September 23, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Essex Garden Club Expresses Thanks to May Market Donors

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 13th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 65th May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.  They are:

Abby’s Place Restaurant, Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Black Seal, Blue Hound Cookery, Connecticut River Publishing Co., Copper Beech Inn, Cortland Park Cashmere, Ron Cozzolino, De Paula Jewelers, Dough on Main, Essex Olive Oil Company, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, Wendy and John Madsen, Charlotte Meyer Design, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, One N Main, Jeanette Pollard, Pough Interiors, Patricia Spratt for the Home, 1738 Farm, That’s the Spirit Shoppe, The Valley Railroad Company, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks.

Sincerely,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon
The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

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Letter to the Editor: Proposed Library Plans Warrant Close Inspection, More Questions From Chester Residents

To the Editor:

I love libraries. I visit different ones weekly. But I have concerns about whether or not an 8,000 square foot, $7.4 million library (excluding bonding costs), can be sustained by Chester’s taxpayers, or utilized enough by Chester’s population to warrant a building of this magnitude.

There’s been much discussion about developing North Quarter Park. But until the Board of Finance and taxpayers vote on it, it’s not a done deal although a lot of time, money and hard work have gone into creating these plans. Perhaps there are more cost effective options to keep taxes down so young families can afford to move here, and older families can afford to stay.

Has a feasibly study been done on the space where the Essex Savings Bank is after their lease is up? It’s large enough. There’s plenty of parking. There’s a community room upstairs. It’s already built. The town owns it. It’s 0.6 miles from the center. Can we revisit expanding the current library since a survey conducted by the Chester Public Library stated residents “resoundingly preferred to stay in the current location.”

Perhaps we build a smaller library. The state recommendation is 1.6 square feet per person. With a population of 4,245, and approximately 1,041 cardholders, does 6,720 square feet or smaller make sense? Certainly, it would cost less to build, staff and maintain. Libraries are also going digital and ultimately will require less space to house collections. Should this be considered when deciding on how much square footage is need? We also have 6 neighboring libraries offering programs and events all within a 12-minute drive or less that can easily be utilized.

We, the taxpayers, should carefully consider what the size, scope and cost of this project should be, and what we as a town, really need.

Sincerely,

Caryn B. Davis,
Chester, CT.

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Letter to the Editor: Republican State Rep’s Outline Their Budget Proposal

To the Editor:

On Thursday we joined our Republican colleagues to unveil “Confident Connecticut”, a no-tax-increase solution for the upcoming biennium. In undertaking this difficult task we have proposed true solutions for the budget and are poised to lead Connecticut back to financial stability.

The Republican proposal concentrates on funding the core functions of government while keeping spending in check. It calls for a strict spending cap and a limit on the amount of bonding that can be allocated.

Our proposal restores funding for Fire Training schools, ensuring that firefighters across the state are properly trained to best respond in an emergency situation. Additionally, we provide for Connecticut’s senior population by preserving funding for Meals on Wheels. Further, municipal aid is fully maintained, and in some cases increased.

It is unmistakable that an undue financial burden has been placed on our cities and towns, which has restricted local budgets. Long-term structural changes must be made to the way the legislature goes about the budgeting process to help our municipalities. Consequently, our proposal requires the state to provide municipalities with projected aid by March 1. This will be a critical tool for creating municipal budgets.

Education represents a large portion of the budget, which is why a more equitable formula was used to disperse education dollars. The Republican proposal accepts the responsibility of our teachers’ pensions, saving municipalities from the governor’s proposal that would have levied $400 million from them to fund that account.

It is also important to note that Middlesex Hospital and other hospitals across the state are held harmless from further tax increases in our proposal.

There are painful cuts in our proposal which were difficult to make. As state revenues continue to change we also recognize that some revisions to our proposal will be needed. However, we are ready to work with our colleagues at the Capitol to generate the best budget possible to instill confidence that our residents, business and municipalities deserve.

Sincerely,

Christie Carpino
State Representative, 32nd District

Bob Siegrist
State Representative, 36th District

Melissa Ziobron
State Representative, 34th District

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Letter to the Editor: Come Celebrate Our Local Vets on May 10th!

To the Editor:

Come celebrate our local Vets! An event at the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in Centerbrook celebrates our Vets and all they do to support their fellow Veterans and our Community.

For many decades, the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall has provided a home to a distinguished group of Americans – those who share the experience of serving in our military. The Hall offers camaraderie to those among us who volunteered for duty and reminds us of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom and that of others worldwide.

The spirit of service runs deep for the members of the Essex Vets Hall. Their mission includes continued service to their fellow Veterans in many ways. They are “Vets Serving Vets”. They also serve our Community and remind us that our military is ever vigilant, continuing to protect and insulate us from conflict.

In recognition of our all our local Veterans who continue to serve their fellow Vets and our Community, the public is invited to an event in their honor. The Recognition Event will be on May 10th from 4-8pm at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Centerbrook.

The event features good old American fare: hotdogs and hamburgers. Tickets are $10 and include a hotdog or hamburger, chips, and a soda. As a special treat, a cash Raw Bar will be available along with a full bar and finger desserts. Enjoy a tea cup raffle and a 50/50 raffle
while you mingle with our Vets and learn of their service in the military and here at home.

Vets Serving Vets is sponsored by the Essex Republican Town Committee. For tickets, please call 860-395-7113.

Sincerely,

Susie Beckman,
Ivoryton, CT

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Letter to the Editor: Solnit Children’s Center Expresses Thanks to Numerous Individuals, Organizations

To the Editor:

The Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center-South Campus, located in Middletown, CT, would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the following people and organizations that so generously gave of their time and resources:

  • Juliette Linares, Ambassador Scout of Deep River, who donated items for our youth welcome baskets. 
  • Daisy Troops from Higganum and Killingworth for their donation of multiple welcome baskets for our youth residents.
  • North Guilford Congregational Church for their donation of 10 completed fleece blankets.
  • St. Pius Youth Group and Higganum/Haddam Congregational Church who have completed a total of 51 Fleece blankets kits.

Donation for youth welcome baskets from Juliette Linares, Ambassador Scout of Deep River.

Upon admission, each youth that comes to reside at Solnit Children’s Center is given a welcome basket with items such as: shampoo, hand cream, deodorant lip balm, books, a stuffed animal and a homemade fleece blanket. “It’s something we started a few years ago to help personalize their stay,” said Elaine Jackson and Rebecca Brown-Johnsky, Co-Coordinators. “Many of the youth we serve are DCF committed or just away from home for a few months and this is one way to provide them a few comforts.” “Their faces just light up when they see that something was made especially for them,” says Rebecca Brown Johnsky, Speech & Language Pathologist. We are truly in awe of the generosity of the surrounding community.

The Solnit Children’s Center is the only publicly operated psychiatric facility for youth in the state managed by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and we have served 443 youth in Connecticut. This 74 bed facility with seven living units treats youth ranging from 13 to 17 years of age, and provides mental health treatment services and care for youth who are experiencing extreme emotional and behavioral difficulties. 

If you are interested in becoming involved with our welcome basket program, please contact Elaine Jackson or Rebecca Brown-Johnsky at 860-704-4000.

Sincerely,

Elaine Jackson,

Middletown, CT

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Letter to the Editor: Premise for Clergy’s Call for Compassion to Refugees Questioned

To the Editor:

Ever since I read the letter from the Valley Shore Clergy Association (published in the VNN in February) something has been niggling me. I just reread the letter. Although I agree with the Clergy’s call for compassion with regard to refugees and the undocumented living and working in America, I can’t help wondering why this group did not speak- out between 2009 and 2016 while Barak Obama deported more than two and one half million of the undocumented living in this country? Perhaps I missed their protest. If I did, I apologize.  If there were no protestations from this clergy group before now, I am led to the conclusion that the Genesis of their letter is partisan politics-not the WORD.

