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News
3:13 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Helping to Heal with Songbirds

Wesleyan University

 

A new finding by a Wesleyan University professor may hold promise for people suffering Neurological Disorders like Alzheimer's and Epilepsy. WNPR's Ray Hardman speaks to Dr. John Kirn, Professor of Biology and Chair of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program at Wesleyan University whose work focuses on the brain of a small songbird.

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News
2:23 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Steve Blass On Living The Pirate Life

Design by James Slate and Andy Hansen. Photo from AP Images.

Most major league players have a lot of stories to tell. But Steve Blass might have more than most. He went from a skinny prospect in the tiny Connecticut town of Falls Village to become the star pitcher on a World Series team, where he befriended a baseball icon.

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News
2:08 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Title IX

Chion Wolf

Title IX is 40 years old this week...and slowly over that time, it’s meant a big boost in Women’s athletics.

Just to give you some idea - there are nearly 10 times as many high school girls playing organized sports today as there were the year the law went into effect. At the college level, nearly half of the athletic scholarships go to female athletes.

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News
9:29 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Hartford Bowling Center On Course To Avoid Closure

J Holt

Late last week it looked certain that Hartford's last remaining duckpin bowling center would close, as its owner faced mounting expenses and changing priorities. But one day after a last ditch effort to save Highland Bowl failed, the historic business experienced a dramatic turnaround. WNPR's J Holt was there.

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News
2:21 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

CUSTER’S COMMANDER

On June 25, 1876, over two hundred men serving under George Armstrong Custer were wiped out by a combined force of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in present-day Montana. Custer’s Seventh Cavalry was part of a larger military operation intended to round up the remaining free Plains Indians and force them onto reservations. This larger force was led by General Alfred H. Terry, Commander of the Department of Dakota.

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News
2:19 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

CUSTER’S COMMANDER

On June 25, 1876, over two hundred men serving under George Armstrong Custer were wiped out by a combined force of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in present-day Montana. Custer’s Seventh Cavalry was part of a larger military operation intended to round up the remaining free Plains Indians and force them onto reservations. This larger force was led by General Alfred H. Terry, Commander of the Department of Dakota.

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News
11:37 am
Fri June 22, 2012

In The "Obamacare" Waiting Room

Matt Renlund (Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s officially called the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Some detractors call it “Obamacare.” And, soon the court may call it unconstitutional.

We’ve been waiting for months to hear what the US Supreme Court will rule on the health care reform that is seen as “transformational” - even by those who don’t like it too much.

It is meant to provide health care coverage to all Americans - but the provision that mandates purchase of that coverage is what has it in front of the court.

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News
3:33 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Health Care, The Supreme Court, and You

In all likelihood, the US Supreme Court will rule next week on one of the biggest political issues of the year -- President Obama's health care overhaul.  To understand a little bit more about what the law entails and what is at stake for Connecticut, WNPR's Jeff Cohen sat down with Victoria Veltri -- the state's healthcare advocate.

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News
9:54 am
Thu June 21, 2012

While Hartford Violent Crime Goes Down, Other Crimes Go Up

 

Violent crime in the city of Hartford is down.  But other crimes -- like robbery, larceny, and car theft -- are up over last year.  In the second installment of a two-part interview with WNPR's Jeff Cohen, Mayor Pedro Segarra says the problem is people coming back to the community from prison...and he's looking to the state for help.

 

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News
10:50 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Susan Herbst on Ambition, Expansion, and Sports

Chion Wolf

University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst has had a busy first year on the job.

She’s pushed for a major expansion of its faculty – part of a plan to get more students into the classes they need and get their degrees in four years. The university is hiring 275 new faculty over the next four years. 

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News
4:24 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Segarra, Frustrated By Violence, Says Police Could Soon Make Arrests In Recent Homicides

 

A week and a half after a violent weekend , Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra says police investigators are making inroads.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

 

I met with Segarra in his office.  I walked in as the acting police chief walked out.  And here's what the mayor said about investigations into the shootings that killed two people and wounded nine others.  One of the dead was a cousin of City Council President Shawn Wooden. 

