Real Life Survival Guide Episode 38

Mar 18, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

We chose O'Toole's Irish Pub and Restaurant in New Haven as our venue for the 38th Real Life Survival Guide editorial board meeting, knowing that the show would air at the end of St. Patrick's Day weekend. (What we didn't know was the fact that the date would also mark the end of what the O'Toole's staff refers to as "the silly season".)

This week's guest editors included Nanci Sklar, Suzanne Cahill-Manning, Rob Leonard, and Gary Choronzy, and we talked about political correctness, conversation ball-droppers, apologies and... a certain shillelagh.

The Connecticut chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They want DHS to release records about an enormous, though little understood immigration enforcement program.

Cody Wofsy says there’s not a lot known about the Criminal Alien Program, known as CAP.

Fighting Sons of Erin

Mar 16, 2012

On battlefields from Virginia to Louisiana, the soldiers of Connecticut’s Ninth Regiment Volunteer Infantry marched into combat against Confederate forces under a regimental flag unlike any other: a blue banner emblazoned with a golden harp on a field of emerald green dotted with shamrocks and bearing the motto “Erin Go Bragh.” The symbols and the slogan proclaimed the unit as Connecticut’s “Irish Regiment,” composed of 1,200 first- and second-generation Irish for whom fighting to preserve the Union was a demonstration of their loyalty to an adopted land that had more often than not treat

Amid the push for federal health care reform has been a push for more home visiting programs that help increase access to care for those in need. One such program was born in Connecticut almost seventeen years ago. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on the Nurturing Families Network, which provides home visits to young mothers.

(Child's voice yells “Marta!”)

Nathan Carreno is three and a half years old. He’s greeting Marta Santana, a home visitor with the Nurturing Families Network.

SANTANA: "Hi! How are you?"

NATHAN: "Good."

Is Adult Education Right For Teens?

Mar 15, 2012

INTRO: More and more Connecticut teens are leaving high school for adult education programs. Some say these programs offer more flexibility to kids who would otherwise just drop out of school. But others say adult education is not for teens. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

Segarra's New City Ride

Mar 15, 2012

Correction: The mayor's new car is not the black one originally pictured.

Last year, Republican Linda McMahon ran unsuccessfully for the U-S Senate seat now held by Democrat Richard Blumenthal. She's running again -- this time for the seat being vacated by Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. McMahon -- the former wrestling executive -- held a press conference yesterday to present her six-point jobs plan.  The proposal includes a middle class tax cut for individuals and families, a reduction in the business tax rate, and an effort to restrain federal borrowing, debt, and spending.

Uma Ramiah

School board members held their annual Day on the Hill in Hartford Wednesday. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed cautious support for the Governor’s education proposals.

Democratic Representative and Education Committee co-chair Andrew Fleischmann outlined areas of agreement, including expansion of preschools.

"I expect we will have expansion of early childhood education. Not just the 500 additional slots the Governor’s talking about. I’m hopeful that we may be able to do more this year."

Mark Pazniokas

State legislators are hearing testimony today on a bill to repeal the death penalty in Connecticut. Previous efforts to repeal capital punishment in the state have failed, but advocates hope they can get it done this time around. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

From her Intel Science Talent Search bio

One Connecticut student is in Washington D.C. for the Intel Science Talent Search. 17-year-old Zizi Yu is a student at Amity Regional High School and her project focused on food allergies in young children. She joined 39 other students from around the country in this competition. In addition to presenting her project, the students also had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama.

WNPR's Ray Hardman recently spoke with Zizi when she was in Washington D.C.

Brunosan, Flickr Creative Commons

As the brain ages, it becomes harder to know when its time to move from one task to the next. That’s according to a new study by Yale University researchers, who say understanding how the brain ages may help an older workforce.

The study is called Lost in Transition. Mark Laubach, an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine, came up with the title after waiting to buy a ticket at the Washington, DC train station. He was anxious to get back to Connecticut to see his son play in his first Little League game.  

Jessie Sawyer

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra gave his annual state of the city address Monday.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.  The biggest issue facing the city of Hartford isn't the state of the city, but the state of its budget.  Next year's numbers are scary -- the city is projecting a 10 percent shortfall.

Officials from UConn and the Board of Regents meet this week with legislators and advocates for victims of sexual assault to discuss a bill that would change the way college campuses respond to sexual violence.  

The federal Clery Act spells out how colleges and universities nationwide are expected to respond to sexual violence on campus. The Connecticut bill would make changes to the way schools hold internal disciplinary hearings, and would require prevention programming for students and faculty.

