DAVID COLLINS - RECENT COLUMNS

New London’s embrace of electronic billboards is another bad sign

Published: June 8, 2019 | David Collins

The city bucked the trend of municipalities legislating against electronic billboards and instead allowed one to be installed on city property at a city gateway.

Historic preservation plan advances in New London

Talks are underway to craft a preservation ordinance in the city that would allow for the enforcement of design standards for work done in the historic district.

DEEP gives Smiler's Wharf a big thumbs-down

The proposed development violates state law pertaining to coastal development as well as many provisions of the town's own master plan, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The last project by Smiler's Wharf developer ended in foreclosure

Nothing has been built on the 5-acre property off Masons Island Road proposed for 55 luxury condominiums since the three-year foreclosure lawsuit ended in 2009.

Simmons and Somers: Confused or lying?

Sen. Heather Somers says the town asked for $10 million for Smiler's Wharf, while the town says it didn't but the developer did.

Two Stoningtons: One rich and protected, the other going to the highest bidder

Stonington Borough, which has its own Planning and Zoning Commission, with strict rules, protects historic character in a way that other neighborhoods in town can't. The developer-enabling first selectman exploits that lack of protection.

Somers seeks $10 million in state money to help campaign donors

Sen. Somers won't talk about her attempts to secure $10 million in state bond money for developers of Smiler's Wharf in Mystic, who donated to her Senate campaign.

This project would change Mystic forever

The buildings proposed for 7 acres on the Mystic River would tower over the historic village.

14 years after Kelo, a phoenix stirs

A new proposal for apartments has promise but puts new emphasis on a conflict of interest at the Renaissance City Development Association.

New London gets shorted in the wind deal

The city gets promised crumbs from a $93 million transformation of State Pier.

Where are all the Mystic gas stations going?

Three have closed during renovations while two others have closed for good.

Just when you thought New London couldn't make more stupid decisions

Three new wind- and solar-powered streetlights are planned for a park that doesn't open at night.

Old Lyme GOP chairman launches local newspaper

David Kelsey, chairman of the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee and a member of the town Finance Board is underwriting a new newspaper in town.

New London spurns its downtown angel

George Waterman, who has been investing and keeping the lights on in downtown New London for more than 30 years, is appalled the city would move City Hall workers out of the heart of the city.

Malloy's Seaside State Park debacle lands on Lamont's desk

The bid process to find a developer for the Seaside buildings has stretched long past the original deadline of last summer, and the state won't discuss the search.

Simmons admits expediting demolition of 1840 Mystic house

The first selectman said he could have delayed the demolition in downtown Mystic even though the town doesn't have a delay ordinance, but chose not to.

Joe Biden should endorse Pete Buttigieg

The South Bend mayor is right. It's time for a new era in America.

Does the country need the Coast Guard Academy?

The military academies are attacked as unnecessary by some people who suggest officer candidate schools and ROTC programs produce officers just as qualified, at half the cost.

Prospective City Hall landlord is subject of police probe

Julian Enterprises is the subject of a police investigation into the dumping of hazardous materials, including PCBs, at a construction materials fill site it managed for the town of Fairfield.

Bill would make it easier to demolish historical New London buildings

Proposed legislation aimed at facilitating the demolition of two buildings in Willimantic would erode protections for historical buildings in three other distressed municipalities, including New London.

Will its new owners protect New London's Union Station?

The owner of the landmark downtown building, committed to its further restoration, died last month.

Save New London City Hall

Don't let the mayor suburbanize New London and move city government out of the downtown.

Plans for a $100 million State Pier project, filling in acres of dock space, are secret

The Connecticut Port Authority is refusing to disclose the documentation that is part of discussions about rebuilding New London port facilities to make them more accommodating to wind turbine assembly and less useful for other kinds of shipping.

If New London turned a corner while run by Passero, I missed it

New London Mayor Michael Passero says the city is "breaking out."

Why can't New London have a dog park, too?

A New London resident suggests that the city should catch up with surrounding towns and build a dog park.

When it's fun to see a police cruiser coming at you

An association of state police troopers keep a fleet of antique police cruisers on the road.

Voila: A fire exposes the best property in Fort Trumbull

The unveiling by fire of Bill Cornish's waterfront property brings his conflict as an RCDA board member into focus.

