Monthly Archives: October 2006

Watch West Hartford’s candidates debate on TV

In the coming days, the local public access channel is sponsoring a number of debates on channel 5 that will give us a chance to see the candidates in action, for better or worse. Since we’ll never learn anything about the races from any of the local papers, it’s a good idea to watch if you can.

Here’s the lineup: 

5th Senate – Jonathan Harris (D), Kimberly Ryder (R)

October 16, 26, November 6 at 8:00 pm

October 18, 30 at 8:30 pm

October 20, November 1 at 9:00 pm

October 25, November 3 at 9:30 pm

18th House – Judy Aron (R), Andrew Fleischman (D)

October 16, 26, November 6 at 8:30 pm

October 18, 30 at 9:00 pm

October 20, November 1 at 9:30 pm

October 25, November 3 at 8:00 pm

19th House – Beth Bye (D), Barbara Carpenter (R)

October 18, 30 at 9:30 pm

October 20, November 1 at 8:00 pm

October 25, November 3 at 8:30 pm

20th House – David McClusky (D) – unopposed

October 16, 26, November 6 at 9:30 pm

October 18, 30 at 8:00 pm

October 20, November 1 at 8:30 pm

October 25, November 3 at 9:00 pm

I’m guessing that McCluskey will be the big winner in his debate. The others, I’m not so sure about.

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Those darn, drunk college presidents

Back when I went to college — not so long ago — the possibility of drunken students slapping into parked cars while they swerved back and forth along the road was all too real. But nowadays, it’s not the students we have to worry about. It’s the college presidents.

The other night, according to the Courant, the president of beautiful St. Joseph’s College, Evelyn Lynch, drunkenly drove into the side of a car parking on Auburn Street, which is only a few blocks from her office.

Nabbed by our ever vigilant, usually bored, police, the 61-year-old Ms. Lynch could only grovel the next day.

“I sincerely regret the embarrassment that this incident brings to Saint Joseph College, and I want to apologize to the entire college community,” she wrote in a letter to the campus. “I recognize that I am responsible for my serious lapse in judgment, and I have taken immediate steps to address this situation.”

I would suggest to Ms. Lynch that apologizing to the college community is a fine start. But what about the rest of us? You know, the ones who live out here beyond the campus and whose children play along the streets where she weaves this way and that?

There’s something totally forgiveable about a college student who drinks too much — unless, of course, they play for Randy Edsall — but I’m not much inclined to give a break to the college president. Part of her no doubt hefty paycheck is to reward her for being a good role model for the many young women who are getting a good education at St. Joseph’s.

Ms. Lynch, you have to do a whole lot better than that little half-assed apology if you want to seem like anything other than a criminal.

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Courant’s owner bares its teeth

The Tribune Co., which owns The Hartford Courant, abruptly fired the publisher of another of its papers today for daring to stand up against more drastic staff reductions. Jeffrey Johnson, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, got canned for defying executives who ordered him to make more big cuts in the paper’s budget. Another journalistic hero bites the dust.

The Courant, of course, has no heroes now. It’s already whacked Northeast, sliced away customer service jobs and pared its newsroom. Its staff expects worse as the mania among media companies to reduce newsgathering continues. It’s an odd sort of move, when you think about it: wiping out reporters and editors so you can compete better. I guess the ultimate goal would be to have nobody doing journalism, yet somehow whipping the competition.

It makes me sad to see what’s going on. We’ll all pay for this largely unnoticed destruction of America’s newspapers. We’ll be more ignorant and less free, and we might not even know it.

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