To the editor:

In any campaign season, if you are lucky, you may meet two kinds of candidates that stand out. One who you think will do an excellent job if elected and another who runs an engaging and positive campaign. Ashley Gaudiano is both.

Ashley is passionate about the issues — I have seen her speak on policy and it is obvious that she deeply cares about issues affecting Connecticut and our communities. She is passionate about championing an economy that works for the people, advocating for high-quality education, and supporting our seniors. Ashley is creative with endless energy — I recently saw the video that she and her campaign team put together themselves. The video was incredibly well done, with amazing attention to detail and told the incredible story of why she is running and why she should be representing us.

She is articulate, able to think on her feet, and can communicate well with members of the community — an important quality in a state representative. Ashley is also measured in her responses and thinks before speaking, something lacking in most politicians today. She is a lawyer, but one with a heart, doing work for nonprofits. On top of it all, Ashley is warm and personable. Everyone who meets her (regardless of party) walks away impressed. In short, Ashley Gaudiano represents the bright future of the Democratic Party and I hope you will support her on Nov. 6.

Richard B. Jacobs

Fairfield

Elect Gaudiano

as state rep in the 134th District

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ashley Gaudiano, who is running for state representative in the 134th District, representing parts of Fairfield and Trumbull. After watching her work tirelessly over the past several months, I’ve been impressed by her passion, dedication, and qualifications that are needed to do the job effectively.

Ashley’s background as a lawyer and advocate would be critical in representing the best interests of the community.

Everybody knows we have serious issues in Hartford. What we need is someone who is equally as serious about solving those problems. That is why we need Ashley up at in Hartford fighting for Fairfield. She understands what it looks like to legislate at the municipal level thanks to her experience as a town council member in Trumbull. And she has more than a decade of experience working to advocate for important nonprofits and those without a voice. Ashley also understands how to ask the tough questions, develop sensible solutions, and work collaboratively to better our community.

At both the local and state level, we need team players with fresh ideas who can get the job done. In the 134th District, that candidate is Ashley Gaudiano.

I hope you will join me in supporting her on Nov. 6.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau

Fairfield

Thank you for support of Pet Pantry

To the editor:

We would like to thank the local communities that allow our family-owned business to grow as we announce the grand opening of our seventh store in our hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.

As a family-owned, local, community-based business we feel that it is our civic duty to extend ourselves and assist in many worthwhile fundraising efforts throughout the year. Not only, in the communities in which we operate but anywhere there is a need. That is why we regularly host informative and entertaining events and make donations to help support nonprofits in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

You might already know of the meaningful work we do with Adopt-A-Dog, who work tirelessly in an effort to help loving pets find forever homes and enrich the lives of humans in search of animal companionship. In addition to raising money for Adopt-A-Dog, we also support many nonprofits that provide resources for families as well.

During the recent grand opening of our Fairfield location, Pet Pantry donated a portion of our sales to Al’s Angels, a local nonprofit that provides support to children and families battling cancer, rare blood disease, natural disasters and severe financial hardship.

We want to thank First Selectman Michael Tetreau; state Rep. Laura Devlin; Mark Barnhart, director of Community and Economic Development; Beverly Balaz, president Fairfield Chamber of Commerce; state Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey; Kevin Caskin at People’s United Bank and representatives from Adopt-A-Dog for taking the time to attend our “Ribbon Chewing” ceremony last month. We can’t thank these leaders in the community enough for taking the time to support us!

We also want to thank the Fairfield community and anyone who has shopped at one of our locations throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties, we thank you for supporting our business over that past 73 years and for enabling us to serve each and every one of you.

Our retail business runs 24/7, 361 days a year and can be exhausting at times. However, the satisfaction that we derive from seeing our customers smile or a dog wag its tail makes the sacrifice well worth it. As business owners and parents, my brother Ari and I are grateful to be able to share this experience with our children and set a positive example for them. We’re grateful to also have the support from our families as we couldn’t do this without their help!

Ari and I want to personally thank Barry Jacobson, Joshua Roth, Emery Kriegsman, Cynthia Fox, Jessica Mazurak, Emily and Nancy Roth, as well as our passionate and dedicated staff at the Fairfield store for putting so much time and energy into building this new location. We are quite proud of it and hope that everyone in the community will find it to be a wonderful shopping experience.

We encourage customers to ask us for anything they might need as we are dedicated to service. As a family owned independent pet retailer being a part of the fabric of the community is extremely important to us and we can only hope that we make our community proud. Thank you!

