A Connecticut DMV survivor tells all

I recently have returned from more than three solid hours at the Old Saybrook office of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. At the end of my long half-day’s journey into trauma, I came within an eyelash of having to come back another day. Warning: this tragicomic tale is not for the faint of heart.

Connecticut woman is Muslim, American, and breaking barriers

As an American Muslim mother of two, being born and raised in the suburbs of Connecticut to a typical middle-class family, I’m really as American as they come. As a Muslim, I follow the religion of Islam. I’m not talking about the Islam that’s portrayed on TV, but the true Islam which teaches “love and loyalty to one’s country as a part of faith.” Of course, as a Muslim who follows the true teachings of Islam by reading the Holy Quran, it’s hard for me to understand why society fears me.

Connecticut’s youth voice is strong, but needs coordination

On Wednesday June 1, students at Amistad High School in New Haven organized a protest to voice their concerns regarding the absence of minority teachers, using their collective power to question the lack of diversity in the teaching faculty at this predominately African-American and Latino high school. This youth-led action not only highlighted the issue of diversity, or the lack thereof, within the educational system, but also shined a beaming light on the power of youth-led activism.

New Haven voices support for bill on Yale’s commercial properties

As leaders in the city of New Haven, we are writing to ask you to vote yes on Senate Bill 414 for our community. Our city is the proud home of Yale University. Like other universities, Yale’s academic properties are tax-exempt. That part of the law is clear and simple. And SB 414 does not change that. But the law governing the tax status of Yale’s commercial properties is not clear. And this ambiguity in the law makes our city’s ability to provide basic services dependent upon voluntary payments made by Yale that are subject to change at any time.

Why is Hartford broke?

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin recently said that Hartford is “in a state of fiscal emergency,” with projected budget deficits of 30 percent this year and into the future. Why is this happening? The short answer is that the City of Hartford can’t raise enough revenue to cover its costs. But this can’t be explained as solely a short-run or managerial problem.

CT DEEP fells beloved bitternut tree; leaves bitterness in its place

In Hamden, west of Farm Brook Reservoir, is a meadow. Once the meadow belonged to dairy farmer Harold Hansen but the State of Connecticut, having engineered the reservoir as a watershed more than 40 years ago, came to oversee and maintain the property. Butting the northern section of West Rock Ridge, encompassed by hiking and walking trails, the meadow has been a refuge for many over the years. In one respect, the meadow is anathema to its place: a hilly pasture in a densely populated suburb of a densely populated city. Traverse the meadow in any season, though, and you feel as though you traverse as well our agrarian past. Haying grass still grows, stonewalls rib the woodland. There is silent, open space. And, at the heart of the meadow, high on the second of three slopes that fall gently east, as if placed just so by the hand of God, a bitternut.

Keep Connecticut’s commitment to community action

As discussions and negotiations begin around the FY 2016-2017 midterm budget adjustments this legislative session, it is critical that the state continue its deep-seated commitment to Connecticut’s Community Action Agency (CAA) Network and antipoverty efforts. For more than 50 years, Connecticut’s CAAs, the state and federal designated antipoverty agencies, have provided basic human needs services such as food, shelter, heating assistance, and childcare to limited income individuals and families in all 169 cities and towns.

Malloy, Obama visit mosques, and you’re invited to do the same

Just last November, hundreds of our esteemed compatriots including Gov.Dannel Malloy, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, and Mayor Kevin Scarpati of Meriden visited our Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque in Meriden. Together we demonstrated how through solidarity and by supporting peace-loving communities and their rightful freedoms we can build bridges and establish fruitful connections. You are invited to do the same.

Resident: Willington unwilling to host CT State Police firearms compound

I am a 19-year-old resident of Willington, a town in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut that my family has lived in since 1914. This town of about 6,000 people is living with the fear that their home is on the brink of transformation into something unrecognizable. The state police wish to turn 326 acres of pristine woodland in the heart of our town into a massive training facility and gun range complex.

The refugee crisis in Europe: What can Connecticut do?

Over the Labor Day weekend, a group of religious leaders, representatives of non-profit organizations, and regular concerned citizens gathered at a town hall meeting in Berlin, CT, to discuss the refugee crisis in Europe and to ask what we can do as a Connecticut community to help those refugees who are fleeing wars. Here’s what we came up with.