Harriet Jones

In the past, attempts to reform Connecticut’s blue laws have been dominated by one simple issue – Sunday alcohol sales. But the bill before the legislature this year takes the debate much further. And it has the package store industry in uproar. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Here at the Legislative Office Building with the session in full swing, many of the conversations are about one thing.

“This has been such a significant issue in the building.”

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 37

Mar 11, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

We were thinking about flowers budding way too early in this week's editorial board meeting for The Real Life Survival Guide, featuring Julie Braun, Lee White, Ryan Duques and Fred Lyle. (Lee sys she has "stopped wearing socks, thinking that might spur spring up a bit. Fred was concerned about his crocuses and rose bushes, and there was a bit of a disagreement with Duo regarding when to prune. We were this close to a good old fashioned donnybrook.)

Dartanyon Blake

Two years ago, we told you the story of Dartanyon Blake -- then a 37-year-old man, born and raised in Hartford, who got in trouble young and who couldn't get out. Blake passed away recently. WNPR's Jeff Cohen has this remembrance.

Caro Weir Ely

Mar 9, 2012

Julian Alden Weir (1852–1919) was a noted American Impressionist painter who purchased a summer home in Branchville (Ridgefield and Wilton) for his family in the early 1880s. Before that, the family lived in Windham. The New York artist was drawn to Connecticut’s picturesque landscape.

Wesleyan University

Antonin Scalia, a justice of the United States Supreme Court, spoke Thursday at Wesleyan University.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, he lectured on his theory of interpreting the U.S. Constitution. 

A controversial plan to build a massive liquefied natural gas plant in the middle of Long Island Sound is over for good. Broadwater Pipeline LLC has asked to withdraw from its federal certificates.

Broadwater, a partnership of Royal Dutch Shell and TransCanda Corporation, wanted to construct a 20-story high floating LNG platform tethered to the bottom of Long Island Sound.

"It was four football fields long. It was going to have an accompanying 27-mile long pipeline."

Awards Celebrate Women In STEM Careers

Mar 8, 2012
Connecticut Technology Council

  Women are severely under-represented in science and technology professions in Connecticut and across the nation. Each year, the Connecticut Technology Council aims to highlight the work of women who ARE making it in those fields, with its Women of Innovation Awards. WNPR’s Sarah Miner went along.

Deirdre Arcand is sophomore at Mercy High School in Middletown. She says even in her generation she still sometimes finds she’s a gender pioneer.

For Women, Baldness Need Not Be Faced Alone

Mar 8, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, midiman

Whether its Rogaine, HairClub or countless As Seen on TV cures, baldness is a problem often associated with men. But for women suffering with alopecia areata, baldness can be an embarrassing and often secret problem.

West Hartford native Thea Chassin is providing support for these women with a group she calls "Bald Girls Do Lunch."


Thea Chassin says she used to have a lot of hair.

I had hair. I had really great hair. I loved my hair.

Prehensile Eye (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Flat Duo Jets were the darling of college radio in the 80's and 90's. The duo, guitarist Dex Romweber and drummer Chris Crow Smith influenced scores of musicians with their wild, raw performances of 50's rockabilly tunes. Guitarist Jack White points to the Flat Duo Jets as a major influence on him and his own duo band the White Stripes.

Where We Live Alone

Mar 8, 2012
Chion Wolf

In the 1950s, less than a quarter of American adults were single. Today - that number is up to about half.

But when we say “single” - we mean not part of a couple. A different - and slightly antique-sounding term - “singleton” means people who live by themselves. That number is up to some 31 million Americans.

Union leaders representing Connecticut teachers say they agree with many of Governor Malloy’s education reform proposals, but are concerned that new teacher evaluations be used fairly. 

Earlier this year, Connecticut teachers’ unions agreed to a process that evaluates teachers based, in part, on student performance. This plays a key role in Governor Malloy’s education proposals. 

What Does The Word "Similar" Mean For Tort Reform?

Mar 7, 2012

INTRO: Connecticut legislators are discussing a bill that would make some changes to the way plaintiffs can file medical malpractice lawsuits in the state. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on the testimony heard today by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Photo by Chion Wolf

A 2004 law requires a certain percentage of federal contracting dollars to go to small businesses owned by service disabled veterans. But a recent inspector's report from the Department of Defense finds that in 2010, more than two dozen contracts were awarded to companies that weren't eligible.  

Heavy Metal and Dreamy Pop Rock

Mar 7, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we sample tracks from an album of heavy metal throwbacks from Washington band Christian Mistress. We'll also be sampling new tracks from Death Grips, Royal Headache, and the underground R&B outfit THEESatisfaction.