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The ‘F’ word is alive and well

It is a common misconception that feminism is outdated, with some suggesting there is nothing left to accomplish. Women can vote, own property, and access birth control. What else do they need? In short, women do not share equal standing with men in many ways, including social and economic equality. Political representation for women in the United States is not reflective of our populace, with women making ...

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The highs and lows of public funding

Public financing of election campaigns, a process in which federal campaign funds are distributed to qualified candidates, was proposed by Theodore Roosevelt more than a century ago as a way to combat large private donations to candidates. Its intention was to prevent any single donor from having a large influence on an election. Connecticut has laws on public funding of state political campaigns and is one ...

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Act now or be left in the dark

By Cecilia Petricone In 2013, Connecticut was one of three New England states to pass a law requiring the labeling of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs). But it had a hitch — a trigger clause in the law requires four other states with a combined population of 20 million, including one bordering Connecticut, to adopt similar laws before labeling takes effect. This convoluted state law may soon be moot. The U. ...

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The future of plastic water bottles

By Cady Stanton Consumer behavior worldwide is changing when it comes to purchasing bottled water. Citizens are inventing new recycling methods, and working to ban the sale of bottled water in parks, universities, businesses and cities. More than two thirds of plastic bottles end up in landfills every year. In May, following the city's ban on plastic bags, San Francisco proposed a city ordinance banning the ...

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An update on fracking in the United States

By Selena West Regulation of fracking is a national debate as political parties establish their environmental platforms for 2016. We are in the middle of a three-year ban in Connecticut on the import of hazardous wastes produced by this mode of natural gas extraction. Locally, we must remain vigilant. Fracking is the process of injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground at high pressures t ...

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Winsted’s water is crystal clear

By Cecilia Petricone Americans are paying greater attention to their water quality in the wake of the highly publicized lead water contamination in Flint, Mich. It is important that citizens remain informed about the quality of their municipal water supply. The good news: Winsted public water is clean and safe. The Flint water crisis resulted from two errors. First, the town changed its water source from tr ...

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State bans microbeads

By Selena West The Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget bill in June that includes a provision to ban the sale and manufacture of plastic microbeads in cosmetic products. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic added to over 100 different personal care products, including facial scrubs, shampoos and toothpastes. It is estimated that Connecticut residents wash more than three tons of microbeads down th ...

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Drug companies must fund take-back programs

By Selena West Community leaders in Alameda and three other counties in California and Washington have adopted laws requiring pharmaceutical companies to finance drug take-back programs. Drug take-back programs combat prescription drug abuse by removing unused medications from homes and are an environmentally safe method of disposal. A study by the U.S Geological Survey in 2000 found measurable amounts of o ...

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GMO has got to go

By Cecilia Petricone In 2013, Connecticut became the first state to pass a law requiring that GMOs be labeled in food products. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have undergone a process that alters their genes or DNA. Sometimes it is done to mutate superficial aspects like shape or color, while other times it is done to alter growing habits or reactions to pesticides. You may be wondering, if the law w ...

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Does Connecticut give a frack?

By: Cecilia Petricone In June 2014, Governor Malloy signed Public Act No. 14-200, an act prohibiting the storage or disposal of fracking waste in the state of Connecticut. Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) is the process of drilling into the earth and injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals into shale, causing the rock to release oil and natural gas. Fracking to extract oil from the ...

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