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Connecticut victims of 9-11 remembered at memorial ceremony

September 11, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

“In the past 11 years… countless stories have been told – countless memorials have been built – and countless tears have fallen. But your presence here, this year and every other, has meaning far beyond words. Because your presence here today means your loved ones are with us, too. They are with us in the faces that I know are still vivid in your minds. They are with us in remembered voices – in the love you feel in your heart.” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman at Connecticut Remembers Memorial 2012.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman addressed a gathering at the 11th annual Connecticut Remembers 9-11 Memorial Service, held at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport on Sept. 10 and spoke of the “horror that blackened crystal blue skies over our nation’s capital,” as well as the other terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Today, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proclaimed Tuesday, September 11, 2012 as Honor Our Heroes and Remembrance Day in the State of Connecticut and ordered Connecticut and U.S. flags to half-staff from sunrise to sunset.

By proclamation, President Barack Obama also has directed U.S. flags to fly at half-staff and called for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.

CT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was not present at Monday’s memorial because he was traveling out of the country.

Joining the gathering were families and friends who had lost loved ones on 9-11.

“We are humbled by your presence, and we thank you for sharing this day with us,” Wyman said.

“In the past 11 years… countless stories have been told – countless memorials have been built – and countless tears have fallen. But your presence here, this year and every other, has meaning far beyond words. Because your presence here today means your loved ones are with us, too. They are with us in the faces that I know are still vivid in your minds. They are with us in remembered voices – in the love you feel in your heart,” Wyman said.

“For the rest of us, here and across Connecticut and the nation, it is absolutely necessary that we never forget who they were, how they lived their lives, and what they meant to you.

“Many were working that day in the World Trade Center, within sight of this wonderful memorial where we gather today,” Wyman said, including –

  • the computer specialist who also created beautiful music on the piano, and who was in the Windows on the World that morning because a friend needed him to fill in at a meeting;
  • the broker who loved to fish and hunt, and who proposed to his wife in 1987 during a dinner atop the Twin Towers;
  • the 79-year-old engineer, whose quiet, gentle demeanor belied his experience of living in exotic countries across the globe, and his passion for climbing some of the world’s highest mountains;
  • the recent college graduate, who lived for summer sailing and kayaking, and who had just begun his career as a trader;
  • and the software consultant, who loved simple things like cross-stitching and puttering around the house, and who was a month away from marrying the man she had loved for 16 years.

For others, “that day began in the air,” Wyman said.

  • the young, artistic couple who worked side-by-side as flight attendants, and who had just bought a house where they were to begin their lives together;
  • the aviation executive and part-time pilot, on his way out west for a biking trip with his brothers, who bravely helped fellow passengers try to retake control of their hijacked plane over Pennsylvania;
  • the blonde 4-year-old girl flying with her Mom to California, where she was going to see Disneyland for the first time.

“These are just some of the stories of the lives behind the 161 names that we are about to hear,” Wyman said

Wyman also spoke of members of the Connecticut military lost during the fighting that followed 9-11.

“Five years ago, I had the privilege of helping create a memorial and annual ceremony for the Connecticut military heroes we have lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. And now that I have witnessed this ceremony and had the honor to meet some of you, I know even more deeply why those 63 brave men and women felt compelled to go to battle.

“They fought and made the ultimate sacrifice for your loved ones – and for all of us. My tribute to them is this 9/11 pin that I wear every day, and will only put away when every one of them is back home. I know you join me in praying for their safe return.”

Wyman concluded her speech by reciting a verse from a memorial poem written by two students from Rockville High School, “Out of the Ashes.”

“I think this single verse speaks not only of what and who we lost 11 years ago – but is a guide to how we can perhaps take strength from the pain that is still very real today,” Wyman said.

We are the Twin Towers

Of the past – and present.

Towers of strength – towers of faith.

That can never be erased.

Today, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt Gov. Nancy Wyman released this statement on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:

“Though 11 years have passed since the attacks, the grief and sorrow we felt for our country, for our friends and neighbors and complete strangers, is still very close to our hearts,” said Gov. Malloy.

“With each passing year, this anniversary serves as a moment for reflection, a time to remember the brave and selfless acts of our first responders and the ordinary people who committed extraordinary acts of heroism.

“It’s a day to keep in mind the dangers we still face, a time to renew our resolve to keep each other safe from harm, and to give thanks to all those in uniform for the work they do.

