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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why aren't Sisters on the Bus nuns protesting abortion?

What I would like to know is why aren’t these "Sisters on the Bus" nuns traveling across the nation calling attention to the horrible law allowing late term abortions as evidenced by the trial in Philadelphia? Have they forgotten their oath that life begins at conception or is by-passing the law more important to them then preserving life?
Alice W. Lehr
North Branford

Tearing down Sandy Hook Elementary School is a waste of money

I cannot believe the decision reached to raze the Sandy Hook school and build another one on the same spot for some $45 million. The only possible reason for such a decision would that it would serve as a reminder of the terrible tragedy that occurred there. You could put the Sphinx there and people would not forget the tragedy and shouldn't! Up grade the school, improve its safety but to raze and put a new school in the same place is madness and costly madness at that.
James E. McKinney

End IRS shenanigans by ending the income tax

Does anybody believe that the recent apology by the IRS refers to the first time they have done that sort of thing? Or the last? The lame excuse is that some group of low-level employees in, of all places, Cincinnati, decided to do it - all on their own and unbeknownst to Washington.
The original Constitution forbade the imposition of an income tax for fear of precisely the kinds of events that are occurring. The founding fathers understood that the power to tax is the power to destroy and the IRS has long since become the most powerful and overbearing agency in our government. The Fair Tax legislation before Congress (HR25 and S13) will end the income tax and most other federal taxes by replacing them with a national consumption tax. I urge readers to study it and learn about the multiple means by which it will dramatically boost the economy and then to join in support of its passage.
William F. Condon

Gina McCarthy will make a great EPA commissioner

As mercury pollution threatens our waterways and carbon pollution-fueled climate change worsens extreme weather, we need someone in Washington who knows how to get things done. That's why I'm asking our U.S. senators to support Gina McCarthy's nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
In a Washington stuck in gridlock and partisan sniping, McCarthy brings a history of dedicated public service, reliance on science and respectful bipartisanship. She worked for five Republican governors, including Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, before joining the Obama administration. She brings all stakeholders to the table to find workable solutions.
The Senate confirmed McCarthy on a non-controversial voice vote in 2009. With her experience and qualifications, her nomination to lead the EPA should be no different and should receive support from senators on both sides of the aisle. Our senators should stand up for clean air and water and confirm Gina McCarthy.
Francis Mastri
West Haven

Another victim of New Haven parking meter problems

Mr. Cline's letter to the New Haven Register on May 12 is right on. While visiting from Florida, a friend offered to take me to the Yale Art Museum. The meter required quarters, which we managed to scrape together between us. The meter showed time left. After putting $1.50 into the meter, it did not register the monies. We were gone approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes. When we returned, we found a $20 ticket. Since the meter had not moved and was still showing time left, why was a ticket written? A nice welcome to all visitors who, I'm sure, will think twice before coming back to New Haven. I'm one.
Jane Oppenheimer
Boca Raton, Florida, visiting Rose's Mill Road, Milford, Connecticut.

Why does New Haven Register support First Amendment, but not Second?

The editorial page of the New Haven Register has been beating the drum unrelentingly for the government to drastically curtail the people’s Second Amendment rights, often with demagoguery and rank dismissal of opposing views.
In counterpoint to this is a full page ad by the Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association, of which the Register is a member, declaring in huge print “The Fox Shouldn’t Guard The Hen House.” To what does this refer? Per the ad, “Pending legislation may remove your right to read public notices in the newspapers, moving them to government controlled web sites.”
Clearly the Register only cares about government interference and control when it might affect them and freedom of the press. They apparently care nothing for how much the government infringes on the other domains covered by the Bill of Rights, most prominently the right to bear arms. The Register is hypocritical writ large.
Lance Roderic Hart

Why are New Haven parking meter signs so hard to read?

On a recent visit to New Haven to pick up my son from college, I had the unfortunate experience of incurring a parking ticket.
It happened on a Saturday at the corner of Grove and Temple where new credit card parking meters have been installed. The signage around those meters is extremely vague and obscure. I even tried to call the City of New Haven parking department to determine how much money to put in and for how much time after 5 p.m., but no one answered (a Saturday, of course). The meters are nearly impossible to read in low light, the signage is vague at best, purposefully obscure at worst, and it is incredibly frustrating to incur a parking ticket unnecessarily (i.e., when one is trying to pay and do the right thing).
That is, unless, of course, the current signage is purposefully obscure so as to bring in more city revenue. Meanwhile, the City of New Haven is simply creating a very negative impression for visitors. Please change the signage to make it as clear as possible for all those who would like to do the right thing and pay their fair share for parking privileges.
Mary Ellen Galante
Cambridge, MA

Republicans were right to back Connecticut gun control law

The GOP members who voted for Connecticut’s gun law are certainly not traitors to the people they represent. The law does not stop people from owning guns. The Second Amendment is in tact. Background checks do not prevent owning a gun, it lessens the chance that an irresponsible individual will be able to get one. Anything that reduces the risk of gun violence, however small, is a step in the right direction. Any “platform” that prevents an individual from doing the right thing is changed conditions is flawed. We must have the freedom to make just decisions when they are called for. The well thought-out gun law is such a case.
Philip B. Arnold, M.D.

D-SNAP Irene aid was a waste of taxpayer money

Much has been written about the state employees who applied for and received money allotted to low-income families who didn’t already receive food stamp benefits reimbursing them for perishable food lost related to storm Irene. Unbelievably, anywhere between $200 and $1,200 was doled out to each applicant, depending on the size of their family! Logically, it should have been based on the size of their REFRIGERATOR!
We have a 22-food refrigerator/freezer, and our freezer is always packed, and yet I would estimate total refrigerator contents at $200. Are we to believe low-income families have that much surplus food? The maximum food allotment could have been $250., and that would have been generous.
According to officials, $12,500,000 was doled out to 23,000 people, and average of $543. That is absolutely absurd. No wonder so many people applied for it. Once again, our government proves it is great at giving taxpayer money away. It would appear that those state employees who received the money have spent it on attorney fees. That’s nice.
David Turrill
North Haven

Thanks for supporting Hamden's 'After-Prom' party

Each year, the Hamden PTSA sponsors an After-Prom party, which is an event from midnight to 4 a.m. for all Hamden seniors. The goals of the annual event are twofold - one goal is to provide an environment where the students feel celebrated by their community, but the other, most important goal, is to ensure every student arrives home safe on prom weekend.
Early this morning, the class of 2013 walked into the school that had been transformed by decorations and props with a James Bond theme. The students enjoyed activities that included Segway rides, games, dancing, a hypnotist show, food and prizes.
I would like to extend a sincere thanks to the parents, community members, and Hamden school staff for the hours of work that go into organizing, fund-raising, planning, decorating, and chaperoning the party. Thank you, too, to all the area businesses that donated prizes and food. The support of the community is vital to the success of this wonderful party. Each year, the individuals behind the Hamden PTSA deserve our sincerest thanks for ensuring the safety of our graduating senior students.
Holly Hawkins

Monday, May 27, 2013

Why doesn't Yale get more 'official' respect from the state?

I’m wondering when the celebratory parade will be held in Hartford for the Yale men’s hockey team for winning the NCAA Division 1 national championship. Or is such a festivity only reserved for state-sponsored schools? Give credit and recognition to those who also deserve it: Connecticut’s Yale University. And regarding the governor’s “bet” on the hockey game, both Pepe’s and Sally’s are located in New Haven. Quinnipiac University is located in Hamden, as is some of the finest pizza in the state. Perhaps the governor will consider Sergio’s on Whitney Avenue for his next palatable adventure.
Robert Silvestri

What's happening to women's toilets?

