Monthly Archives: June 2006

Scott Slifka, lieutenant governor?

Scott Slifka

Scott Slifka

I barely know Dan Malloy or John DeStefano,the Democrats who hope to be governor, but I know them each enough to recognize they’d each be a vast improvement over our current grandmotherly, do-nothing Gov. Jodi Rell.

DeStefano seems the scrappier, dirtier, do-whatever-it-takes guy in the Democratic contest, which might give him the advantage for the August 8 primary. Malloy seems more like Dick Blumenthal, smoother and more polished, probably the one closer to the ideal governor but perhaps less likely to win over Rell.

Scott Slifka, our young mayor, has tied his political fortunes to DeStefano. That strikes me as a good bet for a rising politician. Nobody’s going to hold it against Slifka if the ticket loses, but he gains stature and recognition just for being there. I’m sure he’s not going to be one of those mad dog campaigners in the second slot. In fact, he’ll probably follow Rell’s lead during her years as disgraced ex-Gov. Rowland’s lieutenant and just go around where he can saying nice things about good programs and people, winning hearts without losing any votes.

Does West Hartford gain anything? If Rell wins, we’ll probably be fine — as long as Slifka isn’t too harsh during the race. And if DeStefano wins, we’ll be sitting pretty.

In any case, there’s not much doubt that West Hartford as a whole gains substantially if the Democrats win the governor’s race because this is a Democratic city that has lots of voters, lots of money and lots of insiders who are right there when the decisions get made in Hartford.

We have nothing to gain from re-electing Rell, who might be okay for Connecticut but doesn’t do anything special for West Hartford. Malloy and DeStefano are much more apt to help us with property tax relief, more school aid and more pork barrel spending that helps our community get new stuff that we can use, even if we don’t need it in the strictest sense of the word.

And if DeStefano wins, there’s always a chance that Slifka will become governor someday. That would be cool.

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Filed under Politics, Town government

Rain, rain , go away

There's just been entirely too much rain this spring.

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Student gets to go to graduation

Lisa Backus has a pretty good writeup in today’s West Hartford News about the goings-on in federal court in Bridgeport that led school officials to change their mind about letting Francisco Acevedo graduate with his Conard class Wednesday.

It’s pretty clear that Acevedo was a little too agitated while he taped a police officer manhandling a fellow student. But it’s also crystal clear that Irene Zytka, an assistant principal, was out of line in shouting at the student to stop taping. Acevedo has every right to use his camera to record an event happening on government property that he thinks is improper. The school administration ought to know that.

Still, I’m glad that cooler heads prevailed — thanks, Judge Stefan Underhill for forcing them all to compromise — and that at least one little injustice was fixed in time.

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New senior center at Bishop’s Corner

Drove by today and saw that the addition to the library is nearly done. It looks pretty good. The town, and our seniors, should be happy. It’s a good spot for the center.

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Filed under Town government

Suspending seniors at Hall

Oh, c’mon. They’re not going to let some seniors go to graduation because they tried to make a concrete 2006 in some grass outside the school?

I mean, it’s a lame prank, but they tried. That’s something. And they didn’t really hurt anyone or anything.

Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with school administrators that they never seem to laugh anything off anymore.

Give these kids a break.

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Let the kids sleep more

I’m sorry the Board of Education won’t take a final vote until September on the plan to push back high school starting times, though I understand it’s probably the right thing to do.

I am so glad our town is finally getting on board with the idea that it’s crazy to start high school at 7:30 in the morning. Teens stay up late. They need that sleep — and the research proves it. Pushing it back to just 8:15 will help, at least a little.

The arguments against the change are weak — that it will keep kids from taking jobs after school and might put a squeeze on playing fields. I’d just as soon that teens NOT work. They need to focus on academics, not flipping burgers or some other such nonsense. It’s the smart thing in the long run.

And as for playing fields, well, I trust that this will pressure the town to fix up and light more of the fields so we can have games go a little longer into the evening. That’s more family friendly anyway.

This proposal deserves to pass, as soon as possible.

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Crickets and cops

This story in the Courant is amazing. Some kids let crickets go in the Conard cafeteria for a prank, then a cop shows up and next thing you know they’re arresting the student council president for taking pictures of the whole mess? What kind of town are we living in?

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Filed under Public safety, Schools