Kids are lucky

to have Outback

To the Editor:

As an incoming ninth-grade student at New Canaan High School, I have had the opportunity to attend events and hang out at the Outback Teen Center. I have realized now how lucky we are as a town to have a teen center like this.

From a ninth-grade point of view, I think that the teen center is a very safe place for teens to hang out. There are no drugs, alcohol or smoking in or around the teen center. Many concerned parents have been worried that the teen center is a place where children learn bad habits; however, they are completely wrong. I have learned many good habits such as self defense, self discipline and the difference between right and wrong. Not only have I learned skills here, the teen center allows me to be away from home for a few hours, which is a positive thing.

The Outback has many activities going on and great people and staff working. When there is a day where you feel like being a bum at home, this is the place to go! They have a Wii, and an Xbox 360, with the advantage of the many games upon request. They have T-rated games and minimal M-rated games but you have to be old enough to play them, which the staff checks. The Outback also has ping-pong, pool, foosball, board games and "outdoor" games you can play up stairs. They consist of volleyball, bean bag toss and horseshoes.

As you can see the outback has put a lot of money and time into getting these games and planning these activities. The staff is very helpful. You can go to them for anything and the teens that come are morally good and never skip a beat. The events are planned by a wonderful high school group, the SGB, Student Governing Board. Some nights there will be dances and other nights there are movies. The Outback also provides yoga classes and after-school activities. These events range from being free to $3 for members and $5 to $15 for non-members.

I personally would like to thank Lacey Bartlett, the executive director. She puts in a lot of hard work to keep the Outback clean, exciting and overall, just up and running. If it was not for you, Lacey, the Outback would not be the same. We love you and thank you for what you have done. Personally I feel grateful for all your hard work and enthusiasm.

For all the teens out there who are bored and have nothing to do, come by to the Outback and really see how fun and great this place really is.

Raven Killinger

New Canaan

Vote Malloy for governor

To the Editor:

I urge my fellow Democrats to get to the polls on Tuesday and vote for Dan Malloy for governor. Dan has a proven track record of leadership, innovation and fiscal responsibility. He is committed to Clean Elections and when he gets to Hartford he'll owe no one but the voters of Connecticut.

Dan has a clear agenda to move the state forward which can be found on his website www.danmalloy.com. Dan did a great job as mayor of Stamford and he will do the same as governor. He is the endorsed candidate of the Democratic party.

If you won't be in town on Aug. 10, go to Town Hall and vote absentee. Vote for Dan Malloy for governor.

Beth Jones

New Canaan

DTC endorses

primary candidates

To the Editor:

Aug. 10 is the primary for the Democratic offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and comptroller. Please vote for the candidate of your choice. I have been well informed as chairwoman of the Democratic Town Committee and am pleased to endorse the candidates whom the DTC has endorsed, they are Dan Malloy for governor, Nancy Wyman for lieutenant governor, Denise Merrill for secretary of state and Kevin Lembo for comptroller.

If you are interested in learning more about these candidates or the candidates running against them, I encourage you to go to the New Canaan Democratic website at www.newcanaandems.info for a review of candidates and links to the candidate's websites.

So remember, vote Aug. 10, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at your usual polling place.

Ginny Apy, Chairwoman

New Canaan

Democratic Town Committee

An open letter to State Rep. John Hetherington

Hi, John:

I urge you to make auto and boat registrations valid for the life of the vehicle. Other states, like Texas, do this. A passport is good for 10 years. There is no reason to re-register a vehicle every two years. I still own it. Why should I have to renew the registration? This is government waste. It is a most inefficient way to collect money -- it's simply mailing pieces of paper back and forth, providing employment for some DMV people, and annoying taxpayers. I have a small boat, and the registration must be renewed each year for a fee of $7.50. For that, DMV sends me a renewal form -- "Must Open Immediately." I write a check and mail it back, and DMV mails me back a sticker to put on my boat. The paper, printing, postage and employee time for two printings, two mailings, a collection and a deposit, are far more than the fee. What a waste of time and money!

I resent the hassle of "renewing" a registration, one of the few connections I have with state government. It's a negative. Please do what you can to make state government efficient and make vehicle and boat registrations valid for the period in which I own the vehicle. Other states are doing it.

I've written you for several years about this, John. Please act to make our state government efficient.

Peter Hanson

New Canaan

Support Mike Murray

To the Editor:

As many of you know, I have been supporting Mike Murray for probate judge. Mike and his law firm, Ivy, Barnum and O'Meara have been handling most of my legal work for the past 20 years and I have the utmost confidence in Mike's abilities. I also believe that Mike Murray's business ties within the New Canaan community and his residency and civic involvement in Darien make him uniquely qualified to merge these two probate courts into a new and efficient entity.

I hope you will come out and vote for Mike in the Aug. 10 Republican primary.