Why have all toilets in women's public restrooms been changed to floor models? They are the height for kindergarten or primary level children and the stall size themselves leave much to be desired, except in the handicap stalls which usually have plenty room to navigate but most have been outfitted with the "floor model" toilets. Because of the roominess in the handicap stalls women who are not handicapped rarely leave the handicap stalls vacant for those of us who are truly and legally qualified as being handicapped. The grab bars in the handicap stalls do not help those who have various handicaps to bend low enough to use the toilets without spritzing the seat, leaving a mess for others who use the stall. Please help us!
Gail Brown

Put a helmet on your bicycle-riding child

With the nice weather here kids will be riding their bikes. The smart ones will be wearing helmets. The others may not be so lucky if they hit a rock or run into a car. Helmets are so important. Parent’s if you can afford a bike you can afford to buy a helmet. The results could prevent a horrible blow to their head. It’s a small price to pay. If you can’t afford a new one, check Goodwill stores, thrift stores and tag sales. But do it please. Your child’s life could be saved.
Ann Sampson
New Haven

Same-sex relationships are friendship, not marriage

Mr. Norm Pattis writes “full equality for all should extend to marriage.” He argues for the gay marriage. Unfortunately he is living in a world of illusion like many others today. To simply call something so, does not make it so. Marriage is between a man and a woman, always has been and always will be.
To appeal to the notion of equality as a basis for something to exist is silly. Would you say a person with no education has an equal right to be called a medical doctor because in America we have a concept of equal rights? If you do not meet the definition of a doctor you are not a doctor, unless you live in the world of pretend. Likewise, if you do not meet the definition of a marriage, you cannot call a living arrangement a marriage.
Remember, God created male and female and joined them together. The Bible, in Romans Chapter 1, and human anatomy plainly show that sex between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is abnormal and a perversion. A civilization that cannot reproduce cannot survive. A relationship between people of the same sex is a friendship, not a marriage.
Russell Barnes

No celebration for anniversary of the income tax

How did we miss it? We should have had a joyful celebration on Feb. 25, which was the centennial of the advent of the income tax! Perhaps it’s not too late. Let’s all gather in parks and village greens and drink a toast to the wisdom of our forefathers on an equally auspicious day, the Ides of April. Or, maybe we should all take a serious look at the FairvTax and demand of our Congressmen and Senators that they finally pass that legislation this year.
William F. Condon

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Reform system to help immigrants from Poland

There is no effort being made by our Immigration and Naturalization Service INS officials to deport millions of illegal aliens in the USA. However Polish immigrants who come here LEGALLY, are often being deported back to Poland because Poland is not accorded the protection of a first class Visa, given to other countries. No effort s being made to resolve this inequity to Polish citizens in the USA.
Stan Muzyk Derby

Don't allow undocumented immigrants obtain documents for driving?

A story in the New Haven Register recently discussed a rally to support allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses. Oh, the sweet irony. It seems being an undocumented driver is actually illegal. On the other hand, being an illegal immigrant simply means you are innocently lacking documentation. A little consistency is called for. Continue the requirement for legal residents to be legal drivers, while allowing the undocumented to remain, well, undocumented in all ways.
Bob Olsen

Why does the New Haven Register hate guns and love homosexuals?

For as long as I can remember, until recently, the New Haven Register editorial board has been a voice of reason, with consistent, level-headed, balanced political commentary and opinion.
Perhaps beginning most prominently with the presidential re-election endorsement of Barack Obama in the face of his blatant managerial incompetency and ideological compulsivity, and with the puniest of criticism of his opponent Mitt Romney, Register opinion has turned sharply left in belief and style. There have been relentless caustic, sarcastic, degradative attacks on supporters of the Second Amendment, followed by demonization of one of the finest organizations ever produced in this country - the Boys Scouts of America. And just recently Register opinion is beating the drum on the issue of homosexuals and employment discrimination.
It is the job of the government and its elected and appointed officials to support and defend the Constitution. It is the responsibility of the press to keep the government’s feet to the fire on how well they are upholding this sacred trust. With complete self-centeredness and myopic vision, the Register has shown it cares only about one amendment in the Bill of Rights - the right of a free press, i.e., its own rights. It apparently cares nothing for the unencumbered right of citizens to bear arms, nor of the right of free association. The Register editorial board has lost its mind and its credibility.
Lance Roderic Hart

U.S. shouldn't intervene in Syria

I have just returned from a three-country speaking tour in Europe. There I watched a CNN report that should shock the world and the people here.
One, a report showed that Al Qaeda had forced the people of a northern Syria town they control to witness the execution of three government officers in the public square. This reminded me of the practice of the Nazis in Europe.
Two, they showed on another report the commander of Al Qaeda troops cutting out the heart of a government soldier and boasting to the correspondent.
Three, the newspapers reported that Al Qaeda was selling oil from three northern Syrian towns they control to finance their operations.
This is the conflict that the 150 CIA representatives are conducting in our name. These many years we invaded Afghanistan because the enemy was Al Qaeda. Polls show that 70 percent of our people are opposed to intervention in Syria. When will the Nobel Peace Prize President Barack Obama listen to the voices of peace-loving American people?
Alfred L. Marder
New Haven

Slow climate change by no longer eating meat

A review of 12,000 papers on climate change, in the May 15 issue of "Environmental Research Letters," found that 97 percent of scientists attribute climate change to human activities. Although we’re unlikely to reverse climate change, we can mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, energy use and meat consumption.
Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that it may be closer to 50 percent.
Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is generated by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport, and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
Each of us has the power to reduce the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of soy-based lunch meats, hotdogs, veggie burgers and soy and nut-based dairy products, as well as an ample selection of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes, and transition tips are at
Nick Harkner
New Haven

U.S. too big to avoid government scandals and problems

The current "scandals" in Washington are only part of a much bigger problem. Our government has become so large that it can no longer be managed or manage the problems that face it. The USA, like China and Russia, is too big, particularly with our form of government, to function effectively. Its bigness has caused us to get into wars we do not win and made us a host of enemies. Little countries like Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, etc., do not have these issues. They also have largely homogeneous populations. So there is a conundrum: is the size of the USA a blessing, or a continuing problem that will never be solved?
James E. McKinney

Time for Hamden to stop increasing taxes

Hamden taxes are on the rise AGAIN. Has it occurred to the powers that be that maybe we have had enough?
The lack of responsible fiscal administration goes back a long time. We taxpayers of Hamden would like to see the past politicians who put us in this fiscal mess be responsible for closing the gap. Let's find them - tax them and NOT us - it is not our fault and should not be remedied on our backs.
The town administration along with its commissions (made up of many volunteers) have been harassing the public long enough and spending foolishly. The commissions are made up of many individuals who have no idea how to read blueprints or interpret the regulations save for them being able to exercise their POWER to compromise anything a legitimate taxpayer attempts to do in this town.
Les Faiman Hamden

Newtown alone should bear cost of new Sandy Hook school

The good people of Newtown have decided to tear down the existing school, the site of their unspeakable tragedy, and replace it with a new building. They have every right to make this decision. However, I am appalled that our Senators Murphy and Blumenthal think it appropriate to ask all taxpayers to share in the cost of this decision. Our federal government is running deficits in the trillions. We should not ask the federal government – or the Connecticut government – to bear the cost of this new building. It was the decision of the people of Newtown; they are prepared to bear the cost.
Hillel and Sara-Ann Auerbach

Ann DeMatteo didn't lose a battle

Ann DeMatteo was far from a loser as your headline declares. She did not lose her battle with cancer, she died because of it.
Death is a part of life, and as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said, death is the final stage of growth. We need to accept it and let it bring meaning to our lives and stop avoiding even using the word death when somebody dies instead of some expression like lost, passed, moved on and more.
The purpose of life is for us to make a difference, and Ann did that. Her life and what she shared with all of us makes her a winner and immortal.
As someone commented in the article about her love remaining. Yes! Love is immortal and makes all things immortal while hate dies every minute.
The best part of Ann remains with us forever in the love that she shared with us. Her article sharing the "I can't versus the I can" was very meaningful to me and my family.
Ann interviewed me years ago and I shared through emails to her how meaningful her column was. Again, I repeat, she was not a loser, nor did she fight a battle or war with cancer. When you fight a war and focus on it, you empower your enemy. Ann never gave away her power to her disease. She focused on healing and learning from her experience and the people who cared for her and about her.
She lived the message that Mother Theresa taught. When asked to attend an anti-war rally, she answered, "I will not attend an anti-war rally, but if you ever have a peace rally call me."
Ann worked at healing her life and was a successful at doing so. We should all be proud of her and rest assured that though she is un-alive, she is also perfect again.
Bernie Siegel, MD

