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Letters to the Editor
August 26, 2008
How can we possibly show gratitude to the individuals and sponsors who contribute each year to the Frank P. Cesare Memorial Golf Classic and benefit dinner, held to support and memorialize our husband, father and grandfather? It is with our most sincere and heartfelt thanks that we write this letter of appreciation to all those involved in this event over the years.
We would like to personally commend Michael Iezzi and former Hamden Police Chief Robert Nolan for their leadership roles as co-chairmen of this year's event. Their dedicated commitment to this memorial, as well as to the members of the Hamden Police Department, is unwavering, and this event would not be what it is today without their hard work and support.
Our sincere gratitude also goes out to Republican Town Committee members Sarah Morrill, Jennifer Cutrali, Mike Fimiani and Officer Dave Falcigno for their tireless commitment to this cause, doing the countless small things that mean so much to making an event such as this a success. We would like to thank Hamden Police Department union president John Sullivan for his eight years of continuous and loyal support of this event, and for his contributions to making the tournament's success a reality since its inception in 2001.
We wish to applaud this year's event day volunteers including John Somers, Carl DiMeo, Adrianna Petrucci, Tyra Moss, Laura Cappella, Kathleen Lorson and Cindy Supparo for dedicating their time and energy by helping out with making sure everything ran smoothly. Special recognition goes out to Brueggers Bagels of Hamden for its generous breakfast donation for the golfers. Thanks also to the many corporate and individual sponsors for their continued support of the tournament.
It is amazing to see what a beautiful course Laurel View has become! Golf professional and course manager Matt Manchetti is a true gift to Hamden. His professionalism and that of his staff and their combined ability to accommodate our every need made the day even more enjoyable. We are witness to the fact that Matt and his staff have made Laurel View a premier golf course in Connecticut. Thanks to Kelly and Grant and their staff at Laurel View Banquet Facility for providing a wonderful dinner experience.
It has been a pleasure over the last eight years to hold this yearly event, awarding the town over $50,000 to purchase much-needed public safety equipment in memory of Frank Cesare. As you may recall, Frank's belief was always to combine public service with private charity to help make our town better for all. As the years go by, and we now see Frank's grandchildren start to participate in the golf tournament, we know that their grandfather would be so pleased.
We continue to applaud and appreciate the fine, dedicated men and women of the Hamden Police Department for making our town safe each day. Frank would be so proud of the outstanding work these individuals continue to do each and every day for our town!
We look forward to next year's event, and hope to see you on the course!
The Cesare Family
In July 2007, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela Petit, were brutally murdered in the course of a home invasion in Cheshire by two men with extensive criminal records. As news of this tragedy spread, concerned citizens across the state watched as the Democratic-controlled General Assembly refused to get tough on crime.
Led by state Rep. Al Adinolfi (R-103rd District), the Republican leadership in the General Assembly put forth plans to toughen penalties for persistent criminal offenders. On three separate occasions, the Democrats in the Senate and the House rejected Republican plans to enact commonsense minimum sentencing requirements for offenders committing their third violent felony.
Prompted by the state Republicans, the Democrats permitted some measures toughening sentencing for violent crime to come up for a vote. The bill established the crime of home invasion as a violent crime, required those convicted of home invasion or burglary to serve a minimum of 10 years and addressed concerns with sentencing that were raised by the Connecticut Supreme Court. The bill also reformed the state parole system and appropriated additional spending for that purpose.
Notably, this bill did not include a "three strikes" provision. As the bill was being considered by the House, the Republicans offered an amendment requiring a mandatory life sentence upon conviction of a third violent felony, such as rape or home invasion. My Democratic opponent this November, Rep. Brendan Sharkey, voted against this commonsense proposal.
The Democrats' opposition to the three strikes amendment is unconscionable. Our criminal justice system is clearly failing when thrice-convicted violent felons are permitted to roam the streets of our communities. If I am fortunate enough to be elected this November, I would support the "get tough on crime program" supported by Al Adinolfi and the House Republicans, which was thwarted by the Democrats last session. The citizens of Hamden and this state deserve better.
August 16, 2008
Dear Cigarette Smoker:
To all of you considerate and respectful smokers who properly dispose of your cigarette butts, regardless of where you are smoking, I send a resounding thank you.
To those of you who drop your butts on the street and sidewalks, I send a plea that you STOP. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in America.
According to cigarettelitter.org, it is estimated that several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. That's billions of cigarettes flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, beaches, nature trails, gardens and other public places every single day. These little filters can take decades to break down.
Cigarette butts are not biodegradable or safe. They are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic, and they contain the toxic chemicals they were designed to trap from the cigarette. When you drop a butt on your neighborhood street or sidewalk, you leave toxic material for birds' and other animals' nests. This material can be carried by rain or wind into our local water supply where the chemicals can leach out of the filter into the water, further threatening the quality of our drinking water and health of aquatic life.
Last but not least, improperly disposing of your cigarette butts, like all littering, is disrespectful to the community. Fortunately you have the power to change. When driving, please dispose of your cigarette butts in your ashtray. When walking, put your extinguished butts in your pocket or in a small bag and empty your pockets and ashtrays into a garbage receptacle.
