Baseless Claims of Ageism as Community Heals

To the Editor: Today you have committed an absolute crime against education and mental health. Allowing your “writer” to hijack and sensationalize a town’s tragedy to catch the attention of readers? As a family and community tries to heal from an unthinkable loss, your “paper” uses it to connect to baseless ageism claims from years ago and a previous administration? With all the obstacles, mental health issues and struggles education systems are handling you think this is productive? You think this is journalism? You are completely aware that the administration can not comment on individual cases due to privacy but

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Clinton PTA: Article One-Sided

To the Editor: The Board of the Clinton PTA is incredibly disappointed with the recent article [Oct.16, “After Tragedy, Clinton Teachers Claim Age Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment“] in the CT Examiner. This reporter sensationalized the passing of one of our beloved teachers, and for no clear reason tied it into an article about dated teacher grievances with a previous administration. As the PTA, we can share that to date no Clinton teacher has ever come to us to bring to our attention anything that was discussed in the article. The article is one sided, especially since administration is legally not

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SRO’s Not the Issue in Old Saybrook

To the Editor: As a member of the Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee, I am INCENSED by letters written to support Republican Candidates for the Police Commission  continually focusing on SRO policing in our School system.  They falsely intimate  Democratic candidates running for the Police Commission want to eliminate SROs.   The topic of removing SROs has never been a discussion at any of the OSDTC  meetings or sub committees.  Not a word about SROs is in our platform for election.  The authors of these letters have manufactured an issue without substance to gain the vote of concerned parents.   I had always held

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Old Lyme DTC: Carter Can’t Have it Both Ways

To the Editor: On October 7, the CT Examiner published a response by Chris Carter, chairman of the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee (RTC), to Dave Rubino’s letter of October 6 regarding the candidacy of Mona Colwell for the Region 18 Board of Education.  Mr. Rubino cited Colwell’s history of Facebook posts and public statements promoting extreme and debunked anti-vax conspiracy theories. One might have assumed that the RTC chair would either try to distance the Republican slate from these views or else claim them to be somehow false, despite the fact that they were his candidate’s own words.  Instead, Carter did

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Vote for Plainfield Republicans ‘to Keep us Moving Forward’

The past couple of years have been difficult in many ways. Families all over have struggled, the economy has been weakened, and our lives have been upended. The Town of Plainfield can tell a different story. With the help of our Republican leadership team, we have hundreds of jobs coming in with the new Amazon facility, more small businesses opening up, and have held our mill rate to a zero percent increase. Voters in the upcoming election have the opportunity to continue that momentum and vote for a full slate of 21 dedicated Republican candidates. Don’t simply hand over seats

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Nobody Works Harder for Killingworth than Eileen Blewett

To the Editor: Over the last two years, I have attended numerous Board of Selectman and Board of Education meetings.  One constant presence at these meetings and many more is Selectwoman Eileen Blewett.  Nobody works harder in her roles within the town than Eileen.  A person without such work ethic wouldn’t be able to keep up with such a grueling schedule between work, family and volunteering for our community.  Killingworth needs a Selectman who has lived in own, raised children here, and understands Killingworth’s needs and challenges.  Our most important accolade in this town is volunteerism and Eileen is no

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Old Saybrook Police Commission Candidate Challenges Board Democrats

Republican candidates running for seats on the Old Saybrook Police Commission have conducted a positive campaign focused on public safety, transparency, honesty, professionalism, and respect. In the meantime, our Democrat challengers, and their surrogates on social media, have run a campaign based largely on disparaging the Old Saybrook Police Department and the Police Commission itself. That said, I’d like to pose two questions we should all be asking. The Democrat candidates claim to support an SRO program, but are silent as to who might staff it. The Republican candidates are clear — we support the exceptional existing program staffed by

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Shouldn’t High School Students Have a Say on a Topic That Will Affect us?

