To the Editor:
To the Editor:
This fall, the voters in Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme and Lyme will have an opportunity to maintain a strong voice in the Connecticut Legislature. Devin Carney is seeking to be your representative for the 23rd House seat previously held by Marilyn Giuliano. I have come to know Devin well over the last year and I am confident he will be the voice our towns need in Hartford.
As First Selectman, I can tell you how important responsiveness is. I know Devin will be the representative who answers your email immediately, returns your call quickly or shows up on your doorstep due to a concern you have. He will champion legislation that promotes Connecticut and our area as business friendly, and will block our legislature from passing unnecessary and burdensome legislation.
Hartford needs get back in touch with reality. Electing Devin this November will go a long way towards that goal.
Join me in voting for Devin Carney on Nov. 4.
Carl P. Fortuna, Jr.,
Editor’s Note: The writer is the First Selectman of Old Saybrook.
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.
To the Editor:
As a lifelong Democrat, a former legislator and a former Selectman representing shoreline towns and a partner with State Sen. 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 Sen. 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 upstart companies clearly displays her basic lack of understanding about both the environment and the economy.
A puzzling and disturbing fact regarding Bjornberg’s criticisms regarding Sen. 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 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 Sen. Linares does not care about Connecticut jobs. Without political fanfare, without beating his chest, but simply because it was the right thing to do, Sen. Linares supported consummating a relationship with the electrical union, and today Greenskies currently employees over 300 IBEW electricians in four states, including Connecticut.
If she cared so much about Connecticut jobs, perhaps, 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 Bjornberg’s family business as well, which has proudly served the shoreline for generations. Bjornberg’s attempt to malign Sen. 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,
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.
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.
Letter to the Editor: Independent Thinking Enables Carney To Understand Needs of Lower CT River Valley
To the Editor:
The lower Connecticut River valley – and all of our state – needs a strong advocate for retaining jobs on the shoreline, and for promoting a responsible and honest state budget. That’s what Devin Carney is running to accomplish as our next state representative.
Devin Carney understands that Connecticut needs a business plan to improve its business climate. This business plan must give employers predictability and stable footing to create a business environment where companies would want to remain in and relocate to Connecticut.
Carney is an independent thinker, understands the value of our regional natural resources, and believes in small government. As a voter and a citizen, I’m voting to end the one party majority rule in Hartford that only knows how to overtax and over-regulate my life and yours. I’m supporting Devin Carney for smart, decisive leadership, and for his willingness to step up and work hard for all of us.
To the Editor:
I am a fellow Republican woman who always wanted to be married, but I wanted a career instead of children. Thankfully, when I headed off to college in 1974, I had access to birth control and thanks to Roe v. Wade I also had access to what could be a very excruciating choice. [Thankfully I never had to make that choice.] So it was time travel for me to hear Art Linares’ answer to this question at the debate held on October 8 at the Valley Regional High School: “Where do you stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision?” Linares only stated that “he was raised Catholic and isn’t up for appointment as a Supreme Court Justice.” In other words, he is againsta woman’s right to choose even birth control!
Haven’t we already dealt with this issue 40 years ago? This extremely right-wing view could have totally changed my life and taken my choice to have a career away from me. Also, I would note that extremist views such as Linares’ are not a fit with his own district’s constituency.
Birthing a child sometimes can be life-threatening. Linares doesn’t care: “No exceptions.” I have had a colleague who died from a brain hemorrhage while she was trying to have a child.
I may have wanted to hear more on Linares’ stances, but it seems he doesn’t like to show up to debates.
Please, if you value your choices as a woman, do not vote for Art Linares.
To the Editor:
I support Art Linares for State Senate. He understands that we need to balance our State Budget and voted down the Budget that the General Assembly adopted. The Republicans did offer an alternative budget, but in a one party state there is no recognition of any ideas from the other party.
According to a Gallup Poll 49% want to leave CT, if they could, second only to Illinois at 50%. From About Money website, CT residents are taxed at 11.1% of their income, third highest. As to a regressive tax, CT pays 67.7 cents per gallon again 3rd highest in Nation.
Art understands that in CT the General Assembly is presented with a Budget Package. There is no chance to eliminate a regressive tax here and there. There may be discussion, but that is grandstanding. Make no mistake, the Governor’s Budget is accepted. The Governor’s last Budget had the highest amount of taxes in our state history, with no sign of balancing the budget yet or paying anything towards our Pension Fund. Do you State workers know that?
