Letter: East Lyme’s Public Safety Building Undertaking is a Needed and Positive Endeavor

The citizens of East Lyme have heard and read many thoughts and opinions concerning efforts to provide our Police Department, Dispatch, Fire Marshal and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) a professional and efficient co-located work space.  Some of these thoughts and opinions have been more destructive than constructive.  The official task of the East Lyme Public Safety Building Vision Committee is to select an architectural firm and work with that firm to design the needed work space within the $5M budget the tax payers approved.  The Vision Committee has been collaboratively working to accomplish this goal and plans to continue to

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Letter: Missing Building Inspection Raises Questions in East Lyme

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Time for me to step out.  I had hoped The Day would do the right thing in East Lyme’s First Selectman race and give the nod to Camille Alberti.  But their endorsement, albeit very weak, went to Mark Nickerson, “despite his missteps.”  Incumbents really do have the advantage, regardless of performance, don’t they? My name is Lisa Picarazzi and I am the vice chair of the Board of Finance (BOF) and a member of the Public Safety Building Vision Committee (PSB).  I was appointed to this committee to ensure YOUR tax dollars are not mismanaged.  Sorry to tell you all,

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Letter: Police Services Options Committee — A Committee to Nowhere

During the 2017 town election, First Selectwoman Reemsnyder floated her vision to regionalize the town’s police force with East Lyme. Her vision was revealed first in a local newspaper and came as a surprise to many, if not most, town residents. A few weeks later at the candidate’s debate, Reemsnyder boldly endorsed that plan. Reemsnyder won her election and so police regionalization became a main agenda item. Consequently, she formed the Police Services Options Committee. Although I did not support her re-election bid, Reemsnyder appointed me to the committee and I applaud and thank her for my selection. The committee

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Letter: How the Politics of Sewers Impacts One Old Lyme Family

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Originally the scope of the sewer project in Old Lyme — as determined by the Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority and DEEP — included the public beaches of Sound View, White Sands Beach and Hawks Nest. The private beaches were already marching forward.  At the October 2014 meeting of the Old Lyme WPCA, as a result of a motion raised by Mr. Prendergast, White Sands was removed from the project, citing cost. Area B (near the railroad tracks) was subsequently added. The estimated cost to sewer the three Sound View public streets – Portland Ave, Hartford Ave and Swan Ave

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Letter: Private-Public Partnerships Offer Opportunities for East Lyme

While many of us have all heard of mixed-use development for commercial and residential properties, most have not learned of private-public partnerships for mixed-use development. This could be very valuable in times of fiscal challenges which include uncertainty in state municipal funding, rising costs of facility construction, renovation and acquisition. This concept entails initiation of collaborations or agreements between municipal governments and private enterprises which allows private property to remain on the tax rolls while providing utilization of these spaces by local governments either through lease/rental contracts or service provision. Additionally, financing and operation of municipal projects may also be applicable under

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Letter: Who Will Run Old Lyme?

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I attended the debate between Bonnie Reemsnyder and Tim Griswold. One issue stood out. Our current Selectwoman continually explores solutions to our problems by going to outside sources. She is content to have East Lyme, New London, New Haven, and Hartford address our problems and manage our community. Tim Griswold believes in the people of our town. Your friends and your neighbors. Tim acknowledges our town is unique, and we the people of Old Lyme are well equipped to solve our problems. Policing, affordable housing, and Halls Road are all examples of outsiders being courted to change Old Lyme versus

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Letter: Miller Makes Case for Seat on Lyme – Old Lyme Board of Education

Since 2001 I have had the great fortune to live in Old Lyme, and I am now asking for your vote November 5th so that I may serve Lyme and Old Lyme on our school board. I have a strong background to draw upon for success as a board member, including my experience as a U.S. Army Officer, a CPA and manager for KPMG Peat Marwick and as an executive director with Pfizer. All of my sons have graduated from our schools, and I am eager to give back at the board level to one of the best school regions

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Letter: Griswold Offers Measured Leadership to Challenges Facing Old Lyme

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There are many reason to support Tim Griswold for first selectman of Old Lyme, but here are three issues that I believe we should carefully consider before voting in the November 5 election. Halls Road For 5 years, the current administration has outsourced Halls Road improvements to an ad-hoc “Halls Road Improvement Committee” with no results except for a cost of $40,000 paid to the Yale School of Urban Design (YSUD).  Alan Plattus, of the YSUD, stated in a public meeting that: “Halls Road is Broken.” I think that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Halls Road, specifically the Old

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Letter: Judge Politicians by Actions not Words

The proverb “talk is cheap” is more than 150 year old. It should be familiar to we New Englanders. The expression can be found in a 1843 fiction entitled Attache, written by T. C. Halliburton, whose Yankee character Sam Slick encouraged a minister to “[t]alk to these friends of ourn, they might think you considerable starch if you don’t talk, and talk is cheap.” These days, not only is political talk cheap but it is also unreliable, perhaps more unreliable than at any other time in American history. Increasingly you are better off ignoring what a politician says and just

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Letter: Griswold Makes Case for Old Lyme First Selectman

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After serving 14 years as Old Lyme’s First Selectman through 2011, I am running again to lead the town.  At our Republican caucus in July, we had excellent candidates for all open positions, save that of First Selectman.  Within days, news broke that our current First Selectwoman, who was the long-standing chair of the finance committee and then chairwoman of the board of the Connecticut Port Authority, was involved with serious problems there.  I felt compelled to run for First Selectman to challenge my opponent’s ethically-challenged leadership.  I undertook a petition drive and gathered twice the amount of signatures required.