To the Editor: My name is Abby Moore and I am a senior at Guilford High School. As many of you may know, a group calling themselves, “Truth in Education,” (TIE), has been working to overtake many of the seats on the Guilford Public Schools Board of Education. And while adults throughout our town argue contentiously about what should be taught in our schools, Guilford High School students have been left out of the conversation. Shouldn’t we, as high school students and young adults, have a say in a topic that will affect us and other students more than any

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Joseph Campbell Lays Out Qualifications for Westbrook Selectman

To the Editor: It has been a long and successful run under Noel Bishop’s leadership.  He has helped Westbrook maintain it’s status as the gem of the shoreline.  Alas, as all good things must come to an end, this spring Noel announced his decision not to run for an 8th term.  Often such a momentous decision leaves a vacuum in local governance, but Westbrook is fortunate to have John L Hall III, our current 12-year Board of Selectman member, announce his candidacy for the now vacant First Selectman’s seat.  John has been an integral part of the decisions that have

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Switch to Affordable Housing Trumps All in East Haddam

To the Editor: Last night I attended the East Haddam P&Z meeting as the commission continued to hear the Lofts at Black Birch-Banner Community Center (Anthony Longhitano) application. As you may be aware, this is the proverbial double-dipping of applications. A preliminary vote by the P&Z commission in February, 2020, for this very project was unanimously assured a 9-0 denial. However, the Land Use officer Jim Ventres, suggested an official vote be delayed while the town lawyer ‘reviewed’ the consequences to the town from such a denial. What did the applicant do? He withdrew the application and then reappeared this

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Voter Apathy Produces the Same Result as Voter Suppression

To the Editor: As a former Selectwoman in Old Saybrook, I have experience with municipal elections. Traditionally around 65% of registered voters stay home rather than vote. Therefore, voter apathy produces the same result here as voter suppression laws do elsewhere. When registered voters – Democratic, Independent and Republican – don’t cast ballots, they give up their right to representation on quality of life decisions regularly made by elected Boards and Commissions. Most Old Saybrook voters would fight suppression laws. Those same voters can cure apathy! As a candidate for Police Commission in the 2021 municipal election, I know registered

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Insurance Lapse Puts Old Lyme at Risk

To the Editor: In February 2021 Old Lyme was notified by its insurance agency that its cyber insurance coverage would be non-renewed as of July 1, that municipalities were recent victims of attacks, and that “A cyber breach has proven to be one of the costliest losses a municipality can experience.” Accordingly, obtaining replacement insurance coverage was highly recommended. During the Board of Selectmen meeting on October 4, First Selectman Griswold was asked for an update on purchasing cyber insurance. He answered that two individuals were “looking into it.” In other words, although he has known for 8 months that

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Carney Writes in Support of Old Saybrook Republicans

I am proud to support the Old Saybrook Republican team this November. Led by Carl Fortuna & Scott Giegerich, this team is committed to fiscal responsibility, local control, public safety, and the overall wellness of Old Saybrook’s businesses and residents. For the Police Commission, Katie Toolan, Susan Quish, Jeff Jordan, and Eric Dusssault have the public’s interest in public safety in mind. They want to assure our officers are appreciated and have the tools they need to keep Old Saybrook safe. With the recent uptick in break-ins and the lack of support, on the state level, for police, it’s vital we elect commissioners who

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Maintaining Local Zoning Control: Character Matters

As you may know, the State of Connecticut’s senatorial Leadership believes that the State should have more control of local zoning regulations.  The State Senate passed a bill this year that pushes our towns to loosen zoning policies such as preserving the “character of the towns”.  The vote on this bill was 24 to 12.  One Democrat and 11 Republicans voted against this bill.  The bill was subsequently passed by the legislature on a partisan basis.  While ultimately the bills’ key proponents didn’t achieve all of their goals for shifting zoning decisions to the State, nonetheless this bill opened the

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We Can’t Get Through Our Lessons Without Addressing Our Collective COVID Trauma

As students and teachers return to school,  the traumas from the past year have made their way into the classroom as well. The pandemic has left everyone with their own thoughts, worries and experiences, and for many students, the transition back into a “normal” school day will not happen seamlessly, as quickly diving back into academics may be overwhelming.  Before focusing on catching students up on unfinished learning, we need to address the elephant in the room.  After nearly eighteen months out of the classroom for some students, returning to an environment that has changed from the one they once

