September 20, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Bjornberg Shows Genuine Concern for Children’s Safety

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.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Sund
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Lanier’s Revision of Campaign Filings Raises Concerns

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.

Sincerely,

Russell Gomes,
Old Lyme

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Letterto the Editor: Lanier Has Extensive Political Experience, Unlike Opponent Carney

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.

Sincerely,

J. David Kelsey
Old Lyme

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Can be Trusted to Work for the People

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.

Sincerely,

John Johnson
Old Lyme

Editor’s Note: Joe Bruno’s letter, to which Mr. Johnson is referring in this letter, can be found at this link.

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Letter to the Editor: Lanier is Better Choice; Has Experience, Strong Credentials

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.

Sincerely,

Timothy C. Griswold,
Old Lyme

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Letter to the Editor: Similarities to Giuliano Make Lanier Best Candidate to Fill Giuliano’s Shoes

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.

Sincerely,

Joan C. Carlson,
Old Saybrook.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Has the Character to Continue Giuliano’s Work as State Rep.

To the Editor:

Devin Carney is a great choice to be our next State Representative for the 23rd District and we will proudly vote for him in the Republican primary on August 12th.  Marilyn Giuliano has held this seat for 12 years and it is important the next person represents us with the same passion as she has.  We believe Devin is that person.

Devin is committed to the 23rd District and believes in focusing on making it possible for our families and seniors to be able to continue calling it home.  Times are tough and no one better than Devin understands, first-hand, that when times are tough it means rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. We are reminded of when he was a kid and he started a paper route to help his single mom, Deb, make ends meet.  Through hard work and against the odds, he became the first person in his immediate family to graduate college.

We believe his character, morals, and values are exactly what our district needs and he is more than ready and able to continue what Marilyn began. Please join us on August 12th in voting for Devin Carney for State Rep.

Sincerely,

Sharon and Dave Tiezzi,
Old Saybrook.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Understands Cost Challenges of Connecticut Living

To the Editor:

As a newly registered voter, I am very much looking forward to casting my first vote for Devin Carney  for State Representative on August 12th.  My generation (and many others) understands that we need to have strong representatives who want to focus on improving opportunities here in Connecticut.  I hope that when I graduate from UConn, I will be able to find work and afford to live in the state I love – Devin wants to help make that a reality. 

He understands that the high costs of doing business in Connecticut significantly diminish our competitiveness. I am confident that his vision of housing affordability to the new workforce, investing in our transportation system, and lowering taxes and regulations on business will help improve the job market.  Not to mention, he will fight to keep tuition costs low for our state schools, so that everyone can afford a quality education. 

Sincerely,

Sam Stadnick,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: After Declining Debate, Carney Now Needs to Offer More Details About Candidacy

To the Editor:

Unlike some residents of the 23rd District, clairvoyance is not my strong point.  I felt compelled to study the candidate’s most recent literature for more information about his professional background, and his solutions to problems he has identified that need correction.

After reviewing the material, I believe that the candidate still has no experience in government, no managerial experience in business, no background as a negotiator, and no stated solutions to problems.

It has been pointed out that vetting a candidate is a most important factor in the decision making process.  But how can we do that when Candidate Carney has ducked  a debate, which would have given us a true side by side comparison of the two office seekers?

Remember, Vicki Lanier accepted the invitation to debate, but Devin Carney declined!

Sincerely,

Joseph Bruno,
Old Lyme

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Letter to the Editor: A Hearty Thank You to Lyme From Lyme Library Book Sale Organizers

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Friends of the Lyme Public Library, I’d like to thank everyone who came to our Book Sale this weekend.  Additional and very special thanks go to our wonderful volunteers who sorted, stored, priced, and sorted some more.

Because of our new library construction, this turned into a wonderfully shared community event: we coordinated with Lyme Land Trust on the date so we didn’t conflict with the Tour de Lyme; we held the sale at the Lyme Public Hall; we used the Lyme Ambulance shed to store our books all winter; we borrowed Lyme Fire Company’s sturdy tables and we parked at the Lyme Congregational Church!

