January 16, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Saunders in 33rd Embodies ‘Compassion, Wisdom, and Joy’

To the Editor:

Abraham Lincoln said, “before the age of forty, God is responsible for our face, and after the age of forty, we are responsible for our face.” Just looking at Brendan Saunders’ face, the gentleman running for senate in the 33rd district, you will understand what Lincoln meant. Saunders’ face radiates compassion, wisdom, and Joy.

Saunders’ wisdom presents itself with his laser focus and deep understanding of the difficulties of balancing one’s budget in the over-taxed, Democrat-run State of Connecticut. He has pledged to work diligently to cut wasteful spending and cutting Connecticut’s obscene taxes. Deep reforms of energy companies are high on his” fix-the problems” agenda.

Probably the most crucial issue is his devotion to our First Responders. He has pledged to oppose any policies aimed at defunding the police. It takes wisdom to think beyond the emotional and understand the dire ramifications of any such short-sighted legislation or tyrannical edict by a Governor.

Joy. Unlike so many “seasoned elected officials,” Saunders is a joyful human being. What could be better for the 33rd district than a happy warrior fighting for us while armed with acute wisdom and deep compassion? Same old, same old endorsement of the policies that have driven Connecticut into a fiscal mess makes no sense.

Sincerely,

Alison Nichols, M.Div.,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney is Strong Advocate For Our Children, Public Schools

To the Editor:

As a mom, the quality of education in Old Lyme is extremely important to me, that’s why I am supporting Devin Carney for re-election. Devin has always stood up for Lyme-Old Lyme schools while at the Capitol and fought against policies that would have been a detriment.

Last year, hundreds of Lyme-Old Lyme parents testified against bills that would have led to state forced school regionalization. One of the bills even proposed splitting Lyme and Old Lyme up into two different large districts. The proposed massive school districts would have taken away our local control and reduced our input. Devin Carney stood up for local parents and students and worked to stop these proposals. He held a forum on the topic to give parents the opportunity to speak out and to let them know that their voices were being heard. This is the type of service I look for from a State Representative.

Devin has also supported legislation to improve school safety, protect student data privacy, and to improve internship opportunities for our students. He understands that our schools are a big reason why people move to Lyme and Old Lyme and a driver for our property values. I know he will continue to be a strong advocate for our children and our public schools and that’s why I will be voting for him on November 3rd.

Sincerely,

Maria Corrao Marchant,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Clarifying the Contrasting Positions of Carney, Rubino on Critical Matters

To the Editor:

Human rights attorney Dave Rubino is challenging Devin Carney for the House of Representatives seat in the 23rd District.  Dave’s position on many social issues differs markedly from Devin’s.  As indicated on Dave’s campaign website, he supports:

  1. criminal justice reform;
  2. a strong social safety net;
  3. adequate paid family and medical leave; and
  4. a reasonable living wage. 

On the other hand, Devin voted AGAINST the following bills in the Connecticut General Assembly:

  • 2020–HB 6004, An Act Concerning Police Accountability;
  • 2019–SB 380, An Act Concerning the Use of Force and Pursuits by Police and Increasing Police Accountability and Transparency;
  • 2019—SB 1, An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave;
  • 2019—HB 5004, An Act increasing the Minimum Fair Wage; and
  • 2018—HB 5460, An Act Concerning Minimum Employee Wages for Providers of State-Administered Services for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

Please consider carefully which candidate’s positions more align with your own when you vote on November 3.

Sincerely,

Betsy Groth,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Rubino’s ‘Impressive and Diverse’ Experience Would Bring ‘Sophisticated Insight’ to State Rep. Position

To the Editor:

An oft-repeated family mantra is “Think globally, act locally.” This is one reason I, an octogenarian, have already voted for Dave Rubino, State Representative Candidate, District 23.

