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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Harrison: Fairfield Has Two Chances to Fight State’s Water Decision

With recent hurricane activity, it’s easy to forget that we’ve faced severe drought in the past and will in the future, brought on by climate change and expanded water usage from development. It is impossible to predict the future, but unfortunately, the Department of Energy & Environment Protection has done just that — it has decided that we don’t need seven million gallons a day of water from the Hemlocks Reservoir for the next 25 years; and that we don’t need to monitor the downstream impact because there ‘will be no downstream impact”.   This was the comment in DEEP’s ‘proposed final decision’ which

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Bordelon Is No Hero

Councilor Portia Bordelon: you are not a hero nor are you my voice.  I do not support your continued lack of decorum in meetings, your bullying of fellow Democrats (7/27/2020 Board of Ed meeting) and that you have opened up all citizens of Groton to a lawsuit by ignoring the town attorney’s advice to not comment on the Mystic Education Center (Committee of the Whole 5/4/2021).  Rest assured yours is the name that will be prominently featured in any future lawsuit in regards to the Mystic Education Center. To those supporting Bordelon due to concerns over the Mystic Education Center,

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Bellotti: We Cannot Continue to Allow the Liberal Left to Preach Appeasement and Dependency on Government

When I listen to President Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the squad I think of them branding everyone who opposes liberalism as a white supremist.  If conservatives give in to such lunacy we will lose our freedoms.  The left’s attacks on our Constitution are slowly eating away at our freedoms.  Our Constitution and the Bill of Rights represents our ability to self-govern.  The left has made it their mission to attack the 1st Amendment, the 2nd Amendment, the 5th Amendment, the 10th Amendment, etc.  No were in the world does a country allow the freedoms we have.  If

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Schools Are a Place to Develop Academic Discipline and Not Ideological Activism.

The Connecticut department of education and its network of resource groups have developed a K-12 public school program aimed at segmenting groups by broad racial, identity and cultural generalizations as a method to address racial academic outcome differences driven by systemic racism.  The primary objective being to activate a civically engaged student body to carry out this ideological worldview to end white institutionalized racism. Somers School’s like many others throughout the state, have embraced this program, calling it Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training. It’s critical to point out that this program was not legislated nor was it approached in a

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The Transportation Climate Initiative is Not a Tax

The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) is a regional collaborative of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states dedicated to increasing transportation equity, developing a robust green economy, and reducing the air pollution caused by carbon emissions. What it is not, is a tax.    As designed in Connecticut, TCI-P is a tool to advance racial justice. Those who oppose it now stand at a precarious crossroads where they are using misinformation and engaging in unethical behavior to stop equity and environmental justice from being realized here in Connecticut, especially in Waterbury.  For example, the Yankee Institute published a draft letter that outlined positions

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Win One for the Environment. For Now.

On August 26, 2021 the Connecticut Superior Court dismissed the developer’s appeal of a Wetlands denial of a large apartment complex proposed for 980 High Street (known as the Judd Estate) in Fairfield’s already over-developed Holland Hill neighborhood. This may be appealed further to the higher courts, but for now, the environment won. The Court found that the intervening parties, represented by Attorney Joel Green, proved with expert testimony, that the development, especially the drainage system would  unreasonably impair our wetlands resources.  The intervenors presented substantive evidence of adverse impacts by either starving or flooding the wetland. The Court found that

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When Will Hartford Lawmakers Listen to Election Officials?

With the municipal elections rapidly approaching, Hartford Lawmakers are dictating new electionlaws without the funding to ensure they can be implemented effectively. This is like someone“writing checks with no money in the account”. Using the worn-out COVID related excuses forincreasing mail in voting, their recommendations fall on our election officials in our 169 townsand cities, who are already short on resources and budget, budgets that were locked in thespring. Most towns do not have the personnel or funds to process abnormally higher levels ofrequests for absentee ballot applications. Luckily, this is not a mandate–but the extension creates169 different problems and

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Letter: Notar-Francesco ‘One of the Best People I’ve Met in My 20+ Years of Volunteer Public Service’

I strongly endorse Jill Notar-Francesco as a candidate for Old Saybrook Police Commission.  You would struggle to find a more passionate, dedicated, hard working and focused public leader than Jill.  I had the privilege of working closely with her for over 8 years on the Southington Board of Education.  For many of those years she served as the Board Secretary and represented our community at the state level for regional educational planning.  I was the BOE Chairperson during our time together and there could not have been a better colleague to assist with planning, coordination and communication with the other

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A Decades Long Relentless Attack on the Constitution

For decades our own government relentlessly has attacked the Constitution.  Although gradual, there has been a continual wearing down of Constitutional limitations within government.  Under the current administration the radical left would like to turn the Constitution into a living document.  In that matter they could change whatever they wanted to.  They continue to disrespect the Constitution by removing the constraints that we conservatives hold dearly, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, 5th Amendment, the 10th Amendment, etc.  The goal of the extreme left in the party is to elevate the US government into a national government with supreme authority

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Captivity Kills Belugas and it’s Time to Talk About it

Here we go again—Mystic Aquarium bewildered over the death of a beluga—this time one it recently imported from Canada. The cause of this whale’s death is not known, so the body was sent to University of Connecticut for examination. So-called “mysterious illnesses” have claimed the lives of belugas at Mystic over the years—Aurora, Winston, Naku, to name a few. They all died despite “extraordinary efforts by aquarium veterinarians and animal care staff.” It’s time to address the elephant in the room—captivity kills belugas. To prevent these “illnesses” and deaths, simply leave belugas in the ocean. Stop trading them. Stop trying to breed them. Stop

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