While I support a path to legalization for the undocumented living and working in America, I also understand why so many Americans, who have no hint of bias, want those who came here illegally, criminals or not, to be deported; laws are laws they say. It seems schizophrenic to me to kick people out of this country who came here during the Obama “catch and release” program. If I wanted to come into this country to seek a better life and I faced the prospect of waiting in line for years- versus facing a wink and a nod because of America’s border Gestalt, I think, if I had the grit, I would take my chances. It is a bit like a parent telling a child not to smoke pot and then leaving pot on the kitchen table in plain sight.

Sincerely,

Alison Nichols, M.Div.,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Old Saybrook Town Officials Says First Priority is Re-Employment of Fortune Plastics Employees

To the Editor:

The announcement by Fortune Plastics of their intended closure in April has left the Old Saybrook and Shoreline Community concerned and disappointed.  Our concern is first and foremost for the over 90 employees of the company who will be losing their employment.  It is also disheartening to see what was once a locally-owned family business leave the State.

Upon hearing the news, our offices began marshaling state and regional resources to work with the company in finding new employment for the workers.  Within a week, the Connecticut Department of Labor Rapid Response Unit organized a Job Fair at Fortune Plastics on March 4.  We also contacted local and regional manufacturers, many with positions to fill.  We will continue to partner with Fortune Plastics to make available any and all human resources in the coming months. 

Fortune Plastic’s 75,000 sf manufacturing facility will also be available for repurpose.  The Town and the Economic Development Commission plan to market the availability of this and other industrial properties so they will be put to back into full and productive use. 

While this is indeed difficult news for all affected employees and the Town, we will continue to be a town that seeks out new business opportunities to benefit workers and residents.

Carl P. Fortuna, Jr. and Susie Beckman
Old Saybrook.

Editor’s Note:  The writers are respectively the First Selectman of Town of Old Saybrook and the
Economic Development Director of the Town of Old Saybrook.

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Letter to the Editor: Valley Shore Clergy Association Stands in Solidarity with Immigrants, Refugees

To the Editor:

We, a group of interfaith clergy from many religious streams and beliefs, feel called to express our support for refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers, and others who wish to live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Our sacred texts provide the lens through which we view the world around us; these teachings affirm the following shared values across faith traditions:

• Every single human being is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:28), and we support the integrity and sanctity of every individual.
• We heed the teaching of Leviticus: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)
• We are instructed to “Love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18),” and thus to treat others how we wish to be treated.
• We are obligated to follow the prophetic call: “And what does the Eternal require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
• We are reminded of basic human kindness and compassion: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” (Matthew 25:35)

We are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants. We have all known what it is to be the stranger. Safety and security of all is critical, and we understand the importance of appropriate and thorough vetting of all those who wish to be part of America. However, fear cannot dictate our values. Rather, we are reminded again and again that, when we reach out in love and righteousness, we are most secure.

We know all too well what religious bigotry has wrought in the past. History is filled with many reminders of the horrific destruction caused by hatred, persecution, and intolerance. Instead, we share a message of solidarity, understanding, and dialogue.

We denounce any laws or orders based on xenophobia, discrimination, or fear which run counter to our national interests. We are proud Americans, and we hold dear our country’s core beliefs in religious diversity, ideological diversity, and cultural diversity.

We call upon people of faith to represent moral conscience, compassion for all, and an overarching sense of justice and righteousness.

Sincerely,
Valley Shore Clergy Association

Rev. Martha Bays
The Congregational Church in Killingworth, UCC

Rabbi Marci Bellows
Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Chester, CT

Rev. Robin Blundon, Interim Pastor
Northford Congregational Church

The Rev. Dr. M. Craig Fitzsimmons
United Methodist Church of Clinton

Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager, Pastor
First Church, East Haddam

The Rev. Dr. Jonathan H. Folts
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, CT

Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier, Pastor
First Congregational Church of Westbrook, CT

Brett Hertzog Betkoski
Trinity Lutheran Church – Centerbrook, CT

Reverend Amy Hollis
Winthrop Baptist Church

Rev. Lee A. Ireland
Interim Pastor, United Church of Chester

Rev Charlotte LaForest
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, CT

Rev. Joy Perkett
First Baptist Church of Essex

Rev. Suzanne Personette
Middlefield Federated Church

Rev. Kenneth Peterkin
First Congregational Church, UCC, Essex, CT

Rev. Geoff Sinibaldo, Pastor

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Old Saybrook, CT

Pastor Les Swenson
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Norwich, CT

Rev. John Van Epps, Pastor
North Guilford Congregational Church UCC

Rev. Cynthia C. Willauer
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, UCC

Pastor Ryan Young
Living Rock Church of Killingworth

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Many From Literacy Volunteers & Retiring LVVS Executive Director

To the Editor:

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) celebrates a successful year with its Holiday Social each year. During the course of the festivities the organization recognizes one volunteer who, through their efforts embodies the values of the agency and who has made an impact on the success of the organization each year. This year LVVS recognized Barbara Erni of Deep River as its “Unsung Hero.”

We are especially grateful to Alex Foulkes and Wilson Castaneda of the Penny Lane Pub for hosting the event, their generosity in providing the facilities, food and servers and for making our guests feel at home for the holidays.

Special thanks to Elizabeth Steffen who again provided a bounty of delicious desserts along with her helper Paula Ferrara. Special gratitude to Joanne Argersinger, the LVVS Board of Directors, our tutors and all those who made the evening special and who helped celebrate my upcoming retirement. I am so grateful and feel privileged to have been the recipient of their guidance, help and good wishes over the years. I am also humbled by their heartfelt gift and recognition.   

Finally, thanks to State Representative Devin Carney, and Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna for taking their time out to share the evening with us. And special thanks to State Senators Art Linares and Paul Formica and to the Connecticut Legislature for their recognition and steadfast support for the cause of literacy.   

John J. Ferrara

Editor’s Note: The author is the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

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Letter to the Editor: Many Thanks in This Season of Giving

To the Editor:

The Essex Community Fund recently joined together with the Essex Police Department for our annual Stuff-a-Cruiser event to benefit the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Colonial Market shoppers were asked for their help to Stuff-a-Cruiser by purchasing a few extra items with their regular groceries. As always, people in our community were extremely generous with almost 1,700 pounds of food collected. Special thanks to the Essex Boy Scouts and Shoreline Soup Kitchen volunteers who helped with the off-loading and sorting of it all at the Congregational Church in Old Saybrook site that evening.

Thank you to everyone for their generosity in this season of giving. If you didn’t get a chance to participate or if you’d like to give again, join us at our next Stuff-a-Cruiser event – Friday, December 16, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Colonial Market. The John Winthrop Middle School Choir will be singing carols as we aim to collect 2,000 pounds of food!

Jean Schneider,
Essex.

Editor’s Note:
The writer is President of the Essex Community Fund.

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Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on the Day After Election Day

To the Editor:

I did not vote for Sec. Clinton or now President Elect Trump. Neither made me feel hopeful. I voted Libertarian; not because I fully believe in their platform, but because if enough people voted for them, their candidate for President in 2020 would get a podium in the National Debates. Didn’t happen. Oh well. I got up Wednesday morning, looked outside and hoped for a little rain. Turned on the local news. Scott Haney still makes me laugh. Took my shoes to my repair shop, but they can’t be fixed. They had a little life left, so I asked if there was charity that might take them. He said homeless men hang around and he would give my shoes to one of them. I felt good. The young women at Dunkin called me young man as she gave me the senior discount. Yes, I gave her a tip. I went to the office where half the workers are women with many in upper management and we’re all on the same pay scale. I saw my co-worker with incomplete quadriplegia in his motorized wheel chair approaching and we had a chance to chat. We don’t see each other since he changed departments. This is what the morning after a change in power in America looks like. And thank God for that.

Sincerely,

Mel Seifert,
Chester.

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Letter to the Editor: Ivoryton Library Board of Trustees Thanks Community for Tremendous Support of Pumpkin Chase

To the Editor:

The Ivoryton Library Board of Trustees would like to sincerely thank the so many people of the Valley/Shore community who attended the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase this past weekend. Even the rainy Saturday morning could not dull the fun spirit of our athletes or the beauty of Ivoryton in autumn.