This young man impresses me as a solid citizen, and Old Lyme is lucky that he and his family decided to make our town his home after an impressive and diverse career as a corporate lawyer, and, as an international human rights lawyer. He brings to the position of State Representative, the kind of sophisticated insight needed for fighting COVID, and its insidious progression in healthcare, how to open schools safely, and how to balance the need to reignite our economy by helping small business owners to reopen and convince the public to use sensible preventive health measures by wearing masks, refrain from large gatherings (especially as cold weather will preclude outdoor events), and wash hands.

Regardless of your party affiliation, I encourage you to vote for Dave. His experience in working on women’s rights, climate change, voting rights, racial justice is of the utmost importance as we go into 2021.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Dave. He is a good listener, and a thoughtful responder. I see Dave Rubino as a welcome addition to the State Assembly. We need potential leaders like him!

Sincerely,

Alison C. Mitchell,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Cares About Environment, Our Communities; Accomplishes Things in a Bipartisan Manner

To the Editor: 
I care deeply about our environment and that’s why I am proud to support our State Representative, Devin Carney, for re-election. Devin has always been a strong supporter of preserving and protecting our local open spaces, forests, and waterways.

He has supported legislation to improve our coastline resiliency and to create a Long Island Blue Plan in order to better prepare for our future. He understands that our local economy and communities rely upon the health of the Connecticut River and the Long Island Sound.

Devin co-founded the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus to help work on innovative, fiscally responsible solutions to increase our renewable energy portfolio in the future and to assist in creating jobs in emerging green technologies. I appreciate his forward-looking work in this area and the fact that he wants to accomplish things in a bipartisan manner. This is something we certainly could use more of these days.

His environmental record has been recognized by the League of Conservation Voters who named him an Environmental Champion and gave him their endorsement this year. He’s also a member of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, a national bipartisan organization that seeks solutions to issues affecting our environment.

I hope you will join me in supporting Devin for re-election this year as our State Representative. He is committed, independent, and will always work to do what’s right for our communities and our environment.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Thompson,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Vote Rubino to Gain a Knowledgeable, Effective State Rep., Stop Trump’s Party Strengthening in CT

To the Editor:

The Hartford Courant recently reported, “As the Republican National Committee recruits a volunteer army to monitor voting machines, check voter IDs and possibly issue challenges in battleground states, the Connecticut GOP is actively growing its own Election Day operation. . .   Connecticut Republican Party chairman J.R. Romano wrote in an email to party members. ‘JOIN the EDO [Election Day Operation] Army For Trump NOW. . .’”

Donald Trump has made the Connecticut Republican Party his own.  On November 3 we will vote to fill the 23rd House District seat with either Republican Devin Carney or Democrat Dave Rubino.

Dave has practiced law for 24 years, most of that overseas addressing problems caused by bad government.  His office is in Old Lyme.  Dave’s values could not be more different from those of Trump’s GOP, and he would make an extremely effective state representative.  Dave’s career has enabled him to become expert at understanding the law, drafting it, and persuasively arguing his positions.

Dave sits on Old Lyme’s Economic Development Commission.  He is fully aware of our area’s economic condition and how the state can help us.  He will stand up for universal voting rights, a strong safety net, health care for all, racial justice, a reasonable minimum wage, student debt relief, affordable housing, and environmental reform.  Dave’s website–www.rubino2020.com—provides more information.

If you don’t want Trump’s party to gain strength in Connecticut, please vote for Dave on November 3.

Sincerely,

Bennett Bernblum,
Old Lyme

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee and the Old Lyme Board of Finance.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Supports Small Business; Works to Make CT More Affordable, Increase Job Opportunities

To the Editor:

As someone who is self-employed, I always keep up with Connecticut’s business and fiscal policies. Over the past several years, the legislature has raised taxes and increased business mandates making it harder for a lot of businesses to survive here. The outbreak of COVID has certainly not helped and I’ve got a lot of concerns for the future of our economy.

One person who I know supports small businesses is Devin Carney. Devin has always advocated for smart fiscal policies that will reduce costs to the State of Connecticut. He supported eliminating the business entity tax, opposed proposals that would create taxes on accounting and legal services, and stopped the mileage tax. As a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, Devin serves as a fiscal watchdog and a strong voice for us against higher taxes.

