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With gratitude on Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011 Editorials Comments Off
And this Thanksgiving, why not take the time to tell someone – even if you both feel shy about it – that they matter, that they have a place in your world.

And this Thanksgiving, why not take the time to tell someone – even if you both feel shy about it – that they matter, that they have a place in your world.

While it is good advice to take time each day to express gratitude for the good people and circumstances in our lives, Thanksgiving traditionally is a special time when we reflect on what we’re thankful for. Often it’s the delicious turkey!

I recently read about one woman’s experience with videotaping a Thanksgiving holiday in which she asked each member of her family to tell everyone what they appreciated about each of the other family members.

As might be expected, many of them moaned and groaned – especially the teenagers – but finally gave in.

Now, years later, after the woman’s parents and some of the other family members have passed on, it has become a tradition to watch this video on Thanksgiving and renew the feelings of appreciation for each other.

Experts in human behavior say that one of our deepest needs is to feel appreciated, to feel like others have need of us, to feel like we belong somewhere and even just to be “seen.”

Unfortunately, there are so many invisible people in the world, so many disconnected people – especially young people, so many who feel that if they dropped off the face of the earth, no one would notice, even their own families.

This Thanksgiving, why not make a point of visiting or even calling someone you know who might be alone on Thanksgiving or, for that matter, why not invite them to your Thanksgiving table?

And this Thanksgiving, why not take the time to tell someone – even if you both feel shy about it – that they matter, that they have a place in your world.

If nothing else, when you are out these next few days, notice who is looking glum and smile at them and say Hello.

You might get a blank stare or a confused scowl in response, but it’s been my experience that more often, you will be rewarded with a surprised face followed by a smile and a greeting in return. And it’s likely you’ve just set that person’s day on a new track.

And this Thanksgiving, when so many of us are struggling with bills, unemployment, ill health or other challenges or losses, why not take a moment to be grateful for what is going right in your life?

It might help to remember that there are millions of people on the planet who don’t have running water or bathrooms, who don’t eat three meals a day, who don’t have a roof over their head, who don’t have schools or access to basic medical services.

At the risk of sounding like someone’s parent who scolds a child for leaving food on the plate by saying, “There are children starving in Africa,” it’s true that most Americans really are “rich” compared to large parts of the world – or, for that matter – compared to large segments of our own population here in America.

If, in the midst of your troubles, you can find something to feel grateful for, it will take some of the weight off your shoulders and it just might open the door to allow a better experience to find its way to you.

Personally, I am grateful for the roof over my head, the food on my plate, my 20-year-old car that’s practically held together with duct tape, the warmth of my home, the clothing on my back, my education, my relatively good health, shelves full of books (and therefore, adventures and knowledge), an incredibly mellow and generous soul mate, as well as wonderful friends and a family where everyone loves each other – and for the support from the community for a local, small business, which is HTNP.com

May you have a bountiful, peaceful, safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Brenda Sullivan, Editor – HTNP.com

Posted Nov. 23, 2011

Who let the dogs out? East Hampton has security problems, among others

November 20, 2011 Editorials, Local News 6 Comments

"The residents of East Hampton apparently can look forward to two more years of council members spending time monitoring and decrying each others' actions, and clashing over police department issues, to the detriment of addressing other town business." Public domain image

An Editorial

For more than a year, in East Hampton, a good deal of press (or online blogging) and a steady stream of ‘He Said-She Said’ Letters to the Editor have been sparked by emails and reports and other supposedly confidential documents that have been “leaked” to the news media and/or slipped under someone’s door.

While different factions debate the importance of the contents of these documents and argue over who should be fired – or maybe stoned in the public square — to appease the outraged citizens, a larger question is being ignored.

How is this information being accessed?

How does someone get a town employee’s performance record? Why aren’t these records secure?

And how does that person get away with releasing it to the media and/or town residents?

Can anyone access town computers?

