CARES ACT Funding is Money Unwisely Spent

There is no reasonable person who doesn’t concur that Covid related financial relief to the American public was both necessary and justified.  What many people from all political persuasions are now beginning to recognize is that unfocused, non-targeted over-spending for this purpose has ascended to astronomical levels. Bad spending decisions for political purposes still constitute bad money being spent for ostensibly good reasons.  Due to our country’s deep debt crisis, reacting to the Covid crisis with unwise deficit-spending means throwing good money after bad is no better than hurling bad money after good. During the last full year of the

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Americanism — Who are We?

America’s progress and continued success depends upon an unshakable defense of personal freedom. Freedom that ends if we stop understanding its origins. Government is far to eager to seize these liberties and to make them a ruling power.  We the people must never forget that we have been given equal and unalienable rights that can’t be taken away by government because government is far lesser than the power granting them to us.  If we lose sight of this and grow complacent, we will very likely repeat our past histories, turning inward on ourselves only to destroy ourselves. America is the

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Under Guise of ‘Protecting’ Women’s Sports, Efforts Put Transgender Youth at Risk.

I’m writing in response to a letter published in the Connecticut Examiner on Tuesday, March 30, that attempts to lay out an argument against the Equality Act. To put it mildly, the letter was ignorant. To put it truthfully, the letter was transphobic and abusive.  The author attempts to frame his argument as essential in order to protect young girls, mothers, and the homeless, but instead shines a light on an abusive narrative that is attacking children across not only Connecticut, but everywhere in the U.S.  The issue, to the author at least, is about transgender girls and women infiltrating

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Equality Act a ‘Monumental Gesture of Overreach’

In the name of equality Joe Courtney has single handedly led an assault on young girls, at-risk mothers, religious institutions and on each and every voter from Groton to Vernon, from Connecticut to California. In a monumental gesture of overreach, Representative Joe Courtney co-sponsored one of the most destructive and dangerous legislations in decades. Representative Courtney wants to add ‘Gender Identity’ to the wording of the 2019 Equality Act legislation. Sounds benign, doesn’t it? Nobody wants to see discrimination against any group. But here is what Americans are not being told. The current Equality Act, as co-sponsored by Joe Courtney,

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Defending Red Jahncke: Public Sector Employees And Their Preferential Treatment

Sean Goldrick got a lot wrong in his letter “Taxpayers Are Getting a Bargain with Public Employee Compensation,” written in response to Red Jahncke’s recent column entitled “Lamont’s Budget: A Game of ‘Caps,’ Except for The Privileged Few.” I’d start with a subject that Red Jahncke did not even address: private sector employment. Mr Goldrick says that, under Governors Malloy and Lamont, “private sector employment hit new all-time highs.” True, it hit 1,467,000 in December 2018, topping the previous high of 1,461,700 on March 2008 – yes, Malloy created a stunning 5,300 new jobs over an entire decade! There has

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Markley: Claimed Savings Rest on an Outrageous Assumption

In a lengthy recent letter to the editor (entitled “Taxpayers Are Getting a Bargain with Public Employee Compensation”) Sean Goldrick charges that a February column by Red Jahncke (“Lamont’s Budget: A Game of ‘Caps,’ Except for The Privileged Few”) presents “a fallacy based on falsehoods.” In fact, the fallacies and falsehoods are in Goldrick’s own piece.  One I can rebut from direct experience.  I was serving in the Connecticut state senate in 2017, when then-governor Dannel Malloy claimed that the state employee contract he negotiated that year saved the state $24 billion, including $9.7 in wage savings. Jahncke’s column focused

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Employee Costs and Pensions are driving Connecticut Toward Insolvency

Sean Goldrick got it wrong with his letter last week under a headline of “’Gravy train’ for CT employees is a false narrative,” in response to a recent column by the esteemed Red Jahncke, entitled “There can be no ‘Connecticut Comeback’ Without Union Concessions.”   Goldrick states Jahncke offered no source for his true statement that, “for more than a decade, state employee compensation has exceeded compensation in Connecticut’s private sector by about 40 percent, the biggest gap in the nation.” Then, Goldrick says that Jahncke’s statement “likely came from” a 2015 study by the Yankee Institute.  Goldrick is wrong on

