Saturday, March 22, 2008

to the family, friends and fellow brothers and sisters

of officer Matthew Morelli, my thoughts and prayers go out to you

Norwalk officer fatally shot
By John Nickerson
NORWALK - City police, the FBI and the state police Major Crime Squad spent the day trying to figure out how city police Officer Matthew Morelli, 38, was shot and killed in a church parking lot in South Norwalk early yesterday morning.For more than 13 hours, state police investigated the parking lot off Lubrano Place and the surrounding area before taking Morelli's body to state chief medical examiner's office in Farmington. Police and city officials said a rifle, described either as an AK-47 or older, military-style rifle, was found immediately next to, or under, Morelli's body when police found him lying in the Calvary Reformed Church parking lot.Chief Harry Rilling said the 11-year department veteran, who served four years in the Marines before joining the department in 1996, called headquarters at 12:26 a.m. to say he was checking suspicious activity in the lot and stepped out of his vehicle............

Friday, March 21, 2008

of course there's a correlation

between people who abuse animals and people who abuse people

BOTH must stop
Animal Cruelty task force
By News Channel 8's Bob Wilson
(WTNH) _ Cruelty to animals may lead to violent behavior against humans. A new state task force will be looking into the correlation and what can be done.
Could an abused dog or cat be one of the first signs that someone else other than the family pet is being abused? Lawmakers announced the formation of the task force on animal cruelty and the circle of violence to look into just that."We know that when an animal is being abused, more than likely the children in the house hold are being abused," Diana Urbana, of North Stonington, said. So, while the task force will study the circle of violence -- pet professionals like animal control officers and workers at the Connecticut Humane Society in Newington -- are keeping their eyes open for abused animals.
"If we do find that and we do have the name, telephone number and address of the individual at that point we would call the police in that town and make a report," Alicia Wright, of the Connecticut Humane Society, said..............

Thursday, March 20, 2008

if i make it to 80

i hope i can be as conscientious as jim barron and caroline bridgeman-rees. of course, there were all ages present at the protest. of course i shouldn't wait until i'm 80 to be conscientious, moral and patriotic.

Protesters gather for fifth anniversary of Iraq war
Five people were arrested Wednesday for blocking the front door of a federal courthouse during a protest to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.Among the five were Jim Barron, 80, of New Haven and his minister, the Rev. Kathleen McTigue. Also arrested were Caroline Bridgeman-Rees, 80, of Hamden and father and daughter Mark and Keely Colville of New Haven. Police charged the five with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. They were led to police cruisers amid applause from about 100 other protesters gathered on the sidewalk.Barron has participated in protests for decades, but never risked a trip to jail. He opposed the war from the beginning and has written letters of protest to Congress, but his feelings intensified while hearing the names of the war dead read each week in his church.The final straw, he said, was reading an article about U.S. soldiers who suffered permanent brain damage in Iraq.........

Five Arrested In Iraq War Protest
By HILDA MUĂ‘OZ And NOMAAN MERCHANT Courant Staff Reporters
A protest Wednesday by roughly 200 clergy members, religious activists and citizens marking the five-year anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq started with prayer and song and ended with the arrest of five protesters in Hartford.

The protesters had blocked an entrance to the federal building in Hartford.

Keeley Colville, 17, her father Mark Colville, James Barron, 80, Caroline Bridgman-Rees, 85, and Rev. Kathleen McTigue were taken into custody. Bridgman-Rees and Barron were released on a promise to appear. Keeley Colville was issued a $500 bond. Her father and McTigue were each issued a $1,000 bond............

