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DAVID COLLINS - RECENT COLUMNS

Is that a sizzling summer in the COVID-19 crystal ball?

Published: April 10, 2021 | David Collins

Clearing of pandemic clouds may be in store for the summer of 2021.

Local lawmakers get a shot in the arm

Published: April 6, 2021 | David Collins

Lawmakers in eastern Connecticut are more forthcoming about vaccinations than Republicans in Rhode Island.

Gov. Lamont flouts Freedom of Information law

The governor's office has not supplied communications requested more than six months ago and has given no reason for the lack of compliance.

Mystic history demolished to make way for a parking lot

A parking lot is being proposed for an empty lot created when two buildings, one a contributing structure to the historic district, were demolished on the residential street.

Is wind turbine assembly an allowed water-dependent use of State Pier?

The issue of whether wind turbine work meets the criteria for coastal development has been raised in permit hearings for the $200 million State Pier project.

Is it safe to come out of the cave?

A Florida doctor says vaccinated people anxious about resuming normal routines may suffer from Cave Syndrome.

Fire hose of COVID-19 money could drown Connecticut Republicans

The enormous amount of money to flow into Connecticut should help the party in power.

Democratic chairwoman owned Eversource stock when voting to remake State Pier for the utility

Nancy DiNardo owned an undisclosed number of shares of Eversource when she voted in early 2020 for a deal that would use tens of millions of public money to rebuild the pier for use by the utility.

I liked Mayor Passero's State Pier comments before he signed a gag order

Mayor Michael Passero agreed to support and promote current and future Eversource and Orsted wind projects in an unusual pledge he signed last month.

Lamont should justify tens of millions in utility subsidies

The $200 million remake of State Pier is not required for Connecticut to obtain renewable energy from offshore wind farms.

Winner or loser, Bumgardner is a harbinger of Connecticut politics

The surprise strong showing by a challenger against a two-term incumbent suggests a broader shakeup in state politics.

And then there were vaccines

Some good came out of a year of pandemic.

Someone should explain what a deal is to Gov. Lamont

Instead of making a deal with the Mashantuket Pequots, the governor insulted them, forging ahead without them.

As AG Tong investigated $523,000 fee, Lamont's team paid it

The attorney general said he has been investigating a whistleblower complaint about a success fee paid to the employer of a former port authority board member.

Lawmakers suggest new train system for eastern Connecticut

A bill introduced in the General Assembly would study the idea of extending train service from New London to the Rhode Island border and Massachusetts, through Norwich.

Salem tries to shut down Trump-inspired sign shrine

Enforcement began after homeowner was elected to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Block Island girds for next battle in development wars

The Rhode Island attorney general has asked the state Supreme Court to intervene in a deal that would have allowed a marina a large expansion into Great Salt Pond.

Is State Pier another of Gov. Lamont's dead deals?

With potential cost overruns in the tens of millions of dollars, the governor who boasts of being a dealmaker seems ready to give up.

Alas, my doctor is retiring

Dr. Melvin Yoselevsky is closing his decades-old family practice in New London, a dying art

Port Authority paid $700,000 to employer of former board member

A contract which included a $523,000 "success" or reward fee, was signed with a company that employed an authority board member only a few months before.

Regulators looking at port authority and quasi agencies issue SOS

The board that reviews state contracts and procurement says it needs clarification that it can scrutinize port authority deals.

Connecticut Port Authority Chairman Kooris navigates the truth

At hearing, Kooris directs and receives criticism about the accuracy of port authority characterizations.

Bravo for New London's community center plans

The city's plans for a recreational center fulfills a community need and will help heal the still open-wounds of eminent domain.

Groton councilors abandon coastal access effort in 4-4 vote

Councilors who wanted to pursue a legal claim by the town for public coastal access in the Fort Rachel section of Mystic lost in a tie vote.

Legislators' bill asks for plans to abolish Connecticut Port Authority

The proposed legislation asks the transportation commissioner to "detail" steps necessary to return the duties of the port authority to state government.

Game on: Mayor Passero dons his superhero cape

New London this week filed a request to participate in environmental hearings on Gov. Ned Lamont's proposed $200 million remake of State Pier.

Include car dealers when you buy local

Unlike big internet retailers, they employ local people and pay a lot of taxes.

