LETTERS: Sound barriers in Meriden, Venezuela and Socialism, Hike sales tax instead of tolls

LETTERS: Sound barriers in Meriden, Venezuela and Socialism, Hike sales tax instead of tolls

Readers’ Opinions

Sound barrier needed


I've lived on Glen Hills Road for almost 14 years. When I first bought my home I inquired to the then-mayor about the irritating noise coming from the race track at the Quarter Midget Club. I was told “It’s grandfathered in, so nothing can be done about it.” Recently I thought of the idea of a simple sound barrier at least on the north side. I have talked to dozens of neighbors who all agree it is such an irritation, the sound. ROund and ROund and ROund and ROund, then “time is up, time is up”! The people who enjoy the track seem to be very decent people and so do the American Legion people. Is it asking too much for a simple sound barrier like I see along highways? It’s like living next to a loud highway, over here on Glen Hills. Even when I go up to Stop & Shop I can hear the ROund and ROund, etc. Hundreds if not thousands of residents are tormented by that noise that live within two miles of that place. I have been over there and I can understand the fun the people have. But for, say, 100 people to have fun while irritating thousands of others doesn't seem like a decent friendly thing to do? I am willing to help build a sound barrier, and so are many other people in this area. A sound barrier wouldn't stop one second of fun for the Quarter Midget Club participants, but would relieve  thousands of others of the irritating noise. Thank You.

Roger Donahue, Meriden

For limited government


I would like to thank Mr. John Talbot (Readers' opinions 9/27) for responding to my letter to the editor regarding socialism. It is good to know that somebody reads what you write. Mr. Talbot has taken me to task over several issues. I will address what I can in this letter.

According to Mr. Talbot, Venezuela doesn't fit the definition of a socialist nation because "there are many private corporations there". Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nationalized the petroleum industry as well as telecommunications, electricity, steel, and cement companies to name a few. Perhaps, as Mr. Talbot suggests, there are remnants of private ownership remaining in Venezuela. I have no immediate plans to travel to Caracas to find out, but I think it is entirely fair to refer to Venezuela as a socialist nation.

Mr. Talbot also states that the poverty in Venezuela is due to capitalism, prior to the time when Chavez took power. Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela  in 1998. He served as president until his death in 2013. Nicolas Maduro, his vice president, then took power and remains president today. Both men served as leaders from the "United Socialist Party of Venezuela". If Mr. Talbot's assertion is correct that capitalism was the cause of poverty in Venezuela, then socialists Chavez and Maduro had 20 plus years to solve the problems. Clearly that hasn't happened as demonstrations in that country have turned violent with over 100 people killed in the protests.

Mr. Talbot says that China, Venezuela, and the United States have mixed economies (both capitalism and socialism). China and Venezuela are totalitarian governments. The United States, at least so far, remains free. Limited government, as our founding fathers envisioned, is still the way to go. We definitely need a discussion on socialism.

George Stowell, Wallingford

No tolls; Hike sales tax instead


I propose financing CT’s transportation by raising its 6.35% sales tax rate by 0.65% to equal 7%. A 7% sales tax rate in Connecticut is still competitive with its neighboring places: NYC (8.875%), Westchester County (8.375%), Rhode Island (7%), Vermont (max 7%), and New Jersey (6.625%). A 0.65% CT sales tax hike is less than the transportation sales tax rate within these major cities: Dallas (1%), Denver (1%), Los Angeles (1%), Chicago (1.25%), Seattle (1.4%), and Atlanta (1.5%). A 0.65% sales tax is a reliable and sustainable funding source that quickly generates for CT $500 million per year into a dedicated transportation “lockbox” that is bondable. This tax revenue increases over time from population growth, broadening of the tax base, and collections from Internet purchases. Eliminating sales tax exemptions on clothing/footwear brings more money. Paying a few dollars per month for a new sales tax is affordable unlike paying over $50 in tolls. Transportation funding is a shared responsibility among everyone (residents, tourists, drivers).

Sanjeev Ramchandra, Chandler, Arizona