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Letter: A Conversation That Needs To Occur

I attended the debate Wednesday evening between Bonnie Reemsnyder and Tim Griswold. In listening carefully, one issue stood out like a sore thumb: Our First Selectwoman repeatedly claimed that recent actions taken by the Town were only conversations based on input from her constituents – the people of Old Lyme. She addressed the questions on Affordable Housing, the Halls Road Improvement Plan, and amalgamating the Old Lyme Police with the East Lyme Police Department in this manner. She kept saying: These were conversations that needed to occur. If you attended the debate or see it televised later and are not

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Letter: After Legal Fight Without Clear Cause, Region 4 Shows Better Judgment

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Two concerns about Region 4 are raised in Julia Werth’s article about recruiting fee-paying Chinese students through SPIRAL. One will likely prove to be unwarranted; the other seems to require a more fulsome explanation. We should not be too worried that Asst. Superintendent Kristina Martineau was reimbursed to house summer campers once the district was contractually obliged to accept them. Region 4’s contract with SPIRAL set a modest reimbursement rate that was available to anyone willing to provide a similar service. Thus far, based on publicly available records, Dr. Martineau doesn’t appear to have received special treatment, nor does she

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Letter: Establish Priorities and Pursue those with Vigor, says Selectman Chris Kerr

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We have spent a lot of time in Old Lyme discussing many big, important and impacting initiatives:  Large plans for Halls Road privately-owned businesses, apartments at I-95 and Route 156 intersection, sewers at Soundview, and merging police with East Lyme, among other issues.  I am asking for your vote November 5th to bring back honest discussion at the start of town initiatives. I strongly support: Halls Road improvements that can get done soon:  sidewalks, crosswalks, planted traffic islands, improved sign guidelines and accommodating zoning.  I do NOT believe the government should act as a master developer of land they do

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Letter: WPCA Minutes Tells Larger Story, Suggest Waterford Sewer Fees Unresolved

WPCA minutes are not always 100% inclusive, but they should be because they are important.  They are the town’s public reporting of how Old Lyme got to the point where it is today – under a state mandate to implement what has now become a $9.5 million dollar burden.  It is disappointing then to see that the CT Examiner has more detailed information about the latest formula to tax selected homeowners $9.5 million, than what’s recorded in the WPCA October 2019 minutes.  Per WPCA minutes, it all started years ago when town leadership signed an agreement to complete a Clean

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Letter: Questions Qualifications of Democratic Candidate for Old Lyme Tax Collector

Much effort goes into the debates and coverage for the seats for Board of Selectmen and Board of Education, but what about the other seats, such as tax collector?  Our current tax collector has a 99% success tax collection rate, what needs to change?   The Democratic nomination has set forth an individual with no municipal experience, whose platform is to bring a more “efficient tax friendly user friendly” process… for the 1%?  Assuming, actually hearing, that she may be looking to implement modern technology such as online bill payment, what is her proposal and cost analysis for such implementation?

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Letter: Late Questions about Public Safety Building in East Lyme

Thank you for your detailed reporting on the status of the East Lyme Public Safety Building. To build on this, I would like to offer my observations, experience and perspective on the process since the beginning of the year. There were four key issues that I offered in early February on the Facebook East Lyme Community Forum. It is self-evident that the Dominion building was not maintained and intentionally allowed to deteriorate until it became “deplorable” in what amounts to a manufactured crisis. East Lyme did not get an independent appraisal by a certified commercial real estate appraiser to validate

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Letter: Offshore Wind in New London – If not Here then Where?

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As a resident of New London county and electric utility professional, I found the recent Port of New London development meeting and discussion invigorating. It was great to hear everyone’s perspective.  My wife and I have lived in New London county since 1986 when I started with Electric Boat and my wife with Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. In 1990, I transitioned to work in the power industry which included work at a large generation site, with the local electric utility, and now with an engineering consulting company. My wife continues to work in New London as a school nurse. We

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Letter: Focus on Region 4 Superintendent “misplaced and distracting.”

