Reader Questions the Need to Vaccinate Young People

We have all seen the recent news that the CDC approved use of the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 12 year olds. And now there is a push by many authorities to get the shot into young people. Let’s look at vaccinating kids. First, young people aren’t at any material risk from COVID, certainly no more than the risk from the flu. Of the 760,000 US deaths from COVID, about 2/100’s of 1% were below the age of 13. Clearly a de-minimis risk. So why would any parent stick an arguably experimental drug into the arm of their precious child? Remember,

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Metamorphosis

Don’t look now, but we’re making history.  The changing forces now at work in our society, including our transportation network, will have a profound effect on our lives for decades to come.  THE BIG QUIT: According to federal statistics, 4 million people quit their jobs in July of this year, with almost 11 million jobs nationwide now unfilled.  As a result, our ports are jammed, the supply chain broken and holiday purchases seem in peril.  Don’t expect any bargains for Christmas. Why the huge turnover in jobs?  I think a lot of it has been soul-searching amid the pandemic as

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Readers Deserve to Know Who Donates to The Day

To the Editor: Are you guys telling me that if I wanted to make a $5,000 donation to The Day to fund further investigative reporting on State Pier and CPA, but asked to remain anonymous,  you think that would be fair to the reader?   How about if Orsted offered to donate $100,000 to further investigative reporting on climate change?  I don’t care how hard you try, when you’re taking a donation from someone you’re beholden.  Impact can be mitigated to where it’s tolerable, but if you’re accepting donations from a known source, the reader deserves to know the source

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Alarm About Middletown Board Education Response

To the Editor: I am writing to express alarm about the Middletown Board of Education’s response to concerns that were brought to the Board’s attention by four different unions on October 14th, in a memorandum from the City’s Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management, and in detailed allegations that were sent anonymously from 15 current or former employees.  I believe the Board of Education members, with the possible exception of members newly elected on November 2nd , have seen the “anonymous” statements detailing very serious allegations – and I am appalled that their response has not demonstrated more urgency. The

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Planned Middletown Board ‘Retreat’ Breaks Freedom of Information Law

To the Editor: Yesterday afternoon a notice was posted indicating the Middletown Board of Education would hold a special meeting as a “Board Retreat” in executive session. The same agenda was posted at 8:27 AM this morning on the city’s web site. I object to holding the planned meeting as posted for the following reasons: The indicated agenda items do not meet the criteria for executive sessions as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes §1-200(6). The indicated agenda does not provide for a vote by the Middletown Board of Education to enter executive session as required by Connecticut General Statutes

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Halls Road Committee Must Address Due Process Concerns

With a meeting of the Halls Road Improvements Committee scheduled for tonight, I’ll keep this to the point. While it is true that the Connecticut General Assembly grants the Old Lyme Zoning Commission wide latitude to consider and approve changes to zoning regulations, that latitude is constrained by the public’s right to due process, including the right of the public to meaningfully comment on the substance of a hearing. Unfortunately for the committee, the courts do not care whether violations of the law involve Democrats or Republicans, the best or worst intentions. The reality is that the committee stumbled into

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On Learning Your Life’s Work Amounts to Nothing

No weapon’s more devastating than learning your life’s work amounts to nothing. Psychological experiments on how humans respond, when their reasons for labor are diminished, test the “Sisyphean condition.” Folks work harder when their purpose seems meaningful, a relationship between significance and motivation often ignored. Mythology’s Sisyphus was punished by Zeus for ruthless, inhospitable behavior towards travelers. Generosity and good treatment of foreigners and guests (i.e., Xenia) was a moral obligation in ancient Greece. Sisyphus’ hubris violated that code. For eternity in Hades, he was forced to roll a boulder uphill, only to have it tumble back again before reaching

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Praise for Senator Blumenthal

To the Editor: As a lifelong Democrat and social justice activist I write to praise Senator Richard Blumenthal’s announcement that he will not seek reelection to encourage CT Democrats to nominate a woman, and preferably, a woman of color.   No issue defines Democrats like social justice.  President Biden noted that “systemic racism” is an “ugly poison” that has “long plagued the United States”.  After the murder of George Floyd, Senator Chris Murphy launched his “Juneteenth Agenda”, a substantive program, not another gimmick, from a leader who feels the pain of disadvantaged communities.  Vice President Kamala Harris recently said, “Sadly, we

