Readers’ Opinions, 10-14-2013

Readers’ Opinions, 10-14-2013




We were appalled at the plight of our heroic veterans trying to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C., but that travesty pales in comparison to the denial of death benefits to the families of our fallen heroes. We were so outraged that we started planning to go to D.C. this weekend to protest. After much reflection we felt no matter how many veterans fill the Mall, the effect on our “failed national leaders” would be negligible.

Any government leader who could for even a day withhold such payment has no conscience. So instead we felt the money spent for our two days of protest at our nation’s capital would be better spent by donating the money to the Fisher House Foundation. Leaders at Fisher House stood up for our fallen heroes and showed real compassion. They paid the death benefits that our government failed to provide — obligation and honor meant nothing to our government.

Please take a stand and show respect and support to our veterans by sharing our outrage. Being upset doesn’t honor our fallen heroes but donating your time or the expense of the trip to D.C. will do the most good for our wounded or lost patriots and their families.

Jim/Nancy Ricci, Wallingford

No more bullying


Elizabeth Smart’s article brought me back to the 7th and 8th grade. I was bullied by two girls in my class. I was made fun of daily, taunted daily. I was locked in my locker, the janitor had to get me out. He was my guardian angel. I would stay late to work on projects after school. I would take the city bus home. These girls really mentally tortured me about my family. If I told anyone, my family would be killed. So I kept my mouth shut, but many other students saw what was happening, and they kept their mouths shut. This went on for the whole time I attended Washington Junior High School. I am now 60, I went to nursing school to become an LPN and continued to go to school to better myself and become an RN and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I enjoyed my career until I was injured and suffered two cardiac arrests resulting in brain damage from lack of oxygen. I no longer work, I just have my memories of my nursing career. I will tell people who are bullied: Tell someone if they threaten family harm. Tell someone. This is a big red flag. Get help. Help put an end to people who are bullies as children because they grow up to be adults who physically and mentally abuse their victims for life. It takes a lot to overcome any abuse. Years pass and the “incident” remains in the back of your mind for the rest of your life. If and when you have children, you don’t want them to be the “bullied” or be a “bully” to anyone. They can come to you and trust you. Every day that your children talk and share with you shows they trust you.

Cynthia Zemke Richmond, Meriden

Time for change


When do we get to a point where “good enough” is no longer “good enough?” Our town will eventually no longer be able to run in the same, unchanging manner as we continue to see shifts in technology and a growing reliance on regional decision making in this state. Taxpayers, especially those that consider themselves to be “fiscally conservative,” need to start asking themselves, “When is it time to change?” Perhaps the better question is “will there be a point where it is too late to change?” The longer that Wallingford lays in wait for this tipping point, the greater the burden will be on all of our wallets.

Let’s take a minute and ask what the advantages have been with the current administration and Council being controlled by one party for the better part of a decade? Things have not gotten cheaper. Our town has not seen increases in efficiency with regards to purchasing and planning. We have not seen any real improvements with regard to long-standing concerns of our community.

So the question is: “What should we do?” For 3 decades, a majority of voters have put their faith in an individual that has truly done his best. But there has to be a point in a town’s life when there is change, new participants, and new ideas.

See, we all know why we love Wallingford. The love of our town should motivate us to thank the current administration for all of the hard work by electing someone else to shoulder that load for a while. For there to be continued enthusiasm and interest in our town’s government, there must be a point in time when we let someone else take the reins. I think that many believe that that time has come.

Jesse Reynolds, Wallingford

Pros and cons


The use of Internet and email has its pros and cons. There are legitimate concerns about the Internet as a distraction in the workplace but with limited use it serves a practical purpose in the business world. To meet the need but avert the distractions, Wallingford has provided both Internet/ email at various locations throughout the Town Hall building. The following is in response to the R-J article of Oct. 5, 2013:

1. If Mr. Thompson can retrieve email responses from the computer in the Program Planning Office, then he could also send his emails from this same location at the start or end of each day rather than from home. Each department has an email address to use. 2. The restrictions on available websites is determined according to the most needed sites in each department. However, any department head can request that additional sites be unblocked, as long as they provide justification for the request. The request should be channeled through the Internet administrator, Chris Lucht. 3. If the Program Planning Office is email-enabled, then the DOT or any other state agency should be able to send information that can be retrieved from that computer.