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Taxpayers Are Getting a Bargain with Public Employee Compensation

Red Jahncke claims that “the long-festering enormous problem of overly generous” benefits to state employees makes a “Connecticut Comeback” impossible.  Only by stopping the “gravy train” of “wildly overgenerous” benefits by slashing public sector compensation can Connecticut’s economy rebound.  But Jahncke’s premise is a fallacy based on falsehoods so blatant it’s shocking it’s difficult to understand why it was ever published. Claiming they receive “dramatically overgenerous pension benefits,” Jahncke questions, “Why not reduce the benefits to national average levels?”  In fact, the definitive 2015 study of the state employees pension system (SERS) by consultants from the Center for Retirement Research

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Halls Road Committee Reflects on New Plans for a Gas Station in Old Lyme

Members of the Halls Road Improvements Committee (HRIC) have heard from many Old Lyme residents opposed to the building of another gas station along Halls Road. HRIC is also opposed to this project, and we hope this posting will clarify the committee’s position on the matter. HRIC has no authority to approve or forbid particular projects. The committee is working with BSC to create a new master plan that will guide future development along Halls Road. When it is complete later this spring, its findings must be reflected in new zoning ordinances in order to become enforceable by the zoning

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We’ve Granted Exemptions Before, Why Not Here?

The WPCA has spent several years designing a sewer system based on gravity feed but is finally realizing that gravity will not be sufficient to service certain properties in Sound View/Area B, hence the late introduction of grinder pumps (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1rIJn0Nq6c&t=1902s). The suggestion is that individual property owners will bear the long-term cost of maintenance for those pumps, in addition to a rather significant sewer tax.   In addition, the WPCA is now proposing that several properties abandon their working wells.  A triple whammy for a few owners. Well abandonment and grinder pumps, were not part of the design when Old Lyme

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BOARD OF REGENTS

We, undersigned CSU Professors from Central, Eastern, Southern, and Western Connecticut State University, believe that it is our responsibility and moral obligation to speak up on behalf and in support of our faculty colleagues and our students, and to express our deepest concerns about the harmful consequences that the contract proposals by the BOR currently under negotiation will have on our students, our four institutions, and the future workforce of our state. We would like to emphasize three areas that we deem as the most adversely affected by the proposal: (1) academic freedom and its relationship to teaching quality, (2)

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Kudos to Guilford Schools for Curriculum Change to Address Issues of Racism

Kudos to the Guilford Public Schools for addressing issues around racism as we navigate changing times. This is important work. Growing up in Guilford during the Civil rights era, I learned in school about consequential legislation like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, but we never fully addressed racial equity. The horrors of Jim Crow made it “easy” to be for Civil Rights for Blacks, because we treated it as a Southern problem. In those days, we overlooked our own complicity in perpetuating racism. Today’s Guilford Public Schools (GPS) curriculum is finally facing the necessary but uncomfortable

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Our Children Have the Right to Attend School Without Fear

In my twenty-five year role as the Executive Director of a vaccine advocacy organization, I have met untold numbers of heartbroken families who have lost their babies and children to diseases that could have been prevented through vaccinations.  Thankfully, the legislators of Connecticut clearly recognize that vaccine preventable diseases can have a devastating impact on families, as well as the overall health of our communities, which is why they have raised legislation to keep our children safe in schools.  S.B. 568 & H.B. 6423 were the topic of a recent Public Health Committee’s hearing, where testimony was offered during a

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Support Existing Restaurants, Not a Huge Monster Venue

I have lived on the shoreline since 1997. I have seen many restaurants come and go  I am a frequent patron of owner operated restaurants and support small mom and pop stores and businesses. I am disgusted that all these big box stores and internet. Walmart Cosco Amazon are laughing while they gobble up the 70% of small business that help our economy churn. Especially those that have started businesses long before these large box stores to save a couple dimes. The shoreline does not need a 300 capacity venue with tents and portable toilets. And so close to our

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Replacing Open Space with Another Gas Station is No Improvement