Our library is equally grateful for the generosity of so many of our community groups who helped make this important fundraiser possible including Phil Shaller of Signs and Digital Graphics of Deep River for our new logo and signage, Box Bistro for our apple pie awards, as well as Norm Needleman and Jacqui Hubbard for their steadfast financial
support. There were also numerous local businesses we would like to acknowledge including Kohls, SNAP Fitness, the Clark Group, Guilford Savings Bank, the Ivoryton Playhouse, Essex Savings Bank, the Law Office of Christopher Morano, Essex Hardware, and Polito and Associates.

Collaboration between the Essex Parks and Recreation, the Essex Land Trust, the Ivoryton Alliance, Officer Tretter and the Essex Police Department and the Valley Shore YMCA all helped to make the lovely fall weekend a model for community at its best.

Our Library Board and volunteers worked tirelessly to efficiently and warmly host our patrons from near and far. Please be on the lookout for news of exciting changes and enhancements to our race next year!

Sincerely,

Chris Pagliuco,
Ivoryton.

Editor’s Note: The author served as Race Director of the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase.

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Letter to the Editor: Sen. Art Linares Thanks Area Voters

To the Editor:

Representing the people of the 33rd State Senate District at the State Capitol is an incredible honor.

I consider myself so fortunate to be a voice at the State Capitol for the people of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.

I will work with anyone from any political party to restore business confidence and hope, to revive Connecticut’s economy, and to make Connecticut the place where families and seniors and retirees want to invest their futures.

I love this state, and I know you do too.  That’s why I am so energized to improve our state’s policies.

Thank you for your continued support, and I encourage you to never hesitate to contact me with your ideas, comments and concerns at Art.Linares@cga.ct.gov or at 800 842-1421.

Sincerely,

Art Linares
Westbrook

Editor’s Note: The author was reelected for a third term to the position of State Senator for the 33rd District on Tuesday.

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Letter to the Editor: Linares Mimicks Trump’s Strategy While Needleman has Solid Record of Results, Concrete Proposals

To the Editor:

One of Trump’s favorite campaign tactics is to project his own base weaknesses onto his opponent. Got a problem with Trump’s vulgar behavior towards women?  Time to talk about Bill Clinton thirty years ago.  Trump Foundation under investigation? Denigrate the life-saving work of the Clinton Foundation. Being sued for fraud at Trump “university” and still refusing to disclose your tax returns? Deflect to emails. Lack a coherent foreign policy? Let’s talk Benghazi.  You get the idea.

Now behold Art Linares, running for the 33rd District senate seat.  Given Linares’s affection for Trump — Linares was a Trump delegate and actively supports him – it should be no surprise that Linares is now mimicking his role model.  Linares has repeatedly said that his opponent in the current race, Democrat Norm Needleman, is “bankrupt of ideas”. This would be amusing if it were not so flagrantly untrue.

Needleman has a proven record of results both as a successful businessman and a distinguished First Selectman of Essex.  In that role, he has balanced the town budget every year with bipartisan support, while keeping taxes in the bottom 15% in the state.  In the current race, he has laid out a series of specific proposals – cutting estate taxes, rolling back unfunded mandates, freezing state spending, reducing overtime for purposes of calculating state pensions, among others – to restore fiscal discipline and foster economic growth.

Meanwhile, Linares is awash in platitudes and vagaries.  He repeatedly calls for cutting taxes but without telling us where he will find matching spending cuts.  This implies more debt, which his support of Trump tends to confirm.  Linares praises Trump for having “the best economic plan” when in fact it is projected to increase the national debt by $5.3 trillion.  A related issue is Linares’s standing in the General Assembly.  Even if he had a plan, he lacks the stature to implement it.  His own party voted resoundingly against him (13-2) on the recent budget compromise.

A few days ago, Linares inexplicably called Needleman’s supporters “mean and deceitful”.  Here’s my response.  Recently, Linares voted against a bill (which thankfully passed anyway) to protect battered women from gun violence by abusive partners.  The bill required legislators to chose between protecting a woman’s life and removing firearms for no more than 7 days while a court considered a protective order.  Linares thought access to guns was more important.  Meanwhile, he has received the NRA’s highest rating on the basis of a NRA questionnaire that Linares refuses to disclose to voters.

Now that’s what I call mean and deceitful.

Sincerely,

David Harfst,
Essex

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Letter to the Editor: Right the Sinking State Ship with Linares, Siegrist

To the Editor:

Under the dubious aegis of Governor Malloy and the in-power Democrat legislators, Connecticut has been tanking fast. During the past several years Connecticut has been burdened with the two largest tax increases in our history, malignant out-of-control spending and regulation strangulation. Although the Democrat leadership boasts a balanced budget, its simply smoke and mirrors; the budget has been balanced by exhausting Connecticut’s savings and overtaxing Connecticut’s already overtaxed residents and businesses. Is it any wonder both residents and businesses are leaving this once prosperous state in droves?

Connecticut now ranks #50 in fiscal condition (George Mason University Mercatus Study published in the Hartford Business Review, June2016). Big government Democrats feel no need to attract entrepreneurs and investors despite the obvious fact that the recipe for economic growth and prosperity is to attract both of these groups.

This year it is too important not to be disarmed or co-opted by big government Democrats posing as fiscal conservatives – more smoke and mirrors. It is impossible to be for big government and call yourself a fiscal conservative.

For the sake of our state, now is definitely not the time to send more Democrats to Hartford. We need, at the very least, balance. “Children’s Champion “Art Linares (33rd), a legitimate fiscal conservative presently in the minority party in Hartford and running for a third term, can use the help of Bob Siegrist (36th), another fiscal conservative, to right this sinking ship. Together, they will be an antidote to wrong-headed Democrat politicians running and ruining our state.

Sincerely,

Alison Nichols,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Siegrist is Voice of Change we Need in Hartford

To the Editor:

Connecticut experienced the two largest state tax increases in history in the last few years. The rainy day fund was practically drained to close the past year’s deficit. As claimed by Democratic legislators, “The budget is balanced” but it is unclear if this is true. There is another major financial storm on the horizon for 2017.

I don’t want a person representing me in Hartford who is a rubber stamp for the Malloy Administration. A person who doesn’t care about the funding of Essex’s schools. A person who doesn’t care about the well-being of the people he represents. I want someone who opposes tax increases, someone who will work to stop careless government spending, someone who will promote economic growth, someone who will look after the well-being of the residents of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam. I want someone who will help make Connecticut “Better Than Ever.”

It is time for a change in Hartford this November. It is time to elect a representative for the 36th district who the hard-working taxpayers of Connecticut deserve! We need a fresh face, integrity, and real common-sense solutions to the state’s problems. Bob Siegrist is the person we need in Hartford to represent the 36th State House District. Bob will be the voice of change we need.

I will be voting for Bob on November 8th.  I ask the residents of the 36th district to join me in voting for Bob Siegrest for State Representative.

Sincerely,

Bruce S. MacMillian,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: We Need Phil Miller as our State Representative

To the Editor:

I am voting for our State Representative Phil Miller and urge my fellow voters to vote for Phil too. As a former Chester Selectman, I worked with Phil, both while he was First Selectman of Essex, and as our State Representative. Phil is a man of integrity and strength. He is honest and well respected. He works tirelessly on our behalf and for our benefit.

Phil’s knowledge and experience is extensive, which is why he serves as the Chair of the Planning and Development Committee, and is a member on both the Environmental Committee and the Office of Program Review and Investigations. He has an in-depth understanding regarding all matters relating to our local governments, including issues involving housing, planning and zoning, regional planning and development activities, Plan of Conservation and Development, and our
areas economic development needs.

Phil Miller is an effective leader. He is a man that hits tough issues head on. He explains in detail the issues, the budget challenges, and their impacts on us. He keeps us informed on what goes on in Hartford. He fully informs us and makes no excuses.