Parents, not gun makers, responsible for child shooting deaths

It is apparent that the author of the New Haven Register's recent editorial has focused on the wrong premise when he accuses corporate negligence and society’s tolerance as reasons for gun violence.
Most likely the blame belongs with the inattentive parents or no parental guidance at all. High Standard, Marlin, Mossberg, Olin’s Winchester and Smith-Wesson are not the culprits.
As a 10-year-old, my father bought me a Marlin hex barrel, lever-action, .22 Long rifle calibre rifle with a multiple cartridge tube. Before one shot was fired, he taught me gun safety, the need to unload any un-expended ammunition and insure the “gun safety” was on while transporting the weapon. After proper cleaning, a trigger guard was secured to which Dad held the key.
In the case of the Sparks family of Kentucky, sorry to point out, the father is the idiot. He buys a rifle for a 5-year-old? Never checks to see if the gun is void of ammunition? Leaves an unattended gun within the reach of a curious kid? We aren’t dealing with a 4th of July cap pistol! It was a recipe for disaster.
Unbalanced individuals committed the Colorado and Sandy Hook massacres. How do you regulate them? The majority of Connecticut’s murders are the result of unregistered firearms. How to you regulate those?
William F. Lanzoni

Don't waste money on addition to Bethany school

This is an open letter to Bethany Community School’s superintendent, John W. Barile, and the Board of Education in reference to their proposal to build an eight-room building, which is to be detached to the main school building with an enclosed walkway for an estimated $6.9 million.
This is to replace the existing annex buildings built 50 years ago. Is it not interesting to hear that a building 50 years old should be razed? Are we nuts? This is a repeat of a proposal of approximately 10 years ago. The buildings are of good, sound cement block and brick construction. If air conditioning is so important in today’s world, install new wiring to accommodate it. I had personally toured the annex buildings 10 years ago, and the teachers told me they loved the openness of the environment.
When considering the children’s safety, build a masonry crosswalk enclosure to keep the children safe when going to other classrooms. The walking is stimulating for the brain and should not be discredited. The excuses made do not warrant spending $6.9 million or more of our tax money. The educators and board members live in a fairy land.
Ten or 12 years ago, Russell vonBeren who was finance chairman stated if the school was to be built our taxes would be increased by 50 percent. My taxes are $7,000 plus now. It is an act of irresponsibility to the taxpayers of Bethany to be proposing a 50 percent increase in taxes. It is all absurd, therefore, I suggest Bethany residents let the Board of Education know it should not proceed with this wild expenditure.
Richard B. Barnes

'Health courts' a possible solution to problem of malpractice claims

The doctors and lawyers are at it again in Hartford fighting over malpractice laws. Doctors want to maintain the current law's rigorous standards that must be met to certify that a suit has merit to move forward.
Because this curbs their power to sue doctors, the trial lawyers are asking for an extra year (even though they already are allowed two years) to get their suits certified. The additional year gives them more time to shake physicians down with more depositions, more allegations, more threats, more waiting, and more worrying about what the final outcome will be.
It is admirable that the trial lawyers are looking for new ways to help their clients. But if the lawyers need three years to find someone who can certify that malpractice has occurred, one wonders if they really have a case or do they just want one more year to antagonize doctors.
Perhaps the system would work better with "health courts" that dealt only with malpractice. Presided over by judges that were specifically trained in malpractice, "health courts" could lessen hostilities and settle cases in months not years. By using medical experts appointed by, accountable to, and paid for by the court, not by the lawyers, health courts could lower administrative costs and legal fees. And the financial settlements would be more reasonable. Lawmakers should think seriously about health courts.
Edward Volpintesta, MD

Support legislation to protect nurses, patients

I am writing to urge people to contact their senators in the U.S. Senate in support of S. 739, the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act, proposed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif). This bill would establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, protect whistleblowers, and invest in nurse mentorship. The establishment of minimum nurse-to-patient ratios will improve the care we receive in the hospital, lower the rate of complications, and save lives. By improving working conditions, it will encourage nurses to remain in direct patient care. It will also create jobs for both new and experienced nurses, as currently, hospitals often place greater workloads on their current employees rather than hiring more nurses. These greater workloads both jeopardize the quality of patient care and lead to a high rate of burnout among bedside nurses.
While, at first glance, people may be concerned that this would increase the cost of health care, if we examine the research around staffing, minimum staffing ratios would actually lower cost. These cost savings come from the reduced rate of complications, shorter hospitals stays, reduction in errors, and lower rate of re-admissions that can be credited to minimum staffing ratios. National Nurses United has made this one of their key issues and have compiled fact sheets on the benefits. They are freely available at the National Nurses United website (
Minimum staffing ratios have been in effect in California since January 2004, showing that they are an effective health care reform in the real world. The legislation proposed by Sen. Boxer would extend the benefits of reduced complications, improved patient outcomes, better working conditions, and more nursing jobs nation-wide. While debate over exactly how to reform our health care system has often been both heated and divisive, we all acknowledge that health care costs are rapidly rising and that not all of us receive the same quality of care. A measure that both reduces costs and improves outcomes is something we can all support.
Gabrielle Maggio
New Haven

Humans can't control climate change

John Crisp’s article on climate change makes one wonder what the early Pliocenes were doing 3 million years ago to cause the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to be as high as they are today, and what behavioral changes they made to cause it to lessen over the next several million years? The earth’s temperatures may be rising lately, but as recently as the 1970s climatologists thought we were heading towards another ice age due to the severe winters. Earth’s temperatures fluctuate over time and it’s the height of arrogance to suggest we, as humans, can control it.
Michael Caserta

Lawmakers should do more to protect Connecticut River

For the sake of our state, senators must become more aware of the issues surrounding the Connecticut River. The river is a staple of Connecticut and an important symbol for anyone who lives or has lived in this state. If the river is allowed to deteriorate and be forgotten due to overdevelopment, it is not just the river that will be harmed, but the image of our state, the image of our people. As residents of Connecticut, is it not our responsibility to stand up for the river and preserve the face of our state? Do we want to be seen by other states as the state that shuns our fundamental duty of preserving the land where we live, or the state that has the initiative and honor to continue to preserve it in the face of our increasingly hectic world?
Peter Mulholland

Undocumented immigrants have no right to driver's licenses

I am a law-abiding citizen of this country. Illegal immigrants are breaking the law every day they are in this country, just by being here. They are breaking the law again every time they drive a car. If I were to get stopped and not have a driver's license I would be arrested. That is as it should be, I would be breaking the law. Illegals, however, are going to be rewarded for breaking the law by being given driver's licenses and citizenship. I feel like my country isn't mine anymore, the illegals have more rights than I do!
Beverly Sturges

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Refreshing to see Hobby Lobby closed on Sundays for family

There’s a new store in East Haven called Hobby Lobby that has a sign on their door which states they are closed on Sundays so their employees can spend time with family and have a day of worship; in other words a day of rest. I can’t believe it. I thought I was the only one left on the planet that wouldn’t dream of shopping on a Sunday. How refreshing!
Roseanne Karbowski
North Branford

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ann DeMatteo was a pioneer in Connecticut media

In the early 1970s, newsrooms began hiring many more women reporters as feminist leaders sought more representation of women in the media. Ann DeMatteo was one of these talented young journalists. She represented us well as a local pioneering woman in communications.
Ellen Creane

Ann DeMatteo a remarkable woman who inspired many

Every time I spoke to Ann DeMatteo in person or through email, she always was very positive about life and the moment we were in. From the time she asked me to fill in at the last minute as a judge to a beauty contest, to responding to an encouraging word I sent her after another inspiring article she wrote, Ann always made you feel good. She truly was a remarkable lady who never complained about the hand she was dealt. One of the last times I saw her she came to Branford to be at the Branford Festival and enjoy the music with friends. She looked radiant and her charm made us all feel good. All of greater New Haven will miss her very much.
Bill O'Brien

Train derailment shows folly of New York telecommuter tax

Connecticut residents who decided to take Governor Malloy’s advice to telecommute while Metro-North service was suspended may be saddled with a harsh penalty for their decision: the telecommuter tax.
The telecommuter tax derives from a New York state rule known as the “convenience of the employer” rule. Under this rule, if a nonresident with a New York employer chooses to spend some of his work days working from home, New York will tax the part of his salary he earns in his home state despite the fact that the home state can also tax that income. The choice to telecommute results in two state tax bills on the same wages. The rule is both unfair and unwise. Connecticut residents should not be punished for using the Internet to get to work. They should certainly not be punished when government authorities urge them to do so.
In past sessions of Congress, Connecticut delegates have sponsored legislation that would abolish the telecommuter tax, prohibiting New York (or any state) from taxing nonresidents on the wages they earn when they are physically present in a different state. Such legislation must be reintroduced and ¬ at long last ¬ enacted. We do not need another Metro-North derailment, 9/11, or Superstorm Sandy to remind us that telework can mitigate losses when catastrophes occur and that taxing a disaster recovery tool makes no sense.
Nicole Belson Goluboff, Esq.
Scarsdale, N.Y.

