28 June 2013


[Updated: Image added]

Press release:

I wanted you all to know that we will be having the "Taste of Ramadan" - Fasting from the Abrahamic Traditions - event on July 14th at the Glastonbury Riverfront Community Center at 6:00pm. Please let us know if you would like to join us. We would love to see you there. The breaking of the fast is at Sunset which is 8:25pm - and so the meal will be served at this time. This event is for those who would like to experience the "breaking of the fast" and to hear about the tradition of fasting from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish Perspective. If you would like to include information in your newspaper or speak about it on your Radio or TV show or BLOG that would be awesome!!


For more information please check out :
http://www.muslimcoalitionct.org/taste-of-ramadan.html or please email me at aidamansoor@mcct.us
Hope you can join us.

Thank your for your support and presence!

Wasalaam/With Peace,

Aida Mansoor
Muslim Coalition of Connecticut

26 June 2013


I am Proud to live in Connecticut.
I am Proud to have come from California.

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today directed the LGBT Pride flag to be flown over the Governor’s Residence in Hartford in recognition of the Supreme Court decision to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Pride Flag at the Governor's Residence


For Immediate Release: June 26, 2013
Contact: Juliet Manalan
860-524-7314 (office)
860-770-8298 (cell)

19 June 2013

Senator Blumenthal "Gets It"


Video of Blumenthal’s floor speech is here.
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) delivered a floor speech on an anti-abortion bill passed yesterday by the House of Representatives. The bill – H.R. 1797 – would prohibit all abortions beyond 20 weeks with very limited exceptions.

I come to the floor today to discuss H.R. 1797. A number of my colleagues, Senators Murray and Boxer, have been here this morning to talk about the bill passed yesterday in the House of Representatives that would prohibit all abortions beyond 20 weeks with very, very limited exceptions. This topic is critically important to the women of Connecticut and our country, and the bill is yet another example, lamentably and regrettably, another example of legislation that feigns concern for women's health when actually it would endanger the lives and well-being of women across this great country.

The bill would take decisions regarding health care away from women and their doctors and would force the doctors to decide between incurring criminal penalties and helping their patients. That choice is unacceptable –professionally and morally. The decision to have an abortion is a serious decision that a woman should make in consultation with her doctor. When those decisions are made later in a pregnancy, they are most often the result of serious health risks to the mother or the discovery that the fetus is not viable.

Political interference is abhorrent and unacceptable in these personal and private decisions, and it violates the constitutional right of privacy. The other scenario in which a woman may seek an abortion later in a pregnancy is due to an inability to access such services earlier – whether due to financial restrictions or lack of access to health care or other extenuating circumstances.  In fact, 58 percent of abortion patients say they would have preferred to have an abortion earlier. Low-income women were more than twice as likely than their wealthier counterparts to be delayed because of financial limitation and difficulty in making arrangements. As politicians, we should not be placing additional restrictions on women in these circumstances.

The House bill blatantly ignores constitutional protections that are vitally necessary to protect the health of women as decided in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey because these kinds of restrictions place limitations that interfere with constitutional rights and have no place in these personal and very private decisions. The limited exceptions in this bill would require a woman to report a rape or incest to law enforcement or a specific government agency when she is seeking much-needed health care services. Those restrictions affect women when they have been the victims of a crime or face serious health risks and will have no effect on reducing abortions.

That's their purported purpose, to reduce abortions, but that purpose will be in no way served by these restrictions. Victims of incest or rape may be too young or too fearful of retaliation to report to a law enforcement agency. Why create a needless, lawless obstacle to vital health care? We should be working to ensure that women have the ability to access safe and affordable contraception so there are fewer unintended pregnancies in this country. And yet supporters of this bill would also restrict access to contraception and they're the ones who have tried to make it more difficult to get access to the information and services necessary to prevent unintended pregnancies.

We need to do more. Our nation needs to do better to ensure that women have access to preventive and maternal health care so they can be prepared to face the responsibility of pregnancy and parenthood. This bill would do very little, if anything, to actually help women to protect their health care and the health care of their families and so I urge my colleagues to reject any consideration of this ill-intended, and I hope also ill-fated, measure that endangers women's health across the country. I urge my colleagues to focus on the real priorities that face this Congress – job creation and economic recovery, for example – and stop this attack on women's health.


