In the zip code of our community, a popular home-valuation website lists 112 homes for sale, of which 28 are 'distressed' (pre-foreclosure, pre-foreclosure auction, etc). Researching some of the properties sold recently, some exchanged hands at lower prices than they were valued at more than ten years ago before the recession. I know a couple of homeowners who are experiencing concerns with their mortgages. (For those who are keeping score politically, the town is on its second Republican Selectman.) 'Recovery' is not a word on everyone's lips. View Comment
Have you ever lived under the NHS in the UK or any other European health system of 'socialized medicine?' If not, please don't display your ignorance. I experienced the system for the better part of three decades. My mother-in-law is over 90 years of age, and seniors in the US would envy her care. When was the last time you expected a doctor to go to your home for a 'house call?' The 1950's? Happens in the UK all the time -- at no cost to the patient. Her prescriptions are at no cost, her cataract surgery was at no cost, her knee replacements were at no cost, her nurse visits twice a week are at no cost, her check-ups every six months are at no cost (a van transports her to the facility at no cost). And forget about the 'death panels' -- I repeat, she is over 90. Our uncle in his 80's felt ill at home, and the ambulance was summoned at no cost. How many people here in the US hesitate to call for help if they worry about the bill? (Our community just raised the service fee to $3,600 for emergency personnel to come.) Most of the 'specialist' doctors do work on the NHS. My spouse recovered from a badly broken leg, and his specialist was on the NHS hospital staff, so even if you paid privately for it, you received the same treatment.
The 'no cost to the patient' treatment is 'not free' -- it is paid by employee wage deductions from paychecks and therefore in line with their salary.
Would you be surprised to hear that the exec of a US medical devices manufacturer was on one of the financial networks in the past discussing his company shares price and explaining that the business would sell a piece of equipment abroad for the equivalent of $5,000US (because prices to European hospitals must be negotiated by law), but that a US facility 'would not blink an eye' at charging $35,000 for the same device? Is it any wonder then that US patients have such large medical bills that can decimate a family's finances to the point of bankruptcy? One of the employees at my spouse's work got a phone call to say their child had fallen at school and needed to go to the ER to see if there were any injuries to be treated -- the anxious parent actually responded asking if the ER visit was 'absolutely necessary' because the insurance deductible was several thousands of dollars that the family could not afford. This is from someone WITH medical insurance. It would not have happened in a European country. My Canadian friends return there to receive medical treatment when they are able, and I know an American who purchases a prescription there because the price is 1/3 of the cost in the US. How many people avoid going to see a doctor in the US because they can not afford it? Your doctor may be the 'best in the world', but if you stay away because it is 'beyond your means' financially, you have zero treatment. View Comment
This is an objective question and neither to pass judgment for or against firearms control -- if the aim of the Constitution in the right to own weapons is 'to keep the gov at bay', the gov retains more 'fire power' than any arsenal that a private individual can stockpile, so the individual will not 'win out' against any gov confrontation -- the individuals who do choose to 'take on' the gov forces usually lose their lives -- and often take their own in the end with the weapons they relied on for protection. It just seems that the case laid out in the Constitution does not hold the relevancy in these modern times. Any opinions? View Comment
The kids' actions show how detached their focus is in the aftermath of Newtown. And as for BB guns being somehow considered not a threat, no one wants their child coming home with an eye put out by the mishandling of what some people deem a harmless 'toy.' View Comment
We came to Fairfield County where we found our electric bill averaged $178 a month -- that's without running the a/c and don't cook in the oven at all. Before we arrived, the electric bill at our previous home in another state was less than $30. When that first electric bill arrived, I actually phoned the company to say there had been an error. View Comment
I had a friend who owned a very mild-mannered pit bull, and she used to joke and show me how he would 'latch on' to her arm -- but very gently. He would look up into his owner's eyes and look very calm and quiet -- he never showed any hostility whatsoever and was a great pet -- BUT, she showed me when he 'latched on' that the breed 'locks' its jaw and can grip on like a vise and not let go during an incident. That trait seems to be the danger itself. I would not own a pit bull in a house with babies or small children -- you just wouldn't want the opportunity to arise -- err on the side of caution.
Talking about handling animals safely, when a neighbor's child played under the woman 's horse's tail, I gently told the toddler to come away and play near me -- I was worried that the horse tied to the hitching rail during grooming might spook and kick the unsuspecting child as she stood behind its hind legs. The horse owner actually castigated me and said that the horse would NEVER harm the child -- and I replied back, 'No, if you never give it the opportunity to do so.' Animals need not be handled with fear, but they should be regarded with a 'healthy respect.' View Comment
CT vs CA -- I am a native CA who experienced a move to Fairfield County less than a decade ago and still visit CA about four months a year. I honestly find CT more expensive to live than in CA over all. Our electric bill in CA was around $28 a month -- CT is around $175 (with 5% discount). We have to pay for our own home trash collection. Take into account the expenses for winter -- snow removal, leaf removal, heating oil costs, damage to home structure during winter storms, higher gasoline costs (yes, it's always slightly lower when I travel to CA), 2% property tax (on valuation), car tax, and our family finds that it is more costly to reside in CT than CA Even with the expenses for the largest demographic of undocumented in the nation (always an issue there), we find it is more expensive in CT compared to CA. Not arguing good or bad -- just that's how we honestly find it. View Comment
The tree-trimming made no difference -- on our property, the lines still were very much in jeopardy. I contacted at least ten agencies about a power line in a precarious position with a downed tree stretching it (down the street from our home) -- I even stopped cars in the street, postal delivery people, police (I saw them later, and they assured me that they had tried to take care of it to no avail), even workmen on the power lines working over on another street --- over months and ice storms nothing was done -- it finally came down on its own and was seen to. View Comment
Easton is a great place to reside -- if you like forking over high property taxes. How about finding your home is worth less than it was in the late 90's and paying taxes higher than its worth? View Comment
My town is Republican-proud and recently their message of those involved in local gov 'bragged' about 'keeping taxes low' during their tenure -- Over 2%+ for residential property tax? The most expensive property tax our family every paid -- every prospective home buyer who came to look at our house for sale commented on the rate of tax. View Comment
What a sweet boy! Hope he gets a nice home in time for Halloween. We had many all-black cats as pets over the years, and they were always great pets. They think they are 'special.' (And they ARE!) View Comment
Instead of wasting time with 40 attempts to repeal ObamaCare, why don't the Reps present a viable health plan to the country? Surely that is the best way to win voters. Don't keep telling me what WON'T work, tell me what WILL. Every time I call the RNC to ask about what coverage they would offer, I just receive the run-around with vague answers.
The Cleveland Clinic doctors are unique in that they receive a regular paycheck through employment rather than a pay-for-service fee. How many physicians would accept that these days? View Comment