November 30, 2015

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.


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

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.


Susie Beckman

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.


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

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.


Art Linares
State Senator, 33rd District


Letter: Senior-Dauer and Badger Always Caring for Chester’s Common Good

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Sandy Senior-Dauer and Karin Badger for the positions of Library Board of Trustees. I know them both and respect their integrity and diligence, always caring for Chester’s common good.

Sandy Senior-Dauer is a long time active resident and has served for 16 years on the Library Board and is presently Vice Chair. She also is the VP of Chester Historical Society and a retired award winning history teacher. Sandy received the Pillar of Chester volunteer award because of all the hard work and accomplishments she has had serving our town.

Karin Badger is an Art Director and Graphic Designer working for US, UK and German publishing companies among other businesses. Her long time love of books resulted in her specializes in book design. Badger has been active member of our community and presently serves on the Board of the Robbie Collomore Series, and has volunteered for the Chester Historical Society and BRAYCE.

Libraries have always been a part of both Sandy and Karin’s lives. They both have a deep understanding and appreciation of the positive influence a Library has in a community. Both are active with Chester’s library, attending all the meetings from the present building renovation and its importance as a historic building, as well as focus groups and meetings on the current potential of North Quarter Park.

Sandy and Karin will both continue to question and challenge the current development project and future of our Library to ensure whatever the outcome, it properly reflects Chester. They are committed to listening to every resident’s opinion and they continue to reach out so every voice is heard to ensure proper representation of our resident’s wants and needs for our Library. Join me in voting for them on November 3rd.


Lori Ann Clymas



Letter: Look Past the Labels

To the Editor:

With an open seat at two of the three Selectboard positions Chester residents have an opportunity to consider candidates new to town governance and expected to have fresh ideas grounded in community commitment.  Hopefully, voters will look past national labels and do their due diligence in getting to know the candidates for who they are and what they stand for.

I have taken the time to get to know Carolyn Linn. I admit I did not know her when I served as First Selectman but I do know of the efforts she was involved in an I have taken time to learn more about her qualifications. Perhaps most important for me is her entrepreneurial experience as a respected small business owner in town. Chester is a small community that requires a lot of “hands on” creative management of the First Selectman. Running a successful small business requires the same in order to get the most value out of every dollar you bring in and provide the highest value to every dollar you charge your customers. And really, that is what the First Selectman position is all about, getting the most value out of every tax dollar spent and providing the best value to every taxpaying customer. Granted, town government is a monopoly, and it is not unusual for government officials to lose sight of the need to provide value and service. I think that is much less likely to happen however, when you have officials with experience in running a small business where their livelihood depends on personally delivering value to every customer ever day. Please take the time to get to know Carolyn Linn, if you have not already; her candidacy is worthy of your consideration.


Tom  Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005-2011)

Letter: Englert Thoughtful, Decent, Committed

To the Editor:

Tom Englert is one of the most thoughtful, decent, committed individuals I have ever met.  When we served on the Selectboard together he put the welfare of Chester first in every issue that came before the board. The same can be said of his tenure on both the WPCA and Zoning Board of Appeals; two boards that have had their share of controversial issues.  Party politics were nowhere to be found. Tom is the guy that listens quietly to all. He doesn’t say a lot but when he speaks; his contribution is of high value.  He is the one that takes the time to read all the material in advance of a meeting (a rarity on many boards).

With two of the three sitting Selectboard members not running Tom’s experience will be critical to the new board. Ensure Tom Englert remains on the Chester Selectboard by supporting him with your vote for Selectman. Tom is the kind of wingman every board chair wants and needs…..regardless of party.


Tom Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005 – 2011)

Letter: Four Generations of Blair Family Support Linn

To the Editor:

My grandfather, my father, and most recently my son (who was born last year) and I all call Chester home.  We each have unique concerns, but we all agree on one thing:  We are proud to support Carolyn Linn for the office of First Selectman in Chester.

My grandfather and father are concerned about the affordability of staying in Chester and being able to remain in their homes.  They know that Carolyn’s ability to manage budgets and look at the big picture will help to keep our taxes manageable and affordable.  My grandfather was talking about all the infrastructure improvements that were made to the town in his 22 years as Selectman, and he knows that Carolyn will be able to accomplish the current and future projects the town undertakes both responsibly and affordably.

As a young family in town, next to taxes, another one of my concerns is, “Will there still be an elementary school when my son turns five and is ready to go to Kindergarten?”  The thought of bussing him out of town for elementary school doesn’t sit very well with me.  I know that Carolyn will not let that happen.

Collectively, we believe Carolyn has the right balance of experience and compassion for Chester’s residents.  After meeting with Carolyn a few weeks ago my grandfather was very impressed.  He told me, “There is no formal training or handbook for the job of First Selectman.  Chester is lucky to have many fine men and women serving on all their boards and commissions.  I know Carolyn will work with all these individuals to make sure what she is doing is best for all of Chester’s residents.”

Please join me and my family on November 3rd and vote Carolyn Linn for First Selectman.


Robert J. Blair III
Candidate for Inland Wetlands Commission / Member of Chester RTC
Chester, CT

Letter: Needleman Exhibits a Calm Clear Headed Approach

To the Editor:

The elections are almost here and I wanted to make public my support of Norm Needleman as First Selectman in Essex.

I moved here 5+ years ago from an Essex-like town in Maine. Yarmouth town government was very conscious of being open and transparent in dealing with the public, and that openness trickled down to all the departments; police, parks, harbor master, etc. It was an easy and pleasant place to be because the town structured itself that way. We knew what to expect and we expected things to be fair and reasonable.

I am happy to have landed in Essex – but upon first arrival there were a few bumps, and not always a clear and simple path to follow when dealing with the town. Shortly afterward, Norm became the First Selectman and I have noticed the gradual change.  Norm as a leader exhibits a calm clear headed approach that has, in my experience, infected the rest of the town departments making everything seem just a little more customer (or resident) friendly.

I can name several examples, but I’ll submit just one seemingly minor but important and public example. The small park on Grove Street (which I walk or drive by daily) was very little used when I came to town, except for the occasional tennis player – hidden behind the large trees. That park has been revitalized, and I am sure at reasonable cost, and it is used almost constantly.  If I go past now, I am sure I will see children and parents on the play sets, some people picnicking (often the parents of the kids playing) almost all of the time. And the tennis courts, now that they are more open, seem to be in use a very high per centage of the time. This is a small thing – but when the goal of improving the quality of life in a town is up front – then we need to pay attention to all the small things, and help them along.

I hope Norm is elected back into office – and I hope his legacy will be, when he one day he steps aside for the next person, that he made everyone in Essex life just a little better every year he served.