14 June 2013

A Visit to Metropolitan Ave in Williamsburg Brooklyn

There are several reasons to visit Williamsburg NY these days, but there are 2 Major Reasons to go to Metropolitan Avenue this month.

#1 - The Brick This intimate theater (really...like 10 seats in each row) turned out to be airy and enjoyable and staffed by serious-but-fun theater professionals. I went there to see ex-Milford-ite Stephanie Lane perform her "dance-theater show" Lighthouse Triptych.
Lighthouse Triptych is inspired by Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse".  In three stylistically distinct acts interweaving dance, music, and theater, the show follows characters in a family living off the coast of Scotland in the 1910s and '20s, and deals with the passage of time and our perceptions of chaos vs. control.  

Really Really liked it. And I have a Dance Allergy, so that's sayin' something!
Tickets are only $15  Only two shows remain:

Sunday, 6/16 @ 8pm         Wednesday, 6/26 @ 9pm The Brick
579 Metropolitan Ave
(take the L to Lorimer or the G to Metropolitan)

Here is an interview with Steph. She is a superior human being.

#2 - Just down the block (or perhaps Up the Block, I got a little turned around) at 555 Metropolitan Ave is a record store owned and run by my friend Nearly Normal Norman.  It is called Norman's Sound and Vision.

Here is an article from the New York Times about Norman in his previous location near Astor Place in Manhattan. High rents forced him out.

Norman is one of the first people I met when I moved to the Village from San Francisco in 1971. That was a few years ago. We have shared a few best friends, whether they knew it or not, in a location and an era we remember fondly for it's intersection of Science Fiction, Progressive Rock, Street Theater, Punk, Fashion, Jazz, Photography, and passion.

Here is a video on Norman being a curmudgeon.
He sells turntables as well as Vinyl, Blessed Vinyl.
Go buy some.

12 June 2013

Our Government Gives Grants - Not a Bad Thing at all

For Immediate Release:
June 12, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Benton (860) 729-3589


(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3) announced today a $280,000 federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant for the Milford Fire Department to assist in the purchase of a new fire station alert system. The new system will improve response time and more efficiently integrate communications systems between departments.

The grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

“These federal funds will help improve response time, communication and coordination for Milford firefighters, an investment that will undoubtedly save the lives of residents and first responders. Our firefighters and first responders risk their lives every day to save ours, and deserve the assistance and support of the best, state of the art life-saving equipment and systems,” Blumenthal said.

“When it comes to fighting fires and keeping our families safe, seconds count,” Murphy said. “This funding will give Milford a new fire station alert system and give firefighters a crucial new tool to help to save lives,” Murphy said.

“Time is of the essence in any emergency situation and seconds can make a difference when lives are in the balance. The new alert system will go a long way towards keeping Milford residents safe, and ensure the safety of the first responders serving our community. My heartfelt thanks go to the men and women who so willingly risk their safety to keep the rest of us safe,” said DeLauro.
“This is welcome news for Milford’s public safety and infrastructure and will help us stay at the cutting edge of technology and innovation. It is a victory for the Milford EMS and for the residents of Milford. This grant will make sure that Milford has the highest standards of safety and protection,” said Milford Mayor Ben Blake.
The grant is the 21st firefighting grant awarded in Connecticut in Fiscal Year 2013. Middletown received $1.14 million to hire eight additional firefighters and Waterbury received $2.9 million to hire new fire recruits through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters grant programs administered by FEMA. New Britain, New Milford, Brookfield, Stratford, Bristol, East Woodstock, Killingly, Plainfield, Willington, Seymour, Middletown, East Hartford, Shelton, Norwalk, Torrington, Southington and Waterbury also received grants to support operations and safety measures.

GLAD to have Met You

Thank you Lee Swislow

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders Online Auction 

Dear Tessa,

My friend and colleague Lee Swislow has overseen GLAD with skill, finesse, and vision since 2005.
Lee Swislow at the 2011 Spirit of Justice Dinner
Lee Swislow will retire as GLAD's Executive Director when she turns 65 next April.

Lee will celebrate her 65th birthday next April, and when she does, she will also embark on a new adventure: retirement.

Lee has led GLAD to major advances in LGBT rights, from the spread of marriage equality across New England to spearheading the fight to bring down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, to winning the right of transgender people to deduct transition-related medical expenses from their taxes, to name only a few recent victories.

And if you've had the opportunity to talk to Lee over the past eight years, you know that she brings incredible wisdom, patience, and passion to her role in guiding GLAD's critical work.