Recently, some lurid emails in which Sgt. Garritt Kelly and a woman discussed meeting up for sex were printed from his Blackberry and sent through the U.S. mail to the media.

How does someone have access to another employee’s Blackberry?

Unless the emails were “leaked” by the woman setting up the rendezvous – who possibly never intended to meet – then  how did a town employee get into someone else’s account?

And who else did the “hacker” give those copies to and for what purpose?

Likewise, the attorney representing Sgt. Michael Green – who is awaiting the outcome of more than one internal investigation of allegations against him – has emailed what looks like faxed copies of emails allegedly between Sgt. Kelly and another police officer in which they promise to push Sgt. Green out of his job, one way or another.

And of course, there are the emails sent by Chief Reimondo – dug up from about two years ago – that were slipped under former Interim Town Manager Robert Drewry’s door, that were also given to a former Town Council member, who chose to show them at a public meeting.

These emails contained highly inappropriate racist jokes and images and had been circulated to other town staff. Drewry directed Reimondo to receive appropriate training and the police chief met with and apologized to members of the NAACP.

How not to conduct a performance review

Most recently, the document being passed around is a performance review of Chief Reimondo – who almost lost his job a little over a year ago on the whim of a former Town Manager who was subsequently pressured (he says) into resigning… and who left town with a hefty sum of money to do so.

Erik Hesselberg reports in the Courant that this “Notice of Job Performance Concerns and Opportunity to Respond” was written by Acting Interim Town Manager Anne McKinney.

And the story states that it is dated Nov. 2. 2011 – which is about 37 days after McKinney was approved by the Town Council (on Sept. 27) to fill in for about two months while Interim Town Manager John Weischel  recovered from surgery.

The Courant reports that this personnel document was slipped under Reimondo’s door while he was absent on medical leave. And that it was then taken and passed to reporters by a police officer.

Has anyone reading this ever had a performance evaluation slipped under his or her door?

Isn’t it normal procedure to ask for a meeting with the employee, discuss the items in the performance review with the employee face to face, and then give him or her a reasonable amount of time in which to respond in writing so that the information becomes part of that record – which is then stored in a secure fashion?

Former East Hampton Probate Judge Anne McKinney (left) looks at a petition supporting Sgt. Michael Green held by then Council Chair Melissa Engel at the Sept. 27, 2011 meeting. McKinney was hired as Acting Interim Town Manager while Interim Town Manager John Weichsel was recovering from surgery. Photo copyright 2011 by Brenda Sullivan

What’s especially puzzling is that this personnel document reportedly was slipped under an office door by a former probate judge (or she told someone else to do so?), who should be aware of the confidential nature of personnel documents.

The other question that arises is that while the Town Council did direct McKinney to look into delays in completing the internal investigations of Sgt. Green, why would this generate a performance review by a temporary employee (McKinney) of another employee of more than 25 years (Reimondo) that she had overseen for slightly more than a month?

Does anyone know the rules?

In the meantime, Chief Reimondo is also being accused of disclosing what should have been confidential information about someone who was turned down for the job of East Hampton Animal Control Officer, which is part of the police department.

That person is de facto working in that capacity now, since East Hampton has a contract sharing Animal Control services with East Haddam.

Doesn’t anyone in East Hampton know the rules around confidential documents?

Previously, some embarrassing conversations between former Town Council members were made public by the Courant as the result of a Freedom of Information request for copies of their personal emails discussing council business, but those disclosures were the outcome of a normal and perfectly legal procedure.

So, the question remains, how is someone (or more than one person) getting into password protected email accounts?

How secure is the town of East Hampton’s records – of all kinds – if it’s this easy to print out someone else’s emails, or take iPhone photos of a computer screen displaying someone’s personal email on a work computer?

What changed?

Following the revelation that former Town Manager Jeffrey O’Keefe had his computer system configured so that it didn’t save copies of emails he sent (and he was later allowed to take his work computer home during a “vacation”), the town was supposed to have reviewed and improved policies for use of email by town employees.