Phil’s proven experience is reflected by all the laws he sponsors or co-sponsors, and that get passed. Phil fights for us in the tough budget sessions, always keeping our best interests at the forefront. We need Phil Miller, especially during these challenging times, so we continue to have an experienced champion represent us in the Connecticut General Assembly.

Sincerely,

Larry Sypher,
Chester

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Letter to the Editor: Many Reasons to Reelect Phil Miller, the Best Choice for State Representative

To the Editor:

It didn’t take me long to figure out who to support this election for state representative for the 36th District. If you missed the debate between Phil Miller and Bob Siegrist then you missed out on hearing how polished and professional our incumbent State Rep Phil Miller sounded. Phil is the right choice to continue to represent us in Hartford. He has been an influential voice for us as the chair of the Planning & Development Committee, and he has our small CT River Valley well represented.

Phil has worked to secure funding, meeting with the Office of Policy and Management, and supporting Valley Shore Emergency Communications (VSECI) grant application. The group seeks creation of a multi-site UHF simulcast system to provide better communications for volunteer firefighters and medical technicians among the towns.

Rep. Philip Miller introduced a bill in the House of Representatives backed by local lawmakers and advocates which aims to improve water services to residents of the Tylerville section of Haddam.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has named Phil a “Legislative Champion” for his support of environmental issues considered by the General Assembly this year.

Many people have told me they have phoned our representative and state senator, and it is always Phil that returns the call and tries to help them with their problem whatever it may be; Phil is approachable, inclusive and very successful in helping resolve problems.

Phil has the experience to work across the aisle, and has many avenues to help cut the red tape in Hartford and help pave the way to a better future. I hope you will join me in reelecting Phil Miller to the 36th District on November 8th.

Sincerely,

Lisa Bibbiani, Deep River Democratic Town Committee (DRTC) Chair
AnnMarie Joy, DRDTC Vice Chair
Dorothy DeMichael, DRDTC Treasurer
Angus McDonald Jr, Deep River First Selectman
Stephen Bibbiani, DRDTC member
Bruce Edgerton, DRDTC Member
Jan Edgerton, DRDTC Member

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Letter to the Editor: Sen. Linares Right for the Lower CT River Valley

To the Editor:

I met Senator Linares 4 years ago shortly after he decided to run for his first term to the State Senate. My first thought was, “He’s too young,” but then he spoke of his family’s immigrant history, his ideas for Connecticut and I was sold.  In his first two terms, he has shown leadership beyond his years.

The debate between Senator Linares and Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman held October 17 revealed a stark contrast.  Mr. Needleman’s understanding of the issues facing the state appeared thin and he had no solutions beyond the failed efforts of the democratic leadership of our state. In contrast, Senator Linares revealed a deep understanding of the issues and described efforts he has made and will continue to make to fix those problems.  Mr. Needleman not only supported Mr. Malloy and his tax increases, but donated to his campaigns and was amenable to further tax increases.  Notably, Mr. Needleman did not dispute that the Democratic Party has hired and is paying a handsome salary to a campaign manager for Mr. Needleman.  We can’t know what Mr. Needleman promised the Senate Democratic Leadership, but we should all be concerned.

Senator Linares stood up against Mr. Malloy’s tax increases and supports a plan to grow the economy, jobs and reduce taxes titled, “A Confident Future,” which was unveiled by the GOP Senate Leadership on September 15.  A copy of the plan can be found at http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/LegislativeAgendaFinal.pdf

Sincerely,

Mel Seifert,
Chester.
Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Chester RTC.

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Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to State Rep. Miller

An Open Letter to State Representative Phil Miller:

I’m asking if you remember meeting with me when I called upon you to be my voice to make legislative change for those of us who suffer from damage to our highly taxed property  due to construction and  industrial blasting? I am asking you to remember that you refused to help me.

I am asking if you remember when you took the Oath of Office to represent all people in your district both Republicans and Democrats. I am asking you why you would not stand with me and Senator Art Linares on this important bipartisan issue.

I am asking you why you call yourself an environmental leader while saying no to environmental issues created by blasting that pertain to your constituent’s health, air, water, and welfare.

I am asking you Representative Miller if the definition of Representative is important to you.  Are you a true voice, a strong agent that works on behalf of all people?  I ask why you were offended when at our meeting I reminded you that you work for me.

I am asking if you agree that the hard working highly taxed people of the 36th district deserve and depend on great representation all of the time, not some of the time, or never?

I’m asking you Representative Miller, to now understand why I am so eager for new Representation in Hartford.  I for one am voting for Bob Siegrist.

Sincerely,

Deborah F. Rindge,
Chester.
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Letter to the Editor: LVVS Thanks Shoreline Web News for Supporting Recent Fundraiser

To the Editor:

In our original letter regarding Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore’s Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction benefitting the organization’s tutoring program we set out to thank those responsible for the success of the event. The event, held on September 29th at the Saybrook Point Pavilion netted funds that will help L.V.V.S. continue the mission of eradicating illiteracy in the valley shore area well into 2017.

Many of our sponsors have longstanding relationships with our agency and support the work of eliminating illiteracy through a number of means. It has come to our attention that we inadvertently left off one of the most loyal and steadfast partners from that letter. Nigel and Olwen Logan of Shoreline Web News LLC provided LVVS with coverage and an ad for our fundraiser worth far in excess of the $200 normal ad space charge. We thank them for their continued support and for the fine work they do in covering area news and events.

Our agency exists because volunteers and sponsors, such as Shoreline Web News make it possible for us to raise the funds to help area residents improve their lives. Readers and advertsers can help in that work by supporting those businesses who are committed to causes such as this.

Thank You!

Sincerely,

John J. Ferrara

Editor’s Note: The author is the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

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Letter to the Editor: Linares, Siegrist Will Help Restore Fiscally Sound State Budget

To the Editor:

Art Linares and Bob Siegrist have the conviction to standup for the changes needed to put the Connecticut state budget back on track.  Too many of our state legislators speak about instituting change or making meaningful improvements to the budget.  These same legislators come to the eleventh hour and join the lemmings in passing a budget lacking any foresight or respect for non-partisan revenue predictions.  Art Linares did oppose the most recent budget due to a lack of substantive institutional changes.  Bob Siegrist has spoken out against that budget and provided meaningful solutions to the current budget problems.

Art Linares has been a voice advocating positive change and a more holistic budgeting process.  Bob Siegrist will be another voice addressing the long-term budgetary issues that have caused Connecticut to earn the dubious title of the having the highest per capita government debt.  Both will represent our district by ensuring our tax dollars are treated with the same consideration we give our individual household budgets.

We continue to hear about the “new economic reality” Connecticut is facing.  Well, that reality is not new; it started in 2008.  It’s time we have state representatives that recognize a “new” reality in less than eight years and not hide behind a tricky phrase as an excuse for their inaction.  Linares recognized that change early on as evidenced by his votes in the Senate.  Siegrist has been living the economic reality and understands the challenges.  Both are grounded in reality and understand what needs to be done to improve our prospects for the future.

Art Linares and Bob Siegrist are our best choices for making the changes needed in our state government.  Join me in voting for Art and Bob on November 8.

Sincerely,

Susie Beckman,
Ivoryton

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Letter to the Editor: Phil Miller is the Best Choice for the 36th District

To the Editor:

Phil Miller is the best choice for state representative for Essex, Deep River, Chester, and Haddam.  He is a legislative leader, chairing the Planning and Development Committee, and has been instrumental in making laws that benefit our region.  His prominent position in the legislature gives him a unique platform to continue to fight to solve the State’s financial issues. 

Since Phil has been in Hartford, he has advocated for many local infrastructure and transportation projects, giving aid to our local economy.  An active listener and talented problem solver, his office has helped countless citizens to navigate state agencies to get the assistance they need.  Phil’s experience as a Selectman and First Selectman has been particularly helpful in recognizing and helping to defeat proposed legislation which could place a financial burden on our small towns.  He knows what we need and we need to keep him in the State House. 