As a father and grandfather, I want Connecticut to be a place where young people want to move – and Devin wants the same. He has always worked to make Connecticut more affordable and to increase job opportunities. He’s been a strong advocate for increased training for in-demand opportunities in manufacturing and the trades.

We cannot have someone representing us who will make life more expensive for folks living in Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. And that’s why I’m supporting Devin. He has always been there for us focused on the district and I know he will continue to be.

I wholeheartedly support Devin’s re-election and hope you will do the same.

Sincerely,

Pete Friel,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Rubino’s Record, Broad Experience on Racial Justice, Voting Rights Both Impressive and Timely

To the Editor:

We are writing in support of Dave Rubino’s candidacy for State Representative in CT’s 23rd House District. His record and broad experience in matters of racial justice and voting rights are very impressive, and very timely.

Paraphrasing Thomas Paine: “These are the times that try our souls.”: institutionalized racism, voter suppression, gerrymandering, a pandemic that has made health and healthcare inequities in the United States  apparent, and an elected executive hell-bent on undermining confidence in our elections.

Although those issues are ostensibly non-existent within the friendly confines of Old Lyme, CT; it is high time, nevertheless, that we build a cadre of elected officials who understand and are willing to act on these problems of national importance.

Sincerely,

Christina J. & Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Displays Sound Reasoning, Common Sense, Compassion; Deserves Re-election

To the Editor:

I am voting to re-elect Rep. Devin Carney for the Connecticut State House of Representatives in the 23rd District. Devin, like many of his constituents, grew up in the district, attended local public schools, and has worked here for years. Devin Carney is Connecticut shoreline through and through and he understands what it takes to represent this area. I see how hard he works on legislation and policy and how much time and dedication he puts into the communities he represents. Many of his nights and weekends are spent meeting with constituents, attending events or state and local public hearings, or volunteering.

As a senior in college and a proud 2017 Lyme-Old Lyme graduate, I would like Connecticut to be a place where I can have opportunity and Devin has worked on legislation to make that a reality. He supports the “Learn Here, Live Here” program to help local young people purchase their first home, he supports increasing job training opportunities for in-demand careers, and he will continue to advocate for our schools, our safety, our health, and our beautiful coastline.

I believe that Devin will usher in a more modern Connecticut with his millennial views on social and business values. Devin created the bipartisan young legislators caucus and the bipartisan clean energy caucus and continues to be active in the national bipartisan Millennial Action Project where he represents Connecticut. Devin Carney is a man that I respect and am thankful for because in times of conflict, division, and malice, Devin still believes that there is more that unites us than divides us and will continue to work towards compromise. He votes using sound reasoning, common sense and compassion to make Connecticut the best state it can be. I urge you to vote to re-elect Devin Carney, our State Representative.  

Sincerely,

Corey Knepshield,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Rubino Will Not Be Restricted by Party Lines in His Quest For Solutions That Benefit Local Community

To the Editor:

I am writing to encourage your readers to support and vote for Dave Rubino, the democratic candidate for the 23rd House District to represent Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. I have had the opportunity to meet Dave, and talk with him about the issues that drive him as a person and a professional. Dave is a lawyer, with both business and human rights experience. His work on international voting rights demonstrated a shift in him professionally, putting his money where his mouth is, and fighting for what he valued.

While the national election for President captures the most attention, it is our local representatives that have the biggest impact on our lives on a day-to-day basis. David’s international legal work was bi-partisan in nature, working under both republican and democratic presidents. We need that willingness to work towards solutions – regardless of party – that bring progress to our community.

Dave has stepped up in recent years to volunteer and work in his community as a member of the Old Lyme Economic Development Commission. As our state and community work our way towards recovery and navigating the COVID crisis, we will need leaders willing to listen and represent the interests of our small businesses and navigating what is best for our community from a public health standpoint. As a member of the Old Saybrook Board of Selectman and chair of the
Economic Development Commission, I am confident in David’s ability to provide that for our community.