Adam J. Jacobson

Executive Vice President, Pet One Group

‘Tis the season: Vote Hwang

To the editor:

It’s election time and once again I proudly ask that you join me in re-electing state Sen. Tony Hwang to the 28th Sstate Senate district. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sen. Hwang during my 10 years as an elected official in the town of Fairfield. Tony is a common-sense leader who is fiscally responsible, a champion for public education, and a consummate advocate for the underserved.

In a climate of partisan theatrics, Tony rises above the name calling to act in the best interest of his constituents regardless of the politics. Sen. Hwang is the type of dedicated public servant that we need to continue electing in Hartford. Tony’s passion and dedication to making Connecticut a destination where people want to stay, raise a family, open a business, and retire are invaluable to the people of the 28th district.

Let’s be role models and send a bipartisan leader to Hartford. Please re-elect state Sen. Tony Hwang and put people over politics.

Pamela Iacono

Minority Leader, Fairfield RTM

Vahey has my vote

To the editor:

I first crossed paths with Cristin McCarthy Vahey when she was a member of the Board of Selectmen. Cristin was advocating for the first town bicycle route on Mill Plain Road. As a professional landscape architect and longtime advocate for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements myself, I was very pleased to see Cristin’s support, especially considering her role as an elected official.

Just recently, the Board of Selectmen endorsed the new Fairfield Complete Streets Policy, which was 2+ years in the making, written by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, of which I am a member. This policy provides guidance for transportation planners and designers so that all users of the town’s roadways are considered in the design of new transportation projects; all users includes pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists, people of all abilities, and all types of motor vehicles.

Cristin has been a tremendous supporter of this initiative from the beginning. She has been working tirelessly for many years in her different roles of public service to make our roads safer, especially for pedestrians, bicycles, and our most vulnerable citizens. She also understands the importance of having a Complete Streets Policy in place when municipalities apply for grants from state and federal sources for transportation infrastructure projects.

Fairfield is now better positioned for future funding since the town can now point to its written commitment to provide safer, more walkable, and more livable neighborhoods. This is just one example of how Cristin has worked hard over the years to make Fairfield a better place to live and work. She will be getting my vote on Nov. 6, and I urge others to support her too, as she continues to advocate for the benefit of our entire community.

William Pollack

Fairfield

Vahey walks the walk

I am writing to support Cristin McCarthy Vahey for re-election as state representative in the 133th District.

I have known and worked with Cristin recently and going back to her days on Fairfield’s Board of Selectman and am always impressed with the passion that she brings to worthy issues. Through her experience in Hartford, Cristin has a deep understanding of a breadth of issues that affect Fairfield residents, including transportation, education, and affordability, but I have always been most impressed by her attentiveness to energy and environmental issues.

In Hartford, she supports policies that will help Connecticut transition into the green economy and in the process keep our state competitive and our residents healthy. In addition, she has sponsored successful legislation to prevent harmful plastics from the entering environment, and supported complete streets and transit oriented design policies. Her success on these issues is driven by her steadfast belief that these solutions are right for Fairfield.

In her life, Cristin not only talks the talk, she walks the walk, living in a solar-powered home and often seen around town pedaling her bike.

Please join me in supporting Cristin in November so she can keep up the great work in Hartford!

Scott E. Thompson

Fairfield

Tony Hwang endorsement

In my 30 years on the Easton Board of Finance, I have witnessed the catastrophic decline in the Connecticut economy. I have also watched Tony Hwang in the 10 years I have known him strive to bring fiscal discipline to the Legislature.

At the same time, I have seen Tony reach out to all segments of the community and give thoughtful consideration to the ideas of anyone with a sincere concern. If we are to have any hope of reviving Connecticut as a great place to live that drew businesses fleeing New York instead of leaving Fairfield, then we must re-elect Tony and others who will end our downward spiral from being one of the most respected, desirable states to our present

Andy Kachele

Easton

Vote for Kate Neary Maxim

To the editor:

I am writing to encourage Fairfielders to vote for Kate Neary Maxim for Probate Judge. Before moving to Fairfield, I lived in Westport for over 50 years and was active in the community for all those years. I know how important it is for public officials, particularly probate judges, who deal with individuals and families during periods of great stress, to have great empathy as well as solid knowledge of the law.