I ask you to join me in re-electing Phil Miller to District 36 State Representative.

Sincerely,

Lauren S. Gister,
Chester

Editor’s Note: The author is the first selectman of Chester.

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Letter to the Editor: Following the Saul Alinsky Road Map to a Socialist Gulag

To the Editor:

Once again, hard-left liberal politicians are attempting to co-opt or disarm Fiscal Conservatives by using the road map of their modern-day patron saint – the late Saul Alinsky. It is he who gave agnostic progressive Democrats instructions for burning down the system and replacing it with a Socialist Gulag.

The first stop on the road map, simply put, is to get elected to office by slithering into the brains of those likely to vote for your opponent. The goal is to mess with their minds by appearing moderate or fiscally conservative in order to gain their support. Of course, the truth is that it is impossible to be a big tax, big government, big bureaucracy and Big Deficit Spending progressive and still call yourself fiscally conservative.

If it doesn’t work to prevaricate, the next stop on the road map is to bellyache, investigate, litigate, obfuscate or deprecate your opponents. St. Alinsky’s rule number five advocates ridicule as man’s (sic) most potent weapon, e.g., those who disagree with you are stupid, racists, sexists, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, homophobic,  Islamaphobic and basically DEPLORABLE.  “You name it.”

As so often happens, those who throw out these kinds of accusations are often revealed as the genuine bigots (WikiLeaks document dump). So far, and there is likely much more to be revealed, the Clinton campaign believes Latinos are “needy,” millennials are “basement dwellers,” African Americans are underachievers, Bernie supporters are whiners and Catholics are back in the stone age.

And I know a ship-load of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, who are happily taking residence in the “Basket of Deplorables.” They are not infected with any isms, bics or tics. The” Deplorables” are motivated by the desire for the well-deserved respect for Veterans and police officers, a strong, military, Scalia-like Supreme appointments, intelligent Homeland Security, a robust economy, the demise of onerous regulations, the taming of out-of-control political correctness, the shake-up of establishment politicians and journalists, free market healthcare and the halting of what we recognize as a repudiation of the principles of our American founding – by far left agnostic progressives.

Sincerely,

Alison Nichols,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Prominent Democrat Supports Republican Siegrist for State Rep.

To the Editor:

As we are all aware, there is an election coming up, and I have given careful thought as to where I will place my vote on election day. It was not a difficult decision. When it comes to a responsible, knowledgeable, and honest choice; the choice is obvious, Bob Siegrist.

Bob is a fresh face to politics, with strong and relevant ideas on how best to serve the people of the 36th district. Connecticut politics need a new voice in Hartford and Bob’s voice will be heard when he becomes our next state representative. He is tenacious and ready and willing to fight for the needs of our district.

As our next State Representative for the 36th district, Bob will continue to take the time to meet with his constituents and understand what is important to them. I know because I have already met with and spoken with him a number of times about those things that concern me. I have found that he listens with an open mind and allows for opposing opinions as well as like-minded thoughts. He truly wants to know what it is that concerns those in his district and he is willing to step in to help find the best solutions to resolve those concerns.

Bob is ready to do the work to make our state and our district a better place to live, work, and raise our families. In my opinion, there’s only one right choice for state rep of the 36th district and that’s Bob Siegrist. Join me on November 8 and give Bob the opportunity to do the work he is ready to take on as our State Representative.

Sincerely,

Leigh Balducci,
Deep River.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman has Qualifications, Experience for State Senate Job

To the Editor:

This election is a crucial one for all of us, for reasons that we know only too well. The state budget, economic development, oppressive mandates, and education funding affects each of us and our towns.  With so many daunting issues to address, we can’t settle for anyone who doesn’t have the experience, knowledge, and skills to work across party lines to get the job done right. 

Given those criteria, the choice for the 33rd District State Senator is an easy one. It is Norm Needleman.  Norm’s qualifications and experience make him the right person for the job.  He has nearly forty years of experience at running a successful company and creating jobs.  His first priority is not ambition or party politics. Rather, he is focused on enhancing the quality of life for everyone in our towns.

As First Selectman of Essex, Norm has kept taxes among the lowest in the state, without cutting services.  Norm believes that dialogue is the key to solving problems, and that no individual or political party has a monopoly on good ideas. He has long been actively involved in a number of civic and not-for-profit organizations.  Most of all, he relies on his proven business skills and a deep knowledge of town government to find ways of solving problems that cut across party lines and special interests.

In these challenging times, we need Norm Needleman’s leadership and problem-solving skills in Hartford. I am voting for Norm because he will return meaningful state senate representation to our district.

Sincerely,

Ted Taigen,
Chester

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman Stands for Sensible Gun Control, Unlike His Opponent

To the Editor:

I am voting for Norm Needleman for State Senate because of his pragmatic and common-sense approach to public service, exemplified by Needleman’s position for sensible gun control.

After the Newtown school massacre of 20 first graders and 6 educators, the NRA ‘robocalled” Newtown residents urging them to oppose gun safety legislation and to contact Senator Linares to mobilize opposition.

The press sought out Linares for an explanation of his role, but he was “unavailable for comment”.  A month later, the legislature overwhelmingly passed “An Act Concerning Gun Violence and Children’s Safety”, drafted by a bipartisan panel and supported by the leadership of both parties.

Linares voted “NO” and never explained why.

In May 2016, despite vehement opposition from the NRA, sensible legislation to stem gun violence, “An Act Concerning Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence” was enacted.  Again Linares voted “NO”, even though there was strong bipartisan support ensuring its passage. Over 20 states have similar statutes.

Linares’s NRA’s high rating is apparently due to his Newtown and domestic violence no votes and his confided answers to their questionnaires.

In my view, most gun owners are responsible and practice careful use of their firearms. The job of our State Senator is to listen to all concerns and recommendations on gun safety and go beyond the extreme positions of the NRA hierarchy, and begin to address the provisions of the General Assembly’s Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention, April 2013.

Norm Needleman is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and not the extreme positions embraced by the NRA and Linares.

Vote for Norm Needleman, whose proven leadership and proven results, in both the public and private sectors are driven by his sensible, compassionate and balanced approach to getting things done.

Sincerely,

Ed Meehan,
Chester.

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Letter to the Editor: Why do I Support Needleman? Let me Count the Ways … (With the Editor’s Apologies to The Bard)

To the Editor:

I enthusiastically support Norm Needleman for State Senate because as a business owner and Essex first selectman, Norm knows how to balance a budget, make a payroll and care for hundreds of employees.

Norm’s opponent? He has problems. Art Linares was a Trump delegate at the Republican Convention, and has blatantly reaffirmed his support for Trump in recent days. The question for voters is, why?

The New London Day (October 5, page B3) carried a column calling Linares’ support of Trump the most ludicrous in the state.  It pointed out that Linares’ family business (“Greenskies”, which installs solar panels from China) receives huge state subsidies to encourage renewable energy.  Yet Trump is denier-in-chief that climate change even exists.

Consider also one of Linares’ favorite issues: balancing the budget. Trump’s economic plan is projected by the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget to increase the national deficit by $5.3 trillion over the next 10 years — 26 times more that Clinton’s plan.  How can Linares possibly support that? Norm’s budget-balancing plan for the state is to cut state spending — a good approach.

Next up is Trump’s abhorrent treatment of women, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and immigrants in general, and the GOP/Trump platform’s proposals to end a women’s right to chose, legalize discrimination against gays, toss out campaign finance law, and end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The list goes on and on. Where does Linares stand on these Trump issues?

Trump’s poor record was well-known when Linares became a Trump delegate, long before the recent disclosure of Trump’s vulgar, disgusting tapes about women. Are these the principles and positions Linares stands for, since he continues to support Trump? You bet – that’s why I’m backing Norm!

Arthur Henick,
Chester

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Letter to the Editor: Literacy Volunteers Say Thanks to Supporters, Sponsors of Recent Fundraiser

To The Editor:

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore’s Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction benefitting the organization’s tutoring program was a rousing success again this year. The event, held on September 29th at the Saybrook Point Pavilion netted funds that will help L.V.V.S. continue the mission of eradicating illiteracy in the valley shore area well into 2017.

