Keep local

merchants alive

After reading the letter by Tom and Lara Linsenmeyer of Fairfield about patronizing local merchants (Fairfield Center Jewelers in particular) -- it got me thinking of my own experiences with many of the merchants on the Post Road. Local shopping in Fairfield is so convenient.

Years ago, more than 40 now, we moved to Fairfield. Our house is a few blocks from the center of town -- close to the train, the beach and much more. Mercurio's not only became my grocery store but a meeting place and sort of second family. Sorry to see them go, but now we have The Pantry that more than fills that void. When I was painting the fire hydrants as British Redcoats for the bicentennial, the local paint stores, Class Printing and many other establishments were there to help in a variety of ways.

We are so lucky to have a community that is a real community with a heart that truly cares. Much thanks goes to the Chamber of Commerce for its countless hours of service. On the Post Road in our center of town you can: have your breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of our many, many restaurants; get your hair or nails done; see your doctor or dentist; browse around at the book store or go to the library; do your banking; visit the Farmer's Market; have your prescription filled; buy a new dress or suit or even a bike; have your dry cleaning or laundry done; fix your car, fill it up with gas; or just sit at the gazebo and relax and listen to music. You can even take your pet to the vet. There is a live theater as well as a movie theater to entertain. And if you need help, just around the corner there is the police station and the fire department. Operation Hope is there to offer help and hope to those who need it. And don't forget the Fairfield Museum and History Center to learn about our fabulous history.

Add the convenience to the train, bus and Interstate 95. Wow -- we do have it all! Then there is the YMCA, churches, schools and of course, the beaches. We are so blessed. I do miss Fairfield Department Store, Bonny Electric, Henry's, Gene's, Timothy's Ice Cream, Baskin Robbins, Mercurio's, Cindy's and Koenig's Art Emporium, but as one door closes another one opens. Patronize our local merchants and keep them alive and well. Needless to say, I'm happy to call Fairfield my home.

Jeanne Harrison


One-sided kidnapping

I suppose, to some extent, it is a moot point to perpetuate the analyzing of what allowed our government's latest feckless decision, that being approving the health care debacle, to turn out the way it did. However, it is getting really monotonous to continually hear the sophomoric diatribe about Republicans being obstructionists and not willing to engage in bi-partisan politics. Apart from the fact that you need the Rosetta Stone to decipher it's contents due to the rhetorical gymnastics it contains, another reality is the fact that approximately 40 Democrats voted against the bill. Seeing that only Democrats voted in favor, doesn't that show that the passage itself was clearly partisan? A one-sided kidnapping of nearly 20 percent of our economy?

What are we to consider the liberals who saw the bill as a mistake? I might call them enlightened. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Democrat of Massachusetts, was one such dissenter, perhaps that is due to the fact that his state had implemented a government-run health care policy and he saw firsthand what a nightmare it turned out to be. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Democrat of South Dakota, also spurned the bill because, apparently, the Pelosi fog machine was not thick enough to conceal the fact that bill would fail to bring down the deficit.

Rep. Michael McMahon, Democrat of New York, voted against it because he stated the fact that it would hurt small business and bring more new taxes (is that even possible?). It is a life lesson that often times we must suffer and experience pain and regret in order to move forward in the direction of more pleasant pastures.

Lets just hope this period not only adds resolve to those already willing to fight for our country and its success, but also awakens those who have become complacent and anesthetized to join the cause. Perhaps the Republicans should embrace the liberals moniker of them as "the party of no." No more taxes, no more government expansion, no more nanny-state politics.

Joe Miro


Rabbits are not

Easter gifts

Do you know someone who is planning on buying a rabbit for Easter? A toy stuffed bunny or chocolate bunny will make a much better gift. We want to share that rabbits are a 10- to 12-year life commitment, need daily care and interaction from the family, and need a rabbit savvy vet for their health care.

Rabbits are fragile creatures. They have a lighter bone structure than do dogs or cats and easily break their spines if dropped. Baby bunnies are adorable and may allow you to hold them. A baby bunny will mature in two months or so, and often, will no longer tolerate being held. Powerful hind legs can scratch and sharp teeth can bite. Unsterilized rabbits may spray and mark their territory, just like cats. Unspayed females are territorial and may attack little hands that enter the cage. A rabbit must be spayed or neutered to eliminate these undesirable behaviors and possible health issues such as cancer.