I am writing to oppose the proposed Big Y Express gas station and convenience store complex on Halls Road in Old Lyme.  Old Lyme has a year-round population of approximately 8000 residents (per oldlyme-ct.gov), which has recently increased as populations have transitioned from dense urban areas to the suburbs.  Old Lyme is a desirable destination thanks to the great school system, picturesque natural environment, and high standard of living.  Nobody is moving here for our gas stations or convenient marts, and the damage to the rural character at a key entrance to town should not be ignored.   According to fueleconomy.gov, the number

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Urge Legislators to Support Aid for the Terminally Ill

The Connecticut legislature will soon be voting on a humane and badly needed bill that offers an option for patients diagnosed as terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less. A patient may ask his or her doctor to prescribe life-ending medication that may be ingested to end suffering, if and when the patient chooses. Modeled on legislation that has been effective in Oregon for 23 years, the bill provides protection for patients and doctors who decide to participate. Nine states and Washington DC have similar legislation. There has been no evidence of violations, abuse or undesirable expansion and no adverse

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Why not Support Educational Models that Clearly Work?

My family and I have been residents of Bridgeport for approximately two decades now. I am a parent to three children who attended traditional, magnet, and public charter schools in my city and have been advocating vigorously for educational equity in our state for the past 12 years. February 10th was a moment of great joy when I heard the Governor announce his budget proposal to increase our charters’ per pupil funding. It took me back to the many moments we have come before our state elected officials to appeal for equity in funding for our children in public charter

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Connecticut’s 6,780 Forgotten Children

In October 2018, the State Board of Education approved two new charter schools, including the Danbury Prospect School, which would educate up to 780 Middle and High School Students. The Prospect Schools have been successfully educating students in Brooklyn, New York since 2009. They currently operate five schools with over 1,600 students, 42% of whom are socio-economically disadvantaged and 16% special needs. 100% of the students that attend Prospect Schools from sixth through twelfth grade go on to four-year colleges. A donor has agreed to provide $25 million to fund Danbury Prospect’s facility. So where do the children of Danbury,

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Don’t Want Another Drug Crisis

House Speaker Matthew Ritter favors the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.  He thinks the chance of this passing is 50-50.  Obviously, the pro-legislators, pro-senators, and the Governor, who would vote for this, have not done critical thinking.  One of the justifications for passing this is to tie into the legislation, expunging criminal records for people convicted of low-level drug offenses  This essentially would be rewarding criminals, who chose to break the law at the time. The elected officials, including Gov. Ned Lamont, who said at one time, this is the “right thing” for the state, have failed to consider: health risks, safety

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There are CO2 Releases Throughout the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

In this newspaper, I have read the claim from many that Millstone nuclear power stations a zero-carbon emitter. This is a false claim in many aspects, and I request the paper not to print such claims without a corrective comment. Radioactive carbon 14 is released up the stack; however, this is not a source of concern here. (Solely in consideration of carbon release as it is minuscule.) The planet doesn’t care where CO2 emissions originate. The warming effect is the same regardless of geographic origin. There are CO2 releases throughout the nuclear fuel cycle. Mining, milling, fuel fabrication, fuel transportation,

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Change to Workers’ Comp “Won’t be a Panacea”

I read with interest Anna Elizabeth’s January 30 article about State Senator Cathy Osten’s initiative to expand Workers’ Compensation coverage for mental health conditions. While I haven’t seen the senator’s proposed legislation, I know from my professional experience as a veteran commercial insurance executive that any change won’t be a panacea. As with any Worker’s Compensation claim for an occupational injury or disease, the claimant has the burden of providing the causal relationship between injury and employment. That’s a dicey proposition in the shadowy world of mental health, even in the wake of a definable triggering event. Claimants and insurers alike will

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Lack of Support Wasn’t Due to Legitimate Concerns.