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The Right Credentials for Westbrook Board of Finance

I am writing to endorse Greg Farnoli for the Board of Finance. Greg has been a resident of Westbrook for over 24 years. I have known Greg for the last 20 years and have found him to hold a high standard of integrity and make sound decisions. Greg will listen to all of our residents and work to provide the town with the best decisions to ensure financial stability. Greg wants to ensure that funds are available for ongoing maintenance and capital repairs; roofs should not be leaking, and sidewalks should not be dangerous. I urge people to look at the

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Candidates with Diverse Skills Focused on Academic Excellence

The Old Lyme RTC has endorsed four candidates for the Board of Education all of whom bring necessary skills and energy to the school system.  The RTC endorsements did not focus merely on party affiliation, but rather reflect a strong desire to put forth the best people for the job.  Each candidate demonstrated a desire to maintain excellence in our schools and be responsive to community concerns.  Here are some highlights demonstrating the breadth of experience our candidates posses: Laura Dean-Frazier (U) grew up in Old Lyme and has three children who went through our school system.  She has been

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We Cannot Afford Conspiracy Theorists on the Board of Education

One reason Region 18 has been able to keep the school system functioning so well is that we have traditionally steered clear of nominating partisan ideologues to the Board of Education.  The board has been largely apolitical – comprised mostly of former educators who take time to listen to facts even if the end result doesn’t mesh with their personal world views.  This year, despite the potential cost to our community, the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee has scrapped that norm.  Whereas the DTC slate includes three educators, including a candidate with a PhD in education, only one of the

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Hasty Retreat Will have Far Reaching Implications for Years to Come

What is next for the US and the Taliban?  Not being an authority on counterterrorism I had to search this material out.  What is clear about Biden’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan is it will have far reaching implications for years to come.  According the Department of Defense there are five jihadi groups currently in Afghanistan. They are al-Qaida, their Asian affiliate AQIS, the Pakistani Taliban, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Turkish Islamic Party.  This is contrary to what the Biden Administration is telling us.  Upon the release of prisoners from Bagram Air Base, Nangarhar, and Pol-e-Charkhi prisons by

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Vote for Proven Stewardship

What drives the real estate market today in Old Lyme?  In speaking with many realtors in our town, they identify three major factors. First is the beauty of the area.  Situated at the mouth of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound combined with rolling hills, deep lakes, and flowing streams, one has to appreciate this beautiful natural setting. Second is the school system.  From elementary school through high school, the five schools continue to win awards and state recognition in academics, music, athletics, robotics, and drama.  It is truly an exceptional school system. Third, the town leadership is dedicated

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Will Guilford GOP Candidates ‘Serve the Best Interests of the School District’?

Right-wing extremists now control the Republican Party in Guilford. Gone is a party that believes in community service. In its place are angry people intent on taking down a quality institution, the Guilford Public Schools. Connecticut Statutes enabling the creation of Boards of Education state: “Each local or regional board of education shall maintain good public elementary and secondary schools, ….. and provide such other educational activities as in its judgment will best serve the interests of the school district”. The candidates chosen by Republican voters in last Tuesday’s primary election will not meet that bar. On the candidates’ Facebook

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Rapini: High Risk, Low Reward — Mailing Unsolicited Ballot Applications

The recent surprise announcement that Waterbury’s Town Clerk, Antoinette Spinelli and Mayor Neil M. O’Leary plan to mail up to 56,881 unsolicited absentee ballots is a risky and expensive solution that is in search of a problem. (Link) The estimated cost of a first class mailing of this size is $40,000 to $60,000. A significant cost burden to tax payers for something that is already available for free.  Last year we saw Denise Merrill spend $7 million on a similarly needless mass mailing project (More on that in my RealClear Politics Op-ed). The fact is that these ballot applications are available

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Fuzzy Math: The Call to Reform 8-30g in Connecticut