As I work with my fellow board members to plan a thoughtful search for our next Executive Director, I am both sad to see Lee go and excited for the future.

Our next leader will guide GLAD into a new era, as we attack ongoing and vitally important issues, such as transgender rights, the quality of life of LGBTQ youth and elders, ending the scourge of HIV, and so much more.

I know we will find exactly the right person to lead GLAD's next phase. And with the work of our dedicated, talented staff - and your invaluable ongoing support - we will continue our strong and steady progress toward our shared goal of equal justice under law for all.

Fortunately, we have several more months to benefit from Lee's stellar leadership, and ample opportunity to express our gratitude for her years of incredible service.

Please join me in thanking Lee for all she's done for GLAD and for our community - and in wishing her well as she prepares for this next adventure.

Dianne R. Phillips signature 
Dianne Phillips
President, Board of Directors
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders 

11 June 2013

Do Women Know that a Healthy Diet and Exercise Can Help Prevent Cancer – and Do They Follow the Recommendations?

The lifetime risk for cancer is greater than 1 in 3 for women in the U.S., but most women do not make the lifestyle choices recommended by the American Cancer Society to reduce that risk and prevent cancer. A multifaceted new survey determined how women view diet and exercise in relationship to cancer and whether they believe they are engaging in healthy behaviors, and whether their diet and exercise choices really meet the minimum recommendations. The results are presented in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Women’s Health website.

In "Lifestyle and Cancer Prevention in Women: Knowledge, Perceptions, and Compliance with Recommended Guidelines," Jennifer Irvine Vidrine, PhD and colleagues from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) and Prevention Magazine (Emmaus, PA) report that less than 10% of the women who said they eat a healthy diet actually met the American Cancer Society minimum fruit and vegetable intake recommendations, which is 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables per day. Less than 40% of the women who reported regular physical activity met the American Cancer Society minimum recommendations of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days per week. Women with less education and racial/ethnic minorities had greater discrepancies between beliefs and behavior.

Overall, more than half of the women who participated in the survey failed to meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity and/or for daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.

“The results of this study suggest that we need to help women find practical ways to integrate adequate levels of cancer prevention behaviors into their daily lives,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women’s Health.

About the Journal

Journal of Women’s Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women’s healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women’s Health website. Journal of Women’s Health is the Official Journal of the Academy of Women’s Health and the Society for Women’s Health Research.

Gary Holder-Winfield & Clean Elections

Below is a press release I just received.

I have "bolded/red-ed" the last line because it is important to my own beliefs.

You are of course entitled to your own beliefs about entitlement and corruption in the political process./snark

Contact: Chris Campbell
Tel: (203) 212-8683
Email: chris@gary2013.com


Democracy Matters invites Holder-Winfield
to Lead Final Push for Clean Elections in NY
Following on his own national work fighting for clean election laws, Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield has been invited by Democracy Matters to lead their final push to pass clean election reforms through the New York state legislature. Democracy Matters is a national public advocacy group devoted to clean election and campaign finance reform. Gary Holder-Winfield was the keynote speaker at their 2011 national student summit and has worked with them in the past, in addition to his testimony in 2009 to save Connecticut's clean elections fund, which you can read about here. Gary has also been a strong supporter of clean elections research, working with Yale political scientists to study the effects of Citizens United on voter behavior.

On Tuesday, Gary will be traveling to Albany to continue his work with Democracy Matters and other activists. He will spend the day meeting with key state Senators to push for the passage of a public financing system for New York similar to public financing systems established in Connecticut. The bill has already passed the NY House, but needs to pass the NY Senate before their session ends on June 20. Known not only for his national advocacy for clean elections but also for his effectiveness in passing legislation in legislative 'crunch-time', Gary has been brought in to push for the bill's passage in time for Cuomo to sign it into law.

“I believe in campaign finance laws establishing systems of ‘clean elections’ because they allow not only for the voices of normal people to have an effect in politics but affords those individuals the opportunity to run where special interest money usually dominates,” says Gary. “I've been championing clean elections for many years because I know the dangers of money in politics. Money, not ideas becomes the driving force in our politics.”
 Gary has seen the other end of money in politics having endured issues with a campaign treasurer in the past accused of taking money from his campaign. Holder-Winfield worked with authorities to deal with those issues head on. “The other thing important about a well designed system is that where there are issues they can be seen quickly and we can ensure that the public's trust is maintained,” Holder-Winfield recently asserted “and that is part of why I advocate for a system that is open, transparent and public. It is the basis for why we've signed the Clean Primary Pledge, which commits us to the Democracy Fund 100%, not just when it's convenient. The rules exist to allow the people a voice, that is not something you work around. The people of New Haven deserve someone who respects them and can stand by their principles.”