“It is also a day to remember that we Americans are a strong and resolute people, and that even when we are faced with unspeakable horror and tragedy, we have an indomitable will and spirit that cannot be broken – by anyone, or anything. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is grieving today – to friends, neighbors and complete strangers. Though some are gone, none are forgotten.”

Lt. Gov. Wyman said, “Here in Connecticut and across the nation, September 11th is a day for us to remember and honor those who lost their lives, and what they meant to their families and their communities. Their families live with the pain of that loss every day of every year, and we must support them in any way we can.

“It is also a time to recognize the dedication of our firefighters, police officers and EMS workers, and the 63 brave Connecticut military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Posted September 11, 2012

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 )

Libertarian VP candidate to visit UConn

September 2, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Libertarian vice presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray of California.

Libertarian vice presidential candidate Jim Gray — will visit the University of Connecticut from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Homer Babbidge Library (theater 2).

Gray’s talk is sponsored by the following student organizations:

  • Alternative Political Society,
  • Young Americans for Liberty and
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

There are seats for 80 people, plus standing room in the back of the theater.

Gray, a judge for the Superior Court of Orange County, is a long­time activist regarding marijuana legislation who resides in California.

He also supports marriage equality, fiscal responsibility and peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy.

Gray is running with Gary Johnson, a two-term governor of New Mexico.

Posted September 2, 2012

Related links:

“Could Super-Pac backed third party candidates sway the presidential race?” NBC News http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/31/13573497-could-super-pac-backed-third-party-candidates-sway-presidential-race?lite

“Jim Gray, Libertarian vice president candidate, visits Alaska,” Alaska Disptach http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/jim-gray-libertarian-vice-presidential-candidate-visits-alaska

“Judge Jim Gray announces as Libertarian vice presidential candidate,” http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/judge-jim-gray-announces-as-libertarian-vice-presidential-candidate

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 )

Don’t go to pieces… audition!

September 2, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

The Windham Theatre Guild holds open auditions for a November performance of the musical “Always, Patsy Cline,” on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. at Windham Middle School, Quarry Street, Willimantic.

The show revolves around two main characters – famous country/pop star Patsy Cline and her biggest fan Louise Seger.

Auditions will include vocal, acting and improvisational sequences. Prepare a musical number for the vocal audition. Piano accompaniment will be provided. Readings from the script will be provided that evening.

We are filling the following roles:

  • Patsy Cline – This role is vocally demanding, singing lead on more than 20 songs. The ideal candidate sounds like Patsy Cline;
  • Louise Seger – This is a large acting role with lots of monologues. We are looking for a great actress;
  • Back-up singers – Four back-up singers needed, two male and two female.

Director is Victor Funderburk. Musical director is Ken Clark.

Performance dates are Nov. 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 at the Burton Leavitt Theatre at 779 Main Street in Willimantic, with a special benefit performance on Nov. 4.

For more information, contact the Windham Theatre Guild at windhamtheatre@aol.com

Posted September 2, 2012

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 )

Look here for local events for Sept 2 – 6

September 1, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

Free “Sunday Music in the Park” concert will feature Full Gael at Alex Caisse Park/Park Springs, Route 195, Willimantic (near the East Brook Mall), starting at 2 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

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Coming up this week in the HTNP readership area…

Sunday Sept. 2

FARMERS MARKET — ASHFORD

The Ashford Farmers Market is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old post office next to Route 44 across from town offices.

FARMERS MARKET — COVENTRY

The hugely popular Coventry Regional Farmers Market, with a theme and related special events every week, is open every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the month of October at the Nathan Hale Homestead, 2299 South St., Coventry. (See the web site http://coventryfarmersmarket.com for details and info on how to receive a weekly newsletter.)

MUSIC IN THE PARK – WILLIMANTIC

Free “Sunday Music in the Park” concert will feature Full Gael at Alex Caisse Park/Park Springs, Route 195, Willimantic (near the East Brook Mall), starting at 2 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Concerts performed in the memory of Phyllis Foster. Rain location at Windham Middle School, Quarry Street. For information call (860) 423-2988.

