed rule change seeks to better define what waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, the law regulating pollution discharges into American water.

As written, the Clean Water Act currently applies to waters with a "significant nexus" to "navigable waters," a bit of legalese that's made it tough for regulators to crack down on pollution in some small tributaries.

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East Windsor
1:10 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ed Thrall and the Story of His Most Contentious Dance Hall

Chion Wolf

You might say that the two great loves of Edwin Thrall’s life were his wife, Flicka, and his daughter, Janett -- his only child, who he wanted to protect --  so he built his third great love, a square dance hall, a place where his wife could dance, and his daughter could be safe.

In a 1997 documentary, Ed Thrall said that he wanted a place to call square dancing. "I wanted a place for Janett to have her friends, and give them recreation that we thought was civilized, and moral, and helpful, and would last them as long as they lived."   

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Riding the Rails
12:34 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Crime Up On Metro-North

Passengers on a Metro-North platform.
Credit DanTD / Creative Commons

A transit report says crime has risen since last year on Metro-North Railroad, but officials of the commuter line insist riders are safe.

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Hartford City Hall
12:02 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Top Malloy Aide Considering a Run for Hartford Mayor

Luke Bronin testifying in 2011 on U.S. policy toward Syria.
C-SPAN

The next election for Hartford's mayor is over a year away, but competition for Mayor Pedro Segarra is already beginning to emerge -- and a top adviser to Governor Dannel Malloy is considering a run. 

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Election 2014
11:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Teachers Union Endorses Malloy After Internal Debate

Sheila Cohen, president of the Connecticut Education Association, in a file photo.
Credit CEA

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy appears to be mending fences with teachers, many of whom were angered by remarks he made about tenure and by the roll-out of his public education reform initiative.

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Massachusetts
10:39 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Candidates For Mass. Governor Debate In Springfield

Candidates for governor debated at the City Stage theater in Springfield. It was their only scheduled broadcast debate in western Massachusetts.

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 10:49 pm

The five candidates for governor of Massachusetts participated in their first broadcast debate Monday night, the only one scheduled in western Massachusetts.

   Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley differed on energy policy, the need for universal pre-school, and indexing the gasoline tax to inflation.  Baker said rather than raise the gas tax the state should rein in transportation costs. 

    "We've got to figure out how to do this stuff better and cheaper and in some cases faster."

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Middle East
9:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Afghanistan Signs Deal Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops To Remain

Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar (right) and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham exchange documents after signing the Bilateral Security Agreement, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (rear, left) and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in the background.
Jawad Jalali EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:29 pm

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET

Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn.

The country's newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces.

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Pension Payments
8:18 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Despite Federal Conviction, Rowland's State Pension Will Continue

Former Gov. John Rowland leaves federal court in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland's state pension of nearly $53,000 a year will not be affected by his second felony conviction. 

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China
7:16 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Hong Kong Leader To Protesters: 'Stop Campaign Immediately'

Pro-democracy activists sleep, rest and walk on a street near the government headquarters Tuesday in Hong Kong. Students and activists, many of whom have been camped out since late Friday, spent a peaceful night singing as they blocked streets in Hong Kong in an unprecedented show of civil disobedience to push demands for genuine democratic reforms.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 10:34 am

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying is appealing to pro-democracy demonstrators who've brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill in recent days to halt their campaign "immediately" because, he says, Beijing won't accede to their demands. But protesters have promised to announce a new phase of civil disobedience if reforms aren't forthcoming.

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White House
5:42 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

'Washington Post': White House Intruder Made It To Doorway Of Green Room

A perimeter fence has been placed in front of the White House fence on the North Lawn along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 11:17 am

The man who jumped the White House fence carrying a knife made it past the front doors, overpowered a guard, and then ran across the East Room before being tackled at the doorway to the Green Room, The Washington Post is reporting.

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