DAVID COLLINS - RECENT COLUMNS

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

Published: January 18, 2020 | David Collins

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.

Toll me, please

Published: January 25, 2020 | David Collins

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

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.

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.

Gov. Lamont shamefully defies FOI laws

The governor has refused to supply copies of a signed memorandum starting talks for a $93 million remake of State Pier in New London and hasn't offered any reason why it would be exempt from FOI laws.

Norwich psychic, credited in 1979 missing person case, has died

Pat Gagliardo, the Norwich psychic who led police to the remains of a missing Coast Guard warrant officer found in his car at the bottom of the Thames River in New London, died this week.

David Kooris seems to lack legal authority to lead port authority

Kooris served on the port authority board by virtue of his state job, which he has left. He is not a political appointee with a set term.

Is lying to lawmakers OK in Connecticut?

Lies appeared to be part of the spectacle Wednesday at the Transportation Committee's hearing on the Connecticut Port Authority

Can lawmakers pry out port authority secrets at this week's hearing?

The Transportation Committee will have its work cut out at a Wednesday hearing meant to explore problems at the scandal-ridden port authority.

Attorney General Tong won't reveal whistleblower complaint

Not only will AG WIlliam Tong not release the complaint, but he won't talk about or describe it.

What will Scott Bates say?

Scott Bates of Stonington, the former chairman of the scandal-ridden Connecticut Port Authority, will have a lot to explain when he testifies Dec. 4 before the Transportation Committee.

Gov. Lamont, come clean on the stalled New London port deal

The excuse blaming the lawyers on the wording of the document is no longer credible.

Cross Sound Ferry flips out over wind assembly plans

Ferry company says an "installation vessel" that would be moored at State Pier would interfere with ferries arriving at and leaving terminals.

Coastal public access hiding in plain sight in a Mystic neighborhood

A street that provides access to the Mystic River is not marked as public access.

Mayor Passero fears gentrification?

The mayor might want to be more realistic about the state of the city, as he starts a new term.

Fishers Island's round house stands out, even in the land of unusual houses

An unusual round house on an oceanfront lot on the south side of Fishers Island is being restored, after standing empty for years.

Lamont's port authority hides the reasons for its huge legal bills

Legal bills provided in response to a Freedom of Information request are heavily redacted.

Trumpism surfaces in Connecticut municipal races

Tactics of umbrage, attacks and lies seem to be creeping into local Connecticut politics

Montville mayoral candidate dismisses alleged racist Facebook posts

Thomas McNally says questions about his Facebook posts are a "witch hunt."

Comptroller Lembo: Port authority may have misreported financials

The comptroller wrote to the port authority to say checkbook-level expenditures reported to his office in January as complete may not have been.

State has stonewalled lawsuit on Malloy Seaside decision for years

The developer who lost the chance to buy Seaside when Gov. Dannel Malloy tore up the sales contract has been waiting years for the state to give him permission to sue.

Selectman Prue opposed Stonington coastal resilience funding

The Republican candidate running for Stonington first selectman says he doesn't believe a town-commissioned study predicting ominous effects from rising sea levels.

I flunked the emissions test, and the DMV doesn't care

Strangely, the DMV renewed my registration, knowing the car flunked the emissions test.

Why is Lamont's wind deal not done yet?

The governor announced in May that a deal was struck, but after all these months, no agreement has been signed and no one is explaining why not.

Grab the popcorn for the New London mayoral debate

Mayor Michael Passero faces challenges from the left and right.

New London should collect landing fees from ferry passengers

Fees from ferry passengers are a considerable revenue source for many port communities.

Lamont's port authority strategy: muzzles and myth

Port cargo handled in New London was on a steady growth curve until the competing New Haven terminal owner took over.

Smiler's Wharf neighborhood under siege again

The town is considering changes, first proposed when the Smiler's Wharf project surfaced, to make the main thoroughfare through the neighborhood one-way.

New London mayor takes his campaign on the road

The mayor is going out of town for a fundraiser with suggested donations of $100 to $1,000.

Groton officials obscure coastal public access trail in Mystic

The town has stonewalled replacement of missing Mystic Coastal Access signs for three years, and when a few replacements finally went up, they don't clearly mark public trails.

Longshoremen forced to sign nondisclosure agreements

The NDAs have kept many from speaking out about the loss of work since Gateway Terminal took over the port of New London and began diverting cargo to its own non-union facility in New Haven.

Stormy Daniels keeps her clothes on at Mohegan Sun

The porn star turned stand-up comic roasted President Donald Trump in a gig Wednesday at Comix Roadhouse.

Will Lamont's port authority bust a union?

Closing New London's port to traditional cargo could divert ships to the non-union port of New Haven and take work away from New London's unionized longshoremen.

Denise Merrill stonewalls FOI request for Bates spending

The secretary of the state has not responded to a request for spending authorizations by her deputy, Scott Bates, who resigned from the board of the Connecticut Port Authority amid growing scandals.

Port authority offered hush money

Port authority lawyers offered the fired office manager $5,000 to sign a deal preventing her from speaking to the news media.

Some lawmakers remain mum about a wind-only port

Now is the time for legislators to speak up about keeping part of the of New London open to traditional cargo.

Frida Berrigan will crack open New London's mayoral race

The daughter of famous peace activists, Berrigan is an unlikely but engaging candidate for mayor of New London

Ichabod Pease: A survivor of the dark days of New London slavery

Pease, a slave who was freed at the age of 39, started a school in New London for black children.

Will Gov. Lamont entertain public input on a wind-only port?

The governor should give the public a meaningful opportunity to have input into plans that could close the port of New London to traditional cargo.

Democrats should make Scott Bates talk

You would think the former chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority would want to come forward to explain his stewardship of the scandal-ridden agency.

Police question Kevin Blacker over email calling Gov. Lamont a wimp

Police approached Blacker before Tuesday's Transportation Committee hearing and wanted him to come down to their troop offices to give a statement, missing the hearing.

Legislators need to uncover Lamont port authority whitewash

The governor and his allies have not released public documents that would explain the job changes made at the troubled Connecticut Port Authority, including the director being placed on paid leave, or details of a wind deal that would change the port of New London.

Scott Bates is hunkered down in Denise Merrill's bunker

Senate Republican leader says Scott Bates' continuing service as deputy secretary of the state is problematic.

Tables turn: New London has leverage over the port authority

Plans for making New London into an exclsuive port for wind turbine assembly, already submitted for environmental permits, might require approval by the New London City Council.

Port authority hired friend of director's wife for renovations

The authority hired a Rhode Island firm for renovations to its Old Saybrook offices, paying more than twice as much as the bid by a Groton designer.

How Scott Bates steered $78,000 from the port authority to an associate

As chairman of the board of the Connecticut Port Authority, Scott Bates, deputy secretary of the state, helped an associate win a $6,500-a-month contract from the authority, beating out a local firm with more experience.

Bates approved port authority purchase of Reemsnyder photos

Scott Bates, deputy secretary of the state, while chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority signed off on the agency buying photographs from the daughter of board member Bonnie Reemsnyder, first selectwoman of Old Lyme.

Gov. Lamont spits on New London

The governor ignores a promise he made with great ceremony: to give New London a seat on the Connecticut Port Authority board.

Port authority is paying two consultants with ties to Bates

Deputy Secretary of State Scott Bates, a board member and former chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority, hosted at his Stonington home a campaign event for Gov. Ned Lamont's election campaign.