As a member of the Hamden Clean & Green Commission, I urge you to make a difference. Remember, every butt counts!
August 7, 2008
Congratulations to Mark Sanders for forming a group of townspeople to push for charter reform. It’s long overdue.
Sorry to say I don’t think that our politicians in town will take this group too seriously with Mr. Sanders as a key member of this group. I think some of our politicians in town will be saying how many groups and causes is this for Mr. Sanders now? And one of those town politicians will say, “Mr. Sanders is at it again with his inflated ego.”
A civil rights activist told me back in the '60s when I was a young man: “A slow burning fire can keep a politician’s foot warmer longer than a fast blazing fire that burns quickly.” Mr. Sanders may be burning himself out with our local politicians and the people he needs to support his causes.
The town charter does need to be looked at as it is outdated and keeps us locked into a system of government that is outdated for the size of the town we live in.
The mean question to ask after understanding that the town charter is outdated is why does the leadership of the Democratic Party want to keep the town charter the way it is? My answer to that question is they don’t want the citizens of Hamden to have a bigger voice in their local government. By doing this they still can control the town budget and spend our tax money any damn way they like and give out town contracts to anyone that they please to give one to. We just saw that giveaway of a town contract with the new police station. And we also saw that using the phrase “low bidder” concerning the police station contract was like using dirty words.
July 24, 2008
One must ask the question: Why would Hamden residents oppose building a new police station that everyone agrees is desperately needed? Why would residents plead their case to a handful of decision-makers who are forcing a reckless plan upon us? The answer is found in the consistent denial of wrongdoing by the town leadership.
A list of controversies by our current administration has tired the ears of public scrutiny. Even the fact of an average of a 30 percent property tax increase in the past three years is still denied by the mayor and some Council members.
We're in a recession with shrinking revenue sources. Still, the mayor and Council members are moving forward with the only plan that presents a forced addition to Memorial Town Hall for a new police headquarters. Plans are moving forward in direct opposition from architects and environmentalists. Hundreds of residents have signed a petition against the current design.
The project, as presented today, will greatly delay the long-awaited occupancy of our well-deserving police force (2011, by the estimates of the mayor), and it will cut extremely deeply into taxpayers’ pockets. The administration refuses to provide an independent cost estimate or a guaranteed maximum price or a full competitive bid. So now the cost is free to fly to the moon.
The plan was only recently modified to look like it’s somewhat energy-efficient. If completed as planned, it will demand very high maintenance and energy costs. Instead of utilizing previous studies and making intelligent modifications to this faulty plan for the benefit of all, the administration has dismissed every effort from citizen input and simply shut the door on democracy in Hamden. I applaud and encourage residents for fighting for the right solution for both our police force and taxpayers.
Richard and Marianna D’Albis
July 22, 2008
In April 2008, Fortune Small Business magazine named Hamden the 33rd best place in America to live and launch a small business. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy and impact our lives on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the noble efforts of our local officials here in Hamden are being undercut by the anti-small business positions taken by the Democratic-led General Assembly in Hartford.
Hamden's Director of Economic and Community Development Dale Kroop and his tireless staff deserve a significant amount of credit for creating such a positive environment for small businesses. The extremely active Hamden Chamber of Commerce and Nancy Dudchik and her staff have also worked hard to foster the current business climate in Hamden. On the contrary, the Democratic-led General Assembly has an abysmal record on small business.
Connecticut is rated by Expansion Management Magazine as the least business-friendly legislature in the country. Connecticut is rated by Entrepreneur Magazine as the third-worst state in the nation to do business and rated last in the country in business growth. Connecticut is rated by the Milken Institute as the fifth costliest state in the nation to do business.
The great achievements of small businesses in Hamden are all the more exceptional given the roadblocks created by the Democrats in Hartford. Should I be fortunate enough to be elected as state representative for the 88th District in Hamden, I would work hard to create a friendlier climate for small businesses at the state level. I support the elimination of sales tax on electricity for small businesses. Currently, businesses pay a sales tax on electricity expenditures that are over $150 per month. I support a two-year phase-out of this tax, which would save Connecticut businesses a total of over $30 million each year.
When a similar plan was raised by Republicans in the General Assembly in 2007, my opponent Rep. Brendan Sharkey voted against it. I support the creation of a job creation tax credit. I support changes in the law which would allow ALL businesses to claim a tax credit for EVERY new job they create. Again, Rep. Sharkey voted against the Republican tax package last session which contained such a proposal.
I support the phase-out of the so-called Business Entity Tax. The Busines Entity Tax was originally adopted in 2003 to generate an additional $30 million for the state to help cover a budget deficit of more than a billion dollars. However, the Democratic-led General Assembly has permitted the tax to remain on the books. I support a two-year phase-out of this $250 annual tax on Connecticut's small businesses. We can do much better at the state level to support the valiant efforts of our local officials in fostering small businesses here in Hamden.
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