Monday Sept. 3 Labor Day

CONCERT – HAMPTON

Hampton Recreation and Community Activities Commission will present a Labor Day concert with the Hoolios. Doors open at 7 p.m. The Hampton Community Center is located at 178 Main Street (Route 97). The hall will be set up cabaret-style for a trademark “folk-tailgating.” Feel free to BYO-whatever! $15 for adults; children accompanied by an adult admitted free. Reservations are strongly recommended. Info: (860) 455-2056.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL – COLUMBIA

The Columbia Democratic Town Committee hosts its annual Ice Cream Social on the Town Green in Columbia from 2 to 4 p.m. Bring family and friends for a relaxing afternoon of ice cream sundaes, live music and a chance for folks to share some time together before the end of the summer. Entertainment will be provided by local musician Bruce John. $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the event or by contacting any member of the Columbia Democratic Town Committee.

Tuesday Sept. 4

PARENTS – SCHOOL TRANSITION TALK

Residents of Andover, Hebron, Marlborough and Columbia are invited… The AHM Family Resource Center will host a breakfast discussion “Making the Transition to School a Success” from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Family Resource Center at Gilead Hill School in Hebron. Join Sandra Plummer, the clinical director at AHM Youth Services, in this supportive discussion. Topics to be shared include – your role in supporting your child, dealing with your emotions and how to navigate the transition from summer break to school success. Refreshments will be served and child care is available for $3 per child. To register, call Laurie Larsen at (860) 228-0871, or e-mail at ahmfrc@hotmail.com.

BD OF DIRECTORS, ACCESS AGENCY – WILLIMANTIC

Access Community Action Agency Board of Directors holds its regular meeting at 4 p.m. at Access Community Action Agency, 1315 Main St., Willimantic. Public invited. For information: www.accessagency.org

AUTHOR TRAIL SPEAKER – S. WINDHAM

CT author Trail Joan Hall will discuss her humorous poetry and the creative writing process at the Guilford Smith Memorial Library, 17 Main St., South Windham at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments served.

Wednesday Sept. 5

SEWING AND SERVICE – WILLIMANTIC

The Interfaith Sewing and Service Group meets at the First Congregational Church, 199 Valley St., Willimantic, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Projects: School bags, CWS; receiving blankets for Hartford City baby Showers; Red flag blankets for WMH. Info. (860) 228-9658.

BLOOD PRESSURE – MANSFIELD

Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, offers blood pressure screenings at 11 a.m. No appointment necessary for free screenings.

MASSAGE THERAPY — MANSFIELD

Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, offers massage therapy with Faith Manning from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Kathy for an appointment at (860) 429-0262.

BEREAVEMENT GROUP – MANSFIELD

Open to residents of Mansfield and surrounding towns. Hospice of Eastern Connecticut hosts the “Evenings After” bereavement group for those who have suffered a recent loss. Group is located at 34 Ledgebrook Drive, Mansfield (behind East Brook Mall). It is held from 6 to 8 p.m. Come join others for support and discussion. Group is open to the community. Info: (860) 456-7288, ext. 293.

AUDITIONS – WINDHAM

The Windham Theatre Guild holds open auditions for a November performance of the musical “Always, Patsy Cline,” at 7 p.m. at Windham Middle School, Quarry Street, Willimantic. The show revolves around two main characters – famous country/pop star Patsy Cline and her biggest fan Louise Seger. Audition will include vocal, acting and improvisational sequences. Prepare a musical number for the vocal audition. Piano accompaniment will be provided. Readings from the script will be provided that evening. Filling the following roles: Patsy Cline – This role is vocally demanding, singing lead on more than 20 songs. The ideal candidate sounds like Patsy Cline; Louise Seger – This is a large acting role with lots of monologues. We are looking for a great actress; Back-up singers – Four back-up singers needed, two male and two female. Director is Victor Funderburk. Musical director is Ken Clark. Performance dates: Nov. 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 at the Burton Leavitt Theatre at 779 Main Street in Willimantic, with a special benefit performance on Nov. 4. For more information: contact the Windham Theatre Guild at windhamtheatre@aol.com

SENIOR ART SHOW – COLUMBIA

The Beckish Senior Center, 188 Route 66, Columbia, sponsors a Senior Art Show in honor of Rose Marrotte the week of Sept. 17-21. A $100 first prize as well as a $50 “People’s Choice Award” will be presented. Awards will be made at a luncheon on Sept. 21 from noon to 2 p.m. Seniors interested in exhibiting their material can call (860) 228-0759 for details. Items to be shown will be accepted at the Senior Center on Monday, Sept. 17 between 9 a.m. and noon.