In the days, weeks and months following Easter, our local animal shelters will be, inundated with discarded homeless bunnies. Sadly, this "dumping" continues each year and hundreds of new bunnies will be discarded and risk being euthanized for lack of adoptive homes. Some never get the chance of food care at a shelter but find themselves released into the wild. Unlike wild rabbits, pet rabbits cannot fend for themselves. The rabbit won't survive for more than a day or two on his own.

Rabbits do make wonderful pets for the right family. After your Easter celebration, please contact us for more information if you are interested in providing a loving, indoor home for 10--12 years. Please adopt, don't buy.

The House Rabbit Connection (HRC) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that rescues homeless rabbits and arranges to have them spayed or neutered. Our foster sites care for the rabbits by litter box training, socializing, and providing a warm and loving home while seeking appropriate, permanent indoor homes for them.

Deb Young, Education Chairman,

Paula J. Raposa, President,

House Rabbit Connection Inc.

Springfield, Mass.

Tell RPA to go away

In 2008, Flatto got the elected Town Planning and Zoning Commission (TPZ) to hire on a not-for-proftit advocacy group, the New York City-based Regional Planning Association (RPA), to do a study of the 300 acres surrounding the new Fairfield Metro Center. However, the TPZ has left the oversight of this work up to the director of community and economic development, Mark Barnhart, who is neither under their direct supervision nor the direct supervision of their direct report, Planning Director Joseph Devonshuk.

That setup doesn't comply with the town charter but when has that ever mattered in Fairfield? I bring all this up not because of the obvious flaunting of the town charter but because Barnhart, who takes his every cue form Flatto, has been the project director of the Fairfield Metro Center for more than five years now and anybody who has looked at the detail of his performance knows he has been at the center of the disastrous project and the frequent lack of quality information about its progress or often lack thereof..

Secondarily, but probably more importantly on the issue, the sleepy town folk of Fairfield need to know that the RPA is, first and foremost, a not-for-profit association with an agenda to turn Fairfield County into the sixth borough of New York City. One way the RPA pushes is agenda is to get clueless agencies like the Fairfield TPZ to hire them on as a professional planning consultants, which is a function only secondary to their advcoacy mission.

So far the only transparent operations of this so-called professional planning has amounted to the RPA held local "charrettes" with "stakeholders" in 2008 and 2009 with the express purpose of introducing the town folk to the RPA's mission and for the RPA to get a feel for how to best market their agenda to the local politicians. The rest of the effort, behind the scenes, is about Barnhart and the RPA developing a marketing strategy to get the TPZ, and the town folk, to agree to incorporate Fairfield into the sixth borough of the Big Apple. As far as I am concerned the Big Apple does just fine with five boroughs. Hopefully, the TPZ will in the end tell the RPA to go away.

Pay attention. Watch what they do, not what they say!

Jim Brown


Reduce compensation

Redington Jahnke claimed on March 26, "Health insurers not demons, (they are) just messengers." A personal experience can blow away any false statement.

What messenger collects $1,000 a month from a client then refuses to pay for a Bridgeport Hospital operation by falsely calling it a "preexisting condition?" For more than a year, Blue Cross/Blue Shield refused to pay and then claimed they never received medical records proving the claim false, even after many additional records sent to them. This frustrating communication continued for one year until my wife threatened to remain in their office until someone personally accepted the records. At that point, one year to the day, Blue Cross/Blue Shield admitted they had the records and agreed to pay the Hospital charges.

How many millions of dollars have these insurance "messengers" scammed from less persist ant clients, while continuing to raise their exorbitant premiums?

Anthem Blue Cross advised about 800,000 customers that it's premiums will be increased again in March ... and to expect adjustments to be made "more frequently." Brokers claim their customers are angry over increases of 30 to 39 percent.

President Barack Obama's health care program should pave the way to controlling health care premiums, as well as spiralling costs of pharmaceuticals and hospitals.

Aetna's Ronald Williams received $24,300,112 last year. That's $467,309.85 per week. That's a house. The man makes a house a week. And if Mr. Williams were to eschew the purchase of a house one week instead deposit the money in a bank -- in order to remain FDIC insured (up to $250,000) -- he would actually need to open more than one account -- every week.

Corporate messenger salaries:

Aetna, Ronald A. Williams: $24,300,112

Cigna, H. Edward Hanway: $12,236,740

Coventry, Dale Wolf: $9,047,469

Health Net, Jay Gellert: $4,425,355

Humana, Michael McCallister: $4,764,309

U. Health Group, Stephen J. Hemsley: $3,241,042

Wellpoint, Angela Braly: $9,844,210

A reduction in CEO and executive Health Insurance compensation might be considered.

Dick De Witt