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DAVID COLLINS - RECENT COLUMNS

Is East Lyme price gouging on nonresident beach passes?

Published: July 9, 2020 | David Collins

The town is charging nonresidents for a limited number of daily passes as much as residents pay for seasonal passes.

Could this Groton resident prosecute Biden or Obama?

Published: July 4, 2020 | David Collins

John Durham of Groton, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, is investigating the origins of the Mueller probe, and Attorney General William Barr says he can't rule out prosecutions of former President Obama or Vice President Biden.

House GOP bucked police accountability

All of eastern Connecticut's Republican representatives joined their GOP colleagues in unanimously voting against a police accountability bill, which Democrats passed last year.

Col. Bob Statchen chose pandemic help over campaigning for state Senate

The National Guard airman and Democratic candidate had to stay off the campaign trail after being called up for a pandemic assignment, distributing PPE to first responders.

The two sides of Sen. Formica's mouth on early voting

The senator from East Lyme was in a small minority of lawmakers who last year voted against a constitutional amendment on early voting.

Block Island may get tough on mandatory masks

The Town Council will review an islandwide mandatory mask ordinance in response to complaints about tourists without them.

A Confederate general is buried in New London

The Confederate flag that sometimes appears beside the grave was missing last week.

There's a Columbus statue in Westerly, too

Despite all the protests around the country about Columbus statues, there has been no public outcry about the one in downtown Westerly.

Good riddance to Columbus

Taking down the New London Christopher Columbus statue is the start of progress.

Connecticut Republicans: Time again for the Trump test

Republican candidates in Connecticut should either endorse or renounce the person at the head of their ticket.

Can Connecticut GOP block safe pandemic voting?

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have said they would oppose approving in a special session measures to expand absentee voting for the November election.

Take down Columbus; scrap New London's war machine

The city should listen to and take seriously the demands of a petition by city youth that has attracted more than 4,700 signatures.

Connecticut Republicans let Trump take them down

The social media feeds of the Connecticut Republic Party, in sharp contrast to Democrats, have not mentioned the protests of the George Floyd killing and promote the Trump campaign.

Trump is kneeling on the country's neck

The president has no words of solace and is stoking rather than subduing violence.

Closing beaches to nonresidents is illegal

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2001 that municipal beach access can't be limited to residents, and a pandemic doesn't change that.

Groton wants $12,500 in fines from Spicer Mansion

A partial shutdown of Superior Court due to the pandemic delayed a zoning lawsuit against Spicer Mansion in which Groton seeks fines and new enforcement measures.

Never mind COVID-19, they marched for graduation anyway

Graduation ceremonies for Brown University went virtual on Sunday, but some graduates and their families turned up anyway for a social distancing version of a live ceremony.

Why not online gambling for Connecticut's tribes? Drive-in casinos?

Temporary allowance for online gaming could end the standoff on whether the casinos should reopen.

I'm sorry I voted for Stonington First Selectwoman Chesebrough

The Stonington first selectwoman should have urged compliance with the governor's orders, not enabled defiance.

Who will show up, as Connecticut reopens?

The reopening will test the resolve of employees and customers.

A COVID-19 memorial at Noank School site?

The Groton Town Council should reverse its decision to cancel park plans for the Noank School property and dedicate it to COVID-19 victims, as open space.

The memorials of my coronavirus walks

My long walks have taken me past some interesting monuments and markers of local history.

Town leaders, stop meddling in COVID-19 orders

The seven municipal leaders who asked Gov. Ned Lamont to open restaurant dining rooms don't have training in epidemiology.

Gov. Lamont, how about some beach guidelines?

Municipalities are struggling with decisions about how to open beaches for the summer.

Lee White cooked her way through a COVID-19 recovery

The food writer tested positive and hunkered down for a two-week quarantine, working from her big freezer and pantry.

With no COVID-19 cases, will Block Island welcome loaded ferries?

Some hard decisions about whether to close beaches or shut down summer ferries still lie ahead.

I've seen COVID-19 loss up close; I blame Trump

The president says he is not responsible, but of course he is.

Broadway-tinged video from Lyme thanks first responders

A Lyme family put together some Broadway musical experience with a school assignment and then enlisted neighbors to help make a video thanking first responders.

How much will life change after the pandemic?

Will the divorce rate spike?

Coronavirus infects a real estate deal

We won’t really know how bad the damage to the economy from the pandemic has been until it starts up again in full.

Will beaches be open for coronavirus summer?

Many public beaches in the Northeast are already closed. Will Connecticut's close as warmer weather arrives?

Checkbooks are opening for these bookstores

A GoFundMe campaign for a pair of bookstores in Mystic and Westerly has raised more than $35,000.

Rhode Island to out-of-state boaters: Shove off

Out-of-state boaters will have to quarantine on their boats for two weeks before going ashore in Rhode Island.

GOP's Fasano out of line with attack on Lamont

Seante Republican leader Len Fasano delivers mean-spirited partisan jabs to Lamont over his handling of the health crisis.

Cries for help from Electric Boat's COVID-19 horror show

EB workers are fearful about going to work, where they say conditions permit the continuing spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Lamont help us: Shut down Electric Boat

The shipyard shouldn't be allowed to continue risking workers' health to meet bonus production schedules.

