An open letter to

Walker and Murphy

Dear Selectman Walker and Ms. Murphy:

I read with interest your joint Op-Ed piece in today's New Canaan News (May 20, 2010), and cannot help but feel that the boat's been missed when calling for increased support of shopping local to aid the "crown jewel" of our downtown.

Certainly that's a good call. I agree wholeheartedly that the townsfolk should support our local businesses, yet everyone -- regardless of the level of their bank account -- is facing a reduction in their financial prowess, whether it be from loss of job, reduction in property values or financial market breakdowns resulting in a much smaller investment egg than that which they enjoyed several years ago.

Why buy boneless chicken breasts from a local grocery that charges $11.99 per pound when one can get the same quality boneless breasts at a grocery less than 5 miles away for a mere $1.99 per pound? Who would be so foolish as to spend $10 more dollars per pound than necessary?

I have lived in New Canaan for 23 years and raised my two children here. I, too, rue the empty storefronts in our quaint little village, however, increased spending in current establishments is not going to yield the panacea to fix the town. Even if one chose to do so, spending that extra $10 per pound for chicken breasts here in New Canaan is not enough to save our commercial entities.

The one aspect sorely missing from your Op-Ed is the biggest segment of the problem: the sky-high rents of all those little quaint storefronts, and the greed of the landlords who own them.

Finger-pointing is unnecessary. They know who they are, and so do many others -- especially those folks who once had businesses along Main and Elm and were forced to close their enterprises when their landlords raised rents to exorbitant levels.

We bemoan the loss of "the little guys," yet the only businesses that can afford to pay the outrageous rents along Main and Elm are the big chain stores and conglomerates; thus, if the town cannot exert some influence on the landlords to lower their expectations, we might as well get ready to have our quaint little town turn into another commercial mecca, à la Westport.

Jan Golon

Y thanks Exchange

Club for grant

To the Editor:

We wish to thank the Exchange Club for supporting the New Canaan YMCA with a generous grant of $4,000 to offset the costs of our mandatory employee and volunteer background check program. With the club's support, the YMCA is able to conduct a rigorous screening on every employee we hire -- as well as every volunteer working directly with our children. In 2009 alone, the YMCA performed 149 background checks, including all new full- and part-time employees, basketball league volunteers, Y-Guide and Princess chiefs and program chaperones.

Since 2005, the Exchange Club has been a valued partner in our efforts to make our community a safer one for all children. The New Canaan YMCA serves more than 5,000 children each year, and more than 500 children pass through our doors each day. The Exchange Club has made a difference for every one of them.

This is the sixth consecutive year that Exchange has supported our child abuse prevention efforts, and the club has played an instrumental role in helping us to conduct close to 1,000 screenings since 2005.

We encourage the community to support the Exchange Club's very worthwhile efforts to prevent child abuse in any way they can.

Again, our sincere thanks for helping the Y fulfill its mission of enriching all people in spirit, mind, and body.

Peter Skaperdas, Board President

Craig Panzano, Exec. Director

Response to Abramowitz's letters

To the Editor:

In recent letters, Mr. Roy Abramowitz has voiced concerns over the federal budget, claiming that Democrats and the Obama administration have taken measures contrary to good accounting practices.

What he has not said is more important than what he has said. He neglected to note that the Clinton administration handed its Republican successors a budget surplus, only to see the Bush administration saddle the country with its largest deficit in history. The Bush administration generated unfunded programs such as the Medicare D, and pursued an unnecessary war in Iraq, which has cost us $1 trillion so far. And to make sure the government couldn't pay for these programs, the Bush tax cuts lowered tax revenues. In doing so, the Bush administration was following movement conservatives' plan to "starve the beast," ultimately to do away with such programs as Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

Not only did these steps weaken these programs for all Americans, they also served to concentrate wealth in the hands of an increasingly smaller fraction of the population, shifting welfare from individuals to corporations.