Taxpayers outside of Newtown shouldn't bear cost of new school

The good people of Newtown have decided to tear down the existing school, the site of their unspeakable tragedy, and replace it with a new building. They have every right to make this decision.
However, I am appalled that Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal think it appropriate to ask all taxpayers to share in the cost of this decision. Our federal government is running deficits in the trillions. We should not ask the federal government – or the Connecticut government – to bear the cost of this new building. It was the decision of the people of Newtown; they are prepared to bear the cost.
Hillel and Sara-Ann Auerbach

Don't erode public's right to know by taking notices out of newspapers

Please do not consider the proposal to stop publishing town and state public policies in our newspapers. Governor Dannel Malloy’s power play with the state of the Freedom of Information Act with his proposal is an assault on a taxpayer’s right to know what is going on in their town and state of Connecticut. The newspaper is still the most important place for me to know what is happening and when. People, let your legislators know you want these public policies and happenings in your newspaper and not hidden and hard to come by.
Elsie Valeski

Legal notices in newspapers protect the public's right to know

It is not very often I agree with your editorials, but recently I give you thumbs up!
"....the move to get rid of public notice requirements in newspapers is being pursued under the guise of saving money." Guise is the operative word here. The Malloy administration, aided by the privileged elite, is not transparent, and doing away with the public notice requirement in newspapers will only embolden this administration along with some city and town administrations.
Everything seems to be accomplished in such a way so the citizens and taxpayers are kept in the dark. Thank you for looking out for us taxpayers.
William C Nimons

Racist attitudes toward immigrants aren't new

Nick Lacobelle's letter to the New Haven Register on May 7 needs a response. The writer's remarks about Mexicans and other minorities were sad reminders of the racist attitudes that victimized previous immigrants to America.
In the early 1920s large numbers of the immigrants flooding our shores were widely considered to be of "inferior stock." The Irish, Catholics, Jews and Italians were especially singled out as unskilled, ignorant and not easily assimilated into American culture. These concerns led to the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, which gave preference to Northern European immigrants, and set quotas for immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. After this law was passed, the numbers of Italians entering our country dropped from an annual 200,000 to less than 4,000. Although these restrictions were eased in later years, Nick Lacobelle's letter is testimony that racist attitudes persist, continuing to denigrate minority groups.
Muriel M. Diaz

Chris Murphy parrots President Obama's positions on Middle East

Regarding his comments pertaining to the Middle East, somebody should ask Senator Murphy if he has any thoughts of his own or does he simply parrot the speaking points of his supreme leader Barack Obama. He even agrees with Obama that it's OUR fault Muslim extremists want us dead! We are poorly represented, indeed.
Michael Caserta

Republican presidents left country with higher debt

Concerned conservatives “worried” about the debt crisis might have an effective way to deal with it in the future, politically that is. That's because since World War II, only three presidents have left office with a higher debt to GDP ratio than when they came in, and their names are Reagan, Bush, and Bush. So how do Republicans improve the debt ratio? Based on history, vote for Democrat presidential candidates.
Norman L. Bender

New Haven screwed up by issuing parking tickets during Yale graduation

I have to applaud the city of New Haven. After reading the article a few days ago about Yale and the city coming together in a wonderful symbiotic relationship in the anticipation of a new major and Yale president, New Haven takes a day that is so special to many and decides to implement something so inconceivable that even the people instructed to carry out this directive blush.
Yes you guessed it, parking tickets. Really!
What on earth went through your minds? What department was it? Certainly the mayor could have done one last kind gesture and lifted the ticketing. Really a genius move. One-hour and two-hour spots when the graduations lasted a lot longer.
“Oh wait, Master and Dean. I have to feed the meter and don’t want to miss my child that I spent all this money on, receive his/her diploma so can you wait till I get back?”
Instead of embracing the moment, you managed to disgrace New Haven. What on earth were you thinking?
Oh, that’s right you weren’t. You could have walked away heroes, but no, you had to think about the almighty buck. It didn’t matter that you inconvenienced all those parents. The same people that came in from all over the world, stayed for the weekend and helped put money in the cash registers of the local businesses. Congratulations.
Guy Guarino

Don't develop area around Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge

As a longtime resident of Connecticut, I am simply appalled that there is consideration for development around the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge on the Connecticut River. Last month, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy stood up for protecting this area, and we must guarantee that these lands are safe from pollution and over development. The ecosystem is very fragile, and we must urge more senators from the New England region to support this river which is not only vital to our state, but to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont as well. I also urge my fellow citizens to take a role in this, for if we do nothing, we all lose.
Andrew Frentress

Are New Haven parking meters inspected?

I do not mind paying for parking in New Haven, though I do wish all the meters accepted credit cards. But I do object when I am shortchanged time on the meters. How often are the meters checked for accuracy? More than once I have returned well within the time I paid for, to find the meter declaring me in violation. The last time this happened, on May 14, I was shorted more than 35 minutes and received a parking ticket - which I am now protesting. I am wonder what I should do to verify the time on the meter and the time that I purchase.
Karen Isaacs
North Branford

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Switch to 'UConn' was unnecessary and a sellout

I was saddened – but of course not surprised - to read that the Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut has changed the name of my alma mater to "UConn." The University of Connecticut was pressured by marketing strategies and Nike, which supplies the uniforms.
I believe Nike also introduced red into our traditional blue and white colors years ago. I doubt if Yale would alter its blue and white colors if Nike came calling!
Is there something bad about the word “Connecticut” that we have not only done away with the state seal from UConn’s seal in 1999 (replacing it with some oak leaves), but have relegated the name of the state to the second line?
After all, who owns and pays for the university? Oops! I forgot! If Nike gives just a little bit more, over time, we’ll have a Nike dorm. The name of Harriet Beecher Stowe was ditched from a dorm years ago and never replaced. But who cares?
With any luck, Nike will give us even more bucks and then we can name the whole university after it, but fortunately my diploma will still read “The University of Connecticut,” not “UConn, the University of Connecticut” or “Nike University.”
Are any of the trustees alumni? It seems that Nike is really so powerful that it has manipulated the name change of our largest university for marketing reasons. What reasons? To sell more T-shirts in other parts of the country? Nike can still sell “UConn” T shirts without manipulating the university into changing its name. I am so disgusted with the so-called trustees.
Anita Bologna

Proud of UConn women's basketball team

As I was listening to evening news, the station was broadcasting the UConn women’s basketball team. It was a joy to hear the women and coaches speak. They spoke of the team and all of their success. They spoke in words that we could all understand. Every player and coach spoke of the team as a whole and not of ME. Unlike the men’s team, I was proud that the women’s UConn team represented themselves and the state of Connecticut with pride and honor.
Ron Acampora

New Connecticut gun restrictions are unconstitutional, and do little

Some people have written into the paper expressing their relief that the new gun law has banned magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, or praised other parts of the legislation. While they have every right to hold that opinion, I feel disturbed by the lack of knowledge that citizens have about the very rights they have — as well as the lack of common sense in Hartford.
We should not be asking questions like “Why would you need such-and-such a feature on your gun,” when it is a Constitutional right to bear arms. It should not be about what we need as far as guns go, but what it is our freedom and liberty to choose. No one “needs” a sports car, a swimming pool, or even to be able to sit in the front of a bus, but those are all rights and freedoms we have to choose from as Americans. Our Founding Fathers cannot honestly have meant that it’s alright for citizens to own guns, so long as they don’t have any “evil” features like rifles with sliding stocks or pistol grips, or pistols weighing more than 50 ounces or that have extended magazines. Would Thomas Paine have written about these in “Common Sense?”
These silly ordinances defining what an “assault weapon” is do no good for anyone — they do not keep the streets safer from dangerous criminals (who use illegally-acquired weapons); make it more difficult for honest citizens to arm themselves; and do not even affect how deadly or powerful a weapon would be.
I urge every reader to do some research about what the new laws really mean and really ban. For instance, the new law does nothing to ban fully-automatic weapons of any kind. Find out for yourself what terms like “semi-automatic,” “flash suppressor,” and “magazine” really mean. Read the legislation yourself, or go over it with a lawyer or police officer if you can. We need not just more responsible gun owners in Connecticut, but more informed citizens. Owning a gun is a right we all have; but being an informed citizen is everyone’s responsibility. Don’t let feel-good legislation sway your emotions — get the hard facts about what any bill or law really means, and make up your own mind. With all of this talk about “common sense” laws, I feel it is high time that everyone get some real common sense about what is going on, and not just rely on what we hear!
David Zeppieri