JOYFUL NOISE REHEARSALS – MANSFIELD

Joyful Noise, Children’s Community Choir for ages 6-12 will hold rehearsals from 6 to 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 29 Puddin Lane, Mansfield. Pre-registration or info: (860) 423-1130

Thursday Sept. 6

CONVERSATION WITH BETTY — MANSFIELD

A Conversation with Betty will take place at the Mansfield Senior Center, Wellness Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, at 11 a.m. Topic: “Our Role as Mentors.” Info: (860) 429-0262

DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT – MANSFIELD

At 5:30 p.m. at the Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, for a potluck dinner followed by entertainment at 6:30 p.m. by “ One Accord” from the Tolland Senior Center. No charge, but everyone is asked to bring a dish to feed 8 to 10 people.

PIZZA PARTY, BOOK DISCUSSION – S. WINDHAM

The Guilford Smith Memorial Library, 17 Main St., South Windham will host a “tween” pizza party and Nutmeg book discussion of “Matched” by Ally Condie at 6:30 p.m. Books available at the library.

Posted September 1, 2012

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 )

Updated, Why is the U.S. Postal Service in so much trouble?

August 27, 2012 Areawide, Business Comments Off

An Automated Postal Center. Photo source: USPS

Editor’s note - Please see the end of this psot for a correction to the Aug. 27 story.

Right now, Congress is considering a request from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to allow an end to Saturday mail delivery and closing post offices on Saturdays.

And in an effort to dig itself out of debt, the USPS also has plans in place to eliminate 150,000 postal jobs by 2016.

Over the last three years, the USPS has already eliminated thousands of jobs.

It’s probably difficult for most people to understand why the postal service is in so much trouble – it’s a government agency, right? Why can’t the government give it more money?

Well, besides the fact that the country is still digging out from a recession, the fact is the U.S. Postal service is not a government-funded agency. It is responsible for its own costs and revenues.

At the same time, however, it is mandated to provide certain services. Like the first regulations governing telephone service – whose purpose was to ensure everyone in the country had access to affordable phone service – the post office is supposed to serve Americans of all economic levels.

It is supposed to accomplish this goal and be profitable.

There have been several news reports on the degree to which email and other aspects of the Internet have taken business away from the postal service – in particular, there’s been a huge drop in the volume of first-class mail – but a report written by Jen Wieczner for the Marketwatch section of the Wall Street Journal shines a light on much more fundamental and much more financially devastating problems.

In “10 things the post office won’t tell you,” Wieczner points out that the U.S. government requires a financial commitment from the Postal Service well beyond similar requirements for federal agencies; the USPS is mandated to make payments to pre-fund health care benefits for postal retirees 75 years into the future.

This requirement was established in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006.

Wieczner reports that of the $11.6 billion loss reported by the Postal Service for the first three quarters of 2012, nearly 80 percent or $9.2 billion is due to the pre-funding of these benefits.

This story also reports that for the first time since the 2006 mandate, the Postal Service did not pay its $5.5 billion bill (due Aug. 1) and it will likely default on the Sept. 30 bill, as well.

Currrently, there is $44 billion in the fund, and the Postal Service wants to let that fund grow with interest – without causing any problems for retirees, according to this story. Wieczner writes that the Postal Service pension fund is more than 100 percent funded, compared with 42 percent for all federal pension funds.

This excellent news report also outlines strategies being suggested for boosting the USPS revenues (such as adding banking services), delves into the surprising portfolio of real estate owned by the postal service (and the private investors who have benefited financially from it), how “junk mail” helps pay the USPS bills, and exposes the tie between the federal budget and postal service revenues.