On a personal note, several years ago, when I was planning a family trip to Europe, my youngest granddaughter’s passport was held up at the last minute by bureaucratic problems. Worried that it would not arrive in time, I went to the Probate Judge’s office to ask for help. Kate saw me right away, understood the problem, made some phone calls and gave me excellent advice about how to proceed. The passport arrived shortly after.

Kate has the experience, knowledge and personality to serve Fairfield as its next probate judge. I urge you to vote for her.

Martha S. Hauhuth

Fairfield

Support for Cristin McCarthy Vahey

To the editor:

My friend, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, is running for re-election to the state Legislature in the 133rd District and I’m writing to urge your support of her candidacy.

Cristin is really good at her job. I’ve never met anyone Cristin has worked with — both at the local or state level (in any political party) — that doesn’t have nice things to say about working with Cristin. She’s a good person with a strong moral compass. She’s a very good listener. Cristin is reasonable, fair, sound, just, kind, thoughtful, and purposeful. She’s a great friend, a dedicated wife and an excellent mother. For Cristin, public service is a calling and it suits her well.

Cristin is committed to ensuring all children have access to a safe, fair and appropriate high-quality public education. She knows that one way to keep kids safe in schools is to promote and support common sense gun violence prevention legislation designed to keep guns out of the hands of the people we can all agree shouldn’t have them. Cristin is an empath. She helped older kids in foster care achieve permanence through adoption and as co-chair of the Fairfield Cares Community Coalition, she works to prevent suicide and substance abuse among teens.

Did I mention how smart Cristin is? She received her B.A. as a double major in economics and government from Notre Dame and earned her MSW from the University of Washington.

Cristin has been married for 20 years and is raising three children, all of whom attend or have been through Fairfield Public Schools. Keeping a household together while working tirelessly on behalf of her constituents, is proof alone that Cristin is some form of super hero — the human, grounded, relatable, aspirational kind, not an intimidating one.

It’s with pride and unwavering confidence that I share for public record my support for Cristin McCarthy Vahey. I have no doubt that Cristin will continue to serve the town of Fairfield with the same level of dedication, commitment and fairness that she has demonstrated all along. Pass it on. And please vote on Nov. 6.

Nancy Lefkowitz

Fairfield RTM, District 1

Kupchick dedicated to laws protecting animals

To the editor:

Our Companions Animal Rescue and the House Rabbit Connection Inc., want to thank Rep. Brenda Kupchick for her unending dedication for better laws to protect Connecticut’s animals. Rep. Kupchick has been an outstanding advocate for animals in the state Legislature.

As one of the leaders of the House Animal Welfare Caucus, Rep. Kupchick has pressed for better laws that offer a more humane and compassionate approach to animal welfare. She works across the aisle and forges bipartisan initiatives to protect all of Connecticut’s animals. As a sample of her work, in 2017 Rep. Kupchick led an initiative to require quality standards of care for all nonprofit animal shelters, a proactive move to ensure our shelters remain a safe haven for the most vulnerable. And this past spring, Rep. Kupchick drove an effort to provide appropriate shelter to protect dogs left outside in the most harsh weather conditions.

Rep. Kupchick serves her constituents well in countless ways and her work for more humane laws is not just about animals but reflects her approach for compassion and respect for all living beings. The animal community is fortunate to have Rep. Kupchick as an advocate; we encourage people to vote for her on Nov. 6 to ensure her return to the State Capitol.

Susan B. Linker

CEO, Our Companions Animal Rescue

Marlene T. Wilhelm

President, House Rabbit Connection, Inc.

We need Michelle Lapine McCabe

To the editor:

Honestly, I like Tony Hwang as much as the next person. What’s not to like about such a happy man who is personally willing to help others when needed? In the political sense that persona is really working for him. He received about 60 percent of the votes on his last campaign.

However, it has become more and more clear to me that his happy-go-lucky energy is a mere facade. He claims to be eager to help the people in his district, but his political activity and voting (or not voting) choices have done little to improve the lives of the people who voted for him. His votes in the state Senate have had little or no impact or are at times contrary to what he says he will do and thus have had little positive impact for us.

Now, what Connecticut needs is a politician whose actions in Hartford cannot be ignored. Michelle McCabe, the new Democratic candidate for State Senator, is especially impressive. Her slogan, “Let’s Get to Work,” is truly representative of her political agenda. She will get the work done for the Connecticut people instead of just wasting more time in Hartford.