Again this year people and organizations came together in a worthy cause. Special thanks to The Clark Group and Whelen Engineering our title sponsors. We are also indebted to Seaside Wine & Spirits of Old Saybrook who provided the evening’s libations. Event sponsors Tower Laboratories, Murphy and Company CPAs, Bogaert Construction, Guilford Savings Bank, Lyman Real Estate, Bob & Madge Fish and Edward Jones Investments of Clinton also deserve recognition for their support and for their continued belief in us.

I cannot thank Elizabeth Steffen enough. She worked so hard to produce the food for the evening, contributed raffle and auction items and still somehow found time to sell tickets and help set up the venue. Similarly, the efforts of board member Paula Chabot, our event organizer, board members Arcangela Claffey, Barb Erni, Bill Guerra and Linda Liptrot, Board Chairman Jack Smith and Madge Fish insured a wonderful and successful fundraiser.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hard work and extra dedication of Administrative Assistant Joanne Argersinger, volunteer Paula Ferrara and the cooperation of the Old Saybrook Park and Recreation Department.  Thank you all so very much!

Finally, thank you to everyone who shared the evening with us and whose support and generosity will warm our students throughout the remainder of this fall and into the New Year.   

Sincerely,

John J. Ferrara
Executive Director Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks From TTYS for ‘Taste of the Valley’ Community Support

To the Editor:

Tri-Town Youth Services would like to thank the tri-town community for supporting our signature fundraiser, Taste of the Valley, which was held at the Deep River Historical Society on the evening of September 23.

Our thanks to the restaurants who were present and shared tempting appetizers and desserts: LaVita Gustosa, Dough on Main, Rustica, and Riverside Thai, as well as to many others who sent delicious platters.  We wish to thank the Essex Lions for providing tables and chairs.

Special thanks to sponsors, including Whelen Engineering, Tom Alexa, Coburn Financial Group, Middlesex Hospital, Tower Labs, and many others.  Our silent auction had many creative offerings, thanks to many individuals and local businesses.  Blues on the Rocks provided tasteful music for listening and dancing.

Thanks to everyone who made it an evening to remember as well as a meaningful contribution to Tri-Town Youth Services.

Tri-Town Youth services supports and advances the families, youth, and communities of Chester, Deep River, and Essex.  They coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.

Sincerely,

Gail E. Beck and Tri-Town’s Board of Directors,
Deep River

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Letter to the Editor: Congratulations to Ann Lander on ‘Beacon Award’ for Literacy Volunteers’ Service

To The Editor:

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore is proud to congratulate Ann Lander for winning a Shore Publishing 2016 Beacon Award. Ann is being recognized for her dedication to Literacy Volunteers as a Workshop Leader, Conversation Social facilitator, Tutor, Student Services Coordinator and volunteer at the organization’s fundraisers. Her selflessness and commitment to helping tutors and students improve lives in our shoreline communities for over twenty seven years makes her more than deserving of this recognition. We are so proud to be associated with someone who has made a life, after improving the lives of area children in her teaching career, improving the lives of children AND adults in her “volunteer” career with Literacy Volunteers.

The Beacon Awards recognize a few outstanding individuals who selflessly step up to help fulfill the Shoreline community’s promise as a place of opportunity, wellbeing, and safety for all. Ms. Lander was officially recognized at the annual Beacon Awards Dinner to be held at Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook on September 28th. I am honored to speak for the board, staff, tutors and students of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore in thanking Ann for her service, congratulating her on this award and in extending our best wishes to her in her future endeavors (although we hope she never leaves!)

Sincerely,

John J. Ferrara,
Westbrook.

Editor’s note: The author is the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman Unites People With Differing Opinions

To The Editor:

My support for Norm Needleman in his candidacy for the 33rd District State Senate seat is not surprising, since I am a member of the Essex Democratic Town Committee.  But the reasons for my support go deeper than just party affiliation.  Throughout  his decades of involvement in Essex town government, I have seen Norm successfully tackle difficult problems with a unique ability to unite people with differing opinions.  I, and virtually everyone I have talked to in state government, believe that Norm’s deep knowledge of small town  government and his ability to build consensus will immediately make him a leader in the state senate.  That position of leadership will directly benefit our district.  So, my support for Norm is not political.  Rather, it is a decision to restore influential representation for our district in the state senate.

Sincerely,

Claire Tiernan,
Ivoryton.

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of Essex Democratic Town Committee.

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Letter to the Editor: No Better Choice for State Senator Than Needleman

To the Editor:
I am supporting Norm Needleman for State Senate in the 33rd district because I have seen his character firsthand. Actually, I wouldn’t be where I am today without Norm.
He hired me as a graphic designer for his company while I was attending college, and at a time when I could not afford my tuition, he was generous enough to pay it for me.
After graduating, I continued to work for his company, and the professional growth Norm fostered enabled me to achieve my current role as a design manager for Macy’s.
My experience with Norm is not unique, either. Simply put, Norm cares strongly about the well-being and development of everyone he meets. I cannot imagine a better choice for State Senator
Sincerely,
Christopher Crowl,
Brooklyn, N.Y.
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Letter to the Editor: Writer Names Miller ‘Newspeak’ Prize Winner for ‘Capitol Update 2016’

To the Editor:

One of my favorite books of all time is ‘1984’, by George Orwell. The protagonist of the novel works for the Ministry of Truth. It is responsible for historical revisionism, using ‘Newspeak’. The historical record always supports the party line.

I award Representative Phil Miller, the Winner of the Newspeak Prize for ‘Capitol Update 2016’. A mailing to 36th District households (Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam) authored by him. His mailing among other Newspeak items, ” no withdrawals from the Rainy Day Fund” which was emptied by a withdrawal of approximately $315 million to close the fiscal year 2015-2016 deficit, earned consideration. However, what catapulted him to First Prize was his Newspeak, that the budget fully funds past Pension Liabilities. While I grant him that these liabilities are always estimates, due to interest of bond earnings and the liabilities have been estimated worse than this in the past five years. He must be content with 2015 estimates. The total underfunding of the State’s pension liabilities is estimated to be at least $26 Billion. Given that the total State of Connecticut Budget is $20 billion, it is impossible to proclaim these past pension liabilities as fully funded. Wow, what a fine example of historical revisionism. I truly hope this matter comes up at the one debate between he and the candidate who is running against him, Bob Siegrist. But, alas, that can only happen if a question concerning this is selected.

I know Bob Siegrist very well, having worked for him during the last election to represent the 36th District. I have also attended a few meetings to discuss the State Budget with him and a few other State Representatives from the area. The Pension Liabilities were discussed before the mailing, and that is why the fully funding caught my eye. Bob Siegrist will never win the Newspeak Prize. He simply can’t speak Newspeak. He examines the Budget, researches the issues his constituents ask about and unfailingly speaks the facts, as much as is humanly possible. I will vote for Bob Siegrist in November because I appreciate knowing the facts and not Newspeak.

Sincerely,

Lynn Herlihy,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor from New Essex Library Friends President

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

To the Editor:

I am very pleased to be on the Board of the Friends of the Essex Library as their new President.  I look forward to working with my new Board, the Essex Library Association board, and the Essex community.

Libraries across the country are going through a transformation.  The library many of you, as well as myself, grew up with no longer exists.  Essex Library is becoming an ever expanding multimedia community resource hub; striving to meet the needs and requirements of a changing community.

My goals are to aid and support Essex Library Association in its efforts to meet the challenges of a changing community.  And, with your community involvement in our library system, we will accomplish and surpass these goals.

Thank you for your continued support and involvement.

Sincerely,

Jo Kelly
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Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Essex Library Garden Tour

To the Editor:

“Spectacular gardens!”  “Wonderful day!” were some of the comments heard throughout Essex Village as hundreds of visitors participated in the first Friends of the Essex Library Garden Tour held Saturday June 4. To those who came to walk the gardens and enjoy the beauty of Essex Village, we say, “Thank you!”