Sincerely,

Matt Pugliese,
Old Saybrook.

Editor’s Note: The writer is an Old Saybrook Selectman and Chair of Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Deserves Re-election, No One Works Harder for Lyme-Old Lyme Community

To the Editor:

Rep. Devin Carney is a champion for Lyme and Old Lyme at the State Capitol. Among his many accomplishments, he has worked to defeat the high-speed train from decimating our community,  helped secure funding for Old Lyme’s library and open space in Lyme, and supported local parents in their fight to stop state-mandated school regionalization.

Locally, Devin is active in Old Saybrook Rotary, which provides scholarships to Lyme–Old Lyme students; he’s a member of the Lyme–Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce; and he serves on the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals.  No one works harder for our community!

Over his six years in office, Devin has amassed a successful record of fighting for his constituents; he knows his district and he knows his way around the capitol. There is still work to be done, and with his committee assignments and House leadership status, Devin Carney is the right person to continue representing the 23rd District in Hartford. He has my vote and I hope he can count on yours.

Sincerely,

Ellen Cole,
Old Lyme.

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Our Policy Regarding Letters to the Editor

LYME/OLD LYME — We look forward to receiving your Letters to the Editor regarding the upcoming election and so thought it would be helpful to republish our policy regarding Letters.

Letters must not exceed our 450-word limit.

Letter writers must supply their name, home town, and telephone number for verification purposes.  They also should note any political memberships/affiliations.

We will publish a maximum of one letter every two weeks from each individual letter-writer.

We will publish letters and op-ed’s related to the Nov. 3 election through midnight Saturday, Oct. 31.  The only letters which will be published Sunday, Nov. 1 and Monday, Nov. 2, will be those directly related to letters previously published.

No letters related to the election will be published Nov. 3.

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Letter to the Editor: It’s Time for Change, Rubino Will Promote Climate of Equality as State Rep.

To the Editor:

I met Dave Rubino last year while working on a local election in Old Lyme.  You learn a lot about a person when you are knocking on doors and phone calling together.  I was immediately drawn to his passion to serve the people.  As a Human Rights Lawyer, who has work in the US and overseas, he has a breadth of knowledge and experience about creating a climate of equality that we desperately need in our country right now.

I realize we don’t have term limits, but I only wish we did.  I do believe that even the best intentioned politician loses their passion after a certain amount of time in office.  Although well meaning, I do believe Devin Carney has lost his edge for serving the people and putting his heart into his responsibilities as the State Representative.  It is through the ballot box that we can enact term limits and bring a fresh perspective to and energy for our district state representative. seat.  The year 2020 is a time for change.  I trust Dave Rubino and I plan to support him with my vote on Election Day.  I hope you will join me!

Sincerely,

Kathleen Tracy,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to the USPS (Excluding Old Lyme P.O.) — Stop Messing With My Mail

To the Editor:

To Whom it Should Concern at the USPS

Please stop messing with my mail!

Let me remind you: Title 39 of the U.S. Code states that the Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.

Unfortunately, your recent “transformative” initiative has had “unintended” consequences that impacted overall service levels.

Is it possible that these consequences, “unintended” or not; have resulted in an unacceptable degradation of the Postal Service, — which is also relied upon by many Americans for prescription refills, pension checks, and, we thought mail-in absentee ballots in November?

You have already warned many states that those transformative misadventures will likely make USPS compliance with state-mandated deadlines impossible to meet.

This may be another moment in history where “failure is not an option”. God help us if that is not also your goal.

Note that I am not suggesting that this is a local issue at USPO/Old Lyme.

Sincerely,

Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Land Trust’s Assessment of Bucky Brook Beaver Situation Challenged

To the Editor:

I recently read the statement provided to you by the Old Lyme Land Trust in February. I find it odd that no one from your organization met with Dave Berggren to confirm the lowering level of the pond after one dam was removed.  What’s more egregious is that when I took the Bucky Brook path just yesterday I found 4 beaver dams as well as the beaver’s lodge and how the volunteers did not see these is beyond me and they should be ashamed to have suggested otherwise.

