Monthly Archives: November 2006

Cocaine-addled killers driving school buses?

¬†We learned today that the school bus driver who ran down a pedestrian early one October morning — before the kids were on board — allegedly had cocaine in his system at the time.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, it turns out the Division of Motor Vehicles apparently failed to suspend the guy’s license even though he had a criminal record and a pending narcotics charge.

Yes, just the kind of person you want hauling schoolchildren around town.

What really makes it a stunner, though, is that on Nov. 21 — a month after Robert Fountain drove a bus over a 65-year-old man in a crosswalk — the DMV actually made a concious decision at a hearing to let him keep his license. Apparently killing people while using drugs is not so serious an offense in Connecticut that you should your license over it.

There are so many things wrong with this whole scenario that it’s tough to know where to start, but obviously the DMV could use a reality check. No surprise there, of course.

The town, too, ought to be thinking about what it’s doing. While tragedy can happen anytime, to anyone, it’s certainly more likely that a driver for a private company hired to bus our kids is going to be a dangerous loser than a driver employed by the town itself.

After all, normal goverment vetting of potential workers would keep men like Fountain from taking the wheel. These kinds of jobs should be done by government employees instead of whatever dregs some private company hires. It costs more, but the safety of our children ought to be paramount.

We don’t need cocaine-addled killers driving our school buses.

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Filed under News, Public safety, Schools, Town government

Send Lieberman to Iraq

It hit me tonight: Joe needs to go to Iraq.

I don’t mean he needs to pick up a gun and hunt down insurgents, though if he wants to give it a try, that’s fine by me. But it also doesn’t mean he should fly in, wave at the troops and get the hell out ASAP.

What he needs to do is travel the country, talk to the troops, visit with Iraqi political leaders in their homes and offices, see the ruined mosques and shattered homes, speak with the children lying in ransacked hospitals with terrifying wounds, all of it, for as long as it takes.

And what he needs to figure out during that visit is how to end this awful war. He should stay until he can present a coherent, reasonable plan to bring the fighting to an end.

It’s his war. Let him do what it takes to bring it to a close.

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Filed under News, Politics

Republicans on the ropes

It wasn’t so many years ago that West Hartford was a hot battleground between the GOP and the Democrats. I remember the tight fights, the vicious radio advertising, the divided boards, the feeling that our town wasn’t taken for granted by either party.

Now the Republicans are utterly in ruins. Their candidates get killed. Their agenda gets ignored. They’re hopelessly out of touch and almost without hope of recovery.

It’s a funny thing, really, that a town that keeps getting richer, with houses selling for prices that seem astounding to anyone who’s been around, is also turning more and more Democratic. I’m not sure why.

I am sure the GOP in this town had better pull its collective head out of its collective ass. We need two parties that are competitive to keep them both somewhat honest, open and attentive to the taxpayers.

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Filed under News, Politics, Town government

The mess at Trout Brook & Park

I look at them working away there while I sit and sit and sit waiting to get on the interstate. And I’m still not sure exactly what this project is all about. I hope it’s over soon, but can someone tell me what it is they’re doing?

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Filed under News, Town government, West Hartford economy

Lieberman returns to DC

I wonder how many times in the next six years I’m going to cringe because I voted for him. I like the guy. I respect him. I’m not even sorry I pulled his lever. But I also know he’s going to drive me crazy with his reckless pursuit of both television cameras and bipartisanship.

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Filed under Politics