I am very excited to announce that on Friday we hired a third reporter with an immediate goal of increasing our coverage of Essex, Old Saybrook and East Lyme. He starts work for us on September 16. That follows a strong launch on May 20, stronger than anticipated growth over the last three months. Perhaps nowhere was that early success more apparent than on the editorial page of the The Day on Friday, where pointed criticism of the paper in an editorial earlier that morning sparked an unexpected change of course on the port authority issue. One more thing. WeMore
Let’s just say that it is an open secret that something is deeply wrong at The Day, from its wildly gyrating attitude toward the port authority story, to its sometimes snarling headlines, to its willful disregard for context at the expense of the truth. This is not a case of the blind leading the blind, it’s worse—the newspaper of record in southeast Connecticut eyes-wide-open walking off a cliff. “Gov. Lamont spits on New London” is perhaps the most egregious example of a headline by the paper’s much-read “news columnist,” David Collins. We’re not exactly sure what rules govern a newsMore
Twelve weeks ago, someone filed a whistle-blower complaint alleging some sort of misdoings regarding Connecticut Port Authority finances. At the time, Scott Bates was board chair of the Connecticut Port Authority. Bonnie Reemsnyder was finance committee chair. Evan Matthews was executive director. Gerri Lewis was office manager and ethics compliance officer. All have since departed. First, Bates stepped down as chair. He was replaced by Reemsnyder. Gerri Lewis was fired by Matthews. Matthews was then placed on leave. Then Reemsnyder resigned, and finally Bates. It’s frankly damning that twelve weeks later no one has been able to provide a half-plausibleMore
Now that the votes are counted, and the referendum to borrow up to $9.5 million approved, I guess it’s too late for the relatively tiny neighborhood of Sound View to reconsider a strategy which, when you think about it, amounted to convincing the vast majority of residents what a fantastic deal they’d be getting by approving the plan. Whether that deal holds up remains to be seen — Sound View residents have hired a lawyer and are mounting a well-funded legal challenge — and the actual text of the resolution (you did read the full text of the resolution, didn’tMore
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 LakeMore
In a letter to the Editor, Old Lyme resident Steven A. Ross suggests that shoreline residents work toward better, less-expensive, sewer alternatives, rather than cost-sharing with the town.More
To the Editor:
I’ve been taking the Shore Line East to and from New York once or twice a week for about 25 years. One of the constants has been that train times continue to increase. My heart sank when I saw the latest, supposedly improved, schedule.More
It seemed unlikely that Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder would have the last word with her announced resignation from the board and as chair of the Connecticut Port Authority following a growing media storm sparked by news that more than $3000 of public money was spent to purchase artwork by Erin Reemsnyder to decorate the authority’s Old Saybrook offices. Now that Gov. Ned Lamont has joined Republicans and Democrats, including State Sen. Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), State Sen. Heather Somers (R-Groton), State Rep. Devin Carney (R-Old Lyme), in calling for hearings on the matter, I’d like to cautiously put forwardMore
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 atMore
I would like to respond to Sydney M. Williams' August 1 letter to the editor regarding the “enhancement” of the proposed Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme.More
To the Editor: No site selected by the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) will ever be without controversy. What must be weighed are the needs for a center, which includes the community, versus the concerns of those who might be affected, due to increased traffic, lights or noise. As a supporter of the RTPEC and former board member, I understand the need. As a former owner of a home on the estuary in Old Lyme, I have some sense of the concern. And, as someone now retired and living across the River in Essex, I recognize there are neverMore
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 environmentalMore
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 ofMore
I take no pleasure in First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder’s
resignation from the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA), nor in the remarkably abrupt
change in coverage from The Day that would end her brief tenure.
That ‘news’ columnist David Collins chose only yesterday to
notice that Ms. Reemsnyder had a professional background in daycare, rather than
in transportation or finance, speaks as much to the performance of The Day as
to the performance of the quasi-public agency ...