Bob Ward,
Essex, CT

Letter: Sypher Proud to Support Gister, Janecek

To the Editor:

It is with deep pride that I declare my support for Lauren Gister for the position of First Selectman and Charlene Janecek for Selectman. They are a great team and I know they will represent us well for the common good of Chester.

Having served as a Selectman for the past six years, I know what the positions require, and understand the issues facing our town, now and in future. Gister and Janecek’s experience, knowledge, skills and dedication are just what Chester needs.

We are privileged to have Lauren Gister who is intelligent, knowledgeable about legal issues, and has years of experience serving Chester as a volunteer and through her legal practice. Lauren’s integrity, strength, and commitment are well proven by her 25 years of service in the Marine Corps and in the business world.

We don’t need corporate experience that focuses on profits over people. We need the qualities that Gister brings, integrity and hard work from a proven leader who cares and knows how to overcome obstacles when times are difficult. Major Gister worked with diverse groups of enlisted Marines and officers, achieving goals by listening, educating, and setting realistic objectives, and consistently following through to get things done. No politicking. No backstabbing.

Janecek has a record of 40 years of volunteer service to Chester, serving on many Boards and Commissions, as well as being the owner of The Lunch Box for many years. An undeniable asset in town knowledge and communication with the electorate.

Both Gister and Janacek have solid leadership skills that motivate people to get involved and get things done. They listen and act. I urge my fellow citizens to vote for Gister and Janecek as the most qualified team to serve our town.


Larry Sypher

Letter: Lori Ann Clymas as Region 4 Board of Ed. Representative

To the Editor:

The Region 4 Board of Education has responsibility for a $18.5 million budget and will be confronted with many issues over the next several years, not the least of which are declining enrollments and possibly another push for regionalization of the elementary schools.

The position requires a commitment of time and energy; it requires understanding the underlying details and how they fit into the larger picture; a capacity to ask searching questions and a knack for thinking outside the box when working toward solutions. The role needs individuals with the leadership to address parent, student, and taxpayer concerns in clear and effective ways. And it requires collaboration and a willingness to work across the three towns with whom we share our educational system.

That person is Lori Ann Clymas. She has a record of involvement, caring and follow-through. She has what it takes to listen and to speak while building consensus, and it’s why I fully endorse her. Please join me in voting for Lori Ann Clymas as Region 4 Board of Education representative.


Virginia E. Carmany
Chester, CT

Letter to the Editor: Former Chester First Selectman Supports Gister/Janecek

To the Editor:

It is with great pleasure and honor that I throw my full support behind two amazing women, Lauren Gister and Charlene Janecek.

Lauren is a 20 year resident of Chester and has served our nation for 25 years as a U.S. Marine Major.  As an attorney she has focused on real estate, small business, estate planning and family mediations.

In addition to raising her four children, three of which have been part of Region 4 school system, she has found the time to give back to Chester.  Serving on her synagogue’s Board of Directors, Chester’s Veteran contact, Girl Scout leader, various parent organizations and veteran-oriented non- profits for the past 18 years, Lauren has shown her dedication and support.

Her varied life experiences, community involvement and judicial knowledge have proven that she can lead Chester as its First Selectman.

Charlene may be best known as the owner of The Lunch Box for 28 years, but she exemplifies honesty, fairness, and thoughtfulness.  Still working in customer care, it provides the right foundation in overseeing a town.

She has served Chester for many years as a Registrar of Voters, Police Commission Chairman, Retirement Board, Chester Fire Department Auxiliary, Fire Commissioners and Chester Fair Board of Directors.  Her town background will be a great asset to the Board of Selectmen.

Gister and Janecek want to serve Chester. They care for Chester.  I for one cannot think of two women more suited for the job.

Elections are only a month away and you deserve a say in who runs your town. Voting for the Gister/Janecek team is a vote that you care for Chester.


Martin L. Heft
Former Chester First Selectman

Letter to the Editor: Thanks All Round from Library Directors for Successful Fundraiser at Ivoryton Playhouse

To the Editor:

The Ivoryton Library and Friends of the Essex Library sponsored the first and now annual, joint fundraiser on Thursday, July 9th at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Thank you to those who attended the event and those who baked cookies for the “Meet the Cast” party following the “South Pacific” performance.  This would not have been possible without the generous support of the Ivoryton Playhouse and of Krista May, Managing Director of the Playhouse, who provided untiring assistance.  For all, we are particularly grateful.

Our libraries serve as community centers.  We strive to provide a variety of programs, services and events that enrich both our intellectual and entertainment experiences.  It was a thrill for us who were involved in organizing this event to receive such a positive response.


Richard Conroy and Elizabeth Alvord

Editor’s Note: Richard Conroy is the Director of the Essex Library and Elizabeth Alvord is the Director of the Ivoryton Library.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Police for Prompt Assistance, Follow-up in Home Burglary

To the Editor:
I live in Chester, CT and I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank our local Resident Trooper, Officer Ewing and Troop F Officer G. for all the hard work they have done on my family’s  behalf.
Recently, my husband entered our home and discovered we had been robbed.  He called the Trooper’s office and then he called me.  But, before I could get home, Trooper G. was already there.  Later, he was joined by Officer Ewing who at the time was on another case.
Both officers performed a thorough investigation and were extremely helpful.  The robbers took off with the typical stuff but it was reported by a Good Samaritan that there was no car in our driveway during the robbery. So the Troopers thought they may have taken off on foot out in the woods.  So they brought in a tracking dog to track the nearby woods.
So far, our things have not been recovered, but I know Officer Ewing is still looking as he has called with updates and one time stopped by the house and spoke with our family.
We are fortunate to live in such a lovely town that is so well protected.  I feel safer now just knowing how our security is handled. Good job Officers Ewing and Officer G.  Thank you both so, so much.
The Monahan family including,
Christina and Steven Monahan, Chester.

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks from Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

Essex Garden Club‘s (EGC) May Market on May 9th was a huge success.  Augie Pampel and Mark Pratt again did an excellent job organizing the many details in making this special day go smoothly.  Hard working EGC members spent many days and hours in preparation for May Market.

Our community is extremely important to the success of May Market.  We appreciate all those who returned again this year to make purchases and the merchants who provided valuable donations to the Café, the Silent Auction, and Treasures.  Because of all your support at this year’s May Market, we were able to give more camperships this year to Essex Park and Recreation and to Bushy Hill Nature Preserve for children living in Centerbrook, Essex, and Ivoryton.  Thank You All!


Linda Newberg,
President of Essex Garden Club

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Book Sale Help from Friends of Essex Library

National Honor Society volunteer Essex Public Library booksale workers from Valley Regional High School

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School volunteered as workers at Essex Library’s recent book sale.