Judge Spellman's DUI arrest won't impact his $113,000-a-year pension

The judge, who is 69, will reach mandatory retirement age in June, beginning a lifetime pension of two thirds of his salary.

The prosecution of Kevin Blacker, critic of Gov. Lamont's port authority, continues

The port authority, which got Blacker arrested on a felony charge, is trying to keep him from intervening in hearings on the environmental permits for a remake of State Pier.

Pets are pandemic winners

The animal shelters have emptied out as pets have become irresistible pandemic companions.

Lamont vs. New London

Gov. Lamont suggests the city is ungrateful about plans that it host, with no compensation, a commercial project at State Pier with a growing cost estimate of more than $200 million.

WFSB Channel 3 punts on good journalism — again

WFSB ended publicist Duby McDowell's role as a news show host after reporting she got a no-bid contract award from Gov. Lamont, but she says she will remain a political analyst for the station.

2021 could bring Groton City a person of color as mayor

Aundre Bumgardner, who left the Republican party because of Donald Trump's racism, is running for mayor.

Connecticut Republicans need to confront Trumpism

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes complained the GOP response to Wednesday's Trump-induced violence was too little, too late.

Lamont's scandal-ridden port authority is still on fire

Local lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation that would provide more oversight.

A new political party? Connublicans?

If Connecticut Republicans can neither support nor disavow the president at the head of their party, as he denies the legitimacy of the election, maybe they should form a new party.

A religious commune's ship lands at Mystic Seaport

The 150-foot Peacemaker, operated by the international commune Twelve Tribes, might spend the winter in Mystic.

Build a $20 million Coast Guard museum bridge without the museum?

The National Coast Guard Museum Association asked the state to start construction of the $20 million pedestrian bridge this fall, before it has raised enough money or obtained permits to build the actual museum.

Giving thanks in a pandemic

There is still much to be thankful for, even as the pandemic grows worse.

Groton council weighs abandoning rights to road on the Mystic River

The council wants to ask permission for public access for a Mystic waterfront area described as a road in town land records.

Will Lamont finish destroying New London's road salt business?

DRVN Enterprises, with 12 full-time employees, says it can't meet the state's end-of-the-year deadline to move its $5 million pile of salt from State Pier.

Stonington Democrats let their town turn red

The Stonington Democratic Town Committee is on a long losing streak and needs new leadership.

Who cares what the Coast Guard commandant thinks?

The commandant wants the Coast Guard museum in downtown New London, but the community seems to favor Fort Trumbull.

Is Democratic Gov. Lamont turning eastern Connecticut red?

The governor has treated the region badly and that may have played a part in Democrats doing more poorly here than in the rest of the state on Election Day.

There are two different Mystics for coastal access

Stonington welcomes visitors to Mystic River Park, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last month, while Groton lets a crucial public access sign on its riverfront walkway disappear and won't replace it.

How Connecticut shut down a business and road salt competition

The owner of DRVN Enterprises, the salt entrpreneur who brought competition to the road salt business with imports through State Pier, says he has nowhere to move the $5 million salt supply.

Collins: Connecticut found its voting groove

The polls of eastern Connecticut were busy but surprisingly calm and quiet for the historic pandemic election.

Why is no one planning The Coast Guard Museum at Fort Trumbull?

It's time for a reality check on the doomed downtown site and to stop wasting public money on it.

Will Connecticut Republicans pay a price for silence on Trump?

A shrinking Republican Party in the state may be the price anti-Trump voters in Connecticut exact.

Attorney General Tong refused to investigate antitrust complaint about State Pier

A lawyer representing the 15-employee road salt dealer at State Pier says his client is being pushed out of business by "unscrupulous" unfair trade practices, but the attorney general won't investigate.

Connecticut Republicans, loyal soldiers in the party of Trump

Republican candidates in Connecticut won't talk about Trump but support much of his agenda.

Attorney General Tong argues to keep whistleblower complaints secret

The attorney general fought before the Freedom of Information Commission to keep a whistleblower complaint about management misuse of funds at the Connecticut Port Authority secret.

This important Groton Republican isn't doing Trump's bidding

U.S. Attorney John Durham of Groton apparently isn't going to deliver an October surprise for the election.

Not one Republican candidate in eastern Connecticut would comment on Trump

Republicans did not respond to an invitation in the newspaper and by email to comment on the candidate at the head of their ticket.