Letters to the editor

Favorite teacher

My favorite teacher is my son, Chris. He has no idea that I am writing about him and will be very embarrassed if, by some chance, this is ever published.

When I read your invitation to write about favorite teachers, several of my past teachers immediately came to mind. I thought about why they mean so much to me, and realized with great pride, that my son Chris shares the same characteristics that made my former teachers so outstanding.

It is harder to be a teacher today than it was back in the dark ages when I attended school. I work with teenagers every day in my job as a college and guidance counselor, so I know first hand how difficult it is to capture teenage hearts and minds. What makes a teacher memorable is the teacher's ability to respect their students; to see them for who they are; to believe that they can achieve; to support them as they strive to achieve. If the teacher has intelligence and a command of the subject area, so much the better, but it is the mutual respect that fosters the memorable student /teacher relationship. The teacher needs to like kids, and the kids can sense a phony a mile away.

Chris is a natural; he's bright and funny; he loves his subject and communicates that to his students; he's thoughtful, caring and professional at all times. I know this because I have heard about him from his students, his supervisors and his colleagues. I know this because I know the man my husband and I are fortunate to have raised. My favorite teacher is my son, Chris.

Suzanne Benham


`Get real'

It's time to clear the air of invectives and distortion concerning hunting deer in a controlled hunt on designated open space land in Fairfield. First of all, I cannot imagine, as a hunter and a dog-owner, any gun hunting being allowed in 99 percent of Fairfield's open space, since most are surrounded by fairly densely populated areas. I would not be surprised if all of the hunt was limited to archers. Most archery shots in this kind of terrain range from 15 to 25 yards.

Other towns have found this an effective way to limit their deer populations. There has also not been a single incident reported of an injury to a non-hunter in these hunts. Hunts would also be subject to state laws, meaning that designated hunts would only take place when there was sufficient daylight, as well as all other safety regulations.

Promoting the image of blood-thirsty hunters in full camo running around at all hours with high powered assault rifles is incredibly irresponsible and the worst sort of propaganda. There is also a lie being repeated by some people that hunting "destroys wildlife habitat." Nothing could be further from the truth. Hunting depends on a healthy wildlife habitat, pure and simple. Hunters contribute, through various organizations and license fees, more than any other group to promote and preserve wildlife habitat. I challenge anyone who says the opposite to support this with any factual basis.

If that wasn't enough, I was astounded to read that some of the people opposing the hunt would no longer go to a place where animals are "hunted down and killed." So I guess it's okay to catch a fish, and watch it suffocate in someone's plastic pail, but they're just not cute enough to be concerned about. What hypocrisy!

Fairfield's open spaces are more than just dog parks. They are places to hike and to fish also -- and the deer population is completely out of control. A responsible archery hunt with state-licensed and trained hunters is a viable solution. I would urge anybody to read up on this before they give in to the uninformed hysteria that some people are trying to peddle as "fact."

It's just incredible to me that a group of dog owners who let their pets run loose all over our open space, half the time or more out of sight of the owner, feel they can dictate to the rest of us anything about responsible behavior and wildlife habitat.

Get real.

Geoffrey Kooris


Hwang works hard

for commuters

Thanks to the hard work and persistence of Rep. Tony Hwang (R-134), a member of the Transportation Committee in the Connecticut state legislature, the yellow safety lines on the platforms at the Fairfield Town Center and Southport train stations have been repainted. While commuters might think it's a simple task to repaint these yellow lines, it actually involves close coordination with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and the Metro-North Railroad, among others.

By way of background, when the Parking Authority of Fairfield's manager, Cynthia Placko, spoke with Hwang to express her ongoing frustration in coordinating the project with the ConnDOT, Hwang sprung into action. Almost immediately thereafter, he reached out to the ConnDOT and formally requested that the yellow safety lines at both train stations in town be repainted.

On April 22, a yellow safety line was repainted on the New York-bound platform in Fairfield. When nothing more was done, Hwang followed up again with the appropriate parties and got the job done and got it done right for commuters.

Thanks to Rep. Hwang, commuters now have bright yellow safety lines on the train platforms at both train stations in town, as well as a friendly reminder to "Watch the Gap."

This is not the first time that Hwang has shown support for rail commuters. In the past he has attended Connecticut Rail Commuter Council meetings (an advocacy group for rail commuters) to better educate himself on transportation issues and to bring commuter concerns directly to the attention of the Transportation Committee in Hartford. Moreover, Hwang has promised to stay in touch with the Parking Authority of Fairfield to see how he might be helpful in the future.

As commuters from Fairfield and Southport, as well as members of the Parking Authority of Fairfield, it is clear to us that Hwang is working very hard for commuters that utilize our town's two train stations. Thanks, Tony!

Mary Kay Frost,

Fairfield Representative

and Board Member,

Parking Authority of Fairfield

Michael Herley,

Southport Representative

and Vice Chairman,

Parking Authority of Fairfield