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.  A successful  sale requires significant work by many volunteers including those who  work during the day-and-a-half event and  those who sort, repair, price and store books in preparation for the sale, help set-up for the sale by arranging tables, chairs and books by category, and who put everything away afterwards.

Many people contribute hours to this event.  We are especially grateful to six Valley Regional National Honor Society students who assisted in our clean-up effort by lifting and stowing heavy boxes of unsold books, many of which will be given to a variety of non-profit organizations.  Kristen Kilby, Neve Flynn, Hannah Halsey, Tina Mitchel, Leah Harger and Julia Hammond, thank you!  We also thank the library staff for their support, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki for being with us both days.

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.

Our next sale is October 3-4 and we hope to see you there!

The Friends of the Essex Library

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks From Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 9th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 63rd 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.

As May Market is the Club’s only fund-raiser, we depend on its proceeds to support our civic projects in Essex Village, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  These range from helping to maintain the town parks, to providing scholarships to college students and camperships to elementary students, planting trees in town, organizing horticultural activities with elementary and junior high school students and decorating throughout town with greens for the holidays.

The Essex Garden Club would like to thank the following merchants, friends and artists most sincerely for their wonderful donations to the Silent Auction:

Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Copper Beech Inn, Cottage Whimsey, De Paula Jewelers, English Accents Antiques, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, The Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, John & Wendy Madsen, Mimi Merton, Charlotte Meyer Designs, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, One North Main, Augie Pampel, A Pocketful of Posies, Pough Interiors, Mark Pratt, Saybrook Country Barn, Eileen Taylor, That’s the Spirit, 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

Letter to the Editor: The Reign of the Nuancers

To the Editor:

The Kings and Queens of nuance have deluded themselves into believing that the delicate difference perceived by any of the senses (nuance) gives them a superior ability to make decisions. It appears, however, that nuance is running rough-shod over any semblance of wisdom coming from the Obama administration.

The nuancers are deflecting the reality that worldwide murderous Islamic jihadists are intent on killing all who do not believe in their revolutionary ideology; they are bound by an imperative to fight to kill infidels till death.

This administration’s tag-team of haughty wizards have offered nothing of value. Their fanciful ideas and statements are alarming and devoid of intellectual honesty. Deputy spokesperson for the Department of State, Marie Harf, posits that the extremists are driven by economic deprivation and need jobs — really?

John Kerry, the emperor of nuance, offers the ludicrous statement that the world is “safer than ever.” Kerry hardly inspires confidence in those of us who hear direct threats, witness barbarous immolation and beheadings and understand what is motivating the slaughter. Does Kerry even know that 2014 was the deadliest year for terror attacks in forty-five years?

All of this nonsense is coming from the same administration who made the incogitable decision to trade Bowe Bergdahl, the deserter, for five high-value Taliban prisoners. And why does this administration continue to cuddle-up to Foreign Nationals who continue to break immigration laws. One can only imagine, because we just do not know, how many jihadists are slipping through the borders.

Is the current accommodates approach to Iran another decision influenced by nuance? The last time I checked, Iran was the leading sponsor of State Terrorism and too close to having nuclear capabilities. They would love the “deal” being contemplated by this White House. The “geniuses” are beginning to scare me. They believe that the just war is the war against “global warming” (the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on humankind) and refuse to accept that radical Islamists are driven to wipe out Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims who are, in their minds, infidels.

There are no shades of gray here. The nuancers need to get off their high horse, stop the verbal acrobatics, get a grip and LEAD.


Alison Nichols,
Essex, CT

Letter to the Editor: Save Our Historic Chester Library

To the Editor:

Regarding the proposed new Chester Library, I think abandoning our exquisite building for a new library/community center is a mistake. It will never come close to what we already have. Amenities or not, I would be saddened to see a likely generic visitor-center type structure as a replacement. The Library Board is ignoring their own surveys from the community, where the preference was “resoundingly to stay in the current location.”

The present library building still could be adapted to accommodate the needs of this small but unique town. A community center could be developed in the underutilized town hall, or a more modest new one built at North Quarter Park. We already have the Meeting House, Town Hall, and Elementary School for meetings and events.

The Chester Library is a well-loved, beautiful, historic building in a perfect spot. The funds requested may be better spent in possibly purchasing the land the building is on, and applying for historic preservation grants. We should work with what we have, and not abandon this 1907 building which was generously given by S. Mills Ely to be Chester’s library, as a memorial to his parents. It is an icon of this town.

The Board and some people want a new building and feel this is the best solution, it may be, (if the community wants it), but this move also comes with great aesthetic loss and financial cost, an additional burden on Chester taxpayers, not to be taken lightly.


Karin Badger,

Letter to the Editor: Organizers Express Thanks to Carnivale Supporters, Helpers

To the Editor:

The committee for the 25th Annual Chester Winter Carnivale was quite disappointed to have to cancel Carnivale on Sunday, Feb. 15. With blizzard warnings and travel advisories in place, cancellation was unavoidable. There was simply no way to have the all-day outdoor event go on with the bitter cold and 40 mph winds.

Heartfelt thanks to all who worked so hard for many months planning the event, which will be nearly impossible to reschedule.

Carnivale has been made possible through the generous donations of time, talent and funds from residents, businesses and supporters of the Chester Merchants. The committee would especially like to thank those who generously contributed $500 or more: Aaron Manor; All-Waste; Archambault Insurance Company; Peter H. Charbonnier; Cummings & Good; First Niagara Bank; Mario S. Gioco; Greenwald Industries; Roto-Frank; Shepherd, Miller, Finkelman & Shah; Stark Agency Insurance; Town of Chester; and Whelen Engineering.


Chester Winter Carnivale Committee

Letter to the Editor: Proposed Chester Library Will Strengthen Community

To the Editor:

There has been much discussion about the future of the Chester Library. Since I have traveled to over 50 CT libraries presenting children’s programs over the years, I have a unique perspective on just what today’s libraries represent. These are not our grandmother’s libraries anymore.

Even in small towns, today’s library has become the hub of the community. Strong children’s programs grow and support families, whose children grow up to be life long readers and supporters of the library. Senior citizens are able to visit and learn how to operate computers, tablets, and e-books. They also have free access to large print & audio books, which also help our disabled citizens. During the recession, especially, families who could not afford Netflix or cable TV, accessed services like Hoopla for the ability to stream movies, shows, concerts, and news programming- for free.

Sadly, Chester not only has no space for special programs, but has also shut out our aging and disabled population by not being handicap accessible. We have been out of compliance with the ADA for 25 years. Our top-notch librarians do the best they can, but with no decent space, bathrooms, and elevator, their hands are tied.