We are so fortunate to live in this extraordinary community.

Sincerely,

Anne Clement
2014 Lyme Public Library Book Sale Chair

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Letter to the Editor: Senator Linares, Explain Your Voting Record

To the Editor:

The ValleyNewsNow.com (April 29) and LymeLine.com (May 16) carry a press release written by supporters of Senator Linares expressing “marvel at what this young man has accomplished in such a short period of time.”  Given Mr. Linares’s lamentable voting record, it is hard to understand what the release is talking about.

The record shows that Mr. Linares has waged a quiet but persistent campaign against a wide range of legislation that most constituents in his District support.  For example, Mr. Linares has:

  • Voted against an increase in the minimum wage, a measure supported almost three to one by Connecticut voters (71% for, 25% against).
  • Voted against a measure that paves the way to allowing commuters, the elderly, working parents, and many others who have difficulty getting to the polls to exercise their right to vote by means of absentee ballot.  Such provisions are prevalent in other states and enjoy strong public support.
  • Voted against bipartisan legislation on gun safety following Newtown that was supported by a super majority of Connecticut voters (anywhere from 68% to 93% depending on the provision) and even by many in his own party.

Mr. Linares’s web site does not even mention these important votes, let alone explain his reasoning for them.  The web site is filled with details of his other exploits — toy drives, hosting flag collections, honoring a beauty queen (and, yes, his opposition to an increase in the gas tax and work on some other bills) — but not his opposition to major mainstream legislation that commands widespread public support.  It is hard to escape the conclusion that Mr. Linares seeks to draw attention away from his record.  Why?

One concern is that Mr. Linares may be more attuned to the interests of the Tea Party than those of the moderate center of his District.  Mr. Linares has stated publicly that he was inspired to enter public service by his experience in 2010 working “proudly” for Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, known in political circles “the Crown Prince of the Tea Party”. When it comes to voting, can it be that Mr. Linares hears the voice of the Tea Party more clearly than any other?

In the absence of information from Mr. Linares on his voting record, constituents can turn to Project Vote Smart, a well regarded, non-partisan, independently funded voter education website. It has posted a report on 10 “key votes” by Mr. Linares over the past two years.

In 7 of the 10 cases, Mr. Linares voted “no” — in other words, his “accomplishment” was to oppose any legislation.  In an 8th case, he did not vote at all.  In only one case in the sample did Mr. Linares vote for something that actually became law – the legalization of mixed martial arts competitions – a matter most voters would not consider a priority.

Mr. Linares, we are entitled to know why, in our name, you have opposed the exercise of basic voting rights, opposed economic fairness by means of increasing the minimum wage, and opposed protecting the public from gun violence.  Please give us a full accounting of your votes on these key issues, so that we may know you by your actions, rather than your press releases.

Sincerely,

David Harfst,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks From the Old Lyme Historical Society

To the Editor:

This past Tuesday, April 8, several local historical societies and the Connecticut River Museum sponsored “Light Up the Night” to commemorate the 200th anniversary of “the Burning of the Ships” in Essex Harbor by British forces during the War of 1812.  Three different sites along the Connecticut River in Essex, Old Saybrook and Old Lyme featured bonfires such as were used 200 years ago to silhouette the escaping British forces on the evening of April 8 1814.

The Old Lyme Historical Society was proud to be one of the sponsoring organizations.  We could not have done our part without help from several different groups: the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen,  Old Lyme Fire Marshal Dave Roberge, Public Works Director Ed Adanti and his crew and members of the Old Lyme Fire Department.  In addition we owe great thanks to Brenda Milkofsky and Jerry Roberts for their organizational skills and drummer Jason Augur for “alerting the citizens of Lyme” to the narration of the events of so long ago.  In addition we have to thank all the townspeople of Old Lyme who came to the Dinghy Dock on Ferry Road to observe the events.

On behalf of the Old Lyme Historical Society, I would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all those who contributed showing how well a small town can come together to recognize a significant historic event.