The employee handbook was updated. And Town Council members were assigned email addresses linked to the town system and directed to do all their council-related communication using those addresses.

Apparently, however, no one has reviewed the town’s email security.

Two more years of this?

And this latest round of leaked documents doesn’t bode well for the newly-elected council’s ability to work together cooperatively.

The residents of East Hampton apparently can look forward to two more years of council members spending time monitoring and decrying each other’s actions, and clashing over police department issues, to the detriment of addressing other town business.

At the time this was taken, East Hampton Town Council member Sue Weintraub was the subject of a Freedom of Information Act complaint filed by former Board of Finance member Ted Hintz, who is now a newly-elected member of the council. Photo copyright 2011 by Brenda Sullivan.

Unfortunately, council member Susan Weintraub’s recent actions – even if well meant – regarding  Acting Interim (temporary) Town Manager McKinney has fueled the fire.

It probably doesn’t help that Weintraub asked Weischel to come back (and McKinney to transition out) shortly after this performance review was generated by McKinney.

Even other Chatham Party members (i.e. Glenn Suprono) weren’t happy with Weintraub making a significant decision without first consulting all of the council members.

Speaking of which, the HTNP story about this issue (posted on Nov. 10) didn’t include comments by McKinney. I heard about the issue at about 4 p.m. and town offices were closed early that Thursday because of the Veteran’s Day holiday, so she couldn’t be reached there, and she wasn’t scheduled to work at Town Hall on Monday, Nov. 14.

Three messages from HTNP (me) were left over the course of 4 days on the McKinneys’ home voicemail, and Melissa Engle (who I spoke with directly) was asked to convey a message requesting a cell phone number for McKinney and/or a return call.

As of Nov. 20, none of those calls have been returned.

Whistle-blower or dirty politics?

While it’s clear that inappropriate or illegal behavior on the part of any town employee, including the police chief – or any member of a board of commission – should be reported to the appropriate point person and dealt with according to the town’s policies, or state law if necessary… when it comes to stealing, photocopying and distributing confidential documents and compromising the town’s security, this too is a serious offense.

At the same time, leaking documents to the press isn’t something new. In fact, there are times that being a “whistle-blower” has been of great benefit to all of us.

If it’s done in the interests of the greater good, it can result in ending harmful practices such as illegally disposing of nuclear waste, putting toxic substances in consumer  products, dumping waste in waterways, or abusing residents of nursing homes, to name just a few examples.

While some of the information that has been leaked in East Hampton could be seen in that light (i.e., asking a potential sex partner to come to your office and providing her with a lie to justify the visit), the flavor of the ensuing discussion – if it can even be called that – has been less than noble and smacks more of a feud between warring clans. A war with no end in sight.

Overshadowing the real East Hampton

This feud creates a dark cloud over the town of East Hampton that is demoralizing for many of its residents – they will tell you that, themselves.

And it paints a less-than-positive picture to the rest of the state of what I have come to know in the three-plus years HTNP has been covering events in East Hampton to be a great little town with a great deal going for it.

Does East Hampton really want to be known as “that town where they’re always fighting” or worse, “that town where everyone’s corrupt?”

Instead, how can it be better known for the community spirit evidenced in wonderful activities such as Old Home Days, the Capt. Grizzy Boat Parade, the Poker Run or the Yellow Ribbon activities?

Or the accomplishments of its students, athletic teams, music groups, budding artists and actors, churches and civic groups, business groups, fraternal organizations and many other volunteers, as well as many hard-working, professional, town staff and employees?

That’s really up to the good people of East Hampton.

They can take sides in the “feud” and keep it going. Or they can tell their town leaders to find ways to address problems, investigate complaints and settle their differences with actions that are above-board and legal, and with language that is mutually respectful. They don’t have to like each other… they just need to know the rules, apply them equitably to everyone and get on with town business.