To read the full story, “10 things the post office won’t tell you,” click on this link http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-the-postal-service-wont-tell-you-2012-08-27?pagenumber=1

Posted August 27, 2012

CORRECTION, posted Sept. 4, 2012 -

In the original post of this story (Aug. 27, 2012) I stated: “Over the last three years, the USPS has already eliminated thousands of jobs and replaced many ‘non-performing’ post offices across the country with vending machines that dispense stamps and packaging and provide other limited services.” An inquiry from a reader prompted me to seek verification of this information. According to local U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Christine Dugas, the self-service kiosks (or Automated Postal Centers) were placed about 10 years ago in locations where there was a high volume of business, in order to reduce customer wait times. They are often placed in lobbies where the customer has 24-hour access, and they provide a wide range of postal services. Currently there are over 32,000 post offices and only 2,500 APC kiosks nationwide, Dugas said. She added that in 2011, “APCs nationwide generated $543 million in revenue through nearly 86 million transactions.” Dugas noted that since 2006, the volume of first-class mail has declined about 25 percent, and this has caused serious problems covering operating costs, but the kiosks are not related to the financial losses. Dugas added that the Postal Service’s proposal to close 3,500 post offices across the U.S. is currently on hold.

 

Related links: “US Postal Service Looking to close offices, drop one delivery day,” Sept. 2, 2009, Mansfield Today http://mansfield.htnp.com/2009/09/02/us-postal-service-looking-to-close-offices-drop-one-delivery-day/

“US Postal Service slasthing jobs, from the top,” March 20, 2009, Mansfield Today http://mansfield.htnp.com/2009/03/20/us-postal-service-slashing-jobs-from-the-top/

“US Postal Service processing 1 billion fewer pieces of mail this year,” Dec. 20, 2008, Mansfield Today http://mansfield.htnp.com/2008/12/20/us-postal-service-processing-1-billion-fewer-pieces-of-mail-this-year/

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 )

‘Sharing’ misinformation, the downside of social media

August 25, 2012 Areawide, Business 5 Comments

Users of social media often don’t question the statements made in posts such as this one posted on Facebook.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the development and federal approval of genetically-modified foods (or organisms), also known as GMOs.

Currently, California is getting ready to vote on Proposition 37 in November, which would require foods (i.e. spaghetti sauce, cereal, breads and most recently, a “non-browning” apple) that contain GMOs (transgenic) to state as much on their labels so that consumers can choose whether to buy these items, or not.

Not surprisingly, companies that produce GMOs are opposed to labeling because it could lead to consumers avoiding these foods.

There also are groups, worldwide, calling for a ban on genetically-modified foods (in some countries, they are already banned) because opponents feel not enough research has been done on long-term effects on the human body after consuming these foods (i.e. corn).

For example, a Monsanto-brand of corn is genetically engineered to release its own insecticide.

Opponents say that the insecticide also kills beneficial insects – such as honey bees, which are necessary for pollinating plants so that the plants can form new seeds.

Just Label It video

Other opponents are concerned about the impact on the natural world.

Video about connection between bees and GMOs (full-length video can be viewed on YouTube at http://youtu.be/UCqwQmS1KXw )

Bees are also of concern today because of “bee die-off.”  Without bees, human beings will not have vegetable foods to eat, and the animals we eat will not have food to eat (grain, corn, etc.) either.

Beneficial insects also are necessary to control the populations of non-beneficial insects.

Proponents of GMOs say they will help produce more food, particularly in countries where there is danger of famine because, for example, they are less susceptible to disease or are drought tolerant. There is disagreement, however, about the success of these new plants or the cost-benefit balance.

Other concerns center around companies such as Monsanto and their actions toward farmers. You can find news stories online that document Monsanto successfully suing farmers whose fields were “contaminated” by drifting GMO/patented seed, as well as farmers who (until now) were in the habit of saving seed from their crops in order to lower their costs.

Monsanto promo video

The photo posted with this story represents another side of the problem – misinformation – and the hazards of automatically “sharing” photos and posters and the like in social media without checking the facts.

In this case, the photo depicts a list of organic food companies that people have come to rely on for safe, wholesome foods and states that they are in fact opposed to labeling GMO-containing foods and are also “funneling” funds to stop labeling.

In the comments that accompany the photo, a reader shares that he wrote to these companies and two responses, to date, paint a very different picture.

As for other examples of information-sharing in social media, caution should also be exercised when passing along alerts about missing children, health scares, crime scares, computer virus scares, etc.  One good source for verifying these announcements is Snopes.com and for computer-related issues, McAfee.com

One of the most powerful aspects of social media, such as Facebook, is that it can be used to educate others, and gather support for civic and social action… but it is also all too easy to pass along misinformation by hitting that “share” button.

Social media continues to evolve in many areas of our lives and like most “tools” can be used for benefit or to do harm – so it is up to us to exercise good judgment.