Compared to the lackluster political accomplishments of Tony Hwang, Michelle McCabe is a passionate, enthusiastic politician who does what she says she will do and is eager to really get things done for Connecticut’s citizens.

Amy L. Kaplan

Fairfield

Open letter regarding demolition of historical barns

To the editor:

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, at the Town Plan and Zoning Commission hearing, Fairfield University presented an application to demolish a complex of four historical barns built by the Sturges family with architectural flair and character in order to make room for a proposed new build of a replacement maintenance building and three large student townhouse style dorms, with a total of 200 beds, as well as a large new parking lot expansion creating 117 additional car spaces, all located in the south west corner of the campus adjacent to Round Hill Road.

The Town Plan and Zoning Commission heard the university’s professional presentation, then heard a collection of very nervous and concerned neighbors who expressed their worries of the neighborhood impact this development would create, with a continuation of the hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m., McKinley School.

I am a proud fan, neighbor and supporter of Fairfield University and know we are lucky to have this vibrant, nationally ranked university adding youth, energy, employment, business and all the accompanied educational opportunities and activities to our town. We are all lucky to have the university as such an important and economically strong component of Fairfield. However, with their proposed project of historical architectural demolition, large scale site build up, and very large additional parking lot immediately adjacent to a very visible and highly trafficked campus corner, I am a concerned neighbor and disappointed citizen in the potential lost opportunity the university is proposing.

The original dairy barn buildings at risk, proposed for demolition by the university, are four structures now used as their maintenance complex. The dairy barns are documented to have originally been built by the Sturges family to service their farm in this corner of the university campus. Walter B. Lashar purchased the property with the barns on site in 1920 from Frederick Sturges; and the Lashar family built the ornate stone mansion on top of the hill, now used as the office of the president, development offices and university admissions, now named the Bellarmine Hall. It was 1942 that the university purchased the 105-acre property from the Lashar estate. Immediately adjacent to the dairy barn complex, directly on Round Hill Road, is a nondescript homestyle structure, now named Southwell Hall, originally built circa 1776 as an inn and home for tenant farmers working the Sturges farm. There are records of this building serving as an inn during the Revolutionary War. This location of Round Hill road is of historical significance as site of the famous Revolutionary War “Battle of Round Hill” in 1779, with cannons from atop Round Hill (now the Bellarmine Hall front lawn) defending against British troops coming up from the beach and town area.

The architectural character and historical significance of the dairy barn complex should be of high regard. Referenced in the university archives as some of the last original property structures still on campus, the dairy barn complex is “a spectacular study in gables,” as written in the university’s self-published 1996 historical record “If These Stones Could Speak — The Phenomenal Growth of Fairfield University’s Campus.”

This dairy barn complex is a rare remaining example of lower Fairfield’s original farming enterprises and could be preserved for the benefit of future generations and students to fully appreciate our local history and to be taught preservation and sustainability principles going forward. Here presents Fairfield University’s wonderful opportunity to utilize and repurpose such a unique historical barn complex for an expanded Environmental and Sustainability Studies quad, teaching students in a very tangible example of a building repurposed for the expanding studies and global demands for sustainability.

This is just one concept, obviously the university has many opportunities to consider within a repurpose and preserve concept for these buildings toward future educational uses.

We all need to be aware of the imminent risk of forever losing these architecturally significant buildings to yet another collection of townhouse style dorms and a large parking lot in this very visible and historic corner of Fairfield University. We all benefit from a healthy university and strive for that strength to continue, but there are alternative and sustainable growth solutions to be considered, including preserving this collection of unique historical structures that would continue to differentiate Fairfield University while preserving our past and educating our future.

Kyle Hublitz

Fairfield

McCabe will fight for reproductive freedom

To the editor:

Voters considering candidates for statewide offices need to know where prospective Connecticut legislators stand on women’s reproductive freedom. Brett Kavanaugh’s addition to the U.S. Supreme Court will likely result in a further erosion of all of our rights, including a woman’s right to choose. Abortion rights are protected by Connecticut state law such that if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights would not change for Connecticut citizens. However, anti-choice groups will become active in attempting to enact laws that would remove or restrict a woman’s right to choose in states like ours.

Michelle Lapine McCabe is a strong, progressive, highly-qualified candidate who will fight to protect reproductive freedom for the women of Connecticut. Michelle is endorsed by CT Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice CT. I look forward to voting for Michelle for Connecticut state Senator for District 28.

Tim Bezler

Fairfield