To make such an event possible took the involvement of many people, including those who planned the event, the hostesses at each garden, Master Gardeners, plein air painters, ticket takers and traffic managers.  Your help made the event run smoothly and for this we extend heartfelt thanks.  We especially thank Rhode VanGessel for her patience and tireless effort in making the publicity both eye-catching and beautiful.

Lastly, and most importantly, we wish to recognize the garden owners who worked tirelessly creating their works of art.  Those who attended saw the enormous effort that went into preparing for the event and it was gratifying to see your efforts appreciated by so many people.   All the Friends of the Essex Library say, “Thank You.”

Linda Levene and Daphne Nielsen, co-chairman

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Thanks for Successful Essex Shad Bake at River Museum

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

ESSEX – On June 4, the Rotary Club of Essex held its annual Essex Shad Bake at the Connecticut River Museum. For 59 years running, the Rotarians have kept this traditional culinary event alive and well, and the success of this year’s bake is a testament to their dedication. Hundreds of visitors came to the museum on a beautiful Saturday to eat roasted shad and learn about the history of this once crucial fishery through talks, displays, and demonstrations.

The Rotary Club of Essex and the Connecticut River Museum would like to thank the lead sponsors for the Shad Bake – AJ Shea Construction Co., Gowrie Group, and Guilford Savings Bank – as well as all the other sponsors, volunteers, and organizations who made the afternoon such a success.
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Letter to the Editor: Thanks from Organizers of Literacy Volunteers April Fool’s Race

To the Editor:

The 9th Annual Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore April Fool’s Race benefitting tutoring programs for area residents came in like spring this year. A little slow on the starting blocks but run in beautiful weather and finishing with a kick. Racers from all over New England and as far away as Minnesota participated in the festivities to help commemorate the contributions of past volunteers Dot and Erl Nord.

We are especially fortunate to have an extraordinary combination that made this year’s event a rousing success. Special thanks to the Clark Group and Tower Laboratories, our title sponsors. Their generosity reached new heights with their sponsorship, which included the Backward Mile race. AAA Refrigeration answered the call with a Silver Sponsorship this year. Thanks also to sponsors Edward Jones Investments-Clinton, Andre Prost, Inc., Pasta Vita, Kearney Insurance, Penny Lane Pub, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank and Big Y Supermarkets for their generosity in helping stamp out illiteracy.

A huge thank you to Race Director Elizabeth Steffen, who again worked very hard this year to make this event a success. We greatly appreciate the generous assistance from First Selectman Norm Needleman, the Town of Essex, Essex Police, Essex Parks & Recreation Department, our office staff and our many race volunteers.

Finally, thank you to all our racers and all those who brought “spring” to the race and the cause of literacy.

Sincerely,

John J. Ferrara
Executive Director Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

Serving the towns of: Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth,
Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook

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Letter to the Editor: Elect Siegrist in 36th District to Help Solve State’s Budget Woes

To the Editor:

On July 17, 2015 ValleyNewsNow.com published a 938 word Op-Ed titled “We Have a State Budget” authored by State Representative Philip Miller.   This opinion piece heaped endless self-praise on the virtues of the fiscal year 2015-16 budget, rationalized the supposed benefits of this budget, and admonished us for questioning  the wisdom underlying this fine piece of legislation.  The budget was first of all, “balanced” and secondly, would act as the foundation for future economic growth in both the 36th District and the State of Connecticut.  Bravo!

What a difference ten months make!  Fast forward to May 2016, the current year’s budget deficit ballooned to more than $250 million; the 2016-17 budget was reduced $930 million dollars because of overspending and unrealistic revenue projections.  Did not Representative Miller tell us, with great fanfare, the State’s budget was balanced and our long term needs addressed?  Rest assured he said, there was no need to worry, the record tax increases would solve our economic and budgetary problems.  Anyone stating otherwise was just “posturing”.

The current year’s deficit remains in place and the cuts in the 2016-17 budget did irreparable damage to individuals through the loss of their jobs, curtailed services to those most in need, and threw municipal budgets into turmoil.  Representative Miller supports budgets reliant on revenue increases based on people smoking, drinking, and gambling at ever increasing levels while further reducing peoples’ eligibility for local property tax credits.

How did Representative Miller get it so wrong again?

It is time we elected an individual, Bob Siegrist, to Hartford who will vote for the interests of our district and not simply follow the marching orders of the Governor and House Democratic Leadership.  Bob is an independent voice who will vigorously represent our interests in the 36th House District of Essex, Haddam, Deep River and Chester.  He has the courage to address the systemic problems that plague our State.

This November, join the movement to bring fresh voices to Hartford and elect Bob Siegrist as our State Representative for the 36th District.

Sincerely,

Vincent A. Pacileo, III
Ivoryton.

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks and Appreciation for May Market

To the Editor:

On Saturday, May 7, the Essex Garden Club held its 64th May Market.  As Co-Chairs of  May Market, we would like to thank all of  the volunteers, town workers,  residents, and especially the shoppers who supported May Market.  The proceeds of the annual May Market support the villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton with programs for youth, scholarships for education and  campers,   town park maintenance and town beautification during various times of the year.

Thank you for your support.

Barbara  Hall  & Rosemary Willis
Co-Chairs of May Market

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks from Friends of Essex Library

To the Editor:

The Board of the Friends of the Essex Library would like to thank all who contributed to the success of our recent book sale.  This exceptionally large sale required significant work by many volunteers including those who worked during the event and those who sorted, repaired, priced and stored books in preparation for the sale, helped set up for the sale and put everything away afterwards.    We thank all the students who are committed to Community Service and generously offered their time to help us.   Many carried boxes upon boxes of books from an outdoor shed to the library in preparation for the sale.  Others provided assistance with our clean-up efforts.   The library staff has been very supportive and for this we say thanks, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki.

We would be remiss in not thanking those who contributed, and those who purchased, books, CDs and DVDs.   Your support of the library is deeply appreciated.

Look for our ‘Beach Books’ sale June 1-30 when sale items will change daily.

Peggy Tuttle
Book Sale Coordinator

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Letter to the Editor: Miller’s November Challenger Questions Opponent’s Priorities

To the Editor:
An opportunity for our district towns was lost on the evening of May 13 as an amendment proposed by the House Republicans to restore education funding to their local budgets was rejected by self-serving democratic legislators including our Rep. Miller (D-36).

The amendment would have restored Education Cost Sharing (ECS) to the district towns by using Citizens’ Election Program (CEP) funds to pay for it. It would have restored $3,500 to Chester, $22,800 to Deep River, $10,000 to Haddam and $229,000 to Essex.  Miller voted against the amendment.

This is unbelievable! Wow! Miller voted to keep the money for his campaign instead of returning education funds to his district’s schools! It’s pretty clear  what his priorities are for the 36th.

Sincerely,

Bob Siegrist,
Haddam.

Editor’s Note: The author is the Republican nominee to run against State Rep. Phil Miller in the 36th District.

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks from Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 7th in Town Park, the Essex Garden Club held its 64rd May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.  They are:

Abby’s Place Restaurant, Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Black Seal, Blue Hound Cookery, Diana Charnok, Connecticut River Publishing Co., Copper Beech Inn, Cortland Park Cashmere, Adriane Costello, Ron Cozzolino, De Paula Jewelers, Essex Olive Oil Company, Essex Winter Series, Sandy French, Friends of the Essex Library, Judy Greene, Goodspeed Musicals, Phyllis and George Graf, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, Wendy and John Madsen, J. McLaughlin, Charlotte Meyer Design, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, Old Lyme Inn, One N Main, Pough Interiors, Saybrook Country Barn, Patricia Spratt for the Home, That’s the Spirit Shoppe, Walker-Loden, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon
The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

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Republican Candidate Siegrist Challenges Incumbent Miller’s Priorities

To the Editor:

With only days left in the legislative session and a budget that is in complete disarray, Rep. Miller (D-36) chose to debate pesticides rather than address the unprecedented budget issues that the state is facing.

