New Highway Use Tax is Bad News for Connecticut Families

To the Editor: If you are a working-class citizen like me, your family’s budget has undoubtedly been affected by the skyrocketing prices at the grocery store and the fuel pump. While we are in an inflationary spiral, caused by the uncontrolled borrowing and spending by Washington politicians, and the disastrous reversal of U.S. energy policy, governments big and small should be looking for creative ways to lower the price burdens on their constituents. During this election year, you will hear Connecticut Democrats on the campaign trail touting tax cuts and a 25-cent per gallon gas tax holiday, but what you

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Lamont’s Plan Redistributes Less Than 10 percent of This Year’s Surpluses

To the Editor: Gov. Ned Lamont is preening over the $600 million in tax cuts to Connecticut’s residents, which he and his administration assert  will eclipse the 1995 reforms of former Gov. John Roland. We here in Connecticut are to be pitied when, in 2022, Lamont has to engage in a one-sided “mine is bigger” contest with someone who held office 27 years ago. In fact, Lamont’s plan is yet another  election-year scheme to redistribute less than 10 percent of this year’s surpluses – surpluses derived from a massive infusion of federal money and a large windfall from capital gains

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Turf Field at Middle School Needs Fairfield RTM Support

To the Editor: The Fairfield Athletic Foundation was created by concerned Fairfield citizens with a simple goal in mind: to ensure that the athletic infrastructure in our town meets the needs of our growing community.  We are writing today to inform our Fairfield friends and neighbors about an important pending initiative before our Town leaders.   The Fairfield Athletic Foundation has been working for over a year with town officials to add a turf field at Roger Ludlowe Middle School. This is an important first step in improving Fairfield’s athletic fields. Adding a turf complex at Roger Ludlowe Middle School was recently

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A Measured, Low-Key Approach to Public Access to Black Hall River

To the Editor: The likely prospect for town public access to the Black Hall River is undeniable. A low-key approach to both water access — human-powered craft (i.e. canoes and kayaks) — and nature watching would enable enjoyment and education for all. Thoughtfully-measured steps relating to parking, and minimizing the human footprint (literally!) on the marsh via signage is a start, while ongoing discussion/application to DEEP and related commissions and the Board of Selectmen continue. Protection of the marsh could be via a 3-4’ wide walkway 2’ above the marsh possibly with a small, 10’ x 10’?, observation deck incorporated

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The Trouble With Connecticut Unions

To the Editor: As a state we have many dilemmas.  One of which for decades the State has underfunded the pension liability.  Because of organized labor the State spends too much money and promises future spending significantly beyond what taxpayers are capable of paying for.  A good example of this is the recent contract negotiated by the Lamont Administration. We are redistributing more tax dollars from those who pay taxes to unions with little in return. Cataclysmically, we are bound by the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) agreement which written into the State Constitution protects State pensions and healthcare

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Public Access to Public Land

To the Editor: The Republican Party has a long history of protecting one of our nation’s most precious resources – the beauty of our natural environment. President Theodore Roosevelt, known as “The Conservation President”, established the United States Forest Service and during his administration preserved over 230 million acres of public land to be kept in its natural state and to be enjoyed by the public. President Johnson spearheaded the Clean Water Act during his administration and President Nixon followed up with the Clean Air Act during his tenure. Our party is also proud to have worked with our Democrat friends

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‘Our party MUST endorse Hilda Santiago for Secretary of the State’

Dear Governor Lamont, We are writing today to ask for your support in helping to nominate a Hispanic candidate to statewide office. There is only one candidate running who is endorsed by the Connecticut Hispanic Democratic Caucus, and she is the only candidate with the experience required of the job: Hilda Santiago. The representation of diversity for the office of State Treasurer has been critical in ensuring that we Democrats win at the state level and that a degree of equity is on our ballot every four years. This 60-year tradition did not, however, happen by itself. It has been

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Connecticut Should Lift Prohibition on the Sale of Certain Fireworks