With allegations of voting and election fraud constantly in the news the last few months, stories of dangerous, anti-democratic efforts to impact the November 2020 election continue to permeate the news – with former President Donald Trump leading several efforts. Most recently, Business Insider reported the White House’s Office of Management and Budget delayed efforts to create a poll worker recruitment website for up to a month in July and August 2020, a crucial time gap in the runup to the election. The latest in a string of previously known attempted electoral interference, most prominently Louis DeJoy’s attempted dismantling of

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‘Please Do More Real Homework’

The article about “seniors” 75 and older getting the COVID-19 vaccine within the next two weeks is inaccurate reporting. Most people we know are unable to schedule appointments until March or April. Please do more real homework before distributing such misleading information. Chris & Roddy RooseveltLyme, CT The Editor replies: When Gov. Ned Lamont said at a news conference on Jan. 19, that he expected that individuals 75 and older would receive their first doses of vaccine within two weeks, we reported it. Just five days later, we are aware of a variety of anecdotal reports of speedy and delayed

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You Can’t Change the Landscape Until You Till it Yourself

That collective “Phew” rising up over our fruited plain is the national sigh of relief that the ugly politic season of 2020 is one for the books. Not so fast. We are officially in the year of the Municipal Election. Across Connecticut, hundreds of elected officials are weighing their re-election options. I hope, thousands more are seriously considering a challenge to the status quo. Consider this: despite the vitriol and violence that infected the political landscape throughout 2020, voters returned 94 percent of incumbents to office. Connecticut re-elected 95 percent of its incumbents. The only national branch infused with new

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Unity? Not So Fast

It seems that the 46th President is calling for unity and peace with the seventy-five million plus American citizens who voted for Donald J. Trump.  Not so fast.  Trump and his supporters have endured psychotic rage, slander, obfuscation and, wholesale abuse for four-plus years.  If Biden and his devoted sycophants expect those of us who see Trump as a hero who has lanced the boil of the bile smelling elitist to giggle and give in, they are smoking funny cigarettes. It is not going to happen-not without a mass mea culpa. What is the root of their unprecedented abuse?  Hatred

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Don’t Undo Efforts with False Idea that Schools are Pandemic-Proof

Red Jahncke’s recent column on COVID practices (“Let local school boards make sensible decisions on classroom instruction”) ignores the frightening reality that local decisions are putting entire school communities at risk. Many districts throughout the state are failing to implement safety protocols, jeopardizing the health of students and staff.  The research on COVID case rates in American schools is limited. Filling the data gap are inaccurate claims, such as the notion that schools are somehow safe havens in a pandemic. This kind of magical thinking is endangering students, staff, and entire communities. Contrary to Jahncke’s claim that schoolchildren carry virtually

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COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Should Include Type 1 Diabetes

As advocates for people with Type 1 Diabetes, we believe it is time to stand up and be sure that the Governor and our elected officials hear us during their allocation prioritization plans of the COVID-19 vaccine. States such as California, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have already made the vaccine available to the T1D community. This summer, Connecticut led in the fight for insulin affordability, and can lead again in protecting our vulnerable community to ensure fewer hospitalizations and save lives. COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on the diabetes community of Connecticut during this pandemic. There

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Keeping Connecticut’s Music Industry Alive

By recently passing the Save Our Stages Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, in its COVID relief package, Congress has temporarily protected The Constitution State’s music industry from economic free fall. But are the courts now willing to do what’s necessary to provide the permanent security it needs and deserves?  The Save Our Stages Act will direct the Small Business Administration to provide grants to deserving venues equal to either 45 percent of their operating costs from the 2019 calendar year, or $12 million, whichever is the lesser cost. Under this bill, the SBA could also make supplemental grants to these eligible

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Clarification on the Tantummaheag Road Landing

I read your article regarding the landing and as always found it well written, factually accurate and unbiased with all opinions reported. As mentioned at the Harbor Management Commission meeting, I planned to meet with Mr. Frampton, however, due to both our travel schedules, it was not possible to meet in person so we had a lengthy telephone conversation on Dec. 9, the day after the Harbor Management Commission meeting. During that conversation, I made it clear that the boulders on Town property must be moved and the Town will do so if he does not. The issue of the

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East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson must Resign Immediately.

There are many signs around town, many are simply ignored (speed  limits), but one sign in particular has gained a lot of attention. Maybe a lot more than it deserves.  It is the sign on Boston Post Road placed by Mr. Rando, the subject of a lot of talk in town, mainly due to the First Selectman of East Lyme Facebook attack against him.  Love it or hate it,  this is not the first sign Mr. Rando has placed by the roadside and probably won’t be the last. He is a small business owner and with each sign takes a risk  to be

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