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Senate candidate Murphy supports Planned Parenthood – criticizes McMahon

October 22, 2012 Areawide Comments Off

Criticizing Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon, Chris Murphy’s campaign organizers issued a press release today (Oct. 22) saying the two senate hopefuls are in “stark contrast” when it comes to support for Planned Parenthood and women’s health care.

More than 62,000 Connecticut women each year rely on services from Planned Parenthood health centers.

“McMahon is campaigning today with New Jersey Governor and Planned Parenthood opponent Chris Christie while Murphy discusses his pro-choice record with Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, the nation’s leading women’s rights advocate,” the release states.

“Christie, who cut millions in state funding for women’s health centers during his first year as governor, has continued his crusade against Planned Parenthood by blocking attempts to restore the funding, even using a line-item veto to personally deny support for women’s health in New Jersey,” the release states.

Murphy campaign spokesman Eli Zupnick said, “When Linda McMahon campaigns with national Republicans hell-bent on denying women access to birth control and life-saving health services, Connecticut voters are reminded of why they rejected her far-right, anti-choice policies two years ago.”

The release quotes a column in The Courant column earlier this month, in which Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards states:

“Linda McMahon has told reporters that if she had been in the Senate, she would have voted for the Blunt amendment — to let your boss decide whether your birth control and other services such as cervical cancer screenings should be covered under your insurance plan.”

Posted October 22, 2012, links and video added by HTNP News Editor Brenda Sullivan

HTNP News welcomes comments on this post. Letters to the Editor on this and other issues, as well as to express support for a candidate, also can be sent to editor@htnp.com Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions.

The cut-off date for letters concerning candidates for this year’s elections is Friday, Nov. 2 – comments on letters/news stories will be allowed up until Nov. 5, to allow candidates to respond in their defense.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

USDA releases first-ever report on organic agriculture and our food choices

October 16, 2012 Areawide, Business, Local News Comments Off

In its first-ever report on organic farm production,  the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that while organic farmers make up less than a half of one percent of all U.S. farmers, they already sell more than $3.5 billion worth of agricultural products.

Editor’s note: There is some controversy over whether what’s being certified as “organic” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  is in fact, organic. Some of the controversy centers on the membership of the board that does the certification whose companies stand to profit by expanding the boundaries (or approved list) of substances in our food deemed “organic.” HTNP welcomes comments from readers on this topic.

The following is from the weekly USDA Science Tuesday blog post:

“Organic agriculture is proving itself to be a veritable cornucopia, according to the results of the first-ever report on USDA-certified organic production, which we released earlier this month.

While the number of organic farms is a fraction of its conventional counterpart, an organically-produced version of virtually every crop or animal product is now available in the United States.

This was the first time the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducted this survey, which means that we cannot see trends yet, but we can already easily see some of the impacts of organic production in the United States.

From four farms in Alabama, Alaska or Delaware to 1,898 farms in California, every state in the nation is now home to USDA-certified organic producers.

And while these farmers make up less than a half of one percent of all U.S. farmers, they already sell more than $3.5 billion worth of agricultural products.

Many of these growers are taking the time and effort to bring their products directly to U.S. consumers. While 81 percent of their sales come from products that go to wholesale markets and become available to shoppers through their local supermarkets, almost a third of all USDA-certified growers sell their products directly to consumers. [For example, at farmers’ markets.]

In fact, as of 2011, each state has at least some USDA-certified producers selling their fruits, vegetables, crops, livestock or animal products such as eggs or milk directly to local customers.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) provided funding and support for this NASS survey. [The Risk Management Agency] aims to use the survey results to examine potential risk management tools and crop insurance for organic growers.

[The National Agricultural Statistics Service] also partnered with the Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program, which helped ensure that we reached all of the USDA-certified organic producers in the United States.

But this was just a brief glance at the USDA-certified organic production and we plan to learn more about this unique sector of U.S. agriculture.

Over three years, USDA’s science agencies have invested more than $117 million on improving the productivity and success of organic agriculture.  And for farmers, USDA provides up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification.  Those are a few of the ways that USDA shows its strong commitment to organic agriculture.”