I feel that he (Miller) has really missed an opportunity.  We are facing budget decisions that will impact our state for decades. Rather than answer hard questions and take on the tough issues, he is taking valuable floor time to debate an issue that, although important in its own right, cannot hold a candle to the budget crisis we are facing.

This is a question of priorities and representing the constituents of the district.  Mr. Miller says that he is hearing concerns from his constituents on this issue.  Maybe he needs to listen a little harder.

Sincerely,

Bob Siegrist,
Haddam

Editor’s Note: The author is the nominated Republican Candidate for 36th House District.

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Letter to the Editor: Your April 26 Primary Vote Matters

To the Editor:

So much is at stake in the upcoming Presidential primary elections with candidates who differ greatly in character, attitude, experience and promise. Perhaps never before has an election inspired such fervor, conflict, hopes or fears. Our nation’s future depends on the outcome of these races, and for the first time in many years, Connecticut voters have the opportunity to influence who the Presidential nominees will be since no candidate has yet captured enough party delegates.

We urge all Chester Democratic, Republican and Unaffiliated voters to cast a vote in the Tuesday, April 26, Connecticut primary. Voting is from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Chester Town Hall at 203 Middlesex Avenue, or earlier by absentee ballot.

Since only registered Democrats or Republicans can cast a vote in the Connecticut Presidential primary, it is necessary for Unaffiliateds to temporarily change their registration to either one of these two political parties.

The registration deadline to switch from Unaffiliated to Democrat or Republican is 12 p.m. on April 25. To switch by mail, the registration change form must be received by April 21, or in person at Chester Town Hall by 12 pm on April 25 (day before the primary). Registration can be switched back afterwards. To get a voter registration form (or an absentee ballot form), contact the Registrar of Voters or Chester Town Clerk at 860-526-0013.

Whether your vote is to support your preferred Presidential candidate, or to stop a candidate you fear, we urge registered Democrats and Republicans to vote on April 26.

This is Connecticut’s opportunity to influence one of the most critical presidential elections in our nation’s history. Every vote is especially important and matters. Have a voice in the future. VOTE in the primary on April 26!

Chester Democratic Town Committee

Lori Ann Clymas, Chair

Chester

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Letter to the Editor: Many Reasons to Support Bob Siegrist’s Candidacy

To the Editor:

I was thrilled to hear Bob Siegrist will be running again in 2016 as the Republican House Candidate for the 36th district! I have personally know Bob for over 10 years and in that time he has been nothing but a hard-working, upstanding, and motivated individual who cares deeply for politics, people and making a positive change. He is easy to talk to and a good listener who makes you feel heard.

From the time I met Bob, he was talking about how he wanted to be involved with Republican politics… Two years ago he seriously began that journey by running for the 36th State House. He has practical, realistic views and ideas and is truly for the people of Haddam, Chester, Deep River and Essex. He wants to make sure their voices are heard. Let’s congratulate Bob on another race and wish him the best this coming year!

Sincerely,

Sarah Mathis,
Haddam Neck.

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Letter: Thanks from LVVS

To The Editor

The 5th Annual Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction benefitting the organization’s tutoring program was a smashing (pumpkins?) success again this year. The event, held on October 23rd at the Saybrook Point Pavilion netted funds that will help L.V.V.S. continue the mission of eradicating illiteracy in the valley shore area well into 2016.

Any event’s success is always due to people and organizations coming together for a worthy cause. We are fortunate to have an extraordinary combination that made this year’s event a rousing success. Special thanks to The Clark Group, our title sponsor. We are also indebted to The Wine Cask of Old Saybrook who provided the evening’s libations. Event sponsors Tower Laboratories, Murphy and Company CPAs, Whelen Engineering, Guilford Savings Bank and Edward Jones Investments of Clinton also deserve recognition for their support and for their continued belief in us.

Mere words are not sufficient to thank Elizabeth Steffen who worked so hard to produce the food for the evening, contributed a number of raffle and auction items and still somehow found time to sell tickets and help set up the venue. Similarly, the efforts of board member Paula Chabot, our event organizer, board members Arcangela Claffey, Barb Erni, Bill Guerra and Rose Marie Cushing insured a wonderful and successful fundraiser. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hard work and extra dedication of Administrative Assistant Joanne Argersinger, volunteers Paula Ferrara and Judy Sousa and the cooperation of the Old Saybrook Park and Recreation Department. Thank you all so very much!

Finally, thank you to everyone who shared the evening with us and whose support and generosity will warm our students throughout the remainder of this fall and into the New Year.

Sincerely,

John J. Ferrara
Executive Director Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

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Letter: Essex Needs Pro-Active Management

To the Editor:

Vote for hands-on, conscientious attention to town operations and future planning in Essex! Bruce Glowac, Phil Beckman and the slate of Republican candidates offer us a leadership team with exceptional management experience in the private and public sectors that is unrivaled by any other candidates.

There is always room for improvement and I would like to see some effort made to improve operations and fiscal responsibility in our local government. Our Town seems to operate on auto-pilot without many controversies or major issues. This can be a good sign that, in general, things are going well. It is at these times, however, that a great management team can make improvements and be pro-active to ensure things continue to go well in the short and long term.

Let’s not continue to operate on auto-pilot. Join me in voting for a GREAT leadership team that will ensure Essex remains a great place to live, work and play now and in the future.

Vote for Bruce Glowac and Phil Beckman and the Republican Team of candidates on November 3.

Sincerely,

Susie Beckman
Essex

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Letter: Experience, Leadership and Common Sense

To the Editor:

With over 35 years of public and private sector experience managing capital and human resources, I am excited at the opportunity to serve in elected office and drive both fiscal discipline and strategy on the Essex Board of Finance.

Our state economy, while no longer in recession, continues to be marked by sluggish growth. As the economic climate gradually improves, addressing the long-term capital needs of Essex becomes even more important. At the same time, Essex must also focus in earnest on broadening and diversifying its tax base to relieve the constant pressure faced by individual property owners.

My current experience as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Stonington involves working with a Democratic First Selectman to assist him in leading the town with an emphasis on thoughtful decision making, working cooperatively, and setting a direction with the best interest of the community as the focal point. This experience combined with my previous leadership role as a Selectman for Essex, provides the necessary foundation for navigating our challenges and charting a successful course.

It takes both an emphasis on teamwork and developing partnerships within the community that will drive positive outcomes for Essex. The Republican slate of candidates embodies this approach to governance. Lifelong resident Bruce Glowac is a candidate for First Selectman and understands the current and future needs of our town. Phil Beckman, running for Selectman, is a 24-year veteran of the United States Navy where he led complex teams responsible for developing and executing strategic policy. Republican candidates for election to other Town and Regional Boards similarly demonstrate a depth of experience that will serve our residents well.

Together, we look forward to bringing experience, leadership, and common sense to Town government. We ask for your support and vote on Election Day, November 3rd.

Sincerely,

Vincent A. Pacileo III
Republican candidate for Board of Finance – Essex

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Letter: Sen. Linares Endorses Beckman for Essex Selectman

To the Editor:

I write to offer my strongest endorsement of Phil Beckman for the Essex Board of Selectman.

Phil will demonstrate outstanding management and collaboration savvy as he, with 24 years of experience as an officer in the Navy, routinely led and managed our finest young men and women. He frequently worked on bridging the gap between the highest levels of national strategy and operations. That makes him a prime asset in a policy shaping organization such as the Board of Selectman.

Phil has lived in town almost 20 years and has two school aged children in the local school system. Most importantly, he demonstrates a willingness to offer different points of view and accept the same from others – a character trait that is a must in government. I am certain that he will provide the same level of dedication and sacrifice on the Board of Selectman as he has in his military career. Please vote on November 3rd and support Beckman for Selecman.

Sincerely,

Art Linares
State Senator, 33rd District

 

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