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Guest Commentary

No secret trials in CT

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly are to be commended for their 2015 “Second Chance Society” legislation, reversing racist laws that filled our jails with nonviolent drug users, most of them African-American and Latino.

But it is ill-advised to pursue announced policies emanating from that corrective action; especially plans for secret trials of defendants in their early 20s.

The 40th anniversary of FOI in Connecticut

The Connecticut Freedom of Information (FOI) Act is 40 years old. In reflecting on this milestone, I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at its passage from a historical perspective, comparing the beginning of Connecticut’s FOI Act in 1975 to the beginning of the federal FOI Act in 1966. Their births were very different but equally fascinating — I’d call it “a tale of two laws.” 

Where’s the beef?

The teacher said, “Keep doing it over until you get it right.” That’s what the South Amenia Presbyterian Church has been doing with its roast-beef dinners for 50 years or more. A series of master chefs has been responsible for these: Ralph Honour, Doug Greene Sr., Gary Honour, Ralph Vinchiarello, Louis Johnson, Randy Christensen and now John Tripp and his custom-made cooker.

Climate change: It’s time for a reality check

Mitigating the impact of global warming will be the most significant social, economic, political and security challenge of the 21st century. Nevertheless, global warming and climate change appear to be anathema to conservative Republicans. The topic is simply being ignored or dismissed as “junk science” or a hoax perpetuated by left-wing alarmists and academics.

Open government foes are winning

With eroded powers and under continuing attack, Connecticut’s first-of-a-kind Freedom of Information Act turned 40 on Thursday, Oct. 1.

I am no Donald Trump

Since I first got interested in politics as a teenager, I’ve encountered people who thought I was a mean-spirited anti-intellectual lacking compassion for others. In other words, people have long thought I was Donald Trump.

You shouldn’t need a lobbyist to testify on taxes

Connecticut lawmakers appointed a panel of citizens and experts to study tax reform in our state. The tax panel’s goal is to recommend a better way — or ways — to raise the same amount of revenue (sometimes called revenue neutral tax reform). The panel held a public hearing this week. I’ll come back to that.

Big differences in local spending, opportunities for better value

Nearly half of the state and local taxes paid in Connecticut are property taxes. Yet the cost of running a town on a per-person basis ranged dramatically from $7,333 (Westport) to $2,363 (Putnam) based on 2012 data, meaning the most expensive towns spend three times as much per person as the least expensive towns. There are 169 municipalities in Connecticut.

Big differences in spending, chances for better value

Nearly half of the state and local taxes paid in Connecticut are property taxes. Yet the cost of running a town on a per-person basis ranged dramatically from $7,333 (Westport) to $2,363 (Putnam) based on 2012 data, meaning the most expensive towns spend three times as much per person as the least expensive towns. There are 169 municipalities in Connecticut.