I am tired of people who run for office and think that as a Freshman legislator they can single handedly reduce regressive taxes from the Budget. What other loyal soldiers in your party will work to reduce these regressive taxes? Art Linares knows the only way to register disdain for the buget is to vote the whole Budget down.
I leave you with one more question. Will the last taxpaying citizen in CT please leave the light on? Please vote for Art Linares on Election Day.
To The Editor:
As a business owner and the First Selectman of Essex, I am keenly aware of the difficulties companies and municipalities face here in Connecticut. Small towns like are taking on an unfair share of the burden and are feeling the weight of an increasing number of unfunded mandates from the state.
We need a stronger voice in Hartford, and that’s why I am endorsing Emily Bjornberg for State Senate in the 33rd District. She has the life experience, tenacity and drive to effect real change in Hartford.
Representing our region in Hartford needs to be more than casting a partisan protest vote against the state budget and then blaming the state’s problem on others. What our region needs is someone who will be at the table as important decisions are being made to represent the needs of our towns.
She understands the needs of small business, having grown up working with her family who owns Reynolds Subaru in Lyme. It’s through that family, made up of prominent local Republicans and Democrats, who have instilled in her the ability to find the common ground necessary to bring about constructive and positive change.
I ask that you join me in voting for Emily on November 4.
Editor’s Note: The writer is the First Selectman of Essex.
To the Editor:
It is an honor and privilege for me to wholeheartedly endorse the re-election of our 33rd State Senator Art Linares. During his two year tenure as State Senator, Art has worked tirelessly to serve you, his constituents. He has been visible, available and listens to all, regardless of party affiliation.
Art Linares has taken the “high road” in this campaign. Instead of criticizing his opponents, he has emphasized his many accomplishments as your State Senator. As a business owner, growing jobs and improving the economy has been a priority. Whether it’s supporting legislation that allows manufacturers to hire apprentices or fighting for a tax structure that will help businesses and working families, Art Linares has been there for us. He has held town meetings throughout the 12 towns in the district welcoming your input and ideas.
Art truly cares about you and improving the State of Connecticut. Art Linares is a breath of fresh air. As the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. On Tuesday, November 4th, re-elect a caring, pro-active public servant. Thank you Senator Linares for your compassion, devotion and commitment to all of us.
An Open Letter to the Citizens of Old Lyme
On Oct. 1, a special meeting was held by the Town to present new boathouse plans for rowers at Rogers Lake. Construction costs are estimated to be $883,000: with $478,000 being a CT STEEP grant, and the remaining $405,000 to be contributed by the town of Old Lyme from its rainy day account.
The Town is in a hurry to move this project forward in a very short time so that construction can begin. Some would say the Town is in too much of a hurry.
While a boon for the approximate 100 rowers in Old Lyme (50 students and 50 adult rowers), there is next to nothing in this project for the other citizens who are being asked to pay for this effort.
Several areas of concern are:
- The scope has changed so much from the original grant proposal, the Town will have to resubmit scope to ensure the grant is still valid. For example, the existing boathouse will be torn down, not renovated, and construction of new docks will not be included. We are being asked to approve funding of $405,000 to support a grant we aren’t sure will be re-approved by the state. Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse?
- The President of the rower’s association anticipates program growth to be no more than 10 to 20%. Whether that growth is measured in participants or boats, the proposed boathouse appears substantially over designed. The current program is supported by approximately 35 boats, whereas the new boathouse is designed to house 53 boats.
- A scant 1 week of public discussion has been allowed before a vote. Don’t you believe more time and consideration is warranted to make an informed decision on such a large expenditure?
- As a community, we are proud of the success and accomplishments of our rowers. However, since the boathouse stores boats donated by the rower’s association to Region 18, wouldn’t it make sense to have Region 18 pay rent until the costs to Old Lyme are offset?
As with any project being rushed, too many questions remain unanswered to request the good people of Old Lyme to approve spending over $400,000 of its $4.9 million rainy day fund for so few citizens Some would even question whether this is a proper use of a rainy day fund.
Not allowing proper consideration for other potentially-interested parties to comment on how to broaden the public interest in the project would be a mistake … politically and possibly economically. For instance, why not renovate and heat the existing bathrooms for everyone’s use, in lieu of constructing new bathrooms for rowers only for an estimated cost of $130,000? (9/15/2014 Committee minutes)
This project should be delayed to allow ample time to improve the project in the interests of the Town as a whole. Even if, in the event, there are no other interested parties, at least everyone would have been given a chance to respond. Please attend the Town Meeting and vote for what is best for the community.
See you at the Middle School at 7:30, Oct. 6!
