Future of grange?

I was saddened to read in the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation magazine that the Greenfield Hill Grange No. 133 was "in the process of being given away to a financially sound entity that accepts the building with the Connecticut Trust interior and exterior easements attached." I wonder what this means for the future of the grange?

My husband and I brought up three children within sight of this 100-year-old rural building, and we spent many happy times there. We all brought produce and flowers to be judged, if we were lucky, "best in show" at the fall fair. Saturday night roast beef dinners with Bingo -- first prize, a bag of potatoes -- and Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day antique shows featuring local treasures were a few of the looked-forward-to events. There was also in the Grand Hall square dancing, plays, pancakes and a special Christmas sale.

The grange was a comfortable place to be, with its open porch and large dining room, where even the family dog was allowed, if it was well-behaved. Visitors from near and far were always given a warm welcome; the kind granges across the country have been offering since their founding 110 years ago.

I hope the community and the State Grange will find means to keep the Greenfield Hill Grange's doors open. Its mission of bringing people together to encourage good husbandry of the land is more important than ever.

Robbie Hodgson


Don't let public campaign financing die

The Citizens' Election Program (CEP) is in dire jeopardy. In 2005 Connecticut passed historic legislation that put in place public financing for political campaigns for statewide offices and the General Assembly. This voluntary program is an attempt to limit the role of money from special interest groups in Connecticut's political process. To participate, candidates must agree to abide by certain guidelines, including contribution and expenditure limits and disclosure requirements.

The law was declared unconstitutional in August 2009 for discriminating against minor party candidates. It needs fixing. Meanwhile nothing is happening in Hartford, where relationships between special interest groups and legislators dominate the legislative process, shaping agendas, debates and bills. Rather than going public with a vote against public financing, some state legislators have remained silent, happy to see the issue perish under the radar through legislative inaction.

In the interest of democracy, please tell your Fairfield legislators and General Assembly leaders you support funding and fixing the Citizens' Election Program. Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney: Looney@senatedems.ct.gov; Senate Minority Leader: John.Mckinney@cga.ct.gov; House Majority Leader: Denise.Merrill@cga.ct.gov; House Minority Leader: Lawrence.Cafero@house.gop.ct.gov; Senate Democrats: (800) 842-1420; Senate Republicans: (800) 842-1421; House Democrats: (800) 842-8267; House Republicans: (800) 842-8270.

Charlotte Garrell and Pat Reilly,


League of Women Voters of Fairfield

Disappointing change

Republican Scott Brown dealt a devastating blow to President Barack Obama's domestic agenda by capturing the Senate seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy. Republican Scott Brown's upset victory in the Massachusetts Senate race sent an prophetic warning to Obama that his promised "change" has been a frightening disappointment to American voters.

Obama and the Democrats rode a wave of anger aimed at the presidency of George W. Bush to victories in 2006 and 2008. Now, a year after Obama was sworn into office, in a dramatic reversal of fortunes, populist anger has turned sharply against the president and his party. A great deal of anger resulting from the billions of precious taxpayer dollars wasted, to bail out the banks that caused our financial troubles, rather than focus on solving the plunging unemployment problem, home foreclosures and bankruptcies, and putting an end to the unwinnable wars. This may their last chance to hear the voice of the American people before the midterm elections turn into a total, unmitigated rout.

A recent Connecticut Post Business headline reported: "Bernanke seeks review of AIG rescue: Says Fed `would welcome' investigation by Congress into bank's bailout role." Obama and his rubber stamp Congress rushed through laws to help the banks, and then hope to impress the public by holding useless investigations.

Dick De Witt