LETTERS: On Wallingford’s Mary Mushinsky and the costs of carbon; opposing tolls in Connecticut

LETTERS: On Wallingford’s Mary Mushinsky and the costs of carbon; opposing tolls in Connecticut

On Mary Mushinsky


It’s time to call a spade a spade. Her opinion piece “The carbon costs coalition to protect our future” is so embarrassing and insulting to our intelligence it’s not really worthy of a rebuttal. I am a resident of Wallingford and after calling her at least six times over a two-week period with no response I figure it’s OK to unload. Not all scientists agree that the planet will turn into a fireball in 12 years. How many of Al Gore’s apocalypses have come and gone? As a matter of fact it’s tough to decide which is more believable — the earth will end in 12 years or the toll revenue will go to the roads. When are we going to stop with the ridiculous scare tactics? She talks about how in parts of Canada they tax fossil fuels and then all but the biggest users get all their money back and more. The top users get less back (can you say redistribution of wealth). In conclusion I would like to know exactly when the 12-year clock started. Was it when the brilliant AOC announced the Green Raw Deal or today. I need to know so the night before I can party like it’s 1999.

R.P Scelzo, Wallingford

Taking a stand on tolls


Today, 4/3/19, NBC national news reported, in an article entitled House resolution condemns Trump push to dismantle Obamacare, that: "lawmakers approved the symbolic measure sponsored by freshman Representative Colin Allred (R-Texas) in a 240-186 vote."

Too bad the Meriden City Council couldn't find it in their hearts to approve the symbolic resolution opposing tolls in Connecticut at their recent meeting (R-J, 4/1/19, “Meriden City Council tables resolution opposing tolls”). Democrats voted in a bloc, with the sole exception of Councilor Bruce Fontanella, to table the resolution. Tolls, in my mind, were the defining issue of last November's election here in Connecticut. I voted for Lamont based on the promise he made to only put tolls in place for trucks. He wasn't in office more than a few months when he, in my opinion, went back on his word. I wasn't impressed by the Republican gubernatorial candidate so I would still have voted but just left that spot blank if I had known Lamont's word wasn't good.

Unfortunately, the current two-party system generally utilizes a nasty partisan spin, in many ways resembling the juvenile antics witnessed on Facebook, so it is no wonder voting rates remain low. I support universal health care as well as a curtailing of what I think are vicious ICE tactics regarding the deportation of immigrants in this country. I am also opposed to tolls and as I tend to lean left in my voting, I can't help but express my dismay with local and state Democratic officials who support tolls. There is a petition opposing tolls in Connecticut that simply entails a Google search for No Tolls CT to bring up the web site. I encourage people to sign the petition if they are opposed.

Colleen Cyr, Meriden

We’re losing the SUD war


An estimated 20.7 million Americans aged 12 or over needed treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) in 2017, but only about 4 million Americans aged 12 or over received any form of treatment for SUD. This current addiction treatment gap will never be closed with the current addiction treatment workforce. To make a meaningful and sustainable impact on the current opioid overdose epidemic, and to stave off emerging epidemics related to other addictive substances it is imperative that our country makes strategic investments to grow the ranks of trained and qualified addiction specialists.

Right now, Congress has an opportunity to fund two new programs that would strengthen the nation's inadequate addiction treatment workforce. First, Congress should appropriate $25 million in funding for the Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce, authorized in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. This would provide for a new and robust student loan repayment program to professionals who pursue full-time SUD treatment jobs in high-need geographic areas.

Second, Congress should appropriate $10 million in funding for the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program authorized in the 21st Century CURES Act. This would fund more training opportunities for medical residents and fellows in psychiatry and addiction medicine, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and others who are willing to provide SUD treatment in underserved communities. 

I urge our lawmakers to take the next step and appropriate federal funds for these programs. Building a robust SUD treatment workforce is critical and should be part of any comprehensive federal response to the opioid overdose epidemic. Otherwise, far too many patients seeking treatment will continue to lack access to care and more lives will be lost.

Kenneth Morford,  New Haven

Support the Care4Kids bill


After the Early Childhood Day of Action at the Capitol on March 6, 2019, Care4Kids Bill S.B. No. 933 raised to the Senate and House to Committee on Appropriations. It proposes to expand eligibility for families in the Care4Kids program to include families with a gross income of up to 75% of the statewide median income.

It is essential to advocate having an increasing amount of high-quality universal early childcare. This issue will impact the educational well-being and future of Connecticut’s young children and requires immediate action. Quality early care and education programs are essential for children to learn new skills in all domains of development. The first three years of a child's life is the age when the most foundational learning occurs in development and shaping of children's future. With this policy change, more children will be able to receive high-quality care from trained professionals in early child development. Care4Kids has received a dramatic cut in government funding, from serving 22,957 children to 13,223 children. There are still many children and families who are being underserved. In order for parents to participate in the workforce and for children to engage in the necessary early learning experiences needed for healthy development, we must expand the income eligibility of Care4Kids to allow more low-income families access.

Time, money and energy are better spent on such critical issues. Children are suffering from the decline in developing new skills which leave them crippled to depend on others to make their own decisions in the future. For every dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education, the public saves $13 in the place of costs for special education, public assistance, unemployment benefits, and crime. Expanding eligibility for families in the Care4Kids program would greatly improve the lives of children families, and Connecticut taxpayers.

Rachel Ho, Storrs

National Donate Life Month


April is National Donate Life Month, a time for our nation to honor the tremendous generosity of organ, eye, tissue, marrow, and cord blood donors who make the selfless decision to give the gift of life to their fellow Americans.  It is also an opportunity to honor the families and friends of donors who support their choice as well as our hardworking and dedicated health care professionals who serve the transplantation community.  Medical advancements in the field of transplantation have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Yet, right now, more than 1,200 men, women, and children of all ages and ethnicities in Connecticut are on the national transplant waiting list.  Across the nation, 20 people die every day waiting for organs.

As part of National Donate Life Month, the Health Resources and Services Administration (www.HRSA.gov) is celebrating the life-saving potential inside each and every one of us.  HRSA invites you to learn about the amazing power of organ donation and let the good in you live on as organ, eye, and tissue donors.  To learn more and sign up visit www.organdonor.gov or www.donaciondeorganos.gov.  We also invite you to “Like” Organdonor.gov and Donaciondeorganos.gov on Facebook.

And, if you are wondering whether transplantation really saves lives, just consider that in 2018 alone, more than 430 people in Connecticut received the gift of life thanks to the people who said “yes” to donation. 

Thank you for the gift of life and for letting the good in you live on! 

Jeffrey Beard, regional administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration, Boston


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