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Letters to the editor of the New Haven Register, New Haven, Connecticut, Email to

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fond memories of 'Stan the Man'

The passing of baseball legend Stanley Frank Musial, one of the most respected players in the Major Leagues, brought back many memories of the man who was my idol as I grew up. I became a Saint Louis Cardinal fan in 1944 when “Stan the Man” was in the early years of his 22-year career. As I grew older I was able to drive to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn with friends to see the Dodgers play the Cardinals. I did the same at the Polo grounds in New York when the Giants hosted the redbirds.
At every game that I attended at those two parks, Stan Musial hit a home run and more. His accomplishments and records of his long career speaks for itself. I have old newspaper clippings from the New Haven Register sports page with Musial in the headlines.
Some years ago “Stan the Man” was a guest at a baseball card show held at the University of New Haven. I can still see him as he was escorted to the autograph signing table. Standing only a few feet away from him, he stopped and said “we have business to take care of before we start.” He took out his harmonica and we all sang along to “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” At age 92, we have lost another of America’s greatest generation.
Edward F. Flynn Jr.
New Haven

Tie gun ownership to milita membership?

I do not own a gun and have an intense dislike of the NRA. I scarcely believe hiring armed guards in some local schools is the answer to the problem. More guns to meet the gun problem?
Frankly, I do not know the answer to our gun problem. Part of the cause is that our country was born in violence. The Second Amendment links the right to bear arms to the need for a strong militia. Maybe all gun owners should be required to join a militia, attend regular drills, buy uniforms, etc. Perhaps these duties would dim their ardor for guns.
James E. McKinney

Connecticut physician-assisted suicide bill a slippery slope

It has come to my attention that our state’s government is considering a bill to make physician-assisted suicide legal (S.B. No. 48). This bill, introduced by Senator Edward Meyer, is a dangerous precedent of the codification of state-sanctioned euthanasia. Even though it is self-inflicted, it is euthanasia nonetheless. To give this power to the government is to surrender an inalienable right that should only be held by the individual. I do not claim that those suffering from a painful and incurable disease should not be allowed the dignity of a peaceful and painless passing. However, I do deny the need of our state’s government, or any government, to make such a law. Such issues of life and of death are the sole purview of the individual.
Many people are weary of the “slippery slope” argument because of its misuse in the debates on gay marriage. But, if this bill is passed, then we would be taking that first step towards state-sanctioned euthanasia. Sure, one could argue that cooler heads would prevail and that the brakes would firmly be applied before we hit such a grotesque landmark. However, consider Belgium, which is now considering an expansion of a physician-assisted suicide law to include the mentally impaired and children. Belgium, a post-industrial, modern society, secular and liberal, entertains the idea that it would be acceptable to make the most vulnerable members of their society candidates for euthanasia. Who is to speak for the children or for those unable to speak for themselves? What mediator will make the determination that one’s life is no longer worth living? It is a cold thing to consider. Would that happen here? One cannot know with any certainty. Though, if Senator Meyers’s bill is passed it would make such a scenario a little easier to bring to reality. Once something is made legal it becomes a tool for whatever character of humanity that holds the reins of government.
Determinations of death and dying are ones that should remain the sacrosanct possessions of the individual; they should not be codified, in any language or in any form, by any government. It is my hope that this bill is defeated and I would urge my fellow citizens to consider my argument and express their opinion to their elected representatives.
Michael K. Sipes

Empty shoreline buses waste money, energy

It is senseless that the state is spending our tax dollars so carelessly when we are trying to conserve fuel, energy, save the atmosphere and save money. Every day I see huge buses, often with a trailer behind, traveling from New Haven along the shoreline. It is unusual to see more than one or two passengers on board. Often they are completely empty.
Public transportation is absolutely necessary, however, wouldn’t a van or other smaller vehicle be less costly and more fuel efficient?
J. N. Mitchell