Objecting to gun control, Obamacare, drones, EPA, NEA, FDA, TSA, DHS

I am done prefacing each pro-Second Amendment conversation with a statement that I share in the sadness of the Sandy Hook massacre. I am a human being; of course I am saddened and have empathy for those who lost loved ones and witnessed, at any level, this carnage. My love of country and defense of our Constitutional rights does not mean I am cold and unfeeling to loss.
I am angry. I am angry with elected officials on both a state and a federal level for exploiting this tragedy. These stricken families are being used as a means to an end. Gun control has been a goal of the liberals for many years. In Connecticut, politicians have already acknowledged that this newly passed gun legislation will not prevent another massacre, will not reduce crime. However, some are still giddy with excitement, having killed two birds with one stone (pun intended). On the one hand, they passed "feel good" legislation – answering the battle cry to "DO SOMETHING," pacifying the stricken and the gun grabbers. On the other hand, they have managed a foot in the door on gun control.
If this were truly about preventing the violence we see every day there would be an acknowledgement that the cause is societal decay. A poisonous plant must be pulled out at the root, not snipped at the top. No, there will be no acknowledgement, no discussion; it does not fit the ideology. Why did it take the slaughter of children in a predominantly white middle class suburb to spur such a passion for change? Why no outrage over the poor, the minorities in our inner cities that are placed in body bags on a daily basis? Could it be that some of our politicians and our very first mulatto president are racists? Why is Sandy Hook the poster child for gun control? Is one class of people considered superior to others?
Dan Malloy spoke truth – no firearms confiscation – this year, that is. During the Senate debate on April 3 it was clearly stated that confiscation would be the thrust for next year. Bill 1160 is just the beginning. And, in Washington, the cries to follow Connecticut’s example are at fever pitch.
Wake up, America. We must view the second amendment as the keystone to an arch. Without the keystone, the arch collapses. Every bit of our Constitution deserves our defense and protection, however, without the second amendment (the keystone), we are powerless to defend the rest of Her against any enemy, foreign or domestic. This is absolutely the method of last resort. By the authority of our Constitution this right must not be infringed. The second amendment is about parity with the government. It is about self-defense, it is NOT about hunting. It is checkmate.
History does repeat itself. Herewith are quotes from our Declaration of Independence, directed toward the King of Great Britain, followed by today’s transgressions akin to those our Founders suffered:
“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” The NEA, EPA, DHS, FDA and TSA.
“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.” Drones monitoring the activities of American citizens.
“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation” Ceding our sovereignty to the United Nations.
“For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent” Obamacare.
The liberals have been whittling away at our rights for years, many are the reasons we have allowed this to continue unchecked and that stops now. Patriots are taking action. We still believe in our nation, in American exceptionalism and our God given right to "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness" as the individual, not the government, defines it. We intend to restore America to her full glory as envisioned and sustained by our forefathers. Any politician that does not uphold the oath of office had better start dusting off their resume, you know who you are; you will be job hunting.
Linda Czaplinski

Newtown parents' grief should not feed a gun control agenda

Dear grieving families of Newtown:
I just finished watching the 60 Minutes piece on "The Promise of Newtown" and felt compelled to write – first to offer my deepest sympathy to each of you for your unimaginable loss, and second, to acknowledge and thank you for your heartfelt efforts on behalf of all children and families that may benefit from your efforts and avoid the type of tragedy that you have experienced, which I assume is your over-arching goal in organizing to push for new gun control laws. I am also writing to tell you why I question, and to a certain extent, disagree with the the forum and means you chose to advance your agenda, and why I generally oppose the forces advancing a gun control agenda.
As a preface, there are a couple of things I’d like you to know about me. I have very intimate personal experience with the horrific loss of a loved one, though not as a parent, but rather as a sibling when I was very young. I have never been a member of any right to bear arms organization, such as the NRA, although I am now seriously considering same. I am a trial lawyer and have represented a family that lost a child to a firearm accident
My concern with the forum, 60 Minutes, is that they do have a gun control agenda, explicit or otherwise. As pointed out in the piece by Scott Pelley, nationally, support for more gun control legislation is waning. On one of the Sunday talk shows somebody was lamenting the fact that Obama should have done more while the horror of Sandy Hook was fresh in people’s minds. This attitude fits squarely into the logical fallacy of the “bandwagon effect;” take advantage of the crisis while it is foremost in people’s mind; it’s part of the let no crisis to go waste attitude. It is a dangerous way to run a democracy. 60 Minutes’ agenda was to revive the flagging support for gun control legislation. You were all used to accomplish that goal. The piece was compelling, and heart rending. How could anyone but a beast not support the goals of the Sandy Hook Promise? Argumentum ad populum.
I do support tightening up background checks and criminalizing straw man purchases. Those are practical straight-forward measures. But gun control does not lend itself to a facile answers. The slippery slope is no fallacy. There are forces that have an insatiable appetite for government control over the lives of people from cradle to grave. There are plenty of politicians that would just as soon remove the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights.
Generally, all of you appear to be thoughtful, considerate, sincere and measured in your goals and agenda. But there are also millions of law abiding Americans who deeply believe that the Second Amendment is the line in the symbolic sand separating a government of the people, by the people and for the people from tyranny. Central planners and their collectivists allies do not share this belief.
Again, please accept my deepest and most profound sympathy for your losses.
James S. Rummonds

A formula for dismantling government as we know it

We are on the wrong path. We should take advantage of the dip in birthrates following the baby boom to end entitlements.
Cut government back to the original four: Justice, State, Defense and Treasury. Cut Defense back to pre-2001 levels.
This national government will cost about $600 billion/year (20 percent of current revenue).
Use 50 percent of the current $3 trillion revenue to fulfill entitlements for those above 45 years old except that those below 45 will no longer pay FICA:let them save for themselves.
Use 30 percent of revenue to pay off debt. Debt gone in 20 years. Entitlements gone in about 40 years. This would leave a $5 trillion surplus for a "rainy day."
Taxes then drop to below 5 percent of GDP. No loopholes, no deductions, no tax credits and no entitlements. A flat tax and everyone pays, no exceptions.
Government back in the hands of the people, not special interests.
Doing the same thing at the state and local levels will drop government spending from 40 percent to 10 percent of GDP. This will also increase the wealth of all Americans by putting 30 percent of their income back in their own pockets. Surely you know that when government says it will pay for a thing, the hands come out and the market cannot correct it.
Promise retirement cash and we stop saving.
Promise subsidized healthcare and costs skyrocket in unfathomable ways.
Promise subsidized college education and tuition goes up.
Promise minimum wages and prices go up.
Promise subsidized housing and the housing market craters.
Promise regulation and the frequency of financial meltdowns increases.
Promise free food and the number of recipients increases.
Promise union support and unions dominate the government workforce.
Promise more investment in K-12 and we fall further behind in world standings and now I pay nearly $20,000 a kid in Shelton when teacher retirement and ECS are added to local education spending.
Please, fix this. I can supply details upon request.
Martin N. Hoffmann

Mistakes in leadership have wide-ranging impact on East Haven

Instinctively, one senses the domination of self-interest in reading the New Haven Register’s article about the four indicted East Haven Police officers compensation, which to be fair is to be expected. But the question it raises is the one that asks if the town’s interest was equally served when its attorneys, police commissioners and ultimately the mayor entered into that contractual agreement. Which brings to mind another so obvious it is almost embarrassing to ask, which is: When we elect our mayor and town council members, does their qualification and competence matter? And once they are elected and begin making appointments to boards and commissions, even chief of police or town’s attorneys, do their nominees’ competences matter more than political / family relationships?
In fact, when the decision to hire so-called minority police officers in an attempt to add color to the ranks, and give an appearance of equality and fairness in employment opportunities, did anyone ask whether the idea was more insulting to the community than agreeable? Whoever embraces hypocrisy or tokenism as being acceptable does not deserve to be publicly heard much less make decisions for the public good. Life experience has taught us that the color of one’s skin does not define a person’s character nor portend one’s immaturity. But what’s in their brain generally does.
Police officers are the only town employees who can bankrupt the community financially, for they are the only ones authorized to carry a gun and kill a human being. So the next time we vote, let's pause and seriously ask ourselves: who and why? Unfortunately that dictum is more honored in the breech than in the observance as evidenced by the ignominious reputation of East Haven, which its so-called leaders have bequeathed, which sadly continues, as illustrated in the incestuous nature of East Haven politics.
Oni Sioson
East Haven

