Lamont Failed to Protect Lives and Livelihoods. Why Extend His Absolute Rule?

Governor Lamont has extended his emergency powers through February 9 of next year, despite his disastrous results so far in wielding those powers. Connecticut has sustained the fourth highest state death rate from coronavirus (126 per 100,000 citizens, according to Statista). Does this record justify the longest extension of emergency powers in the nation? According to National Governors Association data this past week, no other state governor has emergency powers extending into 2021 and only two are empowered even into December. The challenge in exercising extraordinary executive authority is to limit the spread of coronavirus while inflicting the least possible

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Needleman Brings Sensible Solutions to the Table

Norm has been steadfast in his support of our communities through this very trying time. Emails, phone calls, in-person visits — he has kept us informed and worked hard on our behalf. Passing on factual information and valuable resources,  the people of the town of Essex and the 33rd district continue to be well served. His attention to keeping things running throughout the district has been obvious and leaves me feeling hopeful. Business will return to normal, and rather than playing catch-up, we will be well prepared to move ahead. Norm makes sense, because he brings sensible solutions to the

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Christine Goupil Has Record of Caring for Seniors

In 2017, as the newly elected Clinton First Selectman, Christine Goupil quickly identified areas of potential need in the community, and set out to address them.  Regarding seniors, who make up more than 17% of the population, she wanted to know what services the town provides and where there are gaps.  Are we adequately serving the needs of our seniors and is Clinton a good place to grow old and retire?  Under Christine’s leadership the Clinton Senior Task Force  was established, bringing together representatives of town agencies that serve seniors — The Estuary, Families Helping Families, the Henry Carter Hall Library,

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Saunders is “one of the best candidates … in 50+ years of politics”

It’s Time for a Change! Covid has made it very difficult for new candidates to meet voters this year. So, I will tell you about one of the best candidates I have had the privilege to know in 50+ years of politics. Brendan Saunders is the Republican endorsed candidate for Senate in the 33rd Senatorial District.  I met Brendan this year, I was struck by his honesty and his commitment to run to fight for us in the General Assembly. He has never disappointed me, in his interviews on the radio, his work ethic, to knock on hundreds of doors

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Christine Palm Helped With Health Coverage

I had to make arrangements for new health insurance recently. I was informed by a broker that my previous insurance ended mid-month, which would result in me not having insurance coverage for two weeks before my new plan became effective. I was also informed that the new health plan (Access Health CT) would not cover any pre-existing conditions. Fortunately, I contacted State Representative Christine Palm to alert her to this problem. Representative Palm responded immediately and referred me to the appropriate resources at Access Health. I was relieved to learn that I would be covered for pre-existing conditions and that

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Rubino Has Spent His Career Fighting for Democratic Ideals

In the midst of this very dark year, we in CT Congressional District 23 have the opportunity to vote for an inspiring candidate, Dave Rubino. Having met him and heard him speak, I know Dave represents my values. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, my passion is for health, good governance, and quality education for all children in our state. Dave’s opponent has a generally poor voting record on these issues. Furthermore, his opponent’s continued affiliation with the most corrupt administration in US history speaks volumes to his character. Vote for Dave Rubino, who has spent his career fighting for the

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Vote Carney for Help Opposing Forced School Regionalization

Last year, Governor Lamont and Senate leaders Martin Looney and BobDuff proposed legislation that opened the door to state forced schoolregionalization. These proposals included creating massive schooldistricts of many towns and one proposal included a map that broke upLyme and Old Lyme. I, like many Lyme and Old Lyme parents, chose tomove here because of the good schools. Naturally, the concept of stateforced school regionalization had me, and many other parents, nervousabout how this would affect our children. I reached out to Representative Devin Carney and he assured me hewould not support even the thought of these proposals. He went

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In Just Two Years Goupil Achieved Significant Results

