Monthly Archives: August 2012

Nine school districts to apply for Race to the Top federal money

Having watched the state strike out in its three attempts to land federal Race to the Top money to reform schools in Connecticut, officials at eight urban districts and the state’s technical high school system have decided to try their luck in the fourth round. “We look forward to submitting a strong application that speaks to our successes and articulates a vision for the future of the district,” said Hartford Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto, saying her district’s recent reforms and improvements make the district “very competitive” for federal funding. The U.S. Department of Education announced Friday afternoon that officials from Bridgeport, Meriden, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford and Waterbury also have informed them they will be applying by the Oct. 30 deadline. Collectively, these districts are asking the federal government for between $170 million and $270 million to fund their initiatives. The federal government intends to award $383 million to support local reform efforts for the upcoming year. Continue Reading →

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State closing in on new home for IT operations

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration is closing in on a new home for the state’s data processing operation, which is expected to leave its East Hartford home when the current lease expires in 2015. The State Bond Commission released $250,000 Friday, to be combined with $2.5 million previously approved for new site acquisition. Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Donald J. DeFronzo confirmed that his agency has been negotiating to acquire a new, privately owned site, though he declined to identify the location. “We’re well into the process, so hopefully it will be resolved relatively soon,” said DeFronzo, who added it could be acquired this calendar year. “Our goal is definitely to be out of the present site by the end of the lease, or earlier if possible.” Continue Reading →

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Malloy finds UConn economist insightful — and a little depressing

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was careful Friday neither to dismiss nor embrace a new report from the University of Connecticut that concluded the state technically might still be in a recession. The study, prepared by the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis — which is helmed by economist Fred V. Carstensen — shows the state’s economy had been damaged more severely than early reports demonstrated. It also warned the state could see little or no net job growth over the next 18 months, a grim prospect as Malloy looks ahead to a re-election campaign in 2014. “I like Fred a lot and I talk to him frequently,” the governor said while fielding questions from reporters following Friday’s State Bond Commission meeting in the Legislative Office Building. “But Fred’s never one to see the sunny side.” Continue Reading →

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State makes $10M investment in Hartford Hospital expansion

The state will provide a $10 million grant to Hartford Hospital to support a major expansion of its Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced following Friday’s State Bond Commission meeting. The center, which will gain 30,000 square feet in the expansion, is a training facility that allows health care professionals to simulate different types of patient acute crises. “Hartford Hospital has an important role to play in Connecticut’s resurgence in the bioscience and health services sector,” Malloy said. “This expansion project is about investing in innovation, research and training — all the things we need to do as a state to stay competitive.” The governor and the General Assembly agreed in October 2011 to invest $291 million in a new genetics research institution in Farmington run by The Jackson Laboratory, a world-renowned bioscience research enterprise based in Maine. Continue Reading →

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Karl Rove reconsiders: McMahon now running smart campaign

At the end of a piece in Bloomberg’s Business Week about super PACs, Karl Rove offers a reappraisal of Linda McMahon, the Connecticut Senate candidate he disparaged before she won the Republican primary and emerged with a narrow general-election lead in some public polling. “In Connecticut, Rove noted that Linda McMahon, the former head of World Wrestling Entertainment, whom he had once written off, was running a ‘really smart campaign.’ And the state, he noted, had moved more to the right. ‘Those affluent, socially liberal, economically conservative people in Fairfield County and the New York suburbs have finally figured out that their pocketbooks matter more than abortion.’ ” Continue Reading →

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Romney’s promise: ‘To help you and your family’

Tampa, Fla. — Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night with a speech contrasting his business success, family values and straightforward focus on job creation with what he says are President Obama’s unrealized promises and lofty rhetoric of the 2008 campaign. With nearly 45 minutes of prime time television, a relaxed Romney made the most important sales pitch of his life, offering himself as a successor to Obama, a barrier-shattering president whose election excited America, yet ultimately failed to deliver. To undermine the Democratic president, Romney invoked the heady emotion surrounding Obama’s election. Mitt Romney accepting the GOP nomination. Continue Reading →

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Even off the A-list, state GOP happy in Tampa

Tampa, Fla. — They often are treated as poor relations at Republican National Conventions, notwithstanding their financial generosity to the GOP. They are at odds with the party’s long, steady turn to the right, which continued with the 2012 edition of the platform. But Connecticut Republicans say they will leave the convention in Tampa reconnected, re-energized and ready for November, happy that the vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan is committed to visiting the state in September. Delegates say they expect him in Greenwich and Hartford. Continue Reading →

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Forum discusses ways to control rapid growth of Lyme disease