The entire Bucky Brook needs to be dredged as well as the beavers removed.

I have video documentation of all the beaver dams if you want to see.

Sincerely,

Lee Detwiler,
Jenkintown, PA.

 

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Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to the Old Lyme Community … with Two Challenges

Editor’s Note: We published this letter July 22. We have received comments almost daily related to it — the publication date shown reflects the date of the most recent comment. PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OF JULY 31, 2020 COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE ARE NOW CLOSED.

To the Editor:

An Open Letter to the Old Lyme Community 

Several weeks ago a group of two or three hundred residents of Old Lyme marched from Town Hall to the First Congregational Church. On that day, people of varying political perspectives and social backgrounds joined together to give voice to the pain, indignation, and yes, hope, that meaningful change could be enacted to address the systemic racism that continues to plague our country. It was a heartening moment, one that was reenacted a week later in Lyme, thanks to the leadership of several thoughtful and passionate students from the Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Both events were the occasion for our community to acknowledge its limitations, even while articulating our broad aspirations, that toward which we hope and strive. 

Foremost among our limitations is the scarcity of people of color in our two towns, a fact made overwhelmingly clear by the rallies themselves. The faces gathered on the church lawn and on the ball field in Lyme were predominantly white. Foremost among our aspirations is the will to address that painful evidence of de facto segregation, and to make our town more welcoming and open to people of all races and backgrounds. To do that, we’ll have to ask, and hopefully answer, difficult questions about what makes our schools, our houses of worship, our public spaces, our town boards and committees, and yes, our housing, so overwhelmingly homogenous, so overwhelmingly white. 

Two years ago Old Lyme went through a series of public hearings about an affordable housing project that would have been built under the direction of HOPE Partnership. During those hearings, many residents voiced a variety of concerns about the location of that project, while also saying that they were broadly supportive of affordable housing – just not there. 

Now is the time to reopen that discussion. Now is the time to trust that what was spoken during those hearings, a broad affirmation of the need for affordable housing in Old Lyme (and Lyme), was actually the case. Now is the time to trust that the pain, outrage, and hope that brought so many of us together last month might actually translate into a meaningful gesture to address the de facto segregation of so many of Connecticut’s towns, including our own. Now is the time to come together as a community, and to finally construct the affordable housing that we so desperately need if we are to be the welcoming and open community we wish to be. 

In a recent conversation with HOPE Partnership, they shared that the organization expended over $100,000 as a result of costs incurred in Old Lyme two years ago. This included land deposits, architects fees, engineering fees, and legal fees. That loss has severely impaired their ability to continue their mission of building affordable housing along the Connecticut Shoreline – though it’s surely worth noting that Madison has recently approved a HOPE project, with another currently underway in Essex. Still, among the consequences of the Old Lyme incident is that HOPE has not been able to hire a new executive director after their previous director left. HOPE Partnership is one of the foremost agencies working to address the systemic inequities of our region, inequities that have profound implications for the racial injustices that have weighed heavily on our hearts over the last months. 

And so here are two challenges. First, can we in Old Lyme come together to collectively raise the $100,000 it will take to replenish the losses HOPE experienced two years ago, helping to restore their capacity to pursue their mission? Through the generosity of two anonymous sources, the First Congregational Church is able to seed that effort with $25,000. That’s a start, but the gap remains. Might some of the other organizations in town be willing to contribute to that effort? Might individuals, with contributions both large and small, be willing to help meet that goal? It would go a long way toward binding the wounds that still exist from two years ago. And it would be a meaningful way to address the systemic injustices that our nation is finally confronting. 

If you’re willing, you can contribute to HOPE Partnership at: 

HOPE Partnership Inc. 90 Main Street, Suite 105B Centerbrook, CT 06409 

We also understand that not everyone is in a position to help financially during this time, particularly because of COVID-19 and its aftershocks. Moral support is also deeply appreciated. You can show that in the form of a letter or short note to HOPE, which would go a long way toward encouraging those who have volunteered their time and labor to construct affordable homes in our region. 