ON THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE START OF THE IRAQ WAR, an interfaith coalition gathered to oppose the war in Hartford. The rally, organized by the New Haven-based group Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice, ended at the Federal Building, where five people were arrested on trespassing charges for blocking the entrance to the building in protest. Hartford police help up 85-year-old Caroline Bridgeman-Reese before arresting her. At right is Jim Barron, who was also arrested. (SHANA SURECK / March 19, 2008)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Raymond Bechard, connecticut cool person of the week

thank you for founding ahava kids and thank you for caring

............Child Trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing crime in the world for organized crime syndicates. It is also the most profitable crime simply because a child can be sold for sex multiple times every day for many years. Along with the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), young people are also used for forced labor (cocoa, coffee, diamonds, rugs, silk, etc.), illegal activities (begging, selling drugs), child soldiers, forced marriage, illegal adoption, and in the international trade of organ harvesting. Domestically, child trafficking occurs in every community in America. The FBI has determined that 300,000 young people are trafficked within the United States each year and that the average age for females entering prostitution in America is 13. Young victims are usually runaways or otherwise disenfranchised youth who are then recruited in malls, bus stations, shelters and online........

A mission to save the children of Iraq
Old Saybrook (WTNH) _ In a matter of weeks, an Old Saybrook man will be embedded with U.S. soldiers in Iraq on a mission of his own.
Raymond Bechard founded
Ahava Kids in 2003. He will be the first person to investigate the condition of children in Iraq and says human trafficking is often seen where there is war, poverty and economic chaos.
"Iraq has all three," Bechard said. "What we look for are children who look desperate."
Bechard says you do not have to look far and wide to find human trafficking or prostitution. More than 400 women and girls in Eastern Connecticut alone can be found with a click of the mouse on your computer. Bechard's group offers anonymity and a safe place to stay for those who want to leave that life and the people who profit from them. .....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

did you know we had 11,000 returning troops

in our state (from the war)? i didn't. that's a HUGE number. did you know that at the VERY LEAST 1/4 of them have symptoms for ptsd? i didn't.

Many Returning Troops Struggle To Reconnect
By LISA CHEDEKEL Courant Staff Writer
From a distance, the more than 11,000 state residents who have returned from war in the past five years have disappeared seamlessly into the Connecticut landscape — back to colleges, spouses, civilian or military jobs.But up close, the transition has not been so smooth.A first-ever survey of returning state troops shows that at least one-quarter of them meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, while many cite problems with a spouse or partner and difficulties "connecting emotionally with family" as major concerns. A state mental health hot line has fielded more than 300 calls for assistance from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their family members in the past nine months. Recently, the state veterans' affairs commissioner has begun working with the courts to ensure that increasing numbers of recently returned troops who are arrested for domestic violence, drunken driving or other offenses are flagged and referred to counseling programs."There's a lot of real high risks here — not only for the military members themselves, but for their families," said Linda Schwartz, commissioner of the state Department of Veterans' Affairs. "We have people in almost every town in our state who have served deployments, and the VA is just not going to be able to get to them all. We have to do more to reach out to them … to catch them when they fall."............

......The state's mental health hot line for military members who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their family members is 866-251-2913................

this story takes place in maryland

but it's the same in connecticut. my 82 year old father got an oil (heating) bill for $728.00. how are people (working families and like my father, the elderly and retired) supposed to pay that? his electric bill went way up as well.
how can we all afford 300, 400, 500, 600, 700 utility bills? how much longer do you think this is going to go on? i mean how much longer before we all STOP paying our bills because we CANNOT.
(king george has to pay his bills for the crawford ranch, no? doesn't he see we're all f**ked?)

By Kirstin Downey Washington Post Staff Writer
George Mann, an $18-an-hour grocery store clerk in Waldorf, found himself trembling last month as he wrote the check to pay his $644 electricity bill. Still financially recovering from a $549 electricity bill in January, Mann said he noticed he was "shaking" as he paid the bill, full of anxiety about how he would find the money to pay other household expenses for the three-bedroom rambler where he lives with his wife and four children.
"When they deregulated the market, there was supposed to be competition and prices were supposed to go down," he said. "But why did the bills go in the opposite direction?"
That is a question being echoed in households across the region, particularly as heating bills rise in the coldest months of the year. .............