Should there be expanded use of technology? I think there are areas where it would be helpful, but this would certainly not be a “make it or break it” issue.

Mary Beth Applegate, Wallingford

Political Opinions

(100 words maximum)



Luke Ford has helped to create jobs for Meriden residents. Families need full employment and a steady income. Republican Dan Brunet adamantly opposed requiring minimum hiring for Meriden residents on the high school reconstruction projects. Luke Ford understands you help build a strong local economy when the wages from local construction jobs are paid to Meriden residents. Without question a strong local economy is good for all of Meriden. Luke believes Engine 3 should remain open and in service. Join me and support Democrat Luke Ford for Meriden City Council because he supports us.

Toni Waskowicz, Meriden



Is Jason Zandri qualified to be Wallingford’s mayor? How could the answer be “yes”? He either doesn’t understand, or deliberately misrepresents, the property tax issue, with unsound comparisons with surrounding towns. He claims we’re overtaxed, but proposes more spending (example: several million dollars for all-new police computer software) and expanding tax deferral programs beyond those who truly need them (which impacts the rest of us). Inappropriately, he and councilors Economopoulos and Fishbein undermined Wallingford’s chance for a state grant that would have saved local tax dollars. Vote for character and competence. Please vote for Bill Dickinson for Mayor.

Gayle Greco, Wallingford



I have known Tom Lombardi his entire life. He is a person of the highest integrity and moral character. He is bright, articulate and he knows and understands the issues we face in Southington. I am most impressed with his devotion to our town. He strives to make Southington the best place to live, to raise our children, and to work. Southington needs young and invigorating individuals who are problem solvers. That is who Tom Lombardi is. He represents all we desire in a future leader. He has my vote! I hope he gets yours.

Nancy Chiero, Southington

Solid ideas


I can think of no one better or more qualified to serve on Meriden City Council than David Salafia. All my life I’ve seen my uncle’s involvement in the city. He’s coached at the Meriden Boys and Girls Club, served on the board of the YMCA, worked in Meriden schools and businesses, and now serves as the Family-School Liaison Coordinator for the Meriden Public Schools. He, like his father, is a true “Meriden man about town.” David Salafia will continue to work hard to improve Meriden, and the City Council will absolutely benefit from his energy, commitment and solid ideas.

Dan Verselli, Meriden



Since meeting Mike Rohde, I’ve been impressed with his integrity and ability to get the job done. Mike has served his community in many ways including the founder and past chairman for Relay For Life. He supports numerous community events including the annual Puerto Rican Festival, Project Graduation, Black Heritage Festival, and the Downtown Farmers Market. Mike has dedicated many years to public service, and is an active hands-on mayor. Community is a group of people working and living together for the common good; Mike Rohde is the epitome of a good community leader. Please vote for Mike Rohde.

Katharine W. Harris, Meriden



I have witnessed David Salafia’s hard work and boundless energy as he devotes his time to the youth of Meriden. Whether its Science Night at the YMCA or volunteer baseball and basketball coach at the Boys and Girls Club and Ed Walsh, he has displayed the commitment and dedication I want in a city leader. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, please don’t forget to vote. Vote Dave Salafia.

Tina Valentin, Meriden



Please support me in voting for David Salafia, Meriden City Councilor-At-Large. David has followed in his father’s footsteps volunteering for organizations such as Meriden Boys and Girls Club, YMCA (which he is on the board of directors), Children First Initiative (which he is also a member of the board of directors) and Ed Walsh Little League, just to name a few. As David’s mom and a retired nurse, I know of his common sense, compassion and caring qualities. This exactly what I want in a city leader. Vote for my son, David Salafia on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Sheila Salafia, Meriden

A voice


As an ardent supporter of Ed Walsh Little League and a major stakeholder in downtown Meriden, I have witnessed firsthand David Salafia’s commitment to our youth and our community. David understands the challenges and obstacles of owning and operating a small business. He is exactly what we need in City Hall. Finally, someone who will be a voice to small businesses! Join me in supporting Dave Salafia.

Ross Gulino, Meriden

Care or commodity?


