To the Editor:

The events in Charlottesville over the weekend both saddened and angered me. It has been difficult to process those violent images.

My aunt and grandparents and two first cousins were left behind in Italy on our farm during the second World War. The German soldiers came through and devastated the farm. They terrorized my family, killed their livestock, and destroyed their home.

Thankfully, American soldiers came through and repaired as much as they could. My family has loved and been grateful to America and the liberty, freedom, and tolerance it represents ever since.

I never thought I would see Nazis marching in the streets of America in my, my children’s, and now my grandchildren’s lifetime. It has shaken me to the core.

I am proud to say that Connecticut has a long history of civil activism and the creation of organizations that have been key players in creating an America that promotes and defends freedom, liberty, and the civil rights of all people. Connecticut is called the constitution state because it proclaimed in 1639 that the colony would be a government by the free will of its people and not the king of England. This was a very courageous thing to do at that time.

Connecticut and its people were pivotal in eradicating slavery and promoting civil rights throughout the centuries. In a unanimous and bipartisan fashion this year, the General Assembly passed one of the strongest hate crimes laws in the country. This law will protect all citizens of our state no matter their religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, or nationality.

Unfortunately, Connecticut also has been home to some extremist groups during its history, but groups whose beliefs are intolerant and contrary to normal human sensibilities have not flourished here. Any group that professes hate, bigotry, exclusion, and violence should never be tolerated in our state or our country. I would put on notice those who would do harm in any way because of their prejudiced beliefs.

Connecticut can and will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. We have zero tolerance — period.

State Sen. Toni Boucher

Editor’s note: State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, represents the 26th Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

To the Editor:

“Hello, this is Mike Handler, with the 7 p.m. update…”

How many of us have heard that distinctive voice auto-calling New Canaan residents after Hurricane Sandy and other storms?

Now the person behind that reassuring voice is running for governor of Connecticut, a state that could use a lot of reassurance.

Mike Handler, a former finance executive who retired early to enter public service who currently serves as COO/CFO of Stamford, who’s managed that city’s turnaround, who has privatized nursing home care and turned a profit from what had been a loss to the city of Stamford, is running for governor.

Mike Handler, a New Canaan resident, husband and father of four daughters in the New Canaan public school system, who is not only a volunteer EMT, former chief of New Canaan EMS, member of New Canaan Public School Crisis Emergency Board, but is also the unpaid emergency operations director for the town of New Canaan, is running for governor.

Mike is voluntarily running a “clean campaign,” through the Citizens Election Program, aimed to keep special interests and influence out of politics. This means he can only accept maximum contributions of $100, per person, and must adhere to strict financial and disclosure guidelines.

It also means he needs all of our support, TODAY. Please visit www.Handler2018.com, make a donation, read about Mike’s background, what’s he’s done for the city of Stamford, and what he will do for Connecticut. And spread the word!

Let’s use this as a unique opportunity to give back to Mike and say “thank you” for all that he has done and continues to do for us.

Susan Serven

New Canaan

To the Editor:

I write as the executive director of the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut to heartily endorse the work of Grace Farms.

As an organization passionately interested in the promotion of understanding among religious traditions and the strengthening of individuals, communities, and the world through dialogue, self-discovery, and awareness, Grace Farms has been a vital partner in our efforts. Its staff, programming, and facilities create numerous opportunities throughout the year for people to grow in their spiritual self-understanding, to engage respectfully and meaningfully with others across differences, and to find ways to give back and improve the world around them. Grace Farms’ staff and setting are a unique safe space physically in our community and symbolically beyond.

A signature collaboration between the Interfaith Council and Grace Farms is the interfaith seder, where people of Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and other faiths come together to discuss freedom and liberation extant within their respective traditions, central to the Jewish Passover. Hundreds of individuals across all faiths and demographics have been inspired and moved by this program, and we look forward to continuing to provide these opportunities for people by collaborating with Grace Farms.

In a short time, Grace Farms has become an important partner in the critical work of interfaith dialogue, understanding, and collaboration. We could not perform our work without its credibility and support.

Please join us in celebrating and recognizing the unique importance of Grace Farms to the New Canaan community, the wider Fairfield County region, and the larger world.

The Rev. Mark Lingle

Editor’s note: Mark Lingle is the executive director of the Stamford-based Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut.

To the Editor:

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the brains of 202 football players who died. The average age of death was 66 (average life expectancy in USA is 80). Ninety percent of football players had brain damage (CTE-chronic traumatic encephalopathy)!

This included people who played pre-high school, high school, college and professional football. Ninety-nine percent of NFL players had CTE (brain damage). To make things worse, players with CTE had behavioral problems, mood swings, and many had dementia.

If your child gets to play football at the college level, it’s likely he will develop brain damage and psychiatric problems. So we take nice kids, put them on football teams, many take steroids and growth hormones, they receive repeated head trauma, they develop brain damage, psychiatric bad behavior, and become demented.

Is this right? Should we allow this to continue? Should we be surprised when football players abuse their wives? Are we any better than the Romans watching the gladiators?

Dr. Edward H. Schuster

Tully Center

Stamford

To the Editor:

The Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut strongly condemns the white supremacist acts of violence, bigotry and hate in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12.

We mourn the senseless loss of life and offer our deepest condolences to the injured victims of these cowardly acts of terrorism.

We join hands and hope with those who also stand by the values of tolerance, acceptance, dialogue, and respect for the dignity of every human being, regardless of faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and social status.

Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut, Stamford

Dr. Kareem Adeeb, board president

The Rev. Mark Lingle, executive director

The Board of Directors of the Interfaith Council

To the Editor:

Labor Day is both a national toast to the American worker and farewell to the summer season. As summer Fridays and weekend trips to the beach wind down, it’s a great time to celebrate all the hard work we do every day.

So if you’re cracking open a cold one with friends or family this Labor Day, we encourage you to celebrate responsibly and plan ahead to get home safely.

Over the past 35 years, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesaler partners have invested more than $1 billion in the United States to promote alcohol responsibility and help prevent drunk driving. As the local Anheuser-Busch distributor, Dichello Distributors, Inc. is committed to helping keep the local roads safe this Labor Day weekend.

This Labor Day, we’re reminding everyone to designate a driver, get a ride, or take public transport if your celebrations involve alcohol. Whatever you do, care enough to get home safely and help keep our whole community safe.

“Give a damn. Don’t drive drunk. No excuses.”

Tony Lota

Alcohol Awareness Coordinator for Dichello Distributors, Inc., Orange