Joann Rubino brought her cell phone outside to the balcony and swept the camera around for a neighborhood panorama. The sky blazed a brilliant blue, the apartment buildings an unmistakable burnt sienna. But there wasn’t a soul in sight. “It’s a beautiful spring day, but I’m not leaving the house,” Rubino, 63, said via Facebook from her Italian home. On a typical day in Castel Morrone, a town of about 3,500 people an hour’s drive from Naples, Rubino might be strolling the streets, dropping in on friends and family, stopping at a bar for a coffee or at a pizzeria—living la dolce vita.
The Mitchell branch of the New Haven Free Public Library tries to be at the forefront of whatever products are trendy or new. That means offering e-books for patrons of all ages and providing computers for children who want to conduct research online or play games. But, according to branch manager Sharon Lovett-Graff, the library’s youngest patrons, and their parents, remain interested primarily in borrowing print books. “At one time, we were all very nervous that e-books would take over. But not anymore,” said Lovett-Graff, who estimates that in the past year, the library checked out about 5,300 board books — thick, picture books aimed at pre-readers.
The United States’ maternal mortality rate is abysmal, and women of color are particularly vulnerable. No amount of fame or fortune can run interference when it comes to mothers dying or at-risk during pregnancy, childbirth, or early motherhood. And that holds especially true for African American women. At 26.4 per 100,000 live births, the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal death in the developed world—by several times over. Even more disquieting, the U.S. rate rose by 136 percent between 1990 and 2013.
Reported cases of tuberculosis jumped 17 percent in Connecticut from 2014 to 2015, mirroring a national and global trend and prompting federal officials to ask primary care providers to be on the alert for at-risk patients. The state Department of Public Health (DPH) said 70 people, in 29 towns, were reported with active TB, the contagious form of the disease, in 2015, compared with 60 the year before. About 80 percent of Connecticut patients were foreign-born, many from Asian countries. Nationally, TB cases totaled 9,563 last year, an increase of 157 over 2014. It was the first jump in cases after more than two decades of annual declines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.
From early on, young women are taught behaviors that are supposed to help them avoid being victims of violence: Carry your keys like weapons. Avoid certain bars. Don’t leave your drinks unattended. Parry. Feint.