For the record, I support labeling foods containing genetically-modified ingredients.

And so, this is what Gordon Könyāhû Hayes wrote in Facebook about the GMO photo posted by NaturalNews:

I wrote to all of these companies the other day and have so far received 2 responses. This information is F A L S E! Neither Kashi or Silk have donated a red cent to defeat Prop 37. And Silk is supporting a NATIONAL effort to require labeling.

Gordon Könyāhû Hayes – I have written NaturalNews and complained about their lie tactic as well as reporting them to the companies they are falsely accusing.

SeedsNow.com ‎@ Gordon – would you mind sharing their responses with us? It’s good to hear the other side of the story. Please share.

Gordon Könyāhû Hayes – Not a problem.

Gordon Könyāhû Hayes – I have also called for a boycott of NaturalNews until they can quit using deceptive practices.

Gordon Könyāhû Hayes – [from Silk® ]

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Silk®. We appreciate your interest in our products.

At WhiteWave, we believe consumers have the right to make informed choices about the foods they eat, and support labeling foods that are made with non-genetically modified ingredients.

• We support labeling foods that are made with non-genetically modified ingredients.

• While we support the underlying principles of Prop 37, we choose to support national initiatives, such as Just Label It and the Non-GMO Project that will not impede the availability of our products.

Just look at two of our national brands – Silk and Horizon Organic. They are both produced without the use of genetically modified ingredients and the package clearly indicates this.

Our entire Silk plant-based beverage portfolio is verified by the Non-GMO Project, and proudly carries the Non-GMO Verified logo.

All of our Horizon Organic products carry the USDA Organic Seal, and have since 2001. Consumers have come to know and trust that the certified organic label means their food is produced without the use of pesticides, antibiotics, added growth hormones, and GMOs.

Today at WhiteWave Foods, 85 percent of our products are non-GMO, and we are working to move additional ingredients in our portfolio to non-GMO.

We are proud of the national initiatives in which Silk and Horizon Organic engage.

The Just Label It! initiative is supported by a broad coalition of consumers and businesses interested in how their food is produced, including Silk and Horizon Organic. The campaign involves a petition with the FDA seeking mandatory labeling of GM foods.

Consumers can make a public comment in support of the petition on the campaign’s website at www.justlabelit.org

Thanks again for contacting the Consumer Affairs Department.

Gabriel Gonzalez

Consumer Response Representative

Gordon Könyāhû Hayes – [From Kashi]

Hello Gordon, Thanks for reaching out to us about the recent media coverage supporting proposition 37. We appreciate the opportunity to respond.

While Kellogg is our parent company, Kashi operates as an independent business in La Jolla, CA and has not made any contributions to oppose GMO labeling. We are committed to significantly increasing the number of USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified foods we offer over the next few years.

Today, we purchase over 35 million pounds of organic ingredients annually and are proud to have Non-GMO Project Verification of seven Kashi cereals, including Kashi® Autumn Wheat®, Cinnamon Harvest®, Island Vanilla®, Strawberry Fields®, 7 Whole Grain Flakes, and 7 Whole Grain Puffs cereals, and Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Pilaf.

In addition, two cereals, Kashi® Simply Maize and Kashi® Indigo Morning™ are currently in the process of becoming Non-GMO Project Verified. To learn more, please visit http://www.kashi.com/ourcommitment. We understand your concern about GMO ingredients. This issue is larger than just Kashi and positive change requires time and collaboration across many partners within the food system.

We appreciate hearing your voice. Thanks again for contacting us.

Valerie G.

Consumer Specialist

Consumer Affairs

Posted August 25, 2012

Related links:

Bans and regulations on GMOs in other countries http://www.ehow.com/info_8527757_countries-banned-gmo-foods.html

Just Label It http://justlabelit.org

Monsanto http://www.monsanto.com/Pages/default.aspx

About who is making financial contributions to the No on Prop 37 side http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/22/business/la-fi-gmo-campaign-funds-20120822

Note: If you are interested in this issue, there is a GMO Free Farmers Market and Education Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bushnell Park in Hartford, CT on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. It is hosted by GMO Free Hartford.

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 )

Green Party invites you to local event

August 16, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Also on Saturday, Aug. 16 there will be a meeting in at the Mansfield Public Library to nominate a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District.

Editor’s note: The local contact for Green Party activities is Jean DeSmet who may be contacted at: j.desmet@charter.net or 860-456-2188.

Come meet fellow Greens and local Green Party candidates at a nominating meeting on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Mansfield Public Library, 54 Warrenville Road (Route 89) in Mansfield Center (Storrs), CT.

The purpose of the meeting is to choose a Green Party candidate to run in this year’s 2nd Congressional District race.

Speakers at the meeting will include Green candidates Douglas Lary (Windham Registrar of Voters) and Mellissa Schlag (33rd District CT Senate).

Both Scott Deshefy, who ran for Congress in 2008 and 2010, and Colin Bennett, who is interested in running this year, will also be in attendance.

The meeting is open to the public.

Scott Deshefy, the Green Party candidate for Congress in 2008, will be at the Mansfield meeting on Aug. 18, at the Mansfield Public Library.

All registered Green Party members who reside in the district are eligible to vote for this year’s candidate.

Posted August 16, 2012, local contact info added August 20.

Related links:

Green Party Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/ctgreenparty

Green Party 2012 platform http://www.ctgreenparty.org/platform/12-platform/227-2012-connecticut-green-party-platform.html

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 )

Fair season kicks off with Lebanon Country Fair this weekend

August 7, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

The Lebanon Country Fair kicks off the Connecticut fair season this weekend, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 10, 11 and 12.

Since 1960, The Lebanon Lions Club has operated the Lebanon Country Fair and it has been the main event in Lebanon ever since.

The fair takes place the weekend of the second week in August of every year. This year, that’s Friday through Sunday, Aug. 10, 11 and 12.

The Lebanon Country Fair started on the Lebanon green and moved to its current location in 1970.

Each year brings new and exciting things to the Lebanon Country Fair. If you have never visited, this is the year to do it!

The fair boasts many fine food choices freshly prepared by the Lebanon Lions Club, numerous local churches and non-profit organizations and commercial vendors.

The Lebanon Country Fair also offers entertainment on a center stage and first class amusements.

Local non-profit organizations utilize the fair as their main fundraiser. And many of Connecticut’s charitable organizations also benefit from the money raised at the fair, such as the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, the CT Lions Low Vision Centers, CRIS Radio, Yale eye research.

Money is also directed to the Lebanon community through scholarships to Lebanon High School students, for food and holiday gifts for those less fortunate, eye exams/glasses and many other activities.

Here are some of the 2012 Lebanon Country Fair events:

On Friday

Opening Ceremony – 6 p.m.

Pony Pull – 7 p.m.

Miss Lebanon Fair pageant – 7:30 p.m.

Entertainment on Main Stage (King Cake Blues) – 9 p.m.

Helicopter Rides all night

On Saturday

Helicopter Rides all day

Horse and Oxen Pulling – 8:30 a.m.

Little Miss Lebanon Fair Pageant – 11 a.m.

Stock Truck & SUV Pull – 1 p.m.

Monster Truck Show – 9 p.m.

Entertainment on Main Stage

1 p.m. – Magic with Pete Haddad

3 p.m. – Vinyl Encore (Classic Rock)

6 p.m. – Scarlett Fade (Progressive Rock)

9 p.m. – Katie Perkins (Country Rock)

On Sunday

Modified Tractor Pull – 9 a.m.

Sheep Show – 11 a.m.

Helicopter Rides – starting at 11 a.m.

Children’s Peddle Pull – noon

Master Gardener Demonstration – 1 p.m.

Horseshoe Tournament – 1 p.m.

Demolition Derby – 4 p.m.

Entertainment on the Main Stage

2 p.m. – Time Travelers (Oldies)

5 p.m. – Monthie Brothers Band (Country Rock)

Check the Lebanon Country Fair web site for more details and directions at http://www.lebanoncountryfair.org. The fairgrounds are located at 122 Mack Road, Lebanon, CT 06249 – see info on the web site about shuttle buses.

Admission is $10 each for adults (age 12 and up), $9 each for senior citizens and free for children under age 12. Also, active, disabled or retired members of the Military (must show documentation) will be admitted free.

Questions? Call 860-642-3979.

Posted August 7, 2012

Related link: A site listing all the Connecticut country fairs for 2012, with links to their web sites http://www.ctfairs.org/fair_map.aspx

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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