Our district needs an intelligent, experienced leader who gets timely results to represent us at the state level. For this reason I am writing to encourage readers to vote for Christine Goupil for State Representative of the 35th House District for the towns of Clinton, Killingworth and Westbrook.  In just two years as Clinton’s First Selectman, Christine achieved significant results.  After the first developer for the old Morgan school project fell through, she found a qualified developer and closed the deal. The Indian River Landing plan is exciting and attractive, and about to begin development.  She worked on and was awarded

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Vote Goupil for Experienced and Inclusive Leadership

For over 40 years and now 5 generations, Clinton has been a wonderful home that our family has been fortunate to enjoy. To foster enhanced prosperity for all in Clinton and the other 35th House District towns of Killingworth and Westbrook, we need the experienced and inclusive leadership of Christine Goupil. I found her “focus on progress” platform to collectively be issues our communities value and aspire for now more than ever: Equity — inclusive/community, healthcare for all, championing seniors well being, women’s rights, universal Pre-K education The Environment — green economic initiates, protecting sustainable land-use, supporting agri-tourism/business development, promoting

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Vote No On Extra Money for Public Safety Building

“And I’ll state this again, this renovation project will come in on budget and will not be cheapened in any way.  Our goal was to move our emergency departments into this facility with a total renovation of $2.2m.  The plan to meet that goal has already been determined.  I suspect the Vision Committee will be voting on the final plan within the next week.” — Mark Nickerson, first selectman of East Lyme, 11/4/19 “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

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Cameron: Why Does Red Mean Stop?

Do you ever wonder why our stoplights designate red as stop and green as go?  Me too!  In fact, it was my daughter’s question on this very matter that inspired me to do some historic research. In the 1840s the British railroads adopted a flag, lamp and semaphore signal system where red meant danger, white meant safety and green indicated proceed with caution.  They took their inspiration from early industrialization where factory machines used red to indicate the equipment was off and green when turned on. But when the red glass lens on one signal lamp dropped out of its

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Health Care is a Human Right — Vote Rubino

“Health Care is a Human Right,” states David Rubino, who is running against the Republican incumbent Devin Carney to become the state representative of the 23rd House District – my district. As a medical professional and a scientist, I recognize the weight of this statement. The current pandemic powerfully brought to light how crucial affordable health care for all is for public safety. But there is more to that: a robust health care system will boost the economy and, given the economic characteristics our district, will encourage the development of small business by eliminating high healthcare costs from startup and

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Leadership and Results — Re-elect Heather Somers

What Hartford needs is a proven record of leadership and results, and that’s why we must re-elect Senator Heather Somers. Before her two terms as our state senator for the 18th district, Heather Somers served on the Groton Town Council for eight years, and as Mayor of Groton for two, during which time she managed to lower taxes while securing increased funding for education.  As a business leader in Eastern Connecticut, Sen. Somers is well aware of the unique challenges we face in creating and maintaining jobs.  During her tenure in the Senate, she has a well-proven record of results,

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‘I urge you to do the right thing in November’

Dear America, In less than two months you have a choice and an opportunity. You can elect a leader who will begin to bridge our differences, fix our woes, and preserve our democracy. Or you can choose a bumbling fool who will continue to exacerbate our differences, worsen our woes, and wreak havoc on our democracy. Reflect on the past four years. Remember past presidents. How would you have felt if President Truman or President Roosevelt called demonstrators with Nazi flags “very fine people”? How would you have felt if President Kennedy and President Johnson ignored the racial and civil

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Cameron: Parking and the Pandemic

There’s another part of our transportation network being seriously affected by COVID-19 beyond our roads and rails:  parking lots. Parking is something we take for granted, giving us access to rail stations, shopping and offices.  It’s hardly glamorous, but the parking industry represents an $11 billion business nationwide, one third of it privately owned. In Connecticut most rail station parking is owned by the Connecticut DOT but administered by the local towns, each of which sets its own rates and terms.  The money collected from commuters is supposed to be spent on station upkeep and amenities while the state takes

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Cameron: Deja Vu All Over Again