Posted Nov. 20, 2011

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[updated] Why do we need to change East Hampton’s signs?

East Hampton CT town seal

East Hampton CT town seal

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter originally was published in the July 17, 2009 edition of the Rivereast, following the July 14 public hearing and town council meeting. It was republished here because I believe it raises important questions about public participation in a choice that affects the entire town. To the best of my knowledge, there were no illustrations of the proposed changes to the street-sign design made available to the public before the hearing – or if they were available, there was not sufficient effort made to notify the public of that fact, nor to specifically notify the public about what the Way Finding Committee would be presenting to the council, so that there could be meaningful public input at the hearing either in person or by means of a written comment from residents who could not attend.  So, there are two important issues — informing the public,  and accurately assessing whether the community agrees with the council’s choice to (a) change the street sign design and if so (b) which design to choose. That the letter originally appeared in another publication does not alter the opinions expressed by the author at the time it was written as reprinted in East Hampton Today. In the past, when I have reprinted a letter it has been with the knowledge of the author. In this case, however, I did not inform the author. — Brenda Sullivan, HTNP.com Editor ]

To the Editor,

East Hampton, a traditional New England town – or are we?

I attended the public hearing [called by the Town Council] on the Way Finding Signage Program on Tuesday, July 14.

The intent of this meeting was to change the town logo on the [signs] for the town. Can anyone decipher that from the public hearing notice?

At the prior Town Council meeting, the Design Review board was asked – after much discussion about traditional values – to come back with some new designs.

They came out Tuesday [July 14] with three renditions and basically, said ‘pick one.’

They [the designs] were never publicized, put on the town’s Web site, or shared with the community.

The Town Council simply picked a design and voted it in.

Five of the seven council members voted in favor of a new design. Two members (Bill Devine and Chris Goff) felt the traditional logo is still appropriate and relevant to our modern times.

I am a traditionalist and believe in history, East Hampton is filled with a rich history in both ship-building and bell manufacturing.

It was beyond disturbing when council member Thom Cordiero stated he is, “a traditionalist where prudent and I think – since we’re not shipbuilders anymore, right? – So, I don’t think there’s any great loss… I don’t think it is a crime to change.”

What does he mean when he says he is a traditionalist “where prudent”?

Isn’t now the time to be prudent and preserve the rich history of our small New England town?

We are now spending $30,000-plus grant money on new signage that the Town Council, three attendees at the public hearing and a few folks that happened to arrive early to the [regular] Town Council meeting were able to view.

The majority of us who saw the designs – other than the Town Council – were in favor of sticking with the traditional logo.

I am a traditionalist and in this circumstance, I think it is prudent to honor East Hampton’s history in any logo representing the town.


Ted Hintz Jr. – Middle Haddam

Posted July 27, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of the draft-minutes from the July 14 Public Hearing, as well as the portion of the draft-minutes from the July 14 regular Town Council meeting that refer to the town signs. No photos or illustrations of the proposed designs were included.

The regular Town Council meeting minutes state that the designer was asked to return to a future meeting with revisions to the council’s choice of a logo “with the traditional bell and updated ship,” with the date of  1767 added to the bell. These minutes are not considered official until voted on at the next Town Council meeting.]

Town of East Hampton – Public Hearing – Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eaton E. Smith Meeting Room – Town Hall -


Present: Chairperson Melissa Engel, Vice Chairman Thomas Cordeiro (arrived at 5:50 p.m.) and members, William Devine (arrived at 6:00 p.m.), Christopher Goff, Scott Minnick, John Tuttle and Susan Weintraub. Also present were Town Manager Jeffery O’Keefe, Recording Secretary Cathy Sirois, members of the press and citizens.

Call to Order:  Chairperson Engel called the Public Hearing to order at 5:45 p.m.

