Monthly Archives: January 2007

Now hear this…

Two of West Hartford’s illustrious legislators — Beth Bye and Andy Fleischmann — are among the four sponsors of a bill that calls on the state to require health insurance companies to pay up to $2,500 for hearing aids for children over 36 month periods. It’s the only bill that either of the lawmakers is sponsoring so far this term — and Friday’ the deadline for putting any more bills in the hopper.

It’s a nice enough measure, no doubt a good policy. Kids who need hearing aids ought to get them. In fact, adults who need hearing aids ought to get them as well, particularly all those senior citizens whose hearing isn’t what it was.

So what I’d like to know is why our legislators are only seeking to help out children who need hearing aids. What about the rest of us? Yeah, it will push up insurance costs even more, but isn’t the whole idea of insurance to spread the cost of dealing with medical issues like hearing loss over a large group instead of making an unlucky few bear the burden? This really ought to be expanded to cover everyone.

And it’s hard to understand why two good people like Bye and Fleischmann didn’t include everyone who can vote among the people who would get hearing aid coverage if they can push the bill through this year.

Are they deaf to the pleas of so many elderly residents who are begging for help in any way possible?


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Rock ‘n roll high school – yeah, yeah, yeah

Rocker Bruce Springsteen once sang, with apparent sincerity, that he “learned more from a three minute record than I ever learned in school.”

But, hey, should a kid really have to choose one or the other?

I read an interesting piece on today about Little Steven Van Zandt, a Sopranos star and radio host, in which Little Steven said he plans to bring a rock ‘n roll curriculum to
America’s schools starting in the fall.

You gotta love it.

Little Steven wants children to learn the history of rock ‘n roll and to get hooked on the music that made him a star as the guitar player for the E Street Band. He said that bands are a great way for young people to learn to cooperate with one another and to get along whatever their racial or religious differences.

Personally, I think the man is onto something.

When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, one of the first things we heard from the newly freed Eastern Europeans is that rock ‘n roll gave them hope. They heard the Beatles and they understood what it meant to be free – a feeling that inspired them to brave the tanks and troops of an Evil Empire and demand their liberty.

In this awful age of fanaticism and war, teaching children to stand up, stand up, stand up for their rights is just the ticket.

It’s no coincidence that rock ‘n roll, the music of freedom, is centered in the United States and
England, the historic standard bearers of liberty for one and all.

So, hell, yes, Little Steven, let’s put Mick Jagger and The Charms and Bruce Springsteen on the Connecticut Mastery Tests. Let’s teach the kids something they’ll want to know.

Let’s make it so that someday, students will hear Alice Cooper bellowing “School’s out for the summer” and they’ll feel… regret.

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Filed under Entertainment, News, Schools