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Grace Murray Stephenson / Austin History Center

This year is the 155th annual Juneteenth Celebration, symbolically marking the freedom of Black people from slavery in this nation. But despite the long history of the day, many white Americans are hearing about it for the first time in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Connecticut has recognized Juneteenth since 2003, but it is not yet an official state holiday. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Since the pandemic hit, carbon emissions have dropped globally. A study in “Nature Climate Change” found a 17 percent decrease in emissions by early April. In New England, data show that air pollution and energy consumption are down.

Jacquiline Rabe Thomas / Connecticut Mirror

Racial segregation is a modern-day problem that is perpetuated in New England through local zoning laws.

Connecticut Protesters Spotlight Police Shooting Of Latino Parolee

Jun 16, 2020
Pat Eaton Robb / Associated Press

Scattered among the banners reading “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” at Connecticut rallies against police brutality have been signs calling for “Justice for Jay.”

Creative Commons

Social structures, in almost all cases, are defined by some form of hierarchy. Whether in academics, sports, religion, business, or politics, there's usually someone at the top and others whose goal it is to get there. But while it's easy to think that we've designed our world to be this way, the truth may be that we had no choice.

DOC Commissioner Rollin Cook Resigns

Jun 14, 2020
Rollin Cook
Andrius Banevicius / CT Department of Correction

Department of Correction Commissioner Rollin Cook has resigned from his post effective July 1, citing family obligations in Utah.

Cook announced his resignation in a heartfelt internal memo Friday.

Federal Decisions Unravel Parts Of Two COVID-19 Executive Branch Orders

Jun 9, 2020
Governor Ned Lamont
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Separate federal rulings this week have rolled back portions of two COVID-related executive branch orders: one suspending fingerprinting for gun permits and another restricting hospital visitation rights for families and friends of people with disabilities.

Betsy Kaplan

When did the horrors that once seemed unthinkable become commonplace? 

Alexandra Petri, satirist and columnist for The Washington Post, says this is an alarming and terrible time. Everything is more absurd but not much is funny. How do you make people laugh without losing sight of what's happening?  

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Something different is happening in America at this moment. Do you feel it? We want to hear from you. Call us during our live show Tuesday, from 1 to 2 p.m., at 888-720-9677 or 888-720-WNPR.

People across America are protesting the same police brutality against black Americans that never seems to stop.

America has suffered more deaths from COVID-19 than any other nation, and we still don't have a federal plan to deal with it, despite the efforts of health care workers and scientists.

President Trump had threatened to deploy the military if the state officials he first felt the need to denigrate couldn't control the looting in their locales. He proceeded to order the police to use tear gas and flash grenades to disperse peaceful protesters so that he could pose in front of a burned church with a Bible in his hand.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

The federal government has sided with a group of Connecticut athletes who have sued the state’s governing body of high school sports over the inclusion of transgender athletes in girls events.

Nik Anderson / Creative Commons

The U.S. is on track to reach 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 this week. Yet, most states began reopening last week using data that may be undercounting how many people are currently infected. 

COVID-19 Update: Connecticut DOT Gives A Boost To Outdoor Dining

May 23, 2020
Daniel Morrison / Flickr/Creative Commons

With rain and chilly temperatures, it wasn’t a good day for al fresco dining. But Gov. Ned Lamont announced Saturday the issuance of the first-of-its kind state permit: Mystic Pizza was granted permission to use a state highway right-of-way for outdoor dining.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Who would have guessed a face mask would become the latest cultural symbol of our identity, one more way to express our politics, our sense of style, and our deepest beliefs in what it means to be American.

Heather Hazzam / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut will reopen some businesses on May 20, as coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to decrease.

This may be good news for business owners and unemployed workers, and for those looking for a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel.

It may be scary for people with greater risk for having severe illness from COVID-19 and front-line workers with greater exposure.

The bottom line is that we still don't fully understand this virus. And, not all of the 40 states set to reopen are prepared to scale up the testing, tracing, and isolating necessary to prevent a spike in the curve.

Magic Piano / Wikimedia Commons

We can observe how economic inequality in America plays out during this pandemic by watching who gets help and who gets ignored.

Two America's live side by side, often in the same community. Nowhere is it on display more than in Greenwich, Conn., where hedge fund managers in gilded mansions live across town from minimum wage workers in local service jobs.

The inequality on display today is the byproduct of decades of policy choices that benefit the wealthy.

Also this hour: We help you make sense of the sometimes conflicting news about COVID-19 with the host of the podcast This Week In Virology.

t-mizo / Creative Commons

It's hard to fathom the idea that more people have to die from COVID-19 before we come out on the other end of this pandemic. Is it time for political leaders of both parties to have an honest conversation about the moral trade-offs of this pandemic and how to balance them toward the public interest?

