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The sky is not falling -- yet

By David Collins

Publication: The Day

Published July 25. 2012 4:00AM

It's been a goofy summer so far. It makes you wonder what's going on.

In the last two weeks, for instance, we've seen two small planes go down around here, one in a North Stonington cornfield and one in Block Island Sound.

Miraculously, no one was hurt in either crash.

The plane that went down this week, pulling a marriage proposal banner destined for some couple apparently waiting unawares on Block Island, jilted, was owned by a Pawcatuck man who, it turns out, managed to walk away from a crash landing on a New Jersey golf course two years ago, when the plane came to rest in a sand trap.

Goofy, I tell you.

Also this week, a dead humpback whale washed up on a Stonington beach.

The last story I heard of a whale around Fishers Island Sound was from 1894, when a sperm whale was caught in the shallow waters of Quiambaug Cove.

Jeff Wilcox of Wilcox Marine Supply has kept that story alive by wearing around his neck a gold necklace with a tooth from what was believed to be the only sperm whale ever caught in local waters.

Wilcox's great grandfather was among four men who captured the whale, using ropes, gaff hooks and oxen to land it.

It's been a goofy year for politics, too.

Daria Novak, a high priestess of tea party politics, keeps soldiering on as a Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat, even though she was caught blogging and commenting on several state news sites with material directly lifted from other sources.

Last I heard, good plagiarism skills are not something voters look for in a politician.

Novak denied the allegations and blamed the liberal media for raising them. She vowed not to be silenced.

I think you'd see a live humpback in Stonington before Novak's party would nominate her in the 2nd District race. She may not be silenced, but no one will be listening.

Then there's Republic Senate candidate Linda McMahon, who last week admitted she paid a tax rate of only 15.3 percent in 2010, on earnings of $34.6 million.

I'm not sure what is more surprising, that McMahon has spent some $58 million of her own money in her quest to buy a U.S. Senate seat or that she paid her household help a total of $197,000 in 2010.

I suspect some of the people who toiled in the McMahon mansion that year paid a higher tax rate than 15.3 percent.

It's goofy to think that McMahon wants to convince Connecticut voters to send her to Washington to be sure she keeps paying low taxes.

Oh that's right. She says everyone should pay lower taxes, the budget deficit be damned, written out of the script.

In New London, a goofy spring just segued to a goofy summer.

Imagine that the New London mayor has set in motion the layoffs of one-third of city firefighters, even though the money to pay them, by most accounts, is in the budget approved by the City Council.

The mayor is willing to rescind the layoffs if the firefighters give up their sparsely funded 401K retirement plan and move to a rich defined pension system funded by city taxpayers on into the future.

Goofy.

Of course this is the same mayor that withdrew the city from the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments because he couldn't find $15,191 in his budget for the annual dues. That's more than many workers employed by the city make in overtime.

Never mind that COG facilitates millions of dollars in state and federal projects for the city.

Goofy with a Capital G.

This week, we learned that the region's most notorious white-collar criminal ever, Norwich native Daniel Gordon, who was jailed for bilking Merrill Lynch out of $43 million, has landed a managing partner job on Wall Street.

Call me old-fashioned, but I thought pleading guilty to things like wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy might disqualify you from a cushy job in the financial industry.

I guess instead the pleas are considered credentials.

Speaking of goofy, it turns out the owner of the plane that crashed this week in Block Island Sound not only survived a crash landing of a plane he was piloting over New Jersey in 2010, he also owned a plane that made an emergency landing on a lawn in Westerly on the Fourth of July in 2009.

At first I thought that's someone you surely wouldn't ever want to fly with.

But then again, luck appears to be on his side.

Maybe he should run for office.

This is the opinion of David Collins

News by Town

Most Recent Poll
What was your reaction to the release of Larry the lobster in Niantic?
What a great story! I was so happy to see him released.
78%
Why'd they release him? That lobster could have fed a whole family.
4%
What a waste. The money used to buy the lobster could have gone to charity.
7%
I'm glad they put it in Long Island Sound. Now I can catch it!
11%
Number of votes: 1597

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