will brady's ruminations
my home town
Ken Simon does a remarkable job informing the world about Moodus
, one of the villages in the town where I live and love.
Whether it's a lament about the stupidity of 1960s era "urban renewal"
efforts, reminiscences about the resorts of the 1930s through 50s
, the twine industry
or about some of the folks who live here
, Simon weaves the stories well.
I've been meaning to write about his well researched site for some time. Good to see him featured on Connecticut Weblogs
. He deserves the recognition.
Now, can somebody tell me who that is crossing the street?
Don't get me wrong. I've been castigating Rethuglicans for some time on this site.
Truth is, the Dems are just the softer side of corporate goverance as far as I can tell.
or even Socialist Labor
[Yup! they are still around].
Each have their flaws [some quite big] but they represent a change in corporate mainstream party politics. Perhaps the fresh thinking, even flawed, will stir some productive change.
For that matter, check out the Yahoo list of known political parties
in the USA and pick one at random.
the humble farmer returns
The Humble Farmer is a wry, laconic gentleman
whose website I stumbled upon some time ago. I owe him an apology since he wrote me a couple of weeks ago and I never got back to him just yet. I last wrote about his site in January 2005. Actually, he never went away.
But the Maine Public Broadcasting Network
has reconfigured it's website so the audio files of his programs are moved even if he has not.
Robert Skoglund is The Humble Farmer
and he and his wife Marsha also run a Bed and Breakfast
off of Spruce Head Road, somewhere in Maine.
It's a sad state of affairs when Anita Ballek, one of the founding members of a tiny group of land preservationists doesn't object to blood money from a predator
. But that's precisely what happened when the East Haddam Republican Town Committee accepted, and spent, a $1,000 campaign contribution from billionaire Timothy Mellon
, owner of Guilford Transportation
and Goodspeed Airport LLC.
According to a statement from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal' Office Mellon violated the Environmental Protection Act when, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, 2000, he used a contractor to clear-cut about 2.5 acres of floodplain forest on land adjacent to the airport. The trees – some of them 100 years old and 72 feet high – were located on land owned by the East Haddam Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy. Mellon cleared the land without the landowners' permission, and without a legally required wetlands permit.
Blumenthal himself said that "Timothy Mellon's lawbreaking was repugnant and irreversible. His violations of law caused reckless and irrepairable destruction of a critical nature preserve. Mellon has obliterated a winter home to bald eagles - not to mention a sizable stretch of precious aged trees.
" Connecticut state court ruled on the lawsuit in August 2005. According to the state's DEP website
"This ruling soundly reinforces law enforcement against clear-cutting in wetlands, which leads to destruction of wildlife habitats, erosion and eyesores. Mellon’s damage is irreversible in our lifetime
". There's more
The court cases that defeated Mellon's arrogant land abuse include: Ventres v Goodspeed Airport LLC
and Rocque v Mellon
. Just to show that he still considers himself above the law, Mellon is appealing the decision.
What gets my dander up about this is not only that The Land Trust was victimized by Mellon's egregious behavior [okay, he hired someone else
to actually do the labor of clearcutting] but that the local Repugs knowingly lied about the valiant efforts of the town to preserve land in the years past. An effort, I might add, that while under the leadership of local Democrats, included many local Republicans working together.
This latest deceptive smear campaign brings that local party's electioneering actions [not very high to begin with] to a new low. I am both disappointed and troubled at the willingness of some people I have long respected [Anita being but one of them] to tolerate and condone the reprehensible tactics of a few of their party. The very least they could have done was to have publicized Mellon's offering, then to have resoundingly turned it down. They didn't do that. They took it and they used to to help pay for a slick National Enquirer-ish tabloid rag ["East Haddam 20/20"] full of half-truths and outright lies mass mailed to everybody in town to arrive two mailing days before the elections. They are now, to me, Judases before the cross of the environment.
Disappointing to say the least.
Fortunately, those accepting Mellon's money lost the First Selectman's race. Brad Parker remains in office with 53% of the vote [only 2,700 people voted in a town of over 8,000 people] and Republican Melissa H. Ziobron, school board member and self-described anti-development activist, lost.
It's deer seasonBe prepared!
If the state of Connecticut Chapter is any example, the the Salvation Army is getting out of human services.
More specifically, the Adult Day Care Center
in Middletown, CT has closed it's doors.
The reason? Reputedly, according to Hartford District Headquarters, it's because the Connecticut Chapter of what is arguably one of the richest non-profit organizations in the USA, there wasn't enough money to continue running a non-profit day center for the frail elderly.
The Hartford Courant wrote a "soft" story about the Center closing
What they fail to report is that the Salvaion Army's headquarters neglected to do any on-site inspections to see what services were being provided. The organization that is arguably one of the wealthiest chartieis in the nation shut down the doors on a well run, though understaffed, program that provided caring and attentive service to elders with Alzheimers' and mental retardation.
The "Mother Church" in Hartford, put in charge an individual with no clinical expertise working with the elderly then failed or completely neglected to do any adequate promotions to bring more clients into the program.
It was line staff who made the effort to find placement for the clients in the program, not the Mother Church nor to putative head of the program [Captain Faith Miller, ironic name, eh?] .
Once the announcement was made to close the program, the "Captain" of the Middletown office promptly took two weeks vacation while memoing the line staff that if they were going to be out sick they should call her on her cell phone. She never once came in to assist the staff with their clients, even though people had
called in sick.
Now that the program is closed, Captain Miller has issued a new edict on what is required if poor people are seeking assistance for Christmas this year... but they have only until this Friday to apply.
I suppose her next task will be to line up people to man the famous caudrons to ring begging for money for the beleagured Salvation Army chapter in Middletown.
The Mother Church should be ashamed but I suspect they are, at best indifferent to the suffering they caused.