I have heard people question the size of the proposed library, which is modest and in line with similar towns. The proposed community room will fit 70 people. It only proposes 6 computers. The concern about additional staff was addressed in other area libraries (Haddam, Killingworth, Clinton) by utilizing volunteers-mostly seniors, who look forward to spending one day a week in the library.

These other towns took a similar leap of faith years ago and have never regretted it! A vibrant library, which serves ALL our community, will only strengthen the community.


Marjorie Warner,
Editor’s Note: The author is a former preschool teacher and para-professional for the State of CT Preschool Services for the Blind. Since 1996, she has been a professional storyteller, songwriter, recording artist, and Early Childhood Developmental Music Consultant. She is a member of both ASCAP and the Connecticut Storytelling Center.

Letter: Linares Thanks State for ‘Preserve’ Funding, Those Who Have Helped

To the Editor:

Jan. 12 was a good day for Essex, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

On Jan. 12, I was pleased to join with area legislators and environmental advocates to applaud the approval of $2 million in state funding to help finalize and secure the purchase of The Preserve.

A huge amount of credit for this funding goes to Chris Cryder, who has been working to prevent the development of The Preserve for the past decade.

The Trust for Public Land has played a major role, as have Rep. Phil Miller and former Rep. Marilyn Giuliano.

Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, Westbrook First Selectman Noel Bishop and Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman also have been strong advocates for this funding

Thanks to the hard work and determination of so many environmental champions in our region, a 1,000-acre plot of forest and swamp land will be protected for future generations to enjoy.


Art Linares,

Editor’s Note: The author is the State Senator (R) representing the 33rd Senatorial District, which includes Essex, Old Saybrook and Westbrook (

Letter: Building Chester Library at North Quarter Park is an Inspired Idea

To the Editor:

I think it’s a great idea to build at North Quarter Park. Much as I love the current library – and I do love it; it’s been home to me since I was a child – it truly is too small for our town’s current needs, let alone our future needs, and there are just too many issues with renovating the building, even if the church gave the go ahead. I won’t deny that it will be sad to move from this beautiful historic building, but a move to North Quarter Park will allow us to design something that not only gives access to and better fulfills the needs of all our residents, but puts us in the center of more activities. We need to let go of what we have always had and think of the needs of the town first. If those needs cannot be met in the current building, and I believe they cannot, then it’s time to build a new library that will meet them.

I admit, it was initially a shocking idea, moving out of our gorgeous stone building. Now that I’ve thought about it, however, and having closely followed the evolving proposals for possible redesigns of our current building, I’m excited about it. I love the idea of having the park around us. I think that more residents will use both park and library: borrow a book and go for a stroll. Let the kids burn off some energy and then enjoy a quiet hour at the library. It just feels like such a perfect place for a library.

The most exciting thing about moving to North Quarter Park is that we would have the space to offer so many more programs to area residents, and they can all be held at the library, instead of scrounging around for large enough space elsewhere in town. We can offer regular children’s programs, perhaps even partner with Parks & Rec. With the park right there, we can even do outdoor programs. The library will be what libraries should be – a central gathering place for the town.


Lisa Tollefson,

Letter: Rumors Linares Might Run Against Courtney Understandable, Justified

To the Editor:

You cannot blame people for wondering whether State Senator Art Linares might consider a challenge to Congressman Joe Courtney in the 2016 elections. [“Linares Denies Rumors of Challenge to Courtney in Next Election” Dec. 30]

Consider the following:

·         Linares had a strong showing in the recent election, soundly defeating his Democratic challenger.

·         Linares is young, bright, and a successful business owner.

·         He is active and vocal on issues which affect consumers, such as the recent energy rate hikes.

·         He connects well with people of all ages and backgrounds.

·         He has shown himself to be extremely responsive to his constituents.

Art Linares represents the future of Connecticut Republicans, and it is a bright future.

I hope he remains our State Senator for a long time, but I wish him success in whatever path he chooses.


Tom Lindner,
Deep River

Letter: Chester – Library, Trees, Roosters and Guns

To the Editor:

I find Chester a very interesting place to live and would live nowhere else. Over the years I have moved away to find myself returning as soon as I can. You are free to raise roosters, shoot a gun and not have your trees cut down (without due course) and if someone tries to change these things there is a huge public outcry.

These things are important to some but what is important to me and should be important to all is that our Library is not able to serve every person. This coming year will be the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Chester has failed to address this issue within our Public Library to conform to this act in the past 25 years! Where is the outcry! We now have the opportunity to address this with the recently acquired grant from the State of the Connecticut that will provide partial funding for a new library.

Fact: The current Chester Library does not address handicap accessibility.

Fact: The Town of Chester does not own the property on which the current library stands, so investing in the current building is not a solution.

Of course there are many other valid reasons why the library needs updating and the need for a community center, but first and foremost the primary issue needs to be addressed. There is no longer the need for any discussion, it’s a simple fact. Unfortunately this means that we as a community must provide the necessary remaining funding either through private donations or tax increases, but not doing anything is no longer an option. It is our social responsibility and the time has come address it once and for all.


Dean Amato

Letter: Essex Beavers Received Stay, Not Commutation

To the Editor:

I write to clarify an important element of the story reported in this publication’s December 5 feature, “Essex Conservation Commission to Hold Off Lethal Trapping of Beavers,” which seems to have triggered local jubilation.

While I have Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman’s personal assurance that he, concerned citizens, and the Essex conservation commission are now “all on the same page” and that the commissioners have pledged to examine non-lethal beaver management alternatives, only on-the-record rescission of the commission’s earlier trap/drown decision guarantees that no physical harm will come to the beavers.  The conservation commission has the full authority to act as it deems appropriate, and it has left open the Final Solution.

Talk is cheap, and if the public heat abates I have no confidence — based on its legacy — that the conservation commission can be trusted to act diligently in the public interest, and with the utmost transparency.  Beavers were trapped and drowned by closed-door decision several years ago.  In the commission’s meeting on December 4, the vice commissioner asserted, for example, that death by drowning is “instantaneous” — a statement that is patently false, ignorant, and dismissive of a legitimate animal welfare concern.

The overarching ethical issue is that beavers, which today’s science recognizes as beneficial cornerstone species of the ecosystem, are simply behaving naturally in a preserve that taxpayers established to safeguard flora and fauna from mankind’s destruction.

I urge your readers to monitor this issue closely and to continue pressing for definitive, on-the-record rescission of the conservation commission’s November 6 trap/kill decision.


