‘Drink Wiser’ this Halloween

To the editor:

A little mischief can be fun around Halloween, but it’s important to act responsibly whenever alcohol is involved. This October, it’s vital to enjoy responsibly and “Drink Wiser” as you’re celebrating the spookiest of holidays.

Budweiser’s new responsible drinking campaign, “Drink Wiser,” promotes the idea that responsible drinking is fairly easy.

If you plan on a boozy Halloween this year, take advice from Budweiser’s new “Drink Wiser” campaign and practice two specific responsible drinking behaviors:

1. Plan ahead for safe rides.

2. Hydrate between brews.

Since the launch of Anheuser-Busch’s first responsible drinking campaign in 1982, the brewer and its wholesaler partners, including Dichello Distributors Inc., have invested more than $1 billion in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote alcohol responsibility and prevent drunk driving and harmful drinking behaviors. Alcohol-related fatalities have decreased 51 percent since then, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Drunk driving and binge drinking are 100 percent preventable, so make the smart choice this Halloween. Just remember to “Drink Wiser” and help make our community safer for all.

Tony Lota

Dichello Distributors, Inc., Orange

Support for Ross Tartell

To the editor:

I met Ross Tartell shortly after my husband and I moved to Connecticut 23 years ago. Since then, I have come to know Ross as a man of purpose and of the highest integrity.

I have watched him get actively involved in his town, as well as in his church and synagogue. Ross takes his commitments seriously and brings his best self to the table every time. It is just who he is. He listens well, is exceptional at seeing both sides of an issue, and takes an “all things possible” approach when solving issues.

I have no doubt he will bring his dedicated work ethic to Hartford. I am thrilled that he is running for state representative and am proud to support him.

Amy Collins

Wilton

Vote Thad Gray for state treasurer

To the editor:

For Connecticut voters, 2018 will be remembered as the year that we elected new leaders to three very important open statewide offices: governor, state treasurer and attorney general.

Focusing on the Connecticut Office of the State Treasurer, I have been very impressed with the credentials and temperament of an “upstate” candidate named Thaddeus (Thad) Gray. Connecticut will benefit when a candidate comes forward with decades of success in the private sector like Thad Gray, and offers to go through our political process and get elected to lead this undermanaged office.

I recently learned the Office of the Treasurer was established following the adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut way back in 1638.

The treasurer is the chief elected fiscal officer for state government, overseeing a wide range of activities regarding the prudent management of state funds. This includes the administration of a portfolio of $34 billion in pension assets that benefits more than 190,000 teachers and state employees and also manages a short-term investment fund utilized by agencies of municipal and state governments.

Following his completion of an MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Thad Gray has spent his professional life investing and managing money, highlighted by his decadelong service as a chief investment officer and executive committee member for a successful investment firm. If given the opportunity, he will “hit the ground running” and make a significant contribution to our state government’s leadership structure.

Voters of both parties and especially “unaffiliated” voters can help get Thad Gray elected as state treasurer of Connecticut on Nov. 6, 2018.

James T. O’Hora

New Canaan RTC

Himes a fiscally responsible advocate for health care coverage

To the editor:

For 30 years, I have cared for five chronically ill children in addition to a child with neurologically-based developmental and seizure disorders. It has been challenging to meet the demands inherent to nurturing children with a rare genetic disorder while trying to maintain a sense of normalcy. As difficult as it has been to find a possible cure, I have never lost sight of the fact that we are fortunate because we have great health insurance through my husband’s employer.

As an advocate for those impacted by chronic illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities, I have met many families facing much more devastating realities due to a lack of access to appropriate, comprehensive health care. I have thus become a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act and expanded Medicare, which is the imperfect framework for a system that will ultimately support all Americans without discrimination.

Congressman Jim Himes is a champion of universal health care who understands that large medical bills are a financial strain on both families and the state. Repealing the ACA will leave millions of Americans — hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Connecticut residents — in a perilous position, and will jeopardize the 52 million Americans currently diagnosed with preexisting conditions. This is not simply morally reprehensible: eliminating the ACA thrusts the burden of medical invoices — which are much larger for emergent needs than preventative and long-term care — onto Hartford, which is currently facing financial ruin. I strongly urge you to vote for Jim in November.

Elaine MacKenzie

New Canaan

Why I choose to run

The journey to elective office is challenging, often difficult, and always demanding. So, what would motivate anyone to do it? It is an extraordinary opportunity afforded to only a few — an opportunity to effect a change for good. For me, it is that and so much more, fueled by a respect for our system of government, passion about today’s issues, and the desire to help people navigate the maze of a massive government bureaucracy.

But, most of all, it is my gratitude for the American principles of inclusion and opportunity for all people that opened the door to me and my family.

Our story is like many others. I was born in a small farmhouse in Italy where my brother and I were supervised by a sheep dog as we played alone while adults tended the fields. Our two uncles had immigrated to the U.S. before WWII and were farmers in Wallingford and Woodbridge. My parents sold all that they had to sail to America to join them in search for a better life. With only a grammar school education, my father’s respect for educated people was reflected in his daily missive to us: “Education is everything. It is the way out of poverty and the path to freedom.” We took that to heart, and with the community’s help, hard work and scholarships, my parents lived to see the first in the family to graduate from elementary school, high school, college and graduate school.

My gratitude is reflected in the desire to “pay it forward,” which has motivated my public service career. That started, honoring my father’s passion, as Board of Education chair, a member of the Board of Selectman and as a gubernatorial appointee to the State Board of Education. I have been privileged to serve on the State House of Representatives Education and Higher Education Leadership Committees and now in the state Senate as Chief Deputy Leader and Education Committee co-chair. Throughout this time, I have also been working in and growing private businesses while raising my three children in this beautiful state we call home.

The state that was the envy of the country and that gave me and my family every opportunity to succeed is now in serious financial trouble. People and companies can no longer afford to stay here. Our economy is shrinking. It will take someone with knowledge of how government functions; has managed large and small businesses; and has the trust of the district to make the changes Connecticut needs to move forward. I commit to continue to fight for you and for a better Connecticut.

President Lincoln said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” To earn your pride and trust has always been my goal. This is an honor to serve and why I choose to run.

Toni Boucher

Candidate for state Senate