To the Editor: Early on in Connecticut legislative session, there was a proposal before the Public Safety Committee (SB 132) that would have legalized certain classes of consumer grade fireworks.  The bill failed to make it beyond the committee process for a full vetting by the entire legislature, but there is time for the legislature to take the proposal up before they adjourn on May 4th. This year’s legislative proposal is significantly different than any other consumer fireworks bill considered by the Connecticut legislature in the past. There are requirements and precautions placed in this bill to restrict the age

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Jurisdiction is a “Red Herring” in Old Lyme Open Space Dispute

To the Editor: I am a member of Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission and recently toured the town-owned property along Black Hall River as an educational visit. The site is town owned and a portion is within the jurisdiction of the IWWC. In my opinion, whatever local authority has jurisdiction on this property is a “red herring”. What is important is that it is a town-owned property. Furthermore, when the property was deeded away from private ownership it came with a restriction that it shall be used for a public access boat launch to access the navigable Black Hall River.

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The Corporate Media Places Misleading Labels on Legislation to Promote Propaganda and Disinformation.

To the Editor: It is funny how the corporate media places misleading labels on pieces of legislation in order to promote propaganda and disinformation. This is what ought to be taught in K – 8 and throughout our society for ever and ever. If we are deprived of the oxygen of free speech our democracy is suffocated and dies. The USA was founded in 1776. It went into precipitous decline in 2016. We are reaping the harvest of the subordination of a free press to sinister political partisanship. Only “we the people” embattled as we are, can unite to restore

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Senate Bill 355 Would Divert Patient Savings to For-Profit Businesses

To the Editor: Our state legislature passed reforms to ensure safe school environments for the immunocompromised through good immunization policies.  Recently Connecticut passed a law allowing patients to utilize assistance programs to lower their out-of-pocket expenses. That is why it is alarming to see these same lawmakers consider legislation that would divert savings intended for patients into the pockets of for-profit businesses. In 1992, Congress created the 340B Drug Discount program to stretch limited resources and help patients access life-saving health care. The program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide medicines to qualifying 340B hospitals at drastically discounted prices. Hospitals qualify for 340B

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Connecticut Department of Correction Requires Systemic Change

To the Editor: As a child, I was curious about why my Father experienced repeated periods of incarceration and was never rehabilitated. This curiosity evolved into a 15+ year educational and professional career working within the intersections of mental health and criminal justice systems. I have witnessed a multitude of evil acts committed against incarcerated people contributing to my resignation from New Haven Correctional Center in 2019. The biggest factors contributing to recidivism and poor treatment of incarcerated people are the dehumanizing environment, abuse of power, and toxic group conformity. Accountability, external oversight, and transparency are necessary to create correctional

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Interim Port Authority Chair Previously Left Post Under Cloud of Mismanagement

To the Editor: I once road a freight train from Dover, NH to Scarborough, ME.  Around 2:30 in the morning I jumped off the moving train and cut my palm. Walked up a bridge embankment to the road. Put my thumb up to the first car I saw coming, which happened to be a police cruiser. Bleeding and alone on a very rural coastal stretch of road; I was carrying a knife when the visibly skeptical officer searched me. Wouldn’t tell him where I came from, only that I was going home.   His solution?  Put me in the hard

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Everything About the Public Employee Package is Suspect, Starting With its Provenance

To the Editor: With the General Assembly having signed off on HR 11 & SR 12, all’s that needed to enact this election-year graft is Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature. Since his team negotiated the new pay package, it’s unlikely Mr. Lamont will have a last-minute epiphany and scuttle it. As we all know, the agreement boosts the pay of workers under the SEBAC agreement by nearly $2 billion dollars in the next two years. It will toss in generous, no-strings-attached bonuses paid out now to stave off retirements in the summer. There’s nothing to keep a worker from pocketing this

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Running Out of Excuses, as Solitary Confinement Bill Wins DOC Support

To the Editor: Last week, the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly voted in support of a bill to restrict the use of solitary confinement in state prisons and jails. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Just last year, another version of the bill, known then and now as the PROTECT Act, passed both the House and the Senate only to be vetoed by Governor Ned Lamont. Lamont instead put forward his own executive order that he claimed would result in the same ends, but that has functionally done little to reduce the use of solitary confinement.

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Is there a Significant Safety Hazard on Rogers Lake?