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Leaves vs Locomotives

It sounds like a question on a kid’s quiz show: “How do you stop a train?” A) Hail it like a cab? B) Pull the emergency brake? C) Put wet leaves on the track? If you chose “C”, you were correct… and you must be a regular commuter on Metro-North. This is the time of year that tries train engineers’ souls and commuters’ patience. On a single day one recent fall, 60 rush-hour trains were delayed by “slippery rails” when wet leaves caused trains to “slip-slide” on their usually solid tracks. You may not realize it, but the flanged wheel

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Covid-19 Mandate Ignores the Science

Biden Administration generals are fighting the last war. Last Thursday, they mandated that large businesses and health care facilities require that their workers get vaccinated for COVID-19. The next day, Pfizer announced an antiviral pill to treat the virus. Pfizer’s pill is 89% effective. A Merck antiviral pill for COVID-19 (with only about 50% effectiveness) is already in use in Britain. COVID-19 treatment pills destroy any vestige of logic or justification for Biden’s vaccine mandates. No matter how someone contracts the virus, these pills prevent serious illness – hospitalization and death. With double lines of defense against the coronavirus –

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Only a party with perverse notions of ‘Patriotism’ and ‘Freedom’ Would Oppose Vaccinations and Mask Mandates

Cognitive bias studies reveal humans are far-removed from Enlightenment ideals of rational beings objectively weighing scientific facts, deduction and high moral tenets against their beliefs. Not that absolute truths and irrefutable evidence don’t exist on which majorities of people can agree and form consensus, even in the U.S. But, this is an unprincipled, irrational time in American history. Cultural-evolution is regressing. Lost probity, distrust in institutions and decades of political rancor, stoked by Republicans and Democrats alike, have spawned extremist subcultures that, to our collective detriment, refuse to be taught or follow advice from qualified experts. Arguments rarely have equally

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Wind Energy Cost Increase a Sign of What’s to Come

Utility company Dominion recently reported a $2 billion increase on the price of their offshore wind project. The price increase was largely blamed on “commodity pressures” (inflation, i.e.: Shipping has more than doubled. Steel more than tripled.). Dominion also admitted initial cost estimates were based on incomplete design documents. This sounds alarmingly similar to the explanation Kosta Diamantis and the CT Port Authority gave in attempting to explain how costs to remake the State Pier in New London jumped from $93 million to $157 million to $235 million. Has anyone started thinking about what’s likely to happen when the the

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Tell the Cities to ‘Think Big’? They Did and Only Got Poorer

What do you do when state government policy doesn’t work? In Connecticut the answer is simple: You do more of it. So disaster may be the most likely outcome of a new state program that aims to reserve $175 million per year in bonding for improvement projects in 34 of Connecticut’s poor and distressed municipalities. A spokesman for Governor Lamont hopes the program achieves “generational” change, and a news report about the program says the distressed municipalities are being encouraged to “think big.” But thinking big is what Connecticut’s three biggest, poorest, and most distressed cities have been doing for

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Good News for Transportation

Last week was a good one for our transportation future, on several fronts. First, of course, was Congress finally passing the massive infrastructure bill.  This once-in-a-generation, trillion-dollar package will bring a massive rebuilding of our crumbling bridges and highways as well as expansion of the nation’s power grid and internet infrastructure.  It will also invest in the ways we must prepare for the impact of global warming. The bill will also mean thousands of construction jobs over the next decade, what the White House called a “blue collar blueprint” for  decades-delayed repair and enhancement of the nation’s infrastructure. For rail

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Guilford has Almost Destroyed Itself as a Community

To the Editor: An editorial by Gregory Stroud (“On the Matter of Equity and East Lyme,” Sept. 15) discussed the recent Equity study of the East Lyme Schools. He made an insightful comment about the town of Guilford at the conclusion of the article. Referring to the general turmoil in this community over equity, social justice issues and changes to the curriculum, Mr. Stroud described the town as “tearing itself apart and that East Lyme should want to “avoid the fate of Guilford”. As a resident, I can personally testify to the truth of this description. In fact, it’s an understatement.