“I'm running to be a new kind of mayor, that's why we're running a new kind of campaign.”
Now that seven candidates have entered the field, Gary Holder-Winfield is still the only candidate to have signed the Clean Primary Pledge.

10 June 2013

Local Author Debuts Book on George Washington

Milford author Logan Beirne will be discussing his book “Blood of Tyrants” at Collected Stories Bookstore, on Thursday, June 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

In the book, Beirne reveals through painstaking research, new and surprising details of George Washington’s military leadership and how the experience of the American Revolution formed the basis of the constitution and defined presidential powers.

From the introduction, the author writes: “A bloodthirsty Congress demands revenge. The commander in chief weighs torture. Politicians clash with generals over war policy. Americans’ liberties come under attack. No, this is not the post-9/11 United States. This is the side of the American Revolution you never knew.”
Collected Stories Bookstore
12 Daniel Street
Milford CT 06460

Thursday June 13
6:30 pm - 8 pm.

Everyone is invited to the event and the author, an Olin Scholar at Yale Law School, will be available to answer questions. For more information, go to collectedstoriesbookstore.com.

Both girls and boys should be vaccinated against HPV

The Human papillomavirus, or HPV, and its link to certain cancers has been in the headlines recently, reigniting the debate whether it is appropriate to vaccinate children against the virus.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Pediatrics now recommend that both girls and boys be vaccinated against HPV. Robert I. Haddad, MD, disease center leader of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s head and neck oncology program, says the recommendations are well founded. “We are clearly seeing an epidemic of HPV-related head and neck cancer - the numbers are rising dramatically. HPV is a cause of many cancers, so it is really important to support endeavors to vaccinate.”

HPV has more than 100 strains, including HPV-16 and 18, which are aggressive, high-risk, sexually transmitted, and have been linked to certain types of cervical or head and neck cancers.

According to Haddad, HPV infection is a major cause of oropharyngeal cancer, which effects the base of the tongue, the tonsils, and the walls of the pharynx. This year, about 14,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer. Most of them will be young , between 40 and 50 years old, and three out of four will be male.

“A decade ago, patients with head and neck cancer were smokers or heavy drinkers. Now, only 20 percent are smokers or drinkers, and the other 80 percent have an oropharynx cancer caused by an HPV infection,” says Haddad.

Because HPV is predominately transmitted through sexual contact, the CDC recommends vaccinating girls and boys at ages 11 or 12. The vaccine is given in three doses several months apart.

"I advise my patients with HPV-related cancers to vaccinate their children against HPV - both boys and girls,” says Haddad. “There is a misconception that only girls should be vaccinated and that is the wrong approach. We strongly believe that both boys and girls should be vaccinated against HPV."

In June 2006, The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the vaccine, Gardasil (Merck), for girls ages 9 to 26. The vaccine protects against four strains of HPV, including HPV-6 and -11, as well as the high risk strains HPV-16 and 18, which are a known cause of cervical, oropharyngeal, anal, and vaginal cancers. The CDC followed suit recommending the three dose vaccine become a routine immunization for girls. Gardasil was licensed for use in boys in October 2009. The CDC voted to approve it for boys in 2011.

Fair Pay - Still not There, Ma'am


NEW HAVEN -- Despite becoming law 50 years ago, equal pay for women remains elusive. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a chief proponent of the Paycheck Fairness Act,  will join the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women's Teresa Younger and Allison Schieffelin Walker, a former securities trader who successfully sued Morgan Stanley for $12 million for pay discrimination, at a press conference in New Haven today.

WHERE: Community Foundation of New Haven, 70 Audubon St., New Haven, CT

WHEN: Today, Monday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m.

WHY: To call attention to the continued injustice and economic disincentive of gender-based wage discrimination, and to examine how this wage gap affects the economy.

WHO: U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro
            Teresa Younger, PCSW
            Allison Schieffelin Walker, former Wall Street executive

CONTACT: Christine Palm, Communications Director, PCSW at 860/836-2145

Also lookee here: 

Ladies: Take your gloves off!