To the Editor: My perusal of newspaper articles, letters and personal conversations regarding a proposed “no wake” ordinance requiring signs in designated areas on Rogers Lake leaves one question unanswered, namely:  do current circumstances create a significant hazard to swimmers, boaters, or kayakers like me?  Have there been actual instances of injury or unacceptable danger to people on the lake?  It seems as if prevalent noise generated by boaters does not present a problem to those living in proximity to the sites in question, since those residents are mostly opposed to the signs.  Thus the major question, in my view is

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Labor Law Reform Badly Needed in Connecticut

To the Editor: Beginning in early 2021, workers from across the state and across our nation began quitting their jobs in large numbers, creating the phenomenon now known as the Great Resignation. The majority of workers who quit cited low pay, no opportunities for advancement, and feeling disrespected at work as their top reasons for leaving. Fast forward to today and workers still face bad jobs but have decided they no longer plan to quit. Rather, working people have begun to stand together to fight for fair wages, affordable benefits, respect, and a voice on the job. While there have

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Rogers Lake Authority Board Not Acting in the Best Interest of Taxpayers or the Lake

To the Editor: I am writing to make you aware of an immediate concern with the Rogers Lake Authority and how they are handling recent events, especially the disrespect they showed to our community at the special Rogers Lake Authority meeting at the Old Lyme Town Hall on Tuesday, April 19th. To give you a brief history regarding this matter, I held my monthly Rogers Lake West Shores Association meeting on Monday, March 7th. It was after this meeting that I learned about the Rogers Lake Authority’s new ordinance proposal for the “No Wake Zone.”  I learned that not only

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Rogers Lake Meeting “Was Not a Meeting at All”

To the Editor: The Rogers Lake Authority meeting was not a meeting at all. It was a sad representation of persons who no longer care about our treasured lake. They seem to be all about power instead of the conservation or safety in the lake. My family has been coming to this lake since the 1930s and we have lived here since the 60s. My Dad was a town employee under Tim Griswold until his passing. We know this lake! We had to clear the weeds in front of our dock yearly with our boat motor in order for it

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Concerns about Old Lyme Sewers Have Not Been Addressed

To the Editor: Just four short days after a packed Water Pollution Control Authority meeting where homeowner after homeowner expressed their objections to sewers and to the proposed sewer ordinance, WPCA Chairman Richard Prendergast petitioned the State for $14 million to toss down the sewer drain. That $14 mil – still your tax dollars.  Chairman Prendergast — you were not listening Tuesday evening — again. Selectman Griswold — this project is NOT ‘shovel ready’! There are many outstanding concerns that need to be addressed before a single shovel hits the ground.  Here’s a few: 1 – The only test data (questionable

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It’s Time for Elected Officials and Union Management to Take Responsibility for Financial Abuses

To the Editor: Bonuses to be paid to public sector employees at up to $3,500 each will cost the state $150 million in this instance alone.  Reports state these bonuses will then be added to the pay base,  creating a higher base line for COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments) for 30 or more years in retirement.  The governor has known of the “graying of the workforce” for his entire time in office.  His lack of vision and leadership has led to this one-sided “negotiation” to pay bonuses which are his bid for re-election with our tax dollars. Connecticut has grossly

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PROTECT Act: Good Intentions Can Lead to Bad Consequences

To the Editor: The old saying that “good intentions can lead to bad consequences” reminds me of why we have solitary confinement in the first place. It was a suggestion (with good intentions) that the Quakers came up with. Their intent was to place people in solitude with the Bible believing it would help incarcerated people get closer to God. They never intended their initiative would evolve into sadism and psychological torture inside Connecticut prisons. Their intent was never about isolating people as a punishment. It was never intended to become an acceptable trend to simply cage people for most of the day

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‘Aid in Dying’ Story — Shallow and One-Sided

To the Editor: “Aid-in-Dying Bill Fails Again at State Capitol” is a surprisingly shallow, one-sided piece.  Not only does reporter Steve Jensen repeatedly use the offensive term “aid in dying” to describe assisted suicide.  He quotes proponent and lobbyist Tim Appleton without reaching out to any of us who have spent hours and years talking with legislators, providing testimony, and writing letters to the editor.  Worse, he neglects to report that the so-called safeguards are only there long enough to pass legislation.  Once the program has been established, the same proponents who touted its safety work to reduce and ultimately