An Open Letter to Friends and Patrons of the Diane Birdsall Gallery
I have taken on a job that will take me outside of the gallery in Old Lyme and into another phase of exhibiting.
I will be working with a hotel developer, Charles Mallory — he operates several beautiful and viable hotels in Greenwich, Southport, Stamford, Aspen [Marfa] Texas and a Vermont inn to be completely revamped, as well as a new hotel project on the boards to open in 2016.
I closed the Old Lyme, 16 Lyme Street address gallery at the end of this past show on Aug. 22. The walk-in traffic has always been slow and having a presence outside of the brick and mortar space is more viable.
After SCOPE in Basel and Cutlog in New York, I am now receiving request regarding sales and just recently sold a work to the largest art collector in Turkey.
Funny how art sales work — it sometimes takes years or minutes for people to make a move.
I do conceive a pop-up show here in Connecticut in a completely different sort of space. You as patrons and clients are important to me and bringing the work of artists out into exhibition is my passion, so I do not want to lose this side of the art world that I truly enjoy.
My website will remain active and I have planned exhibits for 2015 – they will take place in new locations and expanding worlds.
I have always felt honored to work with talented artists and to be a part of their world. And encouraging others to bring art into their life is like food for me — an absolute necessity — how can you live without it?
I could not have enjoyed the success of these past eight years without your help and belief and I thank you for your patronage and friendship. See you soon under a different tent, but assuredly an exciting format.
With heartfelt thanks to you.
To the Editor:
State Senator Linares recently issued a press release calling for hearings on recent infant fatalities in families having dealings with the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Few would dispute the importance of understanding why these deaths occurred, and whether DCF can be doing a better job.
But where was Linares’ concern for children when he voted against the Newtown gun control bill, saying he hadn’t read it? More recently, where was his concern for children when he used his position – some might say abused his position – to appoint a paid representative of companies that manufacture cadmium-containing jewelry to a panel looking into health issues presented by cadmium in jewelry intended for children?
Linares voted against a ban on known carcinogens in children’s clothes, and opposed efforts to create a watch list of chemicals of high concern to children. He was also one of only two Children’s Committee members to vote against a ban on spraying toxic pesticides at all Connecticut schools. His concern for the safety of children is not at all obvious given his voting record and appointments.
Senator Linares’ opponent, on the other hand, seems to be genuinely concerned for children’s safety. Emily Bjornberg is the mother of children ages 4 and 7, and for the past seven years has been the Youth and Family Ministries Director of the Deep River Congregational Church. Her concerns mirror my own and she will get my vote in the November election for State Senator.
To the Editor:
I write in support of Devin Carney for State Representative for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook in the upcoming August 12th Republican primary.
Devin will work for all of us with energy, with integrity, and with an abiding interest not in politics, but in public service.
In the 12 years that I’ve served in the General Assembly, I’ve been an eye witness to what it takes to succeed in that world – the thought and deliberation required to craft good public policy; and the importance of each vote cast on behalf of 24,000 people. We speak of jobs, the economy, and political issues, but the work of the state representative is really about people, families and communities who count on the attention, the concern, and the commitment of their state representative. Devin Carney is known for these attributes and can be counted on to listen and to serve.
Each legislative session brings difficult challenges to confront and, for Connecticut, these challenges loom large. I am confident that Devin Carney will confront these tough issues with fairness, honesty, intelligence, and with an impassioned advocacy on behalf of us all.
Join me in supporting Devin Carney on August 12th.
Editor’s Note: The author is State Representative for the 23rd District.
To the Editor:
The public deserves answers when a candidate for political office makes questionable decisions. I think it’s only fair that we deserve an answer from Victoria Lanier regarding her inaccurate and misleading filings to the Citizen’s Clean Election Program.
Lanier’s campaign failed to show expenses towards campaign buttons, campaign flyers, campaign palm cards, campaign printing, and other miscellaneous expenses that were known to have been incurred based on evidence dating back to April. The Citizen’s Clean Election Program was correct in questioning these expenditure omissions, and Lanier was forced to account for them.
Why were these expenditures not divulged to the Citizens’ Clean Election Program initially? Donations of this type are illegal. Could this be an attempt to hide costs from the State Clean Elections program to give Attorney Victoria Lanier a financial advantage in a program that caps campaign costs?
Could this be a preview of unethical behavior, or an inattention to important details that constituents will experience if Attorney Lanier is elected? I don’t believe it’s worth it to risk on a seat currently held by someone as ethically sound as Marilyn Giuliano. She backs Devin Carney in the Republican primary for the 23rd District and so do I.
