To the Editor:

The inability of any one party to prevail or for two parties to agree on any bill, or on a budget for that matter, depends largely upon prevailing disagreements more than upon agreeable ones.

In the case of our own Connecticut legislative bodies, what contributes most to disagreement is the more limited source of incoming tax dollars due to a downward spiraling state economy.

Therefore, there is no easy solution to budget satisfaction when the customary state income is not only diminishing fast, but also disappearing due to quick-changing conditions in the realm of taxable entities and changing market trends.

Whoever suffers most as a consequence of fewer available dollars to build a budget without destroying the state’s economy, it is evident both the state and, therefore, the public, have a responsibility to fall in line for what must clearly change into bilateral sacrifice.

In other words, for lack of income, we must all sacrifice and learn to live with less.

After all, it has not always been, in perpetuity, manna from heaven.

Unless we were born with a storehouse of funds, most of us have managed fine if, with sacrifice, we managed to outlast the bad times as our ancestors had, with difficulty, and managed skills, always, to abide.

Gerard Coulombe


To the Editor:

In light of the catastrophic and unprecedented events that have befallen our fellow citizens of Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas, we are obliged to issue a heartfelt call to all Americans of all faiths and traditions, to recite prayers on behalf of those affected by beseeching our Creator on their behalf.

We also call upon every individual to contribute tzedakah (charity) to the funds established to help ameliorate the suffering and deprivation of the tens of thousands who have lost their homes and earthly possessions.

As people of faith, we are duty-bound to step forth with alacrity, each person contributing according to their ability, to help our fellow man at a time that we so desperately are in need of divine assistance and favor.

The power of prayer, together with good deeds, will assure that we find grace and mercy before our Creator that He will grant us success to aid and comfort, protect and shelter the millions of people affected — the young and the elderly, the sick and the infirm — who are currently displaced by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the resulting rainfall and flooding of biblical proportions.

Together, we will obtain the mercies of our Father in Heaven to bring about the much-needed relief and reprieve to the people of the greater Houston area.

On behalf of the 950-member rabbis of the RAA serving in communities throughout the United States, we acknowledge our government officials, first responders, National Guard and the thousands of citizen volunteers reaching out to help in the rescue of the flood victims.

May G-d bless you and keep you safe.

Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht

Editor’s note: Rabbi Hecht, of Beth Israel Synagogue of Westport/Norwalk, submitted this in his role as presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.

To the Editor:

Hurricane Harvey has inflicted unprecedented destruction in south Texas and parts of Louisiana. Now Hurricane Irma may strike the United States. If Irma makes landfall, it will be the first time since the mid-19th century that two storms of such magnitude hit the United States in the same year.

While there is no current prediction of epic storms arriving in the Northeast, we should be thinking of how prepared we are for storms that are at least as powerful as Sandy and that may be far more destructive.

Our first selectman and our Flood and Erosion Control Board should provide an update to Fairfield residents about current flood control measures, plans for flood control improvements and the extent of emergency planning. Of particular concern is the Penfield area. The rebuilt pavilion was constructed one foot lower than FEMA requires for nearby residences.

Previously existing flood control was removed from Penfield Beach behind the pavilion. We need to know if the Penfield area is more prone to flood damage than it was prior to reconstructing the pavilion, and we need to know what, if anything, is being done to control flood risks.

Fairfield citizens deserve to know exactly how prepared we are for routine flood events and for the unexpected.

Jan R. Reber