As if this were not enough, the Bush administration's goal of dismantling everything regulatory undercut financial oversight of the markets and helped to usher in the Great Recession. That further sapped the ability of all levels of government to pay for programs, and caused deep economic misery for of Americans.

So that's what the current Congress and administration were handed a little more than a year ago. Mr. Abramowitz's silence on the fiscal recklessness of Republicans and the Bush administration strongly suggests that he favors keeping two sets of books, one for Democrats and another for Republicans, and that he holds Democrats to financial standards from which he exempts Republicans. So much for good accounting practices.

Sanford Steever

Response to David Kostek's May 20 letter

Mr. Kostek:

Referring to your article of May 20, 2010, Mr. Kostek, I state supportable facts, not bizarre claims. The only bizarre aspect is that you refuse to address the issues, go off on tangents and spew mistruths.

The latest and truly bizarre quote I recently heard was from your Connecticut State Attorney General, now senatorial candidate Richard Blumenthal, who claimed that he wore the military uniform in Vietnam and that when we all came back from "our service" in Vietnam we were booed and harassed. That he spent many years serving in Vietnam. Attorney General Blumenthal never served a day in Vietnam. This mistruth is a crime pursuant to the "Stolen Valor Act."

What about your Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano trying to infuriate the citizenry by claiming that the Arizona Immigration Legislation is deplorable and racially profiles. However they both admit that they did not read the legislation but oppose it. That is bizarre and reckless.

I am only allowed 350 words so I need to stop here.

I trust you, Mr. Kostek also have not read any of the Health Care Legislation, otherwise you would not embarrass yourself by denying the facts I have stated.

In fact, the denying of immediate health care, which the legislation purports, could hurt the pre-natal care of an unborn. You state that I oppose pre-natal care, I think not. Over the years my wife and I have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to orphanages, children's charities, medical charities and the like. In addition we serve on the board and executive committees of many charities. This is the American way, not unfunded mandates, as economic scholars purport will bankrupt America.

Keynesian economics, the keystone of democratic policy, does not work -- look at Greece, Portugal and the rest of the Euro-zone.

Republicans are out-spoken because we want to save the country we love and stop the economic disaster the Democratic Party has legislated.

Your call for Republicans and Independents to defect to your socialistic experiment is failing. Look at Saturdays election in Hawaii. The Republican Party won a Congressional Seat the Democratics held in Obama's home district. Now who is going, going, gone?

Roy A. Abramowitz

Republican Town Committee Treasurer

Open letter to

Ed Chrostowski

Dear Mr. Chrostowski:

I was pleased that in your recent column about the new Arizona law (Senate Bill 1070) concerning illegal immigration that you mentioned some of the problems that the legal residents of Arizona (of all ethnic and racial backgrounds) are facing which prompted this law.

I understand that people may disagree with this law, but I would like the discussion to be based on the facts. When you wrote it is "a law that requires -- not just allows, but requires -- police to demand proof of citizenship from people if there is `reasonable suspicion' of their legal status in the country. Failure to furnish that proof -- not only to have it, but to produce it on demand -- can land a person in jail," you failed to mention that that suspicion cannot be the reason that the person is stopped by the officer. AZ Senate Bill 1070 requires a law enforcement official ... "when lawful contact is made and reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, to reasonably attempt, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person." The officer may not stop anyone simply because he suspects he is an illegal immigrant --"lawful contact" must first have occurred because another law, such as a speeding law, has been broken. There are additional safeguards to prevent racial profiling. For the past seventy years federal law has required all aliens in the United States to carry on their person, certain papers.

You mention, "Clearly, Mexico ought to be made to feel the pressures for improvements that would make more of its nationals want to stay home." Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who has said, the law opens the door "to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement," complained to President Obama and Congress last week. The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset "the equilibrium of the national demographics." That seems to be racial and ethnic profiling to me. Mexico's Ley General de Población (General Law of the Population) says visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens' arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities. Immigrants must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Perhaps President Calderone should reflect on his country's laws before criticizing ours.

Mary-Ellen McDonald