The second challenge is this: we need to find a site where affordable housing can be built, and we need to get out of the way and allow the project to move forward. We are encouraged that the recently formed Old Lyme Affordable Housing Committee is working to identify sites in town that might be suitable, and we support those efforts. 

It won’t single-handedly solve the inequities and injustices that plague our country and our region. But it will create an opening, one that suggests that we’re listening, that we’re responding, and that we care. 

In hope … 

Sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Steven R. Jungkeit, Old Lyme.
Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager, Old Lyme.
Rev. Carleen Gerber, Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: All three authors are Ministers of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OF JULY 31, 2020 COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE ARE NOW CLOSED.

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Letter to the Editor: Parks & Rec. Leaders Challenged Over Use of Old Lyme Ballfields by Private Entity That Brought in Hundreds of Out-of-Towners

To the Editor:

Old Lyme Parks and Rec. Commission has dedicated much of their energy over the last few years, and particularly the last few months, to limiting the activities in Hains Park. Most recently, this has been executed under three guiding principles: limit the use of public property by private entities, limit the use of Old Lyme property by out-of-town people, namely residents of Lyme, CT and control the spread of COVID-19.

On June 27, lifeguards and parking attendants were stationed at Hains Park to control the influx of out of towners, and ensure social distancing, at taxpayer expense. On that particular Saturday, 3 out of town visitors were identified and barred entry, out of a total of 8 park users. Meanwhile, across town, at Cross Lane, chaos reigned. A private entity had commandeered our ball fields and brought in hundreds of ball-players from as far as the COVID epicenter of Westchester County.

Inquiries have not yet revealed a completed Parks Usage Form, as required by Parks and Recreation posted rules. No social distancing practices were detectable. The Emergency Management Director had not been notified, as has been required in May at Hains Park. Parking was so renegade as to impede the egress of Old Lyme emergency vehicles, stationed at that facility. When the situation was brought to the attention of a Park and Rec employee on Saturday, alternative parking was recommended, but the event was allowed to continue on Sunday without any mitigations.

This inconsistency brings into question the integrity of Parks and Recreation leadership. It is time that Old Lyme taxpayers are served by leadership who actually cares about parks and recreation.

Sincerely,

Candace Fuchs,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Sen. Formica Clarifies His Support of Expanding CT’s Absentee Ballot Rules

To the Editor:

I was disappointed to see David Collins write columns in The Day, (“Can Connecticut GOP block safe voting,” June 11 and “The two sides of Sen. Formica’s mouth on early voting,” June 26), which ignore many facts and try to paint all Connecticut Republicans as wanting to risk people’s lives in a public health emergency as a way of suppressing votes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Contrary to what is stated in Collins’ columns, I absolutely believe that in the current environment there is a need for vulnerable populations and those with preexisting conditions to vote by absentee ballot, and if Collins had called me before writing columns attacking me, I would have explained my perspective in detail. In this unique situation, I support no-excuse absentee ballots for all people, with proper safeguards in place to ensure every legal vote is counted.

As much as I would like to see every person be able to vote by absentee ballot, there is also a state constitutional question as to whether any legislature or governor has the ability to change the laws on absentee ballots because of the restrictions contained in the Connecticut Constitution. That document can only be changed by Connecticut voters through a ballot question, not by the legislature, governor or any state official.

The Connecticut Constitution does not allow for no-excuse absentee ballots, and states that the legislature may define laws for voting absentee only if a person is, “unable to appear at the polling place on the day of election because of absence from the city or town of which they are inhabitants or because of sickness or physical disability or because the tenets of their religion forbid secular activity.”

The question of what the legislature can do within these limits is currently being discussed amongst legislators and being looked at by the courts. We are awaiting an answer.