Connecticut Republicans who supported gun control are traitors

On April 4, 2013, our legislature passed its own version of knee-jerked gun control statutes, adopted to punish law-abiding gun owners here in Connecticut. Among others, Len Fasano, John McKinney, Larry Cafero and Themis Klarides, leaders of Connecticut's Republican Party, voted in favor of these punitive prohibitions.
In August of 2012, they were all delegates to the Republican National Convention. At which, the national Party platform was adopted. It stated, "We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban." While these representatives partied in Tampa, none of them opposed the passage of the Party platform.
However, less than a year later, they all betrayed the Republican Party, voting for expanded gun laws of which they have no idea the impact, nor the application, nor would have saved any child in Newtown. Additionally, with no increase in public safety, their expanded gun laws increase state expenditures by about fifty million dollars. They should have voted no. At the very least because emergency certification was not warranted. (By contrast, ask any of these "leaders" to propose that welfare recipients be drug tested and watch as they shake and cower in a far corner.)
After the recent terror acts in Boston, we are told that we should not judge all Muslims based upon the actions of a few. Isn't it time that the millions of gun owners in Connecticut get the same treatment? Apparently, these "representatives" do not think so. Personally, each of them are nice. Most salesmen are. However, they prove that, when the going gets tough, instead of standing for principles, they would rather bask in the progressive fantasy that bad people will actually abide by ridiculous gun control laws. (Not.)
Craig C. Fishbein

TEAM thanks the Valley

For the past six years, TEAM had the honor of hosting “Men Who Cook” a Valley-wide event. For one night in April, hundreds of residents, businesses and community groups joined together for a festive and casual evening of food and celebration. The night would not be possible without recognizing the hard work of the volunteer chefs, community volunteers, TEAM staff and all who gather together for the evening.
We would like to honor and recognize the individuals who contributed countless hours to the success of Men Who Cook. The co-chairs: Charles Sullivan, David Grant and Jeff Westine, all the “men” who cooked our Sponsors, especially the event Marquee Sponsors, Naugatuck Savings Bank and the Bassett Family, and those who attended along with the media who helped promote this fundraiser. TEAM is also thankful for the event’s “mc”: Chaz from Chaz and AJ in the morning on 99.1PLR.
We’d also like to recognize the time and talent provided by the following community volunteers: Adrienne Cabral, Joyce Barcley, Rita Crana, Carol DellaRocco, Joan Kayser, Ernestine “Ernie” Luise, Carol Pendagast, Dick Feher and Fred Ortoli. Our gratitude to the volunteers who secured silent auction items: Pam Eckhaudt, Patricia DaPaul, Monica NiKolbibaj, Pat Connelly, Linda Malkin, Joy Kulmann, Barbara Osterhoudt, Sharon Maler and Denin Hunter.
A special thanks to TEAM’s staff and Patricia Tarasovic and the United Way Youth Leadership Program, a wonderful and energetic group of teens who assisted during the event. TEAM is blessed to be in the Valley and have the caring help of everyone in the community. We say “thank you." it is our privilege to work with you in 2013 and into the future.
All proceeds from Men Who Cook directly benefit the programs run by TEAM.
Richard J. Knoll, President/CEO
Stephane Skibo, Chairman, Board of Directors
Diane Stroman, Vice President of Development
TEAM Derby

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey kids, put down that calculator

Parents fret today over their children's use of digital devices. They fear that iPods, Xbox 360, or smart phones are taking over their collective brains and lives. Well, think again. The most harmful device your child uses today may very well be their handheld calculator.
Many classrooms, middle school and up, allow calculators to be used. Calculators are particularly helpful with upper-level math problems such as graphing parabolas, calculus and such. But, in many instances, they become overused. Calculators are sometimes being used to do basic arithmetic operations when a student lacks the underlying math skill. Calculator over-reliance is responsible for atrophied mental math skills. If left uncorrected, the lack of mental math skills will lead to problems not only in their next grade level, but beyond that in executing life’s daily challenges.
Mathematicians have always searched for efficient ways to perform mundane calculations to free their minds to focus on more complex problems. The abacus and slide-rule are two such examples. Thus, the real question is not “if” to use a calculator, but “when.”
There are many opinions as to when it is OK to allow a child to use a calculator. With all the divergent points of view, what’s a parent to do?
Here's a simple test. If your child is currently using a calculator in class, give them this quick quiz below. They should be able to answer each question in their head within about 2 seconds.
9 times 7 [63]
17 minus 9 [8]
68 plus 15 [83]
72 divided by 8 [9]
80 times 3 [240]
51 minus 14 [37]
7 times 8 [56]
24 divided by 3 [8]
8 plus 7 [15]
150 divided by 25 [6]
If your child can do most of the above exercises in their head with relative ease, you can feel pretty confident they are not using a calculator in class as a crutch. If they don't fare so well, don’t worry so much about their Facebook, smart phone and texting usage ...worry instead about their over-reliance on calculators.
Mark Ahrens

Increase death benefits for fallen U.S. soldiers

The military in Afghanistan and Iraq claims it takes $1 million to field each serviceman for duty, however the cash benefits to survivors of troops who die in the war s zones -- in only $100,000. It costs 10 times as much to equip a soldier to die, than upon death, to provide for surviving family members. Time to raise this death benefit!
Stan Muzyk

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Donation of Hamden burial plot to Boston bombing suspect wrong, insensitive

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with Paul Douglas Keane’s decision to offer his burial plot in my hometown of Hamden to the family of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. I would like to provide the New Haven community with a student’s perspective on this troubling issue.
I am currently ending my sophomore year at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Bentley is approximately four miles from Watertown, where Tsarnaev’s younger brother was apprehended in a local’s boat. Our school was placed on lockdown for the entirety of the manhunt as the student body quickly became extremely worried about our safety. Like many students in the Boston area, I was horrified upon hearing the news that there was an explosion at the Boston Marathon – especially after realizing the explosion happened in the exact spot I had been watching the race from the year before. For the entire week following the Boston bombing, the actions of both Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for leaving the Greater Boston community anxious, worried, infuriated, and most of all, terrified.
Mr. Keane lives in Vermont and will not thus have to suffer the consequences of his choice as severely as we will. I hope that he will soon understand the consequences of his selfish decision and will choose to honor those affected by Tsarnaev’s violent actions.
These times call for us to respect thy neighbor, not thy enemy. Hamden must not be responsible for Tsarnaev’s family’s shortcomings. Mr. Keane, I speak for many members of our community when I kindly ask that you reconsider your decision to allow this horrible man’s legacy to toy with our town’s peace of mind and innocence. I also ask that you respect our community’s healing process, one that will not cease for quite some time.
Jenna McPhail

Boston bombing suspect doesn't deserve to be buried in Hamden

I read in the Tuesday, May 7, issue of the New Haven Register, of the Douglas Keane, a liberal alum of Yale (now retired), intention to donate one of his burial plots at Mount Carmel cemetery to the family of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He’s doing it “in memory of his mother, who taught me to love thine enemy!”
Why doesn’t Mr Keane donate his two plots in Hamden to someone who would is more deserving of them? My suggestion for Mr. Keane would be to yet buy another plot in New Hampshire (where he now resides), and have Tamerlan Tsamaev buried beside his plot! His own native country does not want him, his father never came back to America to claim his body (but an uncle who lives here did - and he himself admitted being shameful of what his nephew did). Now all of a sudden he’s worried about proper burial? Tamerlan’s mother decided not to come back to America, because she would be arrested on an outstanding shoplifting charge. This man does not deserve the honor of a proper burial or anything from our great country!
Think of the three people who died, and those that were maimed for life - would you be so forgiving if it were a member of your family that was killed or hurt? No, I don’t think so. I would not give him or his family the last laugh! Step back, Mr. Keane - think it over. What would you have engraved on his headstone?
Theresa C. Gamberdella

