In our own backyard
Aug. 18 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. While celebrating the day, it’s worth noting that this did not guarantee all women the right to vote.
Politicians have always justified the obstacles they create, but they are easy enough to see through. Sadly, this is not a thing of the past. From closed polling places and faulty voting machines in predominantly Black, Democratic-leaning counties in the South to voting roll purges and burdensome voter ID laws, politicians continue to look for ways to tilt the playing field.
I used to think these kinds of violations happened only in other parts of the country. Now I know better.
Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson was told by the Secretary of the State’s office to place at least one of the free ballot boxes they sent us outside where people can access it at any time of day, and where they do not have to risk entering a building and interacting with others. Currently, the ballot boxes are tucked in narrow, out-of-the-way corridors and rooms in the basement of Town Hall. Hardly the logical place for ballot boxes —unless you are trying to make voting more difficult.
Dickinson cites security concerns as justification for keeping them inside. Never mind that these boxes are used in California, as well as other states, and conform to California’s stringent guidelines. And never mind that COVID-19 is the greater threat.
If security was his real concern, he would have accepted the police chief’s offer to put one of the boxes outside the police station, where a security camera would monitor it 24 hours a day. But he refused to do that, too, which makes his motives clear enough for all of us to understand.
Tara Gorvine, WallingfordVoter suppression
Homeland Security-approved ballot drop boxes are available to voters 24/7 in public places throughout Connecticut. Wallingford’s mayor is hiding ours in the basement of Town Hall, available only during office hours, and only if voters wait outside the building to be escorted to the basement. People working 9-5 must then trust their vote to the USPS, which Trump has ordered to “leave mail behind,” ostensibly to avoid overtime pay.
The mayor rejected voter pleas to station the boxes in public places, and the police department’s offer of their accessible lobby. Mr. Mayor, making voting unsafe and inconvenient is voter suppression.
Catherine Moran, WallingfordWhere’s the outrage?
It's disturbing to have seen the Vietnam memorial wall vandalized and I think more people and politicians should be outraged to have the sacrifice those soldiers gave defaced and disrespected by people who want to leave the door open for some form of communism. I think our goverment, federal, state, local should counter and make a provision where if you are a combat veteran you pay no car tax and no home owner’s tax. If this raises my taxes a wee bit, that is OK because I am all in for supporting our veterans, our flag and anyone oppressed and our police and emergency personnel, doctors, nurses, etc. This is a great country.
Daniel Maroney, WallingfordIn defense of our teachers
Mr. Powell (Opinion, 7/26) appears to be somewhat misinformed as to the responsibilities that teachers assume each day. As both a husband and father to teachers, and the father-in-law of two teachers, I am somewhat familiar with the daily challenges that teachers face.
I agree, there is no perfect safety, however working with children is a bit different that managing a grocery store. If someone enters a grocery store without a mask, you send them away. What does a teacher do when these protective devices provided for the children run out? Do they send the children home? No, they purchase replacements themselves in an effort to keep EVERYONE safe.
The comment that the teachers are working “much less if at all” and that distance learning was a flop. Was it really? Distance learning was not a teacher idea, it was thrust upon educators as an alternative to classroom teaching. Teachers collaborated with peers and administrators to provide programs to maximize learning. If a student failed to participate, or complete the assigned work, is that the teacher’s fault or something we probably anticipated when the pandemic forced this method of teaching vs. no education at all? Teachers are not the ones that closed the schools. This is not just a job for these professionals. They don’t do it for the money, the recognition, or praise as there is very little of this, they do it for the kids and their love of teaching.
Lastly, teachers are also spouses, parents, volunteers, and children to their own parents as well, many are also caregivers for family members in need. Don’t they have a responsibility to keep themselves safe in order to do the same for everyone else? I think they deserve a safe work environment.
Richard J. Wasserback, Southington
Powell insults teachers
I am responding to Mr. Powell’s editorial “Teachers Should Return Without Perfect Safety”. As a proud Connecticut teacher, I took offense to many of his statements — many untrue and hurtful to my profession. I would like to address some of his statements in a limited amount of space.
Saying lately, teachers worked “much less if at all” is completely untrue. We were forced into distance learning with little training or preparation. We adapted how we taught our students during an uncertain time. Mr. Powell’s statement that “distance learning has been a flop” is insulting to teachers who strove to meet the needs of their learners.
Mr. Powell states that “many parents have incurred big daycare costs” and students have lost a semester. This is not because the schools did not seek to educate them. This is a result of a global pandemic for which our government was not prepared. Schools and teachers are not babysitters. Having children, means that you — as the parent — are responsible for them.
I believe the main reason which teachers are concerned with “in person” teaching is the sheer number of people we will come in contact with each day … who come in contact with other people. Expecting teachers with families of their own to not worry, does not seem fair. We will go back (many with concerns) because it is asked of us.
Finally, remember teachers helped Mr. Powell learn how to write, so he can do his job. They taught your paper’s subscribers how to read. Without teachers, he would be unable to do his job and there would not be people to read the paper which he relies on for his salary. Mr. Powell owes teachers an apology. The lack of respect which he showed our profession is beyond appalling.
Suzanne Sullivan, Wallingford