Scott R. Konrad

Letter: Must Consider the Health Risks the Beavers Present

To the Editor:

It’s distressing to read the several letters about the extermination of the beavers at Vineyard Hill Brook Park. You can be sure the “remedy” chosen to remove the beavers from the park is a last resort, not the first choice, of the park managers. The unfortunate reality is that water in which beaver resides is not healthy, is in fact dangerous, for humans, especially young humans.

Maybe the remedy would be to allow a pond to be developed downstream, somewhere, or some such; there just aren’t a lot of places to which they can be removed any more. The reason Essex has the park is to allow people to swim and play in a potable water body, not just for fun, but also to learn a little about being able to survive in water.

We allow the killing of other animals which are a threat to us, and though it is not my own desire to do this, no one seems to have a better remedy.


Jonathan James

Letter: A Nature Preserve Preserves All Living Creatures

To The Editor:

The Viney Hill Brook Nature Preserve is just that, a nature preserve. A nature preserve preserves all living creatures, especially those creatures that are indigenous to the area and benefit the ecosystem.

Beavers benefit our area in many ways. Look it up, it’s so easy with the world of Google. See for yourself.

Please, put Dec. 4, 7:30 on your calendar as a priority event to attend the Essex Conservation Commission’s meeting and let your voice be heard. It counts!

The Beaver family has received a stay of execution until Dec. 5. We can change this inhuman, backward thinking and irresponsible act of murder.  The Essex Conservation Commission has apparently not read their charge which is preserve not to kill.


David Dorrance

Letter: Find Non-Kill Alternative for Beaver Issue

To the Editor:

The Conservation Commission of Essex currently plans to trap and drown a family of beavers at Viney Hill Brook Park.  There is considerable science that beavers are a vital part of our ecosystem and beneficial to our environment.  Where there are issues, there are also solutions that do not involve killing the animals, have proven successful at least 90% of the time, and cost less than the current plan to trap and drown.

The commissioners will assert that there is no direct cost to the town, but that is only because they have engaged a trapper who derives his bounty from the sale of the animals’ pelts.

If you agree that non-kill alternatives should be considered, please attend the Conservation Commission’s meeting at Town Hall on Thursday, December 4 to make your voice heard.


Candace W. Konrad

Letter: Beaver Policy is Short-Sighted

To the Editor:

I am writing as a concerned citizen of Essex and a daily walker in Viney Hill Preserve.  I felt 2 1/2 years ago and continue to feel that the “Beaver Control” policy of this “Preserve” is short-sighted and antithetical to the stated mission statement of the Preserve.

I say short sighted because 2 1/2 years ago, after the last Beaver Kill, a group of residents presented the Commission with a report and an alternative avenue for “Preservation” at No Cost To The Town.  Apparently, this was never investigated or pursed.  Rather than address what is obviously going to be a continuing saga, the Commission is again pursuing a kill policy.

I feel as a “Conservation Commission” they should, at the very least have investigated alternatives.  It is my hope that it is not too late to change this destructive course of action.


Carol Richmond

Letter: Beaver Keystone Species in Ecosystem

To the Editor:

As a resident of Essex, it has come to my attention that a family of beavers in residence at Viney Brook Park is being threatened with “Lethal Entrapment”. This is death by drowning as sanctioned by the Essex Conservation Commission. This family of beavers lives within the confines of Essex Conservation Land.

It should be recognized that all species are important in an ecosystem, but keystone species like the beaver are especially vital in creating a habitat for wildlife. Conservation Commissioners are entrusted to be stewards of the environment. Their mission should be to preserve and protect the flora and fauna within our preserves and this includes the beaver!

Joanne Deschler
Essex, CT

Letter: Conservation Commission Sanctions Barbaric and Inhumane Tactics

To the Editor:

The conservation commissioners of the Town of Essex have sanctioned barbaric and inhumane tactics — lethal entrapment and drowning — to eradicate a family of beavers at Viney Brook Hill Park, a local conservation property entrusted to the commissioners for safekeeping. Acting without clear and irrefutable scientific evidence of material environmental damage, the commissioners decided on November 6 to engage a trapper to exterminate the beavers as still sanctioned by the Connecticut General Statutes.

The Humane Society of the United States, like other responsible mainstream animal and environmental conservation advocacy organizations, decries trapping and drowning as inhumane under any circumstance.

A group of concerned citizens has asked for a stay of execution on the beavers’ behalf, and has secured a conceptual proposal from a globally-recognized wildlife biologist who has successfully mitigated beaver damage in scores of cases throughout New England alone. For a sum of under $2,000, this expert will conduct a site assessment and develop a tailored animal-friendly beaver mitigation strategy including the use of baffles and other noninvasive mechanical equipment. The concerned citizens are willing to bear the expense themselves, to spare the Town of Essex any cost.

If your readers, like our family, value responsible animal-friendly environmental conservation, I encourage them to attend the Town of Essex Conservation Commission’s meeting on December 4 and to ask that the Commission:

(1) Rescind its November 6, 2014 decision to lethally exterminate beavers

(2) Present incontrovertible expert scientific evidence of material environmental impairment at Viney Brook Hill Park; and

(3) If environmental damage is confirmed, explore and adopt a non-lethal, humane conservation strategy that protects both the wetlands AND their animal inhabitants.

Without action, our local beaver family — and possibly, other unsuspecting wetlands mammals — will be in mortal danger as soon as December 5.


Scott Konrad

Letter: Ask for Beaver Reprieve

To the Editor:

While the competition for “Head Scratcher of the Year” is always stiff, I may have just encountered 2014’s winner.  

The Conservation Commission of the Town of Essex, established for “the purpose of protecting native plants and wildlife” has recently voted to exterminate a family of beaver at a town nature preserve.  Beaver are enjoying a renewed appreciation all around the Northern Hemisphere as they provide free eco-services to the habitat we all share. There are well established procedures for accommodating their presence.  The results are well worth the minimal attention these procedures require.  The Conservation Commission has been presented with these alternatives more than once yet more than once they have handed down their beaver death sentence.  After the residents of Essex are done scratching their heads about this, I urge them to contact Town Hall and ask for a Beaver Reprieve!


Paul Leach

Letter: Beavers – Set Example for Our Children

To the Editor:

As another former member of the conservation commission I want to add my voice to those seeking justice for the beaver family in Viney Brook park. I see no reason to trap and then kill by drowning such a useful and hard working family living as nature intended them to do. What harm to the park and the environment will be prevented to justify this senseless act? Let’s show mercy in this case and set an example for our children we can be proud of.


Rick Silverberg

Letter: Essex Conservation Commission Please Rethink Beaver Plans

To the Editor:

Below is a copy of a letter I sent to the Essex Conservation Commission on November 15, 2014:

Dear Conservation Commission,

As a former member of the commission I have tried to stay informed about your ongoing work and in as much just read the minutes from the November 6th meeting  and I find it disturbing that after several years, the commission seems again to be choosing an inappropriate measure in dealing with the beavers.