Public Hearing on Way Finding Signage Program:

Kevin Burnham of the Streetscape Steering Committee and Design Review Board provided an overview of the Way Finding Signage Program.

He noted concerns that have been expressed about the original Village Center sign that used to stand near Century 21 Real Estate.

New signs will be designed for that intersection.

There was discussion that new signs for that intersection could be more of a “flag” style sign, possibly printed on both sides.

Terry Prestash of Red Barn Studio discussed the logo and explained that the sign will be for a “drive by” audience.  The drivers will be more focused on the locations than the logo.  She presented logo options that include a more traditional style bell.

Ted Hintz asked, if the drivers are not focused on the logo then why change the logo from our original?  He noted that he likes the original logo.

Barbara Moore commented that she likes the look of the more traditional bell but does not like the design of the ship. She also asked about funding.

Mr. O’Keefe noted that there are funds for the signs that will be in the Streetscape corridor, but funding will need to be looked at for other areas in town.

Ms. Engel noted that many people would like the Village Center sign back.

It was noted that this sign could possibly be moved to the Village Center.

Ms. Engel read a letter from Bunny Simko noting that she does not want to see the town logo changed.

She believes the town logo was designed by the Class of 1967 during the Bicentennial Celebration, noting that the logo is used on our flag, website and stationary and should remain consistent.

She also noted that these types of signs often become the “snapshot” picture used in news articles, tourism etc.  They are not simply viewed by passing vehicles.

Mr. Tuttle asked that additional intersections be looked at for the double-sided signs.

The Council discussed who liked which design and if there should be a date shown on the logo.

Laurie Wasilewski noted that she feels the date on the bell is important.  She also noted that the shipbuilding portion of our logo is important to the history of our town.  She also feels the date is important.

Scott Sanicki asked if the date can be put onto signs [you see] as you enter the town.

Matt Walton noted that he likes the original logo.

Ms. Engel thanked Terry Prestash and Kevin Burnham, Sue Weintraub and the rest of the Streetscape Committee.


A motion was made by Mr. Devine, seconded by Mr. Tuttle, to adjourn the Public Hearing at 6:38 p.m. Voted (7-0).

East Hampton Town Council

July 14 regular meeting minutes [draft]

Old (Continued) Business:

Possible Adoption of the Way Finding Signage Program:

Ms. Engel provided an overview of the Public Hearing that was held prior to the Regular Meeting.

A motion was made by Ms. Weintraub, seconded by Mr. Minnick to approve the logo with the traditional bell and updated ship for the way finding signage signs.  Voted (5-2)

Mr. Devine and Mr. Goff against.

Mr. Goff noted that he does not want to change from the town’s original logo for the signs.

Mr. Tuttle asked if there are enough funds available for the signs along the Streetscape area.

Ms. Weintraub noted that there are enough funds for the Streetscape area.

Mr. Cordeiro noted that he is in favor of the new logo only for the signage program.

Mr. Goff is concerned about changes that could occur in the future to the town’s logo for the letterhead and the seal.

Ms. Weintraub commented that EDC and Design Review Board are in favor of the new logo for the signs.

It was agreed that the designer would come back to a future meeting with design styles for the date to be included on the bell.

A motion was made by Mr. Tuttle, seconded by Ms. Weintraub, to adopt the Way Finding Signage Program as presented by the Streetscape Committee.  Voted (7-0).

A budget we can afford

June 1, 2009 Editorials, Opinion Comments Off
Gov. M. Jodi Rell

Gov. M. Jodi Rell ----------

The Connecticut General Assembly is just days away from its deadline for finishing its work. Yet, we still do not have a state budget for the next two years.

In February, I proposed a two-year budget that would cut state spending, consolidate or merge dozens of state agencies, maintain state aid to cities and towns so burdens would not fall on property taxpayers and give those municipalities much-needed relief from costly state mandates – all without raising taxes.

Tax increases, I said, would be the worst thing we could do in the middle of a national recession.