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Turnout in New London Sends Mixed Message

To the Editor: Re (“From 5% in Hartford to 61% in Guilford — Voter Turnout By the Numbers,” Nov. 4) It’s concerning for sure, that turnout in New London was barely higher than it was for the August referendum on the police staffing mandate. Interestingly, results from this year’s local elections sent opposite messages, one overturning a City Council action and the other maintaining status quo in its makeup. The one consistency was that incumbent John Satti, the lone dissenter when Council rescinded the 80 officer mandate, was Tuesday’s high vote getter. Ronna StullerChair, New London Green Town Committee

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Juvenile Crime Wave Compels Gov. Lamont to Strike a Pose

Even as his party’s leaders in the state Senate kept insisting that Connecticut has no serious crime problem and that the crime clamor is a Republican contrivance, last week Governor Lamont called a press conference at the state Capitol to acknowledge the issue and pledge to act on it. The governor, a Democrat, said he would appoint more judges to address the purported backlog in Connecticut’s secret and thus grossly unaccountable juvenile courts. If more judges don’t solve the problem, at least they will provide patronage opportunities. The governor also described having just met privately with the mother and grandmother

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Biden’s Oil Misstep

During the Presidential election all the liberal media outlets spent thousands of hours promoting the Trump Russian Collusion.  In reality Russia wanted Joe Biden to get elected or any Democrat.  So did Saudi Arabia and all the other oil producing countries.  Let’s look at why we are paying so much at the pump remembering under Trump one year ago the US was oil independent producing enough oil to supply the US and become a major exporter of oil and gas to the rest of the world.  Two weeks into his Presidency Biden shut down the XL Pipeline.  Immediately after he

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Corrupt, Sheepish Adherence to the Status Quo Begets an Aftermath of Wolves

Pursuant to federal duties prescribed in the Constitution, nothing embodies commerce more than transportation, communication and energy access. Yet, America’s electrical grid is near-obsolete, broadband distribution is poor and 1/4 U.S. highway miles and 1/3 of our bridges dangerously need replacement or repair. Linked to proposed infrastructure fixes is a transformative, 2,465-page reconciliation bill, comprising the Build Back Better Act ─ “BBB,” desperately needed to combat climate change and save our middleclass by expanding citizen safety nets. Just as record heat waves, floods, mudslides, high winds and wildfires turn tax-paid edifices into rubble, poverty is corrosive to society. Already weakened

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Saving Money on Metro-North

Are you paying too much to ride Metro-North?  Maybe. As we slowly return to semi-regular commuting by commuter rail in Connecticut, ridership on Metro-North is about half of pre-COVID levels, below the railroad’s hopes and its consultants’ predictions… but not mine. But however often you’re taking the train these days, here are some money saving tips.   First tip:  always buy your ticket before boarding the train.  Conductors can charge you a hefty on-board surcharge up to $6.50 (but not for seniors) if you don’t have a ticket.  That’s a rookie mistake you’ll only make once. If you buy your ticket

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Do You Believe our Elections are Fair?

I have only one question for Republican candidates.  Do you believe our elections are fair and will you accept the results of the November 2nd election? I am sorry I have to ask this question but according to polls, three out of four Republicans believe Donald Trump won the Presidency.  Our local RTC and elected Republicans have not told me their feelings, nor have they addressed the issue of the January 6th “riot” in Washington, DC. My family was Republican. But they were a different ilk. My cousin, who described himself as “an Eisenhower man,” was named to SCOTUS by

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We All Know that Prices Up? Why did this Happen?

We all know that prices are up especially for gasoline, home heating oil, groceries, cars, appliances, etc. Why did this happen? Let’s look at energy prices. Biden shut down the Keystone pipeline on day one and severely restricted production of oil and gas in the US. Now that prices have spiked he is asking OPEC to increase their oil production! Where would we rather rely upon for our energy supplies…the US and Canada or Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Venezuela? The same amount of CO2 is produced from US and the foreign oil that Biden is pleading for. Ok, we should reduce

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Consultant-driven Planning in Old Lyme

The other day, I joked to a friend, that if the Declaration of Independence was signed yesterday, it would have been drafted by McKinsey – a silly way of making a serious point, that so much of contemporary public life, law and policy is written by outside consultants with little local knowledge and less at stake when their best laid plans go awry. In the case of the proposed regulations for Halls Road in Old Lyme, I don’t think members of the Halls Road Improvements Committee, and Economic Development Commission intended to mislead the public – in numerous comments on