Viney Hill Brook Park was purchased by the Town as a nature preserve, and all that inhabits the preserve should be just that – preserved.  There is ample research and many appropriate alternatives to killing.  Beavers are indigenous to Connecticut and deserve the same protection any other animal living at Viney Hill Brook Park is afforded.

Further, your potential actions are in direct conflict with the rules and regulations you publish  –from the Conservation Commission brochure about Viney Hill Brook Park:

Please observe and follow the posted guidelines:


The passive recreation area of the park, managed by the Essex Conservation Commission, is open to the public for walking and hiking. It is not a playground, hunting area, bike path or campground. The area is a place where people can enjoy native plants and animals without altering or…

The State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has published a fact sheet on their  website providing details, among other things, of the benefits of beaver communities and options to help alleviate problems caused by beavers.

I urge you to rethink your plans and use a better measure to work and live with the beavers of Viney Hill Brook Park.


Susan Malan
Essex, CT


Letter: Stand up for The Beavers

To the Editor:
It is beyond comprehension that the “Conservation Commission” would even think about destroying the natural habitat of Viney Brook Park in Essex by drowning a family of beavers! And I have to say I am disgusted to hear that this is not the first time this has happened. This makes no sense and is not at all like killing a poisonous snake in a populous area.
The beavers are only in their natural habitat…a place that you would think the “Conservation Commission” would want the natural lives of plants and animals to survive. Will they just keep killing every family that moves in? No doubt there will be more that come to live there.
Hopefully somehow this action will be stopped.
Terri Temple
Essex, CT

Letter: Believe in the Election Process

To the Editor:

It’s been two weeks since the election, and I’m sure most of you are done with politics, so I’ll keep this brief.  I want to first thank everyone for voting on November 4th, it is by far the most important and powerful thing that anyone can do in our lives.

This being my first time running for office, I learned so very much in what was a fairly short period of time.  There is truly quite a bit of work that goes into running for office, but it is worth every minute, every sweat, and every tear.  I met so many great people since jumping in the race in June, all of whom I now consider friends.  Listening to people’s thoughts and concerns, for me, was the best part of this race.  The 36th Assembly District has four beautiful towns, all of which I love.  Everyone that lives in Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam are truly the luckiest residents in Connecticut.

I encourage everyone to run for public office, especially younger people.  I guarantee that it is the best experience you will ever have in your life.  Please know that you can be a landscaper or former bartender and still run.  The most important qualifications that any candidate should have are their ideas, beliefs, and convictions.  This is what makes America such an awesome place to live, the opportunities are endless.

So again I thank all of you, it was the best decision I ever made to run for office and I am so happy that all of you were a part of it.  The best strength that we have is that when we work together, all of our lives become better than the day before.  Believe in the process, it works.

My very best to all of you,

Bob Siegrist
Former Candidate for the Connecticut House of Representatives
36th Assembly District

Letter: Let the Beavers Stay

To the Editor:
Today I read a letter to the Editor pleading for the case of some recent immigrants to our village who are threatened with eviction, deportation, or maybe even decapitation. One shudders to think such treatment would ever be dealt to any who choose Essex as their home. Yet that’s what some newly arrived beavers face as the forces of normalcy and order are marshaled against them. I must say I am on the side of the writer and of the beavers. There are many well-intentioned folks who say we must preserve nature the way it is. Well, beavers are a vital and interesting part of that nature. I’m sure the Parks & Recreation Department can spare a few trees at Viney Hill. Who knows, the village may have just acquired a new “official mascot”. I say, let them stay!
Steve Haines,

Letter: Allow the New Beaver Family to Live in Essex

To the Editor:

Beavers. They are back at Viney Brook Park in Essex.  Beavers have been found to provide a number of benefits to an area; they improve water quality, they create critical habitats for plants and animals, and their dams control flooding by slowing water flows.  They mate for life and usually defend their territories from outsiders, keeping their own population under control in accordance with the amount of available food.

The last family of beavers was drowned by order of the Conservation Commission. They were trapped in underwater cages where they held their breath for about ten minutes, unable to escape the cages that held them.  But a new family has moved in.  It’s a beautiful spot, ironically a conservation area.  The beavers like the small pond, quite a distance from the larger pond that is a swimming hole.

Other towns, all over the country, have learned to exist with beaver ponds in their midst. They have learned how to mitigate the damage that beavers might cause to trees.  They have benefited from cleaner water, more bird species, and a healthier environment.

That won’t happen in Essex.  The new family will be drowned. Their pelts will be sold. Two or three years from now, a new family will move in.  It’s a shame we can’t learn from other towns that have figured out how to coexist with these magnificent creatures.


John Ackermann


See related letter

Letter: Disturbing Election Tactics

To the Editor:

During this past election cycle, a significant number of Democratic campaign signs disappeared in Essex. I find it disturbing and pathetic that certain persons would attempt to obstruct the political process by removing signs that were placed on private property with permission.  In view of the results of the recent elections, I hope that these persons have learned that removing signs is not an effective way to disrupt the election process.  In addition, I find it very disturbing that a significant number of the registered voters state-wide fail to exercise their right to vote.  For a democracy to work effectively, it is essential for our citizens to participate in the process by voting for their choice of candidates.


Frank B. Hall
Essex, CT

Letter: Response to Latest Mailings

To the Editor:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the 33rd District.

The political mailings, particularly the last two I have received on behalf of Democratic candidate Emily Bjornberg who is running for a senate seat in Connecticut representing our 33rd district,  have been, to say the least, the lowest, most nasty mailings that I have ever received prior to an election for a senatorial candidate who would represent me in Hartford.

Not only have these last two mailings been disgraceful and full of lies, but, having attended the last two debates among Emily Bjornberg, Art Linares and Colin Bennett, I have also been disgusted with the attack dog tactics and misinformation coming from Emily against Art Linares. Her behavior makes the definition given to a pit bull terrier pale in comparison to her progressive, socialistic demands and attitudes about what should or should not be rule of law for everyone.

Please, back off Emily. You have shown your true colors.  We have had good representation in the 33rd district with Senator Art Linares.  We need Art to return to his duties in Hartford and continue the work of trying to keep Connecticut from collapsing under the heavy weight of a democratic governor and a democratically controlled House and Senate.

Respectfully submitted


Melanie Phoenix

Letter: Essex Democratic Town Committee Honored to Support Miller, Bjornberg

To The Editor:

The Essex Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) is honored to support Representative Phil Miller, State Senate Candidate Emily Bjornberg, and the other Democrats running for office this fall.

