Sunday Q&A

Recent Posts

Shubert: Tolls a ‘viable’ revenue source to finance infrastructure improvement

One of the state’s most ardent transportation advocates, Don Shubert has been executive director of the Connecticut Construction Industry Association for the past eight years. He has a lot to say about the state’s stalled, $100 billion transportation rebuilding program, a Special Transportation Fund headed for insolvency, the sticky question of tolls on state highways, and the risk of squandering federal transportation dollars in years to come. Continue Reading →

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Would-be Democratic governors speak of taxes, red lines, the ‘fiscal mess’ and sporks

In the current struggle to craft a state budget, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, at a news conference Thursday, did not give any direction to state lawmakers beyond threatening to veto the existing Democratic and Republican proposals. He declined to state specific proposals that would qualify as “make-or-break” issues for him. His would-be replacements on the Democratic side were not as hesitant when we caught up with them Saturday night. Continue Reading →

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Alberto Ibargüen: Trying to be journalism’s shining Knight

Alberto Ibargüen came to Hartford as a legal aid lawyer and left more than 30 years ago as a rising newspaper executive, destined to become publisher of the Miami Herald and chairman of PBS. He’s coming back for a visit this week as the president of the Knight Foundation, an institution trying to save journalism in the digital age. He is our Sunday Conversation. Continue Reading →

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Coventry town manager Elsesser: Connecticut should consider the commercial activities tax

John A. Elsesser, longtime Coventry town manager, has been one of the leading figures in municipal government for nearly four decades. He understands the varied and intensifying fiscal pressures facing Connecticut and its municipalities, recognizes the need to raise revenue; and sees one possible way to do it fairly — a commercial activities tax. Continue Reading →

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A conversation with Scott Wilson, a voice for gun owners

Scott Wilson helped what is now the state’s largest gun group, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, not long after Barack Obama became president in January 2009. A soft-spoken logistics specialist at a trucking company, he has emerged as a leading voice of gun owners in Connecticut, home of some of the toughest gun controls in the U.S. Continue Reading →

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She’s aging out of DCF care, graduating college and beating the odds

Ashley Foster will soon be graduating from college, defying the odds against foster children. One in five leave the state’s care without having a high school diploma or GED, few have a college degree and the majority are unemployed. Many go on to become homeless or incarcerated shortly after they leave care – things Foster is determined to avoid. She sat down to talk with The Mirror at her apartment in East Haven as she braces for aging out of the Department of Children and Families’ care. Continue Reading →

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Unspeakable horrors gave Theanvy Kuoch incredible strength and compassion

Theanvy Kuoch survived torture, enslavement and the death of 19 of her relatives at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in her native Cambodia. She came to the United States as a refugee in 1981 and has led Khmer Health Advocates, a well-respected organization that serves refugees, for 35 years. She spoke to The Mirror about refugee health needs, her own experiences and the impact of the Trump administration’s policies on people who came to the country as refugees. Continue Reading →

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‘To focus on young adults who are in prison is very cutting edge’

Our Q&A with Alexandra Frank of the Vera Institute of Justice about her organization’s partnership with the Connecticut Department of Corrections to reimagine prison. Her project is the new special unit at Cheshire Correctional to deal with the most disruptive demographic in prisons: young adults ages 18 to 25. Continue Reading →

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Kevin Counihan on the ACA: ‘Whatever happens, Trump is going to own this’

Kevin Counihan used to run the health insurance exchanges that serve most of the United States. Now he’s a customer. He talked to The Mirror about efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, why the health law has gotten more popular since Barack Obama left office, how to keep insurance companies from fleeing exchanges, and what can be done to make it easier to buy coverage. Continue Reading →

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Griebel on the business climate: ‘Confidence must be restored’

R. Nelson “Oz” Griebel, longtime chief executive officer of the MetroHartford Alliance, has been active in state, regional and city public policy for nearly two decades. He chaired the state Transportation Strategy Board and ran, unsuccessfully, for governor in 2010. Now, as the governor and General Assembly resume debate on the state budget and massively under-funded retirement benefit programs that threaten Connecticut’s fiscal future, Griebel sat down to talk with The Mirror. Continue Reading →

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Richard McHugh on teaching in Hartford: ‘We are a second home for many’

Richard McHugh teaches in an inner-city public school where boarded-up houses are the view from his classroom, police sirens often interrupt instruction and three out of every five of his students speak limited English. As the legislature once again addresses how to help struggling public schools such as his, McHugh tells why he loves his students – and his job – so much. Continue Reading →

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Doc, now Rep. Petit, on health care, victims’ rights and small business

William Petit is one of 35 newly elected members of the Connecticut General Assembly, but he’s probably the only one whose November election made national news. He spoke with The Mirror about his new job as a legislator, changes in how doctors practice, diabetes, the federal health law, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Second Chance Society criminal justice reform initiatives, victims’ rights, and the assumptions people have about him. Continue Reading →

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Roger Stone and the Trump phenomenon

If anyone is familiar with the inner workings of President Donald Trump’s political campaign, it is Connecticut native and author Roger Stone. In this Sunday conversation, he talks about Trump’s rise to power and dismisses as “nonsense” a recent New York Times report that intelligence agencies are investigating him and two other Trump political operatives for alleged ties to the Kremlin. Continue Reading →

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