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To the Editor: Singling out newly-hired Superintendent Brian White as the focal point for your editorial about Region 4’s finances is misplaced and distracting. (“Hard look at Region 4” September 29. 2019.)   Mr. White became superintendent of Region 4 Schools in July 2019 (only three months ago) when Dr. Ruth Levy retired after 11 years in office with two years remaining under her current contract. By the time of his arrival, the district had also changed facilities directors, business managers and many board members from those involved in the Mislick property purchase and decisions about capital accounting. So it

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Letter: Comments on Zoning Change Not From DEEP

To the Editor: The CT Examiner article published on September 10, 2019, entitled “Old Lyme Zoning Commission Proposes Limits on Waterfront Building” referenced a letter written to Jane Cable, Chairman, Old Lyme Zoning Commission from Karen Michaels, DEEP Environmental Analyst, Land and Water Resources Division.  The article referenced a comment from Ms. Michaels’s letter saying that the “DEEP would like to take this opportunity to applaud the Zoning Commission on this initial revision of Section 4.3 to increase protection of critical coastal resource management areas within the community and addressing the impacts of future sea level rise to people and

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Letter: Wind Energy News is Lipstick on a Pig

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To the Editor: RE “Ørsted and Eversource Pitch “Non-zero-sum Game” for Agreement with Port Authority” (Sept. 12, 2019): This is quite simply just a politically driven charade the cost of which, assuming it ever gets permitted, will all fall on the backs of the ratepayers. Just ask the Danes who now pay the highest electric rates in Europe even with their wind farms being able to depend on cheap hydro from Norway and Sweden for backup power, or the Germans who have had to import more coal to keep their baseload plants going which has actually INCREASED carbon emissions. Where

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Letter: Pappalardo Weighs in On Sound View Referendum Result

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Today’s referendum vote in favor of a $9.5 mil bond for sewers creates a number of questions that must be answered. First and foremost is cost recovery: How the town expects to pay for the bond. The WPCA and our Board of Selectmen have gone on record stating that the entire bond cost will be paid by the property owners in Sound View and area B. This unprecedented method for a public works project cost recovery should be troublesome to all taxpayers. What’s to prevent other town projects to be paid only by those that are affected? Will Rogers Lake

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Letter: Reply to Defense of Roger Tory Peterson Center

To the Editor: RE “Roger Tory Peterson Center Will Enhance Not Blemish Old Lyme” (Letters, August 1) Sydney Williams’ letter in support of the Audubon Society’s choice of Ferry Road for its new headquarters requires some clarification. First, no one doubts the importance and good works of the Connecticut Audubon. It is the choice of its new location that is at issue. The omission of key elements for the planned uses of this new facility needs to be corrected. The following are the additional facts, per the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center website, and as presented to our neighborhood at

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Letter: Location and Haste of CT Audubon Center in Old Lyme Raise Questions

To the Editor:Re “Architect Chosen, CT Audubon Plans Center in Old Lyme” (News, July 8). The Connecticut Examiner has described in detail the plans for a new site for the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, which as outgrown its current space on Halls Road. The 1.1-acre site was purchased for $200,000 in early spring. The acreage adjoins sixteen acres of town open space and state-owned property. Visitors are to have access to trails (which are currently being cleared) as well as to “the river, estuary, town dock, open space and the beach.” It seems an unusual choice for an environmental

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Letter: RTP Estuary Center Takes Open Space for Own Use in Residential Neighborhood

To the Editor:Re “Architect Chosen, CT Audubon Plans Center in Old Lyme” (News, July 8) My wife and I recently built a house on Sandpiper Point Road, two lots over from RTP Estuary Center’s proposed new headquarters on Ferry Road, and also bordering on open space property and Shippee Pond. We first became aware of Connecticut Audubon’s acquisition of the property by a form letter sent to the residents of the neighborhood, and we were all subsequently invited to an informational meeting at the center’s current offices on Hall’s Road, which was well-attended. The meeting started with an overview of

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Letter: Sound View Homeowners Should Be Aware of Obligations

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To the Editor: Thank you for your coverage of the Sound View sewer project. One correction: the cost per EDU as stated by the WPCA will be $25,007, not $15,000. $15,000 is the minimum a homeowner would be assessed. Thus, according to the WPCA slide presentation, the “typical average house of 1 EDU (1,242 square feet)” would be charged a “$6,000 connection fee plus a $25,007 betterment assessment” for a total of $31,007. The per EDU assessment will be calculated on a sliding scale, thus a 2,500 square foot house would be charged for 2 EDUs. In my case, my

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Letter: Plan Contrary to Audubon Mission

To the Editor: I am so upset that an excellent non-profit organization devoted to educational and preservation projects would be so self-centered in their way to approach adding another facility in the Lower Connecticut Valley. This facility would be located in a residential area on a lot that was zoned for a 2,000 sq. ft. building.  They are proposing a 4,000 sq. ft. building with an elevator. They are proposing a lighted parking lot for a minimum of 6 cars plus a walkway which would have to cross a private driveway. They want to take over Open Space property for

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Letter: CT Audubon Center at Odds with Nice, Quiet Neighborhood in Old Lyme

To the Editor: My wife and I live a couple of parcels away from the proposed Audubon Center on Ferry Road. We moved here four years ago because we wanted to live in a nice, quiet neighborhood in Old Lyme close to town.  We found the perfect spot here. We are adamantly opposed to construction of an office building to house daily office workers in our residential neighborhood, and the vast majority of our neighbors have signed a petition against this plan. 

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