Since being elected in 2011, Representative Miller has become a trusted leader in House of Representatives on policy matters impacting the environment and public health, as well as behavioral health.   In addition to serving as a statewide policy leader, Rep. Miller works tirelessly for the residents of Essex, Deep River, Chester and Haddam.

If elected, Emily Bjornberg, candidate for the state senate would serve as a partner with Phil in the General Assembly.  Emily’s history of caring for those in need and her commitment to protecting and preserving the CT River will bring a much needed voice to the state senate on these matters. Emily’s plan to focus the state’s attention on the needs of small business, help unemployed veterans return to work, and fight for greater state education aid to lower property taxes would yield many benefits for our economy.

Essex residents and those of the surrounding towns deserve a state representative and state senator who are able to articulate the needs of the district and then work collaboratively to effectuate the changes needed to improve our communities.

The EDTC believes a legislative team of Representative Phil Miller and Emily Bjornberg will serve the town of Essex and surrounding towns well and we urge you to vote for them on November 4.
Brian Cournoyer, Chairman
Essex Democratic Town Committee

Letter: If You Want Change Get Out and Vote

To the Editor:

I’m not a Republican. But I’m voting for Bob Siegrist, the Republican candidate for State Representative.

It’s important not to raise taxes, but more important for me is being sure my tax money and the money I have to pay as a business owner is being spent properly.

I’m competing against three companies, one national, one based out of state and one Connecticut company. All three are operating in one or more ways illegally.

The out-of-state company has been caught for not registering to do business in Connecticut and failing to pay business entity taxes. To avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance, this company is also classifying people as subcontractors who should be paid as employees. But nobody at Department of Labor has bothered following up on it. This company underbid a good locally-operating business until it left the state. Connecticut lost all the tax revenue on that business and its’ employees. Since these workers were paid in the state, Connecticut also lost any money made by these people spending their paychecks here.

The Connecticut company has forced subcontractors to take pay cuts while denying them the right to renegotiate their contracts. It was bouncing paychecks for two years. No one at the state level has done anything about that either. Two subcontractors had the courage to approach someone in the Labor Department and were told there was nothing they could do about it because the two individuals were subcontractors.

By breaking the law, these companies can afford to underbid me on work in the state. The state should be sure everybody doing business here is registered and doing business legally and paying for that right. The state should be collecting all the money that it is owed.

It seems like it takes a whistleblower or a news story to alert state departments to problems like this. Otherwise, nothing seems to happen until somebody gets hurt. Why can’t the various departments within the state investigate on their own?

Our legislature should act as a proper board of directors or trustees for all the departments of the state. Bob Siegrist understands this.

Our voters are like shareholders and elect our representatives to set a proper vision for the future of Connecticut. It’s our representatives’ work to be sure our state runs efficiently and everyone working for the state is doing their job. Bob Siegrist has promised me he will work hard if he is elected.

Everybody should realize that if they are unhappy with the way our state and national governments are working, waiting for change means waiting forever. The easiest way to make change happen is to get out and vote.


Mark Bruce Guthrie

Letter: Linares’s Business Experience: What Is It Exactly?

To the Editor:

The suggestion that voters should support Art Linares for state senator due to his “business experience” deserves closer examination. So does Linares’s portrayal of himself as a champion of free enterprise.

Linares’s company, “Greenskies”, installs solar panels. It is undoubtedly among the most heavily subsidized companies in Connecticut.  In 2012, the Hartford Courant reported that “the biggest impact on Greenskies’ potential for growth by far is how successful it is in capturing state subsidies.” In a lobbying paper to the Connecticut legislature, Greenskies president called such support  “critical”.

How many Connecticut companies depend for growth “by far” mainly on state subsidies? Most companies, like the successful car dealership run by the family of Emily Bjornberg  (Linares’s opponent) must compete on their own merits.  Given the extensive state aid propping up Greenskies, how relevant is Linares’s experience to most businesses ?

Tea Party politicians like Linares usually revile such support as “corporate hand outs” and a bone-headed effort by government to “pick winners and losers”. We’re not hearing that here, however.

Meanwhile – and this is a key point — Linares wants to cut many other state programs supporting equally worthy causes and opposes increasing the minimum wage. For others, Linares believes the free market should set wages and prices – just not in the sector where he does business.

Greenskies use of Chinese solar panels takes this double standard to a new level. In 2012, the U.S. Government found that factories controlled by the Chinese government were selling the panels at prices below their cost of production.  This is an unfair trade practice under U.S. law, known as “dumping”.  Our government imposed tariffs on the panels.

Greenskies liked the artificially cheap panels dumped by the Chinese because they hurt its competitors, who, unlike Greenskies, make their panels in the U.S. Greenskies president bluntly told the press “When we go to toe to toe, we enjoy an advantage. We were perfectly happy with low-cost equipment from China.”

It did not seem to bother Greenskies or Linares that, according to our own government, this “advantage” resulted from Chinese market manipulation. The matter is now before the World Trade Organization.

So I am trying to understand this. It appears that Linares’s business experience is with a company that enjoys state subsidies on a huge scale not available to virtually anyone else, which enable it to distribute panels dumped by Chinese communists at artificially low prices, damaging American companies and destroying U.S. jobs.

That’s quite a business model for a champion of free enterprise.


David Harfst


Letter: Linares Ranked Low by League of Conservation Voters

To the Editor:
When my husband and I moved to Essex, one of the compelling reasons for doing so was the natural beauty of the Lower Connecticut River Valley.  We are fortunate that this area has been protected from major development.  In the upcoming election you have an opportunity to choose between two candidates for state senator who share very different views on conservation:  the incumbent Art Linares and his challenger Emily Bjornberg.

Mr. Linares received a lifetime score for his voting record by the independent group League of Conservation Voters that ranks the second lowest in the entire state senate.  Art may work at a solar energy company, but as an intern to Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio in 2010, he must have picked up some very bad ideas on the role of government in protecting the environment.  I cannot believe his voting record on these issues is representative of the people of his district.

Emily has not been ranked by the League as she is not a sitting legislator. However, she is a very committed environmentalist who has served as a member of the Lyme Land Trust for many years. She has been endorsed by State Rep. Phil Miller of Essex, a leading environmental legislator, as well as by Melissa Schlag, now the First Selectman of Haddam and a former Green Party Candidate for the State Senate.

If you appreciate the beauty of our state’s environment, please vote with me for Emily Bjornberg.
Jane Piro

Letter: Judge Terrance Lomme Asks for Your Vote

To the Editor:

I am Terrance D. Lomme, your Judge of Probate and believe I am the best candidate for this office due to my compassion and experience. These two qualities are essential to being an effective Judge. I am very concerned about all of the people who appear before me. I fully understand that there are difficult circumstances that bring people to the Court. As a Veteran, I am sensitive to the Veteran’s issues that are presented to me.