Mark Lander, Co-chair
Old Lyme Historical Society

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Letter to the Editor: Thank You to Old Lyme Fire, Police Volunteers

To the Editor:

Although I was just going to sit down, read the paper and start a cozy fire in my fireplace, fate decided to take a turn.  I poured a beverage as I planned to enjoy the warmth of the fire, I noticed an all too familiar sound, a flue fire.

I left the house, called 911 and waited a minute until a growing team of volunteers and police showed up. The fire was extinguished and all is well.

The speed, professionalism and courtesy of all of those who came to help cannot be ignored.  All too often we go through our day without appreciating the tremendous team that is here in Old Lyme to assure we are safe.  Thanks to all.

Sincerely,

Bob and Sue Staab,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Sale of Drug Paraphernalia in Old Lyme Sends Wrong Message to Community, Especially Children

To the Editor:

As the health teacher at Lyme Old Lyme Middle School, I have major concerns about the Bestway gas station at 281 Shore Road selling drug paraphernalia.   I truly believe this gives children in this community the wrong message about drugs.

While bongs, glass pipes and other items can be used to smoke or prepare tobacco, even young children know that they are primarily used for marijuana.  Seeing these items sold so openly in a convenience store normalizes the items and can affect a child’s attitude about marijuana.  The message becomes: sure it isn’t good for you, but everyone does it.  This is not true.  And marijuana is not a safe substance, especially for young minds.

In addition, the Bestway sells items used to conceal drugs!  Parents should be particularly concerned about these items.  Do we want a local business helping our children conceal drugs?  It is difficult enough in our current times to protect our children.  We do not need a local business making it easier for them to consume and conceal substances.

The beach area is already struggling with a reputation.  Selling drug paraphernalia in Bestway only adds to this reputation.   Also, drug paraphernalia attracts drug users as customers.   This certainly does not help the beach community remain a safe and enjoyable area.

Please voice your opinion to the owner of Bestway that drug paraphernalia does not belong in our community.

Sincerely,

Patricia Cournoyer

Editor’s Note: The author is the Health Educator in Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools.

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Letter to the Editor: Sale of Drug Paraphernalia in Old Lyme Continues Despite Objections by CASFY, Customers

Drug paraphernalia (File photo)

Drug paraphernalia (File photo)

To the Editor:

The CASFY Coalition (Community Action for Substance Free Youth) wants citizens of Old Lyme to know that the owner of the Bestway gas station at 281 Shore Road is selling drug paraphernalia.

We have sent the owner two letters asking him to remove his large display of paraphernalia from his store.  We have followed up with visits and phone calls.  The owner has repeatedly said “no” to us, and also to customers who asked him to stop selling these items, even after telling him they will not buy products from his business until he does.

The Bestway gas station has a vast collection of drug paraphernalia in two large glass cases displaying bongs, glass pipes, scales, and other items for smoking or inhaling drugs, grinders (for marijuana and other substances), “hides”(items used to conceal drugs), and many other items used to consume or prepare illegal drugs.

Here are four reasons to prevent the sale of drug paraphernalia in Old Lyme.

  1. Youth who see it in a store conclude that drug use is normal and acceptable. It is not.
  2. Drug paraphernalia attracts customers who are drug users, drug addicts, or drug dealers.
  3. Availability of drug paraphernalia is a contributing factor to substance abuse in our community.
  4. People who are in recovery from a substance use disorder could be “triggered” to use when they see paraphernalia.  A gas station should be a place where someone can reasonably expect to avoid being triggered by seeing drug paraphernalia.

We value local business, but not at the expense of the health and well being of our children.  Protecting our children from drugs and harm is something we take very seriously and we believe our community shares this principle.

We encourage the citizens of Old Lyme to let the owner of Bestway know how you feel about this issue.

Sincerely,

Karen Fischer and Mary Seidner

Editor’s Note: The authors are respectively the CASFY Prevention Coordinator and the Director of Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau.

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Letter to the Editor: Sale of Drug Paraphernalia in Old Lyme May be Legal, But Sends Dangerous Message

To the Editor:

I am writing to express concern and hopefully spread awareness regarding the sale of drug paraphernalia in Old Lyme, and in surrounding communities.  Because this is a legal practice, by law little can be done to halt the sale; however, as a community we have a powerful voice and role to play.