Welcome to Connecticut, the home of third world infrastructure. Tropical storm Isaias has shown, once again, that we don’t want to invest in our state’s physical plant and we don’t learn from our mistakes.  But we are all so ready to blame somebody else when stuff goes wrong. Every time a Metro-North train pulls down old catenary (overhead power lines), commuters scream “Where are the replacement buses?”, as if a fleet of buses is kept on permanent standby waiting for such strandings. If we did better maintenance on the trains and wires, such accidents might not happen.  But that takes

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CT Examiner Welcomes New Staff

By now you’ve probably read her work. Her story with Julia Werth on the reopening of schools is already our third-most-read story since launching in May 2019. Our newest staff reporter, Emilia Otte, joins the staff of CT Examiner on September 1. Emilia is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College. She earned her masters from NYU in Global Journalism with a focus on European and Mediterranean studies. She has previously written for the Poughkeepsie Journal and Hudson Valley News, and has bylines in Business Insider, Le Monde Diplomatique, Latin American News Dispatch, Civic Ideas and the New York Transatlantic. Emilia

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Steel: Water’s Ripple Effect

The saying is well-known: it only takes a committed few in the community to spark a positive change. The same is true in the analogy to the ripple effect of water — the vital resource without which humans can live an amazingly short time before realizing its crucial significance to our lives. United States Congressman from Connecticut’s 2nd district, which includes Salem and East Lyme, Joe Courtney (D), was represented: “The environment is a critical issue throughout the entire 2nd district, and especially along the shoreline: we must elect leaders who deeply care about our environment, vote in favor of

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Cameron: Fare Equity

Ridership on Metro-North is still down 85% from pre-pandemic levels, but in-state bus ridership is coming back… up to 70% of normal from a March low of 40%.  Why the difference?  Because bus riders and rail riders are very different. Surveys by CDOT and Metro-North showed the average income of a Metro-North rider was about $150,000, given that many were living in affluent Fairfield County towns and commuting to good paying jobs in New York City. Bus riders are predominantly working class, urban dwellers who make less money and, in many cases don’t own cars.  They’re not riding the bus

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Letter: Finishing Public Safety Building on Original Budget, Regional Police Partnerships, is paramount to East Lyme’s Financial Health and Safety

On February 7, 2018, Mark Nickerson, the first selectman of East Lyme delivered a letter to the Board of Selectmen presenting then the new fiscal year budget. His letter contained a cautionary warning describing the difficult budgetary challenges ahead as the state navigated a financial crisis.  To empathize awareness and importance of his message he chose to capitalize selected phrases, “BALANCE IS KEY, ZERO PERCENT INCREASE, & NO NEW PROJECTS…PERIOD” .  He knew hard financial decisions were ahead for East Lyme, as he writes in his letter, that the Board of Selectmen should prepare for eventual loss of some state aid —

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Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know about COVID in the Schools

As summer turns to fall, and life moves indoors and classrooms across Connecticut reopen, no one should be surprised when the first cases of COVID-19 crop up. But if the recent outpouring of public anger and confusion on social media over an isolated off-season case in East Haddam schools is any indication, you might be taken aback by the outsized, if understandable, uproar as parents and staff come to realize that even in the case of a deadly and infectious disease possibly spreading in the schools, the public’s right to know holds less sway than a patient’s medical privacy. In

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Don’t Sweep Tuesday’s Mess Under the Rug

Tuesday’s uncontested primary – with minimal turnout – was a mess. That’s not exactly a surprise. New rules, new procedures, public ballot boxes and a broad shift to absentee ballots – it was bound to cause problems, without adding in the worry of fraud in Bridgeport or slow mail delivery. But let’s not beat around the bush, it’s never a good sign when election workers are spotted dumpster diving for ballot mailers, missing or discarded accidentally, because no one quite agreed on the exact procedures for counting or for disqualifying votes. To be clear, we heard strikingly different stories on

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Cunningham: FEMA Money Intended for Boardwalk, No Free Lunch for East Lyme Taxpayers