Before being elected Judge, I practiced probate law for over 30 years in the towns that now constitute the 33rd District Court. This experience, combined with being the East Haddam Probate Judge for three years was invaluable to me when, shortly after my election in 2010, I was given the task of merging nine individual courts into the new Saybrook District Probate Court. This was the largest merger of individual Courts in the State.

I am aware my decisions have a major affect on people’s lives, whether it is a decision to conserve an elderly person, to award custody of a child to a grandparent or the loss of a loved one.

As a probate lawyer for 30 years, and seven years as a Judge presiding over three thousand five hundred hearings, I have assisted thousands of families through the probate process. The Court and my clerks have received exemplary ratings from Probate Administration in each of its three reviews. Additionally, the Court budget has not increased since my election.

Further, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Probate Assembly and a member of the National College of Probate Judges, I keep current on State and National trends that may affect the Court.

For the above reasons I ask you to vote for me on November 4th.



Terrance D. Lomme,


Letter: Bjornberg’s Criticism of Sen. Linares is Hypocritical

To the Editor:

As a lifelong Democrat, a former legislator and a former Selectman representing shoreline Towns, and a partner with State Senator Art Linares, Jr. at Greenskies Renewable Energy, I was shocked and quite frankly embarrassed for my party to receive the recent mailer from Emily Bjornberg on Senator Linares’ track record on the environment and the economy.  Her false and hypocritical statements regarding our business seems to be representative of her “win at all costs” mantra, and her criticism of one of Connecticut’s most dynamic and environmentally responsible startup companies clearly displays her basic lack of understanding about both the environment and the economy.

A puzzling and disturbing fact regarding Ms. Bjornberg’s criticisms regarding Senator Linares’s lack of concern for the environment centers around her family business, which has enjoyed millions of dollars of profits for generations selling automobiles, the single largest contributor to carbon monoxide pollution in the atmosphere.  Greenskies sole mission is to reduce carbon footprint throughout Eastern United States through the development of photo-voltaic solar systems.  Even more disturbing (and hypocritical) is the automobile that her family business sells are Subaru! These vehicles are entirely manufactured in Japan by Fuji Heavy Industries.  Yet the most outlandish statement in her mailer is that Senator Linares does not care about Connecticut jobs.  Without political fanfare, without beating his chest, but simply because it was the right thing to do, Senator Linares supported consummating a relationship with the electrical union, and today Greenskies currently employs over 300 IBEW electricians in four states, including Connecticut.  If she cared so much about Connecticut jobs, perhaps, Ms. Bjornberg should consider unionizing her automobile dealership.

In today’s world economy, we enjoy an international platform of business opportunity to benefit all.  Greenskies has purchased products from both U.S. manufacturers and from overseas, and we embrace and are extremely proud of our track record.  I personally appreciate the success of Ms. Bjornberg’s family business as well, which has proudly served the shoreline for generations.  But Ms. Bjornberg’s attempt to malign Senator Linares’ record on the environment and on the economy clearly indicates that she does not possess the balance or the intellectual maturity to represent our district.  She should focus on the issues that separate her and her opponent, and their respective parties, and let voters elect the right candidate for the right reasons.



Robert A. Landino


Letter: Bjornberg has the Intellectual Capacity

To the Editor:

After review of the candidates’ backgrounds I am choosing to vote for Emily Bjornberg as our next State Senator.    I need to know my elected representative has the brain power to think on her feet, the intellectual curiosity to dig deeply into issues, the personal skills to listen to and interact with a wide range of people, the leadership skills to influence legislation on issues relevant to our area, and the heart to care.

Emily has real-life experience volunteering and caring for others including aiding the sick in South Africa and working to engage local young people in community service and social justice.    She has real-life experience supporting veterans, including her own husband, who served with the Connecticut National Guard in Iraq.

Emily also has real-life experience as a mother who knows that quality education and protecting children from toxins are important issues if we care about future generations.   She has real-life experience working on behalf of our local environment.   And she has real-life experience with business deeply rooted in the community.  Her family’s business has helped people get where they need to go for generations, from wagon wheels to automobiles, and now Emily is dedicated to helping our constituents go where they want to go…whether they dream of education, a good job , a clean forest for hiking, or a comfortable retirement.

At one of the debates Emily’s opponent decided to attend, our sitting senator said “anyone who is running on social issues doesn’t have anything important to run on.”  He also refused to participate in local debates where he was not provided with questions in advance.

I served on local boards of education for 10 years and know first-hand that balancing budgets with the needs of all of our citizens is difficult.  No decision can be made without considering the impact on all constituents.  This requires analysis and showing up for community dialogues.  “Social issues” do not exist separately from financial issues.

Emily Bjornberg has the maturity, intellectual capacity, and diplomatic skills to make a difference for our region.    She will represent us well and will show up on behalf of all of us.  That’s why she is getting my vote.



Lynne Pease

Letter: Deep River First Selectman Endorses Bjornberg

To the Editor:

Emily Bjornberg is clearly the choice to represent the 12 towns that comprise Connecticut’s 33rdSenatorial District.  That conclusion is based on 25 years of first hand experience.  Early in my tenure as First Selectman I learned just how important it is to maintain close contact with our representatives in Hartford.  I have spent many hundreds of hours testifying before our Legislators, the men and women who play such an important part in the health of our communities.  The actions—or, unfortunately, inactions, of our representatives in Hartford are crucial to our future.

We have been largely fortunate in our legislative choices: Jamie Spallone, Phil Miller and, for 20 years, Eileen Daily, whose presence we have sorely missed during the two years since she stepped down.  But we have been afforded a golden opportunity, the chance to elect a Senator with the drive, the capacity and the promise to follow in that fine tradition.

Emily Bjornberg speaks passionately and compellingly; she states her beliefs frankly; she clearly enumerates her goals as our State Senator.  Emily has spent time with residents in all corners of the towns she seeks to represent.  She understands us.  Her honesty is immediately apparent.  She will devote herself to the service of her constituents.  Emily Bjornberg should be our next State Senator.

Richard H. Smith
First Selectman, Deep River

Letter: Greatly Respect Essex First Selectman

To the Editor:

I am responding to a letter by a man I greatly respect, who governs our town in a nonpartisan manner. He is a welcome relief from his predecessor, who had a policeman come to Board of Selectman meetings to save him from debate over his decisions.

Negotiations between a Democratic Governor, a Supermajority State House and a Supermajority State Senate is akin to a Chinese Student negotiating with a Tiananmen tank. They just don’t listen!


Lynn Herlihy