The XL Center bonds — a $40 million waste of Connecticut’s money

Most of us understood all along that a state which cannot meet its obligations ought not to borrow hundreds of millions more to renovate a failed and decrepit downtown arena. Unfortunately, a few of the folks who still don’t get it are on the state Bond Commission, and (at the governor’s behest) will vote today to borrow another $40 million to begin the XL face-lift.

Let’s stick with Standard Time

“Rise and shine!  Time to get up!”
“But why, Daddy?  It’s still dark out.”
That was the exchange which started my day.  It’s a good question, why should we have to get up when it’s still dark?  That goes against our instincts.  It’s in our nature to sleep when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light.  Why on Earth would we go against our nature?
The answer, of course, is Daylight Savings Time.

When the right thing is also the smart thing

I have spent my entire career in the nonprofit sector. During most of those 40 years, I have worked hard to build strong ties to the business community, but my rationale for doing so has evolved. As a trained social worker, I used to argue that businesses should support community efforts because it was simply the right thing to do. Today, with a deeper appreciation for the needs and motivations of business, I believe that private sector support for nonprofits is not only good for the community, but it is very good for business as well. And the research seems to back me up.

Towns must be open to discussion of collective opportunities

Towns and cities throughout Connecticut have been at high anxiety for months awaiting the outcome of the endless budget discussions in Hartford. The many and varied proposals have succeeded in making us feel like balls in a pinball machine – bouncing from one proposal to another and without enough time to understand their impacts on our communities.

Let’s learn history, not political bias

Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh’s Oct. 16 CT Viewpoints piece on Columbus Day is a caricature of an argument. Her essay is full of errors — from petty math to fundamental facts about American history. Evidently unfamiliar with the First Amendment’s scope, she describes Christianity as “intrinsic” to “our uniquely American liberties.” She says Columbus — who sailed for the king and queen behind the Spanish Inquisition — “is the reason why we are a nation founded by Christians and blessed with the only Constitution in the world where the individual citizen derives their liberties from God, not the government.”

New London’s Columbus statue and cultural Marxists

Why is Christopher Columbus, a man born in 1491, whose life is memorialized throughout the country, a focus of collective discontent? Why are politicians, political activists and academia in New London and other progressive cities across the United States blaming him for the actions of people who lived years after his death? Why is Columbus accused of spreading diseases, committing genocide and inventing slavery?

Ganim, city government choose politics over Bridgeport children

Today, my first-grade son said goodbye to his kindergarten “class Grandma.” After cuts to the program, today was her last day. This was a federal program, but as we cut kindergarten paraprofessionals in 2016, these women were our last line of defense.  According to the Connecticut School Finance Project, under Gov. Dannel Malloy’s executive order, Bridgeport will receive $5.6 million less in state funds than last year. Under the Republican budget, passed by the legislature but vetoed by the governor, that number would’ve been $7 million.

It can’t be business as usual in Connecticut

In its 92 years, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has been a steady resource throughout the Greater Hartford region despite the rise and fall of the economy. We have been through uncertain times before:  the Great Depression… the oil crisis of the 70s and the recession that followed… the dot com bubble burst of 2001, and the 2008 Great Recession. While this fiscal uncertainty is not new, our response must be.  It cannot be business as usual. 

Remembering a Hartford that didn’t kowtow to commuters

The New York Times reported last week that Hartford is “teetering on the brink of bankruptcy” — a forecast that didn’t hit me like a freight train.
As The Times noted, the capital city has for decades watched its tax base shrink while “its pension obligations and debts have piled up.” Hartford has all but lost its usefulness. As industries shutter — or in the case of Aetna, relocate to the nearby financial capital of the world — jobs flee subsequently. And it doesn’t help that the municipal government continues to turn its back on residents who don’t live within walking distance of Bushnell Park.

Revenge of the Millennials: We quite like it here

It is so incredibly difficult to accentuate the positive in Connecticut.  Doing so is akin to swimming upstream, climbing uphill, and skiing through a revolving door – combined. In fact, when there is positive evidence staring us in the face, our Nutmeg reflexes kick in automatically.  We shut our eyes, the better not to see the hopeful signs or indicators of progress.

Living within walking distance — important for a great neighborhood

We were looking for a house in West Hartford a quarter century ago, and were surprised to learn that houses closer to the town center were generally less expensive that houses further away. This made no sense to me. I could leave the car in the driveway, walk to stores, restaurants, town hall, gym, library, etc., and enjoy the safety that comes with other people walking by, and pay less? Where do I sign? Indeed, we bought a house in West Hartford Center. For the only time in my life, I was ahead of a trend. People are moving back to city and town centers. Pedestrian proximity is essential; a pillar of a great neighborhood. That’s the thesis of an intriguing new book, “Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities for All,” by New Haven-based writer Philip Langdon.