USDA has included organic industry questions in its Census since 2002, and as the next step, NASS will include some questions about organic production in the 2012 Census of Agriculture, which will arrive in producers’ mailboxes in just a few short months.

These questions will help us take a more in-depth look at the organic agriculture industry and start identifying some of the trends for that sector.

I hope all organic growers will take the time to fill out the Census. After all, it gives them a chance to have their voices heard and an opportunity to shape their own futures.

Posted by Hubert Hamer, Agricultural Statistics Board Chairman, on October 16, 2012 as part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog – blogs.usda.gov/2012 – updated weekly.

Posted on HTNP.com Oct. 16, 2012 as edited by HTNP News Editor Brenda Sullivan – comments added in brackets.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Artist chosen for the 2013-2014 federal Duck Stamp

October 4, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment Comments Off

Robert Steiner, an artist from San Francisco, CA, is the winner of the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, which determines the design for the 2013-2014 stamp.

… a much coveted “prize.”

Robert Steiner, an artist from San Francisco, CA, is the winner of the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, which determines the design for the 2013-2014 stamp.

The announcement was made today (Oct. 4)  by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

Steiner’s acrylic painting of a common goldeneye will be made into the 2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2013.

According to the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), on Sept 29, a panel of 5 judges reviewed 192 waterfowl art submissions and chose Steiner’s work.

Federal Duck Stamps are not valid for postage.

Originally created in 1934 as federal licenses required for hunting migratory waterfowl, Federal Duck Stamps have a much larger purpose today.

Federal Duck Stamps are a vital tool for wetland conservation; 98 cents out of every dollar generated by the sale of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System (http://www.fws.gov/refuges )

Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have generated more than $750 million, which has been used to purchase or lease more than 6 million acres of wetlands habitat in the United States for protection.

An estimated one-third of the nation’s endangered and threatened species find food or shelter in refuges established using Federal Duck Stamp funds.*

People, too, have benefited from the Federal Duck Stamp. Hunters have places to enjoy their sport and other outdoor enthusiasts have places to hike, watch birds, photograph and explore. Moreover, these protected wetlands help purify water supplies, store flood water, reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, and provide spawning areas for fish important to sport and commercial fishermen.

Besides serving as a hunting license and a conservation tool, a current year’s Federal Duck Stamp also serves as an entrance pass for national wildlife refuges where admission is charged. Duck Stamps are also popular collector items.

To learn more about the stamps, including when and where to buy them, visit the Federal Duck Stamp web site at http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/Info/Stamps/stampinfo.htm

Posted October 4, 2012 based on a press release, as edited and added to by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sulllivan

*From the Federal Duck Stamp web site

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

September 25 is National Voter Registration Day

September 24, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill will mark National Voter Registration Day 2012 on Tuesday, Sept. 25 with Connecticut teachers and students. Courtesy photo.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill will mark National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday Sept. 25 with Connecticut teachers and students.

Merrill will hold a news conference, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford (Room 1B) at which she will announce new voter registration figures for Connecticut, and outline Connecticut’s ‘Election Project’ to develop an educational curriculum for CT school students tied to the 2012 Presidential Election.

In 2008, 6 million Americans did not vote because they did not know how to register or they missed their state’s voter registration deadline, according to the US Census.

The goal of National Voter Registration Day is to educate people about the process and the importance of each person’s vote.

On Sept. 25, 2012, volunteers and organizations all over the U.S. will host events. With the Presidential election just weeks away, this is an especially important outreach effort.

To find out if your town is hosting a voter registration event, call your registrar of voters.

In the HTNP News readership area, two registration events will be held Tuesday at the University of Connecticut in Storrs-Mansfield: from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., hosted by

HeadCount (646) 230-0100 at 115 North Eagleville Road and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., hosted by Michelle Maloney-Mangold and Amber West (415) 517-3120 at the Babbidge Library on the UConn campus, 369 Fairfield Way.