East Haven library staff learn Spanish to welcome Hispanics

A reporter for the New Haven Register posted on Facebook an article that was written by Vivian Lee for the New York Times on Thursday, Jan. 24. The article headline was, “Hispanics in East Haven Are Wary of Kinder Tone.”
I am writing this as a board member of the Hagaman Library and as an East Haven citizen. The progress in the last year to embrace the Hispanic community by the library staff has been phenomenal! All of the staff have completed an extensive class in speaking Spanish, Sasha the children’s librarian, has incorporated her programs to include Spanish and there is a help group for Hispanic high school students applying to college, to assist them in completing their apps for college. I feel that we have embraced our Hispanic community and hope that they will feel comfortable when they visit us.
Susan C. Stacey
East Haven

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Haven Register will miss Charles Kochakian

It’s been 35 years since I received my journalism degree from George Washington University. Having worked as an advocate for most of the time since then, all over the country, I have had dealings with journalists in every size community and form of media. Few have matched Charles Kochakian’s unassailable integrity and commitment to community-based journalism. More than ten years ago, Charles helped reach out to me to present views of interest for and about the Jewish community, whether concerning Israel or more personal reflections in some 60 published forum op-eds to date.
At a time when it is fashionable to believe that “new media” speaks most closely to grassroots opinion, the New Haven Register’s forum section continues to be a well-rounded and broadly inclusive opportunity for presentation of wide-ranging views. I consider it a particular honor that Charles and I shared lunch on his last day. His departure reminds me that at their best, a journalist is a weathervane for a community conscience. Mr. Kochakian made New Haven better.
Neil Berro
New Haven

Let Obama lead us to promising future

In my opinion, the second term is more important than the first.
Sure President Barack Obama made history when the majority of Americans chose to take a chance on his leadership, but the American people liked what they saw in Obama and therefore want even more.
What an accomplishment! What a tribute! What an honor!
Are there any other modern day presidents who can truthfully say they were not financially secure from birth and can relate better to the average middle class? I think not.
Obama is one of us. Now stand aside, Republicans, and let him lead all of us into a promising future.
As for the years ahead, how about a woman for president who shares his knowledge, compassion, values and sincerity?
Are you listening, Michelle?
Glorialee Bomba-Anderson

Connecticut taxpayers' pockets are empty

I applaud the Jan. 24 New Haven Register opinion page article by Chris Powell, “State Dems oblivious on budget.”
It appears that our senators and representatives have major issues to deal with now — economic issues caused by their misguided policies — that have created an enormous burden on state finances and the economy.
They should ask themselves, “Why are companies not hiring and leaving the state?”
I believe they know, but are unable to come to the realization that this fiscal mess was created by the majority and our governor.
Picking winners and losers with tax policies and taxpayer-funded subsidies in the state is not a way to move forward when facing massive deficits.
I am afraid our state is falling off a fiscal cliff. It needs true leaders to stand up and do the right thing.
Taxpayers’ pockets are now empty with a transfer to the political elites and their friends.
William C. Nimons

Cleaver is no one to be inspired by, chief

Does the pandering ever stop with politicians and public officials?
East Haven Police Chief Brent Larrabee cites former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver as a positive influence on him after he read “Soul on Ice” during the 1960s. Cleaver was involved in the planning and ambush of Oakland police officers in a shooting in the late 1960s.
Cleaver was an admitted rapist, who acknowledged beating his wife as a means of “disciplining” her. Some of the heroes that Cleaver has cited in his past are Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro and Karl Marx, whose actions and political philosophy are responsible for more deaths than the Nazis under Hitler.
Cleaver comes to mind when the chief thinks of positive influences on his thinking?
I guess he was trying to impress us with how cool and enlightened he was.
It’s pathetic, but par for the course now.
James Maher

Only thing missing from special section was picture

Overall, I enjoyed the nine-section special editions featuring the New Haven Register’s 200th anniversary. I would recommend one change if done again for the 225th.
In the section that captured the sign for the Edward Malley store, you showed a picture of the sign on the Church Street structure built in the 1960s.
It would have been better to show the old building with the iconic clock on the corner of Chapel and Temple Streets, where the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale now is.
Anthony J. Mascia