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Griswold Not a Good Fiscal Manager

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold has not been a good fiscal manager, often failing to follow through on a timely basis with matters affecting the town’s budget. For example, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) approved early this year a proposal for the substantial renovation of the Grassy Hill Bridge with a state grant reimbursing 50% of the cost.  Tim failed to put that decision before the Board of Finance for funding but, instead, continued to contemplate alternative plans for the bridge.  Indeed, he did not move the project forward at all (as he said he would when he was running for

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Margules: We Should Not Lose Sight of Context and the Bigger Picture

The Halls Road zoning food fight ramping up on the CT Examiner’s Facebook pages is a tempting distraction. The zoning is not perfect, and certainly needs review and revision, but we should not lose sight of the context and the bigger picture. The zoning proposal is just a way to implement and make real a future Halls Road described in the master plan.  The key elements in the master plan were developed with significant input from the community and are widely supported. The HRIC incorporated the work produced by our consultant AdvanceCT including surveys, SWOT workshops, and an Economic Development

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Education Seat Too Far-reaching to Also Sit on Board of Selectmen

I’ve just reviewed the Board of Education panel discussion and am concerned with the potential conflict of interest which Ms Shoemaker noted she may be facing. Although a long shot, it may come to pass that she is elected as both a Selectperson and a returning Board of Education member. Ms Shoemaker, if elected as Selectperson, noted she would recuse herself from voting (and I presume discussions, otherwise that would be awkward) on the District budget. The District budget is literally 4 -5 months of discussion and a significant topic on every agenda- which also encompasses every topic before the

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Less Reliance on Imports Will Generate Locally-Sustainable Economies and Jobs

As inoculations against SARS-CoV-2 lag, U.S. death tolls, topping 725,000, continue to climb. By year’s end, if vaccine-recalcitrance continues, more Americans will have died from COVID-19 than combined U.S. war fatalities, excluding WWII. Many infections, resulting from unheeded mandates and advisories, and resistances to fact, were preventable, dwarfed by domestic firearms murders (1.6 million since 1968), surpassing U.S. mortalities from 1918 flu. Final tallies depend on vaccinations. Tuesday, countervailing anti-vax propaganda, Fox News correctly debunked misinformation about the death of Colin Powell. Despite being vaccinated, Powell passed away from preexisting conditions and a “breakthrough infection.” Countering anti-vaxxers, Fox correctly reported

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Formica: Seery ‘the Most Qualified to Lead Our Town’

I write to strongly endorse Kevin Seery as the next First Selectman of the Town of East Lyme. Kevin raised his family here and has served our great town for 24 years including 10 years on the Board of Selectmen — 7 of those years as Deputy First Selectman — and 14 years on the Board of Education, with 6 years as its Chair. He has decades of service in town volunteering both as a sports coach in soccer and lacrosse and helping with the drive to install the Miracle League Field in Flanders. Kevin has strong leadership and management skills, which he has honed with

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Hogan: Respect, Due Diligence, Transparency for East Lyme

East Lyme needs government leaders who will bring respect, due diligence, and transparency to the Board of Selectmen. The Democratic candidates are committed to these ideals.  Once elected, they will make well-reasoned policy and thoughtful decisions that our residents, regardless of political persuasion, will respect.  Candidate Terry Donovan, a twelve-year veteran of the Department of Zoning, and a local contractor, must often cut through the red tape of local town departments in order to get a project completed.  Terry is a no-nonsense person with a desire to make government work for the people.  Candidate Ann Cicchiello, current Vice-Chair of the

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Urgo: Keep Mustapha Ratib as Treasurer and Balestracci/Porter for Selectwomen!

We have some very qualified candidates running for elected office this year. Not many towns can say an accountant serves as their Treasurer but here in North Stonington, Mustapha Ratib is both an accountant and our Treasurer. It is critically important we have someone qualified in this role who understands finances. Not only is Mustapha an accountant but he spent nearly a decade on the Board of Finance where he was a chief architect of our budgets. We are truly fortunate to have someone like Mustapha willing to run for this position. We have two highly qualified women who have

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