Collins wrongly jumps to conclusions about me based on a vote that took place last year long before the COVID-19 pandemic on a proposal to allow for early in-person voting, a different issue. I voted against a referendum on early in-person voting because there was no provision for a safe and secure method for which the early voting was to occur. Instead, the bill asked for a modification to the Constitution and left the safety and security provisions to be defined later. I thought it would have been fairly simple to outline the way early voting would occur with proper protections — in a town clerk’s office during a preset time period for example — and thought that was an important piece missing from the legislation.

While Collins’ intent seems to be designed to lump me and my Republican colleagues in with the division of Washington D.C., I have always worked with people on both sides of the aisle to reach solutions that help Connecticut residents. This issue is no different.

Our job as lawmakers is to make sure we have policies that protect everyone’s rights, including access to voting, the integrity of their vote and upholding the Constitution. If we can address the constitutional question and get clarity from the court as to what the legislature can legally do in regard to absentee ballots, I would vote for no-excuse absentee ballots for all, with proper safeguards during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

State Sen. Paul Formica,
Hartford & East Lyme.

Editor’s Note: State Senator Paul Formica represents the residents of the 20th Senatorial District, which includes Old Lyme along with Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Saybrook, Salem, and Waterford. He serves as Deputy Senate Republican Leader, Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee and the Energy and Technology Committee, and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Tourism Caucus. 

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Letter to the Editor: Is Cancellation of Lyme’s ‘Hamburg Fair’ Perhaps Premature? More Planning, Less Politics, ‘a Dose of Courage’ are Needed

Updated with new comment May 17:

To the Editor:

I can understand cancelling a major commercial event 100 days out.  Vendor contracts, insurance, etc. are complicated expensive things requiring major financial commitments months in advance.  The Hamburg Fair is 100+ days away, is this really the time to cancel an event that is managed by able and fabulous local volunteers?

Who doesn’t believe in safety first?  Some people don’t, we see them in the news taunting politicians demanding zero safety buffer in terms of distance and masks for example.  Obviously that’s the wrong approach in an airborne virus.  We all have been bench testing the tried and true distancing, mask and gloves method when we shop for the basics and mail things at the post office and it works.

There is extremism on the other end of the safety argument too.  I am saddened and frustrated that our local politicians aren’t rising to the challenge of this horrible virus and figuring out proven ways (thank you post office and grocery stores) to try to bring some semblance of our previous lives incrementally back.

At some point as the virus wears down, which it is, it will be more dangerous to drive to the Hamburg Fair than to attend it.  I challenge our local brain trust to work harder at opening up some non-unsafe, easily manageable human interaction services such as recycling, burn permits, and other low hanging fruit services to demonstrate to the populace that there is a light at the end of this virus tunnel.  Better planning, less political thinking and a dose of courage are the tools out of this nightmare.

Sincerely,

Andrew Gibson,
Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Closing White Sand Beach, Hains Park is Wrong: Old Lyme Residents are Responsible, Respectful

To the Editor:

I feel that closing White Sands (sic) Beach and Hains Park is wrong.  These are not public beaches; they are restricted for use by Old Lyme residents/property owners only, hence the requirement for a parking hang tag that residents can buy at the town hall. Certainly, we can maintain a safe distance from each other.

I have been isolating from family, friends and the general public since March 14th.  I follow guidance from the CDC and watch the news every day.  I worked for the CT Department of Public for over 20 years as a regulator, inspecting nursing homes, child care facilities, camps, mental health and substance abuse facilities, and I am very familiar with infection control.

Now that the weather is warming up and many places to recreate are closed, the beach is a safe place to commune with nature, listen to the waves, get some vitamin D, exercise, and ease anxiety.  Better than hiking or picnicking in the woods where there are ticks.

Now that the OL beaches are closed until further notice, I am grieving another loss of sanctuary – the freedom to exercise my solitary spiritual practice, to walk on the sand and wade in the water.

It is easier to maintain social distancing outside, than to do so in grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, hospitals, etc.

I believe that Old Lyme residents are responsible, respectful and thoughtful people, and I believe that we can use our beaches safely during this very scary, challenging time.

Sincerely,

Susan Kneen Way,
Old Lyme.

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