To the Editor:
Republicans have a choice August 12th, between an experienced, accomplished representative in Vicki Lanier, and a professionally and politically inexperienced option in Devin Carney. Hartford is not the place for the most basic civic training in an important job as our state representative.
Ms. Lanier is a successful family law and business advocate, among other duties working extensively with state agencies to support her clients’ interest. She knows the problems of government directly. Mr. Carney has limited professional experience from which to draw, and though a stated realtor in his literature, let his real estate license lapse in May after less than one year.
Mr. Carney has no elected or even volunteer experience at any level of government. Vicki was elected to the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education, and served as its treasurer for two years. She is active in her community, both civically and as a volunteer. I have had the honor of serving with her on our Republican Town Committee, where she gave her time and talents generously as the secretary and the chairwoman of our Nominating Committee.
Important to Republican primary voters, according to the Connecticut Voter Registration System, Mr. Carney was a Democrat as recently as 2010. Lanier has been a long-time Republican, serving on the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee faithfully since 2007 and elected as its secretary.
Experience matters in an effective state representative. I have worked closely with Vicki, and I know how capable and professional she is. I strongly endorse Vicki Lanier– she is the absolute best candidate for our District, and she deserves Republicans’ votes in the primary.
J. David Kelsey
To the Editor:
Joe Bruno, there you go again, playing fast and loose with the facts. Devin Carney recently accepted a debate, pending the results of a primary, with the Westbrook Council of Beaches for the general election. He doesn’t step away from a challenge, but this particular “debate” you were referring to was being planned by Tim Griswold. Yes, the same Tim Griswold who wrote a nasty letter about Devin, and the same Tim Griswold who is Lanier’s deputy treasurer and top campaign advisor. Carney has no issues debating Lanier, but unfortunately, this appeared to be a last-ditch, biased attempt to jump-start her flagging campaign in order to tip the scales in her favor. This is not consistent with Republican values, and voters deserve better than gimmicky, “gotcha” politics.
Here’s a refresher – Devin’s opponent, as a Board of Education member, was the only person to vote “no” against beefing up front door access security at Lyme-Old Lyme elementary schools. Need proof? Check out the Board of Ed Minutes from December 5, 2012. In the wake of countless school shootings, this is unacceptable. Additionally, she sat silently by acquiescing to the district’s implementation of the controversial Common Core. And how about her vote to close the recently renovated (at great expense) Center School on Lyme Street despite strong and widespread parent and community opposition? She does not deserve our support.
I trust Devin to work for the people, and not for his own special interests. He has my vote on Aug. 12 in the 23rd House District Republican primary and I ask all voting Republicans that day to cast their vote for Devin Carney.
Editor’s Note: Joe Bruno’s letter, to which Mr. Johnson is referring in this letter, can be found at this link.
To the Editor:
Vicki Lanier is the better choice for Republican voters when we vote for our candidate to be State Representative of the 23rd District in the August 12th Primary.
She was elected to the Lyme/Old Lyme School Board. She owns a successful small business and is a family law attorney who interfaces with many State agencies. She is a fourth generation resident of Old Lyme and is a lifelong Republican who has voted consistently in municipal and state/federal elections. In short, Vicki is the real deal and her experience will enable her to be an effective voice for us in Hartford.
Contrast this record with that of her opponent. He has not been elected to any political office, he changed his party affiliation in July of 2010 and he has changed his voting address three times in the last two years (from Saybrook to Essex to Westbrook and back to Saybrook). His voting record shows he did not vote in three of the last four municipal elections!
Given Vicki’s experience and strong credentials, we can depend on her to competently represent us in Hartford. Please join me in voting for Vicki on August 12th.
Timothy C. Griswold,
To the Editor:
For a seamless transition to elect a new State Rep in the 23rd District, Republican voters should consider the similarities between the retiring Marilyn Giuliano and Vicki Lanier when voting on August 12th.
Both are long-time Republicans with experience in elected office before running for state rep; Vicki was treasurer on Region 18 Board of Ed; Marilyn was vice chair of Old Saybrook Board of Finance.
Both are working mothers who balanced demands of parenthood, work, and volunteerism with their public service; Vicki is partner in her law firm, Marilyn is a public school employee.
Both devote time to community outreach; Vicki mentors women in need; Marilyn lent time to public health and housing. Both gave time and effort to PTO and Scouts.
In an ironic twist, both Giuliano and Lanier did not emerge with their party’s endorsement. Twelve years ago, Marilyn won her primary. Given the similar strengths and experience that both Vicki and Marilyn possess, please vote for Vicki Lanier on August 12th.
Joan C. Carlson,