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“Fair Share” Law is an Unfunded Mandate of Unknown Proportions for Connecticut Towns

To the Editor: Before the legislature in Hartford is HB 5204, also known as the “Fair Share” law. This bill provides that the Office of Policy Management assess the need for affordable housing in different parts of the state and then assign numeral objectives to each town and city to create affordable housing to meet very specific municipal targets. Ultimately, however, this bill represents a very sizable (and undefined) unfunded mandate “cram down” tax on the cities and towns, in that no one has even attempted to cost out the very significant expenditures that will be required by cities and

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Judge the PROTECT Act Without the Misrepresentations of Last Year

On Thursday, Connecticut legislators voted PROTECT Act, SB459 out of Judiciary Committee with a margin of 31-9. The journey to the desk of Gov. Ned Lamont begins. Once again people from across the state will wait anxiously for the governor’s signature.  Watching Judiciary discussion and vote I was reminded of two of my favorite Dr. Martin Luther King quotes. First, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. In a second one he spoke about the courage to do the right thing. “Cowardice asks is

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Report on Bears ‘inaccurate and misleading’

To the Editor: Brendan Crowley’s recent CT Examiner story, “Connecticut Lawmakers Vote Down Bill Allowing Hunting of Nuisance Black Bears” is inaccurate and misleading To begin with, CT Examiner reports that the revised bill was limited to permits for anyone where “farming is their primary source of income.”   Au contraire – the bill makes no mention of income whatsoever.  Instead, it describes permitting to those who incur expenses, a vast difference.  I’m a hobby farmer and I’ve experienced predation.  I’ve also incurred significant expenses in my hobby — buying a tractor, putting in fencing.  This bill should not apply to

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Gung-ho on Sewers in Old Lyme Regardless of Cost

To the Editor: Prior to elections, Selectman Griswold was interviewed by Ct Examiner about the sewer project and stated  ‘I think the thought was that, between the shared infrastructure, and the gravity sewer, in Sound View, property owners would have Clean Water subsidized funds at 2 percent for 20 years.  I guess the town would have to fund the gap, but that’s going to be basically an arm wrestling between the people who evaluate the increase in value versus the cost. ‘ As Selectman Griswold expected, there certainly is a gap – a wide gap. Sewer bids received to date just

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The General Assembly Needs to Take Care of People who Survive Unspeakable Abuse

To the Editor: Holding those who commit child sexual abuse accountable for their actions — along with the powerful institutions that enable abusers — is made more challenging because survivors have a time limit on seeking complete justice for pain, suffering and trauma caused to them. I have a constituent whom a Catholic priest sexually abused as a child. For months, I worked with her and other survivors to build a coalition of legislators and survivors to reform the civil statute of limitations (SOL) in Connecticut, which is currently the 51st birthday of victims of childhood sexual abuse. The sought-after

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How the ‘Anti-CRT’ Fringe Can Subvert the Will of the Majority

To the Editor: The Town of Guilford narrowly avoided a disaster of its own making in the November 2021 election.  We had some of our votes taken away 15 years ago by a Charter Revision, leaving us vulnerable to the Democrats’ and Republicans’ Town Committees to choose our Board of Selectmen (BOS), and very uncompetitive–completely uncompetitive–elections, where general election voters cannot really change or review the parties’ decisions. Since each Guilford voter can only vote for TWO, not all FOUR, of our Board of Selectmen members, and since Democrats and Republicans are barred from holding all four Selectmen’s seats, the

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Story Misrepresents Darien Objections to Parklands Three Development

To the Editor: I am afraid that your reporter misrepresented why Darien residents objected to the Parklands Three (P3) development in her February 16, 2022 article. The very vocal opposition by the public had nothing to do with affordable housing. The only mention of affordable housing was by two Planning & Zoning (P&Z) commission members. Commissioner Jim Rand seemed to think it was an effective scare tactic to convince the committee to pass his good friend Bob Gillon’s 86,000 square foot complex. (He was asked to recuse himself early on from this matter and chose to stay put.) The other

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