Monday, May 6, 2013

Parking meter policies impede New Haven's downtown success

Merchants, restaurants, theaters and concert venues in the City of New Haven are to be commended on providing the city’s residents and visitors with outstanding evenings in New Haven. But, then there is our Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking, which seems to do everything in its power to pull the rug out from their efforts.
For example, on April 19, Woolsey Hall was packed with concert goers who enjoyed an incredible performance by the Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club, and Yale Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale. The event started at 8, and ended around 10:30. After the concert, more than a third of the cars parked along Grove Street were ticketed for parking violations. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence in New Haven. Instead of remembering an evening in New Haven as being one of good food or outstanding entertainment, the last and longest-lasting memory for many is the aggravation of the parking ticket provided by the City of New Haven.
Why is this so? I can think of at least two recent changes that make parking in New Haven a hassle. The first reason is the change from 5 p.m. to the extended hours of 9 p.m. that parking meter fees are required. The second, and more ridiculous, reason is that we now have a hodgepodge of parking meters. Some meters only take quarters, while others take coins or credit cards. All of the ticketed cars on Grove Street were parked next to meters that only accept coins, and to attend the concert one would have had to come prepared with at least $3 in quarters.
I appeal to the next mayor and Board of Alderman to rethink the misguided and counter-productive system now in place that makes parking a significant deterrent to anyone contemplating shopping or an evening out in downtown New Haven.
Gary Cline
New Haven

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Motorized aircraft don't belong at state park

Your photo of the paraglider buzzing beach goers at Silver Sands is mistitled. There is nothing heavenly about having a noisy, motorized aircraft flying low over you. There is no logical reason these motorized toys should be allowed on the small Silver Sands state park.
What next, ATVs? Dirt bikes? It is hard not to allow them when you allow paragliders.
Does the DEEP (Department Energy and Environmental Protection) conduct a risk assessment when it grants permission for something like this? It only takes a few minutes on YouTube to realize a small problem could result in a catastrophe for people on the beach or board walk.
The city of West Haven had the good sense to ban these aircraft for safety concerns. The taxpayers are paying for the DEEP failing to act on warnings about the aggressive chimp that eventually mauled the woman. Are we going to pay for a crash by one of these toys? Please, DEEP, keep the state parks as quiet, safe refuges for all the people.
Jeff Osborn

New Haven Register is wrong about East Haven mayor

The New haven Register recently published an “anti-Maturo” and “anti-East Haven” editorial in response to Mayor Maturo’s announcement that he will seek re-election. The biased, one-sided, anonymous editorial is proof that the Register will say and publish anything to help unseat Mayor Maturo; even resorting to an unfair and slanderous depiction of Maturo, East Haven and the residents of our great town.
 Without any actual proof, the Register falsely and irresponsibly claims Mayor Maturo’s first 10 years in office were marked by intimidation and intolerance and that the town is “corrupt” and “racist.”
The Register ignores that Mayor Maturo is a war veteran, a loving father and a decorated former firefighter – who most recently saved a man from drowning during Superstorm Sandy.
The Register ignores that, in his first 10 years in office, Mayor Maturo led East Haven off the state’s distressed municipality list, balanced 10 straight budgets, and gave East Haven one of the lowest tax rates in its modern history.
The Register ignores that Mayor Maturo came into office in 1997 on the heels of the Malik Jones tragedy, and that he sensitively and cautiously oversaw the town’s handling of the case, which was most recently decided in favor of the town.
While scandals involving bribery, larceny and other serious felonies have rocked other city halls across Connecticut, the Register has chosen to pursue a campaign of hate and criticism against Mayor Maturo and East Haven. Their editorial is proof that the Register has no interest in responsible journalism.
My message to the Register is simple: East Haven is not your punching bag. We have challenges, but they pale in comparison to the challenges facing other communities. Our 30,000 residents are good, hard-working people and our town is not “corrupt” or “racist” – despite what the Register may print.
Ben Mazzucco
East Haven
Ben Mazzucco is the East Haven Republican Party chairman.

Republicans have done lots of damage

This country has a two-party system and everyone knows that Republicans have stood against every good idea and bill this president has had. They watered down the health care bill, they laugh at any work bills, but mostly they stood by and let the previous president put us in such a huge debt that the only way out of it is to tax the wealthy or cut social programs. They knew what they were doing. They succeeded in destroying this government with DEBT and oh, how they love keeping the wealthiest 1 percent even wealthier. Wake up.
Rob Campbell

Don't expect all power company customers to choose a provider

I was very glad to see an article in the New Haven Register regarding United Illuminating’s plan to use independent electric providers. I have discarded any offer that came in the mail, and I have explained at length to salespeople who came to my door. “I don’t know your company. I don’t know anything about you. What assurance do I have that you won’t suddenly raise prices or be unable to fulfill your guarantee?” Even if they intend to be honest about what they promise, this is an untried enterprise; they could run out of product or cash flow before the end of term.
Last month’s electric bill included a list of almost a hundred companies: “pick one.” How can I pick one? I don’t gamble; I don’t even spend a dollar on a lottery ticket. No one on a fixed income has any idea what to do with this idea. I am glad I’m a member of AARP.
Harriet V. Harris
West Haven

Connecticut gun law as dumb as bottle deposit bill

Passage of the new non-sense gun control law by our legislators in Hartford, including our governor, should not come as a surprise to anyone. After all, this is the same legislative body which, in 1980, passed one of the strangest nonsense laws in history, requiring a 5-cent deposit on each container of only carbonated beverages. That's right, the container was worth 5 cents only if it contained a carbonated liquid. These same containers, although the same material, size and shape without a carbonated beverage, did not carry the 5 cents deposit, without it. Thirty-three years gone by and these dimwits in Hartford still make fools of themselves with nonsense laws.
Wayne Hugli Sr.
West Haven

Urban apartheid, indeed

Greater New Haven Branch NAACP President James Rawlings is absolutely correct and right on target when he describes the current social issues in Connecticut and the rest of the country as "urban apartheid." What happened to Brown v. Board of Education, 1954-1955? What happened to Sheff v. O”Neill, a Connecticut case? Where is affirmative action today? We still have segregated housing, separate but unequal education, and lack of job opportunity for many of our citizens. Author and civil rights attorney Michelle Alexander refers to the disparate incarceration rates of black men as “The New Jim Crow” (title of her 2010 book). Why haven’t we been able to overcome these inequities in our society and reach equality as has been promised to us for so long? Do we have the will to do it? Margo Johnson-Taylor
New Haven

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Animals need special advocates in Connecticut court cases

It was surprising to read your recent editorial slamming Rep Urban’s efforts to help abused animal victims in a better way than just a passing media story. Her proposal for a qualified advocate to represent animals in court on cruelty cases is long overdue and should be applauded, not derided. This chosen advocate would be known to all parties, could take the necessary time to research each individual case, and be available as needed.
Is it really practical to expect veterinarians to serve as legal advocates for animals in court? Should they really be expected to spend time in court defending non-paying clients? Who would repay him or her for lost time at the office and not being available for emergencies? With the recent focus on mental illness and how violence towards people often begins with cruelty towards voiceless animals, we need to see these cases in court. Animals need qualified advocates to represent their interests now more than ever. Thank you, Representative Urban, for a great idea. Obviously, the writer of your editorial has never given or received the affection of a pet animal, or directly witnessed an incident of animal cruelty and its devastating consequences.
Doris Gimbel

Gun owners must do their part to keep us safe

No matter what rights the rest of us have to give up in order to keep society safe, the gun owners think that they should never give up anything. Recent letter writer Donald Kennedy makes my point exactly when he says enforce anything on anybody else but leave him (a gun owner) alone! Why do gun owners think that the Second Amendment allows them to do anything they want without restriction. That IS the problem. Statistics show that you are more likely to be killed by the gun that resides in your home than the one that shows up at your front door, so that is a lame argument also. Worrying about how much money you spend on ammo when most people could eat for a week on what you would waste at a shooting range makes that argument pretty lame also.
Barbara Torino