One of the most important lessons in an introductory economics class is the idea that there is no such thing as a free lunch. It was with interest, then, that I read reports which suggested East Lyme was in the process of receiving just such a free lunch in the form of $1.73 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A headline described these funds as a “windfall.” They’ve also been described as a “reimbursement” for money spent to repair the damage from two hurricanes. The record shows that these are not accurate descriptions of this money, at least from

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Saunders: Needleman’s Energy Plan Places Heavy Burden on Consumers

Like many of the families I seek to represent in the 33rd Senate District, I was shocked and upset by the recent steep Eversource rate hike. I’m concerned that the politicians are now attempting to divert voters’ attention from the real causes for this increase. I believe that Eversource isn’t entirely responsible. Much of the blame goes to incumbent State Senator Norm Needleman, chairman of the Energy and Technology Committee. I consider that his recent demand for the resignation of the company’s CEO is simply smoke and mirrors and that this pointless blustering does nothing to solve aproblem he helped

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Cameron: The City Island Monorail

Looking for a fun day-trip for the family?  Don’t miss City Island, a boat-centric New England style “village” just off the east coast of The Bronx.   In addition to some of the city’s best seafood restaurants, City Island was also home to a monorail over a century ago. The three-mile line from the Bartow train station on what was then the Harlem River branch of the NY, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (near what today is Co-Op City in the Bronx) through Pelham Park, over a rickety bridge and ending at the Island.  It would replace the slow, forty minute

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Blacker: Questions Promise of Multi-use State Pier, Calls for Public Hearing

I appreciated Cate Hewitt’s article on State Pier. CT Examiner continues to showcase exemplary newspaper reporting. According to CPA Chairman David Kooris, State Pier will remain a multi-use port.  I disagree. To quote the good judgement of Congressman Joe Courtney: I have to confess. They say they’re going to accommodate other users but I, uh, every time I look at the plans, it doesn’t really look like there’s any space for them to do that. Courtney expressed the hope that the port authority would instead take the opportunity to modify or at least confirm that other users are going to be

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Blacker: The Weakness of our Freight Planning Program in Southeast Connecticut

I enjoyed Jim Cameron’s Aug. 3 column on a great example of commonsense, innovation, and efficiency: the shipping container. In a recent article Cameron laments that a feeder barge service to move shipping containers from places like Port Elizabeth, NJ to Connecticut  with out clogging I-95 was never established. The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments has an important meeting tomorrow.   SECCOG Executive Director Jim Butler said that the Federal Highway and Federal Transit are aware of  “the weakness of our freight planning program in Southeastern Connecticut.”  (20:50 on the recording of 7/15/19 SECCOG BOD Meeting).  This will be the

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Shipping Containers

They’re just a big metal box, but they’ve revolutionized the transportation world in the last decades, enabling global trade at unimaginable levels and changing all of our lives.  The story of the invention of the shipping container is an unheralded part of transportation history. In the old days, freighters carrying cargo overseas loaded and unloaded pallets or bails of cargo, one at a time.  I witnessed this myself as a child when my father, a real fan of the seas, took me on cargo ships as a passenger on trips from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean. At each port

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Dinner at George and Kellyanne’s

The invitation made it seem is if the event was some sort of charity benefit and, I apparently, would be an honored guest. I deduced that from envelope, as it was intimately addressed to “Dear Occupant.” I figured, well, Kellyanne or George were targeting those of us with deep pockets (containing up to $100 or more) for a good cause. But when I arrived at the Conway house, I learned otherwise.             “Welcome,” Kellyanne said, as she opened the door to the house on Embassy Row. I glanced around and saw so no other people in the enormous living room,

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Hats Off to Lowell Weicker and Thirty Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Thirty years ago this week, by votes of 377 to 28 in the House and 91 to 6 in the Senate, the United States Congress passed, and George Herbert Walker Bush signed, the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of perhaps a handful of the most significant pieces of legislation since the Second World War. The principal author of the legislation was then-Republican Senator Lowell Weicker of Connecticut. The effort would be joined by prairie populist Democratic Senator of Iowa, Tom Harkin, Senator Ted Kennedy and others who helped craft and shepherd the legislation to a vote when Weicker was defeated

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