On August 13, the Town of Old Lyme will vote to decide whether to borrow $9.5 million to finance the installation of sewers for commercial and residential properties in Sound View, and an adjacent neighborhood just north of Shore Road called “Miscellaneous Town Area B.” It’s our understanding that state law gives municipalities broad discretion in how they choose to charge for sewers – fair or not, that’s a high bar for shoreline property owners now considering legal avenues if the referendum is approved. But, how is it fair that seasonal residents are forced to pay for a school systemMore
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, myMore
To hear Stonington resident Laura Graham tell it, in Joe Wojtas’ coverage for The Day of a July 8 hearing of the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission, “Zoning is a promise … When a family puts their life savings in a home they count on town officials to protect them.” It should surprise none of our readers that Connecticut was among the very first states to make that promise, when the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law in 1917 enabling towns to elect planning commissions. It was a promise later upheld by the Connecticut Supreme Court in Windsor v. WhitneyMore
We have become addicted to immediate gratification. We want greater rewards with less work. We see that attitude in a stock market driven by traders focused on every move by the Federal Reserve, while fundamental research has been relegated to the back burner. We see it in the news where every mis-step by a politician is recorded on the front page, while little attention is paid to the longer-term consequences of his or her policies. We see it in a decline in community volunteerism. In Old Lyme, we risk losing a cherished institution that is the Lyme Academy of FineMore
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.More
To the Editor: Thank you for your article, “As Beavers Flood Properties Old Lyme…”. I’m grateful that you investigated the issue including meeting with Old Lyme town leadership. Unfortunately, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder’s statement, that she only found out about the beaver’s destruction from my letter to the editor, is not accurate. Two years ago, Dave Berggren met directly with Edward Adanti, the town director of public works, and asked for help only to be told that he couldn’t do anything without the selectwoman’s approval. Berggren then met directly with Reemsnyder about the damage to his property and was told that they could notMore
To the Editor: Cate Hewitt’s article regarding the Hawk’s Nest challenge to sewers is excellent. Her interview and quotes from Sandy Garvin make the situation quite clear. DEEP started this controversy by mandating sewers in all the beach communities without factual substantiation and data to support their contentions. Certainly, there are beach areas that will benefit from sewers, but not all, and Hawk’s nest is one where there is currently no justification.More
As I've been told in planning meetings across the state -- change is inevitable -- but if ever there was a neighborhood that mocks that notion it's Sound View. While we debate the beautification and housing and walkability of Halls Road -- a business district which is nearly fully occupied -- a mile or so down the coast, Hartford Avenue and three other beach communities languish, waiting for a go-ahead from Old Lyme on Sewers.More
Essex resident Sydney Williams writes to weigh in on volunteerism and local government in response to a recent article in CT Examiner, “Small Town Connecticut Faces the Limits of Volunteerism."More
OLD LYME — On Thursday night, June 27 at the Old Lyme Country Club, Peter Rutland, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought at Wesleyan University, will present: “Brexit: Why did it happen, and what comes next?” the last in a ten-lecture series hosted by the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC). SECWAC, which was previously affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations, is a regional affiliate of the World Affairs Council. The group is in the process of adding two additional programs, including an informal lunch group, and actively growing its membership, which nowMore
While it is vitally important that our municipal, state and federal government agencies work aggressively on environmental protection acts, our individual behavior and responsible approach to waste management is imperative. We must all learn to trim a little off of our waste, little by little, every day. Small changes can make a big difference over time.More
To the Editor:Your June 3 article "Shoreline Food Pantries Consider Split" was objectively written, but too “sanitized".
I feel you should have reported more thoroughly on the opinions of volunteers to whom you gave scant mention. They have the direct contact with the guests served and the knowledge of the way things have operated so well during the past 10+ years.More
I think that most Old Lyme residents
regardless of political affiliation agree on a few clear priorities: resolving
the sewer situation for the shoreline, spending the town’s money wisely,
obtaining public support before initiatives are undertaken by the town,
executing town projects efficiently and in a timely manner, and maintaining the
character of Old Lyme.
But in recent years, the town has hopscotched
from major initiative to major initiative, without substantive public support,
without deliberate consideration of alternatives, and without a defined
timetable for deadlines and accomplishments.
From sewering the entire shoreline, to street improvements on Hartford
Avenue, to renovating Hains Park to merging our police force with East Lyme
Two months ago, the town of Stonington provided the Connecticut of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) with a zoning map amendment for the proposed Smiler’s Wharf development in downtown Mystic for review. Two months later — the day of a key hearing of the Planning and Zoning Commission — Brian Thompson, Director of DEEP’s Land & Water Resources Division replied. The four-and-a-half page letter, though late in coming, is by any reading, damning. Thompson concludes that the project — which recently received the unanimous approval of Stonington’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) — adversely affects the “water-dependent use” of the site,More
To the Editor:While riding a SEAT [Southeast Area Transit] bus to catch Shore Line East -- yes, it is possible -- I read CT Examiner's interview with the New London mayor and his comments linking proposed tolls to the cost of mass transit (or perhaps it was just edited that way).
The otherwise helpful and capable SEAT driver happened to make a comment on what a waste of tax dollars the underused bus service is. I laughed to myself, thinking how I'd be fired if I publicly criticized my employer's business.More