Rob Mallozzi III

New Canaan Board of Selectmen

An open letter to First Selectman Jeb Walker

Hi, Jeb:

I think it's time that New Canaan had an online tax payment system that is free to the user. A $450 "convenience fee" for an $18,000 payment is not convenient for me -- what "Official Payments," New Canaan's web payment service, charges. Nantucket, Mass., has a system that works well and was put in by their bank. It's free and quick and easy for me, and saves me a trip to the post office. And it saves the tax collector depositing checks and keying in deposit information, along with inevitable errors and returned checks.

It took the IRS a few years to realize that online filing is in their interest. I hope that we can see that online payments are in our town's interest.

I wrote you and Louis Andronaco in November 2009 about this. I've received no answer from Louise, and you said "I'll look into it." Please do what you can to bring New Canaan tax payment options up to date.

Peter Hanson

New Canaan

John Ryan has public

service experience

To the Editor:

I have been following the media coverage and the Letters to the Editors concerning the upcoming primary for the newly combined Darien / New Canaan Probate Court. As someone who has long been active in town government and other organizations, I am observing a very interesting situation.

There are two candidates that I am not at all familiar with, and then there is John Ryan. John has dependably and responsibly served us over the years on the Darien RTM, as chairman of our board of ethics, and for seven terms as the state representative for the 141st District.

I hope that voters will remember how John kept state government from crippling our Post 53 and Safe Rides and passed laws to help our veterans and our volunteer firemen. John has what neither of the other candidates possesses: a lengthy record, not only of honesty and integrity, but also of commitment to our community.

Being a probate judge who will make sensitive decisions involving our personal lives is a very large responsibility. I am voting for a candidate who as an attorney has represented many of our families for more than 30 years in Darien and New Canaan. He is widely respected in his profession and is a proven public servant of long standing.

Please join me in urging your friends and neighbors to vote for John Ryan for probate judge on Aug. 10.

Carolyn Miller

Darien

Support Dibecella at primary

To the Editor:

Voters in Fairfield County will have the choice of polar opposites in the upcoming November Congressional election. One alternative is to continue with the failed policies of the stimulus, the government takeover of health care, the profligate spending in Washington, the huge deficit, and the tax increases that are sure to come. The other alternative is smaller government, reduced spending and financial sanity that will come with the election of State Senator Dan Debicella as our Congressman in November.

Dan Debicella is the Republican Party endorsed candidate with 77 percent of the delegate vote at the state convention. His two major opponents, State Sen. Robert Russo and Easton First Selectman Tom Herrmann, both dropped out of the race and are supporting Dan Debicella. Neither of Dan Debicella's opponents in the Republican primary, Rob Merkle and Rick Torres, obtained sufficient delegate votes to participate in a primary, but obtained the necessary signatures to force a primary. Neither has ever held elected public office. Dan Debicella is a second-term state senator who has been fighting hard against the super-majority in Hartford to bring fiscal conservatism to our state.

I urge you to vote for Dan Debicella on Tuesday, Aug. 10. He has demonstrated through his business experience, his legislative experience in the State Senate and his positions on the issues that he is the only Republican candidate who will truly represent his Fairfield County constituents and who can defeat Jim Himes in November to restore fiscal sanity to our country.

Charles Wessendorf

Wilton

Support Osterndorf Aug. 10

To the Editor:

I have had the pleasure of knowing Bill Osterndorf since he was my son's soccer coach seven years ago. Since that time, not a season has gone by that Bill did not give of his time on behalf of the youth of New Canaan. He has devoted countless hours coaching sports each season year in and year out. He has been a dedicated fixture in youth sports in New Canaan for many years.

Bill exhibits all of the qualities that we try to instill in our children. Bill is a roll model for our youth and the New Canaan community is richer for his involvement. Bill is a warm and friendly mentor for his young charges. He exhibits the qualities that our sons and daughters need to see practiced on a day to day basis.

Bill is a kind and compassionate task master insisting that his players be good sportsmen to other teams and loyal and responsible to his team mates. He is honest, fair, dedicated and compassionate. Bill maintains a calm and steady composure regardless of what is happening on the field of play. And while he wants his teams to win he takes enormous pains to be sure that all of the players, good athletes or not so good athletes, are treated equally and with respect.

Bill is a dedicated husband and father and an integral contributor to the community of New Canaan. The most important quality for any judge is that he or she possesses what has been referred to as "judicial temperament." Bill Osterndorf personifies judicial temperament. Further, he is an experienced and fully engaged attorney who has practiced in the area of probate law as well as tax law and is the best equipped to handle the job of Judge of Probate. Political affiliations do not qualify someone to take on the various issues that are dealt with every day as Judge of Probate.

Bill Osterndorf is totally qualified and suited to the postion of Judge of Probate.

Kathy Paladino

Endorsement for Mike Murray

To the Editor:

I have known Mike Murray, who is running for Judge of Probate for New Canaan and Darien, for well over 25 years and I can think of no other candidate is this race that would make a better probate judge.

For those who have yet to meet Mike, he is a person of great integrity and of the highest character who has been an influential member of our community for many years. I fully endorse his candidacy and trust that other members of our community will also turn-out for the Aug. 10 primaries to support Mike's candidacy for Judge of Probate for New Canaan and Darien.

J.P. McNichol