Working in education for 15 years in various capacities, I have witnessed first hand the impact of substance abuse on young people.  I have also witnessed how access to paraphernalia can lead to poor decision making, as well as impacting students in and out of school.  The visible presence of drug paraphernalia in stores and gas stations also creates a level of complacency and acceptance, which in my opinion, is the wrong message to send to patrons of any age.  I urge residents to oppose such sales and help promote substance-free youth and community.

Sincerely,

Michelle Dean.

Editor’s Note: The author is the Assistant Principal at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

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A Note of Thanks From Old Lyme Public Works

An Open Letter to the Residents of Lyme Street and Ferry Road:

The Public Works Department would like to extend their thanks to our residents for observing the Parking Ban on Lyme Street and Ferry Road through this winter storm.  Your compliance made it easier and faster to clean up these roads.

Happy New Year to all and stay safe on the roads.

Sincerely,

Public Works Department,
Old Lyme.

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Dilapidated Lyme Barn Continues to Present Safety Hazard

An Open Letter to Lyme officials, Connecticut officials, or any interested party:

There exists on a field located at the intersection of Cove Rd and Ely’s Ferry in Lyme … the broken down remains of an old yellow barn… in delapidated (sic) and dangerous condition.

It has been in this condition for the 25+ years that I have lived on Ely’s Ferry.

The building has partially collapsed and remains a significant safety hazard … hundreds of pounds of unstable lumber waiting to crush a hapless child unfortunate enough to enter it.

Despite my previous attempts to suggest the  destruction (burning or other) of this hazard,  the hazard remains.

I appeal to the town of Lyme or any other interested and responsible party that this hazard be burned, otherwise destroyed in the interest of  safety and avoidance of tragic loss of life.

Any doubts?  Please come and inspect it yourself ( ! )

If you wish to examine it, please contact me anytime at  860.434.2160.

Sincerely,

Dwight Stevenson

Lyme.

 

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A Message of Thanks from LYSB to the Old Lyme Police, Community

The fruits of their labors - members of the LYSB Advisory Council gather for a photo with Old Lyme Police officers after the recent Food Drive.

The fruits of their labors – members of the LYSB Advisory Council gather for a photo with Old Lyme Police Officer Marty Lane after the recent Food Drive.

To the Editor:

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) wishes to thank the Old Lyme Police Department for organizing the recent Holiday Food Drive.  Led by Officer Tom Heinssen, the Old Lyme Police officers donated their time to hold the food drive on three dates at the Old Lyme Marketplace to “stuff the cruiser” with holiday food for needy families in our community.

The response from our community has been truly amazing.  During the past week food was distributed through the LYSB to 62 families in Lyme and Old Lyme which includes 96 children and 64 adults of all ages.  Food was also delivered to the Lymes’ Senior Center and the Old Lyme Social Services to fill their food closets.

We are truly grateful to our police officers for their commitment to our community, and also to our citizens who are so generous during the holidays and throughout the year.

On behalf of the LYSB staff and board, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Mary Seidner
Old Lyme

Editor’s Note: The writer is the Executive Director of the LYSB.

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Letter to the Editor: Elect Greenwood to BOE, Obtain His Project Manager Experience for Free

To the Editor:

The challenge for Old Lyme is to continue to pay and maintain our excellent school teachers and support staff while keeping taxes at reasonable levels.  In Max Greenwood, an independent candidate for school board, we have a senior project manager who has over 25 years in construction, management, and maintenance.  His proven ability to work with contractors, unions, suppliers, and facilities managers would cost six figures as a consultant.  Yet, we can acquire his
expertise for free as a member of the school board.  This is a great opportunity for the voters to elect an experienced facilities manager who will reduce outside consulting costs, lower operating expenses, and offer preventive maintenance programs to maintain our facilities.

I urge all to support Max Greenwood for Board of Education.

Sincerely,

David H.W. Griswold,
Old Lyme.

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