Stamford — Improved diagnostics, more research and controlling animal populations are keys to stemming the rapid growth of Lyme disease in New England, experts said Thursday at a forum at the University of Connecticut’s Stamford campus. Hosted by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the forum was held in anticipation of congressional review of his proposal to create an advisory committee on tick-borne diseases and to encourage better diagnostic tests and research into the disease. About 40,000 new cases of Lyme disease were reported nationwide in 2009 — more than four times the number reported in 1991, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. Experts say the number of diagnosed cases is rising due to the spread of the disease and increased awareness. Connecticut’s chief entomologist, Kirby Stafford, told the approximately 150 people attending the forum that Connecticut had 55 cases per 100,000 residents in 2010 — one of the highest rates in the nation. Continue Reading →

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It’s official, Donovan drops out of race

House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan has officially ended his scandal-plagued bid for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, withdrawing his name from a minor-party line on the ballot, the secretary of the state’s office confirmed Thursday. And the Connecticut Working Families Party, whose line on the ballot would have been Donovan’s only vehicle to keep his campaign alive, announced Thursday it would endorse the Democratic primary winner, former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire. Donovan also issued a statement through the minor party to endorse Esty. Immediately after losing the primary, Donovan didn’t dismiss the possibility of keeping his name on the ballot, saying only that he would take some time to decide his next step. But on Thursday he announced his intentions in a two-sentence letter to Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill. “I hereby withdraw my name from the nomination … Continue Reading →

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Education: The civil rights issue of our day (Redux)

Connecticut residents have heard it before: Education reform is the civil rights issue facing this country. Earlier this year, this was the message Gov. Dannel P. Malloy routinely told audiences as he pushed major education reforms through the state’s General Assembly. On Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of State, shared the same message with a national audience at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. “This is the civil rights struggle of our day,” she said of minority and poor students trapped in failing schools. So what exactly is the Republican platform on education? Continue Reading →

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No surprise: DCCC targets open 5th CD seat for extra attention

Within hours of Chris Donovan removing the possibility of a third-party effort that would have undermined Elizabeth Esty in the 5th Congressional District, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced she has been selected for assistance under its “Red to Blue Program.” Of course, in her case, it’s a matter of trying to keep a blue seat from going red. Democrat Chris Murphy won the seat in 2006, 2008 and 2010, but he is running for U.S. Senate. Esty won a Democratic primary Aug. 14, but Donovan had been cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party and didn’t confirm until today that would give up their ballot line. Continue Reading →

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Yale President to step down after 20 years

Richard Levin, 65, Yale’s president of 20 years, sent an email to students and alumni this morning announcing his plans to step down. Yale News has a complete rundown of all the initiatives Levin launched during his tenure. Here’s Levin’s email:
I write to inform you that I will step down from my position as President of the University at the end of the current academic year, my twentieth year of service. From the day Jane and I entered graduate school in 1970, Yale has been our life. Since I joined the faculty in 1974, my efforts – as teacher, scholar, and President – have been rewarded in superabundance. Continue Reading →

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Connecticut delegates embrace Ryan’s fiscal focus

Tampa, Fla. — Paul Ryan introduced himself to the nation as Mitt Romney’s running mate Wednesday, accepting the Republican vice-presidential nomination with a speech that focused on the economy, with sharp pokes at President Obama and Democrats “desperate to keep their power.” “After four years of getting the runaround, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Gov. Mitt Romney,” said Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman who has established a conservative following as a deficit hawk. On stage or on TV, all eyes were on Paul Ryan. Ryan, 42, promised a cheering crowd that he and Romney would lead the nation to a healthy economy. Continue Reading →

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Some Connecticut GOP delegates eyeing Malloy’s job

Tampa, Fla. — Connecticut delegates to the Republican National Convention had a big question this week: Where’s Tom Foley? The party’s 2010 gubernatorial nominee was a no-show until Day 3, though several potential competitors were here early, networking with GOP activists who could be helpful in a 2014 run against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the Democrat who barely defeated Foley. Foley, 60, of Greenwich , is a delegate to the convention from the 4th District and a GOP heavy hitter, raising money for George W. Bush, who rewarded him with an ambassadorship to Ireland. One of the rainmakers for Foley’s gubernatorial run was Mitt Romney, who headlined a Greenwich fundraiser two years ago. Continue Reading →

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Do Naugatuck Valley tax scandals point to wider issues?

With three Naugatuck Valley communities conducting separate investigations of corruption allegations involving taxes and municipal finances, questions are being raised about whether tighter controls on local tax collectors’ offices are needed. “The public is wondering just what the heck is going on,” said Eugene Driscoll, editor of the Valley Independent Sentinel, a nonprofit local news website whose recent reporting led to a state criminal investigation of Ansonia’s tax office. Ansonia’s tax collector, Bridget Bostic, resigned this week. She is suspected of issuing “tax clearance” documents, which allowed people to register their cars despite owing taxes on them. Bostic allegedly issued the forms to several individuals, including her mother, according to a fact-finding report by the city. Continue Reading →

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