And Connecticut’s economy has been terribly battered by this national recession. Thousands of families – thousands of lives – have been disrupted by job loss, foreclosures, Wall Street turmoil and lingering uncertainty.

Employers, many of them mainstays of Connecticut’s economy, have been forced to lay off dedicated workers.

Since I released my recommended budget in February, the economic picture has only gotten darker.

Our state has lost 18,100 jobs. We have seen more than 4,000 businesses shut their doors forever. More than 7,500 families have lost their home to foreclosure.

And still – four months later – we have no budget. The Legislature has not even held a vote on a budget in the Senate or the House.

Because of the recession, we face enormous deficits for the next two fiscal years, as well as a persistent deficit in the current budget year that ends June 30.

I have been working with lawmakers on a new budget for several weeks – but it has become increasingly clear that some simply do not have the will to make the spending cuts we need, if we are going to close those budget gaps without raising taxes.

A new proposal

So, this week I took the unusual step of offering a second budget – that, once again, contains no tax increases.

This new budget makes deep and painful spending cuts. They are not cuts I relish making, but the families of Connecticut are counting on their elected leaders to make those cuts and to finish their business on time.

It preserves municipal aid so that tax increases are not passed on to local property taxpayers. It merges and consolidates agencies to make Connecticut’s government smaller and more efficient – just like my budget in February did.

And most importantly, this budget is in line with what the people of our state can afford – just like my budget in February. That means it contains no tax increases, and actually reduces spending in Fiscal 2010 from current levels.

I did this because the bloat of bureaucracy is no more affordable now than when I first spoke of it in February. And because the underlying truths of our economy have not changed since I laid out my original budget: Connecticut residents cannot afford massive tax increases. Connecticut businesses cannot afford massive tax increases.

A ‘business-friendly’ Connecticut

Consider that nearby states such as New York and New Jersey are raising their income taxes, and Massachusetts is raising its sales tax.

The top income tax rate in New York and New Jersey is now 8.97 percent (in New York City it’s an astonishing 12.62 percent!), while the top bracket in Rhode Island is 9.9 percent.

Connecticut’s top rate is currently 5 percent.

By holding the line on taxes and making the tough decisions now, we are making Connecticut a beacon of opportunity – our state becomes infinitely more affordable for business and infinitely more appealing for investment.

Job creation will climb, as more and more companies move to – or grow in – a business-friendly Connecticut.

We can reverse the “brain drain,” and keep our young college graduates in good-paying jobs here.

Our housing market will rebound as those graduates, and people attracted to our state, seek new places to live.

This is not economic theory. It’s economic fact.

Frankly, tax increases are the easy choice. But all they do is “feed the beast” – and two years later the beast is back, hungry again, and always a little bit larger. Now is the time to make the difficult decisions.

I am not looking for a battle. But I am willing to fight one – because it’s a battle worth fighting.

The families and people of Connecticut are always worth fighting for. Please join me in the remaining days of this legislative session by urging your local legislator to join me in making the difficult – but necessary – choices, and to pass a budget that contains no tax increases.

Posted June 1, 2009

A series of unfortunate incidents…

May 8, 2009 Editorials 2 Comments

arm-in-sling-crosshatchHello readers… It’s a lovely, sunny Friday morning and I hope you are all enjoying it.

I thought I’d take just a moment to explain why news has been on the lean side here at East Hampton Today for a while.  It has been an “interesting” couple of months.

First, I have been losing my vision because of cataracts – the toughest obstacle, where news coverage is concerned, is that I haven’t been able to drive at night – headlights blind me.  So, I cannot attend night meetings.

I was scheduled for cataract surgery in mid-April. Then I came down with asthmatic bronchitis on April 2, which finally cleared up about a week ago.

But then I injured my shoulder – and to round things out nicely, the exhaust system fell off my car.

As I said, life has been “interesting.” However, things are looking up.