Lamont To Cancel Tax Relief, Seek Labor Savings To Close $2B Deficit In July

May 1, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont warned Friday he will cancel tax relief and impose $400 million in emergency spending cuts to mitigate the multi-billion-deficit projected for the upcoming fiscal year.

National Museum of Health and Medicine / Creative Commons

This show originally aired on July 25, 2018.

Two years ago, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, alongside government leaders, ran an intricate simulation of a rapidly spreading pandemic. Their goal was to talk about the difficult ethical questions that arise in the event of a public health crisis. These are the same questions we find ourselves confronting today.

 

White House / Wikimedia Commons

People in several states came together last weekend to protest against stay-at-home orders. Their actions followed President Trump tweets of support to "liberate" their states and start reopening the economy. Dr. David Grew makes the case that resuming "normal" business activity in the absence of testing and credible messaging will do more economic harm than good. 

Also this hour: What would President Selina Meyer do in a pandemic? How about Logan Roy? We talk to Frank Rich, the Executive Producer of HBO's VEEP and Succession. Could even they do a better job?  

Lastly, we talk trash with an essential worker. 

NIH Clinical Center

Health experts have released multiple plans that all call for some version of the same thing. We need to conduct widespread testing, trace contacts of the infected, and quarantine those contacts BEFORE we can ease social distancing measures. 

Joey Zanotti / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s Holy Week for many Americans, a heightened time of prayer and meditation and looking inward. But it doesn’t matter what your religion is, or if you don’t feel compelled to engage with religion at all. It seems like every one of us has been looking inward in the past month or so.

This hour, Rev. Dr. Shelley Best on how she, as a faith leader, is making sense of all this. What does this pain and death mean - if anything at all? How is she reconnecting with her communities, and how is she finding comfort for herself?

The U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Richardson

Navy Secretary Thomas Modly abruptly resigned Tuesday after a growing number of  lawmakers, including Rep. Joe Courtney and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, demanded he leave his post in a scandal that has focused attention on how the Pentagon is handling the coronavirus crisis.

Cathy Baird / Creative Commons

William Wetmore Story sculpted The Angel of Grief for his wife's grave after her death in 1894. He wrote that it was the only way he could express his feelings of utter abandonment. It was his last work before his own death one year later.

We may not readily identify grief in the gamut of emotions we're feeling during this pandemic. We haven't lost the kind of love expressed through William Story's sculpture, but loss is very much at the center of our new reality. We are collectively grieving the loss of a world that has changed forever.

March 24, Governor Ned Lamont salutes the Governor's Foot Guard and Horse Guard before a tour of a mobile field hospital they erected on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

This story has been updated.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Connecticut’s request for a major disaster declaration, unlocking crucial federal funding as officials respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Sunday.

Brian Crawford / Creative Commons

Restaurants around the country have closed their doors to in-dining service to help slow the spread of Coronavirus and prevent unnecessary deaths. That's good news.

But it's also bad news for an industry that employs 160,000 people in Connecticut alone, many laid off and waiting for their unemployment application to be processed by our overwhelmed state system.

A lot of restaurants are offering creative ways to have some fun with takeout. But most restaurants can't live on takeout alone, even if their closure helps us live.

Trump Wants Normalcy. Lamont, Cuomo Warn The Worst Is Yet To Come.

Mar 24, 2020
March 24, Governor Ned Lamont salutes the Governor's Foot Guard and Horse Guard before a tour of a mobile field hospital they erected on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

On a day when Gov. Ned Lamont watched a mobile field hospital go up on the grounds of a Hartford medical center in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases, President Donald J. Trump told America it soon may be time to go back to work.

Wikipedia

Reality TV shows like the Discovery Channel's Doomsday Bunkers and National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers perpetuate a stereotype of "preppers" that omits the wide swath of people who engage in preparedness in a less extreme and more varied way.

Talk of nuclear war, climate apocalypse, pandemic, economic instability, and the decline of democracy has led more people to think about how to survive a catastrophic -- if not apocalyptic -- event.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has proposed sending money directly to Americans to help blunt the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic, saying it's time to "go big" to boost the now-stalled economy.

Trump said he wants Congress to push through a major comprehensive package to help businesses and workers facing hardships — one of many abrupt shifts the administration has made this week as the scope of the pandemic has come into sharp focus.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday declared that the coronavirus pandemic is a national emergency, a designation that frees up as much as $50 billion in federal assistance to state and local governments overwhelmed by the spread of the virus, and makes it easier to surge medical resources to areas that need them most.

Bufi at de.Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Is it safe to say that we're not yet ready to kiss and make up with the banks whose reckless behavior led to the 2008 financial crisis? A little contrition would go a long way to helping us forgive and forget. That's not happening, at least not with Deutsche Bank, the preferred bank of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.

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