Posted September 24, 2012 based on a press release and the National Voter Registration Day web site

Related links:

National Voter Registration Day web site http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org

CT Secretary of the State web site http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/site/default.asp

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Federal grant will help train Connecticut’s ‘dislocated’ workers, unemployed veterans

September 19, 2012 Areawide, Business, Local News Comments Off

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $12 million “consortium” grant to five community colleges and Eastern Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State college to help “dislocated” workers, veterans and other “under-employed” train for careers in the health services field.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today (Sept. 19) announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $12 million “consortium” grant to five community colleges and Eastern Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State College to help “dislocated” workers, veterans and other “under-employed” train for careers in the health services field.

The job-training program will allow participants to earn certifications, industry-recognized credentials and associate degrees.

The grant is funded under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program at the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

“Healthcare and the life sciences are two sectors of our economy that are poised to grow in the coming century,” said Gov. Malloy.

“That’s the reason we have vigorously pursued companies like Jackson Laboratories and Alexion to relocate and expand in our state. The more we can solidify Connecticut’s role as a leader in these industries, the more our residents will have access to good paying jobs with good benefits. And thanks to today’s announcement, we’re going to be able to have the workforce in place to really make this vision a reality.”

Some of the certifications that students in these programs may be able to earn include:

Biomedical Equipment Technician

Biomedical Informatics

Bioscience Manufacturing Technician

Health Information Technician

Instrument Calibration Technician

Occupational Health & Safety Technician

Quality Assurance Technician

Quality Control Technician

Respiratory Therapy Technician

Surgical Technologist

Some of the Associate Degrees students may be able to earn include:

Bioscience Manufacturing Technologist

Health Information Technologist

Medical Coder (Inpatient)

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Quality Assurance Specialist

Quality Control Specialist

For a link to the PDF document with specifics on the grant proposal, click here .

Some excerpts from the grant proposal:

  • will increase the use of online and technology-enabled learning through online and mobile app math and science booster modules, self-assessments and feedback surveys embedded in online course modules, online workplace skills assessment and development tools, and the migration of courses to online and hybrid delivery.
  • will enable 675 students to earn 10,000+ college credits for work, military and other experience that provides competencies equivalent to those gained in college courses, accelerating the progress of workers, improving retention and achievement rates, and reducing time to completion.
  • will expand the Connecticut Credit Assessment Program to recognize credits earned in other institutions and settings, and promote PLAs [Prior Learning Assessments] in workplaces.
  • recruitment and placement strategies will help 360 students obtain internships and provide 2,000 participants with job placement services.

Employer partners in this project include Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE) – the statewide bioscience growth council with 100+ employer members; Connecticut Hospital Association; Jackson Laboratory; Saint Francis Hospital; Eastern Connecticut Health Network; Greenwich Hospital; John Dempsey Hospital (University of Connecticut Health Center); Stamford Hospital; Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The University of Connecticut and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving are also partners in this program.

Robert A. Kennedy, President of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, which governs the 17 Connecticut state colleges and universities said, “I am particularly pleased that our proposal was submitted collaboratively by a state university, our only public, online college and five community colleges. This is exactly the kind of partnership we need to focus on now that we’re one, combined organization.

“I also appreciate the extraordinary amount of industry support we received – from hospitals across the state to CURE to Jackson Laboratory. Our private sector partners understand that with 96,000 students in our institutions, we have the capacity to train and prepare the workers they need,” Kennedy said.

Posted September 19, 2012, based on a press release and copy of the grant proposal

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Gov. Malloy to meet with CT National Guard soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan

September 17, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

An Afghan farmer shows a diseased plant to U.S. Army 1st Lt. Tara Robertson, a Minnesota National Guard member serving with the Zabul Agribusiness Development Team, during a meeting conducted while on a partnered patrol with fellow team members. Photo source: CT National Guard/ ISAF: NATO forces in Afghanistan

On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will participate in a send-off ceremony for National Guard soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan.

A total of 230 members of the 104th Aviation Regiment and the 1048th Transportation Company (based in Stratford) are being deployed. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and will be held at the William A. O’Neill State Armory at 360 Broad St., in Hartford.

