Connecticut’s finances: Not a time to mince words

This is no time to mince words about Connecticut’s fiscal crisis. It is deep, serious, and affects everyone and everything: taxpayers, businesses, jobs, social services, infrastructure, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, towns and cities, hospitals, federal funding opportunities, and Connecticut’s reputation. Let’s be clear – it’s not new. The state’s finances have been precarious for several years. But now even those who have long denied the gravity of the situation are acknowledging it.

Deadly math: Fentanyl and why the opioid epidemic is getting worse

Opioid overdose deaths continue to rise. A 2015 DEA report showed a greater than thousand-fold increase in fentanyls —potent synthetic opioids— showing up in intercepted drugs. This, more than anything, fuels our worsening crisis. The economics and pharmacology of fentanyl are game changers. Word on the street is buyer beware. What’s sold as heroin is probably fentanyl. What looks like a Xanax, Oxycodone, or Ativan could also be fentanyl.

Lies won’t solve the opioid epidemic

One of the many “alternative facts” posed by the Trump administration targets the biggest contemporary public health issue in the United States: the opioid epidemic.

On Feb. 23, press secretary Sean Spicer linked the opioid epidemic to recreational marijuana use. This is part of an attempt by the Trump administration to enforce federal regulations on marijuana, even in states where it has been decriminalized. Focusing his attention on a link between marijuana and opioids that lacks scientific support is counterproductive. This is unfair to the millions of victims who have suffered through the epidemic alongside their families and friends.

Cross-border police-pursuit policy values suburban property over lives

Regarding the newly-announced, Bridgeport/inter-municipality police-pursuit policy in which the police departments of all of the cooperating municipalities would have cross-border, carte-blanche police- pursuit prerogatives, there are obvious contra-indications that should obviate such a simplistic, unqualified policy.

Open carry pistol permit bill punishes the law-abiding

The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is considering H.B. 6200, a bill that would allow police officers to demand to see one’s pistol permit if they “observe” a pistol or revolver. The problem with this bill is that it targets only the law-abiding. The purpose of this bill is squarely to punish legal behavior — behavior that the advocates of this bill dislike.

Asking to see ‘open carry’ permits makes everyone safer

I submit that if a person has the proper permit to open carry in this or any state, they should also be expected to produce the valid permit to do so when asked by a law enforcement official. That isn’t too much to ask of a reasonable person who abides by the law, and it makes the state safer for everyone.

Democrats missed opportunity in passage of hate crime legislation

Division comes from a lack of transparency? This is where Danielle Morfi of North Haven should have started her comments on ‘partisan politics’ in Connecticut. With all her outrage aimed at Sen. Len Fasano, Morfi failed to see the true dangers of Connecticut’s one-party system. State Democrats missed an opportunity by unilaterally drafting and introducing legislation aimed at hate crimes.

The ‘open carry’ debate is about privacy, not guns

Granting police the power to ask to see open carry permits from gun owners may not violate the Second Amendment, but it might violate the Fourth Amendment, the right to privacy. You have the right to conduct business without agents of the government asking to see your papers.

Justifiable anger over gun permit fee hike — unjustifiable reasoning

Connecticut handgun owners are peeved, and even opponents of handgun ownership can understand why. Gov. Dannel Malloy wants to raise the price of pistol permits from $75 to $300. It’s a universal law that people don’t want to pay more than they believe they should. Paying more feels bad. All of us can sympathize. But that’s where the sympathy should end. Raising the cost of pistol permits is not backdoor gun control.

DeStefano poisons public opinion, betrays agents, by calling ICE ‘jerks’

I am writing in response to a recent article that appeared in the New Haven Independent and was then reprinted by the CT Mirror. The article was entitled “Ex-Mayor: ICE Raids in Immigrant Friendly New Haven Likely Again.” In the article, former Mayor John DeStefano was quoted as stating in a presentation at Yale University that “The federal government is going to do exactly what those jerks did in Fair Haven.” The “jerks” he was referring to were federal immigration officers. After serving as an FBI special agent for 23 years, and working with ICE agents in numerous cases, I want to object to Mayor DeStefano’s use of the word “jerks” in describing these officers.

High times? A new low for Connecticut

…Legalizing marijuana for “recreation” is a draconian shift in public policy and a shock to our social mores and societal health. Legalized marijuana will indelibly change Connecticut; the state will become a different place, coarser and with a more ambiguous future. Many people who would otherwise avoid this drug will use it. And why not? It will be marketed as exciting and essentially harmless. Even though legalization would be intended for adults, barriers would be porous and easily breached. And the message that legalization sends, both insidious and hypocritical, would not be lost on the young. They will get it, consume it and use will spike. And then …