Paul Stern

Paul Stern

Paul has more than 40 years of reporting and editing experience at newspapers in New Jersey, Florida and Connecticut. He worked 22 years at the Hartford Courant in various editing roles including as deputy state editor, assistant editor of Northeast Magazine, and as an associate editor at Courant.com. A trained chef, he and his wife are the owner-operators of the Stone Arches Bed and Breakfast in Mansfield.

Recent Posts

Life — and politics in Connecticut — is not necessarily fair

Is all of politics, at their most fundamental, a struggle to make society more fair? Certainly in Connecticut there has been plenty of social inequity to talk about. As the Nov. 6 election approaches, of course, the candidates for governor, U.S. Congress and the state legislature identify all sorts of social and economic disparities that, one way or the other, need to be addressed. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

‘Grossly unfair?’ Widower takes ban on military injury claims to Supreme Court

More than four years after Navy Lt. Rebekah Daniel bled to death within hours of childbirth at a Washington state military hospital, her husband still doesn’t know exactly how — or why — it happened. Walter Daniel, a former Coast Guard officer, demanded explanations from officials at the Naval Hospital Bremerton, where his wife, known as “Moani,” died on March 9, 2014. He says he got none. No results from a formal review of the incident, no details about how the low-risk pregnancy of a healthy 33-year-old woman — a labor and delivery nurse herself — ended in tragedy, leaving their newborn daughter, Victoria, now 4, without a mom. “There was no timeline, no records of what steps were taken,” recalled Daniel, 39, sitting in his Seattle lawyer’s high-rise office last month. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Truth or myth, fact or fiction: What is political reality?

At the height of election season, separating truth from lies, fact from fiction, and myth from reality is a challenge.  It’s true in both Connecticut and Washington, D.C., as the November balloting nears. In Washington, the nomination and ultimate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court revealed polar differences in perception of – and portrayal of — the relevant facts. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

The Kavanaugh fight pivots to the polls

As senators in D.C. moved toward confirming Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice on Friday, dozens of female elected officials and activists took to the steps of New Haven’s federal courthouse vowing to convert their anger into votes in Connecticut’s November elections. They held a noon rally outside the Church Street courthouse that mirrored similar protests throughout the country, at which participants describe their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment. The question now is how the Kavanaugh affair — and its place in the ongoing #MeToo movement’s quest to convert anger over the Trump administration’s policies toward women into action — will affect the Nov. 6 elections. Both Democratic and Republican strategists have concluded that the uproar over Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct will work to their party’s advantage in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

‘Contraception deserts’ likely to widen under new Trump policy

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — When Nikia Jackson needed to be screened for a sexually transmitted disease, she wanted a clinic that was reputable, quick and inexpensive. After searching online, Jackson, 23, ended up at the Obria Medical Clinics’ sparkling new facility in an office park in suburban Atlanta. She was unaware that the clinic does not offer condoms or other kinds of birth control beyond so-called natural family planning methods. Religious conservatives say these types of clinics are the future of women’s sexual health care in the United States. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Buried in opioid bill — protection for personal drug imports

WASHINGTON — The final version of the massive opioid bill Congress released Wednesday would grant the Food and Drug Administration new powers to crack down on drug imports, but it also includes a provision — nearly killed in the Senate — to shield people who are just trying to buy cheaper, needed prescription medication from other countries. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

As states try to rein in drug spending, feds slap down one bold Medicaid move

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have denied an attempt by Massachusetts to negotiate prices for about 1 percent of the highest-priced drugs and stop covering some of them. CMS rejected the proposal, saying Massachusetts couldn’t do what it wanted and continue to receive the deep discounts drugmakers are required by law to give state Medicaid programs. The development has implications for the rest of the country. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Any way the wind blows, it’s still Connecticut politics

While the residents of the Carolinas struggled against devastating tides, torrential rain and winds from Hurricane Florence, the political wind blew in Connecticut. A lot of it, some would say, was hot air. Florence’s impact here was more political than meteorological as the state’s Puerto Rican community reacted to President Donald Trump’s denial that nearly 3,000 people died as the result of Hurricane Maria last year. The big issue was around the gubernatorial election: What to do about the $4.6 billion in state budget deficits looming over the next two years for whomever is elected in 2018. It may seem counterintuitive that three of the candidates running this season see cutting taxes as the answer to getting Connecticut out from under its enormous debt, but that’s what they were promising last week. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Doctors slow to adopt medication-assisted therapy for opioid treatment

By the time William Evans was working at his first job after college, he was addicted to opioids, spending $25,000 in less than a year and driving to Philadelphia twice a week to buy drugs on the street. Now 37, Evans hasn’t used illegal drugs since 2006. He is married and has a 3-year-old daughter, a home in Trumbull, and a sales job at a software company. He attributes his sobriety to counseling and medication to treat his addiction. “It’s allowed me to live a life.” Continue Reading →

Filed under:

A bruising week of rhetoric, confirming nothing

It was a bruising week in national and Connecticut politics, even by recent standards. Most of the bruising, of course, took place in Washington, D.C., where Democrats – Connecticut’s own Sen. Richard Blumenthal in particular – went to considerable efforts to show that the appointment of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh would inflict shift the court hard to the right, imperiling  everything from women’s right to an abortion to state gun-control legislation. Continue Reading →

Filed under: