Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Town Hall" Meeting with Senator Doyle

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Action Together CT - Middlesex County will be hosting a town hall meeting with Senator Paul Doyle (Represents: Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield).

This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Senator Doyle and to ask him your questions regarding his positions, his voting record, and his vision for CT.

Please submit questions to: atct.middlesex@gmail.com

Free parking for this event is in the municipal lot at 160 Broad Street or in the lot behind Kid City

Youth Wildlife Art Contest

NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

The NRA is hosting its annual Youth Wildlife Art Contest and invites your children to showcase their artistic talent. The contest is open to all students in grades 1-12 and offers many opportunities for prizes.
Entries must portray any North American game bird or animal that may be legally hunted or trapped. Endangered species and non-game animals are not eligible.
First, second, and third place winners will be selected based on categories and will be awarded $750, $500, and $250. The Best in Show award winner will also receive a $1,000 prize.
Contest starts September 1, 2017 and ends October 31, 2017.
For more information, please visit artcontest.nra.org

NRA
National Rifle Association * 11250 Waples Mill Rd * Fairfax, VA. 22030

The Malloy Hot Mess

Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes from a Blue State

Way late, lame duck Governor Dannel Malloy has discovered that the distribution of state funds to educational districts in Connecticut is "a hot mess. In the Republican non- partisan budget that passed both Houses of the General Assembly recently, the method by which the state ferries education tax money to municipalities has not been changed. That method of tax redistribution is wholly a product of the Democratic Party, which has maintained control of the General Assembly – the law making body in the state – for half a century. 
Following a decision by a Superior Court judge, soon to be reviewed by the state's Supreme Court, that the Democratic Party constructed system was unconstitutional, Malloy was moved to radically alter state funding of education in Connecticut, and the Democratic product was made more progressive. “On average,” Fox news reported, “22.24 percent of municipal expenditures are funded with revenue from the state.  The 54 non-alliance towns with a greater reliance on state funding, above the 22.24 percent statewide average, will receive a portion their Fiscal Year 17 ECS [Education Cost Sharing] grant, and the 85 municipalities that have a lower reliance on state funding will receive no ECS grant.”

Malloy cut state education funding to zero in 85 municipalities, presumably “rich” municipalities, and moved those funds to presumably “poor” municipalities.  By way of comparison, UConn state funding was cut only 18 percent. In Connecticut, the poor municipalities include Connecticut’s three large cities, long-time Democratic bastions, such as Hartford, now on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, Bridgeport and New Haven. State education funding permits the party in power in the General Assembly to favor their own voting blocks.
Now, it so happens that Hartford, under the unreformed system, was given more money by the state in education funding than, say, New Canaan, swimming in wealth. So it is not strictly true that the apportioning of state education funding favored all rich towns at the expense of all poor towns – which would be the case if educational funding were supported entirely through property taxes. Were that the case, Hartford would have declared bankruptcy decades ago. The state of Connecticut off-sets, through compensating tax grants, revenue lost by the state’s larger cities, because some properties are tax exempt, which is one reason why per pupil expenditure is greater in Hartford, a poor community, than New Canaan, a rich community.
If one considers the distribution of educational tax dollars, the present system, fashioned by a Democrat dominated General Assembly, is not unconstitutionally inequitable. If one considers the educational product, however, Connecticut’s public school educational system is dramatically inequitable: test scores of students graduating from New Canaan High School are much higher than the test scores of students graduating from Hartford’s public school system. New Haven, of course, boasts that its Amistad Academy, which draws from the same pool of students as New Haven’s public schools, scores higher than New Canaan and graduates from colleges a slightly higher number of students than New Canaan. Successful charter schools in Connecticut are under financed by 17 percent, a financing gap written into the statutes that created the state’s charter school system.
Successful charter schools such as the Amistad Academy are living rebukes to failing public school systems in Connecticut’s larger cities. Underfinanced, they produce a superior educational product and challenge the notion that students in inner-city public schools cannot succeed because their social situations are disruptive – which, of course is true. Many studies show a causal connection between the successes in school of African American boys in particular and the presence of working fathers in households. Many other studies show that success in public school is not determined principally by pupil expenditures. Catholic parochial schools in cities spend far less per pupil than public schools, and the success rate in parochial schools is far more impressive. St. Augustine, Hartford's last Catholic school, closed several months ago, and Achievement First, which runs several successful charter schools in Connecticut’s inner cities, including Amistad Academy, will be opening no more new charter schools in the state because the state shorted successful charter schools by 17 percent.
Connecticut’s problems are largely political; the worst kind of party politics snakes through nearly all Democratic policy prescriptions. Democrats do not want to surrender their voting advantage among state union workers or among party activists in the state’s larger cities. That is why a bailout for Hartford rather than bankruptcy proceedings, which would clear the decks for more broadly . . . 
 