Fairfield, the town in which I live, like many other Connecticut towns, continues to make meaningful progress in adding diverse new housing to its existing stock of over 21,000 housing units. You may not be aware of our Town’s hard work and good results, and that may be due to the fact that we usually only hear about the ratio of  affordable housing as a percent of total housing stock and how it’s not moving quickly towards 10%.  Towns that have 10% of their total housing stock designated as affordable are exempt from the controversial 8-30g affordable housing  law. The

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Campbell Grain will ‘Help Seniors, Families, our Neighbors’

The Campbell Grain project will be back on the agenda on October 5 in Stonington.  The first vote passed.  My understanding that this second vote is a challenge to the first. I would like to see it pass again. I am a town resident, health care provider, small business owner and landlord.   I can tell you that this project is much needed.  Our neighbors and friends need our help.  We need more affordable housing.   Affordable housing will benefit our community. I have patients who struggle to afford $20 co-pays.   Many of my patients and prior tenants have utilized the Pawcatuck

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Small Elections Have the Greatest Impact on Our Lives in Old Saybrook

As the seasons change, schools resume, and soccer season (which I coach) begins, don’t forget about the upcoming municipal election. These small elections typically have the lowest voter turnout but have the greatest impact on our daily lives in Old Saybrook. We should encourage our family, friends, and neighbors to vote on November 2nd as a community. As a candidate for Police Commission this year, I am requesting your support not because of the letter next to my name on the ballot, but because of what I bring to the table.  I will always make level headed decisions in the best interest

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Toolan Promises ‘Fair Oversight and Budget Transparency’ of Old Saybrook Police

Deciding to run on the Republican Slate for the Old Saybrook Police Commission was not a decision I took lightly but it is one I’m passionate about.  Being that I am mom of two I want to make sure that our children have the ability to grow and thrive in the safe environment we currently live in.   I want Old Saybrook to continue to prosper and support the residents, business and guests that come to our beautiful town.   The Police Department and its group of law enforcement professionals are a crucial part of our town and a large part of

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Extension of Emergency Powers Defies Intent of Government by the People

Webster (remember them?) defines “emergency” as: 1 : an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action  2 : an urgent need for assistance or relief  The founding fathers envisioned a system of government where self-rule would be accomplished via elected representatives, with a series of checks and balances to ensure that power would not aggregate in any one part of the government. Governor Lamont’s bid for yet another extension of “emergency powers” defies both the definition of emergency with respect to COVID and it certainly defies the intent of government by the people. It

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Old Saybrook Would be ‘Fortunate’ to Have Notar-Francesco

I whole heartedly endorse Jill Notar-Francesco for Old Saybrook Police Commission. I served with Jill as a member of the Southington Board of Education for eight years. She was a veteran when I was brand new. I saw her as a board member to emulate for a lot of reasons: her unwavering commitment to doing what was best for students, her quiet but effective leadership, her broad and deep participation in the work that resulted in a wealth of knowledge, her calm and thoughtful approach to problem solving, and her willingness to give her attention and her time whenever it

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Colchester Decision on Drive-Thru ‘Not Realistic’

Following up on Brendan Crowley’s August 20th article, “Small Town Connecticut Re-thinks the Drive-Thru,” we are disappointed that Colchester’s Planning and Zoning Commission declined to adopt the proposed zoning regulation amendment that would have given potential businesses the right to apply for drive-through service.  To be clear – the regulation change proposed was NOT a drive through by right.  Rather it was merely the right to APPLY for such by special permit; the special permit would be a separate review and could be approved or denied.   The regulations of other area town’s were researched and considered.  Care was taken in

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Fuchs: ‘Taxes Can Always be Kept Low if Expensive Town Projects are Pushed into the Future’

Some of Mr. Nixon’s assertions (Aug. 13, “Focused Leadership: ‘Checking the Right Boxes'”) should be looked at more carefully. Taxes can always be kept low if expensive town projects are pushed into the future. As an example, waiting until another administration is in office to move forward on the Grassy Hill Bridge is unlikely to make it less expensive. The Hains Park restroom project took almost 4 years to complete although the money for it was allotted three years ago. Also, there was $42,000 shortfall on the project. Perhaps it could have been less expensive if it had been started

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