Thank you to Kiwanis Club

To the editor:

I would like to thank the Kiwanis Club for all of its good works in coordinating the Field of Valor, which honors our veterans each year. I was humbled to participate in your dedication ceremony, and I thank you for the invitation.

The ceremony and display of flags were both heartwarming and patriotic. As I no longer have any veterans alive in my family, it is not often that I get to connect with those who have given so much to our country. The efforts of the Kiwanians ignited that solemn pride in remembering those in my own family who served — in particular our Gold Star veteran. It was awe-inspiring to share this experience with all of the Veterans in attendance at Jennings Park on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018.

Thanks to Paul Giacalone and all of the Kiwanians for their efforts. I would also like to recognize the Commander of Port 5 Naval Veterans, Master Chief Richard Iannuci — your comments were heart wrenching and sincere. I thank you for sharing them with us.

May God continue to bless the members of our military and their families.

Selectman Edward J. Bateson


Trump’s words have emboldened white nationalists

To the editor:

Last week we witnessed not one, but three separate terror attacks on our fellow Americans.

In Louisville, Ky., a 51-year-old white man, who had a long history of domestic violence and calling people racial slurs, killed two black people in a grocery store and said to a white shopper, “Whites don’t kill other whites.”

In South Florida a 56-year-old man with a lengthy criminal record and a history of threatening public officials on social media, mailed pipe bombs to the homes of two former U.S. presidents, a former vice president, a former secretary of state, a former attorney general, a former head of the CIA, a former head of the NSA, two sitting U.S. senators, two sitting House representatives, a Jewish investor, a news station, and an Oscar-winning actor. Luckily none of the bombs made it to their destination or hurt any postal workers or couriers, but a mass assassination attempt like this is unprecedented. The bomber was found to be living in a van that was covered with pro-Trump decals and anti-news media bumper stickers.

In Pittsburgh, Pa., a 46-year-old neo-Nazi entered a synagogue armed with an assault rifle and shouted “all Jews must die!” before opening fire, killing 11 parishioners between the ages of 54 and 97. In his social media posts, the shooter had expressed anger at a Jewish nonprofit for helping refugees.

This type of terrorism didn’t appear out of thin air — it has been promoted by fringe right-wing groups for decades. Only now they feel affirmed by the current occupier of the White House, Donald J. Trump.

For the last three years, Donald Trump’s words and policies have emboldened white nationalists and deliberately undermined the safety of minorities, immigrants and refugees. He called Central Americans criminals, rapists and vermin, has promoted right-wing conspiracy theories like Jewish billionaires are funding protesters and refugees, and has rolled back federal protections for LGBTQ+ americans. The Republican Party has yet to stand up to Trump other than the occasional sternly worded tweet and offering thoughts and prayers. Even Republicans here in our state are too afraid to speak out against him due to his cult-like status among registered Republicans.

There is a Russian expression that I think is an accurate description of Trump and the GOP right now: “We thought we had hit rock bottom, then someone knocked from down below.”

Leanne Harpin


Thanks to the chief and the department

To the editor:

We have a great photo of the Fairfield chief of police with his family, now that he departs for a, hopefully, satisfying job for his new employer, Sacred Heart University. We wish him well.

Police work is a job like any other. The perks vary depending on one’s position, earned or warranted on merit. The chief did an excellent job for Fairfield, particularly for being fair, in my view.

One letter to the editor of mine mentioned two instances of dissatisfaction with the police, one for a perceived threatening, and one for making an unwarranted assumption.

Eventually, my wife took a call from the chief. He did call back, we talked briefly, he wanted to arrange for an appointment, so we could talk.

We eventually did talk, on the phone. I assumed there would be a call back to arrange an appointment. But I never got one, as most probably, he was preparing himself for the separation from the department — in other words, retirement.

So, I will never know if my complaints were ever addressed. In any case, I remember being proud of the fact that when I asked the department in person to help me when, years ago, one of my teachers did not report to work. I drove back to Fairfield, where my teacher lived and to his house. Noticing his car in the lot, I knocked and rung the bell. Failing an answer, I went to the police department to report need of assistance. The officer believed me and sent an officer to check; he managed to get into the house and found the teacher dead in the shower. I was happy that then the Fairfield police had decided to help.

I simply want police officers to always work with the public, in a responsible and respectful manner, even as I realize that what I ask for is not always easy to do.

Their own public relations pages are filled with kudos. So, I do not wish to nitpick. But I will for the good of the department.

Gerard Coulombe


Thank you to Fairfield voters

To the editor:

I want to express my deepest gratitude to the people of Trumbull and Fairfield. Despite the outcome of last week’s incredibly close election, I am so proud of the campaign that dozens of people invested their time, energy, and passion into. It was the honor of my life to run for this position, and despite coming up short, we truly gave it everything we had.

Our team knocked over ten thousand doors. We made tens of thousands of phone calls. Each of you graciously opened your door and had conversations with me, setting aside political leanings to have honest, albeit sometimes difficult conversations. We are all better because of it.

Congratulations to Laura Devlin. I wish her luck on facing the state's biggest challenges. I hope that she will work across party lines with all members of her constituency as a strong advocate for the 134th District over these next two years. Tens of thousands of people in this district need and deserve nothing less.

Despite how polarized the world can feel, there is much that brings us together. We all love our towns, our neighbors, and we want the same things — stable taxes, a prosperous economy for all, great schools, and a place where seniors can comfortably retire. I hope that we can find ways to come together to work towards these outcomes.

I remain hopeful that we can make Connecticut the best version of itself if we work collaboratively to bring creative solutions to the table.

I may have lost this race, but I did not lose this fight. As a member of the Trumbull Town Council, lawyer, and community volunteer, I am dedicated to the causes I care about. I will not forget the stories you shared with me. I will not lose my drive to make our state and country better for our children.

All I ask is that you do the same. Work harder than ever. Your voice needs to be louder than ever. Pay attention. And do something every day that you believe in.

Ashley Gaudiano