I hope that in the future, folks will be talking about those back in 2012 who treated affordable health care like a commodity. Perhaps they’ll say, “Can you believe that they actually refused affordable health care to people who could not afford it?” And whatever the Republicans do to drive us backwards and circumvent the law, the law was passed. No amount of retaliation will change that. How dare Republicans attempt to shut our country down? I hope the people of this country remember this travesty of justice on Election Day. This is America, and we have made it happen.

Edward G. DeRosa, Meriden

A better place


This Election Day, Meriden voters have the opportunity to return to office an individual who has a demonstrated record of working on behalf of a better future for our children. At-large candidate David Salafia was not afraid to tackle tough tasks during his four years on the council, most notably in his role as chairman of the Falcon Field Building Committee. I ask that on Tuesday, Nov. 5, you join me in supporting David and vote for the candidate who has consistently delivered for our children. He will work hard to a make Meriden a better place.

Zach Grant, Meriden

Wrong leadership


My family and I have voted for Mayor Mike Rohde twice, but this time we will vote for Manny Santos because Meriden needs a new mayor. I believe that Mayor Rohde knew about the problems plaguing our Meriden Police Dept., but he didn’t do anything about it; I think he just looked the other way and sided with his pals Meriden Police Chief Jeffry Cossette and City Manager Lawrence Kendzior. I do not have trust. Thank God that Meriden still has decent, dedicated, honest and trustworthy police officers.

Manuel Torres, Meriden

Humble heart


Lenny Rich has decided to run for the position of Councilor At-Large in November. Meriden is lucky to have such a man run for this position. Lenny brings a wealth of intellect to the position and would lead in many capacities. Lenny wants to help Meriden and will make a positive impact on the city. Meriden needs help. Wow — a chance to get someone in it for all the right reasons! My Dad has a value for real things, a humble heart and a conscience. Vote for Lenny Rich in November.

Thomas Rich, Wallingford

Clear message


My message is clear. This year I will proudly vote to re-elect Mayor Mike Rohde and the entire Meriden Democratic team. Just look around the city. The vision that Mayor Mike has provided and initiated in this city is both incomparable and impressive. We must continue to ”stay the course.” The mayor deserves to have his Democratic team with him so that his programs can continue to improve our quality of life. We do not need naysayers who constantly vote items down while they hide under the cloak of the so-called taxpayer. Look forward, not backward.

Paul E. Gradwell, Meriden



Who is Mayor Mike Rohde to you? To me he is an energetic, accessible and ready-to-help mayor. I first met Mayor Mike when I sat down with him for the Mayor’s Corner back in June 2010 to talk about Meriden Project Graduation, the all-night drug- and alcohol-free celebration for the graduates of Maloney, Platt and Wilcox Technical high schools. We were looking for additional chaperones for the event and he and his wife signed up. Please consider Mayor Mike as the mayor Meriden wants and needs to keep the city growing.

Karen Sambor, Meriden



Having worked with Dawn Miceli since 2009, I am endorsing her for a third term to the Southington Town Council and believe that her commitment to Southington’s progress is a necessary component to our town’s future. I have witnessed firsthand Dawn’s tireless work ethic and her personal involvement in town projects that include the Southington Education Foundation, the Southington Drive-in, the restoration of the Gura Building into an art center, the town ice rink and her commitment to private businesses and civic organizations. Please join me in voting for a town council member who has an impeccable track record.

Mary DeCroce, Southington



I am proud to support David Salafia for Meriden City Council. David was my son’s basketball coach at the Y and I saw firsthand the dedication, expertise and leadership qualities I want in a leader. He challenged each and every player and led his players by example whether they were winning or not. I must mention that we did win the championship. These qualities will translate into an outstanding city councilor. I will be casting my vote for David Salafia on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Phyllis Balogh, Meriden

Deserves vote


David Salafia is a leader that deserves your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5. He is caring, honest, responsible and respectful. I’m voting for David Salafia, join me.

Steve Markoja, Meriden



It appears that the Republican Town Committee has a strategy and protocol for choosing candidates. While studying this year’s candidates for the Board of Finance, I could not help but notice that all of the Republican candidates have a finance background. Whether it is a degree in finance or in accounting, they all have a deep background in numbers. When looking for leaders to thoughtfully shepherd our community, these are exactly the kind of candidates we need. A person’s resume says a lot, especially when dealing with my money! Southington needs level-headed, experienced financial people on the Board of Finance.

James Morelli Jr., Southington


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