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    Local Columns
    Friday, May 24, 2024

    Tell us what we don’t know

    We strive to cover the news we think is important to the community, but as The Day's Executive Editor Izaskun E. “Sassy” Larrañeta says often during conversations with reporters and members of the community, “We don't know what we don't know.”

    That's why we're relaunching our CuriousCT feature, in which we ask readers tell us what questions they have about life in southeastern Connecticut. You’ll be able to request a story about it using a redesigned submission form.

    Once you let us know what you’re wondering about ― maybe it’s a person, place, historic event, hobby or government policy ― we’ll decide whether to do a story, podcast, video, or all of the above. We’ll produce one story a month based on your questions, so ask away.

    CuriousCT has helped us produce some of our most engaging stories, most recently a feature on a dilapidated restaurant and nightclub in Mystic known as Sailor Ed’s, an amazing history of the Lighthouse Inn in New London, and a story about the COVID-19 pandemic’s toll on restaurants.

    You’re obviously hungry for stories about local restaurants, and we do serve up a lot of food-centric content, including food tips and reviews in our Thursday Night & Day section and alternating weekly food columns by Rick Koster and Rich Swanson in Saturday’s Daybreak section.

    We’ll keep the food stories coming, but please tell us what else would you like us to look into.

    Housing Solutions Lab

    What did you think of the most recent stories in our reader and grant-funded investigative series on the region’s housing crisis? We had never heard of a “Schumer box” before reading Staff Writer Erica Moser’s story on How local high school students are ― and aren’t ― taught financial literacy. In case you missed it, a Schumer box is the legally required table on rates and fees on credit card offers and is named for Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, who was responsible for the legislation in 1988 as a congressman.

    We also learned from Ann Baldelli’s stories about Lisa Dodson of New London’s journey to become a first-time homeowner through Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut. Habitat is a well-established housing solution with a recognizable name, but these stories delved into the details of income requirements, the application process and sweat equity requirements. Stay tuned for more stories on Dodson and Habitat for Humanity in the future.

    We have more solutions-based stories planned before we wrap up the series later this year and were pleased to learn this past week that the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut has granted us an additional $20,000. We’re grateful for the funds, which will enable us to continue employing staff on the project along with college interns this summer and fall.

    In a couple of weeks, look for a story by Connecticut College intern Terell Wright on young people struggling to afford housing in the current market and a story by Staff Writer Johana Vazquez on shared housing.

    RIP Thunder

    This column is dedicated to Walter Edwards II of Niantic, literally and figuratively a giant man, who died this past Saturday. Following his retirement from the Department of Correction, where he worked as a correction officer, he adopted the name, “International Bodybuilder Chocolate Thunder” and focused his energy on bodybuilding and helping people throughout the community.

    Thunder was a newshound, who for many years called with tips and questions, and always made us laugh. He had muscles galore, which he loved to tell us about, and not one of them was mean. We extend our condolences to his family, fellow correction officers and his many friends throughout the community.

    We’ll miss him.

    This is the opinion of Karen Florin, managing editor. Reach her at k.florin@theday.com or (860) 701-4217.

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