The demolition of historical buildings in Stonington continues

No one in Town Hall this week lifted a finger to stop the demolition of the 19th century mill on Mechanic Street that was an imporant contributing building to the Mechanic Street Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shame on New London for trying to hide blight records

The city spent much of March denying access to blight enforcement records.

MGM Springfield is no match for Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods

The tribal casinos in southeastern Connecticut are much more appealing destinations than MGM Springfield.

Legally buying pot 100 miles from New London

Varieties at the marijuana store in Northhampton, Mass., promise all kinds of highs, starting at $12 for a pre-rolled joint.

New London shouldn't abandon its downtown buildings

The city would be making a mistake to abandon any of the downtown office buildings it owns, to rent space.

What's wrong at the Coast Guard Academy?

A series of news stories have reported on unsettling complaints about a culture at the academy that seems to tolerate sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

The tale of two Mystics: Groton outshines Stonington

Groton is much more careful than Stonington in protecting the historic character of its side of Mystic.

What could be inside Lamont's secret casino plan?

The governor suggests the Indian tribes and MGM might be poised to come up with a deal to divide the state's gambling market.

Advice to GOP: Muzzle Stefanowski

The failed gubernatorial candidate has surfaced recently in television and radio interviews, complaining about the governor who beat him in 2018.

A plot to kill Sen. Blumenthal is not funny

President Trump and right-wing radio trumpeted the Jussie Smollett story and ignored news about a domestic terrorist allegedly planning to assassinate liberal Democrats.

Will New London Dems lose their safe 39th District seat?

The endorsed Democrat in the race didn't make a very strong case for himself in this week's debate.

Mystic car dealer builds ad contest around Trump's wall

Radio listeners are asked to register for invitations to a party at which a winner will be chosen to be put "over the wall" on a trip to Mexico.

Who will save the Mother Bailey House?

The City of Groton will be seeking a committed owner willing to restore and preserve the historic house.

They demolished historical Mystic buildings to put up a parking lot

Developer who tore down bulidings on Cottrell and Haley streets in downtown Mystic has plans to replace them with a new restaurant building and parking lot.

The rich of Fairfield County are safe with Gov. Lamont

Like his counterpart in New York, Gov. Ned Lamont is likely to avoid higher taxes on the rich for fear of driving them from the state.

Mirna Martinez could be New London's third-party voice in Hartford

Third parties have made cross-endorsements of Republicans and Democrats, but Martinez would blaze a new trail if elected representative for the 39th District.

A winter without snow?

With the sun higher in the sky, it looks like we might escape major snow this winter.

New London will lose a little of its soul with bank closing

When Citizens Bank closes its branch on Eugene O'Neill Drive in New London in April, it will end a long history of banking there that began with the riches of the whaling industry.

The building crisis on Bank Street

Many of the buildlings at the lower end of Bank Street are vacant and part of the roof of one has collapsed, with part of the facade and cornice at risk.

A caretaker, a will and legal motions from prison

The Mystic Museum of Art never used the house given to it by a longtime member as the home for visting artists he envisioned. It's now being sold.

Could southeastern Connecticut have the country's loosest slots?

If Connecticut let MGM build a casino in Bridgeport, the tribes could return more slot machine money from the reservations to gamblers, since they would no longer have to pay a share to the state.

President Pelosi? Will Trump defect? Where will the Connecticut GOP hide?

If a Mueller report concludes the Trump/Pence campaign illegally conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election, couldn't that make both the president and vice president illegitimate officeholders?

Murder, suicide, fire and a crazy Mallory locked up at home in early Mystic

Helen Mary Clarke entertains and informs with her charming memoir, "An Account of My Life, 1915-1926."

AG's office goes easy on Connecticut Landmarks

AG's office did not censure Connecticut Landmarks for years of neglect of houses with endowments left to its care.

New London: Poor city, rich port

The Port Authority should be made to share some of the booty from the port of New London with the host city.

Boathouse Park planning turns to preservation

The state architectural historian says the town now is planning to save at least one of the existing buildings at the site of the proposed park on Greenmanville Avenue in the Rossie Velvet Mill Historic District.

Groton files lawsuit against Spicer Mansion

The town has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court seeking an injunction to enforce an August cease and desist order against Spicer Mansion it says has not been complied with.