As Director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut, which has been providing supports and services to individuals with brain injuries, their families and professionals for over 30 years, I was incredibly disappointed to learn of the flyers which were distributed in Representative Catherine Abercrombie’s district Tuesday by the Connecticut Brain Injury Support Network. Under the guise of representing over four hundred families, I believe that this small group of extremely uninformed individuals has attempted to malign Abercrombie’s character and misrepresent her position.
I was pleased to present Abercrombie with the BIAC Public Policy Award at our annual professional conference on Friday, where over 275 individuals heard her acceptance speech, which is posted on our website (www.biact.org). In this speech, Abercrombie discussed the process of approving a second ABI Medicaid Waiver for the state of Connecticut. Having worked with her on this and many other issues regarding individuals with brain injuries, I can attest to the passion in which she is continually working to support individuals with disabilities.
To indicate on these fliers that she “states that advocates, families, and disabled survivors of brain injury are liars” and “refuses to meet with disabled brain injury survivors in her district” is a blatant lie. This group has refused to listen to the facts. Abercrombie has made no decision on the ABI Waiver II and has never refused to meet with individuals in her district.
Our organization receives over 4000 contacts each year requesting assistance in obtaining supports and services for themselves or their family members. This group does not represent the majority of individuals with brain injury and their families. I welcome the work that is happening. ABI Medicaid Waiver II may not be the answer. But to characterize Abercrombie in such a vile way without knowing the facts is unconscionable.
Julie Peters, Windsor
I am appalled by positions and statements made by individuals about State Representative Catherine Abercrombie. A letter sent to her accused her of disregarding the needs of brain injury survivors, like myself. My understanding is that flyers distributed in her district contain false statements. If one looks at her voting record, they’ll see proof that she supports persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, I guess it’s easier to make blatant, incorrect accusations rather than to investigate all the facts.
Michael Jennings, Simsbury
The recent discussion regarding bus shelters on Rt. 5 in Wallingford next to a large high-volume, high-traffic retail chain store posed several options. Like a bus stop at a retail clothing store north of this proposal, why can’t the bus stop in front of the store (since it services customers and employees of that store)? Or, why can’t the west side of its parking lot, which has two access points to Rt. 5, include a bus lane? For the convenience and safety of its customers/employees, with little or no added cost, other options seem feasible.
Ronald M. Gregory, Yalesville
Food for thought
I have been noticing that there are a lot of fire stations around the state of Connecticut, many of which have property adjacent to them not serving any purpose. I would like to suggest that since firemen are not always busy, they could plant a garden. They could then donate a good portion of the crops to local food banks or soup kitchens in their respective towns.
Joe Kovalcik, S. Meriden
What is going on in the U.S.? Jobs hard to get, children going hungry, growing homelessness.
At one time, we manufactured everything and paid our own bills. Today, it’s reported that 90 percent of state jobs and products have been exported to offshore locations — brand names in American manufacturing. These corporations, with deep pockets, support cheap offshore labor instead of American workers.
We then buy imports and they buy up our country.
To add insult to injury, with all the jobs and money going offshore, we are told “you are on your own — get your own job!” We need protection from these people and their harmful philosophy.
Phyllis Ruggiero, Meriden
Guns and oaths
In response to Edward G. DeRosa’s letter (R-J, 3-6): When the Constitution was written, the air and water were clean and pure; there were no drugs. The flintlock rifle killed a lot of people trying to rob them of their food and family. Today, I think that you need a gun to protect yourself from hoodlums that roam our streets. I believe that if you don’t have a gun, you don’t love your family. The National Rifle Association suggested armed guards at school doors. Our leaders and school staff are responsible for the drills, etc., that keep our children terrified, causing them to have bad dreams. In this day and age, the air and water are dirty — and there are lots of drugs. As a U.S. military veteran, I once took a solemn oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Be advised that no one has even relieved me of my duties under this oath.
Curtis W. Fanjoy, Meriden
I look at the current brouhaha differently from what others have had to write about recent mayoral appointments in Meriden. Many years ago, I served on the then Board of Appointment and Taxation and left that Board to serve on the World War II Veterans’ Memorial Hospital Board. When a new mayor was elected, it was the practice to submit resignations so the new mayor could either reappoint or look elsewhere. In my case, Abe Grossman looked elsewhere to fill my position.
Legalities aside, it does not seem right to me that an outgoing mayor can subject the incoming mayor to appointments not of the new mayor’s choosing. A mayor’s status is certainly not comparable to a president’s or a governor’s, who live or die by their appointments — but, at least, mayors are held similarly accountable. In my opinion, we saw politics rule the day in Meriden. Had I been the outgoing mayor, I would have considered it unethical and improper to do what was done.
I just wish every voter here in Meriden could forget their party affiliation, see themselves as an incoming mayor looking forward to working with his/her recommendations, and have the outgoing mayor stick you with his slate for your first two years in office.