 

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News
3:38 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Thrashy, Metallic Hardcore and Dreamy Hip Hop Beats

This week on the Needle Drop, we're observing the dreamy, atmospheric sounds of hip hop beats from the new Clams Casino instrumental compilation. We're also giving the new Black Breath album a go, Sentenced to Life--not to mention trying out new tracks from Recondite, Grizzly Bear, and Fiona Apple.

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News
11:22 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Revitalizing New Haven's Neighborhoods

Payton Chung, Creative Commons

New Haven was once known as the “model city” - for a massive urban redesign in the 1950s and 60s.

That renewal - 50 years later - has divided the city. Literally and emotionally.  Now, some of the damage is being repaired - a plan to reconnect a “downtown” crossing where homes and businesses were destroyed to make way for a highway.

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News
11:00 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Are Big Sports Tournaments Worth It?

Matthew Kenwrick (Flickr Creative Commons)

Today, the Traveler’s Championship week kicks off in Connecticut. It was known for years as the Greater Hartford Open...the GHO. It’s always raised lots of money for charities and always attracted thousands of visitors. But on a few occasions in its history, it has almost gone away. The corporate community stepped in once again - with a local title sponsor - and the tournament is expected to mean nearly $30 million to the local economy.

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News
9:47 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Controlling for West Nile Virus

Trindade.Joao

 

Hartford officials say crews will be treating catch basins and wetland areas in the city with larvicide to control mosquitoes and the West Nile virus.

 

The city's health director, Dr. Raul Pino, says a contractor will begin applying the liquid larvicide Monday, but no spraying is involved. Officials say the larvicide is registered with state and federal environmental agencies and doesn't pose any health or environmental risks.

 

Pino says the larvicide program has been successful and there were no West Nile virus cases in the city last year.

News
11:02 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 50

Gary Choronzy

I've been working on the concept for The Real Life Survival Guide - in one form or another - since the mid nineties. The idea was to create a radio show that was helpful and funny, and to use the Internet to extend the conversation. Having celebrated (and recorded) our 50th Episode, I do believe we're getting somewhere!

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News
4:20 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Wooden Grieves

 

The city of Hartford says that gun crimes are down, as is the homicide rate.  But last weekend was a violent one in Hartford - with two shooting deaths, nine other shooting victims, and two stabbings.  One of the dead is 24-year-old Michael Bailey, Jr. -- a cousin of City Council President Shawn Wooden.  He and WNPR's Jeff Cohen sat down for an interview.

 

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News
4:06 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

DEFENDING CONNECTICUT

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812. Outraged by British restrictions on trade, the impressment of American sailors, and confrontations in the Northwest Territory, the United States declared war on Great Britain on June 18th. That summer, as the war got underway, Secretary of War William Eustis wrote to Capt. C. D. Wood in New London, Connecticut.

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News
2:42 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Hartford Community Activist Dies at 67

Courtesy of Institute for Community Research

A woman who worked tirelessly in the community to enact social change has died.

67-year-old Marlene Berg was one of the co-founders of Institute for Community Research in Hartford. 

Berg had just retired from the Institute for Community Research as the Associate Director of Training this past January after working there for more than 25 years. Her colleagues remember her as a passionate activist and researcher.

"Marlene was one of the bravest people I'd ever met. She was never afraid to say anything to anyone regardless of the consequences."

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News
10:27 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Digging Into Soil

Soil Science, Creative Commons

Last week on the show, we talked about big rocks, and Connecticut’s glacial history, but what about the tiny stones and sediment beneath our feet?

Yes, today, where we live, we’re digging in to soil.

According to one of our guests, soil is the foundation of everything. It’s where our food grows, of course, but did you know that soil stores more carbon than vegetation?

And do you know why our soil here in New England is so rocky and shallow?  What about our obsession with picture-perfect lawns and what that means for the soil below?

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News
3:48 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

State Approves New Vaccine Protocols

 

In their special session earlier this week, lawmakers approved a plan to make doctors get most of their child vaccines from the state.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

 

Currently, doctors who need vaccines for children only have to get them from the state if their patient is on Medicaid.  The rest can be bought on the private market. But a new state law will change that -- making it mandatory for doctors to source nearly all of their vaccines from the state.  