EB workers at least deserve profit sharing

If grocery and pharmacy chains can pay workers a bonus, General Dynamics can do a lot more.

Most of Westerly is outside Gov. Raimondo's border checkpoints

Westerly, where there are so many cars with Connecticut plates, is largely spared the Rhode Island governor's interception of out-of-state drivers.

Mystic Airbnb hosts pitch 'Corona Free!' apartments

The tourism season seems to have started early in Mystic, driven by people seeking refuge from coronavirus.

Connecticut's Route 1, in the time of coronavirus

There's a strange mixture of business as usual and dark storefronts along the main commercial thoroughfare through the region.

Gov. Raimondo's Rhode Island roadblock bad policy

The governor's order to stop cars with New York plates has been called unconstitutional by the ACLU of Rhode Island.

A fragile Block Island braces for the worst

The island has limited medical facilities and is not prepared for a serious wave of illness.

Finding the good in a time of coronavirus

A lot of people seem to be looking for the silver lining.

The summer people are back

City residents with summer houses are seeking coronavirus refuge in the country or at the seashore.

Not even coronavirus can stop this dancing

The annual greeting the sun ceremony at North Stonington's Lantern Hill by the Westerly Morris Men went on as usual.

An eerie silence falls over the casinos

The empty parking lots at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun tell the big story of social distancing.

Lamont gets his coronavirus groove

The governor seems at ease at the helm of the ship, as it crosses the shoals of a pandemic.

Connecticut Port Authority planned a dual-use State Pier, until it didn't

The request for bids to manage State Pier demanded proposals accommodating traditional cargo and wind but the chosen operator has focused on wind turbine assembly.

Democrats should plan for a Lamont successor

Gov. Ned Lamont probably wouldn't be missed in eastern Connecticut, where he has even refused to meet with one of the region's largest employers.

Connecticut Port Authority redacts email comments on governor's office meeting

Emails from port authority officials to and from their press consultants, sent at the time of the removal of the agency's executive director, inlcuding one following a meeting in the governor's office, have been redacted in an FOI response.

Connecticut Port Authority board member voted for pier deal despite conflict of interest

Port authority board member John Johnson, who owns property near State Pier, recused himself from matters related to the pier, until he didn't.

Does Sen. Formica know he represents New London?

Sen. Paul Formica, who represents New London, has been mum about the lack of a host deal that would compensate the city for not being able to collect property taxes on a rebuilt State Pier, a $157 million facility that will be used for a commercial enterprise.

Dine downtown in a monument to whaling wealth?

The now-empty 19th century bank building on Eugene O'Neill Drive would make a great restaurant or performance venue.

Why are Groton officials trying to hide coastal access?

Town officials have stubbornly refused to replace missing coastal access signs in Mystic for a state-designed public access trail.

Furlough Electric Boat executives instead

Electric Boat, supported by billions of dollars in public contracts, should be able to keep its workforce employed without furloughs.

Passero still is sweating details of Lamont's bad wind deal

The New London mayor, left on his own by Gov. Ned Lamont to negotiate a deal to compensate the city for the State Pier wind deal, still was working on it Tuesday.

Lamont abandons New London on wind deal

A 2003 state law might allow New London to tax the new wind port planned for State Pier, if the property is transferred to the port authority.

Pier remake could cost state three times $93 million estimate

One estimate for the renovations at State Pier to accommodate wind turbine assembly is more than three times what the Port Authority has publicly disclosed as the projected cost.

Bloomberg's Connecticut spending is eye-opening

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans a presidential campagn organization in Connecticut with dozens of staff members and offices across the state.

Berrigan on New London politics: Go Democrat or go home!

The former Green Party candidate for mayor recalls her campaign experiences in a charming new essay on salon.com.

New London acquires war-ready armored vehicle

City Police Chief Peter Reichard says the military surplus vehicle is needed to respond to emergencies involving active shooters.

Lamont's port authority spending lavishly in FOI fight

The Connecticut Port Authority, which sent three lawyers to a recent Freedom of Information Commission hearing, is spending many thousands of dollars on lawyers to hide legal bills from the public.

The rising cost of Lamont's State Pier plan is secret

The estimated cost of renovations to convert State Pier to a wind turbine assembly facility has gone over the initial $93 million projection, but the port authority being managed by Gov. Ned Lamont won't say by how much.

Toll me, please

Instead of displaying responsible fiscal leadership, Connecticut Republicans choose political gimmickry on tolls

A whodunit in a wealthy Mystic enclave

Someone stole a new sign on a residential street in Mystic marking where the public could hand-launch boats. Suspects would seem to include residents of nearby expensive houses.

Dear FOI commissioners, please make port authority comply

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission is scheduled to take up a recommended order requiring release of emails from the associate of Scott Bates hired as a $6,500-a-month media relations consultant.

Connecticut Port Authority board dined out on the public's dime

Years of records of debit card use by the Connecticut Port Authority's former executive director show lavish spending at expensive restaurants, including for entertaining the authority's own board and staffers.

Lamont gives New London another swift kick

A year has gone by since Gov. Lamont promised New London representation on the board of the port authority and has done nothing even though he could make appointments to replace members with expired terms.

Has Lamont twisted the port authority out of existence?

Port authority board vacancies, improper appointments and the lack of compliance with state law might make any action of the agency subject to legal challenge.