To read the rest of Don's commentary, visit his blog, "Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes from a Blue State".

The Old Farmer's Almanac - Growing Food in Unusual Places

When it comes to finding space to grow your own fruits and vegetables it pays to look beyond the obvious.

Weird or Wonderful? Growing Food In Unusual Places!

There are many quirky places to raise your homegrown produce - and more than a few will raise an eyebrow or two!
In this short video we share some of the weird and totally wonderful places you could be growing your own.
Weird or Wonderful? Growing Food In Unusual Places!
The Big bug Hunt
Let's Beat the Pests Together
Want a warning when pests are heading towards your garden? Then get involved with the Big Bug Hunt research project! Report any bugs you've seen at: BigBugHunt.com


Other Videos to Help You Get the Most from Your Garden

Learn essential gardening techniques in Under 5 minutes with our Gardening How-To video series:
Recharge Your Soil This Winter! Recharge Your Soil This Winter!
As well as protecting your soil, cover crops can be dug into the earth before spring, improving the soil ecosystem and feeding your plants with essential nutrients.:
Watch the video here >>
Help Kids Grow - Plant a School garden! Help Kids Grow - Plant a School garden!
School gardens are a great way to get kids involved in the outdoors and learning about nature from an early age:
Watch the video here >>
How to Tell When Your Fruits and Vegetables are Ready to Harvest How to Tell When Your Fruits and Vegetables are Ready to Harvest
There's nothing quite as rewarding as harvesting your own homegrown fruits and vegetables. But how can you tell when they're perfectly ripe?
Watch the video here >>
Tomato Problems: Fix Issues Affecting Your Tomatoes Tomato Problems: Fix Issues Affecting Your Tomatoes
How to spot the signs when something is wrong with your tomato plants:
Watch the video here >>
10 Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden 10 Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden
The benefits of 10 of the most nutritious crops you can grow in your garden:
Watch the video here >>
As always, you are welcome to get in touch if you have a question or topic you would like us to cover, we would love to hear from you. Just use our Contact Form.

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Weekly Address - President Trump Defines American Leadership

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The United Nations General Assembly in Photos
President Donald J. Trump participated in his first United Nations General Assembly this week where he met with world leaders and delivered his first speech at the U.N.
See the week in photos
President Trump Defines American Leadership
At the 72nd United Nations General Assembly this week, the President delivered a message of putting each countries' citizens first and joining together to combat common challenges. The President met with leaders across the globe as he reaffirmed America's strong bonds with our allies and discussed how we can work together toward promoting peace and prosperity and uphold sovereignty and accountability.
See more from the week at the United Nations
Hurricane Maria
President Trump and his team continue to monitor Hurricane Maria and are working to gain greater access to disaster affected areas. The President has approved emergency declarations for Hurricane Maria impacted areas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, the President has ordered the Department of Defense to provide support to Mexico.
Get more information for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Photo of the Day

First Last Melania Trump at the United Nations General Assembly | September 20, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

COMING UP

Today, the Vice President will meet with the Governor of Maine at the White House to discuss health care and tax reform and will then travel to Indiana to discuss health care and tax reform with local business leaders. Tomorrow, First Lady Melania Trump will lead the Presidential delegation to Canada to attend the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.