 

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News
11:05 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Jackson Laboratory Breaks Ground And Looks Ahead

Christopher Spooner (Flickr Creative Commons)

Earlier this week, Jackson Laboratories broke ground on a...well, a groundbreaking new facility in Farmington. In collaboration with UConn and the state, they hope to pioneer genomic medicine and incubate new startup biotechs in the state.

The state of Connecticut has made a big commitment to this project, investing $291 million dollars. So what will this investment bring to Connecticut?

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News
10:15 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Wrapping Up The Session With Ken Dixon

Chion Wolf

There was lots of excitement around this special session, with the FBI investigation of Chris Donovan’s campaign staff - leading him to recuse himself as speaker.

Then there was the “mixed bag” of non-budget related “concepts” added to the bills - many without any sort of public hearing.  Republicans cried “foul” Democrats said “Hey, at least we’re getting something done.”  

Today we found out what did get done with Ken Dixon of The Connecticut Post, Senate Democrat Don Williams, and Republican Representative Vin Candelora.

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News
10:03 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Promising Drug for Depression

Erik Charlton

 

According to the Connecticut Health Investigative Team, researchers at the Yale School of Medicine are touting  Ketamine as “the magic drug,” able to ease severe depression and suicidal thoughts in patients within a matter of hours.

 

Dr. John Krystal, chair of the school’s Department of Psychiatry and chief of psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital, says that although Ketamine is currently used primarily as an anesthetic and for certain types of pain, it shows early promise as a treatment for depression.

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News
4:07 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Special Session Starts As Donovan Investigation Looms

 

Almost two weeks after federal investigators arrested a campaign aide of Democratic House Speaker Chris Donovan, the legislative body he leads went back into special session to work on the budget.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

 

House Republican Leader Larry Cafero was getting a coffee, readying for what promised to be a long day.  And I asked him whether the circumstances of the FBI's investigation into Donovan's campaign were going to have any effect on the form or function of the special session.  He said it has...

 

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News
10:43 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Job Creation

Seattle Municipal Archives

Politicians often promise to create new jobs if you elect them...but who really “creates” jobs anyway?

I mean, as a business owner, you know you’re doing well if you’ve got enough business to actually hire more people to do work.  But the motivation of the business is to create “profits” for yourself, your family, maybe your shareholders...not simply to put people to work.

So a politician who touts his or her credentials as a “job creator” is usually talking about being a “profit creator” who sometimes hires more people - and sometimes lays people off.

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News
3:11 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Possible Change In Child Vaccine Distribution Upsets Doctors

In tomorrow's special legislative session, lawmakers will consider a plan to make doctors get most of their child vaccines from the state.  But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, pediatricians across the state don't like the idea.  

Currently, doctors who need vaccines for children only have to get them from the state if their patient is on Medicaid.  The rest can be bought on the private market. But a change in state law up for discussion could change that -- making it mandatory for doctors to source nearly all of their vaccines from the state.  

 

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News
3:07 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Wadsworth Atheneum Continues Renovations

The state recently approved $2 million for the renovation of Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum -- the nation's first public art museum.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the money will go in part to gallery renovations.

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News
12:35 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Insuring the City

John Phelan (Wikimedia Commons)

In the 1950s and 60s northeastern cities were evolving from being railroad hubs to being anchored by the insurance industry. And those “anchor companies” changed the skyline and the culture of the places they invested.

Today’s guest, Elihu Rubin, author of Insuring the City: The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape, describes the presence of insurance companies in cities like Hartford and Boston as the “modern incarnation of the medieval corporate enclave,” a kind of civic icon.

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News
9:48 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Outdoor Enthusiast: Why I love the outdoors...

CPBN Media Lab

For the first Outdoor Enthusiast segment of Summer 2010, the CPBN Media Lab spent the afternoon on the scenic Farmington River in Barkhamsted, CT, already active with fly-fishermen. We met up with Steve Grant, a freelance writer and six-time Pulitzer Prize nominee from Farmington, who explained to us the appeal of the most actively used recreational river in Connecticut. Fishing seems to be the most popular attraction, as the river is regularly stocked with trout in a catch-and-release policy.

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