The car is repaired.  My first eye surgery will be in mid-June. And as of today, I am doing pretty well with my arm out of a sling.

The women among our readers – and some of you fastidious male readers or single-dads – will understand that when the person in the household who normally keeps chaos at bay  is out of commission, everything goes to hell in a handbasket.  So, my first order of business today is cleaning up after everyone (which includes two cats, a dog and a cockatiel – and we are about to acquire two ducks… as if I didn’t have enough cleaning up to do!)

And touching base with you was also high on the list!

So, I hope you will forgive me my limited news coverage for the time being. And I hope to be back in the saddle – or behind the wheel – again, in the near future.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Brenda Sullivan – HTNP.com Editor

P.S. If you have a suggestion for a news item you’d like to see covered here, please feel free to email me at eheditor@htnp.com

Posted May 8, 2009

East Hampton volunteers are CHAMPs

April 17, 2009 Editorials, Local News Comments Off
Photo courtesy of

HTNP.com photo ----------

Dear Community,

CHAMP (Citizens Helping Active Military Personnel) would like to thank the many organizations and people that have made donations over the last several months.

Since May 2005, CHAMP has been sending care packages to our local men and women soldiers stationed in Iraq from the East Hampton and Marlborough area.  Led by volunteers from the VFW Post #5095 and their Ladies Auxiliary, the Masonic Anchor Lodge #112 and the Boy Scout Troop #8, CHAMP is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting soldiers from East Hampton and Marlborough.

Please know that all donations go to help provide cheer to the service men and women on our list and their fellow comrades.

A check for CHAMP: (L-R) Brian Ewing (Boy Scouts Troop #8), Bill Field (Anchor Lodge #112), Kathy Schluntz, Fred Schluntz (East Hampton VFW). Photo courtesy of Kathy Schluntz for HTNP.com

A check for CHAMP: (L-R) Brian Ewing (Boy Scouts Troop #8), Bill Field (Anchor Lodge #112), Kathy Schluntz, Fred Schluntz (East Hampton VFW). Photo HTNP.com

THANK YOU Boy Scouts Troop # 8 for the Super Bowl Grinder Sale.  Your dedication, hard work, and of course, your donation to CHAMP are greatly appreciated.  Thank you parents for your help, too!

THANK YOU VFW Ladies Auxiliary to Post 5095.  Your donation from the Spaghetti Dinner was wonderful (as was Julie’s special sauce – what is her secret?).  Thank you everyone that was a part of that dinner for your hard work, donations for prizes, and your support.  THANK YOU to the Governor’s Tavern, East Hampton Car Wash and Dalton’s for donating gift cards to the raffle.

THANK YOU Belltown Sportsmens’ Club for your continued support.  Your generous donation made to us at our February meeting was greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU East Hampton Senior Center for all you have collected and donated to CHAMP.

THANK YOU for the donation from the Setback Tournament in March.  Thanks everyone that worked the tournament and donated prizes.  A great time was had by all!

CHAMP volunteers.  Photo courtesy of Kathy Schluntz for HTNP.com

CHAMP volunteers. Photo HTNP.com

CHAMP has also received many individual donations, both monetary and items to send to our troops. THANK YOU all!

Most importantly, a big THANK YOU to the community that continues to support the fundraisers and make donations.

Since May 2005, CHAMP has been sending care packages to our local men and women soldiers stationed in Iraq from the East Hampton and Marlborough area.  Led by volunteers from the VFW Post #5095 and their Ladies Auxiliary, the Masonic Anchor Lodge #112 and the Boy Scout Troop #8, CHAMP is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting soldiers from East Hampton and Marlborough.

Please know that all donations go to help provide cheer to the service men and women on our list and their fellow comrades.

God Bless you all – Kathy Schluntz, Secretary/Treasurer of CHAMP

Posted April 17, 2009

An unwelcome import: measles

April 17, 2009 Editorials Comments Off
Babies are more likely to suffer complications from measles.