STORM SANDY VS STORM HARVEY

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/vis-animated.gifContributed byPhyllis Renee' Arpin-Nelson
There's a big hubbub over Storm Sandi relief funding and Senator Ted Cruz, so I decided to go back and look at the bill itself and what the conversation was in 2012. It is easy to find Monday morning quarterbacking columns and articles which are always perfect and all knowing, right? And who wants to dig for facts when people are up to their necks in water, right?

Most may not remember that in 2012, 41 cents of every dollar the federal government was spending was BORROWED, so from Conservatives/Libertarians there was the demand that the federal government cut it's overspending. Remember the term "fiscal cliff"?


Then the disaster named Sandy happened. Money was approved immediately, but then a month after, President Obama requested Congress allocate a funding package of nearly $60 billion on top of the initial funding. That in and of itself was not a problem, in fact, it was expected that more money was needed.

Please re-read my second paragraph at this point. I'll wait......there were actually two emergency bills presented, the $60B bill and a $24B bill by the Republicans. The $60B bill was labelled "emergency" even though much of it was for non-emergency items. For instance, the bill includes money to improve weather forecasting by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), funds for weather research programs, additional cash for upgrading NOAA reconnaissance aircraft, and state and tribal assistance grants for clean water and pollution control. These items should clearly be run through the regular budget and appropriations process rather than tacked on to an emergency spending bill as a kind of wish list of agency requests.

This has been a chronic problem on the federal and state level for decades. A worthwhile/necessary funding bill is proposed and then individual politicians are allowed to tack on special projects, thereby bloating the original bill. In the "fiscal cliff" climate we were in in 2012, several Conservatives, including Senator Cruz stood up and said no to the extras. They DID NOT SAY NO to the Sandy relief money. They said no to the pork which was added, at the demand of those of us who want government spending reduced.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts 3 Hartford Men on Gun and Drug Offenses

April 13, 2016 Press Conference
Deirdre M. Daly at the podium
Thursday, September 21, 2017

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford returned three indictments yesterday charging three Hartford residents with various drug and firearm offenses.
A three-count indictment alleges that, on September 7, 2017, DAQUAN PATTERSON-GREENE, 22, possessed a Glock 22 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, as well as cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana with the intent to distribute these drugs.  Prior to that date, PATTERSON-GREEN had sustained felony convictions for first-degree assault and possession of a pistol without a permit.
It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce. 
The indictment charges PATTERSON-GREEN with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, MDMA (“ecstasy”) and marijuana, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and offense that carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of five years of imprisonment, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
PATTERSON-GREEN has been detained since his arrest on a federal criminal complaint on September 7.
A one-count indictment charges TYSHAWN COLEMAN, 28, with unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
The indictment alleges that, on August 5, 2017, COLEMAN possessed a .45 caliber live round.  Prior to that date, COLEMAN had sustained two felony convictions for conspiracy to commit murder, three felony convictions for accessory to first-degree assault, one felony conviction for first degree assault, and one felony conviction for sale of a controlled substance.
If convicted of the charge, COLEMAN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
COLEMAN has been detained since his arrest on a federal criminal complaint on August 5.
A one-count indictment charges WILLIAM MARRERO-BENITEZ, 24, with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
The indictment alleges that, on December 14, 2016, MARRERO-BENITEZ possessed heroin that he intended to distribute.  At the time of the alleged offense, MARRERO-BENITEZ was serving a term of supervised release from a prior federal conviction.
If convicted, MARRERO-BENITEZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on the heroin distribution offenses, and an additional term of imprisonment if he is found to have violated the conditions of his federal supervised release.
MARRERO-BENITEZ has been detained in state custody since his arrest by Hartford Police on December 14.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
These cases are being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, and the Hartford Police Department.  The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Fahey of the Hartford State’s Attorney’s Office.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

EMERGENCY ALERT; Police Need Your Help!

MISSING MAN; POLICE NEED YOUR HELP

By Staff Writer, Brian E. Clark



At 10:37 Local time, an Emergency Notice was sent out by the Middletown Police Department stating, a man had gone missing in the Newfield Street Area. His name is John Kirk, he is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 210 pounds, wearing black pants with suspenders, and also wearing a Black Backpack. He is also carrying a Green Stop & Shop Bag. If you spot him, please call 911 immediately. Thank you

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