Earlier in the day, at 12:30 p.m., Gov. Malloy will be the guest speaker at a meeting of the Darien League of Women Voters, to talk about efforts to increase voter turnout in Connecticut. The event will be held at the Country Club of Darien, 300 Mansfield Ave., in Darien.

Posted September 17, 2012

Related link: Connecticut National Guard on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheNationalGuard

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Live music at Storrs Farmers Market today

September 15, 2012 Areawide, Business, Local News Comments Off

Storrs Farmers Market is open today (Saturday, Sept. 15) from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building (Town Hall) parking lot – next door to E.O. Smith High School on Route 195/Storrs Road.

Storrs Farmers Market is open today (Saturday, Sept. 15) from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building (Town Hall) parking lot – next door to E.O. Smith High School on Route 195/Storrs Road.

Today it’s “Music @ the Market” with Avery.

And today’s fresh and local offerings include: apples, squash, tomatoes, beef, baked goods, honey… and much more!

To keep current with events at the Storrs Farmers Market, you can “like” or subscribe to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StorrsFarmersMarket

Or visit the web site to sign up for a weekly update at http://www.storrsfarmersmarket.org

Posted September 15, 2012
Avery’s YouTube video

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Flags to fly half staff in honor of U.S. Ambassador Stevens killed in Libya

September 12, 2012 Areawide, Local News, Obituaries Comments Off

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in an attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. Image source: screen capture from YouTube video posted by U.S. Government introducing Stevens as new ambassador to Libya.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, following a proclamation by President Barack Obama, today (Sept. 12) ordered U.S. and Connecticut flags to fly at half-staff until sunset on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 in honor of 52-year-old Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and the American personnel who were killed in Benghazi, Libya yesterday.

“Our prayers and deepest sympathies are with the families, friends and colleagues of Ambassador Stevens and the American personnel who were killed in this brutal attack,” said Gov. Malloy.

Some news reports say that the attack on several embassies and consulates were in reaction to a film released about Mohammad in which he is depicted as a liar, homosexual and child abuser.

“We know that the work to build nations and strengthen our global relationships is difficult and dangerous, and we are cognizant of just how many Americans undertake these efforts in embassies and consulates across the world. We stand with the President and the rest of the country in condemning the perpetrators of this attack,” Malloy said.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said, “The attacks in Libya are a terrible reminder of the dangers that American personnel continue to face in some of the more troubled parts of the world.”
“Ambassador Stevens and the rest of the embassy staff served our country with honor and dignity. Our hearts go out to everyone who is grieving their loss today,” Wyman said.

Posted September 12, 2012 – links and YouTube video (US Gov) added by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Related links:

(obituary) “John Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya died at 52,” Washington Post, Sept. 12 2102 http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/john-christopher-stevens-us-ambassador-to-libya-dies-at-52/2012/09/12/b1c00cee-fcd0-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage

(coverage of the attacks) “U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens killed in consulate attack in Benghazi,” ABC News, Sept. 11, 2012 http://abcnews.go.com/International/US-ambassador-libya-christopher-stevens-killed-consulate-attack-benghazi/story?id=17215154#.UFEcM66Hxj4

“What’s on Mohammad film that sparked Muslim protests?” http://www.interaksyon.com/article/43005/background–whats-on-mohammad-film-that-sparked-muslim-protests

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

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Windham and Storrs microgrid power projects could get additional funding

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Press Release Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Oct. 30 that nine towns that are part of a pilot microgrid program, including Windham and Storrs, are eligible for additional funding. The …

In Mansfield, Get a jump on toy shopping

Over the Rainbow Toys in the East Brook Mall on the Mansfield/Willimantic town line is closing its doors at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, according to an e-blast sent to its customers today.

And between now and Nov. 2, shoppers will receive a 30 percent discount on all in-stock merchandise at the mall location – excluding Lego and Bruder toys.

UConn President responds to accusations school failed to act on sexual assault complaints

UConn President Susan Hebst. File photo.

There are circumstances under which the university should notify a student that another student who may have been suspended or expelled from campus will be returning, if they are returning. It is my understanding that this notification did not take place in a case that occurred three years ago and it should have. This process was corrected. – UConn President Susan Herbst

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