Babies are more likely to suffer complications from measles.

Recent measles cases in four states – California , Pennsylvania, Maryland and Iowa – highlight the growing number of unvaccinated adults and children living in the United States, as well as the need to control the global spread of the disease.

Measles, also called rubeola, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that’s caused by a virus. It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms, including a fever, cough and runny nose.

A person with measles is contagious from 1 to 2 days before symptoms start, until about 4 days after the rash appears.

In some cases, measles can lead to other health problems such as croup, and infections including bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Measles also can make the body more susceptible to ear infections and bacterial infections.

Before measles vaccination became available in the 1960s, more than 500,000 cases of measles were reported every year.

Since widespread vaccination, the virus was virtually eliminated from the Americas in 2002, but imported cases continue to trigger outbreaks among unvaccinated persons in the United States.

Last year, the number of reported measles cases in the United States more than doubled (63 to 140 total in 2008).

Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children overlook the fact that measles is still common in many countries and kills an estimated 540 children each day.

Despite the fact that a safe and effective measles vaccine costs less than $1, parents in many developing countries do not have access to immunization services that would protect their children.

“As long as measles remains an issue for one nation, it remains a threat to all,” said Athalia Christie, senior technical advisor with the American Red Cross.

The Measles Initiative – a partnership led by the American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Foundation, UNICEF and the World Health Organization – is working to address this problem.

The Initiative, formed in 2001, has invested $670 million in measles control activities, helping to save an estimated 3.6 million lives globally.

A strategy to reduce global measles mortality – which includes vaccinating all children before their first birthday through routine health services and mass campaigns – has been key to securing a 74 percent reduction in global measles deaths (2000-2007).

More than 600 million children in 60 countries have been vaccinated through the Measles Initiative.

More information is available at www.measlesinitiative.org.

Posted April 17, 2009

An old tree

April 13, 2009 Editorials, Poetry of Hugo E. DeSarro Comments Off

maple-treeAt a street intersection on the outskirts of a small town in eastern Connecticut stands a magnificent old maple tree. It towers majestically over the red saltbox house behind it, with huge spreading arms that reach high into the air and with large clusters of leaves that shroud the entire corner with shade.  It is the largest tree in the area.  And perhaps the oldest tree, as well. The massive trunk has been hollowed out by fire or disease, and is little more than a shell.  And here and there are scars where a limb has been sheared off by strong winds or lightning.

Someone in the red house loves the old tree.  I’m sure of it. Someone who has spared no effort to keep it standing and intact.  The hollow trunk is held together by steel rods, and the heavy arms are supported by cables.  The old maple is like a patient on a life support system.  And yet, it is still vigorous and strong looking, with leaves that are plentiful and bright green, and with even a youthful looking green twig, here and there along the twisting arms.maple-tree-leaves

It is easy to love old trees.  They are our silent friends and life long companions.  They have a dignity and quiet strength that isn’t found in other living things.  And they serve us well.  They color the seasons for us and tell us when the wind is blowing.  They provide us with refreshing shade, and give our song birds a place to rest.  And they make the earth beautiful.  The earth would be a wasteland without trees.

Looking at the regal old maple makes it easy to daydream and to wonder what the world was like when it was only a seedling; and easy to reflect on the remarkable changes that have taken place in the world and in the red saltbox house beneath its spreading limbs. The intersection won’t look the same when the old tree is finally gone.  And neither will the red house.  The long years together have made them inseparable.  The grandeur they share will be no more.

Posted April 13, 2009


Political Views

Have Coffee With Your State Rep


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Editor’s Note: Numerous phone calls to interview her for a candidate profile article have not been returned. Information about her can be found at mimiforthe34th.com.

Mimi Perrotti, Democrataic candidate for the 34th House District; East Hampton, East Haddam and Westchester, is delighted to announce that she has been approved for public financing by the State …


Historical Society Calendars

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