Gun control efforts violate the Second Amendment

History repeats itself on a daily basis. At one time, not too long ago, our trusted government became too controlling and was focused on domination. When the people realized, they took their freedom into their own hands and fought back. A small unstructured country challenged the largest world leader, at the time, and won. Why? Perseverance, determination, unity, and sacrifice; all of which gave us the United States Constitution, and within that, a Bill of Rights that ensures every American that the federal government will never be able to overstep its bounds like it had before, and if it does, then the people are responsible defending and maintaining the core beliefs and foundation that was created by OUR Founding Fathers and the United States Constitution.
For a governor, let alone one of the original t13 colonies, to ban weapons not only goes against the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution but also goes against the 1803 Supreme Court ruling in Marbury v. Madison, which states that any law that violates the Constitution of the United States of America is automatically VOID.
The majority of Connecticut residents have statistically proven that they do not want any such decisions being made that contradict their constitutional rights, and for a public servant, such as Gov. Malloy, to go against the wishes of his employers, the taxpayers within the state of Connecticut, is grounds for termination.
What happened in Newtown was a tragedy, there is no question to that, but disturbed people, such as Lanza, are going to continue to bestow violence on society whether they have a gun or not. Looking at all of the places within the United States as well as the world that have such gun bans are statistically more dangerous and violent places in comparison to those without. What happens, if God forbid, a disturbed individual decided to get into their car and drive around an amusement park at high speeds, hitting the dozens of people walking in their way? Do we ban cars? Do we put limits on the size of the vehicle a person is allowed to drive? That same question goes for every tool that is used on a daily basis for whatever legitimate and legal reason it may be.
Inanimate objects do not hurt people; they do not kill. People, however, do, and have done so since the dawn of man; long before guns were ever a thought in the mind. Wake up Connecticut, and wake up America, do you not see the government is disarming you to ensure you are “not a threat?” But a threat to what, exactly…?
Michael Farrington

Fourth grader says Hamden shouldn't cut school positions

Editor's Note: The following was presented as testimony during the Hamden Legislative Council public hearing on the 2013-2014 education budget by Zoe Hoffmann Kamrat, a 10-year-old fourth grade student at Spring Glen Elementary School. 
I understand that the town needs more money. In order to do this, you think that you must take away positions from schools. This is not a good idea. The more positions that you take away, the less of a chance that our money issues will be solved. By taking away these positions, you are creating a large chain reaction. If we have schools with more positions and more opportunities for kids to learn, then we will have more minds that can work together and find better solutions to the problem. Also, you are making people that we want here in Hamden, not want to live here because of our low quality schools. I also know that some of the positions that you would like to take away are the instrumental music positions. I myself play the violin, and I take both private lessons and lessons at school. Many children can only take lessons in school. Once you take this opportunity away, it will probably never come back. By taking away instrumental lessons, you are taking music out of children’s lives for an entire generation.
Zoe Hoffmann Kamrat

Friday, May 3, 2013

If helping the poor is socialism, sign me up

The letter is in reference to Bill O’Reilly’s March 23rd column, “Progressive caucus offers budget Stalin would love.” One would wonder how a man who has a nine-digit income could not have the heart to extend a modicum of generosity to those who pursue what Mr. O’Reilly perceives as a socialistic takeover of our government and our freedoms to pursue wealth as a criminal offense.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is perhaps going a bit overboard in his socialistic point of view about taxation, but that is the way he thinks, and Americans in Congress and the Senate can deal with it.
I have just finished reading a 600-page book by Mary Gabriel on the life of Karl Marx and his relationship with his wife, daughters and close friend and confidant, Frederick Engels. Marx may have been off base on capitalism, but keep in mind, his social programs were developed in the 1800s when men, women and children as young as 12 years old were working 12 hours a day in coal mines and factories. At that time, there were people who did not have wages enough to even buy enough food to keep them from starvation. Starvation was a daily concern which did take place often.
Mr. O’Reilly mentions his eighth grade education in 1963 and all the kids who were proficient in their academic studies. Not too many years earlier, I worked for a socialistic organization helping young men get the equivalent of a high school education. It was a daunting job, but I think that all the available free educational textbooks and aids supplied to me did some good. By the way, the name of the socialistic organization I was working for was the United States 25th Infantry Division.
So my message to Mr. O’Reilly is: Spend a few bucks, even if some of it falls into the hands of the "undeserving poor."
Marvin Cohen

The Downtown Crossing traffic disaster is coming

The imminent disaster to New Haven’s traffic problems known as Downtown Crossing is sadly about to happen.
Pushed through by unbeatable powers, to make room for Downtown Crossing, two of three downtown exits are about to be closed, and a major portion of Route 34 will be permanently removed. In addition, the remaining portion of Route 34 is going to be converted to a slow moving surface road.
Even now, without Downtown Crossing, traffic is frequently backed up on the present Route 34 from Interstate 91 and 95. When it is completed and the permanent damage is done to Route 34, access to New Haven will be severely limited, making the traffic problems dramatically worse.
It will be very hard on both commuters and the people who now travel here to enjoy what our city has to offer. As a result, it will also hurt our local businesses. Unfortunately, New Haven will permanently suffer from the completion of Downtown Crossing, regardless of its purported merits. Downtown Crossing is happening despite the permanent inconveniences to the rest of us.
Michael D. Saffer
West Haven

Rushed gun control law only hurts law-abiding citizens

In an April 3 New Haven Register editorial, the Register states that the Connecticut gun control legislation is something to be proud of. If this was an accomplishment worth noting, the new laws would not be labeled as “emergency” to bypass comments and discussion prior to votes. Certainly not a proud way to pass any law.
If normal procedures were followed, the misguided legislation would not have passed. Police in Connecticut, and elsewhere, do not have a substantial problem with legally obtained AR-15 weapons being used in criminal activity, or high-capacity magazines. There is no age requirement to buy high-capacity magazines - are we really going to arrest people for having gun parts? Who is going to trace the hundreds of thousands of high capacity magazines already in Connecticut? They have no serial numbers or identifying markings.
This appears to be a rush to pass something that sounds good, but don’t look too closely at the law. Perhaps Sen. Looney and others involved with reducing gun violence should address the long-term criminal activity in their own districts - the new laws will not affect violent crime in Connecticut.
Connecticut should look to other states in New England for laws that work. New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine have far fewer gun laws and significantly less crime. Chicago and New York are perfect examples of how passing more gun laws does not reduce criminal gun activity. Only law-abiding citizens are hindered and criminalized.
Now that the “emergency” gun legislation is passé, perhaps Connecticut can borrow ideas that work so well in other states (like car safety inspections) that will actually save lives. Please ask your elected officials to show the results of the new laws on gun crime (and new taxes) before you vote.
Tom Webb

Connecticut can't afford to cut mental health services

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services budget before the Legislature takes a giant step backward. It cuts off state grant funding to community agencies for providing outpatient mental health and detox clinical services. The patients who will be denied are those who need these services the most. How can this be? In the light of the Sandy Hook disaster, how can this make sense?
I am a volunteer member of the board of directors of BHcare, the local mental health provider for the eastern Shoreline towns and the Naugatuck Valley. CMHC in New Haven and Bridges in Milford have similar missions. In our case, we have some 2,000 uninsured psychiatric clients receiving clinical outpatient services. About 200 new clients come in each month. These clients include those suffering from serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and those with drug and/or alcohol addictions. Some are very fragile; some desperate; some only tenuously holding their own. If the community agencies cannot provide clinical services, there is no option for them except hospital emergency rooms, many of which are already overcrowded, are two to three times more expensive, and are not really necessary in many cases.
That this state action comes on the heels of a broad and constructive post-Sandy Hook dialogue on the need to strengthen the mental health safety net is a cruel irony. The trigger was the Obamacare provision expanding Medicaid to cover some of the cost of these services as of Jan. 1, 2014. As a condition, the law also requires those eligible to take those active steps necessary to enroll in Medicaid and/or the insurance exchange and pay the necessary cost. The state has seized on the mere effective date of the law as sufficient to terminate grant funding for clinical services. This is wrong on two counts.
First, note that the Medicaid payment scheme does not automatically come into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. It is dependent on the enrollment of and payment by the intended patient. Experience in Massachusetts suggests that it may take several years to conclude the enrollment of (and payment by) a substantial number.
Moreover, Medicaid is no promised land for the community agencies. It appears that it will only pay about half of the costs. Clearly, something needs to be worked out on this a point alone.
The law is there, and BHcare knows that we will have to learn how to adapt to it. But it was never anticipated that State grant funding would be cut off long before the Medicaid substitute can even start to replace it. What is needed is time and study: a gradual process needs to be worked out to relate the Medicaid enrollment of the target population to the withdrawal of State grants for community-based clinical services. That would make sense. At the same time, it has to be recognized that the current Medicaid rate itself is inadequate for